Monthly Archives: October 2012

Happy Halloween!

I’ll start this post with a confession:  I do not think of myself as a crafty type of person.  I would like to be, I come from lineage that can create something from nothing, but that is not me.  I need to have something as a starter, something I can modify, and a vision in my brain isn’t always enough.

This year presented some challenges for me.  I had to dress myself as Barbie for Halloween, as that’s a tradition for me.  I also needed to tie it in with the theme for my team at work which had to be based off of a television show.  They chose Mad Men, so I had to figure out something that looked professional and like it was from the decade of the 1950’s-60’s.  Oh, and the other thing is, my outfit needed to be pumping friendly, which limits my wardrobe even more.

After some thought, I recalled that I had a dress that might work… but Barbie didn’t.  I needed fabric.  That presented the opportunity to walk the aisles of Joann’s, a store that I’ve only walked one time before, and that was to buy a gift card for one of my more crafty relatives.  I don’t know how to use a sewing machine, and don’t know if one would even work for such a small item anyway, so I hand sew everything I create for Barbie every year.

For William, he needed to be a leprechaun… and it needed to be completed before October 27th, because the important Halloween party he was attending was being held that day.  The problem was, I couldn’t find a leprechaun outfit for a toddler ANYWHERE.  There was a picture of a toddler who won a contest based on his leprechaun outfit, but when I clicked on the link, I learned that outfit was handmade.  Of course it was!  All the best costumes ARE handmade.

I finally found one that I could customize, but it started out a girl’s costume and had to be ripped and redone.  Then I had to find a plain black t-shirt and plain black tight fitting pants to go underneath the green jacket.

Meanwhile, Tony was busy decorating our home and carving our pumpkin… we have a reputation to uphold as the most overdecorated house in the neighborhood and we take that task very seriously!

Somehow, it all came together.  (Picture overload ahead.)

William as a leprechaun at the annual Miracle Babies reunion…

Me and Barbie, reunite as BFF’s once again this year…

 

With my cast of co-workers…

Our decorated home…

 

 


We wish you a Happy Halloween!

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Filed under We Love to Decorate

Halloween Prep.

I finished making William’s Halloween costume and am now working on mine.  You know I do this every year, wait until days before and then decide I have to make something instead of using something already in the box.  Well, this year is no different in that respect, except that it kind of is because I’m trying to be a team player at work and they’re doing “team themes” based on TV shows… and I have to still dress the same as the Barbie doll I carry (tradition, you know).  So now I’m making a dress for Barbie that matches my dress that matches the theme my team selected. Confused yet?  Good. I’m not the only one.

Meanwhile, Tony has been decorating outside our home, and I visited the card aisle for cheap entertainment.  I thought I’d share pictures of some of the cards I thought were funny.

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Once Halloween is here, I’ll post pictures of the costumes. And Tony’s decorating skills.  Promise!

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Filed under Best Husband, Time Consumers, We Love to Decorate

Letter to our 10.5 month old

Dear William,

This week on 10/25/2012, you turned 46 weeks or 10.5 months old.

The big thing this week for you has been your nap schedule.  I know, I know.  Again with the sleep obsession.  The thing is, and a lot of people don’t realize it, but sleep is just as important as nourishment.  I wouldn’t fail to offer you your milk or food, so why should I fail to offer you your sleep?  On Sunday I decided to try and flip flop your nap schedule.  So, instead of limiting your morning nap to 40 minutes, I decided to limit it to 1.5 hours and then offer a snooze in the afternoon.  Except what happened was, you pushed your wake time to 10:30am and slept for 1.5 hours and woke up naturally and then refused your afternoon snooze completely.  As a result, since you’d already done a single nap day, I decided to push you to one nap a day for 4-5 days just to see how it goes.  I decided to start your first nap closer to 11:30am, which pushes your awake time by one hour from when you had pushed it the day prior, so your nap would hopefully stretch further into the afternoon.    Monday it worked great, you slept for 2.5 solid hours.  Tuesday the gardeners outside your window and your butt pooping woke you after 40 minutes and despite best efforts you refused a second nap, but were pleasant and laughing until your bedtime.  On Wednesday, you slept 1.5 hours.  The thing is, I doubt myself every step of the way, thinking that maybe we’re pushing you to this too soon, you are so young!  But you seem to be tolerating the longer wake times well and so far it’s not impacting your night sleep, and we seem to have eliminated those early wake times.  Of course, just when we get this all worked out, we have the challenge of upcoming time change, as well as travel to a different time zone to contend with.

