A funny mother’s day

Last year’s Mother’s Day was a little silly. In some ways, these holidays in which we  pause and share some extra love to a parent can be a little bit of a set-up. Maybe it is just me, but I imagine a day of laying in bed late (like 9AM-10AM late) followed by everyone getting along, no messes, no fuss, and lots of indulgences. And while much of this could in theory happen you cannot take the Mother out of Mother’s day. And there is the set-up. I love my kiddos and husband with every ounce of my being but no day will ever go by without a little fiasco on the spectrum of silly, family drama. When you have a 2 year old and a 3 year old, it is inevitable and the more you can embrace it, the more likely you will laugh when it unravels. Ironically, this year’s Mother’s Day came pretty close to perfection and awesome-sauce. David made my favorite Dutch pancakes with homemade whipped cream, we enjoyed a stroll through Cambridge to a little coffee shop for a latte, ate too much for second breakfast including chicken and waffles at Tupelo, and then headed home for nap time for the boys and pottery for me. Tantrums were at a minimum and family time was a delightful maximum. But last year’s Mother’s Day was definitely more “eventful.”

Brunch is my favorite. Breakfast at an in-between hour full of delicious decadences like ricotta cream pancakes and honey lattes and I am ready to go! Last year, Henry was two and Owen just turned one. I thought I was in the “sweet spot” of motherhood. No more breast-feeding and two independent kiddos to dine out with. Today, I can look back and say that was a good time but this current situation is even sweeter. But anyway, back to last year:

Owen was a gaggy kiddo. Seriously, every single meal Owen would eat some random thing and begin to epically choke. He would purse his lips out, make a growl, and look as though a second more he would pass out. Typically, I would panic, grab him, flip him upside down, and bang on his back. There was a 50% chance that he would dislodge the the item (be it a morsel of chicken or a crumb of bread or a spoon of applesauce) and continue enjoying his dinner as though nothing had just occurred. The other 50% of the time he would vomit his dinner up and then continue to enjoy his dinner as though nothing had occurred. Either situation left me sweating and exhausted from the roller coaster of panic to disgust to confusion over what I should clean first. We never made it through a single meal for months on end without this kid having a good ole choke.

So why did we think brunch on Mother’s Day would be any different? Well, I held out hope that the stars would align and Mother’s Day would be special and therefore if he only ate truly soft items or stuck to purely liquid foods we would make it through brunch at the cottage in Wellesley without an issue. We sat at the table amidst a crowded dining area filled with loads and loads of moms and children of all ages. We ordered and chatted and mostly maintained a state of calm with the kids and a handful of little table toys. Owen was to eat some scrambled eggs and I was ready to sip my latte and have some crab cake Benedict. The meal went on like this for maybe 30 or 40 minutes and I remember sighing and thinking: Wow, this is amazing.

And then it happened. Owen’s breath caught in his throat, he was choking on barely a finger-nail sized piece of mushy scrambled egg! HOW COULD THIS BE HAPPENING?!?!? I tried not to panic. This was routine and like a well-practiced, first-responder I hoisted him out of his chair, tipped his head toward the floor and administered a solid thud thud to his back. The egg flopped out and placing him back in his seat, it seemed like the crisis was averted. Taking the napkin to the egg bit on the floor, I sat back up in my chair just in time for it. Owen’s choke was the 50% in which he lost his breakfast contents. He spued the contents of his baby breakfast which somehow multiplied on the way out all over himself and the plate in front of him. I WAS THAT MOM!  How could I have come to a fancy-ish brunch with a sick kid? Except everyone at my table KNEW he wasn’t sick, this was standard non-sick behavior. I did the only thing I could think of. I sacrificed every clothe napkin on the table to cover his spillage and then stripped him naked to his diaper. I took his clothes and asked David to throw them in the garbage in the bathroom. As though a Navy Seal on a covert Op, David snuck off to complete his assignment. No use saving that little shirt and pant if our dignity was also gone! The waiter came back to the table and you could see he was pausing. You could almost read his mind saying, “Something happened here.” The baby was naked but everyone else was dressed in button-downs or sun-dresses, everyone was nervously laughing and in unison we asked for the check!

