Thursday, November 25, 2010

thankful for my photog friends!


I am lucky to have a couple of friends with a lot of talent and reeeally nice cameras who volunteered to take pictures of my cute baby.  Here are some from our late October session with the beautiful and talented Natalia from Chocolate Box Photography.

If you love these pictures and want to see more, there are lots more on her blog about Theo!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

mama's crazy

*Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post when I was about 8 weeks along and I am VERY happy to say that these dark days have passed (fore the most part, I think) and my mood is much improved! Don't be scared of me... I'm still blaming it on those out-of-control, first-trimester hormones!

This familiar experience has become a new experience altogether.  I don't know if it's because my life has so drastically changed since my first pregnancy, or because the situation is different, or if it has something to do with the hormones, but I'm crazy.  Certifiably crazy.  I say it's the hormones.  That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

I've noticed with this pregnancy that my temper is shorter, I'm more easily annoyed, and I feel grumpier in general.  I remember when I was about this far along with Theo, his papa told me that he'd heard horror stories from men about their pregnant wives due to the hormones and mood swings.  We tossed our heads back and laughed hearty laughs as the wind blew threw our perfectly styled hair and birds chirped around us on a sunny Spring day as we rolled around and kissed in a field of clover. 

I think we have officially left the meadow and have made it to the darkest of the dreary dungeons.  Those birds we heard are actually bats.  And the clover kind of turned in to thistle.  I might have just turned into the woman those horror stories were written about. 

I'm grumpy.  There are times of happiness but in general, my mood has been kind of dour. 

I get annoyed easily and sometimes I feel like ever fiber of every organ inside of me is screaming "go away!" at whatever or whomever is irritating me at the moment. 

There have been a couple of times when Theo would not stop crying when I just had to hand him off to his dad before I screamed something inappropriate. 

There was one time when I had to walk away from Theo's dad before I screamed something inappropriate at him.  I don't remember what the argument was about, but even at the time I knew it was ridiculous and I felt that there was nothing I could do to control my emotions. This is just not me.

Obviously I have controlled my emotions and when I say I had to walk away, I don't mean that I was going to harm anyone if I didn't.  It's just that at that moment, my nerves were so frayed that I had to step away and take a breath. 

So, since I didn't experience any of this with Theo, I'm wondering if this baby could be a girl?  All those extra hormones?

Or is this craziness due to the fact that this pregnancy was unplanned and has got me beyond stressed?  Or because I already have a baby and am sleep-deprived as it is (thank you third shift and baby and pregnancy)?  Because I have little to no down time to recover from the daily stresses that add up over time? 

I. Just. Don't. Know.  But I know that I don't like myself very much when I am crazy. 


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

a crystal ball would be nice

This is my 12 week check-up check-in.  So what, it was 2 weeks ago.  I'm just getting around to it, okay?

First of all, when I had my 6 week check-up back in April of this year (nothing about that sounds right) we talked about the mild shoulder dystocia that happened while I was giving birth to Theo (I talked about it here).  The doctor that delivered Theo said that a lot of things could have been the cause...I could have been borderline too small or he could have been in a funny position or it could have been that I was in a funny position OR it could have been a combination of 2 or all of those.  Anyway, I asked about the necessity of a c-section with my next kid and he said that it wouldn't necessarily be the case.  He even said that giving birth may have relaxed the pelvis enough that it wouldn't even be an issue with baby #2.  I was feeling pretty good about that.

And then...

I saw my OB 2 weeks ago and one of the first things she said was that she thinks I have a small birth canal and she would like to "offer" me a c-section for this baby.  Like she's offering me a dessert at half price or something.  Of course I knew that subsequent babies typically get bigger but I was hoping that it wouldn't be much of an issue if my pelvis had truly relaxed, Theo and I hadn't been in optimal positions, etc.  She said if I can avoid getting gestational diabetes this time (which sounds about as likely as not getting wet in a swimming pool), then there's a better chance for a successful vaginal birth.  Once you make the choice to go vaginal, and the baby's head is out, there's no going back.  If he or she gets stuck (i.e., shoulder dystocia), there's a good chance that he or she won't survive.  The doctor that delivered Theo said there's not much that's scarier for an OB than shoulder dystocia.

