Thursday, September 15, 2011

A new addition to the backyard

Before Justin left for Canada he had mentioned getting Easton a swing for outside so I did what I do best when Justin is craigslist and ebay. 1 outdoor swing, a sit-and-stand, 4 pairs of shoes (for Easton), a few shirts (also for Easton), 1 can of formula, and a Britax carseat or two later...Hey, they're deals, right?

Easton enjoying his outdoor swing with his Daddy & Momma

Easton goes to the Library

On Wednesday mornings, our local library hosts a time of reading and music for children ages 0-2 years old. Since Easton loves books, I knew this would be right up his ally. What I had imagined was a utopia of children sitting together listening to the "teacher" reading. What actually took place was another story... 
Easton & I sitting among "friends" during reading time
Easton noticing the child beside him has a different musical instrument than his own
Yes Easton, the man sitting beside Momma isn't Daddy.

Well, story time was fun...scratch that...It was full of anxiety. My child attempted (and succeeded) to steal the toy out of the child's hand beside him then proceeded to crawl across the carpet to the other side of the room where luckily his Mumsey (my mom) was standing and was able to snatch him up. What happened to the little boy who just sat there on a blanket and didn't move? Oh yeah, he became MOBILE. Needless to say, we will continue story time at the library but do have some things to work on at home like sitting and listening and focusing on the toy in hand, not our neighbors. I know, I know...Brooke, welcome to parenting. :) 

10 Months and Counting

  "Look! One-handed, Momma"
  Our little red-headed, thumb sucker
Each evening after dinner, Easton crawls to the kitchen doors, looks out into the back yard and screams "DaDaDa!" even if "DaDa!" is in the kitchen with him. We don't really understand but laugh with Easton and love every minute...finger prints and all. 

At 10 months old our little red head is a busy busy little boy. I'm not sure how much Easton weighs (we won't have another formal weigh-in until his 1 year check-up) but this little boy is growing fast. Easton is currently wearing size 12 month pants (for the length) and 9 to 12 month shirts. His feet (and hands for that matter) are HUGE as he currently wears a size 3 shoe. Easton no longer is satisfied just sitting and playing by himself, but this boy wants to move. His favorite past time is walking back and forth among the couches in the living room while also circulating the coffee table (and No, we haven't moved our chess set from the middle of the coffee table...there is just a lot of "No Sir" being said each day). Easton also knows his way around his home (as he can travel rather quickly) and is often reminded to "stay in here" with his momma and daddy instead of retreating to the spare bedroom or the bathroom where he knows he takes his bath. Easton isn't walking by himself as of yet but will stand alone until he realizes he isn't holding onto anything and suddenly sits down or grabs hold of the nearest table or couch. Going up stairs has become and easy feat while going down the stairs is still something to be conquered. 

When it comes to eating, Easton has graduated from purees and "first tastes" to now pretty much eating anything that we do...his dinner tonight, for example, consisted of salmon, rice, carrots and apple sauce (these are no longer pureed foods). His lunch usually consists of pasta with veggies intermixed (spinach, squash and zucchini, as well as a touch of parmesan cheese) while his favorite fruits to date are strawberries, grapes, and cantaloupe. For breakfast we've introduced grits with raspberries in addition to his typical morning of oatmeal with blueberries and toast. Easton also likes muffins and banana-nut flavored cheerios (introduced by Nanna Bobbin and A-daddy). 

Justin and I are just amazed at how quickly Easton is growing and changing each day. We can't get enough of our little man and look forward to more fun memories to come for the Chester Clan. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Canadian Adventure-1st trip away from my little man

The largest of my two bulls 

One of my Arctic Char 

Twin-otter plane that took us to camp from Kuujjuaq
(I thought this was the LAST plane ride I'd ever have)

This year's hunting adventure took me to Canada's extreme arctic wilderness where I was able to hunt caribou. When I say extreme, I mean EXTREME...I was in the middle of nowhere. This was a much anticipated trip as it took a lot of planning (a year's worth) and when the time came to head north I was ready. I knew that being away would be tough on a first-time dad especially since I would have very limited contact with Brooke and Easton while away. 

I flew from Montreal to a small village called Kuujjuaq. From there I caught a twin-otter plane and flew north to our camp (aka the wilderness). After the fourth attempt at landing on the dusty landing strip at our hunting camp, I arrived safely and was immediately taken aback by the pristine landscape of which I would be spending the week. It was truly breathtaking to be surrounded by God's beauty in nature-as I looked around me I wondered if other humans had ever stepped foot on some of the grounds we covered. Our source of water came directly from the crystal clear ice cold lakes which needed no purification to drink. My trip was successful as I was able to take two caribou (our family can't wait to taste the meat I brought home), caught hundreds of fish, and spent time with God in His beautiful creation. 

What I didn't realize going into the much anticipated trip was how much I would miss just hearing my wife and son's voice. After several failed attempts to contact Brooke from the local satellite phone, I became anxious. The realization hit me that if something had happened back home, there was literally no way for me to know... After 5 days with no communication with my family, I was finally able to get through on the satellite phone. 4 minutes and $25 later (yes, that's how much it costs), I was at ease to find out things were fine at home. 

I was gone from Thurs Sept 1 through Fri Sept 9. I had an amazing trip...the trip of a lifetime experiencing things many can only dream about. BUT seeing my wife and son at the airport picking me up that Friday was the most beautiful sight I had seen all week. And to have my 10 month old little boy follow me around EVERYWHERE the following day saying "DA DA DA!" meant the world to me. 


Sunday, September 4, 2011

A week as a SINGLE mom

This past Thursday Justin left for his annual hunting trip (this year he's tracking caribou on the Canadian tundra) which leaves Easton and I with some mother-son time for a little over a week. This is the first time as parents Justin has been gone for several days at a time, and in just 3 days of his absence I've learned that being a single mother is HARD... 

You see, as a married mother, I take for granted having Justin to bounce ideas off of regarding Easton's care (examples: Why do you think he's awake and it's midnight? What should we do about ________(anything new that comes up)? I think he's teething have you noticed ________(signs or symptoms)?) I also take for granted how accessible & hands-on Justin is regarding Easton. There are so many times in the rush of the morning when we are getting ready for work & Jus will make the time to ask "How can I help get you all out the door? Can I go ahead and get Easton up and change him? Does your car need to be loaded with Easton's stuff?" AlsoI don't want to forget to mention how two are much better than one when you are talking about juggling a 40 hr per week work schedule as well as Easton's daily routine. 

BUT it's not just about needing a partner to get through the daily grind. In Justin's short absence (going on 4 days) I've been able to realize that it's so nice at the end of the day to have someone to laugh together with about the funny & new things Easton has done or accomplished & to just talk about things like what the future holds for us together & our family. I've realized this week that as a parent team you just don't feel so alone in your parenting decisions. 

There is a famous quote that says "absence makes the heart grow fonder" and I know it to be true. Easton and I both miss "DA DA DA!" and can't wait to pick him up at the airport on Friday...caribou and all!