Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Oh No, Please No

This morning while giving Anthony a bath he kept trying to stick his fist/finger/thumb in his mouth. It was so cute, and I hate to deprive him of anything at such a young age, but I really don't want that habit started. Unfortunately I know from personal experience just how hard the habit is to break.

Thankfully he didn't protest when I switched his hand forthe pacifier. I'm sure it's an addicting habit as well but will be much easier to take away from him some day.

Plan Revised

So I have modified my plan from yesterday just a bit. I thought the couch to 5 K bandwagon that Sasha has got everyone jumping on was going to be too easy, which is why I wanted to start with the Shape plan. But then I realized that since I haven't been exercising much at all lately, I can hardly call any exercise plan too easy. And since the 10K I want to run (GR Reed's Lake) isn't until June or July, I will do both plans back to back starting with the c25k plan and then the shape magazine plan. I'm seriously disappointed that no one wants to start running. Well, except Rachael, who already said she would, and Moneek, but I don't think she lives around here. Come on, seriously, someone has to want to start running just a little bit.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

We're getting back together (me and running)

Reading Rachael's blog last night at work and I got inspired. I have been wanting to get back into shape after having a baby, and truthfully before I got pregnant I was wanting to get in better shape. I've been a slacker at exercising ever since I moved to Michigan in 2003. I blame this on the lack of quality gyms in this area. I came from Seattle which has tons of gyms to choose from with really good classes and really good equipment. Here I have 2 gyms to choose from, neither are that impressive, and the monthly fees are about twice as much. I ended up joining the YMCA, but the classes are lame, and the weight room isn't that impressive either. So lets just say the YMCA is getting a really good deal on me. Or should I say, HAS been, because lately, I've actually been going a few times a week.

I used to be a runner, but it was very short lived, maybe 2 years max. It started back in 2002. Rachael called me up and said she found an article in Shape Magazine for a non-runner to train for a 10K in 12 weeks. She was living in Grand Rapids at the time and the twelve week plan she found would be perfect timing for GR's annual Reeds Lake 10K. So we started the plan, me in WA her in MI and I stuck to it faithfully and then flew out to visit her to run the race.

And Oh, by the way, she also just happened to be moving that same weekend (which I thought was rather convenient on her part), but she told me not to worry, she was being moved by a moving company and we wouldn't have to do hardly anything. That turned out to be a big fat lie. Yes she had movers, but the movers had come the week before I got there and packed the house, except the stuff she needed for the weekend and all the stuff she felt she needed to pack herself, which turned out to be a lot of stuff. And then there was the cleaning, and by the way she didn't have AC in her house, and it was a record HOT high 90's June. Remember I lived in Seattle where if it hit 80 degrees it was a scorcher. But I did get to witness my nephew Jack take his first steps, so I guess it was all worth it.

Okay so back to the running thing. We ran the 10K, it was a total rush and we both loved it. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship with running. The relationship grew with every race I ran. The Seattle 1/2 marathon and the Vancouver, Canada 1/2 marathon were two of the biggies, then there was the San Diego Rock N Roll 26.2 mile Marathon in 2003 (the final fate of our relationship). Me and running didn't get along too well during this 4 and 1/2 hour ordeal and we decided to part ways after leaving San Diego and never see each other again. Which was a bit disappointing because the other 3 girls I ran it with, Rachael included, really loved it and couldn't wait to do it again.

Then I moved to Michigan and Rachael convinced me to give running another chance. So about a year after leaving running in San Diego, I decided to give it another chance. Sadly it didn't last long, just long enough for me to run the Chicago Lakeshore 1/2 marathon and then I was done AGAIN. And now here I am AGAIN willing to give it one more try but this time I am going to start over at the beginning and take it nice and slow. I think 10K's are the perfect distance for a run. A 5K seems too short, and a half marathon too long, and a full marathon, well that's just stupid. So maybe if I keep my distance more reasonable I will actually enjoy running more, and hopefully wont give up this time. Although now that I have Anthony it makes things a lot more complicated, but I still think I'm up for the challenge. Rachael found this couch to 5K plan she found from Sasha and wants to try, but I think I am a bit partial to this original Shape Magazine plan I started with back in 2002. (I can't believe Rachael saved it)

