Monday, December 7, 2009

"Whaat? Whooo? Hooow?"

These are the questions I could see running through my little tot's head when he first met Santa Clause. I should caviat this post with the fact that Cavin was tired, hungry, and had just sat through an hour long Catholic mass in an uncomfortable 'I'm wearing this outfit b/c it appeases my mom and is festive' outfit.

When I sat him down on Santa's lap he immediately became infatuated with the beard. Seriously, he would not stop staring. I was beginning to think Santa would take offense and become uncomfortable. And with Cavin's obsession in pulling my hair and sticking it in my mouth I had serious concern that Santa's gross beard would find it in my child's clean mouth. Alas, no...just...a lot of....staring.

Meanwhile, 50,000 people (okay, maybe there were really just 5 adults but daddy and mommy count as 49,997) were screaming Cavin's name, jumping up and down, waving toys, acting like complete fools to get just one precious photo of Cavin, Santa, and Mrs. Clause looking at the camera. But nope. We have one excellent photo of Santa looking at Cavin and Cavin....looking at the beard. All 50,000 adults tried for what felt like 5 minutes until Cavin got completely overwhelmed and burst into tears!

And with a "maybe you should take him" from Santa, mommy swooped him up in hopes that despite Cavin's "naughty" behavior he will still be considered on Santa's "nice" list.

Sweet Relief

A night time ritual: a tantalizing menu of rice cereal mixed with fruits and / or veggies followed by a chilled dessert - a teething ring.

Showing off his festive "My first tooth" onesie...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Happy Seven Month Birthday Cavin!

He is getting up there! I apologize for the late birthday post this month...things have been pretty hectic in the Spruiell household between my NY trip, our Houston trip, and Thanksgiving. Okay, enough with the excuses....onto the birthday boy!

When it came to the monthly Elmo shot, this month proved a LITTLE easier. Since he's very comfortable sitting up these days, he would stay on Elmo for a little more time. The tough part was getting him to pose and smile at the same time. He'd sit there for a few seconds with this look like 'can I go now??? can I?? please! I want to go!!!!'

Cavin: "Okay, it's time to go. That's okay right?"

Cavin: "Screw this. I'm out."

Cavin: "Get out of my way mom!!!"

This month Cavin perfected his crawling technique. This little guy is pretty fast. He kicks it into high gear when he sees one of his furry friends. Once one of the dogs see he is headed their way, they meet him half way with lots of is such a cute relationship he has with those two. As for Toby, it took Toby 8 months to warm up to each of these dogs so I'm hoping to have some good news right around Cavin's 9 month Elmo picture.

In other news, at around 6.5 months Cavin started pulling himself up to stand! And about a week and a half after that he was already cruising other words, taking steps while holding onto something. He still doesn't cruise that fast or go that far....for long! He even takes one hand off and uses it to pull down toys.

As you can probably imagine, the second Cavin wakes up, the productivity levels in our household decrease by 50%. Meaning, one parent is constantly following after Cavin picking up after him or ensuring he doesn't injure himself too bad. Mike has been baby proofing as much as possible but we feel like we barely keep up.

We also started solid foods this month. We began with rice cereal which went over pretty well. Then we figured we'd begin his fruit / veggie experience with avocado since, other than Jerry, he's the only native Californian in our family. Well, apparently the CO and TX in his blood was stronger than CA b/c he didn't take to the avocados very well. We'll try those again soon. He warmed up to sweet potatoes, likes bananas, and loves pears! Cavin has never been a big eater so we are finding that solid feeding time is a bit of a challenge to keep him interested but he's getting better as the days go on.

He also has TWO bottom teeth! Okay, so one showed up before his 7 month bday and one showed up after...but I'm included the second tooth in this post anyways. We endured quite a few sleepless nights for those bad boys. Mr. Molar, you can wait for now. And as with all big occasions he dressed appropriately and sported a "My First Tooth" onesie to daycare the day is first tooth popped in. I'll post the pic of that later.

So as you can see it has been a BIG month!

Now on to the stats! Since Cavin didn't have a doctor's appointment this month, the stats are VERY approximate.

Weight: 19 pounds, 6 ounces
Height: 29.5 inches
Head: enormous - he's grown out of all but two of his hats

Happy Birthday honey-bunny!

Friday, November 13, 2009

One hot blond

Since Cavin arrived, we feel like the dogs haven't received the attention that they once did. And as the weather got colder I realized that Sandy hadn't nearly gotten in as many swimming opportunities as she was able to in her younger years. So I insisted we head out to Berkeley a few weekends ago so our 'hot blond' could do one of the things she does best: run after flying objects amidst crashing waves and seaweed.

