July 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Jackpot!

Growth Spurt = Tired Mommy

I can't write much because I am super tired. We have a 6 month growth spurt here. This means little guy wakes up every 1.5-2 hours ALL Night Long. Three days in a row of this and I am a mess.

Being a working mom is hard - being a working mom on no sleep is impossible. I went to work today with my sweater on inside out. I can't form full sentences, words escape me...I am probably not the best investment this week! If only I could sleep, if only...

So for now, I am going to bed, yes at 8:30 pm. To sleep, perchance for more than and hour....

July 25, 2011

Home Depot is for babies

Home Depot is overwhelming - so many choices, so much work to be done. Fun and tiring all at once. So many projects to do in our house.

This week we're tackling a succulent garden. I am so excited. Rocks and cacti and cool plants. Something fun.  I can't wait to show you what we end up doing. In the mean time, we didn't find great succulents at The Home Depot...however, I must say that someone had an awesome time :) First time in the big boy shopping cart!

July 24, 2011

Irish Pub? In My town?

We live in a family town. Everything is closed by 9 pm. There are great schools, great things for kids to do, but NO nightlife. Not that we need much of one with a 6 month old.

Lo and behold an Irish Pub opened last month. We have now been twice! Twice in 2 weeks. This might be the most we've gone out since A was born. A Guinness each time for me, and really good fish and chips.

Yesterday was the first time we've left A with a babysitter - 2 actually. Made me nervous, but everything turned out fine. I might just have to go out again soon - we were thinking actually getting to see Harry Potter :)

July 23, 2011

Moment of Nostalgia

I love my energetic, smiling, cooing, adorable 6 month old. But sometimes, I miss the little guy who curled up on my chest and just slept there, happy as could be. He's growing up too fast :(


Where has the time gone? I want him to fall asleep in my arms again...

July 22, 2011

A bit about baby food

How is it that my baby likes all the food I hate? This doesn't bode well for our future together. Squash and peas are his favorites so far. He HATES avocado. How is this even possible?

Loving peas


I also must say that I am inordinately proud that he liked the sweet potatoes that I made him. So much less complicated than anything that I have ever made, but so proud that he liked them :) I have made mushed bananas, carrots, summer squash, avocado and beans! It's tough to wait the four days before introducing new foods.

Here's to hoping he starts liking foods that I like too!

July 21, 2011

I AM going to run again

I say this to myself every.single.day. and yet, I don't. I run/walk 30 minutes at lunch every other day. But only when my co-worker goes. I have no motivation. I need someone to kick my butt into gear.

I used to run. I ran for fun. I competed. I loved it. Now, I write out schedules, but never follow through. I just don't know how to fit it in...

Awesome bud light commercial aka my first race

High school cross-country - sporting the black socks

The last race I ran was a 5k - on the day that A was conceived! 15 months ago. I really don't have an excuse any longer. I even bought the top of the line jogging stroller (the famous "BOB"). Yet, it's only ever seen a light jog for a couple of minutes. 

So I know that I AM going to run again. I just don't know when....or how to make it be sooner rather than later. Taking any and all advice!


July 18, 2011

Letters to myself

From the age of 11 to the age of 20 I wrote letters to myself ten years in the future. Not sure where I got the idea (I'm certain I read it somewhere, I was quite the bookworm). I'm also not sure how I managed to actually keep the letters and not read them for 10 whole years. I think I'd have a hard time not peaking now. It was a wonderful birthday present each each while it lasted. I regret now that I stopped. Here is the first letter...warning, very very deep material here.


I am a bit embarrassed and amazed that as an 11 year old I told myself at 21 to have good ambitions! The letters get more in depth and interesting as I get older (but never quite as amusing).

Me around 11 years old


I was thinking today that perhaps I should start writing to A in 10 years. Recently all my dreams and hopes have shifted to him, hopes for his future happiness, hopes that all his dreams come true, wishes for health and love and success and maybe even some "ambition." :) Writing letters to him would be easy. However, I bet as a 10 year old he might not care a bit.

So then I realized that I still exist as a person separate from A. While his future plays a huge role in my hopes and dreams, I can't just forget myself. I think it's easy for mothers to forget themselves in their children and I don't want to fall prey to this. So I will write a letter to myself and keep up my "ambitions" for future. That means I have to write a letter to myself at 44 (ack!). This might be the hardest letter I've ever written.

I have no idea what my life will be like at 44, but I'm going to start imagining it...It think it might actually be fun!

Mommy Monday...

I have a facebook friend from high school who often posts things like:

         "If I haven't said it enough already, which I say it all the time, my family is awesome!!!!!"
         "My children are just amazing!"


I used to think she was way over the top, I mean, sure her kids are cute and all, but the need to post it to the whole world, I mean, really?


