Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love the dressing up, the candy, the pumpkins ... everything. So it's probably no surprise to those close to me that I was geeked for this year to finally dress up Little B. I wanted something easy that wouldn't cost us too much, with the hopes that at least part of the costume could be used again at some point.

Keeping that in mind, I decided to dress him up as one of my favorite cartoon characters ...

... Charlie Brown!

My sister and I added the signature black zigzag to a mustard yellow shirt this week, and I picked up a pair of black cords that he'll be able to wear for months to come! Easy, awesome ... perfect!
Sadly, in the process of getting his costume all ready, I neglected my own costume until today. This is honestly the first time I've had to scramble to put something together, and I wasn't overly happy about it. At first I was going to try to do something to tie in the fact that I'm pregnant (Juno, pregnant 50's housewife, etc.), but I hate not having continuity in costumes when you're together as a group.
So I did a little extra research, and my husband and I dressed up as Linus and Peppermint Patty respectively. Baylor was clearly more obvious as Charlie Brown, but I thought it worked out reasonably well, all things considered.

Unfortunately, I got really cold in those shorts and ended up changing my outfit soon after this picture was taken (I threw on some clothes and went for the "Juno" effect ... it was still Halloween, after all.), but we had a nice little family portrait anyhow.

Baylor didn't do much trick or treating, but when he did go out I threw on a thermal underneath his costume to help keep him warm. My mom was slightly appalled at this and was sure he'd catch a cold, but my little man is a furnace (just like his dad) and I knew he'd be fine.
After my husband and son visited two houses, they came home and we got to play!

The cords I bought him were size 24 months, and apparently the Falls Creek brand runs a little bigger than I'm used to because they were falling off him all day! The more tired he got, the more difficult it became for him to wear his saggy pants, so we decided to switch his outfit to one his Grandpa E bought for him in China.

Isn't he adorable?!
Here he is with my dad, who was using all his energy just fighting to stay awake. That 12 hour time difference jet lag is quite the doozie!

Baylor has generally short legs for his height, so these pants didn't fit him overly well either. But he made due.

He even made a little mischief in his fancy outfit, getting into the candy we had set by the door for trick or treaters!

All in all, it was a lovely night. The weather wasn't great, but we still had a pretty decent turnout. I think I may have eaten too much of the Halloween candy we were passing out, and I'm not sure how strong my willpower is, so I might have to give the rest of the candy I set aside to my sister (or just throw it away).
I hope you all had a fun, safe Halloween!

Pumpkin Carving!

On Thursday night we finally got around to carving Little B's pumpkin! He got a front row seat for the action.

My husband got things started ...

... and offered to do the dirty work, even though I wouldn't have minded.

I finally got to use my pumpkin carving tools and be a little artistic. It was a lot of fun!

But Baylor couldn't have cared less.

Ah, the fine art of pumpkin carving.

Once I got it done, we put in a candle, lit it up, and turned out the lights. My son was very fascinated with it, so I decided to take a picture. The first one, without the flash, didn't turn out so well.

Then I turned on the flash, and I got this in the pitch blackness of the kitchen! Amazing, huh?

But I think it turned out pretty well, don't you?

We put it outside tonight, and I really think it added to the Halloween aesthetic of our humble abode.

Dad's Home from China!

My dad came home from China yesterday after being gone for nearly two weeks! While he was there he saw tons of stuff, from the Great Wall ...

... to the Heavenly Temple.

He also did a lot of work, but those pictures aren't quite as fascinating (no offense, Dad).
My mom, my sister, Baylor, and I went to the airport yesterday to pick him up, and let me tell you, Little B had an AWESOME time!
He totally channeled the Chinese and did a little feng shui with the airport chairs.
He was so excited for Grandpa E to come home!

Then, channeling his dad, he inspected the chairs for quality.

He also introduced himself to other airport visitors. He's so adorably fearless right now!

My dad came down the ramp, and Baylor instantly wanted to go to him. They hung out together even at the luggage carousel, Little B laughing all the while.

It's so good to have Dad home!

Friday, October 30, 2009

My Son Has a Doll

A baby doll, to be exact. His name is Colin; my mom named him after Colin Firth, who she has a total crush on. (She bought him for Baylor, so I figured she should have the naming rights since he can't do that yet.)

He has red hair, just like my husband, and is a Corolle doll very similar to one I had when I was a little girl. Lately he has started to randomly pick up Colin and hug him ... and I love it!

