Friday, December 31, 2010

2010

Today is the last day of what was a very significant year for us. The year started with me being pregnant and is ending with a very energetic (almost) 8 month old little boy. I feel like I had been planning 2010 for a very long time.

I started this blog to chronicle mommyhood, joining the mommy blogger world. I am proud of myself for actually keeping it updated even though I have no idea who most of my readers are. I'm just glad someone is reading.

When I look back on 2010, of course I'll remember the birth of my first child most. But I also hope to remember what it felt like to become a mother, not just to have a baby, to remember how far I've come, what I've learned, the friends I've made.

Hopes for 2011: I hope to be the best mom I can be, the best wife I can be. I hope to influence someone's life in a positive way. I hope to continue to grow our little family and learn something new every day. I hope I'm as thankful as I was in 2010.

I'm ringing in the new year by making no bake cookies and watching tv. I couldn't be happier.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas Eve

I woke up this morning to my beautiful son and husband playing in the living room. When Ryan saw me standing in the hallway, he smiled and crawled to me. He is exactly 7.5 months today. Who knew 7.5 months ago that I'd have this baby who could smile and crawl and show affection? When your baby is born, you love them more than you'd ever imagine and you hope that they love you back. You wait very impatiently for weeks and weeks for them to give you a smile, and when they do, your heart melts. My heart still melts every time he sees me across the room and smiles at me when our eyes meet. I love him more than I ever thought possible. And I am in awe of him every day.

I know I have so many things to look forward to. He's crawling, pulling up, cruising, and I imagine will be walking within the next few months. My baby is morphing into a little boy and it makes my heart break and swell with pride all at the same time. He's growing so fast and I can't help but think, "stay little. please. just a little longer".

As we prepare to celebrate our first Christmas together as a threesome, I'm just reflecting on how this time last year, we had just found out we were expecting a boy. We were still just two. We had no idea the changes that were to come. Your life really changes when you become a mother...whether you adopt, have a biological child, foster a child, or even act as a temporary mother during a student exchange. You become more than yourself, more than you thought was possible. I am so thankful to have my son. He is my SUN.

I am looking forward to tomorrow morning, all of us in our jammies, me with coffee, opening our presents and celebrating together. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Nosefrida!

We're going on a week straight of congestion. Paul and I have both been through our rounds and are feeling fine now. Ryan, on the other hand, is still stuffy. We've been doing everything we're supposed to...saline drops in the nose, bulb syringe, sitting in a steamy room, running the humidifier....everything. And he's fine during the day but night time has been a struggle. Most nights, he ends up in the guest bed with Paul and still sleeps fitfully.

My friend Kim mentioned that someone she knew had tried the Nosefrida and swore by it. We checked out their website, giggled and gagged and discussed how gross the concept was. Fast forward a few days to Sunday evening. Ryan stayed the night at my mom's because Paul was deathly ill and I was exhausted. He had a rough night. No one slept much (except me and Paul, woohoo). I decided I'd get over my ick factor and get one. I also wanted to pick up some Vapor Bath. I headed to Babies R Us during my lunch break on Monday and was sad to see that BRU doesn't carry the Nosefrida. So I whipped out my iphone and found the closest baby boutique store that carried it and headed over.

I never found the store that day and sadly, ran out of time and had to go back to work. Not to worry, I thought, I'll go back on Tuesday. Well, today I went during lunch, confident in my directions. I found the store with no problems. I parked, walked right up, and saw that the store had closed. Forever. Irritated that I had, yet again, wasted my lunch break, I went back to work. Luckily, my mom was able to go to another store and pick it up.

I was so excited to get home and try it out. We did it twice on Ryan. I've read all these reviews from women whose babies don't even cry. I wonder if they're putting saline drops in, or how old their baby really is, because Ryan? He's 7.5 months old, is squirmy, and impossible to suction without him screaming like a banshee. Anyways, he still screamed bloody murder but I sucked out so much snot! It was awesome.

Now, I wasn't able to completely clear him out. I figure it's just like if I blew my nose and was still kind of stuffy, which toooootally happens. So I understand how he must feel. I definitely give this product a thumbs up. It's certainly not FUN to suck the snot out of your kid's nose using your own lung power, but it works, doesn't damage the inside of his little nose, and is easy to clean. I'd recommend it to anyone.

p.s. for those of you wondering - no, you don't get their snot in your mouth. There's a little barrier that prevents that.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Plague Upon Our House

I mentioned last time that Ryan's eye looked puffy and that when we took him to the pediatrician, she said it was fine but he was a little congested.

Well, that congestion turned into a full blown cold. Ryan's first cold - 7 months old. One for the baby book (no, seriously, I wrote it in the book). This is how last week went:

Monday - Paul stays home from work sick. I am doubtful. Ryan's eye looks a little puffy.
Tuesday - I wake up feeling sick. Ryan's eye still looks puffy, so we go to the pediatrician. I stay home from work due to illness.
Wednesday - Paul and I both feel sick, both drag our asses to work. Ryan's congestion worsens.
Thursday - We have no idea what we're in for. Paul and I are feeling better and Ryan's congestion is manageable during the day. Nightfall comes and our sweet baby boy is replaced with a snot spewing demon who won't stop crying. Paul makes a late night run to CVS to buy the Little Noses kit and some baby Vicks. Neither of us sleeps more than 4 hours.
Friday - hopped up on caffeine and sugar, I make it through the work day despite being tired as hell. Armed with vicks on Ryan's feet, careful placement of the humidifier, and a bulb syringe, we all manage to sleep from 9 to 5 AM Saturday morning. Woo hoo! 8 hours!

Yesterday, Ryan seemed fine, so we went ahead and had my friend Kelli and her family over. Kelli and I have been friends for over 10 years, getting closer to 15 than 10. We're known to do things together. We both got married in the fall of 2007 and both were expecting our first babies in the summer of 2010. Kelli's son, Aiden, came early, and thus is only 3 weeks younger than Ryan. Had I not been induced, they very well could only be 2 weeks apart in age. We had a great time. Both babies were well behaved and played well together. I am very much looking forward to them growing up together. We decided not to exchange gifts with each other, but instead, the boys would exchange gifts. It gets too expensive to get a gift for everyone. Ryan got Aiden the Twilight Turtle Nightlight. Since he's such a planner, he bought it back in September! Aiden's room is done in turtles so Ryan knew it would match perfectly! Aiden gave Ryan a cool turtle that zips up. Inside are different colored soft balls. This is what it looks like. Ryan loves it!

We were so tired after Jonathan, Kelli and Aiden left that we went to bed very early. I made a pot of mac and cheese, took some Nyquil, and was asleep by 8:30. Paul also went to bed very early. He isn't feeling well today so he's resting while I get some housework done and Ryan is at my dad's. We arranged to have Ryan stay the night at my mom's tonight so hopefully both of us can get well rested and back to 100%!

Christmas is only 6 days away and I am very excited! We also got the insurance issues taken care of from our robbery while we were on vacation. I am glad to have that done, finally. The only thing left to do before Christmas is drink hot chocolate, listen to Christmas music, and spend time with family!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I love December

I really really really love Christmas. Especially now that I'm a real grown up and can do whatever I want.

My husband's mom bakes hundreds of cookies each holiday season. From rum balls to thumbprints to their infamous Good Cookies, she bakes tirelessly and always has yummy cookies to serve up from the beginning of December through New Years. Me? I'm not quite as dedicated as she is. I don't typically bake because it's just a lot of work and I'm lazy. However, this weekend I made my first attempt at Cake Balls.

Long story short: you bake a box cake mix, add a vat of icing, roll into balls and dip in chocolate or another candy coating flavor. I did yellow cake with cream cheese frosting and dipped in milk chocolate candy coating. The result: delicious and ridiculously addictive.
Photobucket

I really want to do some no bake cookies this weekend, but those are even worse for my waistline because I really CAN NOT stop eating them once I start. Yummy peanut buttery chocolatey oatmealy goodness. Who could resist?! We'll see how up to it I feel once the weekend rolls around.

Nothing new is going on except for the plague upon my house. Monday, Paul was home sick from work. I noticed Ryan's little left eye looked a little puffy and decided that if it still looked weird Tuesday morning that I was taking him to his pediatrician. Tuesday morning rolls around and I feel like death and Ryan's eye still looked funny. So to the pediatrician we went. Nothing serious. She says contact dermatitis and that he's been rubbing his little eye raw causing broken blood vessels. So I've been slathering his face in vaseline. He's practically glowing. I stayed home Tuesday as well and spent the day in bed knocked on my ass. Tuesday evening was a blur because I was miserable. I managed to drag my ass to work today and I think I feel better for it. Around 3:00, my ears popped and I magically started feeling better. Paul seems to be better too. Ryan's a little stuffy but his eye is back to normal. I had to use the ball syringe on him for the first time today and it was awful. Poor guy. Here's hoping we're all back to 100% ASAP.

