Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Four Months

Seriously? Four months old already? It's not fair. Nate can't wait for Grant to get older so he can play more and I almost broke down in tears when I bought him size 6 months clothes last week.

It's been an interesting month. Grant has had some kind of bronchial thing going on so we've been having to give him breathing treatments every four hours for roughly the last month. His cough seems to be getting a little better every day and we have, thankfully, gotten past the fever stage of it. He's holding his head up (although sometimes gets lazy and it bobs a little) and now we're working on sitting up! We'll get his measurements at his doctors appointment next week. Husband and I are betting on his weight. It's sad that I keep hoping that he hasn't gained that much because I'm not ready for him to out grow his car seat. My car is going to become incredibly inconvenient when I have to put a rear-facing car seat in there that I have to get him in and out of. Much easier with a baby carrier!

We're still adjusting to me being back to work. It seems like after two months we should be getting the hang of it but the morning always feels hurried. And at night it feels like we never spend enough time with Grant before he's off to bed. One of my goals for the new year is to be able to stay home with Grant. I think we're slowly warming up to our daycare (at first we hated it) but that doesn't mean that I want him there. I chose to go back to work because I actually like my job. But now I want to be home with my little man!

We had our first Christmas together! See my earlier post for pictures. It was such a great holiday for us. I managed to get the house decorated (not just the tree) and it felt very Christmasy. My sister Shauna came for the holiday and is going to miss her little nephew! All in all, we've had a good month!

Nap time!

4 months old!

He's too adorable

Grant and Mommy!

Grant sleeping with his Auntie Shauna!

Thanks for my new toy Santa!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Baby's First Christmas

There isn't too much to write about Grant's first Christmas...the pictures speak for themselves. Basically, it was just a great day. My sister flew in from NY on Thursday to spend Christmas with us so we had a little get-together on Christmas eve and we cooked a ton of food. We all got up early Christmas morning...all except Grant. I cooked a little breakfast casserole so the three of us opened our stockings, then our presents and enjoyed some coffee and breakfast. Grant woke up soon after and opened just a couple of his presents then it was off to Grandma's for Christmas lunch. Afterwards we came home and continued to eat too much (it was there, how could we not?). Then I put together Grant's "big present" he played for a bit and eventually we all fell asleep!

Grant's first Christmas tree!
Shauna passing out stockings.

Shauna helped Brodie with his stocking which was full of
busy bones and Gourmutt's cookies!
Shauna was very excited about the socks in her stocking

We were trying to get a picture of Grant in front of the tree
but he was too distracted by all the colorful presents

So we moved the big one so that we could maybe get a shot of his face!

He's so excited!
His first present!

He's got the hang of it!

This is the only picture we have of him with the "big present". He got pretty
excited so we put down the camera and got the video camera.

PJs for Christmas!
Opening his stocking with Mommy

Fun books!
Socks, really? Santa, was I a bad boy this year?

Grant's big present was this Fisher Price jumperoo. He loved it
immediately! Once again, I think I had more fun watching him
than he did playing in it.

*Christmas side note: I just have to share this because it excited me so much. I waited until the last minute to get Grant's big present. My intention was to go out early Christmas eve to Toys R Us to buy the jumperoo. Until I found out (on Wednesday the 22nd) that it wasn't sold in stores. I decided to order it the next day and just deal with it being late. It turns out that not only did Amazon.com have it way cheaper than Toys R Us but I also got free two day shipping. When I checked out they gave me the option of 1 day shipping...for $3.99. You read that right. I managed to get it here in time for Christmas! And, as you can see, he loves it! I hope everyone elses Christmas was as wonderful as ours!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Have Yourself a Tacky Little Christmas

There is one thing about Christmas that I love to hate. Tacky Christmas sweaters. Every year I count the number of tacky Christmas sweaters in my division. Not the whole Dept. of Ag building...just the Vet division. The first year I was amazed at the number with 22 different tacky Christmas sweaters! The number has declined since then with only 12 so far this year. Some people know I do this, others don't. What's funny is that these people don't think they're tacky. Or, when they hear them called "tacky Christmas sweaters" they say Well, mine aren't tacky. News Flash: They're all tacky! And we laugh at your denial of this fact!

