Thursday, May 27, 2010

Babies all over!

We have spring visitors in the field. Unfortunately, they are awfully stubborn for me . . .


but my aunt shared this great pic on facebook. They are such cute little lawnmowers and they appear to adore my cousin who raises them.
And speaking of aunt's sharing cute pics, my aunt in Alaska shared this awesome pic w/dad of a moose that was born in her neighbor's yard. Clearly my aunts have a knack for baby animal photography that I don't share.

Okay, now that I've overwhelmed myself with cute spring animal babies, here's our cute late summer baby. He was standing and playing peek-a-boo with grandpa on Skype.
Matthew's great aunt came to visit today. He had a great time visiting with her
and demanded cuddles of course!

Anyway, Matthew continues to help me pack by "reading". I continue to find all sorts of crazy things around the house. So, riddle me this, what in the world is this fork designed to do? Is it a spork prototype? Is it for some food I'm not nearly sophisticated to understand?


Monday, May 24, 2010

Life Progress

Well, aside from the fact we'll need to sit down and edit this list a bit due to our upcoming move, we've accomplished two more things from our 101 Things to Do list.

46. Have James finish his secret project
78. Purchase another vehicle

James and I are new owners of a minivan. I'm too lazy to go take a picture of our own car, but it's silver and pretty and the backseat area does this:
PLUS, it doesn't have a DVD player of any sort :-) However, if this becomes one of those "wait until he's 7" type situations and I need to have a deep dish of humble pie, it appears it'd be easy to slip in one of those travel ones. I'm certain James won't be willing to share his future iPad because he'll have converted using it this way: www.steering-wheel-ipad.com. (Note to media: much like bacon formula, this is a joke. Chill out.)

Anyway, theoretically the van will give us a bit more room to take Matthew, the dogs, the stroller and oh, I don't know, maybe a suitcase when we travel. In profile it's a bit boxier and not as sexy as some of the other mini-vans, but this gives us storage and truthfully, my dream van is this

so clearly, boxy-ness doesn't intimidate me. Compared to our Explorer it drives like a dream. Plus, (as James and I awkwardly realized last week) being a one car family would be a lot harder when James doesn't work upstairs.

James, Matthew, the dogs and I will be headed to check out our new apartment this weekend and take care of some pre-move things in MT. In the meantime, we're busy packing. Matthew's new hobby (since it's definitely not practicing crawling again . . . EVER) is reading, thank goodness. He'll sit for 30-40 mins. semi-peacefully taking board books out of the basket, examining them intensely, then throwing them.



However, he still prefers his nighttime snuggles the best.
Just for the record, there was thick frost on our windshield this AM. I thought I was being productive when I picked out all summer clothes in Matthew's new size but that's come back to haunt me. Thank goodness for both sets of cute footie (feetie? feety?) PJs from grandma and grandma Watson that still fit. Words can't adequately explain his current outfit, but it involves a striped shorts romper and extra large non-matching socks pulled up to his knees a la babylegs. Thank goodness he's not old enough for other babies to tease him about what his mom makes him wear :-)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pictures



I'll try posting these again. Proof that little man survived the trip last weekend :-) However, he (and I) picked up something (I haven't taken him to the clinic but my guess is they'd say it's likely "something viral"). Anyway, he's a miserable little snuggle bear so no new pictures of feats this week. However, instead of practicing crawling he's learning to "blow kisses". If I ever get a camera, charged battery and empty memory card in the same place at the same time I may have a shot of getting a pic/video.

A mini-picnic at Thermopolis.
Looking cool.
"No thanks mom. I'm done."
"You can't trick me. It's not gold, it's not shiny and I know you're putting me back in the carseat again. No crawling for the camera."