I really don't want a c-section.  I'm comfortable with the vaginal birth (as comfortable as one can be with it).  Although it was scary for those 10 seconds, Theo's perfect and I'm fine and we all recovered beautifully.  I wish I had a crystal ball and I knew what was going to happen.  The doc said she could do an amnio at 36 or 37 weeks to start checking for lung maturity and as soon as it's good, she would induce in hopes of getting a smaller baby.  But I'm not real hot on the idea of an amnio either.  She said if I choose to go vaginal AND I get diabetes, she won't let me go past 38 weeks this time. 

More stuff to stress out about.  Of course I don't want to put my baby in harm's way, but I have a feeling that Theo's shoulder dystocia was a fluke and it probably won't happen again.  Is that just me being selfish or is that me following my motherly instincts and listening to my body? 

Anyway, the little booger was hiding for the doppler so I had to get another ultrasound (okay, twist my arm!).  We saw that nugget squirming around like crazy in there.  We saw her/him kicking and waving and chomping.  It's so amazing how in such a short time the baby goes from a little ball of goo to this teensy weensy miniature human.  Just incredible.  He or she was healthy and happy so at this stage, we couldn't ask for more.  We made it past the scary 12 week threshhold so there's a good chance that this baby is here to stay.  Now we can let ourselves get attached (or more attached as the case may be).

I've gained half a pound.  I had my first 1 hour glucose tolerance test to check for early gestational diabetes.  Got those results back last week and I was holding steady at 77!  That's a really good thing.  Let's hope it stays that way.

Monday, November 22, 2010

relatively likable baby names

So the idea originally was to find a baby name that had a "th" in it that would compliment Theodore/Theo. 

The only ones I could really come up with was:


Nice, right?  Meredith and Theodore.  Not only do they both have the "th," they both have the "d" sound and the "r" sound - they are even the same number of syllables.  The name is classically familiar but not overly popular.  I like it.  But what I don't like about it is that the nickname would surely be Mer or worse, Merry/Meri.  Looking at it, those don't seem so bad but I don't love "Mary" for my baby and that's what people would think her name was if they heard me talking to her.  I know, I shouldn't care what other people think.  But these are the thoughts that dance around in my head so I'm letting them dance around on my blog.


Okay, Anthony isn't too bad alone.  But again, the nickname situation.  If we gave Theodore his name with the intention to call him "Theo," I just feel obligated to do the same for baby #2.  I don't like "Tony."  What other nicknames are there for Anthony?  


I actually kind of looove this name (alternate spelling of Edith) with the nickname Edye.  How cute is that?  "Edye/Edie and Theo."  It's got the oh-so-desirable, but not so obvious (with the nickname) "th."  Problem: the dada kind of haaaates it with the "y" spelling and isn't hog wild about it, even with the "i" spelling.  I can just picture EDYE's little name in block letters on her wall above the crib.  (The 2nd crib we purchsed in a year, that is).  Ay ay ay.  Trying to choose a name is more fun and more frustrating that picking out cribs, by the way.


Weird, I know.  My sister came across this name in a book.  It's a girl name by the way.  I initially rejected it mentally, then I said it a few times and it grew on me.  I definitely would not have to worry about my kid having the same name as anyone else in her class - ever!  But nicknames?  Zanny?  I don't know about that.  And it doesn't matter because the dada HATES it with a passion.  Reminder:  I have to carry the kid for 9 months.

That's the end of the "th" names for now. 

Here are some others that could potentially be up for grabs, supposing I let go of the "th" dream.


We both kind of fell in love with this name after hearing it on the show Parenthood.  Couple of hang-ups:  1.  Nickname "Cros" is not so bad to use casually, but would I hang it in block letters over my baby's crib?  No, it would be Crosby.  2.  This is totally weird and I'm sure I'm the only one that would ever think it, but we decided on Theo one night while watching the COSBY show.  I fear that CROSBY is too close to COSBY and the boys would get teased.  Stupid, right?  For something a little less paranoid, read on...


I have liked this name for as long as I can remember.  But now that we have a son named Theodore, I can hardly name my kid "Calvin."  A little too close to ALVIN...Theodore... get it?  I can already hear the "Where's Simon?"  jokes. 


