Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hard to Say Goodbye

Today was Carys's last day at daycare and it was bittersweet.  I'm so excited that we'll be able to spend each day together and I'm already working on fun things we can do together.  But...I was still sad today to say goodbye to the teachers that have taken such good care of her for the last 8 months.  When Carys started daycare she was only 3 months old and I remember vividly how hard it was to leave her.

She was still so little and the thought of leaving her with strangers was gut-wrenching - she was my baby!  I had dreaded going back to work so much that I didn't finalize our decision about which daycare we were going to send her to until 1 week before I went back to work!  I think I thought if I avoided making the decision - I could avoid having to leave her!  I had a couple of options in our home town that were less than 2 minutes away and was planning on choosing one of those, but at the last minute I decided to check out a center that was quite a bit further away.  I had to take Carys with me to visit, and she was not a happy camper that morning.  She screamed throughout the whole tour, and they were probably thinking - we don't want this grumpy kid!  But, I got a really good feeling about the place, and despite the crying they gave me an application!  I was super comfortable with everyone I met and the babies seemed happy and content.  I know this is far from an expert review, and I can't tell you exactly what this place had that the others didn't - but I really felt that it fit.  Of course it was more expensive and because it was further away that meant I would have to do both the drop off and pick up every day, since it was out of the way for Scott.  But we decided that it was worth the additional money and distance to take her where we would be most comfortable, and looking back it was totally the right decision.  It was still really hard to leave her, but I knew she was in good hands.  It was evident when I dropped her off and picked her up that she loved her teachers and they loved her back!

They made her this little book with all the pictures they've taken of her and everyone signed it!

The hardest part was just missing her every day.  By the time we got home, we had an hour and 1/2 to play with her, feed her, give her a bath, and put her to bed.  It just wasn't enough.  So, the decision to stay home with her wasn't a childcare issue - I feel extremely fortunate to have had such a positive experience and I believe that Carys has benefited in many ways from her time there. Rather, it was my desire to just be there...for all the little things, good and bad.  So, while it was hard to say goodbye today, I'm just so thankful to have this opportunity to spend time with her while she's little.  I know she'll be leaving for college before I know it, and I don't want to miss a minute in between!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Family Reunion

Last weekend we headed North for Scott's mom's family reunion.  It was a long car ride for such a short trip, but it was so much fun we were really glad we made it.  We left Friday after work and stopped in West Branch for the night.  As usual, Carys was a great traveler.  She is getting a little more difficult to keep entertained though, so I usually have to resort to some pretty ridiculous antics.  I'm guessing we aren't going to be this lucky traveling for much longer.  For now though, thankfully she loves practicing her 'high fives'! 

Saturday morning, after stopping for a yummy breakfast at Lumberjack's, we picked up Uncle Dave and finished the rest of our drive.  After crossing the Mackinac Bridge, we take US 2 the rest of the way to Escanaba.  This follows the Lake Michigan coast, so it's an amazing drive.  I love when we can stop at the beach along the way to stretch our legs, and it was a beautiful day, so we decided to stop and let Carys check it out.  She loved it.  

Rockin' her shades

The water was pretty cold, but she didn't mind at all.  She was fascinated when she finally reached down and discovered the sand.  She took two fist's full and we couldn't get her to let go even when I tried to rinse it away. And of course she eventually tried to eat it!

We finally made it to Scott's mom and dad's house and spent the afternoon hanging out with family.  Carys got to spend some quality time with Grandpa.

That night Grandpa and Grandma kept Carys for us, so we could head out to Uncle Rich's for the party before the reunion.  This was the first night Scott and I had out together in a really long time and we had a blast!

 Brittany, Nicky and Me - love these girls

Uncle Rich, Scott and David

Twinkies - ha! Let's go Irish!

 Auntie Beth with the Crew!

 Love this girl - Wish we lived closer

I love spending time with this guy...

And this guy's always fun too!

Sunday was Father's Day and the reunion.  It was a beautiful day and we had such a good time.  In the morning we went to church.  It took me, Scott and a LOT of puffs to keep Carys from melting down during Mass! She was a handful!  (Grandma called me yesterday to say that Grandpa was ushering for Sat night mass and spyed a couple of C's puffs on the floor!  Oops - I really did try to pick them all up!)

This girl loves her daddy and I love seeing her face light up when she sees him!

