Thursday, June 30, 2011

... of no more international travel... for awhile...

This is the look of one tired baby.

We just got back from Guatemala on Monday. One of Quinn's best friends Luis is originally from there, but went to college in Florida and has lived in Austin working at Quinn's company for something like 10 years. During his visits back home to see his family over the years, he met a beautiful girl from his hometown. After many years of a very long distance relationship, Luis finally moved back to Guatemala to marry her and start their new life there! We miss him already (I know Quinn definitely misses him), but we were glad that we could make it down to Guatemala for the wedding.

The original plan was to leave Abram with my mom for the almost five days and have the trip be a third anniversary vacation for Quinn and I. However, as the day approached and I got more and more apprehensive about the logistics of leaving my 7 month old for five days, we decided to bring him with us. The logistics of taking a 7 month old on an international trip almost rival leaving him behind, but we were remembering how great Abram was on our trip to the Middle East a few months ago. I didn't comprehend the difference between traveling with a 4 month old and traveling with a 7 month old. A word to jet-setting parents out there: If you have a choice, go before they start eating solid foods, grabbing at everything, putting everything in their mouth, crawling, rolling over, and "talking". These wonderfully exciting baby developments make plane travel a little less enjoyable. But here we are, waiting at the Austin airport, still happy.

We flew from Austin to Houston and Houston to Guatemala City. We met up with 6 other friends of Luis' who came from the States for the wedding and Luis, Sara (his fiance), Pasqual (Sara's brother), and Isaias (Luis' brother) loaded up with us in a big van and we headed south about 3 hours to Santiago Atitlan. I wish that we had gotten more pictures of the drive. It was beautiful, but we were a little preoccupied with trying to get Abram to fall asleep since he was incredibly tired from the plan rides.

Quinn and Abram and I stayed in a really nice "hotel": Posado de Santiago, which was basically a great restaurant with about 15 cute little cottages.

Our cottage: "Casa Quetzal"

They had really great food at the restaurant and it wasn't very expensive at all, so we had food delivered or we went down there for almost every meal. We ate breakfast "in" bed every morning, while trying to keep Abram from getting into all of the food. Now that he is very efficiently scooting, it's hard to keep him away from things.

The foliage around our cottage was amazing. Quinn is usually the one taking the pictures, but I would take the camera from him to get pictures of all the pretty flowers and plants I saw just so I could show them to my mom. She is forever stopping wherever we happen to be walking to point out pretty plants and tell me what they are and whether or not she has them planted at her house and if not, why... :) I love you, Mom.

While on a walk across the street and down to the lake, we found the pool (it's the bright blue):

and a hobbit door:

Quinn and Abram on the walk

There was also a sauna and hot tub at our hotel, but we didn't get in any water while we were there. There was a enough rain from Saturday night through Monday morning when we left to satiate our desire for water. There was also a hammock in front of our cottage, but Abram was the only one who ended up using it.

We did find and purchase a pretty cool invention for traveling kiddos before we left called the Pea Pod. It is a baby tent with a thin air mattress for sleeping and playing. It would work for the beach or camping as well and it folds up fairly small. We were able to fit it with all of Abram's other stuff in a carry on sized suitcase. The cottage ended up having 2 beds, which was great, because we were able to put Abram on the smaller bed instead of the floor and cover one side of his tent with a towel. I like it way better than when we had him in the Pack n Play in our hotel a few weeks ago for my grandpa's wedding. You can kinda get the idea of it from this photo.

Pretty neat invention. Worth the money, for sure.

Two of the other people who came from Austin were our friends Akin and Masami. Akin works with Quinn and Luis and we were so glad that we were able to spend some time with them this weekend.

We were able to get this good picture of our family one night:

because Akin was willing to do this to make Abram look up:

But the reason we were there in the first place were these two wonderful people:

Luis y Sara

Sara loved Abram and was always willing to hold him.

Quinn and Luis

Their wedding was beautiful, but we weren't able to get nearly enough pictures. But the guys' coworker, Ryan brought his amazing camera and equipment and was the official wedding photographer. I saw some of his shots uploading on his computer and they are gorgeous. He said that he will give us all copies of the photos and I'm so excited to see all of the stuff I didn't see because I was rocking Abram to sleep a quarter mile away during the middle of the 2 hour ceremony. But here are a few of what I was able to get:

They are so cute

A little girl (Naomi), fascinated by Abram at the wedding

There was a lot of other stuff we did and many, many other things that happened, but I've already gotten too long winded for my liking. Let's just say that this trip made me just a bit more apprehensive about the Colorado/Idaho trip we will be taking in August with an almost 9 month old. You would think after being on 12 planes before his 9th month, Abram would be an old pro, but each one has gotten progressively harder for him and us. Let's hope he starts getting better on this next trip.

