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 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.

Friday, August 7, 2009

separation anxiety

I am a working mom, so (although it is not my favorite thing in the world) my little guy goes to daycare. He is with either my parents or my in-laws two days a week, but then goes to an actual daycare for three. I love love love his daycare. He was going to a different place when I first returned to work, but we since changed…. And could not be happier. It is a small private program, that some might describe as a little crunchy. They focus on a creative curriculum (which still baffles me considering he is only 10 months old) and spend a good deal of the day outside in the play area or veggie garden. He comes home dirty just as a little boy should… not dirty as in unclean, but dirty as in he has been play play playing all day long.

Most mornings when I drop him off the routine stays fairly consistent… one of the morning caregivers scoop him out of my arms upon arrival (they just can’t get enough of his cheeks!) and take him to play as I sign him in and chat briefly with the other girls on staff. I then give him a big kiss goodbye, he gives me the “you can totally leave because I am having a good time with my friends" look, and I head on my way. Well, not this morning. After I gave him a kiss on his head, his eyes began to well up and before I knew it he was in full on tears. My first instinct was to scoop him into my arms and walk right out the door with him. Somehow I was able to hold back, realizing that this was his first demonstration of separation anxiety. One of the girls picked him and took him to another area to play, trying to distract him as I walked out the door. It took all my strength to leave him for the day. I cried a bit on my way to work, but found comfort in the fact that he was upset because I was leaving… mehis mom. It feels good to know that he feels the connection just as strongly as I do.

Man, I love my little guy… I can’t wait to be pick him up in an hour and give him the biggest hug in the world!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

jersey all the way

I work in Philadelphia, but I live in South Jersey. Although my commute is less than 20 minutes and Philly is only separated from Jersey by a river and a few bridges, the popular opinion of many Philadelphians is that Jersey is a whole other world… especially when it comes to its women… often not so affectionately referred to as Jersey Girls.

Earlier this week I was a few minutes late for a meeting and walked into a conversation between three slightly younger female co-workers. One, a recent transplant from Florida, was describing a woman she had seen somewhere the previous weekend. Her description included too much makeup, too little clothes, excessive amounts of jewelry and ridiculous hair. She finished by labeling the woman as “sparkly”. One of the other females in the room responded, “oh my god… so Jersey.” The conversation then continued on to all of the wonderful stereotypes about women from New Jersey, only heighted in recent months by The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Miss Florida proceeded to ask, “Why are all of the women in the state so excessive and cheesy?” Ok, wait a minute… this is where I jumped in.

I am Jersey all the way. Born and raised off exit 8 of the NJTP (those from here know that a turnpike or parkway exit can clearly describe where you live). Aside from short stints in upstate NY for college, England and Spain after college, California, and Philly for a bit, New Jersey has been home. I now live a bit further south from where I grew up, but still in the great Garden State. I don’t have big hair (haven’t since Jr High), wear excessive makeup (I barely have time for any makeup since my little guy came along), I dress fairly conservative and I have never had any designs painted on my nails. The same can be said for all of my girlfriends as well. In fact, the same can be said for pretty much all (ok, most) of the women I know. You will from time to time come across the stereotypical Jersey Girl in this great state of ours, but honestly people, that is not the norm.

Beyond just the Jersey Girl stereotype, NJ is often the brunt of many jokes. The “armpit of America” nickname is one we can never seem to shake. During the above referenced work conversation, one female, a current resident of Philly whose parents live in Virginia, mentioned that her parents often ask her, “Why on earth would you ever go to the Jersey shore? Isn’t it dirty?” and “Is there any way to avoid the state altogether when driving from Virginia to Boston?” Wow people. Trust me… the state is not that bad. Granted we do not have the splendor of California or the natural beauty of Colorado for example, but this state does have quite a bit to offer. We are smack in between two great cities, New York and Philadelphia. We have many wonderful small all-American towns and our shoreline is filled with great beach towns that come alive in the summer and offer quiet retreats in the off-season months. All in all, New Jersey is a pretty great place. I am proud to call it home and I wear the Jersey Girl label with pride.