My bff and her family are coming over Saturday. I am so excited to see her little one, Aiden. He's 3 weeks younger than Ryan and sadly, I haven't seen him since he was about 2 weeks old. How is that possible?! The kid is 6 months old now! We're having a little Christmas get together at my house mid-afternoon since the babies have to be home and in bed and they live kind of far away. It's going to be great to see the boys together and see how they interact.

Anyways, Christmas is next weekend and I couldn't be more excited!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas

I am a planner. I decided months ago that I'd have 5% of my paycheck deferred to a separate checking account to plan for Christmas spending. It worked out great, despite not receiving any pay for about 3 months while on maternity leave. Sadly, some of our Christmas gifts were stolen during Home Invasion 2010. Luckily, though, it wasn't more than a couple and they were coincidentally all for the same person.

Anyways, I've been done Christmas shopping for ages, since before Halloween. Now our tree is up and I've slowly been wrapping. Now I'm even done with that. I really love Christmas. It's my favorite holiday and it's really nice to be done and just be able to enjoy the next couple of weeks.

I've been thinking of making Cake Pops or another goodie. I almost always make no bake cookies. I am just so excited to spend our first Christmas together with Ryan and celebrate with our family.

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thanks, Shutterfly

So a few weeks ago, I participated in a promotion sponsored by Shutterfly which resulted in me receiving 50 free Christmas cards. I was so excited when I got my orange box in the mail, stuffed full of my Christmas cards. I had gotten Ryan's 6 month pictures done and the photographer specially edited one so I could use it on my card. I was excited to get them. and for free!

Anyways, I got my orange box, excitedly opened it and looked at the cards. I was immensely disappointed. The image was the one I had uploaded but it wasn't very clear. I took them to work, kept them in my car for a few days, asked others' opinions, and had decided to just mail them out anyways. Then I got the idea to email Shutterfly and complain. I'm not one to send food back or return damaged clothes, so my hopes of hearing back from them were low.

I filled out their customer service form and politely explained that I was disappointed with the quality of the picture. Less than 24 hours later, I received an email back explaining what had happened, which was, in fact, my fault. Nonetheless, they credited my account for the full amount of the cost of the cards plus some for shipping. I now have my brand new cards (used the right resolution picture this time) and am sending them out tomorrow.

Basically, my point is that Shutterfly could have been all like, "dude this is your fault oh well" but they didn't. They were amazing and I would totally recommend them to anyone.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Kind of sad and a little bit angry.

I've been thinking about breastfeeding lately. Yes, that again. Many of my online friends have babies who are just turning 6 months old. 6 months is a big milestone for breastfeeding. So I'm hearing a lot about it.

I'm just still so disappointed that it didn't go as I had planned. I'm sad and angry and jealous of these women who find it so easy, so second nature. My friend at work came back from her maternity leave last Monday. Her daughter is almost 2 months old and she comes to work with her breast pump and talks about how much easier it is to just feed her daughter straight from the tap rather than pump. Neither is easy. Pumping is hard work. I can't help but be jealous that it's just so EASY for her. A couple of rough weeks and now it magically works just fine. No pain or anything? It just is incredible to me that some women can just do it.

I've self diagnosed myself with IGT (insufficient glandular tissue). It's a condition in which women don't have enough glandular tissue to produce any or enough breastmilk for their child. Ryan latched fine but my body just couldn't produce hardly any milk for him. They say the pump isn't a good judge of how much milk you're producing. My baby would cry after eating and before eating and even when I'd pump, I'd be lucky to get an ounce out of both breasts combined. I am so mad at my body. I don't understand why it can't just work properly.

I wanted so badly to breastfeed and even now, I wish that I had the nursing experience I had hoped for.

I have one of the healthiest babies I know. Ryan has never been sick, is happy and certainly very healthy. I know formula was the best choice for MY family and I don't regret it. I couldn't be one of those mothers who insisted on breastfeeding while watching their child continue to lose weight because of what I wanted. He's a happy, healthy baby who is growing every day and changing right before my eyes, so why can't I accept that my nursing experience was brief and challenging and it's okay to move on?

I love my son. I love the fact that I am not the only one who can feed him. I love that I don't have to pump and I love that he doesn't need to be nursed to sleep. Realistically, I probably would have quit nursing and pumping by now anyways. I guess I'm just having a hard time since I'm reading about fellow mothers who are still nursing and going strong. I'm jealous.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

30 day Fail

I totally failed at my 30 day challenge.

In my defense...we went on vacation starting on the 19th. We were out of town until the 27th only to come home to our house having been broken into.

So I've been dealing with that.

Anyways...it's December and I am excited for Christmas.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 15: Something I never leave the house without

I'm asthmatic and literally have not left my home without my inhaler in probably 20 years. I was diagnosed pretty young and my asthma is severe, so it's imperative that I have access to it at all times. Over the years, the right combination of medicine has made it bearable to live with asthma and I don't use my inhaler nearly as often as I used to. In fact, it's been about a year since I got a refill and it's still pretty full. My first reaction was "well how will I ever take a picture of my phone with my phone" and then realized....the real thing I've never left home without. It's my lifeline. Literally. I hate being chained to it and when I go on long trips, I make sure to take a spare just incase. It kind of controls me. My asthma is a lot better, but I still don't feel safe enough to be more than 2 minutes away from my inhaler at any given time.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 14: A favorite TV show.







Couldn't pick just one.



Shutterfly

Shutterfly is doing a promotion where you can receive 50 free Christmas cards just for doing a few things!

I know I posted previously that I was considering not doing Christmas cards this year because of the cost of stamps. It was never really about the cost of cards. I have some from last year as well as some I got from the sample sale at work. None are photo cards, but that didn't stop me last year. I was pregnant last year and wasn't about to send my pregnant belly out to God and everyone. But, photo cards are my favorite and I have a new baby to show off. I like to get Christmas cards as much as the next person, but my favorites are photo cards. I have several friends who live back in Illinois and it's so fun to see how their family is growing. I keep photo cards, too, so I have pictures of my friends, their pets, families, children, etc from over the years. I'm kind of sentimental like that. I actually have a box full of cards from my husband over the years and from my oldest friend, Kelli. I think I have cards from 9th grade.

I remember I worked with a lady who, after getting married, had a photo book made from shutterfly. It was beautiful. Since scrapbooking has been on the rise, and people are printing more photos, it's nice to have options on where to get them printed so it isn't the same old Walmart (not that there's anything wrong with Walmart).

Anyways, if you're a blogger reading this, you can get in on their 50 free cards by going here. If you're just a normal person looking for a fun place to get some Christmas cards, you can go HERE. They also have really cute Christmas story cards if you want to say more HERE. Finally, if you don't celebrate Christmas or any other holiday and want to make a cool calendar, which someone made for me once and I loooooved, you can go HERE.

Anyways, friends, it's Sunday and I have a laundry list of things to accomplish today so I better get to it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 13: A favorite song

When I moved to Illinois, Paul played the record that this song is from for me. I grew to love listening to it. It was re-recorded by Fleetwood Mac but the original is the best. It holds a lot of great memories for me and makes me think of my husband.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 12: Three Blogs I Can't Get Enough Of

1. Ashley's Closet - I stumbled upon her blog during my pregnancy by googling "kidisms" and have fallen in love with Big Kid and Little Kid. I look forward to her posts every day.

2. Post Secret - Everyone loves Post Secret. Fresh new secrets served up every Sunday. Although I could do without the stupid videos.

3. Jennsylvania - This is the blog of one of my favorite authors, Jen Lancaster. I was given her book as a birthday gift from my dear friend, Laura. Laura knows me so well and gave me this book during my baby blues haze. Ryan was born 8 days before my birthday and that book got me through some rough nights and long days. I love Jen's blog. Keeps me salivating for her new book!

Honorable mention: So Fawned - I stole this whole 30 days hath November thing from her, only, I didn't make up my own topics. Why do the work when someone else does it for you?

Well, Ryan is gone away with my mom for the weekend. We have some upcoming plans that will require my mom to not see him for about a week, so we lent him out to her for the weekend again.

I was momentarily sad when she brought him by work today. I held him in the parking lot, snuzzled his little cheeks and kissed him until he pushed me away and said goodbye 'til Sunday. I miss him infinitely. I came home from work today, alone, and sifted through the mail, walked around aimlessly and ended up in his room next to his little crib where his jammies from last night still lay discarded. I picked them up and breathed his scent in. Even now, sitting in bed with my sleeping husband, I can't help but wish Baby Ryan were snoozing in the other room. I'm sure I'll be thankful at 5:15 (his new wake up time since daylight savings) tomorrow though.

