Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Our perfect day

There are some days that are just perfect.

You wake up with a smile on your face and you feel good.

It's going to be a good day.

and then it actually IS one.

Friday was that day for us.

I took the day off and it was a special day just for the two of us.

Just mommy and Brady. We called it Mommy Baby day!

We went to the zoo on an nice late summer day.
Rode the Choo-Choo!
Watched the cutest baby elephant play in the water.

He laughed at the bears, chuckled at the Penguins and belly laughed with the kitty cats (or as people know them as Tigers).

Took a milk break.

Said hello to some friends.

Some of them waved back.

He's confused because there is a blanket that keeps moving. OH! Now, that makes sense! There is a MONKEY under there, mama!!

Watched an Alpaca try to eat some metal.
Brady of course, laughed as he did at every.single.animal.
Momma FAILED at taking a picture of the two of us.

He had the most amazing time playing in the water.
He laughed at the other kids and wanted to run right along with them.
Drops of water on fat baby fingers.
Smiles and laughter that meant he was truly in his element and having fun!
It is times like these that I want to hold onto forever.
Times like these that need to happen more often, to happen slower and be appreciated so much more.

We (meaning I) walked a lot.
I didn't care. Nor did I care that I got all wet, my dressing dragging from the water and dirt.
We laughed. We ate lunch together. We talked and he sang.
Mommy didn't leave and go to work. Mommy stayed and played all day long.
Brady got a stuffed monkey........ and mommy got amazing memories.
That was our perfect day.
I think we'll be doing that more often.
When life gets too busy and we feel it passing us by, we'll take a moment and stop.
Take a break from all the hustle and bustle and take time to laugh and smile.
Take time to play.
Take time just to be.

Take time for extra cuddles.
Take times for just you and me!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ten months

Dear Brady;

Oh little man! What a month we have had! We had so much fun, it flew by! Looking at you now, you have grown up so much in the past month and I cannot believe you will be a year old in just two short months. You are doing some big things in the sleep department and I think you are on your way to some big time stuff in that arena!

We went to the park and you had a blast! You loved the animals but the swing was by far your favorite!

You smile every time you saw an animal. We think you are going to be a zoologist when you grow up! :)

Besides you love for animals, you have a love for life. So many people you know and so many people that love you see you as this beam of light, this happy little soul. Always full of smiles. They are right. Everything makes you smile and laugh out loud in that cute little laugh full of excitement.
Your laughter fills the room and our hearts. Chase and tickles make that smile bigger and those laughs deeper. You have the deepest dimples and I love to see them as I know that means you are happy!

You are silly and curious. You think things through before you act sometimes or look at mom with that sly smile of yours and carry on.

You have managed to find your voice. You make almost any noise we do and you make it right back. Your favorite is the growl and you think it's pretty funny. You have also started to think that throwing little fits will get you what you want. You did a pretty little number for the ladies at the grocery store the other day when mommy wouldn't let you chew on a package of Goat cheese of all things. At least we know you have good taste.

You have the most gorgeous hair. Sorry, kid. I had to say it. You have these curls and I love them. They compliment your dimples. I'm sure you'll say, 'geez mom' when you are older or something cooler than old people like mom and dad say but I think you are the most adorable little man and those curls (though they are wild, like you) make my heart melt!

You are so sweet and kind when you need to be and rambunctious and all boy the rest of the time. You love to get dirty and watch things work. Sometimes your eyes look like they are concentrating so hard and taking notes. Mommy swears it is because you are a genius :)

(Look at my guns ma!)
You are a mommas boy through and through. I call you my little shadow as you follow me everywhere you go. You have even managed to call for me a few times but when I ask you, you pretend that never happened. You give kisses and are turning more into a cuddle bug everyday.
When you get up from a nap, sometimes you like to sit on mom's lap and just lay there or you'll put your head on my shoulder. Mommy loves these times and she captures a still frame in her mind to never forget moments like this.

You are growing so fast.
Boy are you fast. You have even taken a few steps here and there. Each time, mommy and daddy hold our breaths, thinking this will be the time you start to run away! It is coming soon and I can't wait to watch you go! You are constantly on the go and sometimes I need a catch my breath to keep up with you.....and one eye is always on you.