the greatest blessing

Last night was a long night with our little guy. He has a third tooth coming in up top and the pain has made him quite miserable. He awoke at 3am and wanted to be held and cuddled. Finally after about two hours of holding him, he fell back asleep. As I sat with him for those two hours in the rocker in his nursery, with the dim light from his nightlight barely illuminating the room, I found myself welling up. The tears were not those of frustration or exhaustion, but rather those of pure joy. With him snuggled closely into me, I reflected on what a true blessing he is in my life and the magnitude of the love that I feel for him. Before becoming a mom myself, I never fully understood the depths to which a mother’s love for her child goes. It is a feeling unlike any other. Our children are our greatest blessing and gift from God. As you hold your little ones close, cherish all that they are and all that they have brought into your life. Make the hug last a little longer and enjoy the quiet closeness.

Friday, July 24, 2009

best is what's best for you

In the months leading up to our little guy’s birth, the question “are you going to breast feed?” came up quite frequently. Surprisingly, it wasn’t just docs or my mom who did the asking… but rather what seemed like anyone and everyone. I had read all the baby books, so I knew “breast is best”, that you “should” nurse until a year, that you should not supplement with formula, that bottles and pacifiers could cause “nipple confusion”, etc, etc. Choosing to breast feed was not really a decision for me… I just kind of always knew I would do it. As with most mothers, the thought of it before baby was completely bizarre, but regardless I planned on giving it a go. Andrew latched right on after birth and my milk came in just fine. I was one of the lucky ones, for whom breast feeding came really easy. The first few weeks went great. I enjoyed the extra quiet time we got to spend together and secretly loved knowing that only I could nourish him.

As the weeks passed, I started to feel trapped… I needed to be able to get out and get a little time for myself. I needed to be able to get out for dinner with my husband. So, I did what all good breast feeding mamas are supposed to do… I got a pump. From day one, I hated pumping… actually, I despised pumping. It is hard not to feel like a cow when you have a machine extracting milk from you… ugh. I could not stand it. While breast feeding had gone really well for me, pumping did not. I could barely get any milk and the whole process of freezing it in baggies was just too much for me. Also, because I obviously had to be pumping in between feedings, I could not help but feel like I was either nursing or pumping around the clock. I just could not do it. So I made the difficult decision to… gasp… supplement with formula. It was the best decision I ever made. It allowed my husband to be involved in feedings, and gave me the opportunity for a little “me time” when I needed it.

All said and done, I breast fed exclusively for about 2-months, then slowly began supplementing with formula, and completely switched from breast to bottle by 4-months. In the eyes of the La Leche League or the other hard core breast feeding coalitions out there, I guess maybe I was a failure. I could care less. I feel like a success. I gave it a shot, and it was a great for a while. I then made a change that was great for baby and me.

In a recent issue of BabyTalk, author Paul Spencer shares her take on breast feeding in, The New Breast Feeding Rules. Her piece is light-hearted and realistic. I think it is a great read for any new mommies out there.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My First Award... Yay!

After being up all night with a teething 9-month old and feeling beyond exhausted, I dragged myself into work this morning. Before getting into the actual "work stuff", I logged on here and found out some exciting news... I have received a ‘lovely’ blog award! While my blog is still very new and I am working to build it out, through the process I have found some truly inspiring blogs from other moms out there. The connections are wonderful! The 'lovely' award was given to me by Heather, from Theta Mom. Stop by her blog, she always has something great to say!

