We kicked off summer travel season over the weekend, trekking to Sea Cliff, New York, a cute beach town on Long Island. This trip had been on our list for years, and now that the kids are a bit older, it was time to make the journey four hours north.
My brother-in-law’s longtime girlfriend is from Sea Cliff, and her parents own a gorgeous house in the one-square mile village. The house has a beautiful view of the Long Island Sound, so we were able to experience the beauty of Sea Cliff without having to venture outside much. Unfortunately, the weekend weather wasn’t as ideal as we had hoped for, so we kept our exploring to the main town after our Saturday arrival.
Downtown Sea Cliff is full of beautiful Victorian homes and quaint shops. We popped into a local coffee house for some caffeine and Thai-inspired vegetarian sandwiches, which were delicious. Uncle Ricky and Aunt Emily got to fawn over Carson, who they hadn’t seen since Christmastime.
Nora met a family friend’s pet “dogs” during our downtown walk. Continue reading
If there was ever a holiday that called for Pinterest-inspired gifts, it would be Mother’s Day. There’s nothing like giving your mom a handmade, less-than-perfect gift–even when you are thirty years old. I treasured the gifts my kids gave me this year, and I hope my mom appreciated the homespun gift I bestowed upon her.
For this Mother’s Day gift, I was inspired by some beautiful Asian-themed paper that I acquired for a home project in March. My parents just returned from a week-long trip to Hong Kong in April so it would be good timing to gift something with that aesthetic. In looking through my Pinterest account, I realized I had pinned Modge Podge coasters twice. So, with four white tiles, the decorative paper, Modge Podge, and felt, I made these architectural/dragon-themed coasters for my mom. Here’s the best tutorial I could find for the project.
The coasters turned out better than I imagined, and I was quite pleased to send them off to Idaho, along with an invitation to tea, which I’ll host when my parents visit in June. Happy Mother’s Day to my one-and-only mama!
Just a quick mid-week, first-week-of-stay-at-home-mommyhood update. So far, things have been magical. Extra time with my my kids, time to clean the house, time to read a novel. This week, with all of its anticipation, has gone better than expected. Will it always be this wonderful? Goodness no, but I am savoring this right now. It’s been a long time coming.
Month ten of my son’s life seems to be the most significant one to date. Carson developed in such leaps and bounds that Steve and I keep referring to his “two month regression” that dominated February and March, when he ate and moved little. In this last month, he’s popped a few more teeth, begun to crawl, waved and clapped, discovered the pincer grasp, and now pulls himself up. Honestly, he’s had a new trick nearly every day of the month!
This little guy had me so worried that at the nine-month appointment, we actually had a laundry list of items to bring up with the pediatrician. The first concern of ours was his refusal to eat anything (even, at times, bottles). For months, Carson snubbed solid foods, and my attempt at getting him to try non-pureed foods like wagon wheels and Mum Mums was a bust as well. Even Carson’s well-seasoned daycare teacher was beyond frustrated with his complete disregard for food. Our ped suggested we ignore his eating aversion and to try some more salty foods with him like pretzel sticks and olives, items we never considered since giving salt to babies is what I considered a no-no.
Well, wouldn’t you know that Carson loves pretzel sticks? Within days of his well visit, the boy started eating. It started with pretzels, and then he discovered bananas with the help of a mesh feeder. Then, slowly, he munched on some diced chicken and even started nibbling graham crackers. Fast forward a few weeks, and he seems to eat anything in sight. We are bewildered by this progress, but not asking any questions. I guess Carson’s lesson to us is that he will get to it when he gets to it.
Now that he is eating, his physical development has progressed rapidly. For a boy who wouldn’t really roll at the beginning of April, this kid has come a long way. His mobility is very Carson-like; he can crawl, but he’s in no rush, so he generally only moves to get a toy nearby. He loves to pull up (something discovered this weekend) but can’t figure out how to get himself down yet. I’ll be looking for cruising in the next week or so.
It’s been amazing to watch this kid’s world expand in the last month. He is pleasant, excited, and more interactive than ever. What a great time to be home with him.
Read more about life with Carson: 1 month | 2 months | 3 months | 4 months | 5 months | 6 months | 7 months | 8 months | 9 months
Filed under Baby, Ramblings
We celebrated Mother’s Day with glorious spring weather, well-behaved children, and a relaxed attitude. My hubby (the best one in the world, I might add) spoiled me with fun small gifts, the family traveled to mommy-favorite Longwood Gardens, and we lunched at nearby P. F. Changs (a pretty family-friendly restaurant, I might add).
I have been in mommy euphoria this weekend, pinching myself since I am in disbelief that I actually walked away from my job on Friday. It’s been a dream of mine to stay at home with my kids at some point, and I am so proud that I finally jumped off the cliff and decided to be a stay-at-home mom. It’s open season in my life now; time to savor my family and let life evolve without the constraints of a corporate job.
Tomorrow feels like the first day of school–and the first day of a year I am devoting to figuring out what kind of balance I need to be a happy mother, wife, and person. Getting away from the stresses of my nine-to-five job will help me figure out what role I play in my (somewhat) new family dynamic.
Despite my state of awe and hope for personal growth, I can’t help but be a bit anxious to see how this week, and future ones, roll along. I did make my life a bit easier by keeping Nora in her familiar school routine on Monday and Tuesday mornings for the foreseeable future, so I avoid the risk of falling apart completely in this new routine by tomorrow night. I’ll be sure to post how this week goes.
