Saturday, October 27, 2007

9 months

Dear Caden,
On Wednesday you turned 9 months old. As with every day Daddy and I still are trying to figure out how time can pass so quickly. You are growing so big and so strong and we couldn't be more proud of you. You crawl, stand, cruise, laugh, play, dance, walk (holding our hands), "talk", chase kitties, bounce, and so much more. You have 5 teeth now - three on the bottom and 2 on the top.
You are such a funny baby. You make Mommy and Daddy laugh and smile a million different times every day. You announce the day by standing up in your crib, bouncing, and babbling. I walk into your room and greet you with a "good morning" and you squeal in delight as you smile, laugh, and bounce even more. Once you are changed and ready for the day you happily play on the living room floor while I prepare your breakfast and then we eat together - you love oatmeal. There is very little you don't like to eat... whenever Mommy and Daddy are eating you're are always eager to try a bite. You love cheerios and puffs and are eating more and more table food. Your doctor gave us the go ahead to start to increase all the different foods we give you and I know that will make you happy :).
Each day is different. If the weather is nice we will go outside play on the swing set Grandma gave you or we will go on a walk - you love to be outside. Some days we run errands and you are always such a good baby. You love going new places and everywhere we go you meet so many new people who love to play with you and see you smile. People always stop to say hello and say how cute you are - you love meeting new people as long as Mommy is near by.
Some days we go to Grandma's house and you visit with her and Riley... you always have so much fun and love to explore. Some days we just stay home and play just the two of us. When it is time for Mommy to clean or cook you always stay near by to lend a helping hand if needs be but usually you just play with all of your toys. You love your three kitties so very much and squeal and shout in excitement whenever they come into a room.
When Daddy comes home from work you always greet him with a big smile and crawl to him to say hello. We eat dinner together and you have such good baby table manners. After dinner Daddy gives you a bath and you have so much fun splashing in your tub - your favorite bath time toy is a purple tug boat. After your bath Daddy gets you dressed in your jammies and we all play for a while. You love to play "pookzilla", silly mommy, Ah-boo, patty cake, and you love it when we tickle you. Before long its time to go to bed and start our day again. You are such a happy baby and we hear that all the time from everyone we meet. A silly look on my face brings a smile to yours and a smile on your face never fails to melt my heart. I love you more than I ever imagined I could love anyone or anything in this world. Every day my love for you grows - you are my baby, my little boy, my life, and no matter how big you get or where life takes us you will always be my perfect little boy. You are perfect in every way and Mommy and Daddy, and everyone around you, loves you so very much. You will never be alone in this world, you will always be loved, you are so very special.

On Wednesday Mommy and Grandma took you to have your 9 month photos taken. Since we are going away for a week right before Christmas I had them take some holiday photos of you, too. And since Halloween is right around the corner we also took pictures in your costume. You did so well but you always do - you love the camera! You wore an adorable little sweater Mommy bought you and in some photos you wore nothing at all! I'm sure my collection of naked pictures will embarrass you when you are older but as of now you are quite the little nudist. You love running around and strutting your stuff - and your little baby butt is too cute for words. All of your pictures turned out so cute! Grandma also bought you an adorable winter teddy bear that you love to play with.On Thursday you went to the doctor for your 9 month check up. You weigh just under 22 lbs (21lbs, 15oz) and are 28-1/4 inches long. You are in perfect health and got your first dose of the flu shot and had your hemoglobin checked and you were tested for lead - both tests came back perfect.
Your first Halloween is coming up and we are excited about that - you are going to be a skunk and Auntie Becky, Uncle Neil, and cousin Riley are all coming over to go trick or treating with you. Grandpa wants to come see you in your costume, too. You look so cute in your costume. We are all looking forward to your first holiday season and have so many special days planned. We are also starting to gear up for your first big vacation! We are spending a week in the Caribbean in December and cannot wait to take you to the beach.
Well, I suppose I should wrap things up here. Happy 9 months baby boy - I love you more that words can describe.

**The rest of Caden's 9 month photos will be uploaded to our website soon!!**

Friday, October 19, 2007

Warm Nights

There is little I miss about life before baby. We've settled in, adapted, and every day is definitely brighter with our little pook running around.

Even so, there are a few small things I miss from the months before Caden was born. While I was pregnant, before the bed rest, Steve and I loved to take walks together. We still do this with Caden and going on walks just the three of us is fantastic... but before Steve and I would go at all hours of the night. Whenever I couldn't sleep and just wanted to go for a walk, no matter how late it was, Steve would go with me. When the weather got too cold to walk and I was on bed rest, we'd hop in the car and drive around and just talk.
I can still remember our last late night walk. It was November and we had an unseasonably warm night. I had been on bed rest for over a month and was dying to get out, even though I shouldn't. Steve and I decided a short, calm walk just around the block wouldn't hurt and I took my blood pressure before we left just to make sure.
The night was beautiful and I am so happy we took advantage of it... we didn't see another night like that until spring. I remember talking about how that was most likely the last walk we'd take just the two of us... and it was.

Now on beautiful nights such as that, with Caden fast asleep in his crib, I miss those walks. I wouldn't trade anything for them but they were nice. But as with just about everything in our life, things have changed and we've adapted. Instead of prowling the neighborhood we are confined to the front porch, baby monitor in hand, and it is just as nice. And the adorable little man sleeping soundly in his crib makes it so much better.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Adventures in the pumpkin patch

I love fall. Autumn is by far the best (and obviously my personal favorite) of all the seasons. To celebrate the change in seasons, on Saturday, October 13th, Steve, Caden and I went to the pumpkin patch! I knew we were going to have a great time but I never expected to have quite so much fun!

