Thursday, April 29, 2010

Photo Friday: Beverage/s & What’s/Who’s cooking?

Visit Calliope's Place to see who else is participating in Photo Friday.

I decided to go all out and put up four photos! Disclaimer necessary -- I am no photographer. Though I have secret fantasies of getting a really good camera and actually learning how to use it, deep down I know I probably never will. It kind of makes me sad. I'd love to be able to take really great photos, but not only are time and money scarce, but I'm not sure I have the patience to really learn something new.

But that's not why we're here today is it. Nooooo it's not, so onto the photos.

Beverage -- This is what I am drinking at the moment.

Beverages -- Remnants from the weekend's birthday party.

What's Cooking -- Really this is what will be cooking as it is on the menu for tonight.

Who's Cooking -- Why that would be little ole me, of course!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday: Endorphins

It's a little difficult to pick one moment this week. Last Wednesday was Ben's first birthday and then we had his party this weekend and there were lots of wonderful moments, but this weeks perfect moment is just about me.

I was on swim teams from the time I was 7 until I finished high school. Every summer, sometimes in the winter when I was in elementary school, and during the winter every year of high school I was on a swim team. I also played lacrosse from middle school through high school and rode my bike all over the place. Even so I have always struggled with my weight. The struggle got more difficult after high school when I stopped participating in regular organized sports. In my 20s I would go through phases of working out regularly and a few times managed to lose weight and get into pretty good shape. My last best effort was before I got pregnant with my daughter. In the year or so leading up to trying to get pregnant I started running. There was a great 1.7 mile loop near the apartment we lived in at the time and I got to the point were I would run 2 or 3 circuits of the loop a few times a week. I was also going to the gym and strength training a bit. I'm sure at the time I still wanted to be in even better shape, but when I look back at photos from that period of time now, I think I looked great. Then we got pregnant and I miscarried and winter came and I wasn't working out so much, but I was doing the Weight Watchers program and in the month just before I got pregnant with Lucy I reach a weight I hadn't seen in years (and have yet to see since). When Lucy was about a year old I started a diet and began working out at the gym regularly and lost a good bit of the pregnancy weight. Unfortunately, I didn't keep up the good work and then a year and a half later we started trying to get pregnant again and then infertility and well it all went to hell. And then I got pregnant with Ben (yeah!), which was great, but more weight.

I really thought that with 6 months of maternity leave all during good weather months I would go for lots of walks and get exercise and lose the baby weight and at least some of the IVF weight. HAHAHAHAHA!

And then I went back to work and a crazy schedule added to my usual laziness and lack of discipline meant that I made no progress toward weight loss or just being healthy. But about 7 weeks ago a friend of mine asked if I wanted to start running with her and train for a 5K hosted by the PTA at my daughter's school. And I said yes. Her husband came up with a 6 week training program for us. It wasn't easy (still isn't) and I haven't really lost any weight and the running is still hard. BUT, this past Sunday was the 5K and while we were slow and finished behind about 3/4 of the other runners, we finished without stopping. And the perfect moment... we actually finished with enough energy left to pick up the pace a bit as we approached the finish line. My husband was standing there holding Ben and managed to get a photo of us as we approached the finish and when I looked at it later in the day I realized that we both had big smiles on our faces.

Go see who else had a perfect moment here.

My Beautiful Boy

Among our dear friends who helped us celebrate Ben's birthday last week was a family who is like family to us. Their older daughter and Lucy were in daycare together and are truly two of a kind! It would hardly seem right to celebrate one of our kids' birthdays without them. My dear friend Cynthia, the mom in this group, also happens to be a photographer.* She is never far from her camera and Saturday was no different. She took some photos during the party that I think are just wonderful. They can been seen on her blog.

* I couldn't recommend her more highly if you live in the DC area and want great photos of your children or yourself! Just feel the need to say that she took the photos because we're friends without expecting any recommendations or advertisements. In fact, like 99.9% of my IRL friends/family, she doesn't even know about this blog.
Her main website is here.

Party Time!

(disclaimer: I actually started this post a week and a half ago, which is why the tone changes a bit from beginning to end. Also, it's been edited to reflect the passage of time. ;)

On Saturday we had a birthday party for Ben. I went ahead and decided to throw a relatively big party. I realized as we were trying to decide what to do that I'm still disappointed in what I missed out on with both my pregnancies. Don't get me wrong, I remain grateful for all the support and care we got from friends and family, but still feel like I missed out on a lot. Frankly, part of it probably also stems from the fact that most of my older and closest friends were done with babymaking and most of them don't live near me. So without too much whining I'll just say that there wasn't much fanfare for my pregnancy or Ben's birth. In fact, two of my oldest (as in known them a long time) friends (women who were in my wedding!) didn't even bother to send a card, email, or phone call to say congrats. (Ok so what I said about the whining, nix that.) I mean we didn't really need any stuff for Ben and I wasn't expecting the same response as when Lucy was born, but you know what, I've had A LOT of friends (including the two who were in my wedding) have 3 kids and even if I had fallen out of touch I always sent a little something and I often sent something for the other kids too. So, I really don't think a card or email is really too much to ask. Ok, so apparently I'm a bit more angry about all this than even I realized.

