eight months in photos.

We spent a good part of Sunday morning and early afternoon on the couch piecing together a photo history of Rowan's short life. We've been pretty haphazard about taking a monthly photo, but it seems that we've managed to capture his monthly birthday on film. Here he is, month by month, if you're into that stuff.

{you still sleep like this}

{one month}
{two months}
{three months}
{four months}
{five months}
{six months}
{seven months}
{eight monfs. yep, those are milk teef}
Today Rowan turned eight months old. We bought a dwarf orange tree and some succulents to celebrate this crazy fact.

settling in.

{world map collage by artandphilanthropy}
A Friday thankfulness post, just like the good ole days.

for having moved :: Now that we have more space, we're working on making our home more comfortable. This means an imminent couch purchase, a nursery for mama to slowly decorate, and, oh we have to do something about that kitchen table. It's bar height, and we only have two chairs. When we have guests, we enjoy picnic-style dinners on the floor, which isn't all that comfortable for the pregnant ladies ('cuz I'm at that stage in life where I have a lot of pregnant friends). Plus it's a little worrisome to eat with toddlers and red wine that close to the carpet. Though, I've always been a floor sitter, and I'd be happy with a living room full of pillows and bean bags on a plush area rug. And the high table was perfect when S was away and I was on simultaneous baby and work duty. I'd wear Rowan and work at the high table for a couple hours a day.

my own office :: It's in Rowan's closet, so you can see that we have ample space to put stuff away if we're using an entire deep wide closet for mama's office. I didn't even use my desk (which has a special place in my heart because it was my grandpa's desk) before, because it was placed in such an odd-energy spot in our angular one-bedroom apartment. I used to work in the rocking chair. In fact I did everything in that rocking chair: breastfed, ate breakfast, blogged, rocked the baby. I still do all these things in this rocking chair. But now I have a cubbyhole oasis where I can escape to work without paying for expensive coffee in a cafe with Internet, which is what I used to do when S was home.

my love is home :: One of these days I will write a post about how I survived taking care of a baby while working from home. I was lucky enough to have S home for 2-4 of my work days every week, but the days he wasn't there were pretty stressful. I'm a perfectionist, and I often felt like I wasn't doing anything well. Now that he's here, my days are more regular. The time I spend with Rowan is focused quality time, and at the end of the day I can do something besides work.

young love is contagious :: Yesterday we saw two people speedwalking hand-in-hand while we were driving. I smiled, and S said they look like a new couple. He said exactly what I was thinking before I had finished cooking the words. I thought it was simultaneously sweet that he could jinx my thoughts and sad that we would both see the happiness of another couple and see love in its infancy. I mean, who doesn't want to feel that "we can conquer anything together" intimacy of aimless speedwalking off into the sunset with the one you love? So I said, We could be like that too. We still are kinda, right? And then I started fishing.

it is still an adventure :: Considering all the adventures we've navigated together, having a baby was a huge transition. It feels good to remember that this is our grandest journey yet. And we can make it as grueling or exciting as we want to. The most important thing in parenthood as with travel is flexibility. And honestly, I wouldn't trade those huge, open-mouth slobberkisses (and that quiet babble sigh that says I love you mommy) for the world.

What are you thankful for right now?

secretly glad.

Our new apartment is less of a disaster every day after moving here last Tuesday, and that's about all I have to say for myself. We're on our way to finding our new rhythm. S will be here on the weekends now, and summer has finally arrived. So even though we're eating sweet potato with pumpkin ice cream and the leaves on the trees lining our street are threatening to fall, I feel like a sliver of summer is still mine to enjoy.

I'm torn between exploring and helping Rowan get used to his new home--which means being home, decorating, giving it our energy, and following the bedtime routine that we've gotten used to. So while part of me really wants to go camping, I'm secretly glad I can blame Rowan and just nest.

{though i wouldn't mind going here :: photo by tunio_div4oto}
What are you secretly glad for?

reconnecting my dots.

Preface: In true mommy blog form that this is, I started writing this almost a week ago and haven't had a free minute since. A Patagonian friend is visiting us, and we are in the process of moving. Like we have to have everything done seven days from now.

