Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Yesterday was a picture perfect day. The sun was out, it was about 75 degrees and there was no humidity. DS and I decided to convince DH to meet us at the park during his lunch break. One of the nice things about the developments in this area is that they all have parks and pools. I guess this is supposed to make up for the smaller plots of land (which is why it's going to take us forever to find a house--we want a decent backyard!). We sat under a large oak tree that was dropping acorns around us. Then it was time for some fun! We took DS over to the baby swings and realized that it was probably okay to try to put him in one for awhile. He settled right in and we began to push. A giant smile imediately came over his face. I went to grab the camera back at the picnic table and I could hear this giant cackle! DS was loving being pushed. We pushed and then grabbed him to stop and then let go. This really made him laugh. What fun! Oh, and he did have a hat on, but kept taking it off.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

On My Knees

We've been busy the past week with visits from both sets of Grandmas, so DS has had his fill of doting for the month. It was so cute to watch him smile and laugh each time he saw one of them. He's now got this habit of laughing and giggling when DH or I walk into the room. And his favorite thing EVER (right now, will change tomorrow) is when we all walk down the stairs and someone is in front of him. It cracks him up. I guess his brain is so excited that we are all going in the same direction. Cool.

Yesterday DS pulled up to his knees and then pulled on the futon blanket to a standing position. My first words were, "oh no, look at this!" DH said we should celebrate such a feat, but I was in complete shock. Isn't that supposed to happen in month nine? Or ten? Or eleven? I'm not ready for a stander, but I'm sure consistency in this area is just around the corner. I think he was practicing in his crib during naptime because I heard him wake up and then all of a sudden I heard a THWAP and then a cry. Poor guy banged his head on the crib and now has a Harry Potter like scarish/bump on his forehead.

Friday, August 25, 2006


Finally! A picture of DS! Don't you love the drool?

DS loves when I give him little kisses on his cheeks. Since he was a few weeks old, anytime I get really close to his face and brush up against his cheeks or kiss them, he smiles and closes his eyes in a calm state of bliss. Sometimes he coos and sighs. A sign that all is perfect with the world. I love these moments and wish I could put one of them in a bottle for when he is older and I won't be able to get near his cheeks anymore.

Tonight as I was putting him to bed, we said goodnight to the different objects in his room. Then I sang him a little bit of my own version of Lullaby and Goodnight. This is our little ritual for every nap and bedtime. I could tell he wasn't really tired, but he was starting to calm down in my arms. As I kissed both cheeks softly and sang to him, he burped right in my face without skipping a beat. Now if an adult or even a child did this we would consider it rude and possibly get annoyed. But out of the mouth of a baby, it made the moment even more precious (and funny). One day that won't be acceptable and one day we both won't have our guard down enough to just let our true emotions "rip". Since the world will not allow me to kiss his cheeks when he's 35, I'll settle for as many as I can now...burps and all.

I'm reminded of Robert Munsch's book Love You Forever. For those of you not up on children's literature, this is a story about a mother and son. The mother tells the son she "will love him forever and for always as long as she is living her baby he shall be". The son grows up to take care of the mother when she is very old and says the same thing to her. It's a tear jerker and extremely difficult to read out loud, no matter how many times I've tried. I realized today that I will be that mother one day and hopefully my son will be just as loving, caring, and appreciative as the son was in that story.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Home Alone

I'm sitting at home while DH is out at the dinner we were supposed to be at together before the babysitter cancelled. I was really looking forward to going out tonight, and I hope we can do that soon! DS is asleep in his crib. We had a little outing to South Austin to a coffee shop. They did not serve any decaf coffee. I gave up caffeine when I was pregnant (not that I ever drank much, but I figured, why not? Since I am Bfeeding, I still haven't had any. Can't say I really miss it much either.) I really wanted a decaf iced coffee because It was about a hundred degrees out and the thirty five minute drive down to the coffee shop left me parched. It was one of those paralyzing moments when you just can't function after you receive a response that you were not expecting. No decaf coffee? In a coffee shop? Ummm...nevermind. Sure, I could have had a water, or a cup of tea, but my brain didn't even want to deal with that. Instead, I just felt grouchy for a few minutes and then got over it.

