1. I am so bad at writing things down - so before I forget I wanted to share some of the things Jasper can say as of today. He also took 8 steps this week to Nana and 8 steps to Grandpa. (He only wants to walk in the presence of grandparents.) 

    Jasper can say:

    Dadda, Mama, plane, bird, leaf, tree, Nana, Papa (for Grandpa), shark, flower (more like fawa) cat, fish (fssh), moo! whoa! I do! baby, auntie, matt, more, spoon, poop, shoe, bath (more like bth), run-run-run (sounds like ra-ra-ra), Mira (also sounds like “ra-ra”), toe, Cece (for his friend Cecelia Swisher), Ro-ro- (for Roan) he also can tell you what noises cows, monkeys and owls make.

    This week he’s starting to try to say Jasper. He’s done it a few times. He mimics a lot of things we say, last week he said ‘potato’ and ‘window’ but hasn’t really said it again.

     
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  3. The days are becoming more crisp, the sun is going to bed slightly earlier - and my days as a stay at home mom (aka mom on sabbatical) are coming to a close. I have to say, it has been unbelievably magical to have this little ray of sunshine to myself every day. Our days have been spent taking long lovely walks in our pretty neighborhood, making baby friends on the playground, singing, making art, swinging and more swinging. I have fallen in love with him, and with a new part of myself and kind of don’t want to let go. In the last few months Jasper has learned about a million words (a post on that to follow), has started crawling, cruising, and becoming an expert on all things in the sky  (namely: planes and birds.) Today was a perfect day. Perfect fall weather, a beautiful neighborhood and a kid who could not hold a bigger piece of my heart. I love this mama and Jasper time. 

     
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  5. Jasper finally graduated into his “big boy” size 5 Saucony sneakers. We got them as a gift from our friend Tom for our baby shower - and we’ve spent many days giggling to ourselves as we saw them on the shelf and pictured how ridiculous it will be when Jasper can wear sneakers just like Daddy. The day is finally here, and it’s pretty sweet.

     
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  7. I wish summer sabbaticals happened every year! Jasper and I have spent the entire summer together, exploring our neighborhood, swimming, crawling, walking, singing, learning, talking, eating (and throwing food on the floor) and seeing how many times we can hit a swing set in one day. The first few days took some adjustment, as we learned eachother’s routine and I got used to not having people talking to me and emailing me constantly. Once we got into the groove though, we became best buds - joined at the hip (sometimes literally) and as my sabbatical comes to an end, I am trying to cherish these last days together before it’s back to work.

    It’s such a tough balance - the immense and all-consuming desire to be there for your child as they grow up, the desire to continue to be the person that your career and university education has prepared you to be and the real-life need to earn an extra income living in the city and supporting a child. Sometimes it feels like being a mom, and having a career fits perfectly together. Other times, the push and pull really breaks your heart.

    On the day pictured above (Jasper’s birthday, after it stopped raining)  - we took our usual long walk through the neighborhood and headed to the swingset. Jasper pointed out every plane that flew over by yelling “Plane!!” and “Brrr” (for bird). I pointed out the pretty trees and flowers. (He repeats after me when I say it.. “tree” “fowa”) We made some little friends and Jasper smiled and waved at the babies he saw. At one point we were toddling around the jungle gym and I saw a bird sitting near a bench. Jasper excitedly stomped his way over to see it. He crawled up on the bench and the bird sat long enough for him to get a good look. He was thrilled! He then followed the bird all over the playground as it hopped and nibbled.

    We have had such a beautiful summer together, and I know the fall will bring even more happy moments like this. Maybe I can get my coworkers to let me push them on the swing and ask them to tell me when a plane flies over?

     
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  9. Jasper’s actual first birthday was such a sweet day. After breakfast Julia Cawley came over to take some birthday pictures of Jas. After that, we got in an incredible, and unexpected 2 hour nap as a family. Waking up to these two (three with Fabrizio) is just too dreamy. We feel so lucky every day to have little Jasper, the cuddle bug and comedian as our baby. Almost every morning I get woken up to the sounds of giggles, and then having my face get trampled by a crawling baby who wraps his arms around me, slams his big head into my head and says “Maahhh-ma, Maahh-ma” while laughing. This summer Jasper and I have had such an incredible time together, both of us growing in more ways than we could imagine. Although I certainly miss when he was a little peanut in my arms, I wouldn’t trade this moment with Jasper for the world. Happy birthday little man.