Here's to positive thinking!!
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

... of summer water fun

We just returned from a five day trip to Guatemala to attend one of Quinn's best friend's weddings.   I won't go into detail now, because we have pictures that I will share at a later date. And I am so tired that I don't have the energy to do it all now.  

But in my very long blog break, my son has gotten cuter.  Here is a video of him playing in the sink with Nana.

Monday, June 20, 2011

... of baby proofing

My mom is visiting and it is so good to have Nana around. Abram has finally warmed up to her (there was a bit of stranger anxiety in the beginning, like he has had with most non-mom and dad people recently), but now he gives her lots of smiles. It's neat because she has been here to see most of the evolution of his pre-crawl scoot. I would venture to say that she will probably be around to see the actual crawl since she doesn't go home until July 5th and he is literally making daily progress with his mobility. Crazy that it happens that fast!

Here is the latest Abram scooting video:

He can now make it all the way across his mat.

I am going to need to vacuum the rug in the living room every day now. Our cat, Obadiah, likes to lay on it and there is cat hair embedded in it at all times. When combined with clammy Smith-boy hands and incessant thumb and hand sucking you get lots of cat hair in the mouth. Yuck. My cat has enough hairballs, I want to avoid letting my son get them.

That's going to be all for now. I have to start packing for Guatemala. We decided we are going to take Abram, so I have to figure out how to travel with a solids-eating, rolling and scooting baby on a plane - internationally. Whew. We'll see.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

... of a visible scoot

Documenting day number three of Abram's crawling progress. The scooting is getting much more visible and I have a feeling the days are numbered before we will be full on crawling. It's pretty cool how he literally makes daily progress.

Well, Chelsea is here and I better get some stuff done so I don't regret not using the time later!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

... of an old married couple

The church we attend is a relatively young church. Much of the congregation attends UT, Texas State, or St. Edwards or have recently graduated from them. Therefore, most people are single or newly married. Most. In the last few years we have added some "older" couples to the church and they are such a blessing. But the Newly/Nearly married class continues to get bigger and bigger every semester and once a couple hits about three years, they are considered old and wise. So here we are. Old and wise. According to those around us, but not to ourselves. Quinn and I have been married for three years today and we both know that we have a TON of growing still to do. I still kinda feel like a newlywed and I keep thinking: "Should we have a baby yet or was this too soon?" Luckily, we had nothing to do with that decision, so we can completely trust that God felt like we were ready (for whatever reason...)

Here are some pictures of my wonderful husband and me:

Happy Anniversary, Quinn Smith.
I love you so much.

On an Abram note, I almost titled this post "... of the scoot" because just yesterday, he started to be able to pull himself in tiny little increments toward things that he wants. He is using his arms at times and his legs at others, but not together just yet. Here is yet another video where I sound like a crazy person, but just focus on the baby, people.

Better stop blogging so often and start baby proofing the house. But I like to share these moments when they happen with friends and family. And, with our family so far away, we want to make sure you are all privy to what the Bubba accomplishes almost daily now.

So to Grandma Gae and Bopa Scott, and Nana and Papa, and Grandpa Dan and Grandma Barbara, and Grandma Wadene who we know are reading this right now... Abram says:

"Where? Where are they?!"

"Oh. Ha ha. They're not here. You're just talking about them. Well, that was a little awkward. Thanks, Mom. Anyway. Hey, guys. I'll see you all soon!"

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

... of a regular mother's helper

I have had a "mother's helper" come over one day for the last two weeks and it's been great. One of my former students who is now a college sophomore and has lots of kid experience is still looking for a job this summer and so I asked her if she would want to come hang out with Abram for a few hours a couple weeks ago so that I could get some stuff done. And it went really well! She played with him and took him for a walk while I scrubbed the kitchen and vacuumed and then while he was taking a nap, she dusted the whole front of the house (including the blinds!). It was fantastic. She even got this super cute picture of him on their walk.

So when she didn't have a job the next week, we scheduled a time for her to come over again. And she played with Abram in the pool while I did some laundry and unloaded the dishwasher, etc.

And then while he was taking his nap I ran to the store to get a few essentials and she helped me with a painting I was doing for a friend (she's a really talented artist), and it was maybe a little less productive, but still good.

Now, we have talked about her coming over this week on Thursday, which is great. However in my silly Anaka-mind, I keep thinking of things that I need to do and thinking: "Well, I'll just wait and do it when Chelsea is here". So nothing is getting done and the list for Thursday is getting ever longer and its completion is getting much less likely.