Notice the Frisbee up in the air way out in front of her. Note to everyone: we arrived at the beach with one Frisbee and left with the same one. This girl is TALENTED when it comes to finding that thing in the ocean. Although she nearly gave momma a panic attack, it is always fascinating to watch!

Cavin enjoyed the sights too! After all, this was his first sight of the ocean, sand, beach, and Sandy's swimming!

Naturally, Jerry wanted no part of the water. In fact, in true Jerry form he was so excited to jump in the car and go somewhere; however, once we were there, he waited at the back and constantly gave us clues that he was ready to go. The only time he came close to the water was to be on the recipients end of a hug from Mike.

Another one of Cavin and I bundled up. Don't be fooled by Sandy's swimming, it was COLD that day.

Two very happy furry creatures...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Happy Sixth Month Birthday Cavin!

Cavin was a his 6 month Elmo photo shoot. So we didn't necessarily get a "mommy approved" picture of him and Elmo. It did make for an interesting photo situation though! The second we put him down on the Elmo chair he started wiggling around. He ended up stomach down on Elmo at one point. In general, this child wants to go everywhere but where he is at the moment and he wants to go there fast!

At one point we just sat him on the ground so he could get his pent-up energy out. That's when his attention shifted to his toes. Ayayayay!

Then he turned around and gave Elmo a 'i mean business' stare - down.

Finally, after all this (and a few more Cavin antics), the only way we could attempt to get a decent picture was if Mike sat Cavin on Elmo ON his lap. But then Cavin started crying.

Sigh. We will try again next month.

As you can see from these pictures, Cavin is a mover and a shaker! The most exciting part is that by his 6 month birthday, the boy was crawling 5-6 steps! He'd crawl, collapse, get up on all fours again, and crawl a few more steps. He's traveling fast! Meanwhile, Mike is frantically child-proofing the house.

In addition to learning to crawl, Cavin is sitting completely unsupported, becoming more verbal, and, unfortunately, got his first cold. When he was sick he learned the art of sympathy. He learned how to 'play' his parents and his doctor VERY well. Now, anytime he wants attention he coughs or cries...and then smiles and laughs the minute we give him the attention he feels he deserves. Pretty sure Toby doesn't rule the house anymore....

Cavin definitely has quite the personality. He's learning more and more each day how to communicate when he wants something. He's also learning how to figure some things out himself. He's great at entertaining himself and can even soothe himself back to sleep when he wants. He's so sweet, charming, loves to play with his toys, and really loves his other furry siblings. It has been an indescribable feeling watching our little boy grow up and learn more and more about the world around him. He amazes me every day.

Now on to the stats:

Height - 28.5 inches (95th percentile)

Weight - 17lbs, 3 ounces (50th percentile)

Happy 1/2 year birthday big boy!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Chick Magnet

Happy Halloween everyone!

Many of you may remember the infamous year when Mike dressed up as a 'chick magnet'. This was in his "swingin' single" days before his life was blessed by myself as his better half. He wore all white and made these little chicks (with yellow puff balls and eye balls) and pinned them all over himself. It was classic and by far the best Halloween costume I've seen to date!

Well, as they say, 'like father like son'...Cavin has come up with his OWN version of 'chick magnet' for his very first Halloween.

To celebrate his first Halloween we took Cavin to the local pumpkin patch that is owned by one of Mike's friend's family in Clayton. The place is amazing! It is full of fun activities including mazes, hay, trains, and of course pumpkins. Cavin was a little too obsessed with the hay.

Before we went though, he got a nice long nap with Grandma.

When we arrived at the pumpkin patch there was so much to see!

No matter where we were Cavin found hay and would try to eat it. He'd grab a big chunk of it in his hands and go straight for his mouth:

Stage One: "Hmmm...what's this....this looks like fun!"
Stage 2: "Mmmmm....yummy!!!!"
Stage 3: "Daddy, WHY are you cramping my style?"
We finally got a good picture of Cavin with the hay; however, Mike had to sit in the picture with him to regulate the hay intake. If you look rather closely, Cavin has hay all over him!

Cavin also got to pretend to be a mean Halloween cat (aka Toby)
And a zombie / mummy (aka his mommy for the last 6 months)!

And finally, as my dad would say, he got to act like Linus and wait for the Great Pumpkin!

