Thursday, July 31, 2014

This Week's Adventures

My days are now a dizzying jumble of smiles (usually mine), taking photos of Marshall's thirtieth time making the same face, thinking of something new to do that's mom- and baby-friendly, and lots of spit up.

Every day is different, in terms of Marshall's routine, and in terms of what we do. I go a little crazy on days we don't leave the house, but it's also a battle (with myself) to get out the door each day. It's best when we have a scheduled plan or appointment, like meeting a friend for lunch. That's what we did today!

Heidi's enjoying her last full week off with Kayla, so she and her sister offered to drive down to visit us! We all went to Terranea and had a great time enjoying lunch, swapping babies, and chatting about motherhood.

Kayla is adorable and super smiley! Marshall needs to learn from this girl.

Heidi got to hold our little chunk.

Sometimes we find an errand or two we need to do, like running to Target to buy me some new sunglasses.

(My last Target sunglasses lasted several years, so I'm hoping these will get me to sending Marshall off to college. $17 well spent.)

I also stopped at Babies R Us to grab a baby memory book. I figure I should document Marshall's milestones in a book as well as the blog, and it's fun to have a little guidance.

We enjoyed lots of tummy time, reading, and a very fun game we call Looking at Objects We Have Looked at Hundreds of Times.

 On Wednesday, we stopped by UCLA! It was the day after the massive flooding, but the campus was still beautiful. Clean up crews are doing a fantastic job.

Marshall and I enjoyed a picnic in the sculpture garden.

If we lived any closer I might go to campus every day. Hell, maybe I should go every day even though we live 45 minutes away now.

Tummy time at UCLA!

On the way home from campus, Marshall and I had to swing by a bakery to grab bread for dinner. The entire time I was waiting for my bread, Marshall stared at the toy bug hanging on his car seat. The two of them must have enjoyed quite the conversation. (These photos were taken over the course of about a minute.)
I wonder what the bug said to make him smile. I need to learn.

We have a lot of fun together. It's certainly a slower pace than I'm used to, and the best days are the ones where we see friends or family, but just-the-two-of-us days are precious to me, too. We're getting to know each other so well!

But the best is still when Daddy comes home.
My favorite people.

I also did my first yoga session this week! I did my favorite video (only about the first 20 minutes) and am still a little sore. I did it in place of my push ups for the day. My other exercise this week has included:
  • a 3-mile walk along The Strand in Redondo Beach
  • walking all around UCLA (approximately 2-2.5 miles)
  • a hike on Sunday (maybe 2 miles)
It feels good to be getting back into it, but I've got a long way to go...

This week I even found myself in the kitchen a little bit!

A salad with greens, nectarines, blueberries, feta, and a vinaigrette.

Two batches of muffins to get us through the week--lemon blueberry and almond + dried cranberry

A fun finger food night of grilled eggplant and zucchini, toasted bread, burrata, and bruschetta.

So tasty!

And now it's Friday and August and we have so much to look forward to. A weekend of home improvement (well, purchasing a portable air conditioner, thanks to my parents, who spent several days sweltering in our apartment and deemed it necessary, and researching portable washers and dryers, a suggestion from my father-in-law, because we are convinced that our quality of life will improve tenfold if and when we can do laundry without leaving our unit), enjoying some family outings, and hopefully more smiles from our ten-week-old!

In the month of August we have a few big plans. Next weekend is Jenn and Justin's wedding! I'm a bridesmaid, it'll be Marshall's first night in a hotel, my parents will be the official babysitters of the's going to be insane. And awesome. Two weeks later, we'll take our first family road trip to Northern California! Woo hoo! And this month I'll also turn 29. Yikes.

What are you looking forward to in the month of August?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Last Week's Visitors

My parents visited last week! I always look forward to their visits, because I imagine I'll get so much done while they hang out with Marshall. In reality, I get a few things done, but mostly I want to spend time with them, so we all play with Marshall. It's still pretty awesome.

I did wash a few loads of laundry, though, and I kept the house pretty clean. Oh, well.

They arrived Tuesday afternoon, and we spent most of the day relaxing, cuddling the little guy, catching up. Terry came home later than usual from work, but we met him near the beach for drinks and then dinner. Marshall did great in the restaurant (always a relief).

On Wednesday, we headed out to Terranea (so close, and so beautiful!) for a walk and some lunch.

