Saturday, December 31, 2011

A trip to Little Phoenix

Last night for dinner we stopped by our favorite Chinese restaurant, Little Phoenix.  The restaurant is right across the street from where I worked when I was a Private Investigator, so we've been eating there for about 6 years now.  In that time they've only had 2 waiters, so I feel like they know us fairly well.  James hadn't been to eat there since he was about 6 months old, usually Adam and I go there on Mondays for lunch when Adam works from home.  James had a nice time, he really enjoyed eating the crispy noodles they set out and talking to the waiter.  And by talking I mean saying "bye" every time he walked away from the table.  James was pretty funny, he kept putting his sippy cup into the tea cups on the table.  It actually fit perfectly in there, making him squeal with happiness.  Adam had sweet and sour chicken and I had the spicy crispy chicken.  We ordered James some french fries, but he was more interested in the noodles on the table and the pineapple from Adam's dinner.  Overall it was a nice meal, we were the only ones in the dining room for most of it, so James could laugh and squeal without bothering anyone.  The funniest part of the meal was at the end, when James was eating my broccoli.  The stem was a little stringy, but he kept at it and eventually got most of it down.  Yes, he loves broccoli, so maybe he's not my kid after all!
Today Adam, James and grandpa John are visiting with Adam's grandma Theresa in the nursing home.  James has been feeling a little bit under the weather, so hopefully he isn't too grumpy while he's visiting.  I had a very productive morning alone, taking down all the Christmas decorations and cleaning the house.  We don't have any plans for New Year's Eve tonight, I'm sure we'll just hang out at home and go to bed at our regular time.  We lead an exciting life, I tell ya!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Another cold

Just when I was thinking that all of us were on the mend and cold free, it looks like James has the beginning of another cold.  Starting the day after Christmas, his little nose has been running.  He won't hold still for the nasal aspirator anymore, so we've just been wiping it and using ointment to keep it from getting too sore.  This morning I'm noticing a phlegmy cough as well, so I'm hoping it doesn't get too much worse.
Adam was joking that its not the Christmas season if Justin, my nephew, doesn't get us all sick, so I guess he's living up to that with his cold this year.  The back story to that joke is that 4 years ago on Justin's first Christmas (he was 9 months old), he had a massive blow out diaper.  His parents had to cut him out of his clothes and there was Christmas poo everywhere!  We all had a good laugh, blamed it on feeding him too much adult food and went home.  The next day, I flew to California and didn't really hear from anyone.  My mom had shoulder surgery the day after that, so I didn't really expect to hear from her.  As it turns out, everyone had gotten a horrible stomach bug and was hugging the nearest toilet.  When I finally got a hold of Adam I learned that he had been so sick that he went to the ER to get IV fluids!  My mom was well enough to have her surgery, but my step dad was very ill and trying to take care of her.  For some reason, I didn't get sick.
Anyway, none of us are that sick, but it looks like there was some cold sharing going on at the Gill family Christmas dinner!  But after today we will be home for 4 days to relax and hopefully shake this cold!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Alvin, Simon, Theodore!

I loved the Chipmunks when I was a kid and I really love the newer movies that have been coming out.  James really likes the Squeakquel, it makes him dance, which is another post in and of itself.  Its one of few kid's movies that I can watch and not want to pluck my eyeballs out.
Last night, James was playing with a Simon toy.  He pointed at Simon's glasses and said "Momma?"

Adam and I about died laughing.  He's a very observant little guy.  In the last few weeks, I feel like James is really learning a lot.  He's putting 2 words together more and more and does little things that make me think he's so smart.  This is a really fun age and I am enjoying James so much!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas has come and gone

Wow, Christmas really was a whirlwind this year.  I should have expected that, but now it has come and gone and I am back at work!  Boo!  We had a really nice Christmas this year, James got lots of presents and we saw lots of family.  James got to open presents this year, which was fun, if not a little overwhelming for him.  But by the time we saw his godmother on Monday, he knew exactly what to do.  We have lots of presents in our living room right now, I think I'm going to get a storage ottoman/bench to store everything in (and provide extra seating!).
So its Monday morning, I'm listening to all the new music I decided that I really needed to download off iTunes in my blissfully quiet office.  James is at daycare, he woke up really excited to see Rhonda, so I'm sure he'll have a nice day.  Some of the kids won't be there this week, but I'm sure James will be just fine with that.  He has a little bit of a cold now, mainly a very runny nose, so I hope he's not feeling too badly.

Friday, December 23, 2011

So close to Christmas

I've been thinking a lot about my own Christmas memories lately, it is that time of year and having a little guy tends to make me more sentimental than I might have been in the past.  I was never one of those kids that super loved Christmas, I've always been more of an Easter person myself.  Something about the candy was always so tempting, although Christmas presents are pretty sweet too.  This of course is extra hilarious given my religious beliefs (or lack thereof) at this point, but lets face it celebrating either a virgin birth or the resurrection of a guy who's been dead for 3 days is pretty crazy.  Unless you're into that kind of thing, in which case, carry on.
I won't even get into the "war" between Santa and the Easter Bunny that was waged through the notes they'd leave for me.  For some reason Santa always wanted a beer and not milk...  My father really is a character.
Where was I?
Oh yes, my Christmas memories.
One of my first Christmas memories involves my dad dressed up as Santa.  That pretty much put a wrench in the whole "Be good so Santa will give you gifts" idea.  I believe that Christmas we also got to see reindeer on the radar screens at his shop.  We were in semi-tropical Okinawa, Japan at the time, so it probably didn't seem too holiday-esque.   I don't remember much else from those Christmases.  (I just googled the weather in Okinawa right now and its exactly what it is here in Baltimore - mid-60's....  go figure the only difference is that we're at 50% humidity and they're at 72%).
Wow, I am prone to tangents today, aren't I?
Another thing I loved about Christmas as a child was decorating the tree with my mom, dad, and brother.  Every year I would be so excited to see "my" ornaments from years passed.  Almost every year my mom bought an ornament for Travis and I, so there was a good collection of them.  Even now when I look at those same ornaments on my own tree, I feel that excitement, if only for a second.  We always had fun putting up the tree, taking bets on which of our cats would climb it first, and making Christmas an exciting time.
Something that I didn't realize about my childhood Christmas experiences until I was older was that we were never with family during the holidays.  As a military family, we were always out on our own and while part of me envies that (because really, going to 3 different people's houses for the holiday is a bit overkill), but the other part marvels at my parents.  They always made the day special for me and Trav, but I know it must has been hard to forge ahead with new holiday traditions without their own parents.
I think that leads to a favorite Christmas memory - the scavenger hunt.  One year (after I woke my sleeping brother up, because he would have slept until noon without his nagging little sister) we found a clue, which lead to another clue, which lead to our present - two new bikes in the garage.  It was so fun to have to look around and find our clues, occasionally going to ask mom and dad for help when we were stuck, and then find our presents.  My mom will now admit that they thought it was a great way for them to sleep in a little longer!  I can see her point, I was definitely an early riser and eventually there was a "Don't wake anyone up until 9AM" rule in our house.  The next year we also had a scavenger hunt, I believe we found a Sega Genesis under Travis' bed.
So those are some of my Christmas memories.  I am so excited that I get to help makes these memories for James.  And since part of me is still a little kid, I can't wait to open my presents!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A new skill

James has a new skill, and let me tell you, its adorable.

He blows kisses now.  It seriously melts my heart everytime.  He doesn't know the kissy sound yet, but he will put his hand up to his mouth, hold it out to you, and say something that sounds kind of like "boo".  He is so sweet!  Ok, he is so sweet when he's not busy being a toddler!

