Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Strawberry Fields Forever

Mimi's in town and I am getting so much done! For the first time in 3 months I am actually ahead with my work and I am getting some great running in (without the BOB!) Don't get me wrong - I love motherhood, but the occasional recharge is a necessity! Luckily we have a Mimi to provide that :)
Today we went to the Strawberry Fields in Carlsbad where you can pick strawberries yourself! What an adventure! Declan absolutely loved it.
While Mimi and I worked diligently on filling our bucket, Declan took on the important job of eating as many strawberries as he possibly could.
"This is great!"
Impatient and not willing to wait for us to hand him the berries, Dec took matters into his own hands.
Here he is yelling at a strawberry because it is stuck on the vine. He really wants that berry!
He finally got one off the vine! We won't tell him that it isn't ripe yet :)

Another fun day! When we got home, Dec took an extra long nap, I worked, and Mimi made strawberry bread for us -yummy!

Walking Status: Dec took 11 steps yesterday! He is really into it. He continually is taking 3-5 steps multiple times a day. A funny side note -when he walks, he YELLS! It's like he is telling the world - "Look at me!"

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hoppy Easter!

A few weeks ago we visited Carey for some fun bunny pictures! Unfortunately Declan didn't really dig the bunny situation. But, you wouldn't know it from the pictures - so cute!
And, just for fun, almost exactly a year ago today:

Walking Status: 9 steps yesterday while we were at the pool!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Having A Blast At His Birthday Bash

 Today we celebrated Dec's first birthday with friends and family! What a great day! Luckily Declan took a two hour nap this morning, waking up 5 minutes before his party began. I couldn't have asked for more! I know it was because of that nap that our birthday boy really enjoyed his day.

I had so much fun planning Dec's party. We've been to quite a few first birthday parties, so I had lots to draw from! We went with an outer space theme. Below are a few pictures I took before the party. 
The party favors - beach buckets decorated with the kids names & outer space stickers.

 The backyard -

And the cup cakes. Those of you that know me, know my love of cake. So, this is where the blood, sweat, and tears came in! I think I made about 65 cup cakes (way too many!) - a project I was so excited about until I got about half way through! A little more work than I anticipated, but the outcome was well worth it. I bought the cup cake toppers off my new favorite website for a ridiculously good price: ETSY!
Let the party begin! 
Bouncing with his buds in the bounce house!
Birthday cake for the second day in a row! The kid knew what to do! No holding back with cake at the Herkert house. 
And (some of) the party crew. Looking at all these little people, I feel so fortunate that Declan has such good friends that helped make his first year fun! And, I am thankful for the awesome mom friends I get to share this journey with - close & far away!

Cassidy, Dec, and Micah loved the ice bucket!
The after party - Dec & Micah exploring, as usual!
Happy Birthday Declan!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Happy First Birthday Declan!

We started the day with a POP! After all, it was a special day and I wanted Declan to know it! So, we blew up a package of balloons - oh what fun it was! Declan loved it - especially when we blew them up and let them fly around the room!
And, he gave me a very special birthday present - he slept in until 8:00AM! I can't remember the last time this happened!
 Next, off to the Flower Fields to play in dirt...time well spent for any one year old boy!
Dad came home early from work so we could open presents! Declan got a water & sand table, a pool toy, and Toy Story the movie.
The water table was a big hit!
Time for dinner! We haven't given the little guy mac & cheese yet (believe it or not)! We thought his first birthday would be the perfect introduction. And, you guessed it - he LOVED it!
Time for cake! I have to admit, I have given Dec a few licks of frosting with my finger over the past month while I am baking. Now whenever he hears the mixer, he crawls quickly into the kitchen, sticks his finger in his mouth and pulls it out multiple times in a row! I think he is asking for a bite of frosting!
Needless to say, Declan loved his yellow cake with chocolate frosting (I chose this flavor because it is Adam's favorite).
Happy First Birthday Declan! We can't wait to see the joys you will bring us during your second year. We love you so much!

12 Months

Declan my dear, one year ago today
You changed my life in the most significant way!

At 3:27 pm I looked into your eyes,
And instantly fell in love, taking me completely by surprise!

Every day since I wonder when the novelty of you will dissipate.
But it hasn't - I still wake up with butterflies knowing that parenting you is my fate.

Getting to know you has been such a blast;
Watching you reach milestones and growing up so fast!

