Grateful at Christmas Time

Since my trip to Bulgaria, Christmas time has always gotten me a little teary-eyed thinking of those less fortunate than me.  I have had a lot of experience dealing with children who had nothing.  My time working at the mother's drug rehabilitation center introduced me to children who, at times, had no one in their life to give them a hug but the staff.  Their mothers were undergoing intense counseling sessions in order to prove to the court system that they should regain custody of their children after losing them for drug/alcohol abuse.  It was often a sad situation and my heart broke every day for the kids.  Of course, my volunteer work in Bulgaria showed me a world I had never seen before.  Most of the children I saw weren't actually orphans, but children whose parents couldn't care for them, so they were abandoned.  I was so happy that even though these kids didn't have much, they still loved Christmas and getting into the spirit of the holiday.

I've been reading lots of stories on blogs about the kindness people show at Christmas and read one in particular about a woman receiving a Target gift card from a stranger allowing her to buy toilet paper and a ball for her son for Christmas.  When I read this story I cried like a baby.  I could blame it on hormones, but I really think it is because the children I have been in contact with over the years--and now Audrey--have given me a new perspective of Christmas and what it is all about.  There are so many people who struggle to provide their families with things as simple as toilet paper and here I sit in my house with tons of presents under the tree for my 6-month-old who won't care much about Christmas this year and won't remember a bit of it. 

I don't want to turn Christmas into a big guilt-trip, but I like to use my experiences as reminders to myself that there is more to the holidays than gifts, and to remember how incredibly lucky I am to have the life I do.  I am so excited for Audrey to experience her first Christmas.  It's so fun for us as parents to see her experience new things.  I know she'll love the toys she's getting from her grandparents (and us, but we only got her one "toy", haha).  We'll take lots of pictures and give her extra snuggles on Tony's day off.  I'm so excited!

I hope everyone enjoys their holiday celebrations with family and friends!  Be safe! :)

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Kwanzaa, 
and a Happy New Year 
to all of my lovely friends and family!


Ready to Rock

Today we got a package from my grandma with Christmas gifts for all of us.  My grandma has always been the one to get "the hot toy of the season" and has no problem spending whatever she has to to get it for her grand kids (and now great-grand kids).  She asked me what Audrey liked as far as toys go and I told her the usual stuff, books, stuffed animals, and I also mentioned that Audrey loves music. 

Here's what Audrey got for Christmas:
A "Let's Rock Elmo" complete with the add-on interactive instruments pictured.  We have all of the working parts to start our own family Sesame Street-themed band.

Tony and I snuck and played with Elmo while Audrey was napping to see what he was all about.  Audrey is going to love him!  I think I'll love him for a while...until Audrey learns how to turn him on.  Elmo isn't a very lyrical singer.  He gets kind of shouty and I could see him wearing on me after a long day, ha ha.  I'm really excited for Audrey to see him on Christmas.  She always perks up when she hears this toy go off in the store.  (It's displayed in Target and kids constantly turn it on).

Don't be surprised if you see our music video on MTV in the near future. ;)


Mini Grinch?

Audrey loves our Christmas tree.  It's been great for me because I can put her blanket by the floor and she'll contently sit and look at the lights and ornaments while I do dishes or tidy up.  Tonight I put her by the tree to look and went to do some dishes.  All was going well and I suddenly heard a crash.  I ran over to investigate the situation but couldn't see anything broken.  The tree was fine!  I then looked over the railing and saw this:

Audrey scooted her little self over to the tree, snatched an ornament, and chucked it over the railing sending it crashing down to the entry way (I assume).  I had her on her tummy and she must have figured out how to move!!  I guess we better start baby proofing??


Feeling Lazy

I was never one to keep my house spotless.  There has always been clutter here and there. However, since Audrey came around my house is kind of a disaster zone.  I get everything all picked up and then it seems like 3 hours later there are dirty clothes all over the floor, bibs in the kitchen, dishes in the sink, spit up on the carpet and couch, sweet potatoes on the walls, and it goes on and on.  It's really hard for me to keep up with things how I'd like.  I stay at home with Audrey so it seems like there would be plenty of time for me to tidy up, but I realized today that even though I don't have a job, I'm a very busy lady. 

Audrey is SO much fun now.  You can see her learn things and absorb everything we say to her.  She's getting more mobile and has more control over her motor skills and it's prime time for teaching her new things.  When Audrey is awake I try my hardest to create learning situations.  I take her around the house and tell her what things are, or we go to the store and look at fun things.  (I'm sure I've gotten some funny looks as I talk to Audrey while we browse the canned vegetable aisle!) We work on rolling, crawling, and standing up.  I keep busy with Audrey during her waking hours and when she goes down for a nap, I need some grown up, momma time.  During this time where I could probably get lots of cleaning done, I plop on the couch and just sit quietly by myself and play on my computer or watch TV.  It used to make me feel lazy but I have to always tell myself that I need breaks, too.  The house being messy is nowhere near as important as helping Audrey learn and grow, and that will always be a priority for me.

