Sunday, December 21

5 Months #Holidaze Edition

There have been a million things going on lately but none important enough for us to not pause and quick snap some 5 month progress pics of our little man!

He's growing and growing, getting smarter and more alert every day. Daddies are still loving every moment watching him learn new things, discover new sounds and mobilize himself a little bit more.

Hopefully I'll be able to snap a few more holiday pics with fam and provide a more serious update after the hustle and bustle are over with.

With a little winter flare!


Love,
M.

Monday, December 15

#NoPeeking


Christmas Cookie Countdown

Thankfully my aunt came down to school us in the ways of confectionery perfection. We spent the majority of Saturday baking four simple holiday favorites and except for one burnt pan...they all turned out pretty darn well. Edible even!

Chip's contribution.

The worst part was over.

Don't they look tasty?

THE BEST ONES!

Great Grandma was able to sneak in some cuddle time with Max. 

Enjoying each other.

Maybe Max isn't able to comprehend the excitement of our first Christmas as a family, but Chip and I are through the roof. About two weeks ago we went on a onsies buying spree to make sure he had a festive outfit for any and all holiday parties and gatherings that we'll be attending this year. I'll just say...he's set!

Watching this little worm grow is just an amazing adventure. Just yesterday, the little guy experienced the clamp-on-counter-chair for the first time. Sure beats setting him in your lap and trying to balance him while shoveling rice cereal in the general direction of his mouth. He's such a beautiful little guy....and I'm sure there will be more pics to come in the next couple of weeks.




Love & Happy Holidays,
M.


PS - I'm still dreaming of a White Christmas


Friday, November 28

M Is Only the Beginning

Max was able to survive his first Black Friday decorating day with his daddies. 

Loving the lights
The tree of divorce struck once again, it has been quite a few years since we've had any issues while putting the lights up outside, but that darn growing tree in the front was a point of frustration today. In the end, we mastered the tree, finished the job together and were able exchange friendly glances (okay, maybe a peck on the cheek) while admiring our hard work from the comfort and warmth of the living room couch.

Max was able to help put his very first ornament on the tree. I'm sure we'll still try to find a "Baby's First Christmas" ornament, but we really liked this simple M for his first.


Been listening to Xmas music all day and I don't plan to quit anytime soon.  So there!


Love, 
M.



Thursday, November 27

Giving Thanks

The year 2014 has given the Sylva Family lots to be thankful for. It blows my mind to sit back and think that a year ago I had zero idea about the changes that would take place before the next Thanksgiving feast. This year, as I savor every bite, I think y'all know what will be on my mind and in my heart.

Mr. Max turned 4 months old and is in tip-top shape. He's running in the 60th - 70th percentile in everything and is the picture of developmental perfection. We're continuing to try and get him to flip his little booty over, but tummy time has been item #1 of resistance.

You know he's passed out when the arms go up!


Go HUSKIES!

Growing so fast


While it's technically the second time Max has gotten sick, the first time around was a quick couple days of stuffiness. This time he's been a mucus machine and all-around snort monster. We even crumbled and went out to purchase the most disgusting baby 'gadget' ever...the NoseFrida!

For those of you unfamiliar with this torture device, its purpose is to suck the boogers out of your child's nose using the suction power of the parental unit's lungs!! Iiiick! However, that said, it works amazingly!


I'm extremely excited to enter into the next month of scheduling chaos, lights, music, food, family, friends and cheer. This is, of course, the first year for Max and I'm hoping he enjoys all of the hustle and bustle and learns to appreciate the time we get with the people we love. Thought the decoration in our house doesn't start until tomorrow, you can be sure that after our stomachs are stuffed this afternoon, I'll be scooting around the house getting things ready to be decked, tinseled and made merry!

Hopefully there's time for another post or two before Christmas...but if not, ¡Feliz!


Love,
M.

Saturday, November 8

It's a Tough One


My little pun'kin all year round!

Every day millions of dads and moms return to work after having a little one at home for a few days, weeks or even months. I can now join the ranks of them and truly testify that it's not easy going back. My first day back at work was a week and a half and it truly took a toll on me, both emotionally and physically. 

Tuesday was a 1/2 day trial run and Wednesday was the real-deal and I can say both days I was barely able to step foot outside of daycare's door before the waterworks kicked in high gear. I was a big mess. Now, don't get me wrong, I knew I was leaving my little man in great hands. And I knew he wouldn't get lost in a sea of toddling little ones as there are only 6 children at daycare (and 2 are his cousins), it was just this feeling of whether or not I was making the right choice. These are his biggest developmental years and I'm trusting that to another human being for 8 hours of the day. That requires a lot of trust.


My emotions have been a roller coaster since. Doesn't matter if I'm a work or home with my little man...my emotional wheels are turning. Eek! Double Eek!

