WE MADE IT TO A YEAR!!
Libby’s first successful trip around the sun is complete, hopefully to be followed by many more.
She went to the doctor on her actual birthday, Sept 1st, and measured 32″ and 23 lbs, 4oz. She’s wearing mostly 18mo clothing, and we finally bought her a pair of real rubber soled shoes in a size 4.5W. Because she is starting to walk assisted.
I cannot believe she is starting to learn to walk! And then next will be potty training. And then she’ll start school, and boyfriends, and cars and… Okay. I just went to check on her in her crib and she is still a tiny angelic infant with barely any hair wearing a diaper, so I’ve got time.
I know her birthday was couple weeks ago, but this month was too busy to compose a perfectly timed Happy Birthday to Libby post. The self-imposed no airplane travel embargo was officially lifted & we’ve already taken two airplane trips, plus another road trip, this time to the beach. But first things first, let’s talk about Libby’s first birthday!
We opted out of the themed, well-planned, camera-ready, first birthday party thing, not because we don’t think those are awesome, but because we think that sounded stressful to pull off. So we just had a little celebration with my parents (Mimi and Grandaddy Lee) and Brian’s father and his wife (Papa John and Nana Shirley). Shirley brought an amazing pot roast dinner with her, and I made a cake! Yep you read that right, I actually successfully baked and decorated a cake. And I’m pretty damn proud of myself for it.
I’m not a very experienced baker, so it was kind of a big deal to me. I really didn’t like the idea of all that sugar in a store-bought one though, so I committed myself to making one myself. The icing is basically just cream cheese. I halved all the sugar in a sweet potato bread recipe, so it was really more like a spice bread than cake. And I cheated on the colored icing, that stuff is straight up technicolor Betty Crocker from a can. I just couldn’t bring myself to bust out food coloring & the icing bag thingy. But this Christmas I’m totally making a homemade gingerbread house & it is ON!
But back to Libby’s birthday. We had a delicious pot roast meal, Libby got balloons from Daddy, a pretty bracelet from Papa John & Nana Shirley, and Minnie & Mickey from Mimi & Granddaddy Lee.
She did not at all smash her cake, she was so funny – just took the candle off & on several times.
We had to slice her a piece to get her to eat it! But she liked it a lot once she figured out it was edible. I think part of it was she wasn’t hungry at all because she’d just eaten two of those pouches and several bites of pot roast for dinner lol!
And that was pretty much our little celebration 🙂 Another reason we kept it low-key was her birthday was sandwiched between two trips.
Libby’s first airplane ride was to Charleston, SC.
Brian had a conference to go to there, so Libby & I tagged along. She did great on the plane, didn’t sleep at all on the way there, just played with the tray tables & made friends with the ladies behind us. Passed out on the way back though, which was good because that was a full flight and we didn’t have a row to ourselves like we did going.
Once in Charleston, I used the Ergo to explore the historic area because we were stroller free. While Brian was in the meeting on Friday and Saturday, Libby & I checked out the children’s museum Friday – which was cool, but less a museum and more just an educational-slanted play place.
Friday night we went to a fancy dinner at Coast with Brian’s conference.
Then Saturday morning we wandered around the farmer’s market that was going on in the park across from our hotel & then went swimming in the hotel pool. Saturday afternoon, we planned on going to the aquarium as a family, but Libby fell asleep in the Ergo just as we were walking up to the place, so we ended up just sitting on a park bench, enjoying the view, and letting her sleep. Then ironically, Saturday night, Brian had optimistically signed us up for a ghost tour with the idea that she’d sleep in the Ergo… we had to leave not even halfway through because Libby was over-tired but uninterested in sleeping while walking again. So goes the traveling with a baby. Sunday morning, we took one more walk around the waterfront park before heading back to the airport.
Things we learned on this first not-to-visit-family, actually-trying-to-sight-see trip:
- Planning stuff that lasts past 7:30p is risky. In fact, being too attached to plans in general is optimistic because naps will & must happen.
- However, planning out restaurant choices as opposed to walking around & winging it would have been a good idea. We did surprisingly well & picked some good places, but hungry tired babies don’t care if that menu “doesn’t look that exciting” & I would’ve been a little less stressed if I knew ahead of time the places had highchairs, stuff for her to eat, etc.
- I was really glad I looked up the Children’s Museum & that there was a park across the street so she had a place to go where she could crawl around – it took her like a nano-second to explore our hotel room & she was over it. She’d just crawl to the door & look at me while pointing to the door like “Let’s get out of this stupid room, Mom!”
- Travelling with a car seat sucks! They are big and awkward. You get to check them, but then you have to carry them to the car rental area & it was not fun. Made me a little wistful for the good old extremely unsafe days of sticking them in your lap in the front seat for a short trip without worrying about getting arrested. But, yeah yeah safety first & stuff, no one said having a kid was convenient. Ever.
- Travelling without a stroller was no big deal, especially to the historic district of an old city because navigating in a stroller would have been a task of itself. The Ergo was way more convenient, albeit a little hot & tiring. Of course I think as soon as she learns to walk (and weigh over 25lbs, ugh), a stroller will feel like much more of an essential piece of equipment for trips like this with a lot of walking.
…We got home from Charleston on Sunday night, Libby’s birthday was Tuesday, then we left for the beach on Wednesday.
Libby loved the beach!!
