Friday, October 30, 2009

A little bit of Halloween and a preview of Thanksgiving...

We broke out the pumpkins last night for carving. It was a little bit different this year as we had to do it after diaper change and then just as we were about to begin, Hunter decided he wanted to eat, too. Then he started to get sleepy mid-way through his feeding so I realized I'd have pictures of a half-asleep child.

Anyway, here you go!
Start with two pumpkins, preferably orange but a green and orange mix will do.

Add in two cute boys.

First sit baby beside pumpkin and take a few quick shots before he falls asleep.

Then put sleepy baby to bed and immediately commence pumpkin-carving. Scoop out the guts, separate the seeds for roasting and let Daddy handle the sharp instruments.


Wait to hear Hunter and Daryl's snores, fast asleep, before corralling Tucker over for some picture-fun!

Is this thing edible?

Okay, Mom, I posed. Now can I puh-leez eat the pumpkin seed that fell on the carpet??

And here is a little tidbit preview of the torture---uh, er, I mean fun--I have in store for dog and baby, this thanksgiving!

Note: No Dogs were embarrassed in the making of this blog post.

He was handsomely rewarded with dog cookies afterward!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I'm so excited...spooooky Halloween is almost here!

Halloween is one of my most favorite holidays (the other favorite being, of course, Christmas).

I have to admit, due to having a newborn at home (when do you stop referring to them as newborns? I would say soon, right? LOL), has drastically taken away from my holiday decorating so far this year. Granted, I'd take my baby boy over decorating ANY day, if I had to make a choice.

Anyway, I just did some cutesy decorations around the house and some pumpkins on the front steps outside. And even though there was the potential for me to go absolutely wild costuming Hunter this year, I opted for a low-key and inexpensive costume. He's obviously still too little to trick-or-treat but I sure wasn't going to let that stop me from ANY costume for him!

I think Hunter is going to be a bumble-bee, providing his costume fits. It is a size 0-6 months and it seems a tad big but I haven't tried it on him yet so looks can be deceiving. If it doesn't fit I'll put him in one of the two cutesy hooded sleepers he got from my shower (one is a bear and the other is a moose, I think. Both hoods have ears).

Tonight Big D and I are going to start carving our pumpkins with Hunter! I can't wait, it's one of my favorite Halloween-past times.

Saturday morning I'll be taking Hunter to the local mall to meet with a few of my friends and their kids. The mall has trick-or-treating from 11am-1pm all around the mall so it will be fun to get some pictures of all the cute kids in their costumes. Later in the afternoon, we'll pop over and visit my Mom, Hunter's Nana, so she can see him in his costume. And in the evening, we're going to go with our friends Todd and Mindy (with their kids) over their friends house first for some hot cider and roasted chestnuts around a fire pit and then off to trick-or-treat!

I think Hunter's first Halloween will be fun!

Anyway, you know I can't leave you without a couple of cute baby boy pictures.

Smiling at his 5-year-old second-cousin, Shayne.

Trying out his Bumbo seat for the first time. Hunter is not quite sure what to make of it!

50% Mom and 50% Dad!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Uh oh.

Someone has officially found his thumb!

And I love how he manages to flash the peace sign while simultaneously sucking his thumb. Ha! My boy's a multi-tasker, like his Mommy!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Just figured I'd pop in and let you know that I'm still alive and ticking.

I've done a lot of thinking, and I just don't think it's depression (even with my history of it) or post partum that's got me down. I'm pretty sure it all completely stems from going back to work.

I've been trying to not focus so much on it, to not let myself count down the days, so that I don't spend every day depressed. Instead, I'm trying to enjoy each and every minute of my time at home with Hunter.

Granted, days like today are tough. The baby boy has his first cold and it's been almost a week now. I brought him to the pediatrician today--not becuz I'm a neurotic first time Mother but--becuz he was getting really pghlemy, like it was in his chest, and i wanted to make sure it wasn't anything worse than a cold. So between him being super cranky about that (and blowing snot bubbles out of his nose, poor thing!) and random bouts of debilitating gas (it's not constant and there is no rhyme or reason to it...I think he just has a sensitive belly like his Mama), some days are crazy.

