Tuesday, November 4, 2008

If you're unsure who to vote for...

Cole's Platform:

Mandatory naps for all
Fair play
No more shots
Any corporation currently being bailed out with taxpayers' money due to questionable investment practices shall go without dessert until said money is paid back in full
No name calling
Vegetables shall be taken off the food pyramid
Mother's day should be observed on the first Sunday of every month

Happy Voting!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Confessions galore

Thanks so much for all the kinds words and congratulations, it means a lot to me. This summer was definitely one of growth. I can’t believe how big my son is. He is a little boy now. See?

But it wasn’t just growth for him. It was growth for me as well. I have a confession. In fact, I have two. They are the entire reason I started this blog and named it Pumproom Confessions. I never intended to tell friends or family about this blog. I just wanted an outlet to get some things off of my chest (no pun intended) in an anonymous environment. But then I realized it was a good way to share stories and photos, so I invited my friends and family, and I became a writing wimp. I didn’t want to be judged. Not by friends or family and not by those who stopped by the Pump Room regularly. I did that well enough by myself. So I stuck to safe topics and just mentioned the other things in passing.

Confession One
I had post partum depression, something which I didn’t get help for until my son was almost a year old. I thought it would go away on its own. I thought, for good reason, that it would go away when I stopped breast feeding / pumping. It didn’t. So I started seeing a specialist who has helped me work through it. My PPD manifested in a much milder manner than some, thank goodness, but one that created a lot of issues for me. While I was able to function and able to tenderly care for and love my son, I felt no joy after his birth. It was like I was swallowed up. Oh, I was glad / proud of my son and loved sharing stories, but I always felt like somehow I was going through the motions. I never felt happy, even though I was aware that I should. I never felt unhappy either. But I knew I was missing something and that something was very wrong.

Blogging was a savior for me. It allowed me to relive moments and memories. It was therapeutic for me. It made me feel normal, whereas I spent a lot of time in my everyday life wondering WTF is wrong with me? So thank you for being part of this. And if you are a new mom and hurting, please see someone. It helps. I can’t even believe I’m saying this, but I just can’t tell you the joy I get now out of family life and my son and my pregnancy. I’m back to “me” again.

Confession Two
My second confession is I experienced D-MER (dysphoric milk ejection reflex). And a rather bad case of it, at that. Breastfeeding and pumping were not good experiences for me. About 50% of the time I felt a surge of rage (and I mean RAGE) when I breastfed. The other 50% of the time, I would feel anything from mild irritation to pretty darn angry. I can’t even express to you how complicated the feelings are when you do something that is suppose to be so good and it goes so wrong. Of course, when I got the real bad feelings, I stopped the nursing session immediately and got a bottle of expressed milk or a formula/milk combo. I found ways that made it easier.

I was in contact with my lactation consultant and it baffled her. I even emailed my local LLL director (I was to embarrassed to call or go to a meeting). She did some research and came up with nothing. Nobody ever heard of this reaction. I felt broken. I was extremely hard on myself for this, though I obviously couldn’t help it. I should have switched to formula only, but I didn’t. I was determined to a fault, and I think that part of being depressed was to force myself to do something that so obviously wasn’t working. Maybe I even felt as though I deserved it, or that it was the only thing I could offer my child, though I never consciously thought those things.

At 10 months my supply plummeted and I shelved the pump. I had quit breastfeeding at six months in part because my son teethed so early and wasn’t grasping the concept of “No Biting!!” but also because I was exhausted from dealing with negative feelings while breast feeding and then dealing with the reality of experiencing those feelings in the first place. Pumping yielding the same reaction, but I wasn’t holding my son. It made a difference.

The first time I went to see the women’s specialist, she directed me to D-MER.org. Though I was no longer breastfeeding/pumping, I cried. I was so relieved that I wasn’t alone and that there was a reason for what I felt. It wasn’t just me.

Am I going to breastfeed this time? (Hey, did ya know I’m pregnant??) I am going to try. I have nothing to lose. I’ve got some tips from D-MER to go on. I have support. If those feelings come back though, I will stop immediately. I am committing to not committing to it. Hehe.

Again, blogging has helped me greatly. I was able to highlight the look-back-and-laugh side of pumping and the daily supply obsession that women go through. But the whole confession aspect of this blog was lost. I wanted to write about what I felt daily because if ANYONE else felt like this, I wanted them to know that they weren’t alone and didn’t have to suffer and hold all of their feelings inside. Since I’m no medical expert, I’m glad to be able to point to a Web site run by a lactation consultant who also experienced D-MER.

Did you read all the way to the end??!! You win the booby prize. :-) ahhhhhhhhhhh… the boob puns never get old.

But seriously? THANK YOU.

E-mail me anytime. anne[dot]pumproom[at]gmail[dot]com
AFF: I didn’t get your email! Stupid, Yahoo. I get so much in my spam folder that I stopped going through it. I imagine you ended up in the spam folder. :(

Friday, August 29, 2008

It’s been too long…

I’m back. I took an unexpected summer hiatus, but don’t worry, everything is fine! In fact, there is nothing wrong that 9 months won’t cure! :-)

Actually, to be more precise, about 5 months. I’m almost 20 weeks pregnant with another boy!

Let me tell you, the first trimester kicked my butt! I’ve never been so sick. I only threw up a few times, but, man, I was constantly nauseated and dizzy and super tired. Emotionally, I was spent. I think that looking after a 16 month old and working while dealing with all-day sickness and fatigue just got to me. Looking at the computer screen made me ill, thinking made me ill. I just couldn’t bring myself to be on the computer except to work (and obsessively read pregnancy message boards).