Anyone else want to start it too, it would be a lot more motivating to keep it up if I had a few choices in running partners to mix it up a bit. The start date for this plan is Superbowl sunday.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Easy Peasy Baby (I hope I'm not speaking too soon)

That miraculous morning where you wake up and realize that both you and your baby have slept though the entire night has yet to come for me. (and if it happens on a night where I am at work and my husband gets to experience this without me I will be so mad) But I will say things are getting so much easier. The past few days Anthony has been taking a real nap in his bed that last anywhere from 2-3 hours in the afternoon. He still cat naps off and on in the morning but the long nap in the afternoon has been great for me. His nights are getting better also, I can now put him to bed awake and he will fall asleep on his own after I've rocked him into a sleepy state of mind. We no longer have to stand in the bathroom with the fan on (don't ask me why, but the fan is soothing to him, the kitchen fan and the bathroom fan, we even bought a fan CD so we can play it in his room at night) for an hour trying to get him to fall asleep only to have him wake up again shortly for another feeding. Lately he goes to bed around 10 or 11pm and I don't have to wake up to feed him until 4 or 5am, and then he will go back to sleep until 8am. I really think it wont be long before he sleeps through the night. He is also less fussy during the day, he smiles more, laughs more and is generally a happy baby. He even likes his swing now.
It is so strange because all the books I've read say that 6 weeks is the peak of fussiness and then it gets easier and I guess they were right! Thankfully, because I had serious doubts that my high maintenance baby would all of a sudden become an easier low maintenance baby once he turned 6 weeks old.
Holding a rattle (okay, I admit, I put it in his hand)

Trying to roll over.

He gave up, can't do it yet.

I don't remember who got him these jammies, but they are so cute.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Revisiting an old favorite

Last week Ellen had this guest on her show, and I realized had completely forgotten about one of my favorite TV shows from my nursing school days. Trading Spaces. I used to watch this show everyday at 4pm. It's a great show to watch while doing other things like studying because it doesn't require your complete attention.
When I moved to Michigan I quit watching the show because I didn't have cable. My two sisters were living with me and only one of them (Francie) was willing to split the cable bill, so to punish the other sister (Natalie) who claimed she didn't want it, we just didn't get it. I thought she would cave if we called her bluff, but she never did, and we went a year without cable. By the time I finally decided to get cable (and pay for it myself), I had lost my passion for the show, the host was gone and the designers were different and I just didn't like it as much anymore.
I found out from watching Ellen that Paige Davis had been fired by TLC and the show ratings dropped. So they have now hired her back and the old designers are back too. I watched the season premier tonight (just after Miss Michigan was crowned 2008 Miss America) and now I think I will set it to record regularly on my DVR. It's the same great show I remember from when I used to watch it.
Just out of curiosity, does anyone else watch this show? If not, check it out on TLC Saturday night at 9pm. It's probably the best home decorating TV show out there.

Just in case your wondering, I didn't watch the Miss America pageant, I just caught the last 15 minutes of it before watching Trading Spaces, and only mentioned it because the winner was Miss Michigan.

Friday, January 25, 2008

I'm back online

Well it's official, I am addicted to the internet. Todd was in Washington D.C. attending meetings with politicians regarding immigration issues for 3 days last week and took our laptop so he could keep up with the stock market. I only agreed to let him take it because I had a backup plan. My sister Francie has a laptop and doesn't have internet access at home, so I figured she would lend me hers for a few days. When I called her to ask her to bring it over, she informed me it was broken. WHAT? So I went 3 days without being on the computer. It was harder than I thought, I felt like a crack junkie going through withdrawals*. I guess the good thing is that whenever I had free time (which isn't very often these days) I worked on my baby photo book. I had to weed through about 200 or more pictures from the first 72 hours of Anthony's birth, and narrow it down to the top 40 to put in a photo book. Not an easy task, but it's done now. I also made some serious progress in organizing the office. For some reason we save all kinds of papers, some important, some not so much. I tend to think everything should be saved because you never know when you'll need it, then I go through purge phases where I throw it all out and have no idea why I was saving it. Then I usually realize (once it's too late) that I may have thrown away something I shouldn't have in my hastiness to organize. (for example, the football tickets to ND vs. Michigan State 2 years ago**). I even threw away a $100 savings bond for Anthony accidentally, luckily it was recovered from the trash by Todd who no longer trusts me to go through mail piles anymore. We now have a system, I go through stuff, make a trash pile, and then Todd sifts through it before it makes the final cut to the trash.