Your 12th month was filled with many firsts, each making us proud.
A hair cut, the snow & taking steps had us clapping out loud!

My favorite moment this month was when Micah came over to play;
Your laughing fit at the window makes me giggle to this day.

Your new thing is saying "up" as you ascend each stair.
I love watching you climb, taking the steps with such care.

Lately "ball" and "Nemo" are words we sometimes hear,
Although the verbalization is still a little unclear.

Another month filled with fun - at the aquarium we saw fish,
We visited the flower fields, and ate spaghetti surprise -simply de'lish!

You're becoming a physical little dude-
Dancing and head shaking, all with attitude!

Dad and you are joined at the hip.
Watching you light up when you hear his truck is really a trip.

We've recently discovered that you like to clean -
Helping me and even the window washer, you make everything gleam!

A master at "feet first", you follow this rule whenever you descend;
Even crawling down the driveway backward from beginning to end!

If you are stumped by a question, you raise both hands in perplex,
It's your way of saying, "what the heck?"

I sign off reluctantly, for this is my final rhyme -
Well until you turn two, which will happen in no time!

Thank you for sharing this magical year.
The fact that it is over brings me to tears.

Tomorrow we will celebrate with friends and fam
Your first year of life, my little man.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Last Day Of Childhood, & His First

I truly believe that your childhood lasts until you become a parent. From that minute on, you are a bona fide adult. Prior to parenthood, decisions are made based on fun; after they are made based on safety and logic. But, really you gain so much more in parenthood than you give up.
The last day of my childhood was exactly a year ago today. It was my last day of work at Brookfield (although at the time I didn't know it). Declan was due on March 27th. Thinking I would take the day off before his due date for any last minute preparations, I arranged for the 25th to be my final day. And what a great last day it was! The girls from work took me to The Brigantine for lunch. I still remember how good that lunch tasted - I fully indulged, with the knowledge that soon I would be on the post baby diet.
Busy my entire pregnancy with work and school, I remember driving home feeling bored and thinking, "what am I going to do tomorrow?" By 9:00 that night I had my answer! For me labor came on slowly. Adam and I were watching Kung-Foo Panda and something just felt different. Not wanting to jump the gun, I don't even think I told Adam. Around midnight I was pretty sure little Declan was on his way. Knowing that I wouldn't be able to sleep, I woke up Adam, told him I was having contractions and that I was going to clean the house to keep myself busy. Below is a picture of the paper where I kept track of how far apart my contractions were.

At 3:40AM I called the docotor. He told me to stay home for as long as possible. With the house clean, & my bag in the car, there was nothing left for me to do! So I woke up Adam and suggested we watch Knocked Up to kill time. After the movie, we finally headed to the hospital. Almost immediately upon arriving at the hospital (about 7:00AM) the contractions really kicked into gear. I remember looking at the clock around 10:00AM, completely terrified. All of a sudden, the lack of sleep from the previous night caught up to me and I felt exhausted. I didn't know how I was going to make it through. I think from that point until Declan was born, I kind of lost it. Doing anything I could to make it through the contractions - poor Adam really took the brunt of it. I can't say I was exactly nice. I remember telling Adam, "This is it. We are only having one!" I think some cuss words followed. But, I made it through. And at 3:27PM Declan was born. The minute Dr. Gerber laid him on my stomach, I was a changed woman. The feelings I felt for him were so intense, I can't begin to explain it. Even though I hadn't slept the night before, I couldn't sleep that night. I just kept looking at Declan in disbelief. It was the best night of my life. In the morning I told Adam that I wanted at least two more! I cannot believe it has been a whole year!

PS -Walking Update: He took 4 steps on Wednesday :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Blueberry Bribes

Hey there! Declan here. I had the best morning! I'm sure you all know how much I love blueberries! Luckily mom keeps them with her all of the time. She uses them to entice me into my car seat, to keep me busy while she is shopping, and it seems like they are always available on our outings. Well, Aunt Jen suggested to mom to plant a blueberry bush in the backyard (brilliant!), so that is how we spent our morning.

First dad had to dig a plant out of the yard...I helped by eating the excess dirt.
After dad took the plant out, there was a big hole. I got in it to make sure it was deep enough for my blueberry bush.
Looks good! Next we planted the bush and moved dirt on top of it. This was my favorite part - I swept the dirt in with my hands...
And this is wear it really gets good - dad started hosing everything off... I knew mom would love it if I got really dirty!
What? I have to take a bath now?

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