Wednesday, October 27, 2010

a not-so-welcome first

Baby Theo, 7 1/2 months old, has his first cold.  And it's complete with runny nose, congestion, and clinginess.  I guess he isn't coughing...yet...which is a good thing.  Anyway, I also have my first cold in about 2 years.  I was hoping pregnancy or motherhood somehow cured me of silly contagious illnesses so that I could be super-mom and not get slowed down by this kind of nonsense, but no.  'Course not. 

Of course I blame myself because I am no longer breastfeeding.  Well, technically I am, but baaaaarely.  And by barely, I'm talking about once every other day.  I'm not pumping at work anymore.  And when I do pump or nurse, it's not that I feel like I need to.  At this point, I know that my milk supply is not coming back.  The thing is, I don't really want to give up nursing.  Ever since we figured out that Theo was waking up in the night because he was hungry, we have been supplementing with formula.  It started out with one bottle a day and less than 2 months later, I am down to nursing him once a day or every other day.  And I know he's not getting much becuse when I do pump, I'm getting like 2-3 ounces.  For a whole day (or two).  That's pitiful. 

We still like to do it for the bonding time but I'm sure it is coming to an end very, very soon.  I guess there are things I could have done to prolong the death of my milk supply, but I wasn't up for the fight.  Fenugreek, mother's tea, drinking 86 glasses of water a day, etc.  I am happy and proud that my baby was exclusively fed breastmilk until 6 months and continues to be fed some breastmilk at nearly 8 months. I just wish I felt like I'd had more control or choice over when it ended.  It's sad, much sadder than I thought it would be. 

On the other hand, he gained a little over a pound in a month and is fitting into clothes that are the size he is supposed to be fitting into now.  That's a good thing, right? Over the summer, he was almost 6 months old wearing 0-3 month shorts.  Now he's in most of his 6-9 months stuff, even some of the 6-12 and 12 month shirts.  He's just right.

And he's cute.  And I love him.  That is all.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

rainbows and unicorns

A lot of the time that I would normally spend thinking about my blog or writing my blog has been spent reading someone else's blog lately.  It's like a book that I literally cannot put down, or turn off, as the case may be. 

It's the story of a girl who lost her mother and her older brother in 9/11.  Her grandmother died shortly thereafter.  She doesn't have a father, just two younger sisters.  She was 9, the middle girl must have been about 6 or 7 and the youngest was just 3 when 9/11 tore their family apart. 

The worst of it is that the three girls were placed with their awful Aunt Elaine, who hates them, calls Sam a whore, and blames them for taking up space and making noise in her home.  She makes them sleep on mattresses on the floor of a tiny bedroom.  She doesn't mother them in any way.  She leaves Sam, the blog author, the responsible party to discipline and nurture the younger two girls.  As if losing your mother isn't bad enough, Sam had to become a mother at age 9.  She shops for (and by shops for, I mean pays for) their groceries, cooks their meals, takes them to the doctor, grounds them, and loves them like a mother and a best friend.  On top of all this, Sam has to cook for and clean up after mean old Aunt Elaine.  It's unbelievable.  I just had to share this blog with you. 

Sam is funny, smart, wise beyond her years, surprisingly honest, not to mention a very compelling writer with a style all her own.  Wow.  My sister told me about this blog and I haven't been able to rip myself away from it ever since. 

If you are a lover of blogs, true stories, heartbreak and triumph, or just like being nosy, I suggest you read this blog from the beginning.  Here's the link to the very first entry.  Or you can start here with the most recent post (though I strongly suggest you start from the beginning).

It got my sister and I talking about what we would want for our children if they were left parentless.  We both agreed that we would want them to be wherever they are loved and hugged and kissed every day, regardless of whether that means they are poor or certain other things have to be compromised.  Above everything else, love is the most important.  I can't imagine having to grow up without it.  But back to Sam - I don't feel sorry for her because after reading her blog, I don't think she would want me to.  She's strong and stubborn and an absolutely amazing young woman.  I hope you'll check out her story. 


