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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!

Christmas (Part II)

This was quite literally “The 12 Days of Christmas” in our house!  We had Dave’s family here for a week and a half and celebrated our first Christmas at our house on the 20th with Dave’s sister and family in attendance.  We had a wonderful celebration…we were all tired (especially the babies), but we made some beautiful memories!

 

Christmas continued on the 24th and 25th when we took Dave’s parents and grandma to my parents’ house on Cape Cod.  I love that our parents get along so well and have so much to talk about.  Here are all of the grandparents …

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We took pictures in so many configurations (mom, dad, and baby; grandparents and baby; grandmas and baby; etc…)!  Noah James was a trooper and was patient through all of them as he was passed from one person to the next. 

Here’s my family…

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And here’s 4 generations of Dave’s family…

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I could go on and on with the different arrangements, but I’ll spare you!  Smile

Needless to say, we had a wonderful time and made even more memories!

We’ve been getting back into a routine this week, but with Dave off from work until the New Year, Noah and I aren’t quite back to out normal routine yet.  And we’re heading back to the Cape today to spend New Years Eve with my mom and brother so that will change things up for Noah as well.  I never realized how important routine is to a baby and come Monday, I have to start working with my Little Mister on getting him back to his normal sleep/awake routine.  Noah James has been a fantastic napper, but since the Christmas, his daytime naps have been few and far between…and never alone in his own bed.  With Dave and the rest of the family around to hold him while he sleeps, this has been okay, but once I am alone with him again, he needs to nap on his own again!  That will be Noah James’ New Years Resolution: “I will nap in my own bed again!”

Before I say goodbye to Christmas 2010, I have to share a couple of the greatest gifts I got (aside from the cutest baby boy ever!).  Dave got us tickets to see Jersey Boys next week!  My mom will babysit and I will have my first date night since Noah arrived!  I can’t wait.  I have been dying to see this show…and getting out for some alone time with Dave makes it even more exciting.  I will be wearing my new “Mom” locket that Dave gave me so that I can keep my sweet baby with me even when I’m away from him. 

I also got a new Ergo carrier just before Christmas.  And with the infant insert I needed for Noah to fit in it waiting under the tree, Noah and I are now ready to get some house cleaning done together! 

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He was so cozy, he fell right to sleep!

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Since there are things that excite me other than baby gear, I have to share the very, very generous gift my parents bought for me. 

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I am now the proud owner of a Vitamix!  I love this machine as much as I thought I would when I was reading blog after blog of its wonders and capabilities.  When Noah starts eating solids, this kid is getting homemade baby food!  And in the meantime, I am using it for so much more!

I’ve made all kinds of fruit and veggie drinks:

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This one had spinach, orange, apple, celery, frozen mango and frozen cranberries, along with a handful of ice.  It looked like pea soup, but it was wonderful!

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I’ve also made banana soft serve, which I’ve attempted to make before with a regular blender. But nothing creates the smooth texture of this machine! I added some chocolate protein powder and ended up with chocolate ice cream!  I took a picture, but its too fuzzy to do it justice.

What amazes me about this machine is not just its ability to crush ice and make smoothies that are actually “smooth”, but it also can take hot liquids.  Two nights ago, I made soup.  No stovetop involved.  Just broth, spices, and handfuls of different veggies blended until steaming hot!

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I did add some left over egg noodles to the soup after it finished “cooking” in the Vitamix, but I had it plain yesterday, it it was really good all alone too. 

I know this machine is going to get a lot of use.  I was lying in bed last night thinking of different combinations of fruits and veggies that I could throw into it today!

I feel very lucky this Christmas.  I got some lovely gifts and some wonderful time with family.  But my most wonderful gift this year, next year, and all the years to come, is this little one…

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Doesn’t get any better than that!

Happy New Year to you all!  I’ll see you next week!

3 Months Old

It’s hard to believe that Noah James is 3 months old today.  In some ways it feels like the time as flown by, and in other ways, it feels like he has always been here.  He is smiling and cooing and pushing up on his elbows, all milestones we would want him to reach at this point.  He also loves to take in the scene around him.  I have taken him to a couple of play groups and he watches with eyes as big as saucers, as the other babies sit up, play with toys, crawl, and walk. 

This past week he has taken in a lot of excitement.  Dave’s sister and her husband flew out here with there twin 15 month old boys to celebrate an early Christmas.  I have such admiration for Lisa and Aaron…trekking across the country, from Seattle to Boston, with not one, but two babies.  And not babies that sleep soundly in your arms for hours, but babies who need to move and be entertained.  They also brought them to a home that is not yet baby-proofed, which meant that the boys needed to be watched every second.  This was definitely not a vacation for these parents who, on top of everything else, had to deal with helping their toddlers adjust to a 3 hour time difference!  But they did it!  And it was so worth it to have everyone together.  Noah loved meeting his cousins and watching them do all the things he is preparing to do in the not so distant future. 

Here is Oliver…                            And William…

 

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And 2 very tired parents! (Amazing how un-tired they look here for all the work it took to make this trip happen!)

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Check out these macho dads… (yeah, that’s a burp cloth on Dave’s shoulder!) Smile

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Along with Lisa, Aaron, and the boys, we have Dave’s parents and grandma here with us as well.  They will be able to stay through Christmas Day, so we will head to my parents’ house on the 24th to celebrate with them.  But while the whole gang was here, we celebrated Christmas at our house. 

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Noah got to meet his Great Grandma which was really special.

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And he got to see his Grandma Jan and Grandpa Joel who he hasn’t seen for a couple of months.  It was really special for them to have all three of their grandsons together for the first time. 

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My mom came up to spend this pre-Christmas Christmas with us, so we were overflowing with grandmas!

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Even though it wasn’t quite December 25th, Noah wore his 1st Christmas duds…

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He was very stylish!

Also making him stylish was his newest accessory.  Sophie the Giraffe! 

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Don’t ask me why this rubber teething toy (that looks very much like a dog toy) is so hot right now.  Apparently the skinny legs allow teething babies to hit their back molars. And the softness of the rubber is supposedly more soothing than harder teethers out there.  But if you ask me, this toy is so hot because: 1.  celebrity kids have it and 2.  it is just a really cute giraffe!

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Noah got lots of books, toys, and hugs this weekend, and he is in for more of the same when we join my family in a couple of days. 

The holidays are crazy and busy and stressful.  But they are also so magical.  We are so blessed to have amazing families.  There is no tension or dread that some people feel when they have to spend time with their families.  Just love and excitement.  Noah lucked out being born into this group!

I’ll be checking in again after our second Christmas celebration.  But for now, from Dave, Noah, and I, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

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Whirlwind December

I don’t know where this month has gone!  I had high hopes of posting more regularly, but just getting through my to-do lists in preparation for the holidays has taken up each day.  Even the smallest tasks can take forever to accomplish on days when Noah James decides that he must be held every.  single.  second!  Fortunately, most days he has a good morning nap, when I get in a workout, and a couple of cat naps and play sessions in the afternoon, when I can get through some of the to-dos.  It is completely exhausting, but it only takes one of these to feel like its all worth it!

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Noah is loving his play mat.  He talks to his animal friends and gives them big smiles.  Tummy time isn’t his favorite, but he takes it in small does and is getting better and better at holding himself up for longer periods.

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He is also enjoying his bath time now.  He is still a bit small for his tub and needs to be supported, but he is starting to really relax and enjoy it.  This tub is bucket-shaped and recreates the womb experience.  When he sits down in it, he completely relaxes.

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Unfortunately, as soon as the bath is over, he screams bloody murder!  Noah hates being naked and doesn’t stop screaming until he is fully clothed again.  I don’t get it!  I thought kids loved to run around naked!

On to other things….