We walked out into the sunny parking lot like we had just sprung from jail and raced to the car as though anyone from the restaurant would follow us. Buckling the kids into the car, we turned on the ignition and looked at each other the only way parents do when you are simultaneously thinking: this is nuts, WTF, and I love this family.

Ears, nose, and throat

Owen had ear tubes put in last summer. We like to say that that was the moment when he went from our most difficult human encounter to an insanely sweet, cheerful fellow. But seriously, it was like night and day following that procedure. So many evenings had been dedicated to sleeplessness prior to his mini-surgery. Every 45 minutes, David or I would be in his room rocking him, pacing with him, shushing him, singing to him, bouncing him, and praying for a reprieve to the nightmare of sleep deprivation and for sunrise. Then after a fifteen minute visit to the OR, he popped out cured of his ear troubles and has been utterly delightful and our best sleeper since (even sometimes staying in bed on Sunday mornings until 7AM).

It took until today though to really understand how miserable that poor baby must have been. Of course during his troubles my mommy heart broke for him and empathy washed over me like a tsunami but I had no gauge for the real level of his pain. Clearly it was real enough to keep him up all night for sure but I had no comparison to measure it to. Then this weekend hit! Out of no where, my ear fell to the same plight as Owen’s. I suddenly could not hear, had shooting pains, and could not sleep. I felt sick from sleep deprivation and scared I was losing my hearing. Hightailing over to the ER, I worried through the examination and prayed it would be okay and that I would walk out suddenly cured. The doctor confirmed my eardrum as the culprit and referenced if I was child I would get tubes and I thought about Owen and how my poor baby stomached this discomfort for months and months and months before he was given relief. How strong that little human was and is!! My ER doctor prescribed me a strong antibiotic, patted me on the back and said it will get worse before it gets better, and handed me a script for Vicodin. If your drum ruptures you might need this he noted. Sitting in CVS waiting to fill my medicines with everything crossed that this acute pain subsides and my ear drum does not rupture so I can travel to China with no problem is two weeks, I just keep thinking of baby Owen and how much pain he endured and I am so glad that procedure helped him because he is just so stinking sweet and loving and giving and clearly very brave and strong!!

I understand why Britney Spears shaved her head




Remember on February 16, 2007 when Britney Spears shaved her head? The tabloids went wild!  Shocking photos emerged of the young singer walking into the salon, taking a trimmer to her own head, and looking wild-eyed as her hair fell to the floor. The world asked why? In the days and weeks that followed, Britney was accused of insanity and instability. Was this the public descent into madness that the news outlets believed? To be honest, at the time, I was finishing my last year of High School and completely confused by what would drive someone to so publicly “fall to pieces.” But now…..I get it.

Back in 2005 Britney gave birth to her first son, then in 2006 her second. That means by February 16, 2007, the night in question, she was in that world of two under two! The fact that all she did was shave her head on that fateful night maybe should be commended. This morning while getting ready for work, I got to that “let me shave of head” place and it was dark, ugly, and wild.  The alarm went off at 5AM as it always does during the work week. David took his shower and I stayed in bed waiting in the darkness for my turn and savoring the last moments of quiet. As he stepped back into the bedroom, he saw that Buster had gotten sick on the floor and the descent began. Forty-five minutes remained in our morning before everyone needed to be dressed and in the car and now we were derailed by the dog. We scrambled to clean up the area and get the dogs outside and fed. Henry woke up next angry about who knows what and he stomped around the house displaying his sour mood. Not wanting to get out of his cozy pajamas, he chose to protest in a surprisingly new way: he angry peed on the floor! AH!!! Now we had cleaned-up the floor from the dogs and had to clean up the floor from Henry and still get the boys dressed and down stairs in 30 minutes. In the commotion that ensued, Owen woke up and, also angry about the morning, decided to throw an epic tantrum lunging himself into his dresser. With everyone crying and/or covered in yuck, things felt too overwhelming. By the grace of God, and David staying calm under pressure, we made it downstairs with ten minutes to spare. I slipped their sneakers on, David gave us kisses and hugs as he headed out the door, and after giving each kiddo a defrosted pancake to maybe bring up their blood sugar levels, we got into the car. I was amazed that we were on time still, but so sweaty from the morning. Owen asked for his milk after chowing down his pancake and all seemed to have reset. Until, Owen decided that he would for the first time ever unscrew this milk cap and dump the entire contents of his cup on his lap then scream about the discomfort of cold milk and soaking clothes all the way to daycare. It was in that moment that I thought about Britney Spears.