But there was a lot of controversy when Mom first brought up the idea of getting him a doll - and even more controversy when she did it without my husband or dad's "permission".
They contended that dolls were for girls, and that he would be just fine with stuffed animals, thank you very much. She wanted him to grow up to be a "nurturing little boy"; so she went ahead and bought Colin.
I really didn't care one way or another, but it certainly is nice to see him care for the doll. Especially nice now because we have a sibling on the way for him and I hope that he'll love and care for the baby just like he does Colin. Well, not JUST like he does Colin, since a hugging session usually ends with Baylor tossing Colin aside or walking around holding him by the ankle. But you get the idea.
My mother-in-law asked why the guys were making such a big deal out of it and pointed out that her brothers had G.I. Joes (Barbie-sized) when they were kids. I told her, "If Colin had a gun or a kung-fu grip then they'd be okay with him. He's a doll, not an action figure. Guys are okay with action figures, but dolls are supposed to be for girls." She laughed, and I still stand by my statement.
What do you guys think? Do your sons have baby dolls? Do your girls play with action figures?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Finally a Fall We Can Enjoy

Baylor and I headed outside yesterday to enjoy the beautiful fall weather we were finally having here in Michigan. I wasn't so sure how he would like all the leaves, but let me tell you ... they were a hit!

I even had to leave him for a sec to grab my camera from the car, and he didn't move a muscle, other than to pick up a new leaf.

It was like he had found all these treasures on the ground, just waiting to be plucked up and inspected.

It seems like not long ago he was just learning how to walk; now that I see him crouching and standing again, I am so proud of how far he's come!

To really appreciate the leaves, one must sit in them - so he did. He even offered one to me!

Eventually he got into tearing the leaves up into smaller and smaller pieces.

Then he got a little spooked by something, but I still have no idea what.

So I snatched him up and took him over to another tree where the leaves were still falling and fresh on the ground. The sun was out and I got my favorite picture of the afternoon.

I've always loved the beginning of each season, but having a kiddo makes the change of seasons that much more special and magical.

The Oven and Huh?

My little man is obsessed with his Oma's oven. The buttons are just low enough for him to reach and make all sorts of noises, so he has been taking the opportunity to explore this new technology he has discovered. (For all you worriers out there, he isn't allowed to touch the knobs and the buttons are locked so he can't turn on the oven or the cleaner. But don't tell him that!)

After turning the oven light on and off for a few minutes, he sat on the floor and decided he was helpless, signing "Please!" over and over again to get us to do it for him.

Finally, Aunt Christine came over and gave him the moral support he apparently needed to get the job done.

Then it was time to admire his handiwork with the ladies.

And on a side note, he started doing something weird when we took him upstairs to work on his Halloween costume. He likes to turn on and off my parents' televisions, but that night he decided he needed to use his shirt as a buffer or something. It was quite perplexing. We are wondering if he got shocked at some point and thought this would be a good idea to avoid any more unpleasantness. At first I thought it was just unique to that night, but he tried it again yesterday; much to his chagrin, he was wearing a onesie and couldn't make it stretch up to the button and he used his bare finger instead.
What a funny little guy!

On the Go!

Little B has been enjoying his run of the house lately.

He loves his Ikea crane set and the table and stools I so lovingly put together for him.

After absconding with the squares from his crane set, he set out for a lap through the kitchen. What an adorable little Spartan!

Back to the table again for a little crane action ...

Then back to the kitchen to stare into the glow of his favorite Halloween decoration. When he first saw this thing, he used to just sit there like this ...

Now he likes to get up close and personal with Jack O' Lantern ... Little B even brushed him with one of my round brushes the other day!

Then he checked out his second favorite Halloween decoration, the Avon blinking pumpkin. I have already had to change the batteries twice on this thing he likes it so much!

Back to the living room again, he squeezes through a tight spot.

And then makes off with one of his shoes!

My little man is on the go! He might be tough to keep up with sometimes, but you can't help but want to be a part of that curiosity.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chicago: Hitting the Wall and Ikea

After the fun of the day (see it here and here) was over, Little B and I hit the hay. What happened next was one of the worst nights I've had in a while.

Baylor went to sleep just fine, more than fine in fact; he barely made a whimper as I laid him down in the hotel crib. I got ready, and he didn't make a peep. I climbed into bed; by then he was sound asleep, making gentle breathing sounds off in the dark of the room.

