Friday, December 4, 2009

catching up...again

Phew...I have not written in so long because my life has just been, well, hectic, crazy, overwhelming... Need I say more? So here is the long and short of it. I am fully entrenched in work now and it is good. It challenges me and I challenge my colleagues. I challenge them to look a little differently at how they have been doing things. My supervisors have told me that one of the reasons I was hired was because they believed that I could help shake things up. So, I am, slowly but surely.

Lilly has been doing so well in daycare. Really, it has been more than I could ever hope for. Basically the entire month of November she was there full time (not 3 days a week) because my mom was sick. That seemed to have gotten her in the groove. She does not cry during drop off or pick up, but goes right in, waves and blows kisses to Vin and starts to play. I can't really ask for anything more. The only thorn is that it seems as if she has been constantly sick! I am actually home with her today because of a fever/cough. Poor bunny girl.

Vinnie and I have had our struggles as we have adjusted to the changes from me being a SAHM to a working mom. Adding in the last semester of grad school never makes things easier. :) It has not been easy, but I truly believe that our struggles are bringing us closer and helping us grow as a couple and as individuals.

I will be finished with graduate school next Thursday. WHAT??? How can that be? It is not real yet. I am not sure when it will be. Because I am involved in a federal grant with my graduate advisor (very cool thing!) I will still be doing some work for that through the middle of January. But, I am not stressed by that. I have 2 big things due next Thursday and then I will be finished!! Unbelievable. I have had so much support through my grad school experience. I could not have done it without them.

And I now have a chance to support Vinnie as he starts his journey in college. I am so incredibly proud of him as he enters Union County College this January. He is going to do great!

I have 2 goals for myself over the next few months. #1 is to lose the weight I have gained in the past 6 months. Grad school and then starting work has really killed me in that regard. But I am committed to getting healthy again, and healthier than I was before. #2 Is to get started as a Developmental Interventionist in Early Intervention. I will hopefully have updates on that in the next few months...

Lilly is calling for me from her crib so that is my exit cue. I am really hoping to keep up with this blog and develop it more in the next few months. Watch for it!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

the working mom dilemma?

I thought that being at work all day would give me the patience with Lilly when I was with her. Meaning, that since I was spending significantly less time with her, I would not lose my patience when she has a tantrum or gets overtired and cranky. This was a great thing I heard happens from other working moms. LIARS!!! Okay, not really, but I am not finding that to be true. I find that the more time I am away from her the less I am able to put up the tantrums and crankiness. Also, in the little time that I have with her each day I am also: getting ready for work in the morning, cooking dinner, packing lunches, doing laundry, trying to keep the house in order, doing homework, and oh, spending time with my precious little one.

I also think that I was more in touch with what is typical behavior when I was a SAHM. Kind of like I was conditioned to expect it.

Another thing that is MUCH harder to handle as a working mom is night-time waking. It was hard enough when I was a SAHM. Now, it is terrible. Even if I can get her back to sleep in bed with me, the rest of my night's sleep is not as good. My average bedtime is midnight, waking at 6ish. If she wakes up at 4, I only get 4 hours of good sleep and then 2 hours of mediocre sleep.

I won't even touch right now the stress between Vin and I. I knew working would make things stressful. That I have heard from friends. The money situation gets better, but not great. And every other stress factor sky rockets. I think it was surprise to him, though. I have a feeling he thought we would be on easy street once I started working. Life is never that simple.

The good news is that Lilly is really loving her daycare now. I am really getting into my position now at work. I (think) I am doing a good job and am hopefully impressing the powers to be so that I can hopefully obtain a permanent position.

I think the bottom line is that there are difficult things to handle whether you are a working mom or a SAHM. Maybe that is why there is often a battle between the two. It is really our own internal battles coming out to play. I could very easily say to a SAHM that her job is so much easier, based on my own experiences and wants and needs. But when I was a SAHM it was not easy. Money was tight to the point of being non-existent. And lets face it, it can be lonely. Thank God for social media like facebook and MOL and Mothers & More.

Anyway, if you have not guessed, I am writing this at 2am because Lilly has been awake for over an hour. After losing my patience, Vin stepped in and I needed to write to release some of this stress. Writing has always been good for my soul. I think my blood pressure has come back down to normal so wish me luck as I try to get some sleep tonight.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

my life = stress

do you ever just hate your life?? life sucks right now.

Monday, September 28, 2009

starting work tomorrow

I am starting work tomorrow. And I am sick. Crap. I have not felt like this in ages. One time when Lilly was about 2 months old I had a mastitis. I felt this sick then. Before that, it was when I was working the year before I was pregnant. This is terrible. I have been sick since Saturday afternoon. I got my flu and pneumonia shots on Saturday morning and that night I felt like kitty litter. I have never had a reaction to a flu shot, but there is a 1st time for everything. The site of the injections has gotten progressively redder and swollen. At the same time I have been daytime weaning my daughter in preparation for daycare. Saturday night my one breast was insanely full and I felt that maybe I had a mastitis coming on. I nursed her on that side like crazy and it felt better the next morning. But now it is Monday evening and my temp went up AGAIN! Oh, and Lilly was sick last week...cold, elevated temp for 1 day, threw up the next. Lastly, I had oral thrush (from my inhaler) and started antibiotics Saturday. That was the whole reason I went to the doctor. So really, it could be one or all or some crazy combination.

My whole point is that I am starting my new job tomorrow! I need to feel better ASAP. I am taking Motrin round the clock and drinking lot of water. Maybe I need some EmergenC?

Okay, wish my luck for getting everything done this week and my 1st day tomorrow. Lilly will be with my mom Tuesdays & Thursdays and at daycare on M, W, F. So dreading the 1st few drop-offs!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Chubby apple-picking hands

 


We went to to Melick's Orchard in Oldwick, NJ with our friends Colleen, Michael and Fiona ot go apple picking. We had a great day!
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

childcare woes

I am having a really hard time coming to grip with Lilly going to daycare. I know that it needs to be done. I think she will do great and have fun. But I want to be the one to care for her, teach her, and snuggle with her all day long. I don't want to leave her all day long, plus 2 nights when I have school. I know that I need to work. I also know that watching an active toddler is a tough job and that Lilly will benefit from the social interaction. I can still be upset about it. And I am. :(

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

To the woman who almost backed into me in the Whole Foods parking lot:

Just because you chose to zoom out of your spot while I was carefully and slowly backing out does not necessarily give you the right of way. I looked behind me and no cars even had the reverse lights on. I was slowly backing out because, duh, we were in a parking lot and there might have been, gasp, pedestrians. All of a sudden I see you zooming out of your spot, almost hitting me as I was half way out of mine. I stopped but did not beep because I thought it may have been an honest mistake and I saw that you stopped. But then the fact that you continues to beep long and hard at me and did not move and stared at me through the window, well, you need help lady. YOU were in the wrong. I was not. Even if we had both started to back out at the same time, that could have been an honest mistake. If you were going slowly, we would not have almost hit each other. And the staring game, seriously, I don't have time for that crap so stare at someone else. Thank goodness that, even though I was just driving to the end of the same parking lot to go to Target I had still buckled my baby into her seat. At first I was just unnerved by the encounter but now I am angry. Accidents happen for sure, but slow the heck down already.

