Roman’s First Wedding!

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We spent the last weekend in June on Keuka Lake in Finger Lakes, NY celebrating the marital union of our dear, bright, beautiful friends Meredith and Adam. (Also, for this group of college friends, wedding weekends double as extra special reunions.) Being that it was out of town, and my parents were in Alaska, and my sister and in laws work weekends… Roman came with us! (I really wouldn’t have wanted it any other way… except maybe to have a babysitter for the actual wedding…)  We rented a house across from the lake with friends who also had to bring their baby to the wedding (Roman’s date), and our old roommate from Seattle whom we rarely get to see. (Obviously the whole weekend was full of magical quality time <3)

I have a few things to say about bringing a baby to a wedding:

First off: If the baby is a girl, shopping for her outfit will be a lovely experience full of seemingly infinite beautiful options. If the baby is a boy, shopping for his dress clothes will be full of disappointment. Seriously baby clothes designers, we like to dress our boys up too.

Also, don’t rent a house with four flights of sketchy outdoor stairs you must climb to reach it. A lake “treehouse” is not as charming as it may sound.

We really didn’t know what to expect as far as Roman’s behavior and sleep schedule for the event. He’s on a pretty regular routine lately of being awake for three hours at a time, and going down for the night between 7:30 and 8:30. He’s walking, so we imagined we’d be chasing him around all night, but the big crowd had him insisting on being held for the most part. We brought his KidCo PeaPod (which we used as his travel crib all weekend, I seriously love that thing. We originally bought it for the beach, but it works so well on trips too, he can nap anywhere!). The plan was to stroll him to sleep like we always do, and put him down in his PeaPod somewhere safe… which turned out to be under our table. We weren’t sure if the music would work as white noise or a disturbance… he woke up after about 45 mins… long enough to leave him in a good mood until the end of the wedding! We carried him around the dance floor for the rest of the night! He was in something of a sleepy trance, but he was perfectly happy and so were we. (I was a little disappointed when he fell asleep before the dancing began. For months I had been imagining bouncing with him on the dance floor… so I was secretly… or maybe not so secretly… pleased when he woke up so quickly <3)

My favorite story of the night was cake time. Mike and I each enjoyed a slice while Roman stared intently. We thought “eh, he’s okay, he doesn’t know what he’s missing.” Then when we were finished he pulled out his pacifier, rubbed it the frosting left on Mike’s plate, and popped it back in his mouth. We felt so bad that we got him his own piece, which we fed him a few bites of before he grabbed the fork and began feeding himself the icing (using utensils is a brand new thing, we were shocked.) Then probably due to the icing, he did not fall asleep on the way home as we expected, but arrived at the rental house hyper and happy until he finally drank a bottle and passed out until 9 am!!! A miracle!

Would I recommend bringing your baby to a wedding? No, I would not. Is it possible? It most certainly is, and it can be enjoyable too!

Also, the Finger Lakes were an absolutely beautiful place to have a wedding. And little destination weddings like this are so wonderful… one night is just not enough when it comes to people whose company you love and crave…. I sure do love wedding weekends  <3

A Few Things That Have Been Making Life Easier Lately…

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First: my new So Young Charlie Diaper Bag

I loved my old Ika Diaper Bag, but as Roman has gotten bigger and the days have gotten longer, I found I couldn’t fit everything I needed for the day in the bag without it over flowing. First I looked for backpacks to replace it (because it was also getting heavy) and then at super organized more traditional diaper bags and “weekender bags”. I loved Danzo’s options, but the price was a little high for my budget. Then I stumbled upon So Young’s new Charlie bags and I was quickly sold for these reasons: it works as a back pack or messenger, it has a large built in insulated pouch for storing sippy cups, bottles and snacks (saved me my next purchase of a lunch bag), and is full of pouches and separate areas for superior organization. I can fit SO much in this bag with zero problem finding things. I hang it off the stroller most of the time, or wear it as a backpack. I use the cooler pouch every day. I love it. (I also love that its “unisex” because my husband spends lots of time carrying it around as well.)

