Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mommy Time

Posted by Sarah at Thursday, December 31, 2009 2 comments Links to this post
Moms: When was the last time you did something just for yourself?

I'm going to get a haircut today and I added the "Mrs. Claus" special, which involves a scalp and hand massage.

I recently cleaned out my closet and realized that, really, I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR! So, I'm going to go shopping, probably at Banana Republic and Ann Taylor.

I'm going to consider this as my own little economic intervention. You can thank me later, Barack Obama.




What luxuries do you allow yourself?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Book Recommendations

Posted by Sarah at Wednesday, December 30, 2009 0 comments Links to this post
One of the best Christmas presents I received: A $50 gift card to Barnes & Noble.

Any suggestions on what I should read? I've read plenty of young adult books (for school) and baby/toddler books (for home), so I'm looking for some grown-up reading. Fiction, non-fiction, adventure, mysteries -- it really doesn't matter.

So, what are the best books you've read recently?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Toddler Diet

Posted by Sarah at Tuesday, December 29, 2009 2 comments Links to this post
I have never been much a fitness/health guru, but since Little Man was born I have transformed into The. Food. Police.

We are what we eat, right? What we eat and how we take care of our bodies can be such a controversial and emotionally-charged subject. I think that it's about more than just food. We're nourishing our bodies and, really, there's not much that's more important than that. I want to give Little Man healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

Here's a sample of what he's been eating lately.

Breakfast: 4 oz. of whole milk
oatmeal OR whole wheat toast with ricotta OR pancakes OR scrambled eggs

Snack: 4 oz. of whole milk
blueberries
chopped veggies (tomato, asparagus, or whatever we have on hand)

Lunch: 4 oz. of whole milk
mango
chopped veggies (zucchini, squash, peas, or carrots)
shredded turkey and cheese on a whole-wheat pita

Dinner: 4 oz. of whole milk + whatever we are eating.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Playing Ball

Posted by Sarah at Sunday, December 20, 2009 0 comments Links to this post
Little Man has fallen in love with a small $1 ball I picked up for him at the Dollar Store a few months back. He bounces it, chases it when it rolls away, and throws it as far as his little arms will allow.

The Smartest Man Alive, a sports junkie, is quite pleased with this new development.

This is what I overhead this afternoon.

(Little Man throws the ball, it bounces, and rolls under the Christmas tree.)

The Smartest Man Alive: Wow. You threw the ball. Look! You already have more athletic ability than mommy.

Rub it in, why don't you?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Holidays...

Posted by Sarah at Saturday, December 19, 2009 1 comments Links to this post
I took this from Swistle, who took this from Girl in a Boy House.

Eggnog or hot chocolate? Hot chocolate. I always think that I'll love eggnog if I just try it one more time, but, yeah, I really don't like it.

Does Santa wrap the presents or leave them open under the tree? They are wrapped, mainly because I never considered leaving them open under the tree. I'm glad I just spent two hours wrapping presents that could have just been left open under the tree!

Colored lights on a tree or white? They're white. Although, now that we have Little Man I'm thinking maybe we need to get some colored lights.

Do you hang mistletoe? No.

When do you put your decorations up? It takes all my willpower to wait until the day after Thanksgiving!!!!

What is your favorite holiday dish? I usually go for more Thanksgiving-ish type food. Love, love, love turkey and mashed potatoes.

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Of course. More than one if I really beg The Smartest Man Alive.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree? With family ornaments, red and silver glitter ornaments and white lights.

Snow: love it or hate it? Well, we don't have snow down here in the jungle of Florida. But, I like the idea of snow and I'm always telling The Smartest Man Alive that we should move somewhere that has snow. Having lived in Ohio, he adamantly opposes this idea.

Can you ice skate? Ha. Only if I want to break a bone.

What is your favorite holiday dessert? Does candy count? I love cherry cordials and usually eat them until I get a bellyache.

What is your favorite holiday tradition? Watching Christmas movies together. We tried to get Little Man to watch Rudolph this year, but he wasn't having any of it. Maybe next year. The Smartest Man Alive and I watch Love Actually together every year. Little known fact: The husband actually owned Love Actually before we met. When I saw that DVD in his collection, I knew we were meant to be.

Candy canes: Yum or yuck? Yum, but I don't usually eat them.

Favorite Christmas show? Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Love Actually.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Holiday Gift-Giving (and receiving)

Posted by Sarah at Thursday, December 17, 2009 0 comments Links to this post
The Smartest Man Alive: What do you want for Christmas?

Me: I don't know. Um, um, um...I don't know.

The Smartest Man Alive: I'm going shopping tonight, so I need to know.

Me: Well, um, you know what I like.

(after about a half an hour of more of the same, which I will not bore you with...)

The Smartest Man Alive: You'll get nothing and like it!

Well. Apparently, I need some ideas. I really don't want us to spend too much on each other this year. We have a kid now. There's a recession. You know the drill. What should I ask for?

Also, I haven't done much shopping myself, so: What should I get The Smartest Man Alive?

Clearly it's a bit late in the game, so I need gifts that can be purchased in a store. That's not too much to ask, is it?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Posted by Sarah at Wednesday, December 16, 2009 0 comments Links to this post

Little Man,

One year ago today, you entered our lives. We've survived on less sleep, less money, and less free-time, but you've given us more love than we could have ever imagined. There is no greater feeling in the world than seeing you smile, giggle, and grow.


We love you.


Mommy & Daddy


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Baby Toothology

Posted by Sarah at Tuesday, December 15, 2009 2 comments Links to this post
My friend S has a little boy just a few weeks younger that Little Man. We share advice and stories frequently. Recently, we were commiserating about teething. S has developed a theory about teething. She says the worst teething pain for her son has been coming with odd-numbered teeth: The first tooth, the third, and so on.

It sounds a little crazy, but I think there might be something to it.

