3/21/11

White Noise

amidst all of the teething and recent weather changes, Miss Zoey has been having a pretty hard time sleeping through the night. She wakes up, complains, Greg or I go into her room, cover her up with  her blanket (which she usually has kicked off), give her a binky, cuddle with her a bit (which usually consists of us placing a hand on her back or butt if she’s turned over on her side) and she falls back asleep within a couple minutes. So what’s waking her up? My guess is the lack of white noise in her room.

Since Zoey was born, we’ve always had either the TV on for background noise or her small space heater has been on, which creates white noise that, i have to admit, is kind of soothing and super-conducive for falling to sleep. But with the weather changes, we haven’t had to run her heater as much, so she’s been without that background noise that seems to lull her to sleep most nights. As a result, she can hear every little creak of the house, the dogs barking, my loud laugh, etc. And sometimes it doesn’t even take any of that to wake her–sometimes it’s just a matter of it maybe being too quiet in her room and she’ll wake up and fuss.

We’re going to look into getting a white noise machine for her room to see if that solves the problem. We’ve got to do something new because she’s not getting quality sleep and frankly, neither are Greg and I. Plus,  today is the first day of Spring (thank God! What a winter we had) and that means we’re going to need to use the heater in her room less and less until the weather turns cold again in the Fall. So, we need to find some kind of supplement noise that will allow her to sleep and STAY ASLEEP for the night.

3/7/11

Little Letters

Dear Mother Nature,

With regards to the weather (and the crazy amount of snow that’s currently piling up in our driveway): that’ll do. That’ll do.

Weekly Props

I wasn’t really sure what to think of ‘Secret Millionaire’ when I saw the commercials for it. The whole premise is that a millionaire lives for six days in a poor neighborhood, seeks out people trying to make it better and work side-by-side with them for the six days. Then, at the end of their time, they determine how much money (of their own) to donate to the people/organizations they’ve met. Good premise, although my whole hesitation was because I knew that if the show was handled badly, it would just be a huge hour-long pat on the back for these millionaires. And it shouldn’t be about that or flaunting their money–it should come from their heart.

So I wasn’t sure how it would be.

But then our usual Sunday night staple, ‘Extreme makeover: Home Edition’ wasn’t on and ‘Secret Millionaire’ was in its place. So we watched it. And wow. I’m guessing the boyfriend and I, both, teared up at least three times through the course of that hour. Good people got money they needed to help their non-profit organizations/family, etc. and the millionaire seemed like the experience really touched her.

It was perfect and wonderful and it left us with a super-good feeling, which is great to have right before you head off to sleep for the night.

Kudos to you, ‘Secret Millionaire’. Kudos to you.

A Moment with Miss Z

Zoey fell asleep with her head tucked under my chin and her hand closed around my necklace–the neck;ace she gave me for my 30th birthday (I know the boyfriend and her Nana help her pick it out). She fell asleep after many minutes of laughing almost uncontrollably at me ripping paper and looking at her surprised. She thought it was hysterical. So much so that we called Carol and Chuck (Greg’s mom and step-dad in Florida) and left a message on their answering machine of her laughing.

 3/1/11

A Moment with Miss Z

I have the day off work today because Mom is having a colonoscopy and the boyfriend wasn’t sure if he’d have to work or not, so I arranged to take a vacation day. So Greg and I are hanging out with Zoey at home today. Right now, Zoey is laying with her head on my shoulder, sleeping away.

This morning, while Greg was giving Zoey her bottle, I laid down on the other side of Zoey, so it was kind of like a Zoey sandwich. She put one of her hands on Greg’s cheek and reached over with the other hand to touch my chin. It’s like she had to hold onto something on both sides of her–just like about a week ago when Greg was laying on one side of her and Brutus was on the other side. Zoey had a tuft of Brutus’s fur in one hand and greg’s chest hair in the other.