     
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  13. Jasper turned one this Tuesday! I have looked forward to celebrating a first birthday with my child for SO long, and planning Jasper’s first birthday party in Brooklyn was too much fun. I was excited to dig into some of the many projects I’ve been saving up. From the cakes, to the party favors and decorations - the party was very much mom-made. More pictures to come of the adorable party-goers in their masks!

     
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  15. It cracks me up, though it does not surprise me that my last blog entry was on day 1 of my sabbatical. Here I am, 2/3 of the way through and already planning for the return to work, and it has been a super busy summer!

    Ever since the little guy learned to crawl, pull himself up and cruise around the apartment on his own (while seeming to nearly injure himself every second that my hand is not on him) - life has gotten so busy again that it reminds me of the earliest days of parenthood. Gone are the days of carefree showering and tooth brushing while the babe is not asleep.

    The summer has been really good though, and our guy has been blossoming into quite the charming little gentleman. Just today he started saying “Ra” (for Mira, his cousin). Yesterday he learned to say “Cece” for his friend Cecelia Swisher. He is also mastering “Pa” for “Grampa”. His other words include “Plane”, “Brrr” (for bird), “Fshhh” (for fish), “Cat”, “Dada”, “Mama”, “Nana” (sometimes nana-na-na-na), “Poop”, “Puff” (for his cereal puffs), “Ru-ru-ru-ru-ru” (for when we try to make him run and say ‘run-run-run-run-run.)

    His favorite things to do include: Holding 2 of anything (cat puzzle pieces, 2 socks, 2 diapers, 2 blocks, 2 spoons, 2 pairs of pjamas on hangers, you name it! ) reading the Little Gorilla (his favorite book), playing with his Dada and Grampa, playing peek-a-boo with his blanket, showing us how big he is (SO BIG!) And, now this week -walking all over the house using his wooden crocodile walker.

    Tonight we headed down to our favorite summer spot this year - Brooklyn Bridge Park for a stroll, some Jasper time on the swings and at the crawling park, and a sunset pizza dinner on the rooftop of Fornino overlooking the East River and Manhattan skyline.

    Here are some silly pictures taken during our adventures tonight with my folks. (Note on the last picture: keeping a baby busy at a restaurant usually involves looking for any and all disposable dishware - plastic plates, cups, napkins - to entertain Jasper. I left the table for a few minutes and came back to this scene - my dad had carved a paper plate mask for them to play with.)

    xo

     
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  17. Brooklyn is magical, and so is portrait photographer Sabine Sheckel! Sabine posted on a local parents blog that she was looking for babies to be photographed for a project she was working on. We took the G train over to her studio in Greenpoint, and she took this phenomenal portrait of Jasper. This is our guy at 11 months old.  He looks pretty tough here, right? I love that glistening drool on his chin. xo

    Photo (c) Sabine Sheckel

     
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  19. Day 1 of sabbatical.

    After 12 years at Human Rights Watch - I have the whole summer off for sabbatical! I had been saving this time for when I had a little guy to run around with and I am so glad it is finally here. I have been dreaming of having more time with him, and to be able to work on my own creative pursuits.

    Day 1 was pretty great. My body and mind were a bit out of synch with the day, as I am so used to getting an email every 5 minutes and talking to adults all day. Yesterday it was just me and the dude. Crawling around, waving at the cat, hitting the splash park, eating (and not eating) and clapping hands together. I missed the adult interaction a little - but it was shocking and sad to me to think how much of Jasper’s life I’ve already missed.


    Yesterday at the splash park he was a copy cat for all of the big kids. There were 2 boys - and every time they would scream “woo hoo” in the water, Jasper would follow with a “wooooooo!” Every time I would splash the water with my feet and stop in the puddle, Jas would do the same. It was pretty adorable!

    Oh, and before I forget - Jasper stood up for the first time - unassisted last week at Mom and Dad’s house. Nana and Grampa had him for 10 minutes and he decided to stand for 10 seconds straight! It was Saturday July 5.

    xxo

     
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