Saying "see ya later" to Uncle John, Aunt Kari and Jake

Carolyn's Uncle John, Aunt Kari and cousin Jake are in the midst of moving from New Jersey to Atlanta. Last weekend the entire Hyland clan gathered together one last time before their move. The cousins all go to play together and we had an excuse for taking some family pictures.

Jake and Carolyn, amiably sharing

Left to right: Emily, Kelly, Jake, Uncle John, Aunt Kari, Megan

Left to right: Uncle Mike, inverted Declan, Rogan, Finn, Aunt Lauren

Uncle Tom and Aunt Holly

Carolyn with Grandma and Papa Hyland

The cousins, displaying every possible emotion: Declan, Megan, Carolyn, Finn, Jake, Kelly, Rogan, Emily

You can also check out the slideshow below or go to the full photo album.

Month in Review: Carolyn's eighth month

While this blog may have been fairly quiet in the last month, the world of Carolyn certainly hasn't been. Here's what has happened lately as Carolyn turns 8 months old today:

  • Carolyn's first Christmas (video here, Xmas card here)
  • Plays guitar with daddy
  • Looks like mommy
  • First word?
  • Lots of baby babble ("babababa" and so forth)
  • Still puts everything in her mouth. Can pick up pieces of fuzz and other stuff off the floor that we'd rather she not eat. We've had to stick our fingers in her mouth on several occasions to pop stuff out.
  • Ever since Christmas she's been trying to rip everything apart that she holds. So far she's only managed to actually rip magazines and catalogs that we haven't had a chance to read yet.
  • Eats all kinds of baby food. Doesn't really care for peas, but if mixed with something else, she'll eat them.
  • Also enjoys picking up and eating "peachy poofs". They melt in your mouth, not in your hand. (Really.)
  • As I'm sitting here typing this, she just took her sock off for no apparent reason.
  • Runs around in her walker. Watch your ankles!
  • Crawls! Yes, she's finally crawling forward, after several weeks of rocking back-and-forth on her hands and knees, only to move exclusively backwards. She started out only crawling when she really, really wanted something, but now she'll use it as a fairly common mode of transport from one place to another.
  • Pulls herself up to a standing position, usually on her play kitchen, but also on other people.
  • Can walk across a room if you're holding her hands and walking behind her.
  • Enjoys banging two toys together to hear the clank-clank.
  • Nerds beware: Carolyn will pull those glasses right off your pimply face.
  • Gives big, wet, sloppy, open-mouthed kisses. Often when you least expect it.
Fret not, dear readers, because I have plans to videotape her doing all of this great stuff and post it on this very blog in the near future. And now she's just gone and taken her other sock off. I'd better go.

One last look at the Christmas tree

Okay, so we actually took the tree down over a week ago, and this picture was taken several days before that, but it was too cute not to share. And while I'm at it, why not a few more?


A couple of things about Mom:

Firstly, Mom has won the "Who does she look like" poll by a comfortable margin. 50% of you who read this blog believe Carolyn looks exclusively like her mom, with another 25% saying she looks like both mom and dad. So all in all, 75% of the vote for mom. And only 1 vote for the mailman, so that's, um, good, I guess.

Secondly, Carolyn may or may not have spoken her first word the other day. She was giving Kristen a kiss on the cheek (yeah, she gives wet, sloppy kisses now), pulled back, and said, clear as day: "Mom." It can be debated whether or not she knew what she was saying, but it was pretty unmistakable when it happened, and then she did it again the next day (but hasn't done it since).

Poll: Who does she look like? (7 months)

Who does Carolyn look like?
Mom and Dad
The Mailman free polls

Previously: Who does she look like? (1 month)

"Wanna have a concert tonight?"

That's what we ask Carolyn every other night or so. What it means is essentially I indulge myself by playing guitar and singing badly to Carolyn, in a feeble attempt to relive the glory days of being in a high school rock'n'roll band. (Some of the members of that band are now in a much better band. Others are not.)

Sometimes Carolyn will sing along (some would call it moaning), and sometimes she will laugh uncontrollably. She's probably laughing WITH me, right?

Christmas, New Years, etc.

First of all, Happy New Year everybody. Just want to write a quick note here about our Christmas and the latest that's going on with Carolyn. And of course, I will share some pictures.

On Christmas Eve, we went over to Uncle John and Aunt Kari's house (probably for the last time before they move to Atlanta). Carolyn got her first experience of opening presents, and she did pretty well. A seven-month-old obviously still needs a good deal of help, but she certainly got the hang of it, and certainly seemed to have liked it. Jake and Carolyn compared notes on unwrapping techniques. Here are a few pics from Christmas Eve...

We traveled back to our house that night so that we could be home on Christmas morning. Carolyn is notorious for hating being in the car, so this was a little tenuous. She ended up crying for the first, oh, 30 minutes or so of the car ride, then fell asleep around 9pm, the latest she's ever stayed up to date.

So then of course, Carolyn opened all of her presents from Santa (see the video for full coverage of that) and played with them, got overwhelmed, took some naps, played some more, got overwhelmed some more, and so forth. I had intended on making a hickory smoked turkey on the charcoal grill, but a combination of wind and stupidity foiled my plans. Instead we roasted the turkey and ruined a thermometer that we thought we could leave in the turkey in the oven. This buffoonery had less to do with wind and more to do with stupidity.

ANYWAY, on Saturday, Carolyn received a visit from Grammy (my grandmom), Great Uncle Ray, and First Cousin Once Removed Tim (I think that's the right label... cousin relationships are confusing). As she has been recently with unfamiliar people, Carolyn was scared at first, but warmed up pretty quickly. She spent a good deal of time on Grammy's lap, playing with and chewing on Grammy's necklace. And somehow I didn't take any pictures. Grammy, if you're reading this, please send your pictures to me!

Saturday was also Kristen's first day back at work after having 2 weeks off. It was pretty hard for her to go back, but she'll survive. Meanwhile, this is the end of the second week that I've had off for the holidays (the astute observer will note that we had a week of overlapping vacation time). And it took me this long to post about Christmas?!

As for New Years, nothing special really. Kristen worked all day, then we had a little champagne with Tastykakes (what of it?) after Carolyn was in bed. We figured we would be sleeping through the ball drop, but Carolyn woke up about 10 minutes before midnight, which allowed us to watch the ball drop, hear the first phrase of Auld Lang Syne, and turn off the TV and fall back asleep.

Speaking of sleep, it wouldn't be a lenghty post from me if I didn't complain about it, right? Carolyn is teething pretty hard right now, so she's been waking up pretty frequently overnight. I'm currently taking any and all suggestions for what we can do to keep her asleep. Prior to this, she had been waking up only once or twice all night. Now she will routinely wake up 3 or 4 times before midnight, then 2 or 3 times between midnight and 7am. Help!

I will leave you with a slideshow of pictures from Christmas. You can also go to the Christmas 2008 photo album for higher quality pics.

Video: Carolyn's First Christmas