Welcome to our World!

Our family, our life - we welcome you!

What a great day it was today! We had high 70's and sunny - clear blue sky - absolutely beautiful! I took Ayden out on a walk at a local place with some other mommies from the area. It was so relaxing and nice! We also discovered Ayden likes teething biscuits. My friend let me borrow one (well not like he's going to give it back, right?!) and he loved it. He also had his first Cheerio - he chewed it well and swallowed it. I'm going to have to buy him a box!

But we enjoyed the lake - the geese (they find strollers interesting, does my son smell like bread?) and we had a nice lunch at a local bakery. It was great to interact with adults. These reruns of Project Runway are getting old and I think Ayden is bored with the basement. Everytime I start walking down the steps with him - he starts to cry. I walk back up. He smiles. I walk back down. He cries. It does smell funny, like old soup, but I can't imagine it's all that bad...so we're taking advantage of the weather and enjoying life, enjoying this little one, who is just now learning to explore the world. The lake in this great weather wasn't the only beautiful site to see!

This is where we went walking...

Enjoying the stroller...
Aw Mom, I love you!
You crack me up, stop being silly, mommy!
And my first teething biscuit - yummy!

I hear something .... it's the little whisper - a faint, but beautiful sound - the sound of our son's voice, speaking to us! I wish he could actually say words that make sense - the goo goo, gah gah, BAH BAH, is a little bit hard to understand - but it really is the best thing. Recently Ayden has started making the cutest sounds - little razzles, little coos, that he didn't use to do before. He really is trying. He looks up at me - with those blaring brown eyes - as if he is trying to say something - as if he thinks I understand. When I peer back down - he reaches his arms up for me now - I feel so loved each time. He has reached so many milestones!

He has perfected crawling.
He can pull himself to a standing position.
He can pull himself from lying down to a sitting position - he does this on the diaper changing table and in his crib - diaper changes are so difficult now, and we had to move the crib down a notch. He's a smart boy!
He is slowly trying to crawl up the steps - this usually leads to his little boom boom hitting the ground in a hard thump after he loses his balance - it is adorable.
He has also learned to cough for attention. How lovely. He knows I jump if he chokes on something, so needless to say, this has become his attention-getting mechanism.
He loves to hit things, especially the edge of the treadmill. We're not sure his motive here. Ha.
He loves his cat - he will go to the cat's gate and climb up, shake it, and scream to me out of anger that he can't get to the cat - instead he sticks his hands through the gate while the kitty cat rubs against him.

He has also learned what kisses are. I say "gimme a kiss!" and he'll grab my face and pull me in. I love his little kisses - they're wet - but the best.

He is such a great baby. He is having some sleep difficulties when he's alone in his crib and since he sprouted his 5th tooth - is still having issues with his teeth. He is so cute with his little buck teeth up front.

But what a great thing - to see the little human you created ... growing, learning...imitating. I am such a proud mommy.

So, we're back from our first major trip of the summer - we ventured down to Orlando, Florida to visit my friend, Allison, who is expecting her first child (a girl, Carli) in June. Her baby shower was this past Saturday and I promised her I'd be there.

Ayden took his first trip to the beach. He hated it. I thought for sure once I put his little feet into the ocean for the first time - that he'd be enthused, that he'd love it! I was so wrong! He started screaming immediately. I felt so horrible. I wanted him to like it - but I think the combination of a new place and new things - and the heat - were too much for him. He certainly looked like a true Floridian, though:
Allison's shower was really nice - her parents and friends really put together something beautiful that I'm sure she will remember forever:
While we were there, Ayden sprouted his 5th tooth - that's right, ladies and gentlemen, his 5TH TOOTH! I was wondering why we were so sleep deprived! I was also wondering why he was drooling so much:

He's now officially crawling too and is into everything:
I wasn't feeling well the majority of the weekend but I managed to have a great time with everyone and with my family on our first major vacation. Even though I'm still worn out, I'm looking forward to the weeks to come when we continue to travel with Ayden and show him more of the world. He's getting so big...so fast...but he'll always be my baby, and that's what gets me through.

So we went to see my parent's again this weekend, it was unexpected - Ali needed to help someone out, so we took a nice trip home. Whenever we go, it's like a mini vacation for me - but without the beach, without the nice hot weather - I have an extra set of hands, someone to help me out - I even got a nap.

Then it was Mother's Day - it's so special to finally know that I am a mother, that I have a reason to celebrate, that I'm great at what I do - that I'm appreciated. We decided to stay late and spend the day with my mother and my family - and to try and avoid traffic, we were going to leave later.

