the best summer

So….this may just be the best summer ever!

Why? But, what about last summer when you had a baby!?!

Yes, yes last summer was AMAZING! I got to meet my tiny human and it was beyond incredible. BUT I spent a lot of that summer inside recovering physically and being an emotional wreck because I had a TINY HUMAN!?!? And I was just so clueless on how to feed him, comfort him, and everything else. So last summer was tremendous but it was also very very intense.

This summer though has been truly the very best. Henry has SO much personality. I LOVE this kid (you may have noticed based on my Facebook and Instagram accounts which are entirely consumed by the little dude). He is just so darn playful and funny. We have little “inside jokes” now too. When we are upstairs in his room, he will flash me that mischievous smile and dart around the glider, then he pops his head out from behind and wants to play hide and seek. When I “find” him (which is so hard, where ever could he be?), he laughs and laughs. My little boy is a little fish and can hardly stay out of the water. From the lake to the baby pool, he wants nothing more than to dunk his head, splash, and stay in there ALL DAY long. He speed walks through the house and even likes to sit on the potty and pretend his is using it. But mostly he just wants to laugh and flush the toilet or pull all the toilet paper off the roll. I remember thinking before I had a child that I would never be able to tolerate messes and play that “destroyed” my things. And, what is hilarious is that I love watching Henry explore so if that means pulling out an entire box of kleenex because it is just magic. I will watch him laugh his way through the box. They all fit back in anyway, right?

When I went back to school after maternity leave (summer vacation), I was a mix of emotions. I was scared to leave my son primarily and angry that I had to return after 8 weeks and overwhelmed by the daunting school year ahead. I felt alone, isolated, and sad mostly. But, looking at this approaching school year, I am sadder but in a different way. This summer has been so great exploring New England with my little boy and having so much mommy-son time that it is going to be very hard to say good-bye to our routine. The mornings in the park and afternoons playing and evenings picking up David from the train and being completely carefree together before bed have been just awesome. I guess having the best summer makes the end of summer quite bittersweet. These August days will have to be savored then. Henry is going to get lots of kisses, hugs, and trips out and about because I am just not ready yet to say good bye to this.

Once upon a tween 

When I found out that our niece Alyza was coming to visit us for two weeks, I was excited and scared! What do you do with a preteen for two weeks? Do you play dress up or talk about boys? Do you go to the playground or sunbathe at the beach? Not-quite-a-teenager-but-still-a-kid is a tough age. I remember it and I remember not liking it. So how do we make the most of this visit?

Turns out preteens are sort of awesome! She talked about boys, toys, life goals, growing up, friends, bullies, playgrounds, drama, dreams, and everything in between! She was playful with Henry but enjoyed having “grown up” conversations too. It was quite a great visit. Each day we did some little adventure. A visit to the water park, city, lake, or mall to name a few. My favorite times were when we were all together hanging out at the zoo or our fancy date family date night. Two weeks flew by and our super cool niece had to head home. Now we just need to work on getting her back here!

california adventures

2,975 miles separate my front door from my brother’s. I wish it were more like 2.9 miles, but unfortunately this is not the case. With each of us on our own coast, we are left then to savor our visits with one another.  Henry and I were so lucky to have the opportunity to spend an ENTIRE week out in SoCal with my brother, sister-in-law, and the littles. it was an AMAZING visit. While I was super intimidated flying solo with Henry, it was surprisingly not as horrible as I imagined. We left our home in Boston early with a bag full of baby goodies and spent six hours together in tight quarters. Once we landed and saw our family it was completely worth it. Henry had such a fantastic time visiting with his family and especially loved his time with his little cousins who were so warm, playful, and inclusive of him.

We ate well, including a visit to the legendary In and Out burger, and spent time just being together at parks, water parks, long walks, short jogs, fun outings, and lots and lots of coffee cups shared. The highlight of the trip for me was when they surprised us with a first birthday party for Henry! It was so amazingly sweet and thoughtful and it just warmed my heart and soul. I could barely keep it together as they told me from cake to guests to balloons, they would be throwing the little dude a birthday blow-out bash. This trip will be very difficult to top but I have a feeling that visiting with them again will be…AMAZING.  I will miss them hard until then.

call me crazy?

Me + Henry = Flight to California Saturday

Uh oh!  I am about to undertake a solo cross-country flight with my 11 month old. Am I crazy? Yes and No.

No: This will be the fourth flight in Henry’s young life-span. We have already tackled a flight to Florida, Amsterdam, and California. We know the routine: check-in, boarding, flight, disembarking, baggage claim. We can rinse and repeat this routine like professionals! My packing lists help alleviate the stress of getting organized, and there is always plenty of toys and food to pull out of my magic bag. I have some new toys stowed away for the flight there and back and an arsenal of raspberries to keep my berry monster content.

Yes: Henry is WAY more active these days than when we took those earlier flights. I am not sure he will be content to sit and play the entire 6.5 hours in my lap. And, I won’t have my partner with me to troubleshoot the shrieks. David is AMAZING in general and specifically on flights. I am a nervous flyer, so David rocked Henry to sleep in the back by the flight attendants and David changed his diaper during turbulence, and David had extra hands to grab toys, food, binkies, and anything else that the little man might need. And, when I reached my capacity for wrestling Henry about David took over. I am most nervous about not having my partner with me. Six and half hours is a long time. You could watch 3 feature length movies or drive from Boston to Maryland! Perhaps, I will need to buy myself and everyone around me a glass of wine, or perhaps, Henry will see that it is just me and just him and we will have the most delightful flight cuddling and kissing and reading books and laughing.

