Double Birthday Trip to West Virginia

On July 29, Jonas and I flew to Washington, D.C. We spent the night with some cousins. Jared had an exam on the 31st, so he flew to Baltimore on August 1 and spent the weekend with our friend Wes before driving down to West Virginia.

In DC, Jonas had a great time with his cousin Olive, who is three, playing music and crawling around. The next day was my birthday and we spent a lot of it on a 6 hour train ride to West Virginia.

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When we arrived, my mom and Richard met us at the station. Richard had flowers for me and when we got to her house, my mom made a delicious dinner and brought out a pineapple upside down cake– the cake she has always made me for my birthday. It was all delicious. She also had presents for me– an infinity scarf she crocheted for me herself, some LUSH hand putty, and a beautiful change purse and bracelet from their trip to Vietnam.

The next day was my mom’s 60th birthday. We went blueberry picking! Jonas loved the fresh blueberries and kept saying “BLUE!” the rest of the trip when he wanted some.

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blueberries

The man at the blueberry farm took this picture for us. Jonas wasn’t looking at the camera, but I didn’t want to ask him to take another one, because he didn’t seem too happy to be doing it. Maybe because there was a sign saying not to eat the blueberries without paying for them and Jonas’s face was covered in them, haha.

 

My aunts surprised my mom by driving down from New York the next day, in time for the party we threw for her on August 2. The party was great– a potluck with so much great food and great people.

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Mommy in her birthday crown looking at the memory book I made for her.

Jonas loves Bubby. She got him a Batman shirt and they were Batman and Robin!

20140803_145244He had a lot of fun playing with Grandpa, too.

20140801_135524In that picture, the living room looks deceivingly organized. Don’t be surprised! Jonas took Bubby’s clean house and moved EVERYTHING onto the floor to play with!

On August 4th, Jonas took three steps!!!! He was standing at the coffee table, let go, took a step toward Bubby, then paused. He looked at me, changed direction, and took two steps toward me!

That evening, Jared and Wes drove down from Baltimore. Jer, Wes, Amelia (my step sister, in from Ireland, who I hadn’t seen in 8 years before this trip!!!), Mommy, Richard, Jonas, and I had a yummy tempeh stir fry dinner and the grown ups enjoyed wine and lavender mojitos.

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Reunited and sleepy

Jonas missed Jared before he got there. One night in his sleep, he was saying, “Dadada.” He was playing with one of Bubby’s old cell phones and I asked who he was talking to and he said, “Dada.”

Bubby got Jonas a cool pool to play in and he loved crawling in…

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and out…

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over and over.

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I hope we can more spend time like this, especially in the summer, in West Virginia as Jonas grows up so he has awesome wild and wonderful experiences and memories!

101 in 1001: Some Big Ones (And Some Cute Jonas Stuff)

I’ve done a lot of my 101 in 1001 list, but this summer I started working on some of the larger projects– ones that I can’t just do in a day and cross them off.

 Meditate for 30 minutes a day for 30 days
I started this on July 1 and am actually aiming for about twice this. I am doing a free online version of the Mindfulness Base Stress Reduction Program and it lasts 8 weeks. I am enjoying it so far, although it definitely takes discipline to make myself do it instead of just playing on my phone or watching Netflix while I nurse Jonas to sleep. The program is pretty well-known and is very studied because it is so structured. It is one of the ways we are learning about all of the benefits mindfulness meditation has!

Relearn Basic Spanish
I’ve been using an app called Duolingo and I love it. It turns language learning into a game and makes you want to keep doing it.

Get Doula Certification
I finished the first of my three modules and have signed up for a mentoring program that should help me get some of the births I need for my certification! I got really nice feedback on the assignment for my first module that made me feel good!

And because I know this stuff is less exciting than Jonas, here are some of his updates and pictures!

Vocab
Jonas says:
Dada
Mama
Kitty
Dog
Tea (for the tea kettle)
Yay
Did it!
Hi!

He also copies some words:
Poop (haha)
Tick tock (for the clock)
Duck

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He responds to requests like “clap your hands!” “Pat the kitty,” “Can you show me the duck?” and “Let me smell it”

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He crinkles his nose now, not just to the word “Stinky” but also now to smelly, nose, dirty, yuck, and poop. If you say “no” he shakes his head but keeps doing whatever he is doing.

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He also climbs on everything! He likes to cuddle with anything soft, including pillow, carpet, and the kitty.

 

Ten on Ten!

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My sister in law does Ten on Ten every month and I always think it is so cool. I finally (kind of) remembered to do it this month! It is supposed to be ten consecutive hours but we skipped a couple due to nap times. I also didn’t manage to get this post up ON the 10th, but oh well!

 

 

 

20140710_0817588:30am- Getting in some yoga (about 5 minutes)

20140710_0937499:30am- Play time

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10:30am- Library storytime. He sat like this for a few minutes before taking off to explore.

