Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Nana Ma and Papa John bought Nathan an adorable Halloween costume and he loved it so much, he wore it 4 different times. We hung out with lots of friends during the week - a monkey, a cowgirl, TinkerBell and even a lion, a tiger and a bear, oh my!

After a few days of unusually warm weather, it dropped back down to the 50's over the weekend, perfect Halloween weather. On Saturday, we headed to Central Park where the leaves were a gorgeous yellow and orange, the perfect backdrop for a mini Halloween photoshoot.

Sunday was a rough day. It seems like everything that could go wrong, did. Nathan refused to take an afternoon nap, leading to an inevitable evening meltdown. I screwed up a batch of baby applesauce (yes, I managed to ruin a recipe that calls for water, cinnamon and apples). I cut my finger slicing the apples. I got stranded outside with no wallet or keys. And bedtime was a disaster thanks to teething.

But none of that matters, because my baby had his first Halloween and if you ask me, there's never been a cuter dragon!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Family vacations

Will and I both love to travel. We are lucky enough to have been to some amazing places together. We visited his childhood home in China. We got engaged in Thailand. We honeymooned in East Africa. And we spent our first wedding anniversary driving on the wrong side of the road through the beautiful hills of Ireland. We purposely traveled as much as we could over the past few years because we knew that once we started a family it would no longer be as easy as it had once been. However, it is definitely manageable and I know this from my own experiences as a child.

My parents took my brother, sisters and me on all sorts of vacations growing up. These trips took us as close as Cape Cod and as far away as Europe. We went to festivals, amusement parks and museums. We spent two weeks together in a cottage near the beach or a condo in the mountains every summer. We visited Disney World, went on a Caribbean cruise, did a road trip along the California coast and got our first passports stamps in England.

Planning vacations for a family of 6 could have been very expensive but my parents valued the importance of travel and found ways to lessen the financial burden. When we visited NYC, we stayed in vacant college dorms across the Hudson River in Hoboken. We were able to fly to England on a $99 each way airfare sale. Our first stop was always a grocery store, allowing us to cook most of our meals or pack picnic lunches instead of always eating out at restaurants. I look back now and realize that planning those trips must have been a lot of hard work for my parents but I am so grateful for them and family vacations are a tradition I absolutely want to share with Nathan. So last week we headed down to Charleston, SC for a few days and had our first official Chenivan vacation.

Following in the footsteps of my parents, we tried to make the trip as affordable as possible. We redeemed credit card miles to get free flights. We traveled mid-week to get less expensive hotel rates. And we ate at family friendly, a.k.a inexpensive, restaurants. Charleston was the perfect spot for our first vacation. It was a short flight from NYC. It was a small city with a slow pace. The people were friendly, the food was delicious and the weather was warm. We had a great time and I look forward to many more trips in the future.

Although our destinations over the next few years might not be as exotic as we'd like, we hope that they will leave Nathan with some wonderful memories and infect him with the infamous travel bug.

Friday, October 15, 2010

So close, yet not getting any further away

Nathan wants to crawl. He REALLY wants to crawl.

For a few weeks now, he has mastered the art of getting up on all fours and rocking back and forth, building momentum, and then... not going anywhere. I can't imagine how frustrating this must be for him but he keeps trying!

He is definitely getting closer. He has since figured out how to pull his knee forward to take a step, but doesn't realize he has to also move his hand forward - this results in propelling the back of his body forward and then landing on his head and falling down.

He is very determined and I hope he figures it out soon because his disappointed little face is starting to break my heart!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Happy Half Birthday!

My little Nathan Bradley turned 6 months old today. I can't believe it's been half a year since he entered our world. It's hard to remember what life was like without his toothless smiles and belly laughs. I'm so looking forward to the next 6 months and all the joy he will continue to spread.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Goodbye summer, hello fall

After a miserably hot summer, the days are finally getting cooler and crisper. We introduced Nathan to one of my favorite fall activities this weekend, apple picking. We drove up to New England, saw some colorful foliage along the way, hopped on a tractor and headed into the apple orchard.

Fall is my favorite season and I look forward to the years ahead when Nathan will jump in piles of crunchy leaves and run to the neighbors’ doors yelling “Trick or Treat” from behind a jack-o-lantern smile. But for now, we’ll just sit him in bins of apples and on top of pumpkins.