Friday, December 31, 2010


A lot happened over Christmas, but with the new year a day away I wanted to make some resolutions. Well, sorta.

I'm not really a resolutionista (I love how anyone can be described as anything by adding "ista" to the end of it: fashionista, bargainista, frugalista, eat too much chocolate-ista). In the past I've actually failed to realize that December 31st had rolled around and woke up January 1 without having made any plans on how I was going to improve my life for the new year. And on years that I did make a list of things I resolved to be better at doing, by the third week in January I had forgotten them. I'd find the list in my journal mid-year and think, "Oh ya, I was going to learn how to knit this year. And not eat fried foods. And run everyday. Hmm, I think I'll go eat some bacon and sit on the couch and not knit."

And this year isn't going to be any different. Because let's face it, you can't really make resolutions and expect them to come to fruition if you never planned on changing the way you lived your life in the first place. Yes, it's nice to say, "This year I'm going to lose weight". But if you never really had a plan as to how you were going to lose said weight, come February you probably will have gained ten pounds. Believe me. It's happened to the best of us.

So why disappoint yourself with a list of unattainable goals? Just do like Amber did. Her resolution list made me laugh. And you know she's keeping every one of her resolutions this year.

In reality I have lots of resolutions I could make for 2011:

eat healthier
exercise more
become a couponer
be more organized
have family home evening more consistently
read more
serve other people
become a scripture-ista...I mean scripturian
go to the temple more often
learn to knit...haha

But if I actually tried to do all of those things starting January 1, I'd get too overwhelmed and quit. So for now, I'll resolve to pick one and work on it. And I won't be surprised if by July I have forgotten what that one thing was.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

So this is Christmas...

I've been away from the keyboard for a while because I'm having so much fun with my family. But I thought I'd post a picture from this morning.

So this is what our Christmases will be like from now on: lining up all the gifts for Blake and making him take a picture with them. And that makes me happy!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Reasons I Hate Flying

1. Fear of the plane crashing. It's happened before and I'm sure the people on airplanes that have crashed thought it could never happen to them. But it did.

2. No matter what I do, by the time I get to my destination I look and feel like crap. I don't usually get dressed up to fly on an airplane. I try to be as comfortable as possible. But no matter how much time I spend on my hair, make up, and outfit I usually stop in the an airport restroom only to look in the mirror and wonder what happened.

3. Turbulence.

4. The headache and nausea I experience 75% of the times I fly.

5. Smallest bathrooms known to man.

6. No leg room.

7. Disgusting airplane air.

8. Possibility of my baby a)crying the whole time or b)barfing all over the place 5 minutes before the plane lands.  Blake did pretty well on this trip considering it was an all day adventure. Because Jetblue discontinued their direct flight from JFK to Richmond we have to go from JFK to Boston and then to Richmond. And that basically took us 11 hours to do yesterday. So I was pretty understanding when Blake was antsy the last half of our second flight. But when he projectile vomited right before we landed I decided that an all day flying adventure would not be in our future after this trip unless absolutely necessary. It was disgusting. And sad. Let's just hope that doesn't happen on our flight back when I'll be going solo. I'll keep the barf bag ready just in case.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

honesty of the brutal kind

Yesterday Blake didn't nap very well. While I don't have a rigid schedule of when he eats and sleeps, he generally follows a pretty set pattern:

wake up at 6:30 and eat
go back to sleep until 9:30
eat and play until noonish
short nap
eat lunch and play until 5ish
eat dinner and play until bedtime

The times in his schedule aren't really set. I just try to watch him and when he gets fussy and shows signs of being tired then I put him down for a nap. I know not everyday will follow that schedule and I don't expect it to (especially on Sundays). But yesterday my little one didn't go back to sleep in the morning like he usually does and hardly napped at all the rest of the day. He was awakened by a neighbor who had locked himself out and rang our doorbell. Then later in the day he just decided he only needed a 20 minute power nap.

He finally took an almost 2 hour nap last night, which ended at 8. So you can imagine that when his bedtime rolled around he was pretty wired and I was ready to sleep for 3 years. And of course this morning he decided not to go back to sleep again, so I figured today was going to be about as exhausting as yesterday was. In all honesty, that's when I thought I'd be crazy to have another child. I don't know how my mom did it and I don't know how anyone else has more than one child. I felt bad thinking that, but it's truly how I felt. And I always wanted to have a big family!

But then as I was typing this blog I noticed that Blake was unusually quiet. When I looked down at him, this is what I saw:

And then I honestly thought that I'd miss that cute little baby when he was a big boy and would probably want another baby after all.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mary and the baby Jesus

Whenever I think of the birth of Christ, certain pictures pop into my mind.

 And while all of those pictures are lovely and better than any picture I could personally create, they don't match what I think it was actually like to see Christ as an infant.

But then I saw this picture, and I instantly fell in love with it. It's my new favorite painting and I hope one day to own it and hang it in my home.

I love the way that the baby Jesus is looking up. Haven't you seen little babies do that, struggle to lift their head up and look around? It just seems so true to life. Liz Lemon Swindle is the artist and her words about this painting are better than my own. Here's what she says: "I remember a moment after the birth of my first child when everyone had left and I was alone with my son for the first time. I looked at him lying on the bed and realized I was responsible for this new life. How could I teach him everything he needed? I was terrified.

I held him close and the two of us cried. Those were tears of fear and tears of joy, but most of all they were tears of love. Looking into his little face that day I made promises to my Father that I have tried very hard to keep.

Was it different for Mary on that night in Bethlehem? Like any first-time mother she must have felt all the fear, all the joy, and all of the love that comes with a child. This painting reminds me that we are never alone when we look heavenward."


Friday, December 10, 2010

funny things kids say

Remember that post about how I couldn't remember any of the good times when I was teaching? Well thanks to Facebook I remembered some of those good memories and the hilarious things kids say. Enjoy!

During morning meeting when we share what we did over the weekend:

Student A: My hamster died this weekend. My mom said he had a blood clock.

 Me: Oh, haha. Ok, well it's blood clot, with a t. And I'm sorry your hamster died.

Student B: My aunt has a science infection.

Me: I hate those! And it's sinus, not science. Tell her we hope she feels better!

Student C: My aunt died of cancer!

Me: Ummm, I'm sorry.

Student C: She died a few years ago so it's ok.

During social studies:

Me: Does anyone know what the word "Deseret" means?

Student: Bookstore?

Me: Hahahahah no, but good guess!

During a Christmas discussion with the class sitting on the floor in front of me:

Me: Ok, take one big scoot backwards. You are making me claustrophobic.

Student A: What does claustrophobic mean?

Student B: It means you're afraid of Santa Claus.

During a book group meeting with second graders:

Student: We have a lots of Mexicans in our class and they like to talk and get in trouble.

Me: Oh.

Student: But I'm not Mexican. I'm Mormon.

Me: Oh did you know that you can be Mexican and Mormon?

Student: Really? Oh ya. We do have a temple in Mexico.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Baby it's cold outsiiiiiiiiiiiide!

I always forget how much I hate winter. It's probably because when I think of winter I think of Christmas and I love Christmas! But the Christmas season is only a small part of winter (and if you live in Utah where your winter seems to last for 7 or 8 months then it's a reeeeally small part).