I have also liked this name for as long as I can remember, but I am like the ONLY one.  Really.  I don't know anyone else that supports me in liking this name - including the only person whose opinion really matters.  Sure it's common...I get that.  But it's not popular.  How many babies do you know named Jayson?  I like to include the "y" because the baby's paternal grandfather's middle name is Jay and I think it would be a nice way to honor him.  No dice.

Okay, just a few more...


Ah, Vivienne.  I was in luuurve with this name for years, literally.  I swore my daughter would be named Vivienne and yes, her block letters above the crib would be "VIVI."  What a sweet nickname.  Then, that skank Angelina had to screw everything up.  I'm talking about Angelina Jolie.  She named her twin baby girl Vivienne and the name's popularity has sky-rocketed ever since.  I'm afraid that by the time my daughter got to Kindergarten, there would be two other Vivis in her class.  I had it first, Jolie!  I'm afraid Vivienne is off of my list.  So sad about this! 

Brenna (Brynna?)

I sort of love this name.  It got brought up in conversation when my husband mentioned something about his co-worker while I was pregnant with Theo and before we knew he was a boy.  I immediately liked the sound of the name, and I think the nickname is super-cute.  Brynn or Brenn, depending on the spelling.  My hubby, however, has a hang-up about naming his child after his co-worker.  I tried to explain that he wouldn't be naming her after his co-worker.  Besides, if you were this said Brenna person, would you be offended if someone said "I liked your name so much that I named my child Brenna"?? I think not!  This isn't someone that he is friends with outside of's not like I'd be naming my child the same thing that my best friend or my cousin named their child.  What's the big deal?


This name is new to our list.  Well, not completely new.  We both liked it before but for some reason, it has really grown on me.  But how would you spell the nickname, pronounced "Bree" ... Bri makes more sense based on the spelling of the name but I don't like how it looks and I wonder if it would get mispronounced.


I like Cameron and "Cami" for the nickname.  I don't like Cameron for a boy, only if it is a girl.  I don't know why, but that's all there is to it.  That being said, I don't LOVE this name.  But I like it.

That's enough for today, right?


Friday, November 19, 2010

Open Adoption, anyone?

NO! I'm not talking about my baby-to-be, silly.  Although, if I were planning an adoption for my unborn child, I certainly wouldn't think twice about choosing this forever family for my child.  I know that he or she would be loved endlessly. 

And Jody, if you're reading this, don't even think about asking me to give you my baby!  I know you think Theo's cute and all, and you can't have him either.  (Althooooough, if I find myself in this predicament AGAIN a year from now...kidding!)

Seriously, my friends Jody and Angie are hoping to adopt a baby and want to invite the birth parents to be a part of their child's life - what a wonderful gift from both sides.  I can't imagine any greater sacrifice or act of love than carrying a child in your womb for nine months and then placing him or her with another family because you know deep in your heart of hearts that you just can't provide that child with all the things that every child deserves.  On the flip side, I believe that adoptive parents should absolutely allow and encourage their child to maintain a relationship with their biological family so that there are no feelings of abandonment.  From day one, the child is exposed to the reason why the parents chose adoption.  I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Jody and Angie are amazing.  They are like super hero aunts to their niece and nephews.  They bought a minivan to haul their niece and nephews around, for crying out loud!  Do YOU know any aunts or uncles that have done this?  That's dedication!  Both of these ladies are compassionate and work in a field of service where they give of themselves day in and day out to improve the lives of people with disabilities.  And they have both done this for YEARS.  Because they care.  Because they want to make lives better.  I know that is what they will do for the baby that they ulitmately adopt. 

Jody and Angie

I can't wait to hear that my friends have their sweet baby in their arms.  I am hoping there is a chance that this blog will reach someone who is considering open adoption for their unborn child.  I am encouraging anyone and everyone who reads this, whether I know you or not, to pass along their website, to everyone you know.  There is a ton of information about them and loads of wonderful pictures of them and their families on the website and I feel that anyone could get to know them by exploring the site, as it truly represents the fun, caring, wonderful people that they are.

Jody and Angie, I wish you all the luck in the world!

Lots of love,

Thursday, November 18, 2010

cat's out, baby's comin'

I guess (or at least hope) it's safe to say now that we are expecting another baby!!!