Since we’re changing your nap time, we also have had to change your bottle feeding strategy.  You have a milk/sleep association (as well as a Froggy/sleep association) and, as a result, since we don’t want you to fall asleep on your first bottle, your grandma is feeding it to you downstairs.  Which means you’re more interested in activities than finishing that bottle.  So what you don’t drink then is being added to your lunch/nap bottle.

Last Friday your grandma D. took you to the grocery store. You love to look at the balloons there, so it’s always a treat for you to go “grocery” shopping.  She sent me a text message later and asked if you normally make smacking noises while going through the produce section.  She then told me that you definitely recognize the fruit and vegetables as food.  The next day, we went to Walmart to buy you some bananas.  I was carrying you on my arm and holding the bunch of bananas in the same hand.  I felt you leaning over, and saw that you were touching one of the bananas but didn’t think much of it.  As we neared the check-out, I noticed you were becoming more and more interested in the bananas I was holding and then you leaned over and started licking one of them.  By the time we were checking out, you had managed to bust through the banana peel and were happily eating your banana. I offered the gooey mess to the cashier to ring up so I could pay for it. Surprisingly, she declined. She might have been laughing too hard.  I was halfway between amused and mortified.  I didn’t think you’d be able to get through the peel or should I say WANT to get through the peel — yuck! As your father unnecessarily pointed out, though, and I quote, “He has teeth.”   Here is your first (and hopefully only) mug shot.

This past Saturday was full of fun activities.  Starting the day off right with a swim (for me) and a nap (for you).  We had brunch with your godmother.  The restaurant where we met is off of a very busy street, so we sat on a bench near the street and watched the cars go by.  The bench was the perfect height for you to stand on the seat part and hold to the top of the back and look over.  You were so happy!


Afterward, we went to the local children’s resale shop and, there, hanging on the pegboard was a Froggy Lovey, identical to the one you love so much!  We now have a spare for $1.99. Yesssss!!  You grinned at it when you saw it, then proceeded to grab it out of my hand, jam it in your mouth and when the clerk tried to take it from you, you YELLED at him. AHHHHH!!!

A final highlight of our Saturday together was to attend the Autumn festival at our local park.  With Halloween decorations, costumed characters, trick-or-treat stations and craft stations throughout, it was a fun little activity for us to do together. Your grandma D.  joined us on our outing, and it was a nice way to welcome the holiday season ahead.

Development:  You weigh 27 pounds 5.5 ounces and are currently fitting into 18 month size clothing, and some 24 month sizes.  You still have an incredibly long torso and short legs… meaning shorts hit you about mid-calf and pants, if they fit you around your waist, are about 5 inches too long.  I bought some Babies R Us brand sleepers in 18 month size last year,  but I think they’re intended more for walkers than crawlers, because you HATE them… they don’t stretch enough for you to crawl in, but would probably be fine if you were walking.  Diaper inserts?  Since we’ve gone to one nap, a longer nap, we now need to double stuff the diaper you wear during your nap… one day we didn’t and you wet through it.  No walking as of yet, still crawling like an Olympic champion and standing for longer and longer periods of time.  You’ve started doing a weird crawl, where you are crawling on your feet instead of your knees sometimes.