So I guess a mother's helper can be a great thing. But if you are anything like me, it can be a bad thing as well. I really need to have two lists: one of things I can do with Abram and one of things that I really can't do with him. That way I will only add certain things to the Chelsea-day list and I will (hopefully) get the other list done during the rest of the week...

... as I sit here blogging an uploading videos during his nap...

Here is a relatively uneventful, but cute one of him playing in his walker:

And finally a cute picture of Daddy reading the Hug-a-Bible to Abram.

Monday, June 13, 2011

... of weddings, weddings, and more weddings!

"Bring 'em on."

Many of you are probably in the same boat. June seems to be wedding month, doesn't it? Quinn and I were married on June 15th (almost exactly three years ago)! And this past weekend we attended two weddings in two different Texas cities.

The first was my Grandpa Roy's wedding to Miss Betty. My Grandma Ardelle passed away about two years ago and we all miss her dearly, but I am so glad that my grandpa has found someone that he is excited to spend the rest of his life with.

Grandpa and Betty

The wedding was just outside of Ben Wheeler, Texas (in between Tyler and Canton - for those of you who are up on your Texas geography). The first night my parents and other grandparents (my two sets of grandparents have been friends since before they were all married to each other) stayed in a hotel in Canton. So we got to hang out with them. I always feel a little bad seeing family with Abram, because he is still at the age where he doesn't remember anybody and he freaks out when he is around a lot of "new" people. So my mom (and Quinn's mom has had the same reaction) gets a little sad when he starts crying when she holds him. So Quinn and I ended up holding him while he played with people most of the time. We got some good smiling pictures, because all we have to do to get Abram to smile is clap. That's it. And if Abram doesn't know you and you want him to smile at you, just clap. So there. Now you know the Smith family secret. So here are some family photos of Abram and guaranteed, if he is smiling, someone is clapping on the other side of the camera.

Abram in his formal wedding attire

Checking his pretty Nana out at the wedding.

New favorite game: "Are you upside down?!"

Hanging with Papa at the hotel.

Playing with Great Grandpa Louis by the hotel pool.

With Papa at the wedding.

So, Quinn was asked to be the "wedding photographer" at this wedding. He was a bit worried about this, seeing as he has not really picked up his camera in quite some time. But he was happy to do it. There wasn't quite the same pressure as there would be with a young couple who has the standards of super original, highly edited, millions-o-digital photos that all of their friends have had. Grandpa and Betty just wanted some pictures to remember the day. It was actually really neat to see their ideas of traditional wedding photos. I don't think many young couples get this shot:

But it's pretty cute.

Here are a few more unedited ones that I thought were good.

Then we stayed the night Saturday night in Canton, just the three of us. We had good burgers at a restaurant converted from a gas station and started our 5 hour drive home at around 9 am. The trick to keeping Abram happy for a few hours in the car: switch up the toys.

Also, show him any kind of electronic device.

After we were home for about 2 hours - long enough for a Bubba nap and some Mommy and Daddy showers - we were off to wedding #2. Quinn's friend from college and work, Ilya, got married to Jessica on their six year dating anniversary.

They got married at the One World Theatre in Austin, which was so pretty!

A few of Quinn's friends from college and work were there, including one of his groomsmen from our wedding: Mr. Matt Manchester.

Both looking a little less hairy than they did three years ago.

Abram did pretty good at this wedding, considering his very long weekend/day. He was smiling at everyone... until he got tired... and hungry... at the same time. Bad combo. We tried the car seat, which usually works:

(Even the buckle is fascinating).

But he wouldn't calm down until we fed him. So we gave him carrots, peas, green beans, and pears, which all kinda mixed together. But he didn't seem to mind. Then he got his bottle and he started to fall asleep while eating. So we knew it was time to call it a night and we headed home.

And that was our busy wedding weekend! Next weekend is wedding-free, but we are going to the Hillsong United concert on Saturday with our community group! Nana will be here and will babysit Abram. We are hoping it will be a good introduction for both of them to leave him with her when we go to our next wedding the next weekend in Guatemala! One of Quinn's best friends is a native Guatemalan and has moved back to marry his fiance, Sara. We are very excited to see them finally get to be together forever, but a little apprehensive about leaving Abram behind for 5 days. So we are still deciding if we should leave him or take him (ah, the blessings of having an under 2 year old). We would be sad to leave, but glad to have a little three year anniversary trip. So we shall see!

And, with that, a tired Abram and Anaka say:

"Until next time!"