Rant over!

Hooray!!!

I got the job in New Brunswick!! Hooray! I don't know when I can start because I need to get re-fingerprinted. Oh well. At least I know that I have one. I set up the appointments for my my fingerprints and physical/Mantoux test for early next week. Hopefully I don't have to wait for the next board meeting to start working. That would be the end of October!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

so...

Why are weekends fraught with tension, misunderstandings and miscommunications? I think in my household it has to do with expectations and the failure to meet them. Sometimes I don't live up to my own expectations: I am going to work out Saturday & Sunday, I am going to clean the entire house, I am going to get all my homework done. Sometimes my DH does not live up to mine: Generally help with the above. :) A bit of time to myself each weekend. Sometimes I don't live up to my DH's: I don't always let him sleep in, take naps or watch TV when the baby is not napping. I expect help so that my expectations get met.

Probably it is a combination of both. It just seems like we cannot get through a weekend without some kind of tense interaction.

Do other couple encounter this? How do you handle it or overcome it? If you used to feel this way and no longer do, what has changed?

Friday, September 11, 2009

reflections

Today is September 11th. 8 years ago today our world was rocked, literally and figuratively. I remember details about that day that I don't remember about any other day in my life.

I woke up with plenty of time to get ready for work, not my usual manic rush. I put the news on and the big news of the day was that Michael Jordan was going to play basketball again. I thought, wow, we must be doing pretty good that Michael Jordan is the biggest news story. It was an amazing day that hinted of autumn. Crisp blue skies, a few fair weather clouds, warm without being hot. I drove to work, which was a new job for me. I had just started teaching in Newark, NJ at the North Ward Child Development Center. I taught preschool in a 3-year-old class. School had really just started a few days earlier so it was still kind of chaotic.

I was getting the children ready to go out to the playground when a mom came running in frantically, tears streaming down her face. "I need my baby, something terrible has happened." She told us in spanish. As we tried to calm her down and find out what the terrible thing was disbelief was hitting us. What do you mean the twin towers were hit? Her aunt was a maintenance worker in one of the buildings and called to relay the information. I took her down to the main office for her to get permission to take her daughter out early and also to spread the word. I was the first person to hear the news in the childcare center.

The administration called downstairs about the same time telling everyone that Newark was on high alert because of the buildings there. We were not all that far from downtown Newark and they wanted the children inside. I went back to my classroom in my little building and turned on the radio. At that point I heard that the 1st tower collapsed. I immediately called my (then) boyfriend, Keith, who was a police officer. He had just had 2 days off and was due into work that night, so he was sleeping. He did not answer his phone so I called his father and told him the news. His father did not really believe it but turned the news on while we were talking and then went to go wake up his son. Keith called me a few minutes later letting me know that he was called in because no one knew what was going on. I also called my mom and told her to turn the news on.

Eventually I was able to go home that day. As I was driving home I realized that I could drive down one street in my town (Belleville) and see the Twin Towers. I drove down the street and almost stopped short, along with other people doing the same thing. All that could be seen was smoke and clouds of ash.

That night I made a large baked ziti and cookies to take to my boyfriend's station. They had been working for many hours and would continue to be doing so. The Garden State Parkway was empty. Tolls did not have to be paid and the only police officers on the road were going speeding in the direction of NYC.

My one roommate had just moved out and 2 were moving in. Shanna was already there but Colleen, one of my closest friends in the world, was not moving in for another month. She worked in NYC and I could not get in touch with her until the next day. I was missing my old roommate and her daughter that day.

For the next several days all I could do was watch TV and cry. I was drawn to the TV yet I wanted to turn it off. I remember feeling that I owed it to those who lost their lives to watch the horror unfold. I finally forced myself to turn it off one day and then I did not watch any TV for several weeks.

I remember there were parades of cars that would drive up the main drag with flags flying and neighbors were encouraged to put out lit candles and turn off their lights. The songs that were played over the radio during that time are linked to those events, in my mind.

My boyfriend went into NYC to help with the recovery. That changed him forever. He felt that he could never bring children into a world like this, especially as he was a cop. Several months later he broke up with me. I believe we may have been on the path anyway, but the events of 9/11 were a turning point for him.

Over the next several years I would grow and change as a person. I would experience different heartaches and joys. Every year I think that it might not hurt as much this year. Every year I am wrong. I have been crying on and off all day today. That day will always bring up very painful memories. But I have realized that I really don't want the hurting to stop or to lessen. It is a day for reflection and rememberance; but also for being thankful for what we do have.

I am grateful for my husband Vinnie, my daughter Lilly, and all the members of my family. I am grateful for my health, in light of 1st responders who are suffering now. I am grateful that I did not become cynical and think that this is no time to bring a baby into this world. My life is better because of Lilly. The world is better because of Lilly. The world is better because of every child who is born.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Can you believe....

....I am still waiting to hear about that New Brunswick position. What the heck?? I have just about given up, BUT, positions are still open on their website. I sincerely hope that if they do call me that they do not expect me to be available the next day. I mean, hello, childcare, clothing, etc. need at least a few days to be planned. Right now I don't feel like I can plan in advance because I was given no time frame. Oh well....

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lilly update

We got a call last night about 10 pm from the ER doctor. He said that the initial urine test showed no infection but that the culture showed a definite infection. He called a Rx into our local 24 hour CVS and had us start the antibiotics immediately. We are so glad that we at least now have a reason for the fever.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

coupons & more

I had gotten off the coupon track for a while but have been gradually getting back into it. It is so easy to get behind because some of the coupons expire so quickly. We kept forgetting to buy the Sunday paper so we were not even collecting new ones, let alone weeding out the old ones. Anyway, I finally reorganized my coupon envelope thingy last night. And wouldn't you know I opened my email inbox to find a P&G reminder for this coming Sunday. P&G (Proctor & Gamble) has great coupons, but they do expire sooner than most. So this Sunday, August 30th get your paper for the P&G insert. Also, head on over to P&G.com for free samples & online coupons. I just signed up to get a bunch of free samples in the mail. I think that is a great way to try a new product without making the money commitment. A warning about online coupons that you print at home: Not all stores accept them, so you may want to check with your usual grocery store 1st. ETA: P&G online coupons work differently form most. You add your store savings card# and it loads the coupons onto it. Unfortunately there are no participating retailers in my area. I hope there are in yours because it seems pretty cool!

I just signed up for red plum coupons, too. Check them out!

