Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Ava's Reading Chair.




Happy (Belated) 9 Months, Ava!

Yesterday was B-U-S-Y! Between A's nine-month appointment, grocery shopping, running errands for the D's, working and so on, I barely had time to do anything. We did, however, manage a trip to the park to celebrate A's nine-month birthday! Can someone please tell me how it's possible that my baby is NINE months old? She's not been out and about as long as she was in my belly! Wowsers!

At nine months, A is:

- 20lbs, 7oz. Whoa!!!
- 28.75" long - again, whoa!
- Has made a major transition to table foods this month, and though she still eats pureed things (since they're in our freezer still and will NOT be going to waste after I put that work into it!), she's starting to develop a real taste for...whatever is on mommy's plate! She now eats black beans (whole), whole-wheat bread, tortillas and english muffins, brown rice, broccoli, sweet corn, cantaloupe, watermelon, apples, pears, avocado, bananas, shredded pork and chicken pieces and - sucker that I am - little pieces of nilla wafers, teddy grahams, etc. occasionally. All things are broken/cut up into manageable bites, obviously.
- Has six teeth, four added in the past week on top! It was a rough week, friends.
- Wears 6-9 or 6-12 mo tops, depending on the make, and 12 mo. pants.
- Is obsessed with all electronics (aren't they all at this age?), and likes to rile her daddy up by touching the x-box, computer, tv. That's what he gets for not putting things where she can't get to them, right?
- Sleeps inconsistently. Her naps have gotten so much better, with her taking a good morning nap (1.5-2 hours usually), a medium afternoon nap (~1 hour) and a 30 minute snooze on our drive home from work on weekdays, but nighttime sleep varies. Some nights (like last night - thank you!!!) she only wakes up once, some nights it's three plus times! Eek. I talked to her doctor about it and he said that it may have a lot to do with her teeth, as well as her milestones. Babies tend to have regressed sleep when they're about to hit a big milestone, and homegirl recently took her first step, and is on the brink of walking. So we'll be patient a bit longer before we look into other solutions.
- Can crawl like a speed demon, has taken ONE step THREE times, wants to walk so bad, can walk while holding onto her push car, loves her activity table, and loves all things Dora (books!).
- Little A thinks she's a big girl now, and we're retiring the swing (for a while now), the exersaucer and anything that restrains her, since it seriously ticks her off. We're keeping "baby jail" aka the playpen, obvs. Mommy needs a safe place to keep her when I need to grab lunch, etc!
- Loves her binky, but loves mommy milk more! I think it's adorable how she spits her bink out when I undo my nursing bra. So sweet!
- Says "baba", "mama", "dada", "geegee" (no clue what this means!), and "eeeeeeeee" when she sees Dora. Hahaha.
- Is learning the signs for more and all done, though her version is barely recognizable.
- Prefers her Alphabet Pal, books and activity table to any other toys.
- Has only had breastmilk for NINE months! YAY! New goal: 1 year :)
- Plays peekaboo by putting a blankie/her dress/whatever is around over her head and then taking it off and laughing. OMG I die!

Happy Wednesday, all! I have some writing to do, but will be back with a Wordless Wednesday post hopefully at some point!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A's 9-Month Photo Shoot...Gone Wrong.

Uh...the nine-month photo shoot yesterday really couldn't have gone too much worse. See for yourself:

Nope, that's not a smile.

She wouldn't give the damn leaf up...

"Get me outta here!"

Red, puffy, cry eyes:

Pouty face:

My personal favorite:


I don't know what happened. I mean, she took a good nap. Ate a good breakfast. But still...not a single smile. Eh, oh well. You win some, you lose some, right? And we did manage to get a couple that I ordered in lieu of going through that experience again before her one year shoot.

Here are the keepers:






Not as good as previous keepers, but they'll do :)

Happy Tuesday ladies! 9-month stats to come after her appointment at 10AM :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

New Hairdo?