To save you the time and trouble, I'll go ahead and list the FAQs:

Q:  Heavens to Betsy, so soon!? 
A:  Requires no response, as I just told you that I am indeed currently pregnant. 

Q:  Well that certainly was quick.  Just how far along are you?
A: 13 weeks

Q:  Sooooo, when is your due date?
A:  May 26, 2011

Q:  Wow, whoa!  Goodness!  Let me think...what will the age difference be?
A:  14 months.  Er, I mean 14 and a HALF months!

Q:  Ohhh, hmm.  Well.  Interesting.  How long have you known?
A:  Since September 14, 2010

Q:  Was this planned?
A:  *What do you think? (or perhaps)  Why is that important to you?

Q:  And how exactly did this happen?
A:  At this time, I would like to challenge you to use your imagination.

Q:  Don't you know how babies are made? <insert: chuckle, chuckle, snort, snort>
A:  Ah, yes.  You are so very clever.  Clearly, we do know how babies are made.

Q:  Are you excited?
A:  That's a loaded question.  We're working on it and we're getting there.  There are a lot of issues that are creating stress in our lives right now (I'll blog more about those later, I'm sure), but we did say we wanted our kids to be close in age (check) and that we didn't want to go through months and months of trying and hoping and wishing and waiting just to be disappointed again (check).  We need to get some of those issues under control before we are truly jumping up and down for joy.  And I might be too humongous to jump up and down for joy by then, but I'll be doing it on the inside.  Or someone else will be doing it on the inside FOR me.  :)

Q:  Are you hoping for a girl or a boy?
A:  Again, loaded question... we can't decide what would be better (as if we have a choice, haha!).  We always thought it would be nice to have one of each but now that they are going to be so close in age, maybe two little boy buddies would be fun.  Honestly, this time, I can say that I really don't care.  If he or she is as happy and healthy as little Theo, I will be completely thrilled.

Q:  Are you showing yet?
A:  Not yet. I don't think...or at least I don't need maternity clothes yet!

Q:  How have you been feeling?
A:  Exhausted.  Nauseated.  More exhausted.

Did I miss anything?

*I know, I know... "you aren't supposed to answer a question with a question" and "there's no such thing as a stupid question," but I did and there is.  You just asked it.  Not to mention, it's a personal question.  Stop being so nosy.  I'm not trying to be rude, really, but everyone asks this and it gets old.  And it's NOT just because this pregnancy was unplanned.  It got old when I told people I was pregnant with Theo.  Unplanned does not mean unwanted.  Lesson:  When someone tells you they are pregnant, the appropriate response is to say "How exciting!  Congratulations!" rather than ask a nosy, personal, none-of-your-business question.  P.S. I am just as guilty as anyone else of asking this question in the past.  Never again (unless you are my best friend and I know you won't be offended - but if you are my best friend I would probably know if you were planning, right?).  Lesson over, class dismissed!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

the end.

On Monday, November 15, 2010, Theo was exactly 8 months and one week old. 

On Monday, November 15, 2010, Theo took the last sip of his mama's milk. 

It was the last bag of frozen breastmilk we had in the freezer.  So as I fed him his bottle, I felt a little sad.  I hadn't realized that I had probably already nursed him for the last time, but I guess I have, since right now it's been 5 days since he last nursed and I don't even feel "the pressure" to do so. 

And that little stinker threatened to not finish the bottle.  It was only 5 ounces and he drank 3 and started pushing it away.  I kept shoving it back in his mouth but figured I could probably just save it and offer it to him again a few minutes later.  Which I did, and he drank it.  And that was it.  I am done breastfeeding my baby boy. 

On one hand, I'm really sad that I didn't make it to a year, but I know that the reasons for this are beyond my control.  I guess that helps a little.  It's not as if I chose to be done.  But at the same time, I didn't go nuts taking herbs or visiting the lactation consultant to see what I could do to boost my dying supply either.  For that, I feel a little guilty.  I guess 8 months isn't so bad. 

On the other hand, damn! Formula is easy.  I didn't know any different with Theo, but when we have another baby, I wonder if it will be harder to stick with the pumping and freezing and thawing and etc etc etc EVERY.single.DAY just to keep the breast milk flowing. 

I feel so free not having to lug that stupid pump to work and take breaks every 3 hours.  Not that I minded the breaks...which I don't really get anymore... but I always hated pumping from day 1. 