Happy couponing!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Big Day

There were 2 big things that happened today. I will start with the good news. I received a phone call today from New Brunswick letting me know that they were recommending me for a position. It was not the position for which I had interviewed, but still a great one. It may even be a better fit for me. I would be a member of the PIRT = preschool intervention & referral team. The members of the team help support the teachers in a variety of ways. The team is made up of 2 social workers, a LDTC and 2 part-time speech therapists. The position is for someone who will be out on leave for the entire school year. I am not worried about that right now. I know a lot of people who got their starts in districts that way. The catch is that HR has to offer the position. So it is not officially mine until I get that call from HR, which could be a few days from now. I had a really great conversation with the director of early childhood and she was excited for me to bring my perspective of INCLUSION to the PIRT. Cross your collective fingers that I get a call from HR!!

Unfortunately I received this call while I was in the ER with Lilly. She woke up for her early morning feeding (6amish) and I brought her into bed with us so I could nurse. I realized that she had stopped nursing so I went to put her back on and I realized immediately that she was in the throes of a seizure. I woke Vinnie and told him to call 911 while I held our baby girl. It was awful. Her lips were turing blue and she was twitching and limp all at the same time. Her eyes were rolling back in her head and had shallow breathing. We checker her temp and it was 101.5. She finally came out of it (but was very out of it) about a minute before the EMTs got to our house. It seemed like she was in it forever, or at least 5 minutes.

Vinnie went with Lilly in the rig while I got dressed and followed. The ER staff was very kind and was convinced that it was just a febrile seizure but wanted us to stay for a bit. She slept and nursed most of the morning. Our pediatrician wanted to rule out an UTI so we then had to wait for her to pee in the little bag they attached. After almost 2 hours of no pee they decided to catheterize and of course she peed. :) Thankfully there was no sign of infection anywhere. The best guess is a viral infection with just fever.

It was truly one of the longest days of our lives.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Finally!

On the advice of a few trusted friends I sent another email to New Brunswick regarding the position for which I interviewed. I was cautious about doing so because I did not want to come across as pushy/desperate/pain in the ass. But everyone said one email/phone call a week is acceptable. I finally got a response back today saying that they are still interviewing and that the decision will be made by Friday. I am so glad that I got a response! And I still feel as if I am in the running.

I have been advised to write another letter asking if they are looking for something that I did not present in the interview, since they are atill interviewing. I am not sure how I feel about that. I am kind of thinking that might be too pushy. What to do, what to do??

about.com

I submitted an application to be a guide for about.com. Technically I do not have the experience in publishing and web publishing that they look for. But, hey, it's worth a shot!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lucky lady

In the past month I have lost my cell phone, camera and a $50 bill all at different times and in different situations. I was really upset about all 3 but finally gave up and moved on, so to speak. Wednesday I found my cellphone in a bag that I rarely use and that I did not even think was a possibility for the lost phone. This morning I found my camera in my reusable shopping bags that were in my trunk. Note to self: Use those more often! Tonight I was fiddling with something on our island counter and noticed that there was a tiny corner of paper money sticking out from the iPod dock thingy. I assumed it was a single but when I moved it, there lay the $50 bill. That was lost when I was paying the babysitter one day. I actually thought Lilly had taken it out of my wallet and looked everywhere that she could have hidden it. The funny thing is that I looked there, or so I thought, because that is where we always put the babysitting money.

I had told Vinnie that we should play the lottery tonight because it is a big jackpot. I should have taken my own advice!

Maybe my luck will hold out and I will get good job news in the beginning of next week.

New start

As I have written before, my husband has type 2 Diabetes. He was diagnosed about a year ago and it has been a long journey since then. He finally found an endocrinologist that he likes and trusts. Yesterday we went to the doctor's dietician and got some really great information.

As I have also written before, I have been gaining weight and trying to get motivated to get moving and to change my eating habits. I am getting uncomfortable in my own body, which tells me it is the right time. I used to be pretty active. I was even active a few months ago, but I got off track and it has been hard to get back on. The truth is that I have always struggled with my weight and/or body image. I don't understand why I have been gaining weight so quickly recently. I swear there is something else going on (thyroid?) but when they check they say it is normal. So I will try my best and if things still don't change then I will talk to a doctor again.

So here we go...Vinnie and I will be working as a team to support each other and change our lifestyle. Our Lilly baby deserves two healthy, active parents.

It starts NOW!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Puppy Love




Lilly loves her cats and my mom's dogs. Here she was trying to brush Mickey. A few minutes later she took a towel and placed it over him like a blanket. So sweet!

funny baby!


Sometimes Lilly just cracks me up! I mean, I really laugh out loud! She has been trying to dress herself recently, putting anything she finds over her head or on her arms. Today's was the funniest that I have seen so far. Lilly has put her onesie over her head but it got stuck on her ears. It is actually on the right way, though!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Fasting time?

What is wrong with me??? I need to stop eating. I have been a sweets/carb addict lately and now I feel so UGH! I may have to do a yeast fast. No white stuff. But I am not sure I can give up fresh fruit right now. It is the only time of year I eat it, basically. But the sugar/white flour may have to go for awhile. I am truly feeling like an addict right now. I know it stems from stress. Does not matter....being stressed does not give me the right to eat whatever/whenever/how much I want!!!

Now if only I could remember that...

the mom dilemma

Before I was a mom I had visions of grandeur involving what my life would be like as a Mom. Life was a rude awakening my friends. I am not a working-for-pay mom yet but I am assuming that these problems that I am having as a Mom would plague every kind of Mom. Here is my dilemma, in a nut shell: How does a person get everything done that is supposed to get done? Here is what I would like to get done on a daily basis: cook, daily cleaning and tidying, work out, a few minutes of alone time OR short nap if necessary, spend time with my husband. On a regular basis: big cleaning like mopping, bathrooms, etc, laundry, school work, job applications. Maybe I would even like to have a phone conversation or two. All this needs to occur with a toddler underfoot. Who takes everything out of her dresser when I am putting clothes away in the next room. Who pulls out her favorite books and walks over to me while I am cleaning and says, "BO-ok" and opens my hand and places the book in said hand.

I feel like I can have a clean house but never exercise again, ever and perhaps never let my daughter be a kid. (read: messy, independent, feeding herself, coloring and painting, etc.) Or I can be resigned to a messier house. Here is the kicker...we only have one child right now. Can you imagine what will happen if/when #2 comes along? Hopefully we will be in a bigger house where there will be a play room and toys will not be as invasive on my daily life. For instance, I could walk across my floor without twisting my anle and stubbing my toe and then setting off toys that make noise that have NO OFF switch. Seriously, who makes a noisy toy without an off switch?

It is at times like this that I remember my original blog title...overwhelmed and loving it. Motherhood is not as overwhelming as it was in those first days, and certainly not in the same ways. But life can still be hectic. It is in the handling of that chaos that our true colors show.

Oh, and I have yet to receive a phone call. Positive feelings are dwindling. :(

Friday, July 31, 2009

God is good

I had a great interview on Wednesday. At least I thought it was good! It was light years different than the South Orange/Maplewood one. The women who interviewed me were warm and seemed interested in what I had to say. There were times during the interview that were more like colleagues discussing current issues in education than an interview. I was confident in part to the coaching I received by a virtual friend. I sent my thank you note this morning and am anxiously awaiting a call for a 2nd interview.

