Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Half way there...

When I woke up on July 22nd and saw those enormous dimples smiling back at me, I could not believe that you were six months old. It is hard to believe that we are celebrating half a year of life with such an amazing little person.
Words cannot express my love for you and how happy you make your father and I.
You are simply the very best and we are truly blessed to have the privilege to be your parents. You are ever deserving of so much love and you have given us all the joy one could ever hope for.
You are tipping the scales at 18.3 pounds and reaching for the stars at 27 1/2 inches, which puts you in the 75th percentile in weight and 90th percentile in height. My growing little boy! Who would have thought that such a tiny little guy could grow so fast?

Time is passing by so quickly and I am trying my best to capture and bottle up all the precious moments before you are moving on. The shiny new label on each milestone hasn't even had time to tarnish.
You are constantly on the move. Those changing eyes (even though I wish they would stay blue forever) of yours are so focused and those wheels in that head are churning so fast. You are on the verge of that which you so desire... crawling!
You can sit up by yourself...
Roll over and over to get to brand new places... and you are drinking from a sippie cup!
You can eat more than your mommy! Every new taste and flavor you want to experience. You are a lover of all things food!
And you already have an amazing circle of friends.
Happy Half-birthday Liam! I love you.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Baby Story

It was an amazing weekend filled with the sounds of babbling babies, soon-to-be new mommies, and brand new baby cries.

As if Liam wasn't spoiled enough from the working mommy guilt, I headed up to the Buy 1 Get 1 Free sale at Babies-R-Us and collected enough loot to create a mini babyland perfect for an afternoon play date. We replaced the coffee table with loads of toys and traded in a few chairs for exersaucers to confine all the littles in a single space so that we could enjoy some wine and catch up on all things baby (and some things not)
I am so blessed to have so many mommies in my life that I can count on to give it to me straight. The good, the bad and the ugly! So many inspiring mommies to lean on. Mommies that know where you have been and where you are going and who don't laugh when you ask "is this normal?" Because the only thing that is 'normal' in babyland is asking the question. It is amazing how our lives are inter-twined and how even a large city can feel so small. I am blessed to be part of this newly formed circle of friends based on such a strong bond.
From Left: Carin and Brooks, Ashley and Noah, Kate and Liam, Claire and Wyatt, and Holly and Callie

I am excited to experience motherhood together and watch as these wonderful little human beings grow into what I hope are best friends.

When it comes down to it, is there much better than best friends?
They learned it at school!
Noah fed Liam his bottle... so sweet these two!
5 days apart and best buddies already!
Future Frat Brothers...

And as I stepped back and took in the whole room, a room full of laughter and joy, I realized how truly thankful I was for all these women. How awesome it was to be passing around babies and showering them with kisses.

Later that evening, Ben and Bill joined us for a pizza party dinner. 

Noah taught Bill a thing or two about his nose and eyes.

And everyone lined up, including Tucker, for a slice of pizza.
On Saturday I went to a baby shower for a sweet friend, Adriane, who is expecting her first little girl. There were 4 round tummies at the affair and I, who used to be weirded out when other moms wanted to touch my belly, found myself with that very urge. I kept my hands to myself, but will remember that feeling the next time around. There is something magical about carrying a child inside you. Feeling their every move. Reaching down to calm their sweet kicks. Carrying a bottle of tums... waking up in the middle of the night... the moment has past! I will leave the pregnancy to other mommies for a while!

Congrats to Beth, Adriane, Kacey and Allison

And then, later that afternoon a tiny little miracle... Layla Grace Banker took her very first breath and entered this world at 7lbs 3oz and with hair to be jealous of.
I breathed in that new baby smell and held those wrinkled 24 hour toes. What a beautiful baby girl. It is hard to believe that my little one was ever that tiny.
Congratulations Jackie and Nick!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

4th of July

If the fourth of July was associated with a fruit, it would most likely be watermelon; however this bowl full of cherries seems pretty patriotic to me. Not to mention absolutely delicious!

I understand that it is now July 13th and that my blog posting for the 4th is super late, but better late than never right? This Fourth of July we took Liam back to the place where mommy and daddy grew up - Corsicana Texas. Or as many of us refer to it as "The Can."We started our hometown celebration with a backyard BBQ!
And a reunion with an old friend, Elliott Hillock! He had returned home from serving our country in the army and we were so happy for him to meet Liam.
Ellen set an exciting table of red, white, and blue while Liam spent most of the afternoon happily entertained by the new exersaucer that Mea and Pop found and then pooped out in the arms of his great-grandmother Billie Love.

If there is one thing that I miss about living in a small town it is snow cones! Yes, sounds crazy, but there is no where in Houston to get a snow cone. I have searched high and low. And the one thing I was looking forward to the very most (besides family of course) was CLOSED. Seriously? On July 4th weekend you close your snow cone shop? Thank you very much Sno Biz.

So, we settled for Braum's orange sherbet shivers and headed 5 miles out of town to load up on sparklers, bottle rockets and the ever so popular roman candles. It's the little things!
 And our visit would not have been complete without a visit to the ever so popular Wal-mart! You laugh, but it is quite the family outing and you are sure to run into everyone you know and their mother there!
 The boys spent the majority of the time trying to capture the faces of those who could be proudly displayed on the website for Wally World - mission aborted. Including the one where Bruce tried to take Liam and my picture with the ever colorful, grey-haired twins. If you are from there, you have seen them... don't lie! Ellen and I quickly loaded up the cart with fans, bug spray, folding chairs, a bubble wand and cottage cheese (?). A successful trip!

We continued the tradition of the Corsicana Country Club for firework viewing and dinner. It was the summer of 1991 (yes, 19 years ago) when Bill and I had our very first dance at the CCC Gary P Nunn concert. There are so many wonderful memories enclosed in the acreage that is the Triple C. It is where I learned to golf. It is where our families grew up. It is the home of many grudge golf matches between the Johnson and Robinson families. It is filled of generations of lifeguards at the pool and above all the Fourth of July celebrations!

I take for granted that we were able to set off our very own fireworks down by the little pond on the golf course. Traditions of blankets and chairs surrounding fathers trying not to set their arms on fire while lighting bottle rocket after bottle rocket! Squeals of little ones chasing after one another while trying to write their names before the end of the sparkler ran out.

I love the Fourth of July. And even though Liam felt more secure watching the display from the comfort of indoors and was asleep before the grand finale, it was best put by the youngest of the Monk boys "This was the greatest Fourth of July ever!" Because you remember what it was like to be that age.

How cool setting off your very own fireworks were. How the moms stood on the sidelines and yelled "point that the other way" and ducked as one of the roman candle balls fired across the crowd.

And as we celebrated this country, our freedom and our family, we remembered what was truly important.

Happy Fourth of July!