Alright, ladies. Mama needs a change, and before I dissect my life on a larger scale, I'm hoping a new 'do may help me feel more...refreshed. Is this something a lot of new moms go through??? Anyways, lately A has been pulling our pieces of my hair, particularly those pesky little baby hairs around my face, and so I just feel...ick. Like I can't even rock a ponytail without baby hairs frizzing out and I'm just SO over it. So let's vote, shall we? I'll post pics of haircuts I like, and you tell me a.) if it's actually cute or if my breakdown is getting in the way of my judgment, and b.) if you think I can pull it off. Sounds fun, right? Also slightly scary and risky, but no pain, no gain or something like that :)

Here goes:

Yes, I'm aware the first two are the same, just different angles, but I really think I like the cut a lot. I like a lot of definition, particularly when my main complaint right now is that my hair is BORING.





Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?

Writing News, Quarter-Life Crisis, and the Nine-Month Photo Shoot From...

First off, thank you all for your wonderful support/commiseration/advice on my last post. I was...not in a good place. I'm feeling much better now, having both a.) slept, and b.) told D I was unhappy, and am hoping things continue on the up and up :)

Generally, I am feeling a bit of a quarter-life crisis coming on. I hate my hair, I hate my clothes, I feel like considering a move (something I swore I would never do), and so on and so forth. I just feel listless and bored, and am hoping to shake it by a bit of shopping and perhaps a little makeover. Either way, I'm trying to focus on taking positive steps forward, as opposed to wallowing a la Saturday morning. I'm a firm believer in the whole "if you don't like something, then change it" philosophy, and cannot stand when people whine or complain and then do nothing about why they're unhappy. So that's that. Some things are going to be changing around my life, and while I'm not entirely sure what and how, I'm excited for what the future holds.

As for A, she's getting so big! I cannot believe that she took a step three days ago, and then repeated it twice over the weekend. She's certainly not walking just yet, seeing as how she can't take more than one step, but I'll take that one and go with it. She's also gone from standing with uncertainty, not wanting me to let go, to me being a mere prop for her to pull herself up on and then let go and stand, looking so proud and smiling so big!

Today was A's nine month photo shoot, although where A was during the shoot I don't know, seeing as how I have nine month photos of SATAN. Ok, ok, so that's not entirely fair, but whoa Lord. She was not having it. Her last few photo shoots have gone so well and she was all smiles, but seriously, about 90% of the pictures from today she's either crying, pouting or all red faced from crying and pouting. TO be fair, though, this time last week she had two teeth on bottom, and now she has six total - four brand spankin' new ones on top! Yikes.

As for my writing news: I am going to be writing for Gather's other writing program, talking about my experiences as a mom (sound familiar?). This is exciting for two reasons. First, I was hired as a moms writer initially, writing news that pertained to moms (new vaccine research, new info on attachment, crib recalls, the works), but then that "channel" got phased out, so I was moved to celebs, lucky to get to keep my witing job at all. Now I love celebrity gossip as much as the next gal, but I feel a bit like a sellout sometimes when I'm "reporting" on Lindsay Lohan's "bar hopping like a coked-up kangaroo" (love you, Modern Family!) or somebody's fake boobs. I mean, it's fun and all, but not exactly the type of thing many people take me seriously for. Anyhow, the new project is also exciting because it's in collaboration with Pampers, and so all my writing will be featured on the Pampers website as one of their mom writters/bloggers! YAY! I was supposed to go through training via conference call last week, but I'm an airhead and didn't realize it was EASTERN time (duh!), so it's being rescheduled to this week :) I'm excited to start, though how I'm going to find time I do not know :P

Happy Monday, everyone! Oh, and if you didn't see my post below about eating/foods for baby, please feel free to weigh in :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Something's Gotta Give.

I apologize friends because, honestly, this is going to be one long, FURIOUS rant.

Something has to give. I feel like I'm about a day away from running away and never coming back. And I know that those are not thoughts of a sane woman. But to be honest - as sleep-deprived as I am, I'm probably quickly slipping into crazy.

It's not Ava's fault, though. It's David's.

He's making me crazy. CRAZY. As in, I'm really starting to resent him, and resentment breeds nothing good. Trust me. Hence why I'm sitting out here on the futon (The futon I fucking hate by the way. I HATE IT.) sobbing, eating cereal (I know, but this is my passive way of saying, "Yes I CAN do what I want", yet another thing I'll feel guilty for later) and reevaluating my life. Or more honestly, my relationship.

I'm just SO tired. And I swear to God if he tells me one more time that my insomnia is "weird" and how he "doesn't know anyone else who can't sleep" I'm going to lose my mind. Really? Do you think people sit around at work or at bars or wherever and talk about how they can't sleep at night. Uh, no. They blog about it. Duh.

