Friday, June 29, 2012

A Weeknight Family Adventure

It's rare that we do anything on a weeknight. Usually, I get Quinn from school and get home about 5:30. I play w/ her for about 30 minutes while Jeremy sweetly cleans bottles, lunch tupperware and the coffee maker.
Around 6pm we feed Quinn dinner and I start getting our dinner ready. We start her bath at 7pm and she's usually asleep by about 7:30pm. So, doing stuff on a weeknight is just really hard right now. That two hours I have with her in the evenings is sacred, and getting her to bed late is a fight because she's excited and overtired at the same time.

Last night we decided to venture out and have a weeknight family outing! It was fun! My 5th-grade cousin, Tobi, who lives in Odessa came to ATX for a UT volleyball camp. We decided to head down to campus and watch her scrimmage for a while. It sounds silly to say "head down to campus" but we live in North Austin and going downtown in rush hour traffic stinks. Luckily, traffic is WAY lighter in the summer vs. the school year, so it only took me about 30 minutes to get there. First we met at one of our favorite places to eat (and a favorite Austin place), Kerbey Lane. It's open 24 hours a day and they serve breakfast 24 hours a day! I got a veggie omelette and a short stack and Jeremy got migas. Quinn had her peas that I'd made last weekend, but I gave her a bite or two of pancake (sans syrup) and she loved it.

Mmmm, peas.

Cheeky grin.

"Gimme those pancakes!"

After dinner we headed over to the UT rec center to see Tobi. It was so fun to watch all those little girls play volleyball. I was SO impressed with their skills. I didn't know how to bump/set/spike until 9th grade! I remember even in 7th grade we would all yell "One, two, OVER." So funny.

Quinn LOVED watching all these little girls play. She loves watching kids in general but this was heaven for her...there were little girls playing with a volleyballs all over the place in a huge gym. She eventually got a little bored and started climbing all over us and blowing raspberries/giving Jeremy a spit shower.

We eventually met up with my Mimi and Aunt Kerri (Tobi's mom) who came to see her. Quinn had fun visiting with them and they were excited to see her.

We got home a little late (for Q) and she went to bed around 8:45pm. She was a little cranky going down but it wasn't too bad. All in all, our weeknight outing was a success! I don't think we will make it a habit by any means because I like keeping Q on a schedule, but it was nice to get out!
Quinn has a tendency to stare at other kids.

Sweet cousins.

Bored and climbing.

Watching and staring.

"Hi Mimi!"

Still staring.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Happy Father's Day...Q&A with Jeremy

 Happy First Father's Day!

In honor of Jeremy and his first Father's Day, I thought it would be fun to do a little Q&A. Enjoy!

How was your first Father's Day? What did you do?
My first Father's Day was perfect. I spent Saturday morning at home with my girls and the dogs, doing our normal thing. Then that afternoon MA took me on a surprise date that included the film Bernie, a massage, and dinner and milkshakes at Mighty Fine. I followed that up on Sunday with brunch at our community group gathering and golf with Ricky that afternoon. Then we came home to cold beers, fajitas, and the finish of the US Open. It was a great finish to a fun weekend.
What distinct memory do you have from Quinn's birth?
From the birth itself I have a picture burned into my memory of Q when she first started breathing and crying. Yes, I got brave and peered over the curtain to see Dr. Cowan actually pull her out of MA's uterus. That whole series of events was crazy... the sound of the suction device attaching to Q's head, seeing Dr. Cowan pull at her head and neck to get her out, and finally seeing her little body for the first time. She was kind of a shade of blue/purple before she took in her first few breaths, which was strange, but the sound of her crying was beautiful. I couldn't get over the fact that she was real and right in front of me.
What's your favorite memory of Quinn from when she was a tiny baby (first born)?
That first week was really hard. Q wasn't nursing well and was losing weight, and I felt a lot of pressure to do things better even though I had absolutely no control over what was going on. My favorite early memory was when we were at the lactation consultant's office and she hooked MA up to the SNS device and Q started nursing and actually getting some breast milk. I actually cried a few tears I was so happy. It's funny to think back now and realize how much we hated the SNS, but man it was a lifesaver that day.
What's your favorite part about being Quinn's daddy?
It's hard to choose one favorite part, but I do love going into her room in the morning when she's waking up and seeing the look on her face. She always lights up with a big smile and starts kicking her feet in excitement. Baby smiles are the best.

What's one thing you didn't expect?
 I didn't expect to have as much time for me as I do. I had one friend in particular who had painted a pretty bleak picture for me of what fatherhood looked like. But I'd also heard that it's important for new parents not to lose their identity in their child's. I think that applies to parents as individuals and as couples. So with some small rearrangements of my routine and schedule, I still get some "me" time and have plenty to spare for husband and daddy time.