The good news is that I feel SO much better. Around 16-17 weeks, all my symptoms vanished, except my growing belly and ass, of course.

The Baby is doing great. He’s a walking/running/climbing fool. Poor guy doesn’t know what is about to hit his little world. I kinda feel bad.

Have a great 3-day weekend, if you're celebrating Labor Day!

Haiku Friday

Holding On

“He’ll get used to it.”
My heart breaks to think he would feel
left out or behind.

I hold him closer
before bed, kiss his soft hair.
It’s just us, for now.

Have a great 3-day weekend, if you're celebrating Labor Day!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I’m back from the beach

As much as I’d like to say that I’m tanned, well-rested and recharged, I am not. I’m pooped. I need the clichéd vacation from my vacation.

It was our first vacation with The Baby, who is just shy of 15 months old. We drove from central PA all the way to Savannah, GA, more specifically, Tybee Island. This was a great little beach community. The water was so warm it was like taking a bath, dolphins could be spotted off the coast (not by me, of course!), and the island was calm and family friendly. Beautiful Savannah was just 20 minutes away. Our friends Angel and Scott were just 15 minutes away. Perfect, right?

We met my husband’s sisters and their families in a kick-ass condo that fit six adults and three children without feeling cramped. The appliances were stainless, the counters were granite, the floors were tiled, our bed was HUGE. Our equally HUGE balcony overlooked the pool and spa, which, of course, were tiled in slate and altogether very spiffy. The beach was about one hundred feet out the front door. Perfect, right?

Our biggest fear before vacation was the drive. What the heck was The Baby going to do for 14 hours? Scream and cry, we feared. I mean, surely he wouldn’t sleep the whole time. Luckily, he did sleep most of the trip on the way there (we left at midnight, so that was the plan). We bought a portable DVD player for his awake time. Our son, who never watches TV, was forced to watch the two Baby Beethoven DVDs that we have on repeat. For what it’s worth, he prefers Mozart to Beethoven, hands down. Anyway, the actual trip was just fine.

I’m not saying there wasn’t pleasant times in our vacation. Watching The Baby run like a fool into the ocean was priceless (the.kid.is.fearless), watching daddy and baby swimming in the pool melted my heart. Seeing The Baby get to know his cousins was equally heart warming. Watching my son and my friend Angel’s son (2 weeks apart in age) consume sand together was very sweet in a get-that-out-of-your-mouth kind of way. Having the fam watch our son so we could have a night out with our friends was awesome.

But it was all a little much for The Baby. He stopped eating anything but cereal, bananas and crackers on day two. He stopped sleeping well on day three. He’d wake up anywhere from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. and he would stay up for hours. Not just up, but up and crying. He wouldn’t lay between us in bed, he didn’t want to play, he writhed in our arms. Just when you thought he was asleep and put him down, you’d be back at square one. At one point, we took The Baby for a walk at 4 a.m. We didn’t know what else to do with him. On an up note, we saw a drunk guy trying to ride a bike. That was sorta funny.

The Baby’s attitude also changed. He started hitting and biting me and throwing things. He was crabby 80% of the time. He just seemed very frustrated and between the lack of sleep on all of our parts and our frustration and worry, we decided to leave early. The thought of another fight to get him to eat or another sleepless night literally had me in tears.

He’s been sleeping and eating just fine since we've been home. I guess he was just out of his element. Oh, did I mention I got sick on the way home? Like, pukey sick? Then when I got home, I got a cold. Awesome!

Random Photos from Tybee and Savannah.

Monday, June 23, 2008

On vacation

I'm in Savannah, GA, ya'll! See you next week!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Three Year Anniversary

Dear Husband,

Thank you
for three years,
1096 days,
and countless memories.

Most of all,
thank you for being exactly who you are.

I love you.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hersheypark… indifferent

I still remember my favorite ride at Hersheypark when I was a little girl. It was called The Whip (I called it “the snapper-backer”), because it was an oval track that whipped you around the corners. It no longer exists so it was either A. lame or B. a liability. I’m going with B. I hit my head on the side of the car all the time, but it was such fun!

Saturday was a big day for us. It was The Baby’s first trip to Hersheypark. We were very excited. My husband even printed out a list of all the Hershey Miniature (under 36” tall) rides. Unfortunately, we only got on two of them: Express Train and Ladybug. The Baby’s expression didn’t change once through either ride. It could best be described as chilly indifference—even when his dad and two kind strangers were doing everything in their power to get him to smile… he was stony. See below. Also, I thought my husband was going to hurl on the Ladybug, which was sort of funny. :-)

Hersheypark as an adult with a toddler is a completely different experience.

Instead of riding this:

We rode this:

Hey, the monorail had stroller parking and no line! We were very excited. Very. *hanging head in shame* Then we walked through the zoo. Nobody walks through the zoo if they only have a one-day pass, unless their parents make them. Or unless they are the parents of a ride-rejecting toddler. Actually, the zoo was pretty neat. It put The Baby right to sleep. Bonus.

Of course, he would not lay back in his stroller, so he nodded off / jerked awake / nodded off while my husband and I tried to locate the lunch pavilion. This took a billion years since apparently neither one of us can read a map. The frustration of being hungry, hot AND lost was alleviated a bit by all the awwwww-him’s-so-sleepy looks and coos that The Baby earned while we walked in circles.