Day 11: Something I've been craving


I'm late. I know. In my defense, I was sick. I went home from work Wednesday late morning and didn't return until this morning.

Something I've been craving...and will soon get, Chicago:






Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 10: My favorite place to eat

I don't know if I have just one favorite place. I have one favorite Mexican place. And one favorite breakfast place. And one favorite sushi place. And one favorite ice cream place. But not just one favorite place to eat overall.

So I'm going to talk about all of them.

My favorite food is Mexican food. Lucky for me, I live in Texas where it's plentiful. My husband, on the other hand, doesn't love it. I've finally gotten him to love fajitas, so he always orders them no matter what Mexican restaurant we're at. A few months after we bought our house, he suggested that we try out a local place I'd never been to called Mena's. I was skeptical and initially declined but then decided what the hell, and off we went. Of course, Paul ordered fajitas. They have special fajitas that are seasoned with chipotle and he loves them. They also have a little twist in that they serve their fajitas with sauteed potatoes. I had the brisket tacos. It's shredded brisket seasoned with chipotle and served on hot corn tortillas with an avocado salad. I love Mena's.

My favorite breakfast place is a tiny little place called Bic's. They don't have a website. It's THAT kind of place. I remember the first time I went, I was with my mom and Diane. We went out to breakfast nearly every Saturday during my pregnancy. I recall walking in the door for the first time and feeling like I was in a small town. My dad's family comes from South Carolina and I felt like I had walked into a diner in South Carolina. Bic's is awesome. It's as old as I am and their food is good and cheap. Now that Ryan's here, I don't get to go out to breakfast as much, but when I do, we go to Bic's. I always order the Texas style french toast...which is 3 slices of french toast cut in half with butter melting all over them. It comes with a side of two eggs and bacon or sausage. I always pick bacon. I am ashamed to admit that I usually eat every bite of the french toast. Coupled with coffee, it keeps me full until dinner time.

My favorite sushi place is a little place called Carrollton Sushi. No one in my family likes sushi except for my dad. So about once every couple of months, we have dinner together at Carrollton Sushi. It's a tiny hole in the wall place that's in the same parking lot as an Albertson's. It's nothing special, but it's cheap and delicious basic sushi rolls. Nothing fancy here. I recently had dinner with a friend at a swanky sushi place in downtown Dallas. In the GAYborhood, actually. While it was good, I missed my simple philadelphia roll with my dad. I spent $30 on dinner that night and all we ordered was two rolls and a glass of tea. Carrollton Sushi is just a small place with simple rolls that are affordable and tasty. Part of the sentiment for me is that it's a place for me and my dad.

My favorite ice cream place is Braum's. When I moved to Illinois, I realized they lacked several of the southern fast food chains I was used to (Whataburger, Sonic, Jack in the Box, Chick-fil-a, Braums..) but the one I missed most was Braum's. Sure, you could go to Oberweiss or Baskin Robbins, but nothing was like Braum's. I spent my childhood weekends with my grandma and part of the fun of that was getting to go to Braum's and get an ice cream sundae. My brother, to this day, still only orders a banana split. I prefer the brownie fudge sundae made with german chocolate ice cream. It's a brownie on the bottom, hot fudge, two scoops of the ice cream of your choice, topped with even more hot fudge, whipped cream, nuts, and a cherry on top. It's heavenly. And probably a week's worth of calories. But I sure did miss that when I was away for all those years. And now that I have a Braum's a mile from my home, I've noticed I don't go there nearly enough. Even just a scoop of strawberry on a waffle cone is something to write home about.

Those are the favorites that came to mind. I would love a sundae right about now.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 09: The last item I purchased.


Coincidentally, I am wearing it today. I bought this last Friday at Old Navy. It was on clearance. Still a bit pricey for my taste, but I liked it a lot, so I shelled out the $15 for it. I know, I'm such a cheapskate. I don't shop for clothes very often and when I do, it's usually from the clearance section. I just can't bring myself to spend money on clothes or shoes or purses, as much as I want to. I just can't. It's dark grey, which you really can't tell from the picture. It's very soft and warm and I can wear it with jeans or dress pants, as I'm doing today since I'm at work.

So that's my last item I purchased, apart from groceries, which wasn't nearly as interesting. Plus, I took this picture in the bathroom at work (came out pretty good, I think) and I don't have my groceries here, so...a shirt you'll get.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 08: The city I live in.

I live in a suburb of Dallas. Although when people ask, I generally just say Dallas. I'm going with that for this post. You all may have seen "Dallas" during the World Series. Or maybe watching a Cowboys game. I mean, simply googling "Dallas" returns pictures of the Dallas cast and several Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. I'll tell you - that's not my Dallas.

I grew up with cool parents who took me to fun events. I can't count how many times I've been to the Deep Ellum Art Festival. My mom and Diane were pretty poor when their relationship began. I only saw my mom on the weekends, so we were always looking for free things to do. Dallas as a great free "paper" called the Dallas Observer that lists all kinds of cool stuff, even free stuff, to do. So our ritual was to pick up an Observer, find something semi-kid friendly, and head out. I think that's how we started attending Easter in the Park.

Easter in the Park is an annual picnic at Robert E. Lee park in downtown Dallas. It's a gay event and features a pooch parade, in which dog owners dress their dogs up in costume and parade them down the road. Also at Easter in the Park is the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, playing in the background. My mom and Diane always took us to Eatzi's to pick out food for our picnic before heading to the park. It's one of my strongest childhood memories. It was always so fun. At the end of the events at Easter in the Park....a drag queen easter bonnet contest. Fun for the whole family!

Also home to Dallas is the State Fair of Texas at Fair Park. I can't even begin to explain the magnitude of the state fair. I'm pretty sure it's the most awesome one in the entire country.

There are just a lot of really cool things to do here. We have countless museums and that's just the Dallas side. Forget about Ft. Worth. I know I'm not going to convince anyone reading this to pick up and move to Dallas, but it's my home. I've lived elsewhere and while Chicago is magical and near and dear to my heart, Dallas is my home.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 07: A Song for Today

Now, a song for the day. It's November and the beginning of "the holiday season". Which is what prompted me to pick this particular tune.

A Simple Kind of Life

My friend has a blog and her latest update was about saving money which got me thinking.

I had a conversation recently with my husband that started with me saying, "Aren't you glad I'm not one of those women who has to have designer everything?". His response shocked me. He looked at me and said something along the lines of "I like that you're content to live a simple life. I don't think things would have worked out if it were any different". I never really thought of myself as a simple girl before. I enjoy a designer handbag as much as the next materialistic girl. The difference is that I don't buy it, no matter how cheap it is. And then I started thinking about how almost everything in my life has come about secondhand.

My house wasn't built for me. It's as old as I am and has had countless owners.
Our living room furniture is all secondhand. Except the tv. The very couch I'm sitting on was negotiated to be kept during the sale process of buying our house. Almost all of Ryan's clothes and toys are secondhand. Most of my clothing is not secondhand, nor is Paul's, but I do own a few pair of secondhand shoes and tops. I mostly shop secondhand because I like to save money, but there's more to it than just saving money. It's about living simplistically. Because even buying stuff that's less expensive than actual retail price is still buying stuff. And accumulating stuff. And spending ridiculous amounts of money on stuff. Just stuff.

To me, it's not just about buying used items, it's about not buying the item at all. There was a big toy consignment sale this weekend. I love consignment sales. I haven't missed one since I was pregnant. I didn't go to this one. Instead, I stayed home with my boys and played and saved my pocketbook some dollars. I understand why people fill their homes with things they love. I've lost my treasured items to fire. twice. So to me, it is what it is...just stuff. And not worth the money, no matter how great of a deal it is.

That being said, we are very fortunate to be able to afford the things we wish. I guess it's a trade off. Some people love to shop. I love to have my house cleaners come and scrub my toilets and baseboards so I don't have to!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 06: Three favorite quotes

I really don't want to cop out on this one, but I don't think I can think of three favorite quotes. Or even one. I could rattle off a list of favorite songs or favorite books, favorite colors, favorite clothing items, favorite people, favorite scents, but not favorite quotes.