My favorite tacky Christmas sweater moment was when Elizabeth commented on our co-workers rather...um...festive ensemble. It was this horrible red sweater with a giant Christmas tree on it. With actual ornaments hanging (sewn) on the tree and therefore hanging off the sweater. Elizabeth said, with much sarcasm "This is pretty..." gesturing at the sweater. To which the wearer replied enthusiastically "Thanks!" Then Elizabeth proceeded to bat at one of the ornaments and said "If you're not careful, you're gonna get that caught on something." Honestly, just reliving that in my head makes me smile every time!
It looked a little something like this...only worse because
this one doesn't have ornaments dangling from it!

Me and Elizabeth on Tacky Christmas Sweater Day at the law
firm where we both worked. Not the job with the co-worker
mentioned in the story above :) And, yes, my Santa hat
has Minnie Mouse ears. Don't make fun...I'll cut you.

A Year Ago Today

A year ago today I found out I was pregnant. Looking back, I probably knew (for at least a week) but I was in denial. We hadn't been trying long at all and my doctor had told me that it takes an average of 6 months but for some women even longer. Evidently, I'm quite fertile. Or lucky. Or both.

Our first ultrasound at almost 10 weeks. For most of
my pregnancy I lovingly called him "nugget".
 It was a nice time to find out something like that. A good Christmas surprise for us and the family. We decided to tell our families separately because I was going to be at my parent's house for Christmas. So I told my side of the family and Nate told his. We wanted to keep it a secret for a while because it was so early but by the time I was back in North Carolina everyone in upstate New York knew I was pregnant. I'm going to go ahead and blame that on my sister. Never tell her anything you don't want her to tell to the next person she sees. It usually goes something like this: "Hey, how are you? OMG, do you want to know a secret?!" Thanks Shauna.

So, the first thing I said to my mother was "You're not going to be in the delivery room". To which she replied "I don't want to be". Whew. I thought that was going to be a much worse conversation. Nate and I had talked about it and I told him that he was the only person I was comfortable having with me. And if he couldn't be there then Elizabeth would be next on my list. And if neither of them could make it then I was flying solo (well, except the nurses and doctor). I firmly believe that is something that should be shared only by a husband and wife and that no one should intrude on that time unless they are asked.

I found out I was pregnant four months after my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cervical cancer. And I just knew that she had to be ok. As badly as I had wanted to have a baby, I think she wanted it just as much. There was no way she wasn't going to see this baby. So, when we found out that the doctors had done all they could and that she was going home with hospice care I was beside myself. I actually said "What a horrible time to be having a baby". But I was wrong. I will never forget the absolute joy on my mother's face when I told her I was pregnant. And the smile on her face when she got to put her hands on my belly and I'm so glad she got to do that. We all needed Grant. He was the happiness that we all had to look forward to after so much sadness.

Some days it feels like this past year has just flown by and other days that evening last December feels like a million years ago. I've learned a lot in year (but not nearly as much as I'm going to learn!)

This past year I learned:

  • To love my body (but I can still be critical of myself)
  • That I shouldn’t be embarrassed if I can’t stop myself from crying
  • How to laugh when you get peed or pooped on (but not always)
  • That I’m horrible at time-management
  • Maternity clothes make great Thanksgiving attire
  • That people will judge you but it makes me try harder not to judge them
  • How to catch pee in a little cup so it doesn’t get in the bath water
  • My baby's smile can make any day better

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Baby Stuff Part 2

I've realized that I left some stuff off my list of baby stuff I love. In case anyone reading this happens to need some advice :) And there are some things that I have (or wanted) that I realized I never used or didn't need. So here is a continuation of my earlier post.

More stuff I love:

The Boppy Pillow! As much as I hated breastfeeding, I don't know that I could have done it without my boppy pillow. And now, even though I'm not breastfeeding I can still use it when I'm bottle feeding. It helps keep me and Grant comfortable for feeding time. I opted for the "Boppy Bare Naked" so I could buy a slipcover for it (pictured above) but they make them with prints already on them too. Bonus: you can also use it for "tummy time" and to help baby sit up.

Travel System! The one pictured above is the one we use (Alano Travel System by Graco - the print is called Little Wonders) but really I'd recommend just getting a travel system. I do love ours, though. This one came with a car seat base and the carrier snaps into it. The carrier also just snaps into the stroller (pic 1) which makes doing a lot of things much, much easier. There's a roomy basket on the bottom where we've stowed the diaper bag, shopping bags, coats, etc. There are also cup holders up top for Mommy & Daddy and down on the tray for Grant when he's old enough.


This is the Fisher-Price Space Saver High Chair. This one I haven't really been able to use much but I will soon! Grant is going to start on rice cereal in a few weeks and I'm so excited to use the high chair. If you're lucky enough to have a large dining area then you are able to shop for a different type of chair. But we have a tiny kitchen with only a breakfast nook type area for a table (which has a dining room size table in it). This high chair is awesome because it attaches to one of your chairs. No extra space needed! It has 3 positions and even turns into a booster seat for big kids. Bonus: the tray is dishwasher safe.
Stuff I wanted but didn't need/use:

A swaddling blanket. This one is by Swaddle Me. The idea behind it is good. Grant loved to be swaddled. I wanted one because I thought swaddling was going to be hard to do. But they showed me in the hospital and I preferred my receiving blankets to this thing. Plus, I was told not to wrap Grant's arms when I swaddled him and the one time I tried to put him in the swaddler he screamed like I was shoving splinters under his fingernails. Not a fan.

A warmer for wipes. I had this on my registry but I removed it. Like with the swaddle blanket, the idea behind it is good. But when I thought about it how long are they going to stay warm? Evidently babies scream when I cold wet wipe touches their bum. News Flash: new babies scream - the end. I decided not to get it and I don't regret my decision. I'm pretty sure he got used to the cold wipes pretty fast and he doesn't react to them at all now.
That's all for now! Overall, I've been very happy with our baby stuff. Just because something isn't on these lists doesn't mean I don't love it. It just means that I don't remember that I have it. I was very forgetful when I was pregnant and I'm still waiting for my memory to come back!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Secret Crush

Ok, so it won't be a secret after this. But here's the deal. I am not someone who ever desires anything that can be labeled under "electronics". Fancy smart phones? Don't care. Ipod? I have one...and I never use it (sorry Husband, I'm going to make an attempt to use it more). Fancy lap top? Ipad? No, thanks. I've always said I'd rather pick up a good book than play with one of those silly gadgets. But what if you could do both? There it is, folks. I've been fighting it but I officially want a Kindle. When they came out I said "That's stupid." When Amazon sent advertisment e-mails I said "Hmmm...I guess they're kind of cool. But who needs that?" Well, the answer is that no one needs one. But I want one and I've been lusting after them for a few months now.
Ain't it purdy?

So I've decided that I'm saving up for one. I haven't decided yet if I want the blackish-grey one or the white one. I feel so silly for wanting one but I suppose it was going to happen sooner or later. And, much like with all silly electronic gadgets...I can accessorize :) I've already found some cute covers for it like this one on etsy:

eReader Cover Book Style Amy Butler Fabric Lotus Collection Geisha Fans

Or this one (also on etsy):

Kindle or Nook Cover (Preppy Green and Pink Argyle)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Trying to Find Christmas Spirit

It’s been hard this year to find my Christmas spirit. It’s gotten more difficult every year over the past several years. Being honest, I’ll admit it’s because I moved. Christmas is never the same after you leave “home” no matter where you move to. Year after year, Christmas just doesn’t feel like it used to. This year should be different because its Grant’s first Christmas. But it’s also our first Christmas without my mom. My mom made Christmas. So that could be why I just can’t seem to find in me to be full of Christmas spirit 100% of the time.

I’ve been listening to Christmas music, watching Christmas movies (I love Elf!), and I’m finally putting up decorations around my house. But a wreath on the door and lights on the tree do not seem to make me any more excited than I was before they were there.