After lunch, we went to the water park. The Baby LOVES pools and splashing in water. We were pretty psyched. I agreed to stroller sit, while my husband and son stood in line to get into one of the kiddie splash and play areas. Wouldn’t you know it, 15 minutes later, while they were still in line, the water attractions were closed due to the possibility of storms. But all was not lost. My husband said that The Baby did get to splash in a small puddle in line and even got down on his hands and knees and tried to take a lick. All I have to say is that I hope that puddle was water.

All in all, it was a good day. It was hosted by my husband’s company, so we didn’t have to pay. Woot! Would I have paid $110 (14 month olds aren’t charged for admission) for the three of us to park and get into the park for four hours? No. Not when The Baby had just as much fun when we got home jumping through the sprinkler with daddy.

Even if The Baby doesn't remember a thing, it was still a day of memories for us.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hair Ku: two cuties

Haiku Friday

Quick buzz for summer.
The clippers must tickle him.
He smiled the whole time.

His new big-boy cut.

Now he looks more like daddy.
I’m a lucky girl.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

All of a sudden I feel boring

I’ve been tagged for a meme by Vanessa. :-)

Honestly, I would love to just make stuff up. What was I doing 10 years ago... driving across the US with my friend Judy, getting ready to move to NYC, working at the beach for the summer and being a bum... Oh, wait a minute, those are all things I was going to do, but never did. It's true, youth is wasted on the young! Thank goodness I'm happy where I am at in most aspects of my life!

Anyway, back to the meme!

What was I doing 10 years ago?
Ten years ago I was on the verge of turning 25. I had just quit a job as a magazine assistant to move to a more creative position as a marketing coordinator with a larger, more stable company. Career-wise things couldn’t have been better. Otherwise, they stunk. I’d broken off a relatively short, but serious relationship with someone and was having a difficult time getting over the loneliness that follows a breakup. Plus, my best friend at the time was getting ready to move 13 hours away with a guy she didn’t even like that much. Socially, my life sucked! Aside from my job, which I poured myself into, it was a pretty depressing time in my life. Luckily, my late 20s were great!

5 things on my to do list today:
1 write three ads
2 revise one ad
3 Anxiously awaiting a call from my husband, who is at the doctors' office as I write, telling me why The Baby has a rash all over his body.
4 read blogs (shhhhhh… I’m working, really!) Hey, did you see my blog roll? If you are on my Google Reader, you are on my blog roll.
5 Make dinner. Frozen ravioli and doctored up pasta sauce. Should be easy!

Snacks I enjoy:
Cheese and crackers, pretzels and mustard, ice cream, cottage cheese and grapes or peaches, Cheetos, Doritos, Nutty Buddy ice cream cones, corn nuts (but only when I am traveling), chicken wings (is that a meal or snack?)... I could go on and on.

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Move to a house in my neighborhood with a garage and bigger closets. Quit my job. Take creative writing classes and work on creative projects as a part-time job. Spend more time with my kiddo. Buy a home in a Caribbean island. Give money to charity. Try to keep it a secret. Try not to change.

Places I have lived:
My parents’, one apartment, and my current home. Pretty boring, huh? I commuted to college, so I didn’t even live in a dorm.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Power Flip Flops

Did you ever go to work with mismatched socks? You look down at say 9 a.m. and realize that you have on a navy sock and black sock, or socks that have different patterns?

You have? Good!

I’d like to one up you. Today I came to work in my flip flops. Barely a step up from slippers. I have on a pair of crisp black trousers, a pretty green shell which peaks out below a hopefully still fashionable cropped black jacket. Instead of my very professional Anne Klein sling backs, I have on Old Navy rubber flip flops.

It is one of those rare days where my hair and makeup both look good. I like my outfit. I don't feel fat. Or pimply. I feel good. I even had time to start a load of wash before work. We have hardwood floors, so I don't put on my heels until I'm ready to leave. Since our washer is in our very unfinished basement, I put on my flip flops.

When I was walking into work with my head held high, I heard my tell-tale shoes. Oh, hell!

Here I am at 11:30 in the ladies' room at work.

NO, my pants aren't tapered, they just look that way since I'm holding my legs up. Really! I'm not that much of a mess.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Finding your voice

The Baby and I are both working on our voices, in different ways. I’ve been learning lately that figuring out how to effectively communicate is just as tough for the parent as it is for the child. I just assumed it would mostly be The Baby figuring out verbal and non-verbal ways to let us know what he wants. As far as being The Voice of Authority, I always thought that I would be a tough-love kind of parent. Firm, yet kind. Don’t give in, and the child will catch on. I never figured in the part where they’d laugh at me.

Mommy Voice
I’m trying to find The Voice. You know the one… it keeps kids in line, but it’s not so bad that your eye starts twitching when you use it. And it doesn't scare your kids into therapy.

The Baby’s newest game is trying to crawl onto the coffee table. I appreciate the fact that he wants to do this. It’s one of the first things that he can wiggle his way onto at home. Neato for him! But still, it’s the coffee table and it’s not acceptable. Whenever I catch him, I say “You aren’t allowed on the coffee table,” and I gently slide him back onto the floor. I try to be stern with him. He laughs at me. Nice. I am firmly in control.

Anyway, repeat the cycle 20 times. He’s frustrated, I am frustrated. I tried several times to move him away from the table and engage him in another activity. Right back to the table. *sigh* He put his elbows on the table, leaned over, wriggled a knee up, and just when he thought he was in the clear, I belted out, “Get off that table, NOW!”