I know it's not a big deal to Theo- he adapted so easily to the bottle and has actually had far less issues with spitting up since transitioning to formula gradually.  I don't know if that is because of his stomach getting more tolerant or if it is because of there being less variables in the formula's ingredients than the breast milk.  Who knows?

It's kind of crazy to me that at 6 months he was 100% breast fed.  Now he's 100% not.  That happened way faster than I expected.

It is what it is.  Sigh.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

two more teeth

We broke new ground, er, new gums over the weekend.... Baby T has two more teeth poppin' through his swollen, tender little gums.  He got his bottom two front teeth when he was about 4 1/2 months old so I thought by 6 months he'd be getting the top two.  Nope, they took their sweet time and now I must say, I'm glad they did.  He's not lovin' the new teeth so far.

He seems to do better during the day, but he's still a little clingier and hard to please.  He won't sit and be entertained by things for as long as he could before.  There's a lot going on in that little mind of his though - he's really trying hard to crawl.  He gets in the perfect position and rocks back and forth a few times, then PLOP.  He'll get there and honestly, I'm in no hurry.  Well, I'm excited for the accomplishment on his part and definitely want to witness the first successful moves, but aside from that, I know our lives are going to change.  Just in time for getting the ol' Christmas tree out too.  Not sure how we're going to navigate that catastrophe in the making.

And I thought the cats were tricky at Christmas time.

Wow, I'm all over the place...back to the teeth - last night he was grumpy and didn't want to be put down at all but he did fall asleep in my arms around 8 o'clock.  The night before, it was bloody murder in his bed, bloody murder in my arms, just bloody murder no matter what.  I remember when the bottom two came in, this only lasted for maybe a week tops.  Hopefully we are halfway through and he'll be good by the weekend because my mama's coming to town!  And she's bringing my niece and nephew.  I haven't seen the little ones for 3 months and I can't wait!  (I haven't seen mama in over 2 months so I'm equally as excited to see her...she just doesn't change quite as much as the little squirts do between visits).

Just wait til they see Theo, if they want to see someone who has been doing a lot of changing! 

Fun times ahead.  :)

Have a happy day!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

flesh and blood

Sometimes my job is hard to take.  Everyone's job is hard to take at times, I know, but since I became a mama my job has gotten even tougher.  See, I work in the field of child welfare.  From the time I get to work until the time I hit the door on the way out, I am bombarded with all of the different ways that parents can hurt, ignore, insult, and damage their own flesh and blood.  Their own flesh and blood. 

It baffles me when I look at the sweet, innocent face of my flesh and blood.  My precious baby is a part of me.  He is a product of the love that his father and I share.  He is a product of the desire that we had to combine our families and allow our relationship to live on through future generations.  He is the reason that we strive to be healthier, drive safer, eat better, and save more.  His little life is already a part of our past and will forever be part of our present and future lives.  He's who I picture when I think about Christmases and birthday parties in the upcoming games and getting his driver's crying hysterically when he goes away to college and again when he gets married.  Maybe even again when he becomes a parent himself, because now I understand what an honor and responsibility that is.  So many of my dreams now revolve around who my perfect little baby turns out to be. 

I have a big role in that.  I believe it's my duty as a parent to make sure my child is confident and kind.  We have to teach him about acceptance and tolerance.  He will learn right from wrong and he will stumble along the way, but he will be given the chance to make decisions and with that, mistakes.  He will look back on his childhood and smile, because he will one day appreciate that his parents gave all they had to give, while fostering independence from an early age.  It's the way that my husband and I were raised. 

I have heard about the hurtful things parents say to their children.  I know for a fact that it is damaging.  Whether something hurtful was said one time or a million times, hurtful words don't go away like bruises or broken bones.  I don't ever want to say something to my baby that he replays in his head years later and still feels a sting.

I have heard about parents that beat or smother their children to death.  I have heard about parents that smack their child in the face every single day.  I have heard about a mother who threw her infant on a concrete sidewalk.  I have heard stories about a mother's boyfriend who hung her child up on a coat hook for HOURS.  I have heard about mothers who leave their newborn babies in dumpsters to die.  Don't they know there are people who are dying to take care of and love that baby like their own?  I have heard about parents who starve their children for punishment.  I have heard about parents who force their own precious flesh and blood to have sex with them or perform other sexual acts on them.  I have heard about parents who are so addicted to drugs that they can't or won't provide for their child's most basic human needs.  I could go on and on for days with the stories I have heard. 

