Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sweets' Birth Story (Long)

So since I wasn't blogging back when I was pregnant (wish I had!), I thought I'd commemorate the day I went into labor by posting Sweetie Pea's birth story. He was due on August 4th, and I went into labor on July 31st. We almost thought he was going to be a July baby! But he arrived safe and sound and perfect on August 1st, 2010. And here's how he got here!

Friday, July 30th:  A False Start
In the early morning hours of July 30th, I was awake for several hours with contractions that were much more uncomfortable than the Braxton-Hicks I had been having for months. I laid awake in the darkness wondering if this was the day we were going to meet our baby. I was much calmer than I thought I’d be! I managed to fall back asleep for awhile, and when I got up around 8 am the contractions were still coming, though they weren’t getting any stronger or closer together. I was planning to go to school that day to have my principal sign my maternity leave paperwork (just in the nick of time, it turns out!), but I was nervous about going alone, just in case things got rolling. So I called my mom and she came over to drive me around and keep me company for the day. We got my paperwork signed, and then, since school is right around the corner from my midwife’s office, decided to stop in and ask if it was possible for me to get checked and see if I was dilated any. Joan, my midwife, fit me into her schedule and told me I was about 1 centimeter dilated, the same I had been at my appointment 2 weeks prior. But based on the symptoms I described, she guessed it wouldn’t be long until I went into labor. I alerted our doula, Nicole, that I was having some indicators that things might be getting started, and said I would keep her updated throughout the day. After my appointment, my mom and I went back to my house and tried to keep busy. She cleaned our windows and steam cleaned our floors, I did some laundry and general tidying up. I felt strongly like I wanted everything to be in order before the baby came. All afternoon, the contractions hung around, but still weren’t getting any more frequent or intense. My mom went home late in the afternoon, and Brian came home from work. Since I wasn’t feeling great, he took me out for dinner. I really wanted pancakes, so we decided to go to a little diner we like, where I had scrambled eggs and pancakes that I couldn’t finish because my contractions were so uncomfortable. We thought we might be having a baby that night! When we got home, I decided to take a warm bath, something I had been doing almost nightly for several months. While I was relaxing in the tub, I noticed the contractions were much less frequent and less uncomfortable. By the time I got out, they were nearly gone altogether. I felt disappointed – I was ready! So we turned in for the night, knowing that things could change in the coming hours.

Saturday, July 31st: Let’s Get This Show on the Road
I slept great on Friday night, and woke up Saturday feeling disappointingly normal. I paced around the house not doing much of anything but obsessing over having a baby. I didn’t really have an appetite, and around lunchtime I was forcing myself to eat a yogurt when I started noticing some signs of impending labor, namely, I began contracting again and lost my mucus plug (which was about as pleasant as it sounds). Instead of getting all excited again, I opted to just wait and see what happened before calling anyone. I channel-flipped and Googled for most of the afternoon while Brian worked in the yard, popping in for periodic updates. As the hours went by I noticed increasing contractions and a new, crampy feeling low in my belly. In case this was really it, Brian opted to take a nap, which was the smartest decision he could have made and I am sorry I didn’t join him! By 6:30 pm, I was watching 50 First Dates for the one thousandth time and contracting regularly and with greater intensity. I texted Nicole again to let her know what was going on, and she thought it sounded promising. We were supposed to go to the county fair that night, which I had really been looking forward to, but decided it was too far away should things progress quickly. But since I was restless and dying to get out of the house, we took Ceasar for a walk. It was a gorgeous night – the perfect evening for a leisurely stroll. It was not too hot and not too cool, the summer bugs were out in full concert, and every so often I had to stop on the side of the road, doubled over with a contraction. We ate a light supper when we got back and tried to find ways to pass the time. This proved difficult – the anticipation was killing us! At 6:30 pm, my contractions had been 7 – 9 minutes apart, and as the evening wore on, they progressed to 5 -7 minutes apart, at which point I could still talk through them. I walked around the house, bounced on my birth ball, and occupied myself putting last minute items in my hospital bag. We called both sets of parents to let them know what was going on, and I was in regular communication with Nicole about the status of my labor.