Steve took this magnificent shot of (I think) a blue jay last weekend. It was perched in our backyard trees. What a beautiful sight!
Life will begin to slow down now, and I cannot wait to spot more magnificent, small things the world has to offer. I hope to start carting around the camera again more!
I love this picture of the kids and me from last year’s Halloween parade at daycare. It was a shining moment for me as a working mommy, clad in my power trench coat, hugging my little darlings. After I picked them up we hosted a Halloween gathering at the house and shepherded Nora through the neighborhood for her first trick-or-treat experience. What a great day.
This week marks my last as a working mom with a full-time job. There have been moments like last Halloween sprinkled throughout my working-mother tenure, but there have been a lot of really hard days too. Sending sick babies to school. Carrying work stress through the weekend. Rushing out the door on Friday morning feeling like I’d give anything for some couch snuggles with my daughter.
It’s time to make a change, that’s for sure.
I love to work, but I love to do so many other things too. Now is the time I have to define my new role as stay-at-home mom. Just four more days (and three more mornings!) to go.
I forget what these nice-weather weekends are like until one sneaks up on us and we pack it in with activity. Between getting the garden going (my once-a-year chore), attending some local fairs and carnivals, and grilling outside, we couldn’t stop moving this weekend. The weather was so nice that I even got my first water ice of the season (in my favorite flavor, lemon).
Steve and I snickered tonight after we plopped ourselves on the couch once both kids were down that it’s exhausting creating childhoods for your children. Unlike those days in our twenties when, on Sundays, we would take a few hours outside and then leisurely engage in a hobby while watching the Phillies for the remainder of the day, we now spend all day every day out with the kids.
As soon as Nora wakes up she wants to go to the park and, at the end of the day, she rushes through her dinner to go back out to the park. Just tonight, after a day filled with Gymboree, a music festival, and a trip to a special playground, Nora and I were out after dinner practicing the peddling the tricycle. There are so many things to experience as a child that these nice days require extra hours (which is why, I think, the kids aren’t settling down until well past 8:30 anymore).
These moments are fun to watch and experience as a parent, which makes the fried feeling okay on Sunday nights. Though we need a weekend to the weekend, life is so much sweeter with these little people in our family.
I took this shot last weekend. While it’s not so great of Nora, it says a lot about where we’re at these days. Those two kiddos of mine are playing together, making each other laugh, and having a great time. Carson loves to crawl to Nora’s dolls and Nora showers Carson with attention–especially when he’s sitting in his high chair and she can hang on the side of it like a monkey. And, the other thing this picture suggests is that there are quite a few toys that Steve and I pick up on a continual basis! (Oh, and a quick aside: I am officially becoming my mother because I think the floor in both the living room and the kitchen are constantly sticky!)
In addition to the new combination of older baby and almost-preschooler in the house, the winds of change are sweeping through my life in big and small ways.
Obviously, the work transition weighs heavily on my mind right now, and I find each day at work to be full of weird emotions. I am trying to do some wrapping up of my job while also reaching out to beloved colleagues–both in my office and who freelance–to say farewell. While I tie up lose ends at my employer, I am also visualizing what the future will hold for me at home. I am sure my stay-at-home gig will evolve with every week that I am home, but I want to make sure to have a few plans in place for that first week so Nora and I don’t drive each other batty!
Of course, with this work change, not only will I be changing the location where I report for duty Monday through Friday, but my kids will have to adjust to their new routine too. Nora’s been in daycare since she was eight weeks old and Carson ten weeks old, so they will have an adjustment period while we determine the course of action for our laid-back summer. I even boldly quit Gymboree a few weeks ago, so we really don’t have much on our plates this summer aside from travel plans.
I have also been approached for a few new opportunities as of late and I am trying to evaluate how I want to spend my time this summer and fall. It’s hard to assess what my life will look like, so these proposals are tripping me up quite a bit. I hate to say no to open doors, but I also am reluctant to commit to anything right now. I am yearning for my free summer.
While I transition into my new role, I have observed there are many others making changes too. Although their decisions impact my life in smaller ways, those events feel significant to me right now. Siblings moving to a new city (congrats Connor and Kali!), friends looking for new employment opportunities, bloggers stepping away from their platforms to explore other avenues. I guess I am not the only one in the mood to see where the wind blows . . .
First off, thank you to all of my friends and family members who continue to provide me with love from afar via this blog and other social media outlets regarding my work decision. I am especially grateful to two of my besties–Liss and Lisa–who are really skilled in the occupying children department and who always provide me with helpful advice. I promise to pay back all of this wisdom in the future (if I can!).
We had an awesome weekend around these parts. Awesome because it consisted of nothing spectacular. We stuck to a modest weekend budget and had fun in and around the house. The weather couldn’t have been nicer, so we spent many hours at the park and even gave our new (to us) bike trailer a test run. We also organized closets and cooked some tasty meals. (I am super-obsessed with quinoa right now . . . late to the party, I know, but sure glad I finally got there!)
Steve remarked that I seem so much more energetic now that I’ve made the work decision, and he finds it funny that I am so much more full of life even though I am still showing up for work each day. It is odd that by just knowing that I am going to leave the fog that had been weighing me down for so many months has disappeared. I wish I had made this decision sooner, though I am glad to have waited until we had beautiful weather to enjoy.
Now that the work burden has lifted, I am back to enjoying some crafting, cooking, and reading. The above graphic is something I made for the mantel using that new Martha Stewart app I wrote about a few weeks ago.