It is downright painful sometimes, hearing about parents who fail to take advantage of the awesome opportunity and the at-times-overwhelming responsibility that comes with creating a brand new person and inviting him to live this life under their protective wing.  How could anyone be so cruel to someone so innocent and defenseless?

It really gets me down, when I think about kids today.  So many kids are growing up in these kinds of homes.  What do we expect these children to do with their lives?  What kind of parents do we expect them to be?  What are we teaching today's babies about who they can trust?  It truly is a shame that it so easy for ignorant people to reproduce.  It's one of life's greatest blessings and curses.  It seems like the people who wouldn't be authorized to parent are the ones that reproduce the most easily and go on to have perfectly healthy babies, only to be abused and neglected.  On the other hand, I've seen so many fantastic couples struggle with sick children and infertility who have done everything by the book.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this:  My occupation is a constant reminder of the charge that has been placed upon me to parent my child the the best of my ability.  If it weren't for my job, I might take that responsibility for granted.  I know that I have been given a gift and I will try my best not to take that gift for granted.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

caution: wandering, babbling baby ahead

This past weekend offered a scary, scary glimpse into the near future.  I swear, last Friday, when Theo was on his belly, he would only put his hands out and extend his arms, pushing his shoulders and some of his chest up off the floor. 

Saturday afternoon, he was pushing his entire chest up off the floor.

Saturday night, he had his chest completely off the ground and his butt up in the air.

Sunday afternoon, he had his chest off the ground, butt up in the air, and was rocking back and forth!  Are babies supposed to go from barely doing a girl push-up to practically crawling in 24 hours!?  It was unbelievable and so exciting (yet frightening) to watch. 

But like I said, it's a glimpse into the very near, very terrifying future!  He will be roaming free.  It wasn't until recently that I noticed just how many things we have down low.  Books.  CDs.  DVDs.  Video game consoles.  Photo albums.  Glass cabinet doors.  Electrical cords.  Speaker wires.  And that's just the living room.  Oh deary. 

On one hand, I know that we can't put away EVERYTHING that he shouldn't be playing with - that will never teach him that some things are "hands off."  At the same time, doesn't this mean that I'm NEVER going to be able to take my eyes off of him?  Sure, I knew it would happen eventually but now that I've seen his little butt rocking back and forth as if he's revving up his engine, I can only imagine that he's already laid out his path of destruction.  Something tells me that he's not going to be so content in the jumparoo once he truly is mobile. 

My little baby is growing up and moving on.  He's 8 months + 1 day today and I guess he knew that it was time to work towards the crawling milestone.  I don't even want to think about walking - oh, walking.  That's verrry scary!

Oh, this was something else super exciting that happened in the weeeeeeee weeeeeeee hours Sunday morning (when Theo decided to celebrate the end of Daylight Savings Time).  His dada got up to use the bathroom and Theo was watching him intently.  I said jokingly "say Dad! Don't leave!"  Without breaking his gaze towards his dad, I SWEAR Theo said "Dad."  His voice had that raspy just-woke-up-and-I-need-to-clear-my-throat gravel in it.  I was pretty certain my ears were playing tricks on me so I said "Say Dad" again and he said it, plain as day "Dad."  Of course, when dada came back from the bathroom, I told him about it and he didn't for a second believe me.  Naturally, the only thing Theo would say was "gah," which OKAY, could be easily confused for "dad" but I know my boy.  We had a moment.  I gave a clear instruction and he responded obediently.  I'm sure it's just the first of many of these mother-son moments.  Oh yeah, and he totally said "dad!"  I guess that was kind of a big deal, too!  :) 


Monday, November 8, 2010

curse you, time change.

Everyone looks forward to falling back in the fall, right?  Because it means we all get an extra hour of sleep, right? 

Well, allegedly, this is true.

In reality, it is a lie.

