Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Alright, here's a real doozy for you guys. What do you do when your wiggly 1 year old gets a little cut that won't stop bleeding?

Henry cut himself somehow (I'm thinking paper cut) this morning. I noticed a few drops of blood on the floor and started playing the game "what orifice is bleeding now?" I looked in his mouth, nose, and then noticed he had some blood on his hands. His finger was bleeding.

It didn't look bad, so I just used a little wet washcloth and wiped it off. I thought that was that, but as usual, it wasn't. This little tiny cut on Henry's finger didn't stop bleeding, and Henry didn't stop moving. He was walking around as usual touching everything...which in turn got little drops of blood all over the place. Ugh.

I put a little Elmo band-aid on the cut, hoping to catch the blood and avoid getting in all over the walls. Henry thought this was hilarious. He laughed at his little band-aid and sucked on it until he got it off...and then proceeded to wipe blood all over my pants and a stuffed animal he had just received.

Then, I tried a glove. I don't know if this makes me weird or not, but I figured if I put a winter glove on his hand, it would at least contain the blood until it stopped bleeding. Well obviously that was just wishful thinking, because he pulled it right off.

Sooo I spend the next 45 minutes chasing him around with a wet washcloth wiping his finger every 10 seconds. Awesome.

So that got me to thinking...what do mommies do when there's blood and it doesn't affect your kid enough to get them to sit still? Do you let your kid bleed all over everything? Or somehow contain them until it stops bleeding? I need a better game plan for next time!

Long Week

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Henry has been wicked sick this past week hence me being MIA. He has been coughing, sniffling, and forcing me to change my shirt every 15 minutes when it gets soaked with snot and tears. Poor kid.

We took him to the doctor who informed us he is actually cutting his 18 month molars, too.


So he finally seems to be feeling a little bit better tonight, so once he went down to sleep (and we were sure he wasn't going wake up screaming 5 minutes later), I poured myself a nice big glass of red wine.

Thank God the toy designers at B. Toys made their play cube multi-functional.

Mama earned this drink.

Happy Survival Day!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Day to my Husband and I for surviving one year of Hurricane Henry.

Oh, and Happy Birthday to the wildest kid I know!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Let's get one thing straight. I'm not going to win the "Mom of the Year" award this year. Or next. Or probably ever. So I'm just going to put this out there, and hope that I don't regret typing it.

I think watching my kid eat is f@*#ing disgusting.

I remember how excited I was when at Henry's 4 month appointment the doctor told us that we could go ahead and try rice cereal and purees. I'm not sure what I expected feeding to be like, but I'm pretty sure I didn't think it would totally freak me out.

Food on spoon > baby opens mouth > food into mouth > swallow > repeat


Read the rest HERE!!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Let's talk toys, shall we?

Toys suck, the end. Thanks for stopping by.

Ok, ok, I'll elaborate.

I think toys are a sadistic gimmic that companies use to play into a moms fragile emotional state.

You go to Buy Buy Baby, you browse Amazon, or you have a playdate, and you are constantly bombarded with new and awesome toys that your kid has to have in order to reach his milestones, learn his ABCs by 10 months, and become a professional athlete. Barf.

I hate toys, but I feel like a bad mommy that my kid doesn't have an entire basement full of plastic garbage that he can climb all over and act like a maniac. And I KNOW that I don't even have it bad, yet. Henry can't even ask for the toys he wants.

With Henry's first birthday a week away and Christmas shortly after that, I've been feeling especially weak and fragile when I see toys that promise to entertain my kid for 7 hours a day...especially since I start daydreaming about being able to paint my nails and take a freaking shower while a toy entertains my kid.

Here's why I'm staying strong and not giving in to holiday toy maddness:

1. Henry has never had a toy or played with a toy at a friends house that he has payed attention to for more than 11.4 seconds. Why am I going to spend $104.89 on a light up 3-toed sloth that blows balls out of its ears. I'm not. And that's creepy.
2. Henry's current favorite toys are his dresser drawers, the dishwasher, paper, and my iPhone. Let's see... That's 1 point for ikea, 1 point for GE, 1 point for paper, 1 point for Apple, and 0 points for any toy company.
3. I'm cheap. I have yet to spend more than $15 on any toy Henry has and I think $50 dollars in his college fund will make him smarter than a $50 dollar musical bear that can say my kids name and favorite food. (yeah, I'm talking about you scout)
4. I'm cheap and smart. Tom and I started shopping for Henry's birthday and Christmas at garage sales this past summer. We spent about $30 total for both events and got him loads of books and high quality wooden toys that won't light up rainbow vomit and make my ears bleed. Oh, and we won't have to fill 5 garbage bags with packaging, and Tom won't have to spend the next 6 weeks putting things together. Bonus.
5. I'm highly susceptible to catchy tunes so if we bought many singing toys, I would end up humming the tunes all day and night and then I'd have no friends.

Basically, I'm not against my kid having toys, but I do think it's easy to go overboard (I've seen it first hand), and I think toy companies know that moms want the best for their kids and therefore target us with the promise of a happier, smarter kid if only we buy their toys.

I think this holiday season the score will be Toys-0, Stephanie-1.