A Moment with Greg

I’m watching Bridezillas on TV right now. The boyfriend noticed what I was watching and said, “That show is SO addicting.” I just adore the fact that he thinks Bridezillas is addicting. he’s awesome.

2/11/11

 

Rough Night

9:00–the boyfriend and I went to bed

9:01–Zoey woke up and refused to go back to sleep until I put her in between the boyfriend and I in our bed

10:15–Greg put a sleeping Zoey back in her crib

12:45–Zoey woke up and insisted on having a bottle in our bed

12:55–Kaylee insisted on going outside to pee

1:00–I put a sleeping Zoey back in ber crib

1:17–Kaylee insisted on coming downstairs to sleep–and wanted someone to come with her. Me.

2:10–Kaylee insisted on going back upstairs, but I stayed downstairs just in case she changed her mind

5:00–Woke up with an awful headache (surprise, surprise)

5:15–Got up, started a fire in the wood stove and made coffee

And this is after coming downstairs with Kaylee at ridiculous morning hours the last couple of days. Ugh.

2/10/11

Proud Mama of a Smart Baby

Watching Zoey learn something is the most incredible experience ever (with the obvious exception of actually giving birth to her). Last night, Greg and I were sitting on either side of Zoey on the couch in our living room. Zoey had a pile of toys in her lap and we were slowly paging through a couple of touch-and-feel books with her.

I went first with a Curious George book about animals and when we got to the page with the hippo in the shiny water (which looks like blue cellophane), I moved my fingers over the page vigorously and talked to Zoey about how the water was so smooth-feeling. Then i removed my hand from the page and waited for a few seconds without saying anything. Sure enough, Zoey’s hand slowly skipped over the page until her fingers touched the shiny water area.

The same thing happened with the page about the soft hippo tongue.

Then the boyfriend pulled out an Erik Carlisle book about animals that had a page with soft sheep wool sticking out. He did the same thing I did and Zoey reacted the same way–slowly reaching out and touching the wool in just the way that the boyfriend had just seconds before.

Seriously, I almost cried. She had learned something right in front of us and we had gotten to witness it. It was absolutely amazing.

Why I’m Glad I Get Out of Work Early Now

After Zoey was done eating supper last night–and after she was done making Daddy and Mommy fall even more in love with her by actually showing interest in her touch-and-feel books more than just banging them together–she and i had some tummy time on the floor. Well, it started out as tummy time so that I could take some adorable pictures of her and she could work on that whole rolling over thing (she rolls over from her tummy to her back with no problem. It’s the other way that we’re still working on).

Last night was the first time I noticed her (laying on her tummy) holding her head up while moving her arms and legs. Girl wants to GO. Usually she just lays there sort of still with her head in the air until she’s decides it’s time to roll over on her back. But this time, she was wriggling around like maybe…just maybe…so I tried tucking her legs and arms underneath her in a crawling position–just so she’d ger used to how it feels.

She apparently didn’t like it.

As soon as I would get her legs underneath her, she’d straighten them out and put her forehead against the floor like she was over-the-top frustrated with me.

After a few minutes of that, I let her lay on her back and watched as she turned from her back to her side to her back over and over again. She was so close to flipping right over onto her stomach and every time she got on her side and her little head would turn like she was about to flip, Greg and I would hold our breath and lean forward…and then Zoey would turn back onto her back again.

She’s so close. I know she can do it. She’s just got an attitude and has decided she isn’t going to do it until she’s good and ready and probably no one is looking. So there. Mom says we’ll probably go into her room some morning and find that she’s flipped over onto her stomach in her sleep. Apparently that’s typical of babies just learning to turn.

While she was busy faking us out with the turning, I was busy taking lots of pictures of her being cute, including one where the frame is mainly just a shot of our living room with Zoey’s arm jutting out from one side. I took that one just as she was in the middle of rolling from her tummy to her back.