Two hours later, he started it; crying out, without waking but most certainly waking me up, every hour on the hour. It was like his little internal clock was going off or something. At 3:00 a.m. he cried for a lot longer than usual, so I got up to check on him. My nose was stuffy from all the down bedding, and the minute I stood up Paco sank into my bladder making it imperative I get to the bathroom. Still, I checked on my little man and even when I touched his head, he was sound asleep. Just moaning and crying in his sleep.

My bladder could take it no longer, so I hurried off to the bathroom to avoid making the situation even worse. After I finished washing my hands, I turned off the light and walked out into the room ... straight into the corner of the little half wall that held the minibar. Oh, with my forehead. Running on such little sleep, feeling so congested and sneezy, and having an aching noggin, I burst into quiet tears and slunk back into the bathroom. For a moment, I contemplated calling my husband back at home; then I thought better of it and got a hold of myself. Three a.m. is no time for a pity party.

I walked into the shower area of the bathroom and grabbed a towel, carefully walked back into the bedroom and covered my pillow with it, and pulled back the comforter. I threw on my long-sleeved t-shirt and socks and climbed back into bed as quietly as I could.

Several deep breaths later I was asleep, and thankfully my little man slept well until around 6:30 a.m. when he started the moaning/crying in his sleep thing again. So I got up and showered and started getting us packed up.

I don't think he actually woke up until about 8:30, and when he did he was happy as a clam. Whew! That made me feel better at least; nothing was wrong and he had slept well.

After getting everything packed, Mom, Christine, Baylor, and I headed over to the Watertower shopping center to grab a bite of breakfast at Foodlife, where we had eaten lunch the day before. The breakfast was good, the smoothie with breakfast was outstanding, and the lunch the day before was delicious! I highly recommend it if you are out shopping (or working) on Michigan Ave.

Then we went out into the cold and wind to finish up the shopping we wanted to do: Crate and Barrel and Sur La Table. Little B enjoyed every minute out in the inclement weather, but the ladies were not so thrilled and soon we were headed back to the hotel to check out and pick up the car.

Once we had the car all packed up, we drove out to Bolingbrook for our trip to Ikea. And then we headed home.

All in all, it was a wonderful trip, and I would happily take my son back there again. I would love for him to get to explore Millenium Park and see more of Shedd's. Oh, and we'll have to eventually do a trip to the zoo, but that'll have to wait until at least next summer, probably longer.

Either way, it was great. And, Mom, I really appreciate you taking us with you and showing us such a good time. Thank you again and again!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chicago: Shopping Afternoon

If I could sum up the whole of our trip to Chicago in one picture, this is the one I'd choose ...

Little B did this nearly every time we crossed the street. Between the crosswalk signals changing, the masses of people coming at him, the wind in his hair, the sounds of the city, and all the other sights to be seen, my kiddo was high on life. He even did this the next day when the weather turned cold, wet, and horribly windy! It reminded me that no matter the weather, the fatigue, the whatever, life is still wonderful, still beautiful. Seeing his hands rush up into the air lifted my soul and made me laugh. And seeing him so excited just to be, made me proud to be his mom.

He also did a lot of this ...

... because there was so much to see! Most of the time we had no idea what he was pointing to, so we just guessed what we thought he'd be getting a kick out of.

We shopped up and down Michigan Avenue on Tuesday, putting my trusty Merrills to the test, and ended up at Legoland for our last stop before dinner. On the benches near the Legoland store are Lego humans set up to keep you company, so Baylor decided to try one out.

At first he was curious about what the strange man next to him was made of.

Then he just plain got a kick out of it!

I have to say, I was a little grossed out by the Lego dude as he was dusty beyond belief, but I decided to just let it go and be cool with it ... as long as Little B didn't try to eat the guy's coat or anything.

After a lovely dinner at the Cheesecake Factory (if you go, you MUST try Stefanie's Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake ... it is so incredibly delicious!), we made a quick stop at H&M and then headed back to the hotel for a little R and R.

We played around in my mom and sister's room for a while, then I left to get our room ready for us to hit the hay. Apparently this is what happened while I was away.
Mom introduced Baylor to blowing bubbles.

And he really enjoyed touching them.

Then they snuggled for a sec.

And then my mom realized that his hands were all sticky, so she decided to take him to the sink to wash them off. And he decided to hop in.

She brought him down to me, sans pants, with a dripping wet mess of khaki in her hands. Ah, the joys of being an oma.