I’ve never seen a little boy move so fast. He reversed it off the table in one second. He stood there and looked at me – his eyes a pool of sorrow, his bottom lip slowly emerged and began to quiver. And then he cried. Boy, did he cry. I felt like a witch. But he listened, whereas he completely ignored me or didn’t take me seriously before.

There has got to be a happy medium between my toddler laughing at me and me yelling at him. HELP!

Baby Talk
The Baby is 14 months old today and, for all practical purposes, he doesn’t talk. He is vocal, for sure. Every morning around 5:45, we hear him loud and clear. He’s like a friggin’ rooster. He also chatters throughout the day. But he doesn’t say many words. He can say “uh-oh” in context and he can say “tickle.” Sometimes it’s in context, mostly not. He does not say “mommy” or “daddy” or “cup” or “cat.” He doesn’t nod or shake his head. I’m a little concerned.

My sister-in-law said that kids often start learning physically or verbally first. They tend to run with one and catch up later with the other. I’m hoping that that’s what is happening here.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Springtime Fun




Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Growing pains

There’s this picture at my desk – actually, there are a lot of pictures at my desk – but this one is my favorite.

I took it when The Baby was almost three months old. At this age I could put him in his crib and he’d watch his mobile. I was good for about 10 minutes. I could sit in the rocker and pump or read or go jump online for a few minutes. But I usually just hung out at the crib rails watching him watching his mobile.

The Baby didn’t ever lay on the floor on play mats, didn’t care much for a bouncy seat, and, at that age, he didn’t always appreciate going for a walk. This was one of the few things that caught his attention and kept him happily occupied. For a reflux baby, those calm 10 minutes here and 20 minutes there are like a chorus of angels singing. Anyway, while you can’t see the mobile, I was glad to have caught this little content moment.

I have looked at this picture one hundred times a day for almost a year and I’ve always marveled how he still looks like my baby. Just smaller. Look.. he's still in his little Swaddlers. He’s a size 5 diaper now!

Yesterday, however, something different happened. I looked down at the photograph, as I so often do, and it hit me: it doesn’t look like him anymore. He has more cheek bones and less cheeks, his hair has changed from fuzzy-infant to fine-toddler hair, his torso is longer (though not leaner), and those little legs don’t automatically curl up when he is lying down.

He’s a little boy. *sniff*

Monday, June 2, 2008

SATC: Star Trek for Women

We had a great time on Friday. Going out to diner and to the movies with friends was a treat. Especially since we got dressed up. The movie was a lot of fun and I’ve never ever seen that many high, strappy heels in a movie theater, or that many dresses. It’s proved to me that women dress for themselves and for each other, not for the less fair sex.

Upon the first notes of the theme song, the audience erupted into cheers. You got the feeling that all these women were seeing some old friends that they hadn’t seen for a couple of years. Than it hit me. I was watching a movie with a bunch of geeks. I would so roll my eyes at anyone discussing the meaning and merits of the close relationship between Data and Jordy from Star Trek The Next Generation. I would snicker at the lame-o who actually showed up to the theater with a butterfly clip across his eyes like he WAS Jordy. Yet here I was in a theater full of women dressed like the characters in the movie they were about to se. There was even someone among the group of women I was with who was seeing the movie for the second time! She’d seen it at 12:01 a.m., too. Tres geek!

Who acts like this? *cough, cough, Stars Trek geeks, cough*

Sex and the City didn’t disappoint. It was like a favorite episode, but longer. The only negative thing that I could say is that it was overloaded with product plugs. What a snooze. There comes a point where I start to feel like you should be paying me to watch a movie if I have to endure so many paid placements. Stuff like that bugs me. Of course, I'm in marketing and may be more aware of it. It didn’t seem to bother anyone else. I don’t want to give much of the plot away, since I know a lot of people still want to see it. I will say this, someone poops themselves. I won’t say more than that. If you want context, you’ll have to see the movie.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Haiku Friday: Sex and a Man'Ku

Haiku Friday

Three friends and I are going to strap on our Manolos or Jimmy Choos, grab our Birkin bags and go out for cosmos and to watch Sex and the City. Okay, I’ll be strapping on my TJ Maxx shoes and using the same Kenneth Cole bag I’ve had for 10 years, and I don’t drink cosmos, or anything that is at all trendy, but the point is, we’re dressing up. And going out. Tonight. :-)

Haiku Friday's weekly theme is to write from a male perspective. Here goes.

SATC – male perspective
What is she doing?
Did she just buy that outfit

to watch a movie?

I'd just like to remind a certain someone that it’s not so crazy to want to dress for an occasion just to get into the spirit of things. After all, that certain someone has a buckeye necklace and a lucky buckeye that he wears or puts in his pocket on game day. The same, but different.

Here we are ready to go to the movie. Don't we look fab? Can you guess which is Pump Lady? If you said Samantha (the one on the right), you're a winner!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thursday 13: The MEME edition

I've been tagged for my first meme. Oh, I've done a meme or two be joining in or tagging myself, but this time I was chosen. Hee. Thank you Earthy Birthy Mama Princess!

The Rules: Write a blog with 10 weird, random, facts, habits or goals about yourself. Okay, I'm going to cheat and make things harder more interesting by combining it with my Thursday Thirteen.

13 weird, random facts, habits or goals about me:

1. I use to collect sporks. Yes, sporks. I'd save them from Taco Hell and/or KFC and paint them. Then I threw them out. I guess I wasn't a serious spork collector.