And really?

REALLY?

Is it surprising or weird or even not totally normal that after NINE MONTHS of being the only damn person to wake up with her at night and most nights more than once, is it REALLY any wonder that my sleep cycle is all over the map? Even tonight, while he went out with some of our friends (and had the audacity to complain about feeling obligated to go, as if I wouldn't a.) kill for a night out and b.) rather him be home with me helping me out for a change) it's almost 5AM, and I've slept two hours.

Let me tell you buddy. There's a difference between being awake half the night caring for a baby and trying desperately to carve out a weeeee bit of time for oneself after virtually never having any, and being awake half the night because you were out socializing until 3AM. OK? So if you're tired and think you deserve to sleep through her wakings or sleep in in the morning, you've got another thing coming.

Except, naturally, he'll say what he always does.

"She only wants you."

Yeah, no shit. Because you've been passing nighttime daddy duty off on me since the day we came home from the hospital, and I'm her source of comfort. I'm the one that takes care of her, so I'm the one she wants to take care of her.

But you know what? MAN UP. I cannot do it all. I am not superwoman. I cannot care for our baby nonstop, work part-time out of the home and part-time at home writing (which reminds me, when I calm down I have great news to share!), care for our home and buy sympathy cards for YOUR dad when YOUR grandpa dies and be the one to look into the pest control or whatever Godforsaken thing you're asking me to do that should be delegated to someone with MORE time and MORE sleep.

If she wants me and is crying, comfort her. Build up her confidence in you. FIGURE IT THE HELL OUT AND LEAVE ME ALONE.

Should I stop breastfeeding? Is that the solution? So I can say, no actually she wants anyone with food? So she won't smell me and want me? I don't want to, obviously, because I love it and she loves it. But right now a little bit I hate him, and I resent being the only person awake and the only person giving up dairy (except five minutes ago) and the ONLY PERSON MAKING SACRIFICES.

I'm officially a stark-raving lunatic, and I, for a change, do not care. I don't think I need to up my PPD meds - which he might suggest if I was yelling this at him instead of internally - and I don't think this is all sleep-deprivation fueled. I just cannot understand why one person, who is so negative and toxic and life-sucking lately, can be so useless and just sit back and watch another person struggle to stay above water while doing absolutely everything.

Right now, a little bit, I hate him.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Whatcha Eatin?

No, really. What is everyone feeding their babies these days?

Ava must be hitting a growth spurt, because she is noming on everything she comes into contact with lately. Whereas she had been eating two cubes of food at breakfast and three at dinner for about a month, she's now eating two-three cubes in the morning, as well as cheerios and sometimes a few pieces of frozen waffle. Then, she has a makeshift lunch of things off of my plate, including whole wheat bread or tortilla, black beans whole, avocado slices, banana slices, pear pieces, peach pieces, cut, skinless apple and/or turkey/pork roast/chicken pieces. She LOVES food. Then, for dinner, she's been having her three cubes of food, and then stuff off our plates. What a little mooch!

To make it even worse, if you're eating something she can't have, she gives you the saddest little pouty face, as if to say, "Why won't you share with me??"

And the days of having absolutely anything to myself are officially over. Sigh.

The One Where Ava Takes A Step.

It happens in the first 30-45 seconds!!!!!
video

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wordless...Thursday?

Earlier today, I was trying to figure out my sling, and how to carry A in it now that she's older. As it turns out, it's too big for me. As it also turns out, someone was watching me like a hawk, and is trying to be like mommy:







Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Austin Maternity, Baby and Toddler Expo.


Hey locals! Check this out:

From Little Austinite:

