Tuesday, January 31, 2012

This is why I smile every day

Life as a mom - particularly a working mom - can be challenging.  There aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done.  And I don't feel like I get enough time with my little munchkin during the week.  I have an hour or less with him on weekday mornings and at most 3 hours with him in the evenings depending on if I pick him up that day and what time he goes to bed that night.

I know that probably seems like plenty of time to spend with him, but it's not.  Especially now that he is learning so much and figuring out how to do new things.  One of my fears before was that he would start crawling at daycare and we would miss it. He did come close to doing it there for the first time, but he waited until that evening to actually do it for us. Or maybe Andrea just let me think that I saw the first time and if that's the case then I thank her for letting me have that.

So yeah - I still miss my munchkin during the day. It's gotten a little easier as time has gone on, but Monday mornings still sting when I have to drop him off. I relish getting to hang out with him all weekend and watch him do his cute things so it's hard for me to hand him over after two days of having him all to ourselves.

That is why technology rocks.  I can take videos of him being adorable and funny and then watch them if I start to miss him too much.  Kind of like this:

Crawling around naked in his shark towel after his bath

Or this:


Chasing after our little vacuum.

Or this one from last night:


Fun in the tub.

Yep - even when I miss him terribly he still makes me smile like crazy.  Love that kid!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Andrew's First (and Last?) Oyster Festival

Yesterday the weather was beautiful.  60 degrees and sunny - the perfect weather to do something outside.  Since it was going to be such a gorgeous day (and J had scored some free tickets from one of his vendors) we decided to take the little munchkin out to Boone Hall for the annual Lowcountry Oyster Festival.

Gates opened at 10:30, but we didn't get to leave the house until 11:15 due to a napping munchkin.  We knew there would be traffic, but we were not prepared for it to take 2 whole hours to get in.  Keep in mind that Boone Hall is less than 7 miles from our house.

Luckily Andrew was pretty agreeable in the car and didn't have any major meltdowns. I hopped into the backseat to entertain him after the first hour in the car and we had a good time as I tried to keep my mind off of my bladder that was about to explode.

We finally got into the parking lot and got all of our stuff gathered up for the long ass hike to get to the front gate.  Once we got in J went and got some tickets so we could get some food and drinks and then we high-tailed it to the bathroom.  After attempting to navigate the massive crowds with the stroller and me carrying the chairs we decided to just set up camp in a less crowded area so Andrew could get out of the stroller and crawl around.

I had brought several toys for him, but he was more interested in J's empty beer cup.  I rinsed it with water and let him have at it:


We got several comments from passing strangers about how cute he is and of course more comments on his out of control hair.

"Yeah, I'm cute."

We did a little practice standing:


And all in all had a good time.




We decided to get out of there around 4:45 so we could beat the rush of people leaving when it ended at 5:30.  It took us 12 minutes to get home.

Yeah - unless the rocket scientists who are in charge of the traffic and parking set-up change back to how they used to have two entrances instead of funneling 10,000+ people into one entrance we will not be attending next year.  I don't need to sit in traffic for two hours just to go hang out in the sun and not eat oysters - we can do that at home in our back yard..

Friday, January 27, 2012

One thing I hope he doesn't inherit from me

Of course I would like to think that Andrew will inherit some good qualities from me.  I hope he is compassionate, kind to others, honest, and giving.

But there is one thing that I hope he doesn't get from me and that would be my coordination (or lack thereof).

As a child let's just say I was a little accident prone.  At around 3 1/2 years old I decided it would be a good idea to stick my index finger in a bike chain and give the pedal a twirl. I'm not sure why I was unsupervised around a bike at  3 1/2, but anyway, my finger was stuck and had to be pried out with a screwdriver.  There is a picture of me with my finger in a big splint as I happily eat an ice cream cone.

Two years later I was ice skating at the local outdoor rink with my sisters.  Back in that time I guess it wasn't unheard of to drop your three kids off for the afternoon and come back later to get them.  Anyway, I fell down and was unable to get up or out of the way before a grown man tripped over me and fell on my leg, breaking both bones in  my lower leg and dislocating my ankle.  He tried to get me to stand up and when I couldn't he hauled ass out of there. The rink had to call my mom to get me and take me to the hospital and I ended up with a cast from my toes all the way to my mid thigh - tons of fun for a kid in kindergarten.  Oh, and my sister's solution to me having trouble getting down the steps in our house with my crutches was to put me in the laundry basket and push me down the steps. Amazingly I didn't get injured any more from that.

