We’ve been having so much fun around here with the fall activities! I’d write a bit more but frankly I’m feeling lazy and am saving all my brain space for a post about Bean’s first birthday (aka holy shit) so in the meantime let photos suffice.
Cold weather! For like, a day!
Halloween costumes! We didn’t actually go trick or treating because we got home too late from work last night, plus she wouldn’t have really gotten much out of it anyway. Next year though. We took her to a trick or treat street at the nearest shopping center and let her pick out a few pieces of candy and get called a boy over and over because she was the only girl there not dressed up as Elsa. When will we be done with Frozen?
It is time to put away the Halloween stuff (and leave the Christmas stuff in the boxes for another month SHAME ON YOU for putting up your trees now) and that means figuring out exactly who has been living in the tote downstairs and chewing up all the lights that were in the box. Murr. Today is shopping for a few presents for Bean’s birthday and tomorrow she gets her 1 year photos done! Woohoo!
Man it has been difficult to find time to get to my computer lately! Whoops.
Bean is now 11 months old! (As of a little over a week ago.) See above.
Last weekend, we went to San Diego for Cameron’s brother’s wedding. We had a fun time and Bean was a traveling trooper. We had short flights luckily and she was pretty good both times. The flight home she slept pretty much the entire flight. We were only there for a short weekend, but we got to stop at the beach, so Bean has now put her feet in two oceans before her first birthday!
While we were in San Diego Bean got to meet lots of family on Cameron’s side and everyone was so excited to see her. Although I have to admit that as much as I love her, I probably would have opted to leave her at home for this trip if I thought the family wouldn’t have killed me for not bringing her. It would have been nice to have a baby-free trip and enjoy more of the wedding festivities, but c’est la vie. As it was, Cameron’s aunt and cousins graciously took the Bean for a few hours on our last morning there and we were able to have breakfast and visit the beach by ourselves.
So, what is Bean into these days? EVERYTHING! She figured out how to pull up on things a couple weeks ago and now she is cruising around the house like nobody’s business. She makes laps of the living room and she is working on learning how to let go of things and sit down so I have a feeling she will be taking unassisted steps in no time. She is interested in everything and she is very brave.
She was doing really well sleeping through the night, but then she had two teeth come in about the same time and has been a little disrupted of late, but luckily is usually still only getting up once a night for a few minutes. After another dose of Advil and some cuddles she goes right back to sleep. She still naps twice a day, usually about 2 hours per nap, and gets into bed between 9 and 9:30 each night. I am working on transitioning her off formula soon, but I am thinking I will leave her on the toddler formula for a little while until she is more used to cow’s milk. I started giving her a couple ounces with food but it seems to make her really gassy, so we’re going to see how it goes. She gets 3 bottles a day, so I think soon I will work on cutting out the two daytime bottles and only give her one before bed because it helps her settle down.
Bean has a very independent personality and she definitely does not like to be crowded. She has never been much of a cuddler, and she becomes extremely overwhelmed if she is surrounded by lots of noise and people. In loud restaurants or gatherings she gets fussy easily but if she is removed from the situation she cheers up right away. Most of the time she prefers to play on her own and only comes to us to play occasionally. She still loves her kitties most of all and I have a feeling she’ll be using Sherlock as her dress-up doll/doctor patient/plaything in the future. She plays fine with other kids when we take her out to play with the neighbors, though she is more interested in observing the older kids than she is actually engaging in play–so she might be a little shy or socially nervous around strangers like I am. Now that she can cruise and do things a little bit more independently the playground is becoming more accessible, so I think the more I introduce her to other kids the more she will hopefully open up. I don’t think she’ll be much of a social butterfly, though.
Bean is a chatterbox and has started to say “mama” and “dada” with more regularity now. She also says “ooh-day” when she is excited or interested in something. She loves birds and airplanes and points at everything. She LOVES to dance and she likes to watch nature shows and recently has become interested in Curious George. She has been spending a lot of time with her Papi when I am at work, and they go for walks and hang out at the playground a lot.
We are trying to take her out for lots of fall activities, and yesterday she went to her first pumpkin patch. Just a small one; we planned to go to a place called Anderson Farms that has lots of activities, but she was a grumpy gills and wouldn’t take a late nap, so we opted for the one nearer to our house and we are planning to take her up to the big farm next weekend. Oh–and she is dressing up as an owl for Halloween! I also have to start figuring out what to do for her birthday…I can’t believe I will have a toddler in a couple weeks. When did that happen?
