Thursday, September 30, 2010

Gretchen Proof Baby Gear!

I am not the most coordinated person in the world.  'Nuff said.  I was so excited about using slings, wraps and carriers to have my hands free with Liam.  I had a particular wrap I really wanted to try, but it seems it is far too complicated for me.  It scared me off of all wraps, slings and carriers so I haven't used any of them for the past six and a half weeks.  (Well, besides the one huge FAIL of an attempt to use my wrap...)  Since there is a monsoon outside I decided to try out my Baby Bjorn.  Wow!  What a difference.  Either I'm getting more sleep and it shows, or it is immensely more user friendly than my wrap.  I was able to use it without even reading the directions!  So you know it must be easy! 

The best part was that after putting Liam in it he had such a fun time taking a tour of the house, checking everything out, loading the dishwasher and then, falling asleep!  He was so adorable sleeping on my chest and I wasn't stuck sitting on the couch or walking in circles with nothing else to do!

Even better, when he was out like a light I was able to move him from the Baby Bjorn to his pack n play without any trouble!  Miracles do happen!

I cannot thank the makers or the givers of the Baby Bjorn enough!  I am a hands free mama now when I need to be!  So, thanks a million!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Ok, I can't go without any words.  So here is my precious wee man at six weeks old.  Isn't he cute?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fall Favorites!

Today is the first official day of fall.  It doesn't much feel like it with temps in the 90's outside, but hopefully fall weather will soon be on it's way.  I love fall, and I love lists, so here are my top ten favorite things about fall.

1.  Cooler temps!  That's right, I am over the 80s, 90s and 100 degree temps we've had, not to mention the humidity.  At this point I'd be happy to be able to wear jeans and a t-shirt, but in NC that is still a ways off!

2.  Football!  I love me some football!  Whether it's watching the Saints, the USC Trojans or Cody's 49ers play I love cheering the teams on!

3.  Pumpkins!  Whether it be pumpkin patches, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins...I love it all!

4.  Halloween.  I love Halloween for two reasons.  First,  who doesn't love all the fun Halloween candy.  Yum!  Second, I love seeing what all the kids dress up as.  I have no desire to dress up myself, but I love their costumes.  I can't wait to dress Liam up for his first Halloween!  He's going to be a dragon.  So cute!  I'm trying to convince Cody to be a knight, and not one of the jedi variety either!  How cute would it be to have a knight and a dragon out trick-or-treating?

5.  Sweaters.  As a So Cal girl my obsession with sweaters is a little odd.   Can't explain why, but I do love them!  I have way too many for the climates I live in, but at least I get a little use out of them here in NC. 

6. New TV!  What can I say, I'm a bit of a TVaholic I guess.  It's only gotten worse since I got married to a fellow TVaholic.  Tonight alone I'm excited for the Bones and Grey's Anatomy season premieres.  And that is just tonight!

7.  Crock Pot Meals.  There's something comforting about the smell of dinner simmering away throughout the day.  And knowing that it will be ready after football practice or whatever else we have going on is a weight off my shoulders.  Warm, cozy, comfort food makes the season.

8.  Wine shipments.  What can I say, I love wine.  We are members of Opolo Vineyards in Paso Robles, CA and normally get two shipments in the fall from them.  Delicious vino puts a smile on my face!

Check out Opolo HERE!

9.  Marine Corps Birthday Ball.  Every year the Marine Corps celebrates it's birthday with a party.  Each squadron hosts a ball to celebrate the heritage and traditions of the Corps.  It's an awesome experience and we love attending.  Plus, my man is just handsome as can be in his dress blues!

10.  Thanksgiving.  I love Thanksgiving.  I love turkey.  I love cranberry sauce.  I love stuffing.  Most of all, I love all the wonderful people and things I have been blessed with.  I am a lucky girl!

Monday, September 20, 2010

What a Difference a Month Makes!

Liam is now one month old!  I cannot believe how time has flown.  He is so much more alert than he was when we brought him home.  I love to see him smile and listen to him coo.  (I could still do without the crying! ;) )  He is now in size 1 diapers and is quickly growing out of his newborn clothes.  Probably because he is tipping the scales at around 10 lbs!  Who would have thought our little one would gain two pounds between his two week doctor's visit and his one month visit!  It's just crazy!  For a fun comparison, here are two pictures of him in the same newborn outfit, which barely covers his tummy anymore!  The comparison definitely shows off how much little man has grown in his first month of life!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Dog Ate My ________!

