Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oh what a day . . . .

Do you ever have one of those days . . . . . . I had every intention of writing a few different posts over the last few days and nothing.

But today, today took the cake. . . . .
  • I forgot to bring a pacifier for Alex to daycare (took it home yesterday because he was fussy).
  • Today was bring your favorite book day to daycare and I forgot that also.
  • Then, I get there to pick him up and he's wearing something I've never seen.  Turns out he only had 1 spare outfit in his cubby and wet through/messed on the one he was wearing and the spare one. 
  • Then, we planned to stop at the store after work/pick-up and we get inside and I realize, I have no diaper bag/nothing - no diapers, no pacifier, no blanket, no toys.  It's not something I normally bring with me every day and I didn't think of it today. 
But, luckily . . . .
  • They said he was fine at daycare and they sterilized an extra one and he used that if he really needed it.  Not ideal but ok.
  • Doesn't look like any other kids brought in books today.  At least we weren't the only ones.
  • They had some extra pj's at daycare that he was able to wear.  Thankfully he didn't have to wear just a diaper all day (Ok, I know they wouldn't have left him in a diaper, but still).
  • We made it through 2 stores with no meltdown, dirty diaper and the weather wasn't too cold so a blanket wasn't needed (He did have a jacket on).  He's so laid back and such a good kid.
So, I'll wallow in my fails/oopsies for the rest of the evening. 

Tomorrow brush it off, and start over again, it's a new day, right?  Happy hump day!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Traditions

 Picture from here

Christmas is quickly approaching and it's one of my favorite times of year!  When we were kids our traditions consisted of Christmas Eve mass and then going to grandma and grandpa's.  We got to come home and usually got a new pair of PJ's.  Then my sister and I would sleep together in the same bed.  She'd wake up early, and I'd ignore her for as long as possible.  Christmas morning we'd open gifts, and my mom would make a nice big breakfast!  We'd get together with my extended family again and play with my cousins most of the day.  I can't remember any other traditions but I'm going to ask my mom when I visit with her over Thanksgiving.

With all that said, I was trying to start some Christmas traditions with Alex.  I realize that he's young this year and won't really remember much/participate this year.  I was trying to come up with some traditions to start.  Here are some ideas that I've seen.
  1. Elf on the Shelf - I've seen this all over the blog world and I think that this is a great idea once Alex is old enough!
  2. Yearly Ornament - My parents didn't do this for us but I really like the idea of buying an ornament each year.  Then when they move away they have ornaments to bring with them for their tree. 
  3. Cookie Baking - I love making Christmas cookies.  The season always seems to pass to quickly, but I really want to at least have an afternoon of baking each year.
  4. Christmas books Advent Calendar - I initially saw this blogged about here.  I think I'll buy books after Christmas this year (get some on sale) to start next year.  Though, maybe I'll only buy 12 books this year for next and then 12 new ones the year after and do an every other day kind of thing.  I'm sure we'll get some books this year.
  5. Christmas Tree - Making a special day out of putting up the Christmas tree and other decorations.
  6. Christmas Movies - I LOVE watching Christmas movies on TV.  Maybe watching a Christmas movie once a week in December.  (i.e. Elf, The Grinch)
  7. Visiting Santa - Actually I'm kind of on the fence about this one.  Maybe this sounds silly but I don't want him to think that Christmas is just about getting gifts and for some reason standing in the mall forever in lines to tell Santa what you want just doesn't appeal to me.  Call me crazy.
  8. Sleigh Ride/Riding around looking at lights - One thing I like about the season is looking at all of the lights and decorations that people put up.  Here in the south not as many people put up as many lights/decorations as they do in the north (at least in my opinion), but it's still fun to drive around.  And I know that there are lots of Lights on the Lake/Park, etc type places that would be cool too.  The sleigh ride is something I used to do in NY, though that doesn't work as well here in the south.
  9. Giving/Volunteering - I really, really want to stress to Alex (and any other kids we have) that Christmas isn't about getting gifts but it's about giving to people too.  Helping those that are less fortunate (though why does this come up the most during Christmas, we should be doing this all year round!) and just helping the community in general.  Kurt and I have found ways to give over the last few years, we purchase gifts for the kids on the trees at the mall or volunteer at the Food Banks.
  10. Meaning of the Season - With all that said, it's not about Santa or any of that for the true meaning of Christmas.  I don't usually blog about religion, but Christmas is really about the birth of Jesus Christ and that's what we're truly celebrating and we need to remember this the whole season long, not just by going to church on Christmas/Christmas Eve.
What traditions do you and your families have?  Any that you would suggest adding/doing, etc?  What are your favorite Christmas books/movies?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful . . . . . .

For the 2 boys in my life who I can't imagine being without

Hope you and your family are having a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011


Not much going on today! We're visiting family for the Thanksgiving holiday but I couldn't resist sharing this cute video of Alex giggling while playing peek-a-boo with my mom!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day in the Life

I thought it'd be fun to do a day-in-the-life post.  I've got a few pictures (some are from different days) too!  This is pretty much how it has gone since I went back to work (except for Alex's wake-up time), so months 4 and 5, though I know it'll change frequently in the future... 

5:45AM - Alarm goes off.  I try to hit the snooze, but know that I shouldn't and I get up.  I pump and hop in the shower, get ready for the day.

7:00AM - Downstairs to make some breakfast, bottles for the day (if I haven't the night before) and pack up my bag for work, as well as anything that the babe needs for the day.  (Note, I used to bring 3-4 different bags to work - laptop bag, pump bag, purse and lunch bag and had to put the ka-bash on that.  I found this huge one from Lands End that holds everything!)  Depending on if Alex is awake, I might get to do a little laundry too.

7:45AM - 8:00AM - Lately Alex has been sleeping in until past 8:00, so on work days I try to let him go as long as possibly but I have to wake him by 8:00.  The morning is usually greeted with a smile and some loud squeals, it's always fun to have a happy baby in the morning.  I feed Alex and watch some news.

8:15AM - 8:30AM - Everybody packs up and out the door we go.  Luckily Kurt takes Alex to daycare so I head straight to work.  When I started back at work he was getting up around 7:00, so I was going to work much earlier.

8:45AMish - Time to work.  E-mail, e-mail, conference call, meeting etc.

9:30AM - Quick break to check the cameras and check in to see how the little guy is doing at daycare.  I usually open them up about this time during the day and check them randomly depending on what's going on.

10:00AM - First pumping session of the day.  I have to head down to a separate room, which is so annoying.  Sometimes there is another woman in there pumping.  Sometimes there are people using it as a conference room.  I generally am not pleasant if it's the latter and kick them out ASAP.

10:30AM - Back to my desk, more e-mail and conference calls/meetings.

12:15PM - Lunch!  I've pushed my lunch back much later now.  When I was pregnant I used to eat at 11:00 and no later!  I try to bring my lunch, but I'm terrible at remembering, so I usually just head to the cafeteria to get something quick and work right through lunch.  Definitely check-in during lunch time.  Score - nap time today (did I mention Alex doesn't like taking naps at daycare)! 

1:00PM - Second pumping session of the day.

1:30PM - Back to my desk, more e-mail and conference calls/meetings.

4:00PM - Last pumping session at work.

5:00PM - Out the door!  I try to leave as early as possible.  Some days it's 5:00, some days a little bit after.

5:30PM - I'm usually there to pick up Alex by 5:30.  I chat with his teachers to see how his day was while I'm getting him ready to go.

6:00PM - We're home and spending some time together.  Depending on the night we just hang out and play with Alex.  Some nights we eat dinner and he plays in his high chair while we eat, some nights we wait until after he goes to bed to eat dinner.  We have a 'loose' no technology rule during this time.  We are generally not on the computer during this time, though we sometimes have the TV on in the background.  We also try to stay off our phones during this time.  We play on the floor, play with Maya.

7:00PM - We start bath and bedtime routine.  We give him a bath every other day usually (Kid LOVES bathtime!).  He eats, and we read a book and then it's time for bed.  Most nights he is in bed at 7:30.

7:30PM - It's usually a scramble and different every night.  This is a variety of laundry, some nights work (I have weekly conference calls on Tuesdays at 9pm - the joys of working for a global company), tv/dvr catch-up, dinner (if we didn't eat earlier), blogging.  Time to wash bottles and pump parts too.

10:30PM - Last pumping session for the day. 

11:00PM - Bedtime.  I honestly have no idea why we stay up so late.  It just seems to happen.  We look up and it's 11:00 already!  Where did the night go.  I wish I could go to bed earlier but it never seems to happen!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cloth Diaper Update part 1 (before solids)

So like I mentioned before we decided to go with cloth diapers.  We ended up just going all-in right from the start with 1 brand.  I thought I'd share a few lessons learned, pros/cons, etc.  Though, I'm guess some of my opinions will change when we start solids and I have to break out the diaper sprayer!

