one year.

i've been thinking about what to say in this post for weeks now. yes, i'm one of those moms. i won't go into details about addi's actual birth day. if you want that, you can visit here. but i'm pretty sure that every mom feels the same way that i do, now that this milestone has finally happened - how is it possible for my little, tiny baby that i gave birth to what seems like yesterday, to be a year old? an entire year. 52 weeks. 365 days. 8,760 hours. 525,600 minutes. 31,536,000 seconds. i'm interested to know how many of those seconds, minutes, and hours were spent awake, trying to get the little bean to go to sleep, when i myself should be sleeping. i also wonder how many of those seconds, minutes, and hours have been spent giggling together, taking pictures to document just about everything, and simply staring in amazement that i have a child. all moms feel like this, right? the thing is, i've only ever heard about moms feeling like this. this is the first time i've ever felt like this myself.

i've had more than a handful of people tease me for how many pictures i'll probably take of adelaide and not of my future children. when thinking about why this is, i came to the conclusion that never in my life have i seen a person grow up right before my eyes like this. sure, i've seen nieces, nephews, cousins, friends' babies, etc. grow up, but only in an 'i see you every other week' kind of thing. it really is the most amazing thing ever to see a baby go from a tiny, helpless thing like this:

to this little bundle of joy:

it may have been a year, but i still have to stop myself sometimes and let it hit me all over again - the fact that i'm a mom.

i think if i said that this has been the best year ever, i would probably be lying to myself and to all of you. has this year brought some of the best moments ever? definitely. but, there were also, some not so good ones that i try really hard not to think about. my patience has been tested time and time again. i have felt more insecure and inadequate than i did as a 14 year old girl. and i lost more sleep than i'd like to even know. but, as cliche as it is, nothing has been more rewarding than getting to be a mom to this sweet girl.

here are some fun facts about my little one year old lady:

-she's turning into a little sassafras. she does this thing, that we affectionately call 'when babies attack' where she starts grabbing and pinching at the closest thing to her when she doesn't get her way. it's pure joy. #not
-she learned to go down the stairs on her own last week! i can't even tell you how much stress this has relieved. she would only do it if you put her halfway up the stairs for a while, but today, i set her at the top and she immediately turned around and went down every single step. booyah!
-she loves playing with the faucet in the kitchen sink. i'm tired of all the dirty clothes that come simply from just feeding her, so i've been stripping her down to her diaper lately and then spraying her off in the sink when i'm done and i think it's one of her favorite activities of the day. she loves it! {if you couldn't tell.}

{i promise i put clothes on my kid sometimes.}

-she has 5 teeth...i think. i haven't checked in a while. i don't want to jinx myself or anything, but we have had a pretty good run with teething. i'd heard horror stories before i had a baby and then when addi's first tooth came through is when she started taking longer than 40 minute naps, so i was in heaven! her second tooth was kind of a struggle, but since then, we haven't really noticed a difference when she's teething. i'll consider it a huge blessing!
-speaking of teeth, this girl loves to brush her teeth. she'll do anything she can to get to her toothbrush when she sees it and when i start to put toothpaste on it, she squeals. when i actually brush her teeth {and by brush, i mean try to wiggle it around when she doesn't have her teeth chomped down on it}, she laughs the entire time. glad to know she has such a good relationship with brushing her teeth already.
-she has turned into a full-blown daddy's girl. she's always gotten excited when zach is around, but for the first time a few weeks ago, he was holding her and when i went to take her from him, she burrowed into him and started to cry. it might have stung initially, but i must say that it's pretty much the cutest thing ever. you know when people say that they fall more in love with their spouse when they seem them love their kids? yeah. it's all true.
-she picks up on things and has copied things that we do for a while, but it hasn't been as apparent as it has been lately. she was tapping a pot with her hand at breakfast the other day and i hit it with the backside of my finger. immediately, she whipped out one finger and started laughing as she tapped the pot just like me. then the other day, zach, addi, and i were laying in the living room and zach patted me on the leg. addi crawled over to me as fast as she could and started tapping me exactly where zachary just had. it's amazing how much they notice and want to imitate.

my heart hurts to let this sweet baby turn one year old today, but i can't wait for the adventures in learning to walk, talk, ride a bike, tea parties, dress up, learning to drive, stay up late giggling over boys, and every other fun thing that comes with having a little girl. it's definitely true when they say that "making the decision to have a child is to forever decide to have your heart go walking around outside your body." you feel completely naked and vulnerable, but in the end, it's totally worth it!

-the mrs.


The Great Regression

Family, friends, frenemies,

Let me tell you about the Great Regression. It hasn't happened yet, but scientists can predict it with uncanny accuracy. You know how it happens? Well, you see, when a man has lived 26 years of his life as a bachelor and then gets married, something marvelous happens. After a little while, he actually ENJOYS not being a bachelor. Well, when the spouse of said man goes on a... let's say 20 day, 2 hour, 35 minute vacation without him, there is an almost unavoidable potential for the Great Regression. That is, that man will regress into a degraded, depraved, and untamed bachelor state.

Sarah and the babelet are going out of town next week. You see, such an experience, if of a short duration, might encourage Zach to be optimistic and try and find enjoyment in his loneliness. Perhaps he would go to a few movies, go for a drive up the canyon, eat cereal and macaroni and cheese for every meal, and maybe even start up an old neglected video game (after clearing away the cobwebs and hurt feelings... if video games could have hurt feelings).  Normally, Zach could extract at least SOME enjoyment in-spite of the absence of two HUGE puzzle-pieces of his life.