Okay, I'm sort of rambling, my point was, I got a lot done in 3 days due to no computer and an out of town husband. Now that I have the laptop back so I have gone back to my previous unproductive self.

Maybe next time I have some free time I will organize Anthony's closet, Todd seems to be having a hard time dressing him, and blames it on the lack of organization of his clothes. I worked last night and when I woke up, this is how his daddy had dressed him for the day. At least Anthony seems happy, despite the fact that his dad dressed him in PJ's for the day that are too small for him, and forgot his socks.

*In an I can only imagine sort of way
**I lucked out on this one, since the tickets were issued in Todd's name, we were able to go to the will call before the game started and get new ones. If we'd bought them any other way, we would have been out of luck. They would only reissue tickets to the original ticket holder and picture ID was required.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Who is the expert anyway?

Last weekend when I went to my sister Natalie's for an overnight trip with my sisters to paint pottery. (see what we made here, (my pottery didn't make it in the picture, must not have turned out that great.)) Todd insisted he go with me because he thought I would ignore Anthony and let him cry while I was painting pottery. (seriously!) So I let him come along, I figured he could take care of Anthony so that I could paint pottery. There were times when Anthony was fussy, and Todd was tending to him, so I was glad to have the help. Then on the way home, he tells me "it's a good thing I came with you, since you ignored your son when he cried." (seriously!) I ignored him because his father was watching him, that is why his father came along after all.

I was reading in my book again the other day, and it said that fathers need time to bond and care for their baby and it is usually easier to do when the expert (meaning the mother) is not looking over their shoulder. It suggests that the mother leave the house once in a while for a few hours to let this happen. Well I have a very unusual husband, and I think he thinks that he might be the expert. Todd is always giving me advice and recommendations as to how I should do things, if I'm upstairs with Anthony and he is downstairs and Anthony starts crying, I know without a doubt that he will up to help if the crying doesn't stop within a couple minutes. He of course does all of this with the best intentions and is a very good dad, so I am not complaining. It's just that since Todd is not working right now, he is home all the time with us (again, not complaining, love the help) and even if I go somewhere, he wants to come along. I went to have lunch with a couple girlfriends last week, and I had to tell him he couldn't come with me. What I'm getting to is that Todd is in Chicago for the day, and I have my baby all to myself, to bond with and care for as I like without the expert looking over my shoulder. Although by the time he gets back this evening I will be glad to have him back.
Last night was another trying night to get Anthony to sleep. We keep hearing/reading conflicting information about the 6 week mark. Are they at their peak of fussiness or do they become better sleepers and happier babies? Today he is 6 weeks and I hope it's the latter, but I'm afraid it's the former. While I was trying to get Anthony to sleep, he had his eyes wide open for about an hour straight while I rocked him in the bathroom with the fan on. Meanwhile Todd was downstairs reading on the internet to see if he could find any soothing to sleep suggestions we had not tried yet. Making the bed warm was what he thought we should try. So he put the bedding in the dryer. I pulled the blanket out and wrapped it around him while it was still hot and his eyes instantly closed and he drifted off to sleep. Unfortunately when I put him in his bed, he woke back up. So we tried giving him a bath, which he seemed to enjoy, put different style of pj's on him and let him lay in our bed with us. He finally fell asleep and I was able to pick him up and put him in the bassinet (which we moved back into our room). So which of the above things did the trick? The whole ordeal took 2 hours before he finally fell asleep, so I was afraid he wake up to eat again any moment, but to my surprise he slept 3 hours before waking up again. So at least were making progress on spreading out the feedings at night.
I think it's pretty obvious that neither of us is an expert!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The sun is calling

