Thankful: Home

We got back last week from a week of sun, sand, and family in Jamaica. Days spent with toes in the ocean, or at the swim-up bar sipping slushy drinks topped with rum, enjoying the buzz of conversation and the feel of the sun on your shoulders. It zipped by too quickly and so I thought this week, even though I still plan to recap a few more moments, I’d focus cultivating my attitude of gratitude with Lizzie’s blog hop, and why I also love coming home.

Catching up with people
Even only being gone for a week makes me miss my family and friends. I feel like I’ve been gone for ages on an adventure and need to see what they’ve been up to. I’m glad to have so many people that want to see me and make me meals, come over for a glass of wine and a chat, or have us over for a play date.

My own food
Don’t get me wrong – one of the BEST things about going to an all inclusive resort is the never ending supply of all the food you could ever eat…but I was happy to pick up some groceries and figure out our meals again. Plain, simple food like avocado on toast and spaghetti in tomato sauce (and some raspberries for Baby J, who literally squeaked with delight while eating half a carton of the squishy red jewels).

Laundry
The smell of fresh clothes has taken on a new meaning since having a child. Thank goodness ne of our fellow travellers gave us a few Tide pouches for sink washes (super handy – I’ll get some of these next time a travel for sure) but all in all, I’m very thankful to have clean clothes at the ready here at home.

Everything in it’s place
One things that drives me crazy is not being able to find things! I felt like I was constantly searching for shoes or sunscreen or a hat that I *just* had in my hand even being in such a small space. I like having everything right were I know it is (for the most part) instead of items floating around the room.

My computer
I pretty much went a week without wifi. Which was fine – I was busy swimming, eating, drinking, and hanging out, and so checking email wasn’t near the top of my list – but I do like being able to sit and read and write and wander the internets reading blogs and keeping up to date.

My little brown companion
Herman the dog was well taken care of and had a blast playing with his best doggy friend Diego while we were away, but I missed his presence, his silky body resting near my feet and his happy eyes.

My bed
Nothing like your own comfy pillow and your own bed when you get home.

Routine
I never really thought I was a schedule person, but I’m pretty strict about keeping Baby J on a routine – mostly so I know when it’s time for food and naps and so I know he’s rested enough to be happy. I’m sure being away long enough would make us adapt and start a familiar process, but it’s nice to get back to the old routine (and I”m thankful we all adapted back into it pretty well!).

The start of spring
The week we left was a snowy slushy mess, while we were gone there was a ton of rain, and now that we are back, things are inching towards the beginning of a spring that never seemed like it would arrive. But most of the snow is gone, the air is starting to turn fresh and pleasant, and I *think* spring is happening.

House with flower

The memories
Now that we are home and settled, I’m thankful I was able to take time away with such a wonderful group of people and that the trip was so fantastic. So many funny, touching, relaxing moments, so much running around. All very, very worth it. I cna’t wait for our next adventure somewhere.

What do you love about home?

(all images in this post cc weheartit.com)

Ten Things of Thankful

A break in the Jamaican sun

Back to blogging and real life after a week away in paradise! I usually blog while I’m away – I love getting the little stories down before I can forget them, but the resort we stayed at didn’t have wifi in the rooms. Bummer! So I’ll just add a few posts sketching out the highlights, and borrowing some photos since I didn’t take as many as usual.

It was a great trip. There were 64 people all together for the wedding – easy-going, funny, loud, quiet, sweet, wonderful people. Moments either seemed to be jostling and full of noise and people, like our arrival at the airport: we got in line behind about fifty others and were quickly ushered to the front so we could get settled faster, amidst smiles and hellos and tummy tickles for Baby J.

Then, our arrival in Jamaica after a great, crying-free (for us) flight as we all bustled onto this bus, shoving suitcases and strollers, juggling carry-ons and snacks and well, a baby, surrounded by excited voices as we took in the dusky light and warm weather on our way to the resort.

resort life

Once we got to our room, it was the other kind of moment that filled in many spaces on our trip: quietly alone in our bubble of three as we tried to settle Baby J in a tiny crib with his blanket. He could pop up and see us from everywhere in the room, so we hid out in the bathroom and sneakily ate room service hamburgers.