Thursday, October 21, 2010


I don't know why really, but I always pictured Pittsburgh as being gray and dirty and dreary.  We went there last weekend for our very first family trip/mini-vacay where we were actually going just to go, and not to visit anyone.  The city is actually lovely!  My husband is madly in love with the Pittsburgh Penguins, so of course going to a game was what the trip was planned around and his top priority.  My top priority was getting out of town with my hubby and my baby, exploring a place I'd never been, and just taking a few days to relax from the every day stresses at home.

Friday we took a trip up the side of the mountain for better views of the city on the Duquesne Incline.  The picture above is much like the view we were able to enjoy. 

Between the incline and the Penguins game, we got hungry so we decided that we must try a local favorite, the original Primanti Brothers in the strip district, where the Farmer's Market is held during the summer.  It was...different.  The hubby loved it, I thought it was okay.  I felt fatter for walking in the door! Ha ha!  But it was fun to go there and be a part of the local tradition.

The sandwiches are STAAAAACKED with all kinds of nonsense (meat, cheese, fries, cole slaw, etc).

Friday night we enjoyed the sights and sounds of the exciting game, where the Penguins won in overtime, 3-2, against the New York Islanders.  My boo was excited to attend his first game at the new venue, Consol Energy Center.

It was late when we got out of there, and Theo got super grumpy in the car while we were stuck in the after-game traffic.  One negative thing I will say about Pittsburgh - the traffic is atrocious.  I don't know if the streets are just not laid out well or if it has something to do with the stoplights or what...but it was bad.  Everywhere we went downtown was an ordeal.  Anyway, Theo was a dream during the game so I'll take a little wailing in the car on the way back to the hotel.

Saturday we ventured to the Pittsburgh Zoo.  The zoo is kind of hilly and very nature-y.  The weather was nice, though a little cool at times.  Definitely nothing to complain about for the middle of October.  They have a nice aquarium with lots of tanks - we saw sharks, penguins, fresh- and saltwater fish, amphibians, reptiles, polar bears, and so much more.  It really was beautiful. 

After the aquarium, we decided to go back to the hotel and rest.  We all took a little nap and then ventured back out to try and find some more delicious local food.  We found it at DeLallo's Fort Couch Cafe.  Yum.

It doesn't look like much but they had some of the most delectable Italian food I have ever wrapped my lips around.  I had the signature dish, the Chicken DeLallo.  "Chicken breast stuffed with fresh spinach, prosciutto, lump crabmeat and chevron (goat cheese), sauteed in a light madeira wine sauce. "  Unbeatable.

Sunday we slept in and lounged around our room before starting the arduous task of breaking down the portable baby zoo so that we could pack up and hit the road.  We got out of town just before 1pm and Theo slept like a baby (hehe) most of the way home. 

It was just what our little family needed.  Some together time to share new experiences.  I hope we are able to find the time to make these kinds of trips often. 

My favorite thing about Pittsburgh, which turned out to be warm and welcoming and cheery, was the residential areas we drove through to get downtown from our hotel.  There are so many old, beautiful homes on winding, hilly, red-bricked streets.  I thoroughly enjoyed the early 20th century architecture and the rowhouses that reminded me so much of the Cosby Show. :)  The gorgeous fall colors decorating the trees certainly didn't detract from the charm.

Finally, I must apologize for not using my own photos.  I took loads of them, but have been having trouble with our memory card and the camera itself for months now.  We're overdue for a new camera and we've had the current one for just over a year.  While I'm on this unrelated subject, and despite all of the fabulous reviews, don't ever buy the Samsung SL620!  More and more, I'm wanting more of a "pro" quality camera.  Or at least one I can count on. 

Have an adventurous weekend!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Easy Peezy Fonzareezi

I talked here about all of the nicknames that had developed over Theo's few short months here with us.  One in particular has stuck and developed a new life of it's own.  And that name would be:

"Sweet Peezus"

Easy enough to see how that name came from the endearing baby  pet name "Sweet Pea," combined with the common exclamation "Sweet Jesus," right?

Well, now Sweet Peezus also gets called these names:




Sweet Peezus Brown (Sung to the tune of "Sweet Caroline") and then there's just...

