Tuesday, August 16, 2011

one month shy of two years

That is how long it has been since my last post. Incredible. I could say that I am disappointed in myself, but I am not. Quite a bit has happened in the last two years... changed jobs twice (first to a new agency and then back to the one I have been at for six years) and had our second son!!

Little one #2 was born in early August of 2010. Going from one to two proved to be a challenge, especially when #1 was only 22 months old when #2 was born. However, we would not trade it for anything. #2 is now just over a year and is fully mobile. Seeing my two boys interact and play the way they do is just priceless.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

birth clubs and other online mommy groups

Before I was even pregnant, when we first started trying to conceive, I found myself visiting all of the mommy-focused websites out there… Babycenter, Kaboose, Babytalk, and American Baby to name a few. I absorbed as much info as I could about trying to conceive, the earliest signs of pregnancy, tips for a healthy pregnancy, preparing for baby and so on. I frequented the community areas, joining in on forums and conversations. When I actually finally got pregnant, my participation increased threefold. I joined a “birth club” on Babycenter, and connected with other women who were due around the same time as me. We chatted daily, sharing our fears, concerns, hopes and dreams. We supported and learned from each other. It gave us a forum to ask questions that we might not have anyone else to ask. Some posts dealt with heavier subjects such as genetic screenings and the fear of receiving negative results, or the news of a late term miscarriage. Others were more lighthearted and led to debates regarding breast or bottle, cloth diaper or disposable. Through some we learned things about pregnancy and labor that no one had every told us before… like the fact that pooping on the table during labor is actually a common occurrence (oh my god the horror!).

For many women, these types of online groups provided a great sense of community and support. They are a go-to resource for the 40 weeks of pregnancy and often times continue on into motherhood. My Babycenter “birth club” still connects daily. Posts now tend to focus on developmental milestones and the issues that we face as new moms.

While I am so thankful to have had and have the group for support, I do think that there is a potential negative effect of all of the connecting we are doing nowadays in this new world of digital moms. There are many many things I have learned through my different connections online. It is true that for the most part knowledge is power, but there is also some validity to the notion that ignorance is bliss. While the web allowed me to go through pregnancy and enter motherhood armed with knowledge that I would not have otherwise had, it has also at times caused me to worry unnecessarily and obsess over things that, without it, I would never even thought of. I read post after post about women going into early labor and grew convinced that the same thing would happen to me. Other women would comment about how much they were feeling their baby move inside them, while I was still feeling nothing. Was my baby ok? What did this mean? People shared stories about mothers they knew who had a baby die of SIDS. I quickly removed all blankets and bumpers from our son’s crib and lectured my mother and mother-in-law about the importance of sleep safety. When BPA became a hot topic, I quickly went out and bought all new bottles. The amount of times that a story/posting that I read online drove me to either make or change a decision regarding my little one are countless.

a much needed time out

As a result of major changes at work, a sick baby and a sick me, I have been MIA for the last week and a half or so. Good news is I am back... and the timing is perfect. Being that it is Thursday, it is Time Out for Theta Mom Thursday. In case you are not familiar with it, the idea was throught of by Heather over at http://www.thetamom.com. The idea is to find one hour of time each week to do whatever you want…without the kids. Then on Thursdays, post how you spent your “time out” and link back to Theta Mom. Be sure to also stop by her site to link up and meet other Theta Moms to see how they spent their time out!

Lucky for me, my "time out" this week was actually a full night as opposed to just an hour! After a really stressful week, me and the hubby got a much needed "night off". My in-laws came down to watch the little guy and we headed off for a night in NYC. First stop was Pipa in Union Square, one of my absolute favorite tapas restaurants. The food was amazing and the wine was flowing. It was nice to have some truly adult conversation. From there we bounced around from place to place, continuing to enjoy the vino as we went. The night ended with us collapsing in bed in our hotel room at about 11pm... early by most standards, but very late by our's since the baby came along. We woke up the next morning missing the little guy and eager to get home to him. The time away was the perfect break that we needed.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

he's taking over

Before I got pregnant and we made the stereotypical move to the suburbs, we had a great house in the city. Philadelphia to be exact. We loved city life and took full advantage of all that it offers… great restaurants, bars, culture, shopping, on so on. We rarely used our cars and loved being able to walk or catch cabs nearly everywhere we needed to go. Our house was very typical for “young professionals”… hip furniture and all. The hubby and I both love decorating, and we took great pride in making everything “just so”. We both hate clutter and, for the most part, kept the house quite tidy.

The move to the suburbs afforded us about 2x’s the house, meaning 2x’s the decorating. Having moved in about 6 months before our little guy came along, we went to town with furnishing and decorating the house. We of course set up his nursery, but the rest of the house we foolishly furnished to our tastes and needs. We have both a formal living room and a family room. To my husband’s dismay, I declared no TV in the living room. However, I gave him free reign of the family room. His flat screen was quickly set up, with all of the necessary surround-sound components. He brought our great “hip” sectional from the Philly house and added a very cool arm chair. He was thrilled with the results. Knowing that baby would be coming soon, and that we would likely be spending a good deal of time in the family room during the first few weeks/months, we left a little space at one end of the room for a pack n’ play and swing.