So, I had a little more time at the computer this weekend than I normally do, so I was catching up on blogs--which is what I normally do when I have a little extra computer time. (Though obviously I didn't have enough time to finish this post.) Let's just say, the other day I saw another friend with a baby bump and I realized, My yes, I have been away a long time. I'm effusively writing congratulations, when Rowan commences to fuss. I hurry to hit send, and then I go pick him up (priorities, ya know?). I pick him up and he gleams, staring up at the fan. I lift him higher onto my hip, his happy mouth wide open as he cranes to get a better look at the fan. His eyes are deep lakes of wonder.

{renee + jeremy :: it's a big world!}
I dive into Rowan's eyes, reminiscing about how difficult these last several months have been for me. And how life affirming. It's impossible to splash in such deep lakes of wonder without experiencing wonder too.

Still, having a baby is a huge transition. That new person changes life indelibly. (Yeah, like I need to write that.) There are other changes that--thank goodness--don't last forever. Like those hormonal shifts and that feeling of instability. I recently found myself reconnecting my dots, and it feels really good. Like I'm coming to a deeper understanding of me--outside of me and where I don't even exist. (Try to explain that to physics.) I'm enjoying everything more. I'm cooking again, starting to exercise a little, and laughing more. Whew. It's all starting to feel a little bit normal.

I can't blame motherhood for all this thinking. It's just one of those events in life that urges you to examine matters of being more than you might have before. Leading an examined life tends to be cyclical (unless you're Buddha and totally committed), and it certainly doesn't require the membership of parenthood. Being a mom is just one of those things that's put me more in tune with my higher self. (Though, I was definitely better able to stay in tune with that part right after meditating in silence for 10 days. Not sure how I'll get that calm back. Well, sometimes, during breastfeeding. Maybe I used to get it from running too.)

{hummingbird hues by design seeds}
We've been getting lots of visits from hummingbirds, who come to suck the nectar out of the basil's flowering tips. I wonder how how often I fail to notice this?

What's been visiting you lately?

time to be thankful.

Time for a dose of thankful. I haven't done one of these posts in a while, even though I've really needed them in my life. Right now I'm thankful for...

That monkey :: I love how Rowan welcomes the first toy we bought for him in Chile (and that I slept with for months) into his hug and into his mouth full of joy.

{I think rowan was about a month old here}
Fat juicy open mouth kisses :: It took me a while to understand what you were doing, but now I know that when you lunge at my face with your mouth open wide, you are coming in for a kiss. (Of course this is written to Rowan; otherwise that would be weird.)

Swinging :: Just like the old days. When Rowan used to nap in the swing. Peace. Swish swash swish swash swish swash swish swash swish swash. He's loved that thing since the moment our friends let us "borrow" it. Without going into all the details, they basically bought another of the same swing recently, after they had their second baby. We were a little embarrassed to find that out, because we'd intended to give it back. Rowan is getting a bit big for the swing, and he doesn't hardly sleep in it anymore. But what am I saying? He still totally digs it. Sometimes he just likes to chill there and watch the world. You know, after he's tired of all that unsupported sitting and interacting with textures, toys, board books, and parents. It's a nice passive stimulation (don't get me wrong, Rowan is still a pretty much in-arms baby. We all just seem to need a little bit of both.) Sometimes he bounces the seat and squeals. Sometimes he moves his head in an upcurl toward the direction of the upswing, like he's trying to make it go faster. Then there are those rare moments when he's been napping in the swing for a good while, I didn't have to do anything to get him there, and I can sit and watch him, drink my coffee while it's still warm, and blog. Well, that, my friends, is just a little bitty slice of heaven pie. So, no matter what our protests say, we really do like the swing; thank you.

Two sharp incisors :: Yes, those bottom teeth that caused us so much heartache are now a part of those giant kisses too.

{sweet potatoes with a big boy spoon}
My husband :: I might have mentioned something about Rowan's eating mushy solids here. But that would be too predictable. It's been quite the journey to get here, physically and spiritually. Our baby is 31 weeks old. We've been through a lot together since kissing in back of the bus on the way to Punta Arenas talking about our future children--after only knowing each other a month or so. Now it's hard to imagine that there was a time when we didn't know each other.

What are you thankful for?


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