Dave has had a lot going on at work and has had to travel a lot this month, so my mom has come up for a couple days each week to help me tackle the Christmas shopping, wrapping and planning.  Noah is a born shopper!  He is so good at the mall….taking everything in when awake, and then falling sound asleep.  Thanks to my mom we have gotten a lot done and I am feeling more prepared for the holidays. 

As an aside…it’s been really cold here and taking Noah out to the mall and running errands every day requires a hat.  Unfortunately, Noah James is not a fan of having things on his head.  Even really cute ones.  This picture makes me laugh…  My little Sherpa  Smile

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For us, the holidays will begin this week when Dave’s sister and her family arrive.  That means 3 baby boys under one roof!  Fortunately, Dave’s mom, dad and grandma will be here as well.  That’s a lot of arms for holding babies!  We will have an early Christmas at our house while Dave’s sister and her family are here, then after they leave, we will head to the Cape and celebrate again with my family on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day. My head is about to explode trying to arrange my gifts so that there is something to open at our house vs. something to open at my parents house, something for Dave’s birthday (on the 20th) vs. something for Christmas, something from me vs. something from Noah James vs. something from Santa… It goes on and on!  But after many drafts of my lists, I think I have it all worked out!

My workouts have helped me keep my sanity.  In truth, I would have time for blogging, but I would rather spend Noah’s napping time getting a good sweat.  I am finally running consistently again and it feels great.  I’ve done a couple of 10 milers and I‘ve now gotten to where 6-7 miles feels normal.  It makes a huge difference in how I handle stress.  I wake up going through all that I need to get done and I feel the panic set in.  Some would say, “well, get started on the things that are stressing you out!”  But for me, getting in a good workout first calms me enough that I am able to mobilize myself.  Otherwise, I stand in the middle of the living room completely overwhelmed in not knowing where to start. 

Despite all of the stress, this is the most wonderful time of the year.  I love Christmas and knowing that this is Noah’s first Christmas makes it even more special.  He’s too little to really take it all in, but that hasn’t stopped me from wanting to introduce him to all that Christmas means to me.  He helped decorate the tree while we sang along to Christmas music…

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He helped hang his very own ornament…

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He’s watched me wrap presents, and hang his stocking.  And he loves the Christmas lights on the tree.  He can stare at the lights endlessly!  I love how every little thing is a learning experience for him!

Its been a crazy month and it will only get busier when we have a full house!  But this is such a special time.  I have already received the most amazing gift ever!  Nothing under the tree can compare to this!

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Week 10

It’s been a long time since I’ve checked in here.  I think Noah James was 7 weeks old when I made my last post.  And now we are coming up on 10 weeks this Wednesday!  Time is flying by.  It makes me sad.  But it is also so exciting to see him change so much.  He has been smiling periodically for a couple of weeks.  But in this last week, he has started smiling all the time.  It melts my heart each time.

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Along with the smiles are lots of coos and ahhhs.  He is really experimenting with his voice.  He is also experimenting with his cries…interspersing some ear piercing shrieks in with his normal cries.  The first time he did it, he stopped crying altogether.  I think he startled himself with the sound he made! Smile

 

This past week we celebrated a Thanksgiving to remember.   It was memorable for many reasons.  It was our first Thanksgiving with Noah, of course.  He got to visit with one set of grandparents…

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…his Uncle Chris…

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…his great aunt Maggie (she prefers “grand” aunt, instead of “great”)…

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…his great grandparents and my cousins were there too.  Of course, he had his Mommy…

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But notably absent was Dave.  On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, Dave started to feel sick.  He went to bed without dinner at 8pm and awoke the next morning with a fever, chills, and aches.  He got a flu shot several weeks ago, but apparently another strain hit him. Noah James is too young to have been given a flu shot, so on Monday morning, he and I made an early departure for the Thanksgiving holiday on Cape Cod with my family.  Dave planned to join us the next day.  But he was still sick on Tuesday.  Wednesday came and went…still sick, but feeling a bit better.  He planned to drive to the Cape Thursday morning  and be there in time for the Thanksgiving meal. 

