Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Just so I can properly attribute the Year End meme:  original courtesy of Linda and last year's posted here.  

Happy End of 2008 and A Big Fat Smooch to 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wrapping up 2008

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Gave birth.  

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Yes, I promised last year that I would be a good parent, and I think I have started that off well.  This year's resolution is a continuation on that theme: always, ALWAYS putting my family first.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
HA!  ME!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thank god.

5. What countries did you visit?
Zero.  Gestating and birthing kept us in town.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
A more positive outlook on life.  Noah has definitely helped with that and I hope to continue well into the rest of my life.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
February 29, 20o8:  Big ultrasound reveal to tell us we were having a boy.  July 20, 2008:  The birth day of said boy.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Giving birth.   Hands down.  (Do we sense a theme here?)

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not keeping in close touch with far away friends.  I plan to remedy that in 2009.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Episiotomy, anyone?  Damn that hurt.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I didn't buy it (hello, budget) but my SLR camera that my parents gave us this Christmas.  

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Again, Tim's.  He is an amazing father and he works so hard to make sure Noah and I are cared for and happy.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
No one really.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Diapers, baby toys, baby clothes, baby baby baby.  That should be reason enough to wait until you're old enough and financially secure to have a kid.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
NOAH.  Oh, and Noah.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Beethoven for Babies...on repeat in the car.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?  So much happier.
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter.  Damn it.
c) richer or poorer? Poorer, see #14.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Cuddled with Noah.  There is never enough cuddling for me.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worrying about Noah.  I spent far too much time on the internet reading new mom message boards and fuh-reaking out about every little thing.  

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With our families.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Oh hell yes.  

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Gossip Girl.  I am 16.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

24. What was the best book you read?
Sippy Cups Are Not For Chardonnay, Stefanie Wilder-Taylor.  It may not have been literature, but it was damn funny and made me feel less like a moron.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
What is this music you speak of?  Unless it was created for babies, I haven't heard it lately.

26. What did you want and get?

27. What did you want and not get?
Sleep.  Same as last year.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Hmm, first this music thing and now movies...didn't get to see much this past year.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 27 this year and spent the day baby-free.  

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not having to worry about money.  

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Yoga pants...with stretch.

32. What kept you sane?
Tim and his patience.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Barry O.  We have so much to look forward to, he and I.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Oh I don't know...let me think...SARAH PALIN.  

35. Who did you miss?
All my friends who live far, far away from me.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Noah.  He rocks.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Life is so much sweeter when you have someone special to share it with.  Whether that be a wonderful partner, a child, or a supportive family, life doesn't seem so knock-down hard at times.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Like movie quotes, this is just something I can't do well. I'll leave it to you to add whatever sums up YOUR year.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Best. Christmas. EVER.

My parents love Christmas.  My parents love Noah.  So for Christmas, my parents bought Tim and I a Nikon D60 dslr camera.  What I mean is our names were on the gift tag but it is clearly a gift for their benefit since it will allow me to take amazing, awesome, perfect pictures of Noah FOR THEM.  They can't fool me, I've got their number.   Here are a couple of shots taken with the new camera:

The quality of the pictures is phenomenal and oh, let's just say, BREATHTAKING.  Wait.  That's probably just me since I am slightly obsessed with the subject.  I am so so so happy with the camera so consider this a public THANK YOU MOM AND DAD for being damn awesome. 

Photos of Noah crying while opening Christmas presents to come.  We've been busy around these parts.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

And so it begins...

His first taste of Christmas, courtesy of his Aunt Boo.

Yay!  A box!

Mama?  What do I do with this?

Ah yes, I see.  I eat it.  Tasty.

Thank you Boo!  We love it!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Five Months

Dear Noah,

I think you and I both deserve a hearty congratulations for making it five whole months. For some reason, this month's birthday really meant a lot to me. Maybe it's because you are now firmly in "baby" territory and the newborn phase is definitely over. Maybe it's because I felt that by five months I should have my act together. Ha. I SO don't. But you don't know that because you're just a itty, witty, bitty baby who loves to laugh and smile with your whole body. From the tip of your head to the bottom of your toes, you smile with everything you've got.

So much has happened this past month. You began to roll over, your first tooth arrived and you're THISCLOSE to sitting unsupported. You've tried rice cereal many times and are still a bit ambivalent about it all. Shhh, don't tell anyone but we may just forget about the cereal and move straight to the hard stuff...sweet potatoes. That's right. Big boy food. We'll see. I am kind of chicken when it comes to change with you. You're growing up so so so fast I can barely keep up. But with this growing up comes all the delightful moments we have. And these moments are made all the better because you sleep through the night and THANKYOUSOMUCH.

This month our goal is to get you on a daytime schedule. So far you call the shots but guess what? Game over buddy. Mama's in charge from now on. Hopefully you'll humor me for at least a few days and get to napping at regular intervals. Please. It will make our lives so much easier and our days much more predictable. And maybe you could nap for longer than 45 minutes? You used to but this silly teething business has really messed with the hours long naps. And mama needs her downtime to read blogs, err, um, work out.

I love you so much little man, so very much. I am so excited to see what this next month brings for you and for our family.