So, I WILL sit here and watch Ellen while I look at crafts on Pinterest I know I'll never make; and I'll feel darn good about the things I've done with Audrey today.

I hope all of you can take some lazy moments to recharge your batteries!


My Little Shopper

Today Audrey and I were finishing up our pre-trip errands and I had to stop by Babies R Us (because I could not find those disposable bibs anywhere!!).  I was browsing the aisles and Audrey was sitting in her stroller.  I didn't buckle her in because we were going to be really quick and thought she'd be fine without it this time.  After I was done looking at the "feeding" aisle, I hustled over to the diapers to find the disposable bibs.  I looked down at Audrey when I got there and saw her gnawing on this little beauty:

I did not give her this cup.  I could not figure out how she got it.  I went back over to the "feeding" aisle and realized that these little guys were at a perfect level for Audrey to grab if she leaned over in her stroller.  Apparently she realized this as well, because she plucked it right off the shelf and started chewing on it, making it so I had to buy the thing.  Luckily it is a stage 1 sippy cup and she's starting to use those.  It's also Tommee Tippee brand, which I love.  It's the only bottle Audrey will take easily.  Upon closer examination I learned the name of this sippy cup (The Explora) and it makes me laugh because it makes me think of this:

Brian Regan - Dora the Explorer
Brian ReganComedianStand-Up

I guess I'm going to have to keep an eye on Audrey while we shop so I can avoid a lot of extra, un-planned expenses! :)


Finding Nemo

We took Audrey to the aquarium this weekend.  We knew she wouldn't totally appreciate it, we just wanted to do something "date"ish.  Turns out Audrey was quite fascinated with all of the little fishes.  I don't have a picture of the penguins, but Audrey loved watching them jump in and out of the water, and even talked to them a bit :).  It was a fun little outing and pretty inexpensive.  We want to go back in January when the Otters arrive!

She was digging the brightly colored fish, but she had to make sure mom wasn't going anywhere.
Sting rays!

Amazing anaconda

I can't believe she actually smiled for this picture!!


Fabulous Food

We've been slowly but surely introducing Audrey to solid foods.  She's very interested in food, especially if it's something Tony and I are eating.  I haven't been too aggressive with giving her solids because I know she doesn't need them for nutrition quite yet.  Plus, to be honest, it's kind of messy :)

Her first food we tried was oatmeal.  Not a hit.  Next, we tried bananas and oatmeal and she loved it. 

Then, plain bananas.  This is hands-down her favorite food.

If we have a pretty ripe banana, she just chews on it.  We know that since its pretty mushy it probably won't choke her.  She gets so excited to when she sees bananas.  She's our little monkey!
I wanted her to try some unique foods and heard that avocados were terrific foods to give to babies because of their good fats. She gagged when I fed her avocados.

We then tried butternut squash, which she tolerates but I think she'd still prefer bananas.

We took a break from new foods until last night.  I made her some peas.  It didn't go over well.

So, squash and bananas it is for now!  I usually like to eat a banana for breakfast and if Audrey happens to see it, she goes nuts trying to get it from me.  Hopefully we can broaden her palate in the upcoming months. 


The Dangers of Spinning

Lately I've been trying to get my exercise on to lose some of the lingering baby weight I'm sporting.  I've been running a bit and taking walks with Audrey.  Each Saturday I like to go to the gym and attend a fitness class to get some "alone time" and workout while I'm at it.  I'm usually a Zumba girl, but this week I decided to try something new:  Spinning.  Spinning is basically riding a stationary bike like a complete lunatic for 45 minutes.  They do it a lot on Biggest Loser and I was convinced that it would burn loads of calories, so I decided to give it a go.  I convinced my poor friend Cami to tag along, and she was a good sport waking up at 8am to go to Spin class with me.

Let me say that I'm sure Spinning DOES torch fat and calories.  But after giving it a second try, I hate it.  Not only is it BO-RING, but that stupid little seat, er, sorry, "SADDLE" is big enough for maybe a 100lb girl to perch her little boney bottom upon comfortably.  After 40 minutes of Spin class and sitting on that tiny seat, I feel like I did right after birthing a child.  The teacher attempted to offer comforting words: "after 3 or 4 times, you won't get numb anymore."  Sorry, babe, 3 or 4 times is 3 or 4 times too many for this girl.  Never again do I want to feel the after-pains of childbirth without actually having a baby.  I couldn't sit all day after that class... and I rather enjoy sitting.  It's been two days and my poor bottom is still feeling sore.