No, not my homework, the dog ate my nipple shield!  Yep, left it sitting on the end table after feeding the fussbucket (aka Liam) when we ran to pick up C from football practice and grab dinner.  (The immense failure at cooking due to my exhaustion meant a not so healthy fast food meal...again.)  When we got home the hubby says, "What is that?" in alarm and is analyzing the floor.  I thought for sure there was a giant bug on the ground, but no, it was the nipple shield. In pieces.  Oh joy.  Since we took our roadtrip up to PA fussbucket has been, well, fussy about latching so the nipple shield is my saving grace.  I was nearly reduced to tears when finding out the dog ate it.  The fact that the dog even found this appealing is gross and hilarious at the same time!  So first thing this morning after I have C out the door to school we are running out to Target to pick up a new one, or maybe two so we have a backup...just in case.

And because one "tragedy" isn't enough for a night when you're working on a couple hours of sleep, I joined Den in the "showers of love" category last night.  Not only did Liam shower me, he shot it up and over the changing table and all over the car seat which was sitting right next to the pack n play.  So, we had to disassemble the car seat to wash it all.  Good times.  Now I am left with the fun task of putting it all back together.  Mind you, with Den about to leave this is probably something I need to figure out anyways.  Can't depend on him for these things as I'm sure it will need to be washed for many reasons in the future.  But seriously, on a morning when I want to run an errand ASAP?  Probably not the time for me to read instructions and struggle with a car seat!

And so continue the joys of parenthood.  However, when I look at my little man's face and he cuddles up on my chest it's all worth it!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Four Weeks!

Liam is four weeks old today!  I cannot believe how much our lives have changed and how much he has changed in so short a time!  To celebrate we took some pictures.  I'm no professional, but I think they came out great!  Thank God for the little bit of editing I can do in iPhoto.  Our little man is growing and I'm grateful we can document every moment so we can remember how little he is.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Best Wedding Gift Ever!

Still, almost four years later, one of the best wedding gifts I received is our crock pot.  I never knew I would love this small appliance so much!  But with a busy schedule, working full time, sports practice, etc. I quickly came to love my crock pot probably a little too much!

The best thing about it, is that you can get dinner ready before work or practice and come back hours later with a piping hot, yummy meal on hand.    With football practice started back up again for the season I am now officially the queen of the crock pot!  I try to steer clear of it the majority of the time when Cody doesn't have sports because I get too used to making all of my quick, easy recipes and it gets redundant, but I rejoice each football season in the ease of meal preparation!

Where do I find these delicious recipes you may ask?  One of my favorite places is the Fix It and Forget It Lightly cookbook.  Last night I made Zucchini-Vegetable Pot.  Scrumdiddlyumptious!   It's a family favorite.  All my boys love it and besides a little chopping, it's quick and easy! Here's my take on this recipe:

1.  Brown 1 lb of ground turkey in a nonstick skillet.
2.  Chop up the following and place them in the crock pot:
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 onion
3.  Top with 1/4 c. rice and turkey.
4.  Spinkle the following seasonings on top:
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
5.  Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours.
6.  We add tobasco sauce to ours for a nice little kick!  (It tastes delicious without as well if you or your kids are not into spicy foods.)

So, if you have a slow cooker, pull it out and try this recipe today!  If you don't, you might want to run out and buy one!  And remember, if you're going to a wedding or shower, this just might be the most beloved gift the bride could get.  She may not realize it straight away, but she will sooner or later!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Murphy's Law of Motherhood

Good old Murphy and I have always been good friends, but little did I know his law would apply to motherhood.  He is always popping up and reminding me he's around.  For instance:

1. Whenever mom sits down to eat baby will fuss.  Hence I ate ice cold eggos this morning.  Yum!

2.  As soon as you change the baby, they will soil their diaper straight away.  No wonder parents spend so much on diapers!

3.  When you sit down to feed the baby and aren't mobile, the dogs will desperately need to go outside!  But since they don't wear diapers, they win!

4.   You lay down to take a nap and the phone rings, the baby cries, the dog barks or any number of things to keep you from actually sleeping.  Sleep is overrated anyways, right?

5.  You only type with one hand because you always seem to have a baby in the other.  Because the hunt and peck method is so much more productive!

6.  Time is relative.  You think you are responding in a timely manner, but really they've been waiting on a response, that thank you note, that phone call back for way too long!  But you're worth waiting for, right?

7.  You spend a whole ten minutes getting ready in the morning/afternoon/whenever you can get a chance only to be spit up on.

8.  You double check the baby stuff ten times before leaving the house only to realize you forgot to pack your older child's pajamas, grab the dog's leash, put your wallet back in the diaper back, etc.  Preggo brain does not seem to go away and is now renamed mommy brain.

