High Five Friday: 5 things I’m grateful for this week

high five friday

I stumbled upon the High Five Friday concept while browsing the blogosphere and decided to join in on the fun! The purpose is to share five things that you are grateful for this week, so here we go.

1. Jack is back! Did you see the trailer that ran during the Superbowl for the return of 24? My husband and I are such huge fans…our cat is even named after the show. Meet our Jack Bauer:

orange cat photo

2. This article on Huffington Post made me feel inspired: This Guy Stopped Charging Clients And He Has Zero Regrets. I’ve been considering a similar business model for my online marketing consulting business. My idea is in its infant stage, but reading the article gave me hope that my goals are achievable. So thanks for the gift economy inspiration Adrian Hoppel!

3. Making snow angels with Cole. We had a big snow storm this week and I captured a little video clip of some of the fun we had on Instagram: Cole’s Snow Day Adventure

4. I did a headstand on a balance board! Inversions have been my most recent yoga obsession. I’ve been taking a Balance Board class at Windsoul Studio in Tyngsboro, MA. The balance board is meant to mimic the feeling of being on a paddle board in the water.

5. I highly recommend reading The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg. I finished it last night, and after reading some pretty heavy books over the last few months, this book was like a breath of fresh air. It’s a wonderful, light-hearted mix of comedy, family and a bit of history.

The All-Girl Filling Station Reunion

There is my list for High Five Friday! What are you grateful for this week?

First family vacation with baby

New Hampshire in August was the perfect setting for our first family vacation.  Pre-baby, our ideal vacation would include some sort of travel, the sun, good restaurants and plenty of cocktails.  Now that Cole has joined us we had to think outside the box a little!  My generous parents gave us the lakehouse for the week so the location was an easy decision.  Cole was already familiar with the house which relieved my worry of him waking up, having no idea where he was, and crying out for us in the middle of the night.

The week started off with a family pool party at my grandparents house.  It was fun to sit and reminisce about the days when my cousins and I would be running around together playing in the backyard.  The torch is now being passed on to all our little ones!  My grandparents are now great-grandparents to six beautiful children and babies.  Here are Greg and Aunt Kim holding Cole and Chloe (only 1 month apart!).

Besides the pool, we also spent a lot of time in the lake.  My brother and his girlfriend bought us this amazing baby carrier that is made for the water.  Best invention ever!  It made swimming with Cole so much easier for him and me.  If anyone is planning on spending time in the water with their baby I highly recommend the Body Glove Neoprene infant carrier.

One day we took a road trip to North Conway.  Cole slept the whole way there and the whole way back.  We’ve learned that great naps are one of the perks of taking mini road trips!  Although he couldn’t enjoy the food like we did, Cole got to experience one of our favorite restaurants in the area, Flatbread Company.  I love them because they use local ingredients to make delicious brickoven pizza. YUM.

One of my favorite parts of the week was our visit to one of the most charming towns in New England, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.  After a delicious lunch at Crepes Ohh La La, we took Cole for a walk down Cotton Valley Trail.  It was such a peaceful afternoon.

I love my family and I can’t wake for our next vacation!  Perhaps we will get Cole on a plane next time (eek!).  Where did you take your first family vacation?

Baby on the move

Cole had been quasi rolling over by the end of June, around the time he turned 4 months old.  He quickly became an expert at rolling the second week of July.  We are thrilled that Cole has crossed this new developmental milestone and we’ve given him plenty of cheers and high fives.  It’s even more fun to play with him now that he can roll over, and boy does he get plenty of tummy time!  There are a couple of changes that I’ve had to get used to.  I used to be able to plop him on an activity mat with plenty of toys to entertain him and buzz around the kitchen doing chores and cooking.  Now when I turn my head from him and turn back around a moment later he has rolled himself from the mat onto the wood floor!