I will try to get a video of James and his new skill soon!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday Weigh In

It is Wednesday again!  It comes once a week, so why I am surprised?  I am really looking forward to my telecommute day today, even though I had Monday off, I have been very tired.  So I am going to try to relax a bit today.  I am going to go get a manicure and pedicure, but that is just across the street and I think it counts as relaxing...
I did my weigh in and I am now at 217, so I lost a pound this week!  I am so excited to be continuing to lose weight, it has been a lot of effort, but I know it is worth it.  I recently found out that my kick boxing class will be starting back up again in February, so I am looking forward to that.  Exercise combined with my Weight Watchers routine should really kick the weight loss into high gear.
My other plans for the day include stopping by Old Navy to get James a holiday shirt and getting Rhonda's gift card to complete my Christmas shopping!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

18 month check up

Yesterday I was off work, Rhonda was closed and James had his 18 month check up with his pediatrician, Dr. Chander.  The appointment was early, 8:30, but we were up and out the door in plenty of time.  We had to wait for awhile, which sometimes happen at Dr. Chander's, but James was a good sport and ran around the exam room in his diaper.  The nurse yesterday was new, so James whined at her a bit, but it wasn't too bad.  My little guy now weights 25.2 lbs and is 33.5 inches tall.  That puts him into the 90th percentile for height and the 50th for weight (still adjusted for being 5 weeks early).  He's a skinny little guy, but that is no surprise, given how much he runs around.  James sat patiently while Dr. Chander listened to his heart (his murmur still sounds the same as it did 3 months ago) and checked his eyes, ears, and mouth.  James also received his first of 2 Hepatitis A shots.  Everything was fine at his appointment, he is meeting all his milestones and we got a referral for a few pediatric dentists.
After his appointment, we headed to the grocery store to pick up a few things.  We got home in time for James to play a little, eat lunch, and go down for his nap.  After nap time, I took James and the dog our for a walk.  James did well, toddling down the street.  He made a break for it a few times, but we caught up and kept him for escaping.  Our street is pretty busy, so I was a little unnerved by the walk, but we survived.  It wasn't a productive walk for the dog, but at least we got some fresh air.
Around 3, a switch flipped in James' head and he was pretty grumpy for the remainder of the day.  I'm pretty sure his shot started to hurt, so I gave him a little pain medicine to help.  He was happy when Adam got home, but them promptly went back to being a grump.  He woke up this morning in a great mood though, so I think the mood has passed.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

8 AM Target Trip

Wednesday is my usual work from home day, I drop James off at daycare and head home to do some work.  This week, I took a slight detour on my way home.  I knew Target was opening at 8 AM, so I went to get some last minute Christmas presents and it was magical.  Target at 8 AM is quiet, peaceful, full of friendly employees and very few other shoppers.  It was amazing!  I got a chai tea latte, perused the aisles and was in and out in 30 minutes.  I don't often go shopping so early or without James and Adam with me, so I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  The only bad part was that the Old Navy next door wasn't open until 9 AM, so I didn't get to buy the shirt I wanted to get for James.  But I think I will sneak over there sometime before the 23rd.  So my advice for everyone who needs to shop - go early!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Almost Christmas

I can't believe that it is almost Christmas again.  This past year has really flown by!  I knew that it would, but I really don't know where the time has gone.  We are almost done with Christmas shopping, we just need to get one last thing for Rhonda and everything will be done.  Most of it is even wrapped too, so I'm feeling very on top of things!
Adam and I haven't ever really decorated for Christmas, I think I did back in 2007, but its never been a big thing for us.  So I'm happy that we're more in the spirit this year.  Also, for the first time since we've been together, we haven't given each other our presents early!  So we will actually have presents to unwrap on Christmas morning. Last year, Adam left the house briefly on Black Friday and came home with a laptop for me.  Merry Christmas! I didn't mind, but it was pretty funny.
We are going to have a fairly relaxing weekend, but we do have a little bit of running around to do.  My mom is coming to hang out tomorrow, which should be nice.  James likes having his grandma over and we don't mind either.  On Sunday we're going to have brunch with Adam's family.  His little step sister, Michelle, is going to be 16, so that's making both of us feel pretty old!
So we are ready for the holidays and in a few more day they will be here!  I can't wait to have a little time off work to celebrate.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday Weigh In

Wednesday Weigh In!  Pretty uneventful this week, I maintained at 218.  I think I would have been half a pound to a pound less than that had I not woken up in the middle of the night with low blood sugar.  When my sugar is low in the middle of the night, I don't usually grab some fruit or a healthy snack.  I generally grab cookies or crackers or something sugary and bad.  But I'm trying to make sure I get my sugar back up without incident, so it is what it is.  My work holiday party is today, and I am going to try keep the gorging to a minimum!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Word List Update

Here are some of James' newest words:
Ba (I think he means bath)
Bug Box (one of his most favorite toys)

He gets more and more chatty all the time.  Rhonda can really decipher him well, but she hangs out with kids all day, so its not surprise that she can carry on a full conversation with him.  James is also following directions well, he helps clean up his toys if you ask and will pick things up and give them to you when asked (ok, if he's really in the mood, sometimes when you ask for something he will run away from you with your cell phone/the TV remote/his shirt because that's obviously the funniest thing ever).  He also knows (and runs away) when you want to change his diaper.

I can't believe how quickly he's growing up.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Again

I haven't posted much lately, I've been a bit uninspired and busily working on getting this infection out of my poor lungs.  I spent the majority of the weekend coughing and blowing my nose and I think most of the gunk has left the building.  At least I'm hoping so.  James and I both finished up our antibiotics and James seems to be feeling 100%.  Although he did have a random fever yesterday afternoon.  Some Tylenol brought it down right away, so I'm thinking it was just a fluke.
This weekend was very relaxing, we hung out around the house and I did some cleaning yesterday.  James ran around like a maniac and we had a nice time.  He is talking and communicating more and more, which really takes the pressure off to figure out what he wants, either based on his non verbal cues or his usual routine.  As well as you know your baby, its really nice when you ask if he wants a snack and he says, "Yea".  So much easier!  Then you just get him the snack and he doesn't whine at you!  Aside from yogurt, James gets very mad if you even attempt to put anything in his mouth.  Unless of course he's feeling lazy, then he will only eat if you put food in there for him.  The only way to discern these moods is to test the waters.  But overall, James continues to be a laid back kind of guy.
Lately at daycare some of the boys have been acting crazier than usual.  There was Kip and the biting and lately Joel (who is 3 and a half) and Kip (notice the repeat offender here) have been having lots of fights.  They both have very strong personalities and tend to butt heads.  But Rhonda always reports that James has been well behaved and pretty much ignores the boys when they're being crazy.  James will sit and snuggle with someone for awhile, so even though he's growing up, he's still got a little baby left in him.
So we are back to work and daycare this week.  Next week James has his 18 month appointment on Monday when Rhonda is closed.  His Christmas party is on the 23rd and then we head straight into all of the holiday madness.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

18 month milestones

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Will "read" board books on his own
James will sit and look at books on his own.  One of his favorites right now is his book about Farms.  There are all kinds of animals and tractors, etc. in it and he will look at it for awhile.  He will also bring you the book and ask, "dat?" meaning what's that?  We will go through the book over and over, telling him what the pictures are that he is asking about.  On Thanksgiving I thought my son was a genius, he asked me repeatedly what the turkey was.  It was like he knew what day it was!  (Yes, I know he didn't know what day it was, but I like to think my child is a genius, perhaps he is!)
Scribbles well
Oh yes, when James isn't busy eating crayons, he loves to scribble.  

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Strings two words together in phrases
James is starting to do this more and more.  He will say things like "My Mac" and on Sunday he told Mac "My Da" and pushed the dog away from Adam.  We got a real kick out of that one.  
Brushes teeth with help
James likes to play with his toothbrush, so he doesn't brush them on his own yet.  He is very cooperative with teeth brushing and doesn't put up a fight, which is nice.  
Stacks four blocks
James doesn't like to stack things, he likes to knock them over.  

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Throws a ball overhand
Yes, he plays fetch with Mac a lot.
Takes toys apart and puts them back together
James does this to some extent, for instance, he will take bugs out of his bug box and put them back in.  He also has a toy that pops open when you push a button, so he will put it back together after it pops.  
Shows signs of toilet training readiness
James is showing some of the signs of toilet training wellness, but not enough of them for me to think we're at all ready to potty train.  I put stars by the ones that James currently meets, so it looks like he is meeting the physical signs, but behavioral and cognitive are lacking.  I'm thinking sometime in the spring or early summer we will actually start working on potty training or at least determining if its worth the effort yet.  In the spring or summer he can run around the house naked, which I think will help things a bit.  I've heard some interesting/good things about the 3 day potty training technique, so I think we will probably start to do some research on that soon.  Also, Rhonda is going to be key in James' potty training, so we will be seeking her advice as well.  Kippy, who is 2 and a half as of yesterday is fully potty trained, so I do have hope for James.  