Shaving my head would be so immediate! It would take me out of this moment, it would DO something in a moment when things felt chaotic, unpredictable, and paralyzing. I could take my bald head into the cold Fall morning, grab my long umbrella and just have my appearance match the internal turmoil. Britney, I get you! You might have had some underlying postpartum depression and I hope overall you feel good now in your skin, but that moment when you shaved your head probably felt really liberating if you were feeling the chaos that is raising two small children. You set a new standard in “crazy” for 2007 but I totally get it albeit ten years later and similarly in the trench of mommy-hood. Much love to you Britney today and always.

Also, I still love my kids but dang was today crazy!


Family Photos

Last weekend, we dressed up the family in festive attire and met our dear friend Lyndsay of Lyndsay Hannah Photography at Mistletoe Farm in Stow to do a little family photo shoot. At the end of the shoot, I realized that Lyndsay has captured some of the most beautiful moments of our family since Henry joined our tight twosome three years ago. We never thought we would “invest” in photos but I am so glad we do!  First, it supports our friend Lyndsay who is not only a talented and inspiring artist but also is someone who can somehow get even the most difficult of toddlers to smile while she captures that instant and she is a kick-ass boss mama building her business, brand, and style with every shoot. And, to top it off, our home is filled with photos of our little boys growing up and frozen in playful snapshots of their childish spirit and quirky little personalities. No matter how much I want to convince myself that I will remember the details of these days with my babies, I know memory is a thief and that these photos will help bring me and David back to these moments over and over again. This weekend David is away visiting with his family in Florida and I am planning to design some photo books for the home and select some prints to blow up for a fun little project idea I have to decorate our bedroom. Despite living in our home for almost 10 months, we have not committed to hanging up enough decor to make the home feel more cozy and like “us.” But regardless of this, I am so grateful to have these photos from Lyndsay. She has been there for birth, life, moving and has helped capture our past three busy busy years and helped us slow down, look around, and remember these are magical.


Baby Products: If I had to do it again…

Currently there are 5  mammas growing babies that I know! Can you believe it! So many loved ones are expanding their families which is amazing and awesome and I am over the moon excited for them. One of the things I love most about all these babies-to-be, is when their moms reach out with bump updates, funny little texts about the ins-and-outs of their pregnancy, and questions about baby gear. Having had two little guys pretty close together, I am crazy about having the right gear. David and I have a pretty minimalist style about us (we barely have things hanging on our walls and never have items out all over the kitchen counters). So when it was time to upgrade our family to 3 and then 4 humans, I was freaking out about ALL THE CLUTTER!  For such a tiny, little thing a newborn needs a lot of stuff (or so it seems!). Did we make some purchasing mistakes in our three short years of parenting: Oh, Heck yes! Did we nail some gear decisions: Oh, Heck Yes! So I thought I would take a moment to just share what I would put on my registry today knowing what I know now (which isn’t everything or anything really!) but what I have learned from my two boys. I stress the my because every family will have their own flavor but I spent a lot of money (even wasted a lot of money) on stuff frankly that we didn’t use or didn’t need. So if it is not on the list below, I personally feel you don’t need it (of course you can want it!). And if some magical pregnancy fairy came down and told me, guess what you have baby 3 coming, I would branch no farther than this list of items.

First on my list would be the Solly wrap. A cozy wrap that is still breathable for wrapping up the tiniest newborn for those first ventures out of doors or to hold your baby close while you try to do something around the house like fold laundry. I had one of the Moby wraps but it was such thick, hot material that this Italian girl sweat like a beast.