Things I want to remember about you this week:  The way you find things to entertain yourself, for example, you started crawling and pushing your toy cars.  You have several and there’s one that’s just not user friendly for that, but you persisted getting more and more frustrated about why it kept flipping over when the other one you have doesn’t.  You will also grab hold of the base of my office chair and push it around and around in a circle.  While I’m not thrilled with it, you also love to flush the toilet.  If I wanted the feeling of an auto-flush toilet at home, I would just let you in the bathroom with me.  The way you love to leave under your own power from your Music Together class on Mondays and crawl all the way down the long, long hallway.  The way your face lights up and you start to laugh when you see me when I get home from work. How you unlatch if you drop Froggy while nursing to search for him and say, “uh uh uh uh uh, Uh oh!”  How you love having your daddy home these days because he’s got a new part-time, work-from-home job.  Along those lines, the way you search for your father when I’m nursing you and smile at him while you nurse.  Every morning after I leave for work, your father takes you out in the stroller to “check out your hood”.  He always sends me a text message with a picture of the two of you and I desperately look forward to those pictures.  Your father also looks through my Facebook posts and blog posts for pictures that I post of you so he can “steal” them.

I found some birthday invitations online with wheels on them.  They seemed perfect for you as we’ve decided to do your first birthday party themed around wheels — you love wheels!  I mailed them out this past week.  I know it seems early to do so, but since your birthday falls in December, it’s a pretty busy month for social obligations.  The thing is, I wasn’t even going to do a first birthday party for you at all, as I’m pretty anti-social.  However, it seems wrong not to celebrate the milestone of the first year of your life having been lived, and that’s really what birthday parties are about to me, not receiving gifts, for you have everything that you need.  But rather that your life is a gift to us.

On Tuesday morning you woke and cried out at 2am. This is not a big deal to me, as our routine is that you get one middle of the night nursing, if you don’t cry out for it then I will go to you no later than 4 am.  So when you cried, I got up and went to the restroom and then checked the video monitor because you had gotten quiet. It was quite possibly one of the saddest things I’d ever seen. You had sat yourself in the corner of your crib with your back against the rail.  You had shoved Froggy in your mouth and were sitting there, quietly sobbing into him.  My eyes get teary just remembering. I went in and pulled you out of your bed and held you close for a minute, feeling your little body against mine as you sniffled… perhaps it was a bad dream, I don’t know, but you needed me. You were hungry and felt a little chilled, both were solved by the act of nursing.  When you finished eating and unlatched, you laid there quietly on my lap.  I could see in the dim light that your eyes were open, but it seemed that you just wanted to be held.  I understand, we all need to be held sometimes, I think.   So, for those few quiet minutes in the middle of the night, I simply held my baby boy.  My baby who is growing into a little boy all too fast.

Love, Momma

 

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Filed under Best Husband, Letter to William, Our Kid is Cute

Need some bricks.

Me:  We need to get some bricks for that toilet upstairs that William likes to flush.
Him: Why?
Me: Because the water bill has gone up from $30 a month to $42 a month.
Him: What???
Me:  I know.  It’s because he likes to stand there and flush the toilet non stop, and when it’s not flushing, he likes to flipple the handle.
Him:  Haha… you had to say flipple didn’t you?

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Filed under Best Husband, Tidbits

Letter to our 10.3 month old

Dear William,

This week on 10/18/2012, you turn 45 weeks or 10.3 months old.

You currently weigh 27 pounds 6.5 ounces-ish.  I say “ish” because you kept putting your foot on the ground when I weighed you this morning, and then would lift it up and grin at me.  Smartypants!  You have quite the sense of humor these days.   You are primarily in 18 month sized clothing, and we are starting to size you up to 24 months in some things, too.  Diaper stuffing strategy remains the same, although if you get more than one middle of the night nursing, you soak and leak out of your overnight diaper.

