Sunday, October 31, 2010

Good Bye Bob

It was Halloween and River's 10 month birthday on the 31st. We were returning home from a vacation to Northern California on Saturday and missed all the fun Halloween celebrations. It's okay, because being in the car for 13 hours with a baby who refuses to sleep in his car seat is totally more fun.

Gardner Village-Thanks Lynnell and Angela for sharing your pictures.

Monkey Business

I pick the Camo Pumpkin!

Pumpkin Patch and Halloween Night

The only piece of candy he got was from dad and we just let him chew on the wrapper.

I didn't want River's first Halloween to pass by unmarked, so we dressed up and went for a walk to see kids costumes. I thought there would be some trick or treaters out. Not everyone in Salt Lake is LDS and goes to a trunk or treat the day before right... wrong... there must have been a state wide memo sent out. The streets were utterly abandoned. Good thing we went to a pumpkin patch and Garner Village earlier in the month, or I would have felt shafted.

River asked me to let you know that he CAN crawl... he just doesn't feel like demonstrating yet. Apparently the more he hears about everyone's six month old that can walk, the less he feels like showing off his skills. What a booger.

He continues to talk our ears off. We love it. He totally has a sense of humor too. He knows every time I'm doing something funny and belly laughs. I truly wonder how he knows that wearing a hat that is too small is supposed to be funny. He just seems so smart to me.

I am no longer Bob. As of September 15th, River is saying Mama. For the first few days, he couldn't stop saying it. It never got old though and not to be cliche, but my heart melts every time... Well maybe not during a 3:00 am wake-up, but every other time.

On Sunday the 17th River took the Sacrament for the first time. It was unintentional. I was passing the bread to the person next to me and he grabbed a piece and popped it in his mouth. I figured he deserved the water too, for his speedy little effort. Seriously though, it has been so cute to watch him get better and better at feeding himself. I run out of ideas of things to give him, so feel free to post some.

He slept all the way through the night multiple times in a row and then I messed up everything by going on vacation again. We are getting back on track and as of last night, he went to bed at 7:00pm, woke up an hour later when he accidentally rolled on his stomach, couldn't be soothed by anything other than nursing, so after half an hour I caved. Then he went right to sleep and slept till 5:30 am, nursed again and woke up for the day at 7:30 am. Sorry for the boring details, but I really want to remember things accurately, so on round two, I keep from getting discouraged, or discouraging others.

He can snap his fingers and loves to watch himself do it. Speaking of watching himself, he loves seeing the videos I take of him and I can always get him to stop crying by showing him a picture of himself... an actor in the making???

He tries to climb everything, especially me and especially when I'm trying to feed him. It's made for some big messes, but I love to see him working so hard to accomplish things.

After about an hour of being inside, he gets fussy and we end up going on multiple walks a day. We're a little worried about Winter coming, but will most likely have to just bundle him up real tight.

He's super ticklish, especially his armpits and because he's a squeaky clean and fresh little babe, I can't get enough of them. Plus his laughter cures all things and I am completely, madly addicted. I will try to ease off, because one day he will be bigger than me and you know what they say about pay backs.

He claps block together, but has only clapped his hands together once and for the life of me, I can't get him to repeat it. He does give a cute high five though. I say cute, because what it lacks in accuracy of aim, it makes up for in enthusiasm of delivery.

His favorite activity is having his dad hold him and run around chasing things. He loved chasing all the kids in Northern California, but settles for me or Noodle here in Salt Lake. I think he feels like such a big boy and it's adorable to watch his legs kick back and forth like he's running.

The best thing about this last month was the cuddles. River is totally starting to hug me tight and lay his head down on my shoulder. These moments are precious to me. They fill up my inner cup, which was more than a little drained during the first couple colicky months of his tiny fists pounding on me as he nursed. I know it wasn't personal, but going in expecting tender, serene moments of bonding and getting screams and beatings, left me feeling very unqualified, drained and totally replaceable. Now I feel like this boy knows I am his Mom. He reaches out and strokes my hair while he nurses and if I am not paying attention, he grunts until I look at him and then smiles.

I feel the moments rolling by too quickly and the details already slipping away from my memory. Thanks for letting me share some of these moments with you. Being accountable to others on this blog is the only thing that has kept me on task. My actual mother's journal is completely empty. Good thing River likes to update as well. Happy Halloween and full speed ahead into the holiday season!

Monday, October 18, 2010

9 Months In, 9 Months Out

This post is a little late in coming, because Mom just had to figure out how to do collages. Seriously Mom, isn't one picture of me enough? We don't want to send the blogosphere into sugar shock. By the way, all the fantastic pics were taken by Marianne Wiest, the rest were taken by Mom. (She tries.)

So where do I start? Now that I am 9 months and three weeks old, it's hard for me to remember clear back to when I was only 9 months. I got a second tooth. Which if you look at these bath photos close enough, you can see the nubbin just starting to pop through.