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In the same family of baby-wearing, I would also get the ErgoBaby 360. Why? Why would I just not streamline my minimalist list and choose one wrap. It might seem silly but the Ergobaby is a much better product for baby once it is over 4ish months. It has better back support for you and you can wear it into a lake and then throw it in the wash which makes summering easier. Baby can sit in every position possible and I totted Owen around in it until he was almost 17 months old! The only reason I stopped wearing him was because he finally decided walking was the only appropriate means of transportation.

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Then there are the staples: A carseat and a stroller.

I like the Chicco brand for carseats. I know other people love the more expensive lightweight carseats but the Chicco one was just fine for the boys, it comes apart fully and so easily so I could wash it all without messing around with it too much and it is always ranked as one of the highest for safety. For strollers, boy do I have opinions. My personal favorite stroller that we had was the UppaBaby Cruz. It was lightweight, adaptable, sleek and I just loved how it looked and felt. We travelled all the way to Amsterdam with it and it still looked brand new when we sold it. Why did we sell it? We had two babies pretty close and the Cruz does not adjust for multiple little ones. For this situation (or if you are planning to have two babies close), I recommend our second stroller the Baby Jogger City Select. The stadium seating was great for the older kiddo to look out and not be dragged underneath like some strollers, and the basket under the seats was HUGE. I could have carried David under there! The last stroller we will ever use is the MaClaren Umbrella Stroller (our current). It is lightweight, the boys sit side-by-side, you can wash the whole thing, and it is a good travel stroller with a nice under basket and the seats recline all the way in case someone decides to nap.

Other items I would register for:

A bassinet like the Halo, so that baby is close in your bed and you don’t have to get up or go too far to get the little one to change or feed. I am interested in the Dock-A-Tot, though we have two dogs so I would not have felt safe with baby in the bed between us and with them about.  And I don’t know what pediatricians say about the product as a bed (online the company seems to make a clear distinction between using it for monitored sleep (i.e. naps) vs. using it as a true bed), so if you are thinking about it, please ask talk to your pediatrician first! And then tell me what they say and what you think.

Then these swaddles by SwaddleMe, because every Momma I know has said, “My baby just didn’t like the swaddle,” while that very well might be true. Those buggers are strong whether they like to be swaddled or not, and we got great sleep from both our boys using this sucker. They would push against it but they pushed against me in the womb and after a few minutes of wiggling about and settling into the swaddle position of their choice they always passed out and slept deeply until feeding time! And I would probably get one packet of swaddles by Aden&Anais because they are so beautiful and soft and every baby needs something like that to be held in sometimes and we also used them as a sunshield on their carseats.

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If you are planning to pump, I would snag a Medela Pump and Go Style along with some of the Medela Bottles and Dr. Brown Nipples sizes 0, 1 and 2 because depending on the force of your let down, your baby  might actually need/want a bigger size opening than a 0. And you can get a little bottle drying rack or just use one you have at home already.

We used the following items a lot for each boy and therefore I would want these on my registry again too: a swing, a pack n’play, and a baby mat. For a swing, we were very fortunate to have parents who bought us the 4moms Mamaroo. I liked it a lot because it did the job of swinging the baby back and forth, it did not take up much room at all, and it had so many variations to keep the baby from being bored of it and you could turn on a white noise machine to help baby ease into a noisy house. For a Pack n’Play, we travelled a lot when Henry was just born and we are still visiting family often. We continue to get every penny out of this travel pack n’play by Lotus and it is awesome because it is so lightweight and folds up into a backpack.

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For a play mat, I would just pick out one you like that has a couple configurations to keep baby entertained while it lays on its back and looks up and swats at toys. I always like Baby Einstein for this kind of stuff.

A few more items left:

Boppy: You want some pillow if you plan to nurse. I liked the boppy because it was easy to put on by myself with a toddler and screaming baby, easy to clean, and the baby could use it as a prop for tummy time and when he was learning to sit.

