Thursday, July 31, 2008

i mommy

I don't know if it was the traffic, or the fact that I was going to have to say goodbye to my friends today...but I was on the verge of tears my entire drive to work. When I got into the office, everyone gave me the "it's your last day" eyes and I almost lost it. But I don't own waterproof mascara so I needed to try my hardest to hold it together. And I did pretty well up until my going away party this afternoon. It started out like any other campus party. Lots of great food and lots of fun conversation. A few of my colleagues got me some great mommy and baby items with our college logo and let me just say that Addison is more than ready for her first NCC football game :-) We were all having a good laugh and I actually thought I might be able to get out of there without crying. But then, some of my dear friends put together a very special going away gift for me. 

If you have ever been to our college, you might have noticed the various marketing pieces hanging all over campus with sayings like "i teach", "i inspire", "i direct" etc. There is always a corresponding picture to illustrate the message. They are wonderful posters and I always thought they were so creative. Well...our fabulous marketing department put together a very special piece for me. They titled it "i mommy" and it is attached to a picture of Addison and I. The caption reads "Scheduling classes, hiring teachers, writing course descriptions and organizing catalogs--just a few of the many jobs Jennifer completed with a smile on her face and pride in her spirit. But those tasks pale in comparison to the job of "mommy". While her colleagues will miss her dearly, we understand she's moving on to a bigger and better role in the life of a beautiful little girl. Ask Jennifer about her new job and she'll say "i mommy". 

You are totally crying right now aren't you? Well, as you can imagine, I lost it too. Big time. With everyone watching me. But that's okay because I am pretty sure I heard a few other sniffles during the presentation. I just never expected such a warm and sentimental farewell and this is yet another reason why I am going to miss my friends and coworkers so much. But that is the great thing about being a SAHM, I can take Addie up to campus for visits whenever I want. In fact, I can do whatever I want with Addie everyday now because I am no longer the Program Director. I mommy. 

Monday, July 28, 2008

My New Job Title


Well...only 3 more days until I am a stay-at-home mommy!!!! When I first created the ticker above, I thought " wow...6 more weeks...what the hell was I thinking giving that kind of a notice?" But honestly, I am so happy that I have had the time to really process this huge change I am about to make. Some days, when I hear someone refer to me as the Program Director, I get a little sad thinking about how I am not going to be the director anymore. Someone else is going to have that title. Someone else is going to sit at my desk and work on my computer all day. Someone else is going to get to work with my wonderful student interns (the girls I live vicariously through each day). Someone else is going to chat and gossip with my other office friends over coffee and bagels each morning. Someone else is going to get to do what I have done for the past 3 years and that is a difficult thing to process! But luckily, that someone else is a dear friend of mine and I know she is going to do a fantastic job. And even though I get a little sad thinking about someone else doing my old job, all my excitement comes rushing back when I remember that I get to start the most exciting job of my life...staying home to take care of my Addie! Someone else won't have to babysit my baby girl every day. Someone else won't have to tell me about her nap and feeding schedule. Someone else won't have to tell me about her first steps or her first words. Someone else won't have to take care of her when she is sick and home from school. And because of all this...no one else will ever know her like I do and that is a gift I am so thankful for! Only 3 more days until I can officially call myself a SAHM...the best job title I could ever ask for :-)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I Need a Tooth Fairy


The absolute worst toothache I can remember happened to me in college. I had a cavity the size of a skittle and it was by far the worst pain I can remember (besides my kidney stone and Addison's birth). And even though I knew it was getting worse, I kept putting off going to the dentist because I dreaded walking in that office. The smell, the ugly leather chairs, the classic rock playing on the intercom, the drill...AHHHH! I get freaked out just talking about it! But one night, after sleeping on my bathroom floor with a warm washcloth balled up in my mouth, I decided I had to go. And the verdict was....root canal. But honestly, that part wasn't near as bad as the toothache itself. That was just miserable. The throbbing and aching...AHHH! And as adults, we have lots of things we can do to take away the pain of a toothache (i.e. Vicodin and/or Vodka). But babies are very limited in what they can do...or rather what we can do for them. You can buy every refrigerated teething ring on the market, give them infant Motrin around the clock, and rub their gums until they fall asleep. But in the end, they are still going to have to go through some pain. It's part of life and we should understand that. But as mommies, we still want to magically fix everything for them. I honestly believe their toothache hurts us more than it hurts them. We can't stand to see them in pain or watch them cry. So if medicine, cold plastic and love aren't enough, I guess magic is all we can rely on. So I am wondering...does anyone know a good tooth fairy?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

