Friday, December 30, 2011

Good Week

It's been a good week.
Charlotte and I braved a solo flight at the beginning of the week while Troy stayed in KS spending a few extra days with his Mom. No meltdowns and we had the nicest, most understanding (read: didn't scowl when Charlotte offered to share her half soggy animal cracker) man sitting next to us. I'm calling it a win.
Troy is home so we are playing "house". Sitting down to dinner together, taking turns picking C up, cooking dinner...oh how I love taking the time to cook a proper dinner.

And bath time. So often we rush through bath time. More of an afterthought: "why do you have yogurt in your ear.....and between your toes? Bath time". But this night we took a bath just because. And the we snuggled afterwards.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Card

Seeing that this blog was started with no other reason but that I'm too lazy to fill out a baby book (sorry Mom), I thought it appropriate to share our first holiday card. If you didn't get one, don't take it personally....it was just that I consider you savvy enough to print it off the blog (go on, show me your mad tech skills). Ok, really it's because I sent out only a handful. Not necessarily in any hierarchy of importantness(?), but just to those addresses I knew by heart. Ourselves; Check. Grandparents; Check. White House; Check.

And why a tush you ask? Because. Because we're not really normal. Because I want to embarrass my daughter at her high school graduation. Because none of the Christmas pictures that I took turned out (true). Because it makes people smile.

Happy Holidays from the Haighs!

A Very Merry Christmas

As I sit here staring at my computer tonight, I find myself at a loss. It's hard to put into words exactly how very grateful we are for this year. And I find myself feeling blessed with much more than we deserve.

We celebrated our first Christmas with Charlotte back in Kansas. And while as her parents we kept her gifts to a minimum (an abacus - because we're nerds, and another shape sorting/stacking toy) little does she know that if there was a chance that it wouldn't turn her into a perfect specimen of the "entitlement generation" we would give her the world. Don't worry though, she has a slew of family who made sure she had plenty of gifts to open....and pleny for us to bring home.

We were able to celebrate with Grandma Susan who was feeling well all things considered. Feeling so well in fact that she managed to make two batches of my favorite cookies along with a batch of Troy's beloved molasses cookies. It's not Christmas without cookies. Add in a heaping helping of nieces wearing every little ounce of excitement on their sleeves , a Christmas tree glowing in the background and a sprinkling of holiday playlist quietly setting the rhythm for opening gifts and you have a Haigh family Christmas.

I hope that everyone had a safe, happy and healthy holiday...Merry Christmas to all. And to all a good night.






Tracking Santa

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Charlotte's Web: Santa

Best. Day. Ever.

Let's start at the beginning.
Mom was running around the house getting ready for work. And although she mumbles something about "being late" a lot, I could tell this morning that what she REALLY wanted was to spend extra time with me. So to make sure this happened I was sure to be extra clingy and whiney so that she couldn't wouldn't put me down. I do my part to help out. And one of these days....like when she's in a nursing home and I'm changing HER diapers she'll appreciate the fact that I can read her mind. Trust me.

Then, because Dada is on vacation they both took me to school today. I Love when I look super cool rolling into school with an entourage. You should see the way the other kids look at me. Shock and awe people. Shock and awe.

Then Dada showed up early to pick me up! That's right he swooped in and was all "We've got important business to take care of. We're going to visit Santa". Very State of the Union like. A quick stop by Mama's work where I showed off my new walking skills and then we headed across the street to, get this, wait in line. I played hookie from school for this? But all is well that ends well. At the front of said line there was a very nice man, albeit dressed strangely, sitting in a very fancy chair, who gave me a stuffed penguin! And even if he wouldn't let me put his beard in my mouth and grumbled something about the Cubs never winning I still sorta like him.

It really doesn't get much better than this.

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's a Dog's Life

This post is long overdue. I spend so much time talking about the three of us but in reality there are two other individuals that complete our family.