Burp Cloths (like 15!): It doesn’t matter what kind but don’t go crazy and buy out the store but get 15 so you don’t have to run the laundry all the time.

Bath insert:  It is important because you don’t want a crusty baby, but don’t overthink it. Something like the AngelCare Bath Support is perfect if you are placing baby in your tub.

Pacifier:  Don’t buy out the store but definitely think about having one handy in case your little one likes to suckle. Henry was crazy for his and he just used the soothie from the hospital. Owen was never interested.

Monitor: This is where we splurged a bit and bought a motorola baby monitor where we could see and hear the baby. It was awesome for sleep training. Instead of just hearing the baby’s cry and going in, we could watch the baby and see what exactly was going on. Was the baby frantic? Hungry? or just tired and so so so so close to falling asleep on his own. It helped us hear the differences in the cries and respond accordingly.

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Bouncer: This is obviously for when the baby is older and becoming more active but a bouncer is a great option for when you are trying to cook dinner, go to the bathroom by yourself, or just want the baby to get out the wiggles. I liked the Baby Einstein one again because the baby could bounce himself about and it had a lot of little toys and gadgets to play with.

Diaper Bag: I have tried a bunch of different diaper bags and I really like the one I have now by little unicorn. If you are a bottle feeding momma, you might want something else as it does not have a side bottle holder but if you are nursing then it is a great bag to keep your hands free, it packs a ton and I like it because it looks good and you can wash it.

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Rocking Chair & Pouf: Not every momma or dadda might want a rocking chair and pouf, but I use mine everyday and have for three years. I like it so much, I cannot wait to move it into my bedroom and turn it into a reading chair. So many late nights were spent rocking my babies while they ate, cried, and were falling asleep. So many nights, I fell asleep in the chair too. I bought this one from target and this one from etsy.

2 leather bibs: You can buy a dozen cloth bibs and wash them endlessly until they get dingy and you need to replace them, or you can get a leather bib set from Mally Bib on Etsy and have them forever! The two leather bibs we still use everyday were from my niece and nephew. Just wipe them clean and go! (and the clasp in the back is a magnet so you can hang it on your refrigerator).

Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 3.03.18 PM.pngGood luck with the little one you are waiting for or the little one you are currently raising! I would love to hear what are some of your favorite products that you could not live without! This raising babies business is tough sometimes but when you hold that little one close the whole world melts away and none of this really matters after all. Cheers!


Cheddar Biscuits

It has been over a year since I felt like I owned my body. It is a funny thing to say since I live in it everyday, but when you carry a baby, give birth to that baby, and then nurse that baby for 12 months, you share your body. It is an amazing experience. In these moments, I felt in awe of everything that these cells could do without my conscious self dictating or driving the ship.  But that is always part of it, your body just sort of takes over and the part of you that makes you you, goes for the ride. It might be a ride of a lifetime but it is quite a ride. Becoming a mother might very will be the best thing I ever do in my life. It is a daily gift and a daily reminder that things are really really good in life. And it is a reminder that no matter how much I want to control all that is around me, I can’t and even my own body is at times (probably more often than I realize) out of my control.

Today though marks the one week mark since I last nursed little Owen. With him drinking out of sippy cups and fully transitioned to other nourishment, I find myself a little bit perplexed. What do I do with this body now? How exactly do I feel post-nursing my last baby?  It has been a HUGE transition and these last 7 days were really hard and really dark. Add to the transition of weaning, the flu and some marital strife and these last seven days were a bit of a misery march.  I know the title of this post is deceiving but I promise I will get to those biscuits and why those cheddar biscuits are so important to this tale.