She's With Stupid

Now...I am not going to pretend like I was a freaking genius before pregnancy and childbirth, but I have to admit that I wasn't near as stupid as I am now. When I was pregnant, I did plenty of silly things like forget my phone number, put my phone in the freezer, put cereal in Howie's dog bowl, etc. Not a big deal. I am sure there are plenty of people who are guilty of doing those things. And if those were the only dumb things that  I have done since then, I would be okay. But it has gotten worse since Addie was born. I won't mention how I filled up her bath tub without the plug in it...twice. I won't mention how I watched the water going into the tub for about 5 minutes before I asked myself "why isn't it filling?"...twice. I also won't mention how I hooked up my breastpump and watched about 10 minutes of Fox News before I realized I was pumping breastmilk onto my pants because I forgot to attach the bottles...twice. Right now you are probably thinking "damn Jen...you are an idiot". But those are small potatoes in comparison to the dumb thing I did tonight. 
I was able to get an hour to myself tonight so what did I do? I went to Babies- R-Us because I just can't get enough of that place. Anyway, I stood for about 30 minutes in the Carter's clothing section looking at all of their Buy One-Get One 50% off items. I grabbed 4 outfits at $10 each and tried to do the math in my head (take in mind that I am not a math major) and somewhere along the way, I got the Buy One-Get One and the 50% off confused. So when I went up to the register, I expected to get all 4 outfits for $20 (50% off each is $5 and BOGO also makes them $5 each. So any way you look at it...I should get 4 outfits for $20). Now I know you are thinking "Jen...you are an idiot. It is Buy-One and get the OTHER 50% off". But I didn't realize this at the time. So anyway, I go to the counter and they check out all of my items and the total is $10 more than I expected. So here is the dialogue I exchange with the cashier:

Idiot (me): Aren't the Carter's clothes BOGO 50% off?
BRU Lady: Yes they are!
Idiot: So why didn't they ring up that way?
BRU Lady: They did.
Idiot: Well why is my total $10 more than it should be?
BRU Lady: Because they are Buy One-Get One 50% off.
Idiot: I know.
BRU Lady: Right.
Idiot: Right.
BRU Lady: So?
Idiot: What?
BRU Lady: So do you still want them?
Idiot: Yes...but I want them Buy One-Get One 50% off.
BRU Lady: They are.
Idiot: They are what?
BRU Lady: Buy One-Get One 50% off.
Idiot: Huh?
BRU Lady: ...............???????????????????
Idiot: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, Sure sorry, um, I'll take them. Here is my envirosac.

And if that weren't bad enough (with 5 people waiting behind me) I pay the poor woman and walk out of the store WITHOUT MY BAG! I got all the way to the car and turned it on. Then I saw a BRU worker come out of the store with my bag. Thank God I didn't have to go back in the store and look like the jackass who not only can't count or comprehend a very simple transaction, but also leaves without the stuff she just argued about!! I guess I should have Addie wear her "I'm with Stupid" onesie so at least people can see me coming next time :-)
  

Sunday, July 20, 2008

That Explains the Drool...We Cut a Tooth!

For the past couple of weeks, Addie has been soaking bibs like it's her job. We couldn't even get through her photoshoot with Uncle Ryan the other day without 2 outfit changes. I had a feeling that she was cutting teeth but every time she flashed me that gummy smile, I only saw pink. But then today, as I was letting her suck on my finger, I felt something sharp! So I looked inside her mouth and there it was...her first little tooth breaking through! I was so excited I almost yelled out in church! But then it hit me....don't babies get really fussy when they start cutting teeth? Addison is already on a nap strike this week...I wonder if it will get worse? Will she be waking up 3 times a night again? I decided I better be prepared so I put her teething rings in the fridge, the baby Tylenol on her nightstand and a bottle of Pinot Grigio in a cooler next to my bed. You know...just in case :-) 