20140710_11430711:30am- Playing with some of the cool toys at the library. This library is really cool and also has lots of animals to look at. Jonas called the birds “kitty.”

20140710_13295012:30pm- We shared a sweet potato for lunch.

20140710_1449232:30m- resisting nap time

20140710_1533333:30pm- Still not napping. I was a little bummed that he never really fit in the Bumbo seat. His thighs were too big and we had to squeeze them in. He loves it now, though and climbs on it, sits on it backwards, puts his toys in it, and pushes it around.

20140710_1810246:30pm- After a nap (finally!) veggie dogs for dinner. Jonas had leftover sweet potato.

20140710_1955297:30pm- Cool enough for a long walk around the neighborhood.

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8:30pm- Bath time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 Months Old!

Jonas has officially been out of my belly for longer than he was in it. It is amazing how much he has grown and learned just in the last few weeks. He is recognizing more words, and reacting to some of them, which is really fun.

He says “Hi Da!” to Jared and we think he is starting to call the dog “Pup Pup.”

When you tell him “No,” he shakes his head, and he will copy me and nod and smile. My favorite, though, is that when you say “Stinky” he will crinkle up his nose and sniff and he has started to do this whenever he smells something strong.

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He is exploring everything and is getting really good at taking things OUT.

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And at putting things IN. This is one of Jared’s video games that Jonas decided went better in the wine cabinet.

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Just this last week, Jonas has gotten really into books. He will crawl over to his book corner and wave at his books until I say, “You pick one!” and then he will hand me a book and pay attention as I name the things in the pictures. Sometimes he will sit for 3 or 4 books! The other day, we were reading one called “Hello Bunny!” which he loves because it has lots of animals. When I showed him some of the animals that are mentioned in another book he loves “Baby’s Very First Touchy Feely Book” he would motion toward that book until I showed him the matching picture and then he would smile! He was totally putting it together. There is a penguin in the touchy feely book and there aren’t penguins in “Hello Bunny” and he kept looking at the penguin and then expectantly at “Hello Bunny” like he was asking me where the matching one was. It was really cute.

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With another book he loves

I thought 6 months was my favorite age, but 9 months is pretty amazing!

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Wild and Wonderful

Jonas and I traveled to West Virginia May 21-27 for a reception to celebrate Elizabeth and Drew’s marriage. I was nervous to do the trip with just the two of us, but Jonas did great! He is an awesome traveler.

When we got there, we had to get some groceries, and I had forgotten my carrier at the house where we were staying, so Jonas got to ride in the cart for the first time. He loved it!20140522_160938-MIX

Helping unpack

Helping unpack

He enjoyed spending lots of time with Great Grandma

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We played on the swing set Sadie and I had as kids (with a modification to make it baby friendly!)

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Jonas also tried out the hammock. That is my beautiful Grandma and the beautiful house my dad built in the background.20140523_102803

All of that outside playing, and Jonas needed a bath. We washed him in the sink and he loved it!

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Jonas had on a cute button up and khakis for the reception, but there was a diaper situation on the way there, and I had to clean up a ton of baby poop without getting any on my dress when we arrived with about 10 minutes before the party and 10 wet wipes. I was imagining walking in late to see a bunch of people I hadn’t seen in years, covered in poop.

Thankfully, we were able to clean him up and get him in the backup outfit, and then some friends showed up with water and tissues so I could wash my hands. I am still waiting to see pictures from the reception, but Jonas slept the whole time I danced with him in the Ergo carrier. Before falling asleep, he said his first word– “Hi” as he met a bunch of my friends from high school!

Bubby came up for a day and Jonas had fun crawling around with her.

20140526_13203920140526_131459He made friends on the plane on the way home and they held him so he could see out the window.20140527_120646
It was a great trip, but we are both happy to be home. When we got back, Jonas was so excited, reaching to all of his favorite things in the house to see them. He was especially excited to see Daddy!

Bitter Melon

One of my 101 in 1001 goals was to get a new fruit or vegetable and make something with it. I decided to try an Asian bitter melon.

20140504_184049The inside was beautiful and reminded me of a pomegranate.

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I scooped out the seeds, salted it, then washed the salt off (this is supposed to get rid of some of the bitterness), chopped it up, and made a stir fry.

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Not very pretty, but pretty yummy…except the bitter melon. I guess I’m not sure what I expected, but it was BITTER! Jared and I both gave it a good try and had a few bites before we picked the rest out of our meal and ate the rice, onions, cabbage, and fake chicken. Now we know we aren’t huge fans of bitter melon.

We also finally made it to a library story time after a few failed attempts/ story times that were not for the right age group. I’m getting into a few more bands, too, which is fun. It has been hard to make progress on some of the list now that Jonas is mobile!