Sunday, August 1st: This is it!
Brian started really timing my contractions (before we had just had a casual eye on the clock) and by 12:30 am they were 3 – 5 minutes apart and I was not having fun anymore. They stopped me in my tracks and I could no longer speak through them. For some reason I remember thinking “they have to get worse than this before we’ll go to the hospital. These aren’t too bad.” After consulting with Nicole, we decided it was time to call my midwife’s office and see whether they wanted me to head to the hospital. Dr. H, the OB who works with Joan, was on-call that weekend, and she told me to head right over to the hospital and she would call and let them know I was coming. I could not believe it was time. In a daze, we gathered up our bags, closed up the house and said good-bye to the pets. I cried as we made our way out to the car in the quiet night air. I was so overcome that when I came back to our home it would be with our baby and our lives would be changed forever.

The ride to the hospital was not at all comfortable. I hated having to sit, strapped in my seat while the contractions grew in intensity. I have to give Brian credit – he drove steadily and carefully despite my moaning and distress. I was SO happy to get to hospital just after 1 am. Nicole met us there, but since they would only allow one person with me in the triage area, she waited just across the hall while they evaluated me. I had bought myself a really pretty and comfortable gown that I intended to labor in, but with everything going on, it didn’t even occur to me to put it on. They handed me a hospital gown and I swear, if it had been a shark bite suit, I would have put it on anyway. You truly do not care about anything but your labor! Martha, the other midwife from my practice, was at the hospital that night and she examined me and pronounced me 3 centimeters – “a very good place to start,” she said. She told us she would have to consult with Dr. H on the phone before making a decision about whether to admit me at this point or not. I was in shock that NOT admitting me was even an option – I couldn’t imagine getting back in that car and driving home, then having to drive back again. In fact I told Brian that I wasn’t leaving the hospital and they couldn’t make me. As we waited, I could hear Martha on the phone with the doctor at the desk. “She’s 3 centimeters…yes, 39 weeks 4 days. Yeah, she’s pretty uncomfortable.” Luckily for me, when Martha returned, she said they were going to keep me and get me a room immediately. I will always remember her saying “let’s have a baby!”

Brian, Nicole and I settled into my room, which was spacious and comfy. The staff was very attentive to my birth plan – they did not at any point ask me if I wanted pain meds, they limited the amount of times they were in and out of my room, and they didn’t make me get hooked up to any monitors. About once an hour my nurse would come in with the doppler and check the baby’s heart rate. We turned off all the lights in my room and let my labor do its job. Brian and Nicole supported me in a variety of positions as my contractions became longer, stronger, and closer together. Every time a contraction peaked and I was in a lot of pain, they would remind me to relax and breathe…not to be scared and not to panic, just relax and breathe. It was a strange experience – in between contractions we would converse, move around and get things out of my bags, and then another one would roll over me and it felt like time would stand still while it built and built and built, and then faded away. I had thought I would want to take advantage of the whirlpool tub and/or the shower, but in the throes of labor, these things never even occurred to me. My favorite position for awhile was walking around, then leaning over my tray table when I had a contraction and rocking my hips back and forth.

 I had no sense of time throughout the night - I only knew it was passing because the intervals between contractions were getting shorter and shorter. Brian and Nicole were awesome – they kept assuring me they knew I could do it and anticipating my every need. They were the best support team ever and made it possible for me to totally give myself over to the experience. Around dawn, I was draped over the birth ball when the strongest contraction yet hit me and made me lift my head up and say, “I need to push!” My nurse came in sometime between 6:00 and 6:30 am to check me and said I was 7 centimeters – not really dilated enough to push yet. I was in misery at that point – unable to focus on anybody or anything but getting through each contraction and not pushing. I retreated into a surreal, trance-like state. Brian asked me questions that I couldn’t answer because I simply couldn’t think or talk about anything. I remember he asked me if I wanted him to call our parents and give them an update but I couldn’t force my mouth to open up and answer him. I heard Nicole say to him “remember we talked about transition?” and I realized all at once how close I was to having my baby.

6:50 am: I wanted that baby out and I did not hesitate to let everyone know it. No screaming or cursing, just a lot of “get him out, get him out, get him outs!” Suddenly, in the midst of a terrible contraction, my water broke, which was a strange and kind of scary sensation. I was shaking, laying on my left side, and gripping the rails of my bed like a vice. Strangely enough, I think I dozed off in between some of the contractions. I had been up for 24 hours at that point and I was so tired!