After she had worked on turning over for a while, I put her on her back between my legs and tickled her for a good ten minutes or so. She’s especially ticklish underneath her arms right now and she closes her eyes and scrunches up her nose when she gets laughing really hard. She also loves when I kiss the side of her neck while nuzzling her with my nose. There’s nothing better than a giggling baby and she had Greg and I, both, laughing like loons at how adorable she is.

A Moment with Miss Z

Last night, Zoey fell asleep all cuddled up to me in Greg’s and my bed. We were lying on Greg’s pillows, her tiny forehead against mine and her chubby hand resting on my chin. Perfection.

2/9/11

Adventures in Zoeysitting

When Zoey and I got to Mom’s house today, Mom met us at the mom-mobile because she knew I had a lot to carry and (as usual) I was running late. She carried Zoey’s diaper bag and tote bag (for stuff that doesn’t fit in the diaper bag) and Zoey’s cereal in a bowl (we’ve decided to go back to giving her a bottle first thing in the morning) and I followed her with Zoey. When we got inside the house, Mom put everything down and I handed her Zoey, who got a big smile, put her hands on Mom’s cheeks and rested her forehead against Mom’s forehead. I’m starting to think this is her way of showing love.

A Moment with Miss Z

This morning when I held my hands out to Miss Z, she actually reached up for me to take her. First time, people. Before this all she did was clasp her hands toghter and wait for me to make the next move. I’m telling you–this kid is smart–and she melts my heart whenever she does stuff like this.

2/2/11

Adventures in Zoeysitting

This morning when I dropped Miss Zoey off at Mom’s house, my sister, Colleen, and her kids were just getting there too. I was struggling to carry Zoey, her diaper bag and her booster seat, so Colleen took Zoey out of my arms when I managed to get everything else inside the house. My niece, Rowan, slipped in Mom’s kitchen and fell. She started crying and Mom picked her up to comfort her. Zoey saw that Rowan was getting upset and started crying too (either that or she realized Aunt Colleen was holding her. Colleen is still in that category of people that Miss Z freaks out at if they even try to talk to her). I took Zoey back from Colleen and put her on my hip. She immediately calmed down, although she had two big fat tears (one under each eye) on her cheeks and she kept staring at Rowan after Colleen took Rowan from Mom to comfort her.

I just called Mom to check on Zoey–my usual lunchtime call–and she said Miss Z was sitting in her seat, playing with her toys. In the background, I could hear Miss Z talking away, getting louder and louder like perhaps she was getting angry at said toys.

2/1/11

Adventures in Zoeysitting

Tonight when I got to Mom and Dad’s house, Miss Z was playing in her exersaucer. I sat down on the couch behind her and started talking to Mom and Dad. Somewhere in the middle of our conversation, I heard Miss Z call out, “Ah!” O looked down at her and found that she had turned the seat of her exersaucer all the way around to face me. She was sitting there with her hands folded together on the tray of her exersaucer, just staring at me as if waiting for me to entertain her. She totally did it to get my attention.

A Moment with Miss Z

Zoey was barely awake when we arrived home after I picked her up from Mom and Dad’s house. Greg came out to the care and carried in her seat while I got all of our bags (my tote, purse and Zoey’s diaper bag). When I got into the house, Greg was taking Zoet out of her snowsuit–something that usually wakes her right up. But tonight, she was totally zonked and when we finally freed her from her snowsuit, she laid her head against the boyfriend’s shoulder and went right back to sleep.

He held her for a while in the recliner in our living room to see if she would wake up and want supper before going to bed for the night. But she barely even stirred. So, after about fifteen minutes, he carried her upstairs and I put some comfy pants on over her onesie (I had changed her diaper at Mom’s house before we left). She woke up while I was putting her comfy pants on, but as soon as I was done, I picked her up (She was laying on our bed) and she laid her head down on my shoulder and fell asleep again.