The first thing that came to mind was a line from a song from the Disney movie, Alice in Wonderland. It's been my favorite animated movie since childhood. While all the other girls loved Ariel or Cinderella, I always identified with Alice. The song goes

"I give myself very good advice,
but I very seldom follow it.
That explains the trouble that I'm always in"

It's not really a quote, so much as a line from a song. Another "favorite" I could list dozens, if not hundreds of, but it will have to suffice because it's the only one I could think of. So I owe you two more someday.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 05: Myself Five Years Ago

Five years ago I:
  • Was 21
  • Lived in Illinois
  • Went on my very first cruise
  • Got engaged
  • Went to Vegas
  • Got a kitten
It was 2005. It was an exciting year. I had lived in Illinois for nearly 2 years in November 2005. I had a job I loved, had recently gotten engaged and taken a trip to Vegas, and got a cute kitten named Squeak. I had only a few pictures to choose from for this one since I don't know where a lot of my pictures are. This picture was taken in Cozumel. I often look back and think about how great certain times were. Sometimes memories are sensationalized but I really do think that was an awesome year. It was definitely one of the happiest times of my lives. Man, I wish I was in Mexico right now.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 04: A fabulous friend


It took me no time to decide who I'd write about. She is very humble and probably will wonder why I chose her, as she views herself as anything but fabulous...depending on how much she's had to drink! ;) I'm not posting her face in case she would prefer that the people reading this not see it.

She is one of my oldest friends and I trust her infinitely. We've definitely had our ups and downs, and even though we don't have a whole lot in common, she is the person I look forward to talking to every day, the person I want to share my most embarrassing stories with, and the person I seek advice from.

She's probably the bravest person I know and I admire her for that. She is a good person. She loves fiercely. She is by far the most open minded person I have ever met in my life and it would do me some good to heed her way of thinking from time to time.

More than anything, she is my constant companion. My frequent advisor. My mentor. And I hope I am the same to her. She is supportive and friendly and the type of person you either love or hate. I happen to love the shit out of that girl.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 03: A close-up of my day.

Close up of my day times 4! The top right is Ryan sleeping as seen on our video monitor. Top right is my desk at work at lunchtime. Bottom left is my cup of coffee this morning as I got ready and the bottom right is my keyboard at work. Yes, that's a container of honey. Roundrock honey to be more specific!

I am one tired mommy today. Long day at work and since my sweet husband is at a work function tonight, I was alone with the kiddo. I don't spend much time with Ryan alone. Sadly, I only see him for a few hours a day, so Paul and I typically share that time. Tonight it was solo mommy time. Ryan and I ate some pumpkin apple baby food (well, he did. I just fed him). After that, he ate about 6 oz of formula and then I gave him a bath. Following his bath, he walked around in his walker while I cleaned the kitchen. After half an hour of walker time, we had some tummy time and Ryan scooted himself all over the place! He was ready for bed at that point and was sleeping like an angel by 6:45. So I cooked dinner and now I'm watching some Mad Men waiting on my dear husband to come home!

Up next: A Fabulous Friend

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 02: Something I ate today


Those are almonds and they were my breakfast today along with a cup of peach yogurt. I used to be a big breakfast person. I have always eaten breakfast. When I was a kid, it was mostly cold cereal. In high school, I ate a lot of canned tuna for breakfast because I was weight obsessed and refused to eat carbs. As an adult, I reverted back to cold cereal at home. Over the last two years, I've gone back and forth between homemade oatmeal, bagels, and cereal. Since having Ryan, I just don't have the same voracious appetite in the mornings. Lately, I've scaled it back to a cup of yogurt, or a handful of almonds, or in today's case, both. I love almonds and unfortunately, my husband is allergic to them. It's not so bad that he can't have them in the house, but there are a lot of things we can't share because of his allergy. So it's always a treat to eat them!

01: Self Portrait

That's me. At work. At approximately 7AM. Most mornings, my hair doesn't look that good. And it doesn't even look great there! I actually curled the ends of it this morning. See, last night I wasn't feeling well, so I went to bed almost immediately after showering. So I woke up with some wicked bedhead and the only way I could pull off a sexy tousled look was to put some effort into it. It took about 5 minutes and looked good for a couple of hours. I usually sport either stick straight hair or a ponytail. So you get a treat today!

Love This

I read a blog called So Fawned. At first I was going to do the whole "A post every day saying what you're thankful for". But then I saw this. I'm already a day behind, so I owe you two posts today.

Day 01: A Self Portrait
Day 02: Something I ate today.
Day 03: A close-up of my day.
Day 04: A fabulous friend.
Day 05: Myself, five years ago.
Day 06: Three favourite quotes.
Day 07: A song for the day.
Day 08: The city I live in.
Day 09: The last item I purchased.
Day 10: My favourite place to eat.
Day 11: Something I’ve been craving.
Day 12: Three blogs I can’t get enough of.
Day 13: A favourite song.
Day 14: A favourite TV show.
Day 15: Something I never leave the house without.
Day 16: A celebrity I’m swooning over.
Day 17: My family & myself.
Day 18: What I wore today.
Day 19: A silly self-portrait.
Day 20: A childhood anecdote.
Day 21: Something that makes me rather happy.
Day 22: Something that I miss.
Day 23: Fifteen facts about Sam.
Day 24: Something that means a lot to me.
Day 25: The contents of my purse.
Day 26: A photo of some place I’ve travelled.
Day 27: Myself, one year ago.
Day 28: A favourite movie.
Day 29: Something I could never tire of.
Day 30: Three great things that happened this month.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloweenie Baby & Plans

I cannot believe it's the end of October. Ryan will be HALF A YEAR old in 11 days. I can't believe how fast he's growing! My little boy is currently in his walker in our kitchen talking to his reflection in the dishwasher. We have our 6 month photo session next weekend! My, how he's grown!

Here's Ryan in his giraffe costume and me dressed like a pediatric surgeon (yes I am that specific) at my work's Fall Festival. I work for a large arts & crafts retailer, from now on known as Large Arts and Crafts Retailer since I'm pretty sure it's against our policy to specifically name the company. Anyways, they're good at festivals and such.
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Ryan looks tired and annoyed because he was woken up from a nap and was ready for a bottle. Plus, all the loud music, people gawking and touching him was a bit overwhelming. Even though time is flying by, I am very much looking forward to the next couple of months.

In about three weeks, we're taking a road trip to Chicago to visit our family and friends. While I'm a little nervous about the prospect of taking a 6.5 month old on such a long trip, we plan on stopping in Memphis and I'm excited since I've never been. Plus I know once we get there, we'll have a great time and I miss Chicago. We will get home 2 days after Thanksgiving which means that we can break out the Christmas decorations!

Oddly, on my busiest year to date (what with having a baby and all), I am already 95% DONE Christmas shopping! I have two more gifts to buy and then Paul and I will shop for each other. It was pretty easy since I am a genius and started deferring some of my paycheck to a separate checking account. So I've been having a lot of fun being able to shop and not feel like I'm draining our account. It also made it a whole lot stressful this year. The only two people I have left to buy for are Paul's dad and Paul's sister's boyfriend (probably soon to be fiancee). Next, we get to decorate and bake cookies and enjoy our growing boy through the holidays! I'm doubtful that we'll do Christmas cards this year. With stamps being nearly 50 cents a pop plus the cost of cards, it just seems like a waste. For the record, I love Christmas cards and enjoy receiving them. I just don't enjoy paying $20 for cards and then shelling out another $20 in stamps. We'll see.

Coming up: My Day in the Life Project. I've been working on this for my internet group of friends and it's taking forever. I've gotten to see the life of a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, a stay at home mom to 5 (FIVE!!) boys, a first time mom in Michigan and several others. It's so fun to see how different we all are, yet have so much in common. I intend to post mine here as well, so be on the lookout for that hopefully sometime in the next week!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Adventures in Babysitting....I mean Baby Food Making

As promised, here are the results of my latest attempt to make Ryan organic, homemade baby food. I had previously made apples (delicious) and sweet potatoes (not delicious to mommy, but Ryan loved them). So I was pretty confident about making more sweet potatoes, carrots, and butternut squash.

