Monday, October 21, 2013

Getting to Know Levi

My little boy is almost three months old and his personality has been really shinning through! We've learned he is a very active, very alert little guy with a strong will. And while he is a little feisty, he is also very good natured.

Levi learned to hold his head up just a couple weeks after birth. He just can't help looking around a room, constantly taking everything in. Recently he's been waking up for the day at about 7, chatting up a storm, just talking to himself. From the moment he's up he's kicking a leg or waving his arms - eyes always wide open. When he wakes from a nap we'll walk in and he greets us with wide eyes and a smile. One of my favorite things he does is, when we unwrap his swaddle, shoots both arms up in a big stretch. He's also very talkative with us these days. As he gets a little sleepy we'll hold him and he'll stare at us cooing, very intently telling us something (if only I knew what!).

His alertness and curiosity I think has made him ahead in some areas- he has smiled, laughed, held his head up, grabbed toys, and tracked moving objects so early. But it also makes for a very stubborn boy. He is tired or hungry without and instant's warning - and he'll let you know it! He needs a tight swaddle to keep his ever moving arms at bay. He does not like to sleep and it usually takes some effort to get him to nap- and he is up every few hours at night. It also means less cuddles for mom - he'd rather be moving! 

It is so fun to watch him learn and grow. I can already tell he will be the boy who is always running, always asking questions, always getting into new things, always putting up a fight for what he wants - for better or worse.  

Some of Levi's favorites include:

- Morning and evening walks around the pond- His dad takes him for a walk in the carrier bright and early, and we often go as a family in the evenings. He loves to be outside and if he gets a little fussy, a step outside will always distract him.

- Bath time- he loves the warm water and looking at himself in the mirror.

- Tummy time- from his first few days at home he's loved laying on his belly, lifting his head to check things out. Now he loves to be propped up on his baby boppy to look at his favorite toys including the Sassy Crib and Floor Mirror, and the Wimmer-Ferguson Playmat.

- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? - You can usually get a smile out of him from this book. It has a great rhythm to it.

- Eating- He's really into his meals, eating frequently and taking his time- sometimes up to 90 minutes! After a lot of assessment into why this is, I think he really just likes to enjoy his food and lay with mom. This is about as much cuddle time as I get so no complaints here. 

- His index fingers - this has become his way to self sooth, and it is so sweet to see that little finger make it's way in as he is thinking through something or getting tired. 

We love him more and more each day, and I truly treasure every moment with him. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

nursery art

(Newport Folk Festival)

It has been really fun selecting art for Levi's room. You have a little more license to be whimsical and to choose bold colors - especially since we're going for primary colors with him (primarily red). I didn't have to buy anything new for him so far. We had some great concert/festival posters that needed hanging anyways, so that was a no brainer. They're fun without being baby.

(Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau concert for Aaron's birthday last year)

(Punch Brothers)

This little vignette includes a print from Dee Beale that I bought for our Boston place about 4 years ago, a penny that was ingested by my husband as a kid (and loving saved and framed by his parents) and a fun black and white graphic that reminded me of the "good morning to you!" song my mom would sing to us as a kid (and I now sing to Levi).

I've also been hanging on to this needle point by my grandmother for years. It was one of the few things my mom actually hung on to, but she never hung it. I was never able to meet my grandmother, so it's nice to include something of her's - particularly with the eerily appropriate message she included.

Finally we have gargantuan reindeer pelt. We bought this in Helsinki last summer and waited to hang it because- let's be honest- it can be hard to find a place to hang such an item. So why not above a crib? It's as good a place as any.

Then today I came across the Cosas Minimas print collection Blanca Gomez. I had looked at her work before but I think she has some new stuff that would be amazing in Levi's room. I like that her work reminds me of children's book illustrations for the 60s- for some reason. Of course the Helsinki print harkens to his Finnish heritage (my husband's mother is from Finland) and fits with the reindeer pelt.

And this one is a little Frenchy- which I like since we found out I was expecting a couple days before a trip to Paris. We were so baby happy on that trip- and all my memories reflect that. Of course the red works really well too for the room. Maybe a Christmas gift for Levi?  

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Robert Blue Ceramics

Beautiful ceramics by Robert Blue. I love these rustic feeling mugs and the colors are fantastic. Found at Mociun.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

After six weeks of exclusively sleeping in a swing, Levi has spent two nights sleeping in his bassinet! It was a very easy transition actually- he probably could have done this a few weeks ago. I do love this little crib and was getting nervous about SIDS, so I couldn't be happier.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

returning to work

My how much can change in the course of a month or two. I think of myself as a career-oriented, ambitious person. I've always tried very hard to succeed in my work, and always knew I did not want to stay home full time with my children, should I have any. Whenever I had time between positions, I was bored after a couple of days and missed the intensity and stimulation of my job. I remember the boredom of the long days of caring for children in my high school babysitting days, and never wanted that to be my life.

Even a month and a half ago, when I was struggling to understand new born Levi, I longed to be back at work. I dreaded the days I was left alone with him, because I knew it meant I might go all day without a moment's rest (this was before we could reliably get him to sleep).

At six weeks I went back to work part time. Now that we've moved I work from home, so the transition was pretty easy. He is napping much more now, and since I was coming off a long break, my workload was light. I could visit with him quite a bit on the Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays that I worked. However, this week, week eight, is my first week back full time. Luckily we have family in town this week and next to help watch Levi while my husband has class and I work, but the reality of working full time is setting in. We also interviewed nannies over the weekend to watch him three days a week. That was much more of an emotional process than I expected.

Just as I started to really enjoy my days alone with this beautiful, smiley, interesting little boy, I have to spend most of my waking hours behind the computer. It seems so wrong that we have to spend so much money to do something we both don't want to do. I realize how lucky I am that I get to be here at home, reducing commuting time and visiting with him, but right now it is a really hard transition. I know in a few years I'll be happy I kept my career going, and with one of us in school, not working really isn't an option. I still love my job- but it is just a little less interesting than this amazing son we have.

I'm hoping once we get into a routine it will be less hard, and I'm so grateful for the flexible situation that we do have. I'm hoping some interesting projects will come my way, and that I'll appreciate the time I do get for myself while working. It's so surprising how much your perspective and desires can change once you become a parent. It's a great lesson in learning not to assume you'll know what you'll want in the future. For now I will take one day at a time, and savor every moment I have with this little boy.