Friday, December 30, 2011

Another Year is Ending

I still can't wrap my mind around the fact that at this time last year I was waiting for the results of the amnio.

We just wanted to make sure that the baby would be healthy.  And confirmation that our guts and that early ultrasound were right and it was a boy.

Our son.

I'm now a mommy.  My little boy is just over 7 months old.  He's celebrated his first Christmas and is starting to rock on his hands and knees.  I get excited and clap my hands every time I see him this way, and can't wait for the crawling.

My husband is an amazing father.  He puts his little family first, and is so proud of his son and their bond.  I still laugh some times at the things he is going through, the way he sounds like some of the mommy bloggers I've read who are stay-at-home moms and can't get a break all day.  His little spider monkey clings to him and laughs with him.  It still makes me cry at how wonderful they both are.

We've had to deal with 1 surgery to correct a cleft lip.  The bigger surgery is coming, but it will be something we'll get through.

I can honestly look back at the last year and smile at everything.  Even at the worst moments, those moments when I worried about whether I was doing the right things for my newborn, where we were dealing with my healing c-section wound, and those rare moments where James couldn't be soothed, I always knew I wasn't alone and we could do it.

In fact, it makes me want to do it all over again....

So, to 2011 I say thank you and goodbye.  It was a marvelous ride, and something that not only changed me but helped me grow.

And now, 2012, I can't wait to see what the next chapter will be about....

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Something I Never Did

After reading Jeffrey Zaslow's' The Magic Room for the BlogHer Book Club I wish I'd done things a little differently when it came to my wedding dress.

By the time we became engaged, A and I had been living together for just under 3 years and had talked about marriage for almost as long.  We never had any doubts we'd be together forever, it was just a formality for us.

About 6 months before the actual engagement, A had told me he intended to propose once he could afford the ring.  This little announcement had me begin the hunt for a dress.

Being a plus-size girl, I didn't think I'd have that many options in a store, and so I went in search online, and ended up finding what I wanted and in my size pretty quickly.  There were no trips to try on dresses and have my mother stand there with me to see what would work.

After reading the accounts in Jeffrey Zaslow's' The Magic Room, I feel like I missed out on something special.

In his book, the author asks the reader to think about the love we wish for our daughters, and uses a handful of brides-to-be to deliver a powerful story of the changes in marriages and relationships, all with a bridal dress shop in the mid-west as a backdrop.  I laughed at the stories, cried at some of the moments they relived for the author, and finished the book all too soon.  I loved the way he tied them all together, and made me miss my mom.

I was never in "The Magic Room", but I now wish that I'd thought to take that time and do that at least once.  There are no regrets, as my mom would remind me there shouldn't be, but a wistful moment of wishing there had been more time.

I'd honestly recommend you take the time to read Jeffrey Zaslow's' The Magic Room and if you tend to get emotional to keep some tissues handy.  I know that I scared my husband as I wept and laughed at certain points!

For more information on the book and the author visit the BlogHer Book Club HERE and peruse.

I'd also be interested in knowing about your wedding.  Did you try on dresses or shop online?  Maybe just wore a relative's dress?  Join the conversation and see what others did by visiting this page and feel free to add your story.

Me?  I have this incredible urge to plan a renewal of vows in a few years so I can try on the dresses and maybe have my mom and sister join me for an afternoon of girly fun.....

This is a sponsored review for the BlogHer Book Club.  While compensation will be forthcoming for taking the time to write about the book, the opinions stated are all mine and mine alone.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Toys, Toys, and More Toys

Well, any fear that James wouldn't get plenty of things for Christmas went out the door.

He celebrated 4 times: with one side of the family the 24th, then with us Christmas morning, his great grandparents Christmas afternoon, and then my in-laws were here on the 26th with more.

Our living room has no more space for toys.  And he has a new wardrobe that should take him to his first birthday.

James also has proven that tearing open wrapping paper is something he is good at.

Did I mention he apparently let us know he needs more fiber in his diet too?

Still, the best part is that December 25th was also the day my little boy turned 7 months old.

I don't know where the time is going.  But I do know that I'm going to need a faster camera to keep with him pretty soon.....

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Oddly This Milestone Is Hitting Me The Hardest

Every time we are in a store and look in the baby/children's department, I look at the little things and can't remember James being that small.

The onesies?  The carriers?  The swings?

I just can't picture him in those things anymore.

Last week, we ran some errands after work.  We've learned that he is good with 3 stops per outing as long as we can alternate how he travels.  Normally, we take his seat in on the shopping cart, carry him on the 2nd stop, and then use the stroller on the 3rd.  He isn't stuck in the seat all night, and sees different things at different levels.

When we reached the 3rd stop, A noticed something while attaching his seat to the stroller.

You see, his legs have gotten long enough that his feet are getting caught under the bar that supports the little awning that would be protecting him from wind and sun.  We dislodged them, but when he kicked, they got stuck again.

We realized we were at the point where he was beginning to outgrown his car seat/carrier.

Which was more noticeable when we realized he could easily push himself against the car's seat itself while in the rear facing position.

So last night, his great grandparents went with us to the store and we picked out a bigger seat.

Technically, this one could have been used from birth, and converts to a booster so he is set for a very very long time.

But I can't get over the fact that he really is growing.  His personality shines through every day, and the things he does and tries to do amazes me.  So why am I so shocked about this new seat?

Because I want him to stay tiny a little bit longer.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How My Husband Got His Way

When A moved to California, Christmas became something he loved when not working retail.

He used to tell me stories of the family visits, going everywhere on Christmas Day and seeing all the relatives.  You may think he would have loved all this, but he really wished they just stayed home.

My family has always done Christmas Eve: Late dinner.  Movies. Staying up until midnight to open presents.  Christmas Day was more of a day to rest.

This made A a happy man.  And he said back then that when we had our own family he wanted to just stay home and make Christmas ours.

Last year was our first Christmas in Virginia with his family.  Christmas Eve was dinner with his parents.  Christmas Day meant going back over to open presents and then, due to the snow and ice on the road, we opted to go home and spend the day together rather than attempt to head out into the country to visit the rest of my MIL's family.

This year, we've known for months that people were shopping for James.  We're not expecting a ton of gifts, but at least 4 different relatives on that side of the family have said they have his gift, and so I'd told A that we should make an effort to go to the family gathering and see everyone.  He just nodded and said that we'd do whatever I wanted.

That was in October.

This last Sunday, 1 week before Christmas, we talked on the way to his parent's house.

You see, I gave up.

His father's side of the family will be gathering for a small dinner on Christmas Eve.  We were invited weeks ago, and we will be joining them to eat and let the kids open 1 present each.

Christmas Day has become the most insane of days.

You see, both sides of the family go to church.  One side is going to early service at 9, the other side to late service at 11.  There will be a 20 minute break between the two services where it would be possible to gather, but that is insanity on a whole new level when it means packing a 7 month old into the car to drive 20 minutes each way with only a 20 minute break in the middle for him to not be in the car.

Add to this that NO ONE on the other side of the family has spoken to myself or A about the other plans for Christmas Day, which means we have no idea what they are doing or at what time or where, and I just said I wanted to stay home and do nothing.  If they had time to see us, they could come by and spend time with us either that day or the next.

Now the problem was telling the family about this.

And that's when A jumped up yesterday and made two calls.

