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Archive for January, 2011

Is it Spring Yet???

I don’t think the kids in Boston have had a full week of school since returning from Christmas Break.  We’ve had at least one major storm every week.  I think the foot we got last night really pushed all of us over the edge.  We are ready for spring!!  There is no more room for the snow!  Here are a couple shots of our winter wonderland…

Here are our icicles.  They go almost to the ground.  This doesn’t say good things about the amount of heat we’re losing!

 

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This is the view from our upstairs guest room.  The snow on the eaves makes for very little visibility!

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This is a view of the house from the street.  The tiny speck in the garage is Noah James.  He got all bundled up to help me finish shoveling today.

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Its hard to tell from the picture, but the snow on the side of the driveway is above my head!  We don’t have a really long driveway, but it sure does feel long when you have to shovel!

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We no longer have a front entrance to our house.  Sure hope the garage door doesn’t break!

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Noah James was a big help.  Dave did a bunch this morning.  Enough to get his car out.  Then I did the foot of the driveway (you know…where the snow plow comes through and makes a 3 foot high pile of dense, icy snow).  Noah was a good sport, but was less than pleased by this afternoon’s “playtime.”

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It was so windy while I was shoveling that I had to put him in the garage to keep him out of the wind. 

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He watched for a bit, looking very cold and uncomfortable.  Then he fell asleep!

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He was such a good boy, but he did not enjoy being in the cold.  I rewarded him with a little Baby Eistein while I blog.  I can’t get over how much he loves these DVDs.  He is entranced!

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We don’t watch a lot of tv and he watches even less.  But when he is given a chance to stare at the flickering lights and the people and animals on the screen, he absolutely loves it!

While on the subject of Mister Noah James.  He’s been having a rough time lately.  I think he is in the very beginning stages of teething.  He must have something in his mouth at all times!  When there’s nothing around, his hands are in his mouth.  And the drool is out of control!!

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He had some little red dots on his neck that I was attributing to all of the wetness from the drool.  But last week, I realized that his back, belly and arms also had red bumps and rough patches.  I took him to the doctor and the doctor didn’t know what it was from.  She said it wasn’t a virus or an allergy, and was likely reacting to something he was in contact with.  I didn’t change any soaps, lotions or detergents, so I have no idea!  He isn’t itchy and seems to not notice.  That’s great, but I still want to get rid of these bumps.  This isn’t a great picture, but do any moms out there have any ideas???

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The bumps are hard to see, but they remind me of those clear little poison ivy bumps.  Yuck!  Noah turned 4 months on January 22nd, so we have his 4 month well checkup at the doctor next week.  If the bumps aren’t gone by then, I am going to push harder for something specific that I can do.  Right now I am just putting lotion on him in case its caused by dry skin, and rubbing Aquaphor around his neck to form a barrier from all the drool!

Thank goodness the rash isn’t bothering him, because the poor little guy has other problems.  A lot of babies who were good sleepers regress around 4 months, and Noah James seems to be struggling a little more lately.  But to make it worse, we decided to try weaning him from his swaddle. The doctor said it was time to start easing him out of it.  So we are leaving one arm out of the swaddle.  You’d think we were standing the poor kid on his head!  He’s all out of sorts.  He hits himself in the face and wakes right up!  We are very tempted to swaddle him back up, but last night went much better.  Wish us luck tonight!!

The next obstacle is to move him from our room to his crib.  We aren’t stupid enough to try making both changes at once, so we chose to tackle the swaddle first.  Right now, Noah sleeps in the Fisher Price Rock n’ Play Sleeper. This thing is great and I highly recommend it.

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Noah spits up a lot and struggles with reflux issues (I couldn’t tell you how many bibs we go through in one day!!), so sleeping in a cradle that has an incline has really helped him.  Moving to his flat crib will be a definite adjustment!  Any moms out there have any suggestions about weaning a baby from a swaddle or moving him to a crib?  Any helpful hints would be great!

Between the spitting up, the rash, and the sleep issues, Noah has been grumpier than usual.  But his “grumpy” is still pretty happy!  We still get plenty of smiles, so I’ll leave you with some happy Noah pictures and keep the fussy ones to myself!  Before any fussiness sets in this afternoon, I’m going to try to squeeze in a little more studying.  Biochemistry is kicking my butt!  Fortunately, I have a face like this to look at!  Smile

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Snow Day!

Just like most of the country, we spent yesterday digging out from under piles of snow.  The digging part wasn’t fun, but being snowed in was!  Dave had to work from home, so we had a snuggly day with our little man.  Noah James wore his snowsuit for the first time and we took him out to touch the snow.  Look how deep our snow was!