The Age When It's Getting Fun!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I think I've adjusted very well to husbanding and fatherhood from my former life well over two years ago!!! I've loved Henry since the day he was born and didn't have any issues with identities and roles as other dads I may have heard of. I don't ignore Stef and Henry, I don't look for excuses to get away other than my weekly soccer game, and I hurry home every day after work so I have as much time to play with the fam before Henry's bed time. What is so cool now is that being around the corner from Henry's first birthday, as a dad, the little dude becomes more and more fun by the day. ( Except restaurants, they are miserable and no longer fun for anyone unless we are going with Grandma and Grandpa and they can deal with Hurricane Restaurant Henry, very closely related to Demon Baby )
Now that Henry is mobile, talkative, knows how to play hide and seek, and loves to chase, play time is no longer trying to get him to pay attention to a creepy toy. We wrestled for the first time the other day and it was a blast!
A buddy of mine from school who began his journey with fatherhood a year or so before me keyed me in on the fact that a baby spends the first several months of his life bonding with mommy, but when they become playful there is a chance for dad to join in the fun!
So, I relish in it and love it. He is a blast and I can't wait for Captain Henry's Pirate Birthday Party!

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011



Thursday, November 3, 2011

Henry is afraid of the clothing dryer.

Like seriously dude?

Of all the things this kid could be afraid of...he decides to be scared of the dryer. The kid doesn't flinch at loud noises. He has no fear of new people. In fact, he happily lunges into the arms of anyone who holds their arms out for him. Of couse, as a mother, this baffles me after hearing horror stories of seperation anxiety, but not Mr. Henry. His kryponite is the dryer.

Our dryer is in our hallway. It's behind a door that stays closed 95% of the time, BUT if you open that door, he will crawl away screaming. If the door is open and he on one side of the door frame and we are on the other, he will sit at the other edge and wail. See...

If you can't tell...That's Henry....crying...staring at the dryer....It's bizarre.

If he was an adopted child, I would be convinced that he had once been put into a dryer. Not the case, though. Sigh..

What is so scary about a dryer? Am I just not seeing it? What are your kids afraid of??

Poop or Chocolate?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I had one of those moments the other day that felt like a slap in the face reminding me, "hey! you're a mom now!"

In most aspect of my life, I still feel relatively normal. I do the same things I've always done...I just have a little sidekick by my side while doing them. There are, however, moments that come up that really crack me up when I think of how becoming a mommy has actually changed me.

Case and point: I was driving in car with Henry in the backseat. I had recently bought 4 bags of Halloween candy because they were on sale and I had to buy 4 to get the best deal. Because I can't be trusted alone with candy, I left the bags in the trunk and planned on bringing them in closer to Halloween. Also because I can't be trusted with candy, I had opened one of the bags and had been enjoying a piece or two every time I opened the trunk to put the stroller in.

Anyways, I was driving down the road enjoying my Hershey's with Almonds fun-sized candy bar. I finished the chocolatey treat and continued on my drive. A few moments passed until I felt something on my hand. I looked down and there was a little ball of brown on my index finger. It was no bigger than the size of a pencil tip.

Now here's the moment that made me laugh at myself -- My immediate reaction to this ambiguous brown ball -- I sniffed it.

Only a mom! Only a mom would sniff the little brown ball she found on her finger. Was it poop that mysteriously migrated it's way onto my finger during baby's last diaper change or was it leftover chocolate?!


It was chocolate...So I ate it!

Happy Halloween, Moms! Enjoy some yummy treats and don't forget to check your hands when you're finished!

Urgent! Question.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Okay okay. Today, I experienced something I just have to share. It had me so baffled, so surprised, that I really just need some clarification on the topic.

Here's the beef:

With Henry in the backseat, I pulled our SUV into a parking space at the South Run Rec Center in Springfield for our weekly baby sign and sing class.

As I was getting my stuff together and getting Henry out of the car, I saw a mom with three small girls heading towards their van.

The three little girls must have been about 2, 4, and 6. The mom loaded the little girls into the van as I was wrangling Henry into his stroller. I shut our car door and started pushing the stroller towards the entrance of the rec center, when I couldn't help but notice this jaw-dropping incident happening right before my eyes.

Read the rest HERE

Vacation + Baby = Regrets

Friday, October 7, 2011

Before I was a mommy, I looked forward to vacations. Tom and I took many a vacation together. We went to Las Vegas, Chicago, Ocean City, New York, England, etc. Travel was fun and aside from the occasional airport snafu like a delayed flight or one of us having to be pat down, we usually enjoyed our vacations with hardly a second thought.

Enter baby.

Read more here.

Snot Bubbles

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I knew this day was bound to come. I'd been bracing myself for it ever since Henry was born. I'd heard stories from other moms about how miserable their babies are when sick, so imagine my horror when I woke up the other morning to snot bubbles.

Click Here to read more!

Stolen Sleep

Friday, July 15, 2011

Now it's one thing to have to wake up in the middle of the night with your child. Luckily (knock on copious amount of wood), Henry never wakes up in the middle of the night. So, I go to bed at 11 planning on waking up at 7 or whenever the babe rises. Good deal.

It's a whole completely different thing to have to wake up in the middle of the evening, night, morning, naptime with your baby monitor. As a mother, I didn't sign on for taking care of a sweet baby boy and an *sshole baby monitor.

Let me explain. We have the Angelcare monitor that detects motion. We bought it as a recommendation from friends who have a young son. They said it was the best thing they owned. It was especially nice once Henry was born considering he spent the first week of his life in the NICU with breathing problems.

Early on, my relationship with the monitor was chummy. We had a few false alarms where we jumped out of bed like someone had told us Oprah was outside, but all in all I gleefully smiled every time I saw the monitor blink. Our baby boy was breathing and all was right in the world.

