Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Shake what your mama gave you

Nathan has been dancing a lot lately. His "routine" includes some twirling, some twisting and a lot of jazz hands. The finale consists of him balancing on his head while clapping his hands. 

We are trying to catch this on video so when he becomes a famous dancer, or gymnast, or ice skater?? we can say "He's been dancing since he was only a year old" and then this awesome footage will air during his E Hollywood True Story special.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Summer lovin'

With just one more week before Labor Day, the inevitable truth is sinking in.... summer is coming to an end. Realizing this was one of our last weekends to enjoy the pool, and with Hurricane Irene scheduled to arrive on Saturday, we headed out Friday afternoon for some swimming.

Nathan loves the pool! His favorite thing to do is to walk up and down the handicapped ramp. It's great because we can let him wander freely and I think it's helping him get more comfortable in the water. Who knows, maybe next summer he'll be ready to actually go into the pool. But for now he is perfectly content to just hang out on the ramp and I think that's just fine for a 16 month old!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Just peachy

This week Nathan and I drove out to a local farm with one of our Meetup groups and went peach picking. We had such a good time, although somehow I did all the picking and Nathan did all the eating.

An added bonus of our peach picking adventure was last night's homemade Peach Cobbler.... yum!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Night and Day

At night, before Will and I go to bed, the last thing we do is make sure the living room looks like this:

In the morning, when Nathan wakes up, the first thing he does is make sure it looks like this:

Friday, August 19, 2011

Here comes the sun

After a few too many days of cold rainy weather, August finally got its act together and the sun was shining today. Hopefully the weather will continue so we can get outside and enjoy some fun family time this weekend. One of our favorite outdoor activities is walking the lake. To walk the whole thing is a little over 3 miles so we walk the first half, stop at the playground to let Nathan stretch his legs (and kiss some turtles), and then we walk the second half.

In the end, we've gotten some sunshine, some playtime, and some exercise. Sadly, we've only got a few weeks left of summer so we plan on making the most of the long days and stay outside as much as possible!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Decisions, decisions

All day today my stomach has been in knots. I feel like it's the last day of summer vacation and I'm nervously anticipating the first day of school. I am starting a new job tomorrow and it's very overwhelming for a few reasons.
  • It will be strange to have a job again, after being unemployed for almost 6 months.
  • It will be weird to work in an office, after working from home for more than 5 years.
  • And the hardest burden to bear, it will be heartbreaking to be away from Nathan after being with him 24/7 since the end of February.
When most women get pregnant, they are faced with an inevitable decision.  Will I continue working? Or will I stay at home with my baby? I was blessed with an amazing job that allowed me the best of both worlds. I worked full-time but I worked out of my home. So I was able to send Nathan to daycare in the morning (the busiest part of my work day) and get as much work done as possible. Then I picked him up on my lunch break, got to play with him for about an hour, and then put him down for a nap, which usually lasted 2-3 hours, allowing me to get the rest of my work done. Once he woke up, I got to take him to the park or play at home, putting any unfinished work aside which I would finish later that evening after he went to bed.

I planned on continuing that job even after we left the city, something I had already discussed with my boss and gotten his approval on. But unfortunately, that is not what happened. I was laid off in February, which caught me totally and completely off guard and resulted in a lot of hurt, anger and resentment.  Suddenly I was faced with that dreaded decision, the one I had managed to avoid for the first 10 months of Nathan's life.

I have all the respect in the world for full-time stay at home mothers. Being a mom is the hardest job I've ever had. It's demanding and exhausting and it's 24/7. But after a lot of thought (and a lot of tears), I have decided to go back to work. The major reason is that financially, we just can not afford for me to not work. Ideally I would have loved to find a part-time job - but there just aren't that many out there that pay a decent salary. I was lucky to find a good job, one that I think I'll be good at as well as enjoy, and was able to negotiate a Monday-Thursday schedule so I am very happy to know I will have every Friday off to be with Nathan.

While I've loved being able to spend so much time with Nathan these past 6 months, I have missed working. It is a strange feeling to have a career for almost 10 years and then suddenly just stop working, even moreso since I wasn't mentally prepared for it. And I am very excited to be back in an office, working from home allows great freedoms and flexibility but man is it lonely!