The whole reason we went to this place was to visit with my SWAT mamas who live down south. After DS had an explosive poop that woke him up from his nap, I decided we would go. I figured he would nap in the car, but he never did, which made him a bit cranky when we got home. I've trained him so well to sleep in his crib that he rarely sleeps anywhere else. That's a good and bad thing. It means that he gets relatively good sleep in his crib and he's happy when we go out in the car now (that took months!) But when we are out past his naptime, instead of just resting in the car, he gets way overtired and then it's harder to put him down when we get home.

We have been trying to feed DS some solids now and it's been pretty funny. He's not that fond of rice cereal, and I can't say that I blame him, but today he ate it all! He grabbed onto the spoon and kept it in his mouth for awhile and when I finally got it out of his hands, he just kept accepting more and more into his mouth. Sure, most of it dribbles onto his bib because he doesn't fully understand that tongue thrush thing, but he didn't fuss. I ordered a high chair using amazon gift certs and am hoping that it arrives tomorrow. Right now we are using the bouncy seat (bouncy function off) and that's a little confusing because sometimes I use that for him to play while I am in the kitchen and now I try to feed him out of it. Once the high chair is here, it will be easier to say, "It's mealtime!"

I'm pretty bored right now and feel like I am saying nothing of interest. I don't want to watch TV and I don't feel like reading. Getting sick of the Internet. Guess this is a good place to stop for tonight.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Let Downs/Too Good to Be True

DS took a three hour nap today, which is unheard of in this house! I resisted the temptation to go in and check on him because I knew that the door would wake him up (cheap paint). Instead, I decided to try to be productive and get a lot done during that time. I vacuumed, did the laundry, dishes, swept, picked up and then busy with customer service representatives. I spent about an hour and a half on the phone with various people-- insurance companies, education departments, accounting offices-- and got NOWHERE! How frustrating. I waited on hold for nearly an hour with a state ed. dept. only to get disconnected (I swear, there is someone on the other end who knows you have limited time and just when it's your turn, they hit a button to make you disappear by "accident"). I can only hope he takes a long nap tomorrow so I can try it all again.

DH and I were excited this weekend when we came across a sign on someone's lawn that said "Christina's Babysitting". I called her yesterday to see if she could babysit this Thursday (we were invited to a dinner and weren't sure if we could go). She sounded really sweet and was prepared to bring over references today and to meet DS. I was so excited because DH and I haven't been out alone other than when relatives have been in town to watch DS. Alas, things did not go as planned today. The babysitter was supposed to come at 5:30 and she called to tell me that her mother wasn't home yet and she couldn't get a hold of her (she's a nurse). She said she would still be able to come by tonight when her mom came home, though. I thought it was responsible of her to call, but kind of wanted her to meet DS so I could see how she interacted with him. At about 7, I got a call from babysitter's mom telling me that they were on their way to our house, but her daughter was complaining of not feeling well and from her symptoms, mom thinks she has appendicitis! As I am talking to mom, I hear, "No honey, not here, I'll pull over if you need to throw up!" Needless to say, mom was taking her to a clinic to get checked out and we don't have a babysitter for tomorrow after all. This means I can't go to this dinner and DH has to go alone. Bummer!! I also feel bad for babysitter. I hope we can meet her sometime.