I don't want to completely rip on Spinning.  Some people love it!  Plus, it wasn't completely horrible.  The goober guy trying his best to flirt with the teacher was highly entertaining.  But, calorie burn or not, I'm never going back.  Ouch.


Throwing Fits

(Lucky you! Double posts today!)

Audrey has seemed to learn a new trick.  It's a trick that I don't really enjoy, and one I'm trying to discourage.  I didn't think I'd have to deal with it this early, but my little Audrey has started throwing fits.  I knew she was a drama mama but I guess I underestimated my little girl.

The first fit was completely 100% my fault.  We were at a grocery store and walking down the baby aisle.  Audrey was in her sling and was reaching for a toy.  I thought it was pretty cute she was reaching for it that I grabbed it and handed it to her.  I was excited about the thought of it keeping her occupied until we left.  Well, as I wrapped up my shopping, I made my way back to the toy aisle to return Audrey's distraction device.  I pulled it from her tiny hands and she immediately began screaming.  It never occurred to me that she's not used to getting stuff taken away from her but I thought she'd forget about it and stop crying before we got to the checkout.  Oh.  No.  No way.  She screamed and cried  and arched her back and threw her head around in protest.  She wanted that stinkin' toy!  I left the store as quickly as I could, embarrassed as ever.  Lesson learned - always give her a toy from home.

The second fit happened just this weekend.  She's been sitting up with help quite well and HATES her carrier seat so I've been trying to give her opportunities to travel without it.  (Sitting in the stroller like a "big girl", carrying her in the Bjorn, etc.)  Well I thought I'd try the seat of the shopping cart to see how she liked it.  She L-O-V-E-D it.  She smiled the entire time we were at the store and she sat up quite well with the seat belt's help.  I plan to get one of those shopping cart covers that has the harness on it so she can sit in it better.  Well, naturally we weren't going to stay at the store all day so we made our way to the car.  The minute I unbuckled that seat belt she looked up at me with a pout.  She knew her fun was over.  I picked her up and she started squirming, crying, arching her back, and trying her best to avoid her car seat.  She did not want to get out of the super fun shopping cart.  I drove all the way home listening to Audrey tell me all about how mean I was to end her fun at the store.  :)

I'm not sure where Audrey got her 'tude, but I'm so not digging it, man.  She's such a happy girl but she'll turn on you quick!

*In an attempt to save this from being a "diss Audrey" post, I'll share a cute little thing she did at the store.*
I was looking for an umbrella stroller at Babies R Us, and Audrey was sitting "big girl style" in her stroller playing with her toy (that I brought from home!!).  I was browsing the selection and suddenly hear her "talking."  This usually involves a lot of "ah ah ah ah ah"s.  I assumed she was talking to me and turned to her to answer and noticed that she had noticed a little boy sitting in his stroller, too.  She was talking to him!  He responded and after that Audrey wouldn't let him get a word in edge-wise.  She talked over him the entire time.  His mom and I were laughing so hard at these two just jabbering away at each other in their strollers.  They were about the same age and seemed to be having a most engaging conversation!  I think Audrey is slowly overcoming her shyness. :)

Making a Comeback!

I am attempting to get back into running shape and to help me do so, I've committed myself to running the Canyonlands Half Marathon this coming March.  I decided this several months ago but somehow my training ended up being sitting on my butt all day.  Realizing it was November, I panicked to get a training schedule in order and am happy to report that this weekend I started!  By March (according to my little schedule) I will be running over 13 miles and conquer my Half.  I got some spiffy pink running shoes, specially made for people with flat feet like mine, and lots of running gear for my birthday so I am ready to go!  I remember when doing a 5-mile run seemed like cake, now I'm lucky to go for 2!  I'm trying not to focus on what I used to be able to do.  Having a baby sure messes up yer innards and makes running kind of difficult.  I'll just keep my head up and think positive thoughts!

We won't talk about how incredibly sore I already am from my first 30 minute run....


The Little Things

I am behind with Audrey's baby book, so I will most likely refer to my blog to catch up to the current day.  I just wanted to document one of the sweetest moments I've had with Audrey.  It's small, but my heart is still swelling with love because of it.

