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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Holiday Card - Front II

Friday, December 23, 2011

Baby E Meets Santa... 2x!

Will my 8 month old remember his first meeting with Santa? Probably not. At least he can relive it through the pictures that his parents took on that special day at the mall back in December of 2011. :)

Honestly I didn't even think about bringing Baby E to see Santa. It was H's idea, and he wanted to start the tradition right away. I'm glad that we did because it was a great family experience. We went to our local mall on a Monday afternoon to avoid the crowds and get some more one on one time with the big fella.

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We invited my FIL to come join us on our adventure, and he was happy to spend some quality time with his grandson.  

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We only have 4 family pictures of us, and now this makes 5. Baby E had no clue what we were doing or why we were waiting in line. He was in for a nice surprise. I tried to get him excited a few days earlier and made a pit stop to check out Santa's sweet spot at the mall. He looked in the opposite direction.  

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Here is the big jolly guy, and he sure was a nice one. His beard is all real, and I was might impressed. Now here is where we take a break from our family camera and go straight to the not so lovely one taken by the "professional" Santa's helpers. Ours decided to take a break from all the clicking, and sadly the photos did not save to the memory card.

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Hehe. Baby E looks funny in this picture, but that's the only one we could get of him looking directly in the camera. He spent a majority of the time looking up at Santa. He was very well behaved but started to whine towards the end. I was kind of sad that we couldn't capture the typical crying baby on Santa's lap photo.

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Since we didn't get to capture the special moment on our camera, we decided to go back to see Santa for round number 2! Santa provides free hugs, free smiles, and free wishes with no requirement of purchasing photos. I didn't feel so bad bringing Baby E to see the jolly old man again. There was no one behind us in line, and Santa was very friendly. He even looked directly at our camera! Here's the play by play...

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So there you have it! Hoping that next year will be just as successful. We'll add these photos in our album of embarrassing photos to show him in the future.  :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

My LO is Growing Up

Yesterday I slept in a little later than usual. Baby E normally wakes up at 6am, but he wanted to be an early riser at 5. I decided to let him cry it out a bit before coming to the rescue. We both slept in until 8, and this is what I saw when I opened his door...

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How in the... where did he learn that? Most of his developments usually happen over night. Maybe he dreams about the movements necessary to accomplish such a feat.

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Moments later he falls down and hits his chin on the crib. I go into panic mode and swoop him out of the crib and onto the changing pad. Mommy brain decided to save him and change his smelly poo diaper all at the same time. I had some chest pains from going into panic mode, but it went away soon after.

Like all new developments in Baby E's life, he just doesn't stop when he learns something new. As soon as he would go in his crib, he immediately reached for the top to pull himself up. He would fall down and do it all over again. Crazy kid!!

Here's a play by play...

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Of course putting him down for his first nap was nearly impossible. He kept pulling himself up, and I was scared for his life. Sleeping was the last thing he wanted to do. This new found mobility was just too much fun. Oye. Luckily he did get a tad drunk from his bottle of milk and eventually passed out.

This is a true sign that he is growing up way too fast. H had to lower his crib, and it just doesn't feel the same anymore. Our little one is going to be a toddler before we know it. I can't believe that he will be 8 months old in a few days. Crazy!!

Here are more pictures for your viewing pleasure...

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Santa Baby...

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Santa & Baby E - 7.5 months

*more photos to come!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Flashback: Milburn Orchard

I have been very behind on editing photos, and I'm trying to make an effort to edit a few batches every week. Today I bring you back to the nice warm fall weather at the beginning of October. H had off on Columbus Day, and we took the opportunity to bring Baby E to Milburn Orchard for some pumpkin filled fun. He just woke up from a nap, and he looks a tad grumpy in the photos below. I'm hoping that he will be able to enjoy it much more next year.

