Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Art of Play

My little man is growing like a weed, a really handsome weed that is.  There are times where I feel I am putting him to bed a baby and he is waking up a real boy.  While he still remains clingy and momma's boy-ish, he is starting to exhibit some independence as he begins to explore the world around him.

During those brief moments that he lets me leave his side, I love to stand in the kitchen and watch him play on his own.  It's so adorable as I watch him try to stand himself up on whatever toy he can find.  He is so determined to make his toys obey as he tries to hoist his little body up.  My favorite, though, is when he claps at himself.  It's like he is giving himself a round of applause because he's dumped out all the puzzle pieces or found where the horse is hiding in the Fisher Price farm.

He has become a little more daring in his crawling adventures as well.  Now he feels comfortable to leave and enter any room he so chooses.  Laminate wood floors seem like a great idea until you have a crawler...and a dog.  I'm pretty sure at the end of the day, he is covered in dog hair.  Thank goodness for my Swiffer Sweeper.

Even though I relish in those moments that he plays by himself, there is nothing that can beat momma-baby play time.  It's pure bliss to 'baby wrestle' with him and hear his high pitched giggles as he tries to escape my tickling hands.  It's in those moments of play time that I feel the closest to him and can sense our bond growing stronger.  Though I sometimes wish that he would nap better, I wouldn't trade that alone time he and I get during the day.

I am trying my best to soak it all in and enjoy each day with him.  Because as I know, there will come a day when I put him to bed in shark pajamas and he will wake up ready to conquer the world on his own.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

What Goes In

So we've been delving deeper into the world of solid foods in the Gariety household.  We had been at a solid food stand still for awhile, and as Karter started to refuse more and more veggies, we were running out of things, other than peaches and apples, to feed this child.

Today, as I was grocery shopping and picking up things for my sweet little man I found myself picking out only the best for him.  I mean, from the beginning, I have made my own baby food, mostly from the veggies from our garden.  Now that we are starting to branch out from the Gariety garden goods, I am paranoid about the quality of items that will be ingested into his tiny body.

Mark and I don't eat terrible, his family butcher's their own meat and we eat a lot of veggies from our garden throughout the year, but I would be lying if I said a bag or two of Doritos never entered my cart.  Now that I have Karter, I am definitely evaluating what we eat.  At the same deli counter where I have ordered Mark whatever turkey was on sale, I found myself asking today "which brand is nitrate free?"

I feel like I have the chance to start Karter out on the right path, food wise and it's my responsibility to keep his little body as clean as possible.  Because we all know, it's only a few short years until he's off to college and shoving Easy Mac and Taco Bell in his mouth (not that I would know.)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

When Hands Meet

So among the many new tricks of Karter, I think clapping might be my favorite.  I mean, how do you get any cuter than baby claps? The way his pudgy little hands make little slapping sounds when they's precious!

Apparently Karter is on to the fact that I love those little claps and is using it to his advantage.  Only took a 30 minute nap the entire day? Hey mom, I'll clap as you pick me up from my crib.  Opening and shutting the cd player?  He was just clapping to the music.  Taking a shelf off the book shelf?  Clapping for his accomplishment.  Removing the cover off the register? Clapping to celebrate his strength and agility.  Eating any shoe he can find?  Clapping because he manages to get the grossest ones.

I'm not sure when the clapping will "just" be another trick he has up his sleeve.  For now, though, I love watching him as he is so proud of himself as he makes his little hands meet. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

We've Got Movement

It's happened.  The day I have been hoping for, or at least thought I was hoping for, has finally come...Karter seems to be crawling.  And this is like no other crawl that I have ever seen before.  This is like a dog with three legs type of crawl.  He just drags one leg along with him because it's still in the position so that he can go back to a sitting position.  He sits, then crawls 3 steps, sits, then crawls 3 steps and then sits.  I don't know if he just has my endurance for physical activity or what, but it's kind of hilarious.