Then. One day. One day that monitor lost it's cool. Maybe its monitor girlfriend had broken up with him. Maybe the diaper stench had become too much. That monitor started alarming all day and all night. Naptime would be ruined because it would go off and Henry would wake up after being down for 7 minutes and decide it was time to play. It would go off in the middle of the night when Henry was dead asleep. He'd sleep right through it while we'd (mostly Tom) would be stumbling blindly into Henry's room to reset the damn thing.

I was on the brink. I'd been woken up one too many times from dreams about the baby napping 3 hours while I sipped lemonade and read an actual book.

It was immature and not mommylike but when the monitor alarmed this morning, I tore the covers off, threw myself out of bed and across the room, and karate chopped that monitor to kingdom come.

Hours later when I woke up for the day, Tom had left for work, and I felt bad. I plugged Mr. Monitor into the wall to see if he still worked and he does. Hopefully now he'll think twice before false alarming again.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Crawling. Like actually moving himself to places.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Ok, I hope this doesn't make me a bad parents, but crawling is one of those baby milestones I am not looking forward to. Eating solids was gross at first, but got better as Henry go the hang of it. Sitting up on his own is great because he can play with his toys more easily. But crawling? There's not really anything good about crawling, and it definitely won't get better as he gets the hang of it.

Crawling is scary for many reasons. First, learning to crawl is terrifying to watch. Henry will get up on all fours, scoot his legs forward, and because he can't figure out how to move his arms, he will nose dive into the floor. I can't even tell you the amount of times I was positive he'd broken his nose.

Second, mobility for an infant = no mobility for mom. I use to be able to plop Henry on the couch and run to go pee. When he started to roll, that became a no no. So, when my bladder was full, I could lay him on the floor and leave him for 90 seconds. Now that he is able to wiggle himself forwards and push himself pretty confidently backwards, I don't dare leave him alone on the floor. I learned my lesson after I walked away for a minute only to come back and find him under the sofa. Once he starts REALLY crawling, I'd probably find him in the oven or out on the balcony.

So. I guess it's great that Henry is learning new things, but one that kid gets the hang of this crawling thing, I'm worried for my sanity.

Toys that rock.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Two bells tied onto some scraps of fabric. Watch baby go bonkers. Proceed.

YouTube Video

Toys that suck

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

YouTube Video

Johnny Jump Up sucks.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ok, Seriously, I think Henry is singing this song in his head 24/7. I thought babies needed to be held, cuddled, fed, and basically have everything done for them.

Psh. Not my son.

If it were up to him, I think Henry would move out and get his own place. He wants to to everything for himself. He recently has started refusing to eat if he is in anyone's arms. In order to eat, he wants to be put down with his head as far away from me as possible and drink his bottle in peace. Most of the time he tries to hold his bottle himself, too.

When eating is rice cereal, he wants to hold the spoon. If I don't let him, he pouts. WTF?

When I know baby is tired, I try to give him cuddles and rock him in my arms. Nope. He arches his back so fiercely and tries to wiggle out of my arms. He does this until I put him down and he puts himself to sleep.

I guess I shouldn't complain about having an independent kid, but if only he could change his diapers himself, we'd be all set. 


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Who ever thought a nose so little could have so many boogers? Baby boogers freak me out. They're stringy and what looks like a tiny booger can turn into a huge slime-ball out of nowhere.

Somehow baby boogers is a topic that has come up multiple times between myself and some of the moms I chat with. Turns out there are many methods moms use to evict boogers from their baby's noses.

My favorite method is dad removal. This is where I wait until Tom is alone with the baby and hopefully takes care of the booger without me ever knowing.

The next and only other acceptable form of booger retrieval is the little bulb sucker thing. You know what I mean... This thing:

It's usually not too gross and removes the booger so I don't have to see it. Henry never seems to enjoy having this bulb shoved up his nose, but I'm sure breathing better makes it worth while.

Now. I had no idea there was a third form of retrieval. One mom brought this to my attention and I threw up in my mouth a little bit. Basically its a long tube that one end goes in the babys nose and the other end in someone's mouth ( I say someone because that someone would never be me ). The person then sucks into the tube like a straw and sucks the boogers out. Check it out:

Gross. Sick. Unacceptable.

Why would anyone choose to do this when the bulb thing works fine? What the hell is the point?

Someone please explain this nonsense to me.

First Weekend Alone! ( with just Hen and Dad )

Friday, April 15, 2011

With the exception of a day here and there, I haven't been apart from Stef and Henry for more than 48 hours! To make this weekend even more interesting I have never had Henry by myself for more than a few hours! I am not really worried but I am going to miss the heck out of Stef while she is with her family for the weekend in Chicago. I am also cheating a little bit by spending some time with my parents and brothers but even if I wasn't I am pretty comfortable with the little guy alone unless Demon Baby shows up...

However, as lonely as Henry and I will be without Stef, we already can't wait for her to come back!

Hot Mess

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Our precious little bundle of joy has gone off the charts today. He has gone bat shit, balls to the wall, inconsolably crazy. No bottle, nap, hugs, or playing with Leon his monkey can calm him down.

Instead of feeling sorry for myself as I usually do, I really just feel bad for him. Something obviously is chapping his ass so bad that he can hardly breathe between screams.


Guys Night Guys Night!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sometimes I feel like the first 30 seconds or so of this video....

