A Little Moment

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We’ve hit another sleep regression. Or at least that what Google tells me is going on. Emily, with all her sass and spunk, has been the best sleeper. For the past six months we’ve been on a 7 p.m. until 6:30 a.m. and two naps during the day kind of schedule. I knew it wouldn’t always be like that. I knew I had it really good and when things changed, it would rock my world. Well that day is now. Things are changing (but maybe they’ll go back?), and mostly I’m struggling. What used to be a simple song, kiss, and sleep tight, I love you, has turned into an ordeal. Even though she’s tired, she acts like she is ready to party, but it is not time to party, little one.

Earlier this week, we had one of those nights. I put her down for the night, and 20 minutes later she was screaming, hiccuping, and really upset. I went in, picked her up, but instead of laying her down in my arms, I kept her upright, and she laid her head on my chest and just stayed there. She hasn’t wanted to be held like that since she was a tiny baby, and it was the sweetest thing. Of course I instantly turned into a puddle. Once my arms were ready to fall off, I sat down and kept her in my arms. All I could think was that it was one of the very best moments of my life. The chance to be there with this beautiful little girl I get to call my own is the stuff of dreams. Her head was buried in my arm, and she started to drift off. At one point she moved her little hand that was tucked under her chest to my hand. It was all just so sweet. I tried to breathe it all in because I knew it wouldn’t last forever.

And then she suddenly looked up at me and smiled the cutest smile. It was like she woke up and was so surprised and pleased to be cuddled up with me, and of course, my heart melted even more. She continued to lift her head and give me these little excited smiles until she was wide awake.

I don’t ever want to forget that sweet moment. How her little body still snuggled perfectly with me, and how excited and pleased she was when she realized she was sleeping on me. I love being her mom.

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Father’s Day Weekend 2017

Father’s Day weekend may have been the best weekend our family has ever had. (I’d probably be more certain of that if I’d been keeping up with memories on this blog). It was one of those weekends where time passed so slowly. You could really pause in the moment to reflect on how good it all felt. Grant traveled Monday through Thursday for work, and he would be traveling a bit the next week, so I think we were extra-determined to make the weekend a good one. And a good one it was.

Friday actually started with a bust-The Stone Arch Bridge festival that said it started on Friday but hadn’t actually started yet. One music tent and a couple food vendors does not qualify, especially when you have to walk through hundreds of not-yet-open tents to get to the few that are open. We did however handover a few bucks to play an oddly satisfying game of driving a large nail into an old tree trunk stump. Grant’s coworker joined us, and in case anyone is wondering, yes, I won. I also paid for all of us to play, so maybe I shouldn’t be so pleased with my win.

On Saturday we checked out the Mill City Farmer’s Market, and it was so great! Basically I wanted to buy one of everything that all the food vendors were selling, so naturally I didn’t buy anything, but the breakfast tacos and chocolate croissants looked delicious. Emily was in Heaven looking at all the puppos while we sat on the steps overlooking the river. I even went for a run after we got back from the farmers market and discovered a new park and destination for our walks.

Father’s Day necessitates a trip to the local fly shop, and Bob Mitchell’s Fly Shop in St. Paul did not disappoint. Grant looked at back/fanny pack (but obviously way cooler than a normal fanny pack) that he’s been wanting forever and FINALLY decided to pull the trigger! That’s what a big fat paycheck after nearly a year of no pay will do to you 🙂 He’s now trying to figure out all the ways he can use it other than fly fishing since he wasn’t able to bring his fishing stuff along to Minneapolis.

We were extra spoiled on Saturday with tickets to the Twins game, courtesy of Grant’s company. It was an absolutely beautiful day, and Emily even behaved for a good while.

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On Sunday we kept Emily home from church because of a cough that we didn’t think anyone would want their children to get. Because Emily usually ends up with (aka takes) toys that aren’t hers, this seemed like a pretty high possibility, so we took shifts at church at home, and Emily was able to take her morning nap and keep her cough to herself.

Father’s Day had a few fun little surprises for Grant: a jug of the most delicious chocolate milk, Manchego cheese, guacamole, “dad jokes” tshirts, and a photo book. The afternoon was so warm and sunny. Our walk took us to the park I discovered the day before. We sat in the grass and did our best to encourage Emily to walk between us. Not much success there (she is a stubborn girl), but the sunshine felt wonderful.

At dinner Emily reminded us how much she loves avocados.

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Definitely a weekend to remember.