Can I just start off this post with something I just overheard at my neighbor’s house? In the midst of some argument about something with his mother, my neighbor’s son said, “I’m tired of being broke. I need to grow weed.”
Anyway, what’s new! Lots. This last weekend we added two more states to the Bean’s map-o-places-I-been. Kansas and Missouri, so nothing super exciting, sorry Kansas and Missouri. We trucked off there last Thursday and stayed the weekend to go to a wedding and spend time with Cameron’s step-sister and her husband. Bean did pretty well all things considered, I mean, nobody loves being in the car for 9 hours, but she handled it better than I expected her to.
Back on the home front, fall is on the way! With the exception of today (with a high of like, 91), the temps are dipping down into the mid-70s and it’s been awesome. Cool at night, warm during the days, damn perfect. I put out my fall decor yesterday, and was super pleased (read: not pleased at all) to find that at some point between last Thanksgiving and yesterday, a mouse or some small rodent has taken up residence inside the tote where I keep the fall and Halloween decorations. I have no idea if it’s still in there or if it…starved to death…and I kind of abandoned the whole thing once I realized it was in there. Aside from the classic sign (droppings), it had clearly burrowed inside a hay bale and those fake spiderwebs and even ate the burlap wrapping off of my wedding bouquet, which I use as a centerpiece on our table every year. Anyway, I guess in the next few days I’ll don gloves and work up some courage and pull the whole thing outside and likely take the entire thing to the trash so I don’t have to go picking through it. Luckily it doesn’t seem that there was anything damaged, though I have yet to pull out the Halloween lights and see if those got chewed.
What else. Work! Yes, work. Cameron started his new job this morning as a personal banker. Yahoo! I know I mentioned a little while back that he left Starbucks some time ago, and had an interim job for a short while, but when he got interviewed and hired on the spot to work at the bank, it was too good of a position to pass up. I mean, who wouldn’t want to work banker’s hours when you have a family at home? So, it took a little while for them to let him come on board because you have to get background checked and all that, so he’s been home for the better part of three weeks now, and I know he’s glad to be back to work and getting back to a routine. (And I’m happy to have some income coming in soon.)
Also, I am going back to work too! Also at a bank! The same bank I used to work for in fact, though at a different location. It’s part time, more than likely 3 days a week plus the occasional Saturday morning. I thought it would be good for me to have a couple days a week when I could get out and talk to adults, plus make a little extra income to help cushion us (we really need to get back on track with our savings because unfortunately we got capital-F Fucked on our health insurance for the last two months)…and possibly help support my IKEA addiction. Anyway, I’m pretty excited. Bean will get to spend a few days a week with her Papi, and I know he’s pretty glad for that. I don’t start till the 22nd, but I’m excited.
I also decided over the weekend it was high time for me to get my body back in shape and be nicer to it. I’m definitely carrying around a considerable amount of weight that I don’t want to be hauling around, and it’s becoming more and more obvious at least to me. I’ve never been really good at sticking to (or figuring out) diets, but we are making an effort to eat more cleanly and really stick to our meal plans instead of eating out or eating badly. I also plan to start going to the complex gym a few days a week (since it’s, you know, free) and get back to doing Pilates when the baby is sleeping. I need to be better about drinking water which I know is a key factor in good health and I am unbelievably bad at it. What are your tricks for keeping in shape and feeling healthy?
So yeah, lots going on here lately. I’ve been spending a lot of time devoting energy toward making our house more of a home, which has meant a few purchases of furniture to help store things and display family items, things like that. I’ve always felt like our house(s) has(have) not really been homey, more just…functional. But I want to enjoy where I live, I want to feel comfortable here, and I want to take pride in showing it off to friends and family. I am making an effort to find better ways to keep things organized because I feel like it is ALWAYS getting cluttered in here, way more than it should for only two and a half people living here. But it’s getting there for sure.
The summer is starting to close. Kids are heading back to school. The nights are a tiny bit cooler and there are little splashes of color appearing inside the trees. Yesterday, even though it was in the 90s, the sky had that deceptive “fall” color to it–extra bright and clear and crisp. Football is back on and I am officially burning the “fall leaves” candles. And, as I noticed this morning at 5:30 courtesy of Bean’s extra early wakeup call, the sun is staying in bed a little longer.
