new year resolution…sort of

I used to love making new year resolutions. It always seems like a fresh slate on my bad habits and sluggish ways. Somehow January first promises to bring everything anew. Typically my resolutions or fresh starts are unimaginative: eat better, exercise more, save money. This year, while I will probably still hold those as important, I also just want to take this year more slowly. Each year feels like a race to the next step.  So this year, I am going to adopt a new mindset around time and family. Instead of racing between events and scurrying between appointments and packing our weekends full, full, full, I am going to ease up on all of this. My priority, love, and attention will be focused on my new family unit.  Henry is this little for such a fleeting moment that it is important for us to savor, enjoy, and prioritize our time with him and as a family. I want to enjoy this year of first for us and this year of being a new family. It feels right to turn a bit inward this year and ensure the tranquility, love, and happiness of the home front. This doesn’t mean that we will forgo all relationships with friends but it does mean that we will be more discerning of our time in a way that perhaps forgoes our more flippant scheduling of the past.

K comes to town!

A week went by too quickly! Auntie Kaelin came to town this past week and we had quite the visit.  From shopping, to sharing cocktails, to playing with H, to eating way to much food, to lounging together on the couch and catching up, it was a lovely visit. I wish Madison and Boston were closer so that Kaelin and I could hang out throughout the year. Thank goodness FaceTime is so easy, but it is still not the same as a face-to-face.

Auntie K was an excellent auntie. H loved singing his repertoire of baby tunes with her, rolling around on the floor with her (showing off his new move of sitting independently), and snuggling and laughing with her.  After a week of us, I am sure K is excited to be back to life without baby chaos but she definitely enjoyed the chaos while here! I am really looking forward to our next visit and restarting the series: ‘Drinking with Baby.’ No one mixes into our life here in Boston as seamlessly as Auntie K, but every time she goes, it breaks our hearts!

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henry adam: six months

Why is it that I love and hate ticking the months off? Each month is SO different with this little guy. He learns so much and becomes more and more social with each passing day and I love all of this. And, I hate it! I wish I could hold on to these minutes more. Everywhere I go with him, strangers always stop to say, “Ah, savor this time it doesn’t last long.” I want to say to them, “I know and it kills me! And how did you adjust because clearly you are saying this to me because your babies are now thirty or so, no?” Oh well…it is the plight of all of us mommies and daddies.  Aside from this sad introduction, I promise this has been a fun month, in fact the best yet. (Yes, now that I am a mommy to this little guy, I cannot help but be hyperbolic, it comes with singing children’s songs all day long!).

This month, Henry is all laughs. And, when David gets Henry into a laughing fit my heart melts. These two guys already seem to share something special. Henry knows that when daddy is in the room it’s time to get the belly laughter started. David holds Henry high over head and “adjusts his grip” shifting Henry from his right to left hand and back eliciting the baby giggles. Growling on his belly or neck will do the same. Whenever we pack him up for an outing and buckle him into his car seat we share Eskimo kisses, touching our noses to his and he cannot stop himself from cracking a smile and giving us more of those adorable, sweet laughs. And one of my favorite new additions to the Henry laughter list is “goo goo gaa gaa.” Lately, if you are holding him and start this little baby phrase, he cracks up.  Perhaps he is mature enough to know that adult baby talk is ridiculous?

Henry has been eating and eating and eating this month. As I type that it sounds so weird to me. Obviously he is eating otherwise he we would have a problem on our hands. But, what I mean is that he is weaning on to solids and really enjoying himself. He seems to enjoy a fruit for breakfast, a fruit and some greens for lunch and greens for dinner. So far he has enjoyed:  sweet potato, carrots, turnips, avocado, peas, green beans with raisins and apples, banana, mango, pear, butternut squash, apple and peach. Some of these he enjoyed more than others but overall he hasn’t been fussy about eating as long as you pull his highchair about in the kitchen like a choo choo before settling down to the meal. We even tried some BLW with a banana and toast twice. I peeled the banana the first time and while he could grasp it initially, it quickly became too slippery. The second time with a little help from my mommy friends, we peeled the banana a little and left a bit of a hand grip for him.  This was a much more successful attempt! We see our pediatrician on Henry’s six month birthday and we plan on really starting BLW then once we get the green light (because I am such a chicken about choking)!

Christmas is a cozy time of year and with it sandwiched by both David’s and my birthday this time of year is so fun!  Now top this with a new little baby, and the joy of the season is quite palpable. Henry woke up around 8AM on Christmas morning and we were all so giddy and excited to race downstairs and open presents. I doubt he knew what was going on but he could definitely tell that the adults were happy and making a big deal about the beautifully wrapped packages.  Henry made out like a bandit. So much love poured in from family and friends all around the country. He received so many loving and wonderful gifts: a ride-a-long elephant, activity table, his entire 9 month wardrobe, a singing monkey, a sorting raccoon, a push cart, blocks,  rattles, hooded towels, and books. He was a lucky little boy and this was one very special first Christmas both for him and for his parents (I cannot believe I am this little guy’s mom and David is his dad, seriously?)!

