Saturday, July 29, 2017

Travel Bug

I am writing this while praying the landscapers do not wake Atlas up, drinking my morning coffee, and eating a cinnamon raisin BAGEL WITH CREAM CHEESE.

Haven't been able to say those words since last October.

The GI doctor was very pleased with Atlas's progress. The official verdict is that he is outgrowing all his allergies!

I can up my dairy intake ALL THE WAY. Eat whatever I want. If Atlas shows no reactions for two weeks, I can start giving him dairy. The dairy reintroduction ladder goes as follows: dairy baked in to food (cookies, muffins, eggs, etc.), butter on food (toast, veggies), yogurt (1 tsp. a day then work your way up), cooked cheese, uncooked cheese, then milk products (ice cream, whipped cream, straight up milk). You leave a couple weeks in between each stage to assure there are no reactions.

Until we work him all the way up the ladder, I can start weaning him to almond milk. If he has any issues along the way, we withhold dairy from him again (JUST him. I'll be sitting here eating pizza and ice cream, thankyouverymuch), and re-test him at 18 months.

I can not believe he is almost one. I can not believe I made it this far. Not just nursing, but like, literally still being alive. I can't tell you how many times I felt like I JUST COULDN'T EVEN. This has been the hardest year of my entire life but completely worth it to have an Atlas bean in my life.

Besides that exciting news, we are gearing up for Atlas's first birthday and a big trip home in the fall. In August, our parents and Alex and Linny will be here for a week to celebrate with us. And then, we will be heading to THREE weddings in NJ from the end of September to the end of October. I am almost positive Atlas and I will be staying in the Jerz the entire time while Eric goes back and forth for work. We are still working out details. I'll keep ya posted. It will suck being away for so long, and I am anxious about how Atlas will adjust, but we really want to be at all the weddings. Fall is definitely the new "wedding season," and who could blame everyone? Screw April-June. AUTUMN IS WHAT'S UP.

Plus, I have been dreaming about October in the northeast for the past four years. If you would like to meet up while I am there, you will probably find me at the Starbucks in the local Barnes & Noble, drinking a PSL while wearing boots, a leather jacket, beanie, and flannel, looking brooding while reading a real live book.

Jk, those days are long gone for me. I will probably be chasing my toddler around during storytime. Or, better yet, a pumpkin patch and apple orchard. It'll still be a fun fall experience. I will make sure I stock up on flannel shirts and beanies for him.

All this talk about taking a trip has me itching to travel. Since our sickmoon (aka honeymoon to Jamaica where we basically got ebola. See HERE for that extravaganza), Eric and I have not taken a real vacation. Sure, we live where YOU vacation (not to brag...), but believe it or not, sometimes we yearn for a break from tropical paradise. All of our vacation time is spent going to the Jerz, which we LOVE, but we want to see the world as well. Eric has never been out of the country besides Jamaica, and I know he is dying to get to Germany and Austria to try some beer. Norway and Iceland are also at the top of our lists. My dream vacation is an African safari, and one day I would also love to see Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini. But we also think it is important to explore our own country, so our number one destination is a Pacific Northwest brewery/winery/coffee roadtrip, from Seattle down to Napa.

My question is: How do I travel with a kid?

Do we leave him with grandparents while he is young, since he won't remember it anyway? Is a week too long to leave a toddler? Should we just wait until he is, say, four years old, and bring him along? And if we bring him while he is a toddler, HOW? I can barely make it to the fucking grocery store with him.

It is very important to me for Atlas to see our country and the world. There is so much to learn. There are places I have been where I stop, close my eyes, and can literally FEEL the history of the place. Independence Hall in Philadelphia is one of them, but I have experienced this feeling in places all over the world. It sounds corny and probably really weird, but it is like a jolt of electricity and goosebumps and overwhelming emotion. I want Atlas to feel that kind of connection to the past, and the future, and the universe.

That being said, I am pretty sure my parents did not take me anywhere besides the Jersey shore until I was eight, when we went to Disney World. Luckily for Atlas, we happen to live within driving distance of that most magical place. Maybe I should just stick to Dole Whip and Mickey pretzels for him until he is a little older, and I have my shit just SLIGHTLY more together than I do with a mobile baby who has yet to talk but can understand perfectly well how to rebel against Mommy when she says "NO!"

Always getting in to trouble behind the chair.

He really loves to read now.

My favorite thing in the entire universe is this scrunchy nose smile.

Loving his Dada

Just relaxing and reading with his stuffed animals.

Laughing at Mr. Darling's misfortune in Peter Pan. I laughed at him, too. That guy is a jerk.

Nym pointedly ignoring Atlas.

On a boat, wearing his own lifejacket and hat for once!

Always fun to see the turtles with friends!

He can talk the talk, but can he walk the walk?

You betcha.

WRONG WRONG WRONG. But I have started calling his method of playing "creative" instead of WRONG. Hahaha.

WAY too excited about peas and chicken.

Still my first baby. Still afraid of storms.

It is getting a little more difficult to take him to the brewery... he wants to drink our beer.

Minty Fairy Godmother Aunt Nicole came to visit!

Atlas is basically obsessed with her.

Just throwing toys out of his playpen.

Practicing that walk. He has taken five or so steps at a time, but most of the time he refuses to do so. Typical.

It is amazing to see the wheels turn in his head when he figures something out, like putting blocks in the holes, stacking rings on the tower, putting shapes in to his shape sorter... so cool.

I used to be able to take cute selfies with him.

Now he just wants to be on the go.

Remember when he was a newborn and I could lay in bed taking 43530503 selfies while he slept on me?

NOPE. Not today.

His first time watching TV! Not for lack of me trying. He has just never shown an interest in sitting and watching until yesterday. Snacks and Little Einsteins for the win! Maybe I will get things done around here now... and before you judge my screen time parenting, I issue you a challenge: Come spend a day with this Tazmanian Devil/Energizer Bunny combo and tell me what other solutions you have. ;)

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