Not entirely the way it is but getting a night out with the guys is a rare but welcome and neccessary event. Same thing goes for gals night for Stef too ;)
As much time as I love spending with my family there is nothing quite like erasing the work day that just ended with some cold suds, get a little euphoric over some old stories, and talk about dude stuff. An old buddy was in town and the weather was nice so it felt pretty good to be sitting in a cafe in my old neighborhood catching up on stories, the whereabouts of friends and enemies, and getting way to drunk off of four pretty weak beers. The metro ride home sucks but I have to say I had a huge smile on my face when I came home to bath time with Henry and he gave me a smile of greeting that no friend has ever given me.

Good Weekend

Monday, April 11, 2011

I've come to appreciate the weekends through a different lens now that Hen is here. This weekend was no different as we carried on a pretty normal routine. Henry never did quite drop the demon baby thing as Sunday turned to Monday with repeated wake ups and fussy sessions robbing us of valuable early week sleep ( you know the kind that sets the stage for the whole week? ). Regardless, we made the best of it and had a lot of fun. We typically run errands, go grocery shopping for the awesome meal we are going to make for dinner, hosting the occasional visitor, or just relax in each other's pleasant company. In this case I was excited as I am in the market for a new computer and was pretty excited for a new gadget! It is funny what excites me these days. It is in these pretty normal weekend things that I grow to know Stef better and better and we learn to love each other more than we thought we could. Even if the little dude is acting like a prima donna and refuses to be ignored for more than 5 seconds. I think the only time Stef and I got to hold a conversation for more than the said five minutes was when Hen was in baby sleep town and couldn't care if we took a few minutes to talk amongst ourselves.

SO, Lesson is! Take the time you do have with each other when you can, make the best of it and enjoy, because its those bonds we build together that will get us through the hard times we come across. I couldn't have a better partner and love in my life than Stef so I count my lucky stars everyday we wake up next to each other.

( the picture reminds me of the tropical vacation we are taking this pumped it hurts! )

Demon Baby

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sometimes Hen takes on an alter ego Stef and I refer to only as Demon Baby, and we say it only in whispers in hopes that saying his name will keep his spirit at bay. In previous posts I have mentioned how I am sleeping well but every now and then this alternate being takes over our almost 5 month old son's body and makes our life suck big time.

The last two full days and nights were a good example. It usually starts with a day where he is crabby and refuses to eat well, or stay calm for more than a few minutes. Following that, that evening putting him to bed is nearly impossible, he wakes up every three hours, and regardless of lack of sleep is up ready to take on the world at 5 am. The next day mirrors the first but with less sleeping and that night usually culminates with him going down for the count around 7. This process usually resets his system for a week but you just never know when Demon Baby will rear his cute but super annoying head.

One of the respites we used to have for our wacky but semi predictable infant cycle was putting him in his car seat and either going shopping or running errands while he crashed. Well that doesn't work any more which a major bummer. Stef and I were getting bagels this morning and were waiting out a crabby fest reminiscing over his former ways when all of a sudden he became quiet. We smiled thinking he went to sleep and we could proceed with our Saturday morning routine in peace. I cautiously snuck over to see and I snatched this picture thinking would be in baby sleepy land....Demon Baby wasn't going anywhere....

Jogging with Baby

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Before I found out that I was pregnant, I was an avid jogger. I often found myself running 6-8 miles at a time just for fun. This being the case, I was excited to be one of those moms who had an awesome jogging stroller and ran with their baby every day to get back into shape. Now, I'm not sure if that mom exists out there but let me tell you why jogging with baby is not quite a reality for me.

It all begins with height. I'm short. 5 feet tall to be exact. Every running stroller created out there has Michael Jordan in mind. I can barely see over our jogging stroller let alone jog with it comfortably. In order to hold on to the handles, my arms must be at a 45 degree angle upwards. I'm not sure if you've tried to run with your arms raised before, but it's not cool. or fun. or productive. My arms fall asleep about 5 minutes in our jog which I've started to get use to, but still doesn't make for a comfortable run.

Next, the stroller's size. Who would have thought that something made to move with ease could be so clunky. We have the absolute best of the best jogging stroller. We have a "BOB Ironman." We were told that BOB strollers are the absolute cream of the crop. I believe this, but why oh why does the best jogging stroller have to be the size of a small SUV? If I could, I would take our umbrella stroller running if I thought it was safe.

As a fitness buff, and running lover, and a stay at home mom, why aren't there more compact yet safe jogging strollers? I'd love a jogging stroller I could fit in the trunk of our Ford Mustang and run with without my upper body falling asleep.

I guess a mom can dream.

Sludge Attempt

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I mean rice cereal.

We got the OK yesterday at Henry's 4 month appointment to try to start solids. The doctor recommended
starting with rice cereal, and once he has that down, switching to fruits, then veggies, then meats.

Little did I know that I would be much more excited to start rice cereal than Henry would be.

First of all, there are 900 varieties of rice cereal. How are you supposed to know what kind to use? I suppose it's similar to formula where you just have to pick, but I found this ridiculously overwhelming. I, of course, picked the rice cereal with the prettiest packaging. Earth's Best Organic Whole Grain Rice Cereal sounded the most promising. It also boasts pictures of babies farming in cloth diapers. Obviously the promise of Henry being able to farm after eating rice cereal sold me immediately. The package also promises "No GEI." I had no idea what the hec GEI is, but if there wasn't any in Henry's rice cereal, that was good enough for me.

Curiousity got the best of me and I googled GEI. After coming across GEI consultants, and various other non-baby related results, I googled "no GEI." This yeilded results of parents wondering the same thing I was wondering. What is GEI? Finally I came across this very granola answer:

"No GEI is a kind of password, it seems, for those in the know. It means No Genetically Modified Ingredients. This is important for families who have histories of food allergies, because the advent of GEI in foods have, some scientists are arguing, contributed or perhaps even caused the outrageously high rate of food allergies we've seen in this country in the last decade or so."