Henry has developed a number of fun new skills this month. It all started with slobbery attempts at raspberries. He was determined to master this skill and practiced SO much. As soon as he woke from a nap, he immediately started to razz, after eating, during tubs, when being changed, when in the car, really just everywhere. And…he did it! After days of constant practice, he is now a pro-razz man! A weird new talent on the surface, but it is the first step toward real communication skills, so hurray! He is also able to sit on his own. This has completely changed how he plays. Now he rocks back and forth on his hands and knees into a sitting position and can reach and grab toys nearby. He seems so much more independent in a way because he can now get what he wants into his hands and play with it without being inhibited by the prone pose. Because of this mobility and sitting up (and even pulling up to standing), we have lowered his crib. David also has taught him to turn off lights, which has been incorporated into our sleep routine. It is adorable to watch his little hand encircle the light switch and ever so slightly lower the switch enough for the lights to go out. He is quite proud of himself. He loves to sit in your lap and read many books. He has a nice attention span now and is really interested in the story watching both the pages and your mouth as your read. With help, he likes to turn the pages too.

Despite the rapidly cooling temperatures, we have been out and about. First, Noah was born!!  Henry’s little best friend finally joined us and we have visited him and his parents and were excited to celebrate Christmas with them as well! We attended music classes at the Sudbury Library and introduced this to Noah too. Most excitedly we visited the aquarium downtown. Henry was amazed! He was enthralled by the fish and turtles. He just watched everything and reached out to touch everything. I can already see that this will become a standard spot for us. And, obviously you have to follow-up a visit to the aquarium with a visit to the North End for cannolis, no? Yes, I could get very used to this family outing. And to cap off the month, Henry turned 26 weeks old on New Year’s Eve, he currently is weighing and is tall and wears size 9 months clothing!

Henry is really into:

  • Since Master Henry is drooling like it is his job, he needs to wear a bib all day or have multiple costume changes. I am not a fan of the bib look so we discovered these scarf bibs and love how hip he looks!
  • Someone loves to read these days. His new favorites are: Babies Everywhere, Baby Loves Summer, Giraffes Can’t Dance, and Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site.
  • Now that the little man is munching his way through solids we have found these leather bibs to be SO helpful in keeping him clean and they wipe clean so there is no extra laundry (Thank you, Bryan and Jessie!)
  • We have started using Honest diaper wipes and really like them. They have a mild scent, a textured material which allows for super easy clean-up, and they are supposed to be made of only good, safe stuff for baby bums.
  • And to hold the little man’s food we have been using these espresso cups!  Yup, we now measure how much he eats by how full the espresso cup is: He ate 2/3 of an espresso cup today!
  • Henry had a really good Christmas with lots of love coming in from all other the country. Some of his new favorite toys are his ride-along elephant and activity table. He just cannot get enough of these. (Thank you, Andy and Heather)

the great pancake challenge

Drama is very important in life: You have to come on with a bang. You never want to go out with a whimper. Everything can have drama if it’s done right. Even a pancake. -Julia Child

I have to confess…I cannot make pancakes!  I know, I know, how can this be?  Well, I just never learned and now I feel thoroughly incompetent in the pancake department. Whenever I try, they always come out a mess. In my mind, I imagine pancakes hot off the griddle cooked to perfection. They are lightly golden in color with butter melting into the nooks and crannies. Perhaps blueberries or chocolate chips are nestled inside. The pancakes are stacked three high and look as fluffy as a cloud. The taste is divine with subtle sweetness and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.

Alas, these are definitely not my pancakes. My pancakes cannot hold a candle to this perfection! My griddle is too hot or too cold, or too greased or not greased enough. The pancakes are always undercooked or burned.  I never quite know when to flip them. Flipping them is an awkward movement in which I attempt to quickly toss the pancake often leading to batter disintegration. They are never rounded, golden suns but odd shapes with globs of batter. They never taste semi-sweet but like flour stuck together with water. I have tried to jazz up the pancakes with blueberries, chocolate or even bacon.  It has not helped. The perfect pancake remains as elusive as the Loch Ness Monster.

Therefore, I have decided (which David thinks is ridiculous) to try to hunt down this perfect pancake each Saturday morning. From changing recipes, to ingredients, to whatever else is necessary, this hunt will be serious!  In light of the culinary journey I am about to embark on, I am seeking any advice, tips, tricks, recipes or words of encouragement from the perfect pancakes makers that I know are out there!  Thank you.