Peezus Brown (which gets sung to the less popular theme song to "The Cleveland Show"..."my name is Peezus Brown and I'm proud to be...")

And the newest one, Easy Peezy Fonzareezi


And where did it come from? 

Oh, Peezus.  I'm sorry we've given you such a terrible nickname.  We didn't mean to, I promise!  Maybe it won't stick (if we're all lucky).

I Love You, my little Peezus Brown. 


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

the finger

Last Thursday I was packing up the Highlander for our weekend away in Pittsburgh.  I needed to take Theo to the doctor for his flu shot so I was in a bit of a rush.  The power was out for some mysterious reason, and this didn't click with me that it was going to be a problem until I hit the button for the garage door opener about 6 times with no results. 


So I had to call the man of the house to find out how to disengage the opener.  Okay, figured that out.  Not so challenging.  Once I got the car out of the garage, I walked up to the door to close it.  No exterior handle.  Well I didn't THINK I had the time to go inside, close it, lock it, and go out the front door, so I grabbed the door naturally where the sections separate.  Unfortunately for me and 3 of the fingers on my right hand, I didn't think about the fact that a little pull would cause the door to come flying down at break-neck speed, with my precious little fingertips still between the garage door sections. 


I stood there staring at the door, which was all the way down, and my 3 fingers that were lodged between the panels of the garage door.  Then I panicked.  And I pulled them back towards my body.  Not moving.  AT all.  So then I pushed the garage door up with my left hand, careful not to stick my fingertips between the sections this time.  I got the door up and my fingers out.  That is when I saw the horror.  Sheer horror.


My ring finger had blood coming out of both sides of the finger nail and the middle finger and index finger had gnarly indentations in them where they were smashed in the door.  Talk about panic.  I was literally pacing around in the garage shrieking in pain, unable to comprehend what just happened and/or what needed to happen next.  I went in the house and tried to turn on the kitchen faucet to rinse the blood off my hand but the electric water pump was dead.  I grabbed a couple of bottles of water dumped them on my hand.  Then I took this picture:


Then I wrapped my fingers up in band aids, went and got my son from the babysitter, took him to get his shot, and went on a mini-vacation.  Dealing with the fingers were a pain in the butt while on vacation.  If there was anything to be thankful for, at least I didn't have to go back to work for 4 days and I had reinforcements changing diapers and baby clothes, which was pretty much impossible (as Theo likes to grab at anything and everything these days).  The ring finger is still in pretty bad shape but the other 2 feel almost back to normal.  Just a little sore.  The ring finger is VERY sore and the fingernail is wiggly, like a Lee press-on nail.  Only if I catch it on something, it hurts...bad.  It is only attached about halfway up from the end.  Oh, and clear goo seeps out of it randomly.  Yum.

P.S. Typing is not that fun.  


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

jekyll and hyde

I don't get it!

Monday night we put Theo in his crib and he started moaning and groaning like always.  It turned into him screaming bloody murder within a few short minutes.  Normally, we can go in and talk to him for a bit and then leave.  At that time, the screaming usually gets a little worse before it gets better, meaning that usually after we've gone in and soothed him, he goes to sleep fairly quickly on his own.  Well Monday night he was having NONE of that!  He was crying so hard that I was certain something was hurting him and he needed to go to the ER.  I picked him up and hugged him against my chest and he rested his head on my shoulder and closed his eyes.  What?  Yep.  So I kissed him and put him back in the crib.  Bloody murder.  I had to leave for work so the daddy-o picked him up and held him until he was solidly asleep and then he put him back in his crib without further incident.  Slept through the night.

Last night, as I was getting ready to leave for work, we were trying to get him to look at a book and finish a bottle to wind down.  He wasn't interested in either and really didn't seem terribly tired.  The daddy-o put him down as I was leaving.  A few minutes later, we had a text conversation that went like this:

Him: He hasn't made a peep since I laid him down as u were leaving.  I'm afraid to go back there.
Me: Well, don't!
Him: But he has no covers.  He has to be asleep right?  He surely wouldn't lay there silent this whole time.  I'm going in.
Him: Wait til you see that picture.  Now I have to move him.  I gotta move him right?