Two years after that my sister and I were swinging from the top crossbar of our rusty swing set. My hands got tired so I let go - landing with my arms behind me. I heard a snap and when I stood up my elbow bent in the opposite direction that it should. My sister saw it and screamed. My dad came running down the hill, took one look at me and grabbed me to take me to the hospital. I didn't cry until I heard I had to go to the hospital - I remembered how awful it was when I broke my leg.  I ended up being in the hospital for two weeks with my arm in traction - strung up like a side of beef.

I think this was about the time that people started to give my parents the side eye.  They actually were questioned a little bit. People thought maybe there was some abuse going on. Nope - I was just an active and clumsy kid.  There were many bumps, bruises, and stitches that were part of my childhood.

And I apparently have not grown out of this.

This past weekend I was practicing riding J's bike because I was going to do a 20 mile ride with a friend on Sunday.  I was trying to get used to the whole shoe clip/pedal thing, which is harder than it looks.  J was out there with me (Andrew was napping) and was giving me pointers.  The first time I tried to stop I successfully got my right foot out and down, but when I was trying to get my left foot out I leaned towards the left and fell over, the bike falling on top of me.  J got me up and I got back on. I had a couple successful attempts at stopping before I had another epic wipeout.  After laying in the street for a minute I got up and we went inside.

No major injuries, but my hand and wrist were sore:


It looked worse in person - it was a nice shade of purple around those red marks

And I have some bruising on my leg:

The one on my thigh is a nice shade of green now. The ones on my knee are about gone.



There is another bruise on my back, but I didn't get a picture of it.

So yeah - I'm still a klutz and probably don't make it through a single day without bumping into something or whacking my knee on my desk.  Man, I hope the munchkin doesn't inherit my coordination. If he does we're gonna need some good insurance.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

10 Months!





Age:  10 Months!  Oy.

Stats:  Based on his appointment on Jan 4th and where he was then I am going to guess that he is hovering close to 20 lbs and pushing 30 inches.

Size (diapers, clothes, etc.):  Still in size 3 diapers and wearing 9 month clothes.  Some of the 9 month sleepers are getting a little small, though, so I am on a mission to get some 12 month ones with zippers since the snap ones are becoming increasingly difficult to put on him. This kid has NO patience when it comes to getting him dressed.

Sleeping:  He's been sleeping 10+ hours most nights. Every once in a while he gets us up in the middle of the night, but fortunately that is not the norm (as I go find some wood to knock on). Bedtime is around 8:00 and we get him out of the crib around 7:00 on weekday mornings.  He seems to be fighting his afternoon nap a bit lately, but he does still take his two naps a day.

Eating: BF in the morning and evening, bottles of expressed milk at daycare, and a bottle of formula before bed.  He still pretty much sucks at chunky food, but we're making some progress.  He seems to like steamed broccoli and cauliflower, likes to gnaw on steamed baby carrots, loves him some cheerios and pickle spears, and makes a soggy mushy mess out of ritz crackers and animal crackers.  I've started him on some of the stage 3 foods that have more chunks in them. There is still some gagging going on, but he hasn't puked yet. He eats oatmeal and fruit in the morning, has a veggie during the day, and one of the meat things with veggies for dinner.  So far he likes the chicken & apples and the turkey & sweet potato combos.  I continue to give him finger foods each night, too, but so far most of it ends up on the floor/in his seat/in the pocket of the bib.

Milestones:  We have a crawler!  He is EVERYWHERE.  Of course he always makes a beeline for the things we try to keep him out of, but I guess we should get used to that.  He has his top two front teeth and it appears that one of the next ones out on the top is about to make it's debut.  He pulls up to his knees all the time, but still no pulling up to standing.

New adventures:  Taking him to the playground and pushing him in the swings. He LOVES to swing. Several birthday parties with lots of other kids.

Favorite toys and activities:  His new favorite thing in the car is a plastic water bottle that J flattened and put the lid back on. He likes the crinkly sound the wrapper makes and he likes to smack things with it.  He now loves to open the bottom drawer in the kitchen and pull out the plastic/rubber cookie cutters that are in there. And when I want to get a smile out of him I pull out the Sing-A-Ma-Jig and he cracks up. (Yes, it is a toy for 3+, but he only gets it when I play with it to distract him or make him smile).  He also likes his Fisher-Price Lil’ Zoomers Shake & Crawl Racer that my oldest sister got him for Christmas.