After he was born, the baby “things” began to multiply… pack n’ play and swing turned into pack n’ play, swing, bouncer, diaper genie, hamper, exersaucer, bumbo, activity mat, toys and so on. As the months have passed, the “things” continue to multiply. Some items (that he has outgrown) have been rotated out, but they have just been replaced by more and BIGGER. The little space we had set aside at the end of the room has turned into an all out playroom, and this playroom is rapidly taking over my husband’s beloved TV room. So I have been forced to give in and reconsider my “no TV in the living room” rule. What was once our TV room now clearly belongs to our little guy and the flat screen is moving out into my formal living room.

As my husband measured wall space and played around with different furniture arrangements in the living room on Sunday, I looked around the house… books, games, push carts and toys were everywhere. Our decor could certainly no longer be described as “hip young professionals.” No, the house now loudly screams “family”… and I would not want it any other way.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


While out shopping last week, we made a quick stop in Toys R Us. We were not looking for anything in particular. The hubby came across a blue push car and thought it would be fun to let our little guy cruise around in it while in the store. As we buckled him into the seat, his face just lit up… he loved it. He held onto the steering wheel and waved to other customers as we pushed him around the store. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), because there were no batteries in it yet, the horn did not work. Regardless, he banged away on it like it did! After circling the store repeatedly, we headed back to the aisle where my husband originally found the car. As I began to unbuckle our little guy, the tears started… as I lifted him out of the car, it turned to all out wailing. This being the first time that my hubby and I ever experienced this type of reaction to something our son wanted in a store, it caught us off-guard and we both quickly said, “ok, ok… we’ll get the car!”, as we buckled him right back in.

While not a planned purchased, the car has been one of our best buys yet. Little one just can’t get enough of it. It has replaced his stroller as his primary means of transport for walks around town. He loves sitting back in it, one hand on the steering wheel. In the pic here he is standing up, turned around backwards in it. Inadvertently, his little behind kept hitting the horn on the steering wheel... beep, beep-beeeep... he could not figure out where it was coming from and kept cracking up. Hilarious.

For such a little guy, he is pretty damn cool.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

heading out

Only 10-months old and he is already making a run for it! ;-)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

surviving colic

The first couple of weeks after we brought our little guy home from the hospital were a breeze. He nursed and slept… slept and nursed. The whole newborn thing was a piece of cake… or so I thought. I clearly remember telling someone on the phone, “I can’t believe how easy this all is!” Then one day it all changed… drastically.

It was right around our little guy’s third week. My husband had to be in NYC for business so he was off early for the day. I got up with the baby, ready for another day of nursing, sleeping, changing, repeat. The baby had an entirely different idea for the day. The crying started mid-morning… and progressed to inconsolable screaming shortly thereafter. I tried all that I could think of to soothe him… breast, rocking, pacifier, swaying, stroller ride, and so on. Nothing worked. After three plus hours of crying, and countless calls to my husband demanding that he come home now, I called the pediatrician. I explained to the nurse the morning we were having, and she told me, “It sounds like it could be the beginning of colic.” That dreaded word. No, it absolutely was not colic. It had to be something else. Being convinced that there had to be something wrong, I made an appointment to bring him in.

There was nothing “wrong”… it was colic… and it wasn’t going away anytime soon.
To say dealing with colic is a challenge is an understatement. It is hard… very hard. The worst we experienced was eight hours of straight crying. I remember moments of complete physical and emotional exhaustion where I would put the little guy in his bouncer… still crying of course… and just curl up on the floor next to him and cry myself. As a mother, it is incredibly difficult to not be able to soothe your child. All you want to do is make it all better.

Determined to at least make my son as comfortable as possible and to lessen the colic (and resulting crying) to whatever degree I could, I sought out every tip and trick I could find. My first move was to make drastic changes to my diet (since I was breastfeeding). I cut out all dairy, acidic and spicy foods. I started seeing almost immediate results. I turned to music and rhythmic motion. One of the best tricks we learned (actually a favorite of my husband’s) was to bounce on an inflated exercise ball, while holding baby. We bounced for hours! We never tried the car seat on top of the dryer trick (which some moms swear by!), but we did on occasion find ourselves on extended destination-less drives through our neighborhood. The sound and vibration of the engine running would usually calm the little guy down… key word being usually. Night after night and week after week, my husband and I took turns swaying and shushing, rocking and walking.

All the books tell you the same things… there is no real known cause for colic… there is no real no known cure for colic… and that more often than not it is gone by three months. I was cautious in believing the last point, but maintained hope that it was true. Thankfully, for us, it was. Almost as quickly as it started, it subsided. Seemingly overnight, our little guy was a whole new baby.
Even though he is just ten months now, those times now seem like a distant memory. I have to really think back to remember how difficult it was. He is such a happy and easy-going baby, full of smiles and giggles. He brings more joy to our lives than we could have ever dreamed possible.

Colic is hard… very hard. While going through it, one might wonder how they are ever going to survive it… but they will… and it will all be worth it.