First he told his father that we were officially notifying everyone that our plans were to stay home with James all day.  We weren't going anywhere, and they could come by when they wanted.

He then called his grandmother and let her know the same thing.  She immediately said they would be by in the afternoon, after lunch, to bring James his gifts and spend some time with him.  Which A confirmed would be just fine because we had no plans.

Then he received a call back from his mom who asked if we wanted to go to their place that afternoon to see them before they went anywhere else.

To which he firmly replied no and explained he'd already told the grandparents they could come over during that time, so if anyone else wanted to see James they could make time then or that evening or on the 26th.

He put his foot down, and I think has started our family tradition of just staying home and being together for the holiday.

Which is all he wanted all along.

Friday, December 16, 2011

It's Been One of THOSE Weeks

I want to start by stating this has nothing to do with the baby.  James still sleeps soundly through the night, is pretty good about playing with his things, spends time playing with us, and in the end is the best baby.

And the only saving grace this week.


Work has been borderline hellish, with some of the weirdest and dumbest things going on.  Enough that I have purposely closed the lap top, slid it under the couch, and then laid on the floor an played with James in order to stop myself from writing profane emails to people.  They were going to be quite detailed on what they could go do with themselves and where they could stick their obviously empty heads.

Add to this some family stuff, and the car having an issue, and by last night I think we were both done with it all.

So we took James and had dinner out.  We talked, gave him some steak fries to chew on, and just didn't think.

I even turned off the lap top in order to avoid the urge to check emails.

Today has been a relief already.  Nothing major is happening, we have one last quiet weekend before Christmas, and if we're luck we'll all be sleeping in until 9 each morning.

Plus tomorrow we have arranged for the great grandparents to come babysit so we can see the new Sherlock Holmes movie in the afternoon.

I told A that while I'm excited to see the movie, the best part is going to be that we will be sitting in the front seat of the car together and have a normal conversation.

He just smiled.

Friday, December 9, 2011

It's the Little Things

A box arrived yesterday.

My aunt had sent gifts for James, and when I called to let her know we'd received them, I was told there was one that we could open now.

Yay for early presents!

We waited for James to be up to try out present opening. All I can say about that is that it took some time and he liked the paper more than anything else.


I loved what was inside!

I mean, our first Nutcracker ever, and it's dressed like a pirate? How could you go wrong?!?!?!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Still Not Back to "Normal"

My family has been gone almost a week and we still are not back to our normal routine.

Work is back in place, so my days are filled with projects and calls.  I'm also trying to work my way through some books, and we've become addicted to Skylanders, so sleep is losing.

I think the hardest hit has been A.  For him, two weeks of people to play with James meant a mental break from the daily parenting duties in a lot of ways.  This week has been the first full week of work for me, and so he's back to it all.

And he looks exhausted.

He will always have a deep appreciation for single mothers.  He isn't alone, but he realizes the amount of work they do each day.

Funniest moment from the visit was when my youngest niece said out loud that she was not ready to have a baby.  James is an easy kid, but he has his moments, and requires that plans revolve around his naps and meals, and I think the added responsibility was an eye-opener as to what is truly involved in this whole being a parent thing.

I think I need to treat A to a night out this weekend.....

Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday Checklist

With this being James' first Christmas, I wanted to make sure that certain things were done.

No, I didn't go overboard, but there were things I wanted to be able to look back at later and remember with him.

The tree is up, and there is a new ornament for baby's first Christmas now on it.

Holiday pictures were taken and framed.  Today, they will be hung up on the wall in the living room.

Once those are up, and the table cleared, I will be wrapping the 3 presents we bought for him and placing them under the tree.  Then I will be attempting a picture with him and them and the tree.  More to follow on that little project.

The best part?

Today I ordered our holiday cards.  With pictures of us all.

We can't afford to do more, but it's just enough for this year.  The three of us are happy and safe, and that is all that matters.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Quick Recipe: Dealing with Leftover White Rice

Something my family learned over the last 2 weeks is that I hate throwing away leftover food.  We are on a seriously tight budget, so leftovers are lunch here, and I have used some old recipes my mom has shown me through the years to use things from the fridge and create something new.

Last week, I showed one of my nieces how to take some white rice that had been leftover and in the fridge for a few days and create a fried rice dish that is simple but filling.

Today, we are in the process of eating the last of the leftovers from the last week, and in the fridge I found enough bits and pieces to make A lunch that he'll be enjoying for a couple of days.

So, here are the basic instructions:

First of all, you need these basic ingredients:

Salt, garlic powder, soy sauce, cooking oil, and leftover white rice that has been refrigerated for at least 4 hours and is still cold.  Even with just these things and nothing else you could fry up the rice and just have that.  Normally I would also included 1-2 eggs, but we happened to be out today.

Next I raided the fridge and found half a small onion, half a cooked chicken breast from earlier this week, and, believe it or not, hot dogs.  Don't knock it!  If you are on a budget, this may be the best way to serve a hot dog if you are out of buns and happen to have some rice!!

I chopped the onion, the half chicken breast, and 1 hot dog up and set them aside.  If I had eggs, I would have at this point beaten 2 eggs in a small bowl and added about 1 teaspoon of water.

I dug out the biggest skillet I have and heated it on the stove on a high medium heat.  Then I added 2 tablespoons of oil and let that heat up as well.

Then dump in all your extras.  You saw what I added, but feel free to throw in some mixed veggies, other meats, or some green onions.  Even some minced garlic would add some extra flavor at this point.  The best part is that since this is all leftovers, they've been cooked, so you are just frying them up to reheat them.  It shouldn't take more than 5 minutes to brown up the onions, and by then the hot dog and chicken were ready to go as well.

All those cooked extras need to be put aside as soon as they are ready.  I normally keep a paper plate nearby and just spoon it out there and keep it nearby.

Again, if I'd had eggs then at this point I would have returned the skillet to the stove and then added the beaten eggs.  You don't exactly want to scramble them, but rather think of an omelet.  Let it cook on one side and then flip it.  Make sure it isn't too puffy, cook it all the way through, and then remove it from the skillet as well.  While the rice is heating up, you can just do a rough chop so you have some pieces of egg to throw back in.

Now, the skillet goes back on the stove, and all the rice is dumped in at once.

While the rice starts to pop and sizzle, sprinkle the top with a healthy dose of salt and even more garlic powder.  I want to say I average 1 teaspoon of salt and about 2 of garlic minimum.  The rice should have a brownish color because of the garlic powder, and once you have added that you will want to stir up the rice so that the seasonings spread and the rice starts to heat all the way through.

The rice needs to be heated for about 3 minutes, stirring it around a couple of times so it doesn't stick to the bottom, and then you will add in your extras.

Make sure to give them a good stir into your cooking rice so that it's all mixed together.  I also add in another teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of garlic powder at this point to add some more flavor.

Let the rice cook another 2 minutes with all the goodies in there and then add the final ingredient: soy sauce.  You will be pouring this directly over the rice, and I'd start with at least 2 tablespoons.  Once you stir it together, the rice should start to take on that brown color you are used to see in restaurants.

I make sure to stir it all up, let cook another minute, and then drag A into the kitchen to taste it.  He will let me know if he wants more soy sauce or garlic, though rarely salt.  Once he has given the thumbs up, I take the skillet off the stove and he just digs in.