But first, let’s talk about weaning. It happens. For some the weaning process is immediate, even before a nursing relationship is able to fully establish in those first hours or days of motherhood. For others the weaning process is longer, it takes 15+ months for mom and baby to negotiate a truce over who “owns” the boob and who gets to “access” the boob. For me, both of my boys sort of “broke up” with me. Henry was earlier than Owen. At 10/11 months, Henry grew impatient waiting for my milk and much preferred to get going after chugging on his sippy. Owen, I thought would be different. He loved nursing. And I loved nursing him. I thought about how maybe this baby, this baby that I have been told was my last baby, would linger a little longer in his babyhood. Unfortunately, on his first birthday something shifted (maybe hormones or maybe my body just gave a massive sigh of relief), but I was struggling to keep up my supply almost within 24 hours. It felt dire. We had not introduced a sippy cup yet! We had not introduced milk yet! We were rushing head first to an inevitable confrontation and I felt out of control (yet again) of this body which was no longer willing or able to feed Owen. My body started to reject nursing and started to show signs of ‘weaning sickness.” I had a constant headache that was blinding, I felt nauseous, and dizzy, and feverish, and all sorts of awful. It felt like I was both PMSing and pregnant simultaneously and I spent so much money on pregnancy tests over the next few days, and crossed everything hoping that maybe just maybe there would be one more baby for us and that it wasn’t just my body throwing in the towel. David made some moves to end our reproduction future and all of this was too much for me. I was ready to crawl into a big pit of pity and never come out. I felt (and still do a little) that everyone was against me. David was done having babies, Owen was done nursing, my body was done making milk & having babies, and the identity I had crafted and lived in comfortably for 3 years was shifted against my will and I was told to just: deal with it.

Then, the flu hit and our nursing days were truly done. I could not get out of bed, I could not feed Owen. Of course, like it was NO BIG DEAL Owen just drank milk from a cup! It is funny how I made myself sick with worry about how would this child eat and without blinking an eye he just transitioned. He resiliently said “okay,” while I rolled in bed sobbing my eyes out because I was sick from weaning, and sick from the flu, and sick in my heart because too much was happening all at once. Things still feel fragile 7 days later. Owen and Henry are just going about their days as usual, drinking milk like a boss and playing endlessly. But, I still feel a little removed from it all. Surely, I am not alone in the struggle with transitions and I know this story is not unique, yet it is affecting me right now and I am hoping with some more time I will continue to reconcile myself to some BIG changes: I am done having babies, I am done nursing babies, I am done weaning babies, and I am done sharing my body. And while all those things will inevitably happen, it feels so weird actually saying it, seeing it, and living it. I wonder if even ten years from now, I will still ache for this chapter in my life.

So here come the cheddar biscuits. In sharing and giving so much of my cellular essence to someone else and everyone else, I forgot that there are things I like to do with my time but could not do for a long time because I was too tired or busy or overwhelmed or involved in the chapter I am now closing. Like cooking and I mean really cooking from scratch with complicated recipes with lots of ingredients and multiple steps. And yes it will probably be two steps forward and a step back as I figure out these new steps as a mother to two boys who will continue to grow up and potentially grow away from their mama, but there are great things we can do together as they grow up, and as their immediate baby needs shift and change to new horizons, interests, and abilities. And while we all grow into this family dynamic, I know now that I can also bake a pretty delicious cheddar biscuit from scratch. Not the most complicated recipe, but you got to start somewhere. Anyway, I am working on it. I wish there was a script we could follow when adulting gets hard. I wish there was a pause button I could hit so I could just sit a little longer in this moment so that my heart can catch up to the reality it is now living in. It would be so much easier that way. At least the cheddar biscuits tasted good.


Owen Edward: 11 Months

How can it possibly be that in 30 days our baby is one year old!!  This will sound cliche but truly this year was the longest shortest year with Owen joining us as the fourth and final member to the clan. This month will be filled with many joyful tears as we mark the milestone. So much growth and development has occurred and I am both nostalgic for my tiny baby and excited for all that our little toddler-to-be is able to do now and will continue to be able to do into this next year! For starters, this month, at 30 inches in length, Owen abandoned his baby infant carseat carrier and transitioned into the toddler carseat. I would like to say that this solved our fussy transporter’s issues around car travel but, alas, he remains underwhelmed by travel. Perhaps he will be similar to Henry and change his mind about the car once he is able to turn around and face forward in his seat.