So if we were smart, we would have kept our little Prince Charming up an hour later so that we could sleep until the "normal" time or get an extra hour or what have you.  Said Prince Charming was extra tired Saturday night and decided he was down for the count at SEVEN THIRTY instead of the normal eight thirty to nine.  Yeah.  We knew we were in for a treat but had the highest of hopes. 

Know what time he got up?  Any guesses?  Five o'clock in the morning.  Meaning that the clock said 6 but it had not been switched back yet so the old 6 was the new 5.  Perhaps he just wanted a bottle after going to bed so early that he didn't get his last one Saturday?  Yes, please.  He took the bottle and then proceeded to stay up for hours and hours and hours and hours. 

Thank GOODNESS that we had spent the night with his grandparents and they swooped in and volunteered to baby-sit him so we could go back to sleep around 7am.  It's a good thing they did, too, because he never took more than a 30 minute nap all day.  He took a few short naps but nothing that amounted to any relief. 

Daylight Savings Time.  Pssh.  I used to be all for it.  Pssh.  What a joke.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

camera shy

We have had Theo's newborn, 3 month, and 6 month pictures done at Picture People at the mall.  We've spent no less than $400 on said pictures so far and it would be so, so super easy to spend a whole lot more.  We have tried to just get the minimum for ourselves and for the people we think would really appreciate the gesture the most.  Maybe I'm a tightwad, but that's how I was raised - to be thrifty.  It's not that the Picture People don't do a good job.  So far we have been pleased with the results.  But you get maybe 15 - 30 minutes in front of the camera, then you wait an hour for them to edit them or whatever they do.  They finally come out and try to get you to buy the most expensive package and show you about 25 or 30 images total. 

I hate the digital camera we have now.  Despite the good reviews, I HATE it.  I say that every time I use it and we have had nothing but problems with the camera itself as well as Samsung customer service.  I won't launch into the whole story but let's just say that we bought the camera while I was pregnant to take pictures of my growing belly and our newborn baby.  Well, when the baby was 3 weeks old the camera crapped out and Samsung told us we would have to wait up to 8 WEEKS for it to be repaired.  EIGHT WEEKS!?  Do you know how long that is in the life of a mother to a 3 week old baby?  It might as well be years. 

The point I'm getting to is that I have been debating for a couple of months about whether or not I should get a professional grade camera.  My argument against doing this is obviously the insane cost.  We have plenty of other essential things to spend money on and a purchase like this wouldn't be made flippantly.  Also, what if I'm too dumb to use it?  Maybe I would be in way over my head.  I don't really know anything about real photography or even how to effectively use PhotoShop.

My argument for getting it is that even before I had a baby, I had a love of photography and have been told (by a handful of people who love me very much) that I even have "an eye" for photography.  Maybe that's kind of like the people whose mothers tell them they can sing and end up on the Best of the Worst on American Idol.  I don't know.  Anyway, I think if I had a professional grade camera (that I knew how to use) I would be able to take pictures every bit as good as what we get at Picture People, if not better.  At least there would be some variation and not every picture would have a plain white or black backdrop.  And I wouldn't be paying $100+ every time we wanted to get some good pictures taken.  I sort of feel like the camera would pay for itself over the course of a couple years.  What better time to make an investment like this to preserve my baby's childhood?  After all the years go by, what's really left other than the memories? 

Like a little tennis ball, I go back and forth.  Back and forth.  Back and forth.  I just can't bring myself to bite the bullet and make the purchase. 


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

partly lame, partly awesome Halloween

We knew ahead of time that we were not going to be taking our 7 1/2 month old trick or treating.  Really, what's the point?  He can't eat the candy and we knew we'd have plenty left over of our own so it's not like we needed the temptation to eat poorly just sitting there, taunting us. 

We dressed Theodore in his little bat outfit and when 6pm rolled around, we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

I don't think we had our first trick-or-treater until about 6:45 or 7pm.  And trick-or-treating was only supposed to last from 6-8pm.  It's not that we were surprised...I guess every year we just hope that there are more kids than the year before.  We had maybe a dozen kids.  And I think the last one came by 7:30pm.  It wasn't even completely dark.  What in the world has happened to trick-or-treating?  It's just kind of sad and depressing.