We really had a lot of rice leftover, and now we will be having some great fried rice for lunch for a few days!  We've actually done this as a quick dinner, heating up some frozen potstickers or egg rolls we find at the store while I do the fried rice, and then enjoying a movie on the couch together.

Total time in the kitchen, including digging out the leftovers from the fridge: 25 minutes.  Not bad for under 30 minutes, huh?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Last Night In Town

We went to dinner tonight.

Table for 5 1/2.

There was a toast.

My sister admitted to crying earlier.

I don't think I realized just how much I was going to miss them until that moment.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Official 6 Month Stats Are In!

After seeing the doctor today we have confirmed that he's doubled his birth weight!

Official weight is 16 lbs 8 ounces and 26" long.

We also have the green light to continue to offer him table foods that we are eating, so there will be more pumpkin pie in his future.

Also awesome: once he figures out how to pinch his fingers together we are okay to give him cereals!  Even if there are no teeth!!

I am torn between loving that he is exploring new things and wanting him to stay my little baby boy.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Boy And His Tigger

If you look to his right there is a space up there where his Tigger was. Apparently James wanted him closer while napping cause this is what he did before falling asleep.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Starting with Sippy Cups

One of the challenges we have next is sippy cup training.

James has to be pretty much off the bottle by his next surgery.  Because of what they are doing, sucking will just hurt him during recovery, so they say to try to wean him as much as possible.

Lucky for us, he's making it easy.  He watches us eating and drinking, and seems intent on copying it.

Tonight he drank a little more out of there.  Just water for now, but maybe something else eventually.

We also have a go at letting him gnaw on a french fry.

He had not interest in actually eating it.  At least not after he sucked the salt off of it....

So, we are up to mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, water from a cup, and sucking salt of fries.

I cannot wait to BBQ for him!

Friday, November 25, 2011

6 Months Have Flown

And I am already wishing he would stop growing now...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

So Thankful

A year ago, I cooked for my in-laws and had just had our first ultrasound.  We'd seen a bouncing baby, laughed at the movement, and then each called our mothers. They laughed at us and our reactions to seeing a moving baby inside me.

This year, my son slept through dinner, waking just as we were having dessert.

He had a bottle.

Then pumpkin pie.

Apparently the pie was his favorite thing ever.

Life is good.

Now I'm going to sleep.  Because my family wants to shop.

In 5 hours......

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving....

And we spent it at the mall.

Just the girls.  The men at home.

And we came home to one little man in bed, and daddy having cleaned up the kitchen.

Behind me, there are 2 pumpkin pies already in the oven and an apple pie being put together.

We still plan to bake eclairs in the morning if not later tonight.

Tomorrow is turkey and fixings and family and joy.

And being thankful...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Plans

In the last week, James has had 2 tastes of "table" food:

Nilla Wafers and homemade mashed potatoes.

For our own Thanksgiving dinner, we are having the full spread.  All of it is in the fridge, waiting for the baking to begin tomorrow, and the turkey to be cooked on Thursday.

My sister has asked if we plan to let James try any other foods.  And I really wish I was comfortable with it.

But that cleft.....

I'm just afraid something he can't break down due to lack of teeth will end up caught there in the roof of his mouth.  The thought of it makes me worry about what he could do to himself, what could go wrong, and it's the only thing that has remotely stressed me out about the day.

So, for his first Thanksgiving I plan to move the highchair closer to the table after he's had the Gerber version of a turkey dinner.

Then I'm putting some mashed potatoes in his bowl and letting him go at it himself.

He has to prepare for that first birthday cake in 6 months, right?

Monday, November 21, 2011

So close....

We warned that the antibiotics that James is taking could cause diarrhea.

Is that too much too soon?


Last round it did happen.

This time not so much.

And the results of a missed day of proper "flow" has meant a couple of near misses when it comes to him gaining relief.

And when we say relief we mean relief. Poor guy just could not get comfortable yesterday afternoon.

Life is much better now.

But we still are watching him carefully...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Do You Know How To Waterproof Electronics?

James has begun sitting up more.

Now he's always been a sitter. He really doesn't want to lean on anyone for too long. His elbows and abdominal muscles get a regular workout and have for months.

But the last week he's spent more time sitting. And this has lead to more usage of his hands. And more items being places in mouths. And getting soaked. And drooled on.

The biggest issue?

He likes the iPhone. A lot.

That and the television remote.

What is it with babies and the electronics you don't want them touching being the only things they want?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

What Hasn't Changed

Even after being apart for almost 19 months, having my sister and nieces here hasn't felt like we have been apart at all.

We watch a lot of Food Network.

We are getting caught up on movies. Especially chick flicks.

We've gone to the movies to indulge in our Twilight issues.

And through all of it my son has been in the middle of all our laughter. Adding his laughter to it all.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Smile Friday

No, I normally do not like to celebrate any part of Christmas until after Thanksgiving.

But when you find yourself at the mall on a weekday, and it's empty, especially the Santa area...

Well, you have to try, right?

And it's totally worth it when this is the result:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

When Family Arrives

Tuesday morning, my son met his Aunt and cousins.

And I think he fell in love.

He has not had enough of them, and smiles every time he comes into a room and realizes they are still there to play.

They have fallen too, so it's pretty adorable to watch them giggling with one another.  And the more one giggles, the more the others mimic.  It's actually the greatest noise I think I've ever heard.

And I still have 12 more days of them here.

And Thanksgiving on the horizon...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Daddy 1, Sickness 0

Monday morning, James woke up and had the greenest eye boogers ever.

Is that too much info at once?  Sorry.

I cleaned him up, and then a little while later noticed that the right eye was a little swollen and there was more green goop oozing out of there.  I assumed clog duct, did the warm washcloth thing, and told A about it.

He immediately went to Google, read the possible reasons, and then called his dad.

And then called the pediatrician to schedule an appointment for later in the day.

The right eye stopped, but then the left eye seemed to do it.  It was weird looking, and daddy did not like it one bit.

I'll be honest:  I didn't think too much of it.  I was prepared to do warm compresses and massage the duct area to loosen things up.

I was wrong.

James is now on antibiotics to kill off an eye and ear infection.  The ears were barely red, so the doctor said that we caught it before it became something worse, so congrats to us.

Daddy instinct to the rescue!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Getting Organized in the Bathroom

The question for you:

What are the biggest issues you face in keeping your bathroom organized and neat? What are the best tips you have for keeping your bathroom neat and clutter free?

You can see my quick tip in the comments here.  Just look for AEinstei1n.  I'll explain that another time.


Also share your tips and comments there with everyone on how you stayed organized in the bathroom.  You never know what you'll learn!

And if you want to share a moment with others, go here and you may win a $250 Visa gift card! 

Why are you still here??  GO!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In John Deere Green

He was meant to be a country boy, don't you agree?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The One Where We are In Sync

Have you ever heard of a group of women, normally close friends, who spend so much time together that they eventually have the same cycle?  Can you imagine being at the point where you are all going through the same symptoms and sit in sweats on a Saturday night, watching a chick flick, and eating a tub of Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream?

By the way, I could eat that every night.

Well, in our household I am the only one who has that issue every 4 weeks.

But over the last week we've all started doing something together every morning.