Now, I totally understand. I don't post with the same frequency or conviction (as evidenced but my much less intense use of exclamation marks), but I often feel the same way. I feel like shouting from the rooftops how much I love my son, how much more I love him everyday and how amazing he is! But, I still (mostly) keep this to myself.
 However, I now love seeing my friend's posts - they make me smile. 


I know exactly how she feels.





July 17, 2011

Where did 6 months go?

How is it possible that my little guy is already 6 months old...and growing up so quickly. He can sit now, all by his little self. He also pulled himself up to a stand in the chair - which means next month's photos are going to be even harder. I am not sure how it is possible, but I love him more each and every day.









July 16, 2011

Malta and Milk

Tomorrow my little guy turns 6 months old! I will have then met my initial goal to breast feed for 6 months. But now, I am not quite ready to give it up, that doesn't mean there aren't some challenges...


Breastfeeding has been horrible and wonderful all at once. I love the bonding time, knowing I am capable of producing all that A needs and giving him the best start in life that I am capable of.


However, at the beginning, it hurts. This is somehow downplayed in the stuff they tell you before you have the baby. After it stopped hurting (about 6 weeks later) I had a couple months of bliss where everything went swimmingly. Then I ran into supply issues. Now my world revolves around making sure I produce enough milk to feed my little piggy every day.


The strangest (and least yummy) solution so far has been Malta...what you say? Yes, Malt soda - a carbonated malt beverage brewed from barley, hopes and water (hmmm...sounds like beer).




I have been able to find 2 varieties near me - and yes, they taste equally as gross (but growing on me). One is Columbian the other from Puerto Rico. The positive thing - they really do work...So I will continue to support the Malta suppliers in my town for awhile and continue to hope against hope that Ovaltine would only work so well....

July 15, 2011

Starting young

The two things A already loves most...

1. Blackberries



2. Computer Mouse

Trying-to-be-Frugal Friday

Buying things for babies can we overwhelming. This is just so much out there! So many options, so many things you jut HAVE to have for the safety, development, comfort, learning, fun...etc. etc. etc. of your brand new child. You want to make the best decision but also not spend an arm and a leg. I don't want to spend all of my limited free time trying to be frugal, yet I know there are deals out there.

Which brings me to the next thing on our "need to have" list - is a bigger carseat. Little guy is about to outgrow (length-wise) his infant car-seat. Even when he was just a couple months old his super long legs threatend to dangle over the edge!



So, the next thing on my list of important buys is a convertible carseat. After hours, and hours, and hours of safety and size research, I settled on a Combi Coccoro.



In trying to be environmentally friendly - we've ended up with two smallish cars (a prius and a civic) - so the larger convertible seats jut won't fit (or would make the person in the passenger seat have to sit as far up as possible).

So here I am trying to be my most frugal self.

This is what I have learned from a wonderful group of much-more-frugal-than-me moms (thank you!):

1. Join a group of people experiencing the same thing as you (in my case - other mother's of 6 month olds). Word of mouth is the best deal out there. I appreciate those that find much better deals than I can. In return, I try to share when I find good deals as well. What goes around comes around.

2. Sign up for amazon mom and ebates. Amazon mom gives you free 2-day shipping and you only have to be a "caregiver," and ebates gives you a percentage back by going through their website. Unfortunately, these are mutually exclusive. You can't use ebates on amazon. I try not to think about what strange things ebates is doing with my information and just be happy that I get money back on most purchases!

3. Wait for big sales - other's tend to drop prices to match. When one company is having a sale (ie Target/Kohl's are having sale's on carseat now), look for sale's on other on-line retailer's sites too.

4. Search for discount codes (retailmenot or couponcabin seem to often have reliable codes). Often get 10-20%

The end result?

Thanks to tips from my mommy community, I was able to find it on babycatalog.com (last week, this week only strawberry shake is available and I don't like pink!) for $178 (regularly 239.99). On top of that I found a 10% off coupon and got 3% back from ebates. So after all that I got is for $155 - basically 35% off the original price! To be truthful, in my previous less-than-frugal life, I probably would have just ordered it off amazon, due to how easy it is. But the cheapest non-pink coccoro is still $199.99 on amazon. So it was definitely worth it.

Thanks to those inspiring me to be more frugal!

July 14, 2011

Carmageddon

Yep, that's right. Carmageddon. The whole State of California is going to shut down this weekend because 10 miles of the 405 (yes "the" 405) are going to be shut down from Midnight Friday to 6 am Monday. Rumor has it that there are signs on freeways as far as San Francisco warning people of the horror. How sad is it that in our society one 10 mile stretch of freeway is scaring the entire state. I live 40 miles away and my exit to my local freeway warns of the shut down.

All about the upcoming Carmageddon


Jet Blue sold $4 tickets on a PLANE detour....600 tickets sold out in 2 hours. Yes, a plane ride from one side of the city to the other. They warn people not to leave their homes.