Posting will be light around here due to the holiday, so Noah wishes you an early Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!  He didn't have a driedel handy for his posed photos, just a Santa hat, my apologies.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rearing it's ugly head

Noah has cut his first tooth!  This really explains so much of his crappy behavior these past few days/week.  He'll be going along his day fine and then, out of nowhere, just melt into a little puddle of grumpy, screechy baby.   I honestly didn't think he was actually teething since the pediatrician claimed he didn't see any tooth buds below the gums and we were months away from the first tooth.  Clearly he was wrong. You would think that all the recent drooling, chewing on my knuckles, and gnawing on anything he can get his itty bitty hands on would alert me to teething but I steadfastly believed the doctor.  I have now put my boobs on high alert to watch for biting.  I hope he realizes that once he bites, he is DONE.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Owning up

I stopped Shredding (that's the 30-Day Shred workout to the uninitiated).  On accident, I swear.  I did it faithfully, well, almost, for a couple of weeks but then Noah got sick, I got sick, Tim dipped his little toe in the sick waters and claimed death.  So things sort of fell apart on the workout front while I took care of the cranky ones.  I had even made it to Level 2, damn it!  Without dying or having my limbs fall off from sheer exhaustion and I gave that all up to wipe snot.  

Then I saw this website.  It was created by Linda of Sundry Mourning, whose before and after photos were enough motivation to get me moving again, and supported by many voices in the blogging community.   I felt that if they could do it, then why can't I?  I mean, I am even asking for a gym membership for a Christmas gift for god's sake.   There is no reason I can't set aside at least 20 minutes a day for a little DVD workout, possibly even more when the ellipticals have TVs on them at the new gym.   I can watch WHATEVER SHOW I WANT without someone else whining about Mythbusters, or Shark Week, or Prototype This, or vampire/zombie movies being on, pleeeeeaaaassseeeeeee.  And I can have a whole hour to myself with no baby hanging off my boob.  It still means getting in the car and driving to the gym, but I need to do it for myself, for my mental health, for my physical health.  

It also doesn't hurt that I am standing up in a wedding in MEXICO in April and the dress I picked, while gorgeous, also as an extremely low back.  No one, and I mean NO ONE, needs to be subjected to the back fat that I am sporting these days.   I can't even think about how I would look in a bathing suit.  Right now, I can conceal the flab and chub with clothing, and people still say I look pretty darn good for having just had a baby.  But honestly, that baby was born almost FIVE months ag,o and it's high time I firmed up and lost some of this extra fat.  The actual weight number may be nice and pretty but that doesn't mean this body looks good without clothes.  

So, I am once again pledging to try harder.   You have full permission to give me shit next time I tell you I fell off the workout wagon.  Fingers crossed, hopefully there won't even be a next time.

(Also, when the hell did my metabolism decide to take a permanent vacation?  I have to watch what I eat ALL THE TIME now and that is serious bullshit.  Metabolism, I don't want to have to fire you, so buck up and do your damn job already.)  

Sunday, December 14, 2008

And yet another filler post

Sorry. I'm having a hard time coming up with anything to write about...kind of like me being at a cocktail party over the weekend and having nothing to talk about besides the baby. And this may come as a shock to you, but those who don't have children could care less about my baby starting solids. My god, I bore myself. So, in lieu of the written word, I am giving you pictures of the cutest baby this side of the Mississippi.

The fingers are CONSTANTLY in the mouth.  Sometimes he gets the whole fist in there and gags himself.  You would think he would learn the first time...

I mean, seriously?  At 4 and a half months he's already learned how to ham it up for the camera.   Moments later he sneezed and banged his forehead on the desk.  Tim and I looked at each other and I said "DO NOT REACT. HE WILL NEVER KNOW THAT HURT."

Gah!  He kills me everyday with that smile.  I wish he was edible so I could eat him.  For breakfast, lunch AND dinner.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Noah and I were out on the first of many Christmas shopping trips today. I say many because a 4 month old baby does not tolerate leisurely strolls through 14 different stores so we will be attempting small trips in these next coming days. We made a short stop at Marshall's today (note to self: sifting through racks of crap does not make for a happy baby) and Noah began to melt down so I took him out of the car seat/snap n' go contraption and removed his coat and hat. He was probably a little hot and getting cranky. By the sound of his screams, I figured he didn't really care for the cheap material of the dress I wanted to try on either so we hustled ourselves out of the store.

I put him back in his car seat, wrapped the bundle me around him, and ushered us out of the store and into the parking lot. We made it to the car, I packed him and my bags into the backseat, and we headed towards the parking lot exit. It was then, when I looked in the rear view mirror and saw his limbs flailing about, that I realized I NEVER BUCKLED HIM INTO THE CAR SEAT. That's right, I committed my first major parenting error. Of course I immediately pulled over, parked the car, and got Noah all settled AND buckled into the car seat before continuing on our way. But those few minutes were enough for my crazy mama brain to begin running through all the possibilities of what could have happened.

You know it's not good when your mind goes straight to the baby dying in a car accident scenarios. But it was like I was possessed. All the way home I couldn't stop thinking about what if? What if a semi had hit us? What if I had hit a patch of ice and rolled the car? Is this the rest of my life? Always wondering what if? Always worrying about the harm that could befall my child(ren)? How did my mother ever let me leave the house, let alone allow me to go to CANCUN as a 17 year old? Nononononononononononono never gonna happen.

If it wasn't poor form I would have had a drink in the middle of the afternoon to calm myself. Thank god nothing happened and I realized my mistake before entering traffic. Next time my checklist will include Baby Buckled In? Check and double check.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pity Party, Table for One

We teetered on the edge of this exact situation all weekend, but somehow came out safely on the other medical intervention necessary. THANK GOD. I mean, seriously.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Still need help on the diaper thing BUT...

Boo.  Little magical, I mean, evil, elves left Chicago a present overnight.

View from our front window.

Our backyard.

Remind me again why I didn't let Tim move us to California?  

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Huggies are NOT the new Hoover Dam

A PLEA FOR HELP! (And ignore if you have no opinion on diapers.)

