EIGHT MONTHS. How is my baby only 4 months from turning ONE?! Commence all the mommy feels! And a certain degree of panic because I am seriously fretting over where we will be celebrating Mark’s 1st birthday as there is a transatlantic move happening between now and then lol! I can’t believe how far Mark has come in these past eight months. My once itty bitty baby who needed help supporting his head is now crawling, pulling up, and standing all on his own. Mark is Mr. Independent and I’m loving almost every moment of it. It is incredible watching him crawl to the things he wants (including chasing me when I walk away), mimic the things we do, and pull up on the table when he wants a better vantage point of something. Crawling & pulling up has been a game changer this past month so, here a recap of life with our 8 month old mobile munchkin!
When Mark got the stomach flu I realized our medicine cabinet was not adequately stocked for baby. We of course had an infant fever-reducer / pain-killer on hand, but that was really the only “medicine” we had. After our trip to urgent care, we realized we needed to stock up on a few more staples to have on hand incase Mark came down with a stomach virus or any other illnesses that required home treatment. So as we enter cold & flu season, I’m sharing what’s in Mark’s nursery medicine cabinet.
With the days becoming ever shorter and the temperatures dropping more & more by the day, we are in winter prep mood here. Antwerp’s climate is fairly similar to Amsterdam, very damp & chilly but minimal snow. We pretty much stay between 30-40 all winter long. So while it isn’t “oh my gosh I can’t breath” freezing like other parts of the world (I spent a winter in Minnesota YIKES!) it is definitely cold enough that we need the right gear to keep Mark warm.
Living in the city center means we do lots of walking outside, even in cold weather. We either use our carrier or stroller to run most of our errands, like the grocery store, the pharmacy, shopping, and some play groups. Needless to say, keeping Mark cozy in cool damp weather is a must. I’ve rounded up our five favorite staples for those heading outdoors with little ones in damp cool climates.
Traveling with babies certainly has it challenges. Since our time in Europe is coming to a close, Brett and I made a pack to continue our adventures once Mark joined us. In addition to being born in Belgium, Mark has already visited The Netherlands, France, Monaco, Switzerland, Italy, and the United States and we are all set to explore the Christmas Markets in Germany & Austria later this year. While we occasionally have to modify our itinerary, I’m so happy we’ve committed to keeping travel part of our family’s life. Of all the countries we have visited in Europe (Brett and I have explored 17 so far!), Switzerland is my favorite. Aside from the fact it is stunning beautiful and all the cities are so unique, it is also incredibly child friendly. So in honor of my Throwback Thursday series, I’m sharing all the details from our visit with Mark in July to Geneva & Montreux!
It’s been one heck of a week for Mark. As if teething FOUR top teeth at the same time wasn’t enough, Mark came down with his first real sickness and earned himself his first trip to urgent care. Thankfully, the little guy is on the mend and we are back to focusing on those pesky little teeth coming through.
Mark appears to be quite the “efficient” teether. His first two teeth cut on the same day and he currently has four top teeth coming through (eek!). While he may be efficient, Mark really hates teething. He keeps us on our toes and it takes a lot of work to figure out how to get him some relief. During our first bout with teething, Mark was only soothed by wooden teethers (you can read about about that here). Of course, during this round of teething Mark has totally changed his preferences and we had to go back to the drawing board. So in case your looking for some new teething options, I’m sharing Mark’s current favorite (soft) teethers!
In honor of (almost) booking our next European trip with Mark, we are throwing it back and reminiscing about our first trip as a family of three. Our little mister was only 12 weeks old and we enjoyed a lovely long weekend in Monte Carlo! Not many people can say their first vacation as a 12 week old was to Monaco, but this little world traveler can! We learned a lot on this trip & had such a memorable time on our first family vacation!
Mark’s first foods are happening here! Mark got his first proper taste of solid foods over 6 weeks ago and we’ve been on such a fun journey ever since. When we started solids at 6 months simple things like cucumber sticks, rice cakes and peanut butter, peach slices, and roasted carrot sticks were enough to keep him engaged. As our little guy has become more interested in food, I’ve been stepping up his meals and whipping up more interesting things in the kitchen. It’s so fun watching him try new things!
It has been two weeks since we returned from our US trip and I finally found a free moment to review our second batch of beach photos. This whole mobile munchkin situation is a game changer. Needless to say, babyproofing quickly moved to the top of our priority list and editing photos hasn’t made the to-do-list until today. Thankfully, Mark cut his mama a break and took an epic 2-hour siesta this morning and I finally had time to do some “me” things.
We spent our second week in New Jersey with lots of trips to the beach after learning how much Mark loved it. He had a blast playing in the sand (which, I was seriously skeptical about), chasing the waves, and we even brought my parent’s dog with us once. Seriously, puppies and babies on the beach, does life get any better then that? Here are a few favorites from our morning wanders to the shore in Sea Girt!
Let’s talk baby books. I can’t tell you the number of articles I’ve read or heard how important it is to read to your little. That’s why we’ve made it a priority to read to Mark every day. It is so fun watching him “listen” as we read him different stories. In the beginning we just read to him at bedtime but now that he is engaged & more interested, we’ve incorporated story time into playtime too! So far, we’ve been sticking to board books as Mark is still very rough on the pages. Baby’s read with their mouths right?!
While Mark is too young to have a preference, my husband and I definitely have some strong opinions when it comes to baby books. We’ve read our fair share of stories that have left us thinking “whattttt.. how does that make any sense” lol! So, we’ve refined our books for Mark and are sharing our favorite five books for building babies bookshelves!
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…