2. I sold my first poem in 7th grade for Jolly Ranchers. A guy named Jonathan asked me to write a poem for his girlfriend Becky. The Poem: "All my dreams are coming true/every moment I'm with you./All the time we spend together,/I will cherish now and forever."

3. I haven't written a poem in about 4 years. At the age of 25 I got terrible writers block, at the age of 30 I pretty much gave up. That is depressing. It was a love for me. I always felt that the poems chose me as much as I chose their words. I know that is corny. I miss the feeling of utter "oneness" I got when I wrote poetry.

4. I used to record all my dreams in a dream journal. It's true, the more you write them down, the more you remember. I had to stop as it became too time consuming. I was losing sleep.

5. I have several recurring dreams: teeth falling out, nuclear war, being in/living in the home I grew up in, my husband leaving me, and being back in high school because I realize that I missed a course so I need it to officially graduate.

6. I had a bird named Stickers as a childhood pet. We had him for 10 years. He was free to fly around the house, loved to hang out with all members of the family, would cuddle by nuzzling his head up to your nose, took a bath in your hands if you held them under the faucet, could talk --- wow, I could go on and on. I loved that bird. We all still miss him. :(

7. My bird ate my homework once. The teacher got a real kick out that.

8. I was a vegetarian through college. I went to a Paul McCartney concert and afterwards didn't touch meat for about 3 years. I am still a vegetarian at heart. I know that doesn't count.

9. I smoked cigarettes from the time I was a young teen until I was 26. I quit on Jan. 1, 2000. I figured I'd never have that opportunity again. Wow, I haven't been a smoker for eight years. Yah, me!

10. I just ate 4 rice cakes.

11. I started a blog partially so I'd have something to do while I pumped at work.

12. Inconsequential things that I can't do: burp on purpose, curl my tongue, trill my Rs, carry a tune.

13. Random weird fact: It bothers me to eat cereal without socks on. It makes my feet feel really dry and weird.

I'm tagging these four gals and any Thursday Thirteeners who are stumped for a topic or want to take this for a topic for a future TT. Remember, you only need to come up with 10 random facts about yourself (unless, of course, your doing it as a TT).
Muffin Cake
Mel at My World, My Words
Melissa at The World of Keith and Melissa
Vanessa at This is Me and My Hectic Life

Wordless Wednesday

The back yard in bloom

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Back from a nice weekend

Finally, a nice weekend. I was so sick of damp and chilly and really sick of staying in the house. My husband, son, mom and I traveled to Syracuse for a long weekend The weather in Syracuse over the weekend was perfect and I don’t get the opportunity to say that often. They apparently have a weather phenomenon called “lake effect,” which ensures snow – and lots of it – for 90 percent of the year. We had a nice weekend to visit with my grandparents and aunts, uncles and cousins.

The Baby had a particularly good time exploring a new house. A split level with THREE staircases (and no safety gates). The Baby loves to climb. He probably thought he fell asleep in his car seat Friday night and woke up in heaven. He spent the first morning making a loop around the first floor. First, he went down two steps to the family room, through the foyer, up two steps into the living room and back to the kitchen. There were stops along the way to shake floor lamps, grab candles in glass holders, try to climb the stairs to the second level, open the freezer, open the kitchen drawers. I’m getting tired just thinking about it! But he had fun. His great grandparents enjoyed his company and he was, in general, in a really good mood.

This was the first trip that I’ve made where I didn’t have to pump. No hassling with pump horns in the car, no flashing unsuspecting travelers and relatives, no hiding out every three hours to pump. Woot!

From the bottle to the sippy
Speaking of milk, The Baby is in transition again. We have eliminated his daytime bottles. He is down to one a day. He has four ounces of milk in a bottle at night to help calm him down. The only thing is, he isn’t really doing great with sippy cup. I doubt if he is getting more than 7-8 ounces of fluid a day. The doctor said that since he isn’t getting his bottle, he will make it up with the sippy cup, even if it takes a few days for the idea to resonate. It’s been a week. He doesn’t seem at all dehydrated, but it still bothers me! Anyone have advice on making the switch? Or making the sippy cup a more attractive option?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Haiku Friday: Week in Review

Haiku Friday

I feel so bad that I haven’t been able to update in awhile. In fact, only a good ‘ku can assuage my guilt.

Oh so excited
to have an entire day off
to spend with my son.

What to do? Playground?
It figures, It rained buckets!
Chik-Fil-A instead.

He wakes so early.
Please, please, please go back to bed.
We went yard sale-ing.

Uh, the rain is back.
Plus, it is gray and chilly.
Hey, Spring, where are you??

The three-day weekend.
Only Monday could rob thee
of thy perfectness.

Busy, busy week!
No time to blog or read blogs.
Makes the day go fast.

Watching The Baby
try to put on shoes himself
is cute and funny.

His mind is bigger
than the task at hand. He smiles
when daddy helps him.

Going to Syracuse
to visit great grandparents.
The Baby’s, not mine! :-)

Have a great weekend.
Three days off is like heaven.
Ha! Take that Monday.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thursday Thirteen: The Office Predictions

Tonight is the season finale of The Office. Anyone else excited?

It’s hard not to like this show. The characters are so familiar, even if they are totally exaggerated, and it is refreshing that this office has real people working in it. I would never get job with Ugly Betty. I don’t rate high enough on the skinny-o-meter and my clothes aren’t that expensive.