Then he sends me this picture:

Me: Nah.  I wouldn't
Him: Ok
Me: Just cover him up and vacate

(Notice the big drool patch? LOL)

Anyway, WHAT THE HECK!?  One night he screams like Freddy Krueger is after him when we put him down and the next night he just goes to sleep on his own without saying a word.  I can't figure this guy out.  All I know is this:  He sure is cute.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

baby friends

I was so lucky to have a couple of friends who were pregnant at the same time I was.  If not always fun, it was comforting to compare symptoms and whine to each other.  Of course we also shared our excitement, went to each others' showers, prego lady dinners, and made predictions about our little-ones-to-be.  It's going to be so much fun getting them together to play as they get older.

My good friend J, who's baby boy D was born 8 days after Theo, had the wonderful idea to get the Babies of '10 together for D's 6 (err, closer to 7) month photo shoot.  The babies didn't all cooperate at the same time, but there were some cute shots, nonetheless.  How could there not be, with all that slobber and cute baby squishiness?  Totally not a word, but I don't care! 

J's photographer, Angie, took lots of group and individual shots of our little munchkins and shared a "Sneak Peek" with us.  I can't wait to see the rest of the photographs.  Click here to see the sneak peek.  Theo's the third baby (with gobs of hair) in case you didn't know.  Duh. 


Monday, October 11, 2010

new car

I got a 2008 Highlander!  I guess I have to eat my words because before, I said that I didn't like the newer body style, but I guess I had never paid much attention to them.  I saw this one one the lot with only 22,000 miles and felt like it was a great deal.  I have had a Toyota for the last 10 years and have grown to appreciate their reliability, so I am confident that I will love this vehicle as much as my last two.  Best part - with the optional 3rd row, there is plenty of room for Theo and company and cargo and groceries, etc., etc., etc.!



Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Letter to the Used-To-Be Me

I got the idea for this post from Melissa over at Dear Baby and thought it would be fun to go back in time and write a letter to my pregnant self as well.

2 days before Theo was born

Dear You,

You wanted this more than anything.  Urges came and went and there was a scare or two along the way, but when the time came, you wanted it.  BAD.  It was an unsatiable desire that only a positive pregnancy test could quench.  You admired pregnant ladies' bellies and baby buggies.  You swooned over teeny tiny clothes.  You got insanely jealous, while feeling guilty for being jealous, every time a friend or a foe got pregnant without trying.  You were even kind of jealous of your friends that got pregnant after having trouble getting pregnant.  Shame on you, You!  That wasn't very nice.

Everyone you knew that had been pregnant complained about being pregnant and you wanted to tell them to shut up, because at least they could get pregnant.  But then you got pregnant, and you complained too.  And you realized that it's okay that everyone complains about being pregnant because as you've discovered, it's actually really hard.  It's taxing on the body and the mind.  Instead of worrying about getting pregnant, you started worrying about being a good parent.  It's just the first of many selfless things you will do for that sweet, precious boy who's still growing inside your body.  You invited a person to live inside of you who would keep you up all night, kick you in the side every 2-4 minutes, make you nautious, give you heartburn, make you fat, feel miserable a good part of the time, and make you walk like a damn duck. 

But oh, honey.  You have NO idea.

You still won't sleep worth a crap.  Your body will hurt in ways that it has never hurt before.  You will have stitches in places you never knew could be stitched.  Breastfeeding will be so painful that you'll wish someone would just cut your boobs off with kitchen shears.  Your belly will be squishy and weird for a while.  You won't be able to eat hardly anything you like because every.single.thing that tastes good makes the baby puke.  You'll still wear maternity clothes for another month (or two).  (Or three).  Going back to work and leaving him with a stranger will make you nautious.  You will feel guilty about almost everything because you're worried that this or that isn't good enough or you're not giving enough or doing enough.