Physical signs
*Is coordinated enough to walk, and even run, steadily.
*Urinates a fair amount at one time.
*Has regular, well-formed bowel movements at relatively predictable times.
*Has "dry" periods of at least three or four hours, which shows that his bladder muscles are developed enough to hold urine.
Behavioral signs
Can sit down quietly in one position for two to five minutes. - HA!
Can pull his pants up and down.
*Dislikes the feeling of wearing a wet or dirty diaper.
*Shows interest in others' bathroom habits (wants to watch you go to the bathroom or wear underwear).
Gives a physical or verbal sign when he's having a bowel movement such as grunting, squatting, or telling you.
Demonstrates a desire for independence.
*Takes pride in his accomplishments.
Isn't resistant to learning to use the toilet.
Is in a generally cooperative stage, not a negative or contrary one.
Cognitive signs
*Can follow simple instructions, such as "go get the toy."
Understands the value of putting things where they belong.
Has words for urine and stool.
Understands the physical signals that mean he has to go and can tell you before it happens or even hold it until he has time to get to the potty.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday Weigh In

I had a good week this week, I lost another pound, so I'm down to 218.  I have finally gotten rid of the weight I put back on after Adam's birthday party.  So lesson learned there, I should not go that crazy.  But it happens, so there's not point in beating myself up over it.
I started an antibiotic yesterday for this never ending cold I seem to have.  Apparently it has turned into a minor respiratory infection, so I am hoping this Z-pack clears it up.  Adam was on antibiotics for bronchitis a few weeks ago and James has been on them for his cold, so I guess its just making its way through the house.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Godzilla baby

James has lots of hobbies, he likes the phone (real and pretend), animals, wrestling with dad, and ravaging Japanese villages.  Okay, maybe the villages aren't in Japan and James isn't really Godzilla.  But one of his most favorite things to do is break anything that you are building.  It doesn't matter if its a train set from Ikea (Thanks Grandbear!  We finally took it out of the box a few weeks ago!  Yes, I know it was a Christmas present...) or a set of wooden blocks (Oh, I guess those are from Grandbear too...  James is a lucky boy!).  If anything is set up, James quickly knocks it over.  He likes to yell "Boom" as he does it, with a big smile on his face.  In the words of Kip, "He knock it over!"

Friday, December 2, 2011

My kid is the cutest

I know, everyone says that about their kid.  James is just really cute though.
And I have evidence!
Yesterday, Baby Landon arrived at daycare before us, which doesn't usually happen.  He was laying in the pack 'n' play where James usually takes his naps.  James looked at me and said "Baby?  Bed?"  He pointed up to the ceiling when he said it (at home, when James asks to go to bed, he points upstairs, where his bed is).
Seriously, that's cute.
Also right now, everything is a phone to James.  His Fisher Price cell phone, hair brushes, and as of last night, Chicken McNugget containers are all phones.  We got McDonald's for dinner last night because I've been sick and the thought of cooking dinner just didn't appeal to me.  We don't often give James fast food, but it does happen from time to time.  He also ate carrots with his Happy Meal and he would have had apples to go with it if McDonald's wasn't full of incompetent workers.  But I digress.  After his nuggets container was empty, James help it up to his ear and said "Hi" then he handed it to Adam.  I keep saying that we need to get him to say something other than hi into the phone, but I guess you have to start somewhere.
And more proof that James is cute?
Well, he looks like the best of both me and Adam.  My blond hair and Adam's bright brown eyes.
My kid is the cutest.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Weigh In and Illness

I weighed in yesterday at 219, so I didn't gain or lose.  Since it was Thanksgiving, I am giving myself a pass.  At least I didn't gain anything, and I am back on top of things this week.  Not that I wasn't on top of things last week, I counted all my points, but there were a lot of points to be counted!
James is getting over his cold nicely, we decided on Monday to start him on antibiotics, just in case there was an infection brewing.  He had a bit of a fever a few times over the weekend, so we wanted to be sure that he wasn't getting more sick.  James was very sweet to his mother, he kindly shared his cold.  I haven't been feeling great the last few days - sore throat, congestion, and a cough.  Since we diabetics are super lucky, there are very few cold medications that we're allowed to take.  I've done my share of experimenting with that in the last 15 years, so I've narrowed it down to what is really bad (Nyquil and Dayquil both make me hallucinate like crazy and NO its not as fun as it sounds) and what isn't so bad (like Theraflu and Sudafed).  Yesterday was my telecommute day, so while I wasn't the most productive, I got some rest.  I woke up this morning feeling better and am hoping this continues!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Photo FAIL

Oh, holiday portraits...  Last year I cursed you.  This year I think I will curse you again.
Flash back to last year - we'd never gone to a photo studio before, so we book a session at 10 AM on Saturday, December 5th for our almost 6 month old.  There were screaming children, grumpy parents, and overworked photographers all crammed into a tiny store with the heat set to boiling!  It wasn't the worst experience, but James was always a very sympathetic baby.  If he heard another baby crying, then he was going to join in.  So we got some cute photos, but it wasn't the most fun.  A few times I was fairly certain that Adam's head was going to explode.  So we decided that we would always go to the photo studio (we prefer Picture People) during the week, in the morning, and well in advance of the December rush.
For James' 1 year pictures in June, we had a lot of luck.  James smiled sweetly, the AC was cranking (keeping us nice and cool) and the store wasn't crowded at all.  The key to this success, I now know, was that James wasn't walking yet.  We set him down, he fussed a little, we waved a sippy cup at him, and the smiles came pouring out.
Cut to yesterday's trip to Columbia Mall - We could only get an appointment at 4 PM.  I figured he would have finished his nap, eaten a snack, and be ready to go.  Adam and I get to Rhonda's to pick him up at 3 PM and find a sleeping James, totally passed out, pant less, in his pack 'n' play.  I should have just cancelled the appointment then.  So we get James dressed and out the door, after Rhonda told us that he'd had a rough day and only gotten down for his nap at 1:30 PM.  But we pressed on, giving him a sippy of juice in the car and Goldfish crackers as a snack.  But James wasn't having it.  There were no smiles to be had.  He barely stayed put - as soon as we'd set him down, he'd come running back to us, arms waving in the air.  We did get some cute shots, but he is smiling in exactly NONE of them.  Of course after the photos, James was in a great mood, we'd released him from his very tedious obligation, so clearly it was time to smile.  At dinner, James ate like a chow hound, so I guess the Goldfish weren't enough and he was just grumpy because his parents were starving him and forcing him to stand on a white backdrop with some guy named Ransom (seriously, where does Picture People find these people?) making weird noises to try to get him to smile.  At least his mom was hot, but you know, I can only carry the picture so far!
Maybe we'll have better luck with his 2 year pictures?
By the way, Adam's suggestion: That James' GrandBear (my darling father and wonderful photographer) come out and visit us in May.  That way, he can take the pictures in time for James' second birthday AND we can get a visit in.  Good idea, right?  (hint, hint.... Dad, I'm looking at you!)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday weekend

This weekend flew by and now here I am, back in the office.  It is nice to get back on schedule after a long weekend off.  As usual, we managed to mess James' day time schedule up completely over the weekend, so I know Rhonda will be having an interesting day with all the kids!  
On Friday, we enjoyed dinner at my mom and step dad's house.  They made ham and potato salad, which was nice, since we've been inundated by turkey the last few days.  My mom also made deviled eggs, which are an all time favorite of mine.
On Saturday, we ventured out of the house to get James' haircut and do some Christmas shopping.  We went to Target, which wasn't too crazy.  We knocked out presents for my nephew and Adam's parents and got James a few winter clothes.  We also picked up a fake tree to put up and its now sitting in our living room.
On Sunday, we went to Home Depot very early in the morning to get outdoor decorations.  We got some fun snowflakes stakes and light nets to throw on our bushes, so I was pretty pleased.  Decorations went up with no problem in the afternoon, so we're looking quite festive.  Or relatively few problems, I don't know what it is about Christmas lights that make couples want to rip each other's eye balls out, but after a few minutes of debate and "discussion" Adam and I were back on the same page.
This afternoon we are going to get our family holiday pictures taken, so I'm pretty excited about that.  James has a very cute outfit to wear and I am hoping it goes well!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Gobble Gobble

I completed my first Thanksgiving dinner!  There were relatively few hiccups and I was pretty proud of myself for having all of my menu completed and on the table at the same time!  I actually enjoyed making dinner, for the most part.  Usually I don't really like to cook, I much prefer to bake, but I think that has more to do with the outcome of baking.  But it was fun and I was happy to get dinner on the table.  The only real issue was the giblets.  I looked for them in the cavity of the bird, but they were tucked into the other end.  But they were wrapped in wax paper, so at least I didn't kill us with toxic plastic burned into our turkey.  Adam's dad and my brother joined us for dinner, even if some didn't stay for more than the meal and then skipped out immediately afterwards (cough, Uncle, cough).  Adam and John left around 6 for the Raven's game, so James and I hung out for awhile.  Then James headed to bed and I enjoyed some leftover Green Jello Salad and a little Riesling.  Overall, it was a nice day!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Our Thanksgiving menu

Oyster Stuffing
Mashed Potatoes with Giblet Gravy
Sweet Potato Casserole
Green Jello Salad
Cranberry Sauce
Crescent Rolls
Pumpkin Pie
2 Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake
Tollhouse Pie

Sounds good, right??