Lesson's Learned
  • There is no need to buy all of your diapers before baby arrives and make your final decision before you give a few a try.  Ok, I'm just one of those people that plans things and does them all or nothing.  This is one of those things I wished I'd waited on.  Now, don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean I'd chose different diapers, it just means I wish that I had tried out more options.  Say maybe starting out with a sampler pack.  Plus (at least for us), we went with disposables for the newborn size and started cloth once he moved up to size 1's.
  • It's ok to just have a day where you want to use a disposable.  There are just some days that are tough and you have to give yourself a break some time, so go ahead, use a disposable!  We use them traveling and when we'll be out of the house for an extended period of time.
  • More detergent does not mean cleaner diapers (who knew?!?!).  When Alex was about 4 months old we were having some major leakage issues at daycare.  I did some research and it turns out that if you use too much detergent then you can have some build up in your diapers.  Following the directions on the BumGenius website we stripped our diapers one weekend and all was better.  Stripping means washing in Dawn Original Dish washing detergent, followed by several rinse cycles.
  • I don't have to run out to the store because we're out of diapers.  Usually we wash at night so we put a diaper on him (a disposable) and then hit the washing machine with the dirty ones 2-3x/wk.
  • Though some might disagree, I feel like we're at least being more environmentally friendly.
  • I don't have to worry about having diapers in the next size, since ours size up with a just a few changes in snaps! 
  • Less blowouts!  I had soooo many #2 blowouts with disposables.  But I think we've had 1 #2 blow-out with cloth.
  • Holy upfront investment!  It's a lot to buy all of the diapers at first!  Then you add in wetbags and detergent.
  • Not all clothes fit.  So maybe this is kind of stupid but, we have trouble with some of Alex's clothes fitting once he reaches the bigger end of that size and have to size up on pants so that fit over his cute tush!  
  • One-size/All-In-Ones can be bulky (see above) and sometimes just look plain funny.  I found once you size up to the next size, much better!
  • New diaper changers need some guidance.  We got snap diapers since I was worried about velcro issues.  The down-side is that if someone new is hanging him, we have to show them which snaps to use so they make sure that they're tight enough.
  • Laundry - Ick, I hate laundry, though these are really easy (so far).  A rinse cycle, a wash cycle, throw them in the dryer with a towel and they're dry in 2 60-minutes cycles. 
  • The absorbancy without an added layer isn't as great so things like overnight just don't work as well unless you invest in some other liners.  So far I haven't done that and I'm just not sure it would really work well with the All-In-Ones, so we're just sticking to disposables.

You can do it at daycare too!
  • Just Ask!
  • When we were looking for daycares this is one of the questions that we asked.  And it was high on our priority list.  If we couldn't find a daycare that we liked that would do cloth diapers then we might have nixed the idea as a whole on the diapers, because at that point the investment didn't seem worth it to us.  But, luckily 2 of our top 3 daycare choices would do cloth.
  • It took some 'training/getting used to'.  We had to show them the right snaps a few times and you will have more leaks in the beginning until they get the hang of it (or you strip you diapers because you had build-up :-) ).
  • We bring in diapers at the beginning of the week, plus some wet bags (we got 3 Planet Wise large bags).  Each night we bring home a bag of dirty ones.  Usually on Wednesday we wash and bring in more clean ones and the empty wet bags!
Also, don't let friends/family badger you in either direction.  My mom was not a fan/advocate of cloth-diapering.  (Ok so maybe that made me want to do it even more)  She has only changed cloth a handful of times and didn't have any trouble.

Cloth diapering is sooo over-whelming when you start.  It's like bam-information overload.  Where to begin.  I've learned a lot from the posts I linked to the first time.  I also had a co-worker who did cloth and helped a little, though I use completely different diapers than her and that's fine too!

If you find it doesn't work for you, then don't do it anymore.  There was a point where I was ready to just call it quits, sell the diapers and move on.  They were just becoming a pain because there were so many leaks.  Once we figured that problem out, things have become much better (I should say that I was dealing with other issues at the time so it was all so overwhelming).