So as usual, another baby product promising to turn my child into some kind of superhuman.

Anyways, I came home and poured some formula into the flaky rice cereal and made a liquidy paste. I began to prepare Henry for his first real food by talking in a high pitched voice and making him smile a bunch. Luckily, I had thought to put a bib on him, because little did I know how messy this would become. See below:

Moral of this long rice cereal story, is that Henry seemed confused and unamused by rice cereal. Most of it ended up on his bib rather than in his belly, but we will keep trying until we have a solids eating baby.

Is that normal?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Could these actually be normal 4 month old noises?

YouTube Video

I swear the neighbors must think we are killing a cat over here.

Things I am going to do/NOT do when I am a grandparent : Series

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Steph and I are incredibly lucky that BOTH of our parents are around and in good health. That is a luxury that we didn't have growing up that I am pumped and hopeful Henry will have it. Steph's paternal grandparents had passed away before she was born and I lost my paternal grandmother at an age such that I can't recall her memory. However, we both had good experiences with our living grandparents and they played an important role in our along comes little Henry. Both parents thank God, and both sets of grandparents UH OH. You want to talk about baby crazy? Within minutes of his birth they were all there in the delivery room as loving and as supportive as can be....but a few days later some new monsters emerged ( story for another time ) ....hence the first story/post in this new series - Things I am going to do/NOT do when I am a grandparent.

1 ) Harangue My Child About the Sex/Name/ANYTHING about the the Baby :

In the weeks and months leading up to Henry's birth our parents were a little baby crazy ( mine a little worse ). Questions were flying around like a White House press conference ( which I am aware is their way of showing concern )...but the volume grew beyond my ability to respond and in some cases made us feel a little uncomfortable. In one instance it upset Steph and I when we found out Henry was going to be a boy but we were looking forward to surprising my parents until their constant pestering took the fun out of it and we caved. We told them to buy a baseball instead of a softball in order to put an end to the 18 calls in one hour, every hour for an entire afternoon.

Honestly, the best way to show concern is asking how we are doing as parents and prospective parents. We recognze you have had years with us ( and we have become boring to you all of a sudden ) and you are excited about the new addition but we need to be talked to like adults and not human hosts of your alien culture. It actually was my mom who was one of the first ( out of most friends and family ) to ask how I was doing when we were about 4 months pregnant. The relief almost made me misty as I was tired and a little stressed to that point and just needed to have my emotions stroked for a little while. SO the advice and take away is this, when that day comes when you are about to be a grandparent, realize that your soon to be parent is going to feel like they are hosting a press conference every hour, so act like a distinguished and respectful journalist and ask 1 or 2 really good questions every now and then. You can make it up to us by watching the baby so we can go to dinner more if you dont' want to play by these rules....hopefully by then we will have given up to the fact you have turned our well being into that of the baby's.

Sleepless in Chicago

Thursday, March 31, 2011

That picture pretty much sums up how I feel right now.

Traveling with an infant sucks. Its an entirely different kind of suck that puts all other suck in my life to shame.

I decided to take Henry to Chicago to visit his grandparents. Fun, right? Wrong.

Tom couldn't take off as many days of work as I want to go so I booked a flight to travel alone and then Tom would come for the weekend. Sounded alright to me.

Everything was fine until halfway through the flight when Henry decided he no longer wanted to be imprisoned in his baby bjorn and started whining. I took him out and held him only to have him squirm and scream until I managed to blindly find one of his pacifiers and shove it into his mouth. He relaxed until the decent into Chicago when he screamed bloody murder (likely because he was uncomfortable with the pressure change) and noticeably frightened the guy sitting next to us.

After surviving the trauma of the flight, I was looking forward to Henry sleeping so I could get some good sleep too.

Not so fast, Mrs. Optimisticpants.

My parents are hoarders. Ok, not like "Horders," the TV show hoarders, but getting close. The only place for the two of us to sleep is in my childhood bedroom which they have since crammed full of yard sale finds and baby crap. Henry's Pack N Play is about 2.5 feet away from my twin bed, and those 2.5 feet are two and a half feet of old floorboards that squeak mercilessly.

Sleep was not to be had for either of us. Dad wasn't around to give Henry his midnight feeding, and between the squeaky floorboards and my mommy sense (much like spidy sense) waking me up every time Henry so much as moved a finger, sleep was a far off distant memory.

Here's to counting the hours before Tom arrives and I can take a 10 hour nap.

Mom Dreams

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I always knew that having a baby meant losing out on sleep. I knew it meant late nights and early mornings and waking up in between. I did not, however, account for the fact that the little shut eye I do get would be sabotaged by mom dreams.

Last night I had my first full on, sit-up-straight-in-bed, hyperventilating mom dream. I had a dream that Henry had been kidnapped after we had left him in a hospital nursery while we attended a parenting group. In the dream we looked for him for years and finally he had been found and no one bothered to tell us. Completely realistic. Complete nightmare.

Not fair. Not fair. Not fair. My nightmares use to consist of bad hangovers, fighting with friends, or Tom leaving the toilet seat up. Why oh why must baby brain take over?

Maybe I'll start having a glass of wine before bed, because I cannot stand the thought that my only moments away from baby and baby related things are now going to be filled with babymares.