Usually by this time of year Todd and I have been on at least 1 vacation and have another one planned for before spring when he starts back to work. This year having a baby sort of messed up our travel plans. Before he was born we figured he wouldn't really slow us down, we'd just take him with us. Now that we know just how much work a newborn is, we decided that spending money on a vacation would be wasteful since we would spend the majority of the time in the hotel room with the baby. While Anthony is worth all the sacrifices we make for him, it was sort of sad to think that we weren't going to get a vacation this year. But now that March is soon approaching, and our window of opportunity for a vacation is closing we decided we just had to go somewhere. We picked that last week in Feb, so Anthony will be almost 3 months old, and hopefully an easier baby by then. So where do you go with a baby? We usually go somewhere in the Caribbean for our vacations or to Lighthouse Point, Florida where our condo is. Since the Anthony doesn't have a passport and we have now rented out our condo, we were unsure where if at all we would go. So we called our travel agent extraordinaire (who planned our fabulous Australia trip last year) for some suggestions. She of course has very expensive (5 star) taste, and while I would very much enjoy staying at a 5 star hotel, being off work for the past 6 weeks plus the expense of having a baby, I decided we must try to stick to a smaller (3 star) budget. Our travel agent suggested Puerto Rico (no passport needed) but the place she recommended required cab rides to get to town to eat and shop and with a car seat and stroller I decided that was too much of a hassle. So were going to Florida. We'll spend the first day and half with Jake and Kay (Todd's uncle and aunt who live in Michigan but winter in Florida) and then we'll go to a beachfront hotel in Sarasota for 3 days and then drive to Naples for another 3 days on the beach (just in case it isn't warm enough for us in Sarasota we decided we better go farther south to ensure at least some heat). We've never been to either place, so were excited to venture into new Florida territory and see what that side of the state is like.
Now the pressure is on to lose the last 10 pounds of baby weight. So off to the Y I am, right after I eat lunch, finish this post, feed Anthony, and tidy the house just a bit. (so there is a good chance I might not make it there today.)

My Cute Baby take 1

My Cute Baby take 2

My Cute Baby take 3

My Cute Baby take 4 (I was trying for a smile, but I'll settle for a sleeping baby anytime.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Anthony smiles for the camera

Anthony smiles at 5 weeks!

Don't you wonder what we were doing to get him to smile like that?

I survived...

and so did Todd and Anthony [my first night back to work]. Before I left for work I gave Todd all the instructions I could think of to make his night go as good as possible. I also instructed him to call me every time he got up with Anthony. (I needed reassurance that he wouldn't sleep through Anthony's crying.) I was pleased that the night was quiet for me at work, only 3 or 4 patients for the night, and easy ones at that. It was sort of nice to be back to work, I got to read my book and surf the web at my leisure, but as the night progressed I got more and more tired, and I started missing my baby more and more. By the time it was 7am I couldn't wait to get home to him. As I was driving home from working I was thinking Todd got an easy night too since he had only called me at 12:30 and 3:30. But then he called me on the drive home, apparently Anthony was up from 2:30 until 4:30 and then awake again at 5:30 and didn't go back to sleep until 7. I guess Todd only got a few hours of sleep. (now he really knows what my nights have been like). When I got home at 8, Todd was standing in the kitchen with Anthony (awake again) in his arms and ready to hand him off to me. As tired as I was, I happily took him to give him hugs and kisses, feed him and then we all three (four if you count Brewster) went back to bed until about noon.
All in all it wasn't so bad, but as I'm learning quickly, whatever difficult baby situation were currently dealing with always seems much worse in the moment, and later, once some time has passed and some sleep has been had, it doesn't seem so bad after all.

Friday, January 11, 2008


As I mentioned before, Anthony got his first bottle the other day as a practice run for Monday night when I return to work. He did remarkably well. Last night Todd had his mom come over for another sort of practice run. BABYSITTING. Again it went remarkably well. Todd and I were home too, but got to do other things than bounce the baby in the kitchen with the fan on. I took a shower AND blowdry'd my hair, removed the toenail polish that has been chipping away for weeks and put some fresh polish on (not as good as a pedicure, but a much needed improvement) and then sat down to watch Grey's Anatomy. Sigh. Todd was on the computer reading/studying/searching/selling/buying/trading stocks. (This is a new hobby for him, we used to have ESPN on the TV all day long and now it's CNBC) I guess if he makes us a bunch of money I'll stop complaining about having to watch Mad Money. So the whole time Grandma J was trying to bounce/calm/quite Anthony I was not worried, just happy to be doing my own thing. Todd later confessed that he had to refrain from stepping in and showing her how he bounces/calms/quiets him. I figured she raised 2 kids and they seemed to turn out okay, so she must know something about babies.