You see, that's the problem. Normally such experiences CAN BE a great time BECAUSE they are short-lived. Man was never meant to be alone. Most of you might be nodding your head in agreement but let me illustrate the gravity of the possible outcomes.

Story #1:

Sarah pulls into the driveway after being gone for 20 days. She leisurely gets Adelaide out of the car, grabs a bag or two, and walks up the steps to the porch. As she reaches for the handle to the front door, she is suddenly aware of how dark it looks inside her home. That’s strange. I thought Zach would be home, she thinks. She gasps as she touches the handle. It’s ice cold!

Now, very concerned, she barrels through the front door. Air rushes through the doorway, as if the house itself was starving for oxygen and hadn't taken a breath in ages. Mist coalesces and hovers around her ankles. She can hear a pronounced drip, drip, drip deep within the caverns of her home. “Zachary!” She yells, now more concerned.

She hears a screech as a very large bat with the face of her husband flies out the door, never to be seen or heard from again.

Story #2:

Sarah pulls into the driveway after being gone for 20 days. She leisurely gets Adelaide out of the car, grabs a bag or two, and walks up the steps to the porch. The door is open just slightly… Pushing the door open she gasps at the sight, dropping her bags and nearly dropping the baby.

Zach is lying on the living room floor with boxes of macaroni and cheese strewn about. The room looks like a mad scientist’s lab; test tubes, burners, and various varieties of mac’n’cheese all over the kitchen table. Something is bubbling on the kitchen stove. Sarah runs to Zach and finds cheese oozing from his nose, mouth, and ears. She sees a syringe, clearly filled with Kraft Cheddar Explosion lying next to Zachary’s arm. He’s breathing, just barely.

Story #3:

Sarah pulls into the driveway after being gone for 20 days. She leisurely gets Adelaide out of the car, grabs a bag or two, and walks up the steps to the porch.  She opens the door and yells, “Zachary, we’re home.” Silence. “Zach?!” Strange, she thinks, I thought for sure he’d be home. Everything seems normal around the house, with of course, the exception that Zach and Copper are missing.

She puts Adelaide to sleep and calls Zach’s phone. It rings down the hallway. Why would he leave without his phone? She walks to the bedroom and picks his phone up to discover he has 17 missed calls and 3 missed messages. Ten of those missed calls and all of the messages are from a number she doesn’t recognize. She listens to the first message. Hi, Mr Averett? Yes, this is deputy Sharp from the Fort Collins PD. Someone turned in your wallet to the Police department downtown here. Do you mind coming by to pick it up? Also, er, the clothing they found with it?

Sarah clicks on the second message. Mr Averett, deputy Sharp here. We haven’t heard from you. Please call us immediately. We know it’s you who’s terrorizing the neighborhood, we have all the evidence we need, there’s no use running.

Third message. Mr Averett, if you don’t turn yourself in, we will be forced to tranquilize you and bring you and your dog in by force.

Suddenly very alarmed, Sarah redials the number from Zach’s phone. “Yes, deputy Sharp? My name is Sarah Averett. I just got home and – yes? Really? No, that can’t be, are you sure you have the right man? The animal shelter? But why the animal sh— Oh, sorry for interrupting. Yes, I’ll be right down.”

After piling a very sleepy and as a result, grumpy Adelaide into the car, Sarah makes her way to the Fort Collins animal shelter. Deputy Sharp is waiting for her, “Mrs Averett, I must say, you might be shocked by what you see.” He leads her inside. At first everything seems normal. You know, the typical sounds and smells of an every-day animal shelter. But as she turns the corner to the canine section, she is stunned to see a very naked and very feral Zach, running on all fours in the dog kennel, howling and barking with the other dogs.

Story #4:

Sarah pulls into the driveway after being gone for 20 days. She leisurely gets Adelaide out of the car, grabs a bag or two, and walks up the steps to the porch.  She opens the door to find Zachary standing there, emaciated and red eyed. She quickly puts Addi on the floor and Zach collapses into her arms. As she lowers all 98, sickly pounds of him to the ground, he whispers the last 5 words he will ever speak, "I missed... you... to... death...*long, drawn-out and dramatic exhale*"

These stories, of course would never happen! *Zach scoffs and hopes that this obvious statement hides the concern hidden behind his eyes*

Really though, I am a little concerned that the 20 days without my wife will turn me feral and wild, perhaps reverting to my old bachelor self, lonely and miserable, crying and rocking myself to sleep every night. Not that I did that as a bachelor or anything… What is a man to do?

I have plans. For example, I plan on working on projects around the house. I plan to go to the shooting range and finally find time to sharpen my marksman skills. I’m hoping to finally see a movie… in an actual theater… with actual popcorn in my arms. These things will be glorious and wonderful! Don’t get me wrong, I look forward to certain aspects of being a bachelor, but how do I prevent myself from morphing into Dracula? How do I stave off the mac’n’cheese overdose and subsequent rehab time? How do I prevent my wild adventures with Copper in the streets of Fort Collins? How do I NOT die from missing-itis?

I’d appreciate suggestions.

-The Mr.
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