Saturday, June 28, 2008

Memories...

I was flipping through my "Belly Book" this afternoon and realized that a year ago today...Eric and I found out we were expecting our first baby! I still remember every detail. I wanted to wait a few more days before taking a pregnancy test but because I really wanted to test the "5 days before your missed period" claim on the box...I decided I would take one early. Plus...I was just too damn excited to wait. So when I woke up at 2:00 a.m. after having a dream that my test was positive, I walked into the bathroom (still half asleep) and took the test. I waited the two longest minutes ever, only to see one line. Boo! So I crawled back into bed and figured it was just too early to test (my excuse every time I got a negative). But then when I woke back up at 5:30 for work...I noticed there was a second line!! I ran into the bedroom, jumped on the bed and asked Eric to help me examine it. He said he could see a second line...but it was probably an invalid test. Men...always trying to be so freaking logical. I didn't care...I knew that second line was there. But I knew I would have to take another test so on my lunch hour, I ran to Target and bought another test. Okay...I bought 4 more tests. OKAY...5 more tests of varying brands. I just wanted to be sure you know So anyway, I decided I didn't want to take one at work so as soon as I got home I ran into the bathroom and took the EPT digital test. The little hour glass was on the screen for about an hour (2 minutes) and then it popped up...the word I was waiting to see. Pregnant!! I was so excited. When Eric came home I walked up to him and handed him the test. It took him a minute to realize what it said but when he did...he ran up to me with the biggest grin, reached out his hand...and high-fived me. Yep...he high-fived me. What a goof ball. That of course was followed by a huge hug and kiss. We were going to have a baby. And little did we know that 9 months later we would give birth to the most BEAUTIFUL baby girl in the world. Enter Addison...the love of our lives. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Super Mom!!

Well...I did it! I did the one thing I thought I would never do. I quit my job to be a stay-at-home mommy! While it was scary and sad to give work my notice, I know this is the greatest decision I have ever made. Getting the opportunity to be home with my baby (and one day my babies) is something I just can't pass up. Eric was given a VERY big promotion recently and that was the last "pro" I needed to tip the scales and make the decision I have been wanting to make since the day Addison was born. I still plan to teach an English class here and there at the college but other than that...my days will revolve around Addie. I can't wait to take her to story time at the library and take her on play dates with cousins Nia, Audrey and Brennan and boyfriends Jackson, Ryder, Connor and Parker. It is going to be so much fun! I know Grandma can't wait for our Wednesdays together :-)  And most of all, I can't wait to witness all of my babies firsts and be there to take care of them when they are sick, color with them on rainy afternoons, help them with their homework (except for math...that will be daddy's job), take them to dance class and baseball practice and do just about everything I can to make them happy every day. I only have 6 weeks left at work and then I can strap on my cape and be the super mom I always hoped to be. Woohoo!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Like Mother, Like Daughter




Like mother, like daughter. Thats all I can say at this point. Addie is starting to show signs of separation anxiety and I can't blame her for that...she inherited it from her mommy.

When I was little, my mom thought it would be a good idea to work at my grade school so that she could be close to me. Problem was...I knew my mom was only 30 feet from my classroom so any time I started to miss her, I would start to cry and BEG to go to the office to see her. She even told me that if my class was walking the hallway and I saw her, I would start crying if I couldn't go over to her. It also didn't help that I had a total pshyco for a first grade teacher (Mrs. Sullivan that beotch) ...but thats besides the point. Anyway, this separation anxiety didn't end for me in grade school. I was homesick for my mom at summer camp, at work, at piano lessons and even in college. Hell...I was homesick for my mom while I was in Flordia a few weeks ago! So I can't blame Addie for being the same way I was as a kid. And my mom can't blame me for being the way I am, considering how much she clung to her mom as a child. And so I got to thinking about how amazing it is that all 4 of us are around to talk and laugh about this. My Grams, my Mom and my baby girl. All together in one room laughing about how we are all alike. And as you can see from the picture...we all look alike too :-)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Grandma Was Right...Damn!

