So, Chris, Catherine, and I went to New York in October. Chris worked all week while Catherine and I toured the city all day every day! She was a total champ. We did it all with our Lillebaby Nordic carrier (no stroller needed). We ended our trip with a scenic drive to Upstate New York for a beautiful wedding with friends who could not have been better company (those photos to come in part 2). Catherine won’t remember our trip, but I definitely will never let her forget that she and mommy had an adventure together in the big city. Since it was just C and me much of the time, the photos are self-taken and aren’t the best. Enjoy the photos and captions!
Our baby girl is 5 months old! Chris said tonight he could see her personality was just blossoming. He’s right. She’s changing every day and delighting us every day with every thing she does. She’s amazing!
Maybe the first time I fully felt like a “family” in the entity-ish sense of the word should have been when I gave birth to Catherine…or maybe when I became pregnant with her. And I did, then, in a sense. But tonight Chris and I were decorating our Christmas tree while Catherine slept upstairs in her crib when it hit me – we are a family!
When I was little I loved unpacking the ornaments and seeing their familiar faces – hey, there’s the melted glass pill bottle with the blue bead inside that momma made when she was a little girl!…oooh here’s the clay candy cane I made in kindergarten that broke and had to be glued back together!…etc.
In just three and a half years Chris and I have managed to collect ornaments with sentimental value and that surprised me.
There are the first ornaments we bought together, our first Christmas as a couple. We bought them all at IKEA, and at the time I considered them just silly filler ornaments since we had none, but I since realized that ornaments don’t have to be purchased one at a time at boutique shops to be special (though, that is nice too). The fact that we bought them together and have the memory is what makes them special.
And so on. 🙂 So anyway, I’m feeling very grateful and I have to say, Cobb Christmas Kickoff, as it will from this point forward be called, was very successful at putting Chris and me in the Christmas spirit!
On Tuesday, my mom was holding Catherine and she reached out both her arms very deliberately for me when she saw me! It melted my heart! I know it won’t be long before she is eagerly ditching mommy to go play with the more exciting people she doesn’t see every day, like her aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents. But right now, selfishly it is so nice to see her want her mommy.
I swore I wouldn’t get sucked in. I vowed to elope (with my family there and a big white wedding dress [the two things I couldn’t give up] of course). I decided to keep it small. Etc. And here I am stressing over budget, details, dresses, and so on. Wedding dress shopping isn’t fun – it’s something I want checked off my list. Things have a way of costing more than you anticipated – because there’s so much pressure on the day to be perfect and unique and basically a fairy tale that naturally it’s easy to pay more…and more. Chris comes home from work to find me snappy and up to my eyeballs in wedding stress.
Time to take a step back. What matters most is walking down the isle to my partner, holding his hand and vowing to be there for each other…having our sweet baby – who will probably be tearing off her daisy crown and twisting uncooperatively in someone’s arms – there with us. Oh, and the dress. The dress always, always matters.
Dress shopping with a 4-month old is not quite the same since you must factor in naptimes and screaming fits, and that perhaps is the reason most people wait until after marriage to have children. At the same time, there was something quite amazing about seeing my adorable daughter with her big blue eyes smiling up at me in my wedding dress.
So I most certainly won’t please everybody no matter how much pressure I put on myself to do so, and the DJ may play the wrong song for our first dance, and the cake may crash to the floor in a million frosting-y crumbs (though I hope not because it’s certain to be beautiful and delicious), but I’ll try to let it roll like water off a duck’s back. This will require months of mental preparation on my part.
When Chris and I went on our last beach trip to Mirimar Beach the May before Catherine was born, we went to Walmart to buy a movie and some ice cream for a night in at our hotel. It is one of my favorite memories. I felt like an indulgent kid picking out all the ice cream I wanted and getting ready to snuggle in bed while watching a movie. Naturally I fell asleep before the movie was halfway through. The fun part was being with Chris, being pregnant, at Walmart, in the ice cream isle. We ought to have gone out on the town, but instead we did what I really wanted to do – eat ice cream in bed.
Anyway, while we were there of course we passed by the baby isle, and Chris grabbed a yellow stuffed giraffe that sang the ABCs. That giraffe has become one of Catherine’s favorite toys. It’s her high chair companion. It sits on her tray at all times and buys mommy a little more time while cooking dinner when she starts to get antsy.
I don’t know if it’s because of that giraffe or what, but now Catherine’s favorite song – hands down – is the ABCs song. What’s more, she has a definite preference as to who sings it. She likes it when I sing it, but she loves it when Chris sings it. When we’re in the car and she decides to have a crying meltdown, Chris singing the ABCs is our savior. He does it over and over again. He has sung it in planes, in restaurants, in bed, by the changing table, from the kitchen while Catherine is upstairs in her crib, etc. Here’s a video of Chris singing the ABCs on our drive to upstate New York for Kyle and Lisa’s wedding.
ABCs and Daddy = happy baby.
We went trick or treating. No really. Okay, just two houses, but we went!! Catherine wore her owl costume and much to Chris’s embarrassment we all three went up the steps to the first house and Chris and I said in unison “trick-or-treat!” (Chris less enthusiastically) and took a miniature bag of candy corn from a new mom holding her tiny 2-month old in a fleece blanket, then to the next house where we took a mini bag of m&ms from a little boy and snapped this photo.
It was the first of many trick-or-treating nights to come! Can I confess something? I was secretly thrilled to have an excuse to trick-or-treat again after all these years. And there you have one of the benefits to having children.
Just a word about Meeks and his sissy. When we first brought baby Catherine home from the hospital, I knew Meeks would be somewhat uninterested and he was. But I also knew as Catherine became more interactive he would form a bond with her. Well, I am so happy to say that Meeks is growing to love his baby sister. Here’s how I know.
When we return from an outing, he no longer greets me first – he greets Catherine. If I lay her on her mat, he rushes up to her with his nubby tail wagging excitedly in typical Meeks fashion and sniffs/licks her all over. When she cries, he looks at me as if to say “What are you going to do about this??” and runs to check on her himself. Throughout the day he randomly walks up to her, stares her in the face, and gives her a big lick on the cheek – his way of kissing her. As for Catherine, she’s less interested but has given him a smile or two and I know it won’t be long before she takes a greater interest. I can’t wait to see what happens when she starts crawling. I fear for Meeks.