Watching him and being able to witness his each and every day development is probably the greatest gift I have every received. My passion for education, growth and development thrives on seeing Max make new strides every day. It's a beautiful thing.

He truly is coming into his own. He's discovering his hands and arms, legs and ears - it is quite adorable watching him figure it out. I'm greeted almost every morning with a smile and a little coo as I walk in his room to get him ready for the day. The sounds he makes are music to my ears and seeing that smile is proof that he feels safe and loved -- and that means everything to me.

Check out a few of his adorable little moments.

Eeking out the last moments on the deck.

A visit from Grandma Hooch

Always so happy-go-lucky!

Uncle Paul gives us a glance into the future

First family photo
Showin' y'all the seriousness of voting

Daddy and Max pooped after a whirlwind week


Love,
M.

Tuesday, October 21

3 Months

It's official, 3 months have passed since our lives were forever changed for the better. Our little man is growing so terribly fast and I find it tough to swallow the fact that I need to return to work next week. I know that Max will be under great care and he'll learn to play with other children and interact with other people... but that doesn't mean I won't miss him incredibly! (And much of me thinks he'll miss me a bit, too.) 



For now, I'm going to squeeze every ounce of time I can. 

Love, 
M. 

Thursday, October 2

Sleeping

Most days I truly can't believe how lucky I am. These two are too sweet as they sleep next to each other. #MaxandMe #4LeggedSister #BFF

Love,
M.

Friday, September 26

Blue Skies and Smiles

Got a happy little man enjoying some outdoor play time. Going to enjoy it before summer is gone for good. #MaxandMe 


Love, 
M. 

Thursday, September 25

The Bacon Sweats

No! Not the kind you get when you gorge yourself on bacon. But the kind you get when you try to work some of it off. It's been almost 3 months since my last jog and I felt it. Oh boy, I'm going to hurt later.


Love,
M.

Tuesday, September 23

Oh...and meat!

So I've made homemade Juicy Lucys...and they're pretty awesome. But I recently heard about a new burger craze and I'm super pumped to try it! It's a 50/50 burger. Look it up, go ahead!


So they're ground, seasoned and ready to be pattied and grilled. I'll let you know how they are.


Love,
M.



2 Months

What the what? How did this happen?

So serious and deep in thought

There isn't a way to prepare for it. No matter how many times you hear "cherish every moment because they grow up so fast" it won't make sense until you experience it. The advice was given to us by, well, like everyone under the sun, and it still didn't register until we are in the moment. It just blows my mind at how quickly he's growing up.

I have to admit that he has been the perfect baby. He's spoiling us daddies through and through. Doesn't fuss much, sleeps through the night, travels well...it's been amazing! However, I'm still exhausted. Raising a wee one is a lot of work. Like, hard work! Also something everyone tells you but you don't fully comprehend until it's here and now. But I wouldn't trade it for the world. Max is precious and so is every moment I get to spend with him.

Alright, off to go try and accomplish something else on the list while I'm still able to keep my eyes open.


Love,
M.

Thursday, August 21

Worth the Wait

I can't begin to say that "I can't remember my life before..." or "I can't imagine my life without.." my son. But I can say that it was most definitely the most rewarding wait in my lifetime. It seems like much longer than the 26 months than this journey has taken so far. The classes, paperwork, visits, emails, fingerprints and checks written are, for the most part, behind us as they relate to this journey. (Yes, I know that we'll be writing many more checks...many more!)

Max turned 1 month old today and looking back at the past 4+ weeks, I have to join the ranks of millions of parents before me that say "the time goes so fast." It seems like just a moment ago we held him in our arms for the first time and spent a couple of restless nights in the hospital trying to prove to the nurses that we are going to be the responsible, responsive parents we hope to be. 



But here we are, 31 days later, a few inches longer, a pound or more heavier (my best guess) and we're still trying to prove to ourselves that we are going to be the best parents we can be. The weight of each little decision, dash of formula, butt wipe consumed are compiling on the factors that will lead to his eventual success in this world. We can only hope that the decisions we're forced to make for him now are the ones that he'll love and respect us for years down the road.

Max and I spend our days together -- some of them seem longer than others. As we all do, Max has his fussier days and it seems as soon as I put him down to rest while I grab a bite to eat or pour another cup of coffee, he's blurping up or crying for some help for something or other...But I can honestly say that each of those days are just as gratifying as the calm, quiet days. I think it has to do with the fact that on fussier days -- we still come out smiling and happy at the end of the day. I can't help but be amazed at what must be going on in his body and mind each day as he either restfully conquers another day or vocally shares how difficult it is. Either way -- it's beautiful.


Love,
M.