So...today was "nap time experiment day". I was determined to figure out a solution to this little sleep-strike Addison has been on. I started out our first nap routine at about 9:00 this morning with no luck. I rocked her, walked her, swung her, nursed her, sang to her (that made her cry), bounced her and swaddled her. I used a binkie and a boobie and nothing worked! She just flailed and grunted until I sat her up and let her look at me. Then she cracked a big old grin and I couldn't help but squeeze and kiss her. I was just about to give up at that point when I decided I would try one last thing.
While watching Addison for 4 days while Eric and I were in Florida, my Mom became a born-again baby expert. She starts most of her sentences now with "Addie likes" or "Addie doesn't like" and you know what...as annoying as it is to admit sometimes...she knows what she is talking about! The other day when I was telling her about my nap issue, she said "Addie likes when you lay her in her crib, give her a binkie to suck on, and hold her hands until she falls asleep". I only had one response, What-Ever! What baby was she talking about? Give her a binkie and hold her hands? Get serious Grams...this baby needs way more maintenance than that. But, I was desperate today. So I took Addie and layed her in her crib awake, gave her a binkie, and held her hands. She thrashed around for about a minute and then I saw her eyes go closed. She batted them a few times and then shut them for good! I stood there for a minute thinking she was definitely going to wake up any second...but she didn't! I slipped my fingers out of her hands and tip-toed out of her room. And wouldn't you know it...that little peanut slept for almost 2 hours!!! And before I could give all credit to my mom, I tried this process again for her second nap and it worked!!!! Again!!! Okay Momma...you were right. Damn!


Why Nap When I can Suck My Hands?

Its funny...I would give just about anything to have someone pick me up, wrap me in a warm blanket, rock me until I am just on the brink of sleep, and then lay me down in a big cozy bed for 2 hours in the afternoon. Addison, on the other hand, would rather watch the Disney channel and suck her hands. She wants absolutely NOTHING to do with napping right now. I try everything aside from crawling into the crib with her. And I would seriously consider that if I could hoist myself up. But then I would be the one asleep and she would be sucking my hair or something. So, I have to figure out what this little peanut wants. All the baby sleep books say that I just need to keep trying different things. Lay her down right after eating, lay her down every hour instead of every two, lay her down with a binkie, lay her down with a warm blankie, lay her down naked. I looked for the section that says to give her a little glass of wine and a Tylenol PM but as you can guess...they don't recommend that. So, I am on a mission to experiment with different nap time techniques today to see if anything works. I will be sure to report back :-)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bye Bye Swing...Hello Jumperoo


The other day, I decided to put Addison in her swing to take a nap. She hadn't been in it in a while so I thought I would give it some use. I put her in, covered her with a blanket, turned the dial to the second level and walked to the kitchen to do the dishes. While I was in there, I heard this creaking noise...like the swing was caught on something. So I peaked in at her and realized the swing was barely swinging. I checked to make sure it wasn't caught on anything, which it wasn't, so I stood there for a second trying to think of what to do. And of course, because there wasn't enough motion, Addie woke up. So I took her out of the swing and watched as it finally started to move. WTF? So I put her back in to see if it would keep working but the same thing happened. I realized at that moment that she was just too big! The swing couldn't keep her 15 pound, 4 ounce butt moving fast enough. So...the swing is out. I washed the cover and packed up yet another baby item that only got 3 months use :-(

But the good new is...we get to use a new toy! To replace the swing, I put up Addie's Rain Forrest Jumperoo. I wasn't sure if she would like it, but as you can see form the picture...SHE LOVED IT! She is just now learning how to push off her legs to make the seat bounce and once she gets going, she gets the biggest smile on her face! Yay! My little meatloaf is turning into such a big girl!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Going Green

I will be the first to admit that sometimes going green = going broke. I realized this when I saw a 32 oz bottle of organic apple juice in the grocery store for $6.99. Jewel brand apple juice was 2 for $4...hmmmm. So I am not going to say that all things organic are the way to go becuase lets be honest...we are all on a budget. But now that I have a baby, I am really starting to rethink some of the choices I make. But how do you go green without going broke?

I decided to start small and do the things that I thought would make the most difference. For one thing, Eric and I decided that we had to be better about recycling. Eric also decided to plant a garden so that we could have fresh fruit and vegetables without having to pay $16 for an organic tomato. I am also hoping to make some of my own baby food with those fruits and veggies...but we will see how that goes :-)

Another thing my mom and I did was buy a set of envirosaxs (see picture to the left). These set of 5 bags are cute, they fit in your purse, and they can hold a ton of groceries. We got them from www.envirosax.com. You can find these enviro-friendly bags all over the place...even at the dollar store! We just thought it was a really easy way to save on all those plastic bags we were collecting from the grocery store, Target, and my new favorite store...Babies R Us.

So speaking of babies, besides attempting to make some of my own organic baby food and buying organic formula when I quit breastfeeding...I wanted to know what else I could do to make my home healthier for Addie. And thanks to my sister-in-law and a little book called "Healthy Child Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home", I have decided to throw out every household cleaner I have and replace them with cleaners that are safe and good for the environment. But when I started looking at the cost of some of those green cleaners...I was shocked! I refused to go broke cleaning my freaking toilet. So, I started doing some research and a friend of mine suggested some cleaning products by Shaklee called "Get Clean". I decided to give them a try, especially since the cleaners are concentrated. A 16 oz bottle of their Basic H2 Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate will make 48 gallons of cleaner!!! And at around $10 a bottle...thats like 20 cents a gallon! And think of all the plastic you save! It was a no-brainer. Anyway, I LOVE the cleaners and I am happy that not only am I using safer stuff around the house, but I am also saving money in the long run! If any of you are thinking about switching to safer household cleaners, I highly recommend checking these out.

