The best date...

Let me just say that I sit here feeling oh-so blessed from a fabulous night out celebrating 6 years of marriage with a wonderful man. My parents graciously offered to watch Declan all night (over night) and take him to church so we had no time constrictions. It was our first night away from him and I held up well. 

We spent the first part of our evening out at a local winery. They had great live music and we settled in to cozy table with our favorite bottle of their wine (P.okey Red...yummmm). Here's a few pics I forced Mark to take we took at the vineyard.
...walking through the vineyard...
...the view from our table...
...eating some cheese, chocolate and bread with our wine...
...my handsome hubby...
...me enjoying beautiful weather and yummy wine...
We headed down town to our Hay.market for dinner. We opted for our favorite restaurant, La.zlos, which happens to be across the street from where we held our wedding reception 6 years ago. The waiter took this picture. The train station is in the background but it was so late and the screen to block the sun stole my "this is our reception location behind us" view of this picture. Oh well. Again, great seats, wonderful weather, delicious food, fabulous company. Please ignore that the automatic red eye corrector makes me look like a demon. I though turning it to black and white would remedy the issue but, no, still scary looking.  
We walked over to I.vanna Cone. If you're local you know it's the best homemade ice cream ever. It was getting late but we had no kiddo to pick up so we walked to a coffee house and sat outside and talked while we inhaled our yummy ice cream goodness. It was so fun just to laugh and talk and not worry about bedtimes and diaper changes. On our way home we mistakingly got in the left lane of a car show going through our main street in town. What should have been a 5 minute jaunt to a near RedBox to get a movie turned in to a 30+ minute slow roll past crowds of people in our Jeep.Liberty. Yeah, we couldn't compare with the cool restored cars but we pretending everyone was digging our sweet ride.

The night ended perfectly (or should I say morning) with a movie in our big (new) comfy king sized bed. 

Ahhh..a perfect date. Yes sir.


9 months old

Declan is:
-a little under 18 lbs. He lost some weight when he got diarrhea bad from his Amoxicillin. He measures in the 5th percentile for weight but the 60th in height. Can you say string bean?
-transitioning out of 6/9 month shirts (they're too short) and in to 12 month shirts (they look like tents but the length is right. He's wearing size 3 shoes and is about to outgrow his size 3 diapers.
-getting pickier about the foods he'll eat (ug). He likes bananas, pears, blueberry flavored things and isn't a big fan of veggies and meats. He eats primarily purees still but loves puffs, organic vanilla cookies, waffles, toast and veggie crackers. We are instructed to still stay away from all dairy until he's 1. 
-no longer happy being contained in our living room. He screams like you cut his arm off until you let him roam free. We are slowly child-proofing but need to do much more.
-cruising furniture and standing with one hand support. I wouldn't be shocked if he walked early. 
-extremely fearless. Enough said.
-very strong willed. He wants what he wants when he wants it. He can go from laughing to screaming in 2 seconds.  If I try to put him down and he's not completely exhausted, he will scratch my face and grab my hair and throw his pacifier at me.
-hates getting his diaper changed. He twists his body and cries. I think he's irritated that I'm taking a 2 minute break from his active lifestyle. :)
-sleeping better! Hallelujah!! Even though he's tougher to get down, he sleeps 8-7:30 pretty consistently. 
-a big flirt. He will smile and gab to any stranger. 

Good times...

