Wednesday, November 1, 2006

November 2006

  • This might be too long!

    Current mood:cheerful
    Hooray we are home!  Yesterday was a long a grueling day of travel, but we made it home alive. (thank you American arlines and terrorists who decided to stay off my flight)  I don't know what it is about flying the friendly skies, but I ALWAYS end up with major boogers in my nose after a day of flight.  It's nice to be home and booger free.  Don't even get me started on the unpacking.....cause I haven't started.  This blog is going to cover the week we spent in California....if the thought of hearing about our vacation bores your socks off.....feel free to keep your socks on, but bare feet are always more fun.
    Thanksgiving can be summed up in one word......nightmare.  We got up at 3:00 in the morning and dragged ourselves to the airport.  It was freezing cold and we packed so much for our first trip with the baby that I didn't think we would make it to the terminal from the park and ride.  We did make it, but do you know how hard it is to get through security with a baby?  The shoes have to come off, the belts have to come off, the jackets have to come off, the blanket the baby is wrapped in has to come off, the laptop has to come out, the pocket change has to come's really a circus.  All that, and once we get cleared everything has to be put back without blocking others.  I know we need all of these safety precautions, but man is it a pain and a half to go through all that and keep a baby happy and calm.  So we get on our flight and from there things are pretty much normal.  The baby was an outstanding flyer and didn't cry at all.  She slept a good deal and played and overall it was uneventful.  People did compliment us on how good she was and that made Dan and I very proud!  We land in CA after 10 hours of traveling, exhausted with the festivities still to come.  We thought we would be able to take a nap before people came over to my parents house, but Maddie was not interested in napping and the only person who could babysit while we napped was my mother the cook of all things yummy and Thanksgiving.  42 people arrived at my parents house ready to celebrate, and celebrate they did.  It was so freaking loud and there were so many people 6:30 the baby had had enough and loudly screamed at the idea of being passed on to another person.  I had to hole myself up in the back of the house and resort to skin to skin contact to get her calmed down and eventually to sleep.  Which was not an easy task seeing as there was no where in the entire house that was quiet.....there were people everywhere.  Everyone eventually left and after some musical beds (Dan slept with baby, I slept with grandma in parents bed, mom slept on couch, Dad slept on floor in bonus room) we all went to sleep, but by the time I went to bed, I had been up for 24 hours, and only had 4 hours of sleep in a 48 hour period......I was exhausted.  Overall not a great idea to have a huge Thanksgiving celebration with 42 people after a long day of traveling.  It was too much for Maddie.  My mom says that she is never again going to host that many people for any holiday.....I don't blame her.  But, on a positive note, the food was fantastic and it was nice seeing family that we hadn't seen in a while and showing off our little baby.

    I did participate in some black Friday shopping with Stephie although we were smart and didn't head out until 2:00 in the afternoon and bypassed all of the crazy shoppers.  Finding parking was easy and there were no huge lines to buy things.  It was really nice spending time with my Stephie but also really weird because she doesn't live in OC anymore and our time was limited.  I know it sounds selfish, but I'm used to seeing her whenever I want when I come into town and this trip she had other people she needed to spend time with and I didn't get my usual Stephie fix.  I guess that is what happens as we grow up and move away.....hopefully she will come out here again soon and stay for a week and I can have her all to myself.  I didn't buy anything great although I did find an adorable sweater with an owl on it for Maddie at Old's super cute!
    As usual the whole family went over to Mike and Robin's (my brother and sister in law) for dinner.  Mike grilled delicious steaks and Alyssa played with Madeline for a little bit.  It was a nice evening of food and conversation.  We tried doing a photot shoot with the cousins but it's hard enough to get one child to smile and look at the camera.....two is not possible.

    Dan and I had a few opportunities to have time alone just the two of us while Grammy watched Maddie.  We went out to lunch and toured some model homes that are being built across the street from my parents house.  It was nice having that time to ourselves with the knowledge that our baby was safe and sound with her Grammy.

    Walt's Warf was fantastic!  I was pretty disapointed though because they did not have my favorite macadamia nut crusted alaskan halibut with mango avocado salsa.  They are changing their menu so they have more seasonal items and so I was forced to order sword fish with a sundried tomato compote.....still pretty good, but not the same.  The baby as always was a very good girl the entire time and on our traditional walk to the end of the pier, she fell asleep in the stroller.  It was pretty cute.