Austin Maternity, Baby, & Toddler Expo
More than 125 Exhibitors, Family Entertainment, Expert Speakers
Saturday, October 2 – Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hours:
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Palmer Events Center
900 Barton Springs Road
Austin, TX 78704
-The Lone Star State is expecting an exciting “new arrival” with the Austin Maternity, Baby, & Toddler Expo, featuring more than 125 exhibitors with the latest products and services for mom, dad, and baby. The Expo will be more packed than a new mom’s diaper bag, Saturday, October 2 and Sunday, October 3 at the Palmer Events Center. This is the first show in Austin presented by Bebe Paluzza, the nation’s largest producer of baby fairs and expos.
-The Austin Maternity, Baby, & Toddler Expo is the “onesies-stop” shop for new and expectant families.
Highlights include:
The Latest Products: Moms, dads, and grandparents will find hundreds of exhibitors with everything for babies and trendy toddlers, from furniture and bedding, toys, and clothing to organic foods and eco-friendly baby products, handmade baby carriers, diaper services, customized books and photo albums, birth announcements and invitations, daycare services, and nursing supplies.
Contests and Competitions: Infants will crawl, scoot, and wobble their way to victory in the Diaper Derby, and dads will push strollers through an obstacle course of baby-themed activities in the Daddyathon for the chance to win more than $500.00 in prizes. One Austin-area baby will be crowned America’s next potty-training pop star in the Juno Baby Little Star Search talent contest.
Live Entertainment: Parents and kids will make a “play date” with the fun and educational entertainment at the Expo. Moms and dads can jam out to live music performed by mom rockers on the Expo’s main stage and talk one-on-one with experts about a wide range of topics, including planning for a new baby and preparing for labor, potty training and taming the terrible twos, and staying healthy after baby. Tots can clap, sing-along, and dance during interactive music performances.
Lounges: Parents will find reprieve in the Mommy Pampering Lounge and Daddy Tailgate Lounge. While licensed babysitters watch the kids, moms will relax with luxurious manicures and spa treatments, while dads chill in the show’s “man cave” outfitted with big screen TVs and videogames.
Bebe Swag Bags: The first 50 moms at the show on Saturday and Sunday will receive the coveted swag bag overflowing with more than $500 in prizes, products, and goodies for baby.
Fantasy Parties: Little “ladies who lunch” will escape to a magical castle for treats, games, and crafts at the Princess Tea Party; and boys will dress up as their favorite pirate to ward off evil villains and play games at the Boys Pirate Party.
-The Austin Maternity, Baby, & Toddler Expo will be held Saturday, October 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, October 3, 2010 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
-The Austin Maternity, Baby, & Toddler Expo is made possible in part by national sponsors Britax, Buy Buy Baby, The Data Baby, Hybrid Mom, Joovy, Kia, Kidzola, Mamapalooza, The Picture People, Ptpamedia, The Shower Diva, Sounds of Pertussis, US Family Guide, and Whirlpool.
-Tickets to the Expo are $10 general admission, $5 for grandparents, and free for children under 5.
-For more information about the Austin Maternity, Baby, & Toddler Expo or to purchase tickets online visit Bebe Paluzza or call (317) 517-9920.

Wordless Wednesday - Kids N Play

The moms group that I'm a part of likes to frequent this fantastic inflatable world called Kids N Play, located off of Airport & 2222. It's. Awesome. Here's some pics of A lovin' it:


Monday, September 20, 2010

Austin Nature Center.

This weekend was S's 4th birthday (!!!!!!!!!), and therefore, birthday party. Here are some pics from the bash at the Austin Nature Center:



Ahh, Cuteness!



Somebody wants to walk, like, yesterday:


Sunday, September 19, 2010

And The Winner Is...

Entry #28:

Devan @ Accustomed Chaos said...
I follow you on twitter @AccustomedChaos

Congratulations! Email me at unexpectedlyexpectingbaby (at) gmail (dot) com, and I'll set you up with Emily to claim your prize :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Princess & The Pea.

It may come as no surprise to you that I'm not a very good sleeper. In fact, since A's utter refusal to sleep entirely through the night once she hit 5 1/2 months old, I seriously wonder sometimes if she inherited that from me. Let's hope not.

Food is downright forbidden from our room, because if by chance even the tiniest crumb ends up in our bed, I will seriously toss and turn all night, perturbed by its presence and yet unable to pin down its location and remove it. I'm a very temperamental sleeper as well, requiring the environment to be just right in order to fall asleep. I HAVE to be on my stomach, as you'll remember from my long and miserable nights of pregnancy, I need it to be less than 70 degrees in our house, I don't like anything to be touching me (including my own legs to be touching), and so on. Basically, I'm a nutjob.

A is starting to show some of these tendencies. Whether it's due to her observing me in my sleep or just one of the kooky little inherited tendencies, she prefers to sleep on her belly. She also likes to spread out to where he legs aren't touching, and she throws the covers off all night, despite the 68 degree thermostat. The one place, though, that she differs from me, is that she wants to be touching you at all times.