Naturally as the weather turns colder people tend to bundle up, including babies. Blake has a cute blue gummi bear suit that I usually put him in when we are outside. But he is quickly outgrowing it and by the end of winter his little toes will be peeking out. So thanks to a recommendation from a mom who has weathered a few Brooklyn winters with a baby, I got one of these.

When I first saw how much they cost I decided it wasn't really worth it and we'd just have to wrap our baby in a blanket and deal with it falling out of the stroller every few minutes. Then I thought I could make one. Then I laughed at myself for thinking I could actually make something like that. Then I got an email from a lady selling her slightly used BundleMe so I went the second-hand route!
Blake and I went for a stroll today and it kept him nice and warm. It's amazing/weird how happy baby accessories make me. Seriously. Now if only I could find a bigger stroller and adult sized BundleMe for myself. Oh and someone to push me around the city.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I don't like flying, mostly because boarding a big metal bird o' death isn't at the top of my to-do list. But, I'd like to spend Christmas with my family and since driving there really isn't an option, I have to fly. I guess if I had a true fear of flying I'd just drive...or never go anywhere that was far enough to fly to. Look, I just don't like flying, ok!

Sorry, flying makes me nervous and now that the airports I'll be flying through have the new "this is what you look like with no clothes on" scanners*, I'm even more nervous. I've flown with Blake a lot and have a routine when it comes to making it through security. But that routine allowed me to carry Blake through the metal detector. With these new "hey she's got cottage cheese thighs" scanners*, I don't think I'll be able to hold Blake. Whenever I see people going through them they have their hands above their heads. Ummm, I have a baby and he currently doesn't possess the ability to hover in mid air so does that mean I'll have to go through the pat-down procedures? Honestly, I don't think I really care if someone looks at a black and white image of my love handles and other lady bits on a computer screen in a secure room. But, I do care if someone has to do a groin check on me, even if it's a lady.

On a recent trip I had to have a full body pat-down because something in my diaper bag... looked suspicious? The question mark is because no one told me why they were patting me down and rifling through my stuff. So a lady gave me the standard pat-down. But that was a few months ago and I think the new "standard" pat-down involves a lot more patting. So I'm thinking the hubs is going to have to take one of the team this time and get the pat-down (if necessary) because I'm flying back by myself with Blake so I know I'll probably be getting one that time around. I shouldn't have to be violated twice at Christmastime, should I?

So if you've flown with an infant and had to go through the new "Dang! Baby got back!" scanners*, let me know how it worked. Did you have to get a pat-down?

*I'm referring to the new full body scanners at airports that a lot of people consider an invasion of privacy. Check out the images they produce here.**

**I think they chose 2 really physically fit people for those images because I know my images aren't gonna look like that!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Can I just say

that people really need to be more cautious when waiting for trains. In the last week I've heard of 3 people who fell onto the track and had to be rescued by someone that was brave enough to hop done there and grab them. Yes, I am one of those people who leans out to see if a train is coming because I've probably been waiting for an eternity and a half. But I keep my feet a safe distance away from the edge and just lean over slightly to look.

I guess in their defense, two of the people that fell onto the tracks had seizures. Maybe it's just me (and I haven't ever had a seizure so I can't speak from experience) but it seems like if you know you are prone to seizures (i.e. epileptic) you would just not go near the edge of the platform. You would  keep a safe distance (like as far away from the edge as possible) just in case you had a seizure. Then you'd have a good 5 feet or so to not fall onto the tracks. (Like I said, I've never had a seizure so I guess you can't really be aware of what is going on when you are in the middle of one.) But I guess epileptics want to look for oncoming trains too.

The other guy was intoxicated. While I'm glad he wasn't harmed, I was more afraid for the guy who jumped down to save him. He literally pulled him out of the way seconds before the train entered the station.

So people, please stop falling onto subway/train tracks! Because as much as I want to save you I won't be jumping down there, for 2 reasons:
1) I have a baby who needs me and while it would be nice to be considered a hero, I'll take being Blake's regular mom any day.

2) I'm pretty sure I'd just be making the situation worse because there's no way I can lift an adult back onto the subway platform.

Don't get me wrong, I'll be up on the platform ready to pull you up and help you get to safety. Just don't expect me to jump down and save you. (Is that terrible? I don't know.)

Friday, December 3, 2010


Have you ever had a bad memory pop into your head and you feel like you're experiencing it all over again, with all the associated emotions? I hate that. It happened to me this morning as I was lying in bed.

I was waiting for Blake to wake up and started thinking about my teaching days and how the end of the school year played out for me. I was returning for the last two (long) weeks of school after having Blake. Evan had already moved to New York and I was still dealing with all the emotions of a new mother, which included recovery from a c-section and a failed attempt at breastfeeding. To put it lightly, the last place I wanted to be was with a group of 4th almost 5th graders who were trying to get used to their old teacher. I really loved my students, but I had a little baby at home who needed me and a husband across the country who hadn't held his son since he was a week old.

My students were excited to see me, but after the third, "When our substitute was here she let us (fill in the blank)" I was ready to head for the door. I politely told my students that I knew all about what they were allowed to do and that informing me of said activities was only going to make me cranky (or something like that). I was surprised at the new attitudes that had formed when I was gone. I couldn't tell if some of the students (mainly girls) were angry at me for being out longer than I had planned, or if it was just a result of growing up.

By the second to last day of school I had been totally offended by one student and jumped all over by a fellow teacher for not awarding her student a medal for winning a relay race. (Not even kidding.) The last day of school was bittersweet. I was so excited to have survived my first year of teaching AND pregnancy (which I do not recommend doing simultaneously), excited to be reunited with Evan, but sad to say goodbye to my students (well except the one that was so rude to me).

So that's why this morning I was so annoyed that I could only remember the end of the school year and the bad memories that were associated with it. I thought my first year of teaching went as well as it could have and I wanted to be remembering the fun times with my class, not the icky moments that made me question my career choice. And as much as I tried to remember the good times, my mind just kept going back to that one student and her thoughtless comment, and that one teacher who seriously needed to take it down a notch or two.

Now I'm wishing I had actually kept a teacher journal during my first year so I could look back on the good times. Because I know there were some really good times! (And if I remember them I'm going to compile them and blog about it.)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hey, it's okay!

Here's my list of things to be okay about this week:

to wonder who the source is when gossip sites refer to getting a story on a celebrity from an "insider".

to have entered a giveaway for this high chair. It costs over $200 and we really need a high chair. Come on! (Ugh, I didn't win it. I really thought I was going to win it!)

to want hunt down the person who rear ended my sister last night while she was driving and decided it was ok to drive off. JERK!

to be excited to address envelopes and send out our Christmas cards!

to be so totally overwhelmed when I try to learn about couponing. I can't even get started because just learning how to do it effectively makes my head hurt.

to wonder why we have to get old.

to be contemplating moving...again. That would make it twice in a year.

to wonder why teenagers act so apathetic. Was I like that? Probably.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Seeing New York-Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation

A few weeks before Thanksgiving I thought it would be really fun to go to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. That is until I found out that we'd have to be at the parade around 7 am. So we decided to do the next best thing: go the day before the parade and watch the parade balloons be inflated! We got to see a lot of the balloons up close and personal. (And we even got a backstage view of the balloons, even though we weren't supposed to. More on that later.)

Blake and I hopped a train (well, a few) to Manhattan to meet Evan. (I make it sounds so effortless. I guess in a sense it's not really difficult to ride a subway train. For me it can just be nerve racking when I have a stroller and never know if the train will be packed or not. People aren't too happy to see a lady and a baby roll up on a train when they're already packed like sardines. Oh well, get over it, people.)

We were able to find Evan in the sea of people and off we went to look at balloons. As we pointed out Sponge Bob and Po (Kung Fu Panda), Blake seemed to be more interested in the leaves and buildings. You'd think huge colorful balloons would catch his attention. Apparently not.
(Click on the collage to enlarge it.)

Balloons from top left to bottom right: Greg (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Kermit theeee Frog, Kool Aid guy, Hello Kitty, Snoopy

After looking at the balloons we decided to stay and eat dinner at a delicious/over-priced Mexican restaurant. We had a seat by the window and Blake had fun eating his crackers and waving to people as they passed by. As we ate I could see the crowd building. Evan and I decided on a plan to avoid the crowd on our way to the subway. We shuffled along with everyone else (and I mean literally shuffled and bumped into people the whole time. Zero personal space.) until we arrived at the street we needed to cross only to find out it was blocked off and the police weren't letting anyone through. When people started to complain the police officer standing guard told everyone that wanted to cross that they'd have to turn around and go the other way. One man yelled, "No, they aren't letting people out that way. I just came from there. I've spent an hour walking around trying to get out of here! We're trapped! We're trapped!" His dramatics were kind of funny, but I really didn't want to have to walk the entire balloon route again just to find a street we could cross.

As we stood at the corner quietly, a gentleman crossed the street from the opposite side and told the police officer that several of the people were with him. I have no idea who this guy was, but Evan took the lead and just followed the people that random authority guy pointed out. I was sure the police officer was going to stop us, but he didn't and we crossed the street. We just kept following the people in front of us and that's when we got a backstage view of the balloons. Only people who lived on that street and their guests were allowed to enter, but no one stopped us so we just kept going. The street wasn't crowded at all so we took a few pictures of Kermit, Snoopy, and Greg from Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Finally after being turned away at a different crosswalk, we made our way to the subway a few streets away and headed home. All in all it was a great experience. We even made it into the Daily News! And one day when Blake is older and says he wants to go to the parade, I'll let his dad get up early and take him!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Notes to self: Thanksgiving edition

Things for me to remember for next Thanksgiving:

Put the turkey in the fridge to thaw a few days before you have to cook it.

Make sure you have pecans, not walnuts, before 9 pm when you are making sweet potato casserole.

Either give the turkey to the person who is hosting to cook, or get a dining table and have dinner at your place.

Eat stuffing more often.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hey, it's okay!

Here's my list of things to be okay about this week:

To end up cooking a turkey for 7 people when originally I planned on only myself and my husband. The pressure is on now. I wouldn't care if I messed up the turkey, but now I have hungry people to impress.

To not be surprised that Jennifer and Derek won Dancing with the Stars. But does anyone else think they are little too touchy feely?

To have a desire to get my Christmas shopping done early, but to know that it will really take place 2 weeks before Christmas. It's inevitable.

To wish I was in the Oprah's favorite things audience. Lucky ducks.

To have spent an entire day redesigning my blog. I actually impressed myself because I had to edit the html code for some things.

To have messed up the contrast on my computer screen redesigning said blog. I accidentally messed it up yesterday and accidentally fixed it this morning. It's a Thanksgiving miracle!

To use random objects as barriers for my son instead of buying safety gates. I know. I need to get on that.

To feel a lot of pressure to go to some Black Friday sales. I almost feel like I'm strange if I don't go. Maybe it would be fun just to go and watch people go insane. Scratch that. Sleeping in sounds more fun.

To decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. I'm not waiting for December 1st.

To be nervous that one day when I'm riding the train I might get flashed. I don't even know what I'd do if a guy asked for directions and when I look over at his map...well you know. Ewww.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Seeing New York-Central Park

I actually thought I had already written a post about our trip to Central Park. But I couldn't find it so I guess I just thought about it and wrote it in my head.

A few weeks ago I told Evan I wanted to take Blake to FAO Schwarz (which is the equivalent to Toys R Us on crack. I mean, they have a place where you can create your own muppet. Your own muppet, people!) and then take a little stroll around Central Park. I know Blake won't remember going, but I thought it would be fun. I'll be honest, most of our outings are for me, not Blake or Evan. I just feel like I have to go see things because I'll regret not doing it if we ever move.

We walked around an insanely packed FAO Schwarz for about 45 minutes. I should have known it was going to be insane because it was a Saturday and other people go out and do things on Saturday too. At one point I got separated from the boys. I had to call Evan and ask him where he was in the store because I knew if I went to look for him we'd keep passing each other and never meet up. (What did we do before cell phones? I guess you could have people paged, or walk around for hours looking for them.)

After the toy store we 1) looked for a place to eat, but settled on a pretzel from a street vendor and then 2) walked around Central Park. It was really beautiful. The park is so huge we probably only saw a fraction of it.

The New York City Marathon was taking place the next day so Evan and Blake got take part in their own little way.

I think it'll be fun to go when it warms up and have a picnic!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


As lame as this may sound, I was overjoyed when I got an email from the library telling me to pick up the books I had placed on hold. These days I've had a hankerin' for a good read, the kind where you laugh out loud at some parts and can totally relate to other parts. (I'll let you know if I like it when I finish.)

I devised a plan to go to the library right before nap time so Blake would be nice and tired when we came home. That way when we got back I could put him in his crib and he'd fall asleep without any struggle. Then I could curl up on the couch with my book and drift away. Ah, some "me" time.

When we got home I knew Blake was tired, so off to Napland he went. He took his pacifier, turned on his side and started to sleep. My plan was working! I grabbed my book, surveyed the living room to see that it was a disaster, but decided this "me" time thing was more important. I sat down and started reading. Naturally, Blake decided his nap was only going to last 20 seconds.

I rushed into his room and frantically searched for his pacifier because inevitably it gets lost in his crib. Right now we're functioning on one pacifier, so if I lose this one I'll be on my hands and knees searching for another one. I managed to find it and popped it in his mouth. I tried to settle him back down, but he was telling me loud and clear that this nap time business was for the birds. I decided I'd let him cry it out while I read. Except have you ever tried to drown out a screaming baby? Impossible.

"Me" time was quickly turning into me-and-Blake-in-bed time. I figured if he laid down with me he'd go to sleep. Alas, he just wanted to rip apart my book and attempt to fall off the bed. Back in the crib he went. More crying. "Me" time was slipping away. While I don't normally give him a bottle to help him fall asleep, I did it this time. And I had a 2 hour "me" time. It was glorious.

There's no shortage of "times" with an 8 month old. There's diaper time, meal time, play time, getting into everything time, fussy time, pulling mommy's hair time, the not often enough nap time, bath time, playing with toys that aren't meant to be toys time, outside time, library time, playgroup time, grocery store time, laundry time, and bed time.

You can see why there's not a whole lot of time left for "me" time.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hey, it's okay!

I got this idea from Whispering Writer, who has a hilarious blog by the way. I can't promise I'll remember to do it every week, but I'll try. Basically it's a list of things to be okay about. Here we go!

To cancel a shopping trip because your baby decides he wants to cry instead of nap. And when I say cry, I'm talking the inconsolable kind. (Sorry M for having to cancel. I was so looking forward to it!)

To wonder who decided to skin a cat while it was still alive at 2 o'clock this morning. I can't even describe the sound that cat was making because I've never heard anything like it.