This is where the freedom part comes in. Now that Anthony does just fine with a bottle and Grandma J, I have been thinking about all the things I can do now, that I haven't been able to easily do for the past 5 weeks: Go out to dinner, go to the YMCA, go to a movie, get a pedicure, get my haircut (I am seriously considering THIS look).

Don't worry Grandma J, we'll try not to take advantage of the fact that you are just down the street, and don't charge for your services. We also have another person who I'm pretty sure would be willing to babysit, even though when she came to visit him the other day he wasn't exactly on his best behavior.

Lucky me

This morning I put a new outfit on Anthony that I thought was just so cute, and since many of his outfits he only wears a few times due to his rapid growing, I decided I better get a picture. While Todd and I were oohing and awing over him trying to get a good picture he surprised us with a smile. This was his first responsive smile that I've seen. For those of you who are reading this who think you saw him smile already, it was unintentional, he was saving his first real smile for mamma and dadda and I just happened to catch it on camera.
This one's going in the baby book!

The smile quickly turned to a cry when I pulled the hoodie up over his head.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A day of firsts

Last night was the first time Anthony went 4 hours during the night without having to eat. He ate at 9:45, again at 1:45am, 5:30am and at 8:30am. This was a very good night for us. And he wasn't even that hard to get back to sleep after feedings. I was telling my sister how great it was, but she was not impressed, apparently her kids were better sleepers. Oh well, it was good for us.
I find it sort of ironic that yesterday I bought the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child to see if I could get some ideas for helping Anthony sleep better. I never really got started reading the book yet, but maybe just having it in the house was enough.

This morning Anthony took his first bottle, and I was able to escape the house and go to the YMCA (first trip to the gym post baby) without worrying about rushing back to feed him. I was however worried how this would go over since I had tried myself to give him a bottle 2 weeks ago and he refused it. People and books recommended I leave the house and let Todd give him the bottle and it might be better accepted. They were right, Todd didn't have too much trouble. Other than spilling the milk all over the floor when he tried to pour it into the bottle with one hand while holding Anthony in the other. I sure hope he doesn't do that too often, I don't exactly have a huge supply saved up in the freezer.

Another bonus for the day; I managed to fit into one more pair of pre-pregnancy jeans. Now I have 3 pairs that fit me, and only about 12 more pairs to go. I wonder if going to the YMCA is helping already!

All in all it was a good night and a good day. Unfortunately no day has been the same so far, so I am not expecting another night like last night, but I can sure hope.

Monday, January 7, 2008

I'm so jealous..

...of Anthony, I would love to veg on the couch with the remote. I wouldn't even mind if I fell asleep.

Unfortunately I have too much to do. The other day, Rachael posted about living in a state of CHAOS and I think I may have fallen into the same category. It must have something to do with having kid(s). I'm beginning to think my house will never be the same again.

With Christmas almost 2 weeks behind us, I think I might be the only one who still has my Christmas tree up. Today started out productive, I got all my baby announcements addressed and ready to be mailed, all 135 of them. Then some friends called and said they were coming by to visit. This is where my productivity stopped. I took a look around and realized that my house was in a sad state of CHAOS (can't have anyone over syndrome) and I had not showered yet for the day. Since I only had about 20 minutes before they would arrive, I had to make a choice, clean up the house or myself. This was a tough choice because I had missed a shower yesterday because I was running late for my nieces birthday party so I planned to shower at night, but then Todd decided to put the baby to sleep in the bathroom. He seems to sleep well with the fan on and so Todd thought if we put the bassinet in the bathroom Anthony would sleep better and as a result we could get a bit more sleep too. So even though I was going on day 3 without a shower, (yes embarrassing, but I'm sure it's happened to you too) I still opted to do damage control on the house. Although in 20 minutes all I could really do was shuffle the piles of stuff to other parts of the house that they would not see. I learned this trick from my siblings, we could clean house like you wouldn't believe in about 5 minutes if we had to, but if you looked closely you might find dirty dishes hidden in the oven, clothes shoved under beds... you get the idea.