But you know what, You?  None of that will matter.  You will be able to sleep on your belly, squishy or not, and that will feel sooooooo good.  You will enjoy whatever sleep you get because you will be exhausted by the time it comes to you.  Your body will heal and you will wonder if you were ever really pregnant.  You will miss those baby kicks and it will be kind of hard to remember just what they felt like.  You will perservere and be incredibly successful at breastfeeding.  And your boobs won't hurt forever.  You will lose the baby weight, thanks to breastfeeding, and be proud of yourself and your body in a whole new way.  (Because you grew a perfect little person in there and you pushed him out, just like millions of women before you have done).  You will be part of a whole new club.  You will understand why all your mommy friends never shut up about their kids.  (Because kids ARE awesome in so many ways you will learn about later).  You will figure out that sometimes that chocolate ice cream you wanted so bad was worth a little extra spit up that day.  You will do your best.  At the end of each day, you will think "that was a good day" because you did everything you could to be the best mom that day.

Your baby will eventually throw his head back and erupt with laughter at a silly noise his dad just made.  And THAT will make your day.  When you lay that baby boy in his crib at night, you will smell his sweet little head as you give him a kiss and at that moment, you won't have a single trouble.  And he WILL sleep through the night eventually.  You will be a good mom.  Maybe not always a cool mom, but any kid would be lucky to have you for a mom.  Know why? Because no one in the world could possibly love a kid any more than you will love your baby.  You have no clue how much you will love that boy.  You will love him so much it hurts.  And it hurts because you know he won't always need you like he needs you now. 

But You, don't waste a single moment worrying about the future.  Your baby is going to be awesome and you shouldn't worry about big stuff like whether he's going to love you this much 20 years from now.  The beauty in life, you will see, is in the little things.  Like those sweet-smelling forehead kisses and the first time you hear that hysterical laughter.  And the first time he rolls over or reaches for you or figures out how to make that annoying toy make that annoying sound all by himself. 

You're about to see that experiencing life through a baby's eyes is a beautiful adventure.  Don't waste it away worrying about things you can't control.  Make time for your husband, even though it doesn't always seem like a priority.  Do what feels right for you and your family and you won't blow it.  I promise.


batty for baby

The Halloween Costume ....

he's a bat!  I found this cute costume, made by Carter's, at Target for a reasonable $15.  I liked it because it's warm, not bulky and not too confining.  He can flap his little bat wings and be safely strapped in his carseat with no problem.

I've never been so un-afraid of a bat!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

mini mom?

I have a sassy little Toyota Solara that I absolutely adore.  I wanted this car as soon as Toyota came out with them and waited until June of 2006 to get one.  It's an '07 model so it was hot off the assembly line with single-digit miles when we signed the paperwork and drove it home.  I love this car and I don't want to give it up but it's like this.  We've had a good 4 year run together.  We've gone a lot of places, seen a lot of faces, and the ol' girl now has nearly 70,000 miles on her. 

More importantly, Theo is at the tail end of needing to be hauled around in his infant carrier for a couple of reasons.  1: He's big enough to sit in a high chair now (and will be sitting up independently enough for a shopping cart very soon).  2:  It weighs somewhere close to one ton with him in it. 

Soo, that means I no longer will be able to just reach into the backseat and click to release the entire infant carrier from the base.  I will have to crawl into the backseat, sit in the middle, unfasten him, get him out, hold him, stand up, lean over, and try my best to get myself and him out without bumping anyone's head on the doorframe on the way.  That's a bad scene.  I can already see my foot getting stuck on the seat belt or the floor mat and go flying face first out the car door onto the pavement with baby in tow.  Now we're talking about a safety hazard, people!

A not-so-random sidenote is that 3 weeks ago some jerk backed into my car while we were at Theo's 6 month doctor's appointment.  Naturally, they forgot to leave a note with their contact information or insurance information.  There are some pretty deep scratches on my bumper around the driver side headlight).  I got an estimate and it's going to cost $540-something to repair the damage, which means nothing except that it's more than my $300 deductible.

