Welcome to our World!

Our family, our life - we welcome you!

So we traveled down to good ol' Richmond, VA to visit with my parents - aka Gammy and Gampy - for the weekend since Ali was going out of town. Although I'm totally exhausted, it was so nice to see everyone and to be able to spend time with people older than 6 months, have adult conversation, and be spoiled myself a little bit!!

There were several nasty storms while we were there - Ayden slept through the overnight ones, and we missed a tornado by 20 miles. Yikes! I enjoyed my sausage biscuits and gravy and a few nice beers - only to come home and find out I've gained 8 pounds in one month. I cried for a half hour. I'm so devastated because I worked so hard to lose that pregnancy weight, and because I haven't been able to exercise the past month because I haven't felt well and injured my back, I'm almost to square one. I just bawled my poor little heart out. So it's back to the grind, 2 miles per day at least, and back to my diet. No more fun homestyle Richmond food. It really does break my heart.

But Ayden is such a reward - how can I not have all but love for him :) Here are some pictures from the weekend...

Before I was a parent - I couldn't understand the excitement of little things...a haircut, a bath, a smile, a simple, little "coo." I never knew when I saw a parent in a shopping mall sitting next to their baby - that if the baby looked up and smiled, or waved their hands...took a bite of a sandwich - that it could be a first, that I may have just witnessed something so special.

Then I had Ayden and the little things became so much more than - little. They became huge. I remember his first smile when Ali yelled from his bedroom "he smiled! he smiled!" - I remember his first bite of rice cereal, his first little giggle, his first reach to me - as if to say "please don't go, I need you now."

And then he got teeth. Who in the world gets excited about teeth? I do! I do! I'm waiving my hand in front of the computer at you. He has two teeth! They're so cute. I remember the morning they cut and I called everyone!! "It's teeth, I feel two teeth!!" - it was like I found out I was pregnant or something - it was a major milestone, something so happy, something I'll never forget - and it's just ... teeth. I can't help but to look at him and think - it's all because of my husband and I that he has teeth at all - those teeth came from something I created, those are beautiful teeth. So I thought I'd share a picture of his adorable teeth he has...it just makes me laugh to think about how these things are so exciting...something new to look forward to every single day.

And that makes every single 2 AM wake up call, every single temper tantrum, every single day I just don't want to get out of bed - but have to - so very worth it.

It's the little things. I believe that now.

I finally was able to take Ayden on a picnic today! I had been anxious to do so - I wanted to see how he would interact with the earth, the weather, his surroundings ... and I took him with other kids, so he could talk goo goo and be more social.

First off the weather is fabulous - but so hot! Ayden was wearing a cute outfit that got stripped about 5 minutes into it - no more shoes, no more socks, no more jeans - just a onesie and cute baby bare feet. We hiked down a trail to a lake and sat under a tree. An older gentleman turned around from his chair and waved hello - he exclaimed that it was his birthday - and it was the 20th anniversary of his 48th - so we did the math, at least I did. Ayden just smiled.

He loved to play with pine needles and slap his little hand into the ground. He looked at the other kids in amazement and felt around - who is that? Why do they stare at me too? What do I do, mom? I managed to eat a nice sandwich while he played on the ground, but then quickly realized his Huggies had given out - very rare...luckily I had packed him another outfit and he did a quick costume change to a baby Hokie.

I loved being out there with him - showing him the world and also showing the world what I created. Despite a nice little tantrum in which he refused to sleep - wanting to so badly - I couldn't help but admire how much he wants to discover and see - his little head would go under my chin - but quickly back up - a serenade of Twinkle Twinkle didn't even do the trick.

Flash forward about 3 hours later, back in the car seat - a little tired cry, and my little baby's first picnic was over. It's amazing how much more you enjoy the little things when you have your own little one - so much I want to show, so much he does not yet understand, but I can see in his little eyes that he's just as excited as I am - and someday, he will be able to tell me.

I forgot my camera but my telephone did the trick for a little reminder of the occasion. I can't wait to do it again with him, and maybe see him pick himself up, walk himself down the trail, and turn to tell me "hurry up!" - so he can see just a little bit more of the world.

So the Zoo is one of my favorite places - the last time I went to the zoo was in Los Angeles in February of 07 - I was pregnant at the time and had no clue - (although you would think that the gagging to the smell of animal poo would have triggered me to think so) - so technically, Ayden has already been there - but he went for real this past weekend.

The problem with Washington D.C. is there is no parking. The other problem is that the weather tends to be a bit on the weird side and I swear we were in the depths of the desert this past weekend. It was so HOT! This worn us all out. We walked a mile or so from the car, about 2 miles around the zoo, and saw maybe 5 animals ... and a lot of birds. It was so packed and crowded, and mostly UPHILL! It was about 85 degrees - and our water got warm real quick. We did see a cute cheetah and some Tucans - but really, in the end, I could have settled for watching Animal Planet all day...

So in short, although the trip itself was probably a little bit on the boring and tiring side, we did get to experience the zoo with our son - finally - and we got to hold him and show him and see the cute look on his little face when we showed him the zebra - and that, my friends, is truly priceless - and so worth it.

