Friday, March 30, 2012

A Little Labor Buddy Meet-up

Two weeks ago I found out that my former labor buddy from our days on the April 2011 moms board on The Bump would be in SC vacationing with her family.  I jumped at the chance to meet up with mrs.monica from Running Through Parenthood... In Heels and couldn't wait to meet her in person and get to see her insanely adorable little girl with my own two eyes.

She was vacationing up in Myrtle Beach so we decided to meet halfway and get together in Georgetown.  I worked from home that morning and swung by the daycare to pick up Andrew at noon so we could head north for our get together.   Just as I was getting on the highway I realized I had forgotten to throw my camera in the car.  Great.  No time to turn back since I was already running a little behind. I guess my iPhone camera would have to do. About 30 minutes into the drive I realized I did not have a stroller in the car (I'd taken it out on Sunday for a walk and forgot to put it back in). Awesome.  Oh well, at least I remembered the baby, right?

Somehow I actually made it to Georgetown first (thank you lead foot!) and found a place for us to meet up. There is this cute little historic waterfront area in Georgetown that I figured would be perfect.  It's so cute you almost don't notice the smell from the paper mill in town. Almost.

While we waited I took some pictures of the munchkin in his cute outfit out on the little boardwalk area:

I made sure he looked extra handsome for Bryn

Soon I got the call that they were here and I grabbed the munchkin and eagerly went to go find them.  I quickly spotted her, her lovely mother, and the cutest little blond haired blue-eyed baby girl ever.  We walked along the boardwalk looking for a kid friendly place to grab a bite to eat and settled on a little deli.  After ordering and getting our food and drinks we settled on the deck for a nice lunch.

The little ones sat next to each other in their high chairs giving each other the once over. It was so cute.  Bryn was sitting there so sweetly while her mom spread out her little placemat and got some food ready for her.  I clearly did not have my brain with me that day because I had also forgotten to bring our little table topper things so all I could do was wipe down the table and hope for the best.  (Yeah, I was a total slack mom that day...). Andrew did not wait so sweetly and just wanted to grab stuff. And drop it on the ground.  After a little lunch and chatting and keeping the kiddos occupied we busied them with pickles.  I'm not sure if Bryn had never had one before, but she seemed to love it.  And she was a total sweetie and shared hers with Andrew:

Seriously - how cute is this?

We sat around chatting - talking about babies, family, running, breastfeeding, and whatever else came to mind until the the little ones started to melt down  Or at least until mine did:

Then we got a few pictures (thank you SO much mrs.monica for sending them to me!!) and it was time to head home.

I'm happy to say that she is an even more lovely person in real life than she is online (where she is also very fabulous - seriously, go read her blog), that she has an equally lovely mom, and that her little girl is as sweet as can be.  I am so glad that we got to meet up, especially since she is one of my mommy idols for being so together and raising such great kids while also maintaining a great sense of self.  Hopefully when she is back down this way in August we can meet up again. I would love to see the kiddos together then when they'll be running all over the place  :)

Photo courtesy of mrs.monica (since I suck and forgot my camera)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Doing My Civic Duty

This morning I headed to the magistrate's to report for my first ever jury duty.  It's amazing to me that in the 17 years since I've been of legal voting age this is the first time I've ever been summoned. I was actually a little nervous when the envelope came in the mail and I saw "Small Claims Court". My first thought was "Is someone suing me?". I let out a little sigh of relief when I opened the envelope and saw that it was for jury duty.

Anyway, this morning I reported promptly at 9:00 (after hauling ass to get there in time) and took my place among the 15 other prospective jurors. We listened to the judge, did our introductions, and answered all the questions. Only 6 people would be chosen for the jury so I figured I had a better chance not getting called than having to serve.  The lawyers and judge came back out after doing their behind the scenes discussions and the judge started calling out names. Guess who got called first? Yep - yours truly. Awesome.

We listened to instructions from the judge and were told that it was a case about an auto accident and medical bills. Sweet. We got shuffled into the jury room and were told to select a foreperson and decide if we'd want to break for lunch. After a while we were brought back into the jury box and the fun began.

First up was opening statements.  I was unimpressed with the plaintiff's attorney. Not much charisma and he seemed to stumble over his words a bit. The defense attorney was a little better - one point for the defense. We were given the facts of the case. The 67 year old defendant had rear ended the 30 year old plaintiff.  There was no damage to the car (they showed us pictures) and the defendant had admitted liability in the collision, but we needed to decide if the plaintiff had actually been injured and if the defendant should have to pay her $3,167 in medical bills. I didn't think this was something that would have a jury trial, but whatever.

The first witness was the chiropractor that the plaintiff had gone to after the accident. For someone who was going to be testifying at a trial he really didn't seem prepared. The first objection came from the defense regarding the plaintiff's medical file. We got sent back to the jury room while the lawyers and judge discussed it. After a few minutes we were brought back out and they continued. There were several objections (shoving us back to the jury room a couple more times) and then the plaintiff's lawyer finished up and it was time for cross examination. I had to stifle a laugh when he gave the chiropractor a print out of his practice's website and had him read a highlighted portion regarding how the practice can refer the patient to a lawyer to help with claims. Another point for the defense.