To have to be told by your husband that female cats make that sound when they mate. (Run lady cats! Run for your lives!)

To think it's funny that your next door neighbor "rakes" the leaves in his "yard". Except replace "rakes" with "sweeps" and "yard" with "cement slab/sidewalk". I guess that's how you do it in Brooklyn.

To not shower before noon some days. Or most days.

To think Dancing with the Stars is silly but still watch it...every week.

To wonder why people dress like it's 30 below here when it's in the mid 50's.

To be thankful that blogger periodically saves my work (because I just accidentally closed the page).

To want to try the KFC double down. It looks like way too much meat. I just want one bite, not the whole thing.

To be so excited for Christmas that I'm not even thinking about Thanksgiving (that's in about a week).

Monday, November 15, 2010

You wanna Christmas card? You wanna Christmas card? Alright here, here’s your Christmas card!

If you’re a Seinfeld fan, you’ll appreciate that post title. If not, well it’s too long to explain (and not nearly as funny when you try to explain it to someone who has never seen the episode). 

I was thinking a few weeks ago that I’d really like to send out Christmas cards this year. I’m so excited that I thought about it early enough to actually get them sent out on time. Usually a week before Christmas the idea pops into my mind, but it’s too late by then so I don’t end up doing it. I decided that I wanted to send a photo card. Enter shutterfly.

I went to their website and was so excited with the huge selection of cards. They have photo cards, folded or flat cards, and holiday cards. Unfortunately I’m having a really hard time deciding which one I want. I’m not sure whether to go more traditional or more fun. So here are my top 2 3 4 5 choices:

            # 1                                                     #2

                  #3                                                         #4
(Obviously the pictures would be replaced with pictures of my family.)

Hard to decide, huh? Tell me which one you like the most!

And just for helping me choose which Christmas card I should send this year, I’ll let you in on a little secret: Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly… sign up: !

Yep, you read that right! Enjoy browsing their selection!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday...Black Friday

I'll admit it. In years past I haven't been very organized and ahead of the game when it comes to buying Christmas presents. I usually take more of a male approach to it: a day or two before Christmas I go around to various stores, pick through what is left over, find stuff for family and friends, go home and wrap it. In my defense, I do think for a few weeks about what I want to get certain people. But the actual going out and getting it doesn't take place until the eve of Christmas Eve. This method of Christmas shopping really caught up with me a few years ago when on Christmas Eve I was out shopping, checked my bank account balance and the nice, calm, automated voice said, "Your checking account balance is zero dollars and zero cents." I stood in the middle of the aisle dumbfounded. How could I have no money? I thought I'd at least have $100 or something in there. Nothing. (Later I found out my landlord waited to cash three months worth of rent checks all in December, leaving me penniless.)

So this year I'm trying to be more organized and not procrastinate Christmas shopping. I'm making a list, checking it twice, buying for people whether they're naughty or nice (because who am I to judge, right?). Even with all of this early preparation I know Black Friday will offer up some stellar deals so I think waiting a little while will be worth it. My only problem with Black Friday is the fear of being trampled. And having to fight off angry shoppers who are trying to steal items out of my cart because I got one of the items they wanted. No, this has never happened to me, but just imagining it is frightening enough.

Apparently Target will have some amazing deals on Black Friday, but when I think about going to Target (and especially the Target near me) I cringe. I guess I'm not the type of person that finds it enjoyable to get up at 3:30 am, stand with a crowd of ravenous shoppers, wait for the doors to open only to be trampled on my way to electronics. I'm not ruthless enough to shop on Black Friday. And I think you have to be pretty ruthless to shove a granny out of your way just to get a camera on sale for 75% off. The thought of rushing into a store and trying to grab things that are on sale before other people do makes me anxious. I'm sure people would start off all nice, walking quickly but calmly through the store, and then one person would break free into an all out run for the escalator and all hell would break loose. Ugh, I just can't handle that.

So my Black Friday shopping will be done online. That way I don't have to deal with the literal crowds (just virtual ones) and no one will be able to steal anything out of my shopping cart.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I think for a 7 month old, Blake has a lot of toys. Most of the toys he has were gifts or second-hand toys given to us by people who didn't need them anymore. There are some days when he doesn't seem to want to play with any of his colorful, noisy, plush, squishy toys. It makes me think that maybe he's getting tired of them and wants some new ones. So the next time I'm out and about I make my way over to the baby aisle and start looking at all the brightly colored things he would just love to play with stick in his mouth. And then I remember that inevitably he will always choose the following items over any new toy I buy him:

wooden spoon
baby spoon
measuring cup
dirty shoe
puzzle pieces
electrical cord
pile of laundry
wheel of stroller
my camera
wash cloth
plastic bag
diaper cream tube
dry erase marker
his spit-up (I know, gross.)
cell phone
anything with a tag
anything on the floor that is not considered a toy
toes (mine or Evan's)

Christmas should be easy this year.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Standing Ovation

I placed Blake in his crib facing the bars so I could record him pulling himself up. 

A few days ago I heard Blake playing quietly in his crib after waking up from a nap. When I went in to check on him he was standing in his crib holding onto the side. As exciting as it was to see he had done it all on his own, it was quite frightening to see my 7 month old standing. Heaven help us.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dear Target, I hate you.

I've probably already written about how much I detest the Target store that we go to here in Brooklyn, but another trip there today just reminds me how much I hate it. I actually really like other Target stores, but the one I go to here is AWFUL. And here is why:

1) The employees are terrible. They act like they are so put out if you ask them where something is and I've even had an employee walk right past me when I asked her a question. Luckily there was another employee walking beside her and he mumbled some unintelligible answer.

2) Pretty much every time I enter their store I can find an employee doing one of the following:
            a) talking/texting on their cell phone while "working"
            b) standing around with other employees complaining about work or their personal lives
            c) laughing obnoxiously with other annoying employees
            d) using profanity loud enough for customers to hear

3) The only times they seem to have what I need is on Monday mornings. Any other day I go I can count on walking out with only half of the things I needed.

4) Their stupid carts don't work. I guess people tend to steal their carts so the back wheels are designed to lock once they leave the store. Today I couldn't find a cart that would work. It was so annoying because I was wearing Blake and really wanted to put him in the cart to give my shoulders a break.

Every time I go to Target I just think about how crappy the store is and how I hate giving them my money. I wrote a letter to Target via their website about how terrible the store is. I got an email response saying the letter was forwarded to that Target store to review. I'm sure they got it and just laughed at my complaints while standing around texting/complaining/swearing/being terrible employees in general. So I'm going to try really hard not to go to this Target anymore. I know it won't make a difference, but at least I'll feel like I'm sticking it to them.

Oh Brooklyn Target, you could be so much better than you are. It really is a shame.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Seeing New York-well, maybe

I'm going to be honest. I never really thought I'd live in New York. Evan and I talked about it as a possibility when we were first married, but it never occurred to me that it would actually happen. There are things I like about where we live and there are things I don't like and won't miss if we move. That being said, I'm starting to feel like we need to take part in all things New York while we're here so we'll have some great memories to look back on. That's why I'm thinking about going to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

I always watched it Thanksgiving morning when I was a kid. It's not something that as a child I told my parents I wanted to attend, but now that we're here, why not? Well, here's why not:

1) The parade starts at 9 am. The official website suggests getting there by 7am to get a good view of the parade. Ummm, website, you must not know me. Hi, I'm Whitney. I hate mornings. I've only become more of a morning person because a) I taught 4th graders starting at 8am. That meant I was at school by 7am. So happy Whitney had to be in attendance by 7:45am. and b) Blake is really the only person that makes me happy in the morning, unless it's 3 in the morning. Then there's no happiness. It's true. Ask my husband. Or my sister.