This past weekend I was struggling with a clogged duct and I was so grateful that lately you’ve been wanting to snuggle and linger while nursing.  I started taking lecithin (an herb) awhile back and haven’t had a clogged duct stick around for long since then, so this one being so stubborn was quite a surprise to me. In fact, for the first time in a good long while, I let you take a couple of naps on me in the hopes that letting you pacify nurse would help clear it up.  It finally, gradually broke free on Sunday.

I took you back to the pumpkin patch on Saturday afternoon.  We had previously gone the first weekend it opened and felt rather conspicuous that we were just taking pictures and not making any purchases. This weekend, I had hoped to meet up with our mom group, but since you opted for a nap (as usual) during the meeting time, I decided to just go anyway even though I knew it was likely we would miss them.  You loved looking around at all the people (so many people!!) and rather than attempt a militant photo session, I just let you look around and acclimate yourself to your surroundings.  I’m a huge fan of natural, candid pictures (rather than posed) and I got some great ones by just letting you be yourself!  I had brought along your pumpkin outfit, that I bought just for this, and put you in it and then set you next to a bunch of pumpkins for the pictures.  One lady came around the corner with her two kids and was so focused on getting them posed that she totally missed that you were standing there and very nearly tripped over you!  It was hilarious!

Who knew a tractor going by could glean such a myriad of expressions!

This week you have added pointing to your repertoire of skills.  You’re not really pointing at things you want (yet), so much as you’re just kind of pointing where you’re looking.  Your love for bananas is becoming more and more of a demand than it is a request, you know where they are kept and will reach for them and SQUEAL when we hand you one.

You have added the words “This?” and “That?” to your vocabulary, along with the hilarious sound effect of hissing whenever you see a cat, or a picture of a cat (we can thank Snug for that).

Hissing: 

We purchased you some rubber bibs this past week and they have a collection area in the bottom.  It took you two seconds to figure out that’s where all the good stuff ends up. So now you spend a good portion of your meal time fishing stuff out from your bib and re-eating it.

Crawling continues to be your main mode of transportation these days.  We attended your Music Together class on Monday and afterward you kept trying to go out the door with all the grown ups. We were finally ready to go and we let you go with us under your own power. So there you went, crawling down the hall, and people were laughing as they passed you.   Yet you were pleased as could be because you were “walking” along with us.  Clearly, strollers are for babies!

Olympic crawler:

Things I’m not thrilled about this week?  Another middle of the nighter last Thursday night and nap avoidance two days last week, perhaps related to the flu shot?  Things seem to have settled down for you over the weekend.  Also, when you get bored you like to distract yourself with a motorboat sound or by grinding your teeth.

Things I want to remember about you this week:  The way you pull Froggy over your eyes when nursing and I feel you smiling… so I say, “Where’s William?  Where IS William?”  And you pull Froggy off, still smiling, still nursing and bust a gut laughing when I exclaim “THERE YOU ARE!!”  You are so clever and are apparently truly talented to be able to do that and not bite.  I say that because I shared with our neighbor lady how much I love this game and she said she can’t do that with her son because he bites.  Yikes!  You also moan and groan and growl when you’re going for another letdown, which isn’t very relaxing for me, so I started mimicking you… and that, of course, makes you laugh.   I love the way you hold tight to your crib rail and jump up and down in the morning, smiling hugely, to greet me.  The way you’ve started to push your little silver car around, all while it says “Honk Honk, pump it up, pump the jam, pump it up!”  How you’ve really embraced the Book Nook in your room, and will pull books off the shelves and look through them as if you’re really reading.  You love the interactive books and, in particular, the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse book with the light switch that turns off and on.  How you will shut your bedroom door and, although you’re not tall enough yet, you will then reach up for the handle to open it again.  How going into the house from the garage has become a crazy dance because of your extended arm demonstrating your single minded focus on PUSHING THAT GARAGE DOOR BUTTON.

