I'm in the mood to gush about my baby

I don't consider myself to be a gushy mom, though my friends will undoubtedly correct me about this if they see things differently. I talk about Brandon, but I don't spend a lot of time telling everyone I meet how wonderful he is (even though it's true). Today, though, I'm not gonna lie - I plan to gush over my kid and if you're not in the mood, don't read this.

I had fun dressing Brandon today - he had on a Hawaiian shirt and pants rolled up like clam diggers and little baby deck shoes - so CUTE! Steph said he looked like Magnum P.I. I think Brandon's much better looking, though. Besides, for him to look like Magnum, I'd have had to dress him in size 6 months shorts so they'd be short and tight for that lovely 80s look.

This afternoon, I picked Brandon up early from Tracy's and we met a couple of other friends at the mall. We were taking advantage of a sale at the Gap and just as I was finally getting to the cash to pay (slow, slow lineup), Brandon had a complete meltdown. It was his first ever mall meltdown and it was just because he was hungry. Chantal, who went before me, was a big help trying to distract him, but we did hightail it out of there as quick as possible. I was getting "the look" from people. The "why can't you keep your baby quiet" look. I've always known that look exists, but it's very uncomfortable when it's being directed at YOUR child.

Later in the day, I took Brandon to Farm Boy to pick up a few things and, of course, the strap in the cart was unusable. He's usually pretty good in the carts, so I generally don't worry about the straps anyway. What I didn't realize is that since Brandon has started walking in the past week, he is no longer "pretty good" in the cart. The child actually stood up and tried to climb out of the cart at one point. I was both horrified and proud of him. Parenthood is rife with these moments of conflicting emotions I've discovered. He's a pretty determined kid, so I had to use the best distraction available to me in that particular moment (the one that also failed miserably at the Gap earlier in the day) - my car keys. This time, he wasn't hungry and they worked...well, until we got to the car and I had to take the keys away. That's always the tricky part.

Dinnertime was pretty exciting this evening as well. Brandon took about 10 steps on his own two separate times. It's so exciting watching him learn new things. He's always been such an eager little guy and as soon as he learns a new skill, he's anxious to use it as much as possible. I've tried to encourage him by letting him walk around holding onto my finger several times a day. He does most of the work that way, but has a backup that boosts his confidence. He ends up walking around cooing the whole time he's so excited. The child is just unbelievably cute.

After dinner we went for a bike ride, which is probably my favorite physical activity. It's interesting having Brandon along with us now. He just sits and watches the world go by and every now and then he'll start chatting away while Matt and I are talking. Occasionally, I look over and he's flailing his arms and legs, possibly because he wants to get out now that he's enjoying his new mobility.

I guess the bottom line is that I love this kid more than I can even express. He's the best adventure I've been on in life to this point; I look forward to each stage and the fun we have watching him grow and learn. What an amazing privilege to get to help a little one grow up - I am so incredibly blessed!