Monday, August 31, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009


Yes, I'm stealing a post title from a good friend of mine, but she summed it up perfectly in one little word.

There's a blog that I've been following for a few months now - Three Cheers for Babies. It's about a couple and their very premature triplet babies, Lily, Charlie, and Annaleigh, who were born at 25 weeks. While the prognosis for babies born that early is generally very grim, the news was almost always good for these three. The doctors were optimistic, the nurses marvelled at how well they were doing, and the parents prepped a nursery for the three babies they would be bringing home from the NICU. After two months of waiting and hoping, filled with ups and downs, bad news and good, their lives were turned upside-down in the span of 24 hours. Last Thursday, their father posted some fantastic news - Annaleigh was breathing room air on her own. The joy and hope in that post was incredible - you could tell they knew it was only a matter of time before all three of their babies would be coming home. Only a short day later their blog followers were devastated to see a post explaining that little Annaleigh was deathly ill, and would not survive the weekend. She passed away on Saturday.

I, and so many others, have been following their story, and it touched me today in much the same way that it touched my friend - a heartbreaking sadness that only a parent could possibly understand. I can't even fathom what it must be like to be given so much hope - to see so much progress come from a bleak outlook, and to have all of your dreams ripped from you in a matter of hours. As the post title says, it certainly puts things in perspective. We are so lucky to have a healthy baby (toddler!) boy, so lucky that we, ourselves, are healthy, and so lucky to have the wonderful family and friends that we do. I am not a religious person, only spiritual - I do not subscribe to any one faith, but the only word that seems adequate to describe how lucky we are is to say that we are truly blessed. As human beings, we tend to get caught up in the mundane aspects of life - bill paying, work, house cleaning - let Annaleigh serve as a reminder to slow down and enjoy the time we have together.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sleepless Night

Ever have those nights where you're suddenly flooded with random memories and you can't for the life of you get them out of your head so you can sleep?

A certain facebook comment I saw yesterday instantly shot me back to 13 years ago. I won't bother going into details about what my friends and I were up to back then, but there were good times and bad times, and I feel like I relived that entire summer in the span of a few hours. Sometimes I don't know if my picture-perfect memory is a blessing or a curse. I remember the most vivid details of the most mundane events. I think that summer will go down in my personal history as the best summer ever - pre-husband and baby, anyway :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Recipe Wednesday - Baked Blueberry Oatmeal

Someone posted this link on one of my mom boards and I just had to try it out, since Baby C loves oatmeal and blueberries. Especially blueberries. He'd eat a pint a day, easily, if I'd let him. It's from Recipe Zaar.

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal

4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cups milk
3 cups quick oats or regular oats
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon (or more, to taste)
1 cup blueberries


This is a "two bowl" recipe. In the first bowl, mix the butter, brown sugar, eggs, applesauce and milk. In the second bowl, whisk together the baking powder, salt, and cinnamon, and then mix in the oats. Add the dry bowl to the wet bowl and mix to combine. Stir in blueberries.

Pour into greased 9 x 9 inch baking dish. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. (You can make this a night in advance and refrigerate overnight, just add 5-8 minutes to the baking time)

This one went over well in our house. Both Charlies enjoyed it for breakfast, and then I cut the rest into pieces and froze them on a baking sheet. They aren't quite the same after being frozen, they take on a consistency that's more like oatmeal than cake, but it keeps me from having to make a fresh bowl every morning. I think this is going to be a winter staple for Baby C.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Memo Monday

Apparently the first memo didn't get the message across...

From memos

Friday, August 14, 2009

Swim Diaper

After reading my SIL's blog post about how bloated my nephew's diaper got after playing in the fountain, I realized that I never updated my cloth diaper posts to include the reusable swim diapers we found. I checked out a few different styles and settled on the Bummis SWIMMI, mostly because they had a velcro front and I figured that would work well for us since Baby C has no butt to hold up his bottoms. This was the only brand I found with velcro.

I ordered them from the sister shop of Nicki's Diapers - My Swim Baby. They specialize in swim diapers and everything summer related. These diapers have worked out really well for us. They've kept everything contained, so far!

A word of warning: Swim diapers (even the disposable kind!) are NOT meant to hold in pee, only to hold in solids. At the beginning of swim season there were tons of posts by moms who didn't realize that swim diapers let the pee flow through and ended up with soaked carseats or laps :)

We usually stick them in the diaper bag and put them on after we get to the pool. There are lots of fun prints to choose from, too!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Trapper Keeper

Just out of curiosity I decided to see if they still manufacture Trapper Keepers. To my surprise, Amazon has a pretty wide selection. I briefly considered ordering one, but then upon closer inspection I realized that Trapper Keepers are not, in fact, all that and a bag of chips, they are merely crumbs at the bottom of the bag.

All they really are is a binder with a velcro (or magnet, in the 21st century) flap.

The technical details:

* Customizable cover.
* 2 interior storage pockets.
* 5 tab dividers.
* 1.5" binder.
* Magnetic closure.

They even look corporate now!

Where are the prints? The Transformers and Ninja Turtles? The Lisa Frank animals? Can't I get some Sanrio?

Really? I remember Trapper Keepers as sooooo cool! I could create the same effect with a rubber band :(

I guess this is just another example of how fuzzy memories can be.

I want to go back to school :(

Fall is right around the corner and everywhere I turn people are talking about back-to-school shopping, buying school supplies, and packing to go away to college.

I was always one of those losers who looked forward to the first day of school with great anticipation. For as far back as I can remember I would be too excited to sleep a wink the night before the big day. I think I slept better the night before our wedding than any night before the first day of school. I loved buying new school supplies - brand new pens and pencils, unmarked notebooks full of so much potential, BINDER TABS. Oh, and the year that Trapper Keepers were all the rage. I LOVED my Trapper Keeper. I wish I could buy one.