You make 'childproof' seem like just some made up word. You have managed to pull those outlet covers right out. You also find the floor vents to be pretty awesome. Like I said, curious.

You are learning so much my little man. Your new favorite thing is give and take. You share your cracker or your veggies. More with the dog than mommy but you are willing to share if I dare ask.
Every Monday and Tuesday, you go to Nana and Papa's house and Chief is your favorite toy they have there. He lets you roll over him and pounce on him. He is so gentle with you, kissing your face all over. You love every second of it....even though mommy wants to take you right to the bath tub!
Little man, sometimes I look at you and my heart hurts. Not in a bad way but the most amazing way because I feel so blessed. This picture does it for me. So sweet. So peaceful. The way you hold your hands together.
Sometimes, I see a little bit of shyness in you, a little bit of unsureness and you look at me for a bit of reassurance. That is all you need to carry on and times like those make me realize that you are growing up so fast. It seemed to happen in an instant and each day is a new adventure. A new adventure we will go through and I will reflect on and remember.
I love you kiddo!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Yoplait Giveaway!

I've said it before but we really like yogurt around this house. Eat it plain, freeze it for a yummy summer treat, and we even bake with it (yummy recipe coming soon!)

Thanks to Yopliat Whips and my blog spark, I was able to try Yoplait whips and I don't know where I have been and why I haven't tried this sooner! We freezed a few and they were fantastic!! You can freeze them and just take them out a few minutes before you plan to eat them...and enjoy!

Yoplait Whips! yogurt is currently available in nine delectable flavors - Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Raspberry, Key Lime Pie, Lemon Burst, Orange Créme, Peaches `N Cream, Raspberry Mousse, Strawberry Mist, and Vanilla Créme.

Thanks to Blog Spark, I have another fabulous giveaway!

You will get a lunch bag, coupon for your own Yoplait whips and these adorable ice cream cone molds!!
You can follow Yoplait on facebook or twitter too!
To win:
Just tell me what flavor you would try first! Enter FAST by Wenesday Sept 1st!
The information, prize pack and yogurt was to me from Yoplait and My Blog Spark . The opinons are my own and i was no compensated for this post. I just like yogurt.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

<------currently in denial

My kid certainly is NOT ten months old today.


No way.

My baby is still a tiny, itty bitty baby. Not a TEN month old.

Nope. I refuse to accept it.

Thanks, blogger for sucking last night and not allowing me to upload any photos so I don't have to fully accept and come to terms with the fact that my baby is now ten months old.

Regular posting will continue once this mommy accepts reality.

A timeline cannot be put on this as all mom's may not accept reality at the same pace. This mom has just begun to accept the ninth month so it might be a while.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How I remain remotely sane (at least for now)

I'm all about keeping it real around here. My life is obviously not full of puppy dogs and rainbows so I'll be honest about anything, and if you couldn't' tell life has been crazy. If you read my last post, you probably can tell I'm just frazzled. Work has been really busy, hectic and very trying. With budget cuts we are dealing with less resources and more the piles of work get bigger. I try to be positive but things are really bad at work right now in the current state that we are (no raises in the past 3 years, constant cuts on our benefits and health insurance) so it's hard to stay positive in that respect. Add in the fact that they moved us while I was on maternity leave and added 50 more miles a day to my commute and I'm just done.

I've been looking for a solution (new job) but there is not a lot out there. So, I stay here until something does come up and I try to stay positive (or sane.) I know I should just be thankful I have a job but there are days (like today) that I think about leaving and not coming back! (Don't we all??) The thing that keeps me here is flexibility (ahem..for that little one.)

I mentioned that we have a family friend watching Brady a few days a week. I know I had mentioned daycare and luckily (or not lucky?) we didn't have to put him in one. We interviewed a few of them and I didn't feel right about either of them (call it intuition) and we were in a huge bind already with no one to watch him and she came to the rescue for the time being.

I'm happy to have her but like I said, the social aspect sucks. I'm working on a solution to that. In a perfect world, I'd find a job closer so that I can work 4 ten hour days or a job that pays enough that I can work less hours :) We will see......or maybe I'll just win the lottery. Wonder which one will pan out first...ha!

