Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Other than be shuttled in his car seat from house to car to church to grandma's, Baby D hasn't really had many outings. After our day in Julian when the poor baby couldn't really open his eyes because the sun was so bright, I picked up a pair of teeny-tiny sunglasses at Target.

Aren't they adorable? And the baby too, of course...

Baby D, not terribly pleased with his new shades

Baby D and Daddy

From the start, I could really see a resemblence between Baby D and my husband. In particular, the mouth. They both have very full lips. And a small cleft in the chin. The flare on the nostrils. And their's funny when Danny is holding Dillon and they are both looking at me with the same expression! Now that Baby D is filling out, other people have commented on how similar they look to each other.


However, I have seen my husband's baby pictures and oddly enough, Baby D doesn't really look anything like Danny when he was a baby. He looks like Danny does now, as an adult. Isn't that interesting?

Poor kid, squinting in the sun!

Not sure if the blue eyes are going to stay but they have been getting lighter and more blue. There is not a hint of any brown or green in them. I was doubtful that we'd have a blue-eyed child but there he is, as of this moment. My eyes are brown & my husband's are hazel. Both of our mother's have brown eyes. My husband's father has blue eyes, my father has hazel. A few of my grandparents had blue eyes.


And The Girl has blue eyes, too. Makes me wonder if Baby D is going to inherit her freckles!


The funniest thing I've heard though is how people say that Baby D looks "just like his brother". I don't get that at all ! Baby D has blue, almond-shaped eyes and very fair skin and The Boy has enormous, round, chocolate-brown eyes and a tan complexion. They have similar ears and cheeks, maybe...but that's about it!


I don't see the comparison, except maybe in their expressions?

My boys, both 3 months old

Baby D's eye shape is all mine though. We both have almond-shaped eyes and one (our right eye) is slightly "winkier" than the other. You can see it when we smile *wink*


He's already changed so much in the first 3 months, I can't wait to see what he'll look like on his first birthday. At the very least, he should have a bit more hair...


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Live and Learn

When I was about The Boy's age, the only bike I had access to was my dad's rusty old bike from when he was a kid. It was a sturdy pink girl's beach cruiser and Dad had used it to deliver newspapers. As the oldest of 8 kids, I'm sure he didn't even care that it was pink, he had a bike!

And I didn't care that it was rusty, had flat tires and weighed about 50 lbs. I had a bike!

I taught myself how to ride it in the backyard. I would lean the bike against the fence, climb up and perhaps get one or two pedals before I'd fall off. The bike was so large that I couldn't actually sit on the cushion and reach the pedals at the same time, so I had to pedal standing up (I'm sure I had thighs like steel back then!).


But I spent a full summer in the backyard, practicing on that old bike with the flat tires on the grass. Occasionally I'd call my mom outside to watch me.

For Christmas that year, I got my first new bike! It was beautiful. I remember that it was blue and had streamers from the handles. And a banana-seat! That morning my Dad was going to put the bikes in the trunk of the car and he said he would teach us how to ride them that afternoon at my aunt's house.

"Dad, let me try and ride! I just know I can do it."

He was hesitant. I remember my mom chimed in and said that I'd been practicing on his old bike in the backyard for months.

I swung my leg over the bike and took off pedaling. I remember how fast the bike was and how easy it was to pedal. After months of being on flat tires, this was it!

As I rode back towards my Dad, I remember his smile and how proud he looked. I'd done it. I'd put my mind to it and I'd taught myself, without anyone's help.


And that thought has carried with me my whole life.

When I wanted to learn how to knit, I got a pair of needles, some yarn and a book from the library and I taught myself. It was hard, especially because I'm a lefty and the book showed it from the right side. I had to reverse the directions in my head (would have been easier to learn from my left-handed-knitting-wiz Grandma when she was alive) but I know how to knit a scarf!

When I want to try a new recipe, I buy the ingredients and I make it!