We have been in a bad spot, financially. It had gotten to the point that we were borrowing money from family and it still seemed desperate. Well today Vinnie received some back pay that he did not even know he was owed. It was enough to get us out of our bad spot for now and hopefully keep us going until I can get a job/paycheck.

I am breathing deeper today and grateful to God, to family who is always supportive and to friends who show their true colors in times of need.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

nervous but confident

I have an interview tomorrow at 1pm and I am a little nervous. I was not nervous before but I am now. I feel pretty confident though. I am not sure what position I am interviewing for... they are hiring at least one preschool disabled teacher and at least one preschool inclusion specialist, which is the position I applied for in my cover letter. I have a ton of preschool experience and inclusion experience. To top it off this is what my Masters is geared toward basically.

This job would mean very good things for our family. We will be able to pay off bills, save some money so we can have another baby and buy a house. I am sad thinking about putting Lilly in full time day care but I know that she will be more than okay, she will be great. She is super social and loves to play with other children.

I won't be finished with school until December so the fall semester will be rough, but it will only be temporary.

So please say prayers and cross fingers and do what ever you do that I get this position!

Thanks!

Friday, July 24, 2009

jobs

I have been applying like mad for a teaching or early intervention position. I had one interview last month and I did not get the job. On Monday I submitted my resume/application for a job in New Brunswick that seems like it is perfect for me. I received an email last night asking me to call them to discuss my credentials. Yeah! I am so hopeful for this job. It would be a far drive and tough with school during the fall semester. But I think it would be worth it. So cross your fingers for me!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sleep %&#@ issues

I was thrilled! Last night Lilly slept from 8pm - 6am. Straight...no waking! It was a delight to have uninterrupted sleep. I had planned on sleeping until 7, so 6 was a little early, especially since I was up late cleaning, doing homework and then reading a bit, but that was okay. Now tonight...she woke up at 1:30. I nursed her in her room, tried to put her into the crib and she screamed. I finally brought her into my bed with me. Around 3 she started fussing again. Mostly to let my husband sleep I took her out and brought her back into her room. I tried the crib again - screamed. I took her out and rocked with her in the rocker. Wide awake. We go downstairs and lay together on the couch. She starts talking to the cats. "hi cat" while waving. Eventually I gave up and put Blue's Clues on and we are now watching Sesame Street. So, considering I went to sleep about 12:15, I have gotten a total of 2 hours sleep.

What the heck? This is not the first time this has happened. In fact, it is a pattern. Randomly she will sleep through the night and the next night, maybe 2, is hell. It is bad enough now. How will I handle this if/when I start a full time job in 2 months???

edited to add: She had Motrin right before bed for teething so I do not think that is it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

blah

I know I am getting my period anytime now, and this is the most likely culprit for this feeling. I am just feeling so fat and blah. I tend to keep those feeling inside and kind of just let them live. I was thinking that maybe if I got it out in the open (like on here) it can help me let those feeling go. I have struggled with these feelings as far back as middle school age and especially high school. Even in college, there were times that I worked really hard and got in good shape...and I still felt like this. It is kind of like this...no matter what my body actually looks like, I have a picture in my head of what it looks like. Most of the time I have a realistic picture in my head, but sometimes this other picture takes it place. And when it does, it affects my whole outlook. And of course then I want to eat cupcakes. :)

So really this was about just letting those feelings go. I am acknowledging that I am feeling like this, but not giving it any credibility. I am doing the best I can right now. It may not be enough to lose weight, but it is what I can do right now.

Now that I have a daughter I really want to get a handle on these feelings. I have read several books over the years about how young girls are affected by what their moms and other women in their life say about their own bodies.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Marriage vows...

I was recently reading a blog, which I will hopefully find again, and it was discussing the meaning of our marriage vows. I really feel like I need to meditate on the meaning of my vows right now. Because lately, I just want to say, well, it is not nice to say what I want to say. And obviously it is not all his fault or all my fault. A lot of it is circumstantial...finances are tight; school is really rough right now; I am no longer on the breast feeding period hiatus which means my hormones are going a bit nutty; he has not been feeling 100% and we have a very active toddler who is testing her limits and boundaries right now. So I will say a little prayer tonight. Or maybe a big one. And tomorrow I am going to print out my wedding vows so that I can meditate on the meaning behind them.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Marley & Me

Last night I finally watched Marley & Me. It was as sad as people said it would be. But it was also uplifting in some ways. I thought that it portrayed married life and parenthood really well. I have had those same arguments with Vinnie. I have wished the same things as a SAHM.

There are times when, even though I want to be home, I also wonder why I chose this. Of course, now as I am looking for jobs for September I am sad that I will not be a SAHM. At this point, I have stayed home with Lilly for over a year and financially I need to work. When I look at my priorities, being able to pay bills has to be up there. Eventually we want to buy a house. We also want to have more children. Hopefully I will be able to stay home with any subsequent children for a little while, at least.

I know that the working mom vs. SAHM debate is an old one. I just never thought I would have it with myself!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

summer nights

On Thursday I went for a walk after dinner with Lilly. It was a hot, humid day so I had waited until the sun was going down. As I was walking I was brought back to summer nights of my childhood by the mere scent wafting on the warm breezes. It was a combination of honeysuckle, other fragrant flowers and maybe OFF bug spray. There was a movie in the park that night, so there were plenty of people walking around and kids playing. I was remembering catching fireflies with my brothers, watching the bats swooping around with my parents and going to sleep-away camp every summer. Sweet summer memories!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Welcome Connor James!




My brother Matthew and his wife Kelly just welcomed Connor James into this world on July 10, 2009. 9 lb 15 oz 22 inches long with a big head of black hair. I was hoping to post a picture with this but I lost my camera a few weeks ago. We drove up to Saratoga Springs for the day to see him. Holding a newborn is just one of the most glorious feelings in the world.

As a side note, Lilly did so well in the car...4 hours in the morning and 3 1/2 in the afternoon. Amazing!!

*edited to add pictures.

Friday, July 10, 2009

What I do to save money...

Here are a few things I have been doing to save money.

1. I highlighted my own hair. It is the first time I have touched my own hair with color in, um, maybe 10 years. It was just as difficult as I remembered but the results were much better than the spotted leopard look I had my last attempt. This time came out pretty good. There are some spots that are a little brassy from not leaving it on long enough. But better some brassy spots than bald spots!

2. Coupons, coupons, coupons. I have pretty much become obsessed with coupons. I am not as crazy as some other people I know, but I do a decent job.

3. Cooking at home as much as possible. This is self-explanatory but still note-worthy.

4. Cut out stuff. Some things we have cut out... HBO package, Netflix (we use redbox or the library instead), buying books and magazine, hair cuts (let it grow), salon shampoo (hello Pantene!)

