This one takes the cake…

Birthday cake, that is. This past Friday, I celebrated my 28th birthday. As I would tell David, “You have only 2 more years until you’re 30!” My birthdays are bittersweet since moving to North Carolina for graduate school six years ago. I get excited about them, but also know that I won’t be celebrating with my family. Last year was an exception, and a wonderful one at that. We went home for a week that included gunshots, fireworks, a baby shower, my birthday, and more fireworks. This year was better for one main reason: Harrison was around to celebrate with us :).
The morning started out with David making breakfast and giving me my gifts from Harrison and him. David Harrison made me a great gift

Harrison actually let David trace his hands

and David gave me season tickets to the DPAC for its 3rd season of Broadway Series South shows. I am most excited about Billy Elliot and The Lion King. We went and saw Wicked! in May, and I loved it. I can’t wait to go back to see more shows. David made sure all of our tickets were for Saturday matinees so we wouldn’t be searching for a sitter during the evening each time.
I spent the day with my little man, and then when David got home we had some cake and Moscato. This was the same Moscato we had at our wedding 4 years ago. We all went to dinner at Mizu, where Harrison was very happy to watch all the ladies walking by. He already knows how to get their attention. David had surprised me by getting in touch with some of my friends and arranging for us all to go have some drinks that evening while he stayed home with Harrison. I have such a wonderful husband. And even though it wasn’t at home with all of my family, it was still a most wonderful birthday full of family and friends, and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. (Okay, maybe strawberry cake 😉 ).
Here are some more pictures from the day.

Beautiful flowers from David

My 2nd Birthday Cake!

It's not easy to get a posed picture with Harrison

To go or no to go…

Every weekend, I face the decision of whether to go somewhere with Harrison. Not because he isn’t good at being out and about but because we are rarely gone for just waking hours unless it’s a run to the grocery store or Target. Waking hours are limited because now that Harrison eats solids, feeding time takes longer. By the time he eats, gets cleaned up and we get him ready to head out the door, an hour of the 2-hour wake time is gone. And, unless we are just hitting the grocery store or Target, it’s highly unlikely we will get to where we are going in under 15 minutes.
Take today, for example. We decided we would grab lunch and make a trip to get some wine after Harrison had his 11:30 feeding. Well, we weren’t out the door until 12:30. By the time we hit Panera, it was 1:00, and Harrison had fallen asleep (this happens in the car when it’s close to nap time). He woke up around 1:30 because we were eating outside and there were cars driving by, people talking, etc. The problem with this is that he was now awake when he should’ve been going to sleep, and I knew he wouldn’t fall back asleep since he is now so interested in his surroundings. This isn’t a problem until he realizes how tired he is, but fights going to sleep because of all the stimuli. Before you ask, “Why don’t you just close him off with the canopy on his car seat and stroller?”, I will tell you that we do try this and he just becomes upset that he can’t see us or anything else when he hears things going on.
The real problem is when we get home. It was just 2:30, so at least an hour of nap time was salvageable. Try telling this to Harrison. David took him upstairs, changed his diaper, swaddled him and set him in his crib. Little man just quieted down (now some 20 minutes later), but I’m not sure if he’s asleep or not. If I go check and he sees me, all hope is lost.
I know you may think that in the long run, all of this is trivial; however, my little man needs his naps. It’s sort of a vicious cycle when you think about it. If he does sleep, “yeah!”, if not, “boo!”. If he doesn’t, he will eat at 3:30 and then look tired already because he didn’t nap much. This means, he won’t be as interested in solids after nursing. And this means, even though he will get tired and fall asleep for a late afternoon nap, he will likely wake up before 7 and be hungry already because he didn’t eat enough earlier. If he doesn’t nap, he will just be a grouch because he’s tired but can’t go to sleep because he’s overtired and overstimulated. See what I mean?
I do not want us to be confined to our house on the weekend or have it where only one of us can go out at a time, and we don’t do this, but each time I end up feeling guilty when it negatively impacts Harrison’s schedule. I feel like a bad mother for not giving him a nap. He’s past the newborn stage of sleeping whenever/wherever and fully in the exploratory stage. Unless really tired, Harrison will not just conk out anywhere/anytime. He needs someone to cue him that it is nap time. He is not picky about where he sleeps (doesn’t have to be his crib), but he will no longer just doze off in the stroller. He will rub his eyes and fuss, telling me he knows it’s nap time, but he is just a baby. And a very curious, investigative baby at that (very Sagittarius from what his baby Gap onesie says 🙂 ).
Just wanted to share my constant weekend conundrum and see if anyone had any thoughts or ran into the same thing. I know I’m not a bad mommy, but it’s just a something I struggle with. To go or not to go…

Oh, and we got ourselves some wine and a few good beers, which is good in case I really need something to drink later.