I had the California chicken sandwich, which was delicious. Tons of avocado, too! On the way home we took a detour to check out the Trump Golf Course. Let's just say that if I did play golf, I'd never be able to afford to play there. As I drove my KIA up to circle around I could practically hear the valet guys saying, "Um, no. Just go ahead and keep on driving. We only accept Teslas and Mercedes."

It's been HOT here lately, so when we were home we tried to keep fans blowing (because "who needs AC when you live so close to the beach?"). Poor Scout.

Dad grilled steaks and corn for us.

Marshall impressed us with his neck strength. (Side note: On Sunday, he rolled over! Just one time, and I was the only one who saw it, but he did it!)

Thursday we drove all the way up to Santa Monica (I can move away, but I can't keep away) to take advantage of a deal my mom bought for drinks at the Fairmont.

Champagne, anyone?

How do you know you're a mom? When you get more excited about the fact that the hotel lobby has a fancy separate room for nursing, including a changing table, than you do about the fancy champagne. Moms, if you're ever on Third Street in Santa Monica, take advantage of this changing room!

(After I took this photo, Marshall spat up all over the floor.)

 It was a gorgeous day in Santa Monica, and much cooler than my apartment, so we sat outside.

Thursday night Terry and I put Marshall to bed and then headed out on our first real date night. My parents stayed behind with the baby, obviously, and we went to Chez Melange, which turned out to be an excellent choice. We had a fun French waiter, ate too much delicious food (we shared the escargots and the summer salad; I ordered the chicken breast; Terry ordered the duck; we each had wine), and enjoyed some uninterrupted conversation. I was proud of myself for really enjoying the night and not worrying about our little guy the whole time!

Friday morning Terry worked from home, so I got an easier night (he took over some burping and diaper changing duties). My parents came over for breakfast, and Dad and I took a good (albeit hot) walk before we all said goodbye.

These trips are never long enough, but we sure do love them. It's so nice to see Marshall with his grandparents, and Terry and I are always grateful for the extra hands. I've been spoiled so far, because Terry has either been off or worked from home one day per week since he went back, and we've had lots of grandparent visits (both sides). It's wonderful to give Marshall the opportunity to interact with so many people who love him!

Hope you're having a fantastic week!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Marshall: Two Months

Happy two-month birthday, Marshall!

You are growing and growing and growing!

(Photos taken at one month, six weeks, and two months)

At two months, your measurements are:
Weight: 13 pounds 14.8 ounces
Height: 24.75 inches
Head circumference: 15.75 inches 

You're in the 95th percentile for height and weight, which doesn't surprise us (50th percentile for head circumference). The doctor said you're the size of a four month old. No wonder you feel so big and eat so much!

Speaking of which, you eat a LOT still, but you and I are becoming much more efficient at nursing. You usually eat for five minutes on each side, unless you're extra sleepy, so I'm grateful we aren't on the couch all day (it used to take you 20 minutes per side!). Allegedly babies are supposed to go two or three hours between feedings, but you usually prefer an hour or two. You also started taking a bottle this month! Since I'm making a lot more milk than you need, we have a lot stored up. Daddy has given you a few bottles here and there, and now we have plenty extra just in case.

Unfortunately, you're still spitting up a lot. We have about 45 burp cloths, and we go through them all in about three days. Sometimes you go through seven or eight outfits in a day because you spit up so much. But since you're a growing, happy boy, we just go with the flow (pun intended?) and try to protect the carpets.

You are still a very serious baby, but it makes each smile all the more fun.

We can usually get a big smile or two out of you in the morning, and then you are done with that nonsense. Time to focus on big tasks, like tummy time, batting at your toys (slowly developing this new skill), and watching everything, taking it all in. You're very good at following your daddy and me with your eyes and even move your head to watch us! People who meet you also love to comment on your funny facial expressions. And you really are funny to watch!

You haven't discovered Scout yet! He is still nervous around you and prefers it when you're sleeping (ideally in another room). Sometimes he runs up to you and sniffs your head and then pounces away. We're still hoping you'll become friends when you're older. Perhaps when you're able to feed him and truly earn his love.

You love lights and shadows. At night I turn on a small light to feed you and change your diaper without waking us up too much, and you love watching the shadows on the ceiling. You also love to find lights wherever we go and just stare.