After my water broke, my nurse took some measures to me make me and my bed dry again. She removed my hospital gown, leaving me in just my stretchy sports bra and nothing else, and do you think I cared? Nope. Not one iota. I don’t remember this, but Nicole said she thought Brian felt a little weird about me being so naked and pulled a sheet up over me. I just really, really had to push. Around 7:00 am, a flood of medical personnel showed up and I realized this was really about to happen. I have no idea who or how many doctors and nurses were there. I do remember Martha, the midwife, saying that Dr. H was on her way and would be there soon. I did not care. I just wanted to push the baby out, and they let me start. I pushed with my contractions – no one counted to ten or told me when to push like on TV. It was the most intense experience of my life. Brian was up by my head encouraging me, Nicole had one of my legs, and my nurse had the other. I kept saying I couldn’t do it and everyone kept saying, “you’re doing it!” I also kept saying “I want him out!” and someone would always say, “only you can get him out. Come on, push this baby out!” As I got closer and closer to delivering, I was offered a mirror to see him crowning. I declined. They also asked if I wanted to touch his head and I said no, I just want him out! After about 30 minutes of pushing, at 7:35 am, Jake Allen made his entry into the world screaming his indignation at the bright lights and chilly room. The physical relief I felt when he was born was immediate and complete. They put him on my bare chest right away and it was the single most miraculous moment of my entire life. He was so perfect. I couldn’t believe he was here, healthy and beautiful, and that I had given birth to him. I can’t tell you what else was going on in the room with all those people because we were too absorbed taking in our son. He was quiet and wide-eyed, just looking at us. My nurse was rubbing him off on my chest, and they eventually brought the warming lamp over to warm him up. I loved that they were in no hurry to take him from me. We laid under the lamp together with Brian right there and Nicole taking pictures of those precious first moments. Jake breastfed immediately and he was quite good at it. We were euphoric. The high I had from giving birth naturally was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in my life. I felt awesome – an hour after he was born I was up and about, eating, chatting with visitors and enjoying my new son. I ended up with one tiny little tear that required a couple of stitches, but other than that, I felt like I could run a marathon (and had the appetite of someone who had!).

 It was the most amazing day of our lives and it was perfect. I wouldn’t change a single thing about Jake’s arrival, and yes, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. We are so unbelievably blessed.   

In triage around 1:30 am.

The moment they put Jake on my chest.

Nice to meet you :)

Nursing for the first time.

Post-delivery euphoria.

First family photo!

All cleaned up and burrito-ed.

With our phenomenal doula Nicole.

Resting under the heat lamp.

It must be exhausting being born!

And tomorrow he turns ONE. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A little bday party sneak peek

Since the first time I saw one, I have loved those birthday pennant banners. I knew I had to have one for Sweets' party! Well, as great as it is not working for the summer, it also means we go into budget overdrive, so I wasn't going to shell out the $50 they're going for online. So what's a frugal mama to do? Make one!

I'm super happy with how it turned out and can't wait to see it fluttering festively in the breeze as we celebrate our son's first year!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Top Tens

OMG in just a week, Sweetie Pea will be 1 YEAR old! I'm in total denial. Was it just a year ago that I woke up every morning wondering whether I'd have a baby that day? This past year was made up of the shortest days of my life, and the loooooongest nights. I've been reflecting on what I miss about those sweet newborn weeks, what I don't, and what I love about the age he's at right now. Here are my thoughts:

Top Ten Things I Miss About Newborn Sweets
10. Breastfed poop. I know, it's weird to miss poop but I do. It hardly smelled at all, compared to rank solid food poop.
9. His teeny tiny, itty bitty onesies. I pulled them out the other day and almost couldn't believe he had ever been small enough to fit in them.
8. How little and portable he was - I could do anything with him in the crook of of arm. Not so much anymore.
7. Eating dinner with him in the bouncer. It was so peaceful and quiet.
6. How he pretty much always fell asleep in the car.
5. Dozing in bed with him until 10 am. Oh man do I miss that!
4. Sitting still with him. Odds are at any point during the day, he was either nursing or sleeping. So if I wanted to sit my exhausted butt on the couch with him and watch 4 episodes of Teen Mom I totally could.
3. How much he nursed - it was such quiet, special bonding time.
2. Being able to change a diaper without wrestling my baby into submission.
1. The general specialness of having a newborn - it's a time unlike any other. And there are so many people to help you!

