Friday, June 28, 2019


This week was a better week than last week but still challenging as Paul was still fighting the ear infection. Hopefully we have a nice, long, healthy stretch ahead of us! I think he's also teething so that did not help!

The book I'm reading is Goodbye, Paris. I picked this up when I saw it on a display table at the library last week. I'm a sucker for any book about Paris, although this book actually mostly takes place in England. The main character was having an affair with a French man and they would meet in Paris. But the affair ends when she finds out he is not the man she thought he was and the book unfolds from there. I'm also reading Queen of the Tearling on the Kindle ap on my phone. It's a fantasy book I bought years ago when it was on sale. Fantasy isn't my usual genre but I've heard great things about this book! 

The high of my week so far was 2 fun dinners out! On Monday my book club went to Alma Cafe and had a great time talking about life and our June read, An American Marriage. Everyone really liked the book. Then on Wednesday I went to a newer restaurant called Colita with my friend Courtney. It was amazing! It features cuisine from a region of Mexico that doesn't use wheat so the entire menu is gluten free! It was awesome to be able to order anything I wanted! We did a lot of sharing so I got to try a bunch of different things. I took pictures of 3 of the dishes we had. We definitely ordered way too much as we were told the plates were pretty small but we felt like the portions were pretty generous! I will definitely go back!

The low of my week was dealing with a sick baby. That ear infection just would not go away so I took Paul into the ENT office on Monday to see their NP. She could tell the infection was starting to clear but she decided to clean out his infected ear using this suctioning tool. She assured me it was not painful for Paul and that he would be upset due to being held down (by me and another nurse) and due to the noise. Ufda that was not a fun experience but he's doing much better now as the drops are getting into his ear drum. Today is the last day of drops. Hooray! We had to use them for almost 2 weeks and he absolutely HATES getting the drops. It's a 2-person job to administer them and then we have to keep him on his side for 30 seconds to make sure the drops get in and stay in the ear drum. Ay yi yi. Not fun. 

A recipe I made was one-pan sausage and pepper pasta. We skip the addition of cheese at the end because Phil is not super into cheesy dishes and it makes cleaning the pan extra hard as the cheese gets everywhere. It's still super delicious without the cheese. I had the peppers and sausage cut up (we cut up the sausage instead of keeping them whole as it's easier to eat this way) ahead of time so the dish came together very quickly.

The best money spent was on some summer pjs for Paul. He gets so hot at night so it works best to dress him in shorts and a t-shirt. Sometimes we just put him in a diaper and a t-shirt. We have air conditioning but Phil and I prefer to only run it when it's super hot. We sleep with the window open in our room but since Paul has black out shades and curtains, it doesn't work to leave his windows open so it can get a bit stuffy in there. He has a ceiling fan which helps but dressing him in as little as possible works best!

My plans this weekend include staying in tonight and getting some adulting done! On Saturday we are having a friend from work and her husband and kids over for lunch. Then in the evening the couple we play cards with is coming over to grill and play cards. Sunday is quieter as my only firm plans are to meet up with my mom group for a play date in the late afternoon. Phil has a membership to a swim club at a local lake that you can swim across on Sunday mornings so Paul and I might go with and play in the sand/water while he swims. We have to keep Paul's ears dry until we are sure his infection is gone so whether or not we go with depends on how well he tolerates wearing ear plugs. :/ 

Bonus Paul Pic

We are working on getting Paul to eat 100% independently. In the past we would spoon feed him his yogurt but it's time for him to learn how to use a spoon. It's a messy process to learn how to feed yourself! He used the spoon for awhile and then gave up and used his hands to feed himself the yogurt. 

What was the high of your week? What are you reading these days?

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Currently: June 2019

Reading: Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith. It's a delightful YA novel about 2 people who take a train trip across the US before going off to college. It's a light, easy-breezy read which is perfect for summertime!

