I’ve found that I often measure time in increments determined by my job. When I worked at the magazine, I thought of life as pairs of months since we published bi-monthly (the January/February issue, the March/April issue, etc.). Since starting my current job four years ago with a financial research firm, I segment my life into quarters. And since we’ve just wrapped up the first quarter of the year (known as 1Q14 in my research reports), I figured it was a good time to post an update of our goings on since 2014 rolled around.
We were in Virginia for the holidays, so we spent the first day of the new year downtown. The US Botanic Garden puts together a fantastic train exhibit each year, so we took Soren and met up with four of his cousins there.
Soren is such a pointer. When he’s not eating or sleeping, he’s pointing at something (usually airplanes, trucks, buses, or, in this case, trains).
We enjoyed a freezing cold picnic on the steps by the Capitol reflecting pool (Soren loved the seagulls that tried to eat our lunch). We made sure to save room for our Cafe Rio dinner that would come later that evening. I’m thrilled Cafe Rio is all over VA/MD/DC now, but I’m wondering when Boston will get a turn?
We got a little dusting of snow in Ashburn the next day. Soren begged to go outside, so Pappy won him over for a minute by offering a ride on a little tricycle.
The next day we made our way to Pennsylvania, where Tim had a conference to attend. Soren and I thought Philadelphia sounded fun, so we offered to tag along. We were very wrong — it was a miserable place. We pulled into the city after the three-hour drive just in time to drop Tim off for one of the sessions. Apparently Philadelphia doesn’t believe in snow plows, because the roads downtown were practically impassable. I’m a very competent city driver, but this place was a mess. But even though it was 15 degrees and crazy windy (that polar vortex was no joke), I figured it would be lame of me to go straight to the hotel and not see the place. So Soren and I drove around downtown Philly until we found the Liberty Bell. Of course Soren’s pants were soaked and of course I couldn’t find extra clothes or our hats and mittens. So I threw him in the Ergo and we sprinted to the building to warm up and do a quick diaper change. And of course there are no bathrooms in the Liberty Bell building — why would there be? So I laid my already frozen baby on the cold, hard concrete floor for a little diaper change, then put his wet pants right back on him. I let him wander around the bell for awhile, and he was photoed by many Asian tourists.
Soren was a little annoyed he couldn’t get closer to the spots where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were both signed.
And then, the worst night of our lives. It started off only sort of badly, when the hotel’s promised crib was nowhere to be found. I demanded that someone go find one, and within 30 minutes someone showed up with a brand new pack and play from Target. But our adventure turned really crazy around 2 a.m. when a team of firefighters required us to evacuate the building because of a suspicious package in the lobby. I was ready to risk my life in order to keep my baby asleep, but the evacuation was mandatory — they went room to room to make sure we were all out. We spent a few miserable hours in the hallway of a neighboring hotel. Tim and I could barely keep our eyes open; Soren didn’t seem to mind being awake in the middle of the night. After going back to bed around 4:30 a.m. (back in our bomb-free hotel), Soren somehow felt ready to wake up for the day at 5 a.m. I literally cannot remember ever being so tired. I hate Philadelphia. We were so delirious and sleep deprived that we decided Tim would skip the Saturday sessions and we would instead drive back to Boston — a really smart choice when you’re super drowsy. But pizza in New Haven solved all our problems. And being home in Boston felt really, really good.
We came back from Virginia with Gram’s stool, and Soren spends a lot of time on it. When there are so many trucks and buses and people and dogs passing by, why wouldn’t you stay glued to the window?
Soren enjoys spreading our pots and pans and lids all over the kitchen floor, so I was really pleased when I walked into the kitchen one day to see he had tidied up and placed them all inside a laundry basket.
Happy 17-month birthday!
I already documented the heck out of one week in February (see here, here, here, here, here, and here), but here are a handful of other February pics.
We got to playgroup on time one day and Soren loved having the place practically to himself.
Soren has really come to love personal reading time. He chooses a chair then does the sign for “book.” Then, like any spoiled only child, he waits for me to bring him books, one by one, until he deems one acceptable. Once he finishes that book, he throws it to the ground and demands another.
At the end of the month Soren and I made our second-annual journey to the Lone Star state. Soren loved watching the planes from the airport, but I’m not sure if he understood he was inside one. Watching the luggage carts drive all around was pretty exciting, however.
We spent our first few days in Austin, visiting Camilla and her three littles. Soren and Ruby had a grand time at the Austin children’s museum.
The weather was strangely cold in Texas, but we got a few days of sunshine and warmth. Soren had forgotten all about playgrounds since everything in Boston had been buried under snow for months. It was extra exciting for Soren to experience the playground as a walker — no more crawling through woodchips!
And then it was off to San Antonio to visit Page and the nieces and nephews. This is Soren’s “get me outta the car” face.
I wouldn’t normally call Soren adventurous, as he prefers to stick by my side until he’s comfortable with his surroundings. But once he stepped foot on Page’s trampoline he was done with me. I couldn’t even bribe him to get off for pizza — his favorite.
We relished our outdoor meals (in short sleeves!) knowing it was snowing in Boston.
It’s SO nice to not have to help him get around on the playground anymore. Hooray for growing up!
Soren plays with other kids regularly, but he definitely isn’t accustomed to sharing his space. He was not happy about Isla enjoying the slide with him.
He makes this grumpy face intentionally, and I kind of love it.
Carson and Everett
Not so happy about being captured by Faye.
“Let me go!”
Of course it was 30 degrees in Austin, so Soren and I had to sit on the runway for an hour so the plane could be de-iced. And Southwest wouldn’t dream of holding our connection for an extra 10 minutes, even though there were a dozen of us hoping to make the flight. So we killed a few spare hours in the Atlanta airport. I think I was more bothered than Soren.
One day Soren turned into a monster and I almost ran away from home. He woke up 15 minutes into his nap, which is extremely unusual, and he wasn’t interested in going back to sleep. But he was also exhausted and not happy about being awake. So he cried and whined for an hour and we had a miserable time that ended in him falling asleep next to me in my bed.
New England’s maple farms took a hit this year because of the looney weather. On the first good sugaring weekend we visited Turtle Lane Maple Farm to see how it all works. Their maple candies and maple cream (we dip pretzels in it for a salty/sweet post-dinner snack) are to die for.
Soren’s favorite part was the tractor out front.
Train ride! Sometimes we ride the T, just for fun.
Back in Boston, we never really saw spring in March, but we did have a couple of days that weren’t freezing. Soren knows his way to the park by now, and sometimes I’m tempted to send him there solo.
Soren’s first aquarium trip. He was enamored with the penguins and loved splashing in the shark and ray touch tank.
One day we found a $5 bill at Home Depot and I was pretty sure that was the greatest thing that had ever happened to me. Soren didn’t think it was as cool as the fact that he got to drive the cart.
I think Soren has great potential as a Target employee. I usually let him wander the aisles while I browse, and one afternoon I looked over to see him taking items off the shelves, one by one, and storing them on this neat cart. I’m not sure what his plans were for the giant cupcakes, but he was determined.
Now we can move on to 2Q14…
Tagged: Austin, Liberty Bell, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Soren, target, Texas, US Botanic Garden, Virginia, Washington DC