Top Ten Things I Do Not Miss About Newborn Sweets
10. Getting up 47 times a night.
9. Spit up. Spitting up was Sweets' full-time job. I'd put a clean outfit on him, and he'd puke on it. Round and round we go. I do not miss smelling like curdled milk 20 hours a day.
8. Getting up 47 times a night.
7. Having to support that floppy little head. Nerve-wracking.
6. Getting up 47 times a night.
5. 10 pm, when Hubs would go to bed and I was stuck in the living room with a newborn who wanted to nurse for 4 more hours.
4. Getting up 47 times a night.
3. Worrying about everything, all the time. Am I doing this right? Is this what he's supposed to do? What is that noise he's making? Is he breathing? For the love of God, when will he SLEEP?
2. Getting up 47 times a night.
1. Being bone-tired, out-of-my-mind exhausted and feeling disgusting because I hadn't showered in three days on top of it. Yeah, it's hard to miss that.

Top Ten Things I Love About This Age
10. His tiny little voice saying "ma? da?"
9. The way he points at EVERYTHING. Sometimes I don't think he even knows what he's pointing at. It's ridiculously cute.
8. The way he brings us books and holds them up for us to read to him. He is obsessed with the Sesame Street board books right now.
7. The "bbbbbbbbbbbb" noise he makes whenever he sees anything with wheels.
6. His adorable, toothy grin.
5. Everything he's learning: he knows that brushes are for hair, he claps when we say "yay!" he's starting to understand basic phrases like "give that to me," and questions like "do you want...?" and he's sooo close to walking and talking.
4. How delighted he is by his own reflection and by photographs. He loves looking at pictures and listening to us describe them.
3. What a good eater he still is. I know pickiness could be just around the corner.
2. How far he's come in the sleep department. We're talking two solid naps and a full night of sleep.
1. How we're the center of his universe. He thinks we're hilarious and we can still make anything all better. I hate that these days are numbered.

What a year it's been! Someone once told me that I would think every age was the best age and she was spot on!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bump Buddies

Being pregnant, in and of itself, was awe.some. I loved every single second of it, and even though I was so excited to meet my baby, I was sad to see it end. But I was also fortunate enough to be pregnant at the same time as two very close friends, which made the whole experience even more fun! If you've never done this before, I highly recommend it ;-)

Here's me and my friend C at 13 and 36-ish weeks, respectively. This was taken at her baby shower - it seems like forever ago! Since she was so close to being done by the time I got pregnant, she was like my pregnancy tour guide, passing on all kinds of hard-won wisdom ;-) 

In the blink of an eye, we both had babies in our arms! How CUTE is Sweets' buddy Baby A???

Ok. Let me explain. This is me at 30 weeks, with my friend M at 27 weeks. It was twin day at school, we did NOT normally dress alike! It rocked working together every day and sharing the pregnancy highs (I felt the baby move!) and lows (I had heartburn so evil it kept me up all night). Plus we always had someone who understood our pregnancy-induced paranoia.

August babies! Sweets at 1 month old and his little buddy Baby E at 1 week old.

Now it just so happens that M's brother and my brother are BFFs (do men have BFFs?) and they joked all throughout our pregnancies that M better have a girl (she didn't know what she was having) to marry my son and complete the family circle. Well I can't say if that will happen or not, but if it did, we would have the most adorable baby pictures of them together for their wedding slideshow ;-)

So thanks ladies for sharing the journey with me! When would you like to schedule Round 2?

Monday, July 18, 2011


I don't know about you, but by the time the dinner hour rolls around, my kid is tired, hungry, and cranky, and chances are, I am too. That's how we roll around here most days, so I'm always on the lookout for quick, easy, and delicious recipes (so much the better if they make enough leftovers for the next day!). I found this one in an issue of Good Housekeeping and modified it a bit to suit our tastes. I did most of the prep during Sweets' afternoon nap (he has very little patience for vegetable chopping ;) and threw it together when we were ready to eat. Hubs and I loved it, although Sweets was not thrilled. I didn't feed it to him in salad form - I just fed him the components: cheese, tomatoes, avocado, egg and some cut up chicken. Let's just say the dog's nightly ritual of taking up residence under the high chair really paid off for him tonight.