I think that as a working mom...as a mom in general, we do get caught up in trying to do everything for everyone. I have to remind myself that I can't and it's okay if I let Blake fold the towels and he does it wrong (control freak...I admit it!!!) It's okay (even though I might dream about it) to let the dishes stay dirty. I admit it took me a while to let other people take over in caring for Brady. I had to let go of the feeling that they were not doing it the way I did even though their way worked and was just as good. I had to let go.....and I think as mother's that is the hardest thing for us to do.

So, in the meantime, I have found small solutions to tide me over. Small band-aids to keep me sane.
  • Time is going way too fast and my child is going to be 10 months old--TOMORROW. In that, I decided that every now and then (hopefully more than less) I'll take a day off and spend it with my little man. He needs that and so do I! This Friday, he has his last rabies shot (A-FREAKING-MEN!) in the morning and we are going to spend the rest of it at the zoo! I tried not to take any days off that I don't need as I want to save up for our next baby but I think that this is one of those exceptions to the rule. Take time and enjoy because they grow up too fast.
  • Don't take work home with you. I leave my frustrations at the door and snuggles and playtime are in order for the rest of the day! This is really hard on some days but I remember that I am not paid enough to take it home and that my family comes first.
  • Take time for yourself. Even if it's 15 minutes at the end of the day, you need some time to unwind and prepare for the next day of insanity. I recently starting reading again and even though I might pass out in the book, the 15 minutes I get at the end of the day make me feel a bit more sane/refreshed then the night before.
  • Accept help. I am not one to take for help even in dire circumstances. I can do it all. I am sure of it (ha, I laugh at that now!). Last Sunday, after months of awful nights and no sleep (thanks to the teething monster and the frienemy called separation anxiety) and more than nine months of broken sleep, I caved. Blake said that I must be tired to let him go but I did. He had his FIRST sleepover at Grandma's and he practically slept through the night for her (go figure!!) The next day, I felt refreshed and ready to take on the world. We both needed it. Since then, he has slept through the night TWICE and longer stretches.

So, that is my advice ladies (and gentleman?) Take a breath, take time for yourself, and smell the roses (or dirty diapers!)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Finding balance

I have been back at work for eight months now. Between Blake's schedule and my own, and an active nine month old, life can be hectic.

Some days I feel like I have adjusted and I have things under control. Some days I feel like I am treading water. That is the only way I can describe it and I can't keep my head above water. I just can't seem to get everything done. Most of my phone calls to friends are in the car to and from work. There just isn't time some days for anything else. I try to make time for friends and social occasions (hmmm..friends and babies that is a whole other post in itself) but that means other things have to be cut. Weekends fly by and we are all exhausted by the end of each day. I am always exhausted (guess it would help if this kid decided to actually sleep at night.)

In a perfect world, I would be a SAHM but that is not in the cards for us right now (but I am playing one big lottery sized card but that isn't working out so far.) I try to find perks besides the whole financial aspect but some days I am left without any and others I can muster up at least one. I know that by working I am providing for him by putting clothes on is back, a roof over his head and food in his belly but I often find myself wondering, is that enough? Then again, as long as he has love and feels it THAT should be enough, right?

Lately, I have been in a funk. Brady is so interactive, fun, and growing up before my eyes. He is going to be one in a few months (TWO!!!) I'm terrified I'm going to miss his first steps. Even though I have basically threatened both my MIL and a family friend who has been watching him (ok, well not really but I used a lot of big words) to tell me nothing but I know they are going to slip up.

I obviously miss a big chunk of his day. By the time I get home, sometimes I get 2 hours with him, sometimes 4..sometimes 1. That is obviously the hardest.

I also feel constantly guilty (there that damn G word is again) especially when he holds his hands up while in the sitter's arm reaching out for me. Talk about ripping my heart out. He is so attached to me (i mean literally attached, sometimes I wonder if the cord was cut) that I know separation is good for both of us but watching him watch me leave him is pretty much awful. (Did you follow that?)

Then, there is the whole social aspect (or the lack of.) MIL and our family friend watch him which is awesome but that means NO social interaction for him. I hold back tears as I write that because I watch him watch other kids and his eyes light up. Most playgroups and activities are during the week and that just sucks. The weekends are mad crazy for us half the time so where do I fit in time for that too?