Checking out the ants

Chillin' with Dad 

Happy girl = Happy mom

I know these two will be BFF's!

We headed to the reunion early that afternoon.  It was so wonderful to have so many family members together at once.  Scott's mom is 1 of 8 and all but 1 was able to make it to the reunion.  Here they are with Grandpa Mo!

We had tons of good food - I'm not going to say how many rounds I made at the food tables!  We also had some super fun entertainment with Karaoke - there is some talent in this family.  Unfortunately for Carys - it doesn't include me or Scott!  It was a long day for Carys and she refused to go down for a nap, but she was great all day!  We stayed past her bedtime (something we NEVER do) and she was an angel!

We were dancing to the music and she did finally fall asleep and squeeze in a little snooze!  It was super hot, but this Momma didn't mind some extra sweet cuddle time!

Grandma & Grandpa are so much fun, and such a great inspiration on what a marriage should be!

Uncle Dave showing Carys how to shake it!

Grandma sharing her teaching skills with a very special student. Carys already loves to read - just like Mom & Grandma.

Love this face!

It was pretty much a whirlwind trip.  We left Monday morning and made it home Tuesday afternoon after an overnight stop in Brighton.  It's a 10 hour drive total, but with C we've learned not to push it.  We all have a much better time if we stick to her routine!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

New Job!!

Tomorrow marks the end of era for me and the beginning of a new period in my life.  I am super excited (and a little scared) that at the end of my work day tomorrow I will officially be a stay at home mom!  This is something I didn't realize would be so important to me, but after the arrival of Carys I really couldn't think of doing anything else.
  With a face like this how can you not want to spend as much time as possible with it!

In all seriousness though, this would not be possible without the amazing support and hard work of Scott.  This was a hard decision for us because it's never the 'financially responsible' choice, but we are both confident that it's the best option for our family.  Scott and Carys mean more to me than anything in this world and to be able to focus my time doing the best I can to care for them is a dream come true.  I know it's not going to be easy.  More than any other job I've had - I want to do it right, so I'm definitely nervous.  But overall, I'm just so thankful that I get the opportunity to be there for the little things.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Happy Father's Day

We were out of town this weekend and just got back today.  I couldn't let the time pass though without recognizing one very special daddy.  Scott, watching you with Carys is my favorite thing in the world.  You do an amazing job caring for her and it's no secret that our little Bug loves her daddy BIG time!

It's hard to believe there was a time when you thought you didn't want to have kids because you're a natural.

You are so loving, patient and unselfish when it comes to "your girls," and work SO hard to care for us.

I couldn't ask for a better partner in life or father for Carys, and I pray every day that she will marry a man just like her daddy.  I love you, Scott.  Happy First Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Back 'er Up

Carys is getting more and more mobile these days, but unfortunately when it comes to all fours she's only got one gear - reverse.  She ends up getting into some pretty tight spots and that doesn't make her too happy!

So, this is what she spends most of her time doing...Checking things out,

Cruising around with her wheels,

Chillin by the couch,

Or hanging out in her number one favorite spot...

Next to her Daddy!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What's in a Name?

When we were pregnant with Carys we decided not to find out if we were having a boy or girl.  That meant we needed to have two lists of baby names!  Now, when it comes to baby names (and probably a lot of other things) - I'm a total nerd.  I love studying the history of names along with meanings and trends.  My sister still teases me about buying a baby name book to find inspiration to name my dog years ago!  In fact, the Baby Name Wizard is my hero - I so wish that was my job.  Anyway, that being said, I began to torture question Scott about baby names before we were even married.  I kept a running list of baby names and any time I heard one I liked I'd write it down.  Then I would randomly ask Scott what he thought.  Our conversation would go something like...

Me: Hey baby, how was your day?
Scott: Alright.
Me: Yeah, mine wasn't too bad either.  I'm hungry. Are you hungry?
Scott: No
Me: I think I'm ready for dinner.  Do you like the name Olivia?
Scott: No
Me:  So, I'm thinking we can have tacos or chicken for dinner, what do you want?
Scott: Tacos
Me: Or we could go out to dinner.  Do you want to go out? 
Scott: Sure

As with everything else, Scott always knew right away whether or not he liked a name. I, on the other hand, changed my mind frequently.  I even tried to 'test' Scott once by waiting awhile and asking him again about a name I that I really liked, but he had already said no to.  Of course, his response was, "You already asked and I don't like Greta, what makes you think I'll like it now?"  Ahh...the black and white mind of engineer, there's no getting around it!   