Skills of Early Parenthood

Jared mentioned learning in a sociology class how it has been shown that women who wear a wedding ring to a job interview are less likely to get a job and men who wear one are more likely to get one. The women are perceived as more likely to be flaky because it is assumed their first loyalties are to their families. Men are perceived as more likely to be reliable because they have a stable family situation. He said his professor laughed at how ridiculous this was and mentioned how many (marketable!) skills she has had to learn as a new parent. This got me thinking about some of the skills I put to use on a daily basis in my role as a mom. There is definitely a lot more to it than changing diapers and reading board books, though those are important too!

Prioritizing
This morning, the baby pooped so I took off his diaper to find a blowout (rare with cloth diapers, but they still do sometimes happen). He squirmed away before I could wipe him, and got poop on a pillow that was on the floor. So I had a naked baby, a poopy diaper that needed to be sprayed off, and a dirty pillow. What to do first? I set the diaper on the changing table, wiped off the baby, put a new diaper on him, then dealt with the dirty diaper and the pillow.

Problem Solving
I closed the door to the baby’s room so he could play while I sprayed off his dirty diaper. He decided to stand up against the door. When I finished, he started to fuss because he could hear me but couldn’t see me, but he also didn’t realize that he had to stop leaning against the door if he wanted me to come in. Pushing over the door and knocking him over didn’t seem like a good option. I grabbed one of his favorite toys from the next room, then opened the door gently, just a crack, and threw the toy in. It worked! He got down from the door to go for the toy, and I could open the door the rest of the way to come in.

Coming together despite differences
Jonas and I regularly attend a play group for moms and babies born in 2012-2014. There are members who are very similar to us, values and interest wise, and those who are pretty different. We always have fun when we go, and it has shown me that I can have friends who are friends because of a shared life experience or stage, and not necessarily because we like the same music.

Negotiation
You don’t want to sit in the high chair anymore while I finish cleaning up from our meal? What if I sing Chantilly Lace and do a ridiculous dance with it? Perfect.

You don’t want to let go of the toilet paper? Have a rubber duck! Everyone’s happy.

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Not Avoiding Uncomfortable Situations
This is one I am still working on. I noticed if the baby starts fussing, my first instinct is to look away. If I look him in the eyes, though, it actually will usually calm him down. Plus, I want him to know that his feelings are heard and that I am there for him, even when his feelings are difficult.

Asking for Help
This one is still a challenge for me as well. I am working on it every day!

Dealing with Change
Just when I think I have mommyhood figured out, it is different! Teething! Crawling! Sometimes things that used to work don’t work anymore. Sometimes I have to try things that haven’t worked in months and suddenly they are perfect again. I’ve also learned to see the joy in this! How amazing to have a baby who is learning at such an incredible pace that it can feel like being with a new human every day!

Just Keep Going
This one is the biggest. Sometimes I am running on four hours of sleep. I haven’t showered in four days. My arms are sore. I just want a break. Parenthood, particularly when I am the only one at home, or when I am the only person who can provide the kind of care needed (those middle of the night nursing sessions, for example), has shown me that even when I am exhausted, when there is parenting to do, you just do it.

Other Knowledge and Skills
I have become more proficient in nutrition and food preparation, in cognitive development and human psychology, house cleaning and maintenance, and even in American Sign Language. I have gotten physically stronger from carrying the baby.

So far, being a parent, as cliche as it sounds, has been the most difficult, but most rewarding job I have done. It is so awesome to have a “job” that is just MY LIFE, if that makes sense. There isn’t a separation between what I do and who I am, and that makes even the hard parts amazing. I am learning and growing every day and am so thankful.

 

 

A Night in Long Beach

This Friday, we went to Long Beach for Jer’s cousin’s wedding.

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I could not believe the amount of stuff we had to bring for one night (the stroller stayed at home). I guess that’s what happens with a cloth diapered seven month old when the grownups need clothes for a formal event and there is a possible beach trip involved (we didn’t end up going to the beach).

It was Jonas’s first hotel stay. Aunt Sadie watched Jonas and his cousins and they had a lot of fun.

 

It was fun getting dressed up and having a mini date night, too.

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Jonas needed his Mommy for bedtime so I left around 9:30. I got to enjoy some Full House and Friends reruns and big fluffy hotel pillows while I nursed him to sleep.

The next day, we had breakfast with a bunch of the family and then Jonas helped us pack up.

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He took a nap on the comfy hotel bed and then we headed home!

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Things Jonas Has Mastered

Pulling himself up in the milk crate

Sitting up to play

sitting

Finding things to play with

wrapping paper

Swinging

swinging

Hanging out with friends

Baby Friends

Feeding Himself

Sweet Potatoes

Sleeping Beauty

So I was definitely just a MOM and took like 12 pictures of Jonas sleeping. I remember as a kid, my sister and I woke up to our parents taking pictures of us sleeping and we thought they were really weird. I totally get it now. Babies and kids are just beautiful when they sleep, and it is also a time when you can take a deep breath and just look at them without them wiggling all over the place! Here are a couple of my favorites from today:

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In other exciting news, Jonas has now tried banana and mango and in a few days, he will try pears. Yesterday he turned a book page by himself! Today he rocked out on the piano.

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