Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Eight Months

Dear Joey,

About two weeks ago, you turned eight months old. I know, I'm behind again! But you have been keeping me so busy, it's hard to find time to write - and, to be honest, lately when I do have time to write, I usually just want to relax and do nothing - seriously, chasing you around the house is hard work!

At the beginning of the month, you moved from novice crawler to certified pro in the matter of a weekend. And, since then, your goal in life is to crawl to anything and everything you can pull yourself up to standing on. Inevitably, this has led to a number of tumbles, and thankfully your falls scare you more than anything else. But, you are a boy through and through, and these falls have not kept you from exploring (and even trying to climb - much to my dismay!)

You have been spending each Friday with daddy, and I think it has been great for both of you (and me - since you have become mobile, it's a little more difficult to keep you occupied at the shop!) When I get home from work, daddy tells me all about your day together. It usually involves lots of laps around our island - this is one of your favorite things to do, walk while daddy holds your hands - perhaps a walk around the neighborhood (this one you take in your stroller), cartoons, games of airplane, and hopefully a couple of naps - which daddy has become quite good at getting you to take! You are excited to see me when I get home at the end of the day, but daddy is definitely still your favorite person!

In the middle of the month, daddy and I took a Thursday trip to the Bay Area to watch the 49ers beat the Bears, and you stayed with grandma and grandpa. When we got back, my friends from college were in town, and I spent the weekend with them in Cayucos. Daddy took you back to grandma and grandpa's house on Saturday so he could go visit his friends in the Valley, and they brought you over to Cayucos to meet all your "aunties." When they left with you, I was so sad! I couldn't believe how much I missed you! I felt like I was missing out on all sorts of things you were doing. But I knew you were in good hands, and you were having a ball hanging out with grandma and grandpa and Ruby dog.

You spent your first Thanksgiving at uncle Ben and auntie Alli's house, and you were quite interested in your cousin Ricky, and their dog, Izzie. Unfortunately, Izzie was quite interested in your puppy sucker. She swiped him off of a side table and chewed up the pacifier. Thank goodness she left puppy alone, but mommy didn't bring a back-up pacifier to replace the one that was now in Izzie's belly. I didn't realize just how much of a comfort it was to you until we got back to the hotel that night. Needless to say, we didn't get much sleep! We went back to Ben and Alli's house on Friday morning, and you fell asleep in the car. We stopped at Rite-Aid, and I bought the last pack of Soothie pacifiers they had. You napped for about three hours (no surprise considering how little sleep you got on Thursday night), and I sewed a new pacifier onto your puppy while you slept. When you finally woke up, I brought it to you, and your face lit up. You were so happy to have puppy back, and intact!

Some of your favorite things these days are your sippy cup, Cheerios (some days, you won't eat any breakfast unless you get some Cheerios with it), banging on things with your hands or toys, looking at the baby in the mirror (every time daddy walks you by the mirror in the kitchen, you crack up when you see the "other baby"), making raspberries or "rrrrrrrr" sounds, hugs and kisses, and peek-a-boo. You still don't mind riding in the car, but sometimes you want nothing to do with being strapped in your carseat. You are also becoming quite a picky eater. One day you love something, and the next you want nothing to do with it - quite frustrating when I have to make you three different things for breakfast sometimes!

I realized last night, that you will be turning one in a little over three months. I can't believe it. I told daddy that I can't believe we are approaching the one year mark, and I still don't feel like I have a grasp on this whole mom thing! Unless I wake up before you do (and you are still quite an early bird, so this could mean 5am some days), it still takes me an hour and a half to get both of us ready and out the door in the morning. Some days, I feel like I have met your every need, and others, I feel like I fell far short - these are the days that are hardest for me, because I feel like you deserve the best from me every day. Just as you are growing and learning new things each day, I want you to remember that I am, too. Never forget that even if I make some mistakes along the way, I will always do my best to make them right. And never forget that I love you.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Yes, yes, I know

OK, I know I should be posting Joey's 8 month update, but... check out this contest! I mean, who wouldn't want to win this mixer??

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Seven Months

Note to readers (all 2 of you!) I really did write this ten days ago, but haven't had time to go back and add pictures until today! So, without further ado, Joey's 7 month update:

Dear Joey,

About a week and a half ago, you turned seven months old. I know, I know, I've been slacking again! You had quite a month, and some exciting things happened within the last week that should probably be included in next month's update, but I just can't help myself!

