Monday, September 19, 2011

Time To Get Snuggly

Last Wednesday, my friend Becky from college came to visit.  I took her to Doukenie Winery out in Western Loudoun County and although the wines were mediocre, the winery itself was beautiful.

CJ was very well behaved, but it was 90 degrees and I think the heat made him a little cranky as we downed our glasses of Vidal Blanc. 

The next day was 20-30 degrees cooler!  It truly felt like a fall day and as the day continued our house got cooler and cooler.  I decided to put CJ to bed in a snuggly sleeper instead of just a onesie.
 For dinner I made comforting beef bourguignon.  Recipe
The next day was still chilly and we needed to run some errands.  I realized that all of CJ's 3 month-sized clothes were for warmer weather!  I ended up putting a hoodie on him that was size 6 months, and it worked just fine. 

I just can't justify buying more 3 month clothing when he will be growing out of it soon!  There are so many cute outfits that I know CJ will only wear once or twice, and some not at all.  For someone who has clothes from 10 years ago that are still worn, this drives me crazy.  So on Saturday, I decided to dress CJ up in a cute outfit that he had not worn yet for the Bluemont Fair.  It was supposed to be a little warmer so I thought he could pull off the overalls and then put on a hoodie if it was too chilly.  We were all getting ready to go and it started to rain.  Poor Little Man was all dressed up with nowhere to go.

Me, being Weather Channel-obsessed and not happy to change plans at the last minute, was pissed.  My handy dandy Weather Channel and Weatherbug phone apps did NOT indicate rain.  So, I went to the Outlet Mall to buy my own fall clothes in a different size than my 10 year old clothes (very sad) while Kevin watched football (UNC beat UVA, also very sad and quite pathetic). 

We did get to the Bluemont Fair yesterday and CJ had a blast. 

The weather was much nicer, and after perusing through crafts and buying some local honey, we decided to visit Bluemont Vineyard.  Again, mediocre wines, but stunning view-

Fall has definitely come, although just in time to go the beach on Wednesday...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lessons Learned

I feel like everyday over the past 2 1/2 months I have learned something new about being a mom.  Some of the more recent lessons have been-

Just because I am home, that does not mean that I can run tons of errands or get a lot done at the house.  One day I was thinking about the logistics of being able to juggle a pile of clothes needing to be dry cleaned with carrying his car seat when I saw my neighbor outside watching her kids play.  She also watched my kid for 10 minutes and potential problem was solved. 

Next lesson- just because CJ is starting to break out of his swaddler sleep sack does not mean he does not want to be swaddled.  These sleep sacks are getting too small for him so I tried to put him in a bigger one without the swaddle feature for his naps.  Two days of this and I am now planning a trip to Babies R Us to get the next size up on the swaddle sleep sack.  He is not rolling over yet and we have two trips out of town coming up anyway.

Speaking of CJ screaming in his crib there is today's first of two lessons- when he starts his naptime in his car seat while driving home from anywhere- KEEP HIM IN HIS CARSEAT to let him finish the nap.  I will at least bring the car seat in the house, but I will not even undo the straps.  This is what I got when I ever so gently tried to remove him from his safe Graco haven and into the crib:

 Look at that pathetic face... :(  Don't worry, I did pick him up.  This was not an instance when he was going to cry himself to sleep. 

CJ gave me an even worse face about 2 hours later on his changing table which leads to the last lesson of the day- never assume that there is no blow out if you can't see any poop and the baby seems as happy as can be.  I let him coo and kick in his pack n play for awhile waiting for him to be "done" thinking it was all contained to his diaper.  Sadly, I didn't think about it all spreading way up the back- which then requires an outfit change and major wiping down resulting in said very pathetic face.  Don't forget blood curdling scream.

Tonight is a great night to get a pedicure.  I think I just might do that.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Few Of My Favorite Things

Food, drink, and nature.  I love the first warm night in the spring when we ask to be seated outdoors at a restaurant.  Some of the best afternoons Kevin and I have had were just sitting outside with a drink and some appetizers either at a bar/restaurant, winery, or even out in our backyard.  I've definitely missed these afternoons over the past year- I wasn't drinking, and even if I would have had a glass I would have been too uncomfortable sitting out all afternoon when I was nearing the end of my pregnancy.  We did go out to some nice dinners right before CJ was born- so I got my "foodie" fill.  After a couple of months of living off of food in the freezer and taking turns holding the baby while the other eats the meal, I can now enjoy a glass of wine here and there (in nicer weather no less) and we can take CJ out to places.  I am also cooking much more.  Saturday Kevin grilled salmon and I made a chile lime sauce and mac salad from the Dinosaur BBQ cookbook (one of our favorite restaurants up in Syracuse).