Is Your Kid Teething and Crabby Cobb Salad
No, that's not what Good Housekeeping called it ;)

3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
*I did mine in the microwave - how did I not know about this sooner? 3 minutes, between two paper towels and it was crispy and perfect!
1 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek)
1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 head lettuce of your choice, torn (I used red leaf)
8 oz lump crab meat
*I am far too cheap to use real lump crab meat. I have a strict $80 per week grocery budget, so Bumblebee canned crab meat it was! 
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1/2 a ripe avocado, diced
1 can sliced black olives
Shredded cheddar cheese

Mix together the yogurt, mustard and chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper. This dressing is tangy, a bit spicy, and creamy, but still healthy. Toss it with the torn lettuce and divide among plates. Arrange remaining ingredients in rows atop lettuce. Serve, enjoy, and then scrub the mushed avocado off your kitchen floor.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

First Haircut!

I guess it's been awhile since I've posted, but we've been at the mercy of the molars for the last several days. But with the help of a little Motrin and lots of extra cuddles, we seem to be over the worst of it. Just in time for Sweetie Pea's very first haircut on Saturday! He's been looking a little shaggy for a good month now and I'm too scared to attempt a trim myself. What if I cut his earlobe off or make him look like this:
Ya, best left to the professionals.

So anyway, Hubs' hairdresser has been cutting his family's hair for years and years and she was thrilled to do the honors. She also insisted that the first haircut was on the house - so nice! Since I carry my camera everywhere, here's the play-by-play:

First we watched Daddy get his haircut so Sweets could see there was nothing to fear.

Then we waved at the cute little boy in the mirror. Well, some of us waved, and some of us (Hubs) made weird Thriller faces.

His hair was barely wet and he had pretty much lost interest in this little project.

I think the feel of her brushing the hair off his neck gave him the heebie jeebies!

That's better! So stinkin' cute!

In other news, after months of extensive research and price-shopping, Sweets' big boy carseat arrived this weekend. I went with the TrueFit Recline by The First Years for its outstanding reviews in comfort, ease of use and safety. Can't wait to get that sucker up and running - Sweetie Pea is definitely on the cusp of outgrowing his infant carrier. I'm glad we got a whole year out of it though! Time to wash it and stow it away for the next one :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dear Molars

Has anyone ever told you that you are the devil? You have transformed my sweet little baby into an uncomfortable, miserable, whiny grumpster who refuses to let me put him down, boycotts his naps, and thinks 5 am is an appropriate time to wake up for the day. As a result, you have transformed me into an overtired, cranky mama who can't get anything done during the day so she stays up way too late after her kiddo is in bed and is therefore grossly unprepared for her 5 am wake-up call. So if you could hurry up and come in so we can get back to our rockin' summer vacation wherein everyone is happy and rested, I'd appreciate it. Kthanks.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Party planning fail

I posted here that I'm planning to have pulled pork, beans, pasta salad and cornbread for Sweetie Pea's first birthday next month. Most of that I'm not worried about making - I have tried and true recipes for them. But I wanted to do something different with the cornbread - Jiffy mix is great in a pinch, but it tends to be kinda dry and boring. A few weeks ago I clipped a recipe out of a magazine for sweet potato chipotle cornbread that I thought sounded really good, despite the fact that Hubs gave me the "if you say so honey" face when I mentioned it to him. Clearly, it needed a test run. So today I baked up a batch and it was awful. I'm still annoyed about it, because I hate wasting my time and ingredients on a recipe that ends up tasting like wallpaper paste. I would have been embarassed to serve this to my guests. It was moist, I'll give it that. But that's the only good thing I can say about it. Otherwise, it was completely flavorless (which is bizarre for a recipe that calls for both cumin and a diced chipotle pepper in adobe sauce) and lacking in that trademark cornbread texture. I attribute this to the fact that there was more regular flour in it than cornmeal. Even Hubs didn't finish his sample piece and he'll eat anything.

SO. I need a delicious cornbread recipe. Do you have one? I'd love if you'd share! Oh, and if you know of any uses for this nasty sweet potato brick, please share those as well.  