Baby Giggles

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ok. Let me tell you. If you aren't a mom or you are a mom but your baby doesn't giggle yet, baby giggles are the single greatest thing about having a baby. The first time you hear your baby giggle you will be addicted to his giggles. Baby giggles are like crack. You will stop at nothing to get some!

Now getting your baby to giggle, that's a whole other story.

I was the kid in choir that refused to try out for any solos because I was afraid of how I would sound in front of other people. I was so scared of being off pitch or making a strange noise while singing, that throughout my entire 6 year choir career, I never once sang a solo or even a duet. I may have been the only kid involved in 2 different choirs that refused to sing alone.

What the hec does this have to do with baby giggles? Well, recently I have found myself making all kinds of foreign noises trying to get Henry to giggle. I speak in tones that are probably illegal in certain countries, I make up words, and I sing him songs that I was sure I'd brain-dumped at the age of 7.

I am consistently and willingly embarrassing myself in front of friends in family in order to prove that our darling son does giggle. At mommy group yesterday, I found myself talking a non-existent language to Henry in order to win him the award of first giggler in the group. I'm not sure if the stares I received were anticipation for his giggle or pure disgust at the noises coming out of my mouth.

He didn't giggle for them much like I wouldn't sing a solo for anyone. Guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

YouTube Video

Wonders of Fatherhood

Monday, March 28, 2011

Raising a baby full time is hard! I don't mean that I am spending 40 hours a week with Hen though I wish I could (pesky job thing gets in the way). Steph does, and far more than 40 hours a week, and I love her all the more for it). So when I come home he takes a lot of time interaction that I could be spending on work, other business, socializing. Yet, as important as some of that is and as much as I miss some of it, spending time with my little guy is a true gift I get to receive everyday.

I like to think of myself as a little unusual when it comes to my family life and advice in that I do take a lot of the tidbits other parents have given me, or at least listen and think about taking the tips. In this case I have been given advice I exercise daily ( by my dad ) and that is spend every moment you can with your kids and cherish it greatly because it goes by fast! It does go by fast, so so so so fast it makes my head spin. Henry is 17 weeks tonight and it feels like ages ago and minutes ago all at the same time, since he blessed us (even though there was a little drama with his entry into the world).

Point is, highlight of my day is coming home, holding him, talking to him, getting him to smile, and sometimes plopping him down in the oversized arm chair next to daddy while I unwind. (I've noticed he is happy to be anywhere so long as he can see the action) So, relish in the times, enjoy the good parts, forget the bad outside the usual baby meltdowns, and enjoy the ride because before I know it ill be busting him for stealing my beers and trying to sneak sketchy ladies in the basement!

Yummy Mummy - Easy Cake Pops

Sunday, March 27, 2011

In true domesticated, stay-at-home mom fashion, I like to bake. So here is my most recent endeavor: cake pops.

Easy Cake Pops Recipe:

1 box 18.25oz any type of cake
1 can frosting or you can make your own:

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick butter softened
2 cups powered sugar
1 8oz package of cream cheese softened

mix all ingredients together until creamy

2 8oz packages Bakers semi-sweet chocolate baking squares
Lollipop Sticks

Bake cake according to directions on box. Let cool completely. Crumble cake into large mixing bowl. Add frosting in stages. Add half the jar or half the amount of homemade frosting a mix into crumbled cake. I find it to be easiest to mix with your hands, but it is super messy.

Lay wax paper down on a cookie sheet and roll cake and frosting mixture into 1 inch balls. Warning: this will take a while so be sure to allot a good chunk of time! Put lollipop sticks into center if each ball Now put balls into fridge for a couple hours. You can speed this process up by putting the balls into the freezer, just be sure to keep checking on them. You want them to be solid enough to dip into the chocolate but definitely not frozen.

After balls are cooled, dip each ball into melted chocolate, and if you have some styrofoam handy, place each stick into the styrofoam so the balls are standing up.

Let cool and voila!

Getting Enough Sleep???

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Yes Actually! so thanks for reminding me why I don't like you in the first place. Admittedly I have a hot fiery side that can go off like a rocket if someone says the wrong thing ( I work very hard to hide this from the ones I love). However, since college I think I've matured enough to take in an antagonist's words, chew them up, swallow them, and digest them to a dark place therefore quickly getting over my urge to go postal on co-workers. This works well in refined society as I wouldn't do well in jail. I do understand as I am one of the first in my office ( of largely under 30 folks ) with a kid at home, and the people who used to talk to me about wild friday nights, my hobbies, and weekend plans, now have the sad lack of creativity to ask me about anything other than how I am sleeping. Honestly I don't care what you ask me if I think you actually care about the quality of my sleep but sometimes I spot a sadistic glint in someone's eyes where I know they secretly wish and expect me to breakdown in tears and tell them how aweful it is. Well A) its not bad like everyone tells you it will be ( at least in our case with Henry after week 6) and B) I have a glint in my eye that makes me want to karate chop your sugary latte into your too tight pastel dress shirt.

Look, I get it. You don't have kids. I also get how sad it is that you can't seem to look at me like the same guy I was 6 months ago....newsflash, I am still the same guy just with differerent priorities. How about next time you ask to see pictures of the little tyke, or just ask me about weekend plans because Steph and I do a ton of fun stuff on the weekends. Stuff I wish I would have done before and after Hen came along a big luxury is he does usually get us awake before 8am so instead of sleeping till 1pm we now get out and enjoy daylight on the weekends. Something I rarely did before. I do wish he would let us get till 9am once ot twice though....

