an epic nap

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After work on Wednesday,  I brought Henry upstairs to my bedroom while I changed out of my work clothes. He was laying on the bed babbling to me while Buster and Bella were pacing around the bed. Suddenly, Henry started to get fussy. At first, my immediate response was to “change the scenery.”  Now that Henry is slightly more mobile he loves to “move” more and being stationary isn’t really an option. But, bringing him into my arms, his fussiness didn’t subside. Problem-solving Henry is usually easy. Most often, the fussiness is for: a change of activity, hunger, sleepiness, or a diaper. This time, it just so happened to be sleepiness. While I nursed him on the bed, Henry kept nodding off. It was so sweet watching him fall asleep in my arms. But, I have to confess, I have never nursed him while laying down. It just has never seemed like a natural position. With my sleepy baby in my arms, I thought I would try it. Carefully, I laid down on the bed with Henry on my side. And he napped. As I was in my pajamas, I closed my eyes and savored this super snuggly, beautiful moment with my son. My eyes opened every few minutes to take him in and I just could not get over how beautiful this was.

Of course, everything in the house was against us! As we lay there in the growing darkness, Buster was the first to try to upset the moment. He jumped on and off the bed, paced around the room, and even let out a bark as a truck drove by. Then it was Bella’s turn. She grabbed a bone and brought it to the bed and started to gnaw loudly on it. I waited with baited breath to see if the nap spell would break. Henry held on to his quiet slumber. Then from downstairs, Blaise started to howl and bang up against his crate. Hearing the pups upstairs, he eagerly sought to play with them and therefore held the nap in the balance. His enthusiasm woke up Daisy who joined in his choir of howls.  Tenuously, Henry remained asleep beside me. After the two longest minutes, the house fell silent and I confidently thought, “Ah, now we can relax into the nap for real.” No sooner was this thought made, then my parents came home from an errand opening up the garage. Again the cacophony of dog noises erupted! This time, Henry was jolted from his slumber, but he didn’t cry. He merely smiled up at me and my heart melted.

thankful

Tis the season to be thankful! As we head into the holiday season, there is so much to be grateful for. 2014 has been a very very good year for our family. We have grown in so many ways and owe so much of our happiness to those who loved and supported us. David and I are so appreciative of our family and friends. Their constant presence this year truly helped us tackle the learning curve of parenthood. From cooking meals, to late night phone calls, to helping fold laundry, to Skype dates, to holding the baby, and checking in on us, we were never isolated as new parents and found instead a warm and welcoming community. This has been truly invaluable.

And, I am so thankful to my parents who have uprooted themselves to Massachusetts.  Their close proximity is an act of complete selflessness. Having my parents near to us is such a gift. It is the ultimate gift to a new family. Not only will we be able to spend more time with them each week but Henry receives constant love from his mema and pepa as they care for him during the week. I know that this family care is unique and amazing and I am SO SO thankful that they have chosen to provide this for us and for Henry. Since I cannot be with him during the day, I know that my mom and dad are able to give him everything I would love to give. There is a great sense of comfort provided. There are so many pros and cons to the various care options for new babies. And so many studies reflect how babies grow and thrive in each of these settings. For us, this is the right fit and we are so thankful that my parents are equally excited about it. I am really looking forward to this new year with family nearer.

arts & crafts

On Saturday, we hosted a little Mommy & Baby Brunch at our home. It was fun setting up Henry’s toys downstairs and thinking about how to make everyone feel comfortable and welcome. I wanted the “play date” to be relaxed and a space where moms could connect while babies wiggled about and played together. It was exactly that! The moms I met when Henry was two weeks old are a fantastic group of supportive and fun women. I truly enjoy their company. Their insights, questions, and joy about motherhood are enriching! And, their creativity set us up for some fun arts & crafts that morning too.

Perhaps we will have to make a few more for grandparents for Christmas?

cooking & baby

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Finding time to cook new and exciting meals is hard with a new little one. When we get home from work, the last thing I want to do is don an apron and work up a meal (even though I  LOVE to cook!). I would much rather spend my night snuggling and playing with Henry and reconnecting with David. If I could survive on air this would be perfect, but alas, mealtime is essential and therefore something must be done! Many new moms have suggested I cook for the whole week on Sunday night. And, while this may be the step we eventually take, I am not ready to give up my Sunday for all day kitchen time either. So on a whim we purchased William Sonoma’s One Pot of the Day Cookbook. Some recipes take hours to simmer and these delicious items will have to wait until the weekend but most of the meals can be whipped up in a matter of minutes (like 30-40).  For a new family this seems much more reasonable and with everything contained in one pot this also means no real clean-up time: win-win! If I could forgo working, I would cook up one of these meals a day for a year which is how the book is organized. But, for now, since employment is key, I will have to suffice on one or two new recipes from here a week. I think that will do.

David took the first meal from the book (page 261). It was a braised chicken with tomatoes and bacon, and it was quite good. And, the left over wine from braising was an excellent finish to the long day. Nicely done, David.