It’s also opened Cole’s eyes to new possibilities while he is in his crib.  For example, we still put him down on his back in his crib because that’s what is recommended for babies until they are 1 year old, but he doesn’t stay that way for long!  When he doesn’t feel like sleeping, he’ll roll and wiggle his way all around.  We love our Summer Infant video monitor because we can actually change the position of the camera using the receiver when he moves. Sometimes we’ll look on monitor and find him with an arm or a leg hanging out of the crib bars.  And once in a while he will make his way to the corner of the crib and howl as if he is in prison!

And he sleeps on his side or on his stomach…no matter where he is. Even on the swing he’ll twist around on his side!

And now a quick clip of the baby in action…

I know this is just beginning of Cole’s transition from stationary newborn to walking-talking baby, and it’s so fun to watch him change from day to day…but does it have to happen so freaking fast?!?

Learning my ABC’s as a new mom

Being a new mom changes everything.  Every ounce of your energy is focused on taking care of your new little bundle of joy.  Amongst all the happiness there are so many questions that arise.  Babies can’t tell you what they are feeling or what they need.  They can’t tap you on the shoulder and say, “Excuse me Mom, but when you have a moment I’ll need a new diaper as I’m feeling rather wet and irritated down there.”  The only way a baby knows to communicate that they need something is by crying.  There were many times in those first few weeks that I would cry right along with my little one because I was so sad that I couldn’t figure out what he needed to prevent him from getting so upset!  But then I learned my ABC’s…All Babies Cry.

I learned the ABC’s in a new moms group I joined at Isis Parenting called Great Beginnings.  It was the best thing I did for my baby and myself.  Great Beginnings is a 6 week class for moms with babies 2 – 6 weeks old.  It got me out of the house with my baby, which is a scary thing as a new mom!  Getting Cole in the car seat and taking him for a ride scared the – you know what – out of me for weeks.  We learned songs that I still sing to Cole.  Greg even started singing the songs to him too!  I made friends with the other moms and we still have play-dates even after the class is over.  Not only did we learn a lot from the class instructor, but we also learned a lot from each other.   We shared our individual experiences as our babies grew along side one another week after week.  Talking to the other moms made me feel normal, which is a self-description I would rarely use during those first few weeks.  I could feel my confidence start to grow as a mom every week.  Here is a picture of the “students” in my Isis class as the instructor read them a story.  Cole is the one ready to roll over on the right hand side 🙂

Little did I know that soon after I learned about the ABC’s I would start being able to distinguish between Cole’s cries.  He still can’t tell me whether he is hungry or tired, but I can usually tell the difference based on his cry.  I learn something new as a mom every day, but the ABC’s were definitely one of the biggies.  It helped me relax…just a little bit.

Newborn photo session with Zemler Wu

A month before Cole was born I won a free newborn photo session with a local photographer, Marie Zemler Wu.  A week after Cole was born, Marie arrived at our condo and set the stage for the photo shoot.  She had blankets, accessories, and even a portable heater to ensure my baby was nice and cozy!   Every detail was meticulously planned and under control…everything except for Cole.  He was having some really bad gas that day, which made it difficult to soothe him into a sleepy state for pictures.  Marie was so patient stayed with us from about 9am – 1pm to make sure she got every possible photograph.  She even encouraged us by saying that a gassy baby can result in some cute smirks to capture on camera!

A week later on our way to Marie’s for the viewing, Greg and I had our doubts about how many photographs we would want to purchase.  After all, the newborn stage is such a short moment in time and he will look different every day!  However, as soon as the slide show began I fell in love with every single picture of my little miracle boy.  I realized I needed to have these photographs that so beautifully captured this short moment in time when my baby was so fresh and new to the world.  He was about to become a sponge, discovering all the functions of his body and the excitement of the world around him.  The newborn photographs represent my baby in his most pure, innocent, vulnerable state.

We purchased a beautiful album, a framed wall piece that holds three photographs, and several additional photographs for ourselves and family members.  All the pictures are beautiful to look at, and a warmth fills me up when I look at them (The framed piece is the centerpiece of our living room!).  I love them even more now, several months later, because I see how quickly he is growing and changing!

I would recommend Zemler Wu Photography to anyone!  And for all you new moms out there, a newborn photo shoot is sooooo worth it 🙂