Tuesday, April 19, 2011

5 years/7 months/1 week

Five years of marriage. Seven months with Annabelle. One week without her. Steve and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary with a trip to Barbuda, sans Annabelle. Leading up to the trip, I did not want to leave her behind. Note, I didn't say I didn't want to go, just didn't want to leave Annabelle! But we did, and it was just fine. On one hand, it's so nice to know that we can leave her with her Nana & Grandpop and know that she's safe and healthy and basically just as happy as she is with us. On the other hand, it's a bit deflating to realize that if Steve & I dropped off the face of the earth tomorrow it probably wouldn't affect her all that much.
Light House Bay Resort, Barbuda
On our Fifth Anniversary

Anniversary cake
morning coffee on the beach
Our Suite
We both love that little girl with every ounce of our being. In just 7 short months, she has truly become my everything. With that being said, Steve and I truly had a fabulous time together last week. Yes, we missed her terribly. No, we don't plan to leave her for a full week EVER again (yes, I realize by our sixth anniversary, we may have changed our minds especially if she has the terrible two's her big sister allegedly had). Before her birth, I read Babywise which is partly, in a nutshell, about how important it is for parents to remain close partners and have the baby fit into our lives and still putting each other first rather than us conforming to her. At first I was a bit iffy about how much I agreed with the book as I never thought we would raise a baby according to what a book told us to do, but as I knew nothing about babies, I went along with the scheduling & feeding suggestions and by 5 weeks she was sleeping consistently through the night, and I'm talking 8-10 hours. We had our first 7 hour night at just under 3 weeks old and now she's a 12-13 hour sleeper. And her mealtimes and nap times are almost like clockwork. I guess my point is that although we didn't really need a book to remind us to stay close as a couple, Steve & I do and have always done everything together,  I must say that it was kind of nice to have it in "black and white" that it's okay for us to have "us" time to celebrate our five incredible years of marriage!

lunch on our deck
deserted beach
During our week away, we had long, hard days of doing almost nothing! Barbuda became just about our favorite place in the world when we visited the first time in 2009. The resort sits on about 16 miles of uninterrupted, gorgeous pink and white sand so we were able to have some really nice looooong walks, rested on the beach after those walks and just truly relaxed. We skyped Annabelle at least once, usually twice, daily and of course told everyone we spoke to about our darling little girl back at home. By the time Saturday came back around and it was time to come home, for maybe the first time ever, I wasn't longing for a few more days. I was ready to see Annabelle again! As we climbed into the tiny helicopter we had to take back to the airport in Antigua, all I could think about was that I hoped the pilot was quick because I didn't want to be squeezed into such a small space for very long. That thought quickly went away when he pointed out mother and calf humpback whales splashing and playing just below us! The pilot took us down to just a couple hundred or so feet above them and circled for about 20 minutes as we watched their incredible acrobatics, jumping, tale slapping and just playing like mommies and babies do! I really don't think I've ever been moved by anything as much as I was watching those beautiful creatures. Over the years I have been slowly becoming more and more of an animal rights activist (no, not PETA-like, I still love my steak!), but I don't think I'll ever be able to take Annabelle to Sea World, aquariums, etc. Nothing as beautiful as what we watched should ever be locked away in a tank anywhere, for any reason! The only sad part about it is that I will probably never see anything like that ever again. The entire week was totally worth those 20 minutes! And watching that mommy & baby made me love mine even more.

On the chopper

That speck waaaaay in the background is our hotel

My sweetheart
Hotel way in the distance again. Love the rugged
driftwood behind me.
Steve with some of the staff 
You can see the calf under the water here and
the tip of the mom's fin in her huge splash
Here is a short video of the whales. Please excuse about the first 30 seconds, I didn't want to risk missing anything when I knew we were coming upon them!

Annabelle had started crawling just before we left, but during our week away she became much better at it. She also started pulling herself up to standing just the night before we left. What a big girl she's becoming! She now moves around quite quickly, usually in the general direction of Macy. Thankfully (for her) Macy is still much faster than Annabelle. I do wonder how long that is going to last. I know that she had a great time with her Nana & Grandpop during her week with them and wasn't spoiled at all. Sure. She absolutely loves to swing, so of course Grandpop had to hang a swing just for her at their house. And I have noticed at least one pair of shoes that she didn't have before we left, courtesy of her Nana. How lucky we all are that she has such wonderful grandparents!

Crawling away from her bath

I know she's our baby, but seriously, how cute is she?!! I love that look of pure and total joy on her face in the pics of her swinging. And I love the sweet and innocent look as she's escaping after her bath. Basically, I just love every little thing she does! And as I've said so many times before, life just keeps getting more fabulous every day!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

We have a little crawler!

She finally made it to Daddy!
Look at that happy face!
Today Annabelle truly and officially crawled. She made a little creep across the floor quite awhile ago and over the weekend started doing a bit of the army crawl forward, then up on her knees and backwards but today was an official "hands and knees" crawl! She's still quite slow (thankfully) but we're just loving her excitement in this new discovery of motion. She came across the living to get to me this afternoon (or maybe Macy) and tonight it was much quicker to get to her Daddy. I feel quite certain now that she can make her own way she would probably cross a desert to get to him.

The past week has actually been an eventful one in her little life. We visited Steve at work last Monday night when he was on OB call (I brought dinner, she brought dessert). While we were there another physician came into the lounge and oohd and ahhd over Annabelle. As she left, of course she said "Bye bye" and waved. Straight out of nowhere, Annabelle picked up her little arm and waved back! Then another guy came and went; she waved again. Wondering if it was just a two-time fluke, I waved and said "bye bye". And she waved at me, too! I find it incredible just how observant she obviously is as we haven't tried to teach her that yet, she just noticed that's what people do. So now it's what Annabelle does, too.

Over the weekend, Annabelle developed her first little cold and it just melted my heart. It is basically already over now, but for three days she had a snuffly nose, chesty little cough and sneeze sneeze sneeze. It's probably ridiculous that I even found her little cold to be cute, but it was. Often when she feels a sneeze coming on, she calmly removes the paci from her mouth, gives a huge (tiny) little sneeze, coos and puts the paci back into her mouth. It's almost as though she likes to sneeze. Who knows, maybe it's fun for such a little baby to make such a big sound.

We're both really glad she started crawling this week. Next Friday is our 5 year anniversary and we are going to Barbuda without her for a week. When we booked the trip Annabelle was of course adorable, but she didn't "do" as much as she does now. I had been so worried she would start crawling while we were away and we would miss it. So much that I had instructed my mom to knock her over (gently) if she started to crawl next week! I know that it will be good for us to be together "just us" for the week, but I just know we are going to miss this little girl like crazy. For all of you who told me before she was born that  I wouldn't want to leave her: you were right! I know I said I would still want to go places with just Steve because for 5 years that's been such a big part of our lives. And I do still want to go all over the place with Steve, but Annabelle better be ready because she's going, too!

Already miss these two!