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The one where I post about poop

Consider yourself warned: this post is gross. Well, it's not that gross to me (or many other baby mamas, I suspect) because I spend more time than the average person does cleaning up or discussing my child's bodily functions. But if you're not into that kind of thing, may I suggest heading over to Facebook and finding something less disgusting to read.

So Sweets sometimes has the occasional bout of constipation, as many babies do. He's been struggling with it over the last few days, so this morning, I fixed him my fail-proof home remedy for breakfast: whole wheat toast spread with pureed prunes. Works every time. He gobbled it up, along with some diluted juice. Not long after that, we changed 4 poopy diapers, all before lunch. Problem solved, right? Wrong. So wrong.

After his nap, I decided to take him swimming while Hubs mowed the lawn. As I was packing our pool bag, some inner voice told me to throw a few extra diapers and a pack of wipes in. So away we went, and we had a lovely time until Sweets started getting cranky and I wasn't sure why. We got out of the pool and sat under an umbrella for awhile, drying off and people-watching. Then he really started getting crabby. Thinking perhaps he was hungry and tired, I changed him into a clean, dry outfit and nursed him lying down on our towels with an Aaden and Anais blanket over us (BEST blankets ever, btw). He dozed a little, but all of a sudden woke up screaming - so weird! Time to leave. I buckled him into the stroller, tossed all our stuff in the bag and hi-tailed it for the parking lot. I put all of our things into the car and was just reaching for Sweets when I noticed he was making his poop face and gripping the snack tray on his stroller. Then I heard a very suspicious rumbling. Oh man, again? So I spread a towel in the back of my SUV and prepared to change him. It wasn't until I laid him down that I realized he was His fresh clean outfit was now wet with poop. Closer inspection revealed that he had poop up his back, all over his belly and his legs, and oozing out of every crevice in his diaper. Inner voice, I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you for encouraging me to pack those extra changing supplies because without them, I would have been up a poop creek without a paddle. Around our house, we rate stinky diapers based on how many wipes it took to clean up after them (i.e. "Whoa, that was a 5 wipe dipe!"). This was like a 37 wipe dipe. And taking off the poop-soaked romper he was wearing meant I got poop on his head. Ew. On top of which, I did not have another outfit besides his wet bathing suit. So he rode home in his carseat wearing nothing but a diaper. And I rode home thinking I would never again feed him prunes, juice, and peaches all in one day.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Our first 4th as a family of 3

We're back from our holiday weekend in Hubs' hometown, and I must say that Sweetie Pea's first Independence Day was a smashing success. Which is great, considering how much work it was to pack everyone (me, Hubs, Sweets and the dog) up for a two day trip. In my life BB (before baby) I suffered from a serious case of chronic overpacking. I have worked hard to overcome it for myself, but I may need a 12-step program to cure it when it comes to packing for my kid. Let's just say the Volv was *slightly* crammed with half the contents of our house the essentials. But I digress. Here's our weekend in pictures!

Waiting for the parade to start with Grandma G, Daddy, Great Grandma C, and Great Grandma G

Ok, enough parade. Did someone say Puffs?

He hung in there until the end!
After the parade we had lunch and headed back to Great Gram's for a nap. All that fresh air and excitement tired us out - Sweets and I fell asleep in the guest room and napped for 2 1/2 hours! Best nap I've had since he was born!

Refreshed and revitalized, we went for a swim and dinner at Hubs' Aunt and Uncle's house. After that it was bedtime for Sweets, and GiGi was kind enough to stay with him while Hubs and I went out for ice cream and fireworks with friends.

Random self-portrait. Please ignore my super-creepy grin in the background.

After spending the early part of the day with GiGi, we packed up and headed to a local and very popular berry farm where we enjoyed fresh strawberry sorbet:

Then we made a quick stop at a marina that Hubs loved as a kid to walk on the dock and see the boats.

Sweets was pretty much over our little outing at this point. You can see that glazed-over "I'd rather be napping" look on his face.

Headed for home after a very busy, but very fun two days!