Loving: my new Rothy's sneakers. They are so comfy and I love the bright garnet color I chose! This is my second pair of Rothy's. I also have the blat pointed-toe flats. These shoes are not cheap but I love that they are machine washable and are made from recycled plastic bottles. And I mean Meghan Markle wears them, too, so clearly they are a cool, fashionable brand. ;)

Feeling: frustrated that Paul is still dealing with an ear infection. Usually they clear up super fast but this last one has been nasty. We saw a Nurse Practitioner at the ENT practice yesterday and she used a suction tool to clean out his infected ear. She thinks the ear drop antibiotics weren't getting into his ear drum so hopefully now that his ear is cleaned out, the drops will do their job. It's bad timing to get an ear infection as we need to keep his ears dry when they are infected and this is the time of year when we want to be swimming!

Anticipating: our quick getaway to my parents lake place next week. Paul and I will head up on Wednesday morning and come back on Friday evening. Phil has to work on Wednesday and Friday so we are heading back on Friday to spend the weekend together as a family. I'll get to see a bunch of relatives at the lake so I am looking forward to that, but as a total and complete introvert, I can kind of only handle 2 days of LOTS OF PEOPLE. ;)

Grateful: that my parents have a lake home that we can visit! All our summer trips/time off will be spent at their lake home. It's really nice to have an oasis to visit. Plus they are super excited to see Paul and are always willing to help out with him when they are up there (to the extent that Paul will let them help - he still clings to me!).

Working: on getting Paul to transition from 2 naps to 1. It hasn't been an easy transition. Sometimes he will only nap for a little over an hour which doesn't give us much of a break on the weekend. I hear of parents whose kids nap for 2-3 hours and I am soooo envious! I love Paul but I would love a little break to get things done on weekend days!

Listening: to Paul learn new words! He says dada, hola, agua, hi, bye, no, ma (which means more), all done, and sometimes he will say mama. I think he doesn't say mama much because he views me as an extension of himself. Ha. He's also learning to say Oscar. His teachers told us he says the name of one of his little school friends, Arthur.

Watching: the second season of David Letterman's "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction" on Netflix. I feel like the people he is interviewing in this season are a bit more 'b list' but it's still been interesting to watch. Except the interview with Kanye West. I can't stand him and think he is such a pompous a-hole! I really enjoyed his interview with Ellen, though! I'd highly recommend checking that one out.

(Still) Wishing: the perfect house for us would come on the market. The housing market is still super quiet in Minneapolis. Womp womp.

Bonus Paul pics!

Hey, I didn't approve of a break to eat breakfast. Pick me up!

Pants are optional for Paul at our house on the weekend!

No pants and in control of the remote. Basically living his best life.

Read this to me, mama!
What's new with you? What are you currently anticipating and grateful for?

Friday, June 21, 2019


Ufda, this week kind of wore me out so I am VERY happy that it is Friday!

The book I'm reading is Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid. This is the book equivalent of the movie, "Sliding Doors." Have you seen that movie? It's an oldie but a goodie! This book looks at what would happen if the protagonist made a different decision about who to go home with at the end of a night out - her friend or someone she dated when she was younger. It's been a page turner!

The high of my week so far was nothing really? Is it bad to say there hasn't been a real high of our week? As you'll see in the comment below, we've been dealing with a sick baby so our week hasn't been very fun.

The low of my week was dealing with a sick baby. I noticed drainage coming out of his right ear on Sunday so we started giving him ear drops (we treat ear infections with ear drops instead of oral antibiotics now that he has tubes). Usually the infection clears up quickly but that was not the case this time. Daycare called and said he needed to be picked up around lunchtime on Wednesday as he was not happy and only wanted to be held by his teachers. :( He fell asleep during the 10 minute drive home and then pretty much only wanted to be held. Sick babies are the worst!

A recipe I made was shrimp & pineapple skewers! This is one of my favorite summer recipes. It comes together so quickly as there are very few ingredients in the marinade and I always have them on hand (it calls for fresh ginger but I will use dried ginger if I don't have ginger root; I also have skipped the lime juice if I don't have any and they still taste great!). 

