Monday, May 17, 2010

Sucking up the Love, the unabridged version

What a wonderful long weekend it was.

We connected with other moms and babies at group on Thursday, celebrated two birthdays over the weekend, splashed it up at our second-to-last swimmin' lesson, enjoyed some wonderful outdoor relaxation in gorgeous weather and really squeezed as much living and loving out of a weekend as we could.

Cayden's little personality is in full force, and he made my four days with him simply joyful. He is full of smiles and shouts and giggles and big, wide, brown eyes that can't take in this exciting and colorful world fast enough. And when he's not happy being happy, he's happy being sleepy (he's become a wonderful, fairly predictable napper) or he's decidedly unhappy, which ironically makes me happy in the smallest, most unexpected way. Because I can't resist smiling on the inside -- and sometimes giggling outwardly -- when I see his spitfire little temper simmer and boil over to communicate he wants something he's clearly not getting. The boy is a spitting image of his Daddy, but that -- the turn-on-a-dime tantrum throwing that may or may not be rational -- that, is completely and totally his Mama.

So we spent the weekend snuggling, laughing, playing, learning. And kissing. Lots and lots of kissing. In fact, Cayden may or may not have given his first kisses to Grandma Barb Friday evening. If a mouth, open-wide and sloppy, with a little tongue sticking out to facelick on command at "Give Grandma kisses" is considered a kiss, then we have a kissing baby. And while it was ridiculously adorable to watch, it was also a little uncomfortable as Daddy pointed out that open-mouth tongue kisses probably aren't appropriate for at least another decade and a half.

Four days spent very busy, but busy in the best, most wonderful way: celebrating life's everyday pleasures and cherishing our time together spent simply loving.

And experimenting with fun new baby gadgets. Cayden fits perfectly into his beach chair, and the Sundome that has been collecting dust in the nursery for over a year was broken out. And we made grand plans for baby pools at multiple houses this summer and even splurged on a racecar pool float for trips to big pools this summer.

We wiggled our toes in the grass for the first times this spring -- we waited way, way too long for that this year -- and Cayden discovered that handfuls of green grass and brown, dried grass clippings are ticklish, even if not so tasty. We planned and planted, and now we excitedly let nature take over, anticipating the fruits (well, veggies, really) of our labor, hoping and praying our garden grows us wonderful, fresh summer treats in a few weeks.

Cayden even got to sleepover with Auntie 'Cole and Uncle Will Saturday night, which meant Mama and Daddy got to sleep in for the first time in weeks on Sunday morning. And then when we walked in to pick the Chicken up, as soon as he saw us he grinned the biggest, widest, tooth-baring grin and squealed the best squeal I've seen and heard in days.

And Auntie 'Cole got to witness a big milestone Sunday morning. Grandma said, "It wasn't pretty and it wasn't fast, but it was definitely a crawl." And she's right on all three counts: it looks awkward and cumbersome, he's not setting any speed records, but he is definitely, finally crawling. After months of dry-humping and weeks of creeping and half-crawls-half-belly-flops, Cayden now deliberately and purposefully positions his arms and legs in a somewhat coordinated effort to move forward. Oh, and he figured out how to get into and out of a sitting position all on his own.

Butt bumps aside (we're thinking the Coxsackievirus has to clean up here in the next few days), it was a pretty darn good weekend.

Cayden is nine-and-a half-months old, and he makes my heart swell, my soul smile and my breath catch every time he crosses my mind. I am falling in love more and more every day, and this exhiliarating freefall is surprisingly intense and all-consuming.

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