Co-sleeping has been awesome for us. Yes, sometimes we're smushed and yes, she may wake more often due to the close proximity to her all-night buffet and my fitful sleeping habits, but I love her being close to us, and I love that she feels safe and secure and that she's not left to cry alone. That being said, homegirl is IN. MY. SPACE. While I'll take cuddling to crying any day, I frequently get woken up by a swift hair tug, or, more often lately, a baby that's standing victorious on top of Mommy Mountain, AKA has pulled up on me and is shrieking like she's the queen of the world. Other times, though, I am woken by the soft touch of her hands on my face. How can you not love that? We've started calling her our little koala, since she falls asleep and/or navigates over to you in her sleep and likes to put her arms around your neck and snuggle close. I may be losing sleep, but it's time well spent, don't you think?

Fellow co-sleeping mamas: What little things does your child do in their sleep that you love? Hate?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Calling All Breastfeeding Mamas!

Alright, ladies. I have a favor to ask.

Whether you're able to just spread the word via twitter, your blog, word of mouth - whatever - or if you're willing and able to make even a small donation, there is a baby in Minnesota who needs our help.

Baby M was born just mere weeks ago to a mommy and daddy who love him and wanted him very much. His parents tried for years and years to get pregnant, and sadly, Baby M’s mama had many miscarriages and lost a baby in the middle of her pregnancy last year, too. Finally, at the end of August, she gave birth to a perfect, healthy little boy just a couple weeks ago. And then she passed away in her sleep just seven days later from a rare, unexplained rupture in her heart. You can find the full story here.

This mother had wanted to breastfeed her son, to provide the very best start for him in life, and his father wants desperately to carry our her wishes. Seeing as how milk banks are quite costly, here's where I ask for your help: I am assisting MckMama and a friend of the family by donating some of my excess milk, as you'll remember in a post a while back that my attempt to donate to our local milk bank had been unsuccessful due to the fact that I take Zoloft for my PPD. I am still waiting to hear back on whether or not I'll be able to donate now, but if so, I am hoping to send at least 100 ozs of breastmilk to Minnesota, as there are women who are willing to help with shipping costs.

Mamas, if you're able, know anyone who is able, are willing to spread the word, etc., please help this little one who has lost his mama, and his grieving father. Thank you, all!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Opposites.

Happy baby:


Not-as-happy baby:

CSN Stores Review.

If you remember from a couple weeks back, I was fortunate enough to be able to partner with CSN stores in order to do a review of one of their products, as well as the overall experience.

First, let me say that the transaction did NOT take the past two weeks. They actually provided unbelievably fast shipping - I'm talking, so fast that when the UPS man rang the doorbell, I asked D what on Earth he had ordered. I just had to wait until D's dad was here for it to be installed, since D is...unmotivated?..and I am spatially unaware.

CSN Stores has a wide array of products available, from baby toys to kitchenware to dining room sets and luggage, and after careful review of their many stores, I chose to purchase a ceiling fan. We've all heard the research that having a fan in your room contributes to a lower risk of an infant succumbing to SIDS, and so I've been a nazi about the fan from day one. Unfortunately, however, despite our house not even being four years old, it did NOT come with ceiling fans. No joke. So when I noticed that CSN carried a great - and economical! - selection of ceiling fans, I jumped on the chance to pick one up!

The only difficult part of my experience was making my selection - there were so many choices! Once I had decided on my purchase (I went with the Vaxcel Zephyr 52" Ceiling Fan in Brushed Nickel), I was able to quickly add to my cart, select any specifications I wanted (such as the finish) and place my order. It was quick, easy, and best of all, the fan was a great deal - selling well below the retail price you might find at a home store!



Once the product arrived - at lightning speed - it was exactly as I had hoped it would be. The fan blades were the color they appeared on the site, the fan was a great quality, and it was simple to install (for someone else - those things are best not left up to me!).

Overall, I had a great experience with CSN stores, and would highly recommend them for your shopping needs, from baby gear to home improvement!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Cheerios & Frozen Waffles.










On a side note, don't miss out on my current giveaway for $10 store credit to Uff Da Designs! You'll absolutely love her Etsy shop!
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