What will you do differently when (if) there's a second?
 I don't know that I'd change that much. We've done a good job with making Q as independent a baby as we can. I think it's important for babies to learn that at an early age. And I don't think we've gone overboard on clothes, toys, or other baby accessories, so I suppose I'd try to strive for that same balance next time around.

What's your least favorite thing about fatherhood?
Right now I'm constantly thinking about what I could be doing better. There are days when I feel so guilty about not being able to provide for my family on my salary alone, but I remember that this was a choice we made together and that we have a plan in motion. But I do spend a lot of time wondering about how I can make Q's life easier, and it can be exhausting. I wouldn't call this worry, exactly, but it's definitely a stress point for me. 

What piece of advice would you give a soon-to-be dad?
See my answer to number 5, but also make sure you get out to movies, go out on dates with your wife, and travel as much as possible. None of those things are impossible with a new baby, but they are definitely more difficult. Delighting in a lot of those simple pleasures ahead of time will help you appreciate them when they present themselves postpartum.

How has your relationship changed with Molly Ann since Q was born?
I feel like we're more on the same page than we were before. So much of our physical and emotional energy is focused on Q, and I think we've done a good job of figuring out what works for us in terms of parenting style. We've had some rough moments along the way (particularly when MA went back to work), but we've found ways to have difficult conversations in a civil way even when we're short on patience and energy. And we've lately been better about maintaining our marriage. It helps a lot to have Molly's mom there to take care of Q when we want to go out. It can't be overstated how important it is to find some time alone together. Even a quick night out for dinner and a movie has been able to sustain us for a long while.

Happy Father's Day to the best Daddy and Hubby in the world. I'm so glad to be a Mama with this Daddy! I love you!

A present dressed like Daddy!

Helping Daddy open his new toy.

 Yay! Apple TV!

 I love my Daddy!

I framed these for Jeremy to hang in his office as well!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Q is Seven Months!

Baby Quinn,

I really just want to hit the pause button right now and keep you at 7 months old for a while. What a fun age! You are so happy and bubbly and content. Everyone talks about what a great baby you are. They ask "is she always like this?" and I am proud to say, yes! You aren't mobile yet, so I am cherishing the days right now while we can put you down and you haven't gone far (other than scooting around a bit).

Here are some fun things that I love about 7 month Quinn:

YAY Quinn
You have started clapping and it's so precious to hear your little hands. You like it when we say "Yay Quinn!" and clap and you have even started to imitate us!

Food Fun
You are still eating cereal, fruits, veggies and puffs. We still nurse in the mornings and then you take four other bottles during the day and right before bed. You have been getting frustrated when we try to feed you because you would rather have puffs. I think you are getting a little independent and you want to grab something and feed yourself. We might have to try some baby-led weaning soon with soft food. Your favorite thing in the world are the apples I make for love the cinnamon.

High Chairs and Shopping Carts
It's so nice now that you can sit up because we can sit you in a high chair or a shopping cart and you love it!  You are so proud of yourself when you get to sit like a big girl. Sometimes I forget your shopping cart/high chair cover, but don't worry, I carry my Shaklee disinfectant wipes in the diaper bag!

You're a "Do-It-Yourselfer" at Home Depot!

 I got you a toy to play with at Target and you chose to chew on the cardboard. Awesome.

Having some Rudy's BBQ on Memorial Day.

 Enjoying a girl's lunch with Mama and Auntie Em at Corner Bakery.

More Teeth
You are the teething queen! You are getting more teeth. The bottom right tooth next to the front two (notice I have no idea what it's called) is coming in and there are three coming in on the top! You are such a trooper. Other than major drool, you have been pretty great about it. You have only had a couple of nights that you wake up, but you always put yourself back to sleep. You still love chewing on anything you can get your hands on and those little chompers are sharp when you grab our fingers!

First Swim
You got you get in the pool for the first time and Nannie Mae got to join us. You were excited to be in the biggest bath ever and you liked your little floatie! We are going to be spending a lot of time at our community pool!

Spinning Quinn
You haven't quite mastered crawling yet, but you can spin in a circle on your booty better than any baby I know. You just turn around and around trying to see everything. You also lunge forward to get toys, and you can reach pretty far by throwing one leg back. When we put you on your tummy, you army crawl backwards and you like being under and close to something that you can kick your feet on. The other day you found a frame I had taken off the wall that has Mama and Daddy's wedding photos. You found us and kept touching the photo of the two of us together. I almost cried because it was so sweet!

 You love Mama and Daddy!

You also love getting under things. You got your booty stuck!