All good with me. Fall is my favorite time. What’s not to love? Warm days and cool nights, beautiful color in the foliage, pumpkin EVERYTHING, more fashionable clothes (sorry summer). Lots and lots to do with the family. I don’t know about you but I hate super hot temperatures and it makes going out and enjoying things outside really difficult unless you’re in the pool. Once temps start to come back down it makes going outside so much more enjoyable. Zoo, Botanic Gardens, we can go to the park any time of day we want…plus, can we talk about pumpkin patches?? The time between Halloween and New Year’s is, in my opinion, the best time of the year.
OMG WHAT DO I DRESS UP THE BEAN AS FOR HER FIRST HALLOWEEN??
Fall is a time of transition and that’s sort of where we are right now. Bean is transitioning out of babyhood and into toddlerhood. Which is crazy. Cameron recently left his job at Starbucks and will be starting work as a banker with US Bank after Labor Day. We have had some difficult times the last few weeks and we’re transitioning out of that. Time helps. We think we will take a quick vacation this weekend down to Ouray or Glennwood Springs, leave the Bean with my parents, and get some time to ourselves so we can get back to…somewhere.
We got home late last night from the Bean’s first trip. We didn’t get her to bed till almost 11 but she was still wide awake at 5:30. Curse you time zones!
As I mentioned last time I posted, we traveled back east to send my grandmére’s ashes out to sea and settle her estate. We had the mother of all flights going and coming–Denver to Orlando to Hartford and Hartford to Tampa to Denver. Lordy. In addition to the flights, we had an hour’s drive to Montague, MA, to stay a few nights with my Grandma Linda, and then another 6 hours up to Maine.
Oh yeah, and the Bean was teething hardcore the entire time.
It wasn’t all bad. She was actually quite the trooper. She only fussed a little bit on the flights out there and got frustrated toward the end of the long drive to Maine and back, but really, who wouldn’t. The flights home were a different story, especially the Tampa to Denver leg. Her upper tooth either came through or was mighty close to because she woke from a deep sleep on Papi’s lap and screamed bloody murder for 45 minutes. Needless to say I’m happy to be home.
Overall, the trip was good and I’m glad to have gone. We visited with a lot of family I haven’t seen in a really long time and spent time in the place we had gone for many summers when I was a kid. The Bean tried lobster for the first time and dipped her toes in the Atlantic Ocean and met the biggest Newfoundland I have ever seen in my life. In addition to sending my grandmére’s ashes out to sea (along with her dog’s, Cappy), her sons also settled her estate and decided who would take which of her antiques and family items, since she only specified in her will that everything would be split four ways. She had a good number of very old antique furniture items, a lot of jewelry, and many pieces of sculpture and painting that she had done. My dad graciously gave me out of his share of the inheritance a large hallway mirror built around 1820 in France that we assume has been in the family since then. I also received a few pieces of her jewelry including a silver cuff bracelet with two whale tails, which I was really happy to get because I remember her wearing it often and it matches the whale tail pendant that Cameron got for me in Hawaii.
And Bean almost started crawling while we were away.
Well, what have we been up to lately? Seems like a lot! I feel like more often than not the last week or so we have been out of the house more than we’ve been in it!
Last weekend my brother got married, so we had some out of town family in for that. We got to spend some time with my grandma Linda and grandpa John, who saw Bean when she was about a day old.
We took another trip to the aquarium with them, since it was too hot to spend time outside. Bean loved it.
A New Beanmobile
The day we went to the aquarium I found myself crawling over the front passenger seat of my car to wrestle the stroller into the back seat because someone had parked too closely to me in the parking lot and the trunk had the baby’s wagon in it, and I decided then and there that it was time to get a bigger car. (I drive a Honda Accord.) I thought initially that we would trade in my car for something larger, since it still has a lot of value in it and that way we’d still only have one car payment, but when we mentioned this to Cameron’s dad and stepmom, they graciously offered to front us some cash to buy a car outright, then sell Cameron’s car so he would drive the Honda and I would drive the new car. We spent the weekend poking around on Craigslist and looking up car reviews. Finally, frustrated with the fact that nobody online seemed to be willing to respond in a timely manner to my inquiries about buying their cars, I popped onto a used dealership that has locations all over the place and immediately spotted a 2009 Dodge Caliber for an insanely good price considering it only had 63,000 miles on it. We jumped in the car and headed down to Park Meadows to look at it. It’s in practically perfect condition and we really liked it so we signed it that afternoon.