Ask me how I am sleeping again and see what happens!
( Advice : It is easy to rage but I can speak from expereince, a great stress release is martial arts. Not just for Dads but Moms too. I used to play rugby but for the time being I am scared about getting maimed and leaving Steph with a fatherless boy. If you can't play a contact sport there is no better way to let loose than organized and relatively safe fighting. Why not learn some self defense, get a workout, and learn some self confidence if you are lacking in that arena? I just know there will be a day when I will have to teach Hen how to protect himself like my dad did with me and I am really looking forward to getting back into it soon, maybe this coming fall. I would even love to turn it into a father son activity as long as he doesen't try to go Luke Skywalker on me and try to take me down when I ground him for texting too much or something )

Alcoholic Baby?

We're fairly confident Henry will be talking by 6 months. Last week he even said his first word, "alcohol." No joke. He talks over us, during conversations, and when he should be sleeping. See Henry talking here:


Mom: Welcome to MomDonalds can I take your order please?
Baby: Boobs!
Mom: Would you like the supersized?
Baby: Extra supersized!!

The fact that babies have to eat almost every 3 hours is probably the worst thing about being a mom. I'm not sure about every other mom out there, but I think breastfeeing and pumping are the pits.

Now, I have to say, I wanted to breastfeed because I knew the benefits it would have on the baby. Something about the promise of a super high IQ and less likelihood of becoming a serial killer, etc, etc. So obviously, breastfeeding was the right choice for us, but boy, no one told me what it would be like. No one said, "Oh, by the way Stephanie, breastfeeding for the first week is going to feel like someone attached jumper cables to your nipples and is repeatedly trying to shock you!" No. Nothing. A heads up would have been nice. Instead, we suffered through the first week and it got better.

Well. Kinda. It got better until I started feeling like a cow. Feeding every 2.5 hours and then pumping afterward because everyone warned me I had to build up a "supply." (Funny how they warned me to build a supply but not about jumper cable nipples) A "supply," I've come to find out, is bullshit. Unless you plan on going back to work 2 weeks after your baby is born, or you plan on going on vacation and leaving your baby at home right after giving birth (I wish), then screw the supply. Turns out, breast milk only last 3 months in the freezer and chances are the compilation of breast milk you pump at 3 weeks is different than what your baby needs at 2 months. Woof. So I stopped pumping as often and things were easier.

No they weren't. Then because of all of the pumping and feeding I'd been doing and stopping pumping, my supply dropped. Not just dropped like a little bit. We're talking dropped like I was no longer making a enough to feed the bean.

Needless to say, after making it a little over 4 months, I think I'm ready to stop this rodeo that is breastfeeding. Moms, don't be intimidated by those other moms that tell you they love breastfeeding because of the bonding and cuddling time with their baby. Those moms are crazy. Breastfeeding sucks.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Well it finally happened. Everyone said this day would come but somehow I didn't believe it. I never ACTUALLY thought it would happen to me, but alas...

Henry sh*t in his own hair

The end.

Time Management

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Before Hen came along free time was the norm and abundant as opposed to a luxury. Leave for work whenever I wanted, come home from work whenever I wanted, drinks after work? No problem. Now its more of timing when I leave and come home. Leave for work after I can maybe help Steph get a few extra winks while I soothe Hen back to sleep, come home so I can spend time with them both before he goes to bed, drinks require 2 weeks of prep before I can commit to tacking an extra hour onto my day. That is where the time management comes in and what people with out kids cannont understand. Im a big believer in that a lot of the sucess I have had in friendships and my professional life is from my networking skills and a lot of that is still super important to staying relevant in today's world, but my priorities are obviously ( and my heart too ) are with the family, so drinks arent impossible, they just require the amount of preparation similar to the Normany landing. Also, asking Steph to spend another hour after 8 hours straight with an infant is a major gift to me. What makes this post pertinent is that when I can eek out the time to grab a beer or coffee right after work and just one! is when the people I am meeting dont respect my time like I need them too. Before I could wait you out, talk to the bartender, catch up on emails. Now I get antsy watching the clock so I can get home in time for dinner and bath time. I think this is part of a bigger issue of people these days not respecting time in general, cell phones certainly do not help as people will just send a text three minutes after you were supposed to meet and tell you they are just leaving wherever they are but always seems to equal 30 minutes..... What did people do 20 years ago???? Point is, maybe all people could learn from those of us with kids and show up when you say you will, plan the meet ups, and stick to them. I guarantee effective time management that respects others will get you further in life....and hey....I was single ( and childless ) relatively recently and I know that half the time I was late was because I was taking my sweet time. So, think of your friends with kids....and show up when you say you will because when you don't resepct that you hurt the friendship, relationship, opportunity whatever is it and you are reducing the rare free time we have to nothing. We could have been playing with the little guy who definitely wants to see us!

I wish..

There was an off button for baby hands.

To prevent this...

Yes, our son is wearing a skeleton onesie.

Multiple kids

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Where, when, how, and why do people have multiple children? I went to mommy workout class this morning ( exercising at the mall while the baby is in the stroller ) and these two women were talking about how crazy life is with their two and three children. Why do people do it?

My theory? They say, "Screw it we can't just have one, so let's have another and get it over with." Am I right?

I HATED being pregnant and could never imagine going through THAT again. I had it easy, too. I didn't work for most of my pregnancy. I didn't have any morning sickness and I gained only 17 pounds. BUT not being
able to drink beer, eat sushi, and run after I was about 20 weeks was the equivalent of death for me. Not to mention the hormones. Don't even get me started on the hormones. Tom had to put up with a real circus some days.

