Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Life In The Fast Lane

There is never a dull moment in our house, so we made sure to keep ourselves busy this week. I finished making Cullen's birthday invitations, thank you cards, banners, favor tags and cupcake toppers on Friday. The cramp in my hand from the scissors is just now letting up, but it's a small price to pay. Or something like that. I've even ordered most of the paper goods, and I'll be meeting with the cake lady next week. Things are coming together pretty seamlessly, and I'm so super thankful for that. We still have to figure out presents, but that can be solved with a quick trip to Toys R Us.

I can't seem to get the the picture to rotate, and I'm not really sure why it turned on it's side in the first place, but this is the picture we used for Cullen's invites. He was 10 months old that day. Wow.

On Saturday, we made a quick trip to San Antonio to see James' cousin after his Air Force graduation. We are so proud of Michael, and it was a lot of fun to take Cullen on a short trip. He was a great sport about all of the car seat time, and he really seemed to enjoy himself.

During lunch, ducks from the river kept walking around Cullen's high chair and picking up his scraps. Once he caught on, he was throwing quesadillas at the ducks. James took a little time to take Cullen to the river to feed the ducks tortilla chips. So healthy for the wildlife.

After lunch, we walked over to the Alamo to get Cullen a t-shirt. What's a trip without a t-shirt, right? I learned that at Baylor... This probably isn't the best family photo in the world, but Cullen sure does look excited.
After our quick trip to San Antonio, we changed attire and headed out to the Baylor game. Cullen got to enjoy the first quarter of his very first Baylor football game before they had to postpone the game due to lightning. We were all pretty bummed, but we survived.

James' dad was in town for a fishing trip, so we also got to spend some time with him. It was a short trip, but it was nice to see some out of town family. In just a few weeks, we will have lots of family and friends in town for Cullen's birthday party. I can't wait!

xoxo Ashley

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Forgiveness Is Key

I'm working really hard to forgive James right now. Forgiveness is important, right?

Cullen took his first steps last Wednesday. Of course, he took them at daycare, so I wasn't there to see it happen. When Marie told me that afternoon, I cried on the floor at the daycare. That's right, I cried. On the floor. I'm a total grown up.

If we go way back to last May and review this story from the beginning, you have to know that I never wanted to move to Houston. The weather is terrible, the traffic is awful, and (other than Lupe Tortilla and a few select people) there are very few redeeming qualities. I haven't had a "good" hair day in over a year. Except that time when I went out of town.

James has wanted to move to Houston since we graduated from Baylor. When he got laid off last April, James put effort into finding a job in Houston. Since I was pregnant, I told him I didn't care as long as I got to stay home with our wee little baby. When James accepted his job with IS&T and asked me to move to Houston, it was guaranteed that I would never have to go back to work unless I wanted to.

Now, I completely get that guarantees really aren't guarantees, and bad things do happen, but I was beyond upset when I had to go back to work. I don't want to miss milestones for my child. They only happen once! And now I've missed his first steps. Never to happen "first" again. Just thinking about it makes me want to cry again. I don't want to be upset with James that I missed those first steps, but it sure is tough.

And, of course, Cullen is becoming increasingly vocal these days. He says mama all the time, but now all I can think when I hear it is that he's trying to say Marie, since he doesn't look at me when he says it. In all honesty, he's probably just babbling, but it hurts.

I tried to contain the Houston complaints when I was at home, because I got to spend quality time with my little guy, but I'm pretty sure I gripe a little more with each passing week. I'm hoping that I'll be posting about us moving back to Austin by this time next year. I think two years here is all I can take.

xoxo Ashley

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The First Big Ouch

My baby fell on his face yesterday. I believe my pronunciation upon seeing his bruised face last night was: Mah Bay-Bee! Gimmeh Mah Bay-bee!

I worked a pretty long day yesterday, because work is completely insane. My previous workload was doubled. Uh nice. And they have shifted around responsibilities left and right. I didn't even know what I was doing before half the time, so I can honestly say I'm not too bothered by the "changes." So anyway, James gets to leave work early (la-dee-dah) and play with Cullen at home. In his pajamas. I'm stuck at work trying to make sure I complete my "tasks" for the day. Not in my pajamas.

So I leave the office and call James to get a status update. While talking about what Cullen should have for dinner, James casually tosses in, "You're not going to like what you see when you get home." Big mistake, mister. Never say that to your wife when she has an hour's drive left to go. By the time I pulled in the driveway, I was pretty sure Cullen was missing an ear and three fingers.

Cullen has been trying to walk (and conveniently forgetting that he doesn't know how) for a bit now. He's getting a lot closer these days, but we have to be on alert for the oopsies. Cullen fell across James' leg on what used to be his favorite toy. By the time I got home last night, Cullen and the snail were not on speaking terms. Of course, Cullen falls onto the only toy with a serrated edge in the whole house, and it left a pretty good little cut and bruise.

