May 2014

Ahhhh, May. One of my most favorite months. There’s always a little extra excitement in the air with special dates like my birthday and Mother’s Day. The weather is generally wonderful. And this year our May included two out-of-state adventures.

Soren loooves bubbles. And he fearlessly hunts down the geese and ducks by the pond, so we combined it all one afternoon.

Soren loves bubbles and fearlessly hunting down the geese and ducks by the pond, so we combined the two one afternoon.

IMAG1518

I got almost a foot of hair cut off! I did it on a bit of a whim, and I haven't looked back. It was either going to be messy ponytail every day or messy short hair, and the latter is a little more presentable.

I got almost a foot of hair cut off! I did it on a bit of a whim, and I haven’t looked back. I realized I had to live with either a long, tangly ponytail every day or messy short hair, and the latter is a little more presentable. I sent my lovely locks to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program.

And then we were off to Minnesota for a week with the Laytons and Hepps. We left chilly Boston for even chillier Wayzata, MN.

Since Tim and Soren and I were up a few hours before everyone else, we did lots of morning exploring.

Since Tim and Soren and I were up a few hours before everyone else, we did lots of morning exploring.

Soren learned the fine art of throwing rocks in the water.

Soren learned the fine art of throwing rocks in the water, which launched a full-on rock obsession. I can’t count how many times a day I find random rocks throughout the house that he’s snuck in somehow.

First zoo trip! Soren would look at each animal for about three seconds then sign/say "more more" and walk away to find something else. I'm trying to teach him to live in the moment.

First zoo trip! Soren would look at each animal for about three seconds then sign/say “more more” and walk away to find something else. I’m trying to teach him to live in the moment.

Three generations clip-clopping on the bridge.

Three generations clip-clopping on the bridge.

Gorilla love.

Gorilla love.

And a smooch for good measure.

And a smooch for good measure.

The Como Park Zoo has a really fun children's gallery with lots of hands-on activities. Soren is never one to turn down a place to splash.

The Como Park Zoo has a really fun children’s gallery with lots of hands-on activities. Soren is never one to turn down an opportunity to splash.

We also loved the gardens.

We also loved the gardens.

Does it get any cuter?

Does it get any cuter?

After the zoo and gardens, Soren didn't think it was possible that his day could get any better. And then Aunt Rita took us to see trains!

After the zoo and gardens, Soren didn’t think it was possible that his day could get any better. And then Aunt Rita took us to see trains!

Back at the house, Soren tried to teach cousin London about stomping on bubbles.

Back at the house, Soren tried to teach cousin London about stomping on bubbles.

Not the cutest face here, but I had to document what Soren does when he hears something interesting. I guess I was in the habit of pointing to my ear when I would ask him if he heard an airplane, truck, bird, etc. So he started pointing to his cheek when he wanted to note an intriguing sound.

Not the cutest face here, but I had to document what Soren does when he hears something interesting. I guess I was in the habit of pointing to my ear when I would ask him if he heard an airplane, truck, bird, etc. So he started pointing to his cheek when he wanted to note an intriguing sound. He’s been doing it for a few months now and I kind of hope he never stops.

Watching the boats on the bay.

Watching the train in the distance.

Soren had his socks knocked off again when we visited the Mall of America. We started out at the aquarium, which involved a lot of crying until we figured out Soren was not feeling great. When I would ask him if something hurt he would point to his stomach. So we had a miserable time until we got to the end and I changed the most disgusting diaper in the history of the world. And then life was grand and we walked through the aquarium again and Soren suddenly thought it was the best day ever.

The LEGO store was pretty great, too.

The LEGO store was pretty great, too.

And then, the rides! Taking Soren on the amusement park rides made me want to spoil him like crazy and give him every thing he ever asks for. The first ride we tried was the mini semi-trucks, and Soren was absolutely enthralled. I had a hunch he would be sad when it was over, so as it was winding down I let him know we would go on more rides. When the trucks stopped and I reached to get Soren out, he burst into tears and started signing “red” — he wanted to go on the red truck! I promised him we would go find another fun ride, but he was pretty sad until he realized what I meant. Our next stop was the roller coaster. In typical Soren fashion, he didn’t crack a smile, but he showed how he felt about it by bursting into tears when it ended. And that’s what happened on every ride we went on. Total despair when each one would end. I wanted to take him on a billion rides.

And then it was Saturday and the worst day of Soren’s life when he woke up with a burning fever. As soon as Tim put Soren in our bed and I felt the heat emanating from his little body, I knew we were going to have a rough day. For practically the first time in his life he wasn’t interested in food, and all he wanted to do was lay in our bed. We got him started on baby ibuprofen to bring the 103 fever down, but he was in sad shape all day.

Tim was secretly thrilled to finally experience Soren in a cuddly state.

Tim was secretly thrilled to finally experience Soren in a cuddly state.

Not a bad place to be sick.

Not a bad place to be sick.

And of course Soren's sick day landed on the day of the family party. You know how you always want your kid to perform well in front of family and friends who don't see him often? Soren totally failed.

And of course Soren’s sick day landed on the day of the family party. You know how you always want your kid to perform well in front of family and friends who don’t see him often? Soren totally failed.

