Monday, October 26, 2015

Ten and Eleven Months

At 10 months, Luca:

  • Weighs...more than 18 lbs? We haven't been for an official check-up, so I'm not totally sure. Now, at just a few days short of a year, I would estimate he's somewhere around the 23-24 lb mark. 
  • Eats everything. This month was huge and he now gets 3 actual meals a day, with no bottle afterward. He eats it all: pasta, chicken, vegetables, hummus, guacamole, pastina, puffs—and all without teeth. 
  • On that note, he loves food more than anyone. He's always so curious about what everyone is eating.
  • Still has no teeth. (Even my dentist seemed a little shocked when I told him!) 
  • Pull himself up on everything: the couch, the coffee table, chairs 
  • Takes everything out of the cabinets. He particularly loves the one with all the pots and pans and another that houses all his puffs, baby food pouches etc. 
  • Crawls all over the place. There's a video of him from early July where was just getting the hang of it, but now he's all over the place.
  • Loves peek-a-boo. He has a little play area on the side of the couch, and the curtains in the living room come down on it a bit and he'll now go behind them and play peek-a-boo with us. It keeps him entertained forever. 
  • Opens books and flips through the pages.  
  • Is still super good-natured. He laughs easily and smiles a ton.
  • Cries sometimes when I leave in the morning. Really it just happened after vacation, which makes sense, since he was with me for 9 days straight. But if HE's the one leaving though, he could care less.  
  • Love love loved the water at the beach. He'd laugh when he splashed water in his face and cry when we pulled him out. 
  • Climbs the stairs, but hasn't figured out how to get down yet.
  • Is super curious is about everything. 
  • Is quick to get frustrated if things don't happen fast enough 
  • Has an hour right before he goes to bed that's my very favorite: he's fed and clean and we'll play on the floor or on the bed and he's so engaged and giggly and it's the most fun ever. All day is worth it for that one hour. 
  • Ten months also marked the end of the "lying down" monthly pictures—he wouldn't do it, as hard as we tried. So sitting up it is. 

At 10 months, I:
  • Can't believe how much has changed with Luca over the past month. I don't know why, but it seems like he made the biggest leaps—the most noticeable ones, is probably a better way to put it. My little baby who was content to cuddle on the couch now just wants to be free to crawl around and explore. He's so curious about everything. He'll perk up when he hears the door opening and he always wants to know whats going on. He's a total social baby and I admit that i really love that about him. 
  • Spent Luca's 10 month birthday in Montauk for my sister-in-law's bachelorette party, sleeping till 9 and lying by the water all day, before eating dinner in a trendy restaurant with my hair done and ending it with a bonfire on the beach. It was so fun and i loved every minute of it. It's funny because I went to my other sister-in-law's bachelorette party in the middle of may— basically the start of the summer—and it felt so different to leave him then. At that point it was really the first time I had been away from him for a night and I was a little sad to go, but it also made me, in a good way, remember a little more about who I was. This time, I was looking forward to it—to eating without having to cut up someone elses's food and to sleep past 630. I missed him, of course, and I'm sure i talked about him too much, but it was nice. It's nice to be me still. 
  • Am liking working. Being a full time working parent is no joke and it's a constant adjustment and it's a constant wonder and worry, I think. But I think I've realized that being a full time, stay at home parent is not for me at the moment. Maybe one day it will be, because you never know and you can never say never and all that. But right now, in this moment, this is ok. 
  • Had a devastating loss at work recently, and it has made me question so many things. Not question so much as double check. To take inventory of my life and say: Yes, this is working or no, this isn't. To cut myself some slack for not living on green juice and hot yoga, but also to know that this is the only life and it's now or never. We don't get a second chance or any of that. It has put so much into perspective. 
  • Think this summer was one of the best. One of my most favorite, hands down. But I am so looking forward to fall, too.

At 11 months, Luca: 

  • Is still eating everything—and loving every minute of it. Aside from honey and milk, we basically give him whatever we're eating. He's had pulled pork and burgers, gnocchi with pesto sauce, spaghetti sqaush, lots of meatballs and let's be real, ice cream, cake and, at least once, the inside of a cannoli too. 
  • Says mama and dada. He did this awhile ago actually, but I don't think I wrote it anywhere. 
  • Crawls everywhere and can easily get up and down. When we're home, he has free roam of the kitchen, dining room and living room, which is all open. 
  • Can go up the stairs, and is just learning the whole "turn around' party about coming down. 
  • Cruises around all the furniture
  • Is obsessed with pushing the buttons on the DVD player. Thankfully, we never actually use it. 
  • Puts his arms up so you'll pick him up and points to things he wants.
  • Had his first haircut 
  • Took his first steps! (It was 10/24, to be specific) 
  • Still has no teeth (Seriously.)
  • Was a ring bearer for the first time. And he slept the entire way down the aisle, while I carried him. It was always the plan for me to carry him, but we assumed he'd be awake for it. 
  • Is wearing size 18 months clothes. I don't know why I didn't record this sooner but, I'm just surprised he's wearing this size. 
  • Went pumpkin picking for the first time, saw horses and goats and chicken for the first time and ate--lucky him--apple cider donuts for the first time. We're way into fall over here.  
  • Is dressing up as a tiger for Halloween    

At 11 months, I: 

  • Wonder sometimes how long our little routine will last. In the mornings, I wake up with Luca and make him a bottle and then make myself breakfast. He sits in the corner of the couch and I'm next to him as we "eat" together. Where normally mornings are so chaotic and consist of me trying to do my hair without Luca lunging for the straightner, this part is just such a nice way to start things off. 
  • Am thinking alot about Luca's socialization. A ton of John's family was in from Italy for my sister-in-law's wedding in early October and our cousin's daughter, who is 4, was among them. She and Luca became fast friends and it was so eye-opening for me to see him interact with her. While my friends have little kids, no one in our immediate family has under-5 year olds, so Luca doesn't really get that interaction with kids his own age on a daily basis. This is where, to be honest, I wish there were more library or other programs either in the later afternoon or on the weekends—as a working parent, I can't go at 11am, but I would love to go on a Sunday morning. I did find one that I'm hoping to start with him in January. I also started looking at 2's programs at some local nursery schools for next year. 
  • Had such a good time with John's family from Italy. They stayed with my in-laws, but we were there almost every day and they're just all so welcoming and honestly, have always made me feel like such a party of their family. Plus, it really just makes me miss Italy like nothing else. 
  • Think so much about the work-life balance. Does everyone? Am I the only one who asks everyone how they do it, why they decided what they decided, etc. etc. I just find the whole topic so so fascinating. But that being said, I also know I can't focus on it so much. So much so that I lose sight of things as they are. I actually want to write a whole separate post about all that. 
  • Am in the midst of planning Luca's first birthday party, which has an "our little pumpkin" theme. 
  • Have been taking Luca on walks in the afternoon and listening to podcasts while I do it. I don't know why I've just gotten on this bandwagon now but, they're all pretty great. 
  • Cannot even believe that Luca turns a year old in a few days. There's so much to say about it and then really not all that much that hasn't been said already. Mostly, I keep thinking back to this time last year and it's just so much. It was such a hard time for me on so many levels and I'm so glad that we're here, with a happy almost-1-year old. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Thoughts on Writing Right Now

I’m reading the book BigMagic by Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame. I picked it up a couple weeks ago when I stopped by Barnes and Noble to take an hour to write and read magazines and otherwise sit and spend some time with myself, as I’m known to do in that store and many a library.

The book centers around creativity and its importance in our lives. I’m only about halfway through but it talks a lot about fear and about how you really have to just choose and then enjoy the things that feed that creative part of yourself.

I also happened to listen to the first episode of the accompanying podcast while I took the baby for a walk the other day. A few things about it in particular hit home, namely that procrastination is just fear, which is so so true for me.

But anyway, creativity and creative outlets and what works for me and what I want it all to look like have been on my mind lately.

I may not blog here super regularly at the moment, but I’ve been blogging, in some form or another for years. (Actually 2001 to be exact, if we’re counting my Live Journal with the awful black background and white type.) As a writer, the idea of expressing myself in a place where people can read what I’m thinking and feeling, in a way that helps me process what I’m thinking and feeling, is gold. I love it, truly. I’ve written about personal stuff, but also about other things, like local jewelry and being Italian and episodes of Lost.

People talk so much about how blogging has changed and that it isn’t what it used to be and it’s dead and what’s the point and on and on. And that’s probably true. But here’s what I know is also true, for me: I still value good, true writing above all else. The kind where the person talks about what they’re feeling or seeing or whatever small, seemingly mundane thing they’re going through. 

Maybe that small, mundane thing isn’t important to anyone else. But maybe it is. Maybe it’s exactly what someone needs to read on a Monday morning after a Sunday night breakdown because it’s hard to be all the kinds of people you want to be at the same time.

I can admittedly say that I’ve wanted to come back to this space, to writing regularly, for awhile. I’m needing and wanting an outlet right now—especially as I figure out this new season I’m in, with all the clich├ęs that come along with it. But I’ve held back because I wonder: Is it too different? Am I too different? Am I stuck in 2009, when I could post quotes and inspirational photos, back when there was no Pinterest or Instagram?

And then I think: Who cares? Honestly, though, who cares? What if I just put out there exactly what I want to put out there, and then see what happens? We carve out and create the spaces that surround us. Without the shoulds and the have tos. That, I’ve realized, is as true in life as it is in writing.

[photo via unsplash]

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Luca’s First Haircut

My sister-in-law gets married on Saturday and we’re in total wedding prep mode over here. I’ve got lists of things to get done before Friday—including, randomly, to buy an iron—and we’ve spent the last week hanging out with a whole bunch of Italian family who are in town.

John and I are both in the wedding party and Luca is the “ring bearer.” I put it in quotes because he can neither walk down the aisle nor be entrusted to carry any actual rings, but he’s got his tux + Converse sneakers combo ready to go and so naturally, needed to trim down his messy hair to match.

One of my close friends recommended we go to Magic Cut forKids in New Rochelle and ask for Raquel. Are you in Westchester? Because I’m recommending the same.

The place was small and clean and totally set up for kids: Ratatouille playing, Elmo peeking his head out from behind the TV and a colorful xylophone at the ready for when the fidgeting started. Raquel was quick and professional and the cut cost $25.

Luca did pretty well, if I can get all proud-mom on the situation. He’s way not into sitting still these days, but he was so distracted by everything around him that by the time he started wanting to move around, it was all over anyway.

Here’s some photos, just to commemorate the milestone:

(He is totally laughing here, I swear.)