Thursday, November 15, 2012


I'm not gonna apologize for not posting in eons (even though I feel it is due).  I probably won't post again for a while, because that's how it works, and we are all busy so I know you understand.

I have found a favorite class at the gym!  I go to Gold's Gym and they do the Body Training Systems classes, and there is one called Group Centergy which is basically everything I want to do in my free time!  It's a mixture of yoga, pilates and tai chi, and it rocks.  I love yoga, but sometimes I don't want to hold those tough poses for that long!  This class is more flowing, and if we are being honest, has much simpler positions than most yoga classes I have been to (including the prenatal class I went to in Hawaii).  One of my favorite aspects is the awesome music!  I actually feel this way about all of the classes at the gym- the music beats what plays on the radio, and is a wider range of genres than I listen to on Pandora.

I particularly love a few of the songs from the Centergy track including this song recently, it's so pretty: Scratch by Kendall Payne.  Listen to it.  

Friday, October 5, 2012

Joy of Joys

As he does every morning, this morning Nate hit the snooze button multiple times.  I usually have a hard time falling back to sleep until he gets up, because I worry that he is going to turn off his alarm and not get up or something.  It is dumb, and I don't know why I worry about it... he's a big boy and can take care of himself.

So this morning he hit it a few times, and I was able to actually fall back asleep, and I did hard.  I worke up and noticed it was light out, and in a panic I sat up and looked over him to the alarm clock and it was 7:21.  That only gave him 10-15 minutes until he had to leave, and I frantically started patting him and said "Honey you gotta get up, it's late!" That was when I looked again and I was patting Jack, and Nate was not actually in bed still.  How did I mistake a 16 pound baby for a 200 pound man?  I about died laughing, and got out of bed immediately to tell Nate.

To answer the question that my story undoubtedly put in your head- no Jack doesn't regularly sleep in our bed.  Last night was, in fact, the first night that he slept in his nursery alone.  However when he woke up for the third time to nurse around 6 this morning, I said screw it, and let him stay in bed with us after that.

And a quick picture of Jack last night before bed- my little Sun Devil.  (Note: Nate, and now Jack, wears ASU gear way more often than I do, which is basically never.  I need to step my game up!)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Family Time

Last weekend Ashley visited for a long weekend, but if you ask me, it wasn't long enough!  It was fun having her here!  We did some fun stuff including apple picking, eating BBQ, playing games, walking around campus, tweeting just for laughs, having ice cream, and just hanging out.  I wish she didn't live so far away!  

We had planned on doing more outdoors, but it rained pretty much all day Sunday so we were stuck indoors. The weather here has been spotty- quite chilly one day, comfortable the next, rainy, sunny, cloudy- we even had to sleep with our a/c on the other night.  I am really enjoying the beginning of fall!  The trees have started changing colors but are not in full effect yet.  My mom is coming to visit next week, so I think she will get to experience the super colorful leaves.  And I hope the weather remains nice while she is here.  We will see!  Also, on a related note, I have talked to a few locals about the first snow, and they said to expect it around Halloween.  One lady told me she thinks it will definitely snow by the end of the month.  Eek, that's only a few weeks! 

Here are some pictures from recently and from Ashley's trip.

Our little iPad lover

Scooting under the coffee table, his favorite place.

Jack and Nate opening Jack's six month present, which he loves!

A rare family photo, taken at Syracuse University. As much as I l-o-v-e ASU, the SU campus has way more charm.

Apple picking

Empire apple picking, sisters, baby, free coffee and husband- great day!

More apple shots because, why not!

Twitterizing.  #Ashleyisinliverpool Bahahah.  Speaking of hashtags, watch this hilarious Instagram parody if you haven't!

Just hanging out, waiting for our soup!

Family, and the beginning of fall!

He does love his Aunt Ashley!

Until next time, xo

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mommy Lessons

There are a lot of things I promised myself and Nate that I would not do after becoming a mother.  I tried to convince myself (and Nate) that we would not always hold Jack.  He would sleep in his own room, never in our bed.  That we would let him cry it out if he needs to.  That I wouldn't be a freak about leaving him in the care of other responsible adults.