9.  You get a text inviting you to meet friends for a last minute coffee only to cringe at the sound of baby practicing for his audition for the purple crying video as you're about to leave.  No one thinks baby is cute when he's screaming his head one.

10.   You're just drifting off to dreamland when you're rudely awakened by the little one crying.  Nothing says fun like a middle of the night snack and diaper change!  (The snack is normally for the little one...normally!)

So Murphy, you've had a good run these past three weeks.  I'm sure you'll give me more reasons to remember you as Liam grows.  For now, could you take a wee break so this momma can get a little sleep in?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Liam Howard Has Finally Arrived!

I have been trying to post this forever, but my fussbucket has kept me from editing the post.  So while he screams his cute, little head off, let me tell you some news...Liam Howard was born on Sunday, August 15th at 0550 after 27.5 hours of labor!  He was 7 lbs, 15 oz and 20 inches long.  (So no giant baby as they predicted days earlier in an ultrasound!  It was over a pound off!)  He has brown hair and eyes that are quickly changing to green so a little of both mommy and daddy!  He is adorable and we are totally in love!

On Friday I met with the head doctor at my practice.  He told me he didn't think I'd make it through the weekend.  Sure enough Saturday morning I woke up at 2:30 am with contractions about 10 minutes apart.  I slept on and off between contractions until around 6.  They were getting closer and closer together and he had told me to come in when they were three minutes apart.  I took a shower, took my time getting ready and we finally got everyone ready to leave for the hospital and my contractions were 1.5-2 minutes apart.  Of course, on the way to the hospital labor suddenly stalls.  Contractions spread back out.  So frustrating as I was thinking it was going to be a quick labor the way things had been going.  At the hospital they put me on the monitors and I'm hardly having contractions and I'm only 1 cm.  So home we all go for me to labor at home.  This is around lunchtime.

On the way home, the contractions kick back in again.  They were nasty with back labor.  So every contraction was doubled essentially.  I shut myself in my dark bedroom and rocked and swayed my way through them.  Took a long, hot shower to help as well.  My hubby went and got racquetballs to massage my back with.  It was painful, but manageable.  I'm not even sure when we left for the hospital, except that it was before dinnertime because I don't think any of my support team got to eat dinner.  They were such troopers.  At the hospital contractions are regular and I'm admitted.  Well, I am in labor FOREVER it seems!  I see the doc and get checked and I'm still only at like a 3 so I have a ways to go.  I was 100% effaced though.  As per my birth plan I didn't want pitocin or an epidural so they let me have at it on my own.  My contractions are getting stronger and harder.  I get a shot of something to help with the pain from the back labor. It knocks me out and puts me to sleep which I think really helped me progress.  I would sleep in between contractions.   Baby's heart rate was a little wonky so they ended up attaching an internal monitor to his head which caused my water to break.  At which time things really got moving.  The contractions plus back labor were horrible!  They were one on top of the other.  I started asking for an epidural as the pain from the back labor was so bad.  Due to a bunch of circumstances, but I think mostly my non-committal to it, I never did end up getting one.  I was crying and asking my husband to make it stop.  He was so great and my girlfriends who were there were so supportive and encouraging!  I get checked by the doc and I'm at 9. She says I can still get the epi if I want, but she thinks I can do it on my own.  I'll be pushing before I know it.  My husband is supportive and agrees.  (As I'm ripping up his arm bearing down during contractions.)   Soon enough I say I feel pressure and want to push!  The nurse starts getting things ready for delivery and calls for the doc to check me again.  I'm fully dilated and ready to go.  Baby is still kind of high up in the birth canal so I start pushing.  And an hour later, there he is!  My gorgeous baby boy!

He had the cord around his neck, hence the heartbeat dropping off, but other than that was perfectly healthy.  We didn't get very much bonding time as they whisked him off to the nursery to help/check him, pink him up etc.  I tore a little because he had his hand up by his face, just like in every ultrasound.  Otherwise the doc said I would not have torn.  It was by far the hardest, but most rewarding thing I have ever done.  I still cannot believe that I pushed out a baby without the epi due to the pain, but in the end I'm very glad that I did.  Liam is so adorable, although he doesn't seem to want to sleep at night!  He is a fussy eater.  But did I mention how cute he is?

I think all in all I had a very positive labor experience.  I was blessed with a great doctor and nurse who supported my birth plan and two great girlfriends who stayed all night with me, but most importantly, I was blessed with a great husband!  He deserves kudos for not only being great during labor and deliver, but for attending Bradley classes that helped us prepare and for being fabulous since we got home!  We are tired, but a happy little family!