Project smile is at a standstill. Everyday we are convinced that the next set of two bottom teeth and the two front teeth will erupt from the gums, and everyday we are left waiting. He clearing is teething as they inch closer and closer to the surface. We can see them! But, they remain submerged. But, the two-teethed boy is not deterred in his eating. He continues to prefer solid foods to puree and relishes in sausage, kale, spinach, pasta, fish, olives, berries, and cries out to try anything and everything he sees us eating. You truly cannot snack in front of Owen without offering him a bite. He refuses to let a single mealtime experience or opportunity pass him by. In order to convey this, Owen squawks at us, opens his mouth as wide as it physically can go, and reaches out with open hands to grab hold of that morsel. He has started to make the sound for “more” and taps his fingers together to sign to us that he wants more, more, more food!

You might call us crazy, but it also seems like he can say “ball.” This is perfect considering his favorite toy is a ball. He will crawl his way over to a bag of balls or a kick ball, grab ahold of it and start smiling from ear to ear. He cannot contain his delight and squeals with glee as he taps and bops and hits the balls between his hands or onto the floor and says something like “baa laa” while playing. His other go to toys these days are: a dump truck full of balls, shaker eggs, a book that plays the song Old MacDonald, and a xylophone. His grabs the little kid table in the playroom and reaches for his mallet and then you begin to hear the sound of the musician at work. This is the most hysterical thing to the maestro who turns about smiling and laughing and waits for his applause. Music and dancing are definitely the preferred activities for Mr. Owen.

As with every month, there were many celebrations to enjoy from Owen’s first Valentine’s day to singing happy birthday and FaceTiming with family around the country as they  commemorated their own years. Owen tumbled at Jack’s birthday part and played in little gyms throughout the suburbs of Boston as both a way to explore and learn and as an attempt to avoid these last frigid days of old man winter. But whether we are home or out exploring, Owen is in a very clingy phase where he prefers to be snuggled and carried about. When he is ready to get down, he twists out of your arms and let’s you know that this place or this thing is very exciting and he has got to go! Like when it is time for a diaper change he much prefers to be doing anything else, so I am left sweating while I try to wiggle him into his new attire before he scampers off naked. No matter how wiggly he gets though, he is the king of the hug and cuddle. He nestles his little head into my neck and just quietly lays against my cheek while he pats my back and I think, okay let’s stay like this forever or for at least the next 30 years.

David won the bet!  For the past two months, we have been patiently waiting to see when Owen would take his first shaky steps. The deadline was March 11 for David’s victory and on March 8th, Owen let go of the coffee table and took four caution and independent steps to me. And with that David won himself a pack of Dr. Pepper! Congratulations, David. With Owen even more mobile we are preparing ourselves for the inevitable fights between the boys. We have had a glimpse of what is to come. Henry will be playing at the coffee table when Owen sidles up and grabs a hold of whatever had been capturing Henry’s attention and just like that chaos breaks out and they each dig their little nails into the coveted toy and cry out! Yet when it is time to read stories they easily give up their difference and sit down together to follow along with the tale of Make Way for Little Ducklings or Where is Baby’s Bellybutton? In those moments, I know that they will be friends and siblings, allies and rivals, but forever family and there to encourage and protect and love one another. And, that David and I are there to help them figure out those complexities.

As the month closed out, Owen had an ear infection (his first), but after a round of antibiotics he gifted up with multiple nights of major sleep! Owen went down to bed at 6:30PM and woke for the day at 5:30AM and I did a dance of joy throughout the house. I will absolutely miss our nighttime cuddles and nursing sessions when I would wrap his little Tintin curl around my figure and pet his cheek and smile and marvel, but I am also really excited to be getting more consistent and regular sleep through the night…especially since his naps can be unpredictable (sometimes two hours sometimes 20 minutes). But no matter the “hard” times of this first year getting to know our Owen, it will always be a wonderful year because our son joined us, we loved him, we watched him grow and change and develop and share his personality, we heard him say “ma ma” and “da da,” and are so grateful to continue to be able to do this thing with him and for him.  Much love Owen in this final month before we celebrate your very first birthday!