All in all, a successful first Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bob's got a girlfriend

Well, week one in NYC is successfully completed and week two is well on its way! This week, Bob introduced me to his girlfriend Abba. Abba is very sweet and cute. She's a bit smaller than Bob but the two of them follow each other around quite a bit!

A couple people have asked me if it is "fun" or "neat" being in NY in the fall. Do I see the fall colors? The leaves changing? Enjoy the cool weather? And the shopping?.... Well, unless there's a tree that is going to sprout out of the middle of the conference room table or in my hotel room, the answer is "no". And at 9pm at night when I'm in a taxi on my way back to the hotel room it is difficult to decipher the colors of the leaves on the trees. Sigh. Since I'm here for 3 weeks, I've got some hope that I will get the afternoon off so I can hit up my favorite shoe store here soon. **Somewhere Mike's ears just perked up a little bit and he's checking the bank account.**

This is one view I get to see everyday.

That's the view of downtown from my conference room here in midtown. Straight ahead is where we used to see the twin towers. To the far right is New Jersey and in the middle there you can barely see the statue of liberty. I can also see the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges to the left (not shown). It is an absolutely stunning view that I am not going to complain about.

What I will complain about is the fact that I apparently think sitting in this conference room is equivalent to running a marathon. I'm burning calories by typing on my computer and looking out this window right?? I have shown no willpower when it comes to food and drinks. My daily diet usually consists of a latte and oatmeal, mid-morning snack, sandwich / soup for lunch...this is where it gets bad...a cookie (or two) for snack, can of coke at 3pm, potato chips at around 5pm, dinner at 9pm-ish that consists of appetizer, BIG entree, dessert, oh...and 2 glasses of wine. I am changing this today. I'm off to a good start so far but the afternoon is still ahead of me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hello from the East side!

New York that is. Someone severed my right arm (aka split me from my baby) and put me on a plane to NYC for a three week trip for work. I've been working on a pretty high profile case that is finally going to trial so we are headed to NY to prep for my boss to testify. Although it is going to be a GREAT experience career-wise, I miss Mike and Cavin more than I could ever have imagined.

I've been planning for this trip for weeks. Between making sure I have all of my pump supplies in order to calling the local UPS store and hotel to ensure that I can ship dry ice and freeze my milk properly, I didn't have much time to think about the fact that I was really going to be away from my baby for almost a month of his life. SO much happens in one month!

I cried 3 separate times the morning I had to go to the airport. I knew I was leaving him in great hands with his daddy but I couldn't help but feel completely guilty and nervous. Was Cavin going to acclimate to the new schedule? Was he going to notice me not around? Will Mike know where Cavin's favorite nap blanket is? Will Cavin's wardrobe be up to par without me laying out his clothes every night?? I had real concerns people!

I survived the 6 hour plane ride over to the East side and was greeted by a glass of champagne, compliments of the hotel upon check-in...

Hmmm....that was one positive to this trip.

Then I learned that our hotel loans you one of their goldfish to stay in your room with you for the duration of your trip. Meet Bob.

Bob has quickly assumed the role that Cavin, Toby, Sandy, and Jerry usually fill. He is my 'kid' while I'm away from my kids. I feed him, talk to him, tell him "good night", "good morning", ask him how his day was, and in general, make sure he is alive and well. I'm really going to miss Bob when I go home this weekend but I know he'll be back here to greet me and tell me all about his weekend when I get back next week.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Half way there!

Today marks Cavin's 6 month birthday! We are so proud of our little (well, 'big' relative to 6 months ago) baby boy and I promise to give a 'formal' monthly update, compliments of an Elmo picture, this weekend...lots has happened this month!

Is it wrong to already be planning his 1st birthday party? Because I am. Marisa is booked and ready to go on the cake (hello...most important part!) and invitations! I realize how insane that sounds, but her baking is THAT good. Cavin's first sweet treat needs to be made by the best! He's got Hanley in his blood and if there is one thing the Hanley's do best - it is mixing sugar, butter, and carbs in such a way that your mouth cannot help but eat more than your brain thinks it is capable of. In other words, Cavin is sure to stuff his face.

Happy 1/2 Birthday honey bunny!

Monday, October 5, 2009

There's only one thing better than a Cavin...

...and that's TWO Cavins.