Audrey went to bed very early tonight, about an hour before her typical bed time.  I was fine with it because it gave me more time to do some things.  I knew she'd be up around 9pm to eat since she went to bed so early, and right at 9pm she started making noise.  (She's started making raspberry noises to get our attention instead of crying.)  I went in and fed her in the dark so as not to fully wake her.  As she finished eating I picked her up and held her for a bit.  My sleepy little angel rested her head on my shoulder, grabbed onto my shirt, and let out a content sigh as we snuggled.  She's been struggling with going to bed lately and this instance just made me feel like everything is going to be okay.  After I held her for a bit and took in my snuggle I put her in her crib, gave her her lovey, and off she went to dreamland.  It was such a peaceful moment and something I needed after several nights of taking two hours to calm her down for bed.

I think I'll keep her ;)


Halloween - New Parent Style

When people say "a baby changes everything," they are right!  I wouldn't say I've gotten lazier--although sometimes I feel that's the case--I've just re-prioritized based on Audrey's needs and capabilities.  This year's Halloween was greatly affected by my new mom role.  I wasn't as "festive" as I usually get at Halloween, but I got to do new things that I never have thanks to sweet little Audrey.

Here are some examples of how my Halloween was different this year:
  • I bought a pumpkin at the last possible minute on Saturday, mere hours before our Murder Mystery party.  Even though I snagged one in time to put it out for decoration for the party, it was forgotten and spent the night in my truck.
  • Related to above point...I bought A pumpkin.  Only one!  Usually we buy at least two.  Last year we bought three!  One for Tony, one for me, and one for baby fetus (at the time), ha ha !
  • Our poor pumpkin remained faceless this Halloween.  First year in my life I haven't carved a pumpkin.  Instead, he donned a wig and fedora.  Very Michael Jackson-ish. :)
  • We went Trick-or-Treating!  We've never done this as a married couple because we never had anyone to take.  While we didn't take any candy for Audrey, we helped Candace get a good loot of goodies.  Audrey loved all of the kids and did a stellar job of being happy so close to her bedtime.  It was so fun to be out with all the kiddos again and I can't wait until next year when Audrey is a little more into it.
  • Because we went out, we weren't around to pass out candy.  I didn't really care too much about this.  We left out a bowl out and there were actually some left when we got home.  Of course it was all of the gross candy, but I was still impressed.
  • I went to the mall to check out the Trick-or-Treating there.  Lots of little kids were dressed up and very interested in baby Audrey.  She squealed and giggled with delight at all of the little monsters, princesses, and dragons.  It was fun to see her so happy.
  • My friend Cami (who also just had a baby) took us to Gardner Village for the Witch/Halloween festivities.  I had never been there and it was so fun!  It was quite the adventure getting there with two crying babies but once we got there all four of us had an enjoyable time.  Thanks Cami for showing us how to get there and enduring Audrey's meltdown!
So, there you have it.  Audrey sure has changed a lot, but I love her!  I joke around a lot about her being difficult, but I wouldn't change anything about her.  I can't imagine life without her! (Heck, I get sad when she goes to bed at night because I miss her so much.  I have to check on her at least three times before going to bed.)

I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!


Murder in Little Italy

 Tony and I ended up starting a fun tradition with our friends a couple years ago by throwing a murder mystery party.  We've done one every year for the past three years and they're always a lot of fun.  This year the murder was set in New York's Little Italy so we got to eat lots of pasta and bread :).  Everyone really did an awesome job with their costumes and acting.  The story was so funny and people did such a fantastic job acting that some of us were laughing to the point of tears.  Thanks for another great year, friends!

The Characters:

Mama Rosa and Tara Misu
Bo Jalais, the Frenchman

Angel Roni, Mama Rosa and Pepi's (the dead guy) daughter
Marco Roni, Angel's brother and Rosa and Pepi's son - he "just wants to play football [soccer]!"

Rocco Scarfazzi, Pepi's twin brother
Since Father Al Fredo (Tony) was taking the pictures, he unfortunately isn't pictured here.  Clair Voyant (me) was cooking, so I missed the photo opportunities.


The only picture of me from the party, haha.



The Diaper Fairy

I recently stumbled upon the most wonderful thing for busy moms -- Amazon Mom!  It's a section of Amazon.com that is obviously geared toward mommies and the baby stuff they need.  They have everything, even diapers and wipes!  I feel like we are constantly running to the store for diapers, so I researched this Amazon Mom thing.  You can sign up for "subscribe and save" and have diapers (and wipes, if you want!) DELIVERED to your house!  Here's the kicker, they are CHEAPER including SHIPPING than getting them in the store.  I compared prices from all of the grocery stores and big box stores like Target and Walmart, even Costco and Amazon mom is by far the best price especially since they bring them to you!  They have almost any brand you could think of.  For my diapers (Huggies), shipping was free.  I don't know if that's the case for everyone/every brand.  Today, the UPS man so kindly placed a huge box of diapers on my porch, just as I was getting close to the end of my supply.