James has started wanting more veggies and less formula in the evenings.  I'm not going to deny him  peas and carrots and squash if he wants it.  So, now he eats a whole tub/jar of veggies, and then a bottle a little later to fill the space so he can sleep through the night.

Thanks to his new diet, he's become a little more regular.

So, it has come to pass that every morning, he eats his breakfast, we drink our tea/coffee, and then about 20 minutes later we are taking turns.

Everyone has to poop.

What is that they say about a family that plays together, stays together?  Does it apply to pooping?

Friday, November 11, 2011

The One Thing That's Really Changed

We have always prided ourselves on how low maintenance we are.

I can be showered and dressed to go in 20 minutes.  So can my husband.  If you were to call and ask us to be someplace in 1 hour, we'd be there.

Not so much now.

About 4 weeks ago, we lost internet at the apartment.  There was something going on with the line, and so we had to head to the in-laws so I could work.

This had happened last April, and I lost 45 minutes of work time due to the time to power down, pack-up, drive over, and set back up again.

4 weeks ago it was almost 2 hours.

James had to be packed for every contingency.  Spare outfits.  Bottles. Formula. Diapers. Toys. Wipes.

We were exhausted by the time we got to their house.

Now, when we need something, we weigh what it is that we are going out for and how much time it will take.  If it's multiple stops, and it would be nice to all get out, then we all get out.

Otherwise we pretty much flip a coin to see who is headed out the door.

I cannot wait for this part of parenting to pass.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The One Where I Prove I Know Which Cry is My Child's Cry

James is slowly outgrowing his infant car seat.  He's still within safety range, so no worries yet for car rides.

But walks in the stroller have become...interesting.

For a while now, when he has gotten tired of laying against someone or even being propped up against a pillow, he begins to use his elbows and abdominal muscles to force himself upright.

No, he can't sit on his own completely.  But when you are walking someone, and they are attempting to get out of the safety harness, it can become a little interesting to steer.

We'd been talking about stopping the usage of the carrier in the stroller.  This would mean he'd be sitting in a normal seat, facing out into the world, and getting to enjoy the view.  It was put on our "to try" list with him, and that was that.

His great-grandparents had begun coming by one or twice a week to take him for walks.  I mentioned our thoughts on wanting to get him converted to a regular sitting position in the stroller, and they had agreed it might be about time.

So, as a reference, the carrier sits on the stroller, using a removable bar that is spring loaded as a support rod.  It pretty much clamps onto that so it doesn't fall, and when it becomes time to stop using the carrier you just pop out the bar and continue on with life. 

You also should know that this stroller is a newer one, and so it doesn't use normal latches and stuff to move the seat position from sitting to leaning to laying down.  There is actually a cord, kinda like the ones around the waste of some long jackets on the inside to make them fit you snugly, and you use it like a drawstring to slowly slide the seat back up and down.

I really hope this makes sense to you.  I actually wish I could draw you a picture.  But that is not something I can do, so bear with me.

Okay, so great-grandparents leave for a walk with James.  I stay home reading, with A here playing Halo with his cousin.  Everything is nice and quiet, no issues, and we enjoy 20 minutes of talking and laughing at them blowing each other up.

The neighbors upstairs have grandchildren who come by to visit, and they'd been playing and yelling at one another as per usual.  I was sitting here listening to them when I heard a baby start to cry.  And I commented that the baby sounded like he was hurt.

And then I looked at A and said, "Is that my baby?"

He jumped up and looked out the window but couldn't see anything.

I meanwhile was pulling on slippers and repeatedly saying, "That's James.  I know that's my baby.  Where are they?"

I opened the front door and took 3 steps, finding myself face to face with them.

And the second he saw me, he took a deep breath and began crying again.  Which had me hurrying to pick him up.

Well, they had decided that after he began trying to sit up that they would let him.  After removing the carrier, they couldn't figure out how to get the bar off.  They managed to slide him under it and he laid there during the walk, looking around, and grabbing hold of the bar and pulling on it.

The problem came when they got back to our apartment.  They wanted to show us how he was doing in the stroller, but rather than call us out to them, they lifted the stroller up the 3 steps from the main path to our apartment's first floor, and set it down.

Somewhere in that lift, the seat, which they didn't realize wasn't secured because they didn't know how the stroller worked, jostled James.

And smacked his forehead into the bar that they hadn't known how to remove.

James had a small bump which was gone that evening, and I know I was worse off than he was, but I wouldn't let him go for the next hour he was awake.  Then it was nap time, and he slept on me so I could watch him more.

His great-grandparents couldn't stop apologizing.  I did the best I could to reassure them he was fine, let them know it wasn't his first bump and wouldn't be his last, and smiled as much as possible.

My husband got really quiet, and after they left he called his father to vent.  His big issue was that they hadn't asked what to do or how to do things, and that's all he would have wanted them to.


I was okay once James had calmed down.  And as I told the story to my mother-in-law that night I realized I was proud.

Because even in the middle of a conversation, with the television on and Halo noises blasting, and other kids playing and roughhousing, I heard that cry and knew it was my baby.  I couldn't see him out the window because they'd already come up the steps, but I knew it was him.

And I ran out that door to get to him.

I will always go running for him.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The One Where I Cried At The Hospital - And Not For the Reason You Think

So, surgery for James' cleft was less than 2 hours.  We were told that once they were done, the wake up process would begin, and to expect another 45 minutes to pass before we could see him.

My son was awake 10 minutes after the procedure ended.  We were called 5 minutes after he woke up.  And we were there in front of him 5 minutes after that call.

And he had 4 nurses cooing over him as he smiled and showed them his big brown eyes, never crying, just snuggling the person holding him.

I really think they hoped we were going to be delayed a bit longer.

As soon as we had the green light we threw together a bottle and fed him.  He scarfed down 8 ounces before anyone could blink, and that apparently was a very good thing.

We sat in recovery for about 30 minutes before a crib was brought to his room and we were escorted up.

I need to pause the story to explain that we had confirmed at LEAST 5 TIMES about the arrangements.  They had confirmed here at the clinic that we would both be able to spend the night with him, there would be a chair for me and a pull out bed from the couch in the room for my husband so our little family could be together.

I really cannot stress how many times I asked about sleeping arrangements, right up until the week before at the last clinic we attended.  Again and again they confirmed the arrangements.

Can you imagine my surprise when our escort walked us into a semi-private room, where a curtain separated my son from another child, and there was one reclining chair and 2 regular chairs to sit in, and no other space??

The person who walked us up left before I could say a word.  None of us (myself, A, and James' great-grandparents) had eaten since before 7 that morning, and it was now after 2.  I sent them all off to get lunch as I wanted to stay with James.

And that's when Brittany walked.

She was the first of the nurses, and when I asked if we were in the right room she looked at me as if I was nuts.  I explained the situation, what we had been told, and then asked what had happened.

And this is here she blew me off.

Apparently we were misinformed, there were no private rooms for "cleft" kids as they are not critical, and the policy is that only 1 parent may stay with the child overnight.  But, she said, she'd see if the floor supervisor would be able to help us.

We never saw her again. 

When A came back 10 minutes later, I burst into tears.  I was exhausted.  This was not what we had been told, and we had never been apart from James overnight.  My poor husband looked heartbroken because he couldn't do anything for me, and didn't know what to say to fix it.

Once I'd calmed down, and the rest of the family came up, we talked about everything and played with James.

