May Flowers

The older we get, the faster time seems to fly by.  It’s already May!  Our baby girl will be 7 months old on Wednesday.  Our time in New Orleans is quickly coming to an end, and in just a month from now, we’ll be almost completely packed up and ready to hit the road for our next family adventure.  I saw a list of the 10 big life changes that are the most stressful: they include having a baby, a death in the family, moving, bankruptcy, starting a new job, etc.  “Stressful” doesn’t always mean that they’re negative–they are often positive life changes, but even positive life changes can be stressful.  Whenever we approach one of those big life changes, I always choose to look at it as an adventure rather than as a negative change.  That being said, we have very mixed feelings about some of the changes coming up.  Our move from New Orleans will be bittersweet–we are excited to be moving back to Baltimore, closer to our family, to the city where we met, to our beloved Baltimore Orioles.  We are excited that Ken will be starting his Ophthalmology residency, that we’ll be moving together into a new house, that we’ll be meeting new friends, creating new memories and having new adventures together as a family.  But at the same time, we are sad to be leaving New Orleans, the friends we’ve made here.  New Orleans is the city we lived in when we got married.  New Orleans is where we got our MD and JD, the city introduced us to Mardi Gras, King Cake, Second Line Parades, go cups, Snoballs, beignets, cafe au lait, Rabbi Uri and Dahlia, and other great friends etc.  There’s a saying, “I know what it means to miss New Orleans” and I know that next year, as Mardi Gras rolls around and we see our friends’ Facebook posts with pictures andcomments about parades and King Cakes, we will know what it means.  We’re not necessarily saying goodbye to New Orleans, since we’ve talked about coming back here for vacations in the future and bringing Julia to Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest, but it won’t be the same as living here.  We’ll be visitors, not residents.  I keep reminding myself that when we left Baltimore five years ago, we felt the same way about Baltimore–we knew there was a lot we would miss about Baltimore and we were reluctant to leave and nervous about what the future would hold.  Now are are returning to Baltimore and again we are nervous about what the future holds, but we just have to see this as the next chapter in our lives.  During our next 3 years in Baltimore (after that, who knows where life will take us?!), Ken will complete the next leg of his medical training, Julia will become a toddler and a little girl, I will (hopefully) begin work as a licensed attorney, and who knows what other adventures await us!

These next few weeks my goal is for us to enjoy every last minute of our time in New Orleans while also looking at this move in a positive light.  Luckily, this past weekend, the weather was perfect and we were able to enjoy some wonderful moments together as a family!

Friday night Ken worked an overnight shift in the ICU, but Julia and I had a lovely evening at home before she went to sleep (very easily, I might add!)  She has become a pro at sitting up for longer periods of time, and this new skill has developed within the last 5 days or so.  She sat up like this for about 15 minutes Friday night while we talked on FaceTime with my mom!  She was playing with her toys and was even able to straighten herself out when she started to lean to one side or the other.  It’s amazing to see her reach these milestones!image_2

Saturday, as soon as Ken got home from the ICU, we left to go car shopping!  Ken’s old car died on Thursday and our options were either to (a) get Ken’s old car towed to the nearest Saab dealership in Baton Rouge, where we could hope and pray that they might be able to fix it, or (b) rent a car for Ken for the next 5 weeks, then buy him a new car  upon our arrival in Baltimore, or (c) buy Ken a new car now, thus saving the $1000+ it would cost to rent a car for five weeks.  We chose option (c).

Luckily, Ken had already gone to look at a few cars on Friday with one of his Masonic brothers, so he already had an idea of what he was looking for.  So Saturday we headed to the Subaru dealership, where we test drove a Legacy and a Forester.  After talking with our parents (who were all, much to our surprise, on the same page), we decided to go ahead and purchase a 2012 Subaru Forester.  So here we are with our new car!  image_1

I think that this will be a great family car for us in the years to come since it has a lot of storage space, it’s very comfortable, it will handle well in the rain and snow and it will be the perfect car for us to grow into as a family.

Sunday Ken worked in the ICU during the day, but since the weather was so gorgeous, Julia and I went out on a LOOOOONG walk!  We walked from our house, up Magazine Street all the way to our friends’ house, then to Audubon Park and the playground!  We went to the playground with Liz and her daughter, Katherine (who is exactly 4 months older than Julia).  Neither Katherine nor Julia had ever been on the swings before so we decided to bring a picnic lunch for us Mommies and let the babies try the swings!

Here’s Katherine on the swingsimage

and here’s Julia on the swings! photo

As you can tell from her look of sheer joy, she LOVED going on the swing!  She was fascinated by her shadow at the beginning and spent quite some time looking down as her shadow followed her while she swung back and forth, but she seemed to love swinging!  (I’m not surprised since I remember loving the swings as a little girl!)

Seeing how much she loved the swings made me very excited about the fact that our house in Baltimore will be walking distance from a big brand new playground.  For now, I think Julia’s only big enough to go on the swings but in a few months she’ll be crawling around and then walking around and she’ll be ready to try the slides and then maybe some of the smaller play structures.  It will be so much fun to have such a big playground walking distance from our house as she gets to be a bit older.

In the coming weeks, as we get ready for our move, we have so much to look forward to!  Julia’s 7-month checkup is this Wednesday, and then Sunday will be my first Mother’s Day!  Since Ken’s on call on Sunday, we’re going to celebrate Saturday instead.  We’re not sure yet what we will do, though if it were up to me, we’d get all dressed up in a seersucker suit and white linen dresses and we’d head to brunch at Commander’s Palace!  After that we’d take a stroll around the Garden District and then maybe have some family play time at the playground before going home for some snuggles and a nap.  This week I am going to use Ken’s Valentine’s Day Present to me (a gift card to my favorite day spa in New Orleans) to treat myself to a manicure and pedicure, so I’ll get some much needed pampering before my first Mother’s Day!  We have two friends who are pregnant and whose babies are due any day now… so we are definitely looking forward to meeting some new babies in the next couple of weeks as well.

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