Next was a friend/co-worker of the plaintiff. I was put off by the fact that she kept her Bluetooth in her ear the entire time. Really? On the witness stand? Not necessary. Nothing much exiting happened with this witness.

Then the plaintiff's attorney called the defendant as the next witness. It turns out she had been on her way to the gym to walk on the treadmill when she skid and hit the plaintiff. I gave her a silent high five for keeping up an exercise routine as she got older.  The lawyer asked if she'd been on her cell phone at the time and she responded that she didn't have a cell phone. That made me smile.

Next up was the plaintiff.  She walked up to the stand in her tight pants and took her oath. When the questions started she gave a couple contradictory answers. Another objection and we were sent into the jury room again.   More testimony and she said when she got hit she flew forward and her chest hit the steering wheel. Was she not wearing a seatbelt? And she said her 7 month old had a mark on his chest from "the seatbelt". I was confused. Wouldn't he be in a rear facing car seat? Would that leave a mark if she was rear ended and not even hit hard enough to dent her bumper? When the defense questioned her about a dent that showed up on her car later she tried to say another body shop found that and that they told her her transmission was going out as a result of the accident. From being rear ended?  Then she said she only went to the first body shop because the defendant's insurance sent her there. The defendant's co-counsel let out a gasp and we were sent to the jury room again. A few minutes later we were brought back out and told that due to new circumstances our services were no longer needed and we were excused.

What? Come on - it was just getting good! We all gathered our stuff, went and signed out (so we'll get our $10 checks for serving) and were free for the rest of the day. The other young female juror and I chatted on the way out - turns out we were both leaning towards ruling for the defendant because the plaintiff's claims weren't adding up and she didn't seem credible. The fact that she had been to the same chiropractor for another accident prior to this accident made me think she was just trying to get stuff for free. We were a little bummed that we didn't get to deliberate, but happy to be done at 12:15 and have the rest of a gorgeous afternoon off.

I took the opportunity to get in a nice 5.25 mile run and picked the munchkin up early from daycare.  All in all it was an interesting experience and I was happy to serve. It doesn't hurt that my company will pay for up to 40 hours of jury duty time per year, so I wasn't out any PTO or anything. And tomorrow is Friday already. Hopefully tomorrow I can do my post about the little get together I had with my former labor buddy and fellow blogging mama yesterday. :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

1 Year

We did it!  We made it through one whole year with no major catastrophes, no trips to the ER, and without J and I killing each other.  It's crazy how fast the year went and how much he's changed:

Unfortunately I don't have any cute pictures of him destroying his big cupcake I got him yesterday (he'll get his real cake at his party this weekend) because after his shots at his doctor appointment he was a miserable little munchkin all evening so we had to forgo the cake and presents. We'll do that tonight. I don't think he'll mind.

Oh, but that was a huge mommy fail on my part - making him go to the doctor and get shots on his birthday. What was I thinking??

Anyway, on to the fun stuff...

Age:  1 year old - holy moly!

Stats:  Per his measurements yesterday he is:

Weight - 22 lbs 8 oz - 46th percentile (with a wet diaper, though, so I'm saying closer to 22 lbs even)
Height - 30.2 inches - 66th percentile
Head - 15.5 - 69th percentile

So he chubbed up a little bit since his 9 month appt and went from the 27th percentile in weight to the 46th.

Size (diapers, clothes, etc.):  Not much of a change from last month. Still in size 3 diapers with no leaking. Mostly in 12 month onesies and bodysuits, but there are still 9 month ones that fit.  Pretty much in all 12 month pants and shorts.  I had him in a 18 month bodysuit yesterday for his birthday (they were out of 12 month ones) and it was gigantic, so he's definitely not ready for those.

Sleeping:  He sleeps 10+ hours at night (sometimes up to 12 on the weekends) with two naps - around 9:00 and 1:00.  I have zero complaints when it comes to his sleeping - we have been very blessed.

Eating: I BF in the morning and sometimes in the evening (if he wants it).  We started the transition to whole cow milk this weekend and so far he isn't sold on it.  I really want to get him transitioned over because I am about tapped out and I really don't want to have to go buy more formula.  I've started taking 4 oz bottles of BM to daycare along with a bottle of whole milk for them to add 1-2 ounces to the BM bottles.  We've been trying to get him to drink the milk out of a sippy, but so far he isn't having it. He is a champ at drinking water out of a sippy, but so far he is resisting milk/formula in it. As far as eating, we still do a lot of the stage 3 foods.  He will not eat the pasta balls in any of them, but he eats the vegetable chunks.  Depending on his mood he will eat chunks of chicken or pork, broccoli florets, cauliflower, steamed carrots, penne pasta and elbow macaronis (swallows them whole).  Oh, and he loves black beans. I mean he loves them.  Like double fisting them into his mouth loves them.

Milestones:  One more tooth on the bottom (7 total) and another one about to poke through). He's now started pointing which is hilarious.  No walking or cruising yet, but with as much as he gets into by just crawling I'm not worried.

New adventures:  We did the Walk For Water this past weekend and went out to Sullivan's Island for the St Patty's Day block party last weekend.  Nothing overly exciting.