We have a leak. Actually, not just ONE leak, but many, many leaks. Noah has been leaking out of his diapers, and I have no idea what to do. I change him every couple of hours during the day, always before and after naps (and the after change is always because he has leaked out during his nap), and since he is sleeping mostly through the night I can't change him then so we have a leak in the morning. I half expect that leak since he does go so long without a change, but it didn't always happen and I would really like it if we could face the morning without ANOTHER crib sheet change.

Here is where we are at diapers-wise:

Noah is 13.5 pounds, so firmly in the size 2 range for most diapers (12-18 lbs).  We're currently using Huggies Supreme/Gentle Care size 2 or Huggies Regular size 2. We haven't noticed much of a difference in absorbancy between the two, at least not enough to warrant the price difference.  We have also used Pampers Swaddlers size 2 which we had leaks with but even worse was that his clothes always felt damp in the front when he wore them.  

So, here is where you and your people come in.  I need recommendations for new diapers.  I am willing to try cloth diapering as well as using eco-friendly diapers (7th Generation, gDiapers, etc.).  And by cloth diapering I really mean pocket cloth diapers with the washable inserts.  I'm game for new disposables too.   I just need options and I don't want to spend a million dollars trying out every brand on the market.  I trust you.  My wallet is in your hands.

If you are not diaper-savvy, please, please send this on to any of your friends or family who may have an opinion on diapers.   Tell me what you/they use and if you like/dislike your choice.  Tell me if you cloth diaper and what you like most about it.  I need help, from you.  You're the best!

Friday, November 28, 2008

The end of an era (a very short-lived era)

My term as the mother of a stationary infant is officially over. I am now an eagle-eyed, one hand when on the changing table at all times, crib mattress-lowering mother. Noah has officially learned how to roll over. It was touch and go last week and he could do it with plenty of "assistance" from us, but now he is all about the rolling. All by himself. Nap time? No way, Mom, ROLLING TIME! Bed time? Nope, not sleeping then either! RollRollRollRoll! He can only go from tummy to back and since he sleeps on his tummy, every time he rolls onto his back when he's sleeping the eyes fly open and the arms start waving and the mouth starts yelling. It's super fun for us.

It's pretty fantastic though that he is right on target for hitting all the infant milestones. Rolling over, pushing up on his arms, sitting with assistance...all of these things show us that he is developing well and growing quickly. I find it reassuring that we can so easily see his progress and watch him grow.

I hear from those who have gone before me that the novelty of rolling ends pretty quickly, but I should resign myself to a week or so of lost naps and plenty of nighttime wake-ups. I just cannot express how excited I am. No words. Seriously. Excuse me while I go bang my head against the wall.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to you

We are thankful for many things at the Smith household but one stands out from the others:

May you have a happy and delicious Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pardon the interruption

When you tell your husband not to worry about getting you a gift/flowers/A CARD for your wedding anniversary and then he actually DOESN'T worry about it so you receive NOTHING, do you a) stomp your feet and complain, b) act all passive-aggressive and comment under your breath about it, or c) show him your blog where you are detailing, with loving and painstaking precision, your meeting and courtship and watch for signs of shame?

I chose c.  Note to self:  if you want something from your husband for your anniversary/birthday/christmas/the day you pushed an 8 pound baby out of your precious lady parts thereby ruining them foreverandeveramen, you better not tell him he doesn't have to do anything...reverse psychology doesn't work.  Ever.

It's a good thing he's cute and snuggly.  I suppose I'll keep him.  (And not that I NEED to say this, but I really am fine that we didn't exchange gifts or cards this is tight, as we all know, and this fine man tells me everyday how much he loves me.  And I didn't get him anything so the playing field is still level.)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Two Years, or How We Ended Up Here, Part IV

Every day I discussed with my friend, L, at work when he would actually propose.  Every Friday we crossed our fingers that it would be that weekend, and every Monday I would come in with a bare ring finger.  I was emailing him pictures of rings hourly.  At one point I thought maybe I had dreamed up that he had asked my father for my hand. Or maybe he had reconsidered. One weekend, I was with my friend A at the bridal shop...we were either looking for bridesmaid dresses for her wedding or maybe just going for a fitting for her wedding dress.  (I can't remember every detail, you know.)  The whole thing kind of put me in a rotten mood since it was all wedding talk that day and I wasn't able to participate.  I sat in the dressing room with her complaining about how Tim didn't want to marry me and we were never getting engaged.  We had only been together for going on eight months so CLEARLY the end of the world was upon me and I was going to die alone.  Clearly.  

Little did I know that at that same moment he was sitting at the jeweler's with my mother picking out my diamond.  And designing the setting.   And I was sitting in a cramped dressing room bemoaning my future as a lonely old woman.  Someone really should have slapped me.  Two weeks later, Tim had made plans to pick me up after work, but he was running late.  It was now mid-December and snowing in Chicago.  I waited on the corner of Randolph and LaSalle for a half hour, in the freezing cold and snow, and when he finally showed up I laid into him with all my pent-up anger.  I just let loose.  I accused him of not wanting to marry me.  I accused him of being a liar.  And he didn't say a word.  The ring was in his pocket and was the reason he was running late.  He had just met the jeweler at the train station to pick up the ring and of course, I had no idea.   Here we were, my head exploding in anger and him probably wondering if this was such a good idea after all.

A week or so later, we decided to exchange one Christmas gift early.  It was the 23rd of December.  I had bought Tim an Illini hat so he could be a part of my love for my alma mater.  I picked that out as the gift I wanted him to open.  I opened mine first.  It was a framed photograph of a diamond ring, MY diamond ring, and when I looked up in confusion, I saw Tim, on his knee, in front of our first Christmas tree, holding the most beautiful ring I had ever seen, and asking me to spend the rest of my life with him.  He had tears in his eyes when I said yes.  Yes, of course.  And then I laughed.  I have never had the appropriate reaction to intensely emotional situations.  Why should this moment be any different?  And all I had to give him was a silly ball cap.

