Monday, February 28, 2011

Mini Milestones

Max has graduated from his infant car seat to a big boy front-facing car seat.

Here he is in the old one:

This photo doesn't accurately depict how much he dislikes riding in this car seat. He was so bored riding backwards that any drive that took longer than 10 minutes resulted in frustrated grunts and throwing toys in the backseat. Not really sure when he turned against it. He used to love riding in the car and would fall asleep instantly when I placed him in his seat.

Our trusty infant carrier will only get a 6 month hiatus before being put to use again!

Now we have installed this new car seat. We took him for a ride around the block just to see how he liked it.

He kicked and clapped and laughed so hard when I would turn around and peek at him.

I love being able to reach back and pinch his cheeks or tickle his feet at stop lights now. I think we're both thankful for the change of scenery!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Donut run.

We decided to treat ourselves to a sugar rush early on Sunday morning. Now that we've let Max eat an entire chocolate cake, we don't feel so protective about keeping him away from sugar.

Of course we can't just make things easy and swing by the grocery store or the Lamar's located 5 minutes from our house to satisfy our craving. We had to seek out the fabled "Donut King". I had no idea where it was, but we discovered that its conveniently located next to Diamond Joe's (and if you don't already know what that is, I'm not going to tell you :)

It earned points with me immediately when I saw that the exterior was purple...

"And I'll take one of those..."

Max helping himself. Why did we feel the need to get a dozen?

He had his eye on the cream filled bizmark, but I encouraged him to pick the plain cake donut instead.

And I guess a little chocolate donut hole couldn't hurt either.

We were home and back under the covers before 8:30 AM. We snuggled for a bit, but Max wanted to play. I think he was buzzing from all the sugar and excitement of an early morning outing.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Free Baby

We were so glad the weather was nice enough for us to get outside and up the street to our favorite park this past week. We hadn't visited since late September and it felt good to be in the big open space. I wanted Max to experience real freedom now that he's opposed to the boobie-trapped house that leaves him at a dead end seemingly at every turn. The poor kid walks laps in the house everyday -- from the living room, into the kitchen, a quick peek into the bathroom, through the dining room, and circling back into the living room. And then he does it again. And again. Just watching him makes me think of a little mouse running through a maze, although he seems to be genuinely enjoying the little path he's created for himself. We switch it up by going down to the play area we've made for him in the basement or going upstairs to explore all of the rooms, but I just can't wait for consistently good weather so he can be outdoors with no boundaries all the time. Now that he's a pro-walker I wanted to let him explore on his own while knowing that I'm safely nearby if he needs me.

I love watching him walk. He marches forward with such purpose. So sure of where he's going. I hope he's always this sure of himself and his direction. He'd stumble here and there on the uneven ground, but always stood right back up. I could see his confidence building with every step. And it was a good exercise for me to just let him go. I had to consciously hold my ground otherwise I would have been two steps behind him, hovering. No one likes that. So I tried my hardest to give him a little space.

We returned home with one tired little babe. I think the fresh air was good for us all.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

First Birthday: Part II

Max's pirate celebration on video...

So here's a quick recap of the highlights:

1. Max isn't allergic to chocolate.

2. It's going to take me awhile to stop impulsively buying any and all pirate themed items.

3. With the help of all our generous party guests we were able to make a very nice contribution to the Ronald McDonald House on Max's behalf.

4. Corralling kids for a treasure hunt can be summed up in one word: Chaos.

5. There's no way I'll ever be able to top this party.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Max got Valentine's Day presents. I couldn't help myself. I bought a couple adorable, handmade gifts for Max before Christmas that I knew would be perfect for Vday and had them wrapped and ready to go just after New Years. I'm such an odd duck. I have two modes. I'm either waayyy ahead of the game. Like, almost creepy how far in advance I'm planning . Or I'm 4 days behind. You never know which you're going to get...I either already know what I'm getting you for your birthday 11 months from now or your gift is going to be 4 days+ late. I don't know why that is. My whole personality is this way. I'm the most organized-scatterbrained person you'll ever meet, always thinking ahead but somehow running behind.