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Noah didn’t know what to make of it.  He wasn’t smiling, but he wasn’t upset either.  He just took it all in with wide eyes.  I didn’t keep him out long.  The wind was really blowing and he doesn’t have mittens.  We left Daddy to do the   digging. 

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A baby is a nice excuse to get out of shoveling duties!  Fortunately for Dave, a neighbor came by with a snow blower and helped him out. What’s an appropriate gift for a neighbor who went above and beyond? 

In other news… Noah has been growing in leaps and bounds! He’s much bigger.  Probably 11 pounds now.  That’s still really small compared to most babies on the verge of 4 months, but since he started out tiny, he is showing a lot of growth.  He’s even getting pudgy cheeks and thighs, as well as a little Buddha belly! 

Beyond the physical growth, I am amazed by how quickly he is learning new things!  My mom bought Noah a Bumbo chair and a Winkle.  Moms and dads know just what I’m talking about.  Anyone else probably thinks I’ve gone nuts!  Here’s Noah James in his Bumbo, playing with a Winkle!

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This seat is great because it helps him to sit upright, something he seems desperate to do!  When we first gave him the Winkle a couple of days ago he concentrated on it with all of his might….looking at it, then looking at his hand.  Finally, he would wrap his fingers around it and manage to get it to his mouth, grunting all the way with the exertion of it!  Today…I gave him his Winkle and immediately, he picked it up and stuffed it in his mouth!  It is so amazing to see so much growth and learning in such a short period.  He changes every day!

While we’re talking about Bumbos and Winkles, let me introduce you to a Whozit as well.  I thought this was the ugliest thing ever when we got it!

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This was a gift when he was born and my first thought was “where can I put this ugly thing so that it doesn’t take away from the cuteness of his nursery!”  It turns out, this is a really popular toy and Noah James loves it!  It is made of many different fabrics, textures, sounds, and colors.  There’s even a little mirror under the nose.  This morning, I hung it from Noah’s play mat and he spent 20 minutes (!!!) playing with that nose and pulling the arms!  Nothing has kept him entertained that long!  I just might be able to study effectively again!

Speaking of studying, it is now time for me to dive back into biochemistry (my last prerequisite course!).  I was granted an extension when Noah was born because I was unable to devote time to the course.  But now I am 3 months from my new deadline, so its time to return to amino acids, the TCA cycle, and pKa’s.  Aren’t you jealous?!  A big thank you in advance to my mom who is going to give me an afternoon or two each week to study alone, and to Dave who will be on Daddy Duty on Saturday and/or Sunday afternoon.  This is tough material and the only way I’ll learn it is with peace and quiet.  I’m really lucky to have so much support!

Time to nurse my little man to sleep.  We try to have him down at 8 so that Dave and I have at least an hour of alone time before I turn in.  I hope everyone is surviving the snow and staying warm.  

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Mommy’s Day Off

For the first time since Noah James was born (almost 4 months ago!!), Dave and I went on a date!  We get Noah down to bed about an hour before I turn in every night, so we have that quiet time together everyday. We also take him wherever we’re going and are by no means housebound with a baby.  But we haven’t actually gone out alone (together!), without Noah. 

Two things I didn’t realize:

1.  I didn’t realize how much I was looking forward to this day until it arrived.  I was giddy!

2.  I didn’t realize how much I would miss my little man!  I actually teared up when I handed him to my mom!  And I practically leapt from the car when we arrived home (the fact that I hadn’t nursed him for 8 hours had a little something to do with it…the  “girls” were very full and tingly!).

So what did we do?  For Christmas, Dave got us tickets to see Jersey Boys during its run here in Boston.  This show has been on the top of my must-see musicals list for a long time.  I have had the music on my running playlists and the songs always pump me up midrun!

My mom came to babysit and we went to a matinee and then to dinner at Legal Seafood.  I haven’t been to a restaurant with or without a baby since August!

Its funny…when I got in the car to leave, I was completely silent because I was searching my mind for something to say that wasn’t baby-related!  After all, this was our day off from parenting.  But good or bad, Noah really has become my world.  Eventually, we fell into conversation, much of which was indeed baby-related.  But we were both okay with that.  Smile

 

The show was amazing! 

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Dave was worried because when he got the tickets they said “restricted view.”  But it wasn’t bad.  And the fantastic music more than made up for it.  Here is our restricted view…

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It looks worse than it was.

Noah wasn’t far from my mind…There was a baby onesie they were selling along with T-shirts at the show that I really wanted… It said “Walk Like a Man.”  So funny if you know that the song is from this show.  But they charge way too much at these shows, so I showed some restraint.