Today was one of those crazy days. Pretty much anytime Hunter was awake, he was screaming bloody murder. Then he'd fall asleep in my arms for brief little cat naps and either wake up crying, or I'd gently put him down in his pack-n-play and he'd stay asleep for about 10 minutes then wake up shrieking. A couple of times as I paced the floors and 'shhh'ed' him and kissed his cheek and apologized for not being able to make him feel better, I just cried with him.

I even did something I never do. I called Daryl (who was working late for some OT) around 8:3opm, practically begging for him to tell me when he'd be home cuz I just couldn't get Hunter to stop crying. And just as Daddy walked through the door, Hunter pooped and it was like pure relief on the baby's face. He was suddenly all smiles and giggles.

But I am just so drained. I think there comes a point, on days like today, when you know you have reached your limit. I handed Hunter over to Big D once he started fussing becuz I just couldn't do it anymore today.

And since I don't have a ton of energy to write any witty posts, here are some bullets for you of stuff that's been going on lately:

  • Hunter met Santa Claus for the first time this weekend to go over his Christmas list. He was way more infatuated with Mrs. Claus, however, then going over what he wanted for gifts. Hunter is definitely a ladies man.

  • Daryl met today with a Diabetes dietitian and found out how he should be eating for his optimum health. And he found otu what he already knew, that he should be exercising. So our eating lifestyle is about to change. Why, you probably wonder, is MY eating lifestyle about to change? Becuz not only do I want to help support him and keep him healthy, but I realize that I need to keep MYSELF healthy as well. I know I had a baby only almost three months ago, but I'm so frustrated and disgusted wtih my body right now. I can LITERALLY only fit into one pair of jeans/pants and only a couple of my shirts. I have no idea what I will be wearing when I go back to work since I can't fit into anything. And I am feeling SO out of shape. I don't like that. And I don't like feeling fat, not one bit. So it's time for a change! Granted, I have no idea if this will help the new saggy, jelly belly and stretch marks, but at least if I lose some weight, I'll feel better about myself.

  • Spent some time with my in-laws this weekend...Daryl's mom and step dad came up from NY and they got some good quality Hunter-time in.

  • I made a decision for how I want to spend Christmas and it is a very UN-April like decision. I always try to cater to everyone else during the holidays and make sure we see as many family members as possible. But now that we have Hunter, things are different. I don't want the frantic holiday pace of running around and stressing out on Christmas Day. So Daryl's mom and step dad can come over and visit in the late morning (I'll make coffee and maybe throw some cinnamon rolls in the oven) to see their grandson on his first Christmas. And my Mom and her boyfriend will come over later in the day for the same reason and for a small, simple Christmas dinner. No fancy meals, no elaborate table decorations, no crazy afternoons with extended family. I want to really enjoy and remember my baby boy's first Christmas and spending it as our family of three without thinking of any stress and frantic running around. I normally would NEVER make this kind of decision but I'm proud of myself for doing it this year becuz its what will be right for my family! And who can argue with less stress?

  • My good friend Jessica had her baby almost two weeks ago and I STILL haven't met the newest little bundle. With Hunter's cold, I was nervous to go near Jess's newborn baby girl if there was even the slightest chance I could be catching the cold as well. But I'm feeling just fine in that regard so hopefully this weekend I will get to meet little Arianna! I'm very excited to meet one of Hunter's newest girlfriends.