Today's events have put me in somewhat of a blah mood. I need to work out, but I told DH to go out instead because he had a rough day at work. I guess I'll read or something. I could use a good chat with a friend, but most likely I'll just reach their voicemail. Okay, gonna go before I totally bum everyone out!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Back Home

We have been to Long Island and back. I was just reading my last post and realize how lucky I am that I already brought my milk to my parents. I would have a hard time getting it there with all of the new carryon restrictions on the airlines. DS was terrific on our airplane flights. I fed him on the way up and down and he slept a little bit in between. Mostly he just flirted with the flight attendants and the other people around him. Everyone was commenting on how happy he seems. I think he's pretty happy, too and credit a lot of that to the fact that he gets enough sleep.

He stayed on a pretty decent schedule at my parents' even though he was sleeping in a pack n' play. He also cut two teeth while we were there--the first one coming on his six month birthday. He can also sit up for a little while on his own and roll over onto his knees and rock back and forth. He's been extremely busy hitting those milestones!

Got to see some good friends and family while we were back east as well. All in all it was a lot of fun to be back there. DH and I commented on how green everything was. The 80 degree, low humidity weather was also a pleasant change from the 100 plus weather we've been with for the past three months. The only drawback was that DH and I both came down with a bug, which resulted in me getting strep throat. I get it once every few years and this must have been my time. It really sucks having to fly when you are sick.

DS had a little bit of trouble adjusting to being back in his own time zone. He has been waking up at 5 am screaming like crazy and cannot be consoled. This is uncharacteristic for him; usually he wakes up smiling and bouncing. But lately he has been so unhappy. The six month shots at the pediatrician the other day haven't helped either. He had a fever for almost three days and wanted nothing else but to be held and carried everywhere. Poor thing.

Today was much better. DS has been taking four short naps, which is not helpful when you want to get things done around the house, but at least he was a little happier. We also gave him some rice cereal today. He wanted to eat the spoon before I even put it near his mouth. Then when I gave him some cereal, he kind of sloshed it around in his mouth before dribbling most of it down his chin. I wish I had a window into his head so I could see what he was thinking about!

I also got to meet my friend's two week old baby. He's only over five pounds and it so small! He's very tall and skinny. DS was never that little since he was almost 8 pounds. He slept in my arms for nearly an hour, only opening his eyes briefly. What a cutie. I can't wait until he gets a little older and he and DS can play together!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Milk Maid

Haven't written in awhile for no good reason. I honestly don't know what I did with my time this week. I felt tired all week long. DH was working a different schedule, so I'm not sure if that had anything to do with it. I'm also going to bed way later than I should. The threat of a baby waking up in the middle of the night is usually enough to make be get to bed by 10, but lately I have been stretching back to my old ways of 11 and 12. Not good when you figure DS is still waking up at 6. He's currently getting around 11 hours of sleep and I hope that continues.

My mind is moving a mile a minute as I try to get ready for our first trip back east with a child. I have been making a list for the past month so that I won't forget anything. It's not like I couldn't buy something if we really needed it, but who wants to run errands if they don't have to? My biggest concern is taking milk with me. I'm trying to get ready for the second trip back in October and want to make sure I have enough of a supply at my parents for when we go to the weddings in Boston and Pittsburgh. Our first "overnights"! Not really nervous about leaving DS as much as I am about not having enough food for him. He'll be on a decent bit of solids by then (hopefully) but I still want to make sure I have enough of the liquid gold. :)

It's a giant process. Pack the pump, parts, bottles, cleaning bags, fresh milk for travel, cooler ice. Then I need to make sure I keep it as cold as possible so it stays fresh. If I make it to my parents without incident, it can go right in the freezer and stay there for the next few months. I can pump when I am at my parents to add to the supply. I figure I need enough for at least 16 feedings- that's enough for four days. I know stressing about it won't get me very far, but writing it down kind of makes me realize that I can do it as long as we don't take any trips during this first week out there.

I'm really looking forward to going to my parents. When we lived back east we would go there all of the time in the summer so we could swim, eat lobster, drink wine, and eat lots of steak. My dad goes to this great butcher and the steaks are AMAZING! DH has been talking about them for months in anticipation. We are going to be sharing a good bottle of wine this time, too, which we bought my dad for a wedding gift when we got married. He was saving it until his first grandchild was born. That should be a fun night!

