Friday, October 24, 2014

Damian: Six Months

Dear Damian,

Happy Half-Birthday! I'm secretly so excited that we've reached this point. I just LOVE this age and I wouldn't mind if time slowed down right around now. You'll be crawling any day now. You get up on all fours and scoot around on your belly but you haven't quite figured out how to put them together yet. You try to pull yourself up on things because you just love being in the standing position. I can't wait for you to be able to do this all on your own. Everything will be that much more fun. I know you'll try to get into things you're not supposed to, and that will be stressful, but it will still be fun.

You already try to grab everything you're not supposed to grab. It's hard for me to text, eat, and drink anything when I'm holding you now. When I walk by a kitchen counter, two chubby little hands reach out and a warm, squisy body contorts to try to grab anything within reach. Those hands... I could just eat them.

You're eating everything now. Green beans and sweet potato are your favorites, but you'll still happily eat squash, carrots, peas, apples, bananas, and pears. Feeding you is so much fun. You attack the spoon like a little bird. If I take to long between spoonfuls, you start whining. But you also let me know when you are done. You close your little mouth and give me the look. It's so wonderful to have a good eater. I never got to experience any of this with your big sister because she just never cared that much for food.

You still love your sister more than ever. You watch her and smile at her constantly. Now that you're more active, she's more interested in you too. She'll just sit and play with you sometimes. Those are some of the happiest moments of my life.

Things you love: You love the beach and the warm ocean. You love being in the water, period. You love food. You love toys. You love our walks. You love other babies.

Things you hate: You still hate your carseat. You also hate the seconds between swallowing and getting another bite of food.

You're sleeping better than ever. You usually only wake up once, and you pulled your first 8+ hour stretch this month (though you never did it again). I'm looking forward to this stage we're entering more than ever. Thank you for being my little six-month old. I love you to the moon.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Jamaica: Searching for Waves

Right after breakfast we loaded up our little rental Toyota with the missing hubcap and hit the road. The first star on our map was Jamnesia Surf Camp, the only place we knew of to rent a board in Jamaica. To get there, we'd have to drive south to the opposite side of the island, through the mountains and Spanish Town and Kingston. We were ready for the adventure. 
The Mountain road had many twists and turns through steep cliffs covered with ferns. As we were driving, we saw a Rasta man on the side of the road arranging flowers on a wall of ferns that he made himself. We stopped to ask what he was doing. He told us he was making a tree man. He picked up the wall of ferns, which ended up being a huge costume. He climbed inside and asked if we would like to take a picture. So we did, and after chatting with him for a bit we went on our way.
After about an hour of driving through more steep cliffs and beautiful mountain views, we arrived in Spanish Town. I reached for my phone to snap a couple of pictures. I had my 50mm lens on my Nikon, which isn't always ideal for taking pictures outside a moving car window. So I reached for my phone... but it wasn't there. This wouldn't be the first time this has happened. I'm always losing my phone and my keys and anything else that isn't attached to my body. We had already traveled so far, we figured we'd stop back off at the Tree Man on the way home to see if I had dropped it there.
Our journey continued through Spanish Town and Kingston, and eventually we found ourselves in Bulls Bay, the town in which Jamnesia Surf Camp is located. Our only problem at that point was that we didn't have GPS or an address (But I'm not even sure either of those would have helped). We stopped at a little stand with a naked woman painted on it that sold cellphone minutes and other little things (there are many of those in Jamaica). My husband got out and asked a group of guys sitting in front of the store if they knew were Jamnesia was. They told him it was back the way we came from, down the street from "Sugar for Two." So we turned around and drove for a bit. We didn't see "Sugar for Two," but we saw a sign for "Bob Marley Beach," and decided to take that road.
We turned down the road and asked a group of fisherman if they knew where it was. They pointed up the beach and told us to go to CiCi's house. So we went back to the main road and took the next beach access street we saw. We saw a Rasta Man walking on that beach and asked him if he knew who CiCi was or where he lived. He told us to look for a man selling coconuts on the main road and we would find him across the street from there. I actually remembered seeing the man selling coconuts so I felt like we were getting warmer. On the way back to the main road we passed a house on the beach that had a couple of surfboards lying around, and we thought maybe that was CiCi's house. Daniel got out of the car, knocked, and a friendly man came out and directed us straight to Jamnesia. We finally saw "Sugar for Two," and we probably would have found it if we had just kept driving, but we had fun on our little adventure so no biggie. The sign for Jamnesia was small and camouflaged and we never would have seen it if we were just driving down the road.
Jamnesia had beautiful murals painted all around it, which I later learned (through a hashtag I posted on Instagram) that some of them (or all of them?) were painted by Mark Longnecker, who is a contestant on Ink Masters Rivals, a show my husband and I have been watching (random). But anyway, the building was super cute and the people were super chill and it looked like exactly the kind of place we would have stayed if we had come to Jamaica on our own (as opposed to winning a stay at an all-inclusive resort). There wasn't surf on that part of the island that day, so after we rented the board we got back in the car and kept driving Northeast.
 We drove along the coast for what seemed like forever, but every beach we passed either looked inaccessible or too small/inconsistent of a wave. We were getting cranky and just wanted to get in the water already. When we had finally given up, we reached Boston Bay. It was a place we heard about on SurfLine but weren't 100% sure how to get there. There were a couple of guys out, but the waves were pretty small. Still, they were clean and rideable, and like I said, we just HAD to get in the water. 
 Daniel and I took turns surfing and let me tell you, it felt SO good to be in warm, tropical water again. It made me a bit sad, though, because I no longer live in a place like that. Still, the Rasta man I was surfing with was freestyling reggae songs, calling the waves, and I was having so much fun even though they were only knee high and closing out. I was bummed when it was time to go, but it was my own fault. I wanted to get back to the tree man before dusk to see if my phone was there.
We had driven so far North at that point that it wouldn't make sense to go back down South through Kingston again, so we decided to continue heading North and East. As we were driving, the streets were busy with kids getting out of school and people getting out of work. It was wonderful to pass through all the towns when they were at their peak of busyness. At one point, Daniel reached down at his feet after dropping something and what did his hand land on? My phone. It was underneath the Driver's seat the whole time. I swear we had looked under there before, but there it now was. One of the many potholes we hit must have released it from that little car's grip. I was elated. It was the perfect ending to a perfectly imperfect surf trip.