And slowly, those tears turned into a bit of anger...

Monday, November 7, 2011

The One Where My Son is a Genius at 5 Months Old

I know I mentioned that James has managed to put himself on his own schedule.

After the surgery, he's been a little off. 

The norm was him up and eating by 8:30, and then getting to bed by 8 at night.

Suddenly he was sleeping until almost 9 each morning.  This meant he was up until almost 9 at night, sometimes a little later.

Which wouldn't be so bad if it didn't cut into my "me" time.

You see, mommy sleeps until baby calls for breakfast.  So, once he goes down for those lovely 12 hours, I get a few hours to myself.  Important time to watch my shows, pet the cat, and spend time with my husband.  And if he stayed up later, I lost night time that I was getting used to having on my own.

And then last week I realized what was about to happen....

The time change was coming up.  On his old schedule, this would have meant that we would have been up an hour earlier.  Which would have been too early for me.

I have issues.

Somehow, my wonderfully brilliant James managed to change his schedule just in time to have the time change put him back on his schedule.

My son is a genius!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Sweetness

He fell asleep for 30 minutes.

Then he woke up and smiled at me. Didn't make a sound, just smiled and touched my cheek.

Then he put his thumb in his mouth and went right back to sleep.

It's been another 30 minutes and I just can't bear to put him down...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Difference

Me:  I am not getting sick....I am not getting sick....I am not getting sick.....

Him:  I think you're kidding yourself.  I heard you coughing this morning.

Me:  But I am not getting sick.

James:  Grrrrrrrr  *giggle*

Me:  And the difference is I CAN'T get sick.  Cause if I get sick then this household will go straight to hell, so I am not getting sick.....

Him:  *coughcoughcough*  *pulls blanket tighter around himself on the couch*

Me:  See what I mean?

My husband may not complain at all when he is sick, and takes care of himself pretty well.

But he is pretty useless on the day to day stuff while ill, and I find myself having to kick start him to do things.

Like laundry.

Which he did today.

And will be doing more tomorrow...

Friday, November 4, 2011

The One Where I Admit I Can't Do It All

Last week was a whirlwind.

We left Tuesday afternoon, spent the night in a hotel, then dealt with James having surgery, then the fiasco at the hospital about sleeping arrangements (I owe you that story, and you will get it), and then dealing with getting the okay to come home Thursday and picking up a prescription the NO ONE carried for our son.

Also another blog post to come.  Promise.

Thursday afternoon, A was feeling off and attributed it to pressure change from an incoming storm.

Friday morning he had a tickle in the back of his throat in the morning.  By that night he was coughing and miserable.

And not allowed near the baby.

For the last week, I've worked 11-12 hours a day, made sure James ate, slept, took his medicine, made sure A ate and slept as much as possible, and tried to make sure I showered.

Originally, James was to be going to get his stitches out with his daddy, grandaddy, and great grandaddy.  In the end, I was up at 6am to get ready to be picked up by his great grandaddy so we could make the trip up for his appointment and be back by noon so I could start my work day.

Which did not end until 9 that night.

The night before this trip, my iPhone died.  I know, poor me.  But it hit me all of a sudden that I'd lost all his pictures, videos, all my contact info, and on top of that was going to be separated from A for most of the next day with  no way to really reach him.

I did the only thing I could think of:

I called my mommy and cried.

And of course, she fixed it.

Has the week gotten better?

Slowly but surely.  My husband is on the mend, I am refusing to get sick, and James is oblivious to anything being wrong.  In fact, he's loved the 100% mommy time more than anything.

But I've learned I need A.  More than anything, I need the help he gives me and the stuff he does for James everyday.  And I need to thank him more often for that.

Which I will do.  Once the laundry is done.  And he isn't coughing and I'm not trying to suppress one.

Thank goodness it's the weekend and our son sleeps in.....

Thursday, November 3, 2011

On Napping

We've always taken our cues from James.  He has determined his feeding schedule.  He has determined his nap schedule.  He even seems to know what time he should be in bed.

And yes, he does have a schedule for the most part.  If you force things too soon he will growl.  Which just results in giggling, and then no nap, so he gets his way.

Yeah, we are in so much trouble.

For the most part, we get 2 small naps, one at about 10:30 am and another around 12:30 pm, each lasting 30 - 45 minutes.  Then we are blessed with a roughly 2 hour nap around 3, and then he's up until bedtime at about 8.

Again, he's done this all himself.

Being the new parents we are, when we were having issues with him napping, we would just let him sleep on us.  It was a guarantee he'd sleep, but whoever took the nap shift was stuck.  Literally pinned down.

Slowly, we began the process of getting him back in his crib.  It was a success, with the only problem being that he NEVER napped more than 30 minutes.

Personally, I think he was afraid he'd miss something.  Like we were having a party as soon as he went down.

How do babies know this??

What I think is funny about the crib naps is what happens if he sleeps longer than those 30 minutes.

Let's take this morning as an example, okay?

He fell asleep on daddy at 10:30.  Daddy laid him in his crib at 10:35.

At 11:30, I looked at the clock and mentioned he'd been down an hour and should be up any time.  I also told daddy to wash some bottles so we were prepared.

At 11:45, daddy checked on him.

At 12:30, I went and checked on him.

At 1, daddy peeked again and then said he should have taken advantage of the nap earlier and played Batman:Arkham City.  He then decided to try and play a little since we apparently had a good nap going.

James made noises at 1:30.

3 hours.  He slept for 3 hours, soundly snuggled under his blankets.

His parents just wondered if he was still breathing.  And realized we probably weren't going to get another second of sleep from a nap again today.

Any tips on entertaining a 5 month old that anyone wants to share??

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Another First

I never thought that my son would have surgery before celebrating his first Halloween.

But life is what it is, and that's what happened.

Also factor in that we seemed to have gone from Summer to Winter in the span of 10 days, and even were anticipating snow this last weekend....

We went trick-or-treating at the mall.

I've never done this, even growing up we always went out, so I didn't know what to expect.  For the most part, it was VERY organized, with people following along in 1 direction, and kids patiently waiting in line for things at some of the bigger stores.

The only complaint was that I wish they had an age limit.  Mainly because my youngest SIL is only 9, and she kept getting stuck behind or in the middle of large groups that consisted of 2 small children, 3 teenagers, and 4 adults.  And they all were taking candy.

James dressed up, sat in his stroller, and we rode around with the family.  He looked at everything, smiled and laughed at the puppy at the pet store, but I didn't go grabbing candy.  We had gotten a late start, some places were out of goodies, and he wasn't eating it.  And we didn't need it at home to eat.

I really have to remember to take him back to the puppy store....

And now, without any further ado, I present Iron Man, sticking his tongue out in the face of danger:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The One Where Someone Almost Cries

Over the last week, James has begun to indicate who he wants to have hold him.  He will nudge or lean towards his chosen target, and has slowly started lifting his arms and kicking his feet when asked if he wants to go up with you hands extended towards him.

It's seriously one of the cutest things I think either of us have ever seen.

Wednesday we reported to the hospital bright and early to begin prepping for surgery.  We sat with him, playing and talking, waiting as he was weighed and measured.  He was happy, talking his baby talk with us, charming the nurses, and basically being the ham we know he is.