    Sunday morning we got up bright and early (not really, we'd been getting up at 7:00 all week due to the time change) and went to my parents church.  The service was as usual pretty dull, but seeing as my parents go to a church with mostly older people in their 50s and 60s, it wasn't surprising.  It was however tons of fun to dress Madeline up in a cute little church dress and show her off to my parents friends.  She looked super cute and squishy and was a good girl in church.....not even a peep.

    We took Maddie to get her hand and foot prints done in clay.  There is a business in Mission Viejo who does them and they are super cute.  My niece Alyssa had them done when she was a month old and my mom has a christmas ornament from it.  Maddie was really good although she cried when they put her foot in the was cold.  We popped her paci in and all was well with the world.  We got an ornament of her hand and her name and a plaque with her hand and foot and her name.  They will get backed and glazed and colored once they dry and we should receive them before Christmas.  I can't wait.....they are too cute!

    Somehow we were able to squeeze decorating for Christmas in with everything else.  My mom and dad put the tree up and we played Christmas music and reminised over all the old ornaments.  Getting the tree decorated has always been a tradition that I did with my mom and it was really great to be able to help her this year.  Maddie couldn't really help due to her fine motor skills not being developed all that well, but next time she can become part of the tradition.

    I swear that California air does wonderfully for babies.  Every single night Madeline slept between 8 and 9 1/2 hours straight.  She would then wake up to nurse and go back to sleep for another 3 or 4 hours.  She was starting to sleep through the night at home, but it was sporatic......but she mastered it while we were in Cali.  And I was worried that it might not stick once we came back home, but last night she slept through the night again.  Fell asleep at 11:00, woke up 8 hours later to nurse at 7:00 and then went back to sleep until 10:00.  Woo Hoo!  I am so excited!  I don't even mind that she is on California time because that means we get to sleep in every morning.  I can't believe she is not even 3 months old and is sleeping through the night.....I thought it was going to take much longer, but I'll take it now!
    So, we had quite an eventful vacation in California.  It went by as always way too fast, but it was nice coming home.  Everytime we get ready to go to CA I get excited about a month before we go, have a crazy whirlwind time there and am more than ready to come back home once our vacation is over.  I miss my parents, but I love my little family being here in North Carolina.  For right now I feel like this is where we belong.....well at least until we win the lottery and buy a home in San Diego.....then we might have to split our time between the two.  Well, I guess that's all.  It was probably everything and nothing you wanted to know about our Thanksgiving holiday. 
  • The land of dial up....a.k.a. my parents house

    Current mood:exhausted
    A couple of days ago I had written a very nice long blog describing our Thanksgiving experience and all the fun that we have been having here in California and when I went to post it, the internet needed to close due to a fatal error.  Whats up with that?  Does anyone really know what these so called fatal errors are, or why they happen?  All I know is that all my hard work went right down the dial up drain and I was left tired and not in the mood to try and write anything else.....and I've felt that way ever since.  I am exhausted.  Vacation has fully exhausted me and I am really ready for our flight back home tomorrow and getting back to our normal non-vacation lives.  I really need a vacation from our vacation.  I plan on doing much blogging once we get home and posting delicious pictures, but for now I am letting you know that I am okay and exhausted.  I'm going to join my little baby in bed and blissfully slumber until tomorrow!!  Peace out homies.
  • from bleh to upper 70's and sunny

    The weather here in Smithfield is gross.  It has been raining for what seems like forever and it is super windy.  A couple of times today I thought the wind was going to tear our roof off and I was going to have to take the baby and huddle in the bathtub.  You'll be glad to know that our roof is intact.  I am really sick of this weather and dream of the day when I can go out and get the mail without getting soaked or half blown over.....who am I kidding......Dan gets the mail everyday!  haha.  But it's a-ok that I am ready to ditch the rain because the day after tomorrow we are heading out west to 70 degree weather and sunny skies!!  woo hoo!  California here we come!
    I am so excited to be going home for Thanksgiving.  I can not wait to see my family, to eat delicious food, to visit the ocean and to see my dear friends.  Plus we get to show the baby off to 40 people who will be at my parents house for turkey day.  That will be lot's of fun.  It has been about 5 months since I have been back to California and it seems like FOREVER.  It will be so nice to be able to sleep in (because grandma will have baby duty of course) and just relax for the week that we will be there.  My grandma Irene is going to stay the night one night and I think it will be so much fun to have a sleep over with her.  I get to see my Stephie and go shopping with her on black Friday and enjoy everything involves spending time with my best friend.  I want to bask in the sunny weather and take Maddie to the beach and put her tiny toes in the sand and see what she thinks of it.  We are also going to eat at our family's favorite restaurant Walt's Warf in Seal Beach......if you live in Cali and haven't been to Walt's Warf, you should totally go, and if you are going to visit Cali you should go too!  I am really looking forward to everything about this trip other than us having to wake up at like 3:30 in the morning to make our 6:00 am flight on Thanksgiving, and the idea of traveling for 7 hours straight with a 10 week old.  Now more than ever I wish we could teleport ourselves to where we want to go!  Maybe technology will get there.  Haha.
    The other exciting thing about November 23rd is it's the anniversary of our (Dan and I) first date three years ago.  November 23, 2003.  In 2 days we will have known and loved each other for 3 years.....I am confident that he fell in love with me the first day he met me! lol.  I know that 3 years isn't that long in the scheme of life, but I feel like I have known Dan for so much longer than that.  I feel like he has always been in my life.  So baby, here's to 3 fantastic, beautiful, amazing, fulfilling and unforgetable years!! 
    Cheers to us!
  • Turkey day came early