Wednesday Weigh In (a day late)

I am back on track with my weight loss, although I'm a day late in posting this!  I am back down to 219, making me only half a pound over my lowest weight.  So I am feeling better about gaining weight back last week.  We will see how Thanksgiving goes, but I have all my weekly points saved up so I can enjoy my turkey, oyster stuffing, and lots of pies!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

He must be feeling better

James is back to his old, perky self.  His nose is still a little runny, but there are no signs of infection, so I think we're in the clear.  We've always been very lucky that James doesn't get sick often, so I'm hoping to continue that trend.  He does tend to bring germs home from daycare and then Adam and I end up sick.  James is feeling well enough to expand his vocabulary...  His new favorite word: NO!  I should have known it was coming next and we will see how long it is before James learns another word.  If you base it on his father, it could be another 30 years or so before he says something else.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A baby with a cold

Well cold season is here and in full effect.  James has had a bit of a cold for about a week now, nothing serious, just a runny nose and cough.  We took him to the pediatrician yesterday, just to be sure the cough hadn't turned into something more.  Luckily, it hasn't and James seems to be feeling a bit better this morning.  But my goodness, toddlers with colds have got to be the grumpiest grumps of them all!  On Sunday, I was with James alone most of the day as Adam was off watching football.  Normally, James is a funny, happy, playful little guy.  He will play on the floor with his toys, and keep himself entertained for the most part.  Sitting on the floor with him and playing is the easiest way to make him happy.  Sunday was another story...  if I even so much as handed James a toy that he didn't want, he would cry.  Not a real cry, just a fake, whiny cry.  First he would want to be held, then he'd want down.  The second I put him down - you guessed it - he'd want to be held again.  Now this didn't go on all day, mostly in the afternoon, after his nap.  He slept for a long time, maybe 3 hours and then sat in my lap for another hour.  But I think that time really stands still when kids are sick.  Yesterday, Rhonda noticed that James was grumpy most of the day, Adam picked him up around 12:45 PM to go to the doctor, interrupting nap time.  I really hate to mess with nap time, but I would rather he go see the doctor early than wait until later this week when their office's are closed.  Hopefully the little man feels better soon, we have instructions to call the doctor by tomorrow for antibiotics if his nose isn't clearing up.

Monday, November 21, 2011


This time of year always gets us thinking about what we are thankful for.  And there are the usual responses, we're thankful for family, friends, health, and happiness.  Every year we go around the table, we give our generic responses, but I try to be thankful everyday.
I am thankful for:
My healthy, adorable, happy, crazy, energetic little boy who makes me smile everyday.  I am so thankful for his health, knowing that things could be a lot worse for him.  I'm thankful for his genetic makeup and the fact that he doesn't have our family's "bad gene" for muscular dystrophy.  I'm thankful his lungs took their 3 extra days to get strong in the NICU and haven't caused a problem since.  I'm thankful that we know about the hole in his heart and are watching it carefully.  I'm thankful that he has his dad's sense of humor.  I'm thankful that he loves our animals so much.  I'm thankful for his hugs and affection.  I'm thankful for him everyday, because of him I get to be a mommy, which is the best and hardest job I'll ever have.
My husband, who also makes me smile everyday.  I'm thankful that I not only love him, I like him a whole lot.  I'm thankful that he knows every thing about me and still loves me back.  I'm thankful that we work together and communicate, even if it takes so much work some days, it really is worth it in the end.  I'm thankful for his drive and motivation.
My family, which isn't perfect, but still made me the person I am today.
My job, because in times like these, there are so many people without them.
My health, even though diabetes is the most annoying thing sometimes, I can manage.
My friends, who are the most fun and supportive people I know.

I'm also thankful for the following:
Chai tea lattes
The snooze button on alarm clocks
Girl Scout cookies
Ponytail holders
Reality television
Taylor Swift

Sunday, November 20, 2011


James still hasn't gotten to the point where the only word that he says is "NO", he will shake his head when he doesn't want something, but he still won't say no.
But his favorite word right now is just as frustrating as no...  He says "Mine" to everything!  Anything he finds, whether its on my dresser or at the dinner table, he picks up and immediately yells "MINE!".  We are working on sharing and making sure he knows to share, but for now, everything is his...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sing along mommy

Having a baby means (among other things) that I sing a lot more often.  I sing all kinds of dumb stuff to James, pretty much all the time.  We sing when he gets dressed, in the bathtub, and in the car.  We sing with the radio, we sing camp songs, and mostly we sing stuff that I make up on the fly.  He squeals and laughs and enjoys my singing a lot.  Well, he's only 17 months, so he's pretty easy to amuse.  The dog, on the other hand, doesn't enjoy my singing as much and when we're home alone on Wednesdays, he looks at me and sighs with every tune.  Yes, the dog sighs.  (The baby actually sighs too, they picked it up from me.  Funny enough, a few months ago my step mom posted a video with my dad in it and he sighs too.)  So Mac sighs at me and the look on his face says something like, "Human who isn't Daddy, you seem to be confused regarding our relationship...  You are to feed me continually.  And shut up."
Then its my turn to sigh.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"You've got dirt all over your mouth"

As promised, here is the video of James playing outside on Sunday.  He's very cute, not that I'm biased or anything.

Wednesday Weigh In

Note to self: drinking beer and eating birthday cupcakes makes you fat.  Okay, maybe not fat, but I gained back some of my weight this week.  I pretty much figured this would be the case as I counted up all my points from the weekend.  But at least I counted them, as ugly as it was!  I would also like to blame some of the gain on PMS.  So this week I am back on strict Weight Watchers!  Also tonight I am going to my first Zumba class, so hopefully I like it.  Its at the tae kwon do place that I used to take kickboxing at and is a pay by the class, which is nice!  I (and most everyone) am horrible at signing up for the gym and then not using it, but paying the remainder of the contract, so I like anything that doesn't require a commitment on my part.
Anyway, I have not adjusted my weight counter because I intend on losing the weight that I gained back this week and it makes me feel better if it stays down!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Back to work!

After a long weekend I am back in the office.  My office-mate works from home on Mondays, so at least I have a nice, quiet office to myself today.  James went to daycare this morning, I think he missed Rhonda and the kids, because he didn't put up too much fuss when I had to leave.
Yesterday, we took James to play outside for awhile.  He finally figured out how to walk on the grass (he doesn't like to touch the grass, so standing up was a challenge).  James threw the ball with Mac and ran around for awhile.  I took a really cute video also, so I will try to post it tomorrow.
I am pretty sleepy this morning, I was spoiled having some many days off in a row.  This week I will work all 5 days, with my usual Wednesday at home.  But the week after will be Thanksgiving, so I will only work 2 days.  The State doesn't take furlough days from us this year, but offices are closed on the day before Thanksgiving.  This supposedly saves on electricity.  I am not so certain, but I will take the extra paid administrative leave day!
I have been busily planning our Thanksgiving meal.  It will be the first year that I make Thanksgiving dinner, so I'm pretty excited.  Usually we go to my mom's house, but this year there is a Ravens game on Thanksgiving, making it difficult for us to go anywhere since Adam will have to leave around 5 PM.  But it will be nice to have all the leftover turkey!  We will be going to my mom's the following day, so there will be many turkeys to enjoy.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Birthday Weekend

Adam had a great birthday and we all had fun at his party on 11-11-11.  Perhaps a bit too much fun, as I was reminded on Saturday morning.  I am definitely not cut out to party the way I once was.  But we had a good time and I didn't feel too horrible on Saturday.  For his birthday, James and I gave Adam a new pair of jeans and a video game.  I know, not too exciting, but Adam is the kind of person that goes out and gets whatever he wants.  This makes it difficult to buy presents for the man.  Friday, before the party, we dropped James off in Bowie with Adam's dad and step mom.  James was fighting a nap before we left, but he stopped crying as soon as we left and took his nap.  Charlotte reported that he had a fun day, playing with Snow, going on a walk, and hanging out with his grandparents.  He went to bed promptly at 7:20 PM and slept until 7 AM the next morning.
On Saturday, we went to Bowie to pick James up.  Adam helped his dad rake leaves while James and I took a nap.  We had lunch and then headed home.  Mac usually goes with us to Bowie, but since Snow has a broken toe and is on limited activity, he stayed at home without us.
Its been a nice weekend and I'm glad we could celebrate Adam's birthday.  Today we are taking Mac to the groomer and watching football, so it should be a quiet day.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Baby socks

I have a new problem in my life....