The last person to come in was the anesthesiologist who was taking him to the OR to start the procedure.  We both knew it was minor, he'd be fine, but when he said it was time, I felt the tears.  I said this was the hardest part, and he smiled at me and said he understood.

James was with his daddy, and I went to take him to get a last hug and kiss in.  But he didn't want me.  He was clinging to A and snuggled in to him.  So we did a group hug, and A handed him over as we all walked out of the room.  We looked back to see his little face looking at us over the shoulder of the anesthesiologist, and I looked up at A, still biting back tears.

To see his face, red, sad, and trying so hard not to cry.

And we took each other's hands as we walked out to wait for our son's cleft lip procedure to be completed...

Monday, October 24, 2011

This is What Makes Him a Good Daddy

Last night, we sat and went through the initial paperwork to review what will be happening to our son on Wednesday.

There wasn't much to it, just an overview, and we each read over it quietly in under 10 minutes.

A little while later, we went to bed, and assumed our snuggling positions....

A: I just want to go snuggle with our little guy.

Me:  He is a cutie, especially when he's asleep.  But why the sudden urge to snuggle with him?

A: I read the paperwork.  Up until then, I knew they would be doing something, but it didn't hit me....

Me: ...and now the reality that our son is having surgery has hit you?

A: Yeah.

No, we didn't get him out of bed and snuggle him with us.  But I noticed this morning that our little one is getting a little more attention than normal.  His daddy loves him, and is honestly feeling that hint of worry.

Which means I can't blame my hormones.

48 hours to go....

Friday, October 21, 2011

Wait, what day is it? What happened to October?

I just realized that we are 10 days from Halloween.

That means 25 days until my sister and nieces arrive.

But also only 5 days from James' surgery.  On Wednesday my baby is having his lip surgically corrected to remove the cleft.

His first plastic surgery encounter!

The doctor yesterday reminded us that it could be a year before it is completely healed and looking "normal".  It may require touch-up, and even as an adult he may want more done.

It also won't completely correct his crooked little nose.

I can tell you that I don't see his imperfections.  I just see a happy boy who loves to be loved.

On another front, we stopped at The Colonel's office to say hi yesterday.  I "borrowed" their scale.  James is roughly 17 pounds at this point.  Which would explain why getting up from a sitting position on our couch is a workout on my thights.

I also found that I am stuck at 290 lbs, 18 lbs heavier than I was at the beginning of my pregnancy.  I'd like to get back on track drop to at least that, though the goal is 20 lbs for now.  Then see what the next step is.

Looks like we'll be cutting out pasta and rice again.  And soon.

Very very soon.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Before the Moment Passes....

This morning turned into one of those that I wish I could capture forever - the light, the sounds, and the feelings.  It will be in my heart forever, but I'm afraid I'll miss something....

James was up early again, so he came to bed with me.  I was hoping for another 90 minutes of sleep.  He laid there and made noises and looked around.  I peeked through my eyes - which I closed in hopes of his doing the same - and saw that he was staring at me and smiling.

Then I felt his hand on my cheek.

His grin grew as he touched my face and then giggled.

When I opened my eyes to see him, he smiled and then picked up his pacifier....

And tried to put it in my mouth.

I love this kid.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

When Regression Isn't Really Regression

I've read so many mommy blogs talk about sleep regression and how it's normal at 4 months.  I was prepared, warned A about this, and kept hoping we'd avoid it.

I do want to remind you all that at his worst, James slept 6 hours at a time at night.  If that was going to be his new routine again, it wouldn't be too bad.  But I knew he wouldn't be hungry, he eats more than enough each day, and with the addition of solids he is a happy guy.

So, the day after he turned four months old, he awoke at 5 am.  I tried to just give him his pacifier, but after 20 minutes of fussing I was starting to cave.  I don't like him not being able to get comfortable, I admit to being a wuss on that, so I did the only thing that I could think of at that hour:

I took him back to bed with me.

We snuggled in, and he was out for 2 more hours before waking me up with giggles.

My son giggles when he wakes up.  No crying.  All giggles.

This happened for the next 3 nights.  And I was afraid it would be the norm.

Now, if you recall, my husband runs warm.  Summer is miserable for him.  And so far the baby has shown those same characteristics.

What's interesting in the Winter is that while he'll be warm all day, by morning my husband is ice cold and huddle under 2 blankets to stay warm and sleep comfortably.

All summer, James has slept most nights in a onesie.  As he grew and began to fit in footie pajamas, that became the new norm and there has been no need for blankets.

But last week, Fall began here.  The weather is changing, and his room, always warmer in the summer, is now colder than any other room.

So after 4 mornings of sharing the bed with the little monster, I realized he was beginning to doze as soon as I wrapped my blankets around him and snuggled him close.  That little light bulb went off and it suddenly dawned on me that his footie pajamas were no longer enough.

That night, he was laid in his crib, and a blanket placed over him to help keep in the heat.

And he slept 12 hours.  And has almost every night since.

So, for my son, sleep regression wasn't really sleep regression.  The temperature is changing, his ability to regulate his own temperature is changing, and he just needed the extra help.  We are back to full nights of sleep, though smaller naps during the day, and he is a happy clam.

I do admit to missing my morning giggle.  That smile with it's dimple is really the greatest thing to wake up to....

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Patience of a Jedi Master

Today is day 3 of solids.

James now gets a few spoonfuls of food each morning for breakfast, and again as part of dinner.

To be honest, he has taken to this like a champ.  There is no fighting the spoon, he is opening his mouth and taking in the foods, and not making too much of a mess.  We did apples for the first 2 days, and this morning started with sweet potatoes as his first veggie.

About that mess though....

I hate that there is nothing I can do for his cleft palate.

The only mess he is making is when he gets something up into that cavity.  The next thing we know it's coming out his nose, and he's having issues breathing.  We have to stop and clean up and then start again.

He is the most patient little boy.  At 4 months, he doesn't get frustrated or mad or anything.  He gives a big sigh and waits for the next spoonful.  I have to just wait and watch for signs he is clear of the mess, and then move in for the next spoonful.

We're both taking it slow and figuring it out.  Moving slowly and practicing patience.

Master Yoda would be proud.

Monday, September 26, 2011

4 Months!

As of yesterday my little man is officially 4 months old!

We've started with fruits, and so far apples are a hit.  More on that later this week.

For now, here are his stats:

Weight - 14lbs 14 oz
Length - 24 1/2 inches

And he is still the happiest little boy I know....

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Different Sort of Anniversary

I was laying in bed with A on Monday and asked him if he knew what had been happening a year ago.  He didn't know, and so I recapped for him.

I had taken a pregnancy test that had come back negative.  I was so certain that I had ovulated and that this was happening that I was crushed to not see that second line.

The next morning I had spotted a faint pink in the morning and then nothing.  My period would be there on the 23rd if it went according to schedule, so I promised myself I wouldn't take any more tests until at least the 24th.  I just had to get to Friday....

I lasted until Wednesday.

It was faint, but it was there.  And 30 minutes later I'd talked to a nurse and was on my way to give a blood sample to test and confirm.

Today is 1 year since that blood draw and the call that came later to tell me it was positive.

This has been the craziest year, with ups and downs, and we are still struggling to catch up with life and bills and time together.

But I wouldn't change a thing.