Fingers crossed.

henry adam: 11 months

11 months!! STOP STOP STOP. I am not ready for this. Henry is SO ready for this. He is ready to walk, ready to explore, ready to grow. This parenting business is so hard. I finally get that old saying, “they will always be your baby,” because even when Henry is 60 years old (if I am alive and kicking), I will still want him just to be my baby. This little dude is awesome. Seriously, he is the coolest, sweetest little person. I love my little human so so so much and understand that despite my best efforts to keep him little, he will be 1 year old in just 30 days. This first year is flying by us at ludicrous speed. When he was born almost 365 days ago, he was this helpless little sack of love and cuddles. An accomplishment was keeping his eyes open for more than 5 minutes at a time. Now, he is a super independent, playful little boy who loves to get into mischief and go go go.

Month ten started out with Henry being bananas for tubs. We would fill his little baby tub up, plop him in and he would splish and splash. It was a bath for anyone in the room! We added some fun new toys to the mix since we realized that while he was growing up his toys weren’t quite meeting his needs or interest any more. So this submarine from Green Toys (which is an awesome company that makes all their toys out of recycled plastics) entered the soapy waters and obviously a sea plane makes sense for tubby time too! Going along with this “Henry’s growing up and we really need to realize this!” theme, we tried out the regular tub. BIG MISTAKE! Bath time was super scary even though all of the favorite toys were in the shallowest of waters, Henry was not a fan of the extra elbow room. So we are back in the little tub for now. Any suggestions on how to make the transition into the “deep end” would be much appreciated! For now, he is super content to sit in his crammed tub quarters and be buried under his tub toys.

Have you ever been to Las Vegas? If not, come on over to our abode and place your bet! Will Henry walk by his first birthday? What are the odds you ask, 2-1, 6-5, 20-1…I don’t really know how to calculate it, but the current bet stands: David “yes he will be walking” to Melissa “nope he won’t be.” David’s evidence includes Henry’s  growing eagerness to walk around with his baby walker toys, an ability to walk around the house when holding your one hand (or finger), some spider crawling in the grass, cruising along the furniture all the time, and some very fleeting independent standing moments. On the contrary, I see Henry as totally going in the direction of walking but just at a slower, more cautious pace. He is super nervous to stand alone and will go days without doing it, he is hesitant to fall, and LOVES to be carried about. I think our little king of the house (Henry actually means “home ruler”), will walk at 13 months.  But, the only one who really know is the man himself. So what is your bet?

While we are all on hyper alert for those first steps, Henry has been up to a bunch of other things. He is working on giving high fives, blowing kisses, and pointing. At night while the three of us cuddle up in his room to read stories before bed he tries to point at objects in his books. It is too darn adorable. And, the one that makes my heart explode is when you ask him, “Henry, can you give mommy a kiss?” he smiles, leans over, and lays a sloppy open mouth kiss right smack on your lips. AH! I want to ask him a million times a day but I remind myself to play it cool, mommy!

Tearing through the house on your hands and knees can be exhausting and every now and again you need to take a little pause. Henry’s pause just so happens to look like cobra pose in yoga these days. And speaking of crawling there is nothing more exciting and hilarious to baby boy than crawling under and over things. Under Buster is by far the most fun (not sure Buster thinks so), and under tables and chairs or over his elephant he goes. He has also started to open and close drawers which means daddy and I are no longer able to get away with “lazy” childproofing of just covering the outlets.

But the very most fun development of this month, for me to watch at least, has been the Imitation Game! It’s like having our very own laugh reel in the living room. Should one of us crack a chuckle, then Henry cannot help but start laughing as well! It is like he knows someone just told a joke or said something funny or perhaps he just wants to “participate” in the conversation (since his sound repertoire grows by leaps each week). But it cracks me up! His baby laugh is hilarious, so then a small chuckle turns into an all out family belly laugh. Good times.

This month Henry is really into:

  • Dancing. Pick that child up and waltz around the house and he squeals with delight. It is magical!
  • Watching for daddy’s train. We drive over to the commuter rail to pick up daddy and roll down the window and watch the trains go by. With each train he shrieks “Da da, da da” and we watch to see if it’s the right train. Once David is in view, Henry cracks a HUGE smile and laughs until he gets his hello kiss.
  • Pushing every toy around his room like a car. Most of the toys at our house are gender neutral, but this little boy loves his cars and all things transportation related.
  • Parties!  This month there was a lot to celebrate: Annabelle’s Birthday, Kellyanne’s Birthday, Wyatt’s Birthday, and even a gender reveal party for a new friend on his way!
  • Family times. Our weekend in New Hampshire and our Mother’s Day weekend were so great. Relaxing, rejuvenating, and full of time together.
  • Eating. This kids LOVES to eat. He sits for three meals a day and gobbles everything up. But most of all he is obsessed with berries. He is a fanatic. He will grab a strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, or raspberry and raise it above his head like Thor’s hammer and shriek in delight before gobbling up as many as his little mouth can hold.
  • Daycare.  It has taken nearly 6 months but finally Henry likes daycare, especially playing at the water table and sharing toys. He loves passing a toy back and forth with Alex in particular.

What Henry did not like this month:

  • Traffic. This little guy has never really enjoyed traveling in the car. Even when he was a super little baby he cried during most of a car trip. And now that he is older and his cries are even louder no one likes traffic!
  • Ear infections. Boo! Henry suffered through his first ear infection. Thankfully once he was on an antibiotic, he was comfortable but until then we had a few tough nights.