Anyway, back to Valentine's Day. I don't know why I had it in my head that this child needs Valentine's Day presents. His birthday does happen to be the day before this ridiculous holiday and he needs absolutely nothing. I'm just defenseless against all the cute things out there for kids. Next year at this time I'll have 2 kids and I'm assuming I'll have even less time and less money. I should stop setting standards that I won't be able to live up to year after year. Yes. I'm going to stop the madness. Right after Max's St. Patricks Day presents are wrapped (jk :).

Max with his new bath toy.

Night-night my little Valentine. Max snuggling with his Love-Bot
Billy and I did a repeat of last year's dinner with carry out from Classic Cup and exchanged homemade cards.
I hope everyone had as sweet of a lovie dovie day as we did.

First Birthday: Part I

Ok, I'm going to have to do this in two parts because Billy and I went a little crazy with the b-day festivities. It was truly a weekend extravaganza focused on the Max-man. We kept telling ourselves that making THIS big of a production for a birthday will only apply to first b-days, but I'm not sure if we'll ever be able to help ourselves. Our intentions were not completely altruistic -- I think we're kind of addicted to that little smile, that giggle and the way Max does not hold back when he expresses his excitement about something. We'll stop at nothing to get those things out of him and we succeeded on multiple levels this weekend.

Friday we took care of "year 1" business: doctor's appointment and haircut.
Dr. Kate said he's doing great. Better than great...he's way ahead of schedule on his development both cognitively and physically. She couldn't believe that he was already using the potty multiple times a day and that he has so many words and signs. She confirmed that we've got one very smart and big boy! There's nothing better than hearing that from your little munchkin's doctor.

Weight - 26 lbs (90th percentile)
Height - 32 inches (90th percentile)
Pee-pee on the potty.

The next item of business to cross off the list was the first haircut. The haircut was necessary. In actuality it was necessary about 6 months ago, but I was holding onto those scraggly baby strands as long as I could. We practiced the haircut all week...I would hold up pieces of his hair and say "snip-snip", pretending to cut it, so he wouldn't freak the freak out when he was faced with the real scissors. He would just look at me and frown when I did it. I'm pretty sure Max thinks I'm a little crazy.

During the haircut he sat still the entire time and just stared at himself in the mirror. A few times he gave the stylist the same frown he gave me when we were "practicing" earlier this week. He proved once more that he's as cool as a cucumber in almost any situation. He never ceases to amaze us with how easy going he is. I wish we could take credit for it in some way, but its clearly just a part of his personality.

Really excited to be driving a car-car (I think it was actually a boat, though)
Bye-bye baby hair.
These looks are similar to the ones he was giving me all week. Confused and slightly annoyed.

Hello big boy hair.
So Friday was all about taking care of business.
Saturday, we had our "family" birthday. Just Momma, Dada and Max. Billy and I made him a train table for his birthday. We had so much fun "secretly" working on it together for the past month. Lots of good memories made during the process :) I really love themes and stick ardently to them once I decide on there was no question that we were taking Max to Fritz's for lunch, keeping with the train theme of the family party.

Max loved watching the train go around the track.
Train whistle.
When we got home we showed him his very own train!

Old garage sale coffee table turned train table!
He loved it and will hopefully enjoy it for years to come.
Part II will feature the big pirate b-day bash on Sunday. Stay tuned...and give me a couple days to wade through the endless pictures and video!  Here is a teaser photo...:)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Max's Birth Day

Warning: Do not read the below if you're generally squeamish and/or modest! I happen to be neither, but I figured I'd give a warning to those who are. Also, it's a little self-indulgent and long, so forgive me. :)

Dear Max,

Please read this story when you think there is anything in the world that I wouldn't do for you.

