Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

I am learning that as parents, there are things that we do for our kids that even though we know is torturous for them, we do it anyway because it is necessary or, as I once promised myself I'd never tell my children, "for their own good".

Case in point: The snowsuit.

Marin hates this get up. And every time she is in it I am reminded of Ralphie from the famed A Christmas Story when he is dressed similarly and cries, "I can't put my arms down!!" I'm certain that if Marin could say the words, she'd agree, Ralphie.

The Best...

One of my greatest challenges in motherhood is figuring out how to be as great at this job as my mom is.

We love you, Mom. You're the best.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ten Months Old!

Marin turned 10 months old in the heat of the Caribbean! And, although I brought along all the props, I still didn't get it together enough to take her 10 month picture that day. We took it shortly after we got home... and back in our own chair!

Here are a few things that Marin is up to lately:

* SHE'S WALKING!!! This is, of course, very exciting; but it is also very exhausting. She is on the move constantly. Marin still really prefers to hold onto something while she walks if its available, and she hasn't stopped crawling completely, but she is walking a lot!

* She is still very, very happy and is not shy or discriminatory with her smiles.

* Marin is turning into a little goof at times. She has this new smile that is literally from ear to ear and she gives it when she is being silly.

* She has learned to play with Norah. Marin will grab Norah's toy and hold it out to her. Norah then comes up and takes it. The only thing Marin hasn't learned to do is to let go after Norah has the toy. She's almost been dragged away a few times. We'll work on this one. :)

* Marin absolutely loves to dance. Every time she hears music of any kind, she bops up and down. I know this isn't new for her, but I have to say, it's adorable.

* She is getting a lot more vocal. She says "Ma-ma ba-ba" when she wakes up, letting me know that she wants a bottle. We're working a lot on communication and trying to make sure that she knows that we understand. She still says "da-da" a lot too, and a bunch of other sounds. She's getting pretty chatty. I know you are shocked, right? ;)

* She is going through a little bit of a mommy phase. It's not to the point of all out tantrums, but if I'm around she reaches for me and says ma-ma and wants to come to me. I have to admit, I do love that she wants me. But it has been kinda hard for Jas, so I promise not to encourage it. :)

* She still loves her musical toys and her board books that are easy for her to turn the pages. She likes to feel the pages of the books, so those with textural pages are her favorites at the moment. She also likes to snuggle with her soft stuffed animals.

* She is really interested in other children. Her friends at daycare were excited when baby Marin came back from vacation, and Marin was equally glad to be back in their company. The first day back, she walked right over to them with huge smiles after I took off her coat. You can scratch "socialization" off my list of possible things to worry about.

* Marin continues to be a champion sleeper. She sleeps long and hard. You can't believe some of the noises she sleeps through- steel drum bands, sirens, plane landings, the vacuum cleaner on hard wood... The one thing she can't sleep through: the horn of a cruise ship as it pulls away from the port.

* She waves hello and goodbye all the time. It's a new trick, and again, it's adorable.

* Marin claps her hands, and loves to do so. Especially if other people around her are clapping their hands. She claps her own little hands in applause as well!

* Another favorite game of hers (or maybe one of our favorite of her tricks) is when she imitates what you are doing. If you turn your head from side to side, she does it back. It's a sure way to get a laugh.

* She has almost mastered her pincer grip and wants to feed herself all the time.

* Since Marin has been walking, she's gotten herself into a few situations that we want her to know are dangerous or wrong, so we've had to start telling her no. So far, she's pretty good at listening. Most of the time when we say, "No-no, Marin" she looks at us to see if we are serious, and then she smiles and moves on.

We're having a ball with Marin this Christmas season. She is fascinated by the Christmas tree and the lights. But not so much by the snow suit and the hats. And, it's time to start thinking about her First Birthday Party! More fun ahead!

Three Tickets to Paradise!

We have just returned from 7 warm, glorious days in the Caribbean. For Christmas this year, Jason's parents took us on a family cruise. It was so much fun to be together! And it was the perfect week to get out of dodge; right after the first snow fall of the season- and right before the temperatures plummeted to single digits.

We had a great time swimming and exploring our three ports of call: Cozumel, Mexico, Grand Cayman, and Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Marin LOVES the water. She swam and splashed in the water from sunrise to sunset just about. I kept waiting for her to get cold or bored and want to get out, but she just continued to kick her little legs and splash away to her hearts content. Another discovery- she loves to eat sand. This one- not so good.

Marin was the hit of the cruise ship. Everyone commented on her sweet little smiles and her adventurous spirit as she danced, swam, waved and clapped her way around every corner of the ship. She made it on the big screen twice, and was even "interviewed" for the morning show one day. I'm her mother, so of course I think she's the cutest thing ever, but really everything is cute when it is small. Put a pint sized swimsuit and a sun hat on it, and you have a traffic stopper.

We had a great time together at dinner every night, and loved the shows as well! One night, Marin went onto the stage with the other children in the audience. She was younger than all of them by far, but she just sat there like she was born to be on stage. And, I'm sure the comfort of her pacifier (not otherwise allowed for anything but sleep) acted as a security blanket for her, and doubled as a mute button during the performer's song.

Jason and I were able to get out without Marin a few times due to everyone's help babysitting and an on board babysitter one night. We snorkeled, went on a rafting trip, and indulged in some pool side cocktails.
We laughed a lot. What better way to relieve stress than to sit in the sun with a cocktail laughing as the band plays "One Love". Or, as the case was on this trip- while Derek changes the words to songs about people sitting around the pool. I know it isn't nice to laugh at others, but it was their own choice to wear that speedo.

Thank you Bill and Debbie, for a very fun and generous gift. There is truly, no better gift than togetherness and laughter.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

First Steps!!!

Sunday, November 22nd, Marin took her first two steps!! Mommy, Daddy, Uncle Jake and Aunt Katy were all witnesses. She isn't exactly off and running quite yet, but she is getting bolder, and has since taken 3 more consecutive steps.

She took her steps in our new house, amidst a thousand boxes. I literally, have maybe never been so proud!

Baby proofing every corner: check
Watching her like a hawk: check
Bribing her with food: check
Surviving little falls: check