Baby D · Mom Musings

Mom Musings: Raising a Reader

(picture from bloxi.com, found via google image search)

It was only a matter of time before I had a post like this, right? (I mean, look at my blog name, the original intent of this blog in my About Me, and search for the “With My Reading Buddy” tag, and I think you’ll get the hint, if you’ve missed it ;))

But I’m writing this now because I’ve been inspired by a few posts by Eric, at All in a Dad’s Work (Hi, Eric!). His is one of the blogs I was regularly reading for a while. As you know, I was away from the blogs for a bit, but when I started catching up, his was one of the first ones I went to. (Check him out; I love his “Questions I Asked My Kids” segments). Anyway, a few of his posts over the last couple of months (yes I had to go back a few months to catch up!) have been about reading with his two boys. They both seem to enjoy reading and talk about going to bookstores. I hope Dom is the same way as he grows up!

I try to read to Dom regularly. He has a bookshelf filled with books, and I’m always buying new ones. And of course he got a few more for Christmas. I have one memorized that I recite to him every night as we are settling into the rocking chair before bed (The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton – one of the first books Dom played with, as you can tell by the missing corner).

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The beloved (memorized) bedtime story, sitting in our rocking chair
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The Pen

We have a “pen” set up in our living room (one of those enclosed gate things that you can configure into different shapes) where he plays during the day and I always leave a few books in there, as well. Lately, when I sit in it with him, he will bring a book over to me and then sit in my lap so I can read it to him (melts my heart every time).

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The most common book he brings to me — though he’s typically ready to move on by the time we reach the letter “N” (I also have this one pretty much memorized)
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Shelf in his bedroom

He knows what “book” is when you ask, which I love. Depending on where we are, he’ll either point to the small pile in his pen or the bookshelf in his bedroom. I’m always on the lookout for new books, so if you have any recommendations, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments!

 

A few friends at work  are beginning to read the good chapter books with their kids (like Harry Potter), and that is something I so look forward to! (but I also don’t want to wish the time to speed up to get there!)

What are your kids’ favorite books? What’s your favorite book to read with your child(ren)?

Baby D · Year in Review

Where Did 2016 Go?

Hi everyone! Remember me?

I’ve recently started playing catch up with reading blogs I follow, so forgive me for likes/comments on older posts. (for some of you I even went back to July!) It’s been fun playing catch up to see what’s been going on in your lives.

My M.O. this year seems to be fewer, longer posts. So, as I’ve cautioned with others, this is a fairly lengthy post (and my apologies in advance for the lack of pictures). This’ll be a catch up/year in review type post, using my 2016 plans post as a guide.

Baby D
First of all, to make my life a bit easier when typing, I’ll share that Baby D’s name is Dom. It’ll be much easier to type that than constantly writing “Baby D” (not to mention: what will I call him when he’s no longer a baby? — something that’s quickly happening!) I think my last post was about him turning 1. We’re now at 14.5 months and it’s amazing what’s happened in the last 2.5 months since I posted. For one, he never ended up getting around to crawling, just scooting around on his bum everywhere, and let me tell you, he could really pick up speed! But forget scooting, he’s now fully walking around like he owns the place. He started that at about 13 months. He’s too damn cute. I’m sorry, I’ll say it. He’s also starting to talk a little; clearly saying “mama” and “dada” and knowing who those words identify, he says “blll” for “ball” and “balloon”, “blllum” for a truck/car noise, and sort of saying “bumble” (as in the Bumble from Rudolph). Just because he has a limited vocabulary, though, does not mean he doesn’t understand! He knows his own name, and points to the right items when we say light, fan, Henry (his elf on the shelf), Sonny, hug, book, block, ring, penguin (decoration in the house), tree (our Christmas tree), candle, etc. It’s so much fun watching him figure things out. Just today he threw both arms up in the air when I said “touchdown!” He loves to eat, especially his veggies (corn, peas, and carrots are his favorites). He also has a sweet tooth, like his mumma. 🙂 He’ll be transitioning from “Infants” to “Toddlers” next month at the daycare. Can’t believe we’re already at that point!