I hate to sound so discouraging especially to those who just went back to work and while it is difficult, believe it or not, there are some perks! I won't say it gets easier; you just get used to it. He is developing so much from being away from me and our family friend has taught him so much already. (The little hand motion he makes when he 'rolls it out' is beyond adorable!) He loves being with other people and they are able to give him constant one-on-one attention he craves and desires. He is bonding with other people other than mommy and daddy. Working gives me adult interaction and a social outlet other than poop, milk and boo-boo's. Looking that it that way, it is win-win!

I sometimes wonder when or if I will find the right balance. Is there a secret I don't know about because if there is I want in on it. How can you make laundry disappear? or the dishes to wash themselves or dinner miraculously made when you get home? Now, THOSE are secrets I need to find out....

At the end of the day, my guilt is subsided when I get home. I walk in to see the biggest smile on his face and literally the loudest baby belly chuckle. He crawls to me and I pick him up and squeeze him so hard while he wraps his arms around me and I feel all is right. This is what makes it all worth it. This is what I rush home for. This is my reward for the sacrifice I make.

So, on my quest to achieve some sort of balance, I want to hear from other mommies.

How do you find balance between work, your child(ren), household stuff, and you social life?

Oh, and you have the secret to any of this.....please divulge. My dishes certainly do NOT wash themselves.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The saga continues

(Way more thrilled than I was to be there. Hey, they had fishies!)

It has been a long damn week and luckily it is Friday (the 13th!)

I spent all day on the phone with Brady's doctor and Children's Hospital. It was a process (meaning I had to talk to the Communicable Diseases Dept several times, fun!) to get this all figured out but we eventually decided to vaccinate him.

The CDC recommends any child who has been in an area with a bat while sleeping get the shot. The CDC knows their stuff along withe Children's Hospital (one of the best!) so we felt confident this was the right choice even though it still didn't want to have to do it.

I was so nervous for him. I didn't know what to expect since everyone kept telling me that the shots were awful. I didn't want to do that to my child but if there was even a small chance of this causing Brady to get sick and have something that is not curable, I had to do it.

He is such an amazing little boy. You have no idea how proud and amazed I was at this little boy. It brings tears to my eyes to think about (which is small compared to what all these other sick kids at the hospital have to go though all the time and that hurts me for them and their mommies!)

They weighed him and measured him (22 1/2 pounds, 30 inches tall (90% percentile!) The dr talked to us about the process and then looked him over. She asked him to open his mouth and he did!!! He sat there quietly while she looked in his ears/nose/eyes like he was a pro at this. She laughed because she said, 'well, I was going to ask about development but I can see he is doing great!' Then, asked him if he was sure he was only 9 months. Made momma smile and he loved the attention! He went right to her! I think he might have gone home with her had I let him!

She had to hold him down for the first shot. It was an immunoglobulin which gives him antibodies he would need to fight off rabies. It was a very large dose but luckily for him he is young so he needs less than say I would (I would need 3-4 shots possibly.)

That meant a looooong big poke. He cried... hard. I wanted to pick him up and tell him I was sorry. The 2nd poke was quick, thankfully!

I took it hard because I know this was something he didn't HAVE to have per say. I know it was for his own safety but this one was different somehow. I know the whole situation was in no way my fault but I felt a sense of guilt that I cannot shake.

Afterwards, she brought him THREE stickers which he thoroughly enjoyed (um, they have puppies on them, that was the highlight of his day) and asked if he could have a sucker.

(Trying to decide what is more awesome, this tasty sucker or this tasty sticker of my favorite thing-doggies!!!)

Normally, I am a food snob when it comes to him and I said, "he can have whatever he wants."
If he could have talked and asked for a pony, I would have ran out and got him one.

I am such a sucker. Speaking of, I was given one too! :)

(Not gonna let this go. I had to later wrangle it from him!)

It's something about a piece of life that you cannot control to put a lot into prospective.

I am more than thankful that our trip to this hospital is going to be short lived. It made me think of all the kids there that have to go for the reasons they could. I saw a new mommy bringing pumped milk to her baby, a kid with an IV, and kids who might just be there for something like we were. There are so many sick kids in this world and I have to pat all the mommy's and daddy's on the back. You deserve a medal for anything you have to go through and I would hug you if I could.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Holy crap.