I wish I was going back to school next month. I loved the whole atmosphere of "back-to-school" season, especially at UC. The crowds at the bookstores, the excited freshmen scurrying around, block parties, Bearcat football, interesting classes, watching the leaves turn color around campus - I loved it all. I'm hoping to drag out my UC hoodie, get Baby C some Bearcat gear, and hit a Big East football game this fall. Maybe that will quench my thirst for campus life. ** sigh **

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pregnancy Book Reviews

I typed up some information for a newly pregnant friend of mine, and figured I would post some of it here, too. This list is about Pregnancy / Breastfeeding books that I read.

Your Pregnancy Week by Week

 Charlie and I read this one together every Sunday when I reached another weekly milestone. I loved reading that book – it was a nice ritual and was very informative without being scary. I liked the weekly measurement numbers and the “what is your baby doing this week” sections. It was nice to be able to follow along on the development track every step of the way.

The Complete Organic Pregnancy

This book has a lot of great information for those of us who are interested in natural living. It's presented in an easy-to-read way and includes information on both macro and micro levels - from the chemicals in our environment to the food that we put in our bodies. I enjoyed some of it, especially the recipes and the section on food, but it's a little over-the-top in terms of what it tells you to avoid. I don't know about you, but I'm not willing to recarpet and repaint the entire house :)

What to Expect When You're Expecting

I know this is one of the most popular and well-known books for pregnant women. I remember seeing my aunt’s copy on their coffee table 15 years ago when she was pregnant with my cousin. I bought a copy at a used book store and returned it a few days later – I hated it, though. I thought it was pretty alarmist and ended up stressed out about things I didn’t know I needed to be stressed out about. Apparently they recently released an updated version, so maybe that one is better. If you’re only going to buy one general reference guide I would go with the Week by Week book, instead. (as a side note, what is with the pregnant lady graphics on these books? you've got the crazy frumpy hat in Week by Week and this lady looks like one morose mofo)

The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy

This book has tons of practical information, but it's very funny, I would almost call it light reading. Vicki has a great writing style and is brutally honest about the good, the bad, and the really really ugly about pregnancy and the whole labor & delivery process. I learned more about the reality of pregnancy and birth from this book than any other. (She also wrote The Girlfriend's Guide to Surviving the First Year and The Girlfriend's Guide to Toddlerhood, both of which I also recommend.)

Baby Bargains 

This book is a must-have for picking out baby gear. It includes ratings and information on all of the brands who make baby-related products. They release a new edition every so often so that they can keep you up-to-date on changes to products and manufacturers. I learned a lot about the differences between brands and lines in terms of materials and quality. They grade every company that makes every product you can imagine and have a section that talks about exactly where products fall on the need vs. want continuum. They maintain a blog for updates between additions and notifications on product recalls.

Magazines – There are two free magazine subscriptions that you can sign up for – American Baby and Baby Talk. They’re both just kind of average, but free is free, and what pregnant lady doesn’t love reading about pregnancy and babies?

So That’s What They’re For

I would recommend reading this before your baby gets here. Actually, if you're planning on breastfeeding I would recommend getting your hands on as much information as possible before the baby gets here. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that when it comes to breastfeeding, the more information you have, the better. Everyone assumes that it’s something that comes naturally and should be easy, but it’s not. I learned a ridiculous amount of information that I never knew before. Even though BFing didn't work out for me and I had to EP I still used it as a reference for breast issues. It also has a lot of good info on the benefits of breastmilk, which inspired me to keep EPing even though it sucked sometimes.

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

 This book also had a wealth of knowledge, but I liked the style of So That’s What They’re For a lot better. This one wasn’t as easy to read, and I liked the informal, almost jovial tone of the first book. This one was a little too serious.

The Milk Memos

This one is about working, breastfeeding mothers at IBM (?), who share a pumping room and start a journal where they write notes back and forth to each other about how to deal with being a working mom and how much pumping at work sucks (no pun intended). It was a good read, but I wasn’t able to relate to it all that much, maybe because I don’t work in such a serious corporate setting and because my company is so much smaller. There were A LOT of things that didn’t apply to me. Not a ton of practical info, more good to have for the feeling of not being in it alone.

The Happiest Baby on the Block

This one helped a lot for us. GREAT suggestions for calming pissy babies! The 5 S's work like a charm on Baby Charlie. He loved being swaddled. We had a few of the SwaddleMe wraps, 2 lightweight ones and a fleece one for when it got colder. Once he was done with the swaddle I was still too paranoid to put a blanket in his crib, so we bought Halo Sleepsacks - they're wearable blankets (he does have a blanket in his crib, now!).

Thursday, August 6, 2009

One Year Ago

I was in the hospital watching Mike & Mike, waiting to meet Baby Charlie. It's interesting how I only remember bits and pieces of how the day went. I think the most vivid memory I have of the L&D process was the car ride to the hospital, which really sucked. It was horrible to be in that much pain and have nowhere to go. The other things that stand out are how freaking thirsty I was and how glad I was to see the anesthesiologist when I got the good drugs :p

I can't believe how fast time has gone by. Everyone always tells you that it goes by so quickly, but you just kind of blow it off as unasked for advice. Unfortunately, everyone who told me that was 100% correct. It's really unbelievable.

I want to catch the sand running through the hourglass and just hold on tight. Where is Dumbledore with his time turners when you need them?

I have a lot more I'd like to say, but what was the week from hell last week has spilled into this week, so it will have to wait.


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