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!