This weekend was really relaxing. I didn't have any appointments for work (which is rare) so we took full advantage of that and stayed busy. A little recap:
*Friday night Mark went to a concert with his cousin and I watched Bride.Wars after Decs went to bed. It was a great chick flick. 
*Saturday we ventured down to our Farmer's Market. It was super busy and super HOT. Hello, humidity...I've not missed you. I love love love my big bouquet of flowers we got there:
*We spent the rest of the day cleaning and relaxing. That night we watched a few episodes of West.Wing. We've been trying to get through the entire series but have slacked since little man joined our lives. 
*Sunday we stayed home from church to keep Declan away from nursery (see below) but went to the zoo with D's birthmom. We had a great time. Not sure Decs was all that excited yet about the animals but hopefully he takes to them soon. The Children's Zoo in our city is about 2 minutes from our house. Pictured below is Decs with his birthmom:
This picture is sentimental because this weird looking Lion (named Leo the Lion) has been at the Children's Zoo since I was young. He talks to you and says he likes to eat paper. His mouth sucks in paper and for some reason I thought that was about the coolest thing ever when I was little. Declan is checking him out:
*This picture is a good representation of our last week. We've been spending lots of time outside trying to distract our little sicky from screaming his head off. He's been battling his first ear infection and hand/foot/mouth. Poor guy can't catch a break because he's starting a cold too. 
*Sunday afternoon my fabulous husband encouraged me to get out alone so I went for a wonderfully relaxing hour long pedicure. Ahhhh. It was great.
*I came home to a screaming 9-month-old so we went out to Target to pick up child proofing stuff and then sat outside at Chipotle and enjoyed a nice dinner. Declan ate about 113 puffs to keep from being a mess but overall did great. 
*Mark had a couple people over so I hung out and watched a movie from our new ultra comfortable king sized bed. Let me just say- Marley.&.Me is really good but keep the tissues near. I sobbed at the end...especially because our dogs are our children to us too. Good flick. 

I'm loving these busy weekends!


Splash, splash, splash...

Just when I thought it was impossible for my son to get any cuter, it happened. Tonight in the tub he flashed this million dollar smile:
I just had to video him splashing around. I'm sure he'll be humiliated love looking back at this video in high school.



I should have clarified this earlier because I got several emails and a couple comments about our upcoming finalization.  We haven't spent these past 8+ months nervous about the finalization because the TPR (termination of parent's rights) was signed the day he came home to us at 7 days old. The TPR cannot be rescinded - Declan's birthparents can NOT change their mind. 

Legally, we had to have 3 more home studies completed and then a bunch of paperwork filed. During this time, the adoption agency we are going through are the actual legal guardians. On June 2nd, we will become his legal parents forever. Now- of course- he's been a million percent ours from the beginning. :)

Hope that clears it all up.


So close to forever...

We just got word today that the court date was set for June 2nd for Declan's finalization! Woot woot!! We're soooo excited! 


Football with Papa

Mother's Day 2009

I sat in church and remembered last year.  Mother's Day 2008 was one of my lowest lows. I sat in the service and watched several of my friends dedicate their babies. 

My heart longed for a child. My arms felt empty and my spirit was stale. 
I was hopeful that our family would grow, but my confidence in that had been hit time after time.

This year, my heart overflowed.
It was surreal to be celebrated as a mother- yet intensely real. 
Our little man has brought us so much joy.

I can say that every moment of pain was worth it. Every struggle with infertility took us right down the path we were meant to go down. 

It didn't matter how it happened, I am honored to be a mother.


Biter biscuit love.

How do busy parents get a sane minute to eat? Biter biscuits!!! Though Declan thoroughly coats himself in a crust of biscuit, it's worth the quiet time to eat dinner. 

"Mom...hurry up...I'm eating the strap here:"
"Hey Jack- look what I got:"
"You wanna try??"
"I'm all out, Sophs!"
I can't believe how long his legs are getting! These pant-less pictures show his long skinny legs perfectly. Soooo cute! I need to get up a video of his dancing. It's hysterical. 

On the sleeping front, we have our 8pm-8am baby back!!! Unfortunately we found out it wasn't his cold or his teeth that interrupted his sleep for 3 weeks. It was his formula! Ug. So, yes, that means we're back to the uber expensive Ali.mentum. We switched him back to it and he slept perfectly that night. I'm sad to know his tummy was in turmoil for so long but happy to know we figured it out (ahem- Grandma and Nana figured it out). 

We have all the proper documents turned in and we're waiting to hear the court date for Declan's adoption finalization!! Woot woot! Oh, and I'm starting to toss around ideas for Declan's FIRST BIRTHDAY party. How'd that happen??