It was SUCH a big deal when I was a kid.  It was always so exciting to wait until dark and then go up and down the streets in your very own neighborhood.  The streets were lined with heroes and gypsies and monsters and princesses.  It was fun seeing everyone else's costumes.  Comparing candy at the end of the night.  Eating it for the next month and a half 'til all that was left were Smarties and individually wrapped Double Bubble.  Now?  Now, we're lucky to get a dozen kids.  And in the past it has seemed like half of them were middle schoolers wearing their j.v. football jerseys with jeans and a hoodie.  At least this year, we didn't have any of those costumes.

We did take Theo to the neighbors' so they could see him in his not-so-scary bat costume.  They appreciated the gesture so that was fun.  (They had individually wrapped Double Bubble and Smarties.  No lie.)

I don't know why but I just want to fight back.  But how can you compete with the malls and the churches and all those other "safer" options?  We left our light on until 9pm hoping there were some stragglers, but there weren't.  The streets were pitch black and it looked like any other chilly autumn Sunday night. 

My mom told me last week that when she was a kid, they did trick-or-treating for two nights instead of one.  She said that my grandma trick-or-treated for a whole week!?!  Now it's down to 2 hours in the broad daylight.  Is there going to be anything left for Theo by the time he's old enough to enjoy it?  Or will he just have to envision it through his mom and dad's memories? 

I try to justify it by saying that our neighborhood is full of mostly-elderly folks and there are very few street lamps so it is dark when the sun goes down.  There are no sidewalks.  The houses are further apart and the driveways are longer in our subdivision than they are in the newer, cookie-cutter editions.  But there are also 100 foot tall trees with leaves cascading in beautiful fall colors.  There are jack-o-lanterns or at least pumpkins on most front porches.  To me, it seems like a traditional, idyllic place to go trick-or-treating in the midwest. 

Apparently I'm in the minority.

Regardless, we had fun playing with our baby bat and letting him "help" us pass out candy to the few cute kids that bothered to dress up and trek around the neighborhood. 

On a random, unrelated note, I was craving meatball subs like mama makes so we went to the store and got the ingredients to prepare them for lunch.  Can't have them without pickles and Provolone or Mozzarella cheese (I chose Provolone).  Amazing.  We had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.  Equally as amazing.  It hit the spot on a chilly fall day.  I love, love, love comfort food.  Theo also ate the equivalent of about one meatball for dinner, which he enjoyed thoroughly!  (Much more than the green bean pureed baby food we tried to make him eat for lunch).  He might be just about sick of baby food already.  He's always reaching for our plates.  Can't say I blame him (although some of those fruity purees are quite tasty).  It's kind of fun feeding him new things and seeing the expression on his face.  I hope he's not a picky eater.



Monday, November 1, 2010


Because of my crazy work schedule, I have the luxury of enjoying 3, almost 4 day weekends every weekend.  Or it feels like it anyway.  So last Friday I got the chance to take baby Theo on our first solo sort-of-longish trip (almost 3 hours) to visit with a friend.  It worked out pretty perfectly.  We left during his morning nap time and came home at his bedtime.  All my fears about traveling alone with him (by car, less than 3 hours) were alleviated.  Anyway, we spent some time with Theo's "aunt" (translation ~ my BFF of 17+ years) and she took some adorable pictures of my adorable boy that I just had to share. 

We started off at a yummy local pizza place.  I think Theo was just happy to get out of the car seat!

We went to a park to give him a chance to stretch his chubby legs and take in some fresh air.  There were dozens of ducks in the water and he was mesmerized by them.
We couldn't have asked for a prettier day.
Look at that slobbery smile.  It was the first time he was actually big enough to really go in the baby swing.  I think he knew it was a momentous occasion.  And he LOVED it.
If that's not a look of pure joy, then I've never seen one.  Silly face, but definitely joy.
I love this sweet, rare, close-mouthed smile.
I love that he got his daddy's eyelashes.  But what's a mother supposed to do with hair like this?
We went to Barnes and Noble to relax and waste some time, then stopped at Penn Station for dinner before heading back to our respective homes.  I've tried to think of some ways that my baby boy could be cuter, but I just haven't come up with anything yet. 

I'm so lucky that he's such a happy little man.  And every time a friend asks to photograph him, I remind myself that I really must get a better camera.  He doesn't mind the photo shoots (this was his 3rd one in October).  I hope to add some pictures of his Fall/Halloween shoot very soon!