Sunday we decided to drive to one of Loudoun County's 30 or so wineries- Sunset Hills near Purcellville.  We had heard that it was really nice and we wanted to take advantage of the pleasant weather (considering the wash-out of the past week!).  We weren't disappointed.  The wine was good, staff were very friendly, and the view was beautiful.  We enjoyed their Sunset White and bread and warm brie with honey.  CJ enjoyed a nap. 

We had one of the staff members take a family picture.

Today for the first time in over a week I was able to go out for a walk with CJ.  I'm just loving these nice days!  We walked by some interesting bushes on the way so those are today's pictures. 

Friday, September 9, 2011


Kevin bought an IPad this past Monday and ironically felt overwhelmed on Tuesday.  With all of the technology in the house, what is the best way to efficiently use it all?  We have four IPods and now an IPad.  Kevin has Spotify (another music service) on his phone.  Both Kevin and I have different ITunes accounts and user accounts on our Laptop.  Should we consolidate everything just to make life easier? What are we going to do when we have three, four, or even five "accounts?"

Given that kids these days learn how to work a DVD player before they can even say "Disney," we need to figure out soon how we are going to manage all of our technological toys in our house.  I read an article in Parenting Magazine about "Screen Time" and how we can't just apply it to TV anymore.  When I was little, we just had the TV and the stereo system (which I am proud to say I learned to work at a young age so I could listen to Michael Jackson over and over and over and over).  However, CJ will have a TV (with one hooked up to a Wii), a DVD player (which can connect to the Internet including Neflix) an IPad, IPods, a laptop, a Kindle, our phones, and whatever other fun toys everyone just HAS to have.  We haven't even entered the world of Leap Frog yet.  However, we did get something at a shower that is for babies 6 months and up- it looks cute, but sheesh! 

I will have to admit, I am guilty of having the TV on the background or checking Facebook on my phone while sitting with CJ as he kicks and bats on his playmat.  He actually was sitting in his bouncer as I started this blog post.  At some point, we will be going out more to story times, play dates, and the playground (if it EVER stops raining!)  Soon he will actually pay attention and look at the pictures when we read to him.  Hopefully next summer he will not cry when his foot touches the water in a pool.  I know that there will be some days where I will just have to give him the IPad to amuse himself so I can get something done around the house.  At least you there are many educational aspects to it!  There will be no addictions to Angry Birds!

So, I guess for the next few months we need to buy a charging station (all of those cords hanging from random outlets around the house are a strangulation risk anyway), work on not checking our phones so much (at least we don't during meals), and figure out how to best use all of the technology with a baby/toddler without relying on it too much.  I'm telling you though, as I look out the window only to see that it is pouring again, that for rainy days a toddler boy might just have to be happy with a little Pixar. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Weight Woes

This morning between heavy downpours I was able to get in a short jog.  Many mornings, especially if I want to take a run, Kevin and I work it out so we'll both get to exercise.  We just have to plan ahead of time.  He will run while I give CJ his first feeding of the day, and then we'll switch.  I haven't been able to exercise nearly as much as before getting pregnant- but I'm glad that I have found time to fit in some jogging or yoga.  After my run this morning, I weighed myself and  "furthered" my lack of progress in the past month.  At my 6 week check-up, I had lost 30 lbs since CJ was born.  Since then, not much.  I know it's going to take awhile to lose all of the baby weight, but no progress in a month?  What about all of the weight I am supposed to lose because of breastfeeding?  What about the exercising and eating fairly healthy?  We are not going out to eat nearly as much as we did before the baby, and we have rarely gotten take out.  I am probably even eating just as good if not better being at home than at work- there is no chocolate covered popcorn being passed around at lunch to accompany my healthy soup, and I am not coming home at the end of the day ravenous.  I really do not have time during the day to even snack.  Ugh!!! As Kevin said, I think our bodies just want to gain weight.  So, unfortunately, I am going to only bake when there are more than two people that will enjoy the food.  I will just focus my cooking on healthy meals.  I will try to add some more time onto my run.   Today I made  minestrone for lunch- a recipe from Cooking Light-

More on the weight issue as the year progresses- hopefully I will be able to fit into more than just my prepregnancy workout pants soon!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

More Rainy Day Antics

Today and yesterday have both been washouts- in other words, I have had no motivation to take CJ out anywhere.  However, these have been great days to work on getting CJ on somewhat of a schedule.  As most everyone knows, I am pretty Type A.  Being spontaneous sounds great- but it's just not for me.  There have been afternoons where Kevin will call me up and suggest going out in the evening; but probably 8 times out of 10 I will say no because it was not in the day's plan.  I know, it's pretty ridiculous and I wish I wasn't so anal. 