  • My "little" man is now 15 lbs 3 oz. He is growing like a weed and I love to see just how much he changes every day. My chunky Monkey!
  • I LOVE holiday flavors! I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond the other day to get my K-Cup carousel (I have a Keurig Coffee Maker that I absolutely love) and i was ecstatic to see that the holiday flavored coffees were out! I already had pumpkin spice and butter toffee at home, but I ended up walking out the store with a box of mixed flavors: Spicy Eggnog, Gingerbread, Golden French Toast (MY FAVORITE!) and Holiday Blend. Daryl and I enjoy our yummy delicious cup of coffee every morning!
  • Daryl ran out to the grocery store last night for me, to get some dinner items. He walked back through the door with a bouquet of flowers. I was so pleasantly surprised. It's been quite some time since I got flowers and I forgot almost how much I love getting them. I love even more the reason..."I wanted to cheer you up, April." It worked honey. Thank you!
  • I love the fact that I now have "my shows" to get into each week on TV. It's been a while since I really followed religiously any programs. My newest obsessions are: "The Vampire Diaries" (and before anyone says this show hopped on the vampire bandwagon, the series is based on a young adult saga of novels that I read as a teenager and LOVED, by author L.J. Smith.) I fell in love with L.J. Smith's books way back when so I was so excited to realize that a TV show was spun off of one of her series! Granted, the plot of the series is a bit different from the book, but hey, it's TV, not a book so that doesn't bother me in the least. It's still entertaining. And now I'm hooked on the show. I even have turned Daryl over to the dark side. Heh. He eagerly tunes in each week with me now, although he probably isn't as smitten by the male vampires as I am. Mmmmm...Stefan and Damon! My other newest favorite is "Eastwick". I had absolutely NO interest in watching this show when I first saw the commercials. I stumbled upon the first episode accidentally one night when I was bored, wide-awake, while Daryl was working late. And now, I'm hooked! It's pure, silly, fun, mysterious, dramatic fluff...and that's why I enjoy it so much!
  • Last but not least, I love my three boys:
  • Wednesday, October 14, 2009

    Baby Blues?

    I'm having a really hard time lately.

    My maternity leave is winding to a close. I have to go back to work on November 9th and although most people keep telling me "Oh you still have like 4 weeks left?" I'm feeling like "Holy shit, I only have four weeks left?"

    I cry every day.

    Every. Single. Day.

    For the first month and a half of my maternity leave, I was a cleaning machine. The house was clean, the laundry and dishes done, and I was enjoying my time with Hunter. Yeah, don't get me wrong--I was tired--but I was happy. Crazily enough, I had a newborn at home and yet my house was turning out to be the cleanest it had been in a long time!

    I was in a great mood most of the time, enjoying my baby so much and yes, I had my normal new Mommy meltdown moments, but otherwise I felt GOOD. I was getting to know Hunter and I LOVED. EVERY. MINUTE.

    Now, I'm feeling like the sands of the hourglass are running out so rapidly and I'm absolutely devastated that I have to go back to work full time.

    I feel like I can't leave my child, especially now when he is getting to be so active and vocal. I feel like now, as he is learning so much, is when he needs me the most. I was enjoying my days so much, we seemed to have a good routine going and I love watch how much my child learns every day. I sing to him, talk to him, repeat back his cooing noises. I read to him and show him his bright rattles and toys. When he is napping, I actually felt happy to be doing laundry and making our home a clean and happy place.

    Why am I bitching? I'm so lucky! My Mom is going to be taking care of Hunter here at our house. I won't have to worry about the cost of daycare, and I know he'll be getting the greatest of care from his Nana. So while I appreciate that, I feel JEALOUS of my mother. Jealous that I won't be with my Hunter baby all day and teaching him and spending quality time, kissing his cute cheeks.

    Also, I'm worried about breast feeding. Like I said before, my work schedule sucks. I don't get home till almost 6:30PM. And no matter what anyone tells me, I'm feeling SO stressed, worrying about not being able to get in enough BF sessions to keep my milk flowing (I am hoping to have enough time to breast feed twice in the morning and twice at night, but with Hunter's routine and my work schedule, I'm not so sure it will work) and I worry endlessly that my milk will dry up.