He had picked my favorite time of year to ask me to be his wife.  He made the moment incredibly personal and all about the two of us.  It was not extravagant, it was not over the top.  It was perfectly reflective of us.  The rest of that evening was spent at the Tiny Lounge reminiscing about the day we met, telling our (short) story to anyone who would listen.  The Tiny Lounge closed their doors on New Year's Eve that year so that was our time to say thank you to it for bringing us together.  For being tiny and only leaving two seats open.

And now, two years later, Tim still kisses my forehead when he walks by and my heart still beats a little bit faster everytime he walks in the door.  We have the most wonderful baby boy, our little family created in our cozy home.  So much has happened to us since that fateful night in April three short years we met, married and started our family.  Every morning I get to wake up next to the most perfect man.  I am so very, very lucky.

Two Years, or How We Ended Up Here, Part III

He called.  Exactly when Mike said he would.  We went out that night...if you asked Tim he could tell you exactly what I wore but all I can remember is how impossibly nervous I was.  We didn't do sushi, but we did do tapas followed by a wine bar.  It was the moments at that wine bar, at a quiet, dark, candlelit table for two in the back, that I remember most.  He told me about himself.  About his failed marriage, his dreams for his future, his passion for his start-up tech company, his hopes for his life.  And when he got up to go to the washroom, he kissed me gently on the forehead and I think I swooned.  Maybe it was the wine, maybe it was the romantic setting, but it was at that moment that I felt something I hadn't felt before.  Complete and utter comfort with another person.  The kiss, touching a usually unnoticed place on a person's face, was so perfect and right at that moment.  

He invited me back to his place (the horror! and so forward!).  I felt comfortable enough to know he wouldn't be untoward with me and I am really nosy about other people's living spaces so of course I wanted to see his condo.  And to 23 year old me, a guy who owned his own condo in the city was a novelty.  It was in that condo, at the base of the stairs, that he kissed me.  My knees may have buckled.  My head surely swam.  And then I told him I had to go.  

He drove me home, and even at that point I wasn't sure if he would call again.  Remember, I was still feeling pretty bad about myself after the recent break-up and didn't think I would meet someone who actually liked me.  But he did call.  Yes, it took him three days, but he would later admit that he didn't want to seem too eager.  We went out later that following week, and then again, and again, and again.  I found myself driving by his condo on random days, just to see if the lights were on.  Definitely stalker-ish, but somehow reassuring to me.  Maybe he was thinking of me while he worked from his couch.  I was thinking about him every moment of the day.

I quickly made myself at home in his condo...we spent the majority of our time hanging out there.  It was on that rooftop, six weeks after we met, that he told me he loved me.  It was a warm June evening, and we had been looking at the view of the Sears tower, a few miles in the distance.  So many stars were out and the moment was perfect.  From single to in love in six weeks...our relationship started off on the fast track from the moment we met.  Some of you may be asking, hey!  what about the ex that you had plans with?  Yes, I did meet up with him, even though Tim and I were seeing each other, because we hadn't yet discussed exclusivity and I needed to make sure.  I knew after meeting up with the ex that I didn't want to be with anyone besides Tim.  It was just that easy.  

That summer passed by quickly, and by August Tim had asked me to move in with him when the lease on my apartment ended that October.  I knew I wanted to, but I didn't think my parents would approve.  I was turning 24, still very young, and I had a feeling my parents wouldn't feel nearly as comfortable with the idea of their first born moving in with a divorced man ten years her senior after only six months of dating.  I broached the idea with my mother first since she seems to like me a lot, and she could butter up my father for me.  I like to delegate my dirty work.  I didn't necessarily need their approval, but I did need and want their support.  Lucky for me, I am very convincing and they agreed to support me in whatever I chose.  

The plans were made, and on October 15th, I moved in to Tim's condo...with the verbal understanding that our relationship was headed toward marriage.  I would never have guessed that I would have moved in with a boyfriend with no ring on my finger, no major commitment to the future.  But never, at any point, did I feel that we weren't headed in that direction.  I knew Tim was completely committed to me, to us, to our future together.  We talked about marriage all the time, so much so that he asked my father for my hand in marriage over Thanksgiving that year.  And my father announced it to the entire table at dinner that evening.  When I was in the room...we'll blame excitement on him letting the cat out of the bag.  Ring Watch 2005 started at that very moment and every day after was riddled with WHEN, DAMNIT?  Patience is not one of my virtues.

...To be continued

Two Years, or How We Ended Up Here, Part II

So.  Apparently Debbie, and probably all my other friends, didn't think I was very nice if I had to be admonished like that.  I mean, I could totally be nice and talk to the strange men sitting next to us, I just didn't WANT to.  See?  There is a difference.  But I was being warmed by my first martini, so I decided to stop being a frigid bitch (it's true, there is no better way to say it) and turn myself around to "chat".  The guy next to me, we'll call him #1, didn't seem to be the more outgoing of the two so I was drawn to the other guy sitting to his right, #2.  Not drawn to him in an I'm attracted to him kind of way, but more in the he seems like he would be fun to bullshit with kind of way, and if you know me at all, you know I like me some bullshitting.  I can't really remember the conversation or what we four talked about but it definitely involved bullshit and as the conversation became longer and fueled by martinis (for us girls) and vodka tonics (for the guys) I started to notice #1 a bit more.  