I started with the carrots. My husband helped me peel them. I got a gigantic bag at Sprouts since you can't get them at the farmer's market this time of the year. I spent $4.99 for a 5 lb bag of organic carrots. There were tons of carrots. We stupidly tried to put the peels down the garbage disposal, which worked for awhile until it got clogged. And then we spent the next two days trying to fix it. Anyways, we took turns peeling and slicing. We ended up with two tupperware containers full of little carrot medalions.
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I made Paul run out to the store and get me a steamer. I didn't have one and this one was $20 and does the trick just fine. I couldn't fit all of the carrots in at once to cook evenly (there were A LOT), so I had to do two sessions of about 40 minutes each. Here they are just cooking away:
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Anyways, they were easy to puree. I have a stick blender, also known as an immersion blender. I think I may have mentioned it before. I swear it's as old as I am, but works like a dream. I'll spare you the picture of the pureed carrots because it looks like bright orange poo, but here is a picture after all is said and done and they're frozen blocks of food waiting to be eaten:
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Ryan tried them and was iffy. He's been spoiled by bananas, apples, peaches, pears, raspberries, etc, and likes sweets. Which I think is why he loves sweet potatoes so much. Those are easy peasy to make. I did the same thing as last time. Washed 'em, forked 'em, wrapped 'em, baked 'em, and pureed 'em. Here, it actually looks halfway appetizing (I hate sweet potatoes):
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These bake up beautifully in about an hour. I let them cool, unwrap them and roughly break them apart like so:
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Again, sparing you the view of pureed sweet potatoes. Ryan loves them. I took the leftovers from last time to my mom's even though they're in no danger of expiring. These things can stay frozen for 2 to 3 months. I now have a gallon sized freezer bag full of carrots, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of the butternut squash. I really should have, as it was the most interesting of the three to make. I got two at the Farmer's Market. They were a bit pricier at $4 for one squash, so I spent $8. I learned a valuable lesson: the squash really needs to be ripe for it to taste good. One squash was perfect. Beautiful buttery orange color after cooked...even tasted pretty yummy. I cut them in half lengthwise and sprinkled cinnamon on them. Then I placed them face down in a couple of inches of water and baked for about an hour. One squash was awesome. The other.....well, it wasn't quite ripe. I pureed it anyways and let Ryan try it. I'm not sure he was a fan. He likes butternut squash from the jar, but I think mine was a bit tart for him. I plan to mix it with some apples, which he should like.

So that's my latest venture in baby food. This one was a bit pricey, but I have a ton of food that should last a really long time. The only thing is that it's all orange and I can't feed it to him everyday, lest he turn orange. I don't think I'll ever be the mom that feeds her baby homemade food exclusively, much like I never exclusively gave him breastmilk, but every little bit helps and mine is much chunkier than the jarred stuff, so he's getting some texture too.

Now off to make my dinner! And it certainly won't be pureed!

Feeling Sorry (for myself)

I have a gigantor blog post in the works about baby food. As you all know, I've been making my own baby food since Ryan started eating it. Anyways, I spent the entire weekend cooking up a storm...sweet potatoes, carrots, and butternut squash (and also managed to attend a party and do 6 loads of laundry) and have plenty of pictures to show for it. I'll work on that tonight.

But for now....I'm feeling sorry for myself. Poor me.

A few weeks ago, my right big toe looked infected. I had been having significant pain in my toe for a few months that I had been ignoring. I finally sucked it up and went to the doctor only for them to give me a prescription for an antibiotic and send me to a podiatrist. The podiatrist (who billed my insurance $700, of which $364 I am responsible for) performed surgery and the pain is gone. It was a badly ingrown toenail. However, despite following his instructions and having been on antibiotics as well as putting an antibiotic ointment on my toe, my toe appears to be infected.

Also, another fun issue: my left toe now hurts like my right one did. I am terrified I need surgery on it as well. It hurts to walk. I tried digging the ingrown toenail out last night, but that only resulted in me waking up at 4 AM to a throbbing toe. I don't want surgery for a couple of reasons: 1. It's surgery and not fun. 2. It fucking hurts to get a shot in your toe. 3. The aftermath is gross. 4. I am not made of money.

Really, it's the money. The way our insurance works is that we have a family fund of $600 that my company pays for. Everything comes out of that. Preventive care is free, so pap smears, flu shots, Ryan's well visits, all free and don't affect the $600. However, since Ryan had a few issues early on and we went to the ped, we've exhausted our $600. After we exhaust that, we pay the contracted rate out of pocket (hence, my $364 mentioned above) until we reach our individual deductible (which is like $1000) and then we pay the traditional 80/20%. So we've exhausted our $600 already and I know I owe Dr. Drunk (did I mention the podiatrist seemed wasted every time I saw him?) all that money. Thankfully, we have $1200 in FSA dollars, but we've already used $400 plus Paul needs new glasses PLUS it has to last until May. Fuck.

Anyways, I just read a post on Lammytown about a 15 day old baby having heart surgery. My toe problems are so insignificant.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tis the season....for pie

I never liked Thanksgiving as a kid. My parents were divorced and I never spent Thanksgiving with my dad. Which I suppose was fair since I spent Christmas with him until I was about 15 and then with both of my parents again. Anyways, I always thought Thanksgiving was a stupid holiday. Since I spent it with my mom, we would have Thanksgiving at her house and then we'd go visit her extended family and she'd try and force me to wear a dress using peer pressure and trying to convince me that my cousin Stephanie aaaaaalways wore a dress. Until the year she didn't.

Anyways, I didn't start really enjoying Thanksgiving until I was a teenager and my parents' relationship changed. As an adult, I like it a lot. It marks the beginning of the holiday season. And more importantly, the season of pie. I love making pies. They are easy and I have had more success making pies than cake. Every year, I try to make 3 or 4 pies for Thanksgiving. This year, since we'll be in Chicago for Thanksgiving, I won't be making pies. I did, however, get to make one for a little get together we went to this weekend.

Paul's friend from work, Frank, had a 25 lb turkey. I'm not sure WHY he had the turkey, but he did. He wanted to smoke it. I don't know that I've ever had a smoked turkey until yesterday. It was delicious, by the way. Since we were invited, I whipped up a pie. It was basically an early Thanksgiving dinner and was delicious. Here is my standard go to pie for many occasions. It was given to me by someone at work whose mother has been making this pie for years. It takes about 10 minutes to prepare and could be eaten right away, although I prefer to refrigerate it for a few hours.

Banana Split Pie
1 (8oz) cream cheese (softened}
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 prepared graham cracker crust
1 (8oz) can crushed pineapple (drained)
2 medium bananas (sliced)
1 (8oz) tub of Cool Whip
12 Maraschino cherries (halved)
Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spoon into crust.
Layer pineapple, then bananas. Top with Cool Whip and cherries. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

And here are some pictures of the pie assembly.
Cream cheese layer: Photobucket

Pineapple layer: Photobucket

Banana layer: Photobucket

cool whip layer: Photobucket

Final product: Photobucket

Let me know if you try the pie!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Babywearing

I think I mentioned awhile back that I had rented some carriers from Pax Baby. I am not really a crunchy mama but have always been interested in babywearing. I actually bought a ring sling before Ryan was born but never figured out how to get the stupid thing on, despite watching countless videos on youtube. For me, it seemed like a structured carrier was so much easier. The problem with structured carriers is that you can't buy a decent one anywhere except online. You can buy a Baby Bjorn or Snugli or an Infantino carrier, but according to babywearin' mamas everywhere, those are "crotch danglers" and aren't good for the baby.

So...if you want to babywear and use something other than a sling, you need to be prepared to shell out anywhere from $85 to $150 for a good one that will last forever.

Anyways, I got the Boba Organic in the mail a couple of weeks ago. Pax Baby lets you rent a carrier for two weeks for $9. A great option if you're new to babywearing and want to try one out before committing. It's brown and comes with stirrups for taller babies to rest their little legs and a hood incase it's raining.

Things I liked:
  • It's organic and made from Texas cotton and made in the good ol' US of A.
  • It's extremely comfortable.
  • Easy to put on - snaps around your waist and across your back or chest depending on if you're wearing the baby in the front or back.
  • Designed so that baby isn't dangling
  • Able to be used by multiple people of varying sizes without a lot of work
Things I didn't like:
  • While the Boba is designed for babies 15 lbs and up, it's still a very big carrier. Ryan weighs nearly 20 lbs so I didn't think it would be a problem. Unless you have a very tall baby, 15 lbs is still too small for this carrier, in my opinion.
  • Probably due to the above, Ryan's head did not come all the way out, his mouth was in line with the top of the carrier.
  • Ryan just plain didn't like it. I tried it with him in front and in back and he cried both times.
  • You can't forward face with the Boba.
Overall, it's a great carrier. Just not great for MY family. Ryan hated not being able to see (facing in and on my back or facing in and on my front) and I also think he might have been a little bit hot. Coupled with the fact that he's a bit small for it, I don't think it's the one for us.

You can read about the Boba here. We should be receiving the Beco Gemini any day now and I have high hopes for it. Looking forward to reviewing it after we get to try it out!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fall

I love fall. It's pretty much my favorite time of the year. Maybe because I grew up in Texas and reaching September 1st was like reaching the end of a finish line, marking the end of summer and 100+ temperatures. Or maybe it's the crisp air and leaves changing. Maybe it's the back to school feeling I still get even though I'm 26. I just love fall. I got married in the fall. In fact, Paul and I celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary on the 12th.

Another reason I love fall: playoff baseball. And this year is really exciting. It's the first time ever that the Texas Rangers have made it past the first round of the playoffs. They're actually leading the series against the Yankees in the ALCS 3-1 (soon to be 3-2, unfortunately). I was never a big baseball fan before moving to Chicago. I thought it was boring, long, hot, and a form of punishment. Now that I've been watching for the last 6 years or so, I appreciate it and love going to games as well as just watching it at home. I haven't updated in awhile because that's pretty much all I've been doing: watching baseball. I'm watching it now. And now for Game 6 on Friday. Come on, Rangers!

