Friday, October 29, 2010

Home for the Holidays

It is no secret that I adore being around my family for the holidays.  To me there is nothing better than spending Christmas Eve at my sister Rachel's house with our dear friends the Palmer's/McNair's. I love the traditions that Ryan and I shared in when we lived in Boston.  Well really they were our families traditions.  Some years we would spend Christmas Eve with Ryan's family.  His extended family gets together for dinner and enjoys each others company.  Other years we would spend time with my family on Christmas Eve.  We would go to Rachel's house and have great appetizers and food.  My best friend from childhood, Tate, if he was visiting from L.A., and his parents, sister, and her family would join us.  The kids, my nieces Olivia and Tess, and Tate's nephews Jack and Riley would be running around like animals anticipating the arrival of Santa.  Spending the holiday with family was always fun, over whelming and exhausting.  But I love it. 

Last year we were home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, which was a real treat for us and the families (they were so excited to have Cyrus for the holidays).  Though we loved being home, we hated running around the whole time to see each of our families equally.  It never feels like enough time. Last year was so special.  I loved watching my nieces with Cyrus and sharing Christmas morning with my mom, Rachel and her family, Amy and Marianne.  Then driving to Ryan's parents house and enjoying time with his family.

Home for the holidays use to mean Boston, but last year we realized home is here in Salem, nestled in the Roanoke Valley surrounded by mountains and friends.  The more time we spend in Boston the less likely we will ever start our own traditions. Yes, I know going to Boston can be our tradition, but I want our traditions to be built around our home. Which is a good thing since money is so tight this year we probably wouldn't be able to afford a trip to Boston.

So this year we are starting our own traditions.  Well really they are my families traditions.  Oh and I'm going to ask Ryan and his mom to share some of their traditions, so I can incorporate them as well.  During my childhood the fall season kicked off the holiday season.  It started with Apple Picking - I failed miserably at this, so far during parenthood.  But next year I'll actually accomplish apple picking with Cyrus and then bake apple pie just like mom's.  October was known for beef stew and Halloween decorations.  My favorite decoration was a paper black cat that we taped on the front porch window - I'm going to beg my mom to hand this down to me, as I'm sure it will be Cyrus's favorite as well.  I am also going to obtain her beef stew recipe.  Thanksgiving was a busy month of baking.  Baking, baking and baking I remember the kitchen being covered in flour and pumpkin (oh yeah and apples).  Mom would make pumpkin bread which in my opinion is the best bread in the world. The day after Thanksgiving was the start of the Christmas season. While most people were out shopping, we were decorating.  Actually it wasn't so much decorating as it was transforming our home into a winter wonderland.  It was always magical, and I loved playing in the big boxes that all the Christmas decorations were stored.  December also involved lots of baking. There was always some yummy treats being baked and decorated.  Oh and whoopie pies I love whoopie pies.  With all this being said I think I better start developing a love for the kitchen and baking.  Maybe Auntie Rissa will help us with all our traditions. 

So this year our goal is to continue family traditions that we were fond of growing up.  There will be no shopping on black Friday since I despised doing it with my family as we got older and trudged to downtown Boston.  Last year we went to Santa's Village while in Boston.  I remember doing this as a child, and I think it would be so cool to do it with Cyrus, Oliva and Tess.  So maybe every year we will go home at some point during the holiday season, but I haven't asked Ryan his thoughts on this yet.

Over the next few weeks our traditions will be coming into place and as they do I will be writing about them.  I think I will also be doing research and asking my friends about their traditions.  Especially my friend Kristin who always seems to be doing something to build lasting memories with her children.  Here is to being home for the holidays, and Rachel - I'm sorry I know this post got you all excited.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Model Child

 Auntie Rissa took care of Cyrus last Thursday-Friday afternoon.  It was a huge milestone for Ryan and I.  We have never left Cyrus over night, but it was surely time for this parental milestone.  We had such a wonderful time away.  We did miss our little man, but I managed to only call home once - and we managed to barely talk about Cyrus while we were away. 
The best part of going away was that when I returned home, I had a camera filled with beautiful pictures of my sweet Cyrus, compliments of my dear dear friend Carissa.  She has an incredible eye, and though we have the same exact camera she captures pictures of my child that I could never dream of capturing.  So here is a taste of Carissa's work...The Model Child - b/c Cyrus was just that for his Auntie.  He got a stellar report card...
I would never think to take this picture! Carissa has an amazing eye

Seriously, how cute is this little pose?

Mama who? I'm having a great time! There were way too many pictures of him laughing and smiling, made me a little sad.

I could eat him with a spoon
On the drive home we did start to talk more about our little man.  You could tell we were both really excited to see him.  We kept saying Cyrusisms, and telling each other about little things he does.  But over all we spent our time focused on us and our marriage.  I think we should do this most often.