The best money spent was on a new purse. I've been wanting to get a new purse for awhile and then it became very necessary to buy one... A couple of weeks ago I caught Paul's stomach flu bug. I wasn't feeling great in the morning but figured it would pass so I went to work. It had been 4 days since Paul had the flu so it seemed unlikely that I had his flu bug. Once I got to work I figured out that I was definitely sick so I took a Lyft home - and ended up having to throw up into my purse. I felt absolutely terrible, apologized profusely, and gave the driver a huge tip. He was incredibly nice about it. I obviously had to throw that purse out! I took my time deciding on a replacement and am so excited for it to arrive! I love the berry color as it's so pretty and feminine!

My plans this weekend include staying in on Friday night. We got invited to a party that evening but opted not to go because we are both so tired on Friday nights and didn't want to hire a babysitter. On Saturday I am going to try to swing by a friend's daughter's grad party. It depends on when/how long Paul naps, though. On Sunday, I'm meeting a friend for a walk/play date in the morning and then we have a mid-day bbq with Phil's high school friends. So overall our weekend isn't too busy which is nice! 

Bonus Paul Pics

We read a lot of books when I was home with Paul on Wednesday afternoon

Photo from a walk along the creek in our neighborhood. I love this hand-me-down outfit from my cousin. 
What was the high of your week? What are you reading these days?

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

First Lake Weekend of Summer 2019!

We had our first weekend at the lake last weekend and it couldn't have been better! Phil's mom joined us for this trip. I knew it was just going to be my parents and us so it was the perfect weekend for her to come along. We picked her up on Thursday morning, headed north and arrived at my parents shortly before noon. Leaving for the lake on a Thursday is SO MUCH BETTER than going up Friday after work. There is so much traffic on Fridays and there are always lane closures during the summer due to road construction projects. I'm glad we can use vacation time to travel during off-peak times!

Paul did pretty well in the car. He only napped for about 30 minutes of the 3.5 hour drive but was pretty happy otherwise.

My little book worm
 Grandma Joan had picked up a book that played "The Wheels on the Bus" at Costco. We saved this until the last 30 minutes when he was getting antsy. He LOVED the book so much and kept pushing the button to play the song over and over and over again.

Yay! A new book!
 My mom had a yummy lunch all ready to go for us and then we headed outside to soak in some vitamin D. Paul is still freaked out by grass, so we laid out a blanket with some toys and he was happy to sit there and play. This hedgehog toy is his new favorite toy. I highly recommend this if you have a toddler in your life. The little spikes can be stored in the toy so it's easy to transport. And it's great for fine motor skills.

Wrestling with daddy

Working on that downward-facing dog move
Paul is still pretty clingy and usually only wants to be held by mom. But both Grandmas got him to sit with them for a story.

On Thursday night, Phil grilled burgers and asparagus and my mom roasted some potatoes. I failed to take any food pictures but trust me when I say the food was all so good! Paul enjoyed toasting everyone!

 He also got a kick out of grandma's cool truck utensils!

He was up bright and early around 6am on Friday morning. My mom hung out with us. It was nice to have some company while Paul played with toys. Most of the toys are toys from my youth, like this typewriter, which he got a kick out of!

 It was another beautiful day so we enjoyed more blanket time. In this photo, Paul is waving to the neighbor's dog who came over to visit each day!

On Friday afternoon, we had a late lunch at our favorite spot in town. As usual, Paul did so well eating out!

It had been overcast during lunch but the sun came out while we were eating so we headed home and got our swimsuits on. My parents have something called a "lilypad." It's a huge floating thing - it must be 25 yards long? Maybe longer? We use a smaller one during swim classes so Paul was familiar with it. He LOVED the water. He was not afraid at all. My mom snapped a few pictures of us. He also really enjoyed playing in the sand on the beach.

We capped off the afternoon by going on a pontoon ride. Paul was not a huge fan of the life jacket but he tolerated it.

We woke up to rain and cold weather on Saturday morning so we headed out after lunch and were back at Joan's by 4pm.

Sunday was Father's Day. We had a low key day. Phil slept in a bit and then got groceries (such a glamorous Father's Day, I know!) while I took Paul for a walk.
Starting off his special day by reading to Paul
 We walked to Lake Harriet, about a mile away. There were a lot of ducks and geese on the beach. Paul enjoyed watching them!