Anyways, I'm reading Valley of the Dolls. Again. I just really like the story and I wish that there was a sequel. I know it isn't the classiest of books to read, but it's a guilty pleasure. It's my mom's book, actually. I like having something of her's with me.

Halloween is just around the corner and I'm excited! I was finally able to get Ryan's costume from my dear friend Amy. It is so cute! It's a giraffe from TCP and I don't think they sell it anymore. I haven't seen too many people saying they're kid is dressing up as a giraffe anywhere online, so he will be unique. It's a great costume and is excellent quality. It's fur and has a little giraffe hood and giraffe booties. I absolutely cannot WAIT to take his picture in it. I can't believe October is already over halfway gone. November is coming fast.

November, for us, brings:
  • Ryan will be 6 months old! Half a year! How is that possible?!
  • Ryan's 6 month photo session with Heather King, photographer extraordinaire.
  • Ryan's 6 month pediatrician visit and vaccinations.
  • Our road trip to Chicago via Memphis. I am excited about this because I've never been to Arkansas or Tennessee, so it'll be a new experience. Also, Ryan's first road trip. Should be interesting!
  • Finally, Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season
In other news, the beginning of the holiday season marks the beginning of "Peak" at work for my department. It's my first time at the rodeo, and I'm both excited and scared. I know it'll be fine, but I also know that there are several late nights ahead of me and that December through March will be a blur. It seems impossible right now that 4 months of my life will fly by without me noticing, but I know that's what I should expect.

Anyways, I am losing control of my house and should probably do something about the dishes in the sink, laundry piles in our bedroom and laundry room, and toys in the living room. But I'll probably just watch tv or read instead. I make grown up choices!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New Places, New Faces

One of the hard parts about being a mom is finding other mom friends. Because it you're like me, you only have one friend in real life who has a baby and said friend lives kind of far away. And you don't want to become THAT friend who can only talk to her other babyless friends about her kid.

That's where the internet comes in! I had the pleasure of meeting some of my online friends today at a park in Coppell. All of these women have babies that are close to Ryan's age. Ryan is the oldest baby, but not by much. Although we don't have a ton in common otherwise, there were a few things. We were kind of split down the middle. Two SAHMs, two working moms. Two boys and two girls. Two FTMs and two moms with older kids who were the same age. It was fun and the park was nice. October in Texas is pleasant. Here's a picture of all the babies.
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This weekend has been a busy one. Before my Lammytown park meetup, I went to visit a friend (Lindsay) from work and her 11 day old baby, Isabella. I'd forgotten what it's like to have a baby that small. Ryan was that small once and it just doesn't seem possible that he was ever that tiny! We had a nice talk and I am very much looking forward to when she returns to work.

So Ryan and I were gone a lot today and he did great! He slept on the way to Lindsay's and then on the way home and continued to nap in his crib while I ran out for gas and ate a sandwich. Then he was just quiet and happy on the way to the park. On the way home from the park, however, it was bad. Oh, was it bad. I've NEVER heard him make those kinds of sounds, so I had to pull over about a mile from our house and sit in the front seat with him and calm him down. I'm bad mommy...the sun was in his eyes the whole way home and he was hungry. I stupidly only packed one bottle. So we got home and Paul took over. My S.I. joint is screaming in protest because I held Ryan for much of the day. So I'm relaxing on the couch watching the Rangers post game with Paul now. Ryan's sacked out from all the excitement today and I'm hoping will not wake up playing at 5 AM.

We ordered Alfredo's for dinner and it just got here, so I'm going to enjoy my lasagna and watch the Phillies game. I'm cheering for the Giants.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Good Weekend

It seems like Friday night was yesterday. The weekend went by so fast!

Friday night, I stayed up until 10:30!!! Which is late for me. It was awesome. I vegged out in my bed and watched dvr'd Grey's, 90210, and Project Runway. And I still have dvr'd House and The Event and another 90210 to watch!

Saturday, I blissfully woke up at 7:30 and realized Paul was awake too. I love it when we wake up at the same time and spend a few minutes just snuggling without talking. We got up around 7:40 and went to breakfast. I had french toast with scrambled eggs and bacon and coffee. It was awesome. After breakfast, we had intended to go to the Coppell Farmer's Market like we usually do. We swung by CVS to pick up my 'scrip and came home. Once we got back home, we didn't want to leave again, so we hung out at home doing whatever. I took a nice long nap.

We made plans to meet up with Kim and Doug at Buffalo Wild Wings to drink beer and catch the Rangers game (sadly, they lost). Kim is my internet friend from Lammytown and I was very anxious to meet her. Her daughter, Avery, is slightly younger than Ryan and so we have lots to talk about. We had a great time. We got there at about 3:30 and sat in the bar. Kim and Doug came in around 3:40 and we all drank and ate and had a great time. Before we knew it, 5 hours had passed and it was 8:30. Kim's husband bought a few rounds of shots, so we were pretty tipsy. I had to quit drinking because I know my limits and Paul didn't want to be rude and refuse the shots, so I had to make sure I could drive. We had a great time and I'm glad we've made new friends. They live so far away, though! I'm looking forward to hanging out more often.

Anyways, I drove us home and felt awful. I don't do well with alcohol. It's all fun and games at first, but then it almost always takes a turn for the worse after I get home. So we got home and my head was pounding. I washed my face and took some ibuprofen for my headache and tried to lay down, but the room was spinning. So I laid on my side in agony and made my husband stay by my side. I always know when I'm gonna puke, so I went ahead and got up and went into the bathroom. It was quick and although I threw up my entire dinner and beer, I felt sooooo much better afterwards. So I took a little nap from about 10 to 12:30 and then got up and ate a bowl of cereal and internetted for awhile before going back to bed.

Today, Paul and I again both woke up at the same time, around 7:30. We didn't have any creamer for the coffee, so Paul made a Starbucks run while I made us eggs, sausage, and toast. We ate breakfast together and then Paul went to the grocery store while I did the dishes and laundry. I managed to get that baby food I made out of the ice cube trays, so Ryan has yams and apples to chow down on whenever. We decided to go shopping, so we got dressed and headed to World Market and Macy's. I got several Christmas presents and a birthday present for my mom. Now we're hanging out watching the Rangers game.

I am picking up Ryan in about 20 minutes and I can't wait! I haven't seen him in nearly 48 hours and I miss him so much! So we'll spend the afternoon playing and then before I know it, it'll be bedtime and the start of a new work week.

We had a wonderful weekend together. And to top it off, today is Ryan's 5 month birthday!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Baby's Weekend Out

Ryan is gone for the weekend. He's spending the weekend with my mom and Diane a couple of hours away at Rainbow Ranch. They have a nice camper they keep there and he'll stay with them tonight, tomorrow, and will return home Sunday.

I was elated when my mom said they were leaving tonight instead of tomorrow morning. I thought of all the things I wanted to do this weekend that were easier to do sans baby. Like sleep past 6 AM. Which is the real reason I was so excited my mom was taking him tonight. It prevented the inevitable "Who has to get up early with him" discussion between my husband and I.

But now that he's gone, I have a little lump in my throat and I'm sad that he's not just in the other room snoozing. I know he is safe. I know he will not be unhappy. I know he will be well cared for. But I miss him. I spent 10 extra minutes rocking him after he had fallen asleep last night just because I wanted to SEE him. I only get a couple hours a day with him before he goes to bed and I miss him. I insisted on rocking him again tonight because I knew it would be the last time for a couple of days. It will be less than 48 hours that I won't see him, which isn't THAT long, and I still rocked him long after he was asleep. I miss him. I love him. I wish I got more time with him.

I'm switching gears now before I call my mom in a panic and demand that she bring him home right away even though she's only been gone half an hour. Here are the things I am looking forward to this weekend:
  • Sleeping past 6 AM - 6 AM is an awesome wake up time during the week. Ryan wakes around 6, eats a bottle, and we're out the door by 6:40. Unfortunately, babies don't recognize the difference between weekdays and weekends. I am dreading daylight savings.
  • Drinking alcohol and watching baseball - Now, I could do this (and have done this) with Ryan present, but the Texas Rangers have the potential to sweep the 1st round of the playoffs tomorrow, so I'm drinking a big beer. Maybe two! And I'm making Paul drive us home.
  • Meeting my internet friend, Kim. Meeting people from the internet has proved to be a good thing for me. I am excited to meet Kim.
  • Shopping - hard to do with a baby. Easy to do with a Christmas checking account full of money!
  • Staying up late - I am typically in bed by 9:00. I am excited to stay up and watch as much Netflix as my eyes can handle!
My husband is making me a nice bowl of Kraft macaroni & cheese and we're watching the Phillies game. I'm going to try and not think about my little one and enjoy my quality time with my husband, which is long overdue.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Adventures in Babyfood

So, as I previously mentioned, I made some pureed yams and apples. Here they are in their trays waiting to be frozen:
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Now, to get them out of the trays! A friend suggested setting them in some warm water to loosen them, so I plan to try that tonight. Hopefully that goes well because we're almost out of store bought food and Ryan is going away for the weekend with my mom and will need them!