Then, the first 6 weeks infancy? Why ever do that again!? Up all night, up all day, feeling like a cow, and BREAST PUMPS?! Ugh. Why?

4 months out I'm still baffled as to why people choose to have another or even 3 or more? Was one not expensive enough? Did he not take enough of your time and energy? Oh I get it...maybe you didn't get peed on enough?

Don't get me wrong. The babe is the best and most cutesy thing ever..see...

Told ya. But why have more?

Henrys sibling will be a turtle.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Scrumptious Sunday

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Another first day of the week, another recipe. This delicious dish was born out of our love of Chicago style Italian beef. See, I grew up near the city and ever since the first time I took Tom back with me to meet my parents and introduced him to Italian beef and deep dish pizza, he's been coming up with any excuse to get back there just for the food. However, considering a plane ticket costs approximately two hundred and fifty big ones, Tom decided he was going to take on making homemade Italian beef to save us a few bucks. At first, I laughed in him face. I grew up on Italian beef. Teddy Red Hots was 5 blocks away from my house and Portillos wasn't too far either. I wasn't going to be impressed by my fiancées first attempt at Italian beef. No way. No how.

Well I stand corrected. While his beef isn't Teddy's, it certainly satisfies my cravings and has decreased our amount of time in TSA airport security lines.

Ok enough story time, more recipe. Without further ado:

Chicago-style Italian Beef

-Pre sliced frozen steak (similar to steak-eze) - we use 3 patties for the two of us
-one small onion
-3 tablespoons jarred Italian cherry peppers - finely chopped
-1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
-2 tablespoons minced garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
-splash of additional oregano

Cook onions until translucent. Add steak patties and seasonings. Add garlic and peppers once meat starts to brown. Cook until meat is cooked through. You may need to drain the meat if it's looking liquidy.

Should look something like this:

Oh, wait. That's our cooking partner ;). But, seriously like this:

Serve on sandwich rolls:

Stuff face.

Note: this is a quick and cheap alternative to slow cooking a roast all day. My mom makes a killer Italian beef, but Tom and I are very much 'want it now' types and with a baby in the house it's hard to be cooking all day.

Enjoy! And remember, always clean as you go!

St. Patricks Day

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Oh how I miss you. As a parent, the joy of the greatest drinking holiday in the world is pretty much lost. A year ago Steph and I were drinking free jameson shots, covered in free guiness swag, and bickering over whose party to go to next. Pretty much woke up in a haze in Steph's bed?? and I have been looking at the pictures ever since in joy, including the video of Steph karate chopping my cell phone right out of my hands. Watch...

This year I ignored texts from friends who hit the bar at 1 pm from some of my favorite spots forgetting temptation and knowing indulging in that kind of activity isn't the right thing for now. Regardless, I smiled at all the great memories and headed home to the metro where I crammed myself into the yellow line train to hell. I have to say though, Steph met me at the metro stop near home with Henry in a sling, his strawberry hair exposed ( finally warm out ) in his little green bear suit and it all melted least until I had 3 heavy belgian beers after he went man down. Then the nostalgia floods back. Like most holidays, going through it with a kid puts a WHOLE new perspective on the experience but maybe when the holiday hits a weekend I can attach him to one of those kiddy harnesses and take him with me to the bar as daddy takes downs a few guinesses.

Mommy Group

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Yesterday and Today I went to Mommy Group. Mommy group on Mondays is sitting around chatting, and on Tuesdays we go walking at the mall.

Let me tell you. I never pinned myself as a mommy group person. I kinda thought baby and I would hang out all day together. We would watch Oprah, I'd strap him to my chest and do housework, we'd go to the grocery store and plan delicious meals.


Baby wants to cry though Oprah, fall asleep as soon as I strap him to me (which, if he's been sleeping half the day, will only cause him to stay up later), and even if we do make it to the grocery store, I can't put baby down for more than 10 minutes to make dinner. 

At 10 weeks old, baby and I were in TJMaxx when I ran into a woman who changed mine and baby's worlds. She invited us to mommy group.

Mommy group is great because we can chat about all of the things that our partners and non-kiddo friends don't want to hear about. We can chat about breast pumps, nipple shields, and epidurals.

I never thought I would be thrilled by a discussion about swaddling, but basically anything that promises at least 5 minutes of extra shut-eye is a holy topic.

Solid Sunday

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sundays in our house are almost always exciting. Sundays mean coupons for mom, a few beers for dad, coupious amounts of two parent attention for baby, and checking things off our to-do list.

This Sunday involved all of these things, plus one more! We finally tackled the infusion project we've been talking about for some time. Infusions. Yes. Fruit in Vodka. Yummm. Tom has had a recent obsession with stopper bottles, so while on an adventure to Marshalls we spotted one for $3, we knew our time had come. To make this deal even sweeter, we already had a carton of strawberries in the fridge and some Absolut Vodka chilling in the freezer. I had picked up the strawberries at the international market for $.99 a carton, (yes, really, $.99!!!!) and the vodka was leftover from a bloody mary brunch we held about a month ago. Enter deliciousness:

Our highly scientific...

Strawberry Infused Vodka Recipe:
1 liter (approx) bottle
1 carton strawberries (preferably overly ripe/couldgobadanydaynow ripe)
Enough Vodka to cover the strawberries
Splash of white wine

Here are the fruits (literally tehe) of our labor!

Knowing Tom, he will think of about 10 other ways to improve on this recipe, so I will keep you updated as we make changes to improve yumminess.

Happy (kinda) Monday