We stopped for a little swinging on the way back.
Besides that, there was a lot of adulting - meal prep, laundry, cleaning, etc.

My diaper laundry helper. He likes to hand me the diapers, one by one. 
I capped off the day by making Phil's favorite meal - lentil enchiladas topped with extra olives. Paul was already in bed so we enjoyed this meal without interruptions. We are not gift-givers - enjoying a special meal is more our style.

It was a wonderful weekend! I can't wait to head back to the lake for a couple of days over the 4th of July weekend. I'll be there Wed-Fri with Paul (Phil has to work). Then we'll be up at the lake for 5 days in August which I'm really looking forward to! Battle Lake is definitely my happy place in the summer!

Where is your favorite place to be in the summer?

Monday, June 17, 2019

Making Work Work Part 2

I'm back with part 2 of my "making work work" post series!

What other changes have we made now that we are working parents?

We've made some slight changes to household responsibilities to make life a little easier on everyone!

- The biggest, most positive change for me is that Phil does all of our grocery shopping. He typically does this on Saturday mornings. On the iPhone notes ap, you can share the note with other iPhone users, so that's how we build our grocery list. It works well to use a shared note as we can both add to it.

Our shared grocery list note
- Phil is also more involved in meal planning. Before I tended to come up with the meal ideas which is kind of mentally exhausting. Now we tend to sit down on Wednesday night - the day we get the weekly ad for our local grocery store - and we plan the 3-4 dinners I will make.

- During nap time on the weekends, I do as much of the prep work, like cutting up veggies, for our meals. That way dinners come together more quickly on week nights. Our week night schedule is so chaotic so it's been helpful to do prep work ahead of time so meals come together faster.

What do I wish I had known a year ago?

- I wish I had stressed less about how little Paul was napping at daycare and just accepted that he was never going to sleep well there. I spent a lot of time worrying over this and trying to solve the problem but it has been an unsolvable problem. He just doesn't nap well in a room with 10-11 other babies/toddlers - I can't really blame him! It has resulted in an earlier bedtime than I would like, but I remind myself that this is a temporary phase of life and eventually he will stay up later. I took me a good 6-8 months to accept this, though. He is happy and never appears over-tired and it doesn't impact his nighttime sleep so it's something I've learned to let go of.

- I wish I had known that I would go through a phase where I questioned whether I was meant to be a working mother, and that this phase would pass. August through December of last year were very difficult. I basically had an existential crisis and wondered if all of the time and effort I put into my education and CFA designation were all for nothing as maybe I wasn't cut out to work outside the home. I am glad I pushed through that difficult time and strategically used vacation time to get extra time with Paul. Fortunately I felt a shift in January when Paul turned 10 months. I now enjoy work much more and I know that Paul benefits from the time he spends in daycare. It helps that he loves it there and we love his teachers.

- I wish I had a mentor during that time that could tell me that what I was feeling was normal and that it might get better. It's hard to have open, honest conversation about how you are struggling with your return to work. I work in a very competitive work environment that is going through cost cuts so it's hard to talk about how hard your return to work is when you know they are looking at reducing head count. So I kept this to myself and confided in other friends outside the company. But it would have been nice to have a trusted mentor that could have told me she felt similarly. Now that I'm on the other side of those feelings, I've had multiple conversations with other women at work who said they felt the exact same way. It would have been comforting to know I wasn't alone in feeling that way. I recently suggested that my company establish a mentoring program for moms returning to work. I have a meeting today about developing the program with a senior leader at my company. Hopefully it comes together and we can launch something later this year!

How have I changed since having a child/returning to work?

- I've definitely grown and changed a lot over the last year+ since Paul was born. It has taught me how to prioritize and how to say no. I rarely make week-day plans unless they happen after Paul is in bed and I am very particular about what I say yes to on the weekend. I try to only commit to one thing each weekend day.