1/31/11

And Now a Poetic Look at Today’s Weather As I Walk to Work

The ice on the sidewalks is very slippery and I’m pretty sure I’m going to fall on my ass. My fingers and nose, no doubt developed frostbite about a block ago and fell off. And when hell did I put my gloves underneath my sandwich in my bag? The air is so cold, it hurts to breathe. I don’t think I’ll ever be warm again. Thanks a lot, Mother Nature.

Miss Z’s Surprise

Guess what my amazing daughter did today. She decided it was time to push a couple teeth through her bottom gums, which is kind of funny because I just happened to get a look at her mouth this morning when she was chewing on her fingers and i noticed that the pink of the gums was really light-colored. I even mentioned it to Mom and said that it seemed like Zoey’s teeth might be hurting her, there was medicine in the diaper bag. But now I wonder if she was getting ready to push those little suckers out into the open.

Mom texted me a little while ago (because she loves that her new phone has, like, 500 texts each month) and said that while she was feeding Zoey lunch, the spoon kept brushing against something hard in Zoey’s mouth. So Mom stuck her finger in there to see what was going on and found two sharp little teeth sticking out of the bottom gum.

I called her on my cell phone to make sure I had read the text right and to tell her how excited I was about it. Then I tried to call Greg, who didn’t answer his cell phone (he probably left it in his car), so I told my editor the news and even though she wasn’t nearly excited about it was I was, it was enough to make me happy.

My little girl with two teeth.

Imagine all of the pictures I’m going to take of her now. Imagine the bills from Walmart and Shutterfly.com when I get all of those pictures developed. But it will be worth it because my baby has her first two teeth!!!

1/29/11

Growing

I packed a bunch of Zoey’s clothes away today because she had outgrown them. And I moved her 9-moth and 12-month clothing into her dresser for easy access–because she’s fitting into some of that stuff now–OMG. I just can’t believe she’s growing so fast. I’ve packed away some of her clothes before, but this time, I had a TON to pack away because I finally decided to give up on a lot of the cute outfits that I had held out hope for because she was just getting too big for them. My baby is growing up and, frankly, I don’t like it. Every time I found one of her little shirts and put it in a plastic bin for storage, my heart cries a little.

My Zoey is beautiful and amazing and wonderful and she’s growing up just way too fast.

1/27/11

Sippee Cup-First Time

Last night, we gave Zoey a sippee cup for the  first time. There was just a bit of juice in the bottom–just enough for her to get a taste if she was interested. I tried holding it up to her mouth so she could kind of get the idea, but she didn’t really care to pay attention to it. In fact, she seemed much more interested in banging her cup on the arm of the recliner. That’s my girl.

I Love You, Dr. Bartol

I didn’t have the easiest of pregnancies. I swelled up like whoa and couldn’t breathe half the time, which made my blood pressure skyrocket and landed me in the hospital a couple times to be hooked up to monitors to make sure Zoey was okay. In the meantime, I was dealing with trying to get the house ready for a baby, work stress and the boyfriend’s frantic search for a job. Everything was super stressful and overwhelming and OH MY GOD! LOOK AT THE STRETCH MARKS ON MY BELLY!

Throughout the experience, my OB/GYN was completely awesome. Dr. Bartol (along with Dr. Loftus and Dr, Ryu) answered all of my questions, gave me tons of support and basically reassured me that I was doing a good job handling everything. It was exactly what i needed and let me tell you, when I was put in the hospital to be induced the first (and yes) the second time, I always felt relief when Dr. Barton walked into the room.

Today I had my six-month follow-up appointment with Dr. Bartol and as soon as I walked into the room, I felt the same amount of support that I had gotten the first time  I went to that office. She was genuinely interested in how I was doing and feeling since having Miss Z  and she answered all of my questions. I can’t even tell you how much it meant to me to hear her say that it was okay because as a really private person, I don’t like talking about certain things such as bodily functions and private parts. But Dr. Bartol put me at ease and made me feel like I could ask her anything.