I've never been the most popular girl around. I wasn't in a sorority at college and I typically have had just a few close friends. And I've been guilty of letting some friendships fall by the wayside and losing touch with people. But I've also tried to be there for my friends. I've thrown A LOT of bridal and baby showers -- even some 2nd baby showers, and I try to remember to send birthday cards and call and send occasional emails to let people know I'm thinking of them. I guess it really makes me more sad than anything. It makes me really think that perhaps these relationships didn't really mean as much to my "friends" as they did to me. It makes me doubt myself and question all my relationships.

ANYWAY. The upshot is that I decided that even though he's only one and doesn't really have his own friends yet, F#@% it! I wanted a real celebration. So, I invited a sort of random selection of our friends and astonishingly most everyone we invited came. Fortunately, the weather held and we were able to keep the kids outside for the most part. It was definitely even harder than usual to play hostess while chasing a one-year old unsteady walker around, but it was a great party. My parents came up for the day and my mom took the kids for a long walk before the party so that my husband and I could get ready. So many dear friends came to help us celebrate and we had a great time. Unfortunately, Ben was tired and cranky by the time I gave him the little cake I'd made just for him, so we didn't get any fun cake smash photos because he just fingered it a bit and then cried to get out of the high chair. I guess I'm a little too used to throwing parties for an older kid, should probably have scheduled it a bit earlier in the day. Nevertheless, we had a great time.

We didn't get to the gifts until after the party, but he enjoyed some of his new toys on Sunday and particularly loves his new firetruck.

Sunday was another busy day. We started the day off with a little exercise. Lucy did a one mile fun run with a friend and I ran my first ever 5K with her friend's mom. Daddy and Ben came to hang out with Lucy after her race and to cheer me on for mine. Afterward there were snacks and some time on the playground with friends. Then we headed home to clean up in time for my husbands parents to arrive for the day and another birthday celebration! He seemed a little more interested in the cake they brought, but as my father-in-law commented, the little guy got a raw deal. It was his birthday, but he didn't get any chocolate cake (and it was VERY good!)

So it was a very full and very fun weekend. Now we just need to get the house back in order and catch up on our sleep!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

You've Come A Long Way Baby!

My little man turned 1 yesterday. I still can't believe it. It really feels like yesterday that my water broke and we were driving to the hospital at 3am. I can still recall so vividly walking into the nursery to wake up my mom and tell her we were going to the hospital. I remember how antsy I was waiting to find out when they would do the c-section and that I must have asked my husband what time it was about 20 times in as many minutes. I remember how terrified I was of the spinal and how anxious I felt lying there waiting for them to start. And oddly I don't remember hearing the baby cry when they got him out, though my husband assures me that he did. What I recall most vividly is watching them carry him across the room and being so surprised at his full head of hair.

It's been quite a year. In some ways we are still adjusting to being a family of 4. Logistically speaking, having one child was not easy, but having two sometimes seems impossible. Just this morning, for the first time since I returned to work in November, my husband took both kids to school/daycare so that I could get to work early and therefore go home early. Our hope is to do this twice a week, so that at least twice a week our evenings will be a little less hurried and crazy. And even though we're all tired and Lucy is still adjusting to having to share her parents, we all love him to pieces!

He is walking a la Frankenstein these days. He's all boy too. I always hated hearing people say things like that, it seems like such a stereotype, but there's a reason stereotypes exist -- some people fit the bill. Lucy was a very active child and never fit the mold of the little girl playing quietly with her doll, but Ben is another level of active altogether. At a year he is already so much more physical. He loves to wrestle with pillows and his sister and is constantly pushing the furniture around the house. He gets into everything and just screams when we take anything away from him or move him away from the glass fronted bookcases, which he likes to bang on. Unlike his sister, who spoke early and often, Ben has no words yet. Not even mama, which of course kills me. The doctor said that he's definitely a couple months behind in that area, but that he's also a couple of months ahead on his gross motor. He added that it's not that unusual for a boy or a second child and Ben is both. So he didn't seem at all worried, but did mention that if Ben doesn't make some progress by 15 months we'll have his more formally assessed.