The rules of the “One Lovely Blog Award” are:
Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.
So here are my 15 newly discovered 'lovely' blogs…
Heather, thanks again for giving me this award! Thanks also to all the other mommy bloggers out there. I look forward to connecting with and learning from all you fabulous women!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Like most first-time parents out there, we have documented nearly every stage of our little guy’s 9-months. By this point I am sure we have bored all of our family and friends with the endless stream of e-mails announcing a new album on our photo sharing site. Today I came across Animoto (, a fantastic site that allows you to create free (yes, FREE!) 30-second video montages, complete with music, from your favorite pics. The process is as simple as uploading your photos and choosing your music (from either your own personal collections or their library of 100’s of songs). Animoto then works their magic in putting the video together and sends the link to your personal email. The video can be shared via email or posted on Facebook. At least now our family members and friends will be bombarded with actual videos, as opposed to just our static photos.

Friday, July 17, 2009

the must haves and the completely unnecessary: some tips for expectant mothers

As a first-time expectant mother the idea of registering is exciting... yay stuff! Cute little baby stuff! Then you actually get to Babies R' Us and you quickly go from excited and enthusiastic, to overwhelmed and confused. Your more experienced friend, who has agreed to show you the ropes and tell you what you “really really” need, drags you from aisle to aisle talking about bouncers, diaper pails, breast pumps and wipe warmers. What you thought would be a fun hour spent zapping away with the scan gun, turns into a three hour ordeal and leaves you feeling even more unprepared for your coming bundle of joy. If I don’t even know what I need for this baby, how am I going to know what to do for it? You survive the registering adventure only to make daily changes to the registry online after reading countless reviews and customer ratings.

I will not claim to be the all-knowing expert on everything required to be “ready” for baby. However, in the 9-months since my little man arrived, I have found that there are some baby products that you absolutely cannot live without when you first bring baby home and others that are completely unnecessary:

The Must Haves…
· Plenty of onesies and sleepers – both newborn and one size up, because some babies come out a little bigger than others
· Diapers and wipes to get you started when you come home from the hospital – so your husband avoids a frantic rush to an all-night pharmacy
· Receiving blankets and burp cloths – lots of them
· A comprehensive newborn / infant resource book – you will need something to turn to with middle of the night questions
· A soothing sound machine for baby to sleep to – aaahhh… the comforting sounds of the womb
· An odor minimizing diaper pail – either the Genie or the Champ works, just have something
· A dual-motion swing – the side-to-side and back-and-forth option has helped soothe many a fussy baby (and saved the sanity of their parents)
· A bouncer, ideally with vibration and music – you cannot possibly hold baby all the time in those first months
· A stroller that really is easy to open and close – be sure to practice before bringing baby home and trying to open it with one hand, while holding baby in the other
· An infant car seat with easily adjustable straps – again, practice before baby
· Formula if you plan on bottle feeding
· Bottles and pacifiers (if you plan to use them)
· A first-aid / grooming kit complete with nasal aspirator, thermometer and baby nail-clippers
· Pack n’ Play with changing table that ideally can be set up in whatever room you will be spending the most time in
· An exersaucer or jumper – once baby has good head control they will love being able to be upright to play (plus, it can give mom a few minutes to get something done)

The Unnecessary…
· A wipe warmer – many a baby’s behinds have been wiped with un-warmed wipes, and they are just fine
· Shoes – if you do not yet walk, you do not need shoes
· Fancy outfits – honestly, the simpler the better
· An overabundance of toys – for the first few months, you will be your baby’s favorite entertainment

And for the breast feeding mamas…
· Lansinoh nipple cream – trust me… if you are breastfeeding, you will need it
· Nursing bras at least one size larger than either you or the lady at the bra shop thinks you should get
· A couple of bottles and a small can of formula, just in case

Thursday, July 16, 2009

thirtysomething is fabulous

To this day I can still remember, as an awkward middle-schooler, thinking that my friend’s older, high school-aged sister was just so cool… and so mature. From my perspective at that age, the kids in high school were all-knowing and wise. They had it all figured out. I so wanted to be them. I thought high school was the prime of life, college aged kids were old, anyone in their 20s was ancient, and once you hit 30… forget it, it was all over. Obviously this thinking evolved as I made my way up in years and entered each different “life stage”, as opposed to just looking at them through the eyes of a 13-year old. High school was great, college was better, my 20s were amazing, and then as my 29th year neared the end, I looked ahead to the dreaded big 3-0. What would turning 30 really mean? Would I look back longingly to younger, more youthful times? Nope. Not at all. In fact, I find myself loving being 30-something. I am accomplished. I am fulfilled. I know who I am and who I aim to be. I have built up a killer group of friends and snagged myself my perfect husband. Together, with our 9-month old son, we are building a wonderful life. My 20s may have been amazing, but my 30s are turning out to be truly fabulous.