At the beginning of the month, you had your first nights without mom and dad. We went out of town to spend some much needed time together for our second wedding anniversary, and grandma and grandpa came to our house to stay with you. The day that we left, I called grandma to check in, and she said, "Why are you calling? Everything is fine." You were having so much fun taking walks and hanging out with Ruby dog that I don't even think you realized we were gone. You slept well at night, and took your naps, too! When we came to pick you up at grandma and grandpa's house, you gave us the lip and started to cry! I'm not sure why, but you warmed back up to us quickly, thank goodness!

You also had one of your very first long days alone with daddy. He stayed home with you so mom could go out wine tasting with family and friends. We all met at grandma and grandpa's house that evening, and you met a bunch of new people. Everyone loved you so much! Your uncle Tommy even brought you a 49ers hat and track suit for next football season. I can't wait until it fits you!

We were positive you would start crawling before you turned seven months, but you continued to drag yourself around and do "the worm." And then you surprised us all - you pulled yourself up to standing in your co-sleeper. From that moment, there was no stopping you. You weren't even really crawling yet, and you decided you'd like to skip the whole thing and start walking! Now, when I go into your room to get you out of your crib, you are standing there waiting for me. But, last weekend you decided you just might wait on that whole walking thing a little bit longer, and you started to crawl. So, now you crawl around, and pull yourself to standing on just about anything you can get your hands on. Needless to say, you are definitely keeping me on my toes.

On October 25th, we had plans to take you to the pumpkin patch with Grandma and Grandpa, and they called to tell us Uncle Ben and Auntie Alli were going to have their baby! They headed north to be with them, but we still took you to the pumpkin patch (and took lots of pictures for them). Uncle Ben and Auntie Alli welcomed little Ricky into the world that same day, and we went to visit them on Halloween. I can just imagine the trouble you will get into fun you will have together! We also brought your Halloween costume with us, and even though it fit you OK at the beginning of the week, it just barely fit you on Halloween! Daddy thought I was torturing you, so we took it off after we snapped a few pictures. In some of them, you looked like the saddest little puppy I've ever seen! You cracked a big smile when daddy took the costume off though, so I guess he was right.

Two other big developments this month were your top teeth! I can't believe you already have four teeth. Four! And man, can you BITE!

You also decided this past month that you were done nursing. It wasn't my intention to completely wean you when daddy and I went out of town, but when we came back, you were even less interested in nursing than you had been. (You were already showing preference for a bottle before we left.) The transition to bottle feeding went better than I could have expected. I was a little afraid that I wouldn't know when or how much to feed you, but you are not shy about letting me know when you are hungry, and you are very good at stopping when you are full (you usually take the bottle, and throw it over the side of the chair!). You are becoming very independent, and sometimes you will not eat unless you get to hold the bottle yourself.

You are also trying more solid foods, and so far, we haven't found any meat that you really like to eat. I made you chicken with veggies, and you did not like it at all! But you did like Sunny Anderson's Cream of Asparagus Soup. Go figure. Perhaps I've underestimated your palate??

You are becoming a little boy before my eyes, and I want you to know that it's OK to slow down a little bit. Really, slow down!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cheers to Two Years!

Mike and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary a couple weeks ago. Alone. No diapers. No feeding schedules. No naps (although I could have used a couple). Sleeping in. Three hours from home.

The Saturday we headed out of town, my parents came over and took over care of The Captain. After putting him down for a nap (I managed not to cry!), we headed up scenic Highway 1 and decided we would play it by ear. A whole weekend! Play it by ear! We stopped in Moss Landing and had lunch at Phil's Fish Market. We shared a big bowl of their famous cioppino, a cup of clam chowder, and fish and chips, and washed it all down with cold Blue Moons. We left Moss Landing and drove up to Santa Clara (my hometown) to check in to our hotel. We grabbed a beer at the bar, and decided to go to the movies. The movies! We went to the movies! I know, I know, romantic, but really, it's one of those things we love to do together that we haven't done since Joey was born. After the movie (we saw Surrogates, in case you were wondering) I took Mike on a tour of my old stomping grounds. I've been to his hometown a ton, but he had never really gotten the whole tour of mine. We grabbed Mexican food for dinner, and some cheap champagne before heading back to the hotel.

On Sunday we hopped in the car and headed to Santa Cruz. We walked around the old downtown area, browsed at an antique sale, had Indian food for lunch, and went hunting for CDs at Streetlight Records. Mike picked out a Janis Joplin CD for me, and I managed to find a "for promotion only" Dave Matthews set recorded on New Year's Eve 1995. Then we headed to The Boardwalk for a few games of air hockey (Mike kicked my butt!), a few laps on the bumper cars, and some saltwater taffy from Marini's - I even tried their chocolate covered bacon (it was OK - I think it would have been better if it was dipped in dark chocolate instead of milk, and if it was dipped to order).