Is it just me, or is Jim adorable? All those little fake proposals. Such good fun. You know something is going to happen. Something bad and heartbreaking. Something that will make me mad. But, hey, after tonight, I have my Thursday nights back! Yah!

Here are 13 possibilities. Some are my own, some are other people’s guesses.

1. Toby leaves (it’s the title of the show)
2. Jim will propose.
3. Pam will apply and get accepted into graphic design school.
4. Pam will quit job and go to school (but come back in the fall, of course)
5. She will say no to Jim because people on TV can’t go to school, work and get married at the same time.
6. Michael will make a HUGE deal over the engagement making the non-engagement an awkward mess. Probably at Toby’s party.
7. Michael will offend someone. (duh.) Probably the new HR person.
8. An impromptu meeting involving the entire staff could ensue.
9. Ryan’s drug problem will bring him back to Scranton or off the show entirely.
10. Jim will get Ryan’s job.
11. Dwight and Angela get engaged instead of Pam and Jim.
12. Jan will come back into the picture, possibly pregnant.
13. I am horrible at TV predictions. I’ve only been a fan for a season and a half, so please disregard the previous season finale possibilities.

Join the Thursday Thirteen fun!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Little Wizard and his Magic Cat
(aka The Baby in Dad's coat with The Cat in the background)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Birthday twins

After I gave birth to The Baby, my husband and I were walking the halls of the hospital (okay, I was totally hobbling) and we ran into a couple that we were acquainted with through a mutual friend. I knew she was pregnant, but I had no idea that our due dates were close. At first I was confused. Were they here visiting someone? Why was she in pajamas? Then it dawned on me, oh, she had her baby! How cool is that? Same day, too.

Before we left the hospital, we vowed that we would keep in touch and make a play date. True to our words, albeit 13 months later, we got together for a barbecue. Note to self: Don’t have barbecue get-togethers on a weeknight. There isn’t enough time to catch up, let alone do the dishes. That being said, it was really nice.

It’s true that all babies develop at their own rate. Allow me to compare our kids just to illustrate that you can’t really compare kids.

The Baby practically ran up to greet them, while The Other Baby walked with assistance. While the husbands were preparing dinner (have I mentioned how glad I am that I live in this century?), The Other Baby picked out books and actually listened as her mom read one. She discriminately chose another book and flipped through a few pages. One-hundred percent oblivious to the literary genius of Dr. Seuss, my baby was climbing the rocking chair. And then standing on the rocking chair. *sigh*

At dinner, The Other Baby ate with gusto – and a spoon! She gleefully ate everything that we ate: hamburger, hot dog, pasta salad. She used a sippy cup to perfection. If her little pinky would have been sticking out while she sipped, I would not have been surprised. She was a little lady through and through. Did she want more? Yes, she’d communicate with a nod of her head. Out of sheer desperation, we fed our kiddo applesauce. He wouldn’t touch anything else. He too had a sippy cup, but instead of swallowing his milk, he let it pour right back out of his mouth. Did he want more? No, he’d communicate by touching the spout of the sippy cup to his head and rubbing milk in his hair.

So, though they are the exact same age, they have totally different sets of skills. One baby’s large motor skills is developed more than the other. The other communicates much better (and has better table manners). But, both get bored sitting at the table, both totally loved playing in the floor-length curtains, both sat contentedly on our after-dinner walk, simultaneous squeals of joy erupted upon passing dogs, and both our kids are happy and healthy.

Did I mention they are both cute as heck? See…?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Lost in translation

Meet Coco the fish. He is not Nemo. He is “amusive.” He is my son’s new favorite toy.

The Baby’s uncle Steve and aunt Bibi got this gem for him from a street vendor in Thailand. As you can see by the packaging, no one was really checking the translation closely. I looked it up, just in case, but amusive is not a word. At least not in English.

This is one funky fish (hey, now that would have been a better name!). It rolls around the floor with “real fish motion,” plays “dulcet” music and “immediately change direction when hitting.” In other words, it rolls around the floor blaring a 10-second loop of techno music, crashes into furniture and toys and turns around. Its tail has strobe lights. It makes The Cat nervous and engrosses The Baby. Did I mention that you can’t turn off the sound?

Aside from the wacky name, oddball adjectives and poor phrasing, there are also sentences on the package that make no sense whatsoever. My favorite? The very top of the package, which exclaims, “Let we play go!”


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Haiku Friday: My Family Vice

Haiku Friday

Every family, and every person, has that one product or thing that they MUST.HAVE.OR.ELSE. just can't resist. Here are The Baby's, my husband's and my own. Happy Friday!

Family Vices

Dependable meal,
when nothing else will suffice.
Blueberry is best.

Dear Brutus Buckeye:
Find someone else’s husband
to bug this season.

Mocha, I love you!
Give me my frappucino
and no one gets hurt.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Oral Fixation

Sometimes I go back and re-read my old posts (can you stalk your own blog?). It occurred to me that I obsess write about what The Baby eats, how he eats, how much he eats, when he eats poop or his first mud pie, and what he won’t eat, a lot. When I pumped and bottle fed I drove myself nuts. I hopefully didn’t drive you nuts too. If so, I apologize.

When a child is so young, I guess one thing you have complete control over is what goes in their mouths. Except poo and mud, of course. Oh, and cat food, phone antennas, newspaper… well, you know what I mean! I think that is why it’s so easy for pumping moms to freak about their supply – it’s difficult and sometimes impossible to influence (boy, am I glad I'm done!) Anyway, when I find a gem, whether it’s a product that might help pumping moms or a recipe that worked well for our toddler (13 months is toddler, right?) I like to pass it on.