When we found out I was actually pregnant, that ramped up the name research to all time high.  I went nuts trying to find the perfect name.  I wanted it to be classic, but not too trendy.  For a girl, pretty, but not too frilly.  For a boy, masculine, but still unique.  I pretty much drove myself and likely Scott, crazy!  And then over Easter, we were talking about picking names and I started sharing some of my concerns about the whole responsibility of picking a name.  At which point, my Father-in-law says, "Who cares, as long as you like it and it's not stupid."  And the amazing thing was I actually realized he was right!  All that matters is that WE liked it.  Talk about relieving some pressure!

So, fast forward to August 2009, Scott and I had narrowed down our lists.  For a boy, it was easy, we both really liked one name and we were pretty sure that was it.  Well, Scott was sure - I still wanted to see the baby first!  For a girl though - I just couldn't decide.  I had a list of names that we both liked, but there wasn't one particular name that I really loved.  But that's okay, I was due September 2nd and was pretty sure I was having a boy, so no worries, right?  Wrong!  Friday, August 7th,  I got a call from my doctor that ended up changing our lives forever (that's a whole other story).  And a few hours later, I was in my room asking the nurse (for the 100th time) when I could see my sweet, baby girl...we had had a girl.  It was finally starting to sink in!  Of course, everyone was asking her name, but at this point I was still in the 'recovery' mode after the c-section and still hadn't even talked to Scott.  I had a name in my mind, one that I had started whispering to our sweet baby just a week earlier (to test it out), but it wasn't one that Scott and I had discussed recently.  So imagine my surprise when Scott finally brought in our sweet girl and tucked her safely in my arms, and responded, "Do you want to go with our favorite?" to my, "What should we name her?" question.  "Favorite? What's our favorite?" I asked and he said, "Carys."  The name I had been whispering!  So, of course it was perfect for our new, sweet, little love.  

And so, Carys Delphine was then officially introduced to the nurse in our room and anyone else that wandered in.  Her name is so special to me for many reasons.  I love that Scott and I both picked it for her.  Also, since it's derived from the Welsh caru, which means love, the meaning of her name couldn't be more perfect.  The only struggle we've run into is with the pronunciation.  My trick, if asked, is to tell them to rhyme it with Paris and then they usually don't forget.  I did find these audio files though and I love hearing it with the flair that only a true Welsh speaker can add!  

Her middle name is also very special, as it's my grandmother's name.  My Grandma Delphine is a beautiful woman with strong faith and character.  She has always been a great source of support and encouragement to me, and I hope that Carys will display these same traits as she gets older.       

So I will say though - now, that I'm thinking of it - I never did ask my FIL his definition of stupid, so I hope he wasn't disappointed.  I'm guessing it's not a problem though because from what I've seen he's definitely smitten!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Show Us Your Life - China Patterns

Happy Friday!  This week at  Kelly's Korner the topic is china patterns.  I thought about registering for china when we got married, but instead I decided I wanted to keep it simple (shocking, I'm sure for those that know me).  I really wanted to find dishes that were beautiful, but simple enough to use everyday.  Scott actually helped me pick them out, so I'm glad we were able to find something we both love.  Well, I'm not sure that he loves them, but you get my point.  And, almost 4 years later, I'm still so happy with them.

 Photo from here

My mom has owned multiple sets of dishes and every holiday always had the most beautiful table settings.  If I ever did buy china it would be this beautiful Lenox set for her...

My mom loves birds and this just has an elegant whimsy, that is so my mom!  And of course she'd also have to have the holiday plates.  Aren't these beautiful?  I love the blue that you wouldn't typically find for Christmas. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!  We have another low-key weekend planned and will be hanging out close to home.  It is extremely rare for us to have so many plan-free weekends in a row (this is the third), but I'm really enjoying them.  It's nice because our family has some really big changes in the works, and I have a feeling that the next few months will be completely CRAZY!  So, for now I'm just praying everything works according to His plan, and I'm trying to enjoying the calm.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Crazy Hair Day

Awhile ago, Carys's daycare had a crazy hair day, and I was thinking EVERY day is a crazy hair day for our bug!  I wet her hair down every morning, but it inevitably ends up like this!  Her hair is fine like her momma's though, so I'm thinking when she gets a little older (and it's a longer) she'll appreciate the extra volume!