July 15th, 2010

Mom’s Stuff:
No excuses – I’ve been slacking on the blog writing. I’d love to give some great reasons – like I have been working hard on school stuff, or writing articles or working out so much. But the reality is that the thought of engaging my brain sometimes just feels too hard. I think part of it is that summer is really in full swing. Many of my friends are teachers and that means two things – they are also in relaxation mode and have had more time to hang out. To be fair I also did spend five days (spread out over two weeks) with two other teachers on planning a writing class for next school year. However, after that I settled down to days spent reading, relaxing and planning and cooking meals (more about that in the food and fitness section below). What I have really enjoyed doing more of in the past week is hanging out with friends. I have a few mom friends with baby’s about the same age as LP, so it has been nice to go on walks or just chill out with them. I really can’t state clearly enough how having fellow parents to talk to makes a difference. I’m very lucky to have as many friends as I do, and they have all been so wonderful and supportive over the last year from the moment I told them I was pregnant. The support I have had from these amazing people (mostly moms) has ranged from suggestions about cloth diapering (borax seems to work better than baking soda) to showing up to “keep us company” at the hospital and then having to call the midwife when I swore I was ready to push (thanks Mandy!!). Just today I asked another friend for breastfeeding advice and I hope to get a few of these amazing mom’s together next week when we can all go for a walk – the one activity that seems to keep all the kids chill 🙂 And its not just my fellow moms (and dads) that have been there for me. We have had countless offers for help and babysitting support from other friends and neighbors, and my non-parent friends have been willing to accommodate my need (or rather LP’s need) for flexibility. One of my best friends and I have had dinner dates once a week that we plan around LP’s bedtime, and yesterday I thoroughly enjoyed meeting a work friend for a much needed beer where she was able to go with the flow according to baby’s needs. Not to mention another work friend who came and entertained LP while I had to work a few weeks ago!! Truthfully we surrounded by amazing people in this home we have made for ourselves. Now that we have a child I find myself occasionally questioning our decision to settle so far from family. There are professional and economic reasons that make our decision sensible, and Skype helps a lot, but I still have many moments when I wonder if we did the right thing. I worry a lot about my son knowing his grandparents, great-grandparents, great-aunt and uncle and cousins and I know the concerns flow the other way too. But then I look at the life we have – we have a wonderful home, I have a job I love and we are able to be a one-income household. And, most importantly, we have family out here. True, its not our literal family, and nothing really can measure up to that. But we have family all the same. We have people who truly love us and our son. If I need help I have at least a dozen people I can call who will be here at the drop of a hat. We have people to laugh with, cry with and have fun with. These are people who we love unconditionally, and the feeling is mutual. So, while we will always, always, miss our families, and will visit as often as we possibly can, we are happy in the home we have created here, and, most importantly, we think our son will be too.

LP’s Stuff:
Its been quite a while since I last posted, and LP has been up to a lot!! Like me he has been a social guy. He had two play dates recently, both with older ladies. I have to say the other babies seemed a bit more interested in him, especially the 7 month old who had fun playing with LP’s feet. LP is still rolling over like a maniac, but he wants to crawl really, really bad. When he is on his stomach he kicks his legs like a frog and loves it if you put a toy in front of him that he can play with. He also is really into his books. Our nighttime routine includes reading “Goodnight Moon” and he likes to turn the pages, occasionally putting them in his mouth. He also really loves “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” – the kid has good taste. LP has also been sleeping well (this morning being a bit of an exception). He goes to be by 8pm and usually can sleep until 5:30. We are trying to stretch that to 6 am, but its not really a big deal at this point as long as we grownups get to bed early enough. The other big accomplishment is his eating habits – LP has started on solid food! Right now that just means a little bit of rice cereal when we sit down for our family dinner, but it is pretty exciting. He loves to play with the spoon itself, which can be hard when we are trying to feed him. When we first gave him food he got a confused look on his face, but he is learning to swallow. That actually seems to be the main use of the rice cereal since it has so little nutritional value – its really just a good “practice” food. So, solid food certainly isn’t his main sustenance, but it is fun entertainment at dinner time!

Food and Fitness:
As mentioned earlier, I’ve been pretty lazy in the last few weeks, but I have manged to keep up my weight routine. I haven’t been running as much as I would like since it has been really hot and humid here and I don’t really want to bring LP out in that, even in the jogging stroller. I have been eating healthier. We have had more salads with dinner and I’ve been snacking on the delicious blueberries and raspberries that are in season. The last few weeks I have also done 90% of our produce shopping at the farmer’s market which is really fun! Our recent dinners have included Caramelized Onion and Swiss Chard Pizza with Heirloom Tomatoes, Yellow lentil dal with Kale and a really good meal last night: Grilled Basil Polenta with Roasted Fennel and Beets. If I have time tonight I will be making sushi and hopefully will get to make a corn and black bean salad to have for late dinner tomorrow night.

Pictures and Video:
Our little literary guy!

“play” date

http://www.youtube.com/get_player
LP’s new favorite play-time activity – we put it in the kitchen so that Mom can make dinner!

http://www.youtube.com/get_player
Food time!

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