So, uh. Looks like I accidentally took the month of April off from blogging. My bad. It was totally not intentional, but you know what really gets in the way of blogging? Grad school. Especially when you use your infrequent one-week breaks from school to travel.
Seriously, school is not quite as life consuming as I was expecting, but the thing that it really eats into is my down time. I work, I spend time with my baby, I spend time with my husband... and the time I had left over, the time for blogging and reading and generally futzing around doing what I wanted? That's my school time now. So. That's a little frustrating, but on the whole I still feel happy and balanced. And I check in on Twitter a lot more than I blog, so I don't feel as disconnected as this month-long radio silence might imply.
Anyway, so. What happened in April? Let's see. There was Easter, which was technically not Callum's first Easter since he was about three months old for the last one, but was the first Easter that we "celebrated" with him. And I put "celebrated" in quotes because our celebration involved a small Easter basket and putting toys he already owns in eggs scattered on our front lawn, and that's it. No brunch, no ham, no egg dye. Nevertheless, he enjoyed it and so did we.
Also in April, we went to New York City. That was awesome. Torsten and I couldn't believe it when we realized it, but I'm pretty sure we hadn't been there since this trip in 2007. In 2008 we went to London and Germany, and on our honeymoon, but I don't think we went to New York. And in 2009 we moved to Denver, i.e., out of driving distance from Manhattan, and we hadn't been back since. So, when we got some airline vouchers due to a problem with a previous flight, we decided to head to New York for a week. (Full photo set here.)
My parents and sister drove up to meet us there for part of the time, and though the weather wasn't awesome (rainy for the first part of the trip, extremely windy for the second part, and pretty chilly throughout), we had a great time and did a lot of playing the tourist: open-top bus tours (brrr), a boat around the island (brrr), and lots and lots of walking. On one day we walked over eight miles. Luckily Callum was a total trooper, sleeping through the night despite sharing a hotel room with us (and it was too small to put his crib in the bathroom or the closet, which is our usual trick), napping in the stroller on the go, and generally in a good mood most of the time.
Also we met Alena (and Luke and Mike!) and Molly (though sadly not Owen or Michael). They were both just so lovely, so totally my people, and I'm already trying to figure out when and how I can get back to New York to see them again. (And you guys, it's really too bad that Alena has a policy against posting photos of Luke's face online, because OMG THAT CHILD. He makes the BEST faces.) Also, Alena and I, along with our babies' pre-naptime fussing, got caught on an Anderson Cooper hidden camera special (Alena describes it here, and you can see the clip here, third video down). All just a typical day in New York, right?
Oh and we went up the Empire State Building at night, speaking of touristy. It was lovely, as it always is, but can I just tell you something? I've never been afraid of heights and I've also never been one of those moms who has horrifying visions of all the irrational harms that could possibly befall her baby. But when we were out on the observation deck of the 86th floor of the Empire State Building and Callum was in my arms near the fencing around the edge? I was terrified. I could clearly picture him squirming out of my arms and thrashing through one of the gaps in the fence and falling. Even just writing about it now is making me feel all nervous and breathless again, just remembering. I KNEW it wasn't going to happen, and yet it feasibly COULD HAVE. See the diamonds in the fence in the picture? He REALLY COULD have fit through that gap if he'd wanted to and OMG, I had to step away from the edge with him, seriously.
Altogether it was a great trip, and so good to see my family, and I really am hoping we'll be able to get back there again in a couple years. But we'll see. In the meantime we have a bunch of other travel planned for this year: I'm going to DC for work in a couple weeks, which will be by far the longest I've ever been away from Callum, but I'll just consider it good prep for the trip Torsten and I are taking to Maine during my summer break, during which my parents will be staying at our house with Callum. I am really, really not excited about the prospect of leaving him, but I am really, really excited about the prospect of a relaxing vacation with my husband.
Callum is a GREAT traveler and honestly, we both feel that traveling with him isn't nearly as stressful as we might have expected, and that he fits really nicely into our trips just as he fits into the rest of our life, but traveling with a baby is just a totally different experience. I'm looking forward to a flight where we can actually take a drink from the beverage cart, for example, since there will not be a baby within grabbing distance. Presuming that we do proceed with that second baby thing at some point, and given schools and work schedules and whatnot, this may be our last opportunity to take a just-us vacation for while. So we will cry when we say goodbye, and Skype with him every day, and be horrified at how much older he is when we get back, but we are also going to enjoy a vacation that is designed purely for relaxation and lobster consumption and spending time with each other, no baby wrangling included.
After Maine, the trips-with-baby resume with a few days in San Francisco at the end of the summer (Torsten has a work conference and Callum and I will be tagging along), a week in North Carolina in the fall, and then the big shebang, the real deal, a 2.5-week international trip with stops in Germany, France, and England in December. So. I always said we wanted to have a well-traveled baby, and it looks like we are sticking to the goal. I have to write a post about flying with a toddler, but this one is already getting massive so I will save that for another day. Hopefully before another month goes by.
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