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!