Wednesday, November 16, 2011


This will be a slightly unusual post for me.  I was so incredibly moved and fascinated by the Diane Sawyer special about Gabby Giffords, the Arizona senator who was tragically shot  in the head on January 8, 2011. I've had that special on my mind since the second I began watching it. I thought a good way to express my thoughts would be right here in the ol' blog.

Not only has Gabby's incredible journey struck me as nothing short of a miracle, but I sort of feel a weird universe alignment to her incident as it happened the day that Walt was born. I distinctly remember Chris reading me CNN updates while I was in labor, and during our stay at the hospital the news was fixated on this terrible event.  Since that day, Gabby has beaten every odd in the book. It's amazing she's even alive, but she walks and talks and is gaining strength daily.  Really, this special was truly moving.

Two things touched me about Gabby's recovery: one was optimism, and one was music. I'll talk about music some other day. The notion about optimism was such a needed boost, and I really think we all could use this reminder to one degree or another. From the moment of the accident, Gabby's husband, Mark Kelly, had a relentlessly positive attitude. He ensued this on others as well. He firmly believed that positive thinking was a powerful form of healing.  I have always heard this, and always subscribed to it... but seeing it in action was breathtaking.  I can't imagine the times that it seemed everything was against those two and they teamed up to power through with a smile on their face...

A smile on their face...

I know few people have had their physical and emotional selves tried to the degree that Gabby and Mark have, but everything is relative, right?  Right now, my "pink eye" seems like the worst thing on the planet. We all have our own challenges. So, why not apply a little of the Gabby/Mark Optimism to power through? Maybe put a smile on my face as I leave the house with no make up and hideous glasses.  Will the optimism fix my problem? No. But, it could make it just a little easier to deal with.

My mini challenge to you (and me) is to try to put a smile on your face during the hardest times.  Always be realistic about the decisions you face. You don't need to sugar coat things to be an optimist.  But, make sure to see the good in things. Last, be thankful. Sound kitchy b/c we're a week from Thanksgiving? It probably is. But, isn't the point of Thanksgiving: to be grateful? Just because you're not the one who survived a debilitating gunshot wound to the head, doesn't mean you don't have your own obstacles you've overcome. Recognize those victories, smile, and be thankful :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Walt is TEN Months

Walt is already in double digits?! Wow.  I'm in shock. It feels like I was pregnant just yesterday (though part of me feels like that was a totally different life).  We now have a full-fledged mover who is the coolest, funniest, happiest, sweetest little thing in our lives.  At 10 months, Walt does the following:

1. Crawl for real!  Just when I thought he'd army crawl his way to prom, I brought him home one day and he was off. Literally. I'm not sure he's sat still since!
2. Pulling up:  About 60 seconds after figuring out the crawling thing, Walt realized he could get into more things on his feet. He often makes a beeline to electrical outlets, breakables, or anything that could potentially cause choking or stitches.
3. More waving: Walt waves at EVERYTHING. He waves when someone walks in the room, when someone leaves the room, when he pulls up on something, when he wants something...etc, etc, etc. 
4. Eating: eh, still not as perfect as I'd like (I have high expectations!).  He happily eats stage 2 baby foods. I can occasionally sneak in a stage 3. As for table food, he'll try a bite or two of avocado or black beans, but it usually ticks him off and he just makes the rest of the meal miserable.  We're going to try some pasta this week. He has backed off his bottles a tiny bit--Just drinking 6 oz now.  So, at least he's slowly weaning off that!
5. Naps: Still takes (and loves) his two naps. One in the a.m. and one in the p.m.  Walt's school wants me to work towards one nap (I guess the class above him does just one nap). Walt (and I) are not ready for that, so I politely didn't give permission.  Controlling mommy? Perhaps.

Speaking of Walt's school, they keep telling me how big he is. His teacher told me the other day that he looks like a toddler (GASP).  My baby, a toddler??! Where does the time go?!  In the midst of the chaos, I definitely try to make a conscious effort to soak in all the moments. Here's the little guy (very unhappy with our photo shoot):
My long-legged cutie!