We settled into a routine of stuffing ourselves at the morning buffet where there was everything from freshly made omelets to tropical fruit, breads, waffles, bacon and other dishes; Baby J really liked eating chickpeas in tomato sauce, taking bites of pancake, and drinking the carrot-mango juice. We’d spend some time letting him wander the stone pathways criss-crossing between the building and the pool, gently brushing his fingers over glossy green leaves, poking at pink and white blooms, and getting into the dirt.

resort Rose Hall

Most afternoons were spent talking to people, walking the beach and feeling the water on our feet, swimming in the pool, or hanging out at the kids club where they had a great little waterpark, ball pit, sand filled with shovels and trucks and a play structure.

playing in the sand

walrus

One nap would be in our room, in his crib or our bed, and one would be in his stroller so we could get out and lounge by the pool or head into the water and the swim-up bar. With lots of family, there were lots of people more than willing to hang out with him and give us a break, and we did take advantage a few times. One night we left him with Tyler’s aunt and uncle and headed to the glimmering waters, an open stretch of brackish water that lit up when you touched it because of the plankton (?) living there. The bottom of the water felt like silt and it was warm against the dark night.

When we got back we learned that he’d been sick and was snoozing but I felt badly that we weren’t around. Scary when you aren’t at home – and many people offered suggestions as to what the cause could be – but luckily he rallied quickly and was his regular happy self, for the most part, the next day.

sunset in Jamaica

Many mornings, I felt a little pang of jealousy as I would listen to everyone recount the hilarious and fun things that happened the night before, well after I took the little guy back to our room for the night, and everyone else met up at the lobby bar, at the disco, watched shows and amused themselves. I commented once to one of the other girls that I missed out on all the fun. Later that day, in the pool, I was getting in the water when Baby J reached for me and squealed happily as he nestled into my arms, resting his head on my shoulder. I felt a tap on my other shoulder, and the same girl said: And that’s why you shouldn’t feel like you are missing out on anything.

So, so true.

baby in dinosaur robe

baby in dino robe

The first birthday party

Just like that, my little pumpkin head is a whole year old! It’s true that it goes by fast, but I also feel like I had lots of nice moments with him, walks outside, songs at night, and exploring the house, learning to open his fists, trying out different food for the first time, splashing in the bathtub, crawling around, playing.

He’s always surprising us with new things. Like saying “ahhhh!” after taking a nice refreshing drink of water. Or pointing at a picture of Herman when asked. He has a sparkle in his eye and an easy grin. He’s a good-natured, easy-going guy, stopping to sit and focus, then off to the next thing. I see determination in him, and curiosity. I feel proud of him and love his blooming personality.

baby bottle

We had a little party for him on Sunday – just immediate family – which ended up being about 15 people plus us. I had all these big crafty plans, of course, but then Thursday night turned into colds and teething and quite a few sad wake-up calls. I also scrapped a lot of decorating time to spend HOURS putting together our gift to Baby J – his own shiny red kitchen!

I made a bunch of easy food – sandwiches, crackers and cheese, garlic dip and veggies – and people brought all kinds of salads, so we had a nice time eating and watching Baby J open gifts. He got spoiled with toys and lots of nice things, and was very interested in the balloons we’d blown up, carrying them around, kicking them along the floor, staring and smiling up at them.

birthday balloons

presents

After napping through the first hour or so, Baby J was a bit shocked at the full house of his favourite people when he woke up, but he warmed up and wandered around the party guests like a tiny person. He’s a pretty sturdy walker now, can stand up from sitting on the ground without needed to grab onto anything, and crawling is a thing of the past.

bday presents

herm party

One thing I did get around to, was going through countless photos and choosing one from each week, for 52 weeks of the last year, printing them as squares, and taping them up above our couch. Everyone liked looking at them – including the birthday boy who would point and make sounds every time we walked him past. I tried to include milestones if I had them captured – first food, first swim, first Halloween costume. It was a neat way to see how he’s changed over the last year.

52 weeks wall

52 weeks wall

My grandparents were able to make it, so we got a photo of four generations too!

4 generations

Even though he was a little dopey from the cold-teeth combo, he seemed to enjoy his party pretty well and entertained everyone when he got his very own huge hunk of birthday cake (homemade by my mom), squishing and squeezing and gobbling it up. He dug in happily with both hands and really enjoyed himself.

bday cake

cake smash

Happy birthday to my not so little baby!