Every time I wash clothes, I lose a baby sock.

Luckily, James has lots of socks, so its not a big problem.  And we do laundry twice a week.  The missing sock usually turns up within the next washing or two.

But seriously, where do the socks go while they are lost?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nippy Kippy

James' friend at daycare, Kippy (his full name is Kipton, which cracks me up), is in the middle of the terrible twos.  He's 1 year (and 3 days) older than James and he makes me fear for the future.  Although Rhonda tells me that James is the most obedient toddler she's seen and quite different from Kippy a year ago, I know that we too will deal with (more) toddler tantrums.  Yesterday was a landmark day for Kip...  he bit just about everyone in daycare.  He only got James through the shirt, but he has a good bite mark on his left shoulder.  I noticed it during James' bath yesterday and when I talked to Rhonda this morning she told me that James never let on that he'd been bitten.  She felt so awful that James had been bitten, but I know its just a part of daycare and playing with other kids.  Yesterday, James did have a meltdown over a cookie and took a swipe at Rhonda.  He was promptly put in his pack n play to calm down.  After just a few moments James was ready to play again.  I really do think Rhonda is a saint for taking care of these kids all day everyday!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

17 month milestones

Time is flying, I can believe my little boy is growing so quickly!  And if we can get adjusted to the time change, he might just make it to 18 months!

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Uses six words regularly
James uses at least 6 words regularly, but I had to ask Adam to double check on this one.  He has said a lot of words, but I don't know what counts as regular.  Also, right now he's learning so many other skills that talking has taken a bit of a back burner.  But he uses hi, bye, dada, mama (referring to the dog, he calls me something that sounds similar...  I am chopped liver.), spoon, tummy, ball, bowl, thank you and still my favorite - UH OH!
Enjoys pretend games

Yes, Adam and James visit all kinds of pretend places that I am just not privy too.  I'm sure this will only continue in the future.
Likes riding toys
James' ride on toys are some of his favorites!  Hopefully next summer we can take them all outside, like we were hoping to this summer.  While he played outside some, James doesn't like to crawl on the grass that much and walking took longer than anticipated.  Oh well, such is life.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Feeds doll
He doesn't really do this, I mean, he feeds the dog a lot and I think that's pretty close to a doll.  He has some stuffed animals and action figures, but no dolls really, so I'm not sure he would have had the chance to feed a doll.  Unless he does at daycare, where there are more toys than you could imagine.
Speaks more clearly
We are getting there, most of the time Adam and I can understand him enough to know what he wants.  His speech has definitely improved, but again, I'm sure it will continue to in the coming months.
Throws a ball underhand
Yes!  Playing with Mac, his super best friend, is one of his favorite things, including throwing a ball for him underhand and overhand.  And I'm still worried about our valuables...

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Dances to music
James can boogie, that is for sure.  The kids at daycare often have dance parties and if I'm watching Palladia, he will get up and wiggle along with the beat.  Its pretty much the cutest thing I've ever seen.
Sorts toys by color, shape, or size
Not that I can really tell.  If by sort you mean, dump a whole container over and then walk away, then yes.  
Kicks ball forward

I don't think this has happened intentionally that I have seen, he prefers throwing balls to kicking them, so maybe he'll be a baseball player not a footballer.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday Weigh-In

Well I lost half a pound this week, not my best but I ate like a mad woman yesterday.  I didn't go over my weekly points, but I guess the day before weigh in day was a bad idea!  So I am back on track this morning, I had Quaker Weight Control Oatmeal with a little bit of milk this morning.  It tastes good, was nice and warm, and usually keeps me pretty full until lunch time.  I have lost 14.5 pounds, 3 of it in the last 2 weeks.

Edit:  After talking with my weekly email check in friend... we've decided to make Wednesday our weigh in day.  That way we have some time to rebound from the weekend, when we're both eating more than during the week.  This might be cheating, but it seems more reasonable.

Also, I love the alliteration in "Wednesday Weigh In", so there you have it!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Weekend Plans

This weekend should be a fun one!  On Saturday we aren't doing anything out of the ordinary.  Just the usual, grocery shopping and cleaning around the house.  James and Adam will be getting haircuts, but I think I'm going to sit that one out, since James puts on a show for mom when he gets his hair cut.  We are hoping to go out to eat on Saturday night, so I am looking forward to that.
On Sunday, Adam and his dad are leaving to go to Pittsburgh for the Ravens/Steelers game.  Hopefully the Ravens will win and the boys will make it out of the city alive!  Also on Sunday, James and I are going to visit my mom and step dad.  Its Doug's birthday, so we're hoping to eat some cake on our visit!  James hasn't showed off his walking skills for Grandma and PooPaw yet, hopefully he will cooperate.
Adam and John will be coming home on Monday, so James and I will be on our own for Sunday evening.  I'm sure it will be fine, but I always miss having backup when Adam is away (luckily that isn't often).
Also, daylight savings will end on Sunday morning, so I am hoping that doesn't throw James off too much.  We will see, last year he was too little to really be affected by the time change.
Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The upside

James had another rough night last night.  He woke up around 3 AM with a wet, almost leaking diaper.  I changed him, but he continued to cry.  We realized he was cold, so I put a long sleeve shirt over his pajamas and he finally went back to sleep about 4:30 AM.  I feel so bad for him when he can't sleep, because I know that he wants to.  He very rarely wakes up because he's not tired and wants to hang out.  Sometimes, we have a little trouble getting him in bed because he wants to play still.  I just chalk that up to Adam and I being awesome parents, but you can call it what you will.  I suppose I should also feel bad for Rhonda when James doesn't sleep, because it usually means he's a little grumpy before lunch and nap time.  But even James grumpy isn't that bad, he's just a chipper little guy in general.
There is one upside when he can't sleep.  And it might make me seem a little crazy (like you hadn't already figured that out, my loyal 8 blog readers...).
When he's sleepy and wants me to cuddle him at night, I try to breath in every ounce of baby that is left in him.  I imagine the days when his tiny legs, bent up like a frog still fit right on my stomach.  I think about how magical he was as an infant, my little boy, so sweet smelling and adorable, all mine, balled up on his mom's lap.  I wish I could recapture just one minute of his babyhood, even though I know all babies grow up.  Now, as his long toddler legs grow closer and closer to the floor, I try to remember that one day he won't even be this little and I'll long for my toddler.  And I try to remember that even though dad is the most fun to play with, mom is the one who comforts him.
When I'm tired and grumpy, when I've just been cross with my husband in the middle of the night for no reason other than I would rather be sleeping, and when there is nothing left to do but sit in the dark and sway with a growing little boy, I try to take it all in, while I still can.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Sleep is a wonderful thing.  I really, really love sleep.  Like, a lot.  I really love beds and pajamas too.  You put on your comfy clothes, hop into bed, and a nap is imminent.  Jackie, my college roommate and housemate for 4 years, credits me with helping her "learn to nap".  Which is kind of funny because I'm pretty sure that I didn't nap as a child.  College was a great time for naps, you could even schedule your classes around them.  Oh, college, I miss you and don't miss you, all at the same time.
I function best on a good 10 hours of sleep, which I know is a pretty ridiculous requirement.  Funny enough, I'm married to a reformed insomniac.  Adam had trouble sleeping for years, from his childhood well into adulthood and even has tried a variety of sleep aids.  None of them really seemed to work (or worked too well), but now I'm told that the secret to Adam getting a good night's sleep is simple...  Snuggle your wife.  Adam often tells me that I'm the only reason he sleeps well at night.  Awww, he's cute sometimes, right?  Usually when he wants something, but I digress.
Getting a lot of sleep is next to impossible with a tiny baby.  That much is obvious, they wake up and want to eat at all hours of the night.  We were lucky with James by 4 months or so, he was only eating once overnight.  We would take turns - one of us waking up overnight, the other taking Mac out for his 4:45 AM jaunt.  Yes, we get up stupidly early.  Sigh.  James started to sleep through the night when he was around a year old.  I can't really remember specifics, but it felt like it took awhile before he didn't want to eat overnight.  After awhile we realized that he was eating because we were letting him.  I mean, if someone came into my room at 2 AM with a snack and maybe some milk to wash it down, I'd probably wake up and want my damn snack.
For the last 5 months or so, James has been sleeping from 7AM to 7PM.  It has been amazing.  I get my sleep, James isn't a grump for daycare, a complete win-win....
But then there are the rare nights, like the ones we've been having lately, where James doesn't sleep.  He wakes up because his teeth hurt or he's hot or he's cold or he's leaked through a diaper and he's pissed about it.  We try to snuggle him, change his diaper, try to decide if he needs some Advil, and usually he will drift back to sleep.  Even though they don't happen frequently, the nights that we are up several times remind me exactly how much sleep I need.
Today I have been dragging ass.  I am so tired.  I severely hope that James has a good night and we all can get some sleep.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Monkey Man