- I've also come to understand that while many women want and need a break from their children (and are certainly entitled to the break/me-time!!), the circumstances of our schedule/limited time with Paul mean that I don't desire a break from him. I do not say this to sound like a martyr or super-mom. But the reality is that I get my break in the 45-50 hours I spend away from him at work + the time in the evening after he goes to bed. I want to want to go on a vacation with Phil without Paul. But the reality is that I don't want to do that. That's not to say that I don't feel a sense of relief when he goes to bed some nights as the weekend days can be long if he's fussy or throws his food on the floor during meals or is hard to entertain. But all in all, I don't crave time away from him. Maybe this will change with time but for now, all our vacations will include Paul.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019


Today is my Friday as we are heading to the lake tomorrow morning! Hence the "TGIW" post today. I love short weeks!

The book I'm reading is Hope and Other Punch Lines by Julie Buxbaum. This is a YA novel that prominently features 9/11. The main character was in a daycare in the World Trade Center but she survived. She lives in a town that had a lot of 9/11 victim so this book is about the aftermath of the tragedy and how her generation processes what happened. I read another book by this author recently and it was really good so hopefully I like this one as much. 

The high of my week so far was picking up a bunch of holds from the library. I usually use the pause feature to make sure I don't get too many books at the same time, but I messed up and had 5 books become available at the same time. They all have wait lists so I am going to have to try to read 5 books in 3 weeks. I'm up to the challenge, though!

The low of my week was dealing with some RA pain. I have low-grade flares in both of my hands. They aren't debilitating, they are just annoying and make it difficult to do things like open jars or Paul's sippy cup.

A recipe I made was 3 bean chili in the Instant Pot. After warm, humid weather last week, our weather has been cooler the last couple of days so chili sounded good.

The best money spent was some reusable silicon bags. I've been thinking more and more about how to live more greenly and reduce our use of plastic. So I ordered these bags and we will transition to using them when we run out of plastic bags. 

For workouts I've just been going on walks with Paul. I would like to do a bit more running but I have a hard time fitting it into my schedule these days. The last couple of weekends have been busy so I haven't been able to squeeze in a run. I want to try to run before work but the idea of getting up at 5 am to do that is just not palatable! 

My plans this weekend include heading to the lake! Phil's mom is coming with us, too. We will head there tomorrow morning and come back on Saturday afternoon. I'm excited for some time with my parents and I know they'll really love seeing Paul. He's gotten so much bigger since they last saw him in April! 

Bonus Paul Pics

Working on those fine motor skills

Mmm, these quills are fun to chew on, too!

Never too young to learn about the time value of money and the power of compounding interest! ;)

Have you made any recipes this week? What was the best thing you spent money on lately?

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Making Work Work - Part 1

I'm approaching the one-year mark of being back at work after my ~19 week maternity leave so I thought I'd share some of my thoughts on how we've adjusted to being parents with full-time jobs outside of the home. I recently listened to a podcast episode, called Making Work Work, by two moms that also work outside the house. I listen to several parenting podcasts but the lifestyle of these 2 women is most similar to mine. They have corporate jobs that require them to go into an office and their kids go to daycare. In their episode, they answered some questions so I thought I'd play along.

I have a lot to say on this topic so decided to break it out into 2 posts with some Paul pics sprinkled in!

Who has more flexibility - you or your husband?

My answer is very similar to theirs. Phil and I both have quite a bit of flexibility as we are both able to work from home when it's necessary. However, I am more willing to be flexible. For example, if we get a call from daycare saying Paul is sick and needs to be picked up, I generally am the one that leaves work. I'm part of a 6-person team, 3 of which are in Minneapolis. There is almost always 2 of us in the office in Minneapolis so there's someone that can help out in my absence. Phil works for a very small, lean company that doesn't have duplication of roles like my team does. He sort of has a back-up but it's not optimal for him to leave on short notice. The couple of times we've had to go pick Paul up, I called Phil to figure out who would leave and while he was willing to leave to pick him up, it wouldn't be for another 1-1.5 hours. So I have ended up picking him up because I don't want to leave him there for long after we've been told to pick him up.

I will say that working from home works better for Phil than me. He hasn't done it much but there have been times when he has worked from home while watching Paul. I can't do that any longer because Paul wants my undivided attention when I'm home with him. I could log on and work during his naps, but if he's awake, there is no way I could focus enough to get work done.