For most young women today, their 20s are a time of experience and self-discovery. They are excited to leave college behind and make their way in the “real world” that everyone speaks of, but they are not quite ready to be an “adult”. They are struggling to figure out what their BS in Communications or BA in English translates to in the career world, while also developing an enviable social life. Frat parties and dive bars have been replaced by cocktail hours and wine bars. Their girlfriends become their second family and support each other as they find careers, get their first great non-college apartment and date a series of Mr. Wrongs. As they near their higher-20s, some have found their Mr. Forever, established themselves in solid career paths and… gasp… actually start feeling like a true adult.

For me, my 30s have ended up being much more stereotypical then I ever would have imagined… got married, had a baby, made the dreaded move from the city to the suburbs. I have had younger friends recently ask, “Don’t you feel like you are missing out? Don’t you miss your old life? Isn’t there more that you want to be doing?”. In all honesty, no… I am quite happy with exactly where my life is now.

Living life to the fullest and experiencing all that you can during your 20s, allows you to enter your 30s feeling very satisfied. I never look back and think, “wish I did that”… because I did it all. I have gone, been, done, seen and experienced more than I can even begin to recount. When I see a group of 20-somethings out for a night on the town or rushing through an airport to make their flight to some far-off destination, I just smile. Been there, done that, loved it. My killer friends and I still enjoy plenty of times out together, just now instead of looking for the cheapest bottle of red on the menu, we are ordering our favorite Bordeaux.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

shake it baby, shake it!

Andrew has no shortage of toys. He is the first grandchild on both sides, so you could easily say that he might be a bit spoiled. He has quite a collection of stuffed animals, books, soft blocks, stacking rings, driving things, etc. You name it, he has some form of it. They all manage to hold his attention to some degree, but nothing entertains him nearly as much as his beloved maracas... yes, maracas. Put on some of his favorite music and he shakes his maracas like the best of them. If you try to use of them to play along to the music as well, he will grab it right of your hand. Shake shake shake... shake shake shake. For only 9-months he's got some rhythm!

When he was just 6-months, we enrolled in a 10-week class through the Music Together program ( I thought he might be a little young for it at the time, but he loved it. As part of the class, there was always a "free jam" period during which the babies all got to bang, shake, rattle and roll a collection of different musical instruments. It was here that his love of the maraca first came to be. To continue his musical interest at home, we bought an instrument set from Melissa & Doug ( The set is fantastic... some pieces he is not quite ready for yet, but we will get there.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

where did you come from?

As Andrew nears 9-months, I sometimes looks at him and wonder... "Kid, where did you come from?". Everyone always said the time would fly and that the months and years would pass before I knew it... but I never fully realized how true it is. Seemingly overnight, Andrew went from my little little one, to a crawling, laughing, babbling almost toddler. Each "stage" has been amazing, but this one now is increbily fun... and exhausting. Andrew is so full of life and personaility that barely a minute passes without him making me laugh.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