I thought that Karter crawling would encourage more independence in him...which perhaps it will, but now there is a dependence on me to remove everything from his reach.  I'm talking everything.  No longer can the kids I watch just play on the floor with a puzzle because there seems to be a certain almost 8 month old who wants to join in.  No longer can Mark set down his cereal bowl to go get Karter some Cheerios, because my little munch thinks his dad's cereal tastes better than his own.  And would he allow me the courtesy of walking 10 feet to my phone to make a phone call today?  Nope...he decided that would be a good time to taste test every shoe in the living room (and let me just tell you, I haven't put my shoes away in a long time.)

So now my job description as a mother has grown to include shoe remover, cheerio cleaner upper and human step stool as Karter is using  me to stand himself up.  I guess crawling, while it brings about new challenges, is a good thing.  At least it gives me some sort of preparation for when all heck breaks loose and he starts walking.  Until then, I guess I better start putting my shoes away...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Best Friends

Right now, Karter and I are best friends.  It's something he will probably be ashamed of in a few years, but for now, he loves my company and I his.  Soon, his dad will be his hero and I will be an after thought because I have no idea how to operate any of the cool toys around here (the mower, the tiller, etc.)  As for now though, I'm the one he wants to play with and I'm the one who he shares giggles with for no reason.

Each day, Karter and I usually have some time just us while the other children I watch are sleeping.  Today, we laid on the floor, shoulder to shoulder and just played.  I would put my feet up in the air and then he would...I would wave up at the ceiling, and then he would.  It was pretty adorable, if I do say so myself.  I felt so blessed today that I am his best friend.  I'm the one he wants to mimic, I'm the one he wants to lay shoulder to shoulder with and I'm the one who makes him smile when I turn to kiss him on the cheek.

There was a moment today where I got a little sad.  Sad that my baby boy is going to grow up and won't want to lay next to me and won't think that mimic-ing me is cool anymore.  He's going to make new friends and won't need me as much.  There will be another girl one day that he'd rather have kiss him on the cheek.  How unfair is that??  While it is sometimes a frustration, I am so happy that I am his world right now. 

I hope that he knows that I will always be his best friend.  There is nothing he can do that will make me love him less.  Any time he needs me, I will be here, ready to lay next to him on the floor and giggle about our feet up in the air.

And seriously, if you didn't end this post with the "we're the 3 best friends that anyone could have" song from the Hangover stuck in your head, well, you do now. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Simpler Life

Right now, I am witnessing one of the most beautiful things.  When I look out my back window, past my blooming plum tree, I have just watched about 15 horse and buggies traveling the road on their way to church.  It's views like these that make a mortgage payment worthwhile.

Not only am I struck with a sense of beauty, but I'm also feeling some jealousy.  I am so jealous of these people and their ability to lead a simple life.  I'm sending condescending looks at the cars that have to pass them because the people in those cars (and me as well) are missing out on enjoying so much of life because we live so much more loud and complicated lives.

Sometimes I think about trying to friend one of my more simple neighbors.  I would love more insight into how they live, and most importantly, their baking secrets.  I even sometimes daydream about joining their ranks.  This is quickly ruined when I realize that I would soon be kicked out when I ask questions like "Whose going to Target with me?" or "Anyone hungry for 4th meal at Taco Bell??"  Oh well, a girl can dream.

You see, I'm already ruined by the materialistic world that I live in and contribute to.  While I would love to live this simple life, my mind would also be racing with ideas on how to decorate my horse and buggy so that it was the best looking one or around or that maybe I should buy two barrels of flour and not just one, just in case. 

My hope is that it's not too late for Karter (though judging by all the baby toys and clothes he has, it probably already is.)  I want him to find joy in memories made and relationships formed, not in an accumulation of "stuff."  I don't want him to look out our back window and be envious of the simple life that is led by our neighbors, I want him to be living it.  Life isn't about clothes, or video games, or reality tv shows (though I sometimes think it is)...and I hope I am able to convey this message to Karter, both by word and by example.

And just to make sure he gets it, he will likely be dressed in black pants, white shirt and black vest for church this morning...though he doesn't have any of those things...I should probably head to Target...