Brinker and Riley were our babies long before Miss Charlotte. And while I've made a point of showing how our lives have changed over the past year Ive neglected to focus on "the Boys".
Before Charlotte was born a number of people asked us how we thought the boys would do around the baby. In fact, some people questioned if we would even keep them. To which our answer was always a resounding "we think they'll be fine" and "Seriously?" Maybe it was poor planning on our part but we never took any of the introducing-your-dog-to-baby classes. Instead, we tried to prepare them in our own way. We went on tons of walks knowing that soon this could (and has) changed. We played YouTube clips of babies crying and left the nursery door open at all times so that they could get used to things as they changed.

And 11 months later one of the first things that people still ask (and always with a slightly scrunched up nose as if expecting the worst) is "How do the dogs get along with her?". The truth is they did better than I think even we expected. To sum it up, Riley has a new best friend. He gets treats simply by following her around and she gets rid of her veggies. Brinker on the other hand is basically just scared of her and turns into a statue whenever she is around.

The boys have been great with everything. Bringing home baby, a four month stint in KS, countless hours in the car, me going back to work, all of it. I'm so grateful to have them around and see them adjust to the newest member of our family. My only wish is that I could add a super mom power that allowed me to maintain our pre-baby walking schedule. We'll get it back...eventually. And until then I'll remind myself how lucky we are to have such forgiving and adaptable dogs.



Sunday, December 18, 2011

Baby Steps

No really....baby steps. As in baby taking steps.
Itty bitty unassisted, no hands steps! It's kind of amazing when you think of everything that goes into it. The balancing, the coordination, the obnoxious cheering parents.

Just last week she was getting the hang of standing on her own. I thought we would have a few weeks get used to that stage but as fate would have it she was ready to move on. Literally.
And score 10 points for the parents on this one. We were (for once) prepared and were able to video the whole thing. Check it out here.

And a little Christmas cheer!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pain in the mouth

11 months and two days....that's how long it took C's first tooth to make an appearance.
Barely peeking through the skin it's causing quite the stir.

Sister is not happy. At all.
Couple this with a weekend being sick (still not sure if the two are related), and you have a very clingy baby.
Poor kiddo.
We've got teething balls, teething rings, teething vibrate things. Even a Dada approved and picked out award winning teething giraffe named Sophie. She wants none of these. Instead she would much rather gnaw on the soft top of the baby Tylenol bottle.
Who am I to argue? I've tried those teething rings...they're a scam.

Friday, December 9, 2011

E(eeeekkkkkk!!!)leven Months - slow down!!!

I know, I know. I sound like a broken record. Hopefully it's more like a song you can't get enough of though and not a nails-on-chalkboard kinda song (like Love Shack) that makes you want to drop the record player from the 7th floor balcony.

But c'mon! Remember WAaaaay back when I posted THIS? How can this have been eleven months ago?

What's happening this month:
Signs: dog, eat, more, phone (sorta), "so big", diaper. Currently working on "hat" and "drink"
Standing alone when she wants. In other words a toy in both hands and can't hold onto anything.
Favorite things to do: push her car walker all over. Look out once she figures the walking thing out.
Read peek a boo books with lift up flaps, and play peek-a-boo.
Still breast feeding (yay!)
Talking: Mama and Dada (if this were a contest Mama would have killed it...but of course it's not)
No teeth

Big month on the horizon. First Christmas, first New Years, first (gulp) birthday.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Meltdown

Tonight wasn't great.
C wanted nothing to do with anything. Except being held.
Most of the time I try to oblige, but a small (very mean) part of me realizes that she can't be held ALL the time (damn you rational self). So tonight there were tears. Lots of them.
Finally she calmed down enough so that I could look at her without the eye contact starting a new wave of hysteria.
And after all that she wanted nothing but snuggles.
Best. Feeling. Ever.



Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Charlotte's Web: Outside In

There's some funny stuff going on around here.

For starters, there are giant socks hanging up that have stuff in them. Mama always tells me to leave my socks on my feet so what's the deal here? Hypocrite much? And how is anyone going to wear them with stuff in them? There's also one for the dogs....I don't think this is normal.