Oh yeah, and on the way to and from Bozeman we got to check out the mashed up train carnage of this little incident first hand. Crazy. Apparently the train derailed again after they rescued it and got it back to Cheyenne.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Our Weekend in Bozeman

Friday we sent the dogs off to our favorite kennel and headed up to Bozeman. Speaking of dogs, Bozeman is a dog town. Most of the down town shops have water bowls outside for dogs, many bars and stores are dog friendly, and the town has a number of dog parks and even a dog lake. In fact, there are MANY hotels that are dog friendly, which we'll definitely take advantage of over Memorial Day. Even in my search for rentals, MANY are pet friendly and advertise as such. However, once they did the math that we had 4 animals, I was shut down. By the way some responded to the fact we wanted to bring 4 animals, you would have thought that I was asking to bring a gorilla, two bears and a goat. One company was nice enough to call me and tell me "you can bring just three of them. Would that work?" Seriously? Otherwise I got a lot of resounding NOs. Sigh.

If we decide to buy eventually, we'll be buying in doggy nirvana. Until then, we put in an application for an apartment where they *think* they can accommodate all of us. Fingers crossed! Matthew started crawling while we were discussing the application, so theoretically that's a sign it's meant to be, right?

Otherwise, it was a good weekend. They happened to be having a Baby Expo that we stopped by. I was thoroughly impressed with everything Bozeman has to offer. I spoke with a few Pediatricians and practices as well as sitting in on a mini-Kindermusik lesson and more. Bozeman has LOTS of mommy resources which will hopefully be fun to explore. It's also a college town with a few Early Ed students looking to babysit which will be nice so James, June and I can go out and check out the dog-friendly bars :-) Sky will likely need some on-leash aggression refreshers before he can join the other doggies at the bar.

In all the chaos I haven't been taking many pictures, but here are a few I snapped while we stopped for a quick picnic on our way back through Thermopolis. **Blogger is killing me with uploading - pictures and video will be added soon**

It was a rough weekend for Matthew. Friday evening he had a mild temp before we left which spiked late Friday night. He continued to be slightly feverish and cranky most of the weekend. He's also a complete wiggle worm right now and has decided he'd rather be moving than strapped into his carseat. Considering he had to spend a lot of time in his carseat in addition to our blatant disregard for his nap routine and his weird symptoms, I think he did awesome. Too bad he couldn't hold off on crawling for one more month while I try and pack the house :-)

Phew! There's all the exciting Watson news fit to print!

MORE BIG NEWS!

So, to start at the semi-beginning, James has been looking for a new job. It's not because he doesn't love his old company . . . because he does, but because he needs co-workers to be there in person. James looked in Fremont County for quite a while and though there were companies that wanted to hire him (though they didn't really know exactly what they'd do with his skill set) no company could afford to hire him right now. A few months ago, he expanded his search, focusing on Colorado's front range which is teeming with tech companies. So, while I was gallivanting around VA, James was up and down the Rocky Mountains adding even more chaos to an already changing vacation and therefore didn't join me for very long.

On Wednesday James accepted an offer in what might just be the perfect compromise for us. James is excited about the job and team, the compensation makes sense and all around the company has the work-life-community balance we are looking for. The town is still "rural" enough that its college has this picture on the front page of its website:
But big enough to host a tech company of about 400.

The Chamber of Commerce promotes the town as "A charming town . . . in a John Wayne-Norman Rockwell-Bob Marley sort of way".

We're still close to the mountains:


But big city enough to have a:

We can easily get lost in miles of crop land:
But it's big enough and hippie enough have an actual cloth diaper store or two (about which I am more excited than is probably normal or healthy):

So, we're excited to announce we'll be moving to Bozeman, Montana in June! Oh yeah, and trust me, I understand geography and know that Bozeman, MT is not in Colorado's Front Range. Through a weird twist of fate, though James applied for a job in the Boulder, CO office of this company, they thought he'd be a better fit for a team in Bozeman. I blindly agreed to go wherever, having not been to Bozeman since I was likely 10. James accepted the offer Wednesday and turned in his two weeks at his current job and this weekend we headed up there to find a place to rent. Though we'll definitely miss Fremont County, Bozeman will definitely be a great adventure for us.

BIG NEWS!