Favorite toys and activities:  He loves to roll balls around the floor and chase after them, pulling the tupperware out of the cabinet and banging them on the floor, and his new favorite - the toilet:

Yes, we need to keep the lids down from now on

Funny happenings:  Honestly, every day with Andrew is hilarious.  The other night after his bath he crawled out into the living room. I was standing by the chaise and leaned over to look at him. He pulled himself up, looked me straight in the face and began laughing hysterically. I wasn't even touching him but he thought something was hilarious.  I couldn't stop laughing at him, which only made him laugh harder. I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. He's a funny kid.

What I'm looking forward to:  His birthday party this weekend (please let the weather hold out!) and this summer at the beach with him. He'll be able to play instead of just laying in the tent, so it should be interesting. I see lots of sand eating in our future.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday, Andrew!

Dear Andrew,

Today is a big day.  Today marks one year since you came screaming into our lives and stole our hearts.  At 11:05 AM on March 26, 2011 I learned that love at first sight does in fact exist when you made your debut into this world.  The nine months of daydreaming about you did nothing to prepare me for the overwhelming love I would feel when I first saw you. One look at your beautiful blue eyes was all it took for me to know that I would do whatever it takes to protect you for the rest of my life.

It has been an amazing year.  Watching you grow every day as you learn new things has been more wonderful than I ever could have imagined. But you aren't the only one who is learning. You have taught me so much this year as well.

One thing that I've never been is patient, but you have taught me sit back and enjoy life.  Just sitting with you and watching you explore and play has brought me so much joy.  To see the look of wonder on your face when you discover something new and to hear your big belly laughs when you think something is funny makes me smile so big I feel like my face might crack.

On countless occasions I have found myself sitting back and just watching you.  Watching you play, watching you explore, watching you grow.  And even though it makes me sad that you are no longer my tiny little baby it also makes me so proud that you are my son.  I know that there are great things in store for you.  I know that you are going to be an amazing person and I can't wait to see who that person is.  But that doesn't mean that I want you to become that person too fast! I feel like this first year has gone by in the blink of an eye.

There is so much that I am looking forward to experiencing with you and I want to make sure that I can enjoy every single second of it.  And I want to enjoy every single second of you.  You have been the best and most amazing thing to ever happen to me - to us.  Your daddy and I love you more than words can ever adequately express and you have made our lives so full and happy that it's hard to remember life without you.

So happy birthday my little munchkin.  May this next year be even better than the first and may you continue to laugh and learn and grow on your way to becoming the amazing little boy I know you are destined to be.

I love you with all my heart.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

365 days ago

At this moment, 365 days ago (leap year - remember?) I was laying on the couch with a heating pad complaining about how badly my hips hurt, completely unaware that in less than 6 hours my water was going to break.

I cannot believe it's already been a year.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Weather Channel is Driving Me Insane

Just my opinion, but 10 day forecasts are the devil.

Next Saturday (March 31st) we are having Andrew's birthday party.  We're doing a casual cookout and I'm hoping to have the majority of it outside.  That way he can make a huge mess with his cake and we can just hose it down afterward (the high chair, not the baby) and we can have everyone mingling outside instead of crammed into our living room.

Also, J and I are running the bridge run 10K that morning (yes, I am insane for planning his birthday party for 1:00 on a day where I am running a race at 8:00 AM).  So, bottom line, I would really like some nice weather.

As of yesterday morning the forecast for next Saturday was 71 degrees with a 10% chance of rain.  By yesterday afternoon it was 77 degrees with a 60% chance of rain.  Now it's 75 degrees and back down to a  10% chance of rain.

I know I shouldn't worry too much about it until it's closer to the actual day, but I can't help looking at it... and obsessing.

So I guess I'll try not to keep checking it every couple hours from now until next week and just keep my fingers crossed that they keep it at the mid 70's with little chance of rain.  I wouldn't want his cute dinosaur cake to get soggy  ;)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

And so it begins...

Thus far we have been lucky as far as Andrew being well adjusted and not having any issues being dropped off at daycare every morning.  Well, I think our luck is running out.

On Tuesday as I was walking out the door he came crawling after me.  I shut the door so he couldn't get out on the porch and when I turned around after walking down the steps he was up against the glass, wailing.  My heart about broke in half and I wanted to cry.  At the first stoplight on the way to work I sent Andrea a text saying how that broke my heart and he normally doesn't notice me leave.   A few minutes later she sent me a video of him "dancing" in the playroom to some music.  She said he was fine after she picked him up and not to worry - all kids go through it.  I know that's true, but I was hoping my kid would be different.

Yesterday there were other kids there when I dropped him off so he was more distracted. I was able to sneak out while he was playing and he didn't chase after me.

This morning I was the first one there.  He crawled around all over the place while I got out all his food and chatted with Marc.  He crawled around babbling, I picked him up to get my last hugs and kisses in and then set him down in the direction of Marc, hoping he would crawl over to him and be distracted. No such luck.  I looked back after I walked out and there he was, on the other side of the glass, face all crumpled up and ready to cry.

In my heart I know that he loves it there. I know that he doesn't sit there all day, inconsolably crying because I'm not there. I mean, I've witnessed him having a grand old time playing with toys and watching the other kids - happy as a clam until he sees me and comes excitedly crawling towards me, laughing and yelling.  So I know that he is fine and that it is good for him to have other kids to play with and learn from.

But then there are moments like this morning where I feel such immense guilt at walking away from him.  When seeing that crumpled up face makes me want to cry.  When I wish I was the one he was spending all day with.