The daycare providers are pushing us to get him off the bottle, and I know that we should be trying harder, but he LOVES his bottles. He doesn't take a pacifier, but the bottle is his comfort, and I'm a little hesitant to push it too hard too fast. His height and weight percentiles finally flipped. At 6 months he was 95th percentile for weight and at 9 months he was 90th. Not sure what his height was at 6 months (I'm thinking about 70 or 75th %), but it was 80th at 9 months. I don't have the raw numbers with me but his weight was at the 75th percentile and his height is at the 85th percentile. He is still plenty chubby -- as you can see in the pictures below!

Thought things on the sleep front are much improved, I would mind a bit more improvement. As I suck at documenting such things, what I'm about to write is kind of a guess on my part. I'd say that 4 nights out of 7 he sleeps through the night -- meaning he goes to bed anywhere between 6:45 and 7:30 and sleeps until anywhere between 5:15 and 6:00. On the other 3 nights he will most often wake around 3:30 or 4, take a bottle and then go back to sleep for a couple of hours. We can't seem to figure out what, if anything, is causing him to wake up on the nights that he does. I'd love to get him on a regular 7 to 6 schedule, but it's probably too much to ask, since no other member of the family has a very regular sleep schedule either. We really do try though! But I do try to recall the nights when I was up several times and just be grateful for where we are now!

Now if we can just get him to stop biting, seriously! (That really is a post for another day.)

April 21, 2009

April 21, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday

Sunday evening, as she often does, Lucy came into Ben's room while I was trying to get him settled down for bed. I left them playing on the floor of his room for a minute so I could get him his bedtime bottle. I closed the door when I left so he wouldn't try to leave the room. Usually when the two of them are together things are anything but settled. Lucy loves to tickle Ben and he loves to be tickled. She also enjoys indulging him with his favorite games of wrestling and tug of war. Even when Lucy is trying to be quiet (which isn't often), just her presence gets Ben excited. So, I fully expected to have to work hard to get both of them to quiet down when I came back. But as I approached his door, I realized that instead of hearing lots of laughing and thumping, it was actually quiet. I stood and listened for a moment while Lucy quietly sang "Hush, Little Baby" to her brother.

What's your perfect moment?

To read about other perfect moments go here.

I Capture
Perfect Moments.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Lucy was sick most of this week. She was sent home from school early on Tuesday with vague symptoms of "feeling icky". When I picked her up it was clear that the school nurse didn't think there was really anything wrong with her, but a few hours later she had a temperature and asked to go to bed about 3 hours earlier than usual without having eaten anything. Wednesday she had no fever and seemed to be on the mend, but then yesterday she woke up with a stomach ache which turned out to be diarrhea that lasted until she went to bed last night. Today she seems just fine, but she has to be symptom free for 24 hours before going back to school, so right now she's sitting on the back porch painting mini birdhouses while I fritter away some time on the computer. I'm supposed to be trying to get some work done, but I'm certain I'll end up taking leave for the full day because I just don't have anything that can be done in the short snippets of time that I have between the frequent calls of "mama, mama, maaaamaaaa" from the porch (or her room, or wherever). Course if I'm not working I should at least be putting away the laundry or doing dishes, etc. But I haven't slept well the last two nights and I can't seem to get off my behind.

Am back after a long pause, and happy to report that Lucy finally has her appetite back AND I actually can't remember the last time she was in the bathroom. Yesterday I swear she was going every 10 to 15 minutes from the time she woke up until bedtime. Thank goodness it's over.

As far as my own health goes, I still haven't really lost much weight, but I am sticking with the running. Last night I ran 3 miles all by myself! I'd missed the scheduled morning run with my running partner in crime because of being home with Lucy, and since the 5K is next weekend I really need to stick with the training plan. I did end up stopping once to walk for a minute, but since the running (really shuffling) is still very hard, I actually pretty proud that I ONLY stopped once, since I didn't have the peer pressure as motivator.

In other news, Ben is all boy. Seriously, he is fearless and into everything. My husband was actually worried about brain damage the other day because of the number of times the kid falls over and hits his head. He loves to wrestle with pillows and he's learned to climb! A couple of days ago he managed to climb onto the twin bed in his room by himself. Now I just have to make sure he doesn't fall off and onto his head! I think he's actually had a mild version of whatever stomach bug his sister had because early in the week he had a lot of loose poops and was very whiny. I continue to learn just how different he is at daycare than at home. Here we can hardly get him to eat anything and he yells if I try to give him his formula in a sippy cup. At school he eats anything they give him and mostly drinks from a sippy. I think I see more behavior charts in my future. ;)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Meme Time

More fun from Calliope Join in if you dare. ;)