After the show we got some hot chocolate and chatted until it was time for dinner.  It was snowing outside so a walk through Boston Common was out.  On another night that would have been really fun as it is still lit up from Christmas. 

I had a wonderful dinner.  And best of all, I wasn’t rushing through it because a fussy baby was waiting in the wings!  Unfortunately, as we were finishing, getting home was at the forefront of my mind because I knew I was going to need to nurse a baby quick!  It’s a good thing there weren’t any crying babies in there…One squawk from a baby and there might have been another kind of show!

Although getting home was a priority after dinner, a greater priority was this…

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That is a 711 Slurpee.  Even though it was snowing and below freezing outside, Dave couldn’t resist his favorite treat.  Dave is not a foodie and doesn’t crave much of anything…except for 711 Slurpees and Dairy Queen Blizzards.  This was  a special day for him in many ways (no 711s in our town).

I had such a fun day off.  And after such a fun day off, I got to come home to this! 

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Thank you to Dave for arranging this day off and to my mom for babysitting!  I have a feeling we will be calling on Grandma Kitty again for another night out!

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One of Those Days

There are definitely days as a mom when you feel completely inadequate.  When Noah cries all day; when he doesn’t nap and I can’t put him down; when Noah and I are both wearing the same thing when Dave gets home from work; when nothing has been accomplished all day!  Those days are tough.  But thankfully today was not one of them.  Today, I felt like Super Mom!  (I think I need a cape or colorful tights!)  Not a bad way to start out the new year!

I had been worried about getting Noah James back to napping alone after all of the excitement of the holidays.  He was held for just about every nap for the past 3 weeks and would not nap more than 10 minutes on his own.  But yesterday, he took an hour long morning nap in his own bed!  And today, he did it again!  That set the stage for accomplishing a whole lot!  What did I do???

First I ran 9.5 miles while Noah napped ( 7 while he napped and 2 more while he played beside me). 

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Then I showered, fed Noah, and we played.  He is really starting to grasp at his toys.  He brings them right to his mouth. 

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I signed up for a class for moms and 3-5 month olds today and I’m excited to see what we learn!

Speaking of learning… My mom got Noah James some Baby Einstein DVDs for Christmas.  One is called “ Baby Noah” and is all about animals. 

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I decided to try it out today since it is for 3+ months and I had some Christmas decorations to pack up.  While I got everything boxed up and ready for the attic…

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Noah was enthralled with his DVD.  I couldn’t believe how mesmerized he was by it!  He alternated between staring and laughing.

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We may have a TV junkie in the making!  (I’m kidding…I don’t want Noah to grow up watching a lot of TV.  But I think educational programs and DVDs are great.  Not as a babysitter, but for learning.  He was taking in animals and animal sounds, colors, and music today.)  I was really impressed with this DVD and am excited to check the rest in the series. 

While he was partying with the animals, I also got the litter box cleaned out.

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After feeding Noah again, he napped in his cradle (on his own again!) for 20 minutes while I started vacuuming. 

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When he woke up, I strapped him into his new Ergo carrier and we finished vacuuming downstairs.

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(This carrier is the best!  I had him strapped to me for 90 minutes… first while I worked and he watched, and then fast asleep while I kept working.  He was comfy and cozy, and my back was fine!)

While he watched and slept, I cleaned the kitchen…

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mopped the downstairs…

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collected the garbage and recycling…

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prepped dinner in the crock pot (chicken noodle soup!)…

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and did the laundry.

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And now I am blogging one handed while I nurse the baby.  Phew!

 

In case you were wondering… This is what Jack and Rudy did today.  All.  Day!  Smile

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We accomplished a lot today.  But we also did a lot of playing and singing.  I’m so happy Noah James enjoys his carrier because it allows me to get things done (albeit more slowly), while he listens to me sing describe what we’re doing.  The fact that he can fall asleep in it is even better.  A baby who naps well sleeps well at night!

I haven’t posted the requisite New Years post yet, but it boils down to achieving balance.  Being a stay at home mom can be isolating.  But it doesn’t have to be.  I’m excited to take this class with Noah and meet other moms.  He has loved interacting with other babies at drop in play groups so I think we will both benefit.  I am also excited for my date night with Dave this weekend.

Noah James is the most amazing little boy and I can’t get enough of him.  How can you not fall in love with this!

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But this year, I need to make sure I am balancing my love for him, with everything else: caring for my relationship with Dave, meeting new people, building friendships, completing my coursework, and continuing to take time for myself to run and exercise.  

It’s a lot to balance and I’m so fortunate that I don’t have to balance a full time job on top of it.  But I wouldn’t trade this for the world.  I get to see Noah change and grow every day.  He is truly amazing and I am looking forward to an exciting year of “firsts” with him!

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