What is your morning routine?

As I've mentioned before, mornings are very hectic in our house and we have no wiggle room in our schedule!

6:00 - I get up, shower, and get ready.

6:30 - Wake up Paul if he's not awake already. Change his diaper, dress him in clothes I set out the night before, and put him the high chair while I finish getting ready. He has a glass of milk and half a muffin or banana. Breakfast isn't until 8 at daycare so he needs a snack as he's super hungry in the morning. Phil is in the shower/getting ready at this time so that's why I do all the morning prep. If Paul has a poopy diaper when he wakes up, Phil sprays it (we use cloth diapers so we have to spray them off before washing them) so that's his morning contribution! ;)

6:35 - While Paul eats his breakfast, I eat mine (oatmeal with a cut up banana on top) and get my thermos of coffee ready. I'm very particular about coffee so won't drink the stuff at work.

He was not excited to have his breakfast documented

6:50 - Phil leaves with Paul. I wash his bib and highchair tray, put my coffee and lunch (which I pack the night before) in my work back pack, take my daily morning medications and vitamins and head out the door to catch the bus which comes around 6:57. I love taking the bus. It picks up across the street from our house and drops me off in front of the building I work in. It's very nice to be able to read, catch up on emails, or listen to podcasts while someone else deals with traffic! Phil drives Paul to daycare, drops him off, and parks our car about a mile away and catches a bus to work.

7:20 - I'm usually at my desk by 7:20 and hit the ground running.

Playing in the front of the house while we wait for daddy's bus

What's your evening routine?

My after-work routine varies a bit based on when I am able to leave work. Lately I've been trying to leave work around 3:40 when it's quiet so I can get a little extra time with Paul. This is our schedule when I'm not able to do that.

4:10 - Leave work, walk to the bus stop which is about a block away. The bus comes around 4:20.

4:40 - Get off on the bus in the area where we park our car, drive to day care and pick up Paul. As soon as he spots me he crawls over to me as fast as he can! He loves daycare but he gets so excited when I pick him up! I chat with one of his teachers about how his day went and we head out.

5:00 - Get home. Phil takes the bus home and gets there shortly before us. If it's nice outside, we head out for a 40 minute family walk along a creek in our neighborhood. Otherwise we play with Paul in our living room.

5:45 - Feed Paul dinner. As I have mentioned before, it is not possible for all of us to sit down together to eat dinner. It would be very difficult for me to fix something that all of us would eat. So until Paul can stay up later, he eats before us and we eat after he's in bed. Phil usually handles feeding Paul while I spend this time prepping our dinner. After dinner Paul usually gets a little time to play or I read books to him.

6:15 - He usually goes to bed around 6:30 so we head upstairs around 6:15. He gets a bath every other night. Then I put lotion on him and put him in his nighttime diaper and pajamas. Phil and I take turns reading to him (meaning, I handle one night, he handles the next night). We usually read him 3 books but will read as many as 5 if he doesn't seem super tired. Then we turn off the lights, turn on his white noise machine, and put him in his crib with his lovey (which is a little cat!).  He goes to bed very, very easily thanks to the sleep training we did when he was around 4 months.

After he's in bed, we eat dinner and will often watch an episode of a show. I get the coffee maker ready to go so I just have to push brew in the morning, pack my lunch, and take my daily evening medications. I usually head up to bed around 8-8:30 so I can read for awhile. I turn my lights off between 9-9:30. Phil comes to bed around 10 or later but I'm usually sleeping by then!

In part 2 of this post, I'll talk about changes we've made to "make working work" and what I wish I'd known when I returned to work.

What is your morning routine like? Do you feel rushed like we do? I could make our mornings less rushed by getting up earlier but I've been prioritizing sleep!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Baby Paul: 15 Months

"Baby" Paul turned 15 months last Saturday. The days can be long but the weeks and months sure fly by. Each month just gets better and better. There are definitely challenges in his current stage but overall I really love the stage he's in. He's definitely a toddler but I still call him baby Paul - maybe I always will?


- We went on our first family vacation in April, which included a plane ride. Overall he traveled pretty well but I think we'll really limit plane travel until he's a bit older, with the exception of going on a warm weather getaway at the end of each winter. It's just so much work to travel with a young child. The change of scenery was very nice, we enjoyed our time in Florida, and I could see us going back to that region. But besides that one trip/year, I think we'll stick to trips to my parents lake home until he's a bit older. Traveling with a young child is one of those 'you do you' things as I know many people who still travel a ton with their child (one of my mom group friends went on a European vacation during her maternity leave and to Australia this spring!). But for us I don't know that it's worth the money we would spend on plane tickets!

 - He had his first taste of ice cream and loved it. We don't intend to give him sweets very often but I think it's ok to let kids have sweets occasionally. This is another 'you do you' kind of thing!

- one first he hasn't achieved yet is walking. As I've mentioned before, he just doesn't want to work on this skill. He has stood on his own for 1-2 seconds but sits down once he realizes he is sitting. It kind of frustrates me that he isn't walking yet as it feels like something he "should" be doing but I try to remind myself that every baby does things at their own pace! I feel better after his 15-month appointment, though. His doctor said that kids with large heads (Paul's is 98th percentile!) tend to walk around 16-18 months because they have a lot more weight to balance. This makes total sense as he also sat up late (8.5 months).

Words: He says "nah nah nah" for no. At daycare, they don't use the word "no" to redirect behavior. Instead they say "ah ah ah." We've been told they only use no in response to a question - I don't know if that is a Latin thing? He also says "uh oh" (usually after intentionally dropping something - ha!), dada, hola, agua, bye, and cracker. He's started to say "ma ma ma" for more - I don't know if that's a combination of the English word, more, and mas, the Spanish word for more? He doesn't really say mama, though. He has just started to say dada so hopefully he figures out mama soon! He also does a lot of unintelligible babbling which is pretty cute!

Growth: Paul had a huge growth spurt between 12 to 15 months! He gained over 3 pounds and now weighs 21.25 pounds and is 26th percentile for weight! He had been around 4th percentile since his early infancy so that was a HUGE increase! This further supports my thesis that I made "skim milk." I thought that all along as pumping didn't do much in the weight loss department and Paul did not gain very much weight despite drinking more breast milk than the average baby. Who knows if my theory is correct but I am very happy to see that he's gaining weight more steadily and is a little bit chubbier!

- playing with his scooter - he has one at our house and one at Grandma Joan's.

- stroller walks. We go on one daily, weather-permitting, and often 2 on weekend days.

- waiting for daddy at the front door on the days when we get home before Phil. He gets really excited when he sees him - it's so cute!

- cheersing! He loves doing this whenever he has his milk or water glass in hand.

- eating out! He does so well in restaurants. We are enjoying this stage while it lasts!

Eating: He eats almost everything at school except fruit. This kid does not like fruit, besides bananas, which I think is odd/not typical! He's still pickier at home than I would like him to be but hopefully he grows out of this eventually? We keep offering him things over and over in the hopes he'll eventually like them. Besides meatballs, he does not seem to like meat. We've tried giving him ham, pieces of a hamburger and shredded chicken and he spits them out. We found that he will eat "veggie tots" (pureed veggies coated with breading, kind of like a tater tot). He gobbles them up. I wish he would eat vegetables in an unprocessed form but we have to take what we can get at this point. His favorite foods are banana pancakes with peanut butter, club crackers and graham crackers.

Enjoying some banana bread
Can't I eat my veggie tots without you taking a picture?


- Grass! It freaks him out so much. He dislikes it so much that he will stay on a blanket. It's like a little baby jail for him. Ha.

Playing in baby jail
What is this crap??
I'm excited to introduce him to lake like this summer! We were there quite a bit last summer but he was too young to enjoy the sand and water. I'm hoping he loves playing on the beach, going for boat rides, and playing in the water! We have our first lake trip next week and I'm so excited for the mini getaway and time with my parents!

I'm also looking forward to taking him to splash pads (once he's walking) and kiddie pools. We are also planning on getting a small kiddie pool for our backyard. I think it's going to be a great summer!