30: musings on a new decade

Yesterday I turned 30. We celebrated with the usual fanfare, as birthdays are a big deal in this house, although this year we did not do a full Birthday Week. Rob and I went to a movie, we had a little party, and yesterday Rob took me to lunch and for ice cream. I got more email and Facebook love than any other day of the year and love getting cards and presents in the mail. As birthdays go this was a good one. But 30, it’s a big year.

Em asked me how I felt about turning THIRTY, ans honestly, I’m excited about it. Happy about it. I feel like I’ve been looking forward to this birthday for a few years. (I’m seriously way more freaked out about having a ONE year old in a couple of weeks.) My twenties were huge, a lot happened in the road to adulthood. Here’s that recap:

– graduated from Indiana University

– first serious boyfriend

– first (and second, third, & fourth) apartment on my own

– two internships at major tv stations

– moved across the country to a big city all by myself

– first real grown-up job

– followed my dream and quit that job to work in children’s tv

– met my husband, fell in love, got married

– own a condo

– decided to get my PhD and started graduate school

– had a baby

I don’t know that there are really that many more major “milestones” to hit. Although, we would really like to own an actual house with a yard someday. I became an adult in my twenties. I’m confident in myself (most of the time) and who I am. I feel like I can go through my thirties and it will only get better. I have an amazing husband and an awesome kid. I kind of hate school sometimes, but I’m working toward a degree for a job I will love. I don’t know why, but hitting 30 makes me feel a little more like a “grown-up” and I like that.

So yesterday, Rob took me out for my birthday. We had meatballs and ice cream. Other than that I spent the day at home getting reacquainted with my sewing machine – I forgot how much I love my sewing machine. It was lovely spending the day doing exactly what I wanted to do for me.

11 Months

Wow! I think I say this every month, but time is flying by. Rob says just the first six months lasted forever, then time started flying. On your 10 month birthday you took two steps, and four days shy of 11 months you walked across the room. By yourself. Most of the month you used a combination of cruising and crawling to get around and a hand from Mama or Daddy when you could.

Still only two teeth, but I think the third one is popping through. As for food, nursing is primo number one. You eat really well, as long as I’m not around. With me bread is the only food eaten consistently, and usually eggs. But when your with Grandma or Daddy or at school, you eat veggies and fruit and chicken. Now that it’s summer and I’m home more, I’m going to try and push the food thing. I’m going to try and eat better for myself too. We also upgraded to a booster seat. Climbing out of the Bumbo was an accident waiting to happen. This seat you can use until you’re big. And really, you’re looking pretty big in it now.

Your favorite things to play with are all the things that are NOT FOR YOU! like the toilet, and the cabinets and the computer and the remotes and my phone. Although I have to say you can reprogram my phone with ease – it’s just that neither of us know what it all means.

I tried to baby proof the kitchen cabinets, but the way our doors are don’t allow for the child locks. I should get a toilet latch, but we’ve just been keeping the door closed. There are two cabinets we let you play in and emptying the pots and pans and the Tupperware and especially the cutting mats. I laughed the day I saw you skating across the floor on the cutting mats. As for actual toys, you still like the stacking rings and cups. This month you started figuring out how to put things in other things. You also love all things soft. Snuggling and kissing the stuffed toys is your fave – and adorable You also figured out cars and are starting to push them across the floor.

We got you a water table for your birthday, and gave it too you early because it’s been hot. You like the splashing and as you get older, I think you will love it. You really like all outside time.

You love dirt. And “helping” with Mama’s plants. But by help I mean dig in and try to eat the dirt. This new love of dirt is causing more frequent baths, which are probably needed anyway because you are losing that nice new baby smell. Your feet smell like feet!

Some days at daycare you are so engrossed in figuring out how a certain toy works that you barely look up when I get there. Daycare is great. You are thriving and have your friends and teachers. You are so observant taking in everything that’s going on around you. And cautious and fearless at the same time. You get your fair share of bumps and bruises, but are striving to be so independent.