So it is beginning. The separation anxiety for him and even more mommy guilt for me.  Sigh.

I prefer this smiley face instead of the sad baby...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

TAT ~ Playing in the Kitchen

I'm linking up with Growing Up Geeky this week for Toddle Along Tuesday.  This week's topic is 'your child's favorite activity'.

Now, there are tons of things that Andrew likes to do on any given day, but one thing that he loves no matter what day it is, is playing in the kitchen.  No, he doesn't have a play kitchen that keeps him occupied - he loves to destroy our kitchen.

The first thing he goes for is the bottom drawer with all of the kitchen towels.  He'll busy himself opening and closing the drawer a few times and then he'll dive right in and pull all the towels out flinging them all over the kitchen.

He also loves the rugs in there - throwing them around the kitchen and playing with the no skid mats that are underneath them.

"Would you like these, mommy?"                    .

He hasn't quite figured out how to get the pantry doors open (thank god for small favors), but if I have to open them to get something he comes flying over to start playing with the items on the bottom shelves.  He particularly likes the rolled up shelf liners and the pouches of rice sides.  We've made sure to relocate any glass jars to higher shelves out of his reach. The last thing we need is a baby covered in spaghetti sauce and broken glass.

Lastly, he has now discovered the tupperware cabinet. He likes to grab some of the containers and lids and crawl over to the washer and dryer and bang them off of the doors.

 "Oooh - fun stuff that makes noise!"

Notice the lids and containers he left over by the washer and dryer     .

Even though he can make a mess, I'm glad that he likes playing in the kitchen because it means he can keep himself occupied while I'm getting dinner ready and I don't have to worry about him wandering off.  I just have to worry about him shoving the tupperware lids under the dryer - never to be seen again...

So - what does your little one like to play with??

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Countdown Begins

One week.  7 days.  168 hours.

That's how long it is until my amazing and crazy little munchkin turns one year old.  All I can say is "Holy shit!".  And try not to freak out too much.

It's been one heck of a year.  It is so funny to me to think about where we were at this time last year. Anxiously awaiting the arrival of the little person who was about to steal our hearts (and sometimes our sanity).  We didn't expect him to show up when he did (15 days early), but we were thrilled to finally meet him.  And scared shitless.

I remember the drive home from the hospital like it was yesterday.  I was sitting in the back seat, staring at this squishy little crying newborn and thinking 'Holy hell - they actually let us leave the hospital with him. What were they thinking????'.  I was, in a word, terrified.  I already loved him so much, but I had this awful fear that I was about to do everything wrong.  Add in insane hormones, little sleep and a sister sending me emails berating me for the name choice and you had the perfect storm for a complete breakdown.

But we made it.

 We got into our groove, figured things out by trial and error, hit a few bumps along the way, and here we are - counting down the days (and hours) until he is no longer really a baby.

But he'll always be MY little baby.  I love you, Andrew.

Friday, March 16, 2012

11 Things

I've been tagged by the amazing mrs.monica over at Running Through Parenthood...In Heels to complete this 11 things survey.  I appreciate the tag from my former labor buddy. We went through our pregnancies together on the April Moms board on The Bump and I always love reading her blog and getting tips on how to manage being an active working mom.  I really hope that when the time comes for J and I to expand our family with another baby that I can keep it together half as well as she has with her two beautiful kids.

Anyway - on to the 11 things...

1.  Post the rules.
2.  Post a photo of yourself & 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post.
4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
5. Go to their blog/twitter/facebook and tell them that you've tagged them.

From our wedding almost 3 years ago (and the happiest day of my life prior to March 26, 2011)

11 Random Facts About Me
1. I have two tattoos.  The first one is on my butt and I got it with a friend as a freshman in college basically because we could.   The other one is on my lower back (yes, I have the lovely "tramp stamp"). I got that one my senior year in college during a time that I was rebelling because I was so mad at my family for lying to me about some things that were going on.  I successfully hid it from my parents for two years.  I've contemplated getting that one removed.

2.  I started working when I was 14 (Baskin Robbins) so I have no patience for lazy people who sit there with their hands out wanting everything for free.

3.  There have been times where I have wondered if we should have just named Andrew something else because of the drama it caused in my family and how it has (possibly forever) fractured mine and my sister's relationship.

4.  I cannot stand when people whistle.  To me it is never a good sound, even if you are whistling an actual song.  J whistles all the time and it makes me want to smack him sometimes.

5.  I played soccer for 9 years (2nd grade through 11th grade).  I quit my senior year because I hated the coach and refused to kiss his ass so I didn't play all that much. I sometimes regret not sticking it out for that last year.

6.  I love to watch 'The Bachelor' for it's ridiculousness and 'Survivor' for the competitive aspect, but I hate most other "reality" tv. I have no desire to keep up with a Kardashian and would rather gouge my eyes out with a spoon than watch any "real" housewife from wherever.

7.  My eyes are hazel but with my contacts in they look green.  I never correct someone if they comment on my green eyes because I wish they actually were that color.

8.  I got engaged when I was 23 to a guy that I had been dating for four months. Thankfully it was a long engagement and I figured out he wasn't the one. I called it off two months before the wedding. 10 years later that dress is still hanging in a closet in our house (not for sentimental reasons - I just didn't know what to do with it).