Second: Big Baggu Shopping (beach/everything) bag:

I was looking for a big giant beach tote when I came across the baggu bags and decided that the “big baggu” would be perfect. Its huge, easy to clean, fine to get wet, can hold up to 50 lbs, super durable etc. Then I just started hanging it off the stroller at all times and now I use it for everything. When we go grocery shopping (which is basically every day) I use it as the grocery cart and then the grocery bag of course. I throw extra toys or rain gear in there some days… and of course, its perfect for the pool or beach. Oh, and it only cost $12!!!!

Third: Super Why:

So I know people aren’t real into letting their children watch tv these days. But we don’t actually have a tv, we have a desktop and an ipad and Netflix. We also have one wild rebel child who can quickly become fussy and clingy and make it impossible to get everything together to get out of the house and to the playground or wherever our outing is that day… until we discovered Super Why! So when Roman is no longer willing to entertain himself, I put on Super Why and he puts on a smile. He makes responsive sounds when they ask him questions, and laughs and gets excited along with his fellow “super readers” while I get us ready to go. I’m partly pleased to see his ability to focus growing. Also, Super Why came to the rescue for road trips, once fraught with tears, we were able to travel 6 hours in the car with a happy baby thanks to the occasional distraction of his favorite cartoon on the ipad! So thank you PBS, for making an entertaining, educational show that makes us feel not too super guilty about letting him “watch tv”.

Lastly: Chia Pudding:

Easiest. Snack/Breakfast. Ever. There are lots of fancy things you could do to make a delicious chia pudding, but that would defeat my purpose here. All we do is shake up 1/2 cup of chia seeds with 2 cups of coconut milk in a mason jar and store it the fridge until it solidifies into that yummy pudding texture (at least 2 hours, we do it before bed and it is ready in the morning!) It is delicious just like that or with some fresh fruit. It is really so refreshing, just perfect for the summer (and according to the internet, super healthy!)

Hansel and Gretel Must Have Had a Munchkin Snack Catcher…

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I feel I owe the oh so popular munchkin snack cup a quick shout out.

First of all, thank you snack cup. You might leave a trail of cheerios wherever we go… but you’ve also been solely responsible for enabling me to take my baby boy shopping… not only to grocery stores without any whining, but to Anthropologie… and shoe shopping that one time…

And for all of the times he started crying when I put him in his stroller, until I handed him his cup of cheerio distraction goodness…. you are worth it.

I might have to sweep the floor after every walk (and there are many since this is the only way he will fall asleep) but that is okay.

He may only ingest 10% of the cheerios I put in that cup, less so on days he decides it is most fun to grab handfuls and throw them on the ground immediately without even attempting to shove them into his mouth…. but that is okay.

To whomever may not have one of these yet, yes I recommend them. I also recommend attaching it to the stroller strap with a pacifier clip! (this one works) 

Roman is Going To Be a Big Brother!

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While wine tasting in the Finger Lakes this weekend I decided it was time to announce the news to family and friends via Instagram and Facebook that this Mama was not in fact tasting any wine…. because we are expecting another baby! (Due January 24th and I am already showing!) 

They say you pop quick on baby number two and boy did I. So far I have been as fortunate as one could possibly be when it comes to the first trimester, with pretty much zero nausea it has been fatigue alone that reminds me that I have a little one growing in there. (And fatigue is enough with an 11 month old to chase around!)

To be completely honest this stage of exhaustion has me more nervous than excited for having two under two (which was always my plan.) The idea in my mind of toting two babies changed drastically once it became a reality. I look forward to trimester number two, a sweet little sonogram and those first kicks to get me into a more excited, optimistic state of mind.

Also, little Roman has no idea whats coming! But I think he’s going to be a wonderful big brother. Spending time with the beautiful 3 month old daughter of my good friends this past weekend, watching Roman’s interaction with her, his curiosity about her… I feel confident that he’ll fall quickly in love with his new sibling <3

Side note: This is my big excuse for my lack of posting… serious lack of energy and motivation… hopefully to subside in the next couple of weeks! 

Roman: The 11 Month Update

Roman is 11 months old and I have been seriously slacking on the updates, so here goes!

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He is WALKING! He took his first steps a month ago and as of this past week has started walking as his main mode of transportation. All of the sudden he just decided that when he fell down he wasn’t going to crawl, he was going to stand back up and walk some more, and fall again, and stand back and walk…again and again! Sometimes he gets so excited he starts running! He is so determined and it is so adorable.

