Friday, December 29, 2006

Edward got to celebrate his first birthday over several days, so it's fitting that we note it with several blog posts, too. We wanted to share Edward's official birthday cake experience.

This is before:

This is during

And this is after

Is there any doubt that he enjoyed himself?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

If you look up the word "sucker" in the dictionary, you'll see a photo of John and me. While you've got that dictionary out, look up "highway robbery" and see if the Sears logo appears. Those portrait studio folks saw us coming a mile away. Didn't help that I forgot the coupon on the fridge, but looking at it now, I see that it was for a package that would have allowed us only one pose and no "discount" on the photo CD. As John says, "He's only one once," so we've got photos up the wazoo if anyone wants one plus a CD with all eight images and copyright so those posted here are totally legal. We've got dressy and casual, full body and close up, sizes a plenty from wallets up to 8x10.

We also managed to finish our own series of monthly couch shots yesterday. Those shoes look huge, don't they? He doesn't particularly care for them, but we're trying to get him used to the idea that he can't go around in soft-soles forever--especially not when it snows. It's tough to be a December baby--you finally figure out how to move yourself around and then you're confined to the house or to bulky winter gear that inhibits that new range of motion. He'll definitely be on the run as soon as the tulips pop up in the spring!

We had a wonderful Christmas and birthday. Ed made out like a bandit thanks to his doting grandparents, aunts, uncles, and of course Santa! He was actually satisfied with just one present--didn't matter which one. As soon as he opened it, that's all he needed and he totally ignored the rest of the stack. Gift bags were his favorite--much easier to dig into that tissue and pull out the present than to rip a tightly wrapped box. And speaking of surprise, those were as fun as the toys! Some of the loot went in the closet to be reintroduced when we hit rock bottom of winter boredom.

He's clearly exhausted by it all. He took an hour and forty-five minute nap this morning and is close to the three hour mark on his afternoon snooze right now. I guess when you're in constant motion every waking moment, you need more sleeping moments. He'll probably be glad to go back to daycare tomorrow and be rid of his pestering parents for a little while!

One other milestone--now that he's a year old, he can ride in the carseat facing forward. He's long since reached the weight requirement (20 lbs.) so we've been waiting for the birthday. He was looking all around on the drive to Sears, but it was old hat by the trip home and he fell asleep. That's actually a good sign--our road trips depend on his ability to sleep in the car!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Edward got an early start on his birthday and Christmas today with a pretty standard wake-up time of about 6:15. That gave us plenty of time to have breakfast and open some presents before heading to church.

Santa brought him some magnetic letters to stick on the refrigerator, a good idea because he's able to reach up high enough that the things stuck there had better be Edward-proof.

He also brought him a plastic wagon filled with over-sized Lego-like toys. This doubles, like anything else that is the right height, as a mode of travel. Edward quickly pulled himself up on it and began pushing it around the room.

He also opened presents on Christmas Eve -- which is, of course, also his Birthday Eve -- adding to his already full toy chest.

He also helped his Dad open presents. The Geraghty clan does a sibling gift exchange, each sibling and spouse receiving the name of another with the idea of exchanging presents for Christmas. Mary's brother P.J. drew my name. Lucky me. Edward didn't quite know what to make of my present -- an animatronic reindeer singing "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" -- and to be honest, neither did I. Watch out next year, P.J.

That's just the beginning. He'll celebrate with Grandma and Grandpa Kenyon this afternoon, and with many more family members later in the week. It's a great way to cap a great year and usher in another.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas! It's hard to believe that this time last year we were still waiting for Edward, not even knowing he would be Edward. In fact, a year ago today, John and I went on our last spontaneous date, no babysitter required. We went out to lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant and to a movie. All the while, our friend Dan, a painter, was painting Ed's room. Little did we know how soon he would inhabit it.

It's been a wonderful year. Watching Edward grow has been thrilling and we can't wait to see what the next year brings.

We started our Christmas and birthday celebrations a little early, when Gram and PopPop, along with Aunt Nora and Aunt Bridget, visited on Friday. So far the Tupperware shape ball seems to be the favorite present, but there's still more to come. We also jumped the gun a bit on birthday cake. This first cake was pumpkin with cream cheese frosting, and at first Ed wasn't too sure what to make of it. He squished it and then tried to shake it off his hand, but when John took some of the crumbs and formed a little cake ball for him, Edward realized the error of his ways and began to devour what was left on his tray. Since that sugar introduction he also has eaten a few pieces of sugar cookie (the ones that broke before making it to the frosting assembly line.) He's pretty fond of those too. Watch out for the sugar high!

Tonight we'll open a few more of the Christmas present that have been magically appearing at our doorstep from such exotic locales as South Milwaukee, WI; Chandler, AZ, and Bristol, TN. Then tomorrow we'll see what Santa brings in the morning and celebrate both Christmas and birthday with Grandma and Grandpa Kenyon in the afternoon. We may all need naps by the time we're done!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The other day Edward discovered that it's just as fun to roll around in a pile of books as it is to read them or chew on them. Rather than restrict this activity to the corner behind the chair (where he had pulled up on the end table to reach the books and brush them onto the floor) we took the next step toward total Edward domination and cleared the bottom shelf of one of our living room bookcases for his use. Now he has easier access and another whole section of the room to leave in utter chaos.