That's my update for now, ask me again in a month when we start solids, how much a really like it!  Installing the diaper sprayer is #1 on the honey-do list right now!  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday Thoughts

Apparently I'm not coming back to blogging as quickly as expected!  Some random thoughts for today.  (I've tried writing the post for several hours now!)
  1. We're leaving on Friday for Thanksgiving and flying to NY.  I'm so glad that I'm not flying alone this time!  Having Kurt with me will be super helpful.
  2. We had our pictures taken on Sunday and I'm looking forward to getting them back!  Unfortunately the babe is sick so he wasn't happy but he smiled for a few.
  3. Confession:  I turned iTunes on shuffle on Friday and it started playing Christmas music and I didn't change it!  Ok, I'm definitely not rushing through Thanksgiving, but I simply LOVE Christmas music!
  4. I'm actually coming up with a Christmas wish list this year.  Top on my list:  Clothes!  Being pregnant last year I didn't get any new clothes so my wardrobe is all out of sorts this year.
  5. I also need shoes.  I'm not one for heels, anyone have any comfortable flat-ish (casual and dressier) suggestions.
  6. Pinterest - I signed up a while back but still haven't figured out how to use it that well.  I can't figure out how to follow people unless they're my facebook friends.  I need some help!  Are you on Pinterest?  How do I follow you?  I'm adding my "follow-me" button so maybe if you follow me I'll find you.  Ha ha!
  7. I feel like I need a mega-crafting weekend or something!  I want to do some crafting ASAP but need the time.  What Christmas crafts are you working on that you'd suggest?
  8. Christmas gifts are as usual a mystery to me.  Luckily our "to-but-for" list has shrunk this year but I'm still stumped.  I like the idea of calendar's on Shutterfly for the grandparents, but that's about as far as I've thought.  I really should probably get on that.
  9. Alex is starting to grow out of his 3-6mo clothes. :-(  He's in that in-between stage, 3-6's are getting short and 6-9's/6-12 are big.  He doesn't have many of the next size up and I was hoping to wait and stock up during after-Christmas sales and from Christmas gifts.  I'm not sure if we can hold out that long though.
  10. And because I don't want to leave you with an odd number #10.  :-)
Hope you all are having a great week!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

5 Months!

Happy 5 month Birthday Alex! (Posting a little late)

  • You've been going to bed around 7:30 - 8:00.  Some mornings you sleep in and I have to wake you up at 7:45/8:00 so I can feed you and get to work!
  • There was about a week or so where you were up every night several times.  Luckily we nipped that quickly and we're back to normal.
  • At home you seem to be doing ok with some naps, but it's generally hit or miss.  You do not like taking naps at daycare yet so we'll see how that goes!  Most days you are so tired from not sleeping at daycare that you come home and pass out!
  • You are eating every 3hs (5x/day).  You take 6oz bottles at daycare.
  • Still no solids yet though you definitely seem interested!
  • No appointment but we're thinking about 17lbs.
  • Everyone says you're a big boy!

  •  Not sure, no appointment this month.
  • We're still doing primarily cloth diapers.  We use the BumGenius Elemental Organic All-In-One One-Size.  You're on the second setting.
  • When we travel or are out much we do disposables.  We also do them at night.  You are wearing the last of the few size 2's that we have.

  • Wearing all 3-6 month/6month still.  Still in the same for PJ's.
  • One piece clothes are out of the picture.

  • You are still trying really hard to sit up on your own.  You're getting much better at it!
  • Your baptism was this month and you loved getting dunked into the water.
  • Uncle Keith and Grandma and Grandpa came to visit for your baptism.
  • We visited the NC State Fair this month.
  • You love hanging out on your floormat. 
  • You started rolling over this month.  I watched you do it on the camera at daycare (October 19th), but it was several weeks before you would do it at home for us.  Now you roll back and forth without too much trouble.  You sleep on your tummy now.
  • You love it when someone claps your hands together or the bottoms of your feet.  A sure-fire way to get you to laugh.
  • Everyone says lately that you are a mix of both mom and dad.
  • We finally got to meet up with everyone from playgroup and went to the pumpkin patch.  It was so great to see everyone and your 'girlfriend' Kate was there!
  • It was your first Halloween.  We went to 2 parties on Saturday and dressed you up like a football and mom and dad were football players.
  • For Halloween night and at daycare you were a monkey and loved every minute of it!
  • You are completely fascinated by Maya lately.  You love when she comes by you and in the morning we usually get a big smile when you 'pet' her (aka she licks you) for the first time.  You like to sit next to her and pet her (aka tug on her ears).  She's pretty tolerable so far but you're always on our laps.  We/she better watch out when you're mobile!

What we've been up to: