Saturday, December 31, 2011

Dude, Where's My Car?

In the driveway.  That's where it is.  It used to live happily in our garage, which I was so excited to have when we bought our house.  But now, it's warm home has been taken over by my DIY husband who has taken his car apart.  What now lives in my garage is what you see below.

Ever seen the inner workings of a transmission?  Neither had I until two days ago.  Just don't ask me what any of it does.  Hopefully all will go well and my car will be back home safe and sound where it belongs very soon.

Baby's First Christmas

Christmas this year at the Larkin house was even more special because we got to share it with the most amazing little boy ever.  Of course, he had no idea what was going on, but it was fun for us.

He got several nice toys from his Nanna and Poppa, and from his great-grandmother Violet.  Grandpa got him a UGA pillow pal and a couple of new UGA t-shirts.  We got him some small stuff like rattles and teethers, but we all tried really hard not to go overboard with gifts.  He's still too young for most toys, but he will be ready for them in another couple of months.  He did seem interested in the noises and bright colors, so maybe he will really enjoy playing with them soon.

This Christmas was also a little bittersweet.  Taylor's mom, Miriam, always loved Christmas.  This was our first one without her.  However, last Christmas she gave all three boys two of those recordable storybooks from Hallmark.  One came with instructions to open it on their first Christmas Eve as a family.  So on Christmas Eve, we opened our book as instructed, and Noah got to hear his grandmother's voice.  Of course there were tears, but it's such a sweet thing to have.  Now we can bring that out every year and tell Noah about her, and how she's up in Heaven watching over him all the time.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tis the Season

I finally got our house decorated for Christmas.  I never did much at the apartment because we didn't have much space.  I had a little more fun this year.  Our tree is much bigger since we have higher ceilings.  It took a long time to decorate because there was a lot of up and down on the step ladder to be able to reach the top.  We got Noah his first ornament.  The plan will be to get him a new one each year to add to the tree.

We didn't have a fireplace in the apartment, so I never had a mantle.  This year, I have two.  I had a lot of fun with them.  I decided to bring nature inside with some wood, pine cones, and acorns and added a little flair with some spray paint and ribbon.  The mantle in the living room has our stockings.  I bought Noah a cute fuzzy white one with bells.  I bought a green felt snowflake and stitched it onto the stocking just to add a little more character.

The one in the kitchen has some garland and a giant pine cone that Taylor's dad had lying around his house.  I also left my bear and elephant bookends in the mix.  They just seemed to work.

Now that we are all decorated, we need some music and cookies baking to fill the house with that sweet smell and the Christmas feeling will be complete.

3 Months Old

As of today, Noah is officially 3 months old.  He did not have to go to the doctor this month, but according to our scale he weighs around 14 pounds 10 ounces and is 26.5 inches long.  He is growing so fast!  We have to buy some of his clothes in six months just so they are long enough.  He is a very happy baby, and smiles at everyone.  

He has become a lot more vocal and likes to make noise.  He loves getting a bath now, and seems to really appreciate being naked.  He can sit in his Bumbo seat, but is still a little wobbly.  He tries to roll over, but gets stuck about half way.  He hasn't quite figured out what to do with his arms just yet. Last month he discovered his hands, but this month he seems to enjoy them a lot more.  He holds them in front of his face for long periods of time just staring at them.  And he's figured out how to get them in his mouth.  Sometimes he can manage to get just his thumb in there.  Either way, it seems to calm him down and has helped him get to sleep several times.  He also drools a lot more now, so I've started putting bibs on him in the last couple of days so he doesn't soak his clothes.  I had to actually go back into the office this month, so he's had to start going to daycare on those days.  He doesn't really seem to mind.  He's happy in the morning and just goes to whoever is there with no problems.  They all love him, but who wouldn't?  He's just adorable!

We are going to work on getting him on a more set schedule in the next week or so and see if that will help with sleeping at night.  We've had to start swaddling him at night again to help him stay asleep.  Without it, he kicks and flails around so much he wakes himself up.  Hopefully in the next week or two we'll have him sleeping through the night.  Wish us luck!  