Friday, July 18, 2008

Review: Naptime is the New Happy Hour

For those of you who read Jenny McCarthy's books on pregnancy and motherhood and loved her sense of humor...you HAVE to read this book. "Naptime is the New Happy Hour" by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor is absolutely hilarious. It's difficult to pick a favorite chapter because each one is funnier than the next. But in order to keep this post from turning into a book itself, I will narrow it down to two. I think "Halloween--and Other Holidays You May End Up Hating Less Than You Thought" and the last chapter "Going For Broke--Or a Second Baby" are my favorites. What I think I like most about this book is that you don't have to be the mother of a toddler to enjoy and laugh at the stories she tells. In "Halloween--and Other Holidays You May End Up Hating Less Than You Thought", Stefanie writes about how annoyed she was with holidays such as Halloween because once you out grow the joys of trick-or-treating, all that is left as an adult are costume parties that turn out to be a parade of slutty nurses, slutty kitties, and slutty unicorns. But when you have a child of your own to dress up and take trick-or-treating...the holiday becomes more fun than you remember. She writes about the first time she dressed up her daughter. A friend gave her the perfect costume. "And then I saw it. The Bumblebee. Oh yeah, little stinger, puffy little body, netted wings, bouncing antennae--she looked like John Belushi circa 1975! I almost shed a tear. You know what she said when she had this on? "I'zz a bee." Um-hmm. And that's when I became a big old Halloween whore". See what I mean? Freaking hilarious!! And it just gets better as the chapter goes on and she talks about the new joys of Christmas, Easter and even Groundhog Day. Although...all she writes about Groundhog day is that it is, has been, and always will be a day for binge drinking...toddler or not :-) 
And then there is my second favorite chapter, "Going for Broke--or a Second Baby". I hope I am not spoiling too much by saying that in the last chapter, Stephanie is trying to decide if her and her husband should try for a second baby. She writes "My decision was obvious. So seven days later, ovulating and buzzed on two glasses of Pinot Grigio (fine, three glasses of cab), around midnight, I date-raped my husband. By three a.m. I was coming up with baby names. By eight a.m. I was out buying pregnancy tests. What is it about one night of trying to make a baby that makes a relatively sane woman start buying home pregnancy tests in bulk?" I will stop there since I don't want to spoil the big ending for anyone :-) But as I said earlier, she has a wonderful sense of humor and I honestly laughed out load about 20 times. So when you are sick of reading your stack of developmental baby books on breastfeeding and sleep training, pick up a copy of this one. It is a fast, funny read and pairs best with a cozy blanket and a little glass (or bottle) of wine :-)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rubber Ducky...You are Freaking Hilarious

I know there is going to come a point where everyone says, "Jen...enough with the videos". But I know that point isn't today so here you go. This is a little bit of the bath time fun Addie, Grandma and I had the other night. Its funny...I almost didn't register for a rubber ducky because I thought she wouldn't be interested in it with all the other bath toys she has. I guess I was wrong :-)
video

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Addie the Rolly Polly

video   
Well...she did it! After weeks of trying Addie finally rolled over on her own today! I actually caught her on video so have a look! It takes her one practice try but she does it! I am so proud of my little peanut!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I'm Going to be an Aunt...Again!!!

My sister-in-law Dana and I were best friends long before we were family. We started Kindergarten together in Miss Perkins class in 1986...that was 22 years ago (I know...I am a math genius). But seriously...22 years is a long time to be friends with someone! We have been through it all: recess, trick-or-treating, feathered bangs, poms and cheerleading, graduations, boyfriends, slumber parties...those were our favorite. We would give each other St. Ives facials, eat ice cream, and talk about how we wished we were sisters. Little did we know that 15 years later...our wish would come true! When Eric and I got married, I couldn't help but think how truly blessed I was. I had married my soul mate and as an added bonus...I got to call my best friend my sister! How many people can say that? And what I find so incredibly special about this is that we get to share the next chapter of our lives together. We saw each other get married and have our first babies. And now we sit around talking about how our girls will go through it all: recess, trick-or-treating, feathered bangs (you know they will be back), poms and cheerleading, graduations, boyfriends, and LOTS of slumber parties. And I truly hope that the girls are as close as Dana and I are because having a friend (and family member :-) to share these moments in life with is such a blessing. And when Dana called me tonight to tell me that she is expecting her SECOND BABY, I couldn't help but shed a little tear. My sister is having another baby...and I am here to share it with her :-) I will be Aunt Jen x 2 come March, 2009. Woohoo!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

4 Month Check-Up!!

Addie and I just returned from her 4 month check-up! She was such a good girl with her shots! She cried pretty hard when they stuck her (who wouldn't right?) but then she was all smiles by the time we got to the car. She is taking a Tylenol-induced nap right now so we will see how she feels when she wakes up. I am sure it will be nothing that a bounce in the jumperoo can't fix :-)
So...on to the important stuff! Here are her stats:

Weight: 16 lbs 8 ozs (95th percentile)
Length: 25 inches (75th percentile)

It looks like 3 of you were correct in guessing Addie's weight! The doc confirmed that meatie=healthy so I am thrilled that she is doing so well. Now if only I could get my meatie butt on the elliptical and drop a few percentiles :-) Anyway, we had a great visit and I am looking forward to the next month. Addie has been eating cereal like a champ and as soon as we introduce some oatmeal next week...we can start fruits and veggies!! Woohoo! Smelly, poopy diapers here we come!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Chunkalicious

I know what you are thinking...that is the cutest F-ing baby you have ever seen. Don't worry...I completely agree with you. But you might also be thinking what I thought the first time I saw this picture which is, "Wow! That is one meatie little baby!" But that's okay because in my eyes...meatie=healthy. And judging by the chub on this little sausage, I would say I got myself one healthy little girl. And she should enjoy this stage in her life where people think chubby thighs and double chins are cute. I mean...no one looks at my back fat or muffin top and says "Awwww...you are so adorable!" At my age...meatie=time for weight watchers. So I hope she enjoys every minute of this, especially with the next weigh-in right around the corner :-) Addie has her 4-month check up on Friday. She was 15 pounds 4 ounces at her 3-month appointment so I am sure she has gone up from there. I would love to know what you all think she weighs now. I have a little poll going so be sure to vote (look to the right). I will post the results on Friday :-) 

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Babies First 4th of July!



