June 23, 2014

Asheville: Our first family vacation

Our annual 'explore a US city' trip is one of my favorite trips each year. This year it fell on Michael's first Father's Day, which made it extra special. We have visited Chicago, Saint Louis, and now Asheville. We picked a city within 5 hours of our house because we weren't sure how Genevieve would do with the travel. But she was a champ and slept a huge chunk of the way. 

We were happy to see that we could still enjoy going out to eat and walking around a city with a baby. We had to think about naps and early bed time, but we made it work. Luckily, with 3 World Cup games a day, we could make it back to the hotel to watch a game in the afternoon and then again in the evening. It was the perfect first family vacation!
Oh camping... so we decided to do a trial run at camping and we wanted to save some money. It was only $20 to rent the camp site so it was major savings compared to a hotel. We stayed the night at Lake Powhatan in the Pisgah National Forest, which was absolutely breathtaking. Heads-up, though: if you're camping with a baby, I highly recommend a good air mattress and a bumbo. 

Our vacations focus on food. I absolutely love doing research on the best local restaurants, though this time we had plan for a party of two and a half. I was really excited to eat at Curate, a beloved tapas restaurant, but halfway through the meal we decided to have our courses boxed and eat at the park downtown because Genevieve was getting too fidgety and obnoxious and I was sweating from stress. I think we have hit that stage where bringing her to nice restaurants will have to wait. But it wasn't a huge deal because Asheville has so many great options for casual dining. We had everything from Indian street food to bone marrow to duck tacos. It was a very tasty trip!
Chai Pani: Indian Street Food
Bhel Puri, Green Mango Chaat, Samosa Chaat, Chicken Pakoras
Curate: Tapas
Berenjenas la taberna (eggplant), Pimientos de piquillo y queso de cabra (peppers/goat cheese), Pulpo a la gallega (octopus), Butifarra con mongetes (sausage), Rosejat negro (Squid ink pasta)
White Duck Taco: gourmet tacos 
Duck Mole, Fish, BBQ Carnitas, Steak and Cheese
and some yummy Peach Sangria 
Buffalo Nickel: American
BBQ Potato gnocchi, Roasted bone marrow, WNC Trout
Table: farm to table brunch
Egg in a hole, Hanger steak
Sunny Point Cafe: Breakfast
Pimento bacon omelette, Huevos Rancheros 
Other highlights:

June 9, 2014

7 months and growing

I am so in love with this girl. 
Seriously... I am shocked every day at the depth of love I have for her.
What a month this has been!
-I attended 2 births, including the birth of my sweet niece.
-We went to my brother's wedding and Michael's best friend's wedding.
-We celebrated my first Mother's Day.
-We got a pool.
-Two of my best friends got engaged.
-I had mastitis.
-We spent many days at the park.
-We went to the East Nashville Hootenanny.
-We explored Rock Island State Park.
-I made it through a week with Michael out of town in New Orleans. 
-And we celebrated our 4 year anniversary.

Genevieve is growing leaps and bounds. With a new baby in the family, Genevieve seems huge in comparison. She continues to get stronger as she sits up, pushes her self into a push up position, 'crawls' backwards, and rolls constantly. We are so close to having a mobile baby, yikes! She is also getting better at eating. I try and give her solids twice a day and expose her to all different types of textures and flavors. One month in and she is actually starting to swallow food. I still feel like I breastfeed constantly and getting a bout of mastitis did not help! I was nursing around the clock to get better. 

Sleep is still a thing of the past. I have no clue why it has been so difficult for her to maintain sleep. I can tell when her sleep cycle ends she violently wakes up and is not comforted by anything besides nursing. We attempted putting her in the nursery a few times this month but she always ended back in our room because I was getting up so many times at night. Teething, new development milestones, new foods, growth spurt, temperature in the room...who knows, maybe all of it. But I just cling on to the hope that one day she will sleep. This won't last forever. I am not going to lie, though: I have never been so sleep deprived in my entire life! 

Although the lack of rest is hard, I will say this age is simply wonderful. Michael and I find ourselves saying over and over again, "I just love her so much." She is such an incredible baby. She is content doing anything and can be passed from person to person. She tries every type of food we give her and she expresses so much joy when she gets to kick her legs in the pool. She is getting so good at entertaining herself but also loves it when we sing with her. Michael can get her in a laughing fit almost every night. As we celebrated our 4 year anniversary, we were just reflecting on how much deeper and richer our love for each other is after having Genevieve. She has brought our relationship to a whole new level!
Brandon and Erin's Wedding
Mother's Day
 Playing in the park

First time in a swing!
 Hanging out with cousin Nora and BFF Edmond
 Pool Time!
 Daniel and Jordan's Wedding
My sweet Genevieve, full of joy
You love being with people. Observing and taking in the surrounding is your thing. When you first meet people you are very serious and unsure but you warm up quickly. And even offer some sweet smiles. You continue to grow and grow! You love sitting up although you still tumble over often. You can do a full push up and have even started pushing yourself backwards. You will be crawling in no time! Although you don't like to sleep for long at night, you do love your nap times. You have always been a great nap taker. This month you expanded your food repertoire and even added spaghetti to the list. You are our gift. Celebrating our anniversary only made since with you because you are the most tangible expression of our love. My heart continues to grow bigger and bigger. My, what fun adventures we have ahead.