Friday, August 22, 2014

A year later

Rower turned one on Wednesday.

Here is how he is currently charming us:

1) He is growling. He's been growling since about 6 months. All we have to do is say "Raaaaaawr!" and he usually parrots it back. Here he is doing it at 9 months.

2) He doesn't quite crawl or walk. I can tell he's just itching to do it. He can get around the house by rolling, pushing off things, wriggling, and scooting. He has become HUGE in the last few months, and when he tries to crawl, he grunts under the pressure of his own body and (let's be real) head. His head is enormous. I know it's coming any day now.

3) He'll also parrot back a few other things, like "uh-oh," "hot!" (like when his food is too hot and we have to blow on it), and he starts clapping anytime we say "yay!" Also, something he's been doing for months and months is shake his head side to side, almost like he's saying, "Look at what I can do!"

4) He has the best giggle in the world. He's ticklish and loves it when we pretend to nibble on his arms/hands/legs/feet.

5) He's my running buddy. I have a friend named Kat who lives nearby and has a little boy just a few weeks younger than Row, and we load up the little boys and go running during the week. Rower likes to hold my water bottle and chew on the silicone nozzle and babble the whole way.

6) He is Harry's biggest fan. He's heart broken when Harry leaves for work in the morning and ecstatic when he hears Harry turn the key in the lock to come in at night. He starts laughing and kicking, and as soon as Harry picks him up he keeps kicking his legs mid-air. It's one of my favorite things to see.

7) He eats! Everything! It's so nice that we have graduated from the world of purees and now he can handle a surprising amount of more solid foods with his two bottom chompers. His favorites: peaches, graham crackers, saltines, bananas, zucchini.

8) He's obsessed with books. He has his own little part of the bookshelf that's located next to the rocking chair in his room, and now whenever we settle down to read and finish one book, he immediately starts lunging for more on his shelf. He loves "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." He especially loves "The Golden Egg Book," which is about a bunny and a duck becoming friends. I SWEAR on the fedora collection of Justin Timberlake that he said the word "duck" twice, crystal clearly, a few weeks ago. And he's refused to say it since so I'm having trouble proving this to anyone.

9) He still has almost no hair and the longest eye lashes in the world. Even when he's in head-to-toe camo and navy blue, I regularly get asked, "How old is she?"

10) We are working on his clinginess. He doesn't take very kindly to strangers, which is normal, but I miss my easy-going baby. It is nice to get extra good cuddles from him when he's feeling anxious in a room of people he doesn't know.

I can't believe a year has passed. I still have very vivid memories of holding him in the hospital, and of the bleary, exhausted late night/early morning feedings that followed for months.

Fun fact: it's possible to enjoy TV shows that aren't that great when you're half asleep. My sis-in-law gave me a great late-night nursing tip: find a TV show that's streamable on Netflix and make it your exclusive "nursing at night" show. Have it cued up on a phone/computer/whatever, and press play ONLY when you're nursing at night. I chose "Scandal" as that show, and it was a great pick! Then something funny happened. Rower started sleeping through the night around 4 1/2 months, so I stopped watching. A month or two later, I decided to watch an episode or two during the day, to catch up. I mean, maybe it's just that the 3rd season isn't that great but... with a fully conscious and rested brain, that show was almost UNWATCHABLE. A lot of over-emotional phrase repetition and growling whispers and grimacing arguments and writing that I was less than impressed with. I'm grateful still though that that show got me through those late nights.

I'm floored when I think about the fact that we have been parents for a year. It's been the hardest and happiest year of my life, and I oddly can't wait for more years with Rower, and more kids! My dad once said that having children was like getting a second childhood, and that is something I now totally understand. I have big plans for introducing Rower to all the best things about being a kid.

Happy birthday buddy. We're thrilled you're ours.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


So, at Christmas time, I ran into my good friend Sydney. She had had a baby very recently and we chit chatted about what it's like to be a happy zombie in baby land: no bouts of sleep longer than a few hours at a time, cute baby noises and expressions, and how that early bleary eyed goodness is the spring of hope and the winter of despair.

And we agreed on one thing in particular: when we're up at all hours of the night feeding a baby, one thing we both turned to is blogs. So we agreed that we would keep the blog posts coming, if for no other reason than it is nice to have something to read at 3:30 am when you're wrangling an infant into eating.