Thank you Carissa, I'm not sure what Ryan and I would do with out you and your family.  You all are such a blessing in our lives.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Like Father, Like Son

My favorite story about Ryan is from his childhood. Kindergarten to be specific.  Ryan got in trouble, can you believe it...Ryan who was pretty much the perfect child.  But he got in trouble, and it was for the funniest reason ever.  Ryan got in trouble for being too affectionate.  Our young Mr. Hurley would go around the playground hugging and kissing other childern, isn't that sweet?
I have been thinking about this story a lot lately because our young Cyrus is very affectionate with just about everything and sometimes people too.  Cyrus will walk around the house kissing things he likes.  He likes all of his stuffed monkeys, his shadow, Issy, his lawnmower, his daddy, his mama.
When Cyrus shares his kiss it goes a little something like this...He pushes his lips together, and emphatically says MWAW. It is the cutest thing ever.
Today we did some fall family stuff...Cyrus managed to kiss a few goats and mini horses. I love how affectionate he is.
Lately my favorite time with Cyrus has been bed time.  After story time, I hold him and walk around the room as we say our nightly prayers.  During this time Cyrus grabs at my faces and pulls it towards his and plants lots of kisses on me. Then he lays his head on my chest, and pulls my head close into his head.  He likes his mama to plant kisses on him before he goes to bed for the night.
I love my kissy boy...
My favorite sound is "Mwaw"
Good night Cyrus, "Mwaw"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Peter Pan


That means shadow

Every time Cyrus spots his shadow he gets very excited.  This started happening in the last two weeks, but I forgot to mention it in his 18 month update.  When he see's his shadow he says "Diddgy" and points at it.  He then walks around, making sure his shadow is following, when his shadow disappears he runs back to the spot where he last saw his shadow.  I can not help but think of Peter Pan, trying to catch his shadow, and finally having Wendy sew it back on.  This morning Cyrus showed me just how much he loves his shadow, by lying on the ground and kissing the rug where his shadow was resting.  It was so cute.  He also wants to share his milk and snack with Shadow...hmmm I'm thinking my son might develop an imaginary friend.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

18 Month Update

Cyrus 180 days old

He was so small, he wasn't crawling or walking yet

 Cyrus last year at his 6 month well check

 This years 18 Month Well Check
never sits still

Mom's are different than dads.  When someone asks me how old Cyrus is I say 18 months.  Ryan says you can say a year and a half, and I look at him disapprovingly.  My son is 18 months today! He is also a year and a half, in just a few more months he will be 24 months and two.  So why is it that women count months and men count years? I am not sure, but for me it is b/c I do not want my child to grow up. I know that someday I will look back on all these fond memories and desperately cling to them wishing that I could go back in time for just a few moments to hold my sweet baby. Heck I already do that...just today I was looking at a picture of him when he was about 8 weeks old...I wanted to hold that small bundle of joy close to my chest so bad!  This will be my life, forever I am pretty sure.
So Mr. Cyrus Xavier Hurley is now 18 months, well actually he will be 18 months at 4:45 today, but whose counting :)
We went for his wellness check up with Dr. Craft this morning. Cyrus did very well! He ran around the waiting room, and then he read a book about trucks once we were in the doctors office.  He was very good for Jeanie, my friend Charlie's wife, who happens to be Dr. Craft's nurse.  He let her weigh him like a big boy, standing up on the big boy scale, he laid down to get measured, and only fussed slightly when she measured his head.  When Dr. Craft came in he ran right over to him, and wanted to play with the computer the stethascope and anything else that Dr. Craft was holding.  As usual Dr. Craft gave Cyrus a tongue depressor. Cyrus put it in his mouth and said "aaaah" he then tried to put it back in Dr. Crafts top pocket.  Dr. Craft noticed that in Cyrus's world every thing has a place.  Dr. Craft said Cyrus is very social - which is a good sign.  Dr. Craft did want Cyrus to get his DTAP vaccine.  Since Cyrus is always getting scrapes and cuts and playing in dirt we really wanted him to get the tetanus vaccine, unfortunately it does not come separate from the other two - which I prefer not to give Cyrus.  After thinking about it, Ryan and I decided that it was important to get the vaccine.  So Cyrus will be on a catch up schedule for DTAP, his next dose will be at his 2 year appointment - can you believe I just wrote that - 2 year appointment YIKES!
Okay so here is what you really want to know.  Where did Cyrus measure in at?
Growth Stats for 18 Months
Weight: 24.5 lbs, 1 lb 3/4 gain, 30th percentile
Height: 32 3/4 inches, 1/2 inch gain, 50th percentile
Head: 19 1/4 inches, 1/4 of an inch gain since 15 month

Here are some facts about our favorite little boy at 18 months:

