From 0 to 2014

At this time last year, I was just starting to feel pregnant. My baby bump was more than just possibly too much dinner the night before, and we were weeks away from finding out whether the littlest Trenton was a prince or a princess.

We had just signed the papers for our house, and we were looking forward to all of the ways our life together would change.

Boy, has it changed.

Today, I’m spending a quiet morning snuggled up with Arthur. Later we’ll meet some of the family for lunch, and then I’ll make a last-minute run to the store for dinner and maybe something fun to snack on while we watch the ball drop to welcome 2014.

Tonight, this little boy will cross a new threshold – being alive in two different years. We’re so blessed to start a new year with him, and we have a lot of great new changes ahead of us still.

Happy New Year from the Trentons!

Advertisements

Half a year passes like a moment.

Our baby boy is six months old today.

Half a year.

I thought I would have a whole book full of eloquent things to say about the passage of time, how amazing it’s been to see his personality emerge from small moments of recognition to something quite like a sense of humor, or even the fact that he’s learned to ignore us when we leave him with his Grammy because he knows we’re going away.

I was sure that I would talk more about his developing eating habits – the peas he tolerates and the sweet potatoes he can’t do without, or the funny look he gives me when he eats the apples that look just like the pears. I figured I’d share a laugh about the chomping face he does whenever he watches one of us take a bite of food.

But half a year…and I find myself nearly speechless.

The small bundle I could (just) hold in one arm has become a little person who laughs, stands, and is already half as tall as his GG and three times larger than he was at birth. He is funny, inquisitive, and so full of innocent joy that it breaks my heart to watch him even as it fills that same heart to the top.

six months

My sweet boy, who will very soon sleep in a bed all his own and have teeth and say words, and walk and run and one day call me “Mommy”…and then, one bittersweet day, just “Mom”.

But today he is still a baby, and today I will hold him and remember the wonder of our first moments together.

Happy half birthday, Arthur.

Photo Dec 18, 17 31 49

A guilty Thanksgiving, first foods, and Christmas with (no) Santa Claus.

It’s hard to believe we’re already in the middle of our first holiday season en famille! Arthur is going to be six months old next Wednesday (just writing that has me shaking my head in denial), and just one week after that will be his first Christmas.

Of course, we kicked it all off with a three-part Thanksgiving. Brian has two siblings, and since we are all coupled up that means there are a lot more family obligations to meet when the holidays rolled around. To compromise, my mother-in-law proposed a pre-Thanksgiving dinner with everyone in attendance – conveniently scheduled for the same day we met for family portraits. It was a fun evening, and Arthur enjoyed sitting in his high chair in the middle of the crowd. What he didn’t enjoy was being oh so close to all of the food without being able to eat it.

This photo session went MUCH more smoothly.

This photo session went MUCH more smoothly.

But guilty Thanksgiving wasn’t over.

We split Thanksgiving Day, spending the first half with my mom at her house and then traveling all together to my in-laws’ for Thanksgiving Part Deux. Both meals were delicious, but between noon and five that day we learned an important lesson:

It’s incredibly difficult to eat when a five-month-old is staring at your plate.

Poor Artie. Every time one of us lifted a bite to our mouths he would stare, and gape, and lean ever so slightly toward the table as if pleading for a taste. He wasn’t hungry, per se – he had a bottle right before we sat down – but he wanted that food more than he’s probably wanted anything in his half a year on the planet.

I had a somewhat difficult decision to make over the next couple of days. I read all of the books and listened to all of the advice that said “No food until six months!” but here was my baby, only weeks away from this threshold and clearly interested in trying the scrumptious goodies on our plate. I could stick to my guns and watch him grow progressively more upset, or I could pull out my blender and my baby food books and give him his first taste.

So, I fed him.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving I went to the store and picked up half a batch of pears. I made enough for a few days and fed him the small remainder to gauge his reaction. To say he loved them would be a horrible understatement; I think if I had given him the entire batch that night he would have inhaled it before a long tummyaching night. That was all the response I needed to know that for us, this was the right decision.

We’re following the 3-day rule for introducing new foods. So far, Artie eats Bartlett pears, roasted sweet potatoes, and Honeycrisp apples in addition to a serving of single-grain oatmeal every morning. I don’t want to brag, but he is SUCH a good eater – not yet messy, very excited for each bite (he does try to help a little much sometimes!), and clear about being finished. Tomorrow night we are going to start peas, and I hope he likes them as much as I do.

Onward to Christmas. Everybody is thrilled to have a new baby to experience the magic of the season, though I’m sure a few pocketbooks are moaning at the extra outlay for presents. Fortunately, we were clear from the beginning that we don’t want to surround Arthur with piles of toys higher than he stands (with assistance), so this year we will have a few extra-special gifts with a handful of toys that I know he will use.

None of those gifts, though, will be from Santa.

Of all the parenting decisions we’ve made, this is the one that actually inspired pushback from a grandparent. See, I don’t remember a time when I ever believed there was a jolly old man who lived in the North Pole and delivered gifts to all the children in the world in one night. I understood “Santa” as the spirit of Christmas, giving and loving and joyful but not a real person. That is what I want to instill in my children, and to do that I want to avoid falling into the “presents from Santa” trap. It may become more difficult when he is old enough to ask questions, and if he expresses a belief in the persona of Santa then we will obviously tread lightly, but to me it feels inauthentic and dishonest to perpetuate the myth in that way – and one thing I never want to do is outright lie to my children.

So there will be no gifts from Santa to Arthur under our tree, and no explanations of how Santa knew at which house we would be celebrating Christmas this year. Instead there will only be love, and a few special toys from the real people who love him.

Merry whatever to whomever, wherever! Celebrate the season with love, joy, and openness.