Visiting Nana & Lito

My boys decided it was time for another trip, so off we went. 
What a happy reunion!  Nana & Lito last saw Sol at 4 months. He's bigger and stronger and certainly more vocal than he was then. 
While the weather wasn't great 3/5 of the time, it wasn't terrible. We took advantage of getting in fresh Florida air. 
While Sol wasn't sure what to make of his new surroundings, and no ZaZa, he settled in as soon as he saw boxes available!  Who woulda thunk?!  Boxes in FL and AL, I wonder if they have them in MD and NY?? ;)
He wasn't hurting for attention on this turf. 
Had to show off one of his Halloween costumes to his Nana and Lito, especially since they're always offering him chocolate!
Daddy introduced us to his childhood friends Marcello and Telma (and their families). 
Before leaving yesterday, we had a chance to get in our 10k for Daniel!  It was beautiful, warm weather and perfect time for a nap. 
A quick Alevy selfie and back home we go. 
Until next time...

On a side note, Sol was pretty amazing on these flights. I made sure to have my cover handy, solid food prepared, and a few toys. However, it's more interesting finding what the plane had to offer: safety pamphlet, lights, strangers, and views. On the flight down, we stayed on the same plane when we had our "layover" in Tampa. We moved to the very front. Absolutely loved the space for Sol to play and a chance for David to stretch his legs. While in past flights we've sat toward the back, I requested we move up closer so we can deplane sooner. It's been better that way and since they were full flights, there was no chance of us spreading out. 
We continue to enjoy SouthWest and look forward to out next adventure!

Off Facebook again?!

Yes yes yes, I removed my Facebook account AGAIN. Look, I'm in grad school AND I have a young child. And honestly, I wish I had more time for my massage clients, too!!!!  I just don't have time to check Facebook.  Unfortunately for me, if it's there, I want to check it daily!

A friend asked me recently how she could find out when I update the blog since she had visited it before when I posted it to FB. Good question!

On the left of your computer screen, there is an option to submit your email address to receive updates!  It's quick and easy and you don't have to worry that you may miss a Sollie update!!  So for all my lovely family and friends, I hope you'll sign up to keep up with our adventures!!

Speaking of adventures...we may go camping this weekend. That's an update you don't want to miss!!!

And some safety proofing tips..

So far, so good with my hearth design-although Sol hasn't been around it a lot yet. Only time will tell!!

We still have some items exposed that I see us saying "no!" to Sol as he messes with them. After speaking with a friend, and mother of two, I am going with my gut that it's just better to cover everything we are concerned about, so that Sol can explore without my watching his every move. 

For now, I have a few items I picked up at target and a couple more that were handed down from friends, thank you!!
I thought I was going to like the option on the left and purchased several of them. I hate them!  They are frustrating to get on and off a most of the cabinets because the space is either to wide or too narrow. The option on the right has been great. Easy to set up and easy for ME to open for access.
A similar hand me down item is working great, too!
I asked David to begin installing other locks last week. He had to drill into the cabinet door and on his second door, two nails broke!  It was late that night and I wasn't having it. I wish I had realized how awesome these other locks are because we could have used them on this door arrangement, since there are two side by side.
We still have 4 cabinets we will need to drill in for kitchen safety, but then we can breathe a sigh of relief, I hope. Still may need to think through oven, dishwasher, and freezer locks.
This $9.99 gate I picked up at Burlington suits the front entryway, and we have a door in the kitchen to close--so the back part of the house is my biggest focus.
I have put outlet plugs in that part of the house and will be continuing in other rooms soon. While I do not plan for Sol to spend time in the front part of the house, I never know why he may end up out there...I may accidentally leave the door open, we may have him out there when entertaining company, or perhaps a sitter wouldn't realize we don't frequent that area.  I'm going to continue on with the plug covers, for sure, and will think of how to secure those cabinets as well. 

For now, I'm left struggling with how to proof this:
Eeek, look closely and you can see the back of a remote on the floor right below the stand. While brushing my teeth, Sol already tackled this area with extreme interest and excitement for his balancing/standing. Oy vey!
I found these do it yourself suggestions on Pinterest for the bottom of the stairs:
Not sure if I'll have time to do either, but I especially love the second option--so cute!
I'm especially struggling because this area belongs to our one and only furry girl--I hate to take it away from her!!

