He is the first baby that I have ever fallen in love with. It's hard to imagine that your heart can expand so much but then my sis had another one (who just turned a year old) and he made our hearts grow once again. I love my nephews to bits and I wish I had more stories to share with the younger one, but sadly we haven't had as much time together.
Since it is Hunter's birthday, I figured I'd share some more fun memories. When he was first born, I was dubbed "Auntie Bed" because that baby would fall asleep on me almost instantly. He was not much of a sleeper, so during his first year we had to find ways of getting him to fall asleep, since placing him in a crib and letting him cry himself to sleep was not possible...that kid just got angry and would spitefully cry for hours and hours with no hint of being worn out (I think it actually gave him a kick of adrenaline!). My poor sis tried so many techniques including some natural plan that came with a workbook and guarantee that the creator only had 2 cases of failure in 20 some years. After a week from hell, Katie sent the book back with a not so happy note that the lady needed to make it 3 cases...
Blissfully sleeping on "Auntie Bed"
At some point, someone discovered dancing him to sleep. I think it was mom, but anyway, we had a certain CD that we started playing and one of us would hold him close to us as we slowly swayed and danced to the music. I loved doing this with him. It was so sweet to watch his little eyelids finally flutter shut. Then I could quietly take him to his room and gently rest him in his crib. Just before he turned one, his time with us in Washington was over and he and Katie went back to California because my bro-in-law's deployment was finally over.
I did get to fly down and visit them, which was fun, as Hunter was starting to talk and become quite the character. He loved the Spongebob Squarepants theme song and being the cool Auntie I am, I would sing it to him (because yes, I just so happen to know it). Since his vocabulary was limited, whenever he wanted someone to sing it to him, he would all of a sudden bust out in his best pirate grumble, "Oooooooooh....." and wait for us to burst into, "Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?" to which he would chime in "Ponbob Warebans" or something like that. However, singing this would get a bit old for us adults and the situation would usually end up like this:
*My sis and I chatting about who knows what in the car*
1 year old pirate voice from the back seat, "Ooooooooh..."
*Sis and I continue talking in hopes that he will just get occupied with whatever we were listening to on the radio."
1 year old pirate voice in slightly higher pitch in case we didn't hear the last one, "Oooooooh...."
*Sis and I crack up a bit while I turn around to indulge the cute face that's smiling in anticipation for that crazy song*
The next time they came back up to Washington while my bro-in-law was deployed again, Hunter was just over 2 years old and one of the first things I wanted to do was dance him to sleep. I had missed my baby so I wanted to have that feeling of his small little body snuggled into mine as he drifted to sleep. My mom and sis looked at me a bit weird since he was quite a bit bigger now, but I turned the same CD on and gently danced and swayed.
Soon my arms started to burn and the sweat started to cover me as that toddler turned into a sweltering sack of concrete! I prayed he would fall asleep fast because I had no idea how long I could manage holding him as he magically grew heavier and heavier. My mind started wondering if it really would be possible for my arms to just fall off from sheer exhaustion, but he finally dozed off and I painfully slipped back into his room to gently place him in his crib...but I found another hurdle. Since he was bigger now, the bottom of the crib had been lowered. I am by no means tall, and soon found that I was hovering on my tiptoes trying to get the slumbering babe as close to the bottom as I could. I couldn't quite reach, so I just had to drop him in and pray that he didn't wake up on impact. Thankfully I was close enough and he stayed blissfully sleeping. I felt like such a bad Auntie! Thankfully though, he's a brilliant kid so I know no harm was done!
Well, I'm off to work on his birthday video. I've already made a paper towel roll boat, Branden's working on the moving scenery, and I've got moveable ocean waves to finish! We may actually put this video on youtube...