The next day was a real letdown of a Mother’s Day. I woke up to a diarrhea-soaked baby next to me in bed (but the fever was mostly gone!). We spent the morning packing and cleaning up the house. And then we killed a few hours before our flight at Tim’s grandparents’ house. I attempted to give Soren a nap on a mattress on the floor, and he was all over the place. He’s definitely not moving out of his crib anytime soon. He eventually fell asleep with his head hanging off of the bed. About 30 minutes later, he woke up and had a major freak out when he realized he was half on the floor, not in a pack-and-play, and in a strange room (I was sleeping next to him the whole time, but that was not at all reassuring). He screamed for the next 15 minutes while Tim and I frantically tried to calm him down and simultaneously get ready to leave for the airport (and again, I was feeling 100% embarrassed thinking Tim’s relatives must see me as a totally incompetent mother). Soren finally succumbed to the breastmilk, and I started changing his diaper. And then he peed ALL OVER ME. My pants were soaked (it totally looked like I was the one who had the accident), and all our suitcases were packed away in the car. And we were late for our flight. So I strategically held my purse in front of me as we said our goodbyes to the family. The flight back to Boston was uneventful, although keeping Soren both entertained and contained for three hours is no small feat. And then we were home and all was well and I demanded a do-over Mother’s Day.

IMG_9596

The best family photo we could get.

Happy Mother's Day to me.

Happy Mother’s Day to me.

We came home to two normal days of work and library trips and playground adventures. And, of course, playtime with the doggies.

And then it was my birthday! I think I’m 32 now; I usually have to do the math to figure out my age. Soren and I got lunch downtown then fed the ducks and rode the swan boats. We wandered the Public Garden then moseyed back down Newbury Street to play on the playground, where Tim met up with us to join the fun. After Soren went to bed, Brenda brought me flowers, cheesecake, and her exceptional babysitting services. Tim and I got dinner at Toscano and felt like normal people who go out after 8 p.m.

I took a whopping one picture on my day. Soren and I got lunch downtown then took a ride on the swan boats. I had to wrestle Soren to keep him on the boat (the baguette helped).

I took a whopping one picture on my day. I had to wrestle Soren to keep him on the swan boat (the baguette helped).

Tim took off for a conference in Chicago for a few days then came back to take us on a Saturday bike ride. Soren sometimes carries his helmet around the house asking for a ride in the bike trailer.

Tim took off for a conference in Chicago for a few days then came back to take us on a Saturday bike ride. Soren sometimes carries his helmet around the house asking for a ride in the bike trailer.

Soren has a newfound love of sticks. He insisted on bringing this one in the car. Is that a safety hazard?

Soren has a newfound love of sticks. He insisted on bringing this one in the car. Is that a safety hazard?

Soren has been helping me with the dishwasher for a few months now, but he's finally become (mostly) independent with the flatware.

Soren has been helping me with the dishwasher for a few months now, but he’s finally become (mostly) independent with the flatware.

We've learned to always sit by the windows when we eat out. After dinner we let Soren roam free so we could eat dessert. He had no idea what he was missing.

We’ve learned to always sit by the windows when we eat out. After dinner we let Soren roam free so we could eat dessert. He had no idea what he was missing.

IMAG1586

We love to stop by this park and sand hill on our way home from Costco.

IMAG1588

It doesn't hurt that it's right on the river.

It doesn’t hurt that it’s right on the river.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlBjG0ltLgo

For Memorial Day weekend, we took our maiden journey to Butterhill, a pre-1800s 10-bedroom house in Franconia, New Hampshire. Gram’s cousins own the house, and family members are welcome to come stay anytime. So now we know where we’ll be all summer.

IMG_9604

IMG_9644

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVa4mdlhucA

We took a Sunday evening hike to Bald Knob.

We took a Sunday evening hike to Bald Knob.

IMG_9674

On Memorial Day we did a slightly more serious hike at the Basin in Franconia Notch State Park.

Grandmama and Pappy and a crazy tree.

Grandmama and Pappy and a crazy tree.

IMG_9669

IMG_9663

IMAG1597

And then obviously we spent lots of time throwing rocks in the water.

And then obviously we spent lots of time throwing rocks in the water (we had time to kill while John and Shauna searched high and low for their fifth child, the AT).

These are the curls that melt my heart.

These are the curls that melt my heart. We’re seeing no haircuts in the near future.

IMG_9701

IMG_9713

After lunch and nap we spent a relaxing afternoon at Butterhill.

Tire swings and za'atar crackers -- two of Shauna's favorite things.

Tire swings and za’atar crackers — two of Shauna’s favorite things.

Soren fell in love with the vintage toys.

Soren fell in love with the house’s abundant toy collection.

More hummingbird watching.

More hummingbird watching.

IMG_9617

Toddler rock climbing.

Toddler rock climbing.

IMAG1599

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFyjyLBOEIg

IMG_9760

IMAG1604

And then back home to Boston. We read A LOT of books on the 2-hour drive. This is when Grandmama helped us discover that Soren really has been paying attention for the last 20+ months. She tried leaving words out of the story here and there to see if Soren could fill them in. Turns out he practically has “Hop on Pop” memorized! Since then, we’ve done the fill-in-the-blank game with lots of other books at home, and he knows way more than I ever would have guessed. He didn’t inherit any memorization skills from me.

We finally got back into our normal life routine at the end of the month. Soren is becoming a lot more independent at home, and it’s really fun to sneak around and watch him playing solo.

IMAG1608

One day I discovered a trio of animals staring out the window. I figured Tim had done it while playing with Soren in the morning. I put the toys away and then noticed they were back in position a few hours later. Must’ve been Soren!

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

1 comment

  1. Page June 25, 2014 at 10:38 pm Reply

    I just showed Rick the NH house, and he wants to know when we’re going? Soren with the stick in the car reminds me of Everett. Can’t believe he went on a roller coaster!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *