We’re now wrapping up our last week at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, or as I’ve come to know it: our seaside mansion escape. Our stay has been wonderful and I’m somewhat concerned that Gabe will go into withdrawal, as the energetic, gregarious extrovert won’t have dozens of people to wave and smile at or have rolling lawns to frolic upon. But considering we—as in only Gabe and dad—are going up to visit the Grandparents in Maine, I’m sure we’ll get by. (I will now try to stop ending my sentences with prepositions.)
Next week we begin the next big travel phase, where Jenny flies to Chicago for a week and we go to Maine. This marks the first time ever that Gabe and Jenny will be apart for more than 24 hours. As I said before, it will be a learning experience for all of us. Gabe will learn to get by without Jenny, Jenny without Gabe, me without Jenny—lots of learning! But I think it will be overall beneficial. I’m glad she’s getting to go take advantage of her professional opportunities, but we will definitely miss her when she’s gone and we look forward to picking her up at the airport!
In any case, that’s for next week. This week, nothing “exciting” happened, unlike last week. (Update from last week: The dermabond has finally fallen off and the cut is healing well. I forgot how small the actual cut is.) Other than trying to keep his cut covered and out of the sun, there were some fun and interesting moments:
Wow, two weeks went by without a WSDW post! It was kind of nice to take a little bit of a break from the blog, but it’s really crazy how fast the days go by even without “working”! With my days completely off, I was still pretty tired running errands, filling my little toddler’s days jam-packed with fun summer activities, sending out my resume and taking calls to get feelers out there for prospective jobs. It’s really surprising how even without my deadlines for blog writing, I was still very busy. Being a stay at home mom is really tiring! It’s one of those things where you can appreciate the exhaustion the other type of mom goes through – either Mom A works all day and is tired from work, cooks dinner, puts baby down to bed, packs up baby bag and meals for day care/babysitter, then passes out. On the other hand, Mom B at home gets up when baby wakes up (or earlier) and from start to finish it’s: meals, cleaning the kitchen/house, picking up after toddler, running errands to the grocery store and Target of course, meal planning, activities, driving in traffic, bedtime routine, laundry. Both are a lot of work and mom doesn’t get much time to herself. Yeesh, that was tiring just thinking about it.
With my little break from blogging and after I wrote last Saturday’s post about high-risk pregnancies, I realized how much I missed having a “purpose” after Jia went to bed. I guess it made me appreciate the work I put into my own posts. I feel like I’m doing something good, aside from raising my little girl. Doing the research and writing up informative posts is kinda energizing – as long as I’m not entirely pooped, that is.
Anyway, continuing on… Continue reading
So, Jeni did a great job introducing me, how we met, and how we came about the #SummerofDad idea. In the last (nearly) 10 years (!) since Jeni and parted ways after graduating from Purdue, I’ve done a lot of things.
I’ve traveled to Costa Rica, Greece, and throughout the US. I worked as a pharmaceutical research coordinator for a couple of years. I applied to grad school a bunch of times (three, to be exact) and even moved to New York City to attend a physical therapy doctoral program. But I dropped out after a few weeks. Luckily, a girl I knew (and liked) moved up from Austin that summer, too. So instead of heading back home, I decided to stay and hang tough in the city and see about a girl. Also, I decided that, since I didn’t know what I wanted to do for graduate school, I needed to try something different: so I got into publishing.
During my four years in New York, two amazing dreams came true: I got to work in publishing for a couple of years at Penguin/Viking (as well as some other very cool places); that girl (Jenny-with-a-y) became my best friend, partner-in-crime, the love of my life, and then my wife. We got married in Austin in 2012 and in 2013 we did an amazing 6-week backpacking trip through Turkey and Greece for our belated honeymoon. About the time we got married I was realizing that publishing wasn’t working for me. Though I love writing, I wanted to get back into science. I learned about genetic counseling and applied — 3rd time’s a charm — for grad school. I ended up getting into my top program at Johns Hopkins and the NIH.
The big life changes kept coming, because almost exactly a year after being accepted, in June 2014, my son Gabriel was born. This past year has been quite a challenge, balancing grad school, family, and my wife’s writing career. I also write, and have published fiction pieces in various places, but most recently I’ve been writing for the National Human Genome Research Institute’s Genome Advance of the Month, where we try to explain interesting developments in genetics research!
So onto the post for this week…
So, I was going to delay this topic for an unknown length of time because I wanted to write about other things – like, the nutritional changes breastmilk goes through after your baby is 12 months old, the physiological changes that toddlers undergo to indicate readiness to start potty training, etc. because I planned on nursing Jia until she was 18 months old.