Course, if this 4 month sleep regression things happen, remind me of this wonderful feeling, okay?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Me and My iPhone

I don't think I ever described how I kept up with the world after James was born.  Or what actually made me feel sane.

I will give you one hint:  I never turned on the laptop during the first 4 weeks.

Take a look at what kept me feeling like a part of the world as a new mommy HERE.

Friday, September 16, 2011

We Can Almost Go Outside...

Our son has managed to inherit so many traits from both sides of the family.  It's actually interesting to see him do something and realize that we've seen each of us do it that way.

Like when he curls his toes because he is excited.  They look like mine.  But when he stretches them out full length they are his daddy's feet.

Of all things, though, he has inherited his father's internal body temperature so far.  The one that has us running the AC during the winter.  The one that keeps me in a Snuggie all summer long while inside.

This summer has been hot.  Very very hot.  Miserable hot even for me.

If we go out for too long after he's eaten, the heat seems to "sour" his stomach and makes it so that nothing will stay down.

So we haven't exactly been out daily.

All of a sudden, from one day to the next, Autumn seems to have begun.  We are talking about a temperature change of roughly 25 degrees according to the radio.

And it is heavenly.

On the agenda this weekend: a free festival with the family in another town about 25 minutes away.  A full day outside looking at things, walking around, and getting some fresh air.

The main thing is that it's free.  I cannot tell you how important that word is right now.

So, here is to cooler weather, hopefully with no rain, and my son's first real season change.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Confession: What My Baby Monitor is Really Used For

I have always been a sound sleeper.  I've been able to sleep through almost anything, and I honestly was worried that I'd sleep through the baby's cries in the night.

So the baby monitor was put on the registry, and it was one of the items gifted to us.

What I didn't realize was that the mommy instinct would kick in so well.  I am normally awake a few minutes before the monitor picks him up, using my Spidey-sense to get a start on waking up before getting the baby.

My husband....not so much.

Do we actually use the monitor?

Yes.  But I have a confession:

If I want to be the one who stays in bed then I leave it on.

Let me explain.

When I awaken and decide I am ready to start, I will switch off the monitor and go start the baby's day.  Daddy gets some extra time to sleep, and I get quiet time with my little man.

But on those days when I just want my bed and warmth and just 5 more minutes....  Well, I may get up to deal with fussing, but I leave the monitor on when I come back to wait for the baby to actually want to get out of bed.  So, while he talks to his mobile or giggles, I get to enjoy those sounds from my cozy end of the bed.

For some odd reason, daddy doesn't think those noises are all that cute.

In fact, they don't let him keep sleeping.

So, he will get up, switch off the monitor, and get the baby after he's made his coffee.

Does the baby lay there crying?

No.  He actually spends about 20-30 minutes after waking from each sleep playing with his mobile and laughing at the animals circling his head.  He's a happy camper.

But once daddy is out of bed, I know I can stretch and nap a little longer.

Just don't tell daddy what mommy is doing, okay?

Friday, September 9, 2011


I remember 10 years ago.  I still feel tears welling up when I think of that day.  The towers falling.

But then I play with my son and hear his giggles.

Life has changed so much.

He may never understand what happened or why it changed things the way it did.  I hope he will never really feel the terror of wondering when the next attack will happen.

But we will never forget.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Haiku

I have a new love

As a new parent a need

Give me my coffee

Thursday, September 1, 2011

53 Weeks

I have been counting weeks for over a year now.

It's been just over a year since that cycle ended and I wondered if we'd ovulate again without medical help in September.

At Week 39 I met my son for the first time.

And now he is 14 weeks old.  Sitting in a seat and grabbing things on the tray and chewing on things.  Refusing to roll over, but using his legs to scoot his body while on his back and tummy.

My calendar has another week counted on each Wednesday, and will continue to have that until he turns 1.

I can't believe how much life can change in 53 weeks.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Making Sure Everyone Poops

Yes, this post is about poop.  And not just mine or the baby's.

At 2 months pregnant, my biggest fear was constipation.  Well, that and losing the baby.  But I had a good feeling about this baby.

The constipation made me have nightmares.

I had to battle it once before adjusting my diet.  For 2 days I was slowly becoming more and more miserable.  Then I discovered prunes.  A couple of those once a day, plus an increase in fiber and water intake, and I was golden.


After the baby arrived, my husband asked the nurse when I should start worrying about not having a bowel movement.  She told us that some women may take up to a WEEK to have that happen.

I was proudly announcing to everyone on Friday morning that I'd pooped.  All the doctors and nurses knew, and my husband was a little tired of hearing it.

Once we came home, the focus turned to the baby and his bowels.  Counting diapers was something we never really did, we just made sure we saw poop semi-regularly.  When the doctor learned he was eating soy formula the first question he asked was if the baby was constipated.  We proudly announced that he had at least 1 good poop a day if not 2.  The doctor let us know that some babies actually could go days between pooping, and if it was more than 4 days to call them.

I distinctly remember my husband's eyes when he said that.  I think he was wondering how anyone could do that.

Now, the baby has been fine in the almost 3 months he's been alive.  I think there was a day where there was nothing, and the next day we had 3 poops to deal with.  But none of them were huge, and thanks again to the soy formula we can smell it before he's even had a chance to recover from his red faced pushing.

He, by the way, thinks pooping is funny.  When we wrinkle our noses and tell him he stinks he laughs and laughs and laughs.

We will be in so much trouble once he gets to school.  I already feel bad for his future teachers.

In the middle of all this baby stuff, we have started to let each other know if we have pooped each day.  Some nights, the last conversation we have is to confirm if we each had a chance to poop or not, and if not should we try before sleeping.

Romance is still alive and burning bright in our lives, can you tell?

This started because I realized one day that I hadn't pooped in 2 days.  I wasn't in pain or uncomfortable.  It was just a fact: I hadn't had the time.

I am seriously amazed by what the human body is capable of when push comes to shove.

You see, it's not like I didn't need to poop.  It's just that I'd finally want to, start heading in that direction, and someone else would wake up or fuss, and my brain would immediately adjust focus to him and his needs.  Even with A here to help, I just kept going and moving and did what I needed to for the baby in those first few weeks.

What I find hilarious is that it's happening to A now.

Work for me is picking up, so I spend more time doing that and less doing baby things during my work hours.  This means that A is stepping up as daddy even more, so much more that I realized this last weekend that I hadn't had time to talk to the baby all week.  And A realized at some point that he never pooped on Friday.  That it'd been almost 48 hours, but like me weeks before, it wasn't pain or discomfort that brought that realization forward.  It was just something that had happened when it came time to be there for the baby.

So, now we both take time to talk to the baby, try to schedule meals so we can sit at the same time and enjoy them, and also take breaks from working our jobs during the day together.

And always make sure that everyone poops.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Name

For years my husband and I talked about what we would name our children.  We tossed around so many: Steven Roger, Anthony Stark, Edward Brock.....

As you can tell, we were serious about having a boy and making sure the name was something special.

Even last October we were talking boy names, and I had wanted twins so I could name them Samuel and Dean with them sharing the same middle name: Winchester.

Okay, yes.  We have some issues.

Once that call came that we were definitely expecting a boy in early January, the lists began.