And singing. Oh man, the singing. Please make it stop. There can't possible be two people that are more tone deaf than the two that I live with. And lately the singing is non stop. Jingle Bells this, Silent Night that.....I curse the Pandora Christmas station.

And most concerning? There's a tree. In our living room. With lights.
What the heck?
And this giant lit up monstrosity is in MY play corner. That's right. My play space has been downgraded from 6 foam squares to 4. It's not like I ever actually stick to just that area, but IF I did, then 33.3333% would have just been taken away.
Demoted play spaces does not a happy baby make.






P.S. My Mom refuses to clean windows. Sorry you can't see me through all the dirt.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Snack Time

The Christmas tree is up. The Christmasy candles are burning. The stockings are almost hung. Yes, almost.
These things take time...and energy. And snacks.
A good productive day of Christmas cheer is fully dependent on good snacking.

Yes. Our dog is wearing a shirt. No. It is not a cape.
He's crazy, and we do what we can to keep him sane.
Even buying gimmicky dog shirts.



Tuesday, November 29, 2011

One of Those Moments

Troy and I have a lot of moments where we say, "We have to get a picture of that!"
Something that we don't want to forget. A movement. A feeling. An expression. Often I'm able to capture it, but sometimes these moments slip away so quickly that we find ourselves regretting that that we missed the opportunity.

A peek into Charlotte's room on any given night and you will likely see her knees tucked up under her chest; arms drawn under her belly reaching for her toes and always a butt in the air. This is how Charlotte sleeps. Rumor has it this is the best way to a.) fend off monsters and b.) style hair flat against ones head .

This morning, at the risk of waking her up I snuck into the nursery, slipped off my lens cap and tried my best to show a moment that her Dad and I are so enamored with. As my shutter closed she wiggled. I snapped a few shots and then tip toed back out of the room closing the door behind me.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Turkey + Thanks - C's First Thanksgiving

I could be generic here and give you a short list of things that I am thankful for this holiday season, but that's boring. Family? Of course. Friends? Most definitely. Neither of us would be here without their unconditional love and support. And not a single day goes by that I'm not reminded of this. But what else are we thankful for?

Troy

1.) ...skype so that I can see my beautiful wife and daughter whenever I want (thank you Al Gore for creating the Internet)
2.) ...for my wife's mad photography skills and passion to update this blog so that C has a documented first year of her life (his words. not mine. no lie)
3.) ...PlayStation 3 having decent games coming out in time for my holiday vacation
4.) ...for jobs that allow for traveling to see far away family
5.) ...for John Daley who inspired the wild tea vodka and lemonade

Deidra
1.) ...to live in a country where my daughter has the opportunity to do absolutely anything that she wants
2.) ...for music. good music. the kind that gets you through a long day and makes you want to dance (even if dancing looks like limbs flailing)
3.) ...for sweatpants. And a husband who doesn't mind that I wear them until the seams start falling out
4.) ...for this year. And all the blessings it has brought.
5.) ...for wine. This does not, under any circumstances, include "rose".

Charlotte

1.) ...for temporal thermometers (the other method was a real pain in the butt!!)
2.) ...for animal crackers. Crackers! Shaped like animals! That taste like cookies! Ha.
3.) ...that my Mom is still breastfeeding at close to 11 months
4.) ...that my parents make me sleep in sub zero temps so that when I finally learn to snowboard I won't have to wear a coat
5.) ...for giant stuffed broccolis and baby dolls








Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fever

We were back in Iowa on the farm with Oma for a few days before we made the long trip back down to KS.
After patting ourselves on the back for employing new car ride tactics (breaking the no tv rule and cashing in the bigger car seat) I realized as we woke up Sunday morning that our peaceful car ride may have been more a product of a sick baby and less stellar parenting.
A few Tylenol doses, a cold compress, a luke warm bath and full day in pajamas later the digital screen still reads 104. Its scary. Scary that she's not herself. Scary when there's nothing you can do to help.
And selfishly as my lips touch her burning forehead I think to myself how much I love that she needs me. And although I know I can't do anything to get the fever down I can do everything she wants: and that's to be held. So I hold her. And silently relish in the fact that as she lays on my chest looking up at me with big droopy eyes I can tell I'm exactly what she wants. In her eyes at this moment: I'm everything to her.
A reminder that parenting, more than anything else, is simply about being here when your child needs you. And for this, I am thankful.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm feeling particularly thankful today.
I'm thankful for such an amazing family.
I'm thankful for great friends.
For the flexibility that both Troy and I's jobs provide. And thankful for the understanding coworkers that we work with. Especially during this past year.
I'm thankful for this amazing little girl that I get to call my daughter. Everyday. And for a husband who I can also call my best friend.
I'm thankful for another Mom who lives right above us and gifts us bags of very, very cute clothes :) Along with a glass of wine on occasion.
Another thankful post likely to follow next week, but this exact moment these are the things I'm feeling particularly grateful for.

Monday, November 14, 2011

On the Road - Last Minute Trip to KS

I haven't made much of a point of talking about it here, but I'm sure some of you more astute readers (those who don't just look at the awesome pictures) have picked up on the fact that Troy's Mom is sick, and has been for a while now. I'll share more of the details when I feel up to talking about it, but for now just the simple fact that she's not feeling so well should suffice.
And what better remedy for a Grandma feeling a bit down than a visit from a long distance granddaughter? And of course her parents? Absolutely nothing.

We had a wonderful visit full of family time.
We were able to spend a lot of quality time with Grandma. And as an added bonus we also got to spend a ton of time with our nieces, brother and sister-in-law.

20 hours, a good deal of cheerios, and some Bob Marley lullabyes later we're home. Nothing beats home. Nothing.
And at the end of the week we're going to do it all over again. Only this time there will be turkey involved!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

10 Months!

Happy 10 Months Miss Charlotte Jean!

Crawling (EVERYWHERE)
Standing Up and walking along anything that stands more than 6 inches off the ground
Getting brave and letting go while standing for seconds at a time
Eating: almost any fruits and veggies, yogurt, cottage cheese, chicken. This was the month that C gave up her 9 month vegan diet. Bring on the dairy and meat. Lil carnivore.
Favorite Game: Hide and Seek
Love hanging upside down
Favorite Toy: Mr. Broccoli and the Baby Doll that Dad spent an hour picking out by himself....he's still a bit scarred. He'll recover just in time to buy you a training bra....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pumpkin Art

I'm pretty sure it states in the all knowing parents manual: "9 month olds should not play with knives".
In an effort to follow the rules (we all have to start somewhere) we traded in the carving knife for finger paint. We wanted C to be able to participate so this is what we came up with. We would have done a "C" but I was to impatient to attempt a curvy letter with masking tape. Enter "H". We had fun making a mess.
I passed on the finger paints and used a drill....the husband used a dremel. That's what a couple of lazy efficient parents and a closet full of power tools gets you.



Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Another first somehow managed to sneak up on us. Someone should seriously offer videography services to parents for the entire first year simply to prove that it did indeed last an entire year....not just a couple of months.

Ms. C was forced got to wear her costume 3 times. Festivities started Friday at daycare, and then again on Saturday for no other reason than the below pics. And then tonight for a stroll around the block and handing out candy.
Originally we thought we would try to do a costume theme that the whole family could partake in...you know because we're uber cheesy.
But, as usual, we ran out of time. So I present you with Pebbles....the independent version. Sans Wilma (myself), Fred (Troy), Dino (Brinker), and Bam-Bam (Riley).





Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Saturday Morning Brunch



And on a Saturday where all the stars align this is followed by a Saturday morning nap.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kansas Kin

We made last minute plans to spend last weekend in Kansas visiting the Haighs. I feel so fortunate that we've been able to spend so much time with our family this year. And even more so they have gotten to know Charlotte and see her grow.
While back we also had the chance to help celebrate our niece Violet's fourth birthday. Girl knows how to rock a pair of princess heals.