All of these things seemed so simple to do before meeting him.  Having a baby seriously changes the way you see a lot of things.  I will say, I have not completely failed at following the little rules I set for myself, and in fact I have surpassed a lot of my expectations for my-mother-self.

Even after having Jack, I figured I would breast feed for six months and then switch over to formula.  Before having him, I always figured if there was a hiccup and I was not able to breast feed it would not be a big deal.  Here I am, six months and one day, and my plan is now to feed him until one year, and skip the formula thing altogether.  There was a hiccup in breast feeding, but I persisted (and insisted) and I am glad I did.

It took three weeks for Jack to be able to breast feed at all, and even then it was spotty.  Up until that point I was pumping every two to three hours, even at night, and we were feeding him with a syringe because we were so worried about "nipple confusion".  We eventually bought him a ($22!) bottle specifically designed to mimic breast feeding when he was about two and a half weeks old.  I cried the first few times we used it because he had no problem drinking from it, and I was so terrified that introducing that was going to be the beginning of the end of breast feeding.  In our case, I think that actually helped him, and at three weeks he nursed for the first time.

It wasn't smooth sailing from there.  It wasn't until three months (that's almost 100 days!) that he was actually good at breast feeding.  Until then, if he ate in the middle of the night it had to be from a bottle, he just wouldn't do it at night.  Also, sometimes during the day, for whatever reason, he would only take a bottle.  Now nursing has become second nature for both of us.  We can pretty much do it whenever and where ever we like.  However, I am still me, and I don't think I will ever be one of those moms who can just bust out a boob at the park for a hungry baby.

There are still occasional rough patches where for a few days when my supply is down or his demand is increased, but they are few and far between.  They always come with a bit of panic, a lot of tears, and a few phone calls for support.  Fortunately, I think I am to the point now where I feel confident enough that we will get over the hump, plus I have built up a decent milk supply in the freezer, and lastly I have the knowledge that I at least made it to six months!  

Breast feeding can be a lot harder than you would imagine.  If I didn't have the support from Nate, along with other friends, family members, coworkers, lactation consultants, doctors, nurses (seriously, this many people!) I am not sure I would have been able to do it.  Getting over the initial three week hump, and all of the other bumps along the way has been one of my greatest emotional challenges I have encountered, and I feel I have had my share of emotional challenges in the past five or so years.

Wow, I had not intended to go off on that tangent, but it was such a struggle that Jack and I overcame, that it feels good to share it.  Now on to what I originally intended to write about.

The gym I go to has a day care during certain hours, and when I joined about two months ago, I had fantasies about dropping Jack off while I did classes, and then leave him at the daycare while I shower and got ready at the gym.  A little me time, and some time for him to spend with other people, which I believe is important for developing minds and personalities. They recommend waiting until the little ones are six months old, but will take them even younger.

As six months was approaching, I started dreading the idea of taking him.  It is just so hard to think about leaving the most important thing in the world with a complete stranger, in a room that is undoubtedly filled with germs.  (Disclaimer: I am not a germaphobe at all, but I do get grossed out by carpet in public places.)  I kept telling myself that the nice thing about the gym is I am only a room away, and it's a very public place with really great staff and a lot of families.

So yesterday I made myself drop Jack off while I attended a one hour class.  I only cried for about two minutes, talked to about four people about how nervous I was, and checked on him once during my class.  I would call that a success!  The idea of staying and showering/getting ready at this point is completely absurd, but I know once he is a little older I will love dropping him off there and having some me time.

The last thing I want to share is our sleeping situation.  This was me while pregnant "He is sleeping in his own room.  I don't want him to ever sleep in our bed.  I know it will be hard not to, but he should sleep in his own crib."  Me closer to his due date, "Maybe he will sleep in our room for a few weeks, but then we will move him to his nursery.  It's just next door, and we will sleep with the doors open."  But then Nate got accepted to Syracuse and we were going to be moving, so there was no point in moving him before the move.  Then we were in a hotel for a few weeks.  And then we got to our apartment, but we had no furniture and were sleeping in the living room, and it just seemed weird to put him in a different empty room.  (He was all the way across the room during this sleeping arrangement).  Then our stuff finally got here and we had way too much.  His room was full of boxes and nothing was set up, so we kept him in his Pack-and-Play at the foot of our bed until we got unpacked.  Then I was going to be going home and taking him with me, where he would be sleeping in the same room as me, so we would wait until I got home to transition him to his room.  Now I am home (and the house is fully unpacked and set up) but my sister is coming to visit in a few days, so he will stay in our room until she leaves.  After that he will be transitioning to his crib!  (Well, my mom is coming in a couple weeks, so maybe after that...).