9.  I have read 'To Kill a Mockingbird' at least a dozen times. My husband doesn't understand how I can read a book more than once, but I'm sure I will read it a few more times in the future.

10.  I still have an AOL email address that I have had since 1999 and I actually use it.

11.  I've had half a dozen kidney stones in my lifetime, starting my senior year in college.  They are always in my right kidney so I guess that is the bunk one.  If anyone ever needs a kidney transplant from me they are getting that one.

Questions from mrs.monica

1. What's your favorite form of exercise? 
This wasn't always the case, but running.  I was never a runner until I met J.  Right after we started dating I did my first ever 10K (and ended up walking a good bit of it).  That was 7 years ago and in the time since I have completed 3 half marathons, a 15K and countless 10Ks and 5Ks.  I love being able to go out for a run and just shutting off my brain.  It is such a great stress reliever for me and I am just now getting back into my rhythm after having Andrew. 

2.  If you could change your career, what is your dream job?
Honestly I don't know.  I know it's weird, but there was never one thing I was drawn to as a child (like my sister who always knew she wanted to be a doctor). I was - in my mom's words - well rounded and did a little bit of everything.  I have a degree in communications and took several production classes that I loved in college.  If I was going to do something different I would probably like to do something in television. And by that I mean something cooler than my first job out of college as the camera operator for the morning news program.

3. Do you have a favorite drink at starbucks?
 I don't do starbucks that often (because I am cheap and don't like to spend that much money on coffee) but if I do go I tend to get a mocha lite frappacino.  Yeah, probably not even considered a real coffee drink by most people, but I think they're yummy.

4.  What is one piece of advice you want to give other women before they have kids?
Honestly?  Make sure you are ready. Having a child is not something to go into lightly.  Life changes big time and if it's something you are not sure about then it is probably better to wait (if you can).  J and I were ready and wanted Andrew more than anything,  but this first year has not been all sunshine and roses.  I love my munchkin more than anything in this world, but it has been a huge adjustment for me (us).  I've had a lot of difficulty finding that balance between being his mom and being me. That being said, I would not trade him for anything.

5. Are you on birth control?  What form? Why or why not?
I am currently on the mini-pill and seriously suck at taking it at the same time every day.  I'm still breastfeeding and haven't had my first post partum period yet.  My ObGyn told me that once I stop breastfeeding to give her a call and she'll call me in a prescription for the regular pill, but I think at that point we may be ready to start going for #2, so I may just quit altogether.  Obviously J and I need to have a discussion about that first, though.

6.  Kindle, Nook, Ipad, paper book or another option?
I had an e-reader that J got me for Christmas two years ago (it got broken when he knocked it off the dresser) and I liked that I could have multiple books in one little package, but there is just something about paper books that I love.  Pre-baby I read a LOT (it's hard to find the downtime now) and I always love the satisfaction of getting to the end of an actual book.  For me curling up with a good book just isn't the same when there are no pages to turn.

7. Do you buy organic?  If you do, what products?  If you don't, why not?
Sometimes, but not always.  There's no real reason. I don't seek out organic things, but I also don't try to avoid them. They tend to be more expensive (I'm cheap, remember?) so I don't always go for them.  But now that we are feeding Andrew I think we should try to go more organic, especially with fruits and veggies where you eat the skin. I guess I can add that to my list of things to do.

8.  Who is your movie star crush now?  Who was it when you were growing up?
Hmmm - this is a tough one.  I'm going to go with George Clooney because he is a damn handsome man and I love his voice.  When I was growing up I loved Kevin Costner (wow, that makes me sound old).  I don't know - I just thought he was hot (and he is still a good looking guy in my opinion).

9.  Toilet paper roll, from the top or the bottom?
From the top. Always.  It drives me crazy if it isn't on there that way and I have been known to switch it around at my parents house, restaurants, and at work if it's on there wrong.

10.  Why did you start blogging?  Does it serve the same purpose now?
I started blogging when I found out I was pregnant with Andrew.  I wanted a way to document the pregnancy and life beyond so I could look back and see what I was thinking and feeling along the journey.  I've gone back and read posts from throughout my pregnancy and it's entertaining to see what I was worried about and what I was thinking.  It still serves somewhat of the same purpose - I'm documenting our life with Andrew, what's happening with him, how I feel about things, the struggles I go through as a first time working mom, and life in general.  It is a nice outlet and I love getting feedback from others who are in the same situation currently or who have been in the past.

11.  I could not live without ________ because ______.
I guess this should be besides the obvious of my husband and child, right?  One thing that I could not make it through the day without is chapstick because I have a habit of biting my lips so I try to keep them slathered and moist.  I'm a bit of an addict and have one in my nightstand drawer for before bed, one in every purse, one in my work desk for during the day, one in my gym bag, at least one in Andrew's diaper bag, and several others stashed throughout the house.  I get excited when I pick up our packets for a race and I see that included amongst the goodies is a new chapstick. Most of the time I confiscate J's, too, since he doesn't use them.