We had a wonderful visit. Troy's Mom was feeling really great, the weather was amazing, and our nieces were adorable. Rather than waste half the time in the car driving there we opted to fly. One hour flight. 2 parents. 1 baby. We got this. Barely.
You can see Charlotte's take on the flight here.
But in summary it went great. She was a bit fussy but more from boredom and being held hostage in one spot. Cabin pressure didn't seem to bother her and she did amazing with all the eating on the go, schedule changes, and sleeping in different places.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Charlotte's Web: Better Mode of Transportation

This weekend we went to visit my Grandma Susan and Aunt, Uncles and cousins in Kansas.
It was a last minute trip so I didn't have much time to mentally prep myself for being away from my "brothers", teachers, and the 100 or so toys that I consider an absolute necessity to amuse this intellectual mind of mine each day. Yes, that includes a giant stuffed broccoli.

Mom was going on about airplanes, and cabin pressure. Blah, blah, blah. I haven't a clue what all that means. I came away from this weekend with a revelation. Cars suck. I'm taking a plane everywhere. To Daycare? Fire up that 747. I'll be the talk of the nursery.

Mom is always talking about how late we are "running". First off, I'm a bit concerned that she hasn't noticed that I don't exactly "run" anywhere yet. Second, as Dad always says if you have a problem, find a solution. Problem: Running late. Solution: fly airplane to school/work. Brilliant. And a little embarrassing that my parents haven't thought of this already.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Weekend With the Woods

This weekend we hosted our good friends the Woods. Just in town for a long weekend we had to make the most out of the short visit. If it were up to me (no idea why it's not) they would live much, much closer. Like next door. But I'd settle for our neighborhood. I'm generous like that. But the reality is, we will likely never live close as they are destined to end back up in Nebraska at some point. It might be 30 years. but they'll be there - take my word for it. And it makes my Jayhawk heart bleed when I think about all that red. Just can't do it. So alas we will be long distance friends for the foreseeable future.

Friday we did all the touristy stuff. We went downtown, did the Mile, went to the bean, ate lunch at Billy Goats, Garrets, etc. All that normal stuff that you would expect from a visit to Chicago.
Saturday we took our time getting up and around. We had breakfast and coffee outside on the patio while playing with bubbles and chalk. Eventually we made it out of the house and headed over to the Lincoln Park Zoo. This was C's 3rd trip to the zoo. And although she couldn't care less, I consider it a huge blessing that we have such a great park and zoo basically in our backyard. And it's free. The world needs more places like this.
Saturday night we met a few other friends for dinner including Nicole and Gayle. Quite fittingly given our Carlos background, we dined on chips and salsa and drank Margaritas....and beer-itas (it's ok to be skeptical. I was too)....and wine....which coincidentally leads to very bad headaches the following morning. Boo. Sunday morning was spent on the couch. With a large glass of water.

The best part of the whole weekend though was getting to spend some time with our adorable God Daughter Kate. The last time I had seen her was earlier this year while we were in Kansas. It's amazing how quick she is growing, and so much fun to see what we have to look forward to. She is almost exactly one year older than Charlotte, and having her around reminds me of how quickly these first years will go. But even more so, it reminds me of how amazing our friends are, and how unbelievably well parenthood suits them. What I feel watching them hold C is hard to explain. I'm thankful that we have friends like this. Friends that look at our daughter with this much love. It fills my heart with joy to surround C with this type of family.

Thank you to the Woods for spending the weekend in Chicago with us. Let us know when you want us to start looking for rental places down the block for you!

Terrible picture taker that I am I took zero shots of K and C together. Also no pictures of all 6 of us together. Terrible. I'm demoting myself.





Monday, October 10, 2011

Day Off

Fall is my favorite season hands down.
And I was more than happy to spend such a beautiful fall day with a beautiful little girl.
Charlotte's school has a staff development day once each year (I vaguely remember this being mentioned when we did our tour over a year ago) which I had forgotten until I went to drop her off last Thursday. Hey, better Thursday than Monday morning.

