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

video
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

Tantrums

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.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The time James puked on the dog...

James and I have both had a cold the last few days.  Nothing big, just the usual change of the seasons cold, a slight runny nose for both of us.  Yesterday, I was feeling better, so I decided to go to Jackie's party in West Virginia as planned.  Adam and James had already planned to stay home and let me have a night off.  Normally Adam and James would go with me to Jackie's house, but we would leave around his bedtime.  I was glad that we had already decided that James would stay home, especially with his cold.  Sometime shortly after I left, James puked at the dinner table.  His whole dinner, lunch, everything was all over him, his high chair, his dad, etc.  So Adam called me and I quickly turned around (Adam sounded pretty panic stricken and I knew I would worry about James all night if I didn't go check on him.)  So I got off the Beltway, turned around, got back on the Beltway and headed home.  When I get home, I find James in his diaper, getting ready for a bath and see that the dining room was pretty cleaned up at this point.  I didn't really see Mac and didn't think about it much.  James got cleaned up, we put on his jammies, and gave him some water.  He seemed to be feeling fine, his usual perky, giggly self, so I decided to head back out.  Right as I was about to leave, Mac walks in and Adam says "Why is Mac wet?"  We both look over to see that James had puked all over the dog.  Mac looked like a little drunk, orphan dog.  Needless to say, Mac got a bath after James went to bed.  This morning James seems to feel fine, he got a good night's rest, and his nose isn't even running.  I think he is feeling better, Mac however, is still working the guilt trip.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

16 month milestones

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Turns the pages of a book
James loves to look at books and will flip through them on his own.

Has temper tantrums when frustrated
Lately we have had a few tantrums, nothing too big, but James definitely doesn't like to hear the word "no".  This isn't too surprising, but it does make things really interesting when we're trying to discipline the dog.

Becomes attached to a soft toy or other object
So far James isn't really attached to anything in particular.  He has a noise making giraffe in his crib that he recently learned to turn on himself and that seems to be a favorite toy right now.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Discovers the joy of climbing
James loves to climb and has tackled the sofas at daycare, as well as the outdoor furniture on Rhonda's deck.  Most of our furniture is too tall for James to climb on, but he will tackle his dad if they are playing on the floor.

Stacks three blocks
Taking his role as "Baby Godzilla" seriously, James loves to knock things over.  He doesn't stack blocks yet, but we haven't really tried either.

Uses spoon or fork
James will use a spoon occasionally.  More often he likes to put the spoon into his food, then get the food off of the spoon with his fingers.  So he knows what he's doing, but isn't feeding himself with a spoon regularly.

Learns the correct way to use common objects (e.g. the telephone)
James knows how to unlock cell phones and use the remote control.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Takes off one piece of clothing by himself
So far the only thing James can take off on his own are shoes and socks, which he does almost every time they're on.  He also knows to lift his arms up when we are taking off his shirts and to put them through the arm holes if we're getting him dressed again.

Gets finicky about food
This hasn't happened yet, James loves to eat and hasn't turned a food down yet.  He even likes all the gross veggies that his mom and dad don't - peas, broccoli, squash, pickles and green beans to name a few.

Switches from two naps to one
This really depends on when James wakes up.  I wouldn't say that he always  takes a nap in the morning, but if he wakes up early he's usually up for 30-60 minutes, gets a fresh diaper, drinks some milk, and then goes back to bed for another hour or so.  But if he sleeps in a little later then he will stay up until his usual afternoon nap time.

Friday, October 7, 2011

He's a walker!

James has taken his sweet time learning to walk.  Or at least letting people see that he had learned to walk.  After quietly "practicing" for quite some time, James is finally walking!  Yesterday when I picked him up from daycare, Rhonda mentioned that he had taken a few steps in a row, a few different times!  When we got home, James showed both Adam and I his new skill by taking two little steps.  Later, when Adam was walking Mac, James took 6 unassisted steps in the living room.  He's still a little shaky, but we're so excited that our little boy is finally a toddler.  He is so proud of himself, its adorable.  As he walks, he likes to clap for himself or stop and do a little dance.  The dance is very funny, its kind of a butt wiggle and it never fails to throw off his balance.  Soon enough, I'm sure his balance will be fine and we will be running around like crazy people.  I am so happy!  And even happier that because he walked by 18 months, we won't have to go to a developmental specialist for evaluation (based on what our doctor old us at his 15 month check up).  Go James!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Race for the Cure


I decided a few months ago that I was going to try doing a 5K.  I'm not sure why I decided this...  I was probably thinking of "fun" and "creative" ways to not be a fat ass (again...).  So I actually signed up to do the race on October 23rd.  I am nervous, but figure if I end up walking to the finish, well at least I will have finished. The Race for the Cure supports breast cancer research, so if you're interested in making a donation, here is the link:  Chelsea's Donation Page.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