But, since I’m getting a bit anxious to get my body back to myself I figured – hey – as long as I was reading up on it, may as well write about it! (And besides, we clocked in an entire 14.5 months of 4 nursing sessions a day.)
First Things First – What’s Recommended? Continue reading
Jia’s happenings as of late: Continue reading
This topic is a highly requested one among my readers, and for one reason or another, I’ve always put it off. I think it’s because I’ve either been inspired by a more pressing health topic or because part of me wanted to write a post – something along the lines of – My Must/Wish/Ditch List – A post that featured things I couldn’t survive without, toys or gadgets I didn’t know existed until it was a little too late (but want to make sure to order for baby #2), and things that ended up being over-marketed, overrated, and/or a waste of money that could’ve been much better spent on a better, cooler item (like, why didn’t we get a stroller that could CONVERT to a double stroller? Hindsight is 20/20). Kinda like a Baby Buyer’s Guide, helpful for grandparents, mamas prepping to register for gifts, baby shower guests, etc.
So maybe that’ll come in the next few weeks. For now, I’ll stick to what my readers have requested – toys that correspond to your baby’s developmental age.
Onto the TOYS! … Continue reading
This week has been a fun one, here’s a little recap:
- Bubble Baby: After going to her first kiddie birthday party with a little container of bubbles in her goodie bag, she’s been so entranced when I blow them for her, but she either wanted to blow them herself (which she wouldn’t, she would just put the wand in her mouth after dipping it into the solution) or she wanted to play with more pretty bubbles. So we got a bubble fan machine for her and she is so happy and entertained!
- Camera-Ready! This was by far the most entertaining discovery this week! We were at the playground at the outlet shopping center near our house and wanted to take pictures of Jia and Jeff since they were wearing matching Orioles gear. Jeff was holding Jia and I held up my phone, counting “1…2…3!” and she knows to plaster this huge excited enthusiastic smile, it’s the cutest thing ever! Such a huge smile that you can count all 10 of her teeth! haha… I love this!
- She loves walking – Never really crawls unless she’s climbing on the playground equipment. She squeals with excitement as she runs and is being chased by us or she goes back and forth from Jeff and me, showing us twigs, flowers, leaves, anything she finds that interests her. She’s just such a happy baby! We’re so lucky
- My little eater is getting a bit better! Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches on whole wheat, even scrambled eggs with smoked salmon are going well so far. Her favorite cheese so far is goat cheese (takes after her mama), she’ll eat chunks and chunks of it by itself. She likes hummus with little pieces of pita bread. Loves Boston Market’s meatloaf (doesn’t like my homemade meatloaf… sigh) and their lemony garlicky spinach. Still into homemade sweet potatoes, which I prefer her to eat since they’re purely seasoned with unsalted butter and cinnamon. I also mashed cooked cheesy cauliflower for scrambled eggs and she did well with those, too.
- Naps are still 1 hour 15 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes. It changes day to day, with no predicting which it’ll be. Jia still goes to bed at about 7:30/7:45 PM, we are now waking up at 6:45-7:15 AM (boy do I miss the days she slept in until 8 AM or even 8:30 AM!) and takes one nap at 11:30 AM until about 12:45/1 PM.
- Stridin’ Rite! We got her first pair of rubber soled shoes! She’d been wearing a pair of Robeez that her Gran got for her for Easter and put some good yardage in with them. Then we’ve noticed she is getting much better at walking, so we took our trip to Stride Rite and got her some pink sparkly Mary Jane sneaker-shoes on sale for $29.99. Those suckers cost around $40-42 a pair at Stride Rite! Anyway I love them, she loves to wear them and walk around everywhere now!
- Got her first boo-boo. We were walking outside before her nap and she took a little stumble to her hands and knees but since she was on the slight downslope on the driveway, she tipped head-first when she propped herself on her hands to get up. She was tough and cried for about 10 seconds but didn’t like when I cleaned up her scrape and put cold triple antibiotic ointment on. She forgot about it pretty fast.
- She is getting very mom-attached. She used to let Jeff play with her in the morning after waking up. But, now she makes a bee-line to our bedroom door to find me and is an unhappy camper if he doesn’t let her into the room. No more sleeping in an extra 45 minutes while Jeff plays with her, it’s go-time right from the start!
- Where’s the Milk?? She’s starting to tug at my shirt and play with the clips of my nursing tops before feedings. Uh oh… Hahaha…