We've brought in some gates for stairs, but realized that the side hand rail interferes with the gate meeting the wall. We also tried fitting it to the other wall, but the gate wasn't long enough.

Well, that's enough for now. Off to studying!  Need to knock some research out so I can enjoy the beautiful Fall weather with my family!

Safety proofing time!

It's official, Sol is crawling!!
Even worse, he loves to pull up on anything and everything so he can try standing!
Since his play area is next to the fireplace, I've been searching high and low for a safety solution. Thanks to Pinterest, I'm hoping my hard work today pays off. 
I purchased this mat at Burlington for $24.99. I also picked up 2 roles of tape at Home Depot, each $6.99
Since our fireplace is lower, I used an Exacto knife to cut down the mats on the sides. I wasn't sure exactly how to take the mats down, so first go around I started putting tape on the mat. 
And I ended up separating the blocks and laying them individually. 
I realized it was better to put the tape on the brick instead. 
I went back and used a glue gun to try and connect the mat better---but didn't love the results. 
So on the second side I cut the mats a bit shorter and connected all of them together. Then, I used the hot glue gun to reinforce the mat. 
I then put larger pieces of tape down on the bricks 
This time I put down the whole mat at once. I added tape in spots I noticed were weak, but I think this side looks better. 
I have heavy objects on the mats in hopes they will help them stick. They won't stay there. Sol already loves Azaria's bowls and tub of toys. Of course her toys are cooler because they aren't allowed for Sol!
I'm pleased with how it looks so far. And we have matting leftover!  Not sure yet where it will go. 
The real test will be when Sol tries getting up on the fireplace again. 
By the way, I am, by no means, encouraging him to get on the fireplace-but I want to supervise and discourage activity and hopefully not have to spend $150+ to get a gate around the entire fireplace. We will see!
In the meantime, David is working on the proof safety proof!
Happy 8 Months, my love!!!

The sun and a star go for a swim

We made it back to You and Me Splash Together!  It wasn't a private lesson today...we met Jessica and Stella and loved making new friends while learning. 
Coach Mo noticed how quickly Sol reacted to having his picture taken. He sees the black rectangle come out (my iPhone) and he knows where to look. Smart boy!
We really did enjoy the lesson today!  We practiced bobbing, going under water (up to the nose), swimming on the kick board on our tummies and backs, and then going the whole length of the pool with a noodle.  I'm so proud that Sol didn't cry this week!  The going under water part is still a little scary, but we are getting the hang of it!
Sol's had a busy week. Monday and Tuesday he went to school so I could study. 
I love that Miss Jackie sent me a picture during his day. My lil man sharing his toy, so sweet.
Bubbe joined us at the zoo yesterday!  The Summer temps in Birmingham are finally beginning to cool down and I'm looking forward to Fall!  I think the animals are happy, too.  A lot of them were moving and shaking more than I'm used to.  The sea lions were barking and swimming and the alligator was swimming awfully close to us, too. Thank goodness for barriers...
Our next door neighbor, Hill, came over for a play date yesterday!  She was showing Sol how to stand and walk!!  So impressive. Sol showed off how he stands at one of his toys (I'm sure she didn't notice me helping him balance).

We are missing the You and Me Move Together class tomorrow since Sol will be at school. Next week, the J is closed Thursday and Friday, so Jessica and I may meet Wednesday morning with the kids for a swim!  Excited to continue working on our water skills!

You and Me at the J!!