Not as easy as you might think…

1. Yourself: Weary

2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend: Asleep

3. Your hair: ponytail

4. Your mother/stepmother: caring

5. Your dog: memory

6. Your favorite item:

7. Your dream last night: none

8. Your favorite drink:

9. Your dream car: MiniCooper

10. The room you are in: basement

12. Your fear: unhappiness

13. What you want to be in 10 years: happy

14. Who you hung out with last night: husband

15. What you’re not: efficient

16. Muffin: blueberry

17: One of your wish list items: bathroom

18: Time: lacking

19. The last thing you did: email

20. What you are wearing: jeans

21. Your favorite weather: warm

22. Your favorite book: Stegner

23. The last thing you ate: toast

24. Your life: stalled

25. Your mood: okay

26. Your best friend(S): distant

27. What are you thinking about right now? bed

28. Your car: messy

29. What are you doing at the moment?: typing

30. Your summer: busy

31. Your relationship status: married

32. What is on your TV?: nothing

33. What is the weather like?: wet

34. When is the last time you laughed?: today

Monday, April 12, 2010


I've been wanting to join in on Calliope's Scattegories fun for awhile now. I'm finally doing it! You should too!

1. What is your favorite springy color? "filmy green" (it's the color of the nursery and I still love it even after 7 1/2 years and baby #2 )

2. Something you put in water? fluoride

3. Something you east asparagus with? fungi

4. Something you change into flip-flops for? fun in the sun

5. Something you imagine yourself singing in your imaginary convertible? Feelin' Alright

6. Something that makes you sneeze? feathers

7. Something that gets you outside? flowers

8. Something that crashes your picnic? flies

9. Something that stings you? f-ing wasps

10. Something that wafts through the air at night? fireflies

Friday, April 9, 2010

Odds and Ends

About 1 year and 2 hours ago one of my doctors stopped by my room and told me I could go home the next day. (I know it would be more interesting to wait until tomorrow to post that 1 year ago I went home, but we're having company for dinner tomorrow and between the ballet class, shopping, cleaning, etc, I know I won't have time to get online tomorrow.) When I think back to last year it seems surreal that I spent nearly 2 months in the hospital, but at the same time, I vividly remember the details of my hospital room. I also vividly remember feeling both excited and terrified about the prospect of going home, though I suppose it was appropriate as I felt that way about the pregnancy in general. I also remember that when I did leave the next day, it felt very anticlimactic. It was such a big deal for me having been there for what seemed like an eternity, it seemed like there should have been some fanfare when I left. At the very least I sort of expected some of the nurses to say goodbye, but my nurse that day was new to me and she just went over all the information with me and left. When my husband arrived to take me home two volunteers came to help us get my stuff down to the car, and that was it. And a year later...

Ben has been taking tentative hands-free steps for about a week now. He took 20 for my mom on Monday, but the most I've seen is 8.

He hasn't had an ear infection since his tubes were put in last month, but he's still a little snot making machine and wakes up coughing many nights. I'm going to ask the doctor at his one-year if it might be allergies.

It's very difficult to get Ben to eat much here at home. He will rarely tolerate sitting in his highchair for very long, so I end up shoving bits of finger food or spoonfuls of food at him while he toddles around the kitchen. Of course, at daycare they have no such problems so at least I know he's eating more and practicing with more finger foods there.

Ben loves the cats. They avoid him like the plague.

Lucy is still in love with Ben and he with her.

She had a wonderful spring break staying first with my parents and then my husband's. Since she got home she's been a nightmare. There's been way too much yelling (mostly me) around here the past few days and I really need to take some time out to figure out how to deal with her.

But she can still be sweet and funny a lot of the time.

Yesterday she was in a great mood when I picked her up from school. She proceeded to tell me how she can't wait to be thirteen because then "I'll be free of you!" And this was her being nice. ;)

I started the Sou.thBe.ach diet over a month ago. I really stuck to it, but with much in the way of results. I think that while I cut out all carbs (and therefore all junk), I was replacing it with so much cheese and a good helpings of mayonnaise that it was just too much fat and calories. But I'm still glad I did it. I needed something drastic to get out of the habit of eating as poorly as I'd been for so long. I'm not really following the diet anymore, but I have continued to make much healthier choices (without all the added cheese) and I do feel better. If I don't see some progress I'll probably go back to doing the Wei.ght.Watch.ers plan, but I'm going to try and just make reasonable choices for awhile and see how that works.

I also started jogging with a friend several weeks ago. Actually, we go so slowly that I'm not entirely sure I should call it jogging, but it's more than a walk. ;) In fact, I just registered for my first ever 5K in 2 weeks. We'll be going sloooooowwwwwlllly, but I'm determined to at least finish.

All in all, things are ok. :)

*I know the time because I kept a daily log the whole time I was in the hospital.