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on our way to the orchard!
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what a tiny little head.. aww.  doesn't he make a cute little apple?
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big pumpkin, little baby
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how tall this fall?  2 feet!
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yes, my kid likes to be on his tippy toes at all times.. sigh
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hehe.. he's wearing a hat!
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oh look!  another hat!  he is not amused...
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... but he likes to touch the pumpkins!  yay!
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sooooo many pumpkins!
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my little bee!
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baby e's first tractor
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ooooh animal sighting
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eye to eye
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soooo cute
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baby e just one finger away from making a not so nice gesture
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daddy & son are both a tad camera shy
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I want to touch... 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Video Mondays: Bumbo Time

Baby E had a lot of Bumbo time in the early months. He was born with practically no neck strength whatsoever (poor kiddo), but he did make progress with tummy time. Unfortunately his head got a tad too heavy for his small body, and he could no longer hold up his head during tummy time. It was a miracle when he started rolling over. We had no idea he could even hold up his head. It must be all the premature Bumbo time. :) Now at 7 months old, he is not a fan of sitting still. His Bumbo has been demoted as snack holder.  

Bumbo -- Not a Happy Camper
Baby E on May 24th - one month old
Elliot the Skeleton
Baby E on June 14th - almost 2 months old


Baby E on July 9th - 2.5 months old

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fun Fact Fridays: The Snotsucker!

Fun Fact Fridays #6
Snotsucker. Hehe. I can't say that in my head without giggling a little. There are so many silly products on the market, and I'm usually good at staying away from them. It changes quite a bit when you become a parent, and anything that can help your child is immediately put into the Amazon shopping cart, regardless of how silly it might seem.

Enter the Snotsucker! It is a nasal aspirator that brings a special connection to you and your child. By special connection I mean that there is a tube that connects my mouth to my little one's nose. Gross! No worries because it is totally worth it. It is all the rave among parents, and I bought it shortly after Baby E was born. At first it was difficult to get the tube into his nose (he has smaller than average nostrils), and his boogies were on the dry side. H was fine using the blue bulb from the hospital, and I left the boogie sucking duties to him.

Then the cold weather arrived, and the blue bulb was no where to be found. The Snotsucker makes a reappearance, and I am the one who is in charge of sucking my son's boogers out. It's one of the perks to being a parent. :) I admit that it is very effective, and I use it almost everyday. Of course my kid likes to give me a hard time and turn his head away every single time I approach his nose with the tube. He did comply for a week. I think he secretly enjoys the feeling of his nose clearing up.

NoseFrida -- The Snotsucker!
Source: NoseFrida

Want to see how it works? Check out below. I would record my own experience with it for entertainment sake, but I'm afraid that I don't have the skill to operate a camera and a baby with the Snotsucker.

The Snotsucker Video Demonstration
Source: NoseFrida

Also note that my baby does not stay still, and I'm pretty sure that most babies will squirm.  

The silly products don't end there! Next we have Boogie Wipe, and it goes very well with the Snotsucker. Hehe. The saline wipes are perfect and gentle for stuffy baby noses. Baby E loves it when I wipe his nose, and he grabs the wipe to eat inspect it after. 

Source: Amazon.com
To solve all of your baby nose needs this winter, be prepared with the Snotsucker and Boogie Wipes. Silly names. Great products. Baby approved!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Video Mondays: Sleeping on Mommy

Being a new parent is a lot of work, and I am constantly learning about my little one. I think most parents run into the problem of putting your little one to sleep. One day I learned that if I could get Baby E in the perfect position on my chest, he would fall into a deep, peaceful sleep. I was so in love with my little bugger that I didn't mind being his personal bed.  :)

Baby E on May 26th -- 1 month old

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fun Fact Fridays: Sun Bleaching

Fun Fact Fridays #5
There is a lot to learn in the world of cloth diapering. What do you do with stinky dirty diapers filled with poo? How do the stains come out? Well kids, let's look up at the sky. What is that you see? The sun!! Bingo!

http://www.everythingcloth.com/2011/03/sanitizing-power-of-sun.html

I'll admit that I was skeptical at first. Would it really work on those nasty stains? Can the sun really be as powerful as bleach? I put a stained poo diaper to the test by first washing the diaper and then drying it out in the sun. Sure enough the stain magically came out after a few hours of "tanning." Now I no longer worry about Baby E's poo stained diapers or clothes. It may sound crazy, but give it a try. You might just be amazed.  :)

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Baby E on July 8th - 2.5 months old
surrounded by clean, sun bleached diapers :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkey Day is Near...