We are convinced we have the most adorable baby ever.  I know people say that you don't really know what love is until you have a child.  I always thought that was a little cheesy, but as it turns out, it's completely true.  When he stares at me with those big blue eyes and gives me that little grin, my heart just melts.  We are so blessed to have been given this little guy to take care of for a while.  We pray and know that God will guide us every step of the way, and Noah will one day grow into an amazing young man.  For now, we'll just enjoy loving him as much as we can. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Giving Thanks

This year was the first Thanksgiving at the House of Larkin and I have to say, I was very nervous.  I have never cooked Thanksgiving dinner before.  I may have helped with some of the prep work here and there and I can make desserts.  But I've never been responsible for the whole meal before.  Being a perfectionist who worries too much about everything, it seemed a little overwhelming.  

As it turns out, it wasn't all that bad.  You can see from the picture above that this was clearly not a made from scratch meal.  Who tries to finish a marathon their first day in running shoes?  I had to be realistic in my expectations of myself.  I had time on Wednesday to do some of the prep work so that it was out of the way.  Then on Thursday everything just seemed to come together.  Taylor put our turkey in the smoker at about 4:30 Thursday morning and let it cook until about 3:30 in the afternoon.  It took a long time but it was quite tasty when it was finished.

Taylor enjoyed learning how exactly to carve his first turkey, and everyone enjoyed eating it.  Taylor's Grandmother was in town and got to meet Noah for the first time and spend some time with him.  I think it's safe to say she liked him just a little.  Overall it was a nice dinner that was not as stressful as I imagined it would be.  I can happily say that our first turkey day was a success.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Time Flies

I'm a little late in getting this up, but our little Noah is now two months old.  It seems crazy to say that.  The time is definitely going by quicker now.  At his two month check-up, he weighed in at 11 pounds 13 ounces and was 25 1/4 inches long.  This kid is growing like a weed!  He's already outgrown several outfits because he's just too long for them.  I know different clothing brands are sized differently, but I've already bought some six month outfits and he's not too far from wearing them.  We are going to have a tall boy on our hands!

Noah has changed so much this month.  He is much more aware of his surroundings and much more responsive.  He smiles all the time and makes the most adorable squeaky noises.  I'm convinced he's going to laugh any day now.  He is starting to tolerate bath time a little better and doesn't scream the whole time like he used to.  He has moved out of our room and is sleeping in his own bed now.  He's sleeping longer at night and has even given us a couple of nights of sleeping for seven hours straight.  We hope to see more of those in the near future.  He is holding his head up a lot better, although he's still a little wobbly from side to side.  He loves for you to hold him up like he's standing in your lap and will pretty much support his weight on his own.  He also seems to have discovered his hands.  He plays with them constantly, and will hold onto my hands or fingers more when I'm feeding him or holding him. 

We have not been actively trying to put him on a schedule, but he seems to have settled into one on his own.  He's really happy and wiggly in the morning and again for a long stretch in the afternoon.  That's when we like to get on the floor and just squirm around.  I can't decide if he's going to be a soccer player or a swimmer, but this child kicks his legs like crazy.  We already know he's going to be wide open once he starts walking.  

This second month has been a lot easier on me than the first.  We are much more adjusted to having our little guy around now, and have gotten more comfortable taking him out with us.  I have officially gone back to work, but haven't had to go into the office yet.  It will be a little more challenging once that happens, but we will work it out.  For a while it seemed crazy for Taylor and I to sit in the living room and think about the fact that there was this tiny person sleeping in the next room that was completely dependent on us.  Now it seems normal, and it seems strange to think about him not being here.  Getting up in the middle of the night is still challenging, as are those times when he's screaming in my ear.  But when he calms down and gives me that adorable grin, it makes it all worth it.  I love this kid so much, and I can't wait to see what the next month brings.  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Back Home

We decided it might be nice to have a couple of days without the baby before I have to go back to work.  Just some time for Taylor and I to relax, sleep, and spend some time together.  As it turns out, taking that break was harder than I thought it would be.  