You know what might help? Public transportation...but no, not in LA. Everyone is dependent on their cars. So, I guess, in this case, I am glad that we live in the suburbs - the far, far suburbs. So I don't have to deal with upcoming gridlock...not that I leave my house much anyway ;)

July 13, 2011

A Mother's Intuition

As a follow-up to the photos from earlier today...it was a scary day. But when your baby is hurting, you do whatever you can to make it better.

There was something wrong with A's arm. I tend to be the wait and see kind of girl, but with A, if something is wrong, I'd rather go overboard.

It turned out to be nursemaid's elbow. What a strange name. One telenurse, the pediatrician, and a pediatric orthopedist later...he was fine. Hours of doctors, one small movement and he was better.

I made it through the day, but barely. I was nervous, scared, feeling guilty, protective, and every other emotion possible. Your child hurting is the worst thing in the world. The absolute worst. I made it through the day and then I cried. I don't know how I am going to handle a lifetime of this.  My poor baby.

He was a trooper, only cried when she moved his arm back into place. But I felt like a failure. Tomorrow's another day, hopefully he'll be his happy self and I'll be able to breathe a little easier...

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

Before the doctor's office visit:


 After:

July 12, 2011

A big box of goodness

Everything in the suburbs is family-sized...including CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) boxes. I first dabbled into the locally grown vegetable world when we lived in DC. The box of fruits and veggies delivered (yes, to my apartment) weekly was an appropriate size for a couple - hence why it was called a small box.  In suburban CA, a "small" box from our local CSA (Underwood Family Farm) looks like this:



While we are now 3 people instead of 2, we still can't eat a "small" boxed of vegetable - so we split this box with one of my-coworkers. This week's box contains:

1   pound Blue Lake Beans
5   ears Bi-color Corn
1   bunch Round Carrots
1   pound Summer Squash
1   pound Pickling Cucumbers
1   Green Romaine Lettuce
1   Texas Sweet Onion
1   bunch Rainbow Chard

It's a weekly challenge (in a good way, mostly), to come up with ways to creatively make yummy meals out of these veggies (pickling cucumbers?). Suggestions are always appreciated! My favorite recipe from last week...corn chowder.



Alex got pureed squash and carrots. I'm hoping the fresh baby food will be yet another fun, um, challenge opportunity...but that's another story.

July 11, 2011

Mommy Monday

Monday's are hard.

Monday's after a 3 day weekend are especially hard. How do you leave this little guy?



It's hard to hand over my little guy to someone else for the day, knowing I don't get to be there to see his smiles, earn his laughter, smell his sweet baby smell. I dread Monday mornings. He gets more amazing and smarter everyday. He is into everything right now, and so quick to smile it melts my heart. Yet at 7:45 8ish every morning I have to leave him at home and go work.

I tell myself every Monday that I am so lucky that we found someone to watch A who clearly loves him. My husband works from home, and we found A a "granny nanny" - who already spoils him. They clearly adore each other and while sometimes I feel a seed of jealousy, mostly I just feel grateful. Now if only she didn't dress him so oddly when they went out...

July 10, 2011

Speaking of Making Lemonade...

Our front courtyard is the best part of the yard (I'll save the saga of the backyard for another day). It is sunny, has strawberries, lavender, succulents - a perfect place to enjoy the California sun. One of the best things about this part of the yard is the mature Meyer lemon tree. While not as tart as regular lemons, they are excellent for lemonade. We planted other citrus trees but I doubt they'll be producing before we move. My husband now makes a mean lemonade. And this year the tree has decided to produce a second crop, so I see more lemonade in our future!



The perfect winter lemonade (yes, that is when our tree produces fruit):
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
10 oz. lemon juice
3.5 cups cold water to dilute

- Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until completely dissolved.
- Extract juice from 4-6 lemons.
- Add juice from lemons and simple sugar to a pitcher. Then add the cold water. Refrigerate 30-40 minutes.

Enjoy!

July 9, 2011

Here we are...

...in the suburbs of LA.

While my life right now is the best it has ever been - I have a wonderful husband, an amazing son, a sweet dog (among other things), we have still not recovered from leaving DC. We miss the public transportation, walkable living, cobblestone streets, free museums, culture, professional sporting events, the need for only 1 car...the list goes on. It is a whole new world here, one that is not intuitive to young professional urbanized 30-somethings. However, with the addition of our newest family member, doors are slowly beginning to open. We might yet make friends in this alien land. This blog is my attempt to understand, enjoy and thrive in this new life. I intend to find the things that most frustrate me each day, and well, make lemonade. 

On the positive side, life is so amazing as a new mother, I have no doubt I will share the fun and excitement that is now part of our lives...enjoy the ride and wish us luck!

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