    The thought of having to STOP nursing Hunter right now upsets me beyond words. Not only just for the benefit to him, but to me. I never could have comprehended, before doing it, how close I can feel to my child. If I choose to stop breast feeding Hunter becuz that's what I wanted, thet's one thing, but if I'm "forced" to stop becuz of my shitty work schedule and inability to nurse/produce? SAD just doesn't sum up my feelings on it.

    I have no energy,no motivation, anymore.

    I just sit on the couch moping and watching tv. Staring at Hunter and feeling the tears well up as I visualize not being here for him.

    The dishes are piling up, the laundry is overflowing, I can barely make the bed. I have no desire to read anymore (and I am a TOTAL bookworm...reading is something I always make time for becuz I enjoy it so much).

    I'm also so very unhappy with my body and my weight (even though I've lost almost 30 lbs of pregnancy weight) but yet I still continue to eat like crap. I either eat too much or I don't eat at all and I know that's horrible and not healthy especially, while breastfeeding my baby boy.

    I know I should probably call the doctor. I don't really know what he'll do for me. I don't 100% want to be back on anti-depressants (I've taken them in the past) yet I wonder if that's what I need.

    Am I just having the normal sadness that goes along with going back to work full time, and feeling like I'm "leaving" my child? How do I stop myself from feeling like a horrible mother? I was keeping a lot of this in, and crying when I was alone, not wanting people to think I was selfish for feeling like that. But I've started to share it with Daryl, with my Mom, and two of my friends who are Mom's. I bawled my eyes out to Daryl the other night and finally let it all out. He and I have talked and he has said he'd be fine with me working part time, that we'd make some sacrifices financially, but that it would be worth it both for my sanity and for our family. But of course, I can't seem to motivate myself to DO anything about it.

    I'm just a crying, emotional mess.

    Saturday, October 10, 2009

    This is what happens when you ask your husband to bring home a "big pumpkin"....
    I just love the look on Hunter's face, almost like, "Damn. That's a big-ass pumpkin."

    Wednesday, October 07, 2009

    Hunter's growth and Breastfeeding

    Hunter had his two month check up on Monday.

    He now weighs....DRUMROLL PLEASE....14 lbs. 6 oz. and is in the 95th percentile for weight. He is 24 inches long and in the 90th percentile for height! All my joking around about his pumpkin head that is like his Daddy's, but his head is in the 50th percentile.

    The nurse jokingly asked if my breast milk was pure cream. Ha ha. Very funny.

    Like I explain to everyone, I didn't expect to have a tiny little munchkin for a child, after all, look at his parents! Neither Daryl or I are tiny!

    Hunter is doing fabulous all around, healthy and on track, meeting the milestones he should for his age. He also received his shots and oh my LORD, did my poor baby scream. His little cheeks turned bright red! I felt so bad for him. After one oral vaccine, and three shots, I immediately nursed my upset little man and he settled right down.

    And speaking of nursing, I have to say, I am so glad I decided to breast feed. It's such an amazing experience and definitely a way that Hunter and I bond together. I am sad at the thought of it ending too soon, although I have no intentions of stopping just yet! I would love to nurse him to at least 5-6 months.

    We do give him about one (sometimes two) bottle(s) of formula a day and that is usually so my mom or Daryl can give him a bottle. I was religiously pumping in the beginning so that we could give him breast milk in the bottles more often than anything AND I was trying to build up a frozen supply as well, however I was getting very discouraged at the puny amount of breast milk I produced through pumping.

    I will admit, I was feeling like a failure. I know so many people that can pump a ton and they were able to freeze it for when they went back to work, so their babies never had a need for formula. I cried over this to both Daryl and my Mom, and made myself crazy...I was like a pumping soldier who HAD TO GET IT DONE. I felt like a robot, a motorized breast, a milking cow. And not getting the results I expected, I felt horrible and like I had failed (even though I breast feed him all day and Hunter is obviously thriving!).