He had started off kind of quiet but grew more interesting as the night wore on.  His eyes were an intense blue and he had a distinct profile that I found quite charming.  When he was thinking and listening, he involuntarily stuck out his bottom lip.  A little quirk.  He became more animated and he and #2 were clearly good friends.   They enjoyed arguing and bickering while Debbie and I sat there, quite amused.  Our conversations waned and Debbie and I started chatting alone.  At one point, #1 got up to go to the bathroom, and #2 asked me to give him my phone number...on behalf of #1.  I had a policy not to meet a guy in a bar, let alone give him my number, so I refused.  And if he wanted my number, he would have to ask for it himself.  None of this wingman bullshit.  So I told him just that upon his return from the bathroom.  And I wanted to know his full name.  He introduced himself as Tim Smith, and his buddy was Mike.  I gave him my phone number.  Mike declared that Tim would call me the next day and we would go out for sushi that night.  Ladies and Gentlemen, he is available for all matchmaking needs.

At that point I figured, game over, let's move on to the next bar.  I had given him my phone number, he wasn't REALLY going to call, so let's hit the road. I hadn't yet realized that Debbie had already called her sister and friends to come meet us at the Tiny Lounge so we were clearly going nowhere soon.  We four ordered another drink and continued to talk.  We spent an inordinate amount of time listening to Tim and Mike make fun of one another...a mark of good friends for sure.  Debbie's sister arrived and immediately recognized Mike.  They had stood up in a wedding together.  Well, damn if Walt Disney didn't hit it on the head, it IS a small world after all.  At some point, we decided to leave the Tiny Lounge to go dancing (i.e. a bad bar/club with dance music where I would be just drunk enough to think I was actually born with rhythm) and invited Tim and Mike to come along.  The rest of the night was a whirl of dancing, bar-hopping, and talking with Tim until the wee hours of the morning.   

Even by the end of the night, I didn't think he would ever call.  You just don't meet good guys in bars.  It doesn't happen like that.  At around 4 pm on Saturday, my phone rang.  It was Tim.  

...To be continued

Two Years, or How We Ended Up Here, Part I

This Tuesday is our two year wedding anniversary and to mark the occasion, I thought I would recount our meeting and subsequent whirlwind courtship from my point of view over the next few posts (In parts!  Because I am nice like that and don't think you would want to devote the next ten hours of your life to reading this story.  I willingly break it up for you.)  It's romantic, and lovely, and will have a touch of sarcasm for good measure, of course.  Come along, my friends, on this trip down memory lane.

It was late April 2005. I was 23, living in Chicago with my roommate and friend, Rebecca, and working at my office job.  My weekends consisted of playing around the city and whining and moaning about the end of my last (completely waste of time/energy/space) relationship.  Isn't it funny how hindsight is always 20/20?  ALWAYS.  I knew that guy wasn't going to be the loveofmylifeomg, but for some reason I was irrationally worked up over the demise of that relationship.   So worked up that I had begun calling my high-school/college ex-boyfriend because he always made me feel better about myself.  In retrospect, that was not the nicest way to keep in contact with him, always calling when I was lonely and between boyfriends...he was, and I imagine, still is, a very nice guy. Which must be why he put up with me and my behavior.  I wouldn't have that's for damn sure.  

Anyhow, he was coming in town that upcoming Memorial Day weekend and we had plans to meet up.  Why, you ask?  Because I liked the attention.  I admit it.  You find me a girl who doesn't love being adored and I will call you a damn liar.  But now it is Friday, April 22nd, and my hometown friend, Debbie, was in town from NYC where she was working and living post-college and she wanted to Go! Out! And! Party! Yeah!  This was when martini bars were where it was at and since she was a high-class New Yorker, I wanted to show her a fun time in Chicago. However, come Friday night I was completely uninterested in going out.  You know how it is:  nothing to wear, feeling fat, looooooog week, SO TIRED, ad nauseum.  (Or is it "ad infinitum"...according to Wikipedia, my best source of information by way of Capt'n Google, both could work here.)  But Debbie wouldn't hear of it.  She whipped out the bottom lip and pouted her way into me agreeing to go out.  I've always been a sucker, nothing new there.  So, I put on my "uniform" of black top (I believe this was a one shoulder number and admitting that reminds  me that I had terrible taste in clothing), jeans, and heels and off we went to the closest martini bar, the Tiny Lounge.

The Tiny Lounge was very aptly named as it seated less than 40 and held less than 60 standing up.  It was tucked under the Addison Brown Line El stop and you could hear the trains rumbling overhead.  I walked by it everyday, making my way to and from work downtown.   The Tiny Lounge had a martini-heavy menu...the type of place that drew an older, more mature crowd and not so much the frat-boy, pink polo popped collar crowd that I was regularly running around with.  This older crowd was probably why I thought Debbie would like it--much more like her usual NYC haunts.  Our game plan that night consisted of a martini there most likely followed by frantic calls to friends to find the next fabulous stop.  So, it was meant to be a quick warm-up to our evening...she had somehow convinced me to make a night of it.  

We walked to the Tiny Lounge quickly; April in Chicago is still cold and I think I was still young (read: stupid) enough to think I didn't need a coat.  Me and my one shouldered top shaking and quivering my way down the street, around the corner, and into the Tiny Lounge.  We got there around 8-ish, I thought early enough to definitely get a seat somewhere or at least we would have a choice of places to sit.  Au contraire.  Upon walking in, and shaking off the cold, we saw that there were two seats open at the bar and looking around, those were the last two seats available.  And next to those two seats sat two men.  And no no no, I did not want to deal with those two men.  "Why, Sara", you say, "that is very presumptuous of you that you thought those two men would automatically want to talk to you and Debbie."  And to that I say that, yes, possibly presumptuous, but also RIGHT.  In my eyes, two assumedly single women walk into a bar and the nearest men would want to chat them up.  So, I turned on my heel, grabbed Debbie who was behind me and told her we were going somewhere else.  She shook off my grip and made her way to the empty bar stool and told me to knock it off and sit my ass down.  