The Baby really likes meatloaf and meatballs. They are easy for him to eat. While I do buy 93% lean beef, I still don’t like to let him eat read meat more than once or twice a week. These Thai Chicken balls were flavorful, would be super easy to modify (we didn’t have green onions so I added two tablespoons of finely chopped onion and some chives), and extra balls freeze well for future meals. We made them as a meal, but they’d be a great appetizer for a party. They were easy for The Baby to eat with his fingers. Here is an easy recipe that all three of us enjoyed from a member of Allrecipes.

Thai Chicken Balls
2 pounds ground chicken
1 cup dry bread crumbs
4 green onions, sliced
1 tablespoon ground coriander seed
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
oil for frying

In a large bowl, mix together the chicken and bread crumbs. Season with green onion, ground coriander, cilantro, chili sauce and lemon juice; mix well.

Using damp hands, form mixture into evenly shaped balls that are either small enough to eat with your fingers, or large enough to use as burgers.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the chicken balls in batches until well browned all over.

NOTE: I halved the recipe and baked them at 400 in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn (or roll) the balls around halfway through. We just happened to have coriander seed. I didn’t even taste it. Could be that it went stale since it just sits in my spice rack. Also, the sweet chili sauce was in with ethnic foods at the store. It made yummy dipping sauce too.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Magic Moments

We had a moment Saturday night, The Baby and I. One of those sweet moments that naïve people like me imagined would happen all the time once life included children.

Long ago my husband and I decided that we were going to continue our weekly ritual of dining out. You can read about our downward dining spiral here. Dinner ran a little late on Saturday as we had a few errands to run. Since The Baby had YoBaby in his hair and had rubbed roasted Peruvian chicken into his eye sockets, skipping a bath wasn’t an option. Because of the time, our almost-13-month old was fast asleep when we got home.

Sticky situation (pun intended), should we wake The Baby to give him a bath and bottle or leave him sleep and chance that A) he’ll go blind from the aforementioned Peruvian chicken spices or B) he might wake up at 3 a.m. and want the bottle we put him down without. We weren’t taking any chances.

After the quickest bath ever (partially due to tub poop, but this is a story about a special moment, so I’m omitting this dirty little detail), and a quick bottle, I carried my half-sleeping child to his room.

I held him in my arms and stared at his tiny face marveling at how much he’s grown and changed in the last year and trying desperately to absorb the moment because I know they are fleeting. I kissed his cheek and whispered, “I love you.” He opened his eyes. I blinked back a few tears. When I re-focused, he was smiling the sweetest smile I think I’ve ever seen. He reached up and touched my face – my lips, my eyes. And then he quietly said, “Dada.”

hhmmmffff. I know what he meant to say. :-)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Haiku Friday: Gardeners of doom

Where good plants go to die

Dry and dead, they sit
in a makeshift plant graveyard.
Green thumbs we are not.

We do try our best.
Our thumbs are brown and busy,
our plants, sparse of bloom.

Look at the new guy.
This poor plant must be thinking,
“Get me out of here!”

Thursday 13: ZZZZZZ...... ZZZZZZZZZZ

Over the past couple of weeks my husband and I have been trying to ween The Baby off of falling asleep on his nightly bottle and in our arms. We feel that it's really important that he learn to fall asleep on his own and in his crib. It's been a slow, but steady process. We still want rocking or cuddling to be a part of his bedtime routine, just not what makes him sleep. We're at the point now were we give him a little bottle and rock him until he is content and sleepy (usually just a few minutes), then we put him in his crib. He cried a few times for short periods, fussed a little for a day or two, and has been drifting off on his own for about a week.

It's no wonder some babies and toddlers cry so much at the prospect of going to sleep. It can be a tough job -- even when you have a whole bunch of tricks up your sleeve.

13 things that help me fall asleep
1. Advil PM
2. Naming all the Native American tribes that I can think of
3. Naming all the bird/plants/snakes/fish that I can think of
4. “Flipping” our house mentally. I will think of walls to knock out, rooms to create and other ways to improve our house — in pretty intense detail.
5. Read a book. Currently I am reading Maeve Binchy’s “Evening Class.” So far, so good.
6. Read a magazine. We subscribe to Fast Company and Readers’ Digest (boo to RD for taking the art off of the back cover and selling it, btw!)
7. Watch TV. Either Sex in the City re-runs on TBS or Adult Swim on Cartoon Network — I know, way different ends of the spectrum.
8. Eat. Whoa, I don’t recommend this one to anyone.
9. Stumble on the Internet.
10. Assemble outfit combinations in my head. I never remember them in the morning, which is why it seems like I wear the same five outfits over and over and over.
11. Think of things to feed The Baby. Besides Cheerios and Puffs.
12. Think of different menus for me and my husband. Sometimes it seems like we have chicken every.single.night. Blah.
13. Tylenol PM (I’m not brand specific, it depends on what is on sale!)

Join the fun, click here!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Internet dreaming

I’m in marketing and spend a fair amount of time contemplating the way consumers use a medium such as the Internet. Until today, I never really thought much about my own habits—past and present. I was just thinking about some of the things that I do online to occupy my mind, besides reading blogs and message boards. Some people read about politics or fashion. Or they read about their hobbies. Or catch up on the day’s news. I live vicariously. At least I used to.