One thing I had to work hard at while we were out and about was relaxing my death-grip on Sweetie Pea's schedule. I happen to be a girl who loves a schedule. Some people might call that being a killjoy, and sometimes, they're right. But I put a ton of work, sweat and tears in to get Sweets' sleeping to where it is now and I can't help but be a little protective over it. Besides, it is totally not fun to hang out with a cranky, overtired baby. Anyway, I did let the schedule slide a bit and it didn't bite me too bad. His sleep is a bit off at this point, but I have the whole week to fix it :-) And do the mountain of laundry our little excursion generated...

I hope your Independence Day weekend was equally as enjoyable!  

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

I don't know why I've been so nostalgic lately, but I suspect it has alot to do with Sweets turning one in less than a month. I find myself saying "at this time last year" all.the.time. So I'll say it again: at this time last year, I was so very pregnant that I could do this:

Hubs and I cracked ourselves up that night. I seriously almost peed my pants, we thought that crooked smiley face was so funny. And now here we are a year later with our big sweetie boy! Crazy.

Anyway, we are headed out of town for a couple of days. Hubs is from a small, quaint hometown with a big 4th of July celebration and we go every year. This of course is the first year we'll be dragging 500 pounds of baby gear with us, but I'm excited for Sweetie Pea's first Independence Day. It's always great to see so many friends and family, eat chicken barbeque, and watch the fireworks. I actually remember watching the parade with Hubs and my big belly last year and saying to him "can you believe next 4th of July we'll have an almost-one-year-old?" I might never get over how fast the time flies now that he's here!

So I'll be back in a few days with an update but I wanted to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday! Enjoy :)   

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Historic First

Nope, not a first word, or a first step, or even a new food. Today, for the first time EVER in the history of Sweets' young life, he fell asleep in the car, stayed asleep while I unbuckled him, carried him into the house, and laid him in his crib. Somebody alert the media. If this is the effect a couple of hours at the pool has on him, we will be there every day.

And then a carefree teenage boy on a dirtbike roared by and woke him up. Sigh. I guess I can't be too mad, considering I'll have one of those in 16 years...

Friday, July 1, 2011

11 Months!

If I spend any time thinking about how Sweets is only "officially" a baby for 1 more month, I'll bawl my eyes out. So instead I'll talk about how we spent his 11 month birthday today. I'm super excited that my brother and sister-in-law are visiting from Florida this weekend, and since Sweetie Pea and his Uncle K have birthdays just 4 days apart, we decided to do a little early celebrating for both of them. The weather was absolute perfection here in our neck of the woods, so we went to the zoo for the afternoon, then came home and feasted on grilled goodies and ice cream cake. We had a fabulous time!

Sweets the Meerkat

I dressed him in alligators, you know, because we were going to the zoo, and wouldn't you know we met another baby dressed in exactly the same outfit, right down to the white bucket hat!

Playing in the kiddie water area (I know it looks like mud, but it wasn't)

"Mama, these animals are all pretty interesting but if it's all the same to you, I really like this water bottle the best."

Aaaaaaaand, done.

Sweets with his Uncle K and Auntie L

Happy early August birthdays!

This kid has a serious sweet tooth!

Unwrapping his first first birthday present!

Bang bang bang!

It was a great day, and a truly wonderful way to kick off the summer. I'll leave you with some 11 month stats. Currently, Sweets:
  • Weighs 20 1/2 pounds and wears size 12 month clothes
  • Hates the sippy cup and much prefers to drink from a straw or a regular old cup
  • LOVES to feed himself, he just can't be bothered with the spoon anymore
  • Is all over the place and into everything. Nothing is safe anymore!
  • Is just on the verge of walking. He can crawl and cruise and I can see the walking wheels turning in his head ("If I let go of this couch, what will happen...?")
  • Babbles like crazy. We think we've caught a few real words in there every now and then but I'm unwilling to give any of them official "first word" credit yet
  • Lets you know in no uncertain terms that he is not going to stay still long enough for a diaper change, thank you very much
  • Is sleeping through the night. OMGTHANKYOUJESUS.
  • Has recently learned to clap hands and brush his hair
  • Is so funny, loving, curious and sweet
  • Is really starting to like being read to. Before he tolerated it, and got bored halfway through a story. Now he is honestly interested, which makes his book-loving mama very happy!
  • Finally took to his lovey, a frog blanket, that he buries his face in, snuggles, and carries around with him.
  • Is still nursing - go Sweets and go me!
I wish I could just push Pause on the last 30 days of babyhood......