He does nap in his crib sometimes, but here is a beautiful example of how I am paying for his sleeping arrangement.  About an hour ago, Jack was getting tired so I put him in his crib for a nap.  I turned on the mobile, but he was fussing for like five minutes, so I read him a book, then tried to pacify him with a pacifier and rubs.  When that didn't work I tried toys and leaving him.  When that didn't work I grabbed him and the book I am reading, and went into my bed with the idea of reading while he fell asleep, then moving him to the crib.  I didn't even lay down in the bed before he was half asleep.  It took him 15 seconds to settle down in my bed, after he wouldn't in his for like 15-20 minutes!  Then I picked him up, took him to his crib where I stayed with him for a couple minutes until he fell asleep.  Punk.

Point is, I am trying to balance what I know is right for him with what I feel is right for him.  It is easy to pass judgement on parents especially before being one.  I know that a lot of the struggles are more about me than they are him.  For example, while in Arizona, leaving Jack with my mom while I went out and celebrated Hillary's final bit of unmarried life.  I knew Jack was in good hands with my mother, who I consider to be an excellent mom, but I still didn't feel ready to leave him.  That's my issue, not his.  Leaving him at the day care at the gym.  He was a happy camper, and excited to be around other people and toys, but I was nervous to leave him and go in the other room for an hour.

I wish I had some powerful, fitting quote to end this with, but I don't.  So here is one from White Oleander, by Janet Fitch, a great book I recently read: "Just because a poet said something didn't mean it was true, only that it sounded good."

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bad Blogger

I thought for sure I was going to be on top of this blogging thing at least for a few weeks, but it's been two weeks since my last entry.  Oops.

Tomorrow Jack turns six months old {Okay, I didn't actually upload the photos until today, 9/25, so officially today he is 6 months old}!  I can not believe it!  He is getting so big and independent!  It is amazing!  He is army crawling and getting better at it by the minute.  I will put him down somewhere and within 30 seconds he will be several feet from where I placed him.  It is really cute!  He also eats like a champ and just started eating his first meat- chicken, and of course loves that too.  I got him a special 1/2 birthday present about a week ago and I have been dying to give it to him, but I am waiting for tomorrow.  I love being Jack's mom and watching him grow, it's the best!

It's been a week since I returned from my trip to Arizona, which was a blast!  It was great seeing my family, and both of Hillary's parties were successes!  She and Tom got a lot of fantastic gifts, and the bachelorette party, which had the potential to be dull (hello soon-to-be bride, pregnant wife, serious relationship x6 years, married, and married mom), but the stars aligned and we had a fantastic time!  Thanks Bradley and your shots, connections, friends, and bottle service!  No matter how ready I am to get home, it's always sad to leave Arizona.  Fortunately I will be back in January!

Also, Ashley is coming to visit on Friday.  She is just staying a long weekend, but I am really excited to spend some time with her.  We are gonna get mani/pedis, go apple picking, eat yummy food, and probably do a lot of driving around, looking at all of our beautiful surroundings.

Fall is officially here and right on cue the leaves are changing color and the weather is getting brisk.  I am really enjoying it, but I feel like the beautiful weather is going to pass in the blink of an eye, and winter will be here.  Agh, it's gonna be a rough winter!

Here are a few too many pictures from the last couple weeks.  (I have no idea why the upload in the order they do. so some may be out of sequence.)  Enjoy!


Drinking out of a straw at 5 1/2 months.  Totally normal, right?

Girlies at Hillary's bridal shower

Aunt Ashley

Big boy in a shopping cart!

Awesome new nail polish, perfect for fall and for making me smile!

 Enjoying yummy pumpkin!

I'm not sure if this is good or bad parenting, but it did give me a change to do my hair.  Success!

"My daddy!"

Uh oh...

Somebody is mobile!

And under the coffee table.

Love this!

Frog jacket c/o Grandma Blum

Using those big boy legs.

Drinking from his sippy cup all by himself!