Maybe it’s because Christmas has become so commercialized. When I was a kid Christmas didn’t mean “I’m going to get presents”. And we didn’t ask for the things we knew our parents couldn’t afford. We looked forward to Christmas because it meant we got to help pick out and decorate the tree (which we got later in the month than most people because Dad always liked to keep the tree up until at least his birthday – the 30th). We got excited because Aunt Bonnie, Uncle Charlie, Nick, AJ, and Gram always came over on Christmas Eve. My mom would cook enough “poker food” for an army and we’d eat and sled and play cards. We’d watch what ever Christmas movies were on tv.  After everyone had left Mom would let us open one present. Santa had dropped it off early. It was usually new PJs to wear that night. But now it seems like kids only care about Christmas because they’re going to get stuff. I’ve actually overheard conversations in the office about a kid who has asked for –  is even expecting – a car for Christmas. And I don’t mean one that has a remote control. I used to feel guilty asking for a new Cabbage Patch doll when I’d just gotten one for my birthday! It seems like these days it’s all about how much something costs and not about family anymore. It can be discouraging.

But, even though it doesn’t seem so, I am trying to stay positive. It sometimes requires a lot of pep talks with myself. But this is a year for new traditions. I’m looking forward to getting up on Christmas morning and enjoying a yummy cup of coffee (with my sister who will be with us for the holiday) while I our breakfast cooks. Helping Grant open his presents (of which there are currently none) and trying to make him smile and be excited. And hopefully, in the years to come, I can make Christmas as special for Grant as my Mom did for me.
Some pictures from Christmas last year:

It's dark but this is Mom's kitchen decked out for Christmas

The Christmas tree (at mom & dad's)

Mom and Aunt Bonnie

It was a white Christmas...

And really cold!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Grant Has Feet!

Well, we knew he had feet...but he seems to have just discovered that fact. His favorite thing to do lately (especially when he's on the changing table) is grab his feet, pull off his socks...and then eat them.

So here we are at 15 weeks. He's getting too big too fast! Although, he's STILL too small for the outfit I bought to bring him home in. Seriously. Anyway, his coordination is improving and it's so much fun to watch him play! He gets the most concentrated look on his face when he's grabbing for something it's just too cute. Tonight, before bed, he had such a grip on his bottle that I had to fight him to take it away so I could burp him and then inevitably get thrown up on. 

Concentrating so hard!

Playing around in his jumper!

He loves his baby gym!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Baby Stuff

So, I was feeding Grant the other day and I was looking at all of the baby stuff we have. I was clueless when I did our registries but when I think about it I really love a lot of this stuff! I asked a lot of questions to people who had been through this recently so this is stuff I would recommend if someone asked me.

Stuff we registered for:

The piece of advice that I seemed to get from everyone was "Don't get a Diaper Genie, they're awful and they smell!" but that left me with the question Well then, what the hell do I put the diapers in? A friend at work recommended the diaper champ and I LOVE it. We have absolutely loaded this thing with nasty poopy diapers and it has never once stunk up the nursery. Bonus: it takes regular trash bags so you don't have to buy their bags if you don't want to.

The bouncy seat (fisher price) has been my savior on many occasions. At my baby shower a friend told me "If it weren't for the bouncy seat some days I wouldn't have been able to shower." She was one of the women who gave helpful advice so this statement stuck in my head and it's true! Not only did this thing enable me to shower but also to eat and relax for a few minutes between feedings. There is also a matching swing we have that has been great if we just really need Grant to take a nap.

Ah, the cloth diaper. These are like gold around this house. Not to be used as a diaper (sorry planet, disposables are awesome) but as a spit rag, burp cloth, pee catcher, etc. I love them. We always have one in reach.

The Playtex Drop In bottles were recommended to me by a friend at work. They use a pre-sterilized liner that you just stick in the bottle. They are so easy and so far we have no complaints. Bonus: buy the store brand liners for half the price, they are just as good.
Stuff I wish we registered for:
The fisher price Luv U Zoo baby gym. You look at it and think "Um...$60 for that?" I was reluctant but I was willing to try anything to wear Grant out in hopes of him sleeping at night. Not only has he been entertained by it but I'm entertained just watching him. He is fascinated by the bright colors and there is even a little pillow for "tummy time".

A cool mist humidifier (this one by Crane Ultrasonic). We were told by the pediatrician to get one of these when Grant got his first case of the sniffles. I went to Target and they had a bunch of cute characters but I liked the elephant the best.

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