  • is already acting like a terrible two, but he's not so terrible
  • throws everything, food, toys, dirt, rocks, balls - does not heed correction
  • has added "thank you", 'airplane", "train" to his sign language repertoire
  • clicks his tongue when you ask him where his tongue is
  • can identify most of his body parts
  • allows hugs & kisses from miss Naomi
  • gives kisses and makes a kissy noise
  • tries to kiss bugs - no seriously
  • actually tries to kiss everything he likes, including Isabelle
  • is talking a lot more, unfortunately we don't understand him
  • loves bowbowers, that is his work for lawn mowers, and thinks every big work truck is a lawnmower...we are working on learning dump truck and bull dozer right now
  • love loves loves work trucks of any type
  • can say ball
  • sticks his feet in my face so that I can smell them, and they stink - and he knows that
  • does not like correction, he get's angry and if he is spanked, he tries to spank us back - we will be brainstorming a new discipline method since physical does not work with him (great he's like our dog in this manner) good thing Dr. Craft said to treat him like a puppy
  • can identify the sound of train from our house, even though I never taught him what a train sounds like
  • has his favorite books before bed time, and picks one every night for me to read. We read one library book, and one favorite book before we pray.
  • chases issy non-stop around the house if we let him
  • favorite food: green beans and pirates bootie
  • favorite drink: milk
  • uses his binkie at bed time and nap time only  

 Cyrus, I love you so much.  You make every day worth living and working for.  I feel so blessed that God made me your mama.  I am so lucky to have you.  Thank you for napping with me today, that was such a nice treat. I love you stinky feet!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Grilled Cheese, mmmmmmmmmmmm Good

We eat grilled cheese sandwiches...LIKE A BIG BOY! and then Mama get's very sad.

Fall & bugs

 I love fall! It is my favorite season of all.  As the earth prepares itself for slumber, and the cool crisp air takes over I welcome the smell of warm pumpkin spice and the warm fires on cool evenings.  Not to mention that Cyrus looks really cute in pants.  I love fall colors, and think Cyrus looks delicious in them.
Looking for bugs in the grass
 "ooh look a bug"
"It's a bug, but not George"
Cyrus was mid-sign for his version of "bug"

We love Spaz D. Bunny, espeically at dinner time

We have started letting Cyrus come into Spaz's room to help Mama feed him.  I feel that it is good for Spaz to have some social interaction and Cyrus has always been interested in getting to the bunny.  I am actually surprised by how gentle Cyrus is with the bunny.  Okay I know Spaz is 12, long in the tooth and technically a rabbit not a bun. But we still call him bun.  Be praying for our little bun. 
We discovered a tumor a few weeks ago.  The vet says it is benign, and that Spaz seems to be trying to fight off what ever is trying to take over.  He is very old, very arthritic and is now on a steady diet of glucosamine and metacam (pain killers).  We love you Spaz D. Bunny!

A boy and his best friend

In my opinion no home is complete with out the constant companion of a faithful furry friend. In my home we prefer Isabelle...well I'm not so sure Ryan prefers Isabelle, but Cyrus and I do.  It is cute to see how much Cyrus loves his dog.  It is almost like boys know that dogs will be there best friends no matter what. Well in Issy's case I can't say "no matter what", but as long as Cyrus shares his food and obeys her rules, then they have a pretty good relationship going on. 

Now that Cyrus is bigger than Isabelle, she is starting to respect him a little more.  I still think she believes she is in control, but it is actually really sweet to watch her watch him to make sure he's not doing anything dangerous.  Where ever Cyrus runs, Issy is right behind him.
 The Dynamic Duo
 "Let's go get cookies Issy"
 "That Dog Totally  Loves Me"
"What can I say...I'm adorable, and I feed her"

I love watching them together.  Especially now that Cyrus wants to kiss her.  He often gives her the kissy face and she licks him all over, it is precious. I love my babies!

Stink Bug

In our household the term stink is often used as a term of endearment.  It started when Isabelle was a puppy.  She was always rolling in something, and affectionately became known as Stinkerbelle, Stinkermerink, Stink and about a billion other iterations of the term.
Then God blessed us with Cyrus, aka Mr. Stinky Pants, and by the title of this post you probably think I call him stink bug, which sometimes I do, but no this post is not about our favorite terms of endearment and instead is about Cyrus's new best friend...

"I'll love him and hug him and name him George" This is Cryus's new pet - the infamous Stink Bug.  We are not worried about him killing it, and crying about his lost pet, because we have plenty of them moving in our house for the winter.
 "What Mama, I'm a boy! I'm supposed to love bugs, being a boy is great!"
"See there he is right there, that's George, my stink bug"

Cyrus was very upset when Mama removed the stink bug from the house.  He literally had a fit and cried bloody murder.  I told him he could play with the bug outside.  Which he happily did for at least 45 minutes.  Since meeting George he has made very many other stink bug friends in our house.  They are named George not to be confused with his favorite monkey.