We went to a farm about 20 minutes west of town – there are two parts to the farm… an apple orchard and a pumpkin farm. They had already picked pumpkins available at the barn store but if you wanted to pick your own pumpkin from the patch you had to pay to get into “Scarecrow Acers”. We opted to pick our own pumpkins and we wanted to spend some time at the farm so we went into that section of the farm first.

They had so many activities! Caden isn’t quite old enough to enjoy most of them but he still had a great time… There were pony rides, hay bale mazes, peddle tractor derby, giant hay mountains to climb on, petting zoo, play grounds, giant sandboxes filled with corn kernels, rompin’ roundup where kids could practice with a lasso, hay wagon and tractor rides, Haunted forest, woodland walk, little corn mazes, and of course the pumpkin patch just to name a few.

First we took Caden to the playground where he got to play on a big wooden tractor. Next we took him to play in the giant corn filled sandbox – Caden loved it! Of course we had to cork him with his pacifier otherwise he would have had too much fun trying to eat the kernels, but he had a blast nonetheless. He loved digging his feet and hands into the kernels and was so fascinated by everything… we couldn’t even get him to look up for a photograph! Once Caden had had enough of the corn we headed over to the giant hay mountain… Caden loved playing in the hay even more than the corn! He laughed and giggled as he kicked around in the hay.

After all the hay kicking fun we decided to take Caden to the petting zoo and stopped at some of the many photo opportunities along the way. The petting zoo was really cute - They had little cows, goats, sheep, chickens, lambs, and even a fat pot belly pig. All of the animals were so friendly and the little goats were rather intrigued by the PookASaurus (aka Caden ;) ).
Once we had our fill of friendly little barnyard animals we washed up and headed into the Haunted woods – which were young child friendly of course! There were animated Halloween scenes set up and sounds so it was nothing too scary for Caden, though a cawing crow did startle me at one point. At the end of the haunted woods was the trail for the woodland walk that we would have gone on but there were steep inclines and strollers were not allowed. So, we had to pass that portion of the farm by.

After playing around the farm and getting a scare in the haunted forest we grabbed a little red wagon and finally made our way to the pumpkin patch. We wandered through the patch for quite some time trying to find just the right pumpkins. We selected two large pumpkins for our pillars out front and then a medium sized, perfect little pumpkin for Caden.

On our way back to pay for our pumpkins we stopped at the CornCrib CafĂ© for some hot apple cider while Caden snacked on some cheerios. We then headed to the barn store and Caden played with some of the already picked pumpkins – he loved touching them! Daddy saw these cute little stripped pumpkins and decided to buy one of those for Caden, too.
There was even a little station set up with water and brushes to scrub your freshly picked pumpkins clean… of course we forgot this part and at some point soon I need to give our pumpkins a little scrub ;)

At the barn store we also bought a half-peck of apples fresh from the orchard to bring home and then took our wagon to the scales to pay – our 3 pumpkins came to 70lbs! We had a coupon for a free small pumpkin so when we finished paying we got to select a little pumpkin from the big wagon outside the store. Steve picked out a perfectly round pumpkin with a long curvy stem.
We then headed to the car to drop off our pumpkin loot before heading over to the giant corn maze.

The corn maze was located on the other side of the farm and we had to walk past the orchard to reach it. As we worked our way through the farm and past all of the apple trees we saw at least 20 different varieties of apples – the majority of which we’d never heard off… (I didn’t know there were quite so many, hehe). We sipped our cider and decided we would definitely be making time for apple picking on our next trip but at least today we still got to bring home some fresh apples even if we didn’t pick them ourselves.
We headed over to the corn maze and were surprised yet again – we expected to walk around lost in the corn for a while but the farm incorporated many other activities into the maze, too. The theme for the maze was “Old McDonald’s Farm” and we were given a flag to carry that had our team name on it (we were the “Mad Mazers” with a red and green flag). The flag allowed us to signal and communicate with the people running the maze if we had a problem or we wanted to leave. Hidden throughout the maze were clues to a crossword we could complete and 9 mail boxes… in each mailbox was a puzzle piece. Once completed, the puzzle was the map to the maze. Once you completed the maze you exited by meeting Mrs. McDonald on victory bridge where you would have to sing “e-i-e-i-o” to leave. The maze had 2.5miles worth of trails and on average took 45 minutes to complete, and hour and a half-ish if you decided to find all the crossword clues and puzzle pieces.

We accidentally cheated and found Victory Bridge in only 5 minutes! There was a small path in the corn that wasn’t supposed to be there but we weren’t sure and took it anyway… it was a shortcut to the end. We were having fun so we decided to turn around, get lost again, and try to find our way out for real. We ended up getting quite lost among the corn stalks and before long my feet were killing me. 45 minutes later we didn’t find the true way out but I did manage to find the accidental cheating shortcut again so I decided that was good enough and took it, hehe.
Next year we are going to do the corn maze again but we’ll do that first next time. I have heel spurs and my feet were already hurting when we began the maze from all the time spent in the pumpkin patch! Even so we still had a lot of fun… Caden did too but he did seize the opportunity to take a short nap.

Once we winded our way out of the corn we made a quick stop at the orchard bakery and gift shop. They had such adorable crafts and decorations and the bakery smelled wonderful from all the fresh baked treats and pies. We decided to treat ourselves to some fresh homemade apple cider donuts… they were delicious! We decided to grab another cup of hot apple cider to sip on the way home and headed back to the car.

On the ride home we decided that we were definitely going to make this a yearly family tradition. I can’t wait to go back next year! We are going to make sure to go to the apple orchard, too, but we might make a separate trip for that. The maze and the pumpkin farm took the better part of a day and by the time we got home and ate dinner we were beat! We played with Caden for a bit, put him to bed, and ended up passing out on the living room floor for a little bit.

We have many more pictures posted on our website if you have the address!


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