In the mornings on weekends, I take you for a stroller ride around our neighborhood. You enjoy going out of the neighborhood to the main street because you really love watching the wheels go round on the cars going by and get really upset if we turn around before then. So sometimes when we go out there, I turn your stroller sideways on the sidewalk and I sit down next to you and we just sit there, together, watching cars go by.

You grin at me, as you turn your head back and forth to watch the cars go this way and that way, the entire time. Moments like these, the simple ones, are the ones I’m forever trying to capture with my heart camera.

Love, Momma

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Filed under Letter to William, Our Kid is Cute

Letter to our 44 week old

This week, on 10/11/2012, you turned 44 weeks old.  On the 8th, you turned 10 months old.

To celebrate your 10 month birthday, you had a middle of the night party in your crib.   I heard a noise at 1:35 AM on the monitor and just assumed you were turning over in your sleep. You regularly laugh or mutter to yourself while you sleep, so it’s not an uncommon thing to hear noises from you. Just in case, though, I got up, used the restroom, and waited for you to cry for me. I heard another noise at 1:55 AM and decided to check the video monitor. You were awake and playing with your Einstein music soother. So I went in to nurse you and you greeted me with a big ass grin as if to say, “Hey, welcome to my party! You brought the drinks!” You nursed for 45 minutes, unusual, as you’re usually a “take care of business get me back to bed” guy in the middle of the night… and then you pushed off, but wanted to go back to playing. So I flipped the thing over the top of your crib so you couldn’t turn it on (little buttnugget that you are, you have figured out how to turn the master switch to the “on” position) and informed you that it was time for sleep and left the room.  You protested for 4 minutes and then passed out.  Lessons Learned: Remove the musical soother from the crib. If baby makes a noise, always check on the video monitor, never assume. All in all, I lost 1.5 hours of sleep that I badly needed because of your party.

You’ve been settling in and lingering while nursing this past week, especially in the mornings.  I don’t know if it’s a growth spurt or just that the temperature is cooler, or just a desire on your part to be snuggled.  Whatever the reason for it, I am savoring these extra long nursing sessions.  Practicality would suggest cutting them short, because I really shouldn’t be late to work.  But then, I realize that my job is just that… a job.  If I’m 15 minutes late because you needed me?  Well, then I will make it up by taking a shorter lunch break.

With the cooler weather, we’ve been putting you in footed sleepers at nighttime.  It’s so weird to see them on the hanger in your closet and think to myself, “Those are way too big for my baby, those things look like something a 2 year old would wear.”  Then I put them on you, and they fit perfectly.  Sizing, you are weighing in at 26 pounds 12 ounces, still wearing 18 month size items, some 24 months. Diapers, Bum Genius, double stuffing morning diapers.

You continue to work diligently on your leg strength.  You now prefer to stand wherever you may be, only crawling if you feel the need to go somewhere.  You continue to stand by yourself (no holding on) for longer periods of time.   You “cruise” regularly around the living room.  You are also working on your vocabulary.  You say, “Uh oh,” “Mama,” “Pop,” “Dada,” and a new addition this week, while petting one of the  kitties you will say, “Kit cat.”  Your Grandma D. got you on the toilet for a poop the afternoon of the 10th.  Oh, I love elimination communication when it works.  Better yet, this week you’ve discovered how to flush the toilet — so, after you pooped in the toilet, your Grandma let you flush it as if it were a reward.  haha

We took you to the doctor’s office to get the second half of your flu shot… the first thing the nurse says when we got you on the table was, “He’s so strong!”  I’m supposing that will be something you hear for the rest of your life because it’s certainly been something we’ve heard for the first 10 months of it.  I met you and your father at the doctor’s office and we nursed afterward to make it all better and it was the highlight of my day!


Another highlight for that day is that I finished the registration process to become a human milk donor.  To do that, I had to have my blood drawn and so I walked into the milk bank and there was Becky, our birth doula!  We were both SO EXCITED to see each other that we had tears in our eyes and talked a million miles an hour to each other to try and catch up.  It turns out that the midwifery where she now works and the milk bank share office space and I had no idea!