Now my questions...
1. What is something that, prior to having a baby, you said you would never do as a parent that you are now doing?  What changed your mind?
2.  What is your favorite "me" time activity?
3.  You can go back and relive one day in your life - what day would you choose?
4.  What is your dream vacation destination?
5.  If you are going to happy hour what is your go to drink?
6.  Is there anything that your parents did during your upbringing that you are determined not to do with your kids?
7.  If you were given tickets to any concert possible who would you want to see?  Who would it have been 10 years ago?
8.  You only have 20 minutes to go online - what sites do you absolutely have to check before your time is up?
9.  Where are you in the birth order in your family (oldest, youngest, only child)? Has that had an impact on the number of kids that you want to have?
10.  If the world was ending tomorrow what would you eat for your last meal?
11.  If you could trade places with anyone for one day who would it be?  Why?

I Tag...
Megan @ Denver Adventures
Natalie @ Growing Up a NJ Wife & Mom
Brandywine @ From Two Scoops to Three
Christina @ Bachs By The Beach

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Let the Madness Begin!

Yes folks, it's that time of year again. Time for March Madness to kick off. (Ok yeah, technically the games started on Tuesday with the "First Four", but the real tourney starts today).

My mom's office does a bracket pool and last year we decided to try to get a little more high tech and enter them in online so everyone could actually see how they are doing against everyone else during the tournament.  Well, for a bunch of lawyers they aren't really computer savvy so I started the group and actually entered all the brackets in.

I remember doing this because I was working from home last year that day since I had a doctor's appt that afternoon.  I was big and pregnant and trying to sit comfortably at our dining room table while doing some work (umm, yeah - I had the attention span of a flea at that point so I was mostly working on brackets  :)  )

I think for the rest of my life I will have a great association with March Madness because Andrew ended up being born in the thick of it.  He wasn't due until April 10th so he would have missed it, but he decided to show up two weeks early instead.

It's funny because I went back and looked at my facebook posts and the last one I made before announcing Andrew's arrival was of me bitching about Marquette sucking in their game that Friday night.  I never knew that when I went to bed that night after watching the games I would be waking up just two hours later to contractions and my water breaking.  I guess Andrew wanted to add to the madness  :)

Spring has always been my favorite season - the weather is getting nicer, it's not hot and muggy like it will be in a few months, the flowers are blooming, there are spring thunderstorms, and we get the extra daylight in the evenings.  Add in some basketball craziness and my little munchkin being born and it makes March my favorite time of year.

Andrew is ready for the madness to begin, too

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Finish Line is in Sight (but can we make it?)

Two weeks from today Andrew will be one year old.  :: cue the freakout from mommy ::

So two weeks from today we will have made it a whole year with breastfeeding.  We haven't been able to EBF since October when my body (and supply) were ravaged by the flu.  We did have to introduce some formula then, but he has been getting at least 75% breast milk every day (and sometimes more).  Most days the only formula he gets will be with his bedtime bottle. And some days even that bottle is only half formula.

Anyway, my point is that in two weeks we will start the transition.  I don't plan on stopping breastfeeding cold turkey.  I would still love to nurse him in the mornings and the evening, but I plan on cutting back and phasing out the pumping at work.  Words cannot adequately express how happy it will make me to not have to lug my pump into an empty office twice a day Monday through Friday and sit there being milked while entertaining myself with countless games of solitaire on my touchpad.  To say that I have come to detest pumping at work would be an understatement.  The day that I pack up that pump for the last time is going to be a glorious day.

But now I'm worrying that we won't make that one year mark.  I'm not quite sure what's going on, but my body seems to have quit on me overnight.  Just last week I was still getting around 5 ounces in the morning from the right side and around 5 ounces with my last pumping before bed.  I was getting 9-10 ounces from my pumpings at work (a huge decline from the 16-17 I was getting in our breastfeeding heyday).  Now it appears my boobs have crapped out.  Last night I struggled to get 3 ounces with the last pumping  and this morning I just barely got 3 ounces.  And last week I worked hard to get 6 ounces total every day with my work pumpings.  It's as if my body got it's two weeks notice and decided to haul ass right away instead of putting in the last two weeks.

"What do you mean there's no more milk???"

Obviously it won't be the end of the world if we can't make it to the 26th.  And it's not as if he's only ever had breast milk and it will kill me to give him formula for a couple weeks.  But we have come SO far and it will just be a real kick in the teeth (or should that be boob?) if we can't make it.

I'm not throwing in the towel.  I still brought my pump with me to work today and at 11:00 I will go and do my first pumping session as usual.   I still drank my god awful tea this morning and am sitting here drinking water like it's my job.  I'm crossing my fingers that my body with work with me and get us through these last two weeks.

I guess regardless of what happens I am proud of making it as far as we have.  It has been an amazing experience with lots of ups and downs.  If I am really honest with myself I can say that at this time last year I had a lot of doubts about making it a year.  I knew that I wanted to try, but I didn't really think it would happen.

So I'm giving myself a high five (but only in my head since my coworker might question my sanity if I start doing it for real) and crossing my fingers that there's just a little left in the tank. Wish us luck!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Wanna Hear Something Gross? (AKA Mommy Fail)

Ok, so obviously with the munchkin being sick the last few days (he's much better now) we have been using some thermometers.  I have an ear one that I mostly use on him, but I know that one isn't as accurate. So I also got out the one we got at our baby shower that has rectal, underarm, and oral attachments.

Because I wanted to get the most accurate readings we had used the butt one several times this week.  Yesterday I was sitting in the recliner in Andrew's room while he was playing on the floor.  Earlier I had knocked the thermometer off the little table in there so of course that was what he made a beeline for.  I wasn't looking and he grabbed it and stuck the thing in his mouth.  Yep, he was happily sucking on the probe that earlier that day had been in his butt.

The part that makes it a little less gross is that I HAD cleaned it after using it, but still - that was in your butt dude!

So yeah - mommy fail for letting him get a hold of it.  But I should at least earn points for not pausing to take a picture of it before I took it off of him, right?

Something tells me that won't be the last nasty thing that Andrew decides to put in his mouth...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

We Almost Made It

That is, we almost made it all the way through Andrew's first year without any real sickness and extra trips to the doctor.

Our streak ended on Tuesday when Andrea called me at 11:30 to let me know that Andrew had a temperature of 103 degrees.  I packed up my laptop and hightailed it to their house to get my sad little munchkin.  When I got to their house he was lounging in the bouncy seat whimpering.  He was hot to the touch and they had taken his pants off and pulled his shirt up to try to cool him some.

I got him home and he didn't seem too bad.  He ate his lunch and went down for a nap. While he slept I was able to get work done (I had emailed my boss to let him know I had to pick up my sick baby and would be working from home for the afternoon).  I texted my pediatrician sister to ask her how high of a temperature would be a concern. She said 103 was concerning, but as long as he wasn't having respiratory distress, was wetting at least one diaper every 8 hours, and wasn't pulling at his ears or refusing to drink we shouldn't need to take him in. She advised me to keep him hydrated and gave me the dosages of Tylenol and Motrin that I could give him and said if the fever didn't respond that I should call the doctor in the morning.

He ate lunch after coming home from daycare, so I had high hopes

Later when he got up he did nurse a bit, but he didn't want to eat any dinner.

My poor sad baby

We gave him a tepid bath to try to lower his temperature, but it was still 102.6.  He had some more Tylenol and his bedtime bottle - half of which he threw up all over both of us.  We got him cleaned up and changed and in the crib. I anticipated a rough night so I went to bed early.

He actually slept through the night, but when I went in to check him in the morning he had thrown up in the crib, all down the bumper and on to the floor.  I felt so bad for him.  I got him changed and cleaned up then tried to nurse him. He just laid on my lap and whimpered, showing no interest in nursing.  His temp was still 102.3 and he just looked so sad.  I am used to my little spazz, so to see him so lethargic and quiet was very upsetting.

I called the doctor's office to see what they thought. They wanted me to bring him in so I made the appointment and emailed my boss to let him know that I still had a pretty sick baby and would not be able to dial in to the conference call at 9:00.

We got to the doctor and the nurses commented on his ever crazy hair.  He was snuggled up to me looking sad.  The nurse weighed him (21 lbs and change) and took his temp. It was down to 98.8 so the Tylenol seemed to have had an effect.  His pulse ox was fine, so that was good.  Dr. Kirlis came in to check him out. Ears looked great, lungs sounded good, bowel sounds were good (he hadn't pooped in 24 hours which is VERY unusual for him), but his throat was really red.  She wanted him to be tested for strep, so the nurse came in to do the swab. Andrew was not happy:

This face made ME want to cry

Thankfully it was negative.  She suspected a virus and said pretty much what my sister had told me. I apologized for overreacting and she assured me that it was good that I brought him in. She said if his fever persisted for 48 more hours or if we became concerned to bring him back.  He was in pretty good spirits when we left so I stopped by BiLo to get him some pedialyte.  He ate a late breakfast when we got home and went down for a nap at noon.

I was hoping he wouldn't smack his head on the sides - his bumpers were in the wash after the overnight pukefest.

After four hours he woke up.  He had a slightly wet diaper and his temperature was back up to 102 (under arm this time).  My poor little guy was miserable. He wouldn't nurse. He snuggled up to me on the recliner, letting out little whimpers and then passing back out.  I had tears in my eyes because he was so sad.

J got home and cuddled him for a while. We got him to drink a 5.5 oz bottle so I felt a little better that he at least was getting some fluids.  I gave him some Motrin to help with the fever and about 10 mins later he threw up that and a good bit of the bottle we had gotten in him.

We put him in his new duck tub to try to help with the fever (and get him cleaned up):

Even the quacking duck tub didn't make him smile

I was doing everything in my power to get him to drink some pedialyte or water. He wouldn't drink from a bottle, a sippy cup, a regular cup, or let me put some in his mouth from a straw.  He did eat some cheerios, but he wouldn't drink.  Fortunately while he was sitting in his high chair I saw his poop face:

Which meant he finally had a poo.  34 hours from his last one - so not the norm for my little munchkin.

We gave up on pedialyte and I got him ready for bed.  Thankfully I was able to get him to nurse for 10 minutes so I felt a little better about that.  He was in the crib at 9:00 and when we went to bed an hour later I could hear him in his room moaning.  I went to check on him and he was still in the position I had laid him in. At 3:00 he was sitting up in his crib crying. I went down to check him and was ecstatic to find that his temp was down to 99.  I gave him some Tylenol and he nursed for a little bit before I rocked him for a while. He was back in the crib at 3:30 and when he woke up at 7:30 I smiled when I checked his temp and it was 97.7 (his normal).