When I want to make an outfit, I tweak a little here and there on the pattern and I make it my own!

When I wanted to learn how to take my camera off manual, I bought one of the "For Dummies" books and figured out the settings and started snapping away. I'm still learning, yes. And I hope that I'll forever be learning the rest of my life. I know that there are tons of other things that I'd love to know how to do (play piano, bake bread from scratch, plant a garden) and I have many years ahead to learn them.


It's just the start for this little guy. I'm hoping that this moment is the turning point in his life that it was in mine.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Suck it up

The day that we drove home from the hospital with The Boy, I recall stopping at Walgreens and I ran inside to buy pacifiers. We didn't have any at home and listening to him cry during the half-hour ride home was too much to bear...we needed pacifers, why had I not thought of that earlier?!

Over the course of a few months, and then a few years (and then, discouragingly, a few MORE years...), The Boy developed a certain affection for his "Nukky". He had multiples, wasn't attached to any certain brand and would accept any old paci. He wasn't particular, he just had to have one!

I recall night after night when he was a baby. He'd wake up crying and wanting his pacifer but was too little to put in back in himself. I'd be up over and over again all night long putting that darned thing back in. He just had a hard time falling asleep without it and would not settle down until he had it. When you are exhausted, you are pretty much a slave to anything that works and gets you a bit more sleep and we were slaves to the pacifer.

Cuddling with Grandpa

I didn't expect him to have the pacifer for too long and once he was talking, there was much discussion about when the pacifer would be going away. I was all for cold turkey, but my parents (who watched him during the day), not so much. We only allowed Nukky when he was sleeping or snuggling (not during play or TV), so of course, he wanted to cuddle all the time! And the ear rub would accompany pacifier sucking, he always had to be rubbing someone's ear.

I'd tried many times to get rid of Nukky, including whittling down the collection to just a few. We had a talk about how when he was ready, the "Nukky-Fairy" would come down to his room, take the pacifers and replace them with a present. He was intrigued by the thought of getting Legos for his pacifer, but he'd say over and over again, "Nope, not ready!"

The summer before he went to kindergarten he said to me one day out of the blue, "I don't need this, I want to give it to the Nukky-Fairy". Could have knocked me over with a feather, it really did come out of nowhere. The next morning when The Boy woke up, the Nukky was replaced with a new box of Legos. His last pacifer went into his keepsake box.

The next week my mom told me that she and he were cleaning his room and found a pacifer tucked away. She said she got nervous for a moment, that maybe he'd get excited and pop it in his mouth and then we'd be back to square one again! However, he just laughed and said, "Looks like the Nukky-Fairy forgot one!" and he threw it in the trash! Whew! After all the conflict and struggle, I guess he just wasn't ready until HE was ready.

Before Baby D was born, I made sure to pick up some pacifers. I bought a few in different brands because I wasn't sure which he'd prefer. However Baby D has only one pacifier that he will use. The others, well...if I try and put one in his mouth, he acts like he's choking and gags the thing out quickly!


Fortunately he doesn't seem to have the same adoration for pacifiers that his brother had. Yeah, he'll use it when he's sleepy for a little while, but once he falls asleep and the pacifer falls out, he's just fine and keeps sleeping on his own. I'm pretty sure Baby D won't have his pacifer until he's 5, please, oh please! I won't let that happen again!

Baby D with the only pacifier he will use

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Brothers & Sister

Look who's 12 weeks old!

Baby D's nursery is still a work in progress.

I hate that he is currently sharing the space with my sewing machine and stuff. I know that once he's mobile this room arrangement is not going to last because, well, babies and pins don't mix!


I would love to say that I have things well organized but I don't. The Finding Nemo cross-stitch I made is still not framed. The triptych that I painted is not hung on the wall. I've yet to finish hanging the soft-sculpture ocean themed mobile that I lovingly handcrafted while pregnant. All the pieces are still sitting, unstrung in a bag in the living room!