5. BJ's Buying in bulk is not always cheaper, but if you know your prices, you can make it work. BJ's takes manufacturer coupons which Costco does not. I got a great deal on Pampers last week. I think one of the keys to smart bulk buying is to not buy what you do not normally buy. The big bag of Swedish fish is tempting, but I do not need it!

What are your money saving tips?

Oh My!

Life has been very busy the past few weeks and that has obviously shown on my blog. I am doing a practicum for my graduate degree. It requires me to work 12 hours/week for 6 weeks at the Children's Center at Montclair State University. It is a good experience, except for a few things. The main thing is that I am paying (tuition) to work there and things are very financially tight for us. I asked to be in an infant room so that I can get more experience with infants with special needs. I am working with a little boy who has Down's syndrome. It is definitely different than what I am used to so I am grateful for that experience. It does not stop me from counting the hours...24 down 51 to go. Or, 2 weeks down 4 to go. Or, 1/3 completed! Sad, I know.

What else...I am looking for jobs. I am looking for jobs for September...teaching, early intervention, etc. I am also looking for something to get us through the summer...Rita's Ice, Target, Home Depot...anything I can do at night when Vin can stay with Lilly, really. Anyone have any leads for me??

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

catching up




In the past 2 weeks or so I have been really busy updating my resume, writing a cover letter and applying for some jobs online. I hate writing my resume. I always feel like I can make it better and so then I never feel like it is finished. Oh well...I have to start sending it out ASAP.

Lilly has learned to climb. This is huge because she now wants to climb everything! She is so funny but now I am so nervous that she is going to hurt herself. What happened to the old-fashioned play pen. The pack&play is just not an option to keep her contained anymore because she is too tall for it.

This past weekend while we were out at my in-laws in the Poconos Lilly started splashing in a puddle on the driveway. I eventually moved her to the grass because I was really uneasy with her on the asphalt. I just worry about her pretty face getting scratched or hurt. Well, when I took her in to nurse her and put her in for a nap she was getting so antsy. Every time she rubbed her hands together she was flinching and making little cries. It turns out that she had scraped the pads of her fingers raw playing in the puddles. I felt terrible. I had tears in my eyes as I was trying to see the extent of the damage. She seems to have recovered now, but it took a couple days. Every time she would pick up a strawberry she would drop it. How sad is that? If you see the pictures, she had a great time with her Grandma & Grandpa & aunts & Anthony.

Some good news is that she more or less has a nap schedule now. She has been consistently taking solid morning and afternoon naps. She even slept for 2 5-hour stretches last night, with a nursing break around 2. In some ways I cannot wait to get rid of the morning nap. I am totally tied down with the 2 nap thing. But I am so grateful that she is sleeping that I try not to complain.

Another good thing is that Vinnie and I have been arguing less. Is it reaching that 1 year mark of parenthood? Is it less sleep deprivation? Maybe, but whatever it is I am thankful.

I have a Flickr account now. Check out my pictures! I am in the slow process of uploading all the old pictures. Unfortunately a lot of pictures when the external hard drive got accidentally reformatted. Luckily I have them on Shutterfly and/or Snapfish so I have to order CDs with the pictures. Most of Lilly's birth and newborn pictures were among those lost so I definitely want to get those CDs soon. Anyway, enjoy the pictures.

Lilly is now awake so I am off to get her!

Pigtails


I put in Lilly's 1st pigtails today. She looks adorable, but also a little older. That makes me sad. Now I know why people have more babies! :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Prayers

One of the blogs I started following was about a young mom whose baby was born with anencephaly. I think that is what it is called. Faith lived just 3 short months but her life touched mine deeply. When I was checking my blog updates today I saw that she had passed away yesterday. I will say prayers for your mom and family tonight baby Faith. Check out the blog here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

exercise and such

I am finally fed up with all the weight that I am gaining back. I had lost sooo much weight after I had Lilly. It was like it had melted off. Well, that was short lived. I think that #1 I was gaining back some of the fluid I lost when I hemorrhaged after Lilly's birth and that #2 I had to regain some of the muscle I lost. I lost weight during my pregnancy (12 lbs) and then gained about 5 pounds back at the end of it. Then by my 6 week postpartum visit I was a total of 40 pounds less than my first maternity visit. So by the end of my pregnancy and all last summer I had no butt and skinny arms and legs. Anyone who knows me that I don't naturally have skinny arms or legs and I have a butt. I am just built that way...pretty muscular. So, in my head, I know that some of the weight I gained back was muscle. I have my normal butt, arms and legs back. But when I step on the scale, my heart sinks. #3 is that Lilly is not nursing night and day. She still nurses a lot, but nearly what she did before food. The combination of the 3 factors has lead to me gaining back 20 of those 40 pounds. So, okay, I am still 20 pounds less than I was before I had Lilly. But I still have a lot to loose.

And to be honest, I don't want to diet. I hate dieting and I don't think it really works. I always find ways to cheat but still stay on the plan. I don't want to be a sneaky eater. I want to be an honest eater. So I am trying to make better choices. Not let myself get to the starving point. Drink enough water. Move my body most days of the week.

Today I went for a good-paced walk pushing the jogger (and Lilly) with my friend Caroline in the park. Also, instead of napping during Lilly's morning nap I did the 20-minute Winsor Pilates DVD. My core strength is just completely depleted since pregnancy and a c-section. My belly is actually the only thing that really bothers me.

Off to bathe and nurse Lilly girl!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday Grandma!

I meant to post this on May 14th, which would have been my Grandma's birthday. Alas, things got busy and it slipped my mind. Yesterday, as I was walking Lilly I saw that all the Irises were in bloom. Grandma loved irises. One year when she was living in the senior housing I took her to the Presby Iris Gardens in Montclair, NJ. I have such great memories of that small trip because it was something that I could for her. I know that she had her faults. But she was also funny and quirky. She was so far from the little old granny crocheting in her rocker, it was not funny. She would have loved Lilly. Man, do I miss her sometimes.

married life

Do you ever just want the arguing and bickering between you and your husband to end? Often it just seems like an ongoing battle that we take a break from and pick it right back up. Thankfully it is usually over minor things like cleaning and cooking and what's for dinner. But seriously? I really would like to be able to just have a weekend during which we have NO ARGUMENTS. Our common arguments go like this:

Please keep in mind that this is decidedly one-sided.

Me: I thought you were not sleeping in today.

He: I didn't. I slept until 9 like I said I would.

Me: It is 9:45 and considering I have been up since before 7am with our daughter, even 9 is sleeping in.

He: I'm sorry, okay. (in a slightly churlish voice)

Me: Whatever. Now it is time for her morning nap.

(later on)

He: Why don't you take a break?

Me: Because the house is a disaster, we have no clean laundry and we have nothing in the house to eat for dinner.

(sometimes arguments ensue over this.)

Before dinner, as I cook, sometimes with a toddler screaming at my legs.

He: Why is she crying like this?

Me: She is hungry and tired because we are eating way too late for a 1 year-old.

He: Stop crying!

Me: Don't talk to her like that!