He is OBSESSED with brushing his teeth. He gets so excited when he sees us brushing our teeth, he wants to brush ours for us and then brush his own. Toothbrushes are probably his number one favorite toy of the moment.

His second favorite toy is probably his ball. He is still learning what exactly to do with it… throwing, rolling, catching it etc. I think he’s realized its his key to making friends, and as of now he just loves to chase it around and pick it up and run with it.

He has become SO SOCIAL with other children all of the sudden. It seems to have coincided with the walking. At the playground he will spot a toddler, follow them around, get close to them and smile and try to make friends. Sadly, most toddlers want nothing to do with him… they do however, want to play with his ball….

He loves his books so much he’ll sit and flip through the pages all by himself. He’s starting to have favorites that he’ll want to read over and over, and he’ll reject other books and insist we keep reading the ones he prefers. He points at pictures and tries to name them… he’s reached the point where we can see him making an effort to repeat and learn the words for things.

He babbles all day long. And he points! He loves to point! He’ll point at things and babble and he seems so purposeful in his conversation, like he really has something he’s trying to say.

He LOVES nursery songs. Sometimes he sings to himself, especially when he’s sleepy, in a whispery voice… it is just too precious. His favorites are the wheels on the bus, if you’re happy and you know it, mr. sun, and old mcdonald. I sing them A LOT.

He loves eggs, spinach, avocado, chicken, turkey, salmon, cheese, yogurt…. he’ll eat pretty much any meat or vegetable we give him…. we haven’t had as much luck with fruit, we suspect its the tartness. Overall he’s a great eater!

He’s sleeping much better now. He can sleep for 8 hours at a time, usually waking up around 4am, drinking a bottle and falling back asleep for 2-4 more hours. He naps every 3 hours during the day for a total of usually 3 hours. He tends to stay awake 4 or more hours between his last nap and bedtime (I suspect its because Papa is home and he’s just so excited.) Right now the big sleep issue is that he pretty much only falls asleep while being pushed in the stroller, so we go for lots of walks!

He loves the water, playing with it in glasses, bath time, fountains, the pool, the beach… it is definitely one of his favorite things!

He waves and says something that sounds like “bye bye”, not every time we encourage it, but often now, and we find this quite exciting.

Still such a sweet, lovey, fun, happy, wild baby boy…. soon to be toddler! 

A Father’s Day Board Book

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We’d been meaning to make Roman one (or many) of these Pinhole Press photo board books for awhile now… and while trying to come up with an idea to outdo the wonderful card Mike made me for Mother’s Day, I thought, “ah yes! a ‘Reasons My Papa is The Best Papa in the Whole World’ board  book!” So the gift doubled as card for Mike and new favorite book for Roman. Mike was there when it arrived and I was too excited about it not to show him. He loved it and I think Roman loves it even more. He reaches for it whenever he sees it on the shelf, and taps on the cover to request a second reading whenever we’ve finished it. After reading it twice today he just stayed there and kept flipping through the pages to admire the pictures of him and his Papa! (Since kissing the mirror, looking at himself on the computer and watching videos of himself on our phones are a few of his favorite things, this was no surprise. He’s also adorably fascinated with a little wedding photo of Mike and I on our bookshelf.)

I imagine we’ll be making quite a few more of these!

A Day at the National Museum of the American Indian

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So as you can see I did a terrible job of taking photos on this day at the museum…. but don’t let my lack of picture taking mislead you, the National Museum of the American Indian  is a beautiful building on absolutely beautiful grounds. We ventured over on a hot day to play somewhere cool. I had never been to this museum and DCTots suggested it was one of the areas best free indoor play spaces. We were not disappointed! Though the space is designed with children older than Roman in mind, it was still an interesting, clean, large space for him to explore. He crawled around the giant teepee, the little children’s library… tried to break into the igloo… and pumped the lever of the snowshoe demonstration (for a very long time, probably the highlight of his visit.)

We ate lunch at the museum’s famous cafeteria, sitting at a table in front of a giant window up against a rocky waterfall outside… a lovely place to enjoy a delicious Native American inspired meal! (A little pricey for cafeteria food… but a few notches above your typical cafeteria.) Roman’s mood didn’t allow for much more wandering around the museum’s exhibits… but I’m sure we’ll be back!