2) It's going to be cold. It already feels too cold for me these days and the temps are in the 50's! I'm not really a fan of the cold.

3) There will be TONS of people there. Like hundreds of thousands to millions. Which leads me to the next reason.

4) I'm kinda worried that because so many people go to and watch the parade that it is the perfect target for a terrorist attack. I'm serious. It kinda freaks me out. I know you just have to live life, but I'd like to live for a long time.

But beside those 4 reasons, I'd really like to go just to experience it and look back on this time in our lives and say, "Blake, when you were a baby we went to that parade you are watching on TV!" as I am dressed in my cutest housewife dress, heels and pearls, vacuuming, preparing the perfect Thanksgiving dinner, all while sewing a new outfit for our 3rd child. Hahaha ya right. I don't wear heels...although I love them.

So I'm not sure if we'll go. Will it be worth it? Blake won't remember it, so will it really count? (Yes, we'll take pictures to prove it so when this comes out of his mouth: "But we never do anything fun!" I'll just hold the picture in front of him and say, "Yes we do! See!") Would it be better to wait until Blake can appreciate it? Will we even be here when he's that old? Too many questions.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Seeing New York-Governors Island

Our little family actually visited Governors Island a few weeks ago, but the past few weeks have been filled with a trip to Virginia, a sick baby, Halloween activities, and more sick baby. I'm learning that the only positive to Blake being sick is that he's been a lot more willing to cuddle than he usually is. But even with that positive, I'd take healthy, not sick baby over sick baby any day.

So a few weeks ago we took the train to hop on the free ferry to Governors Island. These days we seek out free/really inexpensive activities to do, so when we found out it would only cost us to ride the subway to spend a day on G.I. it definitely jumped to the top of our to-do list. We actually ended up going the last weekend that the island was open. 

Once we got off the ferry we took a few pictures of the Manhattan skyline and then walked around the perimeter of the island. From G.I. you can see Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Then we ventured into the middle of the island (I feel like we were in an episode of Lost, talking about "the island" and stuff.)

In 1637 the island referred to as Pagganck by Native Americans was sold to a Dutch man for private use. Want to know how much he got it for? Two ax heads, a string of beads, and a handful of nails. Eventually the British took control of the island when they captured what is now New York. Because of its strategic location it was used by British and American military forces for 200 years. It was even a prison for Confederate soldiers during the civil war!

Currently there's a trust that is trying to redevelop Governors Island. There's also a high school on the island that opened this year. How cool would it be to go to school on Governors Island?!

Below are some pictures of our visit. I was really hoping to see the hands-on art exhibit that I had heard people talk about, but the day we went they had removed it to make room for an Oktoberfest celebration, or in other words a lot of people getting drunk and listening to not very good music. I'd prefer the art over the booze, but that's just me.

(Sorry the pictures are so small. There were so many I wanted to post, but this was the fastest way to get them all on here.)
It was a great trip. I hope we get to go again when Blake is big enough to run around. I think he'd love it!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Come on in, November!

Last night was Blake's first Halloween. We didn't carve pumpkins this year for a few reasons: I would have to carve my pumpkin and Blake's pumpkin. I'm usually ready to be done carving a pumpkin after the second handful of pumpkin guts comes out. Ok, that was the only reason. I didn't think Blake would really mind if we didn't carve pumpkins so I just skipped that little tradition this year. We bought little pumpkins and put them on our bookshelf. They looked pretty cute. And I hung some decorations in our windows.

I also bought a bag of candy in preparation for trick-or-treaters. I was sure we were going to have at least a few kids come by. I see kids everywhere here. Not.One.Treater.Came. I guess the kids go elsewhere for candy. I did see little monsters and fairies walking on our street, but no one stopped for candy. Our neighbor suggested we sit on the front porch with a bowl of candy, but it was cold yesterday! Sorry kiddies, I'm not going to freeze my buns off so you can get your candy fill. But I will answer my door and give you lots of sugary treats. While in the past I wouldn't have been so bummed if we didn't have trick-or-treaters, this year I specifically bought candy that I didn't like so I wouldn't eat it all. Now I'm stuck with a bowl full of candy that I don't want and won't get eaten. I'm sure if Blake could eat it he would.

Goodbye, October! Hello, stuffing! I mean November!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!

The Lumberjack family

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New House

Last Sunday I wore panty hose. It pretty much ruined my day. But that's not what this post is about.

Recently Blake and I took a trip to Virginia to visit my family. I'd like to say that we did all sorts of things like visit civil war sites and colonial Williamsburg. We didn't do either of those things. I'm sure one day we will, probably when Blake is old enough to appreciate them. He's happy just playing with an empty cardboard box, so I'm not wasting a trip to Williamsburg just for him NOT to remember it.

What we did do is stay at my parents' nice, new, BIG house! I have to say, I absolutely love their new house, which is why I can't believe I didn't take any pictures of the house while I was visiting. We also decorated for Halloween (which I don't have any pictures of either so I'll just put a picture of my sister and Blake.)

And I went for a nice woodland their backyard!

Basically my parents have a sacred grove-esque backyard. And I love it. It reminds me of one of my favorite paintings:

I was sad to leave, but so excited to go back for Christmas!

Monday, October 25, 2010

giving up*

I feel like giving up and I haven't even really started. I liked being able to tell people that Blake was sleeping through the night most nights when he was about four and a half months old. He still woke up sometimes, but I could usually get him to go back to sleep. I don't know where that baby went. Blake slept through the night 2 nights last week. Every other night he was SCREAMING at 2 am and wouldn't go back to sleep until he had a bottle. I tried to let him cry a little, but this was not just his usual "I woke up and am going to fuss" type of crying. He was literally screaming like someone was trying to kill him. Do babies have bad dreams? Every night? Maybe he dreamed that every time he tried to drink from his bottle someone took it away from him. I guess that would make me scream too (except replace bottle with brownies). This morning I noticed he has some nasal congestion. He was really congested and slightly feverish when his bottom teeth came in so I'm hoping he's getting more teeth. I need an explanation as to why he's not sleeping. I can deal with the situation better if I have an explanation.

Due to the recent middle of the night awakenings going on at our house, I've been researching different methods for helping babies sleep through the night. That's where the giving up before I've started part comes in. I think it's made me feel a little anxious, like I should have been sleep training him 3 months ago and every night that he wakes up is just creating a pattern that will be harder to break. I really don't want to sleep train Blake. I just wanted him to naturally grow into a pattern of sleeping until at least 6 am. Not sure that's going to happen. I also am conflicted as to which method will work best for us. I'm not sure how one "expert" can claim never letting your baby cry and still being able to get them to sleep through the night is a successful method and another "expert" can say that letting them cry for increasingly longer periods of time will be the right way to teach them how to sleep. (And in all honesty, I can let him cry and fuss for a little while as he learns how to go back to sleep on his own. But recently it's not just crying, like I said, it's screaming.) So I'm just praying 2 little teeth pop out of his upper gums so he can get back to his little ol' sleeping self.

Any advice (what worked for you, what didn't work for you) would be helpful.