5 signs you're OLD

  1. Your mom gives you some clothes that aren't fitting her anymore and in exchange you give her your blood pressure cuff.  (This makes you old on two accounts - 1: You're happy with clothes from your mom, when in your teen years you would have scoffed at the idea of wearing anything your unhip, totally uncool mother would have bought, and 2: You purchased a blood pressure cuff?  Seriously, you're old.)
  2. You finally have some alone time and you decide rather than drinking a glass of wine you'd like to work on a cross stitch project.  Or knitting.  Or scrap booking.  You see where I'm going with this - you'd rather do an old person craft than drink?  Who are you?  You're 21 year old self would be ashamed.
  3. You get worried about drivers you see on the road, thinking "Are they really old enough to drive?"  I mean, I saw a kid the other day, and I swear he was 12.
  4. You'd rather buy clothes for the baby than for yourself.  This happens for a number of reasons, including the previously mentioned Battle of the Bulge and the fact that baby clothes are so freaking cute.
  5. You get into bed just minutes after putting the baby down.  And your baby goes to bed at 7.  Yea, it's official, you're old.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Alligator tears

We have a pretty set schedule for work days at our house.  I work 5 minutes away and don't have to start until 8AM, while Adam's commute is about an hour (often an hour plus, depending on the Marc train) and he starts at 7:30AM.  We've been round and round about Adam's schedule, but if he goes in early, he can be home by 5PM.  Either way, I take James to daycare in the morning.  It can be a challenge to get us both up, dressed, and out the door, but most mornings we're on schedule, if not early (I have a flex schedule, so if I get there early, I can leave 8.5 hours later).  Luckily, James just has a sippy cup of milk in the morning with me and then Rhonda gives him breakfast shortly after he gets to her house.  Breakfast used to be my saving grace.  James would go from my arms and into the high chair, where he knew breakfast was waiting.  He was happy, I was happy, it was a win-win situation.  No tears or drama when I left him to go to work.  But lately, James has been hating the high chair.  He has to sit there for lunch and we make him sit in it for dinner, but breakfast was just too much.  Sometimes, when I leave him at daycare, Rhonda holds onto him.  It isn't always possible for Rhonda to grab him, and the last two mornings, I've set him down on the floor and gone to leave.  And then the tears start - big, ugly, red in the face tears.  And I just try to ignore it, give him one last kiss and get out the door.  I'm sure (and Rhonda has confirmed) that as soon as I'm gone, he's over it.  They are nothing but alligator tears, but it still makes me feel awful.

Monday, October 3, 2011

My husband is funny...

Yesterday, Adam was sitting on the couch and James was climbing on him when this exchange took place.

Me:  James, are you climbing on Mount Daddy?

Adam:  Yea, get off my Tetons!

I may be easily amused, but I laughed for a good ten minutes over that.  James likes when people laugh, so he joined in.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies

I remember every fall as a kid my mom would make the best pumpkin cookies in the world.  Even as someone who doesn't like pumpkin pie or much else pumpkin related, I love these cookies.  The recipe came from my Grandma's friend, Daisy and we got used to getting our pumpkin cookies every year.  I think my mom let us stuff our faces with more of them than other cookies because at least they had pumpkin in them.  My cousins love the recipe also and its something we always talk about as the first sign of the fall.  On of my cousins even submitted the recipe to a parenting magazine she was working for at the time.  So its now the "famous" pumpkin cookie recipe, even though she thought the recipe came from her dad's side of the family.  So I've made 2 batches of cookies this weekend, the first batch went quickly, since my mom and brother stopped by yesterday.  


The first batch from last year...
Here is the recipe, if anyone is interested:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ginger
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine brown sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Add canned pumpkin, oil, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly with a spoon or your hands.

3. Grease cookie sheet and spoon batter into mounds on to the sheet. Bake cookies for 10 to 13 minutes.

Optional: Frost with cream cheese frosting from the grocery store or make your own.  I make a powdered sugar glaze using 1 1/4 cup of powered sugar and 3 tbsp. of milk or water.  Feel free to substitute 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.


Makes about 24 cookies.  

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mac and James

When I got pregnant, lots of people asked how we thought Mac, our 3 year old Sheltie, would handle having a baby in the house.  And I never really had any fears about it.  Mac has been a very obedient dog, a bit stubborn (especially for a Sheltie, who are usually people pleasers), but overall he's a very sweet and loving dog.  The day we brought James home from the hospital, we put the baby carrier down and let Mac sniff him.  He proceeded to bark at the baby for the next few hours, but James didn't wake up.  We figured he must have gotten used to the sound of Mac barking in utero, but were still amazed that our loud dog didn't wake him.  But Mac got the message very quickly that the baby was a "pack member" and he adjusted quickly.  Since bringing James home, their relationship has grown quite a bit and its really pretty adorable.  Now it isn't unusual for James to crawl over to Mac and snuggle with him.  James will put his head on Mac and lean in.  If James is in one of our laps, Mac will want to sit in your lap as well, so its a tight squeeze.  Recently, James has started to throw balls for Mac and while I'm worried that he's going to take a lamp or the television out, its cute to see them playing together.  James doesn't hesitate to give Mac some of his dinner and Mac has learned to share his toys with the baby (although James doesn't like to share his in return).  I love that Mac and James get along so well and can't wait to see them grow up together.
Guarding his baby - James is about 2 months here

Making sure James' head was cleaned

Mac learned early on that baby's taste good

Group snuggle time - James is 14 months here