I think Nathan will have a lot of fun playing with other kids at daycare and he will also get some one on one time with his Nana and Papa. I am expecting the first couple weeks to be hard, but am praying that Nathan and I will both adjust to our new routines and will find happiness in this decision.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sneak Attack

Usually at night, after feeding Nathan dinner, giving him a bath, getting him down for bed, putting away all his toys and cleaning up the mess from his dinner, I usually make myself a quick (and hopefully somewhat healthy) dinner, sometimes pour myself a glass of wine (it was a really long day!!) and then crash on the couch.

But for some reason the other night I had a sudden burst of energy and decided it was a good time to whip up some healthy, homemade meals for Nathan. Sadly he is entering the "picky eater" phase. My boy is now pushing aside the turkey and salmon he once loved and turning his head away from the peas and asparagus he once happily ate handful after handful of. So I'm trying to get creative and sneak in meat and veggies whenever I can. I decided to try out a new recipe I found online for Cheddar Broccoli "Nuggets". I cooked and pureed some broccoli, mixed it with some shredded cheddar cheese, bread crumbs, a beaten egg and some wheatgerm then rolled them into little patties.

They turned out more like biscuits than nuggets but I think that worked to my advantage since one trait Nathan definitely got from me is his love of carbs. These things definitely taste better than they look. I was expecting him to take one bite and toss them to floor but instead he ate 4 when he woke from his nap.

I'm glad these were a success. Next up is Zucchini Pancakes and Turkey Meatballs. Just please don't tell Nathan he's eating healthy food!

What did you say are in these??

Monday, August 8, 2011

Baby Book: Music Man

Part of the reason I keep this blog is to serve as a baby book. I know one day, this part of my life will seem so far away and I'll have trouble remembering the little details of when Nathan was a baby.  It gives me comfort knowing I'll be able to look back at this blog when he's older and remember when he was just a sweet little boy.

One thing I'm sure I won't forget is how much Nathan has always loved music. Ever since he was a newborn singing seems to make him happy. Below are some of his favorites.

99% of the time will stop him from crying: Wheels on the bus and Itsy bitsy spider

He can hum himself start to finish: Twinkle, twinkle

He (adorably) does the hand motions for: Five little ducks

I sang to him whenever I was nursing him or gave him a bottle: You are my sunshine (Interesting side note, have you ever heard the entire version of this song? I googled the lyrics today... it's actually very depressing!)

Guaranteed to make him laugh: How much is that doggy in the window?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happily married (but also dating)

When I said "I do" three years ago I thought I was done with dating. I'd never have to come up with interesting small talk again. I'd never have to spend an awkward hour, counting the minutes until I could head home again. I'd never have to wonder if they'd call again. And yet somehow, I have landed right back in the dating scene. Why? Because I'm a mom and I want to make mom friends. I've been out of the dating world for more than 8 years so I'm a little rusty. But here I am, creating online Meetup profiles and trying to post flattering photos of myself and Nathan and include witty things in my bio.

The scariest part of meeting other mothers is that you just have to put yourself out there and that means the possibility of rejection. I've had a great conversation only to have the other mom just say goodbye at the end and walk away... don't you want my number??  I've had a really great play-date and the whole way home thought to myself "I really liked her, I hope she calls".  I've had high expectations to really hit it off and then been disappointed that we have nothing in common.

Meeting other moms is hard but when you find someone who could actually become a friend it makes all the awkward "dating" worth it. I've met some really nice women here and I'm hoping to end up in a serious relationship soon. (Just don't tell my husband!)

Monday, August 1, 2011

You're ok, you're ok, you're ok

I find myself saying this multiple times throughout the day. Between Nathan's confidence in walking and determination to run, he is falling left and right.  Most of the time he is fine, just a little caught off guard but his go-to reaction every time seems to be crying. So Will and I are trying to brush it off and teach him that not every stumble is that bad. If we don't make a big deal over it, maybe Nathan won't?

So while Nathan tries to master the art of running, I'll be trying to master the art of casually acting like his face-plants are no big deal, while inside I'm cringing and fighting the urge to scoop up my baby and say "Are you ok????"