To wrap up the weekend, we had a late dinner at Scott's Seafood in downtown San Jose. The food was great, but the company was better.

Here's to us, baby, and many, many more to come!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Why I Love Mike

Since having a baby, Mike has developed his own lexicon. Some of these terms include baby speaker (aka: baby monitor), puppy sucker (aka: WubbaNub) and puke rag (I can't remember if that's the exact term he used, but aka: burp cloth).

Last night, we were discussing his upcoming day alone with Joey. He has graciously offered to watch Joey for half a day while I go wine tasting (actually, that may deserve a "Why I Love Mike" post all its own). Anyway, I was telling him that the easiest way to get through the day would be to plan on getting absolutely nothing done. He said, "It'll be no problem, I'll just put him in his wheelchair thing, and he can watch me wash the car and stuff."

This one took me a second. I scanned around the room looking for anything that resembled a "wheelchair thing." The ExerSaucer? No. The Bumbo? No.

Ahhh, I've got it! The stroller! He'll put him in his stroller so he can sit outside and watch him wash the car. Needless to say, I got quite a laugh from this one!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oh the Things You Need!

My brother and sister-in-law are due any day now, and she put the feelers out for suggestions on things she'd need in the first three months after the baby arrives. Well, I figured why not share it with everyone! Here are the top 10 things I needed/wish I had when we first brought little Joey home:

1. A schedule for visitors.
When we arrived home from the hospital, my in-laws were in my driveway and ready to help in any way they could - bless their hearts. But, what I really needed when I got home was some peace and quiet to get my bearings. And when you are still trying to learn how to breast feed and your nursery is too small for a comfy chair... let's just say I wasn't jumping at the chance to whip my girls out in front of my husband's grandfather!

2. The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD.
We were about 4 months too late on this one. Mike and I watched it, last month and kept looking at each other going, "WTF! Why didn't we have this 4 months ago?? WHY??"

3. A vibrating bouncy seat and/or swing (that plugs in).
This is one of those items I put on my registry thinking, "Hmm, this is cute. Probably don't need it, but whatever." Um, I needed it. Joey slept in his bouncy seat (while I slept next to him on the couch) for, ohhh, the first 2 months of his life or so. Saved. My. Life. Oh, and I constantly worried that if I left it vibrating all night, it would scramble his brain or something. Believe me, keep the vibrations going, he's just fine. We didn't have a swing, but I think it would have been even more helpful than the bouncy seat in Joey's case. (Some babies like them, and some don't - looking back, I wish I would have gotten one, just in case) And, don't forget, if your swing is not the plug-in variety, LOTS OF BATTERIES! I swear, buy out Costco.

4. Bottles and formula (and know how to mix it).
Even if you are breast feeding. I know, I know, colostrum, yadda, yadda, yadda. My milk took forever to come in, and Joey was screaming non-stop. I finally gave in and made him a 2 oz bottle (struggling to read the instructions at 3am). He sucked it down in nothing flat, and fell fast asleep.

5. A sling or carrier that will hold a newborn (and know how to use it).
When I brought Joey home, all I had was the Bjorn, and he was too small for it. I think it would have saved a bit more of my sanity if I had been able to strap him to me and go about my day. He probably would be used to it, too. Now, it's a struggle to keep him in a carrier, unless we are out and about and he has tons of stuff to look at. I also managed to forget that I could just put him in his car seat and snap him in the stroller if I needed to get out of the house. Seriously. It didn't even cross my mind for probably the first month.

6. Lots of burp cloths.
Self explanatory.

7. My Brest Friend Nursing pillow.
This was another one that I thought I'd never need. Until I tried using my Boppy for the first week, and then took a visit to see a lactation consultant to make sure things were going OK. That was my first encounter with My Brest Friend. We actually stopped at two stores on our way home from the appointment with the consultant so I could buy one. When you have a floppy newborn (and big boobs), I found the Boppy difficult to use (actually, a flat pillow worked better). Now that Joey is bigger, I can set him on my lap with nothing, or just a flat pillow, but I still use My Brest Friend when I am at home.

8. Nursing tank tops.
I lived in these for weeks after we brought Joey home. I had purchased a couple nursing bras before he was born, but none of them fit right, and these were so comfy and convenient.