Cavin has become obsessed with himself lately...or really...obsessed with that other kid hanging out in his room with him that likes to wear EXACTLY the same thing he wears every day. No matter where he is in his room, he finds his 'friend' and scoots and rolls closer and closer to him for playtime. His new 'friend' is hilarious...even more funny than Sandy! He likes to touch is hand, nuzzle his nose, laugh, smile, and roll around with him.

I'm thinking this will buy Mike and I some time in the 'when am I going to get a baby brother / sister?' arena. We'll just stick him in front of the mirror with a 'here you go'!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

California finally figured it out

That is, where good beer comes from.

Mike, Cavin, and I visited the Lafayette Art and Wine festival this past weekend. Now I'll admit, I wasn't too keen on attending this affair as I was recovering from a really tough work week, not looking forward to the crowds, forgot my ID (so it was really just an art festival to me), and we had to cancel some dinner plans that I was looking forward to in order to drink wine and look at art.

So fast forward to Mike loading me up on beer so I would have a good time. As I stood next to yet another tent where a local made their version of trendy clothes and jewelry I waited for Mike to return with his beer. He rushed towards me with wide eyes and beer in hand. He handed it to me and said "here, try this Amber". Okay, so I did. I had a really confused look on my face as I was expecting a sharp taste like many other micro brews I've had recently. Yet this, this was smoooooth. He said "be careful what you say here...its one you've had before". I said "well, I like it! It's smoooooth. Must be a Coors product." That comment should have earned me big time points not only with Mike but also with his family and Mines friends but I digress. He proceeded to inform me that it was Shiner.

Ah.....Shiner Boch. My favorite Texas beer. Brewed in Shiner, Texas...home of many Boch-toberfests and the topic of so many Texas country favorite by Robert Earl Keene ("There's a girl in her bare feet asleep, in the back seat and my trunk is full of Shiner Boch and Lone Star"). Oh how I missed you Shiner. You were my friend for so many years. Oh how I've missed you so...

And that, my friends, is how you turn a grumpy Jamie into a happy girl who loves art and wine...a little bit of beer and a whole lot of Texas.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Move over Angelina and Shiloh....

....there's a new mommy / baby team turning heads in California!

Well, the paparazzi have finally caught up to Cavin and myself. After gallivanting across the bay area unleashed for 3 months during my maternity leave, they were finally able to get a picture of Cavin and I playing around after we went on one of our morning run / walks. I'm sure this picture was sold to the magazine for millions as we were highly sought out!

Those of you who know my obsession with US Weekly understand how exciting this is for me!

Link to the full article:

Next up....a cover on Working Mother magazine. Or better yet, People!

Happy Five Month Birthday Cavin!

One month until the half way mark! Our baby boy has made big strides this much so that I feel like I cannot keep up. He's bouncing harder and faster in his bouncy chair, rolls around faster than we can walk across the room to catch him, verbalizing words only Baby Einstein can understand, survives weekends without mommy (wish I could say the same for myself without him), has learned pitches that only the dogs can hear, upgraded to size 3 diapers, wears 6 months+ clothing (some of which is still too short!), reaches out to grab toys, loves hanging out on his tummy, pushes his upper body up to support himself on his hands, is showing early signs of teething (drooling and chomping down on anything he can fit in his mouth), and can sit up unsupported for 10-20 seconds - sometimes longer, many times shorter.

Cavin is surprising us each and every day with his development. And as I say every month, his personality cannot be beat! He is calm, sweet, mellow, fun, entertaining, and hilarious. Also, he has really taken to the animals this month. Every time one walks past him he smiles really big and lets out a big giggle. His favorite you ask? That's no surprise - Sandy. Even Mike will agree that he has found a best friend in Sandy. A typical scenario in our lives involves Mike and myself basically bouncing on our heads trying to make this little boy giggle. Yet Sandy walking across the room?? Friggin' riot! We are talking baby bouncing up and down, wiggling his legs, screeching laughter. I agree Sandy is one hilarious dog but I think I'm pretty funny too sometimes. Apparently fur and a tail is the ticket.

Clearly, daddy was funny this afternoon:

The comment we get most about Cavin (other than him being the cutest baby in the whole wide world) is how tall he is. Well no one should be surprised by looking at his parents. This month Cavin decided to stand on Elmo to show the world just how tall he really is!

And on to the stats! These are somewhat informal as we have moved past the monthly doctor's visits. Therefore we were required to weigh / measure Cavin at home. That experience only could provide us with an entirely new blog post but we won't go there.

Height: 27.5 inches

Weight: 16 pounds, 5 ounces

Happy Birthday Cavin!