Saturday, May 23, 2015

Curran is One!

Its been a whole year since our special Curran joined our family

Unfortunately he was super duper sick on his actual birthday (and our anniversary. Someday we'll have a normal anniversary...) so we waited a few days to celebrate his birthday until he was feeling better. After all, having one's first birthday cake (or in his case, cupcake) is an important event! Plus we had already gone to the zoo and his first baseball game in the weeks before as part of his birthday + our anniversary celebration, so we decided to do this last activity at our own pace.
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Daddy helped Curran blow out his candle
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We ordered some cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake for Mother's Day and our anniversary, so Curran got to have an extra special cupcake for his birthday. The significance may be lost on him, but we're still glad he got to have a taste of something important to us and our time in Virginia. Curran also really likes to give Joey tastes of his food. He never shares with me, but he and Daddy are buds when its meal time.
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Yeah. This is how most of his cupcake smash went. It reminded me of all the times my mom tried to have a special moment or photo as a family and someone was mad or another was crying while a third refused to smile. And suddenly I felt my life had come full circle as I now just wanted one darn happy cupcake smash for his first birthday. So, sorry for all the moments us kids ruined, mom!  
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Once he finally stopped crying and actually gave the cupcake a taste he was actually rather pleased, even more so to rub that yellow frosting all over his tray. 
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And there's our happy boy!

Oh my dear Curran, we're so glad you're part of this family! Being your parents has been really, really hard, but so amazing. Watching you grow and discover new things is the most rewarding part of my day. I never thought I'd cheer and sing "Go Curran, Go Curran!" while a person ate a blackberry. But helping you overcome the challenges you face fills my heart with so much love for your little self. You make us laugh with your silly smiles and the way you dance and the way you chase the pets as you giggle. You're a strong, brave little boy and we can't wait to see the man you grow up to be. Your name means hero, and you are certainly that to us. 

Here's to a second year full of even more fun and exploring, bugaboo!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Birthday Trip to the Zoo

I've recently realized that a kid's first birthday is great because its a perfect excuse to do fun stuff you normally like to do--in our case, a trip to the zoo. Its also great because it means that when the bookstore's kids club sends your baby a coupon for a free birthday cookie, you actually get a free cookie (I mean, he can't eat it anyways). And really, shouldn't all of the celebration for a child's first birthday really be for you, the parents, for actually managing to keep him alive for a whole year? That first year is no joke. We are survivors! And we will eat our son's free birthday cookie without shame. 
But right, back to the zoo---
Yes, so we figured that with how much Curran loves Remy and Marley as well as watching the seagulls flying along with the ferry, he would surely enjoy a trip to the zoo, and we would too. Because the weather was supposed to be gloomy his actual birthday weekend, we decided to go the week before--which actually worked out great because my ticket was half off for Mother's Day and Curran ended up being horribly sick the weekend of his birthday anyway. So it was a perfect day for a family outing in every way.
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As soon as we got to the zoo we were greeted by this flashy peacock. Curran was definitely interested in him and kept saying "ahooooo, ahooooo" while he watched the bird turn and caw. Being the quiet observer he is, he calmly took in the sights and sounds, enjoying things in his own way.
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He really took a liking to the aquariums and watching the fish and sharks swim about.
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He wasn't quite big enough to reach the sting rays and little sharks, but he did pet a star fish!
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This was so great! Elephants are one of my favorite so I was very excited when one walked right up to the edge and we were able to get an awesome look.
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This picture of Curran sticking his tongue out while walking makes me laugh because my dad does it when he's working on or figuring out something, and my dance teacher used to tell me I did it too when I was trying to get a difficult step. Looks like Curran might be a Conrad tongue thinker too.
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Once we stopped for a little break Curran made a bee line for the snacks. The man knows what he likes! And its so nice that he's finally wanting to really eat food now, though we have a long way to go (but more on that another time).
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After a snack break we went to the amphitheater to watch the Indiana Bones show and see more gorgeous animals. The show had lots of audience participation which always took Curran by surprise and of course upset him, but once he got used to it he was fine. And he was so enthralled, he sat still for the whole show---I don't think that's ever happened! Now if only he would do that in church....
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Happy boy! He's starting to really enjoy dancing and grooving to music.
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Though a little hazy, we had a lovely view of Mt. Rainier while at the zoo. Seeing it never gets old!
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We don't normally buy souvenirs from places like zoos or amusement parks but we thought we'd get Curran a special red wolf stuffed animal for his birthday and his first trip to the zoo. He enjoys petting him and carrying him around by the paw throughout the day.
We had such a lovely day with Curran and can't wait for future zoo trips as he gets older. Its a little thing, but I'm excited to see what animal becomes his favorite as he learns more about them. I love seeing who Curran is becoming and the things he's interested in. We love our bugaboo!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Curran's First Baseball Game

Since this is most likely our last summer in Washington we've been trying to check of some adventures on our Washington To-Do List. We're not big sports people but going to baseball games is just plain old fun, so seeing a Mariners game was at the top of our list. And when we found out they were playing the Boston Red Sox (the team I've arbitrarily picked as my favorite since I love New England) this month? We knew that was our game!
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I had some anxiety about going to the game with Curran--we had never been to this field before, I wasn't sure how loud it would be to Curran, if he'd cooperate for any of it, how he'd do with the later night...but it turned out to be a great experience! 
And everyone was so nice at the stadium! When we arrived the security staff was pleasant and waved us down so we could skip the line and go through a different gate faster with the baby. They also told us that we could get a certificate and button since it was Curran's first game and his birthday--its the little things! Staff members would also come up to us and give Curran baseball cards, and they were so nice about taking photos and helping us find our seats. I tell ya what, it makes a world a difference when people are kind!
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[Curran is One!]
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[He loves giving kisses, but hasn't quite nailed it yet...]
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We decided to get seats at the Hit It Here Cafe and it turned out to be great for us. First, a portion of your ticket cost go towards food, and despite hefty stadium food prices we managed to eat well and still not use up our entire voucher. And, the food was really tasty! We also got free refills on water which, though that doesn't sound like much, was actually awesome considering a bottle of water was $5 in the rest of the stadium. Free ice water is where its at! We also figured that since it was a more casual area it might work better for Curran in case he got upset and we needed to stand up and bounce him--plus, we wouldn't have to squeeze past people in the regular stadium seats. And honestly, for a person that isn't a die-hard sports fan but still likes a good seat, the view was actually pretty great! We couldn't have been more pleased and if we went to another game we'd totally get seats at the cafe again. 
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Overall Curran did great at the game. He was happy to eat his snacks and of course loved all of the opportunities for people watching. He did take a little nap during the middle of the game and then was ready to make it through the rest of the night and the lengthy travel home, including a mile walk to the terminal, a ferry trip, and the car ride home. And best of all, the game wasn't too loud for his sensitive little ears. It was great!
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[Curran with his Mariners birthday pin. How fun!]
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A dad and his son at his first baseball game--how much cuter does it get?

What a great night! Yummy food, beautiful weather, a fun game---and, there was even a man who attempted to streak across the field, so we really did get the whole game experience. ;)
Having these outings as a family is so wonderful. We've been trying to focus more on spending money on experiences instead of things, and we hope in the years to come our kids will appreciate the adventures we've been on as a family. Joey and I are really excited for Curran to continue growing and enjoying new activities!

---And hey, the Red Sox won!

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