*I was going to write this post one morning at 2 am when I was up with Blake. It's probably better that I didn't. It would have probably contained my getaway plans and all forsaking of motherhood. It's been a rough week. Let's hope this week is better.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


 sweet and sour chicken!
(note: string of drool)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A note on rudeness

Dear lady I sat next to on the plane,

I could hear your phone conversation. I know you weren't talking to me, but you were sitting two inches away from me, so I could hear what you were saying. And I thought it was rude. Maybe I just don't have a thick skin, or maybe I just have manners and you don't. I knew you didn't want to sit by me when you gave me that nasty look as I politely smiled and shoved my diaper bag under the seat in front of me. Many people worry when they see a baby boarding a plane. "Oh no, will it sit by me? It's probably going to scream the whole time. Or, it's going to poop and I'm going to die from the smell," is probably what was going through your mind when you saw me checking which seat was mine. I understand. I prayed that my baby would sleep the whole flight, but I can't promise he will or that he won't make a peep. Was it really necessary for you to get on your phone before we took off and say, "Ya I'm in my seat. I'm sitting next to a baby." (long pause) "We'll see."? I gathered from your annoyed tone that the person you were on the phone with said something like this: "Ugh. Just your luck. Hope it doesn't cry the whole time. Or barf on you." Well, I think that was very rude of you to say with me sitting right next to you. I decided to just ignore you for two reasons 1) I'm sitting closer to you than I sit next to my own husband when we sit on our couch so I'm not really in the mood to argue about your rudeness and then have to sit next to you for an hour. 2) I don't need to apologize for having a baby and needing to use air transportation to get back home. You were a baby once. And frankly you were acting like a baby. If you wanted the perfect flight you should have bought all the seats around you to ensure that you didn't have to sit by someone who might disturb your magazine reading.
I could have been rude, too. I could have gotten on the phone and told someone that the person sitting next to me was taking up their whole seat and about 1/4 of mine. I could have asked one of the flight attendants if there were any open rows so I didn't have to sit next to you. But I didn't for 1 reason: you were the one that had a problem, not me. You can move yourself to a new seat.

your seat buddy (and the baby who slept the whole flight. You're welcome.)

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Blake made it painfully obvious yesterday that I actually look very different when I have make up on and do my hair. Because my hair ends up in a ponytail by noon, I usually just blow dry it and put it up. The weather has been nice lately and it hasn't been very humid, so I decided to straighten my hair and wear it down for the day. That is until I walked in and Blake looked at me as if I was a total stranger. I can usually get a smile out of him when I walk into a room, but not yesterday. He just stared at me with a look that said, "Umm who are you? You sound like my mom, but you certainly don't look like my mom. She usually has dark circles under her eyes and her hair is in a ponytail." And I kid you not, it wasn't until after we got back from his doctor appointment when I put my hair in a ponytail that he actually gave me a smile of recognition. I guess it's good to know that he still loves me even when I'm not lookin' so hot (or that he may even prefer it to my more put together look.)

Blake had his 6 month check up and now weighs about 17 pounds and is 27'' long! As far as his cuteness goes, he's in the 100th percentile. He also had to get some immunizations and didn't cry at all! Such a brave little boy!
P.S. Did you know "stats" is a palindrome?

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I was in Duane Reade the other day waiting for my prescription to be filled and decided to walk around and look at stuff. Nothing in particular, just stuff. Then I noticed something I had never seen before: single-use underwear for ladies. What? I picked up the package and looked for an explanation as to why anyone would need disposable underwear. No explanation. Are women spilling stuff on their regular underwear and think wearing disposable underwear would just be easier to deal with? Or maybe underwear is just disappearing and some women find it easier to buy underwear they are going to throw away after one use anyway. I don't get why anyone would ever need these. Ever.

Update: So I found the company that makes the disposable panties I saw. Their website describes the panties for this use: Because you never know when that time of the month will take you by surprise. Because on the last trip, the airline lost your luggage. Because they're small, and fit anywhere. Because you never know when you're going to work up a sweat.

While I don't think any of the above reasons would convince me to buy them, I guess other people may see them as necessary.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

makened or breakened?

I know those aren't words, I just like the way they sound together. Based on yesterday's post, let's see how my day fared:

make- Blake slept for about an hour and a half for one of his afternoon naps.

break- I found out my winter clothes don't fit me. I guess I'm not really surprised. Although I thought for sure one shirt was definitely going to fit. Yes, I wore them anyway. Well I certainly wasn't going to be going to my dentist appointment naked!

make- I took the first step in finding a solution to my tooth problem.

break- I found out at the dentist office that I don't have dental coverage. 1 giant leap backward. I found out that we do have dental coverage but I took the wrong insurance card and now have to reschedule my appointment. Poop.

make- While shopping at the local supermarket, I found Edy's ice cream on sale for $2! (That should count for 2 makes. And even though eating ice cream makes my tooth hurt like no other, I eat it anyway...which is why my winter clothes don't fit.)

break- I couldn't get everything I needed at the supermarket because I had to push a stroller.

make- Yesterday morning it seemed like Blake was playing with me. Usually I just try to entertain him, but he rolled over and gave me what I'm calling a hug (even if he didn't know what he was doing.) It was cute.

break- I saw a used...ahem...contraceptive device on the sidewalk just as my stroller rolled over it. Sick.

It looks as if things pretty much evened out, making my day a pretty normal day. Lots of makes, lots of breaks. (Well, slightly more makes due to cheap ice cream.)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Making my day

Things that make my day (in no particular order):

1. Blake taking 2 naps in the afternoon, both longer than 20 minutes (hate those faux naps!)

2. When the laundromat isn't busy and I don't have to try to worm my way through a sea of carts and people

3. Pharmacists who are nice (boo on you Rite Aid)

4. Getting an email saying my order has been shipped! (Hello new clothes that probably won't fit me now but that are my motivation to get in shape!)

5. Blake looking over Evan's shoulder to find where I am in the room

6. Evan getting home before 7

7. Laundry for the week being done before Tuesday

8. Finding this website: and creating something to frame and put in Blake's room

9. Getting a shower before noon

10. Switching out my summer clothes for my winter clothes

Things that might break my day:

1. Finding out those winter clothes don't fit me anymore

2. Being told I need a root canal...a very expensive root canal

Monday, October 4, 2010

Our Weekend

This is what we did pretty much all weekend:
Yep! You guessed it! We got Blake his own computer and let him watch uplifting things online. No, that's not true. Actually we were able to watch General Conference. It was a nice relaxing weekend with a few walks around the block and naps between (and maybe sometimes for a few minutes during) sessions.

We also did this:
 I started giving Blake juice in a sippy cup. I always get excited when we move on to something new (like bigger diapers, bigger clothes, different foods). But I always end up being more excited than Blake is about it. He took a few sips from his sippy cup and then abandoned it. And I had spent so much time standing in Target looking at the 1,000 different types of sippy cups they had! (Ok, that's not true because if you go to the same Target I go to, you know it is rarely well-stocked and I dread going there.) But I still took a few minutes to decide which sippy cup was best. With every new stage we come to I'm learning that we get to leave behind some old challenges and take on a bunch of new challenges. I should probably stop getting excited about all these new things because one day we'll move on to the stage where he's telling me he doesn't need me to wipe his nose or hold his hand. So carpe the diem, right? (You know, seize the carp.)