Oh holy hell of a day. I can only sum it up by saying that this is what TV shows are made of. I am starting to think my life might be good reality tv because I can't even make crap up like this.

My niece was watching Brady yesterday. She texted me earlier asking if we had a bird because she keeps hearing this screeching noise. Great. Issue #1.

Then, I get a phone call from her while I am in the meeting. Normally, I don't answer but knowing she is with Brady and she doesn't call unless it's something, so I did.

She saw a bat. The damn bat. Not sure if it's THE (which coincidentally was about the same time of year) bat from last year but I didn't give a crap I just left as fast as I could and drove home like a maniac.

On my way home, she calls again.

'Amy, don't freak out when I tell you this (all i am thinking is the damn bat ate my baby....) but there are cops in your driveway, and all over the place trying to find your neighbor.' Awesome. Issue #2.

Back story: Next store neighbor has been acting weird. He's been banging in his garage at all hours (and his garage backs up to Brady's room) of the night. I found out his wife was sick so I let him be even though he was waking up Brady many times each week. He stopped for a while and then the past week, things were getting weird again and what seemed like half his life was sitting in his truck.

I pull up to see cops and an ambulance all over my neighborhood. I wanted to throw up. I was going to be one of those mom's who would get arrested trying to get into where they were telling me not to go. Luckily for me, they let me go into my house. I ran in scooped up my baby and watched the drama unfold. The neighbor came out hands up and they talked to him for a while. Everyone left and I rested a bit easier until there was a knock on my door.

Holy crap! I had to answer it because he saw me peek out the door. It was him.

He then tells me his side of the story and he wants me to take him to the hospital to get evaluated by a psychiatrist. I looked at my niece who is just as freaked out and he told me to think about it and he'll be outside doing whatever it is he has been doing the past week.

My car was across the street (there were 2 cop cars in my driveway) so I had my niece run and drive it around the block to park it in the garage. Then, we all made a mad dash and got the hell out of there. I literally felt like I was running for my life and like I was doing something wrong (damn social worker in me) for running but I was not about to put my child at risk.

I came home later to find him hooking up his trailer with everything possible attached to his truck and a few of my neighbors outside. He was driving to Kansas, apparently but in no shape to do so. I actually believe one of my other neighbors reported his license.

They have lived in our subdivision for 25 years since it was built. I feel awful for what he is going through and I hope he gets help but that was literally the scariest crap I have ever seen. Men with loaded guns on my yard, and under our deck with my baby inside. The poor kids across the street who love to go to his house when he's working outside saw it and are obviously traumatized. So, he's gone for now. How long? Who knows.

Then, I get a phone call today from a nurse at St. Luke's informing me on rabies and babies. Apparently, St. Louis has had 8 rabid bats reported so far this summer and we are a hot spot for the ugly suckers. So, now I have to decide if I should vaccinate my child or not.

Having a child puts all this into prospective for me and makes it all so much more complicated. I worry about him and of course my first priority is to keep him safe but why vaccinate him with FOUR rounds of shots if he doesn't have to have it. I have no clue what to do. We have a few pest control companies coming out and I guess we'll go from there.

So, if you are still here after that long drawn out craziness of my life, I applaud you, ha ha but seriously all I can say is at least there is never a dull moment. :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

I am fighting back!

This is one of those posts that I have tried to write and I just stop. I know a lot of you have mentioned that I am always so positive after we have been through so much. How do I do it? To be honest, some it is out of pure denial. I have bad days. I have a lot of them and some days the only way to get through it was to focus on what good there is in life. To hug my baby a thousand times more that day. To run through the sprinklers or bike through nature.

To not sit idle and let life pass me by.

To me, it is the best way I can pay tribute to those I have lost.

The past six months have taught me more that a lifetime of lessons. Appreciate what you have. If you love someone, tell them. Life is short. Life matters more than things matter. I could go on.
After Matt died and then both of my grandmother's deaths, reality hit hard.

Life is short.

It can be taken away at any moment.

Love, embrace, and celebrate the time that you are here.

Then, my brother (Type 1) and dad (Type 2) were diagnosed with Diabetes. My life changed again. I made my family's health a priority (another post to come about that) and vowed to teach my son healthy eating habits. We started working out and eating in.