So I did.  And whined, and complained, and whined some more about not wanting to make small talk with strange men.  Within moments of sitting, I turned my back to the guy closest to me and ordered my drink.  Not minutes later, he and his buddy tried to strike up a conversation with us.  I ignored them, obviously.  Call me rude, but I am also a stick to your guns type of girl, and I was NOT INTERESTED IN SMALL TALK.  But, and this is WILD and TOTALLY CRAZY and COMPLETELY UNCHARACTERISTIC of her (insert major sarcasm), but Debbie was interested in chatting with these random guys.  Her words to me, verbatim:  Sara, be nice.  It won't kill you to be nice for once.  She had no idea what was about to happen...

...To be continued (I know, the anticipation is KILLING YOU)

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's not all bunnies and rainbows over here

This is unacceptable.  Apparently I contracted some snot-nosed kid's cold while we were at the pediatrician's office yesterday.  ME!  I mean, it's better that I am sick than Noah, but come on.  Last week it was a belly ache and this week it's a runny nose and chest congestion.  I can't PARENT when I am sick.  I take that back, I can parent, just not WELL.  Do mom's get sick when their kids are older and are walking/talking/being royal pain in the asses?  Wait.  Don't tell me.  I can't comprehend such potential hell.  (I know it will totally happen.  I just don't, can't, won't think about it.)

Let's just hope Noah doesn't get sick.   If he does, Tim will have two whiny, annoying people on his hands and it's his birthday and he doesn't deserve that.  He's nice.  And in a good mood today.  

Happy Birthday to my husband

These same days one year ago were some of the best of our lives.  Everything changed in a matter of minutes with two pink lines.  We celebrated a baby-to-be, a birthday and an anniversary...and now, one year later, we're celebrating everyday.  Today is Tim's birthday and this year's birthday is even more special with Noah here.  

To my husband,

Today, on your birthday, I want you to know how much I love you and appreciate you.  Thank you for supporting our family, not only by working so hard for us, but for being the best bedtime book reader and dirty diaper changer.  You're 100% devoted to taking care of us and I am so grateful to you.  I am inspired by you your constant optimism, your love for life, and your dedication to our family.  I love you more as the days go by and look forward to all this year holds for us.

Happy Birthday to you!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Four Months

Dear Noah,

Today is your four month birthday and my what a month it has been.  I don't know about you, but these past few weeks have been pretty fantastic.  You've always been the cutest baby ever, but lately you have just blossomed.  You love to play with anything you can reach with your chubby little hands and of course it all goes straight into your mouth.  Speaking of your mouth, oh my god, the drool!  There is drool everywhere, covering every inch of your shirt, your hands, and even my hands.  Teething is on the horizon, yay!  Or should I say, yay?

I know I say this every month, but you constantly amaze me with all the new things you learn on a daily basis.  Your newest thing is high-pitched squealing when something delights you.  You haven't yet learned how to laugh or smile when you're excited so you squeal instead.  And it makes me laugh every. single. time.  You wave your arms rapidly and open your eyes wide all the while squeaking and squealing with happiness.   I can show you your stuffed lion puppet and without fail the arms start going and the eyes go wide.  It never fails to delight us.  YOU never fail to delight us.

I would have to say that this age you are at right now is the very best.  I clearly don't know what you have in store for us in the months to come, but I am loving everything about four months.  You are sleeping through the night pretty consistently (again), getting two solid naps every day, eating like a champ, and smiling every chance you get at me, your daddy, the world.  You're still small enough to fit in the crook of my arm and you will nuzzle my neck whenever you're getting sleepy.   I wouldn't say you're the cuddliest of babies...if I bring you into our bed you think it's play time rather than cuddle time.  But I love that you look at me with such wonder and adoration, my own little fan club.  I can't wait for you to learn how to hug and give kisses.  I will savor each and every one.

Noah, thank you for showing me what unconditional love is.  Thank you for being you.  When you were inside me, I didn't know what "flavor" of baby we were going to get.  Now that you're here, and you're you, I know I got the very best flavor out there.  A little chocolate, vanilla, carmel and nuts...and even a little bit of sprinkles for fun.  We love you.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Watch out, Giada

I'm kind of liking this cooking thing.  I know!  I'm as surprised as you are!  A couple of weeks ago I decided that a) eating out four times a week, though tasty, is extremely expensive and not budget friendly (sound the alarms, this is BRAND NEW INFORMATION to you, isn't it?) and b) I need to try a little harder at home.  Taking care of Noah is my top priority, and one I take very seriously, but after that and doing the laundry, I didn't feel that I was really pulling my weight.  I have a cleaning lady for god's sake so I don't do any heavy cleaning, save the bi-weekly bathroom wipe down extravanganza.  And Tim deserves a wife that actually knows how to prepare a meal and put it on the table (tv tray table...tomato, tomahto).  He pecks at his computer all hours of the day and night to afford for me to stay home so the least I can do is feed him.  And I adore food so it's a win-win for everyone.

So, in this effort, I semi-organized all the torn out recipes from magazines that I have been collecting over the years into a binder.  Next up is getting them all inserted in plastic sleeves so I don't ruin them.  So far I have made:
  • Butternut Squash Soup
  • Winter Lentil Soup
  • Chicken Parmesan
  • Chicken Enchiladas
  • Turkey Chili
  • Scallop and Corn Chowder
  • Some crazy ass casseroles my friend taught me how to make (please note that I usually despise casseroles because the mixing of the food just makes me squeamish, but these turned out pretty tasty)
  • Triple Layer Mud Pie (holy hell this was delicious and will be making it's way to my mother's Thanksgiving dessert table)
Hmm.  That list seemed longer in my head.  Anyhow, it's a start.  If you have any favorite recipes that you would like to share with me, please leave them in the comments or email me at  I kind of think I'm a big deal in the kitchen (self-confidence is key, even if it is totally faked), but recipes that include twenty steps and/or obscure kitchen gadgets aren't really my thing.   Noah thanks you in advance with a smile.