Here’s the catch though…it’s a standard. And can you guess who doesn’t know how to drive a standard? If you guessed ME, you’d be right. So, so far I’ve only driven my new car a couple of times under supervision while Cameron teaches me how to drive it. I think it’s going pretty well all things considered! I may even brave a trip to the store this afternoon. (In hindsight, that’s the reason it was so cheap. But I’m happy we got a good deal on it even if it is a manual.)
‘Tis the season for ren faire! We’ve taken Bean to the festival twice now and she has a ball. I dressed up her wagon to look like a carriage and she is without a doubt the cutest thing that has ever happened to the faire. Nobody even notices me and my parents in our (cough) thousands of dollars worth of garb because everyone is staring at the baby. I guess that’s okay though.
The temps lately have been in the high 80s and low 90s which is a bit brutal, so I try to avoid taking the baby outside in the middle of the day if I can help it. We go for our walks either early in the morning or in the evening when it is cooler. In between, we steal free air conditioning at the mall or hang out in the basement and watch tv. I say “watch tv” loosely, because we don’t have cable so really we’re watching dvds or Netflix. And when I say watching dvds or Netflix I mean Disney movies or documentaries. I know screen time is supposed to be discouraged at this age, but I honestly have no problem whatsoever with Disney or documentaries. I’m not plopping her down in front of the tv alone so I can go do something else, we always watch together, and I’m comfortable with her watching these programs rather than cartoons.
Plus, this way I get to learn stuff too. This week we have been watching “Blue Planet” which is about the oceans. I may have a future marine biologist on my hands.
Maybe it’s because we’ve been keeping busy and have been out and about so frequently, maybe it’s because she’s not teething right now, or maybe it’s because she’s just figuring it out finally, but sleep has been great lately. She’s had 3 nights in the last week where she slept straight through the night! If she doesn’t sleep all the way through, she only gets up once, has a small bottle, and falls right back to sleep. It’s been awesome.
I definitely don’t consider myself a bargain hunting queen or a master of the thrift shop finds…hell, I haven’t even clipped a coupon since I helped my mom do it every Sunday as a kid. Sure, I buy in bulk and check out sales when I need something expensive, but I’m definitely not one of those wonder people who manage to find a priceless one of a kind Picasso in a thrift store behind a matte print.
There are some things, though, that I typically hate to buy new and spend full price on, so I go out of my way to buy second hand. And by some things, I mean practically all baby items.
Sure, diapers and wipes and bottles and small toys, whatever. If I see a cute outfit on the rack at Kohls on sale, I’ll snag it. But I definitely prefer to buy most or her clothing and large toys used. The nice thing about baby items is that unless it’s been handed down for five children, chances are it was used only for a short time, so damage tends to be minimal. And unless we’re in a desperate pinch–like the time we bought a brand new swing at full price because we were desperate for the baby to sleep–I spend a little time shopping around for a good used one.
Did I mention the baby swing was used for two weeks and has been gathering dust in the basement since? Yeah.
Anyway, enter my two fantastic steals. I started poking around on Craigslist for a used wagon for the baby, since strollers are pretty difficult to navigate on the grounds of the renaissance festival. I was hoping for one with a canopy on it, but would settle for one without and rig up an umbrella if I had to. I finally jumped on one that was being sold not too far away for $40. (A new Radio Flyer without a canopy costs nearly $100.) On Friday I went to pick it up and when I got there, the lady selling it hands me a canvas bag with all the pieces to the canopy. Say whaaaaat. She didn’t even mention in the ad that it had the canopy with it, so I basically robbed this lady blind over this wagon. Best deal ever.
To join in the World Cup fun: scoooooooooore!
And steal number two. Yesterday we went for a walk around the complex and came upon a perfect Cozy Coupe left next to one of the dumpsters. Uh, hello. I was going to get one for the Bean for Christmas, but apparently Christmas came early. We looked around to make sure there were no kids nearby who might have just left it in an unfortunate place, but since there was no one around and the thing was sitting in the dumpster enclosure, we took it. It appears to have nothing wrong with it whatsoever except for the stickers which are peeling, but other than that it’s basically brand new. The Bean is still on the small side for it, so it may be a month or two until we can tool her around in it, but even so, hot diggity! The only thing better than getting a good deal is getting it for FREE.
Oh, and, speaking of the wagon and ren faire…
(Okay so the one of me has nothing to do with the wagon or its contents, but I felt like sharing anyway.)