And just for your viewing and listening pleasure (and mostly for my mom to see):
"Wow! 3 videos!" is probably what you are thinking. You can thank me later. (I accept gift cards, cold hard cash, and baked goods.)

Friday, October 1, 2010

last night

was the longest night of my life. Blake has had stuffy nose for a few days, so I've been debating whether to take him to the doctor. He hasn't had much of a fever and seems to be as happy as ever, just with a lot more stuff coming out of his nose than normal. So I don't know whether to attribute his stuffy nose to the weather, allergies to a new food, or something more serious. Because he still seems to be happy and doesn't have a fever anymore, I'm guessing he's ok. Doctor visit avoided (until next week when he has his 6 month check up).

Enter last night. I had been dealing with a sore throat and stuffy nose all day and attributed it to the night I stayed up with Blake until 4 am due to his stuffy nose. It seems when I don't get enough sleep whatever is lurking in the shadows of my cells decides to come out and take advantage of my weak immune system. I imagine it looks something like this:

So while I tried to sleep last night, little green guy was wreaking havoc on everything above my shoulders. I went to bed feeling ok, but woke up shortly after I had fallen asleep to a fever/chills, an even worse sore throat, no possible way of breathing through my nose, and worst of all, my jaw was aching. I don't even know what it means if you have a cold and your jaw hurts but I can't imagine it's a good thing. So I laid awake in bed for most of the night just praying for the light to break through the window so this night would be over. I remember laying there with my mouth open (to breathe of course) and my eyes half shut. I knew I looked like a hot mess because I felt like a hot mess. I checked my phone and it was only 3 am. I stayed in bed listening to the wind blow and wondering if the storm had already come and gone. Then I thought, "Who cares about the storm. I'm dyin' here!" Finally around 4:30 I got up and took some medicine and laid on the couch for an hour. I think I probably got a total of 2 hours of sleep last night. Boo.

Luckily when I got up for the second time this morning to make Blake a bottle, I was feeling better. My jaw had stopped aching, my throat wasn't as sore, and I thought there was a chance I could actually sleep. So Blake and I took an early morning nap for a few hours and here we are. I still feel terrible, but it's mostly a stuffy nose now, which I feel like I can handle. I really don't want to go to the doctor, mainly because I don't have a doctor here so I'll have to find one and walk in the rain with my baby to the doctor's office. Boo on that too. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I won!

I wish the "I won" was in reference to winning the grand prize to the Gerber Generation photo contest. I pretty much gave up on winning the monthly prize because 1) I keep forgetting to vote and 2) I got tired of reminding people to vote. Really, I just want to win the college scholarship, which is part of the grand prize. Ahhh, college paid for before he turns 1. That would be amazing. Anyway, what I really won was a blog award! I didn't even know there were blog awards!

First, I would like to thank my parents. Without them, I wouldn't be here blogging today. I'd also like to thank my family and friends for reading my blog. Thank you to my baby for giving me cute pictures to post. Thank you to my husband who reads my blog and lets me know when I've misspelled something. And lastly, thank you to Losing Brownies who gave me this award! Go check out her blog!

Now that I've accepted the award I'm supposed to tell you 7 things about myself and then give the award to another blogger. This is going to be hard. Only 7 things?!

1. I miss being pregnant...sometimes.
My pregnancy with Blake was a breeze. I know, for some women pregnancy is 9 months of nausea, weight gain, and swelling. But for me, it wasn't that bad. I liked being pregnant. And my hair was pretty much amazing when I was pregnant.

2. I like thunderstorms...
when I'm safe inside. One year at Girls Camp I was trying to tie down our tent and lightning struck a tree that was a few feet behind me. It knocked me out for a second and when I came to I was on the ground looking at my sister who was standing across from me. She looked terrified and I yelled, "Get in the tent!" My feet were burning and I ended up going to the hospital because I had a splitting headache and was incredibly nauseous. The doctor at the hospital didn't really believe me when I told him the story, which was annoying. I left the hospital with a prescription for a UTI and a huge bruise on my bum. Needless to say, I left camp early. Now anytime I'm outside and hear thunder or see lightning, my first priority becomes finding a safe place to go. Sometimes this annoys Evan. But he's never been knocked out by lightning before.

3. I don't like having my fingernails painted.
Although I love the way my fingernails look after my sister-in-law gives me a manicure, I don't like having my nails painted. I feel like I have to be extra careful not to mess up the paint and when they start to chip I just pick at them until they look gross.

4. I started this blog when I was still in college...
and I love going back and reading my old posts. Here are a few of my favorites:
fear of flying
celebrity look-a-like
gym adventures
more gym adventures
cleaning up other people's trash
more fear of flying
even more fear of flying

5. I would rather clean a toilet than wash and dry dishes.
I just hate doing dishes. It always comes at the end of the day when I'm already tired.

6. I still don't have a dining table.
I've been looking for a table that we can sit together as a family and eat dinner. Usually dinner is eaten while standing in the kitchen or sitting on the couch. I don't know why it's taking so long for me to find one.

7. I still wear my maternity pants.
They are comfortable and still fit, so why not? Maybe I should be depressed by this fact. But, I know I don't look like I'm pregnant and all of my shirts cover the elastic band so it's not like anyone knows. (Until now. Great.)

So, now I get to bestow the versatile blogger award on those I deem worthy (said in British accent):

Living Life on the Road Less Traveled
Expat in Eire
Momma Go Round
Lindsay & Company

Wow, I've really let this award go to my head!

Monday, September 27, 2010

never thought this would happen...

Since I've moved to New York, several people have asked me for directions as I wait for the train. Usually when a person asks me if the train stops at a certain place or how to get to Yankee Stadium, I can only say, "I'm not sure. I'm sorry!" and leave without helping them at all. I always feel bad and wonder as I walk away, "When will the day come that I can actually be of use to direction-seekers?" Well, yesterday was that day...and I've only been here for a few months! Luckily the lady asking for directions had a map, otherwise I would have had to do the shoulder-shrug-I-don't-know routine. Hopefully I gave her pretty accurate directions. I would hate to find out that they got to Coney Island only to discover my directions were wrong! Oh, and did I mention that the subway line they needed to be on wasn't running, so they had to catch a free shuttle bus? And because I'm so perceptive I had noticed a service change poster on the train that said they'd need to catch a shuttle bus so I was able to tell them, even though I've never been on that subway line! (The only reason me never riding on the Q line is significant is because I only really pay attention to the service change posters that refer to the subway lines I usually take; the Q is not one of them.) Can you tell how proud I am of myself?

Luckily for you, that's not the only never-thought-this-would-happen moment I had yesterday. On my way home I walked by a rather large man wearing sunglasses. As he passed me, he turned his head slightly in my direction and said in a deep voice, "Juuuicaaayyy." (I don't know how to spell it out to convey the hint of predation and his obvious overconfidence.) As soon as I had crossed the street I called Evan to relay the story to him. He told me Blake would be there to defend my honor. What a loyal son! As I laughed about the incident, I wished I had said, "You obviously haven't seen me at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, not showered, still in pajamas with nice accents of spit-up and poop adorning my clothing. Oh, and did I mention I have no make up on and my hair is in the same ponytail it was in when I woke up?" Or, I could have just shown him this picture:
 Yes, I'm pregnant in this picture. Not very juicy, eh?
or this picture:
Maybe it's just me, but neither of these pictures scream, "Juicy!" I don't consider myself a juicy woman. I don't even know what that means. But thanks to our friends at Google images, we never have to wonder again what it means to be a juicy woman:

    This lady has a blog.                 