Work
Work has been crazy busy. Lots of changes over the course of the year. I mentioned in another post that my manager of 3 years had decided to leave to pursue her dream of sailing down to the Caribbean. I am happy to report that she is absolutely loving it and is completely in her element. Follow her blog here! (we haven’t been as successful with Freddy, but he has had a few adventures that I need to add to his blog). The manager that took over has also left. I had 6 solid months working with her and really enjoyed that time. I definitely plan to keep in touch with her! I am now on my work break for the next 2 weeks (Friday the 16th was my last day in the office for the year. I’ll return on January 3). I am so happy to have this time off and recharge after all the changes we had this year. I still love my job and my team so will still look forward to getting back into things in the new year.

Reading
I set up my Goodreads challenge to complete 24 books this year. I’m at 22, so could potentially hit 24 by the 31st, if I set my mind to it. I joined the Book of the Month Club over the summer so have been getting a book each month (except for December, none of the options appealed to me so I skipped it — but I had 2 free credits for referrals which I used in November, so I still have 2 BOTM books to read — not to mention other books sitting on my real and virtual book shelves!)

Totally failed at the Q&A a Day book — but I can try again next year! (and the next 3 after that).  I think I fell off somewhere in April…

I haven’t used the reading nook at all, except to store more books, of course!

Crafts
Sewing
Right. So nothing to report here. I have done one of the diaper pouch/changing pad things for my cousin back in May (I have a draft post for it as I have a few others to make and wanted to put them altogether in one post). That is the only thing I have sewed all year. I laugh when I look back at my 2016 post and all the dreams I had! I didn’t have anything for any of The Monthly Stitch’s challenges, either. I completely underestimated the amount of time I’d actually have to sew. I pretty much did nothing I hoped to do at the end of last year. And because I fell behind in reading blog posts, I completely forgot about/never checked in about the #stichingsanta hosted by Sheila. Which, in retrospect, is probably a good thing, given that I never accomplished anything!

Knitting
I have completed a sock! I joined a socks KAL (knit-a-long) at the end of the summer and didn’t finish in time for the wrap up, but I’m slowly making my way through. I finished the first sock and will eventually finish the second one (I’m almost done with the cuff). I’ll post about those later on.

 30×30 List Carry Over
Well, I haven’t really done any of these either, but the year isn’t over yet! We have plans to do the ZooLights tomorrow!!! (Finally!!!!) We’ve also talked about going to a Cirque du Soleil show (Paramour) in NYC next year, so I’ll get there eventually. (I did see a different Cirque show this summer, Kurios, which was Amazing!) Won’t get around to the pasta from scratch this year, but I plan to make a cheesecake from scratch to bring to my parents’ house the day after Christmas (our new tradition started last year) — can that count toward a pie from scratch??

New Blog Categories
Baking & Cooking 
Haven’t attempted too much. I did make peanut butter banana bars at the end of last year which were pretty good (oh, I guess I mentioned them in my 2016 plans post). I tried a mug chocolate chip cookie and that was not so good. I’ve done the typical banana bread, chocolate chip cookies, etc., but I want to try more.

I also do pancakes & french toast pretty regularly. Recently the pancakes have been with Bisquick, but occasionally I’ll make them from scratch (depends on time!). Dom loves pancakes! and I love them with blueberries. (the other day I was so excited to make blueberry pancakes and when I sat down to eat them, realized I forgot to add the blueberries — I was so disappointed). I’ve also figured out that using whole milk makes the pancakes better! (I only have whole milk on hand because of Dom).

I haven’t done too much in the way of cooking (hubby does the cooking more often; I’m the baker). I have a couple of go to dishes (like meatloaf or pork chops), but I’m hesitant to venture out of my comfort zone because I don’t want to screw up dinner and then not have anything to eat! (especially now that Dom eats table food with us and no longer does the baby purees). But with some time off from work, maybe I’ll try something. I’m always going through the cookbooks I have and folding down pages of things to try, and then never get around to doing anything.

Mom/Family Posts
Probably the only successful part of my goals! (look for “Mom Musings” to see those posts).