Funny happenings:  This past weekend J and I went to run the bridge. It was the first time I had run it in about 18 months. It was super windy so I was grateful that I was not the one pushing the stroller. When I looked down at Andrew he was sitting here with this surprised expression on his face and was holding onto his hood to keep it on his head.  Then he pulled one of his socks off and passed out for the remainder of our 6 mile run.

What I'm looking forward to:  We're going to the big oyster festival at Boone Hall this weekend, which should be a good time

Monday, January 23, 2012

Who needs toys??

Yesterday Andrew kept trying to reach/climb into my laundry basket when it was in the living room.  Since he seemed to want in, J picked him up and plopped him in there and threw in a few toys.

He loved it:



He actually got mad when we took him out.  Apparently he was enjoying his makeshift playpen.

Then this morning I had him in the kitchen with me while I gathered up everything for the day. He of course made his way back over to the drawer that he discovered previously. Only this time he wasn't content to just open and close the drawer. This time he started reaching in and he pulled out some of the cookie cutters that were in there underneath some of the towels (don't ask me why they are in there).  Between those and dragging the rug around he was having a good time. And yes, I took the cookie cutters off of him so he wouldn't mangle his gums - after I took the pictures.


Oh, and his favorite things to play with in the car are a package of Tic-Tacs (that we inspect to make sure he is not close to getting open) and an empty plastic water bottle that we flattened and put the top back on. He likes to squeeze it and make noise and swing it all around.

Yeah - so why am I spending all this money on toys again???

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Rest in peace, Joe

Today is a sad day for all of us in the Penn State family. JoePa lost his battle with lung cancer this morning. The cancer may have ultimately ended his life, but I think it's more accurate that he died of a broken heart.

I know there are many people out there who can only focus on the negative and won't see past the scandal that brought about the end of his career. Those of us that can will remember all the good that he did in his 61 years at Penn State. There will never be another one like him.

Rest in peace, coach. :'(

Friday, January 20, 2012

A huge congratulations!

I just received a text from my best friend (I was in her wedding September 2010) and she delivered their baby girl this morning!

Her exact words were "George Clooney just delivered our baby girl :)" because the doctor that is on call from her practice this weekend is the cute one and she was all worried that this gorgeous doctor would be the one all up in her stuff.  I cracked up when she told me that because it reminded me of the episode of 'Up All Night' when the baby is born and she didn't want the cute doctor because she didn't want to poop on the delivery table in front of him  :)

Anyway, I am so happy for them and can't wait to see more pictures of their precious baby girl.  Of course fawning over pictures of a squishy new baby is going to make me want another one.  Especially when I think back to how adorably squishy my little munchkin was.

So here is Christina with her incredibly proud father:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thankful for our daycare

Our wonderful daycare providers take the kids to the park every week. As seen in my post below, Andrew is a huge fan of the swings.



And apparently playing on the swings and at the park gets the kids all tired out:

Andrew napping with Gavin on the walk back from the park


I love that Andrea and Marc send me cute pictures like this during the day if they do something particularly fun.  It makes my time away from the munchkin a little easier.

I know that daycare is tough. It's hard to find a setup that you love and thinking of someone else taking care of your child isn't always easy. My best friend, who happens to be due with her first child this Sunday, decided that she doesn't want her daughter in a small daycare like ours because she is afraid that her baby will become more attached to the daycare provider than to her.  I am the exact opposite (and think that's really silly). I wanted Andrew in a small setting because I wanted him to be comfortable with his caretaker.  He absolutely loves Marc and it makes me happy to know that he has a good time with him during the day. I know that Andrew loves us the most and it doesn't worry me or make me think that he will be more attached to Marc or Andrea since he is with them all day.  When I see Andrew's face light up when I walk in every afternoon to get him it makes me smile.  What makes me smile even more is if I can sneak in without him seeing me and I can watch him for a minute or so and see how happy and content he is.

I know I've said it before, but I am SO thankful that we found such great care for our munchkin. He is the most precious thing in our lives and knowing that he is in good hands during the day makes such a difference.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Playing at the park

Yesterday, since we both had the day off for MLK day, we decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather (mid 60's and sunny) and took a little stroll down to the park.  It's less than a mile from our house and happens to be right across the street from where J and I got married back in 2009.  Good memories...

Anyway, we knew that Andrew was a fan of the swings based on pictures that Andrea (daycare) has sent me during their weekly outing to the park.  I needed to see it for myself.