I dropped Noah off at my parents' on Thursday.  I cried when I pulled out of the driveway, and then about three other times after I got back home.  We did get to spend some time together, and with friends, but we couldn't wait to have our little man back home today.  He had fun with Grandma and Grandaddy, and they loved having him.  But we missed his smiling little face much more than I thought we would.  I'm so glad he's back home with us today.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gettin' Out in October

Noah's second month has so far been one full of firsts.  As he has settled down a little bit and I've gotten more comfortable with him, we have ventured out a little more.  We took our first trip to Grandad's house on the 9th.  Noah met Lobo and Lola (shown below with Grandad at the beach last year), which made me a little bit nervous.  You may look at them, laugh to yourself, and wonder why I would be nervous.  Small though they might be, they are rather hyper dogs and I was scared they would jump all over him.  They just sniffed at him a little bit and that was pretty much it.  No harm done.

On the 12th I ventured out with him by myself to run a few errands.  I waited until it was time for his afternoon nap and raced out the door.  We got my oil changed and went to Babies R' Us, Petsmart, and Target.  He slept through it all and the trip was a success...despite the fact that I was a nervous wreck the entire time.

We went to Grandma and Grandaddy's house on the 13th for our first overnight visit.  Lots of family members came by to meet Noah for the first time, and he did very well with all the attention.  He smiled and cooed and wiggled around, and put on a good show for everyone who came by.  He even slept in Grandma and Grandaddy's room so that I got a little break.  My little cousin Landyn was especially adorable, asking if he could hold the baby.

My cousin Ashley asked the same thing, but it did not go so well.  

Overall it was a successful trip. 

The 23rd brought our first trip out with him to a restaurant.  We went to P.F. Chang's to meet Aaron and Kelly after they finished the 3 Day walk.  He fussed a little when we got there because he was hungry.  We quickly got a bottle ready and he was happy for the rest of the time we were there.  There was a pretty nasty code brown situation, but it was quickly dealt with by Daddy and a trip to the men's room.  

Time really does seem to be going by a little faster than it was a couple of weeks ago, and I know I will have many more firsts to write about soon.  After all, Noah's first Halloween is just around the corner.  I'm just glad these first few went well and that Noah, and my nerves, came out of them unscathed. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Days Go By

It's a little hard to believe that our sweet Noah is a month old today.  You hear people say, "Enjoy every minute because they go by so fast."  Although it hasn't really felt like it day to day, I guess looking at it now it seems that this month has gone by quickly.  Noah has changed so much already right before our eyes.  It was hard for us to see because we are with him every day, but he has grown a lot this first month.  I can really tell when I hold him for more than five minutes.  He's definitely heavier.  He is also more alert and active when he's awake.  His eyes seem to get brighter every day. He loves his swing, and will wave his arms around and make noise when he gets excited in it.  He does not like to have his diaper changed, does not really appreciate it when you try to change his clothes, and he really hates getting a bath. He refuses to keep his arms covered while he sleeps, and is absolutely adorable when he's napping.

While it has been amazing to watch him change every day, it has also been the biggest challenge of my life.  Losing sleep while having hormones running wild will really take its toll on you after a few days.  And when he cries and I can't for the life of me figure out what is wrong or what to do to make him stop, I feel completely helpless.  I've never had someone be completely dependent on me and I have to admit it's a little scary.  But it's amazing when I hold him in my lap and he falls asleep against my chest.  Or when he holds on to my finger while I feed him.  And seeing Taylor with him just makes me love them both even more than I thought possible.  I adore my new little family and feel so blessed to have this life that I've been given.