long weekend

Long gone are the days of throwing a couple of things in a bag, jumping in the car, and heading off for the weekend. Now a simple 4thof July weekend trip to my in-laws requires packing lists and schedule/timing discussions... do we leave right when I get home from work, even though Andrew will likely doze off during the 1 hour ride and then his whole sleep pattern will be thrown off? Or, do we wait until close to Andrew's usual bedtime in hopes of being able to transfer our sleeping 8-month old from car to crib once we reach our destination?
Packing is a whole other story. I love my dear husband to death, but sometimes he can be completely clueless. He is home for the day, so volunteered to get most everything packed up so that getting out of the house will be easier tonight. Great, right? Well no, not considering that I had to write up a detailed packing list for him so he would have an idea of where to start... diapers, formula, food, clothes, bath toys, sunscreen, swim diapers, booster seat, stroller, and on, and on. As an added source of confusion for my husband, some of the listed items required him running out to our local CVS to pick them up. After writing up the list, pulling most of Andrew's clothes together and putting out two bags out for hubby to use to pack things in, I finally gotmyself ready for work. As I was running out the door, hubby asks, "What kind of formula do I get?"... Really? Where have you been the last 8-months? Ugh. I am exhausted already and the long weekend hasn't even started!

Monday, June 29, 2009

kid-free getaway

For Memorial Day weekend, Chris and I headed away for a much needed 3-night, kids-free Caribbean getaway. Being the first time that we were leaving Andrew for more than one night, I was a nervous mess leading up to the trip. However, I knew without a doubt that all would be good once I was parked on a tropical beach, refreshment in hand. I am an anti-all-inclusive or big resort kind of girl, instead favoring more out of the way, lazy little beach towns. Our destination for this particular trip was Cabarete, a wonderful beach town on north coast of the Dominican Republic.
We had never been before, but I had read many great things about the town. After hours of my usual Trip Advisor research, I booked us a 2 bedroom apartment at the Hotel Alegria. Obviously 2 bedrooms was much larger than Chris and I needed, but at $80/night, it could not be beat. Cabarete is a quick 3.5 hr non-stop flight from Newark... perfect for a long weekend getaway. Once in the DR, it was then just a 20 minute cab ride into Cabarete. As soon as we arrived in town, I knew Chris and I would love it. It was not quite as "sleepy" as some of our favorite destinations in Costa Rica, but it had a great local vibe and no signs of your typical Americanized tourist desinations - no McDonalds or Starbucks.
We checked into the hotel... perfect by the way... and quickly made our way to the beach. Warm Caribbean water here we come. As soon as our toes hit the sand, all the stresses of the everyday melted away. Ahhh... its good to be on vacation.
The three days we spent there were just enough. Half way through the second day, we both found ourselves missing our little man. Many of our conversations turned to how wonderful it would be to come back withAndrew. Next trip will be the whole fam.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

down the shore

Yesterday we took Andrew to the beach for the first time. He loved it. He was completely mesmerized by the sand as he dug his hands into it. Chris and I were your typical first time parents, snap snap snapping away on the camera. All was good until Andrew took a huge clump of sand right to his mouth. Yum.

Friday, June 26, 2009

early bird

5:15am. That's his wake-up time. Nothing we can do about it. People ask, "have you tried keeping him up later?" or, "maybe you should feed him more at night to fill him up?"... yeah, none of it works. 5:15am regardless. We have gotten very used to getting up before the sun. In a way, it is actually nice. The first light of the morning, Andrew's innocent gaze out the window, it is a wonderful calm before the start of another day.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

wagon wheels yes, pasta no

We have just started introducing Andrw to solid foods. So far so good... or somewhat good. He loves loves loves puffs, wagon wheels, yogurt melts and cut up bananas, but he is not so into the cut up veggies or pasta. Conveniently, the timing aligns perfectly with him figuring out how to scream for what he wants or throw a fit when offered something not to his taste. Ugh. We'll get through this. Tonight we are trying sweet potatoes. Hopefully things will go a little better.

From me to we to three..

From me to we to three… that defines my last few years. From single twenty-something to happy newlywed to mom. While each period was fantastic in its own right, nothing beats being mom to Andrew, my amazingly awesome 8-month old son. I have learned more in the last eight months than I ever dreamed possible… like how to calm a colicky baby, how precious an infant’s first smile is, how to exist on little to no sleep, or the fact that no toy is as interesting in a simple game of peek-a-boo, the phone you are trying to have a conversation on or the remote control.