So one night last week, we went by the Toyota dealership because I'd seen a couple of cars on their used lot that I wanted to look at.  I also wanted a straight answer from a salesman (is that an oxymoron?) about whether it would be worth it to get my car fixed.  You KNOW they can get it fixed cheaper than I can.  While we were there (he said not to bother getting it fixed, by the way), I was looking at the crossover SUVs and wasn't in love with any of them.  He mentioned a minivan and I immediately turned up my nose. 

Then he showed me one.  Then I drove a Toyota Sienna.  It really does feel like driving a car.  It didn't feel like driving a boat and I loved having so much interior space.  The sliding doors are great for tight parking spots and friends/kids/kids' friends that fling doors open with reckless abandon.  I picture myself having no trouble at all unloading little children from the wide doors and up-high captain's seats.  That would be nice.

But then, after we left, I caught myself looking around at all the other minivan drivers on the road and they felt foreign to me.  I know FOR SURE that I'm not too cool for a minivan, but I just couldn't get rid of this feeling that if I get one, I've somehow given in or given up on me.  When you become a mom, things are certainly not about you as an individual anymore, and I'm okay with that.  Really.  But there's something about a girl and her car.  I've been asking people if they regret getting a minivan and I have lots of same-age friends that absolutely love their mini.  Maybe I could adjust.

Saturday we drove by a Nissan used lot to see if they had any Muranos, because I think they are cute and I had not had the chance to get inside of one yet to check out the space.  I test drove a black one with dark gray leather interior.  Oh, this baby fit like a glove.  It was comfy, it felt cool, and I felt good driving it.  I felt happy and proud.

I'm not sure what's gonna happen, but during our baby-free day this Saturday, I intend to get a different vehicle one way or another.

Wish me luck!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

maybe movin' ... maybe not

My good friend and her husband (who is a very smart guy that happens to be a general contractor) came over for dinner on Friday night.  They knew ahead of time that we wanted to pick his brain about possibly adding on to our house.  He has lots of experience and was able to share tons of knowledge about all of the options, whether it be adding on to our existing home or buying a new home and renting ours out (which is something that we've certainly never given much thought).  He advised against building a home right now, as the market is saturated with homes as it is.  Sure, we can do a lot of the work to fix a place up, but time gets in the way eventually.  Money too. 

We've been trying to figure out how to do the dance of buying and selling a home at the same time.  It seems like some great luck or an act of God to time that sort of thing just right.  What if we put our house on the market and it sold immediately, and we had nowhere to go?  Or worse, what if we found a house that we just couldn't pass up, then our house sat on the market for months and months or more, leaving us with 2 mortgage payments?  He pretty much convinced us that there isn't much to renting and as long as you check the potential tenant's credit, you can more or less rest easy that they won't tear up your stuff.  So in the second scenario I mentioned, I guess renting would be an option.

But back to adding on to our existing home - we talked all weekend about our ideas and how we could customize each and every detail.  It would be so rewarding to do a good portion of the work ourselves.  We're thinking that we would only have to hire someone to do the exterior and to finish the drywall on the interior (because let's face it, that's an ART).  We came up with a rough plan to add a real laundry room (and building a pantry where the washer and dryer sit now - in the kitchen) and a master suite, complete with a walk-in closet and a full bathroom.  Glorious.

Right now, our cute little 1961 traditional ranch is feeling a little small.  It's okay for now, but all of my clothes are in the guest bedroom closet or the dresser in the guest bedroom.  Not such a big deal until we have the next kid...who will have to live in the hallway or something because right now, there's just no room for any more STUFF.  So anyway, we need to do something, whether that means moving or adding on.  Right now my heart is telling me to add on instead of moving away.  We have a great yard and we love the location of our home.  Some people want to be out in the middle of nowhere...not me.  A dealbreaker for me has always been that I have to be able to get to Target just as easily as Walmart because I don't do Walmart.  At all.  (As it turns out, we do live closer to a Walmart than Target but not by much.  That's beside the point...).

The thought of adding on excites me.  It's an adventure waiting to be had.  I don't know for sure if that's what we will end up doing.  We are still looking at homes online and considering the home of a cousin's cousin that isn't on the market yet.  It's good to have options!