Monday, October 20, 2014

42/52 {baby/toddler/life updates}

I got this little girl outdoors as much as possible this week, and I'm so glad I did. Looking at the forecast for this week it looks like the cold weather is here to stay. We spent our last few warm(ish) days on nature walks, pumpkin patches, and playgrounds. It might not have been the beach, which she still begs to go to everyday, but I know she had fun. I'm going to have to start coming up with some fun indoor activities, though!
We're at our first babywearing meeting right now. #EvitaPilar she knows everything about everything already. #wearallthebabies #babieswearingbabies
Obligatory Pumpkin Patch Photo #EvitaPilar #DamianJulio #MyLittlePumpkins
Damian has officially started solids. Yes, we let him nibble on cantaloupe and banana when we were in Jamaica, but now I'm giving him pureed food about twice a day. I had originally planned on doing more BLW foods this time around (I also did both with Eva), but when we were in Jamaica he choked on a piece of cantaloupe until he puked everywhere and it made my heart feel like it was pounding out of my chest, so I'm only going to give him whole foods when his daddy is around for now. I also planned on waiting until six months to introduce solids, but boy was he ready. And he's close enough, anyway. He LOVES food. So far he has tried green beans, sweet potato, and carrots. I seriously can't shovel it into his mouth fast enough. If I wait too long between spoonfuls, he starts whining for it. This is a whole new world for me, because Eva was never really that interested in food, especially not pureed foods. I'm so happy that I don't have another picky eater!

I'm getting back into my little Jamberry business, and am looking for more people to host parties! This is done entirely online, and all the hostess has to do is invite her friends to a Facebook group. I'll do the rest, which includes sending you some Jams to try out for yourself! You also have the opportunity to earn lots of store credit based on sales from the party. Shoot me an email if you're interested! Here is my latest Jamicure...
I was so excited that my #rasta jams came in that I peeled off my perfectly good Monster Mash ones to put them on. Wish I had them for my Jamaica trip. ❤️����#JamberryNails
I'm in love!
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