Toys and Quinn's Quirks
Your favorite toys are: elephant blankie that you sleep with, any sort of small stuffed animal you can chew/suck on, Joyce the doll (you love chewing on her feet) and books. At school, that's your favorite thing to play with...of all the toys you are a smart girl going for the books! One quirky thing about you is that you don't like things to be out of order. We recently started stacking blocks and knocking them down to show you cause and effect. You are such a sweet upsets you so much. You don't even like it when we stack them. I have a feeling you will be one of those kids who organizes her toys. :)


Your First Fever
Last week you came down with your first true fever. We have been really lucky that you haven't gotten sick yet. Saturday and Sunday your fever was getting really high...around 104. It scared Mama so much that I couldn't sleep at night. Mama and Daddy even contemplated sleeping on the floor of your bedroom (silly first-time parents). We took you to the doctor but they couldn't find anything wrong so we just had to let it pass and call it a random virus. So, by the time you hit Kindergarten, you are going to have the best immune system ever! I decided that we are very blessed that you are such a healthy girl...Mama would be a basket case if anything serious happened to you.

 We had to give you cool baths to get your fever down.

Well, happy 7 month birthday baby Q! You are the coolest baby I know! 

I think you get your cool from your Mama, but don't tell Daddy I said that!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Q's Six Month Photos

We had Q's six month photos done a few weeks ago with our awesome photographer, Christina Carroll. She did a great job despite the fact that grumpy head wouldn't crack a smile. Poor baby...I think she had a cold and she was not a happy camper. I was sure we had wasted our time and money when we left, but some of these actually turned out pretty well. Our normally very smiley baby wasn't super smiley, but is still the cutest baby ever! :) Enjoy!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Quinn Learns Some Family History

Last weekend we had the chance to visit Livingston where Jeremy grew up. We got to stay at his family's bed and breakfast called The Milam Home, and Quinn got to learn a little more about her family history. The home has been in Jeremy's mom's family for a very long time. From what they can tell from old records, the house was built in 1860. His grandmother and grandfather, Wanda and Thomas Warren, lived in the house for 28 years and in 1994, Jeremy's Aunt Debra made the house into a B&B. I love old houses that have a story. Jeremy grew up playing in this house and I can't wait for him to tell Quinn all of his memories.

We also had the opportunity to visit the Indian reservation that Jeremy's family lives on. He grew up around the reservation (not necessarily on it) and each year they have a powwow. Quinn got to go to her first Alabama-Coushatta powwow to learn more about her Indian heritage. She loved all the colorful regalia and the sounds of the drums, the chanting/singing and the beads on the regalia. 

On Sunday, we hung out at the B&B all morning and afternoon with Jeremy's family. We had a great time just sitting and talking in the back yard while the kids played in the kiddie pools and slip 'n slide. Renae was proud of her "red neck" slip 'n slide that she made using a tarp and some baby shampoo. The real slip 'n slide didn't even compare! :)

There's so much I could talk about but photos are way more fun. So, here's our weekend in photos (and videos)...

We got to the B&B at about 11:30 Friday night and Quinn was ready to play. Oh dear! I guess she thought sleeping in the car was just a nap.

At the B&B, Quinn gets to eat her bananas and cereal on fine china. 

Some photos of the house...

The beautiful live oak that lives in the front yard. Jeremy has memories of climbing it.

Chillin' in the back yard with Daddy.

 She couldn't stop looking at the fountain.

Fun with props.

This is a photo of Jeremy's grandmother and grandfather and all their kids. (I like how the only person smiling is his grandmother!)

I think Jeremy looks a lot like his grandfather! His Mom, Renae, is the one to his left.

Quinn's legs are getting so strong...she loves standing up!

Quinn loves Granny!

Sweet photogenic baby!

Quinn's Ahwo Choba (he's the Chief of the tribe) was telling her lots of fun stories. He told her God made her special. He also taught her some words in the Alabama-Coushatta language (some farm animals from a book they had). *Funny side note: I asked him what to expect at the PowWow and he said "You'll see more Indians than you've ever seen in your life." HA! He was right.

A photo of Jeremy's grandfather in his regalia as chief, Chief Oscola.

Her Ahpo Choba had fun talking and playing.

Indian Daddy and Indian Baby.

Q and Daddy w/ the PowWow Princess.

Quinn was mesmerized.

The Grand Entry.

The Traditional Dance competition.

 Not a great video, but you can hear the chanting and see a little of the Grand Entry.

A video of some of the Traditional Dance contest.


Sunday was a fun day of family and water fun!

Ohhh bubbles!

 Quinn's cousin, Destiny.

Quinn talking with Jeremy's Aunt Vanessa.

Quinn's cousins, Jaden, Destiny and Kameron.

Quinn's cousin, Lily, didn't want to slip n' slide...she wanted to drink the water!

Having a talk with Granny Great.

Granny Great with most of her great-grandchildren.

Granny with her grandkids.

My sister-in-law, Caitlyn, and Lily. I love how Q and Lily are staring at each other. They will have fun playing together one day.