In the picture below, you can see the mark it left. You can also make note of the fact that I stopped brushing Cullen's hair earlier this week. The kid has my hair, and it's not going to stay brushed anyway. Why bother? The bruise looks a lot better this morning, but his teacher practically gasped when she saw it. It hurt my heart, but I'm sure it is the first of many bumps and bruises he'll be receiving in his lifetime.
The party planning for the big O-N-E is coming along pretty smoothly, and it's only a matter of time before it's upon us. I called yesterday and made an appointment with the lady that made my first birthday cake and our wedding cake. It's fitting, right? I'm hoping to start printing invites tonight.

On another exciting note, I've started Christmas shopping and making lists. I'm hoping to be done with Christmas before Cullen's birthday. Then I can just sit back and enjoy the holidays. I did it last year, so my hopes are high...

James is going hunting this weekend, and that means my first solo weekend with Cullen. I bet I'll be in bed by 9 every night. Wish me luck!

xoxo Ashley

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lots of Teeth, Lots of Fun

It is almost refreshing when there isn't much to talk about. We had a fabulous weekend with family and friends, Cullen got in loads of play time, and we are officially up to 5 teeth with a few more about to peek through. At the rate he's going, he'll have a full mouth by the time his birthday rolls around. It's hard to believe how much my baby is looking and acting like a little boy.

We missed the Episcopal game due to weather and the fact that James neglected to actually read the calendar. I have a girls night with Amy this Friday, and James is considering taking Cullen to a football game on his own. I'll keep you updated on how that one turns out. Trust me, I was not too heartbroken about missing high school football.

Saturday, we watched/listened to the Baylor football game and got Cullen's birthday invitation picture done. I had a great idea in my mind, and it actually panned out. For the time being, I won't be posting the picture here, because I want it to be a super cute surprise when people see the invitation and picture in their mail in a few weeks.

Just because I'm always up for trying something new, I have ordered Cullen's invitations and all coordinating material from this precious website: Each little "shop" runs by their own rules, so I found a lady who creates invitations and coordinating paper goods for you, creates a high resolution PDF, and emails it to you. I'm going to be able to print all of Cullen's invites at home for a nominal fee. If this one works out, Daina might be doing our Christmas cards, too!

As of this weekend, Cullen is standing on his own. It only lasts for a few seconds, but he's getting better each day. He's going to be walking and running before we know it!

For Labor Day, we decided to do some grilling. As it turns out, Cullen's very first birthday present arrived this weekend, so James put Cullen's new grill to use. James made 2 pizzas, scallops, and steaks. Between all of that, the sides I made, and the desserts Dana made, we slept really well that night. Here is a little snapshot showing Cullen's excitement over his present.
This weekend, we'll be watching more Baylor football, pretending it isn't 100 degrees outside, and (hopefully) starting on 2 of Cullen's birthday presents. Since he doesn't know these aren't cool items, two of his gifts this year will be a scrapbook of his first year and a precious baby afghan. Someday it might actually get cool enough out for him to use a blanket at night!

xoxo Ashley

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Healthy Baby

What a busy, busy week! I had Friday off last week, but I still managed to get up at my regular 5am wake up time to get Cullen to the doctor for his followup visit. Look at that kid! Does that look like the face of someone who had his blood drawn and just got a flu shot? Heck no! He was such a trooper, and he didn't shed a tear for either round. He actually flirted with the nurse as we were strolling out of there. My little ladies man. Most importantly, his lead base line is normal, and he is no longer anemic!
Cullen and I ran a ton of errands that day and made it home just in time for Cullen to take a nap and me to run to physical therapy for my knee. While James got to hang out at the house with a precious, sleeping baby, I got beat up by a girl half my size. After two sessions, my back hurts unbelievably, my leg is swollen, and I'm praying I start to see results soon. Yay for Cullen's doctor, boo for mine.

Of course, we stayed super busy all weekend, squeezing in dinner with Papaw, a day with my parents, a play date with precious Hadley, and a dinner with friends.

Sadly, some awful person tried to break into our house last week. After a little visit from the police, we found out some new ways to protect our house other than the alarm and big dog we already have. They're guessing that Scout scared off our would-be intruders, so I will happily feed and love her for the rest of her days. I would have done it anyway, but now there's a spring in my step.

In other interesting news, we got a new bug guy. Partially, because our old bug guy gave me the creeps. Seriously creepy. I actually made it a point to not be home when he came over. We also had to have someone come out, because there was a giant man-eating spider in our bathroom. Maybe I'm the only one who saw him, and maybe I only saw him once, but he was there. I couldn't keep my mind off his creepy little ways while I brushed my teeth, and I worried for Scout's safety while we were at work. New bug guy, no more man-eating spider. Win-win.

This weekend is Labor Day, and we are celebrating with the opening Baylor football game. We're hoping for a good season for Cullen's sake. Since it's his first full football season and all, it needs to be amazing. He has a great BU shirt for Saturday. On Friday night, we're going to the Episcopal football game to watch James' alma mater play St. Pius. I'm not sure how I got wrangled into that one, but we'll see how it goes with kickoff being right around Cullen's bedtime. Wish us luck!

xoxo Ashley