If you couldn't tell, I'm super stoked about this.  I never have to worry about diapers again!  As soon as I run out of my Costco wipes I'm going to order those as well.  It's cheapest if you subscribe, and they just deduct the amount from your debit/credit card each month.  It is so worth it for me!  You can also change the frequency and size of the diapers as you please.

They also frequently have deals on other things like clothes, strollers, diaper bags, and right now they have Halloween costumes.

Yeah Amazon Mom!!


Some Emotions Regarding Cry It Out

I've mentioned before that Audrey's pediatrician recommended we begin sleep training (crying it out) with Audrey.  He showed me how she is "manipulating" me with her cries and that if we don't start now, we could have a very needy baby on our hands; one who is too dependent to fall asleep on her own.  I agreed with him that Audrey knows how to get what she wants.  She's learned that if she cries = mom comes to save her.  I know that in our culture this isn't desirable, and if I want to have a normal life, I can't let her be so dependent on me.  Right now she is peacefully napping in her swing and my tired self is wondering after such a hard past couple of nights, is this cry it out thing working?  It's such a stressful process to sleep train this way, and if it isn't working...I want to stop immediately and try a different route.  It's hard on my heart.

The first night we began sleep training, I followed exactly the doctor's orders.  (We've since changed our method)  He said to set her down sleepy, if she cries, let her do so for 2-4 minutes, go in and tell her "I love you but its time for sleep", and leave.  Leave and don't go back in.  I put on my big girl pants and did it.  I didn't do it very gracefully, though.  I sat outside Audrey's door while she cried and cried, and I cried and cried.  My heart immediately went to Bulgaria and the orphanages I worked in.  We saw children who were locked in their rooms all day to cry.  No one would ever go in and lovingly pick them up and give them kisses.  They just sat.  Some of them were 30-something year olds who looked like they were 8 and couldn't speak because they were constantly in a crib with no interaction.  As Audrey sobbed in her room, alone in the dark, I felt like I should go in there.  Every baby deserves a mommy that will rescue them, pick them up, love them and kiss them when they are sad.  I realize the benefits of teaching Audrey some independence, but at the same time I knew she just needed me.  After an hour of listening to her cry, I ran in and rescued my baby.  I held her close to my chest, wiped away both of our tears, and rocked her to sleep.  That entire night I couldn't take my mind of the Bulgarian children we saw during our time there.  Are they okay?  Does anyone hear their cries?  Can I go back and just pick them up and hold them again?  With all of the controversy surrounding the "Cry it Out" approach, I felt like creating a situation similar to the children in Bulgaria was somehow cruel and unnecessary.  I felt (and sometimes still feel) like I should just hold her all the time, show her how much love I have for her, and make sure she knows that she'll never be alone.  Something that those Bulgarian kids will never know.

I know that Audrey crying it out in her room is not a comparable situation to the orphans, but I loved those kids dearly.  If it weren't for them and the situations they presented to me, I don't think I'd be as good of a mother to Audrey.  I wish that I could give them the love I try to give to Audrey every day.

The Vintage Pearl

I have been looking around for "mother's jewelry" that isn't tacky and that I could wear everyday.  Something that looked just like regular jewelry but a little more special.  :)  I found The Vintage Pearl and I love her stuff!  She's giving away a necklace that I'd love to win, so I'm posting about her contest to get another entry! Wish me luck!!



Four Months Down

It is still so strange for me to say "she's four months old." 

I'm being rather gushy today, because I realized that this week last year was when I found out I was pregnant.  It seems like in a blink of an eye I went from freaking out about a little line on a pregnancy test to watching my sweet little girl sleep next to me on the couch.  She's grown so much and every day she's acting older and smarter.  I love watching her grow and develop but it's just flying by!

She had her four month check-up with the pediatrician yesterday.  All is well, she's a perfectly healthy little girl.  She's in the 80th percentile for every category and the doctor is pleased with her growth.  It's amazing that the girl I had to almost buy preemie clothes for is now a chunk-tastic 15 pounds!  She took her shots like a champ.  She only really cried because the pokes scared her, I think.

The doctor said that we can start solids because Audrey is showing interest in them.  She's done some pretty funny things trying to get at our food.  One day she was sitting on my lap as I ate a muffin for breakfast, and suddenly she reached out, grabbed a chunk, and shoved it in her mouth.  She seemed to enjoy it and it all happened so fast that I didn't know what to do but laugh.  Tony's also give her a lick or two of pear.  We have a pear tree in our yard and we've been eating pears like they're going out of style.  She loved that pear!  I wasn't at home, but Tony showed me pictures of my little miss piggy with pear juice and pear chunks running down her cheeks.  (We are bad parents and let her taste food before 4 months.  Shame, shame on us.)  I gave her a tiny taste of baby oatmeal last night but she was ultra-grump and didn't seem to like it much.  I'm not going to push solids with her, but we'll play around with them and test them out here and there.  I've got pear baby food already made and so we'll probably stick to that and oatmeal for now since her nutrition still comes from milk.