Wednesday, August 20

#ALSIceBucketChallenge

What an amazing video! This sheds a whole new light on this cause for me. I was at the point of thinking it was just a fashionable thing to do and "all the cool kids were doin' it." But this man's raw emotion speaks volumes... 

So my challenge to you isn't just to accept the #IceBucketChallenge and pass it on but to donate to the cause as well. Please. 

Now, go dump ice water on your head and go to alsa.org to help the cause. #KissMyALS



I've been called out.... So I suppose you'll be seeing more soon. 



Love, 
M. 

Monday, August 18

4 Weeks

Maximilian is growing amazingly fast. His Papi and I can't believe he has been with us for 4 weeks already. An amazing journey that we are so truly lucky to be on.
As he's chilling in my arms right now, he's holding his head up on his own. Still with some pretty jerky and spastic actions, but is holding it up.

Monday, August 11

#HolyGuacamole

I can't believe how quickly he's sprouting...every parent I've ever talked to has warned me about this.


Life and Death

The Sylva Boys took a trip north to visit more family yesterday. The itinerary included great grandma, great aunt, uncle, auntie and cousins. It was a fantastic afternoon and I'm very thankful to my brother and Katie for hosting us.

Great Grandma was thrilled to be able to meet Max while he's still so tiny and a promise to make more visits soon. I have to say, though, the smile on Great Aunt Rita's face truly made my day. To see her 92 year old face come alive with excitement at the sight of the newest addition to her family was a moment of pure joy, true happiness. We stayed and visited until her 11:45 slotted lunch time rolled around. During our visit, Max was flexing his sneezer diaphragm (as he does quite frequently) and Aunt Rita made the comment "When you sneeze, that's the closest you get to death." Though the rest of us in the room felt it bit morbid, there wasn't a voice in the room that chose to argue with her 92 years of experience. Grandma preferred to stick with her rationale for the sneezes which was that Max was growing.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent with my brother's beautiful family. The kids did amazingly around their new cousin though the energy level was quite high. There were a few moments we thought Addy was going to stream roll Max... usually right after she demanded that he remain covered with his blankie and then proceeded to throw it at him. Oh.... kids.

To each their own.

Love,
M.

Saturday, July 19

"Oh hun"

**Authors note: I know it's a loong one, but if you're in a hurry at least read about Diane at the end!

28 hours on the road, about 8 stops (coffee, gas, food, bodily functions), sunshine, open road, rain, darkness, fog and detours. All vital descriptors in summing up our trek to Florida for the most amazing moment of our lives. That moment is not even here yet but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat! Chip did most of the driving, trudging through mile after mile while keeping a smile on his face (most of the time) and cracking standard issue 'Chip jokes' over and over. Yep, he's amazing!

I was charged with the task of night driving. Truth be told, it's not as easy of a task as it used to be. Lasik has changed that for me drastically. The worst part came when it decided to start raining -- and not stop!! Grr...I finally resolved to turn the dashboard lights to a dimmer setting and that helped a great deal. And, of course, the 2 hour Rest Stop snooze-a-thon (for Chip at least) helped pass the time a bit as well. I drove for 2 more hours after leaving the Rest Stop cursing at the fact that the sun was determined not to rise. Seriously, not even a glimpse until 6:30. That's crazy!


Simple but charming





Didn't work well for Matthew

Chip says the AT&T tower (far left) looks like Batman
I called the hotel (that a friend was able to book for us on a deal -- last minute) and ask if they had anything available for early check-in. She couldn't make any promises but didn't see a reason why they couldn't do that. (Insert giggle here) We arrived at 10:30 this morning to a front desk attendant with a dumbfounded look. I should have known better.

Okay...without showering or brushing our teeth, we set off to accomplish a couple of last minute errands before our son enters the world. Task one was a gift for his birth mother. We had an idea of what we were looking for and set off the mall to find it. Our first stop was JCP where we met Diane. "Hiah, hun, what can I help you with?" in a kinda southern, quasi-rhaspy voice. It didn't take her but a moment for her to direct our attention to an item that met every attribute we listed. However, we hadn't checked out other options yet and, of course, there was the matter of the 4 hours we had to kill before getting into the hotel. So, we said we probably be back and went on our way. 

There were only two others in the mall that met our requirements and one of them was a more expensive version of what Diane showed us. You know what that means...back to JCP. Though Diane assured us when we left that she would be there until 3:30, she wasn't in the jewelry department when we returned. So another perfectly lovely woman started to help us. As we worked on completing our order, she was asking our business in Florida and we shared our story with her. Well, during this time, Diane had found her way back and was filled in on the story. Oh, the questions!! Both of these woman were so attentive to the details -- right to the knitty-gritty! "Will you get to be in the room?" "Is the car seat installed properly?" "Boy or girl?" "Have you picked a name?" And my favorite, compared child-rearing to selling "stones." "You can't sell diamonds properly until you jump in and do it!"