He: Like what?

After dinner is done and baby is bathed, changed, read to and nursed...all by me...
He: What are you doing?

Me: I am cleaning the kitchen. I cannot go to bed with it like this. I need to be able to come down in the morning, make my coffee, which is decaf to begin with, and get breakfast for Lilly.

He: I cleaned all her toys.

Me: Thank you. (This has entailed everything going haphazardly into any bin or basket. I know she is too young to realize that her toys are organized or not, but I like them organized so I can see where everything is. Also, I get aggravated when I see her pull trash or non-toys out of the toy bin.) Sometimes I fix things right then, if there are obvious things that need fixing. Otherwise I wait until morning and he is at work.

He: What? What did I do wrong?

Me: It's just that.... (use your imagination)

He: anything said with a tone or curse words interspersed in daily conversation

Me: Why are you saying it like that? and Watch your mouth around the baby!

He: What tone? What are you talking about?



Or like tonight, I came down from putting Lilly in bed for the 2nd time and did a load of laundry. I then came up and worked on the kitchen for probably about an hour. I cleaned up meat juice that had spilled all over the counters and floor. I put away the dishwasher and washed the dirty dishes. I put away any food or condiments form our dinner. Then when he was shooting me with foam darts, he was wondering why I was not amused. When I asked why he just lied on the couch the entire time, he said that he can never do anything right anyway. I know that this can be true. It seems that our arguments are mostly about me wanting him to do more. From what my married friends, especially those with young children, say, this is all too common. So what do people do? Give up? Just do all the work (cooking, cleaning, laundry, baby caring) themselves?

I have been working on letting things go. My mom always says, "Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy." I think I need to concentrate on being happy. But damn it...I am right!

Okay, I do have to add that Vinnie does do things for me. This morning he made me and Lilly pancakes. He manned the grill while I did the sides and fed Lilly. And he went out to the store to get stuff so I could make cookies for the playgroup tomorrow. Maybe, for a guy, that is a lot in one day. And I am not being sarcastic about this. Lastly, but most importantly, he goes to work every day and provides for us.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Birth days and stories

Today is my 34th birthday. Life takes us on some crazy journeys and I am pretty happy where I am today. 10 years ago I would have imagined my life very different. Needless to say, it was not always the easiest of travels, but I am a stronger, better person for it.

I so wanted to post on Lilly's birthday, but it just got crazy. We had a wonderful little party with my friend Pamela and her children Katharine and Thomas and my mom and Nanny.

The night before (Wednesday) I was standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes and thinking about Lilly's birth. What was I doing last year this time type of thing... I was flooded with intense emotion thinking about her birth. I had anticipated an easy, uncomplicated birth but had the opposite. When I first started having contractions I used my exercise ball to sit on and do figure 8s to help her spiral down. I visualized her pushing her way out. I stayed really calm and breathed deep into my belly for her. Vinnie and I walked around the neighborhood, stopping to lean on trees during contractions. When my contractions slowed down and stopped completely a few times, I just thought that it was not the right time.

We drove to my parent's house for dinner because everything had completely stopped. As we hit a few potholes on the 2 mile drive, labor started in earnest. At my parent's house I could barely eat the delicious pizza they had ordered. Good sign! I got on my knees and leaned over the back of the sofa during contractions. They were getting more intense and closer together. I could barely believe it was really here!

We went to hospital, probably a little early..my contractions were 3 minutes apart for 1.5 minutes for about 40 minutes. They say to wait until an hour hits. We got to the hospital and parked in the parking deck. I had hard contractions several times on the walk into the hospital. I got up on the bed to be examined...2-3 cm. Okay, not as much as I would have like or thought...considering I had been having contractions for about 2 days now! We switch to the room that I wanted with the birthing tub and contractions STOP. Completely. I was devastated but tried to remain calm. I knew that (stress, anxiety) could affect my labor. My midwife, Joanne, gave me the option to stay there and rest for a bit or to try to stir things up then. I chose rest because this was now the 3rd night of sleep interrupted with contractions. A few hours go by and Joanne comes back to check on me. I had been having contractions during this time but the wireless monitors had not picked them up. And also the baby was showing no change in heart rate which is odd. Before they start pitocin, which I was a bit resistant about to begin with, my midwife wanted to break my water because the baby was showing signs of distress. Sure enough it was completely full of meconium. The doctor on call was called in to consult and we decided that a fetal monitor would be put on before rushing to surgery...there was still hope!

After my water was broken the contractions were fast and furious. And now I was not allowed to move because the baby's heart rate was going super low and taking a really long time to get back up. That was truly torture. All I wanted to do was move!!! At that point I was saying, okay, if you will not let me move I may need something for pain. And at that point it was too late because a c-section was a possibility. I think it was about an hour that I labored like that. I was crying and begging for my mother.

My mom had thought we had a few hours to go and we had told her to not come right away. Luckily she got there when she did. She came into the room and saw the baby's heart rate doing what it was doing and she called the nurses. The nurses had been on their way in for the same reason. At that point it was time to just get the baby out safely. Things moved very quickly at that point...they were getting me ready and I was crying hysterically, Vinnie was trying to fit into scrubs 2 sizes too small and I was wheeled away. I was given the spinal and Vinnie made it in!

As the doctor saw the baby he said, " Oh, this was the problem! The cord was wrapped..1, 2, 3, 4 times around! This is the 1st time I have ever seen 4 times in my 30 years as a doctor!" I had my own complications afterward that made my recovery slow and difficult. My baby girl, on the other hand, did beautifully right away. Her apgar scores were 8 and 9...not bad for a baby who was wrapped 4 times!!! She nursed like a champ...and still does!

Lilly Bernadette was born at 10:46am on May 7, 2008. She is the light of our lives and I do not remember what life was like without her. Life without Lilly would not be worth living.

I am still working through the emotions of having had an emergency cesarean section. But I do not feel as traumatized now that a year has gone by. I definitely want to have a VBAC if we are blessed with another baby. There were many times that I was hurt by comments people made about my birth experience vs. their birth experience. e.g. Well at least you did not have to push a baby out. I would rather have surgery. Meanwhile I was doing everything possible to avoid surgery. Who wants major abdominal surgery... and all that entails???

In the end, I know I did what was best for me and my baby. I prepared by going to a great childbirth class taught by Kim Collins. I took prenatal yoga. When the time came I labored calmly and peacefully. I did whatever I needed for me. I ate and drank what and when I felt like it. I was able to labor without pain killers until I was prepped for the surgery. I avoided all unnecessary medical interventions until my midwife deemed they were necessary. We have a beautiful little girl who is full of life and oh so smart. The experience I had giving birth to her is important. But honestly, the fact that she is here with us really is the most important and final piece of that puzzle.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading. It took me a few days to write this because I was preparing for Lilly's 1st birthday party yesterday.
xo
Melanie

edited to add: Telling a woman who has just had a c-section, emergency or otherwise, that "The most important thing is that the baby is here." is generally not helpful to the woman. Even if she comes to that conclusion on her own, it may take her years, or never at all. I am guilty of saying that in the past, pre-baby. I think I said it because I was at a loss of what else to say. I probably would just say, "I'm sorry." if I was talking to someone about it now.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

so....