Sleep is going well. Bedtime is between 8:00 – 9:30 then a wake-up around 5:00.  Five is early, but a reasonable wake-up time for many people, and you generally nurse and go back to sleep until after 7. Naps are hit and miss, but we’ve dealt with it this long, I think that’s just how it is.

One more month baby boy and you will be a whole year. And at that point I think we can safely say – a toddler.

Niagara Falls

When I was packing I thought this was our first family road trip. Then I remembered we went to Saratoga Springs last summer when Simon was tiny. This was however, our first family vacation, just the three of us. I’ve always wanted to see Niagara Falls, and it’s the same state* so we drove. And actually stayed in Canada, so Simon has 5 states and two countries under his belt before he turns one!

The falls were beautiful. And loud. And wet. And we had a blast. The two “excursions” we chose were Journey Behind the Falls and the Skylon Tower. We think we made the right choices.  The downside to the town was the lack of unique places to eat. There were oh, so many chain restaurants and multiples of them. Seriously how can a town a mile wide support 3 Friday’s restaurants. We ate there one night because we had a coupon as part of the Groupon deal we used for the hotel. The Groupon was awesome – three nights with a king suite and whirlpool tub for $99 each, and breakfast vouchers – and I would travel with one again.

The second day we drove the 10 km up to Niagara on the Lake, a Victorian town with lots of boutiques and historical things. We shopped a bit and went to the lake. And to a Fort. And on the way home stopped at a couple of wineries. Did you know Ontario was known for iced wine? I didn’t. We bought two bottles of red iced wine, which I didn’t know was a thing – I’ve only ever seen white. That night we ate at Jamie Kennedy’s Windows. It’s a fancier casual dining experience with great views and good food.

On the drive home we first stopped at Niagara State Park in New York. We got to walk right to the edge of the falls. It was trippy. Then we stopped off in Seneca Falls to visit the Women’s Rights National Historic Park. Sadly Seneca Falls is one of these dying towns, with lots of empty buildings on their main street. We stopped off in Cortland for the A&W Drive in Restaurant. More places need to offer corn dog bites.  And then the long push home.

Simon was a trooper and did pretty good in the car. He was mostly good in restaurants, we have about 45 minutes, then he melts down. And he slept well in the hotel. He also fell and cut his head on the dresser, fell headfirst off the bed, and fell face first onto a window sil. We are parents of the year.

American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls (aka Luna Falls)

American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls (aka Luna Falls)

Horseshoe Falls

We went behind that. See the hole in the center? Above the deck - that used to be behind water.

Hey, there's Rob!

In ponchos for Behind the Falls.

That white light is really water. Lots and lots of water.

Simon really likes standing and looking at the falls. He talked at them too. So cute!

And we saw the Bat Mobile! Not sure why it was there, but here it is.

From the tower.

American Falls from above.

Goat Island. The island between the falls.

Looking out.

He lost a shoe leaning. Lucky for us there is a wide ledge so we got it back. But oh how he loved the leaning and looking.

Horsehoe Falls from the tower.

Daddy and Simon.

"The Strip" is what we called the main street in Niagara Falls because of this craziness. How many 4-D theaters, fun / haunted houses, and wax museums can one town support?

The calm one mile downstream.

Simon is a champion stroller-pusher.

Lake Ontario

Toronto in the distance.

The view from the restaurant.


From New York.

Mama, Simon, and a rainbow.

This is why the bridge between New York and Canada is called Rainbow Bridge.

That rapid, it's Bridal Veil Falls and drops more than 100 feet!

Looking down.

American Falls. See the dry spot on the point?

Terrapin point on Goat Island.

* Same state does NOT mean close. It’s an 8 hour drive, plus stops. My brain didn’t really compute this at first.

{this moment}

{This moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, visit Soulemama to leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.