This was a huge mistake. Around 4 PM, some monster storms hit the area, and we ended up being stuck in Richmond. Originally we weren't going to leave until 4 AM Monday, but decided to go ahead and go once the weather cleared out of Richmond. The problem with this was that the weather wasn't cleared out of the Northern areas, and flooding was a major problem. The trip ended up taking 4 hours, and even though we were safe, I can tell you that the whole way I realized that everything truly has changed. I was so scared. Not for me, but for my baby. I hated knowing he was in danger. I would have done anything to keep him safe. I held my head near his car seat the entire way while he slept - and dreamt of being at home, cuddled up with him, and knowing he was okay. It's amazing how things like that change when you have your own baby, the being you made. Braving forces of nature so you can be comfortable becomes a whole new ball game. I learned next time that we'll have to so what's safest - no matter if I want to get up early or not - we shouldn't have gone. We put him in harm's way. It taught me a huge lesson - and on Mother's Day, not only did I feel a huge amount of appreciation from those around me, I found a new appreciation for what being a mother really is - he truly is my reason for living.

I think he might love me too!

Boy does Ayden have a hectic first summer coming up!! Wow! He won't even be a year old yet and he's already going to have been to 6 states! He's so far been to Maryland, Virginia, and New Hampshire, Maine, and once the summer is up, we'll add North Carolina and Florida to that list too! I just can't believe how much we have to do! But in case you're looking for us, or there appears to be a lack of blogging - there's probably a good reason! Here's the rundown!

May 15-19: Orlando, Florida (Allison's baby shower, Carli is almost here!)
May 23-26: Richmond, VA and Virginia Beach, VA (to visit the grandparents and also Ayden's Godmother, Karen!)
May 30-June 1: Richmond, VA (Alan and Erica are getting married, yay!)
July 3-July 13: Richmond, VA and Nags Head, NC (it's Ayden's first trip to the Outer Banks, we're so excited! The last time we went, I was huge and pregnant!)
August something or other - we're going to Jacksonville, Florida for a conference and also to visit Allison and her new baby in Orlando!

Somewhere in there we're also going to New Hampshire for a few days and also to Maine for a soccer tournament. Phew. I don't know if I'll be able to catch my breath! Ali is also going to Portugal for a few days to a week, probably around the end of June, Ayden and I will be going to stay with my parents in Richmond until he gets back, but that's not set in stone.

I'm so excited to travel with my baby and show him the world! Apparently we're going to Hawaii next year too for a week, as Ali has to travel for work. I've always wanted to go. I'm in for it with a toddler, I'm sure, but how fun will that be?! Ayden looks excited doesn't he?

Wow, when they hit 6 months, it really does become a path of milestone, after milestone, after milestone.

The other day, I was walking through the mall alone with Ayden - he got hungry. I passed him a bottle - and instead of having to lean over the stroller, like before, and feed him while I walked, I was able to hand him the bottle - and he could hold it himself - and I got to continue on. This was WONDERFUL! I mean, before it was constantly having to stop, get him comfortable, plan trips around his feedings - and now since he can entertain and feed himself, it's much easier to go when and where I want to. It sounds selfish but after being pregnant with him and then devoting every waking second to him - I enjoyed being able to think about myself for a second.

See, look at how cute he is - holding his own!
He's also learning about toys. He's also learned that if mommy or daddy takes away a toy that he really wanted - he can cry, scream, and throw his hands up in the air - and this little bit of tantruming couls possibly get his toys back. He loves his Leap Frog Learning Table, Jumperoo, and alphabet ball - among many.
He loves to turn the pages on books and to eat books - now that he's gotten the hang of standing supported on his own - he can stand up at the table - and while he quite often gets way too happy and ends up falling down - it's great to watch him interact with the music and sounds and to press the buttons and get that total look of enthusiasm - "I made it do that?!"

Now there's crawling - the milestone that while I've been waiting for it, and have been working hours upon hours with him to learn to crawl - it's one that makes me a bit sad because now instead of being that cute little dumpling face that looks up at me, stares at me, depends on me for every little thing - he can actually move around himself. He's into everything. He's getting more and more out of my control and becoming his own little being - and every little new milestone he makes, I look at him and continue to think that it's because of my husband and I that he is able to do this, that he's even here - that he exists, and that amazes me.

Now if only he would sleep through the night - that's a milestone we just can't wait for! He has his moments but he's certainly not consistent - but each time I look in the mirror and see these dark, swollen, sleep deprived eyes - I look back and him and smile - because someday when he looks at me and says "I love you, Mommy" - and walks out the door with his friends to go to Prom - I'll remember those nights holding him in the middle of the night, rocking him to sleep, nursing him, seeing those little eyes peer up at me - and I'll miss every second of it. Milestones, while they're amazing, also remind me that my little boy is not so little anymore - and someday, won't totally be mine.