Speaking of...Ryan is going for the entire weekend with my mom and her partner to their campground where they have their Airstream. I'm excited! I've been without him for one night before but this will be the whole weekend! And, Paul and I will be celebrating our 3rd anniversary on Monday, so this weekend is anniversary weekend and it sure will be nice to be baby free! Who knows what we'll do, probably something crazy like sleep in and go grocery shopping!

Here are my two favorite guys just hanging out:
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Upcoming information: I got my first baby carrier in the mail, the Boba Organic 2G and will be reviewing it shortly after I get a chance to use it a few times. I am also looking forward to receiving my Beco Gemini to try out, so I'll be reviewing that one as well.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tired.

I know everyone says weekends are too short, but seriously, they are. How is it that two days on the weekend fly by but Tuesday and Wednesday at work are not equally fast? We had a good weekend. Yesterday, we headed out to the Coppell Farmer's Market and bought lots of goodies. As I mentioned previously, I wanted to try my hand at making my own baby food, which I did Saturday. I baked 3 yams and boiled 3 apples. Ryan got to taste the yams while they were fresh after they had cooled and he loved them. Haven't had a chance to try the apples yet. I love the stick blender my stepmom gave me. She found it in her house, unopened, unused, and circa 1989. Works like a champ! Currently, I'm trying to figure out how to get the frozen cubes to pop out of the ice cube trays. I got one out. One out of 3 trays. Not one tray. One cube. I gave up and put them back in the freezer. Ryan can survive on a few more days of store bought organic fruit and veggies. But, I'm pretty proud of myself. And the juice from the boiled down apples was mighty tasty! Saturday evening, Paul and I cooked a frozen pizza and vegged out.

Today was quite busy. It was my day to sleep in, so I slept until about 7:30 and then got up to join my boys in the living room. Ryan took a short nap and I decided that today was a day to get out of the house. Ryan isn't a homebody. I know it sounds crazy to say that an infant likes to get out, but he does! We all got dressed and headed to my mom's house. We passed Diane's parents' house on the way and dropped by to say hello. They are both elderly and so love to see Ryan. They are from Cuba and while both speak perfect English, there's something about them fawning over Ryan in Spanish that tugs at my heartstrings. We got to my mom's and forced them out of their lazy Sunday plans of doing nothing and all went to the pond. We took all 4 doggies and had a great time. Riley got away from Diane (he's a runner, that one) and my mom got to take a nice sprint to catch him. Other than that, it was uneventful. I am so glad fall is here. We got to bundle little Ryan up and push him while we all watched Baxter and Clyde frolic in the water with the ducks nearby. After we went to the pond, we went back to my mom's and had an impromptu lunch of tomato basil soup and sandwiches with iced tea. My mom and I headed to Walmart after that to pick up the 2nd and 3rd secondary carseats. I wanted to make my very own babylegs, so we got some socks and made them (pictures to follow). I can't wait to try them on Ryan! We all decided we wanted some pizza, so Paul went to Pizza Patron and picked up a couple of pizzas.

And since then, we've been bumming around at home. Ryan appears to be teething. Crying uncontrollably, red cheeks, drooling so much that his shirt is soaked. We took him for a walk around our neighborhood and didn't hear a peep from him until we came back inside and the screaming commenced. Thankfully, he's in bed sleeping now and mommy can rest.

We are tired tonight.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Breastfeeding

I have a lot of strong opinions on breast feeding. I never for one second thought I would be a formula feeding mama. I figured everything would happen as it should and live would be great. Fast forward to actually HAVING the baby and everything changes.

I think breastfeeding is great. I think it's healthiest for the baby. I think it's a great thing if you want to/are able to do it. I do not like the breastfeeding crazies, though. I read on a babycenter message board recently that a mom has taught her kids to say "yuck" and make yucky faces when they go down the formula/disposable diapers aisle. I think that's just awful. Formula is a good alternative to breastmilk and it's just so sad that women are put down constantly for their need or choice to use formula and not breastfeed.

Also, what's with all the women who are still breastfeeding their 2 year olds? I'm sorry, but that is WEIRD. It's WEIRD that your kid has teeth and can come up to you and pull your shirt down for a quick drink while at the park. It's not a water fountain! I also find it bizarre that many breastfed kids need to nurse to fall asleep. I'm not talking about getting breastmilk from a bottle. I'm talking about kids who are on pure boob, no bottle. And must suck on boob to fall asleep. At what point DON'T they need to nurse to fall asleep? Ryan never gets a bottle at bedtime. His last bottle is anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour before he goes to bed. I mean, at what point should mamas stop nursing? I personally think 1 year is good. Babies can't go on whole milk until 1 year, so obviously it would either be breastmilk or formula along with solids. I just think that once it isn't the main source of nutrition, it's time to quit. Maybe I'm biased because we are a formula feeding family. I don't know that I'll even give breastfeeding a try next time around.

End rant. And yes, I am extremely judgmental.

We took Ryan to the farmer's market this morning. It's finally fall and we all wore long sleeves. We had a great time. I'm so sad that the farmer's market isn't year round. I love going and getting our organic and locally grown produce, breads, pasta, etc. We got a lot of great stuff this time! Chicken tamales, tortilla chips, flour tortillas, summer squash, apples, yams, spicy sausages, block cheese, and greek yogurt. I had a wonderful almond croissant while Paul had pain au chocolate (as he is allergic to almonds). We strolled and browsed and admired our fellow families with babies and dogs.

I am starting my adventure in homemade baby food. Ryan has been eating either Gerber Organic or Earth's Best solids. He's tried carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, peas, and bananas. We picked up some apples, squash, and yams to make him some homemade (and organic, AND locally grown!) baby food. The sweet potatoes are cooling now waiting for me to puree them and the apples are simmering away on the stove with a touch of vanilla extract added. It smells wonderful.

I also wanted to try out babywearing. My mom so graciously made me a faux sleepywrap that I never could figure out how to use and I didn't like the ring sling I had either. I bought an Infantino carrier, and it works okay, but I know it isn't what's best for Ryan and for both of our comfort levels. I found this website, PaxBaby. They have a carrier/sling rental program so you can find what you like before committing to such a large purchase. I rented the Beco Gemini and Boba Baby Carrier 2G to try out. I also thought about the Olives & Applesauce but decided two would be a good start. I really want to have something easy and comfortable for our Thanksgiving trip to Chicago. And something that both Paul and I can wear, as well as my mom, because those suckers aren't cheap! I plan on reviewing them both. Hopefully they'll arrive this week and I can make my decision with enough time to get one in before Thanksgiving.

Well, I'm going to puree those sweet potatoes now. We'll see how it all turns out!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

fancy new things

I've been complaining to my husband for weeks, months, possibly even over a year about the condition of my laptop. It's not even that old! I got it in 2006 as a birthday gift from Paul. 4 years is not old. Well, I guess in computer years it kind of is, but anyway. It doesn't stay connected to the internet and the screen is so dim, even plugged in, that I had a hard time reading it. He kept telling me I should just get a new one. Just get a new one, Sam. You need a new one, Sam.

Well, I had a rough day at work one day and came home and bought myself a shiny new laptop with a big screen and lots and lots of memory. Did I mention that my old one couldn't even hold all my itunes stuff? I had to stop adding long ago. Anyway. It arrived today. Shiny, black, slick, beautiful. I quickly added my favorite websites and haven't spent a moment away from it. I have a really hard time parting with money. When I was pregnant, we were diligently saving up for my maternity leave and birthin' costs, so we lived like paupers. I am exaggerating. Not quite like paupers because of course we still had the essentials, you know, cable tv and internet, but we did limit our spending drastically. I have a hard time spending money, even if we have it, on things I don't feel I *need*. Now that I have this laptop, I remember that I do need it. My library of pictures of the last 4 months is staggering and I know it'll only grow. My point is, I needed this, dammit, and I'm so glad I got it. Its soooooo pretty.

In other news...I know I've mentioned my friend Courtney and the recent loss of her son, Noah. Her situation really hit home with me. I decided that I needed another monitor for Ryan. We ordered the Angelcare Monitor from Amazon. It's very popular among moms. Its purpose is to notify you should your baby stop breathing in their sleep. It has censors that go under the crib and those suckers are super sensitive. It detected the air from our fan in Ryan's room. We finally were able to find a setting that worked and were so excited to have it all set up. They recommend putting a piece of plywood under the mattress to prevent false alarms. Who knew a 1/4 inch thick piece of plywood would cause such chaos. Ryan somehow could feel it. He slept horribly. So we tried it without the plywood. Two false alarms at 1:30 AM later, we turned the stupid thing off and decided to get rid of it. It's so hard to wrap your head around SIDS and people will grasp onto anything to give them some peace of mind, hence the popularity of this monitor. But, I think there comes a time when you just have to let go and trust that he (or she) will be okay. So we're back down to just the video monitor and we're all sleeping better because of it. You just have to do the best you can.

Well, as much as I want to sit here glued to this shiny new, fast, amazing laptop, I'm yawning (at 8:20 PM...I'm OLD) and I really want to take my makeup off and get in bed. So away I go.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Copycat

I was reading a friend's latest blog post about the naming of her sons. This inspired me to sit and write out why I named my son what I did. First, though, you should check out her blog: Bootsie Q. McGromblestein.

I somehow knew Ryan was a boy long before we had the BIG ultrasound that told us. I had dreams where I saw him and in my dreams, his name wasn't Ryan. It was Ian. I don't know why, but it was always Ian. And not the gay way that the guy from 90210 pronounces it, either. I'm talking about "eeee-ann". I love that gmail logs my chats because I was able to find exactly when I knew that I was having a boy. It was my dad's birthday, 9/22 and I commented to my friend (whose blog I mention above) at 9:35 AM "Did I tell you I think I'm having a boy? I had a dream the other day that we had a boy and we named him Ian. Well, the dream wasn't about me having a boy and naming him Ian. There was a toddler in the dream who was a boy named Ian who was my son."

I had known I was pregnant for 22 days at that point. Anyways, I just knew he was a boy. Paul and I never considered girl names, really. I kept an excel spreadsheet of name possibilities and ranked them by favorite. Ryan was always at the top of the list. I'd always thought I'd name my son Andrew. I love the name Andrew and I thought having a little Andy would be so cute. It just never seemed right, though. I clearly remember picking up our living room one day and holding something in my hand that was for him and thinking, "This goes in Ryan's room". And so it was. His name was never anything different. I don't know anyone named Ryan. Well, I know an old internet friend whose name is Ryan, but there's no relation to why I named my son that.

His middle name, though, is Zachary. Zachary is my brother and my best friend. Yeah, I have my husband who is my best friend and one or two girlfriends that I consider to be my best friend...but at the end of the day, Zach is my true best friend. He has been my constant companion for as long as I can remember and even though we don't spend a lot of time together, he gets me like no one else does. There have always been two men in my life who were more important to me than any other, my dad and my brother. And I have two more: my husband and my son. I wanted to give Ryan a middle name that honored my dad or my brother. I felt bad because I didn't want Paul to feel like we weren't honoring his side of the family. Another moment when I knew I married the greatest man alive is when I mentioned this and he said that our children will carry his last name, and that honors his side and we should decide on a name that I like that comes from my side of the family. So we chose Zachary. I initially actually wanted Zachary to be Ryan's first name, but I thought it might be a bit confusing and the fact that Ryan's name seemed to always be Ryan couldn't be overridden by my brother's name.

So, we have our Ryan Zachary. I can't imagine him with any other name. I think his name suits him. It's simply who he is. Should we ever have a little girl, I don't know wtf we're going to do. I found boy names so easy to pick, and maybe that's because I knew somehow that he was a boy all along and somehow I knew his name would be Ryan. I do think if we ever have a daughter that she'll be someone's namesake as well.

Well, it's Sunday and it seems like fall has reached north Texas. I actually put pants on Ryan this morning. We have our windows open and fall scented candles burning. Ryan's at his grandpa's for a few hours and I'm nesting. I don't think I ever got out of the whole nesting thing. Something about Sundays and preparing for the upcoming week fills me with excitement. What do you like to spend your Sundays doing?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturdays

I remember when I went back to work, I kind of dreaded the weekends. I mean, what kind of mother dreads spending time with her newborn baby? It was just so exhausting to come home on Fridays and know that I'd do more work taking care of Ryan on the weekends than I did during my regular office hours. I've only been back at work for 2 months. It seems like it's been much much longer. But, I no longer dread the weekends. I love Fridays, not only for the free donuts at work and ability to wear jeans, but now I can't wait to see my baby boy and play with him all weekend. It's just easier now. I don't know at what point it changed. I'm not sure when it just seemed to be easier, more fun. But it is and I love weekends now.

A typical Saturday starts with a trip to the Farmer's Market. Sadly, it was raining this morning and we didn't go. I also happened to have plans. My coworker and newfound friend, Erica, invited me over to create glitter pumpkins. We had a great time. She is always talking about her two cats, Kodie and Isaac, so it was nice to meet them. True to his reputation, Isaac (aka Satan) lured me in with his cuteness and sweetness and then bit my hand. Erica's told me stories of Isaac cornering her house guests and clawing them or biting them. She warned me not to pet him and couldn't give me a tour of her upstairs because Isaac would freak out and might hurt me. He sure was cute though! Kodie was also true to her stories. He perched on her kitchen counter begging for treats. He is a Maine Coon and is gorgeous! Anyways, after doing our pumpkins, we went to a greek restaurant. I had hummus, pitas, pasta salad, some sort of zucchini salad, and some sort of fish. I didn't like it. I guess I kind of did because I ate it, but I definitely wouldn't go there again.

Afterwards, I came home and spent the afternoon with my two boys. We played and I snuck in a little nap. Since Ryan is naturally an early riser, Paul and I take turns on the weekend getting up early. I typically get up with him Saturday morning around 6 and Paul takes Sundays. So I try to sneak in a Saturday nap so I can stay up late watching movies and recorded tv shows. Tomorrow, we hope to take Ryan to Toys R Us and get him a fun new toy. He's going to his grandpa's house in the morning though. For now, I'm going to eat my Alfredo's sub and settle in to watch hours of tv. Maybe I can even stay up until 11! I hope you all are having a good weekend.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Food (for Babies)

I was thinking this morning about the Similac recall and how so many breastfeeding moms must be so grateful that they can breastfeed. I work with a lady who breastfed for the first year! Her youngest son is 2.5 years old. I know women do this all the time, but I don't personally know anyone who exclusively breastfeeds or exclusively gives breastmilk in a bottle. I think its amazing that these women are able to do it. I had an awful breastfeeding experience. Much like everything else when you're a first time mom, I envisioned my child latching perfectly and lovingly gazing into my eyes as he nursed. It was soooo not what I expected. And I wasn't one of those women who just thought it would happen. I read books. I read the internet. I read the LLL messageboards. I felt confident! I knew what to do! Well, you can know all the information but when your body (or your baby) doesn't cooperate, there's not much you can do about it. So many breastfeeding moms truly believe that most times, women CAN breastfeed and that there are only very few who can't. I don't know how true that is, but I do know that I physically could not do it. Yes, the latch hurt. And I'm 99% sure he was on there right. But I had no milk. 2 weeks after delivery, still no milk. Pumping and trying to nurse like crazy, and never any milk. And when I decided to stop trying (which was a heartwrenching decision), I never got engorged. I never leaked. I just never had milk. And that breaks my heart. I don't think you can truly understand what it feels like to want to do the absolute best for your child and then have to make the decision to do second best. I believe formula is as close to breastmilk as possible, and I happily give Ryan several bottles of it a day, but it doesn't mean that I don't wish I was giving him breastmilk. My hope is that next time around, maybe I can breastfeed.

This whole Similac thing pisses me off. I've been signed up for their Strong Moms program for MONTHS and I haven't received an email or anything in regular mail about this recall. In fact, I haven't heard shit from them on this recall. All the information I've gotten has been through Babycenter, who, thankfully, is filled with women who know their shit. Now, I don't feed Ryan Similac. I feed him Parent's Choice because its cheaper, its the same shit, and generics don't have nearly as many recalls as name brand stuff (Infant Tylenol, anyone?). However, I know several moms who DO use Similac, one of which didn't know anything about the recall and learned about it through another friend's facebook status update. I guess they don't feel the need to blast it out there because allegedly, it doesn't pose any "immediate health risk" and infants should only experience "symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and refusal to eat." Oh, ONLY those things. And who knows about what the long term effects are. Dude, these people's babies are eating BUGS and BUG LARVAE. That's fucking gross.

Anyways, in other news...its Friday and today is the funeral of Noah, who was 4 months old when he passed last week. I am thinking of Noah's family and my friend Courtney. Courtney, you are in my thoughts today and always. May Noah rest in peace.