So Matthew did his first true crawling this weekend. For better or worse, it was in the middle of a meeting James and I were having about a decent sized life decision and didn't get any videos/pictures. The big motivator was one of these on the floor:
In the meantime, he's refused to do it again . . . probably because he's pretty ticked at us for the amount of time this weekend he's spent in his carseat. Which brings us to our next post.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Not So Warm Welcome


I came home Monday evening to a little bit of rain. I woke up Tuesday to this:

Headed into town for Matthew's doctor's appointment in this:

And then woke up Wednesday to this:
We're going to check out the Montana weather this weekend and are hoping the mid-70s temp. predictions will hold true. There are chunky baby legs that need to be shared with the world.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mother's Day Fun

An added bonus of many of our friends planning spring weddings was the opportunity to be on the East Coast for Mother's Day. We were able to celebrate with dinner on Saturday with the Watsons, where Matthew very politely joined us for almost two hours. He tried all sorts of new foods and I thought for a moment he might be able to quietly last through my dessert. There were some chocolate deserts being hyped so I desperately handed him items from the table to buy myself some time. I should have known as soon as I handed him the empty glass bottle to bang his hands on that two things would happen: 1. Someone would grab a camera and 2. He would eventually move his mouth to it. Unfortunately, the ploy did not hold off the fussing for me to stay to enjoy dessert. Thank goodness the moment was captured for posterity.



And brunch on Sunday with the Pozuns.
Matthew really enjoyed himself.(Note to Brio: If you won't accommodate me with an extra adult chair for little man's high chair, be forewarned that we will just use your nice tablecloth as a surface for his food.) Matthew didn't seem to mind the surface at all and enjoyed a brunch of eggs, french toast, fruit and spinach/garlic/artichoke dip. In fact, it was a little frightening how much he enjoyed the dip.


James unfortunately had to leave town early Sunday morning, but he and Matthew shared cards and gifts with me on Saturday. They picked out two gorgeous necklaces for me which I wore to brunch. One is similar to thisand the other was a necklace with Matthew's birth month flower engraved on it. They are just beautiful, unique and perfect for someone who likes to find a nice necklace and wear it nearly every day. It was an absolutely fabulous, almost perfect first mother's day. Next year I only hope James and I can coordinate our travel schedules a little better and spend a bit more time together. Looks like Father's day is also shaping up to be a crazy weekend as well.

For good measure before I finish, here's another inappropriate item given to Matthew to keep him content. This time it was during a long trip on an 85 degree day without A/C. For snugglebear, apparently coffee was the answer. I promise I do bring toys along most of the time :-)

Monday, May 10, 2010

The best laid plans

Matthew and I just wrapped up our 3.5 week travel extravaganza. Plans were made, changed, rearranged, scrapped and changed again over the course of the weeks. James joined us for a very short time (too short) and though I was gone for what seemed like a long time, there were cute babies, cute fiances and cute nature centers belonging to awesome friends with whom I had intended on spending time because I believed that 3.5 weeks was (said with great exasperation) "such a long time".

Though Matthew travels relatively well for a 9 month old, I can fully admit, I do not. I slip into survival mode, celebrating the simple accomplishments of both showering and brushing my teeth on the same day. When life is lived in 2-3 hour increments between naps, I just didn't get much baby/fiance/nature center visiting done. Hopefully next time my oh-my-gosh-if-Matt-doesn't-sleep-he'll-be-a-monster-baby-and-I'll-have-a-nervous-breakdown freak outs will have chilled a bit and I'll get to some more visiting. Seriously, some of my friends babies (like this one or this one or this one) are just crazy cute and I'm so glad I can at least blogstalk them.