We slept in as much as a 9 month old (9 Months!!??) and a paranoid mom can. We took our time getting ready. Then we headed out for a lunch date. A good friend of mine from high school was in town with her adorable little boy Oliver - love that name! We met up for some pumpkin pancakes and good company. It's always amazing to me how easy it is to reconnect with some people. The latter half of Mackinzie and I's high school careers overlap a great deal. I remember countless hours spent at her house and more than one occasion (read: lots) involving a red sunfire and a Blessed Union of Souls CD.
But things change. And after high school we went our separate ways. It wasn't until she recently started a blog that we began talking again. Add in a new found love for photography, a new baby, a couple dogs, and a mutual love for Pinterest and it's like our lives have been running parallel for the last 10 years. It was great to catch up, and I hope there are more Chicago trips for Mackinzie and Ollie in the future!

After a great brunch we took our time walking home. Charlotte took everything in as I enjoyed some window shopping along Armitage. We made it home just in time for C's nap after which we quickly retired to the couch for an afternoon nap. Not much in this world can beat the feeling of your baby sleeping on your chest.

Bored at home with our usual toys we threw the quilt in the stroller and headed to the park. We rolled in leaves. I took pictures. C entertained herself by pulling her socks off. We waved at dogs as they walked by. And we giggled. A lot.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Letter to Charlotte: 9 Months

Nine months. Three quarters of a year.
This journey just keeps getting better and better. And going faster and faster.
There's a slight chill in the air these days, but summer is doing its best to fight a battle that will inevitably be lost.
A constant reminder of how quickly this year is going.
I'm trying hard to hang on everything you do. I know that soon these will all just be memories. Little things. Like the way your entire fist goes into your mouth along with the one cheerio it holds. And the the way that you strum your fingers along your lips to make noise. How you look at me every morning when I get you from your crib. And the way you rest your head on your father's shoulder when you finally give into those heavy eye lids.
You're starting to spread your wings a little wider these days. Taking more risks. Straying a bit farther from me when crawling around the house...now disappearing around the corner whereas just a couple of weeks ago you hesitated to leave my direct line of sight. It's not long though until you peek back around to make sure that you know where I am.
I constantly find myself in awe. I'm amazed by your curiosity and your complete disregard of gravity. But as much as I worry about sharp wooden corners or the hard concrete below your feet I pray that you'll always be this brave. Always this eager to explore and acutely aware that we're always here when you need us.
Never be afraid to do big things. Never be afraid to be great. And when in doubt, smile. Your smile lights up a room.
I love you.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Bit About Us

Today I celebrate the Mr. and Mrs. of this blog.
3 years ago today I married my best friend. Don't worry, this isn't a sappy post.
I would just like to simply say that because of him my life is better. Period.
I love you very much Mr. H. Thank you for another wonderful year of wedded bliss.
Everyday is an adventure with you and I can not imagine going through this life without you by my side.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pumpkins!!!!!

It's funny how much kids change you. Your priorities. Your outlook on life. Your sleep schedules.
Troy and I love the holidays. Not just Christmas and Thanksgiving, but all the holidays. Columbus Day anyone? Ok, us either, but these days we're close to tossing on voyager hats and running around the house singing about sailing the ocean blue. No joke.
I don't know what it is about this 18 pound little person that we live with these days that makes us want to dive back into being a kid....but I'm loving it.









This past weekend Oma was visiting. So we made the most of it venturing out to the 'burbs to find the perfect pumpkin. Pumpkin hunting to be exact. Weapon of choice? A sharp eye.
Charlotte couldn't have cared less. But we had a blast. We perused pumpkins. We ate pumpkin pie. And apple cider doughnuts. And soft salty pretzels. We sat in giant rocking chairs. Most importantly we left work and worries in the city and enjoyed a perfect fall day.





It doesn't get much better than this.....