Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Backyard Playground

With a June, July and August that was alternately hot and wet, we're finally starting to enjoy the outdoors again. We went to a few parks with friends over the summer, but frankly it can be a little miserable. Ninety degrees is bad enough, but it's made even worse when your infant is pressed against you as you chase your toddler.

Luckily we've had some beautiful weather lately, and we're actually enjoying our (fenced in, so no chasing!) backyard. A swing for each of the kids and a hand-me-down slide/climbing structure and voila! An afternoon of fun.

Our front porch is great, as anyone who has seen our porch full of chalk "artwork" can attest. But it's the backyard that Edith yearns for. It may be the size of a postage stamp, but it does the job.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Atticus Eats

Atticus very recently started eating real food, and what a difference it is. Not only is he happier during our meals, it's such a difference from the way that Edith began.

For the first few weeks of Edith's eating adventures, we stuck to homemade purees. I remember carefully smashing her first food -- avocado -- and adding liquid to make sure my precious baby would be okay.

Atticus's first food was also avocado, but we served it to him in strips, following the methods of baby-led weaning. BLW essentially means giving babies finger foods that they are able to pick up and put in their mouths by themselves. Finger-sized strips allow them to hold one end while placing the other in their mouth -- six-month-olds don't yet have pincer grasps, so no peas, Cheerios or the like!

I'm not a BLW purist, so we do help him put some food in his mouth -- yogurt, in particular! He seems to really like green beans. And if he can't quite reach the bullseye that is his mouth, he at least enjoys squeezing his foods to a pulp.

Avocado a few days later - even messier!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Photo Friday: Smiling with His Eyes

My mom likes to say that Atticus smiles with his eyes. I think it's true.

Sept. 14, 2015

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

New York with a Baby ... Again

We lived in Brooklyn until Edith was 8 months old, so taking a baby to New York really shouldn't be intimidating. But as we get closer and closer to our trip there, I'm more nervous than I expected.

The reasons are twofold. First of all, this time there won't be only a baby, but a toddler as well. Double trouble.

Second, I won't have all of my "stuff." When we lived in New York, of course we had all of our baby accoutrement right there with us -- the baby swing, toys, books, a million changes of clothes, etc. Whatever baby needs is at home. But now home is 500 miles away from New York. If we're lucky, whatever baby needs is in my suitcase. If not, we'll make do -- and hopefully we won't need the Laundromat to do so.

What's more, it's easy to forget now that we've been away for a while that maneuvering around New York can be difficult with a baby. Taking a stroller up and down multiple staircases and fitting it into the subway car is no walk in (Central) park. It's hard, if not downright impossible at times, to do it yourself. Props to parents who do it with two kids.

I know enough to know it will be challenging. But I'm looking forward to it all the same. The last time we were there, Edith was just 1 1/2, and could barely talk. Now she has opinions, and I'm eager to see what she thinks of New York. And, of course, I'm excited to introduce Atticus to Brooklyn for the very first time.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Reading Again: Back to Basics

For years and years I read eight books per month, no more and no less. Then the kids came along.

It was a sustainable plan for a while when Edith was an infant, but then she got more mobile and I began freelancing. Free time went out the window. Suddenly I could go weeks without finishing a book.

When a neighbor emailed a message to the residents of our block to gauge interest about starting a book club, I was skeptical. Not of the book club -- no reason that couldn't be a success. But I was skeptical that I would be able to keep up. And if I was only reading a book or so a month, did I really want that one to be chosen by someone else?

So my first instinct was to say no. But I spoke to a few of my neighbors who were joining, and I changed my mind. What the heck. The worst that could happen is that I would nibble on some cheese while my neighbors discussed a book I hadn't found time to read.

The book club's second meeting is coming up soon, and a surprising thing has happened. I'm not only finding the time to read the chosen books, but  I'm getting them done a week or more before I need to. And finding the time to read the books I "have" to made me realize that I really can find the time to read once again if I just change my habits. I'm reserving multiple books from the library at the same rate I used to a few years ago. It's refreshing.

I'm nowhere near reading eight books each month again. But all of a sudden two or three a month seems doable. I hope I can keep it up.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Photo Friday: O-H-I-O

Some people are ready for football season. Others, not so much.

Aug. 29, 2015

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Difference? She's Mine.

Edith is just a few months shy of three years old, and it seems that each day brings a new word or phrase. Nearly every evening I can share with Paul something fun or funny that she has said.

For example: In just the past week or so she's called us Paul and Diane at different times. When she downed her first homemade ice pop last week, she pronounced it "delicious" just like a grown up. She makes me laugh.

And yet I also have to laugh at myself. After all, what makes these pronouncements any different than the ones nearly every kid has made for all of time? Kids do generally learn their parents' names. They aren't toddlers -- and don't speak like them-- forever.

The difference, of course, is that this kid is mine.

So I try to keep these "accomplishments" between me and Paul, although they occasionally slip out to a parent -- my own, or another mom with young kids. But if you ever happen to be on the receiving end of one of these stories, I apologize in advance. Even I know I'm being ridiculous.


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