The doctor also showed me yesterday how Audrey is beginning to learn to manipulate me with her cries.  He wants me to start more aggressive sleep training with her.  I'm fully aware that I'm wrapped around her little pudgy finger, thank you. We started letting her cry for a bit last night and it nearly killed me.  My chest physically hurt to hear her cry for that long.  I know its for everyone's benefit, but sometimes I feel like, "so what if she wants me to hold her?  Soon she'll be 13 and want nothing to do with me!! Just let me hold her all the time!"  You must admit, I have a good point. ;)

It's fun to see her grow and experience new things, but she's going faster than I can keep up!  We love you Audrey Bear!


The Great Fig Adventure

Thanks to Bountiful Baskets, I had the challenge of figuring out something to do with a basket of figs.  To show you how familiar I was with figs...I thought they were tomatillos.  Good thing I didn't try to make any Cafe Rio salad dressing with them!  The only encounter with figs I'd ever had was eating Fig Newton cookies, which I'm sure is 100% "real" fig filling.

I scoured the internet to figure out what to do with these cute little figs and found a recipe for bacon-wrapped figs.  I figured if I'm going to try something new and different, wrapping it in bacon is the way to go!

So, here's what I did:

My cute little figs!

Sliced in half.  I think they look just beautiful on the inside!  I never knew what figs looked like until now.
Slather some yummy goat cheese on top (the more the better in my opinion)

Cut bacon slices in half so they are short.  The figs weren't big and cutting the bacon in half still allowed me to wrap it all the way around.

Broil for 5 minutes or until bacon is brown and crispy!
Man, were these delicious!  I added a small dab of honey on top of each of mine which really made them yummy.  I like that these could be dessert (use nuts instead of bacon) or an appetizer!  I think its so fun that with Bountiful Baskets we are trying things we normally wouldn't get to.  Figs are pretty darn expensive, but included in my basket they were a really good price.

Yay for trying new foods!


Spidey Senses

Today Audrey woke up from her nap just shrieking like I've never heard before.  Nothing I was doing was comforting her, and she wouldn't eat.  She kept rubbing one side of her head against my chest as I held her and she kept grabbing her ear.  My first thought was that she might have an ear infection, but she had no fever (I thought that was a main symptom).  I knew something was wrong, I could just feel it in my gut.  I can't explain it.  I sent Tony a text saying that I was taking her to after hours care.  He was home when I sent it and came in to help me assess the situation.  As soon as Tony grabbed Audrey she was completely fine. She acted happy, and when he touched her ear she didn't flinch.  (When I touched it she freaked out.)

I was pretty insistent that we go to the doctor but Tony was hesitant, probably thinking I was just being a nervous first-time mom.  We ended up going at 8pm and come to find out, my mom instincts were right.  DOUBLE ear infection.  I'm not going to say that I'm *glad* Audrey is sick, but it's nice to be able to say that I'm not just a crazy first-time mom that panics at every whimper.  I know a lot of people must think this about me, some have even told me they think I worry too much.  I feel like I know my baby pretty well now, and I could tell that she wasn't comfortable.  It's a good feeling.


Shopping Champion

Before today Audrey had very few fall outfits.  My mom sent about four the other day, but other than that, this girl was so not ready for the cooler weather that's coming our way.  I saw a commercial for buy one, get one 75% EVERYTHING at Old Navy so I decided it was time to go shopping.  I ended up going to the mall as well, and a lot of stores are having some amazing deals right now!  I'm going to brag and show you what I got. :)

First stop, Old Navy:
This adorable sweater
4 long-sleeved body suits
Two pairs of pants

Old Navy total: $40!!

Next, Baby Gap.  Usually I don't even set foot in this store because I get sad at how expensive the adorable clothes are.  I only ventured in because I saw the "take an extra 40% off sale items" sign in the entrance.

Three cute shirts!  I was really digging the patterns, apparently.

Baby Gap total (get ready for this): $12!

I ended my shopping spree at The Children's Place, another store I don't usually go in due to their high prices.  They, too, were having an amazing "take an extra 40% off" sale, so I scored a few items there:

3 shirts
The Children's Place total: $18!

Needless to say, I am pretty stinkin' proud of myself.  This girl is gonna be stylin' and I didn't have to pay a fortune for these high-end places (well, high-end to me at least).  I saved over $100 with all of my sale deals.  Then, to end the night, I found a killer deal on pizza for dinner!  What a great day for shopping.