Fortunately the diaper changing area is organized and diapers, wipes and lotion are just an arms-reach away. This fantastically soft, blue nubby rug is in front of his crib so I lay him on that occasionally.


And he loves the bunting that hangs between the shelf brackets. He always coos at the crab flag...I think it's because it matches the pattern on the Boppy pillow that I use when I feed him. Must be a positive association thing?

Hanging out in the Boppy

Besides with him in the sewing room and going to bed at 8pm every night, I haven't had a chance to do any kind of crafting whatsoever! I think the sewing room is going to have to be moved into my bedroom or something, I'll have to put some thought into this...


Starting this month Danny and I are fixing to start socking away money into our savings account for what will eventually be a down payment on a house. It's so hard to see money for rent going to nothing and we'd love to be able to purchase our own place. Something with a bedroom for everyone, a garage for Danny to tinker in and a sewing spot for me!


And a little brag on the big kids...


The Boy got this bike for Christmas. After a few practice sessions at the park on the grass and a few brave attempts at riding down the sidewalk (much jumping the curb!), he's finally gotten the hang of it. At first, he made me so nervous watching him wobble and pitch that it was hard to watch! But he's now riding quite smoothly down the sidewalk and circling in the driveway. He looks great and is so proud of himself!

The Girl started out with this pink bike but it was a little large and heavy for her, so it was exchanged for a more lightweight and slightly smaller purple version (which also has sparkly flare spouting from the handlebars, plus!). She recently got training wheels put on her bike and was able to find her balance a little better, riding around the block with Dad running closely behind!

Adding Baby D to the family hasn't been as challenging to the mix as I would have thought (so far!). Fortunately the big kids are very independent and prepping them for the baby early on was important.


The big kids are able to do everything themselves in the morning from getting up with an alarm clock to fixing their breakfasts. In the evenings, they both know how to run the shower and take care of bathing themselves and around 7:30pm, after 30 minutes of silent reading, they will actually say, "We're tired, goodnight" and put themselves to bed!!

It has been a blessing in so many ways. And they truly love their little brother, always there to lend a hand, grab diapers, wipe spit-up, jiggle rattles, pop in the pacifier and of course, offer lots of kisses!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Back in the Groove

Baby D is now 12 weeks old.


And it's time for me to get back into the groove of exercise.


The eating "good" thing is going well, though a challenge sometimes with Christmas (sugar cookies, ham, mashed potatoes, etc) and Valentine's Day (chocolates and Conversation Hearts). And those gosh-darned Girl Scouts!

Darned you, Valentine's treats!!

But healthy dinners are being eaten at home and lunch is being brown bagged, so I'm doing tons better in that area.

However, I've not done a stitch of cardio in months. Unless you count taking the baby on leisurely walks in the stroller, and I can't really count that (can I?).

I think that posting here and keeping myself accountable could help. I also started back into logging food & exercise on Sparkpeople. It's nice to see your day's worth logged out with a caloric count as a guideline. Fortunately I'm nursing, so I have a bit more allowance in the way of calories. And that's a good thing because most of the time, I am STARVING!

A few weeks before delivery

At 12 weeks postpartum, I am 8 lbs away from my prepregnancy weight. I was nowhere near this after The Boy. But back then, I was stressed out with his impending surgery, I didn't have as much co-parenting support, I wasn't getting enough sleep, and I certainly wasn't eating as well back then (McDonald's anyone?).

This time the good eating got me back into my jeans just two weeks after delivery. And this weekend, I was able to zip back into my smallest pair. But the squish that resides above the waistband was a reminder that good eating can only get me so far...

A month after delivery, thank goodness this photo doesn't show the lower half!

So I signed up yesterday at the gym. The goal is for 30-40 minutes of cardio, 10 minutes of strength training (at least), three times a week.

After I got the kids to bed, Danny was home so I went to the gym last night.