John likes to play with the zoom on our camera, capturing moments like this one outside on Saturday. It was another freakishly warm day, as you might guess from Edward's bare head. No hat in December? Well, it was close to 60, but now we think we've seen the last of it. I'm holding Edward in this photo because he'd had an unexplained meltdown while pushing his walker up and down the block. It was so weird, one minute he was happily giggling and shrieking as he toddled along and then in the blink of an eye he started screaming and wouldn't walk another step. There was no injury that we could see--nothing stepped on and certainly no stinging bugs this time of year. A few minutes later he was calm again and back on his merry way.This week, Edward took the first steps toward another milestone at daycare--transitioning to the next age group in a new room. After the holidays he'll be in the toddler room so for now he's spending a little time there each day to get used to the new kids and new teachers. Two of his "friends" from the infant room will move at the same time so it won't be totally unfamiliar. He'll also be reunited with a couple of the older kids who have moved out of the infant room in the last few months. The toddler room has a door that leads directly outside to the playground. Apparently they take the kids out every day unless the wind chill is below zero. I'll be interested to see if this actually happens though--seems like the law of diminishing returns would kick in when you're talking about getting eight kids between the ages of one and two all bundled and ready to go out at the same time. But regardless, I guess he'll need a snow pants and some real shoes/boots assuming we eventually get into a real Iowa winter with snow.

Meanwhile, inside...
Edward found out this morning that the dishwasher can be fun. Luckily it had just been emptied so nothing to break and no danger of little fingers finding a fork or knife! Just good old fashioned discovery.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Edward visited Santa this weekend at the mall. He doesn't seem terribly impressed here, despite the REAL whiskers on this guy! At least he didn't freak out. Grandpa Kenyon, who played Santa at his office Christmas party for years, says that's more of a two- or three-year-old reaction. Can't wait!

We wisely chose the Santa at the second-tier mall in our area--no line and no pressure to pay exorbitant picture charges. We did buy one from them for $5, but they also let us take as many as we wanted. We had Grandma and Grandpa Kenyon along for the fun so there were lots of flashes going off!

Elsewhere in the mall, a radio station was giving away treats and balloons. Edward clearly loved his!

Back at home, Grandma captured this winning shot of Edward and his walker. He'd run it into the couch I think, but was so happy to be spending time with Grandma and Grandpa that he didn't cry in frustration, as is typical.

Unfortunately we're not seeing much of this smile at the moment. Ed and I both came down with colds so no one is at the top of his/her game. Ed's not sleeping, so therefore neither are we...not a good recipe for health restoration. We'll survive though. Better to get it out of the way now so we're in prime condition for the big upcoming birthday!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Here is Edward in his pre-bed playtime. He has another pajama layer that goes over this one (a cozy footie fleece) but the feet are not no-skid so he doesn't put it on until right before bed. Otherwise, the kitchen floor is hazardous! He now moves everywhere in the blink of an eye. I've noticed lately that he actually follows us when we leave the room. For instance yesterday morning I carried him to the living room and stood him next to his saucer. Then I returned to the kitchen to get my bowl of cereal so I could eat it and keep an eye on him at the same time. In the five seconds it took me to do this, he had gotten down to the floor and started army crawling toward the kitchen doorway. So today I kept him in the kitchen while I ate, and he pushed his walker all over the floor. This does not always entail standing behind it and allowing the wheels to propel it forward. He doesn't know how to turn around when he runs into an solid object (stove, cabinet, table, etc.) so he just walks around to the side and starts pushing the walker sideways in the direction he wants to go. This is more effective on the kitchen linoleum than the living room carpet.

This week Edward is also working on putting himself to sleep. That's not as independent as it sounds. I just mean that he's really too active to put up with being rocked to sleep, even when he's clearly tired and ready for a nap. So I've been putting him in the crib awake and then listening for when the chatter stops as the signal that he's finally fallen asleep. Sometimes the telltale sound of the pacifier being thrown over the side (or through the rails) signals that I will soon have to go in to retrieve and replace it in its rightful mouth. I wish I could see through the wall to see how he entertains himself in the minutes before he succumbs to sleep.

After a few weeks of picky eating, Edward jumped right back into full vacuum mode last night, devouring a jar of baby food (veggies) and then scooping up piece after piece of the pear I was dicing until he'd eaten the whole pear. Then he proceeded to eat bunny crackers until we finally cut him off after we'd finished our own spaghetti dinner. At daycare they said he loved the spaghetti lunch, which is a bit perplexing since we've tried to give him pasta in many different forms and he's always spit it out. But maybe his palate is maturing (ha!)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Edward has fallen in love with his walker, using it every chance he gets. He also has been pulling himself up on everything, including the walker, his exer-saucer, a chair and the sides of his crib. It seems he gets a bit more mobile with each passing hour, let alone each day.

Today he slept in until 8 a.m., which was a rare treat for us. Of course, that screwed up his sleep schedule for the rest of the day, but as long as we remember back to this morning and sleeping past 7 a.m. for the first time in a long time, it was a fair trade-off.

Mary got some good photos of Edward making his way across the floor to the walker, pulling himself up and taking off, which you'll find below. And below that is a very short video of Edward letting us know that he would like some more cereal tonight at dinner. Quite loudly. I'd suggest adjusting your volume before you hit play.

For a real treat, go back to this video from six months ago, where Edward is sitting in the same highchair. He looks so small back then...