I'm sure I will update on the packing drama. DH and I are usually carry on bag people. This time it's going to be very different. I can just see us fumbling though the airport now, babyin one hand, stroller in the other, bag of breastmilk somewhere in between. "Yes, security guard, it's just breastmilk! We're not carrying any lethal chemicals on board!"

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Heat, milk, and other thingys

The mercury has been hitting triple digits for the last three or four days and I think it's causing DS to sleep a lot longer. Yesterday he slept for 12 hours at night and then still took three naps totalling 4:45! You would think I'd get a ton done during that time, but since I wasn't prepared for him to sleep that long, I only got a little bit done. I did, however, take my own nap, which felt great. Went to a fabric store to get some pieces of material to make a thingy (yes a thingy) to hang up near DS's changing table so he doesn't scratch the paint off the wall. Not sure what I am going to make or if I am going to employ help from Mom or SIL yet.

As part of the gym package we bought, we have two sessions with a dietician. I was interested to see what she would recommend for a breastfeeding mom who wants to lose a couple of pounds, but not too quickly, while she works out. Turns out, it's not that much different than what I am already doing, which is good. I need to eat more vegetables and a few less starches, but I knew that already. Paying attention to portions a little better is interesting too, but I'm not going to go crazy over it. I noticed yesterday I ate less than I was "allowed" and I worked out, so when it came time to pump in the evening, my supply was low. Not sure if it was food related or not, but I need to be careful with that.

I know I need to get some pictures on this blog or it's going to be pretty boring. Stay tuned...

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Good as Gold

We had a good day yesterday at the photographer. The plantation house is beautiful and the grounds are also beautifully manicured. I restrained myself from signing up for any photo shoots in the near future, although I am tempted to put DS on the list for Santa pictures. They are taken in November and the photographer said DS will be at the perfect age to be petrified of Santa. That should be interesting.

DS slept through the night until 6:40 this morning. I was worried he would wake up a lot and that I would be exhausted since I am here without DH. But he was terrrific. I shouldn't worry about how DS sleeps anymore, since he soothes himself to sleep very well now, and rarely cries when he wakes up. But I still worry since it's all relatively new.

After his mid-morning/afternoon nap, DS and I headed to South Austin to visit a friend of mine who just moved and is also pregnant. She's due in August and we're very excited about meeting her little guy. DS was great on the drive down, which took about 40 minutes-- not a peep out of him. He just played with his toy the whole time. He FREAKED out when we got to my friend's apt. and her husband said hi to him. He burst out in tears, his face turned red, and there were little tears coming out of his eyes. Poor thing! This has happened a couple of times when unfamiliar people smile at him. At first he is calm, but within seconds he is as red as a tomato and in need of being comforted. He whimpered for a few minutes until he got distracted by the cats on the floor. I guess we're at the stage where he thinks, "You are NOT MY MAMA! WAAAHHHH!!!" He'll get over it.

We went to lunch at a funky little diner and DS chilled on the table while we ate. He managed to grab some of the flowers that were in a vase, but I got to them before they ended up in his mouth. After lunch, we Baby Bjorned it to few shops, which was an extremely hot walk. Fed him a bottle before we headed home and he fell asleep about 10 minutes into the trip back. i couldn't have asked for him to have been better. I wasn't sure how he would do with such a long outing and new surroundings, but he was terrific. He was exhausted when we got home, but he stayed up for a bath and put himself to sleep without any problem. It's great to see that by being so faithful to his sleep needs on a regular basis, it's okay if we get a little off of the routine once in awhile.