Things I want to remember about you this week:  How you farted at the doctor’s office this week but waited until later to poop a 2nd time for the day for your grandma.  How we have yelling contests in the parking lot, and on Tuesday in the Costco parking lot, all three of us (your father, me and you) yelled together.  I wondered briefly what the people around us thought, but then realized I didn’t really care.  The yelling together thing is a tradition that your father and I do on Fridays to “yell out” the stress of the week.  I love the way you cross your ankles on the arm of the chair while you’re nursing.  I love the way you smile and even laugh if something strikes you as funny while nursing.  How you experienced the first rain (and thunder) of the season (that you remember) and you squealed in delight.  The way you squeal and laugh when I get home from work and you see me.  The way you look at me when I come late to your music class, I intentionally try to blend in with everyone else and you look at me, once, twice, three times, trying to figure out why I’m way across the room if I am who you think I am.

As the seasons change and we move further on the calendar into Autumn, the mornings have been darker longer.  So, when I enter your room in the morning, I open the shades, turn the little lamp by your bed on and on the clock by your bed, I switch from the white noise feature to listen to the radio.  As you nurse, we watch the sky brighten through your window, and the dramatic shadows and clouds over the mountains that your room views, while we listen to the songs on the radio.  Sometimes I sing along, and sometimes the beat inspires you to kick your feet rhythmically while you smile and even laugh over your cleverness.  This morning, the song “A Thousand Years” (lyrics) came on the radio and I found myself singing it to you…

Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything take away
What’s standing in front of me
Every breath
Every hour has come to this

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don’t be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more

Seasons and calendar dates are like a beautiful weaving dance of memories and meanings.  For it was two years ago, October 5, 2010, that would have been your older sibling’s due date, except I miscarried that baby earlier that year on April 1st at 7 AM.  Precisely one year later, on April 1st, 2011, at 7 AM, I had my blood drawn to find out if I was pregnant with you, or not.  I left my doctor’s office in tears, convinced that because of the enormous amount of bleeding I was having that I was not pregnant.  I couldn’t possibly be.  I even accused my doctor of pulling an April Fool’s joke when he called me with the the news later that day that I was, indeed, pregnant.  And here you are, 10 months old.  Every single day, you are a living, breathing testament of God’s grace to us.  I now believe in miracles.  You are our healing.

Love, Momma

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Filed under I have Family, Letter to William, Our Kid is Cute

Endangered Camera.

Several years ago, I invested in a waterproof camera.  It was state of the art, at the time, and I really enjoyed (and still do) snorkeling and water sports in general.  So the investment made sense, and the camera could be used above water, too.  It had the cool feature of changing picture sizes — meaning, I could get more fish in the picture just by rotating the dial.  The camera uses APS film, which used to cost about $8 for 3 rolls of 25 pictures on each roll.

I discovered a couple weeks ago that there was film still in the camera, so I figured I should finish the roll and get it developed.  And then we discovered, through Tony driving all over town, that photo labs no longer develop APS film.  Walmart, nope. Target, nope.  Costco thought they did, but then when I went to pick up the developed pictures, the employee handed me the roll of film and sadly told me that she didn’t realize it was APS film and they don’t develop it.  I searched Google and found out that CVS develops it.  I called first (a stroke of genius on my part), and learned that the ONLY CVS that develops APS film is way the heck over there in another city.

After picking up the pictures, the photo guy commiserated with me and told me I’d probably not be using the camera much longer because film for it is hard to come by.  Imagine my shock when I checked online and, horrors, the film is now upwards of $32 for three rolls of 25 pictures each.  Good grief!

I found one more package of the film in my desk drawer.  I’ll be using that up and then investing in a digital waterproof camera, I guess.

I’ve never felt so old.

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Filed under I Stimulate the Economy, I'm Never too Old to Learn