Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wearing Your Toddler

Ok, I know what you are thinking already. Here comes one of those “wearing your baby 24 hours a day promotes a bond that is everlasting” kind of vomit-inducing posts. (Insert scene from Away We Go where bed sharing, breastfeeding until they are ten, hippy mom played by Maggie Gyllenhall disses strollers by saying, “I love my children. Why would I want to push them away?” )

Believe me, I think strollers are awesome. The problem is Ella B does not. Since birth this girl has preferred to be in my arms and would stay there 24/7 if I let her. For the first six months of her life, I found solace in the Baby Bjorn, the most important piece of baby equipment I ever owned, next to the Boppy. Every time she needed to take a nap, I strapped her in and did laps around the block. When we went to the grocery store, family parties, or honestly, just walking around the house, she was in there. But at some point, the little nugget turned into a big nugget, and my back felt the difference. We transitioned to the stroller, and there are days when she is perfectly happy to be in it…for about 5 minutes. This makes it difficult to even do one lap around the block, let alone actually go anywhere. She kicks and screams and squirms so hard that I end up carrying her and pushing the stroller at the same time.

So, I started thinking about the summer and how the two of us were going to be spending a lot more time together and how I know we both go crazy if we don’t get out of the house and do stuff. I had visions of going to the park, walking around downtown, and taking leisurely hikes in the woods, and I knew that Beezer would love all of these things, too. But she is just too big for me to carry on my hip all day! (Though I do it quite often and do have one pretty diesel left arm).

Enter the Boba Toddler 2G! It is essentially a backpack that you put your kid in and can be used for kids up to 4 years old. There are lots of baby backpacks on the market, but this one is super light weight and sleek and can travel really easily, too.

So, we got the backpack and it really is awesome. It’s totally comfortable for both of us (believe me, she would tell me if it wasn't). Here is a cute pic of Beezer in the backpack at Veteran’s Park where we took a walk with my parents around the lake. The only problem is that it is difficult to put her in the backpack by myself. It is one thing if we are going for a walk around the block and I can lay her on the bed or the couch and spend ten minutes trying to figure it all out, but if we are already out and about, it is a little more difficult to maneuver, short of asking a stranger to pick up my kid and place her on my back.

So we are still working out the bugs, but once I figure it all out I think the backpack is going to be a great addition to Operation: Awesome Summer. I’ll keep you posted, literally.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

No Kidding

This past weekend I had some good old-fashioned no baby fun. Of course I love Ella B and the time I spend alone with her and the time we spend together with Michael, but often mothers forget how important it is to nurture other, non-mom parts of themselves as well.

Enter my good friends Amy and Alex, two non-moms who know how to have a great time. On Friday, Ella went to school and Alex, Amy, Bowie the beagle, and I hiked up to a hidden little gem of a spot on the edge of Bethany. It’s not an easy hike, but well worth the effort. From the top, we could see all of Bethany, Woodbridge, and all the way to the water in New Haven. It is one of the most spectacular views around and a really quiet, peaceful place to relax with a couple of really awesome girls. I didn’t take any pictures all weekend, as I was too busy having fun, but I do wish that I had snagged a shot of this view for you all. We hung out on the mountain for a while and then headed over to Delaney’s for a nice lunch on the patio.

That night, I joined Alex, her sister Betsy, and Alex’s friend Nikki for a girl’s night out on the town, something I haven’t done in a very long time. We partied well into the wee hours of the morning and I saw numbers on the clock that I hadn’t seen since I had a newborn. The next day, Michael and I headed up to New Hartford for a canoeing expedition down the Farmington River with Amy, her husband Mike, and several of their friends for Mike’s birthday. I was a little nervous about the whole canoe thing, (and let’s be honest- a little hung over) but since this is the summer of doing fun stuff, I figured that Operation: Awesome Summer applies to me as well as Beezer. As I turns out, I kill at canoeing and Michael and I are actually a good little team. He was actually quite impressed with my canoeing abilities and we were one of the few boats that didn’t flip over. We gave each other a little high five at the end. We called home to find that Beezer was already asleep and figured that we mine as well go out to dinner. About two minutes later, I passed out in the car, so my darling husband decided to just bring me home and tuck me into bed. Not before we ate Chinese food with my parents, of course.

Today we are just playing it low key, doing some gardening and playing with the Beeze. Tonight we’ll eat leftover Chinese and watch a few episodes of True Blood. Not a bad weekend, if I do say so myself.

Thanks to my husband for being so awesome and encouraging me to go out and have some fun, and thanks to Alex, Amy, Betsy, and Nikki for being such rock star ladies.

PS- Hi to Arell and Easton, my blog buddies who I finally got to meet face to face! A beautiful pregnant mama and one gorgeous little kiddo.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Play dates, pools, and corn on the cob

Summer continues over at the Bonaldo house. Over the weekend we picked up our new grill and I haven’t turned on the stove since. Okay, that’s not true, but you get the idea. On Sunday, Nene and Pop Pop came over for a little barbecue and Beezer enjoyed her first corn on the cob. I guess that means she’s a real kid now. I also went to a craft fair in Milford with my mom and Kristy and we bought this really cute bird house that is all set up out in the yard, so if there are any robins out there who read my blog, we have a beautiful house all ready for you to move in to. Just sayin'.

The past two days have been full of play dates and pools. Yesterday, we were lucky enough to host a little get together with the lovely Miss Loreli Elizabeth and her equally lovely mother, Christina. Ella B was kind enough to take a two hour nap so I could visit with the gals sans toddler, attention-seeking behavior and then woke up happy as a peach and super excited to see the “baby, baby, baby.” We blew some bubbles, played in our “pool” (okay, it’s a lobster pot, but Ella B doesn’t know that), and I did my best to keep Beezer’s fingers out of Loreli’s eyeballs. So, basically it was a great visit for everyone and I was so excited I forgot to take any pictures of Loreli for posterity or the blog. Sorry.

Next, we ventured over to Jessica’s house for some pool time. We swam, we played with rubber duckies, or “quack quacks” as Beezer calls them, ate some cheese and crackers, and met a really awesome Portuguese water dog named Body.

Today we had a little play date with Gina and Bella. Well, we mostly had a play date with Gina as Bella and Ella do not realize that synchronizing their napping schedules would make things a lot more convenient for their mothers. Actually, it probably worked out for the best because two fifteen-month-old girls arguing over baby dolls can only go on for so long before something’s gotta give (namely, mine and Gina’s patience). But it sure is cute to see those little girls together, especially when they kissed each other goodbye. So adorable! I felt like quite the oddball with all the Italian blood running through that house today. So many tan legs, I felt translucent!

And yes, this was the best picture I could get of them. Those little monsters never stand still! At least you can see how adorable Bella's outfit is.

So, the week is shaping up nicely. Thanks to all my ladies for making it a good one so far! And a special thanks to my mother who dropped off a real baby pool today. So, Christina, you can stop laughing at me now.