All said and done, my heart was bursting by the time we left. Diane congratulated and hugged us with a "god bless you both! That is one lucky baby boy!" (Yep, you know it, tears!)



Love,
M.


Friday, July 18

Rollercoaster

Our adoption journey has certainly had its share of ups and downs. And Thursday was no exception.

Our day started as normal with the thought that we would be leaving on Monday to meet our newborn son on Thursday. Our Rollercoaster made its inaugural, gravity-proving plummet to the ground when we found out our birth mother was on her way to the hospital and, depending on the results of an ultrasound, could have an emergency c-section. The pacing began. 

And the pacing didn't stop until almost 5 hours later with the news that all was good but BabySylva's amniotic fluid was starting to be depleted and he wouldn't certainly be making his appearance next week. At this point, we continued about our plans to entertain our wonderful friends for dinner with the thought that we will still leave Monday morning.

Until an hour later when we found out our birth mother would be induced Monday (if they could get her in) or Tuesday at the latest. So we needed to make our move and start driving in the morning. Eeeeks! 



With our friends at the dining room table sharing in the excitement and chaos of the moment, we started changing/making plans to depart our home in the morning. We were receiving calls from social workers, re-booking hotel reservations for earlier times, fielding the support texts and calls from friends and family.... Oh, and enjoying a delicious last meal at home. (Luckily, our friends thought it was delicious too, cuz they ended up with the leftovers!)

We're sure there are more twists and turns ahead as we embark on a 1500 mile trek to the south to experience the birth of our son. But, man, are we excited to meet him!!


Love,
M.

Monday, July 14

"OK Google - Navigate me to Florida!"

Love having guidance!


Summer as a non-working man is about to come to an end...FINALLY! Don't get me wrong, boasting about not having to get up for work and pretending to not know what day it is has been a delight these past few weeks, but the ultimate job is about to commence. Fatherhood!

Chip found out this afternoon that he was approved to telework for the last few days of our wait, so he'll be beaming into the network from our bestie's mom's home in Boca Raton, FL. We will depart on Monday morning (bright and early, I'm sure) and hopefully arrive in Boca by Tuesday evening. From there, we'll sweat and pace out the final days before #BabySylva makes his grand entrance.

On the home front, we're lucky enough to have family that lives across the street and only a few miles away to be able to check in on the home and water the garden. After all, I don't want all my green-thumbed hard work to be all-for-not! And a fabulous friend that will love Phoebe like her own for a few weeks while we meet her brother for the first time and get him ready to meet his puppy-sister!


This one grew a couple inches overnight.

First to start turning...clearly, it's gifted.

And on the support front, we have so many friends and family that have had our back since day one of this journey and we couldn't be more appreciative of those that have come all this way with us! Seriously, y'all have contributed to his adventure in more ways than you could know. And that's not to say those who have joined us along the way haven't aided us...we know you have, and we're forever grateful! We're excited to continue to share our story and have you as such amazing characters.

I hope you all stay tuned for more...it'll be coming soon!


Love,
M.



Tuesday, July 8

Just another manic Monday

I've officially been on summer vacation for a week now. Although there hasn't been much down-time, I have been enjoying myself immensely. From play dates and projects to impromptu dinners and gardening. Throw in a little grocery shopping and family time -- you've got the makings of my past week.

Oops...stopped at Dangerous Man for a beer and a growler!!
Thursday night gave a little startle. We were informed by our social worker that #BabySylva's birth-mom was en route to the hospital with what she thought was "the labor." We sat on pins and needles for about 5 hours - getting ready to cancel any and all of our weekend plans and ready to pop into the car and make a long, exciting drive. All said and done, our son is going to hold off for a bit longer. (Though we are both sooo ready!!)

BabySylva's first packed bag.

We held on to our Friday 4th plans. We entertained a few new friends with grilled yums, pierogies and some home-made ice cream. Also, Matty brought a delicious home-made potato salad....so good!

Games in the backyard.

After a little confusing communication, we decided to make our trip to see my folks over the 4th. All said and done, it made for an extremely relaxing weekend. A few cocktails, minimal housework and some lake time all made the weekend a delightful one.

A trip to my favorite resting place!

Happy 4th Cheers!!

Yesterday became my project day. I powered through quite a few tasks. Laundry, priming, grocery shopping, breakfast prep, painting. I'm sure there were a few other things throughout the day that I'm forgetting about at the moment. Oh yeah! I started the day with a morning run. :) #productive

Started the morning right...before the rains came.





Auto-awesome made the garden-guardian pop with color.

After primer and two coats of paint,
the Little Free Library is just about ready!

Still waiting for "the call." We'll keep you posted!


Love,
M.