Can you even BELIEVE how big he is getting?  He is turning into a BOY and there is nothing I can do to stop it.  4 months this Thursday, people.  

Thursday, November 13, 2008

If I had a Twitter account, this would be a tweet

I'm listening to Tim read Goodnight, Moon to Noah over the monitor and my heart is breaking into a million pieces.   He is such a terrific dad.  Little moments like this remind me that I married the best man.

Just thought I would let you all know.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Starts with a "G" and ends in "uilt"

It's everywhere.  I didn't attend a function for my former employer because I didn't have anyone to watch the baby even though I had RSVP'd months ago.  Guilt.   I don't make dinner every night (or even every other night) for my family even though I stay home and have the time.  Guilt.   I put my kid in the swing when I'm tired of paying attention to him.  Guilt.   I sometimes leave him in a wet diaper at night because I know that changing him will wake him and I just want another few hours of sleep.  Guilt.  I don't always spend evenings paying attention to my husband and instead read blogs.  Guilt.  My baseboards are dirty.  Guilt.  The laundry hasn't been done in days.  Guilt.  I haven't called my friends often enough since the baby has been born.  Guilt.  I ate too much pie.  Guilt.

But you know what?  I cut myself a little slack.  All this guilt lives in my house and sometimes I sweep it under the rug.  I feel bad about all of the things listed above and yes, I wish I could change them, but I also know that I probably won't.  Except for the calling friends thing...that I have to be better at.  None of those things are so-called "deal breakers" for me.   I am happy.  My husband is happy.  My baby is happy.  And if I live my day-to-day with a little guilt, then meh, so be it.  It's there, it's real, and it can sleep on the couch in the basement.  It just better not expect a home-cooked meal.

Monday, November 10, 2008

G'day to you

Lo, it is Monday.  Which looks just like a Saturday in my book except that it isn't Saturday, OBVIOUSLY.  Noah is currently hanging out in his swing chewing on some sort of baby toy that looks like a cow but I would consider it more of a cow with gay tendencies what with the rainbow necklace.  This is a huge accomplishment people...up until a few weeks ago he would scream every time I placed him oh so gently in the swing.  Now, he'll play contentedly for quite some time.  Which leaves me plenty of time for doing stuff, like blogging, or watching tv, or painting my toenails.   

Noah's new "thing" is sounding like a little goat.  It's a vibrating noise that starts way back in his throat and comes out in a cross between a goat and donkey.  Except everytime he does it, he ends up with a mad case of the hiccups.  But it is pretty incredible to listen to him make noise, other than crying, because up until now he was only silently judging me.  Now he can actually do it outloud.  In all seriousness, this whole vocalizing thing is amazing.  His brain is growing at an incredible pace and he's turning into a sturdy little baby.   He's no longer a wobbly newborn whose arms and legs flail about in random fashion (we never did get the hang of the swaddle). And it's only been 3 and a half months.  Tim and I were discussing this morning that in a matter of WEEKS he'll be rolling over.  WEEKS.   It takes me months to master new skills, so the fact that he can do new things in a matter of weeks rocks my world.  And every night, when I watch him on the video monitor, sleeping so peacefully, I turn to Tim and say once again, "That's our boy, all ours, and I love him.  We get to keep him forever and ever."  

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Maybe the zombies ate it

Did you know that when you have a baby your brain falls out of your ears onto the floor and scurries away to that far corner under the couch that you can't reach and begins to live with the dust bunnies and rogue clumps of pet hair? And while it takes up residence under that couch, the cavity that formerly hosted your big, smart, intelligent brain now fills itself with floating thoughts like "when did the baby last poop?" or "what should we have for dinner? egg salad sandwiches or tuna salad sandwiches?" or "how many days in a row can I wear yoga pants? can I wear the SAME yoga pants?"

I was smart once upon a time. I used to pride myself on being well-read, up to date on current events (YES, I know who won the presidency...but hell if I know who our senators are now), and always curious about that which I did not know but wanted to learn about. When Tim and I first met, he could start talking about his technology business or a new project he was working on and I could ask intelligent questions and we could have a two-sided conversation. Now? He'll start talking about a project, my eyes glaze over and I think about what to dress the baby in for the next day or perhaps I think about how we're doing on our nap schedule. I mean, really? I can't focus on an adult conversation for more than two seconds? What happened? It's like I went to sleep and woke up in an entirely different life.

I want my brain back. I want to string sentences together and have them make sense. I want to know exactly what word I'm looking for rather than snapping my fingers and saying "you know...that THING with the STUFF" all the time. Keeping this blog helps. It makes me focus and THINK. Now I'll just go dig out that brain, dust it off, and give it another chance.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A new beginning

Well done, America, well done.  

Congratulations to Senator Obama and a bigger congratulations to our country for finally making a right decision.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

He tried to vote for Elmo

We voted!!!

This was my second time voting. My first was Bush/Kerry in 2004...I neglected to register in time for the Bush/Gore election in 2000 and man do I seriously wish I could turn back time. I am not one of those people who thinks my measly one vote doesn't count. Every vote counts. Every last one. Here's to hoping that the vote Noah and I cast today makes a difference. His future depends on it.