Little Man's first tooth took FOREVER to break through and he was miserable off-and-on for months. He developed a mild rash, fever, and runny nose (all at separate times for maximum panicking effect, of course).

Sometime, in the last week he has all of a sudden sprouted a new tooth. No fussing, no rash, no fever, no nothing. If we hadn't been peeking in his mouth so much to see if the aforementioned first tooth was fully through, we never would have noticed his second tooth.

So, what's your opinion? Was there any predictable pattern to your child's teething or is it just insanity to try to make sense out of the random?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Whew!

Posted by Sarah at Saturday, December 12, 2009 0 comments Links to this post
I like to think that I generally have a happy-go-lucky attitude, but lately I've been downright giddy. I don't know if it's the holidays or just an unusual amount of luck and love in our lives lately, but I feel like we're in the perfect spot right now.

Here's just a few highlights:
  • The Smartest Man Alive built a deck in our backyard. He *amazingly* completed it in two weeks. I feared this would be an agonizing, months-long, expensive project. But, he is The Smartest Man Alive, so it was done under-budget and on-time.
  • I got Teacher of the Year at my school. We went to my favorite restaurant, The Melting Pot, to celebrate. It is an amazing honor and a lot of work. I'll be working on my resume and application packet in the coming months, so stay tuned!
  • We got our Christmas tree and decorated it. I've had nightmares envisioning Little Man pulling the tree over on himself, but so far he's kept his distance. We've debated a variety of baby proofing measures, but nothing seems to work with the layout of our house. So, we're going it alone and we've just hung the lights and ornaments out of reach.
  • Little Man's birthday party is Sunday. It's just a low-key barbecue with family and friends at a nearby park. I'll be sure to post photos and video on Sunday. I still have to buy a birthday cake, BBQ food, and a few decorations, but I'm not stressing. I'm happy right where we are.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Holiday Pictures

Posted by Sarah at Friday, December 11, 2009 0 comments Links to this post
We took holiday pictures with my favorite people at Pink Turtle Photography. This is one of the best things I've done since Little Man was born. We'll cherish these pictures forever and I can't wait to show Little Man these pictures once he's a little older.



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Temper, Temper

Posted by Sarah at Tuesday, November 24, 2009 0 comments Links to this post
Um, wow. I think Little Man just had his first toddler temper tantrum. He's 11 months old, so he must be testing his growing independence and strength.

I got home from work today and heard him fussing in his crib. Apparently, he didn't sleep well today and was a bit worse for wear.

I went to pick him up and he proceeded to cry, shout, flail his arms and legs wildly, climb up me, lay down, and suck his thumb for the next hour. At that moment, I think I would have gladly taken at least another year of the newborn phase to bypass this tantrum one. It was ugly!

We walked, sang, jostled, smiled at, and cuddled him to no avail. Was it teeth bothering him? Diaper wet? Missing mommy cuddles? Hungry? Tired? All of the above? We're not sure, but we tried it all just in case. He finally calmed down, ate, and went to bed early. We survived, but barely.

It's funny because a lot of my friends have older babies and they've been down this road before. I've listened to their stories, advice, and stored it away for a later date. But, at that moment, my mind was completely blank. I couldn't remember a thing they had said. All I wanted was to comfort my little guy and make the crying stop.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Another Exercise Update...

Posted by Sarah at Monday, November 23, 2009 1 comments Links to this post
So. Sore knee or not, I'm determined to shed the last of this weight.

Since I've been sidelined from Boot Camp, I've walked a 5K and (slowly) started running. I've done three one-mile runs near our house and my knee feels great. I'm definitely losing inches (my clothes are definitely baggier) and several acquaintances have remarked that I look great. Yay!

I considered signing up for another Boot Camp, but I'm worried that I'll do permanent damage to my knee. I think I'm going to skip it for now and continue running a few times a week and eating healthy.

According to my intake at the gym, I only need to lose 5 pounds of fat, but I'm supposed to add 19 pounds of muscle. I still can't fit into several of my pre-pregnancy pants, but I'm starting to rationalize and tell myself maybe they were too small anyway. My body is finally starting to get back to its original shape.

The holidays won't be helping much, but I finally feel like I've been successful. Now, if only Santa would bring me an all-expenses-paid shopping spree to replace some of those old clothes!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Karma?

Posted by Sarah at Saturday, November 21, 2009 1 comments Links to this post
I was having one of those days.

A terrifically wonderful, on-top-of-it-all day where everything -- school, home, Little Man -- seemed to be juggled perfectly. It's not often that these days crop up, so I was truly enjoying the moment.

I worked late tutoring at an after-school program and stopped by the grocery store on the way home to pick up ingredients for pasta with meat sauce. As I was walking in the parking lot, I was mentally congratulating myself for managing our hectic life so well. The house was in relative* order, everyone was fed and cared for, I had a great day at work, and after dinner I was headed to a jewelry party. The day was packed full of responsibility, but also fun.

Then, just as I approached my car one of the bags started to squeeze the circulation out of my fingers and -- wait for it -- splat! The bag containing the jar of spaghetti sauce -- of course! -- dropped on the concrete spilling glass and sauce over everything. I managed to scoop up the rest of the groceries and get them into the car and home without further incident. The Smartest Man Alive was ordered back to the grocery store to retrieve a new jar of spaghetti sauce AND assemble the rest of dinner.

So, I guess it wasn't a *perfect* day, but I'm still counting my blessings.

*I should say I have low standards for "order."

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Grass is Always Greener....

Posted by Sarah at Saturday, November 07, 2009 1 comments Links to this post
Little Man might need another moniker for this site. I'm thinking maybe Tornado Toddler or Baby Bruiser...something more fitting for his destructive nature.

As he cruises through our living room, he snatches magazines, books, random toys, shoes and precedes to DESTROY them. Or at least attempt to. The magazines and books succumb fairly easy to his crawling, grabbing, eating, ripping attack. Shoes and toys are a bit tougher, but it won't be long until he manages to destroy a big-ticket item.