Anyway, we have been pretty lucky because CJ has been a great night sleeper.  Since bringing him home from the hospital, there have only been a handful of nights where we have had to get up more than once.  Now he is fairly consistently sleeping through the night.  On the other hand, the days have not been so consistent.  There have been days when I could get a good 3 hour afternoon nap from him, others where he was just catnap throughout the day.  It's very hard to plan your day when you can't predict when he will sleep.  Some friends of ours as well as our pediatrician recommended a book called "On Becoming Babywise." 

There are so many different theories about parenting, it's overwhelming.  Some say that you should always feed on demand and to not put the babies on a schedule until at least 6 months.  Letting a child "cry it out" at 2 months could possibly cause the baby to feel abandoned.  Some follow a very strict schedule that allows for no flexibility.  I may be anal, but not that anal.  The Babywise schedule is basically a cycle of feeding, waketime, and naptime.  The length of the cycle depends on the baby.  Also, it states that a baby will not end up on therapist's couch if he is let to cry himself to sleep.  It also allows for some flexibility- there are days when his schedule will just not match mine, but that is okay.  This schedule I think is the best fit for our family.

So here's his schedule right now.  I have him on a 3 hour cycle.

~7 AM- Feed (so far he has not had a super consistent morning wake time, so the schedule sometimes is adjusted)
10:00-Feed then play

According to the book, we aren't supposed to feed right before bedtime, but at this point we are not using nursing to get him to go to sleep.  We end up putting him in his crib awake, so CJ still needs to fall asleep on his own.  In the future though we will take away this feeding. 

So far, this schedule seems to be working pretty well, and has allowed me some predictable time during the day to get stuff (like blogging!) done.  He does not necessarily sleep during his whole naptime so I have to let him cry a little.  This is not easy, but it will make things easier for us in the long run.  I know everyone has their opinion, but I am of the mind that children thrive when they are on schedules.  Even high school freshmen do better when each class has a routine.  Throw in a fire drill?  All goes to Hell.  :)
Here's the little man sleeping.  The night vision kind of reminds me of Paranormal Activity...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Rainy Days...

Okay- 2 pictures in one post.  I am sure this is not the last time this is going to happen.  The first picture was taken on Sunday of a cool-looking mushroom in our backyard.  It's been raining and/or been humid so the conditions have been perfect.  Today's picture is of CJ in the laundry basket.  I can remember being so excited to "ride" in the laundry basket when I was little, and I also remember being disappointed when I got too big to fit.  I know CJ is not going to remember today's ride- but hey, he needed to go up for a nap and I had laundry to put away.  No need for two trips up and down the stairs!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Haunted House

Today's picture is of a house in Falls Church that Kevin and I think really looks like a haunted house.  It was on the same street as the location of a VA Pep Band alumni picnic- funny enough the house we went to was gorgeous.  I should have taken the picture while there was still daylight, but I think you can get the idea of the creepiness of the house even though the picture is a bit dark. 

Friday, September 2, 2011


I love to cook and bake.  I really did not start to cook meals other than mac and cheese and Hamburger Helper until after Kevin and I started dating.  We both gained a good amount of weight since we were going out to eat a lot so something needed to be done.  I bought a Cooking Light cookbook, and now I can cook a lot more than just entrees from a box.  Today I decided to bake zuchinni not bread cookie sandwiches, a recipe I got out of Martha Stewart Living.  They have zuchinni, walnuts, and oats- so of course they are healthy!  I started making them during CJ's afternoon nap, and of course as luck would have it I was not finished by the time he woke up.  I finally finished them around 8PM- after mixing/baking a little bit here and there when I was not holding CJ or making dinner. Considering CJ also only let me do 10 minutes of yoga this morning, I am really looking forward to putting CJ on a schedule.  I am too Type A to not have one.  At least the cookies (and the Pumpking Beer) were good once I finally got to try one!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Old Friends and New Friends

Today I decided to go visit Westfield and cause mass unproductivity.  There were many coworkers who had not met CJ yet so I was glad to go and show him off!  It was so nice to see everyone and it made me miss the social aspect of work quite a lot.  I wish it would not be super ridiculous to even have someone Skype me at lunch so I can participate in all of the shenanigans.  However, I do not miss all of the meetings and other logistics that the beginning of the school year entails. 

My one coworker Ephraim also just became a new parent.  His son, Malachi, was born exactly two weeks before CJ.  Today they got to meet for the first time- after sleeping for a few hours (I think yesterday's shots wore him out) he did finally wake up and perhaps they had a baby "conversation."