He was really unimpressed with me posing and poking on him
Sitting big :)

This is the look (and whine) I get a LOT when he's just done with me.  It's half faking, half real...but fully hilarious

Monday, November 7, 2011

Dylan Brady Harris - WELCOME!

I must say, I sure love this time of being a grown up where we're constantly welcoming new life into the world. It definitely seems that 2010 and 2011 were record years for people we know having kiddos. 

Last Thursday, Mr. Dylan Brady Harris (newborn son to my high school friend Renee (Chafitz) Harris and her super great husband, Jacob) made his appearance to the world! The Harris's are very, very dear friends to us and we couldn't be happier for their newest arrival. Walt is especially excited to have yet another playmate. He sent his well wishes with me and told me to tell Dylan he's excited to show him how to drool, clap, and get into trouble :)

I went up to the hospital on Friday to see mom, dad, and Baby Dylan.  Holding newborns is such a fabulous feeling! They are only that little and completely helpless for such a small amount of time, that you really have to soak in the moments. Having been a mommy for (almost) 10 months, it's times like these that remind me not to wish Walt does things he's not yet doing, but enjoy exactly where he is.  Here are some delicious pics of the handsome boy:

Just precious. I could have put him in my pocket!

You can't see, but this kiddo has a full head of hair! At first glance, he's a perfect little mix of his mom and dad
CONGRATS Harris's! Can't wait to continue our friendship with the next generation!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Doits, Dats, and Uh-Oh

You can put down the phone.  No need to call the asylum just yet. I haven't quite lost my marbles. My blog title simply reflects Walt's inventive little language.  He has developed the cutest little babble. He is using inflections in his jibberish, so it sounds like a real conversation. He'll even ask nonsense questions. "Ba ba dats?"

The one word he uses most frequently is "dats".  He has just figured out the "s" sound and loves to make things plural. Usually the "s" gets dragged out to "ssssssssssssssss".  In my head, I thought "dats" was a substitute for "that" (he points at things and says it). But in reality, I think it's just a Walt-ism. 

"Doits" came out of Walt's mouth on the way to gym class last week and had Chris and I in stitches. What a funny little word!  We've now named his bath toys "The Doits."  We have quite the collection of professionals in that family: there is Judge Doits, Senator Doits, and others :)

Finally, Walt loves to say "uh-oh".  Usually it comes out just "uh-uh", but with his aforementioned inflections, he clearly is trying to portray this popular phrase. One favorite context is tossing his sippy cup on the floor and exclaiming, "uh-oh!"  Not funny, Walt!

I wish I had some of his words on video. Hopefully soon. It's been a tough week for Mr. Munka Man. He's been taking breathing treatments since Tues. and now has a ravenous diaper rash (he's never had diaper rash! Even when he was itty bitty!)  The poor little booger is just a pitiful mess. Next week should be better and maybe he'll perform a bit for the camera :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Walt's First Halloween

I must say, Walt's first Halloween was a huge success!  By success I basically mean that he went along with all our hoopla with very little push back. It was like a tame episode of Toddlers and Tiaras (only not tiaras, or tutus) 

As most of you saw, Walt dressed up as a monkey (appropriately given his multitude of nicknames: Munks, Munka, Munka Man). He was certainly not a fan of his head piece, but with some distractions, he forgot it was on his head :)  One of my other concerns was Walt's early bedtime. So, we went out early, but just walked around. We didn't start ringing doorbells until it was almost dark.  Once other kiddos started to emerge, Walt loved watching them whiz by in a whirlwind of giggles. He never got scared when we went up to people's houses and usually got more excited when family pets greeted him versus getting candy in his bucket. I can't wait for many more Halloweens to come! And thanks, Walt, for all the candy for mom and dad!

Papa Chuck and Papa Ronni came by to see the Munks
Full body shot of the whole get up. I loved the big feet!
Get this silly hat off my head!
Still trying to get rid of the hat, but at least with a smile on his face

And we're off!

Taking advantage of our neighbor, Chris's, killer carved pumpkins. There were so many!