    Current mood:thankful
    Tonight Dan and I had our very own little Thanksgiving celebration.  Since we are going to be in California for the holidays we decided to do our own thing early.  I spent the whole day baking cookies for our neighbors.....pumpkin chocolate chips cookies, oatmeal banana cookies and cranberry orange cookies.....yummm.  Hopefully the neighbors will enjoy them cause they took me most of the day to 8 or 9 dozen!!!  Also, we cooked a turkey (a small one) and I made my grandmother's stuffing and we celebrated our very own day of thanks.
    This year has been a big one and as I sit here I realize how very much I have to be thankful for.  I have a fantastic husband who means the world to me.  He is patient and kind, he does not envy or boast and he is not proud.  He is not rude or self seeking and he definitely is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrong.  He always protect, always trusts, and always hopes.  My husband is the definition of love and for that I am more than thankful!!  I am thankful for my precious baby girl.  She is so sweet and innocent and I am so blessed that God chose me to be her mommy.  Maternal love is something so amazing and strong and I am thankful I get to experience it!  I am thankful for my parents who raised me and helped me to become the woman I am today.  Our relationship has blossomed and grown since having my own child and I am grateful that life is full of new beginnings.....and my parents who I have acquired through marriage who have accepted me as their own and welcomed me with open arms.  After moving 3,000 miles away from California it is so wonderful to have family close by that I can always count on and who love our little family as much as my in-laws do.  I am thankful for my friends.  Even though I don't really have any in North Carolina (yet) I have lifelong friends who are more like family than just friends.  I can count on them when I need them and I know they will always be there. 
    Life will always be full of ups and downs and I know that some days I will not feel like getting out of bed, but I always will because I have people in my life that I love and I know that there are people that love me. And what better reason to get out of bed than love?  My life is blessed and I am so thankful for everything that God has given me.  I hope that everyone has a terrific Thanksgiving! (even those who do not celebrate it today like we did!)  And make sure you take the time to tell those you love that you are thankful for them.  I know I'm gonna. 
    Maddie says: "Gobble Gobble."

  • Could it be a fluke?

    Current mood:jubilant
    Last night Maddie slept through the night.  8 whole hours of uninterrupted sleep for the Mommy!!!  The night before she slept 7 and a half hours.  It could just be a fluke, but it seems as though she is finally getting big enough to have some solid sleep at night.  Granted we power nurse in the evening so that her tummy is nice and full and she still is not sleeping a whole lot during the day, but hey.....I can live with that if it means a good night sleep for us adults.  I'm not going to hold my breath though and expect this all the time, but I will gladly take it when it comes!  Woo Hoo!
  • 2 month Dr. appointment