I really have nothing to say because I am pretty overwhelmed and cranky. I should say, I have nothing POSITIVE to say. In the past 10 days I have dealt with: a sick baby, a teething baby, a sick husband, a final grad school project, husband's birthday, a short trip down the shore, a leaking car, dealing with said car company, car shopping and now getting ready for Lilly's 1st birthday party. Oh and let's throw my period in on top of that...cause that's always fun. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out. And for some reason Lilly is refusing to sleep in her crib. Great.

Monday, April 20, 2009

haha! Life is laughing at me....

So I spoke/wrote to soon. Lilly woke up around 2:30 and slept fitfully form then on. I ended up going into her room with her and trying to get her to sleep in the twin bed with me. Every time I tried to put her in the crib she screamed her head off. When I took her into the bed with me she cried or fussed. I finally spoke very sternly, saying "Lay down." I was at the very end of my rope. I would have actually just let her cry at that point but my husband needs to sleep so that he can go to work in the morning. The way she was screaming...there would be no sleep in our house. And maybe even in out neighbor's house!

The other thing is that she was crying as if something was wrong. I just could not figure out what the heck it was. She had infant Motrin before she went to bed, so I did not think it could be that. I was probably wrong. This morning I was playing with her and I saw a 3rd point poking through her top gums. So at this point she has 2 on the bottom, and on the top she has: 1 broken through, 1 just broken through, and 1 pointy eye tooth beginning to poke through. Poor, poor Lilly. I really wish there was more relief I could give her at night.

I have also remembered that we travelled to PA on Saturday. We had a lovely visit with my in-laws, but it definitely throws off Lilly's schedule. It takes a few days for her to come back to normal. I have also heard and read somewhere that car sleep is not quality sleep. Meaning it does not make up for lost naps. Obviously it is better for us if she sleeps in the car. But maybe it is not better for her? Something to think about.... I will have to try to find that study/article.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday night wind-down

It is Sunday night and I am sitting with my two cats, Calvin and Mr. Hobbes, lying next to me on the couch. They have come to know that when Lilly is in bed I will give them rubs. Sometimes they even wait outside the upstairs gate for me. Sweet guys, even if they do annoy me at times! The best thing is that Lilly has been sleeping better. There are a few things at play there. Her top teeth are basically in. So the torture of the last 2 weeks had a reason behind it. I have instituted a bedtime routine for her. It is not perfect and sometimes, like tonight, she falls asleep before we can get to the routine. LOL I chose a quiet Baby Einstein lullaby CD that I won't want to pitch out the window next week. I play that every time she is going to sleep in her crib, even naps. I usually stop nursing her before she falls asleep so that she is a little awake when I put her in the crib. Sometimes I need her to nurse more than I need to put her into the crib awake, if that makes sense. I had moved up her bedtime by about an hour. On days when I am school, her schedule is totally messed up, but I try to get right back on track the next day.

I have been putting her down for 2 naps. And...she falls asleep on her own most times. I put her in her crib with her blankie and cookie monster and put the music on. I have even left her other toys in there. She will play for several minutes, then lay down and go to sleep. We have one of those video monitors so I can see exactly what is going on. Sometimes she will give a little protesting cry. The great thing with the video monitor is that I can look to see if she is down or up. If she is already laying down with her blankie, I don't need to go in because I know she will be asleep momentarily. If she is hanging on the crib rail, then it is time for me to go in. That was one of the best gifts I did not know I needed!

The good news is that I am slowly feeling that I am a little less sleep deprived. Hopefully over the next few weeks I can catch up on some much-needed sleep, a little at a time.

I am off to do that right now. Lilly will be up for her late-night feeding soon. I am so glad that I had 10 minutes to myself to unwind!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Amazing commercial

Why are all the good commercials in Europe? Why is the U.S. so uptight about what we see on TV? This is a commercial for a mattress company. It shows a woman giving birth on her bed. It is pretty graphic, but I find it beautiful and amazing. Watch it here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

funny cartoon


I was sent this cartoon from The Postpartum Place.  I thought it was pretty funny!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Autism151.com

One of the blogs I follow posted a link to the following page. Autism151.com was created by a woman whose son has autism. She had started Kyle's Treehouse.  I just found out about this site.  Crazy, considering how much online research I have done about autism.  Anyway, if you or someone you know has a child with autism, I invite you to visit Autism151.com and browse and maybe even upload a video.  Their slogan is, "150 stories.  One community of hope."  Beautiful!  Let me know what you think...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Cesarean Awareness Month

April is Cesarean Awareness Month.  I am very, very grateful for cesareans because otherwise Lilly might not be with us now.  However, it is major abdominal surgery and should not be approached lightly.  I had approached Lilly's birth planning on using as little medical intervention as possible.  We took classes with a wonderful doula who works out of Shakti Ma Yoga Studio.  We ended up needing almost every medical intervention!  Again, I am grateful it was there for me and for my baby.  My midwife was amazing and calm.  My surgeon was respectful and sweet.  (and amazing...I barely have a scar!)  I hope that if we are blessed with more children that I will be able to VBAC, and do so without fear.  I also hope that one day I will be able to write about my experience.  For now, I will bring awareness to people.  Peace and love...Melanie

exercise is good

I have been feeling positively exhausted for the past several days.  I feel like I got on a roll... school stuff, shopping, cooking, etc.  Then I collapse for 2 days.  Today I finally got off my butt and went for a walk with Lilly in the jogger.  Of course one block into the walk it started drizzling.  I kept with it and walked at a brisk pace for a solid 25 minutes.  It started raining just as we walked up the driveway.  I even did some floor exercises for a bit.  It is challenging trying to use an exercise ball when Lilly is pulling it out from under me!  

I really feel so much better when I get out and do some exercise.  I just wish I could get out there more often.  Then maybe I would lose some of this weight!

Good Friday

I have been raised a Catholic.  I also practice Catholicism, though not as regularly, as say, my Nanny.  I believe in the basic Dogma of the Catholic faith.  There are some things I disagree with, but I don't find that they are central to the beliefs of the Catholic Church.  Some people would disagree and call me a cafeteria Catholic.  Whatever.  :)  

Recently one of my good friends questioned all the secular (my word not hers) celebrations of Easter... chocolate, baskets, etc.  I get that.  I also question any holidays that become over-secularized or Hallmarked.  However, I am still going to enjoy Lilly's 1st Easter.  I plan on putting Cheerios in some eggs and having her "find" them in the backyard.  I am getting her dressed up in a pretty pastel dress for Mass and dinner.  My brothers and I fondly speak of our childhood traditions surrounding Easter.  Those traditions do not in any way take away from the Holiness of the holiday for our family.