It took her a minute at first – we were really excited so we tried just plopping her straight into the sand & running straight into the ocean with her, which of course made her freak out. But once we remembered she needs some adjustment time, I sat down with her in the surf with a bucket and a shovel and a couple plastic sieves. The turning point was showing her how to shovel sand & sieve water – then she had a mission! Calmed her down because she was concentrating on learning about the sand and the tools.
When we got her back out in the water in her little floaty later she loved it! Unfortunately no pics of playing in the water because none of us had waterproof cases for our camera or phones. But of course other cute pics…
…Then we left the beach the following Wednesday, and Libby and I got on a plane to LGA (ugh I know, but it was the cheapest direct…) to go visit Aunt Katie in Connecticut and attend my friend (from BU days) Jessica’s wedding, also in CT.
These were longer flights, but by a stroke of luck not full flights. So we had plenty of space. Libby charmed everyone on both flights and was either sleeping, eating or obsessively lifting & lowering the tray tables like she did on the way to Charleston. She also made friends who she would demand the names of from me by pointing to me and saying “Momma” then pointing to them and looking at me like “What do I call him?” It was a little embarrassing because “I don’t know that person” was not considered an acceptable answer by Libby so she would just repeat the pointing exercise until I found out the person’s name.
We had a great time in CT!
When we got in on Friday, Aunt Katie was awesome enough to pick us up all the way at LGA so we didn’t have to figure out the mass transit with baby & bags. After delighting in a couple 1st birthday gifts from Aunt Katie (birthdays are always better when they last all month!), we went to watch the sunset on the beach in Westport.
On Saturday, Libby & I headed into New Haven to meet up with the BU faction to go to Jess’ wedding. We heard pizza (or apizza) is the thing to eat in New Haven so that is what we did. It was so much fun to finally meet Nat & Shannon’s little girl Emme! Rheri & Jim were kid-free for the weekend, which sounds so relaxing. Unless you spend every minute of it with your college buddies & their one year olds! Ha! It was really great to see everyone. The ceremony was a catholic mass of which Libby made it through about 15 minutes before needing to be removed to the cry room. She wasn’t full on throwing a fit, just babbling “baa-oon” over and over during the soloist’s song alternating with demanding to be nursed. Luckily she napped on the way to the reception, so that went smoother – she was a little trooper. They had crayons & coloring books out for the kids, so Emme & Libby went to town on that. Libby was also entranced by the DJs lights. At 9pm, we had to call it quits though & she fell asleep on the way back to Westport.
Sunday morning we went to brunch and got to catch up with Jess & her new groom a little bit, and have a back-of-the-minivan party with Emme! We hope we get to see our BU peeps again soon, it’s always too fun and too far between.
Then we spent the rest of Sunday afternoon enjoying fall!
Our last day in CT was Monday and Aunt Katie took us to the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk. Libby was a little over-tired left over from the weekend, but she seemed to really like it. Her favorite parts were touching the jellyfish, watching the schooling fish swim in circles, and opening & closing the little flap telling visitors about oysters. We also hit the little playground where she wandered back and forth from one to the other of these mushroom looking stepping stone things & she really enjoyed that too.
Then on Tuesday it was back to LGA to fly back home!
After all that, we are just today back on a reasonable sleep/nap schedule I think. The traveling will really screw it up – the beach was for sure the hardest because my whole family was staying in this one little beach cottage so it was tough to get that quiet, dark calm to help her drift off to sleep. I thought I might sleep train and wean and all of those things now that the traveling is over, but eh. I don’t know if I’m really the personality type. I am trying this thing I read where you take the time she wakes up in the morning, then two hours later you put her down for a morning nap. Then whatever time she wakes up from that nap, 4 hours later you put her down for afternoon nap. Then finally you put her down for bed three hours after the wake time from the afternoon nap. So as opposed to having strict bedtimes, you bend a little depending on her wake times. So far so good. Then the weaning. We tried a cup of whole milk for the first time today. She didn’t hate it, but she still nursed four times. Sigh.
I know this whole post has been about birthday and trips and recovering from trips and that seems like a lot already. But believe it or not, we did actually have a lot of in-Nashville adventures in August too:
…We discovered the new Bellevue Branch Library is awesome
…We found out Mommy is a bird whisperer at the Nashville Zoo
…Emilia & Sarah Cassenego came to visit
…We got a playdate with Iris Miller and her brand-new little sister Edith
…We checked out the splash pad by the stadium on the east side of the river
Libby is getting to be such a big girl. She is getting so much better at communicating and working hard on learning words. She can stand all by herself now without holding onto anything. She is very into putting lids on and taking them off, turning book pages and opening flaps, putting objects in containers, and her stacking toys. She loves the idea of blocks and crayons, but she’s not great at using either one yet, but she tries. She’s also getting really good at using the spoon herself with thicker stuff like oatmeal or grits. The fork is harder, but she really wants to learn it. She teeters between wanting to have her new shoes on and whining to take them off. One thing I’ve noticed the last week or so though is that she seems to get frustrated and fed up quicker with tasks slightly out of her range than she used to and I wonder why. She is, however, very suggestible – for instance, if I say “I bet you can reach that block if you walk around to the other side of the table,” she’ll stop whining and walk to the other side of the table and get it. Or if we are having a conversation in her earshot and say something about our hair, she’ll grab her hair (well, what there is of it!). So that’s pretty adorable.
It’s a pretty magic age. We have a one year old.