He LOVES the swings.



"Higher daddy!"


"Hee hee hee!"


"Wheeeeeeee!!"

He got some good air

"But I don't wanna get out!"

He wasn't as big a fan of the slide. J held him all the way down, but he still wasn't thrilled.

"No more slide, daddy."


The bouncy just confused him

And then he tried to lick it


One more time on the swing and it was time to go home.  I think we'll need to take more trips over to the park very soon.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Kitchen Fun

Yesterday J picked up the munchkin from daycare since he got out early and it gave me a chance to hit the gym and get in a nice run.  When I walked in the house I saw J in the kitchen, but didn't notice Andrew.  I peeked around the corner figuring he was in his highchair. Nope.

Then I heard a giggle.

I walked around the counter to see Andrew happily playing on the floor with the kitchen rug.  He was apparently very amused by the non-skid mat that goes underneath it and kept picking it up and peering through the little holes.

J had some toys in there for him, but he was way more interested in the rug.

He thought this was hilarious


"What do you mean this isn't a toy?"


"Hmmm... What's this rubbery thing?"


"Would you like to have these, mommy?"


This little devilish grin is what tells me we are gonna be in so much trouble once he is up and in to everything!

Shortly after this he discovered something new - the drawers. Something tells me that in no time at all he will be pulling all of the kitchen towels out of that drawer. For now he is entertained just opening it and closing it.



Crazy little munchkin  :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Does the fear ever go away?

To say that I love being Andrew's mom is an understatement.  He is such a joy and brings so much happiness to mine and J's lives.  Yes, he can be frustrating sometimes - like when I am wrestling with him trying to get a clean diaper or a new outfit on him.  Or when I am cleaning up yet more puke from him attempting to eat. But those are minor irritations that I get over in about 0.25 seconds - especially when he looks up at me and gives me that big goofy grin of his.

I love this kid more than I knew was humanly possible.  To watch his eyes light up when he sees me walk in to daycare to pick him up makes my heart swell.  Watching him and J play together in the evening between bathtime and bedtime never fails to bring a smile to my face.  I hear his squealing giggles and my head starts to hurt because I am smiling so much.

He is a wonderful baby.  He's very happy (unless he's hungry or tired), sweet as can be and about the cutest thing I have ever laid eyes on (though I might be slightly biased!).  He's only been here for 9 1/2 months, but it feels like forever. Sometimes I can barely remember what life was like without this amazing little person in it. I think that former life just involved a little more sleep  ;)

Anyway, the point of all this is that even with all this happiness and love and amazement on a daily basis, there is always this little nagging fear in the back of my head.  The fear that something will go horribly wrong.  That we have had it far too easy with him and that our life really is too good to be true.  I don't dwell on it or let it put a damper on the fun that I have with the munchkin, but the fear is always there.  Sometimes louder than others.

Like now. This week on the bump there was a family who lost their sweet 3 1/2 month old son to SIDS while at daycare on Monday. As I read about it I felt like I had been punched in the stomach.  I can't even let my mind go there.  The thought of that happening with Andrew is too much to bear.

I know I will always be afraid of him getting hurt - falling down, breaking a bone, getting the bumps, bruises and scratches that are a part of every kid's life.  But how do I get past the fear that a broken bone or a bump on the head isn't the worst that could happen?

On most days it doesn't cross my mind. I assume that everything is going to be ok because he is happy and healthy.  But some nights when I watch him on the monitor and haven't seen him change positions for a while I still worry.  I still go downstairs and peek into his nursery just to see the rising and falling of his chest. To hear him breathing. To know that he is still there and that he is fine.

Last night he woke up after only being down for 90 minutes. On some nights I might have dreaded this.  Last night, after reading about the woman who lost her baby, I welcomed the chance to go to him and get a little more snuggle time before bed.  I sat there rocking him while he nursed and I wiped away the tears in my eyes. When he was done I picked him up for a little hug and he snuggled down with his head buried in my neck.  I wanted to stay like that forever - holding my little munchkin and feeling his warm little body clinging to me.

I love him so much.  And I guess with the immense love comes the fear.  I know the love will never go away, but when will the fear subside??

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

When will the puking stop?

No, the little munchkin isn't sick.  In fact he is perfectly fine and happy and crazy as ever.

What he isn't doing is eating.  I mean, he eats baby food purees like there is no tomorrow. He loves them. When I am trying to scrape some of it off of his face with the spoon he chases the spoon around with his mouth because he wants more.  This kid is a big fan of eating.