• There was I time when I would pour over the Top 20 and 25 from Travel Zoo and Sherman’s Travel and all the deals from Caribbean Jim at Cheap Caribbean. I’ve been known to plan out (but not order, obviously) entire vacations over my lunch hour. I’m a dreamer. I can’t help it. Worth noting, I only dream about tropical beach vacations. I’ve only been on two. Couples Ochos Rios and Sun Village, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. *sigh* Heaven. Once, when I was on a real mission to book a vacation, I missed out on a great deal to Punta Cana because I failed to book it in time due to my fear of flying. Despite my coconut-island-get-away obsession, I need little blue pills to get on planes. Sometimes I need little blue pills just to buy the frickin’ tickets.

• I use to scour job boards and newspaper employment classifieds. I’ve been employed by the same company for a decade, yet I love to look and see what’s out there—especially in cities like New York. When I was single this was much more intense. I actually had a job that I “knew” I was going to get in NYC (I didn’t even get a lousy phone call) and was searching online for apartments in Tribeca. Heh.

• Much like hunting for jobs, I also like to look at real estate listings and even go to neighborhood open houses. I love to see other houses. I mostly dream in my own price-range (really!). I’m not looking for luxury. A closet bigger than a refrigerator would be nice, however. For awhile I had the lucky job of writing about multi-million dollar homes for a magazine. Talk about a fun place to hang out for the day! As the writer, I volunteered myself to also be the photographer’s assistant. Sometimes when you see a gorgeous home in a magazine spread, there is a writer hiding underneath the bed pulling the plug on a light at the photographer’s count of three. I’ve been under beds, behind tables, in Christmas trees and pressed obscenely close against the back of the photographer holding some kind of cardboard thing-y over his head while he snapped photos. Mostly, I just hung out and absorbed the lifestyle around me.

I think that this is how my dad must have felt when he poured over the pages of Auto Locator looking at cars that he had no intention of buying. I always wondered why he did that. Now I know.

Since having The Baby, I’m on The Nest or a parenting blog more than Trip Advisor. In fact, most of my Travel Zoo emails go unopened. I guess I can’t see myself lounging by the pool as easily as I once did or moving to another city. I love my neighborhood. It’s perfect for a family. And jobs? I don’t want to spend time thinking about working. Now, I daydream about staying home.

It’s funny how things change.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Growing brains

That’s right, growing brains, not pains, because I think that I might be losing my mind. I’m combining real life, blog life and TV. Plus, I’ve been weepy. Is this some sort of condition?

Just now, my colleague said she was going downstairs to pick up a DHL package that had arrived for her. Immediately I thought, “Are they the frozen butterflies that you’ve been waiting for?” I’m so glad that I kept my mouth shut, because the whole butterfly incident was a part of yesterday’s Two and a Half Men episode.

Sadly, I’ve also been intertwining the innerweb with my own life. I find myself drumming my fingers and wondering which friend/relative/coworker just went on vacation or just started a new job, only to realize that I read it on a blog. The feeling is kind of like when you completely black out on what you had for dinner the night before and then, all of sudden, the neurons in your brain make the appropriate connection and, bam! – pork chops and green beans.

These days, so much seems sureal. I think it is because time is going too fast. My mind literally can’t keep up. When I pick The Baby up in the afternoon, my eyes scan right over him. I panic, but there he is. He’s a toddler now. I think that I am sometimes still looking for a little baby to bundle up in his carrier. Instead I have to pull my little guy off whatever it is he is trying to scale (he’s a climber!). We go home where his swing, bouncer, baby toys and my pump are neatly packed away waiting for another little baby who will grow out of them way to fast.


The Baby actually said this a long time ago, but forgot it (much like he learned and promptly forgot how to high five). He has rediscovered “uh-oh.” Nowadays, he likes to spend time dropping his Cheerios one-by-one on the floor and saying, “uh-oh.” It’s the first word, okay exclamation, that he’s used in context. We’re very proud.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Haiku Friday: Mud Pies

Dirty mouth, big smile.
The first fistful of dry Earth
Is good for the soul.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thursday 13: Teeth

This week's Thursday Thirteen is a bit unconventional. Typically, it's a list, but I chose to focus on The Baby's teeth instead. As you'll note from my last post, The Baby just turned one. Despite having both sets of grandparents, fun new toys and a hunk of cake as big as his head to eat, throw, smear and stuff in his ear, The Baby was pretty miserable. In fact, he almost missed his own party due to exhausting himself by being a crank.

Why so miserable? Well, in the space of one week he went from having 9 teeth to having 13 teeth. Most are in, but still sore and one is still working its way out. OUCH. The poor kid starts salivating upon site of the Baby Orajel and has his mouth wide open before we're even in arm's reach.

Now, if anyone has any advice as to how I get a one-year old to open his mouth so that I can brush his teeth, do tell... I'm at a loss. My husband and I have been basically letting him chew on his brush because he won't open his mouth for us.

Tooth-growing genius
I hoped The Baby would excel at something, who knew it would be growing teeth?!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Happy Birthday, Baby!

The Baby is one. I can hardly believe it!

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I generally post, or at least write them, on my lunch break, but I've been so busy in the last week that I have been working though my lunch. I don't miss the pump room, but that time made it a lot easier for a working mom to blog!

Anyway, I couldn't resist putting some photos together to brag for your viewing pleasure. Happy Hump Day and Happy Birthday, Baby!