I also have been going to Mass most weekdays during Lent.  Lilly now knows when we are getting close to the church as we walk there.  Granted she spends most of the time running around the back while I am chasing her.  But she is hearing the prayers, both the priest's and my responses.  She is seeing me receive Communion.  I think this is so important.  I am not sure I realized how important it was to me until I started going daily.  

There is something really wonderful and centering about starting my day with Mass.  I feel like, even if nothing else goes right or gets done that day, at least we did that.  I hope that I can continue this practice as much as possible in the future.  

I felt a little empty yesterday and today because Mass was not celebrated.  There were other services I could have attended both days.  They are very solemn, though, and not the place for an 11-month-old who likes to hear her voice.  Going to daily Mass has made my Good Friday more meaningful because I can't receive Communion today.  This was a point that was previously lost on me. 

To all those looking for the real meaning of Easter... it is today.  It is not to late to experience what Good Friday and Easter really mean.  There are parishes all over that are hosting live stations of the cross.  It is a meaningful and moving experience that you will not soon forget.  


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Loving my new baby gate

So I really should be sleeping, but as I effortlessly walked through our new baby gate I was inspired. We had been using the old school pressure gates that you have to put on and take off each time you are passing through. Or you could always climb over them, inevitable catching something...sneaker, pant leg, etc..on it and almost fall to the ground. Or at the very least spill your glass of water. We bought this gate from Target and I am in love. It was easy to install (we are using the pressure-mounted option) and makes my life so much easier and my house safer. I no longer worry about Lilly falling down the steps. She knows how to crawl down, but has never tried from the top. She usually goes up a few steps from the bottom and then crawls back down. It is very easy for an adult (that would be me or Vinnie) to open and close. I think we are going to get another for the kitchen doorway. Oh, and they are not ugly! I won't go as far to say that they blend, but they are not the horrible.  Okay, now I am really going to bed!

redemption




My mom always says that giving the baby a bath can change their mood. It is calming and relaxing and changes the pace. My mom is so wise. I gave Lilly her bath and it not only changed her mood, but it changed mine as well. It was nice to just forget about everything else on my endless to-do list and play with Lilly in the tub.  It provided some much needed relaxation for both of us.  I used to take baths almost daily.  That was BB, or Before Baby.  I definitely appreciate how wonderful they are for me.  I am realizing how wonderful they are for both me and Lilly.  When she was still a newborn I would sometimes take a bath with her.  It is hard to believe that she is not a tiny baby laying on my chest but a big 11-month-old who has discovered the joys of the toilet paper roll.  The best part is that she nursed right to sleep after her bath!  Aaahhh!

One of those days...

It has been one of those days. I am sleep deprived to the max...stayed up late 3 nights in a row to finish a grad school project/paper. Lilly was nap-resistant today. There are some days when I feel like all I do is attempt to get her to nap. Notice the word attempt!

I never got to the library. I swear they can pay at least one librarian's salary on my fines. Never got to Target to get stuff for Lilly's Easter Basket. Never got to Stop & Shop for garbage bags so we are using the little grocery bags. Never did laundry so Lilly may not have jammies to wear tonight.

Well, at least I got to Whole Foods and bought stuff for dinner and for meatballs. I got dinner on the table at a reasonable hour and it was fairly nutritious. I made mashed potatoes and grilled london broil. Paired it with a steam fresh and we were good to go. Whoever thought of those was brilliant! It makes eating healthy so much more convenient.

I will be making meatballs tomorrow for my friends who just had babies. :) And I am supposed to be gathering Lilly's laundry now from her room so that I can do it after she *hopefully* goes to sleep at a relatively early hour. I won't tell if you won't! wink wink

Monday, April 6, 2009

Tiny Tillia Review

A local woman runs Celebrity Baby Blog and asked for local product reviewers. My review of Tiny Tillia bath products has finally been posted. I think it would have been better if I did it now, if only because Lilly is so much more interactive during bath time. Oh well! Enjoy!

Onion Goggles...why didn't I think of these?

So for anyone who cries over chopping onions, here is the product for you! Onion goggles are used by such famous chefs as Paula Deen. I can imagine it would take the literal sting out of chopping onions. Now if only they made baby-sized ones for when Lilly is playing at my feet in the kitchen. Then I would not have to banish her to play in her play yard in the other room during onion chopping time!  

Speaking of cooking, I have been on a bit of a roll with cooking lately.  I think that I am going to post some of my recipes in the coming weeks.  The fact that I don't measure may cause a little difficulty, though.  

Okay, back to writing that darn paper.  I am also waiting for shoes to be delivered by UPS.  Anyone who knows me well knows about my difficulty in finding shoes that fit.  Thank goodness for Zappos free shipping and return policy!

Funniest blog ever

If you want a few laughs and you are not overly sensitive or offended by fowl, I mean, foul language... check out this link!  It provided a desperately needed laugh this morning.  I found it courtesy of Maplewoodonline.  Now I have to pound out a paper while Grammy is watching Lilly for me.  Wish me luck... I am operating on a minimal amount of sleep...


Friday, April 3, 2009

Yo Gabba Gabba

How did I miss the new Yo Gabba Gabba with Jack Black?  It was apparently the best yet.  I thought I was taping it on the DVR but it recorded the old one.  Did I record the wrong channel?  UGH!  Annoying.  Oh well...I'll get over it.

I just saw the commercial for the filet of fish in which the singing fish is asking for its parts back.  I know some people hate that commercial but I think it is really funny.  I actually laugh out loud at it.  Is that wrong?

I am supposed to be writing a paper so I guess I better get back to it.  Of course Lilly is due to wake up soon....

update:  I was able to dvr it earlier this week and watched it yesterday.  That was THE best YGG EVER!  Jack Black rocks!!

xoxo

Here we are again...

So I decided to start blogging again.  Not that I have anything deep and important to share but sometimes I think to myself, Oh, I should write that down, and I don't.  Lots of things have happened since I last blogged.  side note: My cat is snoring.  It is really, really annoying.  So, we had all the holidays...Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, etc.  Vinnie and I celebrated our 1st anniversary...yeah us!  

Lilly has hit so many milestones.  She crawled, cruised and is now walking.  She looks so cute toddling around.  It makes me really sad though, to realize how fast she has grown.  This year has just really flown by.

I finished the Fall semester with 2 As.  I have the same professors this semester, so I kind of feel like I know what to expect.  Unfortunately the one is pretty tough in that her assignments are vague.  I have one paper due for the whole semester and it is due this coming Tuesday.  It is a good thing I have at least one page done already.  :)  

I feel like I am surrounded by pregnant women lately.  I know several women who are due sometime between now and next fall.  It is so exciting!  

Two of my closest friends had their babies in the last week.  Caroline had Bridget Elisabeth and Colleen had Fiona Marie.  I am alrady in love with them and so happy that Lilly will have some girlfriends.  I have known both Caroline and Colleen since we were about 5 years old, so it seems so fitting that we all have girls now.

Okay, hopefully I will keep up with this and make it more than just a once every 6 months thing.

xoxo