9. A Good Breast Pump (and know how it works).
When your little one is nursing like a champ at the hospital, gets home and decides to forget how those darn boobs work, the first thing you'll probably worry about is your milk supply - or your milk coming in at all - I know I did! I wish I would have bit the bullet and purchased a good electric pump, especially since I was going to be returning to work.

10. Food.
I stocked my freezer with pasta sauce a couple weeks before the baby arrived, and we had awesome family, friends and neighbors drop off food for us. One of my favorite things: Meghan brought us some chicken pasta salad that we could eat cold and on the run. Seriously, best thing I ever ate. I crave it to this day.

OK, those are my top 10... anyone else? Anything to add or echo? What did you need or wish you had when you first brought your little one home?

Six Months

Dear Joey,

Today, you turned six months old. Six! Half a year! I can hardly believe it. The last six months have been an absolute blur. They are right - time really does speed up when you have a child.

Yesterday, we had your 6 month well-baby checkup. You only gained 4 ounces since your last visit to see Dr. M, making you 15lbs, 8ozs. You are 26.5" long. I was a little shocked that you hadn't gained more weight, because when I am carrying you in your car seat, I feel like I might as well be carrying an elephant! OK, maybe not an elephant, but you get the point. Anyway, Dr. M didn't seem too concerned about it, since you are growing lengthwise, and your noggin is getting bigger, too. He did ask me to bring you back in a week or so though just to make sure you are not losing weight. I sent daddy a message saying you had only gained 4 ounces, and he said you must have a good metabolism, because you are a piggy! He meant it in the most loving way, I'm sure. (And boy, you sure do love to eat!)

This month, you took two trips up to the Bay Area for Auntie Alli's baby showers. You got to stay in a hotel both times, and you did really well considering all the time in the car, all the new people and new environment. Unfortunately, you also decided on these two trips that you are afraid of your Uncle Ben. We have no idea why, and we hope you will get over it soon, because even though I'm sure he won't admit it, it probably makes him pretty sad to see "the lip" every time he comes near you! On your second trip up, we also met our good friends, Meagan and Memo, and their baby girl, Sochie, at the Oakland Zoo. You slept for about the first half of the trip, and woke up just when we got to the giraffe exhibit. After we all had lunch, Meagan and I set you and Sochie on our laps, and let you get to know each other. You grabbed her by the face and gave her kisses! It was so sweet. Mommy forgot her camera, but Meagan took some pictures, so I will be posting those soon.

You are still scooting and spinning around on the floor, and you are SO close to crawling it is scary! You will put your arms underneath you, and lift your whole body up onto your toes - like you are doing a push-up - and scoot yourself forward. Dad's DVD collection is in serious trouble! I am excited for you to crawl, but scared, too, because once you start moving, I know you won't stop.

You are incredibly curious about everything around you, and you love being outside. Watching the sun reflect off of leaves blowing in the wind puts a big smile on your face. You reach for everything now, and you love paper, and books - a man after my own heart! Nothing on my desk at work is safe. You have started to bang on things with your hands and with toys. Just this past Sunday, you figured out that you could use your hands to splash in the bath tub (before, you would just move your feet around in the water). You still love music, and it still helps calm you down most of the time, especially when I sing to you.

You are "talking" more than ever, and you started making "B" sounds this month. It is pretty funny to hear you say, "Blah, blah, blah, bong, bong!" You are also still growling and grunting, and you will say "Da Da" and "Ba Ba," although at this point in time they are still just sounds to you - we don't think you are relating them to anything in particular. You babble a lot when you are getting tired - just like your mom!

You have tried a lot of different foods now since we started you on rice cereal a couple months ago. Bananas, peaches, avocado, carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, green beans, mango... Any time you see us with a spoon, you open your mouth as if to say, "Where is mine??"

We took you to the park near our house, and we decided you were ready to try out the swings. You loved it! You would get the biggest smile on your face whenever the swing came forward towards daddy. (By the way, daddy is still your absolute favorite person!)

You also got to meet one of the oldest members of our family, Charlie the tortoise. I thought you might be scared of him, but nope! You were curious as always.

I know the next 6 months will bring even bigger changes than the first 6. And no matter how much I try to stay on top of these changes, I know you will always be one step ahead of me. I guess all I can do is hope I don't miss a thing.