Overall, I feel pretty good about the small steps I am making towards a greener lifestyle. I still have a lot to learn and a lot more to read, but at least I know that all these little changes will help keep Addie...and the planet...a little healthier :-)


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Mr. Winkel

Woohoo! We hit another milestone today!! We advanced from a smile to a giggle about 3 weeks ago, but today we advanced from a grasp to a reach!!! Baby girl actually reached for her favorite toy! Its called the "Winkel" and its by Manhattan Toys. It is basically a big ball of plastic tubes wrapped around a little rattle (see picture). But it is light-weight and no matter where she reaches...she can always grab one of the tubes. And that is exactly what she did today. She reached out her little hand, grabbed Mr. Winkel and then shook it like a mad woman. She let out a huge giggle and then dropped in on the floor. It was a small milestone...but a milestone none the less :-)

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Baby Books: Your Best Friend...Or Your Worst Enemy

Let me start by saying that I love to read. Love it, love it, love it. There is nothing better than curling up on the couch with a big blanket...or a big glass of wine....and a good book. I actually use to read for the fun of it. I would buy the latest girlie book by Candace Bushnell or Emily Giffin and learn about what single girls do for fun in the big city.  There was a point in my life where I could relate to these characters and I like to refer to that time as "Pre-Wanna-be-a-Momma".

The Pre-Wanna-Be-A-Momma era ended in January 2007 when I caught a serious case of Baby Fever. I was on a mission...I wanted to be a mommy. But where do I start? Do I just stop taking the pill? Will I get pregnant right away? All these questions and only one place to go for the answers....Barnes and Noble. 

The first time I visited the "Woman's Health" section of Barnes and Noble, I was simply looking for a How-To guide to getting pregnant. Not a birds-and-the-bees, the-wiener-goes-here kind of book....but rather a guide to help me prepare. And I found several great books that told me to get in shape, start eating right, visit the dentist, give up caffeine, give up wine...GIVE UP WINE!!! I put that book back. But seriously, I just wanted some pointers. But then, I started coming across all of these fertility books and I was compelled to read them. And that was where books became my enemy.

The first month I tried to get pregnant...it didn't work. And instead of saying "well, better luck next month", I decided it made more sense to drive to Barnes and Noble and read more fertility books. By the end of that day, I had already diagnosed myself with a fertility problem. I was in tears. I came home and told Eric that I might not be able to get pregnant. I know...I was jumping the gun a bit. But when I didn't get pregnant the second month we tried, I became obsessed. I was reading everything I could get my hands on and I finally came across the perfect book, "Taking Charge of Your Fertility". I was hooked. I decided that I was going to take my basal body temperature every day, track my cycle with an ovulation kit, start eating right, take my prenatal vitamins religiously, and...give up wine. I KNOW! But I was on a mission. And you know what....it worked. That third month I took a pregnancy test at 2:00 in the morning and woke Eric up to help me examine a faint second line. Sure enough...Addison was already in the making!

So as I was saying...about books being the enemy...it didn't stop with fertility books. Now I was on to the Pregnancy section of Barnes and Noble. I was so excited to stand in front of that section and look at all the cute journals like "The Belly Book" and "The Mommy Chronicles". I should have just stuck to the fun books like that but instead, I picked up a classic. "What to Expect When You're Expecting", which should have been titled "A Week-by-Week Guide to Totally Freak You Out During Your Pregnancy".  Every week was something new to worry about, but for the first three months, every day was a reminder that you could miscarry. I know its always a possibility, but why remind me EVERY WEEK! And as my pregnancy progressed...they started talking about birth defects and other pregnancy complications, like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, and so now I had 8 million other things to worry and read about. It was never ending. I finally decided, at about 20 weeks, that I was going to put the "scary" books away. I banned myself from WebMD and discontinued my membership to psycho.pregnant.chics.com. After doing that, I stuck to writing in my Belly Book and reading Jenny McCarthy's "Belly Laughs". The pregnancy went great, and my beautiful, healthy baby Addie was born March 7th. And then on March 10th...when I returned home, I realized I had a whole new stack of books to read....the Baby Books!

I am still trying to get through my stack, but I promise to post and review them as I go along. I also promise to give it a rating from (1) meaning: Totally fun and/or interesting...not scary at all, to (10) meaning: Scary as Hell...I have to call my pediatrician now. First book up for review, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby". Stay tuned.....