Thursday morning, Dave called to say that he just got back from the hospital!  He awoke in pain and drove himself to the ER.  A friend brought him home because he was drugged up and couldn’t drive.  I felt awful that he was all alone on Thanksgiving and that he had to go through being so sick all by himself.  But with an infant, I didn’t feel like we really had a choice.  Noah James needed to be away from the germs, and I needed to be with him to nurse.  So that is the story of how our little family spent its first Thanksgiving apart.  Sad smile 

 

It was disappointing, but at the same time, we recognized that there are so many worse reasons to have to spend a holiday apart from loved ones.  Some people have loved ones in the military, others have loved ones far away, others have lost loved ones altogether in the last year.  We are very lucky.

Dave was better by Friday, and on Saturday, we came back home. We had a wonderful time and I loved having time to spend with my parents and my brother.  But it was also a rough week for Noah.   He had trouble sleeping and napping during our week away.  His routine was disrupted and he didn’t have the familiar toys and sounds to lull him to sleep.  Big thanks to my mom who walked the halls with him to let me sleep and to let me workout without interruption!   Noah misses his grandma already.  No one burps him as thoroughly as Grandma Kitty!

Dave missed Noah so much while we were away!  When we got home, they played together…

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…and Dave carried him around in the Baby Bjorn…until they were both tuckered out!

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Now that we’re home and everyone is healthy, we’re gearing up for Christmas!  Things are going to get even more busy, but I am going to try hard to post occasionally.  I have fallen out of the blog world to a great extent.  My blog has become more of a way to document how Noah James is growing and changing, rather than posting entries that might be interesting for the public. But that’s okay.  I will look back one day and be very glad that I have these updates to look back upon.  This is the season for giving thanks and I have never have more blessings to give thanks for than I do this year!

This Week’s Wisdom

Another week has flown by!  It’s great to see Noah James getting bigger.  But at the same time, it makes me sad…time is passing so quickly. 

But with the passing of time, I’ve been learning more and more about my little man.  Here are a couple of lessons from this week.

  • I learned that an exercise ball has many uses!  I bounced on my exercise ball the night before I went into labor. I was feeling crampy and I knew some people swear that bouncing on the ball can encourage labor.   24 hours later, I had a baby!   (Its also used during labor to help ease the pain of contractions).  This week I also learned that bouncing on the ball with the baby works wonders!  He stops crying and it helps get up the burps!  (It’s fun for mom too!)

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  • I also learned this week that it is not a good idea to try to make it home when a baby is due to be fed.  Noah made it home from our playdate just fine.  He loves the car and slept the whole way (good thing because if he had been awake, he would have been aware of how hungry he was, and much less patient!).  My boobs, however, didn’t quite make it!  Sitting in rush hour traffic, I felt that familiar tingling and before I could stuff tissue down my shirt, I was all wet!  I had fed Noah at noon and by 4:15, my boobs were overdue for draining!  Lesson learned:  If its time to eat, better to feed him first, before hitting the highway at 4:00 on a Friday afternoon!

A wet shirt was a small price to pay for such a lovely afternoon.  We went to Morgan’s house to play with baby Aaron.

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Between a bit a crying a very dirty diaper (thank you, Noah James!), it was harder to catch up with Morgan than it was when we only had our big bellies between us.  But having the boys makes for lots of laughs.  And once we hit the street with the strollers, they both dozed off and the mommies got to chat.  🙂

This weekend will be a lot of fun.  My mom and dad are visiting (my dad hasn’t seen Noah since he was born!), and my brother will come over and join us for dinner.  I foresee many more picture-taking opportunities this weekend, so I will unload some of my recent favorites, so I can fill up my next post with grandparent shots!

Have a great weekend everyone!  🙂

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Blurry, but oh so cute!

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