    Current mood:happy
    Today was Maddie's 2 month Dr. appointment.  It went really well although she was sleeping when we got there and did not like being woken up and stripped naked to be weighed.  She is growing like a weed......24 and a half inches long and 14 pounds 3 ounces!!!  I can't believe how much weight she has gained, breast milk really does a body good.  She seems to be at the tail end of a cold but nothing major and she is healthy in every other way.  I got some saline drops to put up her nose to make the crusty boogers soft enough to suck out.  I'm sure she is going to love that.  Haha.
    Dan and I are not all that hyped about our pediatritian.  When I called them about her eye infection they didn't want to see her and just called in a prescription for some eye drops which was questionable in my opinion......they should have seen her.  Then today when I told her Dr. that I used breast milk in her eye and it cleared right up she looked at me like I was crazy.  We have decided to not give Maddie vacination shots because we have done a lot of research on it and the side affects can be aweful, and we'd like to wait at least until she is older and then re-evaluate our decision then.  The Dr. basically gave us a lecture about vaccines and how babies die from the diseases that we vaccinate against (even though most of those diseases have been irraticated) and she told us that Maddie would not be allowed in public school (which is a big fat lie) and told us that she does not want to be responsible for anything that could happen to Maddie from not getting shots and that she didn't think that she could be our Dr. (like our decision as parents would make her liable) but when we told her that we knew of a doc in our area who is pro waiting on vaccinations and that we would gladly switch to his practice and we were not going to let her make the decision to vaccinate for us, she "decided" to let us stay as patients.  We are switching anyway.  But it amazes me that Dr.'s think that most people are stupid and have not done any research and that they can just tell us bold faced lies.  There have been lot's of articles written on the relationship between drug companies (like the ones that provide vaccinations) and Dr. practices and how they get kick backs from the drug companies for pushing their products.  My child's health care is completely in my hands (and Dan's) and we have the right to make the decisions we feel are best for our family and our Dr. should not try and use scare tactics and lies to change our minds.
    Anyway.....enough with my rantings.  My baby is healthy as can be and happy!  We'll find a new Dr. that has the same belief system that we do.  Just makes you wonder how anyone on the earth survived before we had vaccinations........according to the beliefs of our pediatritian everyone should have been killed off.
    Happy, healthy.....and a chunk.
  • Sunday happenings

    Current mood:tired
    Today was really gross out.  It was rainy all day and overcast and generally pretty bleh outside.  Dan and I went to church and put Maddie in the nursery for the first time.  I thought it was going to be tramatic for me, but it wasn't bad at all!  The fact that it was only for an hour and a half made it pretty easy.  It was nice being able to pay attention to the message and enjoy the loud music from the praise band.  All in all a good experience.
    We went out to breakfast as is our tradition and then went to Kohls and I got some new jeans and a sweater in preparation for our trip to California for Thanksgiving.  I also went to the Carters outlet in search of a turkey outfit for the baby and was disapointed by the fact that they had sold out about a month ago.....but I got some REALLY cute overalls (2 pairs) and a cute pant/jacket set.  She is going to look fantastic in them!
    This evening while Dan was playing with Maddie I harvested my basil plants and am going to make lots-o-pesto from them.....yummm.  I also baked a butt load of oatmeal cookies for the hubby to bring to work with him.  It was a pretty mellow Sunday and I enjoyed every minute of it.

     The basil (sweet basil on the left, lemon basil on the right)
     The cookies...yummm (there are a few missing because a cookie theif stole them......I won't name any names....DAN)

  • Breastmilk.....magically delicious, or just magical?

    Current mood:chipper
    So, Maddie developed an eye infection this week.  Her poor little eye was glassy looking with liquid in it, and a yellow mucus was collecting in the corner.  When she would fall asleep the mucous would get crusty and make her eye kind of stick together.  It was really sad and I freaked out!  I don't like being sick in any fashion and I am very proactive about healing myself, so you can imagine my reaction to my 2 month old having eye problems.  I freaked out and got myself really stressed.....I called the Dr. but it was 10 minutes till 5:00 and the ho-bags who work the front desk had left early.  Poop.  So I decided that I would call them again first thing the next morning and freaked out some more and look up everything I could on-line about eye infections and how to treat them.  I also asked my myspace breastfeeding group if they had any suggestions and MANY of them said to squirt some breast milk in her eye.  What?  So, I then researched breastmilk for eye infections and found a few sites that recommended it.  Still being skeptical I decided that I could either do nothing about it until the morning  when I called the Dr. and freak out over it every time I looked at my precious baby's eye, or I could try a little breastmilk and see what happens. 
    So, I tried the breastmilk.  And guess what I discovered?  IT TOTALLY WORKS!!!  Thursday night I did it twice, and Friday I put breastmilk in her eye almost every time I changed her diaper and Saturday morning I wake up to a perfect looking eye!!!  No liquid, no mucus, no irritation.....PERFECT!!  I can't believe that it actually worked, but it did.  And I found out that breastmilk can work on lot's of things from cuts and scrapes to eye and ear infections.  It makes sense though if you think about it.....breastmilk is the nectar from the gods and has tons of antibodies which help a baby fight off sickness and allergies, why wouldn't it help with an eye infection?  That is amazing!  Just another reason on top of many many more why breast is best!