 

Boulders and Sand

I think I spend more time wishing I was keeping up with this blog than I would spend writing if I actually kept up with this blog. [insert eye roll emoji] My latest mental lament involves an analogy of boulders and sand, and this one has stuck with me for weeks, if not months. It goes like this: without more than iPhone photos to jog my memory of the moments that make up our days, all I have is boulders, the big, sort of “remember-when-we-did-this?” or “wow-it-was-so-fun-to-see-so-and-so” moments. While boulders are great, they can’t do much keep the sand in its place. Instead, if all our memories were somehow kept together in a jar, the sand that fills the gaps between the boulders, the sand being they real emotions of any moment and the little things between the photos, would be (and are) falling through the cracks. To someone as overly sentimental as I am, that’s pretty disappointing. So here I am, back in the saddle again, trying to gather and preserve the boulders and the sand between them.

Surprise! We’re back in the Minne-Apple. Although I guess if you only read our blog and didn’t actually know anything about us (who are you, and why are you here), you’d never know that we left the Minne-Apple a year ago to begin likely one of the most wonderful chapters of our lives. But we’re picking up where we are, which is here. We’ve been here for two weeks, away for nearly a year, and yet in some ways it feels like we never left. We’re living downtown again (although arguably in the “cooler” part of downtown-we’re just so hip), going to church with the same ward (aka congregation), and I’m even assigned to my old office at work. But in many ways, it feels very different. And naturally, every day we’re overthinking being here. Do we want to move back here permanently? What are we even looking for? How can we find that? The big questions keep popping up.

We’re trying to slow down and take it all in, and really, we’re doing ok at that. It helps that we’ve got this incredible view to take advantage of:

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Although if I’m being honest, we’re both (surprisingly) a little freaked out on the balcony, so we mostly just poke our heads out of the sliding door to take it in. Our apartment has a super-classy “retractable wall” that turns our bedroom and living room into one big space. Not ideal for noise levels and baby sleep, but great when baby is awake and wants to have free roam of the place. And it has brand new carpet. Hallelujah.

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We moved here with only what we could fit in our car, so we really didn’t bring much. Emily and I each fit our clothes into a carry on-sized suitcase. We’re renting furniture. We’ve borrowed housewares or guilt-tripped our friends and family into lending (or offloading) housewares to us. Our kitchen cabinets are mostly empty, and Emily loves opening them all and pulling out the few pots and pans that we do have. We’re hoping that this forced-minimalism will encourage us to want to throw out lots of our stuff when we get back to it. We brought a few toys along, but we’ve found that boxes, envelopes, and other random items make great toys. Also the big kitchen means there is space for a baby high chair and no more food thrown onto the carpet!!

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Please notice how she crosses her little ankles when she sits in her high chair

This girl is quite the drama queen when it comes to meal times. Fortunately she is more or less a garbage disposal. She will eat almost anything, which I am super grateful for, but she also has a terrible habit of casually tossing her food onto the floor. I can’t quite put my finger on why she tosses certain foods on the floor. I think she does it when she is no longer interested in a certain food, or when she just doesn’t want a certain piece of whatever for some most likely high maintenance reason. Grant recently asked if I think she will play softball because her casual tosses have turned into launches across the kitchen. Yay.

Emily is OBSESSED with dogs. We call them puppies, so naturally she does too. Except, she doesn’t say, “puppy.” She says, “puppo” or “puppu”, and it is the CUTEST. She gets so excited when she sees them when we’re out on walks. (And so sad when they go away.) She has a couple of books with pictures of dogs in them, and whenever she opens them, she just says “puppo” over and over until she gets to the page.

There’s a playground nearby that we love, but right now we are limited to the swings until someone starts walking. (I definitely have mixed feelings about that.) Regardless, it’s a good destination for our thrice-daily walks.

We’ve also visited the children’s section of the public library a few times. We affectionately refer to the library as the “really nice/ghetto library” because of the less-than-bookish crowd that generally hangs out at the beautiful, modern, downtown library. And of course, what would Minneapolis be without a few cruises through the skyway?

And I’m not going to lie, one of the best things about being in Minneapolis (one of, not THE best) is being back in the land of TARGET. There is one close in any direction, and most of them are SUPER TARGETs. I have no shame that I enjoyed my recent 10:30pm-on-a-Friday-night visit or that I broadcast my fandom on Instagram. Boston just does not have a very good Target scene.

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We love the town of Stillwater and decided to venture there between naps on a Saturday. Even though it was still early in the day, it was hot hot hot. Our over-priced Minnesota Mexican food was good, but perhaps not quite worth the price tag. We walked mainstreet and didn’t really go in may shops because they either had steps and we were too lazy to lift the stroller up the step, or we just didn’t feel like going in. We sat on the grass underneath the only shade we could find down by the river to give Emily a chance to crawl around. And of course, no trip to Stillwater is complete without a stop to my favorite shop:

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See what I mean? Mostly boulders, not much sand. We’ll get there though.