Today, I am sore. But it's a good kind of sore, I guess. My muscles are saying, "Hey, I haven't been worked in a while!" but it's good. I am a bit tired however. After exercising, coming home to shower and crawling into bed, it was after 9:30pm. When Baby D woke up to eat at 1am, it was very hard to get up! And when the alarm clock went off at 5:30am, it was again, very hard to get up.

My body will get used to it. I used to be quite athletic and keep reminding myself that I have "muscle memory" and these familiar feelings will emerge again and I'll be excited to get in the gym.

For now, I'll admit, it's hard to get off the sofa and get out of the house when I'd usually be getting into my pajamas.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Apple Pie A' La Snow

This weekend we took a drive into the mountains, something we do every few months.


We have the same routine:
Park, walk up one side of the street, walk back down the other, stop at the candy shop for samples and a treat, stop at the pie shop and buy one to take home, visit the volunteer fire department, walk back to the car and drive home.

Nothing fancy, but we love the fresh air, the mountain views, and the lovely drive.

The last time we were there was in July and I was pregnant, so this was our first trip up with Baby D.


This time there was a chance there might be snow! I wasn't terribly excited about going up this weekend because I knew that it had snowed earlier in the week and I figured Julian was going to be crowded. Now for us native San Diegans, snow is a novelty and after a snow storm, the mountains are generally packed with people in search of the cold stuff.

Fortunately for me, most of the snow was gone and piled in dirty heaps at the corners for the streets so it wasn't terribly crowded. Unfortunately the kids had visions of themselves making snow angels and that just wasn't going to happen!

They had a good time nonetheless.

They picked out gummy sharks and lollipops as a treat in the candy shop.


The firefighters were training new volunteers so we stopped to watch as they practiced folding the hose "just so" back into the truck. Before I know it, one of the firefighters had scooped up the kids and put them in the engine where they were able to press buttons and turn on the lights, what a thrill!




Baby D spent the entire time in a carrier on Daddy's chest, quite happy and warm. People kept stopping on the street to coo at him and we even saw a man slow his car down and point out Baby D to his wife, who smiled and waved at him!

Seriously, any baby in a warm snuggly suit with ears on the hood is pretty hard to resist!

Check out those cheeks!


The line outside our favorite pie shop was 50 people deep! We opted for picking a pie up on our way out of town. Fortunately the pie shop has an annex a few miles out so we only had to wait a few minutes. By the time the sun went down we were home, eating apple crumb pie a' la mode!

If you have a chance this week, please follow this link to vote for Baby D's photo in Parent Magazine's online Most Adorable Kid Contest, I would much appreciate it! You can vote one time every day.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Buzz


Hearts & Love
We are saving for a possible family vacation during spring break this year, so we mutually agreed to not buy Valentine's gifts this year. Not that we ever make a big deal out of Valentine's Day anyway... I spent the night before making cupcakes for The Boy's class.


There aren't very many M&Ms in that jar anymore...

I made party popcorn and bagged it up for him to give to his friends. I also made a batch of Rice Krispies treats that I'd intended to bag up for The Girl to take to school but ran out of time this morning. Oh well, more treats for us!


When the kids got home from school they happily showed off all their fun treats and cards.


They've been working their way through their candy with a piece a night. I love candy, it's been hard to keep my hands off!


Back to Normal
The Boy had his ear surgery last week and it went perfectly smooth and he was back to normal very quickly. He was even up for an outing with me. We went to Balboa Park and walked all over. We even went to the Natural History Museum, which I'd not been to in over 10 years.

Highlight: The amazing Gem & Mineral display and all of the gorgeous butterflies. This rock studded with opal was incredible, I'd love to get this photo hung on the wall.


