Sunday, January 30, 2011

Moments of Being

I love Virginia Woolf. I remember reading her memoirs in college and feeling like my world finally made sense. She described life as moments of being and non-being. The non-being is the "cotton wool of daily life." But the moments of being are the flashes or sparks of awareness where we are fully conscious of our experiences and where we are aware of how we fit into a pattern larger than ourselves. Woolf writes, "All human beings are connected with this; that the whole world is a work of art; that we are parts of the work of art. We are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself."

On that note, I think I have been experiencing quite a lot of moments of being lately. I think it may have something to do with being a mom. I feel like my world is now united and knitted together with Carter and Dave... we are one unit. A family. Here are my moments of being from just this past week:

This is Carter's "naughty" look. It is the face he gives me when I catch him doing or playing with something that he knows is off-limits. I love it because it shows his budding personality--one that leans towards being mischievous. Carter is very curious and attempts to climb up and into everything. This week he climbed up to the toilet and I found him dangling his arms over the edge and splashing in the toilet water. Gross, yes, but once again, it was an act that was just pure innocent curiosity and for that I loved it.

Carter's naughty face bears a pretty strong resemblance to this little boy's naughty face:

Random moment of cuteness--this is the reason why all of my pictures of Carter do not have a flash.

This is Dave teaching Carter to drink from a straw. May seem insignificant, but this was the first time Dave and I managed to successfully feed Carter at a restaurant. He has had a lot of trouble with the transition to real food (not pureed baby food) and here we sat at Wahoos and watched Carter happily scarf down chicken, rice, and black beans without gagging or throwing up once. (A miracle in my eyes.)

Carter is a nature and animal lover. He adores all creatures, big and small. I think it reflects his tender and caring heart. He has such a sweet soul. I love watching him interact with dogs and cats. He also loves birds and even guinea pigs! He went outside with his Grandpa the other morning to watch a crow try and eat leftover Del Taco from a paper bag in the street. He was fascinated.

January 2010 was when Carter moved out of the NICU and into our home. We went back to visit the NICU to celebrate his 1-year anniversary. We brought them a card and a cake. My stomach filled with anxiety as we walked up the same flight of stairs that I had gone up twice a day for 54 days. At first I just felt this overwhelming sense of dread to be back there but as soon as I saw Carter's face (smiling and giggling, totally oblivious to where we were), I felt relaxed and calm and joyful that I have a healthy, happy 14-month-old.

Today is Dave's 31st birthday! Carter woke his daddy up this morning and told him we were taking him out to breakfast to celebrate. I still can't believe my husband is in his 30s and can tease him about it as I have yet to reach that milestone. He's come a long way from the 18-year-old punk rock, mohawked kid that I fell in love with.

Here is Dave on his first birthday. I bet I could pass this picture off as Carter if it wasn't so dated.

My last moment of being is in the fact that yes, I still rock my toddler to sleep. He isn't a "baby" anymore but he is still my tiny little munchkin and I cherish the fact that most of the time, he still lets me rock him and cuddle him to sleep. I love how peaceful it is to snuggle with my little boy and hear him sing and babble himself to sleep. These are the moments that make life worth living.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

In Loving Memory

This morning my sweet Grandma Cushman passed away. I knew this day was coming but I simply could not prepare my heart. How can I truly say goodbye to such an inspirational woman? My tiny little Grandma was beautiful, intelligent, loving, playful, sassy, and fiery. She could dominate a room and wrangle a herd of children. She was a perfect example of what a Grandma should be.

My brother and I spent some time together reflecting on our memories of our Grandma. It's funny how certain insignificant little moments can be permanently etched in your memory. Later, when you recall these moments, your heart can fill with fondness and nostalgia for what originally seemed so irrelevant. For example, one summer my brother and I spent a lot of time at my Grandma's house. We were forced to watch my Grandma's daily soap operas with her. (I think it may have been All My Children or General Hospital?) Not sure, but Brian and I could both recall the storyline--some girl that was trapped in a well and something to do with an evil twin. Too funny! We laughed about how we could still remember that and it was many years ago! I remember my Grandma's yummy iced orange cookies and pasta salad. I remember playing games like Boce and croquet in the backyard. I also remember desperately trying to beat my Grandma at Rummy. My Grandma was a fanatical Bingo player and I love that she used to let me "paint" with her Bingo markers. I learned how to play pool at her house, although I have more memories of building forts underneath the pool table! I love that when I introduced Dave to the family, my Grandma took an immediate liking to him. She always sat next to him and struck up conversations. I cherish the moments that I got to share Carter with my Grandma and how he loved to smile at her. It's sad to think that I can't make any more memories with her...

To my Grandma: I love you so very much. You will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Irvine Regional Park

I've been wanting to go to this park forever and have never gotten around to it. But, Carter was invited to his friend Alexander's birthday party and happily, it was at this park! The weather was so nice and the park is so awesome. It feels more like campgrounds than an actual park. There are so many things to do there--you can ride the train, rent family bikes and boats, go for a hike, feed the ducks, and they even have a zoo! We will definitely be returning sometime soon!

Waiting in line for the train:

Playing with Alex:

Hanging out with all the guys around the cooler:

Dave's Mini Me:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Little Sports Enthusiast

Carter loves to clap now. It was totally random because I have been trying to get him to clap for months and he would never do it. Now, he does it all the time and also cheers when he claps. He loves to cheer when he reaches 10 points on his basketball game. He is very particular about it though--he won't cheer until the buzzer sounds at the very end, once 10 baskets have been made. These videos crack me up because as soon as he is done cheering, he becomes very serious.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Dreaded Baby Gate

So I kept putting it off for many reasons. One is I kept telling myself we wouldn't still be living with my in-laws when Carter became mobile. Two was because I was pretty good at keeping Carter away from the stairs by putting his toys in the other corner of the room. But today I finally gave in after repeatedly chasing Carter halfway up the stairs. Sigh... My baby is no longer a baby. He is a toddler. And with that realization, we finally put up a baby gate.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Carter's Favorite Things

Carter hates television but LOVES the Your Baby Can Read videos (which are incredibly annoying). As soon as the music for the show starts, he stops whatever he is doing and is fixated on the screen for at least 20 minutes. Not sure if he is learning to read but I will take the 20 minutes of freedom! Carter LOVES having books read to him but is incredibly particular about the books. His current favorites are "Are You My Mother," "The B Book," "Who Said Boo?" "Freight Train," "Dear Zoo," "I Love You Through and Through," and "There's a Wocket in My Pocket." When I say those are his favorites, I mean, those are the ONLY ones he will let you read. And he will sit and have you go through them more than once. I sometimes try to trick him and sneak in a new book and as soon as he sees the cover, he pushes it away. What a stinker!

Carter also loves his personalized flash cards, lovingly made by the Wright family. It is such a cute idea and Carter loves to go through each picture. Some pictures make him smile (the family picture and the dog picture) and some words make him giggle (who knew bike was a funny word?!)

We also discovered last night that Carter is fascinated by the vacuum. He used to sit and watch his Grandpa vacuum but now that he is mobile, he chases the vacuum!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Why I Love Working From Home...

This is what I see when I go in to get Carter up from his morning nap:

I can't imagine missing these moments. Oh how I love this little boy!