Being a mom has already taught me so much about love, patience, and the limits of my sanity.  I've also had to learn that I am not actually Super Woman and cannot do every single thing myself.  This is hard for me, but I'm working on it.  So tomorrow we will begin the second month of this adventure and see what it has in store for us.  I can't wait to see how Noah will grow and change as we move forward.  I'm sure Taylor and I will also continue to grow and change along the way.  It's a little unnerving not knowing what's to come, but I know we'll figure it out as we go.  I love my new life and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Things I've Learned So Far

It's a little bit hard to believe that my sweet Noah is already two weeks old.  Those two weeks are a bit of a blur in my mind.  They seemed to go by really fast and somehow, at the same time, seemed to be never ending.  I still don't have everything figured out about being the parent of a newborn, but I'm learning new things every day.  Here are some things that I've learned so far.

1.  At my showers, I was given about 15 receiving blankets and I thought to myself, do I really need all of these? The answer is yes. I need every last one of them. For the reason, see number 2.

2.  Baby boys can pee straight out of a diaper.  It's amazing really.  They seem to be able to find the smallest little space left between their leg and the elastic band and aim straight for it.  We go through several onesies and receiving blankets every day because they all fall victim to the crack shot aim of my son.

3.  The waterproof pads that I thought were such a waste are actually a blessing.  Again, see number 2.

4.  My husband is amazing.  I felt this way already, but seeing him with Noah has only made those feelings stronger.  He has been so great with him, and seeing them together just makes me so unbelievably happy with my life.

5.  Grandma's are amazing.  There's no one else who loves a baby quite like a Grandma.  And I'm pretty sure Noah has already stolen her heart.

6.  Even when he's sleeping, this smile just melts my heart.  I can't wait until he starts doing it when he's awake and alert.  He's definitely going to break a few hearts.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Noah

Noah Taylor Larkin
Born 6:51 p.m. on September 8, 2011
7 lb, 11 oz, 21 inches

Monday, August 29, 2011

Waitin' on Noah

Noah's room is FINALLY ready. The stripes on the wall are painted.  The furniture is assembled and in place.  The bedding has been washed and placed on the bed.  His tiny clothes, that I feel sure could not possibly fit on an actual human being, are tucked away neatly in the chest of drawers.  He has custom artwork done by yours truly adorning his walls.  The green shelves that his dad picked out look great on the wall holding books and toys.  I've rearranged the items in baskets on the changing table about a half dozen times and finally think I have them settled where I want them...I'm probably incorrect. He even has a chair and step stool that belonged to me when I was a kid that my mom lovingly painted and decorated to match the nursery.  Everything, it seems, is ready for him.....

 ...and now, we wait.  I've discovered it's a bit unnerving knowing that one of the biggest moments of your life will be happening any day now, but you don't get to know which day.  I think God is trying to use this time in my life to teach me patience.  I have to admit, I am not the best student when it comes to this topic. I struggle and resist, but it does no good.  Noah seems firmly planted where he is for the moment, and I keep having to tell myself that he will come in God's time, not mine. So for now, I guess we're just going to keep waiting on Noah.  And when he finally decides to make his grand appearance, I'm sure my world will never be the same.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Coming Soon

It seems the date of Noah's arrival is fast approaching.  It also seems that I get more and more terrified with every passing day. But I'm so excited for our little boy to be here with us. I can't wait to hold him in my arms and look into the big bright eyes that I know he's going to have.  I have to admit that I will miss being able to feel his movements inside, but I don't think they can compare with being able to actually touch him and see him.

We toured the hospital yesterday and I have to admit that it was pretty much a blur for me. All I could think was, "This is actually going to happen.  We are really having a baby."  While I've known that for almost nine months now, it has only recently seemed to really sink in.  We are going to have this tiny little person to bring home and take care of.  People keep telling me that my instincts will kick in and I'll just know what to do.  I hope they're right.  But I know that God is watching over us and will guide us in taking care of this little blessing.  He will teach us everything we need to know to be good parents to Noah, and teach him how to be a good man. For now, we'll just sit back and wait for the arrival of our little one and try to enjoy the last few weeks we have of getting a full night's sleep.