Sol is conked out, so I have a minute to eat, post, and then off to study! 
This child is exhausted!  We've had a great couple days doing activities available at the LJCC!
Okay, let me start off by saying, seriously? Do you see these rates!?  How could I pass up the opportunity to do something fun with Sol at such a low cost!  I'm definitely buying the 12 classes and will probably go to the splash class every week and to the play class as often as I can.
Before you continue reading, go back to that picture.  Do you see the classes are available to nonmembers?  And at only five dollars a class!  I love it.  I really hope anyone (um, unless you don't have a child with you) feels welcome and will join us!
Yesterday was our first class and Sol wasn't so sure about what we were about to do.  There were other little ones in the pool taking private swim classes. Not all of them were so happy. But for Sol, it was comforting to have mommy!
Honestly, he is still so little that there's not much he would get out of private swim lessons that he didn't get from our class yesterday.  And for me it's only $4!
David and I have both been very interested in getting Sol acclimated to the water as soon as possible.  If we hadn't  had this option, we would have signed him up for private swim lessons...or would we have?  They're kinda pricey!!
Um, hello! We had a private swim lesson yesterday! Where is everybody?  We felt pretty spoiled, but we would rather have some friends there with us!  Muhammad (or Mo) was great.  He introduced us to going underwater, kicking our feet while laying on our back, floating, and swimming with the noodle.  Of course, I had my hands on Sol at all times and was able to comfort him when I felt appropriate.
I know how swim lessons go.  Parent drops off child. Child gets in water with swim coach a.k.a. stranger.  Child screams!  Water and who is this person? I am definitely not saying it is wrong to take your child to swim lessons with a private lesson. We will do it eventually!
I love that the J is offering this class so that Sol can get comfortable in the water before he is ready for serious swim lessons. 

Ok, onto today!
May I introduce you to Megan, Laura, and Rob!  I'm sure you all recognize Sol.

Megan and Laura will be teaching the play classes on Monday and Friday.  
I'm so excited our friends Karli and Landon came!  Landon is a couple months younger than Sol, and Karli and I have been threatening to have a play date for too long.
The class started with some chatting amongst mommies.  Oh wait that wasn't part of the class...;)
The class did start with singing and dancing!  We new mommies are still learning some of the words, but this class will help!
We worked our arms, legs, and core. They incorporated a little bit of body flow and core barre too!  
I got a great workout and was able to spend time with Sol!  I'm looking forward to our next class!

If anyone is interested in joining this class, your first time is free!  You can register for a spot online.
Also, it's called You and Me not Mommy and Me.  Anyone should feel welcome: daddy, bubbe, grandma, nana, zayde, grandpa, lito, caregiver, aunt, uncle, friend...come on!  Hope to see you in class!

Parent and Baby Yoga at Villager Yoga

It seemed natural to introduce Sol to yoga early on in his life, since it was something I did with him while I was pregnant.  I've gone through phases of absolutely loving yoga and meditation classes, but when I'm not doing it regularly, I need a little coercion.

My girlfriend and running partner, Leah, was persistent in asking us to join her and her daughter, Julia. My first thanks is to Leah!  We are so glad we attended and look forward to doing it again.
We attended the class right around the time that Sol started feeling confident sitting up.  I was so impressed I was able to leave him on the mat while I prepared for the class.  We decided to come very last minute.  Not only was he due for a feeding, but he also needed a diaper changing.  Hence why he is only in a diaper--I didn't want to waste anymore precious yoga time!  It was bad enough we had to feed 15 minutes into it.
How cute is this??  Julia and Sol have known each other longer than they can comprehend!  We had a few playdates when they were both newborns, but we're behind on visiting.  I hope that when the time is right, Leah and I will be able to get back to running together regularly AND bring the little ones along with us!  They should be used to sleeping through us chatting, so if they know what's good for them--they'll keep that up when we pull out the strollers and our running shoes!
I wish I had taken a picture with Katherine Kimerling Bromberg, our yoga guru for the day.  Katherine and I grew up together.  She is a youngin compared to 31 year old me, but we have a great connection--and I love when I get the chance to be with her.  My second thanks goes to Katherine!!  She has always had a way with kids.  It really shined through her warm welcoming, patience, and fun curriculum.
I highly recommend the Parent Baby yoga class.  It was a wonderful way for Sol and I to spend time interacting with each other.  At home, we interact with toys and reading; but only for so long.  After 15 or 20 minutes, the dishes or my schoolwork start calling my name.  Sol either plays on his own OR cries for me to come back to playing with him.  I loved bonding with him while stretching, cuddling and hugging, and singing/playing.  

Villager Yoga is one of many gems in my neighborhood, Cahaba Heights.  I love that it offers a beautiful, relaxing space with wonderful classes and even more beautiful and wonderful teachers.  My third and last thanks is to Annie, who owns, runs, and lives Villager Yoga.  I miss seeing you  and hope it's not too long before we can come back!!