James was a monkey for Halloween.  The kids at daycare dressed up and Kippy was a monkey too!  James pretty much hates this costume, but he's so cute in it.  He took a few pictures at daycare and we tried to get some at home too.
Such a serious face

Jumping like a monkey

"Mom, I am so over this"

Go Ravens!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday Weigh-In

I started Weight Watchers last Wednesday and have been following the plan.  The bad weather (and a severe lack of motivation on my part) kept me from getting any exercise in this week, but I still lost weight - 2 and a half pounds!

I am thinking of putting my weight loss ticker over by James' age ticker, any opinions on that?

Edited to add:  Ha!  I put the ticker over there anyway, take that!  Okay, I'm sure no one really cares about the ticker being over there, I just think I'm funny.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Weight Watchers

This week I signed up for 3 months of Weight Watchers online.  My kickboxing class was cancelled and I haven't found anything to replace it yet, so I figured I could take control of my eating habits.  Not my favorite thing to do, but its much better for me to be conscious of what I'm eating.  So the online system is easy, foods are assigned a point value based on their total fats, carbs, fiber and protein.  You can look up foods online if they don't have nutrition facts readily available.  You track everything that you eat and try to stay within your daily points allotment.  If you go over, there are weekly bonus points you can use.  If you exercise, then you get activity points.  So far I have no activity points, I should really try to change that.  But that's the idea, you weigh in once a week and stick to your target points.  As your weight goes down, you get less points.  Right now I get 37 points.  Today I've only used 20 (breakfast and lunch) and I feel pretty good.  Honestly, I could eat way more, but I don't feel terribly hungry.  The best part of WW now versus when I did it almost 5 years ago is that fruits and veggies are zero points.  That way if you're super starving you can grab an apple and feel less like you might hurt someone.
I've weighed in once and have selected Monday as my weigh in day.  My "goal" is 174 lbs, but really I'll be happy if I get my 10% off.  Then I'll think about the rest.
And now, because I think everything needs a ticker....

LilySlim Weight loss tickers

I put my start weight as 234 lbs, since that is what I was when I started my kickboxing class in April (plus it makes my ticker look a little less pathetic...).
And of course I decide to go on Weight Watchers 4 days before my order of Girl Scout cookies comes on.  But I looked and my Tagalongs are 4 points for 2 cookies.  Looks like my 4 boxes will be lasting for quite some time...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Friday

James has been walking like crazy lately.  He finally seems to know what he's doing and he is more than happy to walk into the dining room and back over and over.  Yesterday when I picked him up from daycare, he walked over to me, arms raised over his head.  Such a funny boy...  I'm glad today is Friday, Adam and I haven't been feeling the best this week.  Adam actually went to the doctor yesterday and got some antibiotics for his bronchitis.  James is glad that today is Friday also, mainly because Friday is pizza day at "school".  I am hoping that this is a restful weekend, Adam wasn't going to go to the Raven's game on Sunday, but now that its supposed to be freezing cold I am fairly certain that his step mom won't be going.  We call Charlotte a "fair-weather fan" in the most literal way possible - she only goes to games if the weather is nice!  I received 4 boxes of slides and a slider scanner from my dad, so maybe this weekend I will have time to start my next project of scanning the slides of my baby years.  Be ready for some cuteness because I was the most adorable blond baby!  Well I guess James is alright too, if he didn't have those brown eyes, he'd look just like mom!
Having his morning "coffee" and hanging onto his Halloween bucket, such a multi-tasker!
Edited to add:  Sometimes you have to deal with the unexpected.  Rhonda called me at 9:30 this morning, she had just started puking like crazy and was calling everyone to come pick up their kiddos.  So I went to pick James up and take him home to Adam.  Luckily, dad was home today although his sick day is now a James day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

On being a working mom

Hi, I'm Chelsea.  I'm a mother, a wife, and a government worker.
Okay, maybe that's not really how I'd introduce myself, but these days those seem to be my identifiers.  I am a working mom.  When I graduated college (and before) and realized that my career options were close to nil with a Political Science/Justice Studies degree, I quickly decided that I would be getting a Masters degree.  Well actually, the University of Baltimore decided for me, they denied me entry to Law School.  I was crushed for a good week.  Then I decided that the world wasn't ending and I would have to find something else to do.  So I got a Masters of Public Administration.  I took out student loans and pretty much cemented that for the next 30 to 40 years I would be working to pay them off.
Since then I've (obviously) gotten married and had a baby.  All the while, I knew that I would be a working wife and now a working mom.  People seem to have lots of opinions on this, whether they are asked or not.
The main one being that I am a working mom solely because of the financial implications.  Yes, my working does allow us the "finer" things in life - cable television, newer cars, and dinners out are a few examples, but just because I'm working doesn't mean that I have to.  We could live off of Adam's salary, but there would be some paring back.  Honestly, I don't know if that is something that I could do.  I am pretty fiercely independent.  When we got married, the whole trusting your spouse (in the financial sense), was really difficult for me and something that I had to work on.
Another "popular" opinion is that I'm letting someone else raise my child.  I have to say, this is the one that really gets me.  Yes, James goes to daycare for roughly 40 hours a week.  Yes, Rhonda takes care of his needs during the day.  We are so lucky and thankful to have a great daycare provider.  But there are another 80 hours during the work week that he's home with us.  Aside from that, Rhonda has the same values that we do in terms of raising our child.  I know that we're all on the same page and working as a team when it comes to James.  When I drop him off and see him smiling and playing with all of his friends, I feel confident in our decision.  Of course, I miss James horribly when I'm at work, but eventually he'll be at school and there's no way I'm going to be homeschooling, so I think its better to figure this stuff out now.
But the main reason I'm a working mom?  Well, some days I actually enjoy my job.  (There are definitely days when I say "I'm leaving him at daycare all day so I can deal with this crap?!?") Some days I like having time with adults.  But everyday I need to have an identity of my own.  I need to know that I have value other than popping out a kid.  That's not to say that I don't know a lot of happy, thriving stay at home moms, because I do.  They're the moms that plan play dates, go to the zoo, and listen to story time at the library.  But I also know stay at home moms that tie all their self-worth to the behavior of their children, that don't have a life or skills beyond sitting their kids in front of a TV and texting all day.  None of this is to condemn them, but I need more to my life than that.
So I'm a working mom and that's just the way I like it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Walking like a champ

The little walker.