    Happy and gunk free baby!
  • The things we don't talk about

    Current mood:listless
    While I was pregnant I discovered that there were many many things that went on that no one really talked about.  I had lot's of pregnency symptoms and I was pretty vocal about them.  The peeing all the time, the diarrea and the constipation, the not sleeping and the headaches.  People would be surprised when they asked me how I was feeling (a common question to ask pregnant women) and I would tell them.....I feel crappy and add in whatever symptoms I was dealing with that day or at that moment.  I guess the normal response should have been "I feel fine, or I feel good," etc. but I never really understand why people ask the question and then expect a generic response of a canned feeling.  If someone took the time to ask me then I was going to tell them how I was really feeling, and if all they really wanted was generic happiness than tough cookies.....maybe next time they wouldn't ask me.  But I have found that even when I ask pregnant women how they are feeling or whats going on, I too mostly get the "I'm fine," answer, even when they are not fine.  For some reason no one talks about the down side to pregnancy, the poopie days, the negative aspects or bad's kinda taboo.
    I'm discovering that the exact same thing happens once you have your baby.  Everyone always talks about how great their kids are, how fast they are growing, how well they're eating, how long they're sleeping and how many milestones they have racked under their belts.  I do it too.  I want people to see my baby and think that she is perfect, (which of course she is)  but it makes me feel like crap most of the time.  Because in reality it's not that sparkily perfect.  We are dealing with gas, and pain from not pooping and waking up in the middle of the night and screaming fits from colic and not napping during the day and wanting to be held ALL the time and being attached to my boob pretty constantly at times.  A lot of times I feel like I am really alone in this whole thing.....Dan is a huge help, but I mean alone as in other mothers aren't going through it as well.  They only talk about how wonderful everything is with their kids and how happy they are and I feel like at times I am flailing around just trying to make it through the day with some sanity.  I KNOW that this will pass and evetually Maddie will sleep through the night and poop regularly and nap during the day and not need to be held all day, but I really wish that people would talk more about the hard times they go through.  It would just make me feel a little bit better that I'm not the only one dealing with these things and that I don't have to live up to perfection. 
    Why is it that we only talk about the good and happy things that are going on in our lives?  Are we really afraid that people are going to judge us or think that we are less than because we have not reached perfection?  I think it's time that people start getting real (and yes I kinda stole that fom the Real World) and drop the facades.  I'm having a bad week. 
    Please no hateful comments......although I guess that would be real and in my current pro tirade mood I would have to accept them or be a hypocrite.  So, go ahead and hate on me.  lol.
  • Autumn leaves are falling

    Current mood:happy
    I love this time of could easily be called my favorite (second to Christmas) time of year!  The weather is getting colder and there is a wonderful crispness in the air.  It's time to pull out the sweaters and jackets and bundle up.  It's a great feeling to go to bed with socks on and to cuddle up with blankets.  I really wish that we had a fire place because there is nothing better than the crackling of wood and the glow of the hearth.  I love fall......I especially love the colors of the leaves as they change from green to yellow and orange to red.  It's such a beautiful smashing of color that just brightens my spirits.  Having grown up in California I did not get to see the fall leaves change color and I am so glad that I now live in a state where every October I get the gift of the fall season.  In just a few short weeks all of the trees will lose their precious leaves and will look sad and barren until spring, but for now I will enjoy their beauty.

  • The art of colicy baby wearing

    Current mood:tired
    For those of you who do not know and who might care, Madeline has a mild case of colic.  It starts around 6:00 pm (5:00 now with daylight savings time) with fussiness, crying during nursing, general discomfort and sometimes just plain screaming.  Dan and I can pretty much keep the screaming to a minimum by just holding her, but with the other symptoms we have been learning different creative techniques.  If you haven't checked out the video on my page, please do.....that is technique number one.  (I also have another video that is new, just click the "video" button next to the "pic" button on my's too cute!) 
    Anyway.....another great technique that we have learned that helps with the colicy symptoms is to wear our precious girl in various slings.  We stick her in and amazingly within minutes she is a quiet baby and usually falls asleep and we bypass the colic episode all together.  The draw back to wearing her is that when she falls asleep at 6:00 pm she for some reason thinks that it is bedtime and will not wake up again despite our efforts.....that is however until she is ready to be awake from 2:00 am until 5:00 am. 
    So, the eternal question......Is it worse to deal with 3 hours of fussing/crying/screaming or to wear her, bypass the colic, but wake up in the middle of the night for 3 hours.  (she usually goes back to sleep from 5-9)  Let me know what your opinion is and enjoy the fun "wearing Maddie pictures"
    P.S. today I decided to wear her from 4-6 in hopes that the extra sleep will make her a happier baby from 6-9.....maybe it's just a not getting enough sleep issue.  We'll figure out what works eventually........RIGHT???

County McCounterson