Now, we weren't making pages and pages of lists.  I think we played with it on 2 or 3 different nights for about 6 weeks.  There were some interesting names, plenty of unique names, and then ones that made us laugh as I caught on to what he was doing.  My favorite was when he handed me his choices and in the middle I saw William Ryker and had to stop to realize where I'd heard it before.

But when I saw the name we ended up with, I didn't recognize it from anywhere, I just loved the way it sounded.  And that's when I learned he had snuck it in as a half joke and told me the story.....

My husband has always played games.  It was console games forever, playing through Resident Evil and Pokemon and Kirby, not to mention everything Super Mario related.

His best friend convinced him to try a computer based game with him.  This started a love that hasn't ended, and it was because of Star Craft and Diablo that he wound up playing the Warcraft games, and eventually online with World of Warcraft.  We met there, over 6 years ago now, in that virtual world.  Our characters grew together there, and even after moving in together and then marriage and a move across the country we still played that together.

But he explained that it was that first game that started it for him.  The story from Starcraft sucked him in, and the characters made him love the story and keep playing.  If not for that first game, then we may never have met and fallen in love.

And so, that's how our son was named after a character in my husband's first computer based game.  And I have to thank Blizzard for creating a name that I fell in love with before even realizing just how much it really meant to the two of us: James Raynor.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Crying for Joy

I last saw my family together on April 20, 2010.  We had dinner together, cried in the parking lot, and then said goodbye.

The next day I left CA and headed for VA.

I was pregnant only months later.

We were lucky and able to get my mom here for my shower in March.  It was only 2 days, but it was so good to see her and see she was healthy.  I love her so much and miss her everyday.

My brother, sister, and I were always mistaken as friends rather than siblings back home.  There was some resemblance between us, but the thing that always struck people was our closeness.  We laughed and joked as old friends do, not like typical siblings.

My nieces have grown into that, and when you had the five of us together I think there were times even my mom was dizzy.  From one topic to another, sharing inside jokes, and just loving life.  That's how I remember time with them at the table after meals.  On weekends, piled on the couch, watching movies or playing games.

And it's been so long since I had that with them.

Yesterday, my sister and nieces bought plane tickets.  They'll be here in November for 2 weeks.

Not nearly enough.

But I'm going to spend every minute with them getting that back into my system.  From baking to movies to shopping.

They will meet my son.  I will be taking so many pictures to show him later so he will know them when he sees them next.

96 days.  They'll be here in 96 days.

And I can't stop crying because my heart can't wait to be with them again........

Monday, August 15, 2011

Parenting Oops #1

There are and will be plenty of stories like this one, I am sure.  So I'm actually going to try to keep track of them somehow to see where we get.

So, here's what happened on Sunday...

One of the joys and rites of passage to be a parent is to be peed on by your baby.

People, there is no way around it.  It's going to happen.  Whether a diaper leaks or your holding them after/before a bath and find yourself with a puddle.

With little boys, it's more of a challenge.  The equipment is built so that if this happens you are subjected to being "fountained".  It's what we have called it here since it happened to A the first time.

You should know that apparently he did this on a daily basis to his mother as an infant.  She joked about how she basically began taking a washcloth into his room and after removing the diaper she would strategically place it so that if he did go again at least it wasn't getting everywhere.  I actually called her the first time this happened to A, while she was at work, and listened to her laugh for 2 minutes about it happening to her son.

I seriously love his family.

I'm fast when changing a diaper, but I've still been hit twice in 11 weeks.  My husband has gotten smart about it, but there was a week there where he was a hit at least 4 times until he got into the habit of opening the diaper, let in some cool air, and then laying it back down for a minute to make sure it was safe.

Everyone has their own way.

Yesterday, the little man awoke from a nap and I changed him while daddy prepped his lunch bottle.  He laid on the changing table while I set up the new diaper and a wipe.  We've taken this little arch from the portable bed he has and put it on the changing table for entertainment.  Above his head hangs a small stuffed bear and also a cube that he likes to talk to.

For the record, this has resulted in calling it his Companion Cube.  If you get this, you are so my hero.  Just don't tell GLaDOS.

So, he's talking to his bear, I grab both ankles with my left hand, lift his butt in the air and slide out the old diaper.  I slide the new diaper right in and then I notice the sound.  Like running water hitting vinyl.  And as I drop his feet I realize what he's done.

Apparently while in mid-air, he began to pee.  The arch his bear is on has a vinyl cover, so he was hitting that, the top of his own head, his bear, and the top of the changing table.  By the time his legs came down, I was able to cover him with the diaper just as he was finishing.  Nothing had hit his face, just the top of his head, and he was there with his goofy little grin.

And that's when I began to laugh.  Left hand holding down his diaper, head on the edge of the changing table, right hand on my knee.  Unable to breathe or stand up.

Now, A could hear this and after a minute came to see what was so funny.  The baby is still all grins, and if I stand up I start to hyperventilate because I cannot stop laughing.  Eventually he figures this all out and has to take over the diaper changing and clean up because it's to the point where I'm about to pee MY pants from laughing so hard.

I still am giggling and it's been 24 hours since it happened......

Friday, August 12, 2011

...And The Ugly.

Are you tired of my bragging about my son?  The natural sleeper who never fusses, smiles at everyone, and still smells so good?  Who lets us nibble on his cheeks when he giggles and actually will raise his cheek to us if we stop playing too soon?

Cause, yes, he is awesome.  He could give Barney Stinson a run for his money.  I often think we should have named him Barney Stinson just so people would know just by the name.

We didn't though.  I still have to share how we got his name.  Maybe next week.

So, yes, we have no real complaints.  He is truly an angel, and we know we were blessed.

At least until feeding time.

You see, his cleft palate has turned into the issue.  Especially now that we are supplementing with a little rice cereal a couple of times a day.

I should explain more....

For those not in the know, a cleft palate is what they call it when the roof of your mouth is open.  A complete cleft would mean that you quite literally have a line down the roof of your mouth that opens up into the cavity above.

My darling doesn't have a complete cleft.  It starts just inside the roof of his mouth and continues towards the back, but stops just before reaching all the way back.  And not just one, but two of those openings are visible.

When he yawns and lets you peek inside what you see is the bottom of the inside of his nose.

Take a moment to process.


Cause when I say "ugly" it has nothing to do with his appearance at all.  It has to do with what he does during eating.

See, he needs to inhale and eat.  When you and I do that, air comes in and out the nose.  Food goes down the throat.

When he does that, food comes out of everywhere.

He seriously doesn't choke, never complains unless you attempt to clean him mid feeding, and eats like a champ.  If you looked at his thighs alone you would know that he is definitely getting plenty of nutrition.

It wouldn't be as bad if he wasn't actually exhaling while things were dribbling out.  Cause the exhaling....oh, and not to mention if he happens to sneeze while all this is happening.  Even the cat knows to run.

We now leave nothing in front of him until feeding is done and over.  I have learned that dried rice cereal on the face of an iPhone means removing the case and scrubbing it with glass cleaner.

Don't even ask about the arm of the love seat.  We've kinda given up.

And we've also started taking turns because it requires a change of clothing for all involved if he is really trying to guzzle fast and makes a mess.

If only we could communicate that we are in no rush......

I'm actually looking forward to spoon feeding him as soon as he is able to.  I'm hoping that he will get into swallowing it and not exhaling.  Though we'll still need a drop cloth if his enthusiasm towards food continues in the manner it already has.