Waiting for cuspids

James now has all 4 of his first year molars in (some more than others).  The funny thing is that the last one to come in is the one that's come in the most.  Perhaps that is why my child is up screaming at all hours of the night...  Now we are just waiting for all 4 of his cuspids to come in.  I've heard a mixed review of cuspid teething - some say they're worse than molars, some say they're easier.  I suppose we will see in the coming weeks.  As soon as they're in we need to find a pediatric dentist in the area.  I think I'll get Adam to take James to that appointment...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Race for the Cure Recap

Yesterday I completed my 3.1 miles for the Race for the Cure.  My final time ended up being 46:55, which was pretty close to my target of 45 minutes.  The day itself was pretty crazy and I'm glad that the event is over.  I put a lot of stress on myself  and worried over even the stupidest details.  This is just how I work and one day perhaps I will not "sweat the small stuff".  But yesterday was not that day!
I was finally warm and cozy and asleep in bed, Adam had woken up with James in the night (Damn you, molars x a million!), when I heard the grumble of a baby who wants out of bed.  I thought to myself "Seriously, dude, why are you up so early??"  The alarm hadn't gone off yet, so I knew it was before 4:45 AM...  I decided to ignore the grumble until the alarm had gone off and I'd walked the dog.  But the grumble kept making noise...  So I reach over to grab Adam's phone (a.k.a. our alarm clock) and IT WOULDN'T TURN ON.  So I reached into my pj's and grabbed my insulin pump.  Its handy indiglo light and clock features let me know it was 5:54 AM!  So, I hollered at Adam and jumped out of bed.  I had planned to leave at 6:15 AM to get to the race and pick up my bib and t-shirt.  OMG!  Adam said, "Don't freak out, I'll walk the dog, you just get dressed."  So Adam fed the dog and cut up an apple for me while I dressed and ate some cereal.  Adam took the dog out and I got into the car.  Funny enough, James' grumble woke me up and then he proceeded to sleep for another hour.
Anyway, despite the drama I got to the race in plenty of time.  I had already decided to take York Rd. up to Hunt Valley rather than getting on I-83, which was a good call.  When I passed one of the message boards on the beltway, it let me know that I-83 was at a stand still due to an accident at Warren Rd., just one exit before the race location.  I hope the accident wasn't too bad, but I never heard anything about it up at the race.  Parking was no problem, I got a spot right across the street from the race village.  It took me awhile to find the registration booth, which was my main goal.  I passed all the free give away booths because I was worried about getting my t-shirt and bib.  Part of me thinks that people show up for these events because of the free food, coffee, racing backpacks, etc. because the giveaway booths had huge lines.  The line for the B's that had registered was pretty long, but in no time I had my shirt and bib.
It was pretty cold, about 40 degrees, so I wore my yoga pants, an Under Armour long sleeved mock turtle neck (Adam wears it under his jersey at Raven's games), and a fleece jacket.  I ended up putting my long sleeved race shirt over the Under Armour and was very warm.  The UPS "Check my Stuff" booth had no line, so I sent Adam a quick text to let him know I'd made it and then checked my backpack and jacket.  Then I looked at my iPod clock...  It was 6:52 AM.  I had an hour and 8 minutes to kill.  So I walked around some, I ate my apple, and did some people watching.  The whole event had a great girl power kind of attitude.  There were teams with funny t-shirts, people with pink hair, and lots of men in pink.  I know that the t-shirts are supposed to be funny and uplifting, but I found some of them to be a bit offensive.  I know, I'm a stick in the mud, but there were references to tatas, hooters, knockers, the "girls", etc. and lots of exaggerated drawings of breasts.  Don't they know little boobies can get breast cancer too?  Anyway, I lined up about 7:30 AM in the big crowd of people.  The race started promptly at 8 AM and I gave it my all.  All of the experienced runners were pretty obvious, they blew right passed me!  I ran as much as I could, but the first part of the course was a big hill.  I walked when I had to and tried to keep a pretty even pace.  When I came up to the 2 mile mark and saw the race clock at 29:45 I knew I was going pretty slowly!  I was burning up in my 2 layers of clothing.  But I made sure I was running at the finish, so all in all, I met my goal of finishing the race.
Afterwards I gathered my things up and headed out.  Again, no problems getting my items from the check station and no problems getting out of the parking lot.  Overall, I was very impressed at the organization of the  event, considering there were 35,000 runners and walkers, not to mention the spectators.
Here are some photos, I didn't take them, but they give an idea of the number of people.
At the start line

Lots of runners!
Lots of thanks to those who donated, my mom, dad, step mom and boss, Debbie, I raised $150 for breast cancer research!
It is still possible to make an online donation so here is the link, just in case - Chelsea's Donation Page.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

For your entertainment...

I created what may be the cheesiest, dorkiest playlist for my 5k tomorrow.  I wanted upbeat music that would keep me motivated.  Adam was just laughing at me as I read them off, so I figured I would share.

Race for the Cure Playlist:
1.  Bye Bye Bye - *NSYNC
2.  Walk the Walk - Face to Face
3.  A Murder Of One - Counting Crows
4.  Misery Business - Paramore
5.  Stronger - Kanye West
6.  Picture to Burn - Taylor Swift
7.  Ready to Run - Dixie Chicks
8.  Superwoman - Alicia Keys
9.  My Hero - Foo Fighters T
10.  I-76 - G. Love & Special Sauce
11.  She's Crazy - Greenmachine
12.  Don't Stop Believin' - Journey
13.  Insignificant - Counting Crows
14.  Into the Groove - Madonna
15.  That Thing You Do! - New Found Glory

Wish me luck!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Noodles & Co.

I had a great day with James today.  He was adaptable, happy, and very lovable!  No tantrums or meltdowns to report!  He woke up earlier than usual, so he fell back to sleep for awhile this morning.  Then we had breakfast, played, had lunch, and he went back down for his usual nap.  James was very sweet while playing with me this morning and wanted to be in my lap for a lot of it.  After his lunch, I put him in bed a little early, since we were scheduled to meet Jackie for lunch.  We ate at Noodles & Co., which is a favorite of mine.  James loves mac and cheese, so he was more than happy to share my lunch.  Jackie and I stopped at DSW so she could pick up a pair of shoes she had on hold and then headed to Target.  James was well behaved in Target, although I could tell he was sick of being in a car seat or shopping cart.  I did end up carrying him for some of the latter part of the Target trip, but he's so heavy that it really isn't possible for me to carry him for long.  We got home, played some more, and before we knew it Adam was home.  We ended up being pizza out at a local place in Arbutus and it was really good!  And we paid less than $14 for pizza, french fries, and drinks!  After that, we headed to Best Buy (the iPod arm band that I bought at Target earlier didn't work for my ancient iPod, now called a "Classic") and then back home!  It was a whirlwind kind of day and when Adam took the dog out, I changed James into his footie pajamas and gave him a sippy of milk.  Not 5 minutes into his sippy/snuggle time he pointed upstairs and said "Bed?"  Not to jinx myself, but the boy loves bedtime.  If he's ready to go to bed before you realize it, he will tell you.  We have a pretty strict bed time routine, so its nice to see the pay off.  Tomorrow is pumpkin patch day so I better go get some rest!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Same old, same old...