Though we didn't do as much visiting as I would have liked, Matthew definitely still made the rounds. He's quite the entertainer and flirt. I was able to visit with some of James' wonderful family and had a great visit with his parents for the week. James' cousin Donna Lee came for lunch with a fabulous gift for Matthew, which he thoroughly enjoys and shared with another baby at the airport. (Sharing includes whacking someone with something, right?)
We also headed down to Richmond visit James' godparents. Matthew thought Mama Trigg was great for a few snuggles.
He also enjoyed hanging out with Papa Arch. Matthew's look of intensity is because he was determined to grab the cartoon clipping sitting on the end table. He *really* wanted to know what we were all laughing at.

The Watsons after lunch.
Over the course of the week we went to the park with Grandma. Here's Matthew all ready to go. His backpack/diaper bag is a life saver in the airport and for travel in general and is far more convenient than a stroller most of the time. A special thanks to Aunt Anita and Uncle Norman for the hat. It works beautifully.
Well, except with Matthew tries to rearrange it :-)

It didn't matter to him though, Matthew found the swings to be hilarious.


Hanging out with grandma afterward.
Matthew also got to spend some time with two of his favorite uncles. Hanging out with Uncle John at the wedding
And showing Uncle Ed how he could motor along.
Uncle John left Matthew's two cousins with us for the week. Matthew thought Mosby was pretty neat
But Emma preferred to just watch from a safe distance with Grandma.
To top off a busy day and busy week, Matthew loved Grandpa John's rendition of "Chugga Chugga Choo Choo". Sheryl's friend Mary definitely picked a perfect gift. I may even have to shelve the book until our next visit because my train noises just can't compare to those that grandpa makes.
Speaking of that, I have a back log of pictures and thoughts to share plus we'll have some big news to share *hopefully* by the end of the week but for now I'm spent. I'm going through a bit of a blogger's tantrum as I had a decent sized, well-written post yesterday and accidentally deleted it. Don't worry, a good dose of baby giggles in the morning should fix me.

Oh yeah, and speaking of pictures, I snagged a bunch of pictures off my Father-in-law's computer. So the pictures above that are crisp, in focus and well, fabulous? Those were taken by him :-) More to come soon.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Yay Moms

I'm very blessed to come from a long line of great moms. I am fortunate enough to have a mother who knew (probably knows) me far better than I know myself, even if I'm most of the time too stubborn to admit it (which, not surprisingly, I think she also knows). She magically knew when to push me, when to support me, when to let me fall on my own and and how to catch me after I fall. She is loving and kind and a model of how I hope Matthew remembers me when he's old enough to blog about Mother's Day :-)


Though Dad may have been the "adventurous" one in our vacation planning, Mom was always there to make sure we didn't fall off the cliff, made sure our meals were prepared (including one crazy meal she made while the VW was in motion) and that Dad would eventually stop and let us go to the bathroom. Trust me, in traveling with my father you need a good bathroom stop advocate.

However, what I may always remember most is my Mother's involvement in our day-to-day lives (especially those awkward teen years where the photos are still paper and I have no desire to digitize them for sharing). My mother was a band mom through our high school days and was well-liked by not only me (which is a feat during the hormone-ridden high school years) but by my friends. Mom was NEVER the permissive parent, nor did she try to hard to be "hip" among my peers but she was an upstanding parent who had high expectations for our behavior and held us to those expectations. She was always the adult in the situation and we always liked having her around. She was not only my mom, but she was a mom to many of my friends. She also has a killer "don't you dare" glare that I credit to her effectiveness . . . and need to learn pronto.

I am so thankful for my mother and enjoy how our relationship has evolved over time. It's amazing to watch her as a grandmother and think about how lucky I was to have her to raise me and how lucky I am to have her support in raising Matthew.

Anyway, I could go on and on about my awesome mom, but I'm sure most of it she learned from her awesome mom.

And I'm sure much of what my father learned, he picked up from his awesome mom.

May I be smart enough to learn from all these great examples through my journey in motherhood. So, to my mother and all the mothers who have helped shaped my family, THANK YOU. Thank you for your guidance, love and for being some of the best role models a young woman can have.

Five on Friday

1.  Look at these winter white legs out enjoying the sunshine at the dino park.  Spring has FINALLY sprung! These boys went from winter di...