So to wrap up: I definitely didn’t do pretty much anything of what I hoped to do. However, aside from a few things, I’m OK with that. It’s been a fast, busy year learning to juggle being a mom with a full time job, and trying to fit in things I did before Dom. I can only hope to learn more each year and figure out the right balance for me. I’ll do a 2017 plans post and hopefully make it more realistic so that my review post a year from now will be sharing successes across the board!

Baby D · Mom Musings

Mom Musings: One Year

Let me repeat that: One. Year.

I’m still struggling to believe how one year has passed by so quickly. This has been the happiest, most challenging, and most fulfilling year of my life. I can’t imagine our lives without him. He brings us so much joy and he’s just the best. Allowing myself a moment to brag: he’s the cutest, smartest, and funniest baby. His little personality is really starting to shine through and he makes me laugh more than anything (he must get it from his dad). He’s also a pretty friendly baby and loves to wave at everyone (though sometimes it’s a delayed reaction and he waves after the person walks away, but that’s OK).

Someone once said to me “the days are long but the weeks are short”, and I truly understand the meaning behind that now!

Part of me would love to start all over again (with Baby D, not a new one any time soon!), to be able to snuggle my teeny newborn again, watch all of these amazing milestones happen again, and if I’m being honest, make some changes (breastfeed longer and set a better sleep schedule/routine earlier than we did are two that specifically come to mind). Another part of me is happy to have some of these things behind us (you know, like the colic) and doesn’t want him to grow too quickly. And yet another part of me wants him to grow up just a little faster so we can start doing things together. It’s very conflicting, being a mum.

I don’t pretend that this has been all rainbows and butterflies, it really has been the toughest “job” I’ve ever had. The colic in the beginning was really rough. Going back to work full-time added its own challenges, and it’s certainly harder to make last-minute plans with friends. I don’t think I could be a stay at home mom because I definitely need the socialization, adult interactions, and the chance to apply my brain to things other than baby 24/7 that a full-time job outside of the house offers. But it can definitely be hard to spend so much time away from him. And when I have a day off part of me wishes I had more time off. And let’s not forget to mention the sleep! Or lack thereof. There have been some really tough nights… even recently, just a few weeks ago, we had a really crappy night with minimal sleep for us and we had a cranky Monday (or at least I did!); but I think we chalked it up to teething as his first tooth finally started showing up within a day or 2 of that night.

Today I’ve been periodically looking at the clock, thinking back to what I was doing a year ago. (at the time of typing this sentence, 9:41pm, a year ago we were in the hospital getting ready to meet our little man). In honor of that, I’ve set this post to publish at 11:42pm today, the time he was born.

I’m so excited to watch what the next days, weeks, months, and years will bring and all the other firsts and new things he’ll learn, and what we’ll learn by extension. Even though we may no longer be considered new parents, we still have a lot to learn and we’re always surprised by the new things he can do. I truly feel so blessed to have this little boy in our lives and I feel that I can’t always adequately express that.

So here’s to all the parents out there. I have a better understanding and appreciation of what it’s like to be a mom (though I still sometimes wonder when I even became an adult and can still be surprised that I’m a parent). And a special shout out to my parents: thank you so much for all you’ve done and continue to do for me & now for my little family; being a parent isn’t easy and I so appreciate all you had to do or may have had to give up for Kristen and me. And to the newer parents or parents-to-be out there reading this: it’s a wonderful experience and I wish you all the love, luck, health, and joy (and sleep) in your life with your new or soon-to-be babies.

(Side note: today is my WP anniversary! I started this blog back in 2011)

Baby D

It’s a Boy!

Disclaimer: long post ahead!

Since my last post in August, we’ve settled into the house (though of course there are still boxes to unpack!). We focused on getting Baby D’s room ready and basically preparing for his arrival.

Baby D’s Room Before:
D room before

Baby D’s Room After:D room after

I was much more prepared at home than at work for this momentous event! It took a while to find someone to cover for me, and by the time we were able to get her on board there were only 4 weeks until my due date during which I could train her. And of course, you can never really predict when a baby will arrive, so I wanted to be prepared in the off-chance I went early. (I say “off-chance” since it’s fairly normal for first time babies to be late.) Anyway, we found Sam and she picked things up pretty quickly, so each day I had with her I felt more comfortable leaving things in her capable hands.