Today he has been pretty much back to his smiley self and getting into all of the stuff he was too sick to get into yesterday.  I don't mind chasing him around the house, though. I'll take my little troublemaker over the sad sick baby any day of the week!

So happy to have my little munchkin back!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Eating Success!

As I mentioned previously here we have had a bit of a rough go of it with the eating solid foods.  When we first started any kind of finger foods (besides melting puffs) we dealt with a lot (a LOT) of throwing up.  I became accustomed to cleaning up a pukey mess at the end of many mealtimes.  It was frustrating. And gross.

Now it seems that we have turned a corner.  Last Sunday night we cooked a pork tenderloin.  Andrew had already eaten his dinner, but when we sat down to eat I tossed a few little chunks of pork on his tray, fully expecting them to be on the floor in a matter of seconds.  I was (very) pleasantly surprised when he picked one up and popped it in his mouth.  I was even more surprised when he chewed on it for a minute and swallowed it.  No gagging. No puke.  Hallelujah!

He continued eating and devoured 6 of 8 chunks that night (the last two got chewed up and spit out like pieces of bubble gum).  The next night we made some chicken and I gave him a couple chunks of that.  More success!   Throughout the week I gave him pork chunks with dinner (and lunch when I was home).  He loved it.  This weekend I cooked some elbow macaronis and mixed them in with the mac 'n' cheese puree baby food.  He didn't chew any of them, but he swallowed probably two dozen of them whole.  Still no gagging.  I wanted to literally jump up and do a happy dance.

We still have a couple of the purees in the pantry, but I don't think I am going to have to buy many more of them.  I'll still buy the stage 3 chunky foods to take to daycare, but I am so happy that I can finally start also sending some real finger foods for him to eat.

This was some broccoli and peach slices

Don't mind his insane hair  :)

So it took a while, but we finally have a baby who will eat some real food - and not just cheerios.

Friday, March 2, 2012

What It's Like

I normally don't work from home. I have an office that I go to Monday through Friday most weeks.  But when special circumstances come up where I am unable to go into the office I am lucky enough to work for a company that allows us to work from home.  My boss doesn't really care where we work from as long as we are getting our work complete.  My job also tends to be feast or famine, too, so if there is nothing going on or if I am waiting for people to get back to me with things I sometimes have a lot of down time.

Anyway, one of those special circumstances happened this past week.. Andrea (one of our daycare providers) had a death in the family and they needed to drive up to PA for the funeral.  Because of that they closed at noon on Tuesday and would be closed Wednesday and Thursday, opening back up on Friday (today).  I worked from home Tuesday morning (no point wasting 40 minutes of time I could spend working with driving back and forth from my office) and picked him up at noon.  He had just finished lunch and went down for a 2 hour nap when we got home so I was able to get lots of work done.

Wednesday I had a work at home day with the munchkin. I was a little concerned that I wouldn't get anything done - this happens to be one of those "feast" times when I actually have a lot that I'm working on.  I was especially nervous about the conference call that I had at 9:00. I mean, could I really expect an 11 month old to be quiet so mommy could hear her call?  As it turns out I had nothing to worry about - we had a fantastic day and this is what it was like to work at home with him for the day.

After breakfast he busied himself destroying playing in the kitchen.  Those rugs never stand a chance with him around.  Those towels were all pulled from his favorite drawer.

 After he was done in the kitchen he disappeared down the hall. I found him chewing on the stuffed moose's antler - attempting to look innocent.

 At 8:45 I nursed him a bit and plopped him in the crib at 8:58 for his first nap, leaving me two minutes to dial into my call.  I was actually the first one on the line (yay  me!).  He "talked" in the crib for a while but passed out before my call was over.  He stayed in the crib until he woke up at 11:00.

He sat under my chair and behind me for a while playing with my computer cord (yeah, I really need to break that little habit).

Then he discovered the plant in the corner and decided to try to yank the little vine out that J has growing in there. I was able to rescue it before he got too far.

I set him back down with some toys, which he swiftly scattered all over the place. He spent a good 20 mins banging them on the floor and against the wall, all the while yelling at them and "singing".  I was cracking up as I listened to him.

 Once he got bored with that I decided to try to corral him in the living room.  I set him in the middle of my homemade play pen (made out of the ottoman, couch and his toy bins) and let him go to town.

He was in there for a while flinging toys everywhere (you'll notice the ring stacker toy in the 2nd bin from the right above is now tossed outside the play area with the rings scattered).  Then I heard some paper rustling.  Oops!  Apparently he found the newspaper that was on the far side of the ottoman and went to work with it.

After scrubbing the newsprint off his hands we had some lunch.  He ate his mac n cheese and some pieces of pork tenderloin then stood next to my chair eyeing up my greek yogurt.  I gave him a few bites - and discovered later that he had wiped his yogurty face all over the side of my pants. Excellent.

 After lunch and a few more hours of playing he went down for another nap around 2:30. He talked and played in the crib for a while and then slept for 90 mins.  At 4:30 I decided I was done with work for the day and we took a little stroll over to the playground so he could swing.  He took a few turns on the slide and we headed home.

All in all it was a great day at home with my munchkin.  J got to spend the day with him yesterday (he just took the day off, he wasn't working) so they had their first full day of just the two of them.  He was equally as good for  him and they had a great day together, too.  How did we get so lucky with such a fantastic baby?