This weekend was a lot of fun, but I miss DH. We hardly get any time to see each other during the week, so it sucks that his time off is spent away from us. And when he is at his dad's, he has to devote all of his attention to him and can't get away for a phone call. Again, things that I have to accept. I'm hoping for another good night of sleeping!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Date Weekend

I have a big date this weekend with my little guy. DH is going down to his dad's to help move furniture into a storage unit. I'm not sure why this wasn't done when the movers moved him in, but I guess it really doesn't matter. Things in this family do not always follow a logical pattern and I am still learning to just accept that and go with it. DH will be back on Monday morning. This is my first "night alone" since DS was born.

So what will we do with all of our time together? Eat, play, nap, poop, smile (not necessarily in that order). We are also going to go to an open house at a photographer's new studio today. This woman did DS's newborn photos and she is moving her studio into a plantation home. The invite said there would be session specials and she also hired an assistant who will charge cheaper fees. The photographer was amazing, but her work is really expensive, so unless the fees are significantly cheaper, there's no way I can justify taking DS to her again soon. DH would kill me! Especially since I have probably taken close to 1,000 of my own photos of DS.

I was able to find a crib conversion kit for our crib. It took a few days, but it turns out that the store we purchased the crib from in NJ heard about the company going out of business before anyone else. They looked at their records of the past few years and purchased enough crib kits for anyone who had not bought one when they got their crib. So basically they are the only store that has the extension kits and they even had it in my color. Lucikly they are willing to ship it to us (for a fee, of course). One would think they would have jacked up the prices a bit because they could, but they didn't. So if anyone lives near Cherry Hill, NJ and needs a crib or baby furniture, go to USA Baby. They really are a great store.

Since DS is off napping, I think I will take this time to clean up the house a little. I'll let you know later how our outing was today.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Tales from the crib

I was doing some research on the Baby Bargains website because we are going to need to purchase a new carseat and high chair soon. DS is almost 29 inches, which is the cutoff for an infant seat, and I am pretty anal about safety. While it's probably fine to keep him in it a little longer, I will try to have a new one installed as soon as possible. The only problem is that the highly recommended ones cost about $250. It's not much when you consider it in terms of safety and the fact that he can be in it until he's 65 lbs, but it's one more thing we have to buy. And high chairs aren't cheap either! I've been looking for a decent one in all of the consignment shops around here, but haven't had any luck yet.

Back to my story. The Baby Bargains website has updated info since their last publication and what did I find out? The company that manufactured our crib went out of business in May. Why is this a problem? We purchased a floor model crib that converts into a full sized bed (with the thought that we could have our kid use it for the rest of his life, or we could use it in a guest bedroom. Since we were moving at the time, the sales guy told us that we could purchase the conversion kit some other time. I believe his exact words were "This company will be around for awhile. They're one of the best." Well...

I'm going to have to make some phone calls tomorrow to find out if I can still purchase a conversion kit. If not, this crib turned out to be not such a good deal after all. Of course we can still use it for the next child that comes along, but I woudn't have spent so much on a crib that didn't convert. We'll see what happens. I guess I have a little project to do tomorrow.

This reminds me of a story I recently read in a parenting magazine. A mom was so tired because her child kept waking up in the middle of the night, so she wondered to herself if it would be possible for her to escape for a little bit and take a snooze in her child's crib. She was fairly small, so getting in wasn't a problem. She realized getting out would take a little more effort if she didn't want to break the crib in the process. As she pondered her next move, she heard her husband come into the room looking for her. He seemed confused as to where her voice was coming from and looked even more confused when he saw her in the crib! I have had that thought a couple of times. I just wonder, "What kind of a sleep would I get in there? " But I am too afraid of breaking the crib, so I'll just stick to my own bed. Would you try to sleep in your kid's crib?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Working out!

After much deliberation about the name of this blog, I have decided to just leave it the way it is. I thought about changing it to a French or Italian translation in order to sound more interesting, but screw it. My biggest problem with writing is that I always want to edit to make everything sound better and then nothing gets published. So I will keep this blog the same in order to force myself to give up some of my perfectionist ways.