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and this year will be different from most. Baby E will be celebrating his first Turkey Day at home, and we have invited our parents over for lunch. We usually spend the day with H's extended family, but Baby E's sleep schedule doesn't allow us to go out as a family in the evenings (he goes to bed at 6pm). I hope his family will understand.

Vietnamese Hot Pot on Thanksgiving
no hot pot Thanksgiving for us this year with the family
I have a fairly simple meal planned, which consists of the following:

Alton Brown's Turkey
Vegan Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Carrots & Cauliflower
Green Beans
Cranberry Sauce
Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

Yup that's pretty simple. H has made the turkey for the past 3 years, and hopefully he can recreate the awesomeness again this year. We're making mashed potatoes with Earth Balance butter & almond milk, which is actually really yummy. I have to stick to a wheat free vegan diet thanks to Baby E's allergies. I'm not making anything complicated because time does not allow for it. It is lunch after all, and that means early morning cooking.

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mmm... turkey
Hoping this Turkey Day will be a very memorable one this year with Baby E. I plan on watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with him in the morning. :) Maybe he can help us out in the kitchen too.

Oh and here is a picture of Baby E to make this post worthy of awesomeness. Yay!

Letting Out a Big Yawn
Baby E on May 21st - one month old
letting out a big yawn with the cutest face ever

Monday, November 21, 2011

Recognizing My Problem...

Something is missing. I can't always pin point exactly what it is, but I spend a majority of my day feeling less than stellar. Is it depression? Possibly?

Parenthood is difficult. I didn't expect it to be easy, and I knew that it would bring about lots of challenges.  The first couple of months were brutal. I was all on my own during the day taking care of an infant. On top of the usual feed, play, change diaper routine, I was pumping every 2 hours. I never had time to myself, and I desperately wanted things to get better. Every new change in Baby E also meant a new change to our schedule. Every step forward that we took was always followed by one step back. It felt like nothing ever got easier, just more manageable for a short amount of time. I fell apart and would break down almost on a weekly basis. I cried for so many nights and felt so defeated.

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Baby E on May 26th - one month old
constantly on the move and trying to fight mommy & daddy

Then it started to actually get easier without stepping backwards. Baby E started rolling and moving around. He developed a super awesome personality and found ways to communicate with us. He stopped eating every 2 hours, increased his intake per bottle (from 3.5 oz to 5.0 oz), and started to eat every 3 hours.  I gradually started to go longer between pumps, from 2 hours to 3-4 hours. We established a bedtime schedule, and he went from 3-4 middle of the night feedings down to 1. He dropped a few naps, and now we're down to 2, both of which last between 90 minutes and 120 minutes. He goes down for the night between 6:00 pm and 6:30 pm.

Hanging Out with Ham
Baby E on October 6th - 5.5 months old
loving life and loving his Ham

H and I finally have time for ourselves at night. We can cook dinner and eat together without interruption. We can sit down on the couch and watch an entire movie. We can have a babysitter watch Baby E for the night and not worry about a thing. It is a great feeling.

Ocean City 2011
Family Photobooth Fun in Ocean City - Baby E 4.5 months old

So it is official. It has gotten easier. Of course there are always challenges, and it keeps life interesting. I love living in the moment and seeing my baby grow. Sometimes I even miss the days when he was itty bitty. I know that I will continue to enjoy each milestone of his. I am looking forward to his 1st birthday, the moment he learns to walk on his own, hearing his first word, and so much more.

What's missing? Life is getting better. Taking care of Baby E has gotten easier. I no longer break down on a weekly basis. Well maybe I do but in a very different way. I find myself buried deep in thoughts. I beat myself up over every flaw and every failure. I am constantly on the move trying to accomplish 10 things at once and then being so overwhelmed that I actually don't get anything done. I feel constant pressure to be super mom and super wife, and I believe that I fail at both. I can't do everything, but I feel like I have to. I feel like everyone is watching and scrutinizing my ability to be a stay at home mother. I no longer feel like myself anymore...

I have concluded that my issues are much deeper than I sometimes even realize. I recognize that I have a problem, whether it is defined as depression or not. I need to make the step to analyze my life and figure out why I feel the way I do. This is my first step -- realizing I have a problem. Next up -- finding an outlet to express my feelings. That is where my blog steps in...