Sunday, March 25, 2012

Let the Babyproofing Begin!

The Draher household has been invaded. Just a few short weeks ago, it was Mom, Dad and an immoble, bottle-clutching baby. Now, like an overnight phenomena with no warning whatsoever, we've got a vegetable-chomping, arm- and leg-flexing monster on our hands!

Believe me when I say "monster" I simply mean I'm terrified of this new unexpected territory he's entering. I've been telling Jim that we really need to get into shape so we can chase this kid around the house--and it needs to happen sooner than later.

Each morning when Austin wakes up, he's in a new spot in the crib. The paths that used to take him all night to navigate across the mattress now take mere minutes. He figured out how to use his adorable chunky legs to propel him forward and backward. Couple that motion with arms that have figured out little baby push-ups, and you get the recipe for disaster: CRAWLING!

Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to watch Austin's progression, but of course it's sad to think of how fast everything happens. Now when he's laying in my lap, he won't sit still--he wants so badly to sit up every chance he gets. When he's on the changing table, he wastes little time before trying to roll over. Needless to say, putting on a new diaper or fresh clothes has become quite the chore!

The days of just holding him in our arms and staring into his eyes with pride are long gone. Our focus on the sensitive moments has moved into a stage of safety and caution. This is when it really gets interesting.

Meanwhile, on the personality side of things, the kid just can't stop smiling! He smiles in the morning when we first wake up, he smiles when we come home from work, and he even smiles when we drop him off for babysitting at cousin Kristin's house. The truth is he's a big flirt. Always smiling at the ladies. There have been a few times recently when he started crying around people he hadn't seen in a while (partly because Jim or I walked away to grab something) but all in all, he's such a pleasant baby. And I can't say enough about the laughing. You can make a face, a silly noise, do a dance or start tickling him and he'll give you a little giggle. Then there's this song Jim sings to him--I don't know if it's the rhythm, or the bouncy motion he adds, but Austin just thinks it's hilarious.

Thanks to the gorgeous weather recently, we've made it a habit to venture out in the stroller. One day, our neighbors across the street were outside, so we completed Austin's stolling wardrobe with the Indians ball cap and baby sunglasses they bought for him. I'm not saying he enjoyed the accessories, but how could I resist?! Take a peek:


Every time I see him in the car seat, all I can think is how we had to stuff blankets around him for padding when we first brought him home from the hospital. And now he's on his way to outgrowing it! Speaking of growing, I definitely notice that his hair has gotten longer. Still has his random bald spot in the back (where his head hits the mattress), but it's getting longer on the top. We'll have a solid mohawk in no time :)

To showcase all this change and growth, I filled up a 12-month frame (a gift from AU friend Christine Humphrey) with head shots taken close to the 29th of each month. Of course we know he's changed, but when you see the images right next to each other, it's quite shocking. His face has thinned out, but his legs must have absorbed all the weight. They are pretty pudgy baby legs--just like they should be! In fact, people say, "You've got nice legs" to Austin all the time. Cracks me up. Needless to say, I can't wait to fill up the rest of the frame.

The last thing I want to share is that since our last post, I spent my first night away from the baby. And when I say night, I mean OVERNIGHT night. My husband has been very sweet in offering me "break nights" along the way (although that usually means he takes the kiddo over to his Mom's house and she takes care of the kiddo while he plays poker or watches a movie with his Dad, LOL) where I can have a few--quiet--hours to myself for shopping, scrapbooking or just vegging out in front of the TV. But this time, I couldn't resist attending a friend's bachelorette party in Columbus. I felt selfish at times, but I do admit I had a great time! The only downfall, although expected, was that I stayed up waaaaay past my bed time. The latest in a LONG time! But at home, Jim stuck to the script. The baby went to sleep at his normal time, and maybe got up once during the night. He was even napping when I returned home the next day.

Everything went fine, but it was still a big deal to me. In many ways, I felt like I alienated my little bear cub! But the lesson to be learned is that life goes on, and parents (both new and veteran) need to take a break every once in a while. And all the Grandparents say they want to keep the babe overnight, so who knows--maybe we'll do this again soon!

Till next time, bye from Austintown :)