My whole heart,

Max’s birthday is quickly approaching (10 days and counting to be exact) and I can’t help but think back to the day he was born as it gets closer. Details from that day somehow keep finding their way to the forefront of my thoughts lately. And then I realized I've never actually documented the story of Max's birthday on the blog or elsewhere for that matter, so I think its about time since my momma-memory seems to be dwindling by the day:

On February 12th we got sent to the hospital because my blood pressure was starting to creep up a bit. Nothing too bad, but my due date was the 14th and because I was already progressing the doctor decided it was time to meet Baby Murray. So we headed to the hospital. Billy and I were two big bundles of nerves. I wasn’t sure how the baby in my belly was going to get into my arms. It sounds strange, but hadn’t really thought much about exactly HOW that was going to happen. Maybe I just didn't want to think about it.

Once we checked in, they immediately started pitocin to get my contractions going stronger since I was already having some on my own. However, a few hours into the induction they announced that my blood pressure had returned to normal and the baby was doing fine so I had two options… A) turn off the pitocin, have some dinner and resume things later in the evening. Or B) full speed ahead. Well, I hadn’t eaten anything all day and I was STARVING. (Confession time: I was sneaking a couple Goldfish crackers here and there when the nurses were out of the room. Sorry Stella, best nurse ever, I'm sure you're reading this :) So I opted for choice A and sent Billy to Harry’s Bar & Tables to get us a feast.

We ate in our cozy little room and watched the Winter Olympics opening ceremony. A nice, memorable "last supper". Then we waited for my doctor to come back to get things going again. And waited and waited. Finally, after 2AM she came back and we started the pitocin again and she broke my water. Soon I was having REAL contractions. Not the ones that kinda hurt…the ones that make you want to punch your husband. I tell people this all the time, but I don’t think I could have even told you my name during those contractions. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but all of the hot tub and birthing ball plans went out the window fast. I wanted an epidural. Who better to give it than a cute guy that I knew from my days of debauchery at Quigleys? Billy and Jonathan the Anesthesiologist traded "remember when" stories while I kept thinking..."um, I've seen you really drunk and singing karaoke...are you sure you're now qualified to stick a needle in my back??" It turns out he was.

Later they turned off the pitocin since I was doing fine moving things along on my own. Baby Murray was on board with the whole being born agenda. By 7am I was over halfway there. Another nurse said it would likely be awhile and to relax. But I couldn' epidural wasn't working anymore despite how many times I tried to push that little button for another dose. Shortly after the nurse left the room, I sat straight up and told Bill to get the nurse again...I felt like I had to push. He told me to "just use the call button, honey"...and my reply to him was, "no, go out in the hall and get someone NOW." Bill came back with the nurse who had a cute smile on her face, as if to say "I JUST checked you." But I insisted she do so again. It was time for the big finale and I knew it. Her eyes opened wide and said, "You're ready. Go ahead and start pushing." And she went about the room getting things ready for the baby's arrival. I was shocked by how calm she was, so I did what came naturally on my own. I was feeling every contraction at this point and the only thing that helped was to push against the pain. Billy was a trooper...rubbing my back, holding my hand, counting to 10. I honestly thought there was a possibility he'd be passed out on the floor during this stage. Finally, after about 45 minutes, I gathered all my courage for one final burst of effort and then we met our baby boy. I was really proud of myself and so in love with that wet, squirmy little bundle immediately. Billy tearfully cut the cord although he hadn't planned on it. It was a beautiful experience even with all the pain.

The three of us snuggled in the hospital bed together after all the commotion stopped. No one disturbed us, no tests were done, no weight or measurements were taken in the first hour. We just got to be together and let our new roles in life sink in...a mom, a dad, a son. The old me had disappeared along with the pain and I was a new woman. A mother.

The thing that shocked me the most was that I was able to get up out of bed only 30 minutes after the whole ordeal. I was exhausted, but I felt strong. Probably from the adrenaline. Wild. Wonderful. We were parents. And that feeling of awe has not gone one day without gracing my heart. I can't believe in 10 days we'll be celebrating Max's first year and the anniversary of the best day of our lives.

Here's a snipet of video from Max's first hour of life. You can't see much of Max, but I cherish this clip. Us alone with our new baby for the first time. You can tell we're a little nervous (Billy attempts an inappropriate close-up and clearly has no sense of time) but we were so happy.