(Full disclosure: I’m writing this months late, but backdating the publish date.)

Back to Reality: Going back to work was so difficult…significantly more so than going back after maternity leave, probably because after maternity leave, I knew I just had to get through a couple of months and then I’d have the WHOLE SUMMER of just Liam and me. But when the time came for me to head back, I really had to find a way to deal with being away from my baby…to being a working mom. The hardest part is that I feel like I’m not doing either job well. The biggest change I’ve made this year is that I try really, really hard to not do any work at home. (I know my teacher friends are laughing!) If I do have to do work at home, I don’t do it in front of Liam, even if that means staying up late in the office to get it done. I know I won’t be able to maintain that life forever, but it’s something to strive for.

Life-size Playpen: The nature of our living room requires a fair amount of awkward fencing…two baby gates and then another gate to keep Liam out of the fireplace and cabinets. We finally installed all of it because the kid is on the move! We basically live in a life-size playpen, but at least he’s (relatively) safe? No real walking on his own yet, but he’s chasing his walker like crazy (see below for evidence!)

Out and About: This is my favorite time of the year for getting out and about – and for years I’ve dreamed of sharing my favorite outdoor activities with my kids so this year was extra special. We took Liam to Geneva-on-the-Lake for the second time, but his first at Eddie’s Grill so of course that was a special occasion 🙂 We also hit up a few festivals: The Great Trail and the Great Geauga County Fair. My family and I have been going to the Great Trail festival basically since its beginning – and I think we’re over it. It’s a bit of a drive, which is fine, but it’s also gotten smaller, has the same vendors who attend all of the area “craft fairs”…I’m glad we went this year, but there’s other, better fairs that can take our money instead. The Great Geauga County Fair though – that’s always a favorite! It was so much fun to take Liam to see all of the animals and lights and people and it’ll be even more fun when he can really absorb what’s happening!

Celebrations: We also got to do lots of visiting with family and celebrating – especially Daddy’s 32nd birthday! We had two special guests at Daddy’s birthday party: my Uncle Tim and Aunt Juanita! (We took the first few pictures at the end of the night: Liam was super happy to meet everyone…just had had enough fun by then!) We also had an incredibly much needed date night sponsored by Shane’s mom and sister…I’m pretty sure we used the phrase “for the sake of our marriage” in the conversation about asking for a baby-sitter. The nine months leading up to our date night were so difficult and trying and wonderful and draining and emotional and frankly, hard on our marriage. I would assume that most new parents would say the same. We grabbed the proverbial bull by the horns and took ourselves to some of the Madison-area wineries and took ourselves out of the new parent fog and had a really amazing evening. (Thanks Grammy & Auntie! …and I need to mention and record for posterity that plenty of people had volunteered to baby-sit on plenty of occasions – and we had been out – we were just generally nervous nellies about leaving our baby boy!)

Daddy is definitely the super hero in the family – he had fun watching his daddy cruise around the front yard on our new lawnmower!

Ok I think that’s it! We’re also wrapping up one phase of our lives because next month, Liam heads to daycare. I’m not sure how I feel about that, BUT, it’s time for Grammy to head back to Florida and time for our kid to play with other kids!

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