ELEVEN MONTHS. I seriously can’t believe in 28 days this munchkin will be ONE. They weren’t kidding when they said the days are long but the years are short when you are a parent. I can’t believe how fast the past 11 months have gone. We are pretty much set for Mark’s first birthday! All that is left is to figure out what we want to get him (gift ideas please!) and to order his smash cake! This past month has been such a blur between our move, buying a house, settling into our temporary living, and trying to get on a routine. I’m thrilled to say as of last week this little munchkin is officially enrolled in Little Gym and will be starting swimming lessons next week!! Finding activities to help this kido get out his energy have been a top priority as I am convinced Mark is actually an energizer bunny. He truly never sits still (not even for a second!) and prefers to walk / run all over the place these days.
I absolutely adore watching how independent he has become and I still find myself cracking up when I see him walking around and exploring our apartment. In addition to becoming a very proficient walker, we have made huge strides in the social department. After a few months of some serious stranger danger, Mark has become such a social tot! He seeks attention from everyone we see and tries to “talk” to other kids we see when we are out and about. He is also quite the talkative little guy. While most of his conversations consist of baby babble, he can say hi, waves bye-bye, shakes his head no when he doesn’t want something, and we are convinced he says “I did it” when he does something he is proud of lol! Mark, you seriously are the best and we’ve loved every minute of being your parents these past 11 months. Here is our recap of life with our 11 month munchkin!
A cozy winter photo shoot? Yes please! I’ve finally had time to go through our whole gallery and pretty much, I’m obsessed! I knew it was a bit of a risk to take photos in the winter, particularly because I was determined to take a few at the beach. While it did end up being beautifully sunny, it was also unseasonably cold on the day of our shoot. However, after visiting Munich & Salzburg in December, we felt pretty comfortable we could keep Mark warm enough to try a few outdoor pictures! So, we bundled our baby up and headed to the beach…
TEN MONTHS. We are officially into double digits! And the countdown is most definitely on until Mark turns one. We had so much fun this past month celebrating Mark’s first Christmas, visiting lots of family & friends, and finalizing some of our move back to the US. And if that wasn’t enough craziness for us, Mark decided to start WALKING! I swear he is way too tiny to be walking! Our little mister took his first unassisted steps just after turning 9 months but it took him a few weeks to build up the courage to really start walking. Now, he just goes goes goes! And it looks like I’ll be spending most of my time chasing after him & grabbing all the sharp corners for the foreseeable future lol. While he is walking, he definitely still gets distracted and tumbles all over the place. Mark has also learned some fun new “tricks” like waving hi & putting his “hands up”. His sounds continue to grow and he is in the stage where he loves mimicking the sounds we make and things we do. He continues to love having all the attention on him but we have also made great strides with Mark enjoying independent play. It is crazy to think in just a few short weeks we will be permanently back stateside! But before that, a quick recap with our 10 month munchkin!
A new year & a fresh start. There is something so refreshing about January 1st. Out with the old and in with the new. A time for new goals, planning the next adventure, and a time to imagine what the new year will bring. Of course, life always has its own plan, but I like to pretend I have some control over it. I spent the past few days working up what I want to accomplish in this year. With 2018 starting with a bang (read: transatlantic move & buying our first home in less then a month), I have no doubt 2018 will be one to remember. I’ve rounded up 18 goals/resolutions/aspirations (call them what you wish) that I want to achieve this year.
In lieu of a “best nine”, I’m rounding up my favorite memory from each month this past year. 2017 was an absolute whirlwind with the highest highs and lots of learning. Of course, the highlight of the year was welcoming our sweet baby boy into the world. Becoming Mark’s mama and watching Brett becoming a dad has truly made this my favorite year. 2017, you will be a tough one to beat.
We had such a blast celebrating Mark’s first Christmas. After spending a great week in Texas with Brett’s family, we headed north to New Jersey to celebrate Christmas with my family. We kicked off the holiday weekend with a festive Christmas Eve meal, complete with Mark in the cutest velvet overalls. We moved his high chair right up to the dining room so he could participate in our formal meal. All of us, including mister Mark, munched on a host of appetizers and chomped down on lamb & risotto for dinner. After dinner it was time for the little guy to get some rest before his first visit from Santa.
The secret is out! We are heading back Stateside (permanently) in just a few short weeks. Trying to coordinate and prep for this move might as well be a military operation. The number of checklists, excel sheets, insurance paperwork, and to-do-lists I have started is remarkable. It was challenging enough planning to move to Belgium when I only had to worry about myself, but now with Mark it is a totally different situation. So… where are we headed….
With Mark now nine months old, we have pretty much transitioned out of all our newborn products and are rapidly entering the world of toddler toys & gear. When I was pregnant last year, I read what felt like hundreds of blogs and articles trying to figure out what the best baby products were and which ones we “needed”. As those blogs and articles were invaluable to me, I wanted to share my experience with all the other mama’s to be out there. And since I already have a serious case of mom brain some days, I figured this would be a valuable resource when we have more littles in the years to come. Some days mom life is a blur, so I figure it was best to document it all before I forget 🙂
NINE MONTHS. Three-quarters of a year old. It is scary how close we are to this munchkin turning one! Of course, I am already in first birthday panic mode primarily because we will be moving early next year and I am not sure what our living situation will be in early March. Of course, I’m determined to make it memorable one way or another! Mark has become so much more independent this past month. He is speed crawling, pulling up, cruising, and standing unsupported for a few seconds. He has figured out how to gracefully transitioning from cruising to standing back to crawling and I am certain he will be walking way to soon. He has learned so many new sounds and babbles all the time. He loves playing with his toys and banging everything together and making music. I have a feeling this month will be the best yet. We can not wait to celebrate Mark’s first Christmas and spend the holidays with our family and friends. But before that, here is a recap of life with our 9 month munchkin!
I am not sure there is anything more festive then holidaying in Germany in December. This country seriously knows how to get into the Christmas spirit. Germany was the last country I had to visit before we departed Europe. I couldn’t imagine living in Belgium for the past two years and never making it across the border. As we were able to tie Munich & Salzburg into the same trip, it was the perfect city for our Germany experience! It took a bit of extra planning tackling this cold city with Mark, but our logistics worked great and we had a wonderful quick trip in Munich!