This afternoon, I looked over at The Smartest Man Alive and said, "I really liked the stage where he was just sitting. Old enough to do some stuff, but not mobile." Truth be told, everyone with kids had warned us our relatively easy lifestyle was about to be shattered once Little Man got moving. The Smartest Man Alive scoffed at my statement, because I was really PUSHING to get Little Man crawling. Because of his torticollis, he needed to crawl to build up his neck, arms, and hand muscles. I was very concerned about this -- probably annoyingly so.

But, now I wish for the days we he sat happily in the living room and played with his toys, using his Boppy to support him. I've loved all of his stages, but I'm missing some of the babyness that he used to have. He's looking more and more like a little boy and he'll be walking soon -- needing his mama less and less.

What stage do you miss?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Workin' for the Weekend

Posted by Sarah at Wednesday, November 04, 2009 4 comments Links to this post
This week isn't getting any prettier.

Apparently, I've got some bad karma coming around my way. I went to the doctor today and he said it looks like I've irritated a (long, hard-to-pronounce) nerve in both my knees. So, take anti-inflammatories (already doing that) and exercise moderately (no Boot Camp).

Fabulous.

Also, Little Man was mildly bratty at the doctor's office and quite clingy. Have you ever laid on a doctor's table with a 20-pound infant clinging to your chest for dear life while a doctor examines you? Guess I can check that off my to-do list.

I'm going to compensate by watching trashy TV and ordering take-out (for the second time this week).

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Grumble, grumble, grumble...

Posted by Sarah at Tuesday, November 03, 2009 0 comments Links to this post
The weather's crappy, the Smartest Man Alive has the flu, and I'm pretty sure the doctor is going to tell me that I have to quit Boot Camp. So I'm grumpy. If you prefer not to read my grumblings, feel free to pass on this post.

SO. This stinking Florida weather is about to drive me insane. If it's not SWELTERING with 1000% humidity (you read that right, 1000%) it's rainy and gloomy.

To top off this depressing climate situation, the Smartest Man Alive has been diagnosed with the flu -- not the swine variety, but still. I'll spare you the gory details, but it's not pretty. He's quarantined (in our bedroom) until Saturday and off work until Monday. Absolutely no contact with the baby, obviously.

But this whole no-contact rule will not stop me from fretting over the various scenarios where germs sneak out of our bedroom and miraculously infect Little Man. I will probably spend the next two weeks saying: Does he feel warm to you? Is he eating enough? Is he playing normally? Too tired? Too awake? yada, yada, yada.

Anything else to complain about? Oh yeah. My knee. It's freaking killing me and I haven't been back to Boot Camp since Wednesday. I'm pretty sure it's going to be off-limits for heavy exercise and maybe some physical therapy. I have my doctor's appointment tomorrow, so we'll see.

I'm going to go look at pictures of rainbows or something to cheer myself up...Or maybe I'll just thank my lucky stars that Little Man is still taking an evening nap.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Updates

Posted by Sarah at Monday, November 02, 2009 3 comments Links to this post


Ugh. I haven't posted lately because I just haven't had the time. Lame excuse, I know. This Boot Camp is really kicking my butt and managing a one-hour, grueling work-out with various house duties, dinner-making and general life-maintaining has not been easy. (Thanks to the Smartest Man Alive for picking up my slack.)

I do feel a lot better and more accomplished since I started Boot Camp. The first week I cried (seriously, I told you I hated exercise, right?!) but it's gotten much easier. I'm army-crawling under nets, running with jugs filled with sand, and lunging/crunching/ab-busting like my hair is on fire. So there.

During the course of last week, I did hurt my knees somehow. I'm not talking scraped, like ligaments or tendons or something REAL. I have an appointment with the doctor on Wednesday, but until then I'm sidelined. I hope he can give me a shot or something and send me on my way. I'm going to be seriously BUMMED if I can't finish this camp.

We went to the Pumpkin Patch last weekend and don't I have the cutest kid?





This adorable picture almost makes up for the fact that we only got FOUR trick-or-treaters. Seriously, what's up with that and what am I supposed to do with all that candy we bought?


Monday, October 19, 2009

Boot Camp Update

Posted by Sarah at Monday, October 19, 2009 0 comments Links to this post
After nearly chickening out about a million times and mulling over a thousand excuses why I JUST CAN'T DO IT, I made it to Boot Camp Orientation today.

I survived. Barely. But, I signed up for the full one-month torture program and I'm proud.

The program is a combination of group exercise and a Boot Camp-style obstacle course, complete with army crawl, monkey bars, and a tire relay. After the workout, they gave us a crash course in healthy eating and took our "Before" pictures.

I will update you more when I can feel all my limbs and finally scrub all the dirt off my arms and legs.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Traditions

Posted by Sarah at Wednesday, October 14, 2009 0 comments Links to this post
Fall is my favorite time of year. The anticipation of the holidays, football season, and the cooler weather.


It also reminds me of my favorite memories from childhood and the traditions that we started as a family. During Halloween, my mom would always cook a big dinner before we dressed up in our costumes and went out trick-or-treating. On Christmas Eve, we'd pick one present each and open it up. We've had countless family gatherings at both grandparents' homes for special occassions and holidays.

I'd like to continue some of these family traditions. But, I feel like we should start some of our own traditions with Little Man. So, I need some ideas.

What traditions do you have in your home? What makes them special?

Boot Camp

Posted by Sarah at Wednesday, October 14, 2009 3 comments Links to this post
This Florida weather is enough to send me packing. The Smartest Man Alive insists that one winter in the Midwest and I would be begging for 90-degree weather and 100% humidity. However, we are breaking records here, people, and this is not conducive to my "MUST LOSE BABY WEIGHT NOW" plan.