I'm pretty unsure of where to begin since it's been so long. Plus if this thing becomes an obligatory travelogue that I even detest reading, then it's a chore for everyone to read. So let's keep it light.

I love my baby I love my baby I love my baby.

Rower and I hit a real stride in January. The holidays were awesome, but tricky for a baby that was too young to sleep train, and didn't like traveling (which is basically what we did a lot of in October, November, and December). Christmas was still great; we got to see our families, Rower got maximum cuddles from everyone, and even a 24 hour stomach flu didn't keep us down.

Now that everything has calmed down, Row is sleeping like a champion. He pounds rice cereal, butternut squash and apples, and occasionally avocado. He is seven months old and scoots around on his back but shows no interest in crawling quite yet, no matter how much tummy time we force on him. He laughs and says "Dadadadadadadada" all day long with various levels of urgency. Harry and I just hold him and grin just listening to him. We've stepped back and realized a couple of times, "I'm sure this is entertaining to NO ONE but us, but who cares?!" We're trying not to be irritatingly-enthusiastic parents, but we've never been so enamored with a baby before. It really is the coolest thing I've ever done.

Other than being pleased as punch with parenthood (despite the occasional blowout diaper and the enormous pile of laundry that NEVER GETS SMALLER), things are chugging along. Harry is working crazy hard, non-stop. I remember in law school people told us that we should enjoy this time because life gets so much harder when a real job comes along. I remember disagreeing deep down because I was anxious about all the debt we were accruing, and knowing how relieved I'd be once we were finally able to start chipping away at it. I love our life now and would never go back, but I can't help but miss our old, tiny apartment with the prison toilet and love seat from hell. Mostly, I miss getting to spend hours of free time with Harry everyday.

Harry recently turned 29. As is tradition (which started in his childhood), I snuck out while he was sleeping and bought him his favorite donuts from Winchell's and stuck a candle in it and we sang to him before he went to work. I love that my husband's sweet tooth is really pretty limited to Winchell's donuts and a few other things; it seriously simplifies my life. We met up for lunch with the baby at the mall near his office, and that night I took him on a birthday date to one of my new favorite top three restaurants: A Food Affair. A funky name for an incredible French restaurant. We split a mushroom torte and I got beef bourguignon and Harry got an ENTIRE red snapper that had been flash fried with Thai spices.

Then we scampered off to our favorite movie theater (where we habitually sneak in Godiva dark chocolate milkshakes) and saw "Divergent." We are reading the book for our book club and I have to admit, the story is pretty good (kind of Hunger Games-y) but really Shailene Woodley is incredible. That girl can EMOTE. And yes. Yes. That is Mr. Pamuk from "Downton Abbey." I kept thinking the whole time, "You moron, you were awful to Mary Crawley and then you got what was coming to you."

We still get to go to Imagine Dragons concerts. And, the concerts have changed considerably since 2009. It no longer costs $6 to see them. Their shows sell out online in hours. They now tour all over the world. And the concerts completely blow my mind. I look around at people of LITERALLY all ages and styles and walks of life, packed like sardines into gigantic arena seats and standing space, and they are all singing along to even the most obscure lyrics and going completely nuts. Harry and I are stunned, and so proud of Dan and all the hard work that the band has put in. We still often forget that Dan is famous. I still do a double take sometimes when I hear them on the radio (which is everyday). That's probably because Dan and the band are all still kind, happy guys who work insanely hard. We couldn't be prouder of them or happier for them.

And we got to attend the Beatles Reunion Show taping (and sit 5th row) to see them cover "Revolution." That night really blew my mind. They joined Maroon 5, John Mayer, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Pharell Williams, Stevie Wonder, Annie Lennox, Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr and a few others I can't quite remember this second. Harry and I just sort of looked at each other like, "Drink this in, because this is a crazy once in a lifetime experience."

We got to see them on Valentine's Day. The lamest of pictures, yes, indeed.

I feel like so much more has been going on than I can fit into a few paragraphs, but at the same time our life is pretty repetitive and simple. Especially since I feel like my life has now been chunked into 3-4 hour increments, based on Rowers eating and sleeping needs. Case in point, things are good, and getting better all the time (if you started singing "Better, better, beeeeeeetter," after that last phrase, I did too).

Here's to getting back on the blogging wagon.

How was that, Sydney?