Tomorrow is my sister Francie's day off, she called and said she wanted to come over and hang out with me and Anthony, and maybe we could go to lunch and a matinee. I thought it was a good idea, but now I think I will have her help me take down my tree and straighten up the house instead. She'll be so excited. I don't think I will tell her about the change in plans until she gets here. (haha)

My 100th post is just around the corner and I really wanted to do the traditional 100 things about me post, but I'm not sure I have the time. So I may or may not do it, but I do like Mandy Lou's idea of posting a picture a day. Even if I don't have a lot of time, I can at least do that. It will be a great way to remember my first year with Anthony.

In case your wondering, I did finally get a shower today. Showering does trump blogging.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Just a few pictures and 4 week update

Anthony is 4 weeks old now. He had his 4 week doctor appointment yesterday and he is growing so much. He is now 10 pounds 3 ounces and 22 1/2 inches long. He is in the 60th percentile for weight and 75th percentile for height. Still not sleeping any better than when he was first born, were still up with him every 2-3 hours for feedings, and the last few days he has decided that he doesn't want to sleep at night. He is awake from about 10pm till about 3-4am. He isn't fussy, he just doesn't want to sleep, he prefers to stare at the ceiling. I'm hoping this is just a phase and he will quickly readjust back to sleeping at night. He is trying to smile, and if you put your finger in his hand he will grasp it tightly.

I start back to work on the 14th of January, only 9 days away, that will be a very sad day. I think Todd is a bit worried about how he is going to handle him at night. Were hoping he is sleeping a bit better by then. We haven't tried the bottle yet, but I guess we should do that soon. Although I wouldn't be surprised if Todd puts him in the car in the middle of the night and drives him up to the hospital were I'm working.

Here is a few pictures from this week.

Anthony and Daddy's hands

Anthony's first ND basketball game (1-3-08)
he slept through the whole thing

This picture would be so much sweeter if only it were taken in the
middle of the night instead of during the day.

Sleeping again during the day
Finally, he's awake during the day
I love this little boy!

Last night Francie came over to help us with Anthony for a couple hours so Todd and I could get a little bit more sleep. If you want to know what our nights are like, read about her experience HERE, then repeat every 2-3 hours and that's like what our nights are like, give or take.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Another blogger in the family

My youngest sister Natalie, also known as Nat the Brat, is the last of my sisters to start a blog. It took a little convincing, and Rachael to design and set up her blog, but she finally has one. Now I can't wait to see what she does with it. She has her own pottery kiln and has put some pictures of her work on her blog. Go check it out at

2 things to make my life easier, and my New Years resolutions

I got the BabyBjorn for a gift, but hadn't used it yet because I thought it was for outings. I never really considered using it at home, but tonight I decided to give it a try because I really wanted to upload some pictures to Walgreens online and it's kinda hard to do with one hand. Anthony seems to really like it so far. I still haven't ordered my prints yet, but at least I got a blog post done.

Last night was another night for little sleep, I finally made Todd get up with Anthony because I was too tired after the 3rd time of the night. Todd kept rocking him to sleep and as soon as he would put him in his bassinet he would wake up and cry. He decided to take the vibrating unit out of the bouncer seat and put it in the bassinet to make the mattress vibrate. It either worked great or Anthony finally gave up and fell asleep. Were hoping it's the former and we just discovered a great secret to getting him to sleep. I guess we'll find out tonight.

My new years resolution:
To keep up with my baby book and photos of Anthony. Not just taking pictures and putting them on the computer, but actually ordering prints and putting them in albums.

Oh, and there is always the diet. I'm starting out easy on myself and trying to exercise and eat healthy without strict guidelines, but if after 1 month I haven't made progress I will have to make it a bit more structured.