Growing Up

Last night we moved Audrey to her own room.  She had been sleeping in a bassinet by our bed since the day she was born, and I gotta be honest...I was sad.  Tony kept saying that I'm going to be a basket case when Audrey goes to college, and he's right!  I loved having her right there beside me for several reasons.  Middle-of-the night feedings were easier (we don't have those anymore though), I could constantly check to see if she was breathing without getting up, and I just like being close to her.  She did a fantastic job in her own room.  She slept ten hours with only one feeding.  It's nice to have her be so cooperative, but I missed her!  Luckily she let me know everything was okay by greeting me this morning with a big, goofy grin.

I can't believe she'll be 4 months in a couple of weeks.  This is going so fast!

With her trusty seahorse, she made it through the night!  What a big girl.


Birthday Cake

Today is Tony's birthday (Happy Birthday!!) but we celebrated with his family this weekend.  They all came over and we had dinner and games and he opened lots of presents.  I put my self in charge of the cake and the only request I got from Tony was chocolate.  I wanted to get creative so I found a recipe for a giant Hostess cupcake birthday cake and went for it.  It seemed so simple but it ended up being pretty intense.  It just took forever!  It was one of my finer birthday cakes, if I do say so.  Tony was really pleased with it and we were both really excited to slice it up and see if it really looked like a Hostess cupcake.

Here's what it looked like!

I kind of cheated and didn't make the cake layers myself but the cream filling, chocolate frosting, and signature Hostess swirl on top were all made from scratch.  That vanilla cream in the middle was so good I was eating it by itself as I baked!  Tony and I were worried that having a big cream filling middle would be a bit over-powering but it wasn't at all. This was one of the best cakes I think I've ever made, and Tony loved it.

Happy Birthday, Tony!


Bountiful Basket

This morning I headed to Vineyard Elementary to take part in my share of a food co-op called Bountiful Baskets.  I hadn't done it before, and Tony's mom recommended I try it.  I was a bit late, but I got there in time to get my haul.  I didn't know what to expect but man, was it worth it!

I forgot to take a picture before I put all of the food away (and I'm much too lazy to go get it back out) but here's what I got:

-this is all fresh food from gardens and restaurant suppliers-

2 bundles of spinach
1 head lettuce
4 tomatoes
4 peaches
2 of the biggest mangoes I've ever seen in my life
10-ish pears
10-ish adorable little plums
1 huge bunch of bananas
1 stalk celery
1 head cauliflower
15-20 yellow potatoes
1 bag of green grapes

All for 19 bucks!! And it's all fresh, too, which is important to me.  I'm SO going back next week.

If you're interested, its way easy to sign up.  In Utah contributions are taken from Monday morning at 10am to Tuesday evening at 8pm.  I think hey also do the co-ops in Arizona, California, and other Western sates. You just pay online with a credit card, pick your location and time, and (this was the hard part for me) remember to go get your goodies on Saturday!  You have to pay a first-time fee to pay for your basket that holds your produce, but after that you don't have to pay for the actual basket.


It's fun because you never know whats going to be there when you show up.  I'm excited to try to plan my meals around what I get in my basket each week.


Road Trip

Last weekend Tony, Audrey, and I packed up our car and headed to St. George, Utah.  We've been there several times before as a couple but this was our first attempt at a long car ride with Audrey.  Tony's family recently bought a little vacation house in St. George and we love using it.  This weekend Tony's family was also down there because his little sister Caity is starting school at Dixie State College.  It was our anniversary so it was fun to "get away" and also have babysitters!

Audrey did so well on the way to St. George.  If she had it her way, she would have slept the entire drive!  We made sure to stop every 3 hours so she could eat (I had to force her to wake up and eat...so not like Audrey!) and stretch out a bit.  She had fun looking around at this interesting little pizza place we went to in Fillmore.  I don't know if we'll ever go back there again, but Audrey sure liked the people, the TV, and sitting with us at the table.

On Saturday, we had breakfast/brunch at this place called the Black Bear Diner.  It was really yummy food and a really cute place.  It reminded me of my Grandma, who owns a little trucker diner in Indianapolis.  We then hit up the pool in the complex where the houses are.  We didn't get many pictures, but Audrey was a little more "into" the pool this time.  It was perfect for little kids.  It started really shallow, like barley 1 foot deep, and then gradually got deeper.  Tony and I could sit and just hold Audrey on our laps.  She enjoyed watching the teenagers do back flips into the deep end and splashing her feet in the pool. 