Bear jacket- don't you just want to cuddle with him in this?!

Outside daddy's school.

Enjoying some late afternoon sun and relative warmth (upper 60's?).  Also, sitting up on his own, our boy is getting so big and independent!

From the balcony.  Our apartment complex has some pretty nice grounds.

Monday, September 10, 2012

3 Days and Counting!

This weekend was not particularly fun, but it was good.  We got a bunch done around the house, and renting a Uhaul and moving our stuff to the storage unit was a lot less painful than I had imagined.  Always a good thing!  {Note: Physically, it was pretty painful.  My knees just aren't the same since having Jack, agh, I'm old.  However, Nate and I had great teamwork and knocked it out quicker than we had anticipated with no bickering.  That's what I call a success!}

Dinner on Friday was fun, as expected, and tasty, which fueled my hunger for Mexican food!  Fortunately, I am leaving on Thursday for a long weekend in Arizona, and I will do my best to make time to get at least one Mexican meal in!

Nate has off school on Mondays this semester, but always has so much homework and so many projects to work on, that I dropped him off at school earlier, and won't be picking him up for 6 hours.  That is dedication, my friends.  Jack and I are just hanging around here, getting some organizing done between playing, eating, and nap sessions.  I am also prepping some chicken for quick meals this week.  Our family schedule (or lack thereof) is so wonky lately, that we just don't have the same amount of prep time for meals as we used to have.  We have been cooking at home a lot lately, now that things are unpacked and semi-organized, and it is so great!  We both like to cook, and enjoy similar foods.  Plus we are living on a limited income, so any way to save money is a good thing.

And a few pictures I snapped today:

Sweet pillow set-up I made for Jack so he could sit up while I worked.  He is no longer safe in his Bumbo unless someone is sitting right there- he knows how to eject himself out of it.  Lesson learned.

Ah ha!  Mission accomplished!  Nap time.  {He doesn't sleep in his crib at night, he is still in a portable sleeper in our room at night, but we are trying to transition him to his crib for at least nap times for now.  Normally I just let him sleep wherever he falls asleep, but he is no longer safe on the couch, or boppy..)

Sophisticated reads and drink.

Back to cleaning!  I hope to be 100% unpacked and set up by the time I leave for Arizona.  

Friday, September 7, 2012


It has been a long week here in our household, and I am so grateful it is finally Friday!  Tomorrow we are picking up a Uhaul truck and packing away a bunch of our stuff into a storage unit for the year.  Moving from a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2 car garage house with a yard to a 2 bedroom apartment with a very small storage unit is very difficult!

Yesterday Jack and I went with a friend and her 3 year old son and 2 month old daughter to the zoo, and another friend met up with us for about half of the time.  It was really fun, and it is so nice having friends here!  Tonight we are going out to dinner (Mexican, yay!) with a bunch of the people Nate is going to school with, and their families.  Everybody is so nice, it's always a good time.

Today while Nate was at school, Jack and I walked to the library and then down to the lake park surprise, surprise.  We set up there for a while, just chilling and reading.  When Nate got off school, he picked up pizza and met us down at the lake, where we stayed a while longer.  Now I am just getting some stuff taken care of, mostly laundry, and Nate is having some well deserved relaxation time with Jack.

Hopefully this weekend will be a fun one!  The last one was mostly just stressful, lame.  And next weekend I will be in Arizona for Hillary's pre-wedding parties!  I can not wait to see her, my family, and a bunch of great friends!  xo

Cozy snuggles last night in bed last night.

A cool spot I discovered on my unusual walk to the park today.  I think it would be a neat place to take some people pictures.

Local restaurant, I think they need to fire their marketing person and get a new slogan.  "Good food and drink".  Might as well say "the food here is tolerable" or "so-so food and alright drink".  I don't know, to me "good food and drink" just doesn't sell the place.  I really like the food there, and they have live entertainment most nights.  I think they could come up with something better.

Wrestling champ.

The trees are already beginning to change colors.  I am not ready for summer to be over, but am so excited for fall!

Aforementioned couch nap- this one was before Nate fell asleep, but they are currently both out cold.

And a silly one from last night.  I have not figured out how to take a picture of myself in the mirror without looking creepy.  Maybe this is a good thing.