I haven't written about this in a while, so let me update you. I have lost weight. Since I've decided all scales are unreliable, I don't know exactly how much. But, whatever. My clothes fit better, and really that's all that matters. Over the summer, I was walking at least a mile pretty much 6-7 days per week. Since school is back in session, my workout plan has greatly suffered.


I haven't been walking or otherwise working out in WEEKS.

Drastic action must be taken.

Then, I received an e-mail about a Boot Camp one of the gyms is offering near my home. It's $150 for one month of rigorous training programs and nutritional advice. You have to commit to three days and six miles per week. So, sign me up. This flab has got to go!

It's going to be hard to juggle work, home, and this program, but I feel like I need something to jump start my efforts again. I am not a self-starter when it comes to exercise. Really, I need a big, scary drill sergeant yelling in my face. While I don't think this program is THAT serious, it will work.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Heavenly

Posted by Sarah at Monday, October 12, 2009 1 comments Links to this post
It's the most popular advice dispensed and it's the hardest to follow. Almost every mother on the planet has told me to go out and enjoy myself a little. It will make me a better mother, they say. And, I know it's true. But, still I rarely do it because it's so hard to leave my Little Man at home. I work full-time and I don't want to be away from him anymore than I already am.

But, when a 2-for-1 special from my favorite spa popped up on my Facebook this week, I was seriously tempted.

I called the Smartest Man Alive to make sure he didn't have any plans on Saturday and could watch Little Man. He didn't and he's always chiding me to go out and do something with my friends.

So, I called my friend A and we booked our services. I scheduled a Micro-Buff Body Polish and massage. We left at 10:30 on Saturday and didn't get home until 3. It was four-and-a-half hours of bliss. PLUS, I got a free manicure because my massage therapist called in sick and our schedule got messed up.

Go ahead and hate me if you want. It was incredible.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Uh-oh

Posted by Sarah at Sunday, October 11, 2009 1 comments Links to this post
I sincerely hope that we do not have a biting phase ahead of us. But, I have a sneaking suspicion that we might.

On Saturday, we celebrated the Smartest Man Alive's birthday with friends and Burrito Bar. While my sister was playing on the floor with Little Man, she said, "Ouch. He just bit me!" Of course, I'm thinking "IMPOSSIBLE! He only has one tooth and he was probably just trying to give kisses and missed."

Little Man likes to roughhouse. He grabs hair and head-butts regularly. So, I was pleasantly surprised when he started pulling my face toward his with his mouth open. I assumed he was trying to give kisses. I might have been wrong.

A few minutes after the first incident, my sister reported a second bite. We told him no-no. We don't bite our friends.

I have closely followed Hillary's biting (mis)adventures at Not Raising Brats. Here's hoping I won't have to employ any of her advice.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Jinx!

Posted by Sarah at Thursday, October 08, 2009 0 comments Links to this post
Ugh. I've been the grocery store TWICE Since I announced to the world that I had successfully avoided the dreaded place for a week.

Serves me right.

In my defense, it was the Smartest Man Alive's birthday and he insisted on having Chili 3-ways with Skyline Chili. We didn't have Skyline, so I made a quick trip. Then, today I realized that the husband had dinner plans and there was nothing to eat.

Well, not really nothing, but you know what I mean.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Eating In

Posted by Sarah at Monday, October 05, 2009 0 comments Links to this post
I haven't been to the grocery store in more than a week and, let me tell you, it feels glorious.

Truth be told, I hate the grocery store. But, I always find myself there picking up things here and there. Now that our refrigerator, freezer, and pantry are overflowing I've decided to eat what we have. My original goal was to make it two weeks without a visit to the dreaded store or ordering take-out.

Since our pantry-shopping initiative seems to not have even made a dent in our massive amount of food supply, I might extend it to see just how long we can carry on this little experiment. We've eaten enchiladas, chicken 'n dumplings, baked chicken casserole with stuffing and potatoes, spaghetti and meatballs, and chicken and asparagus. I'm pretty much thinking I deserve a gold-star here.

What about you? What have you been making for dinner lately?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Plenty to Eat

Posted by Sarah at Monday, September 28, 2009 0 comments Links to this post
Our pantry is packed to the brim with pastas, instant rice, canned vegetables, baking supplies -- basically it's a mini-grocery store on its own. Our freezer will not open with random frozen foods spilling out onto us (darn side-by-side fridge/freezer) and there is absolutely no space left in our refrigerator.

I'm a bit embarrassed by all this, because I try to be frugal and stick to my grocery list, but it's a never-ending battle.

A while back, I
wrote about trying to stick to a menu. I made it about half-way through the week and then ordered take-out or decided I wasn't in the mood for the scheduled meal, etc. etc. The Smartest Man Alive has finally declared war on my over-spending habit (and I've had it, too).

Seriously, with just a cursory glance of the fridge, pantry, and freezer, these are all the meals I could make RIGHT NOW with no additional trips to the grocery store. Read it and weep (for my bank account and all the starving children in the world).

1. Spaghetti and Meatballs
2.
Burrito Bar (a Rachael Ray fave in our house)
3. Chicken and Dumplings
4. Garlicky Chicken and Shrimp with Tomatoes and Herbs
5. Port Roast with Roasted Potatoes and Carrots
6. Chicken Enchiladas
7. Italian Style-Cod
8. Baked Chicken with Cheesy Rice and Broccoli
9. Rotisserie-Style Chicken with Stuffing and Corn
10. Lasagna

So my new resolution: No more trips to the grocery store for two weeks! We are going to eat what we have in this house. No take-out allowed either. We've got plenty of easy meals to make if we come home tired, etc.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Nine-Month Report Card

Posted by Sarah at Sunday, September 27, 2009 0 comments Links to this post
This is long over-due. We've finally returned from St. Louis and gotten settled. Grandma's service was beautiful and I truly appreciate all the condolences we have received.

Now, onto my favorite topic: Little Man.

*We went for his nine-month well-baby check-up and he weighs 20 pounds, 1 oz. He feels heavier than this, but that's what the scales at the doctor's office say.

*He's crawling like a mad-man now and is fascinated by the toilet, pantry, and garbage. In other words, he's a boy.

*He's pulling up on furniture and can even take a step while holding onto our hands.

*He knows the word "No," but hardly ever obeys it.

*His favorite food is blueberries.

*He feeds himself some finger foods, like wagon wheels, arrowroot cookies, and cheese puffs. The other foods he smears, drops, or randomly flings all over my kitchen.

*He is destructive -- seriously. He rips apart magazines, throws things, and is constantly "unpacking" anything that is neatly put away. Our living room looks like a war zone.

*His favorite activity is clapping.

*We have finished physical therapy and only need to go once more for a check-up. Yay!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Grandparents

Posted by Sarah at Sunday, September 20, 2009 3 comments Links to this post
My grandmother passed away today. I am sad for myself and my family; but I'm not sad for her. I know that she is in a better place, reunited with my grandfather and the family members who have gone before her.

I can remember eating her poached eggs and boogeying around town while Hot Rod Sally played on the radio. She was a hit at my baby shower, where she marveled over the Diaper Genie and Boppy she never had for her 7 children.

I'm glad she had the chance to meet Little Man, even if he was more "monster" than "man."


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mommyhood

Posted by Sarah at Saturday, September 12, 2009 1 comments Links to this post
A rare treat: I had lunch with a friend today at a cozy, beachside restaurant that had absolutely no babies or toddlers in sight. It was nice to have lunch with my friend, even though we talked about our babies pretty much the whole time.

As we sat and chatted after our meal, in walked an acquaintance looking glamorous in a beachy outfit. She was polite and came over to our table to say hello. She told us that she was having lunch with a friend and going to a pool party. A small part of me twinged with jealousy. After all, the only pool parties I'm getting invited to are the inflatable pool and swimmy diaper variety.

As I drove home I thought about how much my life has changed since Little Man was born. "Sleeping in" now means 7:30 or 8 a.m. and the morning does NOT start with a cup of coffee and bagel. Instead, it's a bottle and oatmeal with cut-up fruit.

Weekend getaways involve a full-size SUV full of baby "necessities," including Pack 'n Play, daipers, food, toys, books, clothes...etc. etc. etc. These getaways are decidely less "adult" and more family-oriented. No poolside drinks or bar-hopping for this mommy.

I've lost touch with old friends and gained new ones.

And you know what? I wouldn't change it for the world. Before Little Man was born, I couldn't imagine this kind of love. Now, I couldn't imagine my life without it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cr-Cr-Crawling...

Posted by Sarah at Wednesday, September 09, 2009 1 comments Links to this post
Woo hoo! We've had a busy week. Little Man finally mustered the moves to start crawling and he's now systematically dismantling our house! First up: The bookshelf. Next: The entertainment center.

He's doing an army crawl, which is the cutest thing I've ever seen. He's gotten his chunky little legs underneath him in, but hasn't worked up the courage to move those hands and knees on his own.

He's especially interested in the bookshelf and The Smartest Man Alive's Carl Hiaasen books. He's started up pulling up on furniture and it won't be long before he's cruising.

We're headed to Babies R Us today to get some babyproofing supplies. We know that we will get cabinet locks and outlet plugs, but I was wondering if any you had advice on other can't-live-without babyproofing supplies.

What did you need and what was a waste of money?

Friday, September 4, 2009

The First Tooth!

Posted by Sarah at Friday, September 04, 2009 1 comments Links to this post
Little Man has been tugging on his ears and waking up in the middle of the night for about a week now. He smacks his lips, chews on his fingers (or anything else nearby) and babbles mamamamamamamamama.

He developed a fever last night, and I was so freaked out that he might have an actual illness that I forgot all about
Tooth Watch '09.

I gave Little Man Tylenol and called the on-call nurse, who assured me all was well and that we probably didn't even need a trip to the doctor. Other than a little moaning during the night, Little Man slept well and this morning the fever was gone. When I checked out his gums, I discovered a large bump on his gums and, although I'm not sure if the tooth is acutally poking through, I'm counting it as our first.

The Smartest Man Alive predicted on Monday that we would have a tooth by the end of the week. As you might imagine, he's gloating today.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Dinner's Ready!

Posted by Sarah at Monday, August 31, 2009 2 comments Links to this post
I promised myself that I would get it together this week and make a dinner menu to cut down on take out and general what's-for-dinner aggravation.

Drumroll, please.

Here's what we're eating this week:

Chicken Gyros from Samuari Strong's blog. I am seriously addicted to these. I've made them three times in the last week and I can't get enough!

Escarole and Orzo Soup

Ina Garten's Steak Sanwiches

Pork Chops, cheesy mashed potatoes, and asparagus

BBQ Chicken and Cornbread casserole

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sad Day

Posted by Sarah at Sunday, August 30, 2009 2 comments Links to this post
We've had our dog, affectionately known as Mr. Puppykins, for about 3 years. We adopted him from the Humane Society and he is my original baby. Before I had Little Man, I dressed him in outfits, holiday-themed bandannas, and even once, a Halloween costume. He only had the best (read: most expensive) dog food, complete with "Life Bits," and whatever gourmet doggie treats he desired. He had his own Christmas stocking, we wrapped presents for him and took him on vacations. He was part of the family in every single way.

But, for about the past year I have been feeling increasingly guilty. You see, Mr. Puppykins has a nasty habit. He bites. Ferociously. He tries to attack nearly every bystander we encounter on walks and God forbid you actually try to enter our home. He's actually bitten two people, and attempted to bite more people than I can count. His behavior has always been a bit embarrassing, but the Humane Society told us that he was abused before we took him and I've always excused his behavior with this fact.

We've been struggling with his behavior nearly since we adopted him. I have read all the Dog Whisperer books and took two dog training classes. We've taken him on long walks, and practiced all the skills they taught us in obedience school. He can sit, stay, shake, and yet he still wants to take a bite out of any passing stranger. He barks relentlessly when we have anyone in our home and will try to attack even our family members.

And today he tried to bite Little Man. That was the last straw.

Mr. Puppykins has been living with my parents for the past couple months. The Smartest Man Alive injured a disc in his back shortly after Little Man was born. With an infant and injured husband to take care of, there just wasn't enough time to watch over a dog who may or may not bite the baby or any number of visitors. But, today Mr. Puppykins came home and it wasn't even an hour before he tried to bite Little Man's fingers while my dad was holding him. He jumped up on the high chair and eyed Little Man with a little too much attention for my liking.

We've been looking for a new home for a few months because we knew that my parents would never be able to keep him permanently and we've always been worried about mixing the dog with the baby especially since he's nearly crawling now. But, Mr. Puppykins reputation precedes him. We even offered a friend with a lot of land and other animals $500 to take him. But, she's met Mr. Puppykins before and she declined.

So we made the hardest decision we've ever had to make. I thank God for my husband, because I never would have been able to follow through with our decision. The Smartest Man Alive took him back to the Humane Society in hopes that he can be adopted by a lonely widow or a single person with Dog Whisperer-talents.

I'm mourning the loss of one of our family members, but more than that, I feel guilty. Guilty because I couldn't train him better. Guilty because I didn't have enough time for him since Little Man was born, and also because I've always bristled at irresponsible people who adopt a pet for the novelty and then give it way once they're bored. I know that's not our situation, but I can't help feeling like I've failed.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Splish Splash...

Posted by Sarah at Wednesday, August 26, 2009 2 comments Links to this post
It seems as though those brief swimmy lessons must have paid off.

Little Man was a very messy eater tonight and had to go straight from the highchair to the tub. Since the Smartest Man Alive was coaching lacrosse tonight and Little Man has been getting out some baby angst ALL DAY, I was kind of dreading this chore. He's already fussy today (could
Tooth Watch '09 be coming to a climax?!) I thought the water would surely make him howl.

Pleasant surprise: Little Man played with a sponge, wash cloth, splashed, and just generally had a good time in the bath tub. I poured water over his head: Not a peep. His bath toys escaped his tiny grasp: Not so much as a whine. I wiped his face: He looked up at me with a giant smile.

Hallelujah!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hi Ho Hi Ho...It's back to work I go.

Posted by Sarah at Sunday, August 23, 2009 3 comments Links to this post
I haven't been writing much because this week has been a blur. Between going back to work and daycare, starting swimmy lessons, and the general maintenance that comes with running a household, we've been pooped.

So, just to catch you up on our exciting life, here's a few tidbits.

*To say Little Man hates the water would be an understatement. See evidence below:







Well, living in Florida I feel obligated to teach him to swim at an early age. After all, summer storms here can create the equivalent of Lake Michigan in your front yard after 10 minutes of rain. So, I signed him up for lessons at our local public pool. Unfortunately, the only lessons they had available before NEXT summer was scheduled for our first week back to school and, conveniently, during Little Man's nap time.

But, I like living on the edge. So, off we went. The first lesson was the worst. He cried for 20 minutes out of the 30 minute lesson. In his defense, he was tired and our swim instructor splashed him in the face almost immediately. In the end, he did much better, but I'm not sure we're going to continue the lessons this time. We've already been shown how to help him kick and float and we might just practice that on our own time. Then, we'll get lessons again next summer when he's a little bigger.

*I've adopted a Little Engine That Could mantra about going back to work. Since I've already done it once after maternity leave, I figured going back to work after summer break would be a breeze. But, it's not. Anytime you leave your baby it's tough. Whether you work one day a week or five. I'm trying to think of how lucky I am to have wonderful childcare and a job I love doing.

*I'm working on creating a dinner schedule each week. I usually wait until about 3 o'clock when I get home from school to decide what we're having for dinner. This leads to unnecessary grocery trips, an excess of take-out, and just general annoyance. This time, I'm just going to DO IT.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Victory!

Posted by Sarah at Tuesday, August 18, 2009 2 comments Links to this post
Little Man has been going to physical therapy once a week since he was about two months old. He has torticollis, a condition where his neck muscles aren't strengthened on one side, causing his head to tilt and creating a flat spot on his head. It's often caused by positioning in the womb, and doctors recommend physically therapy. But, a small percentage of babies need surgery to lengthen the neck muscle.

We've done all kinds of exercises at home and gone to weekly visits with a physical therapist. The goal of therapy is to strengthen his neck muscles so the tilt eventually disappears.

This week, we got great news from the physical therapist that he can decrease his therapy to twice a month! Hooray!

It's not that I mind taking him to therapy each week. It's actually kind of fun because the therapy is mainly exercises disguised as playing. But, when your baby is eight months old and still flops his head to one side, people start looking at you funny. Plus, it effects all sorts of other mobility milestones. As other babies his age are crawling, Little Man is still working up the strength to get moving.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tooth Watch '09

Posted by Sarah at Wednesday, August 12, 2009 3 comments Links to this post
Little Man has been teething for at least five months now. The lip-smacking, humming, finger-chewing, drool-machine must produce something soon, right?! We have been able see little white spots on his lower gums since he was four months old. They are RIGHT THERE, but will not come out to play! He's had sleepless nights, crankiness, the whole she-bang, but so far nothing has sprouted.

At least he has a cute gummy smile!



See, Mom, no teeth!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Update: Operation Must Lose Baby Weight NOW!

Posted by Sarah at Monday, August 10, 2009 4 comments Links to this post
Operation Must Lose Baby Weight NOW! has been in full effect for about a month. I do feel a lot better and enjoy my time walking with my buddies. BUT -- I apparently have lost zero pounds. That's right: I haven't lost any weight even though I'm busting my rear-end waking up at 6 a.m. (during the SUMMER) and walking about 3 miles per day. I was about to blame this on a simple errant scale -- but I've weighed myself on several different scales and I'm afraid I'll need to accept the truth.

I'm trying to stay focused on the goal: Running the Disney 5K in January. But, things are getting desperate! I'm not the most patient of people when it comes to seeing results (or not).

I also have another dilemma: School is starting soon and I will need clothes to wear. Not just the flowy dresses and stretch pants I've been wearing all summer, but, like, professional clothes. I have informed the Smartest Man Alive that I will no longer be wearing maternity clothes. It has been far too long and I just refuse. So, a shopping trip may be in order. Even though I love shopping, I hate to spend a ton of cash on clothes I don't plan on wearing too long.

So tell me, how did you lose your baby weight? How long did it take?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Independence Day

Posted by Sarah at Tuesday, August 04, 2009 1 comments Links to this post
I know July 4th has passed. We're talking about Little Man's Independence here. Up until now he's been a cute, cuddly, smiley baby who has done whatever we desire. We've taken him to restaurants, parks, libraries, museums, really anywhere we wanted to go. But, I'm starting to sense a change in him.

We used to quietly read to him every night and he would snuggle in our laps looking at the book and perhaps reaching to touch the pictures. But, lately he's started squirming, arching his back, reaching to wiggle out of his mama's arms and protesting -- quite loudly -- if he is unsuccessful. When I sit him on my lap while we're eating at friends' homes or restaurants, he bangs loudly on the table, snatches food unceremoniously off others' plates, and reaches for whatever sharp and sparkly objects he can find. He's decided he doesn't much care for his car seat and wriggles and protests as I strap him in.

Don't get me wrong: His new skills are cute and I'm proud of all the new things he's learning. But, I'm a little sad that this new change is coming. He'll be crawling soon, feeding himself, and wanting to cuddle even less. Once school starts and we're all back to work and our normal routine, time is going to fly even faster.

Do I look like a big boy to you?


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Yum!

Posted by Sarah at Saturday, August 01, 2009 0 comments Links to this post
I made this Rum Pineapple Upside Down Cake to bring to a friend's house. It was DELICIOUS and quite easy to make. I love to cook, but I'm not the best baker. This recipe from Mixing Bowl was foolproof!


I was even thinking that next time, instead of making a cake, this could make excellent cupcakes. You could just chop up the pineapple, place them in the bottom of a cupcake tin, and distribute the brown sugar/rum mixture evenly.
Doesn't it look yummy?

Friday, July 31, 2009

Done!

Posted by Sarah at Friday, July 31, 2009 0 comments Links to this post
  • Thanks to the encouragement of my friends, I signed up for a Disney 5K -- my first race ever! Despite my hatred of all things exercise, I'm actually very excited about this. Cool Running has an excellent Couch to 5K training program that promises not hurt my fragile bones and/or muscles.

  • In non-exercise news, Little Man has been, shall we say, asserting himself lately. And by asserting himself I mean: back-arching, screaming, hand-pounding, snot-coming-out-of-his-nose temper tantrums. Where has my sweet boy gone? Maybe it's teething, some new personality development, and/or frustration that he can't quite crawl yet. Whatever it is, for the sake of all involved, I hope it ends soon.

  • The Smartest Man Alive and I have decided that the two most thrilling topics are....(drum roll, please)... poop and the invention of the bottle brush. We're pathetic. We know.

  • School will be starting soon, so The Greatest Summer Ever is about to come to a close. I'm taking classes for the next week and then we only have a week left before heading back to school. (All you non-teachers can skip this whiny part.) I'm going to miss library time, visits with the family, and all-day snuggle fests. Good-bye summer, I'll miss you.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Craziness or brilliance?

Posted by Sarah at Tuesday, July 28, 2009 3 comments Links to this post
I'm really getting serious about my working-out, exercising, losing-this-baby-weight business. I've been walking about 3 miles each morning and watching -- but not obsessing -- about my diet.

But, today Jennifer Lopez was on Rachael Ray talking about doing a triathlon after the birth of her twins (triathlon?! twins?! Are you crazy?). I thought: Well, triathlon, forget it! But, I could do a smaller race.

Now, let me be very clear here: I have never done such a thing before and the longest I've ever regularly gone to the gym has to be, probably, a week. But, here's a challenge and something new I've never tried before. I'm kind of pumping myself up for it, but I'm a little nervous.

What do you guys think? I think I've made it pretty clear that I do not particularly like working out, but it might be fun to do something totally different and I would have a goal in mind. Plus, this particular 5K is at Disney! Running friends and friends-who-like-working-out, what do you think? Is this craziness or brilliance?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Single Mom

Posted by Sarah at Monday, July 27, 2009 0 comments Links to this post
The Smartest Man Alive is a lacrosse coach. He coaches during the year and then he usually does at least one sleep-away camp each summer. This is a huge sacrifice on my part, mainly because I'm a huge fraidy cat, and *hate* staying by myself. But, the Smartest Man Alive truly enjoys coaching and escaping the hum drum of our peaceful little home, so I assured him I would be fine during his absence. I'm sure I'll be sufficiently compensated for this selfless and kind deed in the form of spa getaways and shopping sprees (HINT! HINT! Smartest Man Alive are you reading this?!).

I've always wondered how single moms do it anyway. A few of my friends are single moms and they are the most incredible women. They are loving, generous and unselfish moms who seem to do it all. Even on the best days, I usually forget to pack at least one vital baby possession during the daily day care drop-off. But, we both survived and neither of us will be requiring therapy in the near future.

Little Man did manage to take a bath without screaming his precious little head off and he's thisclose to feeding himself Puffs. We went on walks, cuddled, read Aesop's Fable while rocking, played Momma Monster and The Attack of the Killer Kisses, built block towers and knocked them over. A good time was had by all.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Table Manners

Posted by Sarah at Sunday, July 26, 2009 2 comments Links to this post
We're embarking on one of the first independence milestones: Feeding ourselves.

Oh how fun -- and terribly messy.

We've started to introduce Little Man to table food. Whatever we eat (within reason), he eats. I thought this would be NO BIG DEAL since we had already mastered the spoon. Wrong. Everything we put in, comes right back out. Only once that terrible food has been expelled from his mouth, does Little Man begin to chew. It's like we've started right back at the beginning.

At the suggestion of a friend, I've put some puffs on his high chair and he willingly grabs, smacks, whaps, and crunches the puffs. But, he does not eat them. Sometimes, he will tease his poor mother and put them near his mouth, but he does not actually ingest them. I've tried mashed potatoes and those were great fun to flick and fling all over the place, but no eating. (To be fair, maybe once, by accident, did he get the potatoes in his mouth.)

And, since we're talking about food here, let's have a nice picture of Little Man eating. Isn't he cute with his dinner smeared all over his face?



So, I think this is going to be a case of wait-and-see. Eventually, he will get the hang of it, and then I will miss the days when he needed me to feed him.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thankful

Posted by Sarah at Saturday, July 25, 2009 1 comments Links to this post
Lest you think I'm a whiner (I'm not unless you ask my mother) I decided to share a few things I'm thankful for.

1. A calm, peaceful baby. Please don't hate me for this but, Little Man rarely cries. Sure, he fusses or grunts or gets crabby, but we've had very few instances of inconsolable baby rage. He goes with the flow...whatever we do, he does (without complaint).

2. A loving hubby who takes on his fair share of the baby duties. One of my fondest memories of The Smartest Man Alive is him trying wrestle Little Man's arms while I was trying to nurse him those first few days. It wasn't pretty, folks. But, he did it with calmness and patience. For that, I am truly grateful.

3. Two loving families. I'm pretty sure my parents and the husband's parents like each other more than they like us. Seriously. They talk on the phone, take trips together, e-mail. We all take an annual trip together to Tennessee during the 4th of July. It's nice that everyone gets along and is comfortable together. You will not hear me bemoaning the in-laws on this blog. I'm LUCKY, LUCKY, LUCKY.

4. Our jobs. We narrowly escaped the dreaded ax this spring and I'm so grateful that we both still have our teaching jobs. We get to spend the summers together with Little Man and have a myriad of other holidays off. Plus, we both LOVE what we do. Who could ask for more?

5. Our health. Kind of cheesy and predictable, I know. But seriously. Everyday thousands of people get in car wrecks, contract the swine flu...God knows what else. I'm just glad it hasn't happened to us.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Operation Must Lose Baby Weight NOW!

Posted by Sarah at Sunday, July 19, 2009 5 comments Links to this post
So. This post is overdue. This Operation is overdue. Logan was born in December and due to an enormous sweets craving that just would NOT be satiated during my pregnancy, I had lots of work to do. Correction: I HAVE lots of work to do. I just haven't really gotten around to it until now. I'm still wearing some of my maternity clothes (please do not think less of me) and some unwitting strangers have kindly asked me if I'm expecting. (At this point I would like to shout: HELLO?! ARE YOU CRAZY?! DO YOU NOT SEE THE SMALL INFANT I'M CARRYING AROUND HERE? IS IT SO IMPOSSIBLE TO THINK IT'S TAKING A BIT LONGER THAN I ANTICIPATED TO LOSE THESE EXTRA POUNDS?! But, I digress.)

So, much to my chagrin I have started exercising (gasp!) and eating smaller portions (double gasp!!). My goal is to lose the 20 pounds necessary to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight. You may be wondering why I am putting this out there and the reason is quite simple. I'm telling you so that there is actual written proof that I am doing this. I am notorious for joining a gym and vowing to attain Britney Spears-like abs (from the Baby One More Time days) and then NEVER going again. This greatly angers the Smartest Man Alive. The Money! The False Promises! The Britney Spears abs!

I would love to tell you how much progress I've made already, but I don't even own a scale. I really must get to the store.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sweet Sleep

Posted by Sarah at Thursday, July 16, 2009 1 comments Links to this post
Ah, sleep. I remember those experienced mothers wisely warning me to get as much sleep as I could before Little Man was born. I thought: It can't be worse than this darn pregnancy insomnia. So, so, so wrong.

Little Man started sleeping through the night consistently around 3 months. We were lucky. But, while he's snoozing peacefully in his nursery, I still CAN'T SLEEP. He's seven-months old and I wake at least once a night and tip-toe into his nursery and check on him. Or the crackle of the baby monitor wakes me up. Or I hear a noise. Seriously. If I'd have known that I would never sleep well AGAIN I might have never gotten out of bed while I was pregnant.

It doesn't help that I'm a little, shall we say, anxious and this is my first child. If my husband hadn't been so adamant, Little Man would probably still be sleeping in our room.

Any ideas to help me sleep peacefully? How often do you get up? When can my husband wrest the baby monitor from my anxious hands?

Hi!

Posted by Sarah at Thursday, July 16, 2009 1 comments Links to this post
Thanks for checking out my new blog! A little about myself: I gave birth to Little Man in December 2008 and I'm married to the Smartest Man Alive. No joke. My mom named him that and I'm still devising ways to exact my revenge on her. (You have no idea the effect that has on a man. Trust me.)

I started out as a journalist, but I traded in my reporter's notebook for a gradebook and now I teach middle school reading. (It's fun. I SWEAR!) After reading far too many Twilight and It-Girl novels, I decided get back to writing.

Nearly every outfit I own has at least a little spit up on it, and I consider baby snuggles grown-up "crack."
 

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