Go here if you want to laugh your ass off today.  Click your mouse anywhere in the room for an interactive Palin as President scene.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Monkey-ing around

A few pictures from Noah's first Halloween.

He was a good sport about the whole thing. It was an amazing fifteen minutes of adorable baby/monkey-ness before he decided we had been making fun of him for long enough. Isn't he so damn cute though?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Kicking ass or is it ass kicking?

I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight...but nothing is in the same place.  The number on the scale may be nice and pretty, but my stomach is most definitely not.  There is flab where there was never flab before.  I am up one to two sizes in pants to accomodate my flab and wider hips.  Is this the post-baby pooch everyone talks about?  And let's not even discuss the stretch marks, oh, ahem, war wounds.  It's driving me absolutely crazy.  I spent a fortune on jeans in my past life and I want to wear them again damnit!  

Enter Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred.  For the uninitiated, Jillian is the female trainer on The Biggest Loser and an all-around ass-kicker.  I need my ass kicked.  The Shred dvd comes highly recommended by many on the internets and even a few friends from real life. I want to see muscles in my arms that I have never seen before.  I want to see some semblance of a waist re-appear.  I want my butt to defy the gravitational pull.  I want my scrawny chicken legs to gain some shape.  Basically, I want a new body.  A body that doesn't outwardly show the blemishes of childbirth.  

By posting this here, I am publicly committing to 30 days of shredding.  Maybe not 30 days in a ROW but I hope to be finished by the beginning of December.  And maybe, hopefully, this will be just the beginning.  

Today is Day One.  Bring it on, Jillian, bring it on.

**Updated 10/30/08: Holy hell mother of god my muscles hurt today.  Muscles I didn't even know I owned.  Burning pain searing through my body.  I can't wait to do it again.  

Laughter was Noah's first response when he and I discussed whether or not I could finish the 30 days.  He can be such a jerk.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

We call this the "professional baby photographer" pose

What the camera didn't catch was moments later when he face planted to the ground and began to flop around like a fish out of water. Was it so wrong of me to laugh for a few minutes before righting him?

Friday, October 24, 2008


It's quiet in the room, the lights are off and the fan whirs its gentle rhythm.  Your breaths come softly as you snuggle into me just a little deeper, your fists taking hold a little tighter.  The night falls quickly outside as the rain begins to drum its sweet melody on the window pane.  And we rock.  We rock until your body becomes heavy with sleep.  We rock together.  You and me, little boy.  You and me.  It will always be you and me.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Three Months

Dear Noah,

Today you are three months old.  I don't know how or when it all happened, but all of the sudden you are not a newborn anymore...according to the internets you've graduated to "baby" stage.  And it breaks my heart.  In three short months I've nearly forgotten how tiny you were when the nurse placed you on my chest for the first time, or how your newborn diapers were so big on you with your scrawny little legs sticking out.  And it's only been three months, or 93 days, 11 hours, and 3 minutes, but who's counting?  

You are fascinating to me.  The speed at which your little brain is learning about the world around you is amazing.  It seems that everyday you are understanding just a little bit are learning to use your hands!  You furrow your brow when you are trying to grasp at your toy and then when you actually get it in your hand you can barely contain your surprise.  You cannot stop smiling at everyone who you see, especially women; I think you get this from your father since he'll flirt with the cashier at the grocery store (ask him and he'll just say he's being "nice").  When you see a "pretty lady" your eyes light up and you start grinning like a maniac.  Keep it up kid and you'll be the favorite of all the girls.

You're also finding out that you have quite the set of vocal cords.  Not only do you coo, and gurgle, and grunt your way through a conversation with me, but you've also discovered how to screech.  When you're just awake from a nap and hungry, if I change you before I feed you, you express your displeasure with ear-splitting screeches and screams.   And I don't mean your average crying baby type sounds...these screams would wake the dead.  You enjoy yelling when we "talk" to each other and I love to imitate your sounds right back to you.  Apparently you do not like to be imitated because that usually incites a round of brow-furrowing and grumpy expressions.   But when you laugh, Noah, oh man do I fall more in love with you.  Your laugh comes from deep in your belly and just lights up the room.

We just can't get enough of you little man.  


Sunday, October 19, 2008

The one where we talk about boobs, formula, and the big bad wolf

Brain dump begins now.  

For the past three months, Noah has been exclusively fed breast milk.  Either from me or from a bottle of expressed milk, but he has never had formula.  We have a good nursing relationship--it's easy, he's quick, and I suppose we both enjoy it.  I'll admit that I don't have that super special bond-y feeling when we nurse.  At least I don't think so.  And lately, the idea of nursing him when we are "out and about" away from the house is provoking major anxiety in me.  I have a nursing cover, which is handy, but I have not really gotten the hang of wrangling Noah while making sure the cover doesn't fly up and expose my girls to the world.  It seems so simple but for some reason I just can't get it together.  So instead, for the past three months, when I know we are going to be out of the house for a feeding, I pump and take a bottle with me.  

Herein lies my problem: when I bring a bottle of expressed milk I have to keep it cold, so I pack it in a little soft sided cooler with an ice pack.  Ok, I can do that, it's a bit bulky but whatever.  But then, when he needs to eat, I have to find a way to heat that bottle to a temperature deemed appropriate by Mr. Must Be 98.6 Degrees Exactly.  At a restaurant it's pretty easy to ask the waitstaff for a mug of hot water.  But how about when we're out for a long walk and Noah decides he must eat immediately, not later, but rightnowthisveryminutesohelpyouwoman?  And he'll do that even if he was nursed right before we left the house.  He's wild like that.  And very demanding.  That's when I find myself on the nearest park bench fighting with a arm waving maniacal baby and trying to keep from flashing the poor kids walking home from school.