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Life Lately

Sometimes when Soren is sleeping and the house is very quiet, I miss him. I might not have said that when he was four months old and his naps never stretched beyond 30 minutes. But now that he’s a champion napper, the longer absences are making my heart grow fonder.

During times like these, I often take little breaks from my work or whatever I’m doing in the kitchen to look at pictures of him or watch a few of the many videos taking up space on my phone. It’s an especially nice diversion from the not-fun tasks that should be demanding my attention, like cleaning the enormous pile of oatmeal, pears, and fried rice beneath Soren’s high chair. So, to keep myself away from that mess for another few minutes, how about I share some of our latest happenings in photos. (Warning: Most of these photos have been Facebooked and/or Instagrammed, so sorry if this is old news.)

A month ago we ventured to Newport for the day. I was nervous about how Soren would react to a full day away from our home base, but he was a dream — snoozed all the way there, took a few mini naps in the Ergo while we toured mansions, and slept part of the way home. In between, he was as happy as the clams we ate for lunch.

Marble House might be my latest favorite Newport mansion. During the audio tour I literally laughed out loud multiple times about Alva Vanderbilt’s shenanigans.

Soren tasted his first bite of lobster at Flo’s Clam Shack. I wouldn’t let him near the rest of the food, though (fried, fried, and more fried).

Our fair city’s Patriot’s Day (otherwise known as Marathon Monday) got turned upside down this year. We live about a five-minute walk from the course, and five miles from the finish line. We waited to go watch the race until Soren woke from his afternoon nap, and we arrived just as the runners were being told they couldn’t finish — two bombs had gone off downtown, and everything was chaotic and unknown at that point. We watched the news for a little while from a nearby restaurant, then walked back home while checking for updates on our phones. I was glued to the news for days after, especially on Friday — the day of the manhunt and lockdown. On Saturday morning, everything felt fresh and new around the city. As Mayah Menino said at the interfaith service earlier that week:

“I’m telling you, nothing can defeat the heart of this city. Nothing. Nothing will take us down, because we take care of one another. Even with the smell of smoke in the air … and blood on the streets … tears in our eyes … we triumphed over that hateful act on Monday afternoon. It’s a glorious thing, the love and the strength that covers our city. It will push us forward, it will push thousands and thousands and thousands of people across the finish line next year. Because this is Boston, a city with the courage, compassion and strength that knows no bounds.”

Even the MBTA showed its support.

Soren told Tim how he felt about being cooped up in the house during the manhunt for the marathon bomber — barf, barf, and more barf. I have yet to get the stains out of that shirt.

Our trip to Israel is a go, so we ordered a baby passport for Soren. If you think the post office is a dreary place to be, just bring in a really cute baby. All the workers are crazy about him.

I’m convinced there’s never been a more adorable passport photo in the history of the world.

Soren continues to amaze us with his love for food. (And I continue to take lots of pictures and videos of him eating because I think it’s so fun to watch.) I know not every baby takes to food so quickly, but I’m on a personal mission to share the idea of baby-led weaning with the world. I believe that is the single reason mealtime is so great for us. Over the last two months he’s eaten many foods I didn’t try until I was in my 20s. He gets pretty much whatever we’re eating now, and while he does have preferences (he’ll drop the carrot in his hand if I put a spoon full of cottage cheese/tomatoes/basil on his tray), he has yet to refuse anything outright.

He’s also gotten to the point where he’s fun to have around at meals outside the home. We attended two great barbecues this weekend, and he didn’t hesitate to grab my grilled chicken/pesto/spinach on ciabatta and dive into it. He tried watermelon and pineapple for the first time and loved both. We got burritos at our beloved El Pelon yesterday, and he sampled some beans, tortilla, and plantain. Then he realized the plastic utensils and paper food trays were even more fun to play with, and I was secretly glad to not have to share my food.

This picture perfectly captures my life right now — Soren in his high chair, with a pile of freshly washed diapers behind him. Food and poop. That’s my life.

The mess on his tray may not look super appealing, but Soren loved it. I think I see lasagna, carrots, and zucchini there.

After months of coveting beautiful rockers/gliders (if only I had $1,000 to just throw around on one of these) for Soren’s room, I finally gave up my dreams and decided to do a little DIY. I checked Craigslist religiously for a chair that wasn’t hideous and was thrilled to see this one pop up one day — for free! I ditched the previous owner’s cover and got to work painting the upholstery underneath (mixture of paint, textile medium, and water). Three coats (and a couple months) later, I have a chair I actually like! I did some more IKEA hacking with the spice-rack-turned-bookshelves behind the chair. It’s the most decorating I’ve done in years.

Our next step is to use the green polka dot fabric to sew a pillow cover. So as not to overdo myself with all this craftiness, I think I’ll wait until my mom is in town in two weeks and have her do it.

A few weeks ago we took our inaugural trip of the year to Kimball Farm. Tim rode his bike, and Soren and I drove up to meet him there. (We’re on a hunt for a bike trailer so we can all go together.) We tried a new flavor, for once, and I think it’s a keeper — the caramel cashew chip is great with our old standby, chocolate peanut butter. Soren ate a banana and had no idea what he was missing.

Bliss.

Soren did seem to notice we were eating something different than him. But he was satisfied after I gave him a spoon to use with his banana.

Relaxing Sundays with loads of downtime are a thing of the past. Tim leaves for church a few hours early to ride his bike to meetings at the chapel, so Soren and I hang out on our own and then meet him there. Our congregation began meeting from 1-4 p.m. this January, so some of the little kids are sleep-deprived by the end of church after skipping their afternoon naps. The time doesn’t make much difference for us since Soren needs a morning and an afternoon nap (and quite often takes a third nap). During the second hour of church Soren plays in the clerk’s office with Tim while I teach a Sunday School class about family history. During the third hour Soren starts to get the sillies as he gets more and more tired. His talking and giggling make it really difficult to pay attention — he’s just too fun. As soon as we get in the car to drive home, his eyelids start drooping and he’s asleep in no time.

Sunday snooze.

We go outside quite a bit more now that it’s somewhat warm. Soren seems to understand that outdoors is more fun — he starts kicking and smiling when we walk out the door.

Spring has sprung.

At the risk of becoming one of those stage moms, I’m seriously considering turning Soren into a baby model. I know all parents think their baby is really cute, but based on unsolicited feedback we’ve received, ours is exceptionally good looking. If we can make some money off of our offspring, I’m all for it.

When I hold up the camera, he starts smiling.

 

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Comments: 3

  1. salem May 8, 2013 at 3:43 pm Reply

    I love the idea of baby-led weaning. I feel like I sort of followed that method because I only nurse until 6 months AND my babies get teeth real early. So by 1 year, they are eating 3 meals a day off their tray, mostly by themselves. I’m a firm believer in the quote, “Picky eaters are made, not born”. Way to go Soren!

  2. Molly May 17, 2013 at 10:47 am Reply

    I’m basically obsessed with the idea of baby-led weaning,. But, since my Lilli isn’t quite 4 months old, I think I’m going to wait about two more months. Did you read any books, or is the website you provided your main resource?

    • ashley
      Ashley May 17, 2013 at 1:59 pm Reply

      Molly, I did read this book and found it to be extremely helpful. It gave me a lot of confidence and put any fears I had at ease. It’s also been helpful for explaining the process to family members or friends who haven’t been quite so comfortable with the idea of feeding real food to a little baby.

      All in all, it’s been really great for my baby. Good luck in a few months!

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