We love you so much, baby.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Joey, Meet Charlie

On Saturday, Joey met one of the oldest living members of our family: Charlie the Tortoise. Joey's great uncle got Charlie when he was about 10 years old, so this makes Charlie at least 50. Charlie has been on countless show-and-tell days at school, and I'm sure Joey will probably take him one day, too. Believe it or not, Charlie has actually run away a few times (yes, I know he's a tortoise, and "run" and "tortoise" are not often found in the same sentence, but believe me, this guy can really truck!). Thankfully, we found him each time. He is very curious - the moment I put Joey down on his blanket, Charlie saw him and immediately headed his way - and he even responds to his name when you call him. It really is one of the funniest things. So, without further ado, Joey, meet Charlie!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Five Months

Dear Joey,

Last Saturday, you turned 5 months old. As with the past four months, I don't even know where to start! You can roll from your belly to your back, and your back to your belly, but you haven't figured out that doing this can actually get you places. Instead you scoot - mostly backwards or in circles though. You are so interested in everything around you, and you get royally frustrated that you cannot get to them. I will set you down on the floor, go in the kitchen to grab a drink, and when I come back, you have managed to spin yourself 180°. I am in SO much trouble when you figure out how to crawl!

You are figuring out how to entertain yourself more and more, and you will sit in your portable crib at the shop and play with your toys while I get a little work done. Part of me is so happy that I don't have to entertain you constantly anymore, but another part of me is sad that every day you grow and you don't need me a little bit more. Or maybe you just need me in different ways. As you continue to grow and change, so will our relationship.

You laugh at the weirdest things these days. Today, you had the hiccups, so I jokingly tried to scare them out of you by grabbing your tummy and saying, "BOO!" It didn't get rid of your hiccups, but it did make you laugh, so of course I did it over, and over again. Your daddy still makes you laugh more than anyone, and listening to the two of you is the best sound ever.

When you are in a bad mood, I can usually sing to you or put some music on, and you cheer up (even if it only lasts for a brief moment). I am hoping this is a little hint that you might love music just as much as I do some day. You also love to "dance" with me, and you smile and giggle when I sing to you, twirl you, and bounce you around.

You are no longer a floppy little baby, but you you are not yet a toddler. And yet you have already developed such a strong personality and opinions about everything. You know what you like and dislike, and you have the facial expressions to match. Sometimes you look so concerned, that I wonder what you are thinking about. Wondering what could make your brow furrow so deeply. I tell you, "Don't worry! You have the rest of your life to worry. Enjoy being a kid!" Wow, I sound like your grandma!

You are trying lots of new things these days. We started you on rice cereal after your last appointment with Dr. M. You were having some issues with what I thought was acid reflux, and after talking to him, he said that I just might be right. He said he could give you some medicine for it, or the cereal might help. I decided not go the medicine route, and try the rice cereal instead. You absolutely hated it the first time you tried it! I don't know if it was the texture, or the taste, but you were not happy with it at all! It took about two weeks of trying (and some mashed banana) to get you to eat more than a bite, and you haven't looked back since! We have added some other solid foods to your diet, too. Bananas are definitely your favorite, but you also love sweet potatoes and peas.

I have been making all your food so far, but I picked up some pre-prepared baby food to toss in the diaper bag for when we are out and about. Peaches, bananas, and peas. You tried the peaches first... and hated them! I thought it was just the peaches, after all, peaches do have kind of a different flavor (what am I saying, everything has a "different" flavor to you!) and I don't like them too much, so I figured maybe you just weren't a "peach" kind of guy. Then we tried the bananas. Now, it is true that whatever is in that little Gerber container is exactly what I make you at home (well, there is some vitamin C, and what have you in there to keep them from turning funny colors, but basically the same thing). But I must say, those bananas didn't really smell like bananas to me, and you were not fooled! You spit them out, and cried, and wanted nothing to do with the food in the jar. Again, another strong opinion!

One night this month, mommy went out with her friend, Meghan. Meghan brought Phoebe and her daddy, Geoff, over to hang out with you and daddy while we were out. We left the two of you in "Daddy Day Care" for a couple of hours. When we got home, you were asleep in your crib, there were toys and books all over the floor and Phoebe and the daddies looked exhausted! Daddy told me that he walked you around and around the kitchen island (his usual calming technique), and Phoebe crawled and followed wherever he went with you!

I have a feeling you will be crawling soon, too, but I'm in no rush for you to. I really don't think I will ever get used to how quickly you change - on one hand, I wish I could stop time and you could stay little forever, and on the other hand, I am anxious and excited to see what you will achieve next. For now though, I will cherish each time you fall asleep on my lap, or give me a big kiss, or laugh at the most simple thing.