That night, Tony and I left Audrey with her grandparents and went out for our anniversary.  We went to Outback, shopped around at the outlet mall, and saw Grease the musical at Tuacahn.  It was a fun show with some really talented singers.  I was a little disappointed at how much they changed the songs, though.  Their attempts at making the show a little more "G" rated ruined some classic songs for me. 

Sunday evening we left and made our drive back home.  Audrey did really well again.  We did have to stop for an extended period of time in Beaver for what we call the "Beaver Blowout."  It gave me confidence that we can visit St. George several times a year as a little family with little problems from the backseat passenger. :)


Pool Hunny!

Because Audrey loves bathtime so much, we thought we would take her in the pool! She was a bit hesitant, and was curious, but I think there's a special place in her heart for the bath.

Getting in, what does she think??

Tony showing her around the pool

She basically had fun :)

It was fun to see Audrey experience the water. I think when she's older she'll like the pool a little more. If anything, she looks stinkin' cute in her swimsuit!


Sweet Dreams

I'm sitting here blogging because I have some free time! Audrey is happily relaxing in her bed, and Tony and I are watching TV together. Our pediatrician, being impressed that Audrey was sleeping 5 hours in the night, suggested we start some simple sleep training. Basically, we have a bedtime routine which, for us, involves a nice swaddle, time in the rocking chair with some Disney songs performed by yours truly, and when her eyes begin to look sleepy we put her in her bed. Then I leave the room and wait outside the door. The doctor said if she cries to go in the first time so she knows she hasn't been abandoned, then after that let her cry it out.

The idea of letting Audrey cry it out made me a little sad but luckily for this momma Audrey is a champ and hasn't cried ONCE! When she gets drowsy, she willingly goes to her bed. I give her a little kiss, tell her I love her (usually she gives me a big toothless grin). Next thing I know, she's off to dream land. She's been sleeping longer since we started this (she's gone 7 hours two consecutive nights) and it makes me excited for the transition to her crib (she's currently sleeping in a bassinet in our room).

Tonight she kind of woke up a bit when I put her in her bassinet but she didn't make a peep when I left the room. I think she enjoyed the quiet :)

I'm so pumped about all of this!


Two Months Old!

It's official, Audrey has taken over my blog! I keep trying to think of things besides Audrey to post about, but right now it's all about her!

She had her two-month appointment yesterday. I had been dreading this appointment since I scheduled it at the pediatrician because they begin vaccinations at two months. I had to be brave for my little girl! Well, I guess she isn't so "little." The doctor said she's the size of a 4 month old! She's in the 80th percentile for all of her measurements. She's a big, healthy baby. The doctor also said she was a really smart baby, which I'm sure he says to all of his patients ;). Because she's doing so well with weight gain, the doctor is having me switch to on-demand feeding instead of every two hours. I'm really excited about this. I feel like I'm going to get some of my day back!

"Little" Audrey weighed in at 12lbs 4oz and was 23 inches long.

Her shots were horrible. She LOVES being naked so spending 30 minutes in just her diaper at the doctor's office was heaven for her. She was laying on the table in her skivvies smiling and laughing until the nurse came in. Even after the oral dose she was smiling and laughing. I was hoping she would be one of those babies that doesn't notice shots, but she IS NOT. I don't blame her, either! Those needles are so long and they jam them so far into their poor little thighs. When the first needle went in Audrey looked up at me with a face that seemed to say, "what the heck, mom?!" When the nurse poked her with the second needle, she screamed bloody murder until she was red in the face. She had 3 total pokes, and was not happy about it. After the nurse left we snuggled a bit and she slept the whole way home. I felt so bad putting her through it but thinking about the benefits of vaccines and the pain she put me through to get to this world made me realize it was all okay :).

Last night she was so pitiful and was whimpering like a little puppy all night. I gave her a warm bath to help with the soreness, gave her some Tylenol, put her in some jammies and at 8pm, she and I fell asleep in our bed. She seems much better this morning, thank goodness! I just hate the fact that in two months we have to do this again!

Little Miss Audrey, 2 months old!



Since Audrey started smiling, we've called her smile the "Harrison Ford smile" because she does this goofy crooked grin. What do you think?

I just think this is hilarious. :)



About a week after we brought Audrey home, we decided to try giving her her first bath. I was pretty nervous about it because all the babies I've ever known hate bath time. We got out our little book we got from the hospital on how to take care of babies and followed the instructions for bathing a newborn. (I know, we're kind of pathetic.)

Lucky for us, sweet little Audrey LOVES bath time! She completely relaxed and just enjoyed herself as we washed her up.

Luckily for me she still really enjoys bath time. She's starting to be able to smile and make cute "cooing" noises and does so throughout the entire bath time. I'm so lucky to have such a cooperative bather! :)