We don't get to say this often in Illinois...but what FANTASTIC weather we had this weekend! Three days in a row with sunshine and 80 degree temps. And on a holiday weekend no less...I think that is a first for Chicago. And speaking of firsts...Addison celebrated her first 4th of July this weekend!!! Nothing too exctiting from her perspective I suppose. Still too young for hot dogs and fireworks, but she did celebrate in style as you can see. We actually had an action packed weekend. Addison experienced her first weekend of baby party hopping. We started off the weekend by hitting up a BBQ at Uncle Joe's where Addie and Nia laughed and talked over a big bottle of breastmilk. Then on Saturday, it was off to cousin Gracie's first birthday party and since Addie missed a lot of sleep from partying the night before, we had to cut our stay a little short. But thats okay because Gracie was busy doing a cake-stand anyway.  Then on Sunday it was off to Uncle Ryan's for a cook-out. Addie was still hung over from a long weekend so she had to wear her sunglasses most of the day. Isn't it funny how only babies can wear sunglasses, drool all over their shirt and blow bubbles the day after a party and still look cute? So anyway...to cap off a long, fun-filled weekend...we decided to celebrate Addie's 4-month birthday with a big bowl of rice cereal. It was her very first taste...but I think she liked it! We will have to see how day 2 goes tomorrow :-) 

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Review: Healthy Child Healthy World

Book review time! I finally finished "Healthy Child, Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home" by Christopher Gavigan (with contributions by a bunch of celebrities). I want to start by saying that while this book scared the crap out of me and made me want to throw away everything in my house and buy all organic...I also found it to be incredibly informative, helpful and eye-opening. The book starts with a forward by Meryl Streep discussing the controversy behind Alar, the chemical that was once used on apples and other fruits to enhance growth and regulate color. She explains how it was used without regulation for many years (but not without protest) until a study was finally conducted on children and infants. The study PROVED what people had been suspecting for years, which is that Alar is incredibly hazardous to children. What this shows us is that maybe all the hype about chemicals in our drinking water, household cleaners, food, carpeting, etc. isn't just based on rumors and speculation. Perhaps these things do contribute to the health problems that so many children are facing these days. And if protecting our kids from potentially harmful chemicals isn't reason enough to buy into a greener lifestyle, perhaps protecting the planet is. And once we accept responsibility and decide to make these important changes, we are faced with a big question: Where do we begin?
As I said in a previous post, the key is to start small. The book lists all kinds of ways to live a cleaner, greener, safer lifestyle. Some things are easy to change. For example, start making everyone take off their shoes before entering your house. Shoes track in all kinds of dirt, bacteria, feces and other totally disgusting stuff. Why track that all over a house where a child plays? Another easy fix is to purchase a water filter. This can be as easy as a tap mounted filter, or an entire home system. Either way...the key is to drink safer water. Of course, the book also lists many things that are not so easy. They suggest replacing all carpet with organic bamboo flooring. Now come on...who has the means to rip out an entire house of carpeting and tile and replace it with expensive organic flooring? And personally, I can't imagine getting cozy in a house full of hard, wood floors. But I guess that is just me. I would rather invest in a good vacume and a steam cleaner...both with a HEPA filter of course :-)
I could honestly go on and on about all the great tips this book has to offer (even the over-the-top tips that no one can afford). And if there is one reason to go out and buy this book...it is for the list of Healthy Resources in the back. They list healthy choices for baby clothing, food, household cleaners, beauty products, toys, bedding, etc. And the best part is that they list brand name products that you can actually find at the grocery store and Target like Aveeno products, Method products, Earth's Best products, etc. But they also list some great websites for other brands that you can't find every where. I have included a few of my favorites under my "Green Websites" tab. Oh, and I am also excited that they list Shaklee "Get Clean" products. Yet another reason why I am happy I use and distribute them :-)
So in conclusion, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in "going green" for their kids...and their planet. It was easy to read and offered a TON of great resources. But be careful...this book has the potential to turn you into a green freak. I know I am on my way to becoming one :-)