This month was filled with new adventures for you! We visited new parks, drove 1.5 hours (your longest trip yet) to a birthday party, and spent a lot of time with all four grandparents. You love them!

So far, you seem to like the Ergo carrier. If you want to cuddle and I want to move, this guy works great for us. You seem so cozy in there, even though it's been a super hot summer and you get all sweaty.

You also got to meet your aunt and uncle!

I'm home with you all day, and I love love love getting to spend so much time with you. We don't have any sort of a schedule yet, but usually you like to sleep, then eat, then play. Your naps are anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours during the day, and you can tolerate about 30-45 minutes of play time. Sometimes you eat twice before going back to sleep (no surprise there). You seem like you're getting closer to starting to roll over, lifting up your legs and wiggling side to side.

At night, you go to sleep around 7:30. Then the nights are still pretty inconsistent, but usually you wake up twice to eat (maybe around 1 and 5), and you're great about going back to sleep on your own! You seem to like your swaddle and sleep well in it unless you feel gassy. Then you're up for the day around 7:30.

The best days are the days when Daddy is home to hang out with us. We love to take you for walks, visit new places, and play with you. You love dancing with your dad to oldies music. We love to read to you, but you will only let us read for a few minutes before you are ready to do something else.

Two months flew by in a flash. We can't wait to see what month #3 has in store for you!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Our New Normal: Weekend

Before Marshall was born, I felt a lot of anxiety about how a baby would change the dynamics of our marriage. Terry and I have always been go-go-go people, packing tons of fun into our weekends. I wondered if we would feel trapped at home or if we would start to become total homebodies.

So far, I think we've found a great balance for this transition into parenthood. We definitely don't pack nearly as much into each weekend, but we also don't want to. We're tired! So each weekend contains one "big" outing or event and then we spend a lot of time trying to sleep in, catching up on chores or errands, and relaxing. It's a new kind of fun, though, because watching our baby do tummy time is suddenly as exhilarating as a trip to wine country! Here's a little glimpse into a typical weekend with baby on board.

On Friday, Terry volunteered to take over baby duties so I could enjoy a little time to myself (my first extended "break" since baby arrived!). So I laced up my shoes and went out for a run.

It was short, but I can tell I'm already improving my endurance and strength. I only moved 1.5 miles, and I definitely walked at least a third, but I'm trying to ease back in to workouts, so it felt fine to limit myself. Also, I'm taking my time on the 100 Push Up Challenge (FYI, I'm using the "Level 1" column for each day...again, we're easing back in here). I started last Monday but felt sore for about three days, so I just completed Week 1 today.

I've also completed a few very mellow lower body strength training workouts. They've been indoors, bodyweight only--squats, plie squats, stationary lunges, glute bridges, etc. It's great to feel a little sore! While I have a LONG way to go before I feel "normal," at least I notice a difference in my mood, outlook, and body image when I do something active daily.

Friday evening we finally got to see Jenn and Justin's new place and had a blast catching up with them. I'm always excited to hear updates about Jenn's wedding planning, especially since the big day is only about three weeks away!

On Saturday, Terry and I took Marshall on his longest drive so far (1.5 hours) to visit our friends for a 30th birthday party. We had a great time catching up, being outside, and relaxing with friends. Marshall and Kayla (Heidi and Ed's daughter, who is three weeks older than our little guy) are a crime-fighting duo now!

(Thanks for the onesie and the photo, Heidi!)

Terry joined in with his Captain America shirt, too.

Yesterday was a wonderfully mellow day. Terry let me sleep in a bit after a rough night with Marshall, and then we took a family walk to our new favorite bakery for pastries. We also took advantage of a free afternoon to do some laundry and chores, and the house feels cleaner than it has in weeks.

My spectacular chef of a husband grilled some chicken for dinner--a perfect end to the weekend, along with some Cribbage and Parks and Recreation after Marshall went to bed.

Today's outing was a fun meet-up with my friend and her toddler. We checked out a new-to-us park in the area. Marshall and I arrived about a half hour early and took a lovely walk. It feels so great to be outside now that the weather isn't sweltering!

My parents are coming into town tomorrow, and I can't wait. I know they were just here a few weeks ago, but already Marshall has grown so much. I wish they could see him more, but I know I'm lucky that they've already visited three times since he was born. I'm thankful that we already have plans to see them twice in August!

And here's a random photo from a few weeks ago. :-)

Hope your week is off to a great start!