Yesterday was an exciting day because after a five month hiatus, I found a real TaeBo class with certified instructors! Yay! I was a little spoiled in Philadelphia because my TaeBo instructor was one of the best and often worked with Billy Blanks. He always challenged us and I kept going through week 32 of my pregnancy when we moved. I really thought the pushing part of labor was easy because of the mental strength I gained from doing TaeBo.

Being spoiled by such great classes in Philly made me a bit of a group fitness class snob. For the past month I have been trying to decide what gym to join based on the quality of their classes. None of them offer TaeBo, but have kickboxing instead. I knew it wasn't going to be the same, so I tried to find the gym that offered the best one and joined Lifetime Fitness. One of the classes was just okay, but the circuit class kicked my butt! It's definitely what I need to get this extra bit of pregnancy weight off of my tummy. Even got DH to give the gym a true try (unlike his bimonthly visits in Philly). Hopefully he'll stick with it.

I was all set, but then I found that the TaeBo website updated their list of certified instuctors and there are two that are about 15 mintues away. I emailed them and found out they have classes four times a week, twice at night and twice at noon. I finally made it to a class last night and it felt terrific! The instructors were great and it was a fresh change to take a class taught by two women. I could really feel that I hadn't been doing TaeBo in awhile. I talked to them about getting certified because they are taking a group out to LA in November. That would be a huge goal for me, but I'm not sure where I will be with BFeeding DS, so we'll see. I look forward to going to these classes more often. And the best part is that the offer free childcare and I would be more than welcome to just leave DS in his infant carrier by me while I work out. I bet he would laugh at me as he watched! With his active nature, he'll be kicking with me in no time.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Strongmama is here!

After months of DH trying to convince me to write, and after seeing some fun pages of my SIL's blog, I have finally decided to start my own. I wasn't really sure what to call my blog, but since these entries will no doubt include updates on my little guy, I figured this is as good as anything. Note that the address is opposite of the name because it appears that strongmama already exists in another language blog. Oh well.

DH is off watching the finals of the World Cup (I'm glad that's almost over), and DS is taking a nap. Other than the rumbling of the dryer, there is silence in the house. I like it when I can just sit and think about things and now I am just trying to figure out what I should write about.

Since I mentioned the dryer, this would probably be a good time to tell you that I am thrilled with my washer and dryer. After four and a half years of marriage and three moves, it was pregnancy that finally convinced DH that we could own our own. I can't imagine having to go to the laundromat or down to a communal basement with a baby. I know that plenty of people do it, but it would make me very cranky. Now that we have our own, I do the laundry all of the time. No complaints or grumbles; it just goes in and we go about our business. That's the way laundry should be.

When I decided I would stay home with DS I knew there would be housework involved, but I never thought I would become this much of a domestic. I look forward to vacuuming (two white cats give us plenty--thanks, Zen and Zoe) and emptying the dishwasher, cooking dinner, running errands. I guess when your life changes for the better, you are more able to accept things that you once despised.

DS is amazing. I always observed how happy my friends are with their kids, but there aren't words to describe how lucky I feel every day when I wake up to his coos on the montior, go into his bedroom, look in his crib, and see a bright-eyed, smiling face peering back at me. It's as if for a brief moment, the world stops and we just stare and welcome each other to the day that awaits us. Even the smell of a dirty diaper can't ruin this moment!

It also makes us laugh when we think about how much DH and I talk about poo on a daily basis now. Did he poop today? What color was it? Was there a lot or a little? I never took an interest in such things. Now we sing songs when we hear one coming or when we go to change that messy diaper. I don't think I ever said "good job" as much when I taught as I do now for burps and poops! Change can be wonderful.

So I'll leave you with those thoughts for today. The monitor is starting to make some noise, which means DS is waking from his nap. It's time to go change that diaper and go out for a walk. I hope you enjoy reading my blog from time to time!