    It took me a couple of weeks to turn my mindset around.

    I have come to the realization that I have done an awesome job...nursing Hunter has completely exceeded my expectations so I had to stop beating myself up over not being a pro-pumper. I have a nursing plan for when I got back to work in another month. I am determined to keep my milk flowing but I do realize that when I'm back to work, there is the potential for a decrease in my production,, due to less nursing throughout the day AND also the stress that I anticipate at work.

    But I can't focus on that!

    In the morning, I leave for work approximately 8:45-9:00 AM and I get home from work at approximately 6:15 PM in the evening. So my plan is to hopefully get in two nursing sessions in the morning before work, then pump at least twice throughout the day while at work, and then nurse two times in the evening. Right now, Hunter nurses between 6-7 times a day.

    I know pumping is not as productive as a baby nursing, but I'm hoping those two times I do it will be enough to convince my body to keep producing! But I remind myself daily, if I am unable to continue to breast feed, at least I have done the best I could! I will have at LEAST nursed him for three months.

    And I am proud of myself for nourishing my son and helping him grow and thrive.

    Sunday, October 04, 2009

    Dear Hunter,

    Today you are two months old.

    I can't believe it. My newborn baby is two months old!

    You are a blast to be around. In between Mommy eating and kissing your beautiful cheeks, nonstop (sorry, kid!), you smile and laugh and are enjoying your baby life! You love to be sung to and so far, your favorite seems to be "The Itsy Bitsy Spider". Mommy and Daddy also think you are starting to try to imitate certain faces we make, which is hysterical to watch.

    About two weeks ago, Daddy weighed you on his work refrigerant scale (in your car seat which itself, is nine about a workout!) and you were 13 lbs 4 1/2 oz. My big handsome boy. You are wearing clothes sized 3-6 moths OR even 6-9 months, with a little room to grow.

    You are looking more and more like your Daddy every day. You're broad across the chest just like Dad, which makes it hard for Mommy to sometimes get you into shirts. I think you are going to be tall like both of your parents. You have incredibly ticklish feet and yet we can blow raspberries on your belly and you barely even flinch!

    You love constant motion. Whether it's napping in your swing (the ONLY place I can get you to take any naps longer than 15 minutes), driving in the car or being rocked and cuddled, you are a happy boy. You sleep through the night like a champ in your crib and after a morning snack, you go back to sleep, blessedly giving Mommy a few extra Zzzz's herself.

    Your eyes, which are slowly turning brown, follow Mommy and Daddy adoringly no matter where we are. Daddy sometimes gets mad that he'll be holding you and you are staring after me, but hey! You are a Mommy's Boy, and that is a good thing! Also, you've started paying more attention to your doggie, Tucker. I even witnessed him smooch you and your giggle in reply, this afternoon.

    You have already watched your first and second football games with Daddy and you LOVE when Mommy reads you books at night before bed.

    You are also a baby who loves water, much to Mommy's relief! Bath time is fun but you LOVE talking showers with your Daddy! Even if the water accidentally squirts you in the face, you blink a few times and then coo contentedly. You love to "talk" to your stuffed animals, toys and mobiles and also you stare in fascination at all the pictures on the walls, so Mommy has started to point everyone in them out to you.

    Hunter, you are a silly boy! Your laughter is contagious! While Daddy got his eyes checked at the doctor's office, Mommy walked you around the brightly lit waiting room and you stared in awe around you. Your eyes landed on a picture of a woman modeling glasses and oh my goodness, the silly giggles that you let loose with! I didn't care who heard me, I could not help but laugh right along with you!

    Your smile is like the sunshine that brightens up our days. Neither Daddy nor I can imagine life without you.

    Thank you so much, little man, for blessing us with the gift of parenthood. You will never know (until the day you have your own children) how much it means to Daddy and I!

    We will continue to love and cherish you forever!

    Love Always,


    P.S. I promise to kiss those chubby cheeks until you are an old, OLD man.