Tomorrow, Mark will officially be earth-side longer than he was on the inside. 38 weeks and 1 day. It seems like a lifetime ago this fiesty ball of energy was first placed in my arms. And yet, I can still flashback to that day like it was yesterday. Time is an interesting thing. The saying “the days are long and the years short” is so true in mom life.
I’ve done my best to enjoy every stage with Mark. We were fortunate he was a relatively easy newborn (although we had nothing to compare him to lol) and we fell into a routine quickly. In my “prior life” I worked at Goldman Sacks and IBM where I learned to thrive on very little sleep. Who would have thought my career days best prepared me for the first few weeks of motherhood. Somedays, I do wish we could go back to the newborn stage when Mark would cuddle in our arms for hours. But most days, I love watching Mark explore the world with his ever growing mobility, having our cute conversations, & learning more about my little guy. So, in honor of my eight month munchkin, here are my eight favorite things about him these days!
Christmas card picture 2017, check! It only took 170 pictures to find one we love, but we got one! A huge success with an 8 month old & a picky mama if I do say so myself. While we could have easily picked one of the 23984032 pictures of Mark I have for the card, I was pretty set on all of us wearing our matching Irish sweaters in our first family Christmas card. I previously mentioned how Brett & I picked up these matching Aran sweaters in Dublin last year and how we saw the matching baby cardigan and I couldn’t bring myself to buy it as I was worried I would jinx us! We had just started talking about having a baby and I felt odd buying something for a little one we didn’t have yet. Thankfully, our dear friends went to Dublin after Mark was born & were able to grab us one. So, while it wasn’t the first purchase we made for Mark, this sweater was the first thing I ever envisioned our little one in.
My little souschef & I cooked up a perfect Thanksgiving feast for our family of three to celebrate Mark’s first turkey day. Living abroad is a bit harder then usual around the holidays. Thanksgiving, which obviously isn’t celebrated here, is probably one of the hardest. With Brett at work all day, being apart from our families, & no turkeys available at the grocery store, yesterday was just a regular day in Belgium. But, given how much we have to be thankful for this year, I knew we had to properly celebrate the holiday. And of course, Mark’s baby book as a spot for Baby’s First Thanksgiving so I needed to properly document the occasion! So, Mark and I spent the day making a traditional feast (sans the big turkey) and had so much fun in the process.
With jetlag finally behind us, it appears this new routine is here to stay, at least until Mark decides it is time for a change. As Mark is our only baby & I am fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home-mama, we initially avoided putting Mark on any strict schedule. As a result, Mark has adapted well to traveling, being on the road, and ultimately, this approach has allowed us to be extremely flexible. Never having to say no to something to keep a strict schedule has definitely been a treat. I’m sure in the future, especially when there are multiple little ones running around here, this approach may not be possible. But for the time being, it is working well for us! So what do our days look like…
Hello Fall! After our week in the Houston heat, it has been great getting to experience some cooler weather and getting to dress Mark up in his adorable fall attire. Of course being October, it has also meant we were able to partake in some harvest festivities. I’ve never been one to love Halloween, but with a baby I am so excited to get him dressed up! Since I’m not sure if Halloween is celebrated in Belgium (anyone know?!), I made sure we had time to pop over to a pumpkin patch in New Jersey to celebrate Mark’s first Halloween!
We headed to Barlow’s in Sea Girt and had the most wonderful time on Mark’s first Fall Harvest experience. Barlow’s was perfect for a young baby and I suspect it would be ideal for children 4 and under. It had an adorable games like pumpkin bowling & tic tac toe, a mini hay path for kids to wander around, a higher corn maze, an adorable corn sandbox, and of course a small pumpkin patch!
This little cutie was baptized today. Our families gathered in Texas to celebrate the day as Mark was baptized. As we are still out of the country, we choose Brett’s parents church to baptize Mark. Munchkin did great during his actual baptism but was his usual fiesty self and wasn’t the most patient waiting his turn lol. We picked Brett’s brother & my sister to be Mark’s godparents and he was surrounded by his grandparents and extended family. One of my favorite parts of the day was dressing mister Mark in his heirloom attire for the day.
It may officially be fall, but we are still pretending it is summertime and sneaking in all the summer activities we can. Granted, it isn’t difficult considering we are currently in Houston where it has been in the nineties everyday! With all the heat, we are spending tons of time in the pool. We are so lucky that Mark seems to loves the water as much as we do. He’s gone swimming a bunch and he seem to love it more each time!
It took us some time to figure out what pool products worked best for Mark. went through a number of products before finding our favorite pool essentials for Mark. We needed things that worked for his first pool outing around 16 weeks old but as we had a number of swim sessions planned, wanted things that would last a few months. We’ve been thrilled with our items so I’m sharing our checklist below! Be sure to check it out if you are planning any pool time with your little one.
A spa exclusively for babies under 6 months old seemed rather crazy the first time I heard about it. But being up for new experiences, I knew we had to give it a try & I am so happy we did. We took Mark for the first time around 12 weeks old and just snuck in another visit before he is “too old”. Can someone please explain to me how my 6 month old is “too old” for anything?!
I had hoped to start blogging before Mark was born but between pregnancy related exhaustion & his slightly early arrival, needless to say, it never happened. Little did I know in the coming months I would be just as busy. Who knew taking care of such a tiny human required so much time :). Fast forward five months and with a bit of “mommying” under my belt, I finally found the energy & time to start Mama to Mark. As there were a few precious memories from those early weeks, in honor of “Throwback Thursday” I’m sharing Mark’s newborn pictures!