I’m planning on staying with that office and if the boyfriend and I decided to have more kids down the road, I will definitely have Dr. Bartol/Dr. Loftus/Dr. Ryu as the doctors that deliver our baby. Super big props to Dr. Bartol. I adore you.

1/26/11

Shutterfly.com, I Think I Love You

Today,I got an e-mail from Shutterfly.com reminding me that my 20% off one order coupon was set to expire in les than 24 hours, which didn’t really bother me because I had already placed a couple huge orders with Shutterfly and had decided to wait a little bit before placing any more (not because of bad quality or anything–I’m looking at you Snapfish.com–but because I’ve spent a lot of money on pictures lately and I figured the boyfriend might be happy if I took a break from ordering so many). But then I remembered that I still had a coupon for a free 8″ x 8″ photo book and 10 free 5″ x 7″stationary cards. And i remembered seeing something on the site about getting shipping for free if you spent at least $25 dollars, which is ridiculously easy for me to do.

So.

I went to the Shutterfly site with the plan to just sort of play around and see if I could really get all of the coupons on one order and to see if I could come up with an idea for the free photo book and cards. Sill me, I should have known it would be easy.

My firs stop was the 8″ x 10″ collage pages, which weren’t free, but happened to be 50% off the regular price (plus the 20% off coupon put it at 70% off). I think the most pictures each one holds is, like, 16 or 24, but I liked the idea of fitting nine pictures to each collage and using them for scrapbooking. That way, I’m getting a crapload of scrapbooking pictures for the price of one 8″ x 10″. Pretty sweet, huh? Plus, since they were less than half price…Yeah, I ended up making twenty-one of them (yeah, you read that right, I made a lot, but I’m really behind on my scrapbooking).

Then I started working on the free photo book. I decided to make a photo book of Greg’s pictures, since he’s really into photography and hopes to start his own photography studio someday. So, I made a professional-looking 8″ x 8″ hardcover book with black pages and a thin white border around each picture.

After that, I made my cards, which, since I don’t really have a reason to make cards, ended up being another slew of scrapbooking pictures. Six pictures on each card for a total of ten cards.

And just for good measure, I threw in four 4″ x 6″ prints of Zoey that I wanted.

My whole order came to $43 dollars and some change. But before you gasp in shock at the money I spent, remember the deals I took advantage of:

Four 4″ x 6″ prints–15 cents a piece

A free 8″ x 8″ hard cover photo book–free

Ten 5″ x 7″ stationary cards–free

Twenty-one 8″ x 10″ collages–at half price

Twenty percent off the whole order

Free shipping

And here’s the kicker: according to the little calculator on the site, I ended up saving over ONE HUNDRED THIRTY DOLLARS. Totally worth it.

1/19/11

Dear Snapfish.com,

Look, after my first order had problems, I told you I was unhappy. I told you that I couldn’t accept pictures that had fuzzy lines around people and pixel grid on faces. I said I was looking for something more. And you apologized. You made me promises about good quality products and you gave me a refund for my entire first order without making me ship back the crappy pictures to wherever your headquarters are (I’m imagining your parents’ basement give the printing quality of said crappy photos). You said you hoped i used your services again and I decided to give you another shot. To give US another try.

But you disappointed me again. Another order–the same problems. Yeah, you gave me another apology and another refund. But you made those same promises as before and frankly, I feel like I can’t trust you this time. How can you expect me to go like this? What, really is going to change to make our relationship better? Nothing. Nothing.

I think it’s time we parted ways. I just can’t get over the hurt and disappointment I feel toward you. I know you won’t change and maybe that’s okay for some people (who? Seriously, how do you stay in business?), but, like I said, I want something more. I was someone who’s going to give me good quality prints and lots of coupons without screwing me over on the shipping. I want someone with a good reputation that I haven’t had problems with in the past.

Someone like Shutterfly.com

I’ve decided I want to be with them from now on. They treat me good and I’m happy. I just hope you can learn from this experience and grow. I know I have.

Love,

Cindy

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