As you can see, being juicy can pretty much mean anything. It can mean being a Big Mac, being a grass covered lady with half a face of glass, being a laughing man with a leather jacket and faux-hawk, or being a normal looking woman. At least we don't have to wonder what it means anymore.

P.S. DO  NOT, I repeat, DO NOT Google image "Juicy Woman". This is a family friendly blog.

Friday, September 24, 2010

6 things

Since yesterday our sweet bundle of drool, I mean joy, turned 6 months old, I thought today I would write about 6 things I've learned since becoming a mom.

1. The way you pictured giving birth may, in reality, not happen as you'd hoped.
I was induced because I was a week past my due date. I really thought my body would do what it was supposed to and that I would have a baby the old fashion way: lots of pushing, sweating, grunting, possible screaming (although I always knew I would be getting an epidural. Birthing a baby was not the time for me to show my pioneer spirit.) and then out comes the baby. Well, that didn't happen. I had to have a C-section. I was actually really sad when the doctor said I'd need one. I just feel like it sets me up for more complications with other pregnancies. But, things don't always go as planned.

2. Breastfeeding hurts...A LOT!
Ok, now I know breastfeeding does not hurt for everyone. And if it was a breeze for you, then you are one of the blessed. But, for some women it is incredibly painful. I am one of those women. No, I wasn't doing anything wrong. It just hurt. And every consultant I talked to, every pamphlet I read, every prenatal class I attended told me it should not hurt. So I couldn't help but wonder through the tears as my baby tried to nurse what in the world was I doing wrong? Well it turns out that there's something called latch-on pain. The only way I found out about this was through a lot of research online. I finally found something that told me that as the baby starts to nurse there might be as long as 60 seconds of pain as everything gets into place. After that it shouldn't hurt. That was basically what I was experiencing: 30 seconds of pain, then it wouldn't really hurt after that. But when all you hear is, "It shouldn't hurt. If it hurts you're doing it wrong, " you think that if there's any pain at all then you should take the baby off and start again. Not true.

3. You will get lots of advice and will probably only use about 2% of what you're told.
Every baby is different. Some things work for one baby that might not work for another baby. So, you figure out what works and do it.

4. The first few months are...*ahem*...difficult.
I know motherhood will always be difficult and mothers deal differently with different stages their children go through. While I love Blake and have loved him since he was born, there were times, like when he was waking up every 2 hours to eat, that I thought, "What have I done? My life is over. I can't be a mom." This thought usually popped into my head around 3 am when he was waking up after I tried to quietly slip into bed without disturbing him. My mom kept telling me it would get easier. I didn't really believe her because when you are in the throes of the most exhausting experience of your life you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. (Mostly because your eyes are always half open due to lack of sleep.) But, it has gotten easier, and more enjoyable. I think I love every stage Blake has gone through. I miss how little he was when he was born but am glad he's on a more regular schedule. So, it does get better.

5. I don't sleep the same way I used to.
I don't think I have had a deep night's sleep since Blake was born. Even though he doesn't sleep right next to my bed like he used to, I can hear him turn over in his crib, drop his pacifier, whimper, and cry out when I'm sleeping. And it usually wakes me up, at which point I say over and over in my head, "Please stay asleep, please stay asleep!" I think with motherhood I've developed an increased ability to hear him. Super hearing. (Not the super power I would have chosen, per se, but oh well.)

6. 99% of mothers are trying to do their best.
I'm sure there's a percentage of mothers (I hope it's less than 1%) that aren't trying their best or who are addicted to some substance and have lost their ability to care for a child. But, for the most part, mothers are really trying to do what is best for their children. Whether they bottle or breastfeed, co-sleep or put their baby in a crib, wear their baby, teach their baby sign language, play classical music for their baby, put their baby in day care, or don't do any of those things, they really are trying their hardest to be a good mom. And as mothers we should support each other. We shouldn't make one another feel bad for not doing something that we are. I may not make the same choices as other mothers, but that's only because I feel like my choices are best for my baby. Your choices may be different. And I'm not going to judge you for that.

This isn't all I've learned as a mother, but I think these are things I wish I had known before I had a baby. It's been a crazy 6 months. And when he starts crawling it's only going to get crazier. I'm a little scared.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy 6 month birthday, Blakey boo!

I'm sure he'll love that little nickname when he's 16. 6 months ago today I was laying in a hospital bed convinced that in about 2 hours I'd have a beautiful baby boy. Nature had a different idea of how things would go down. You can read about it here. (It's long and slightly depressing. I was really emotional about the whole experience for a while.)

But, this blog post isn't about me. It's about our little baby who is growing up way too quickly. It seems like yesterday he was snorting when he cried and didn't know the meaning of the word sleep. (Well, we're still working on the sleep thing.)
 I've always wondered how some women can look amazing after they give birth. 
I was not one of them, nor will I ever try to be. I'm having a baby here, people!

Now, Blake has 2 teeth, not much more hair than when he was born, and a set of lungs that has only gotten stronger with time. He loves to play in his jungle bouncer and make all sorts of wonderful noises for the people below us to wonder what the heck is going on up here. He can't crawl yet, but can push himself backwards. He usually ends up pushed under the couch, staring at me like, "Ummmm, I'm stuck."
 He's gotten really good at eating solids. We started peas yesterday. He's not really a fan of those. But, who is!? I'm guessing he is close to 17 pounds, 27 inches long. We don't go to the doctor for his 6 month check up for another 2 weeks, so we won't know how much he's grown until then. Overall, he's a pretty happy baby. I'm excited to see what the next 6 months have in store! (and slightly nervous about the whole crawling and walking thing. At least now he stays in one general area!)
Happy birthday, Blake!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

little drummer boy

He looks a little scared, then happy, then confused.

Seeing New York- Green-Wood Cemetery

Our next adventure in exploring New York was visiting the Green-Wood cemetery. We decided to walk to the cemetery which is about 1.5 miles away. We could have taken the subway, but it was a nice day and we can always use an extra $5. I didn't really know what to expect from a cemetery so I was pretty surprised when we walked up and saw the entrance:
It looked so cool! So we took a stroll around all 478 acres (ok not really. We probably didn't even see half the cemetery. Maybe if we had taken the subway we would have been in better shape to see more of the cemetery.) It was really pretty and actually really quiet. It was nice to be in a quiet, peaceful place for a change. Where we live is pretty busy and loud most of the time. So visiting the cemetery was a nice change.
He did try to eat the grass right after this picture was taken.

  Can you see the city skyline in the back? So cool!

 If anyone ever asks me why I love the east coast, I'll just show them this picture. (and they'll probably say, "Because of the dead people?")

Story: I saw this tree and thought it would be funny to lean against it and hold Blake up in the crook so it looked like he had climbed up himself. That didn't quite work out because the tree looked gross (I don't know how else to explain it other than it looked like something was going to crawl out of a nook or cranny.) So just pretend like it looks like a 6 month old climbed a tree by himself. Funny, right?

Blake looks so grown up to me in this picture. And he's making two little bald patches on my head.

Reflecting on life.
The Green-Wood cemetery was fun to visit. I think it might be more fun if next time we tour it in a car (just so we can see all of it.) Next site-seeing adventure: Governors Island! (hopefully)