This is how I do it, cute isn't it?!

Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker

I thought after I grew to be ... I don't know, 20 years old, that I'd stop wanting toys as gifts. Now, since I had my little one, he has changed me into a toy lover ... yet again. I went from wishing for CD's and DVD's - to wanting toys - toys, toys, TOYS! I look at everything, and I love seeing how he grows, learns, develops, and discovers.
I wanted to share a few of my favorites!

The Leap Frog Alphabet Ball

The Leap Frog Learning Table

Link Letters

The 3-in-1 Exersaucer by Evenflo


Leap Frog Learning Maraccas

Our baby turned a half a year old on April 18 - I prefer to say "6 months" because it doesn't make me look and go "whoa, where did the time go?!" - but I'm so happy, things have changed so much, and only for the better (although diaper changes are so hard now!). He's got such a personality. He's handsome and smart, and is amazing me more everyday.

We had his shots today and they were terrible. He becomes more and more aware each time we go and get them and today his little lip quivered and shook while he got the shots. I started to cry. I could hear him - speaking to me - "Mommy, how could you?!".

He's such a good boy. We are so blessed. It's amazing I cannot remember what life was like without him. What did I do with myself? Did I sit on the couch all day, go to the mall...travel? Because everything is so different with him - it's like he's always existed, and when I think about life without him - I just can't imagine what it would be like.

Here are his stats now:

16 lbs 6 oz of pure perfection!
26 inches
43 CM head

Here's our special boy - enjoying life...enjoying us - like we enjoy him. Every single moment.

Have you ever asked yourself that question?

I spilt milk on my pants and it looks like I peed ... how did that happen?

I gained 15 pounds in one week...how did that happen?

I thought American Idol was on at 9 and it was 8 and I missed 45 minutes of it ... how did that happen?

Yeah - that question - well, that's what I ask myself every single day. I think Ali does too. Ayden is getting so big. He went from this little peanut in the Pack and Play - to almost taking up the whole thing...how did that happen? He used to stare in one place - straight ahead, he had no idea about his surroundings - what he was in for, what the world was - and now, he grabs for everything, shoves a spoon in his mouth, mumbles "Mama" even though he has no idea what it means ... how did that happen?

My little baby. I hold him at night. I feel his little head under my chin - listening to my heart, and the soft sound of me singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"...and he drifts to sleep. Someday, I won't be able to hold him like that. I won't be able to sing him that song without hearing "Mom! That's for LITTLE boys!". Someday - I'll dance with him to that song I dread so much - letting him go at his wedding. There will come a day where he will say "Mama" and know what it means, but now - he's so innocent. He's all mine. He's not anyone else's ... but in 6 months, he's changed so much - and I fell so in love with someone I'd never met - that I'd never seen. He grew from a tiny, microscopic group of cells into this beautiful human with a heart, eyes...he grew two teeth.he had two sweet little hands and a wonderful, gorgeous smile...and he grew inside of me, because I made him - because WE made him. How did that happen?

I look back at it all and I remember those moments when I would feel him moving inside of me, and then in a split second - he was out - he was looking at me. His life had started. He is my son. I'm a mom. Each day passes and he does something new - something that makes me light up, giggle...cry...and I thank God each day for this beautiful little creation and wonder how I got so lucky to have the most perfect human being that ever existed...I mean really...

How did this happen?

So here I am...wow how life has changed. I remember when I used to be the one who had to ask someone to drive me to the mall, whose mother was worried constantly, who was trying to get A's in school and bring home the great report card to my parents. I remember graduating from elementary school - and then high school, and college ... twice.

I remember my first boyfriend, my first kiss, my first trip on an airplane. There was a time I fit into a size 2 - when my feet were a size 6.

Wow. Life has just come at me fast. Now at 28 years old, I sit here and sometimes - it seems so surreal. I have a husband. I always dreamt as a little girl - what would it be like to be married? And now ... I have my baby boy. I always thought I'd be a mother, but it was only in my dreams - nothing that I ever thought I'd achieve, and I'm so proud.

Ali and I met in 1998 and have been together since 2000...here we are in our prime, our first year together...

Aren't we cute? Then we decided to get married - how cool that was (literally, 40 degree weather and 40 MPH winds - my poor bridesmaids were in sleeveless dresses!)

Then we decided to have a baby - our beautiful boy...first we saw him like this...

And then...he was born...on October 18, 2007 at 5:47 p.m. weighing in at a holy cow amount of 8 lbs 5 oz, 20.5 inches long, via emergency c-section. He's beautiful. Here's his first picture:

Now he's 6 months old ... and I'm just now starting a blog! Wow...life has changed. Gone are the days of mall shopping and bar hopping...here are the days of diaper changes, sleepless nights...and a brand new love I never knew existed. We're finally starting to think about having another baby - when God blesses us, is when the time is right, and we'll be so happy and excited. I'm so excited to share my life, our lives that is, and the way life has changed - and has become...a whole new world.

Welcome to ours!