It was another birthday on the road. This time it was in Kalispell, Montana. We went to Glacier National Park and since I LOVE being outside, it was perfect. As a bonus, I hear we missed a pretty nasty heatwave. Thank goodness, because us Bears do not do well in direct sunlight.

We were visiting Andy and Marianne Wiest. Everyone was so excited, because they just found out they are having a baby. I'm hoping for a girl. (wink, wink) Mariandy, for short, have a dog Maggie. I couldn't get enough of her. She had me laughing so hard, mom had to take me away to catch my breath. I love animals. Did I mention my homegirl Brooke was there too. She always buys me the best clothes. Thank goodness my mom has friends with style... you should see some of the things she puts me in. Just kidding mom! You know I like being naked the best.

I'm getting a little more attached to my mom and dad. I give strangers the once over now before I let them hold me and I definitely want to be in eye sight of my parents. This doesn't mean I'm not social. I just prefer people my own age. These guys were all born right around my birthday. They can crawl all over the place. Not me though. I wiggle, swim in place, roll and squirm, until someone takes pity on me and gets me what I want.
The milestone I am the best at is protesting. It really is a talent. I had to learn the fine art of making all these faces and using different volumes and lengths of squeals. Good thing I learn pretty fast. I still have one wake up at night to nurse and I stay on my schedule better on vacation, then I do at home. I think all the fun people and places wear me out. Besides chocolate, my favorite thing to eat is yogurt. My favorite baby food is peaches and if I have to have a veggie, I like sweet potatoes. I also like pickles. Do those count as a veggie? Mom has this thing about me eating veggies, so I do what I can.
I hope you enjoyed hearing about month nine. I'll be back soon, ummm like in a week, to tell you all about month 10. Tune in to find out if I can crawl yet... ba, ba, bmmm!

Friday, October 8, 2010


How do I love you? Let me count the rolls.

These photos, taken by the lovely and talented Melissa Plowman (Melissa Sue Photography), are River's six month photos. Through a series of unexplained phenomena, i.e., I've been out of town a lot, I just now received these gems in the mail. I was getting ready to do River's nine month post, when it occurred to me, it would be a crime not to rewind time and share these beauties with the world and I of all things, am not a criminal. Well... let me rephrase that... You won't "catch" me breaking the law.

Are you smiling yet? I call this last photo, "If Angels Liked to Fish". Thanks Melissa. As always, I love them!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Funeral - Orem soldier laid to rest (Gallery Viewer)

Funerals are strange things. They have all the ingredients of a great party; old friends you haven't seen in awhile, nostalgia, photos, pomp and circumstance. The only problem is, you can't give the guest of honor a really well needed bear hug. Some things will have to wait.
Matt's funeral was my first military funeral. I was worried I wouldn't find the building, but the hundreds of American flags not only cued me in, but also took my breath away. The Patriot Guard was there. They are a group of bikers that dedicate themselves to honor fallen servicemen and women by attending the funerals, helping in anyway they can and shielding the family from any protesters. Walking by this rag-tag, leather wearing group, I felt the spirit so strong I got goose bumps. Their love and respect for those who sacrifice their lives for freedom was a palpable thing.
All of the many speakers echoed Matt's kindness and willingness to go above and beyond for all he came in contact with. The last speaker summed it up perfectly when he said there was no way of saying what Matt meant to him and his family in a little speech. The only way he could figure out how to honor him was by continuing his legacy of helping people without needing to be asked. Easier said than done, but I will try to do so as well.
There is great healing power in the military rituals. The helicopter flyover, the 21 gun salute and the flag folding ceremony fill you with strength. In the end though, laughter truly is the best medicine and the most cathartic moment came when Matt's father interrupted his own speech to talk to Matt for a second, because he had just remembered to tell him Utah Sate beat BYU 31-16!!! The timing couldn't have been better for that one. Talk about your tender mercies.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Big Matt

I'm sure Big Matt got his nickname because of his rather large stature. If he got his nickname because the size of his heart, he would have been Gigantic Matt or Gargantuan Matt. I'm so very sad to say, I will be attending his funeral tomorrow. He died flying a Black Hawk helicopter for the US Army in Afghanistan. It didn't surprise me Matt joined the army after college. He had an amazing habit of taking care of people. I came to know this first hand at Utah State University, where he literally picked me up and removed me from more than one bad situation. As a 17 year old, 85 pound, college freshman, I had an inflated idea of my own strength and thankfully Matt was there to be my muscle.
I hadn't seen Matt much since our college days and was happy to reconnect with him on Facebook. His updates on how miserably hot it was there, would put into perspective my complaints about Salt Lake's summers. I knew Matt was serving in a dangerous place, but seeing him write on Facebook, made it seem like he was doing what everyone else was doing. Which is part of the reason this has been so hard to process.
Matt was serving in the 101st Division, which has spearheaded every major conflict since WW II and was the longest serving division in Viet Nam. Matt died doing what he loved, flying, but more than that, taking care of people. You guys might not have known him, but having Matt get our back is something we all have in common.
Till we meet again...