Then, last week a friend of mine was diagnosed with stage 2 Breast Cancer. I stopped in my tracks. She is relatively young, just got married last year and was hoping to get pregnant. Now a double mastectomy, chemo, radiation and egg storage will be in her future.

I got mad. Mad because all this awful, horrible, tragic stuff keeps happening to good people.

It's not fair.

Life is not fair but I already knew that. My once naive self told me that.

I put on my big girl pants, and I got back up. You can get knocked down again and again and get yourself back up.

I refuse to pout and refuse to let something I can't control take over.

I can be there. I can take action. We can take action!

So, each month, I'll be posting something in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness. I will be doing monthly exams, and hope you will too.

While you are at it, please send some prayers for her. It's going to be a long, hard road and she could use any extra prayers you have not used up from me already!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

CSN strikes again!

I posted about CSN before and I am in dire need of some dining room furniture. We have awesome table that is a hand-me down from my grandma but we have no chairs. Yes..living room table and no chairs. It's like PB without the J....

I remembered CSN from the giveaway I did recently and found that they have dining room furniture.

Later that night, I went to repack the diaper bag and found it covered in sunscreen. There was a massive explosion and that stuff does not come out. When they say waterproof, they mean it!

When I was on CSN earlier that day looking at dining room chairs, I remembered they have diaper bags too! They really saved the day!

I was debating between this one and another but I fell in LOVE with this one and I can't wait to get it. Review to come!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Helicopter momma

In College, I worked at a preschool. In my classroom, I had a wide range of kids with different abilities. One kid I will probably never forget had a trach tube, and another kid who liked to pull it out. There were several times I had to reinsert the tube into the neck of a flailing child who was turning blue (I had him from time he was 1-3) so he could breath.

I shook like a leaf and was scared out of my mind but I did it and I remained calm. Somehow.

When I graduated, I was a nanny for five kids. During a trip to a 'mommy and me' class, one of the little guys got his finger stuff in a gate and it was nearly severed off. Somehow I remained calm. I was in total shock but I remained calm in what I needed to do.

Now, I have my own child. I am relaxed about a lot of things but I have realized that when it comes to my own child, I am more than protective. I feel a maternal urge deep into my soul to protect him. To keep him safe. To hold him close.

As he is growing independence, it is something I find myself worrying about on a daily basis. What if he falls and hits his head? What if he figured out how to get through the basement door and fall down the stairs? What if I'm not there to catch him?

So, I have turned into a helicopter parent...well, you know besides the the fact that he refuses to leave my side thanks to separation anxiety. I still manage to hover over him like a floating aircraft.

Yet, he still manages to escape my grasp and explore the world on his own. He discovered the dog's dishes, stands on his own , and tries to shove anything he can find in his mouth BUT I am right there to catch him if he were to fall or to make sure nothing 'choke worthy' (yes, I made a up a word) goes into his mouth.

His first steps are nearing. I can feel it and I'm not ready. Not ready for him to turn into that walking toddler. Not ready for him to run away from me. Most of all, not ready for the boo-boo's and the bruises that come a long with this new found independence.

I'll be honest. I have been in a true emergency and kept my calm but with other people's children but can I do it for my own? Did I love those kiddo's, yes but it does not compare to the love you feel for your own and that maternal urge you feel deep inside to protect that tiny soul. The hurt that you feel when they are hurting. The pain you feel when you can't make it go away.

Last night, we went on our second bike ride. This time at a less than straight trail with what I felt like was the biggest hill on earth since I knew my child would be sailing down it. I yelled at Blake and told him to slow down and 'be careful!' but as I looked over at my son, I saw a light in his eyes.

A light that was so bright and so full of excitement and curiosity.

I slowed down and let him have his fun and listened to him giggle and sing. I let him be. There will always be times when I'm not there to catch him. I can't put him in a bubble (though I wish I could) and keep him safe from all that life entails.


I can put a band-aid on his first boo-boo.

I can hold him close when his heart is broken for the first time. or the 3rd.

I can hold his hand when he is scared.

I can be there for him when he needs me to be.

I might not always be there when something happens but I'll always be there FOR him.

I'll always be there to catch him.