Like a Champ
The sleeping schedule is still going perfectly. I couldn't ask for better, Baby D is sleeping like a champ and going to bed by himself in his crib every night. He is such a happy guy, although I've noticed in the evenings (now that I'm back to work), he definitely wants me to hold him more. No surprise. He's used to having me 24/7 and now he's gone at my parent's house for 9 hours.

Sleeping his way through the museum

He has just discovered his hands this week, which means they are in his mouth all the time. He was slurping so loud yesterday, the enthusiasm was hilarious to watch!


What a dish!
A friend shared this incredible Crock Pot recipe, you have to try this. Danny had two bowls at dinner and again for breakfast the next day. Next time I make it (and there will be a next time!), I'm going to make mashed potatoes because the sauce would be so good with them. Search Fabio Viviani, this is the Dark Beer & Black Pepper Braised Short Ribs.


A Sweet Mess
While cleaning out the fridge this weekend, my husband was holding a huge bottle of teriyaki sauce. He squeezed it and the cap burst off! Teriyaki sauce splashed over the top of the stove, into the burners, down the front and sides of the oven (and inside too, as we would find out later when we cooked something!), on the knife block, and all over the floor and kitchen mat. What a horrible, sticky mess!

My husband's entire left pant leg and sock were saturated and his tee was splattered with sauce, so his clothes went into the washer. Stripped down to his skivvies, he proceeded to clean up the kitchen. He had to pull out the stove away from the wall because the teriyaki had run underneath. I stood nearby so he could hand me the cleaning rags and I could rinse. It took a full hour to clean up. But he didn't complain once, just got the job done, and I love him for that. He only teased me a little bit about not screwing the cap on straight the last time I used the bottle...oops!

Highlight of the weekend:
Watching him in his boxer briefs scrubbing the kitchen floor *wink* No picture of that one...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Surviving the week

It's nice to have this face to look forward to after a long day

1. I went back to work on Monday. It was hard. Really, really hard. But it is nice to know that my baby is with people who love him. My parents, not expecting to ever have to watch newborn babies again, have really embraced the position and I am so thankful.

Sweet Baby D

2. The Boy had surgery today to have tubes put in his ear. He had six ear infections last year and even in between the infections, fluid has been pooling in his ears. This causes him to lose his hearing (makes it difficult to give him direction at home, let alone for him to take spelling tests at school!). When the doctor went in today, it was as I expected. There was already a considerable amount of fluid in there that they had to remove before doing the surgery.

Snuggling before school

Fortunately The Boy wasn't terribly affected by the anesthesia and was soon enough back to his goofy self. There are antibiotic drops to put in his ears for the next few days and then we just cross our fingers and hope that he doesn't get any more infections and that this helps clear up his eye and nose issues as well.

Brotherly Love

3. I started having Baby D sleep in his crib a few weeks ago. I wasn't sure how it would go. Afterall he's slept SO well in his bassinette, in 5-6 hour stretches, and I was nervous about making a change in the routine.

Part of the bedtime routine

After nursing him into what we fondly call the "milk stupor", I burp him and carry him upstairs. I swaddle him in a lightweight gauze blanket as usual, then zip him in to a blanket sleeper. I clip his favorite pacifier to the blanket and plug it in! I lay him down very sleepy but still awake, kiss him and say goodnight and walk out of the room.

For the past ten days or so, it has worked like a charm. I go back in to check on him a few minutes later and he's always fast asleep. He's never cried when I leave, he just smiles at me in the dark, takes his pacifer and goes to sleep! And get this...he sleeps between 6-10 hours straight!

He LOVES his bathtime!

Believe me when I tell you, I'm shocked. I know this isn't normal. I tell my husband, "This is NOT normal! Most babies want to be held and rocked and cry when you try to lay them down". I was a terrible sleeper when I was a baby (and a kid!). The Boy had to be held and would wake and cry if laid down, so we held him on our chests while we slept.

I'm not holding my breath that this is going to last forever, but I'm certainly enjoying it while I can. The extra sleep is fantastic!