Then, the week of October 5, I just had a feeling that Baby D was going to arrive that week. I couldn’t (and still can’t) explain why I felt that way, I just know I did. I expressed this to my boss and a couple of co-workers. I think I may have partly felt this way since my doctor wanted to see me on Wednesday of that week, instead of the typical weekly Friday appointment. Anyway, around 4am on Tuesday October 6, I started feeling contractions, but different from what I had been previously experiencing (Braxton Hicks); these new ones were more like an uncomfortable cramping. So I called my doctor’s office around 9am and after I explained what was going on, they said the doctor would definitely want to see me that day instead of waiting until the next day for my appointment. And a good thing too: my doctor declared I was in the stages of early labor (!) — and that Baby D would likely make his appearance that night or the next day.

Needless to say, I did not return to work after my appointment. I came home, got everything together I needed to drop Sonny off at “school” for overnight boarding while we were at the hospital. I became very emotional about having to leave Sonny there, which has never happened before.

After dropping him off I did a small grocery shopping. Around 3:30pm, I called my doctor and he said it was up to me if I wanted to head to the hospital to get checked but unfortunately he was not on shift or on call so if D came that night he wouldn’t be the one doing the delivery. He called me back a short time later and said that if I did decide to go to the hospital he would meet me there around 5 to check me out.

By about 4pm I was definitely feeling the contractions, though they were still about 7-10 minutes apart. By that time I had called my husband to tell him that we would likely be going to the hospital. So at about 4:30pm we made our way to the hospital.

I was checked in by about 4:45 and it was noted that I was 6cm dilated, so we were staying for a “birthday party”, according to my doctor. After checking me he left to go have dinner at home and then decided to come back to do the delivery despite not being on shift/call… so awesome!

So to make part of the story shorter, our baby boy was born at 11:42pm on Tuesday October 6. He was 19.5 inches long and weighed 7lbs 10oz and had a full head of hair. We were instantly in love.

The first meeting with Sonny went perfectly! Sonny loves his little bubs and likes to give him kisses.

Baby D is now almost 8 weeks old and I’m more than halfway through my maternity leave. I can’t believe how quickly time is going by! Everyday I’m struck again that we have this little human with us. I never realized how much I could love someone. I love looking at him while he’s sleeping. He’s now starting to make faces and smile and be more interactive so it’s getting fun. He has been kind of colicky which hasn’t been fun, but I think we might be coming to the end of that (I hope I didn’t jinx it!)

Sorry to disappoint, but hubby and I have decided that we will not be posting pictures of him to social media/the internet, so no baby pictures! But trust me when I say he’s one of the cutest babies ever (though I suppose I could be a bit biased… :)) (I’m obsessed with taking pictures, though & have over 400 pictures of him alone on my phone!)

We are so excited for Christmas and all the things we’ll share with and teach him as he grows.

Yup, we’re smitten. 🙂

Baby D

Oh Baby!

I’ve mentioned in a few different posts now that we’re expecting. I won’t go into a ton of detail, but thought I’d share a little something 🙂

This will prevent me from completing some of my 30 by 30 items — like getting a new tattoo, for example — but that is fine by me! In fact, I considered adding “start a family” on the list, but I felt that was a private one that I didn’t necessarily want to broadcast.

Anyway, we’re due in October (now about 6.5 weeks away) and we’re having a boy (we’ll call him Baby D)! We are so excited and can’t wait to meet him.

The pregnancy has been a good one, and has flown by. I did have lots of nausea at the beginning, but then around week 16 it went away. I’ve had some sciatic/back pain throughout and some days are worse than others, but what can you do? He favors my right side and I think he’s resting on my sciatic nerve.

Our parents threw us a baby shower this past weekend and it was so nice! We had a nice gathering of some family and friends and everyone was so thoughtful with their gifts! We got so many cute clothes, I just don’t know how we’ll be able to use them all!

I’m planning to work for as long as I can and then get a 12-week maternity leave from work, so will likely be out through early/mid January (depending on when Baby D decides to arrive).

We really are beyond excited to start this next chapter of our lives!