Not too much has been going on with us lately, just the same old routines and life in general.  James is getting better and better at using a spoon, which is both adorable and messy.  He still gets some pureed veggies at dinner time, but we are trying to let him feed himself with a spoon.  I know, he's too old for jarred food, but sometimes its the only way to get some veggies into him.  Okay, the only way to get some veggies into him when Adam and I don't regularly eat any of them.  We've been trying to figure out ways to get James his nutritious foods when we aren't the best at it ourselves.  Most of the time, I give him vegetables in his lunch, then if we don't have any with dinner, at least he's gotten some for the day.  But the jarred foods have really helped him learn how to use a spoon.  On last night's menu was Carrots and Barley.  In addition to that he ate garlic bread and lasagna.  Right now James is really pounding the food away and I'm pretty sure he's in the middle of a growth spurt.  He's been sleeping and eating like a champ.  Of course now that I say that, he'll probably do the opposite this evening!
James and the spoon, last week
We are always very classy in restaurants
This is a long weekend for Rhonda, daycare is closed on Friday and Monday.  So I am taking off work on Friday to hang out with the boy and Adam will work from home on Monday.  I'm excited to spend the day with James and also to go have lunch with Jackie.  We've managed to get in a few weekend visits the last 3 weeks, but I still wish she lived closer.  But I will have to take what I can get!
How cute is this shirt?
On Saturday we're going to the Pumpkin Patch with my mom and step dad.  I'm sure James will have fun, there is a petting zoo, as well as hayrides and other fun fall activities.  I think I may be more excited about the new Peanuts Great Pumpkin t-shirt that I recently purchased for him, but you know, its the little things.  Its been some time since I carved a pumpkin, so we will be starting a family tradition for James.
Sunday I will be doing the Race of the Cure, as I mentioned in a previous post.  I am starting to get a little nervous, although I'm not really sure why.  But I tend to get that way when I don't really know what to expect.  I remember when I first joined the gym a few years ago and I was about to head out to my first class, I sat in our bedroom and cried.  I was so nervous that I couldn't really help myself.  I called Adam and he told me to calm down and that everything was going to be fine.  Obviously, it was, but I can be a very "Nervous Nellie".  My mom could tell you a similar story of when I just had to join the pom pom squad in first grade.  She dropped me off at the first practice and when she and my brother went to leave I just cried and cried.  Eventually she grabbed me, got her check refunded, and we all went home.  So I guess cheetahs really don't change their spots, because I still have the same tendencies as I did as a kid.  Although, I have to tell you that I did end up doing pom poms in fifth grade and in the words of Randy Jackson on American Idol - "It was just alright for me, dogg."
Anyway, I am going to leave the house around 6:30AM on Sunday morning and go run/jog/walk my 3.1 miles and be done with it.  So that is the quick update on life with the Bednarczyks!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Parenting in actually pretty hilarious.  Kids do funny things, make silly faces, and for the most part, do anything they can to get attention.  But making sure they always get the right kind of positive attention can be difficult, especially when you're at the phase that James has just entered - the temper tantrum.  James' tantrums aren't too bad right now, if he doesn't get what he wants, he pouts and cries and screams.  Occasionally, he gives his loving, kind mother, a slap.  And even that is pretty hilarious, for now at least.  He gets the most determined look on his face, looks right at me, and then strikes.  So what are we doing to combat tantrums?  Right now the answer is pretty simple - we ignore him.  As soon as James realizes that he's not getting any attention, he stops.  This is usually within a matter of seconds, so all of his tantrums are short lived.  That actually makes them even funnier, although we are careful not to let him see us chuckling.  When he starts to hit, I grab his hand (gently) and tell him  in a stern voice to be nice, he's not allowed to hit momma.  He has no idea what I'm talking about, but eventually he will and he'll know that he has to be nice.  Telling him and showing him what nice is will eventually get the point across.  We have been going through his process of showing him what nice and gentle are with the dog and will apply that to people as well.  We also make sure to praise every single nice, gentle, well behaved action he takes.  That way he knows that positive actions garner positive attention.  At some point, when he can actually understand them, we will work time outs in, but I know we are a long way off from that.  Parenting is a work in progress, but I know he is worth all the time and energy we spend and then some.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Football Sundays

We're football watchers in our house.  I was not always a football fan, and neither was Adam (which is hilarious since he's been "forced" to go to Baltimore Ravens games since their arrival in Memorial Stadium in 1996).  But somehow, we both enjoy it now.  Adam's dad John has season tickets, right next to his cousins and uncle.  Uncle Beanie passed away almost 2 years ago, but they kept his seat.  Now that I think of it, Adam's Great Uncle Beanie was definitely my favorite of his relatives.  Once at a family cookout, I said something, nothing important, just chiming in, but no one heard. I'm sure John was loudly telling a story, probably about how woman are bad drivers or something equally obnoxious, and Beanie looked at me and said "Speak up, don't let him bully you!"  Anyway, the good part about the season tickets used to be that I got to go to a game or 2.  The bad part is that now with James here, I stay home with the baby while the boys go watch the game.  I really don't mind...  much.  I would like to go, but I am usually okay with hanging out with James for an afternoon.  Sometimes he is grumpy and I'd like to pass him off to his father.  Yesterday was a mix.  We had fun and then we had grumpiness.  Either way, he was in bed at 7 and I got to have some much coveted alone time.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Coming home from Hagerstown

Shopping is hard work.

Many the Miles

James really loves music, he loves to listen to it, sing along, and shake his little booty.  Nothing makes him happier than "helping" Adam play the guitar.  He also loves to dance with the kids at daycare.  His current "favorite" song (I say "favorite" because its really just the song that he sings along to the most in the car right now) is "Many the Miles" by Sara Bareilles, from her Live at the Fillmore CD.  Now, I have not always been a Sara Bareilles fan, but I caught part of this show on Palladia (the music channel on cable, I love it) and ended up downloading the CD from iTunes.  Last night, after I quieted James down and gave him a good dose of pain reliever and Orajel (damn you, molars!!!), I was rocking him.  I started to sing a this song little bit, thinking he would calm down...  but no, he sat up, looked right at me, and said "What?"  So I told him it was bedtime and back into bed he went.  Good job, momma, wake the kid up even more.  Anyway, here is a video the live performance of "Many the Miles".

Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm back in the game!

Just a quick entry to brag that James cried for me yesterday evening when left with his father.  Adam is very ill so I took the dog on his evening walk.  As I walked out the door, James tried to come with me and then sat and pouted for his mommy.  I know, I shouldn't take so much joy in this, but its good to be wanted!  I'm sure he'll flip flop frequently on who his favorite is, but I know my boy loves us both!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Baby Alicyn

I've known my girlfriend Candi since I was a freshman in high school.  She was a sophomore and we bonded immediately, she's funny, sweet, and the biggest goofball I think I've ever met.  We've stayed in touch since then, I was in her wedding, and she was the first one of my close friends to have a baby.  "Baby" Cassie is now almost 3 (she and Adam share a birthday of November 11th).  Candi and Eric, her husband, just had their second little girl on Monday, the 10th.  I got to go see Baby Alicyn or Allie as they're going to call her, in the hospital yesterday.  And man, was I smitten.  Tiny babies are so precious!  Its hard to believe they're ever that small.  I was talking to Candi the day before Allie was born and it hit me that she and Cassie would be the youngest babies I've ever held.  I wasn't able to hold James for 2 days and that realization made me a little sad.  When I was visiting in the hospital it was odd, I could remember everything about my stay like it was yesterday.  It was so amazing, they let you have your baby in the room with you if neither of you is sick!  Anyway, enough about me...  Like I said, I was very taken with little Allie, she has dark brown hair and dark eyes.  She's already breastfeeding like a champ and looks just like her big sister at that age, although now Cassie has blond hair and blue eyes.  Candi is the most awesome mom and I know both her girls are so lucky to have her!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

James and his daddy

I always knew that Adam would be a great dad.  Even in our younger, far less mature days, I knew that any kid of ours would be so lucky to have Adam.  Maybe that's because he acts like a kid himself some days, but I really I think kids can pick up on his fun-loving, adventurous, and imaginative nature.  From day one, James was Adam's boy.  They got to bond far sooner than James and I did and to this day it definitely shows.  Since I was laid up in the hospital myself, Adam frequented the NICU.  He learned to change diapers, dress (not an easy task when there are 6 wires attached to the baby!), feed, bathe, and burp James, all before I even set a foot near James' isolette.  Although, I guess it took a few days for me to set foot anywhere, since I was being wheeled around, but you know what I mean.  The first time my mom saw James in the NICU she came out beaming with pride.  Not only the pride of a new grandma, but also that of someone who was so genuinely impressed with her son-in-law.  Knowing I could rely on Adam has made my job as a mom so much easier.  Adam took 3 weeks of paternity leave after I went back to work and fondly called those days "Daddy Daycare".  As James has grown, so has their relationship.  They laugh, play, wrestle, and talk like old friends.  Sometimes when I see them together its like they're in their own little world and its in those moments that I feel so happy with our family and life together.  I have a feeling the two of them are going to be ganging up on me for years to come!  None of this to say that James isn't a mommy's boy on occasion.  He loves to get his snuggles in with mom and I think he knows where to go for fun and where to go for affection.
Funny story about James' being a daddy's boy:  This morning when he woke up, I changed his diaper and dressed him.  Adam walked in and James reached out for a hug.  After that Adam handed him back off so I could take him downstairs for some milk while Adam finished getting ready for work.  You would think Adam handed him back to a perfect stranger.  James wailed the whole way down the steps.  Adam called down the stairs, "You better be nice James, Mom's remember everything!"  Very funny, dear.