It's when I give him "real" food that we run into a problem. That latest instance was on Saturday when I gave him a few chunks of banana.  I figure it's soft and he can mash it in his mouth and eat it.

Wrong.

He did get some in his mouth, but as soon as it moved even a little bit towards the back of his mouth he gagged and proceeded to puke up what seemed like every little bit of the green bean puree he had devoured just a few minutes earlier.  It wasn't pretty and I will spare you any pictures of the grossness. 

Anyway, this is a normal occurrence for us.  We've been trying different finger foods with him seemingly all in vain.  While he does fantastic with the puffs and mum mums (since they melt) any other food that makes it into his mouth either instantly gets spit out or triggers another puke-a-palooza.  Even mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving, which for all intents and purposes was just thicker baby food puree.

I know we need to keep trying and we will. Eventually he'll "get" it.  And when he does I have a feeling that we won't be able to keep food in front of him.  But for right now I guess I have to resign myself to mopping the floor under his highchair on a regular basis and invest in some more of those bibs with the pocket at the bottom to catch more of the fallout.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ouch!

I discovered something new today.  Actually, I discovered two new things today.

The first one is that Andrew loves to be tossed into the air and caught. Loves it. We're talking huge belly laughs and squeals of joy. He loved it so much that I did it over and over again. I started to worry that he might get sore under his arms from being caught like that (not that I was heaving him several feet into the air or anything). He didn't seem to mind so I gave him a few more tosses.

Fast forward a couple hours and I made my second discovery. Tossing my almost 20 lb munchkin into the air repeatedly and catching him has some pretty painful side effects. Namely that my back is now killing me. I thought my arms might be sore, but I stupidly wasn't thinking about my poor back.

Ouch.

So now I am lounging on the chaise with a heating pad on my aching back after downing some ibuprofen.  Fingers crossed that I'm able to move tomorrow. At least it's the weekend, right?

Friday, January 6, 2012

I guess it's time to start babyproofing

Last night while we were (finally) gathering up all of the Christmas decorations to put them away we had Andrew on the living room floor with some toys so we could keep an eye on him.  He was content for about 10 seconds, and then he spied something he would rather play with and did this:


Oh boy!  I know he's over 9 months old so it's not like this is to be unexpected, but man - I'm not ready for him to be mobile!  Now it's gonna be even harder to get him to cuddle with me.  Please stop growing so fast little munchkin.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Andrew's 9 Month Well Check (300th Post!)

Yesterday we had Andrew's 9 month appt (at 9 months 10 days).  My plan had been to work from home for the day but still take him to daycare.  Well, at 6:17 AM I got a text from Andrea that their heat broke during the night and daycare would have to be closed.  Luckily I already had my computer and everything at home so it wasn't that big a deal.

I emailed my boss to let him know I would get in whatever hours I could since I had the munchkin home with me.  So glad my job is flexible!

Andrew decided to help me out and slept for 12 hours and 17 minutes before he woke up at 8:30.  He nursed a little, I fed him some oatmeal and pears with cinnamon, and then plopped him down with some toys so he could play for a bit while I got a little work done.  Shortly after I got back to work I heard paper rustling. 


Obviously he would much rather play with newspapers and ads than with his toys  :)

At 3:00 we headed to the doctor. We got him all weighed and measured and the nurse filled out his info in his little book.

Length - 29.4 inches (82nd percentile)
Weight - 19 lbs 5 oz (27th percentile)
Head - 18.1 (67th percentile)

When Dr. Graham came in for the rest of the check I asked him if I should be concerned that his weight percentile keeps dropping.  He told me that it is perfectly normal for a baby to slow down with the weight gain as he grows.  He had a big jump in the beginning (once we got him to start gaining) and has since slowed down.  He told me that Andrew is absolutely perfect (something I already knew but it was nice to get validation ;)  ).

We talked about how much he is eating and that he still isn't great with the finger foods.  He assured me that is also very normal.  Some babies just take longer to get the hang of it.  He loved Andrew's curiosity, asked me if he is experiencing any separation anxiety (thankfully that's a 'no' so far), and he watched him play with all the toys.  He again said that Andrew is perfect and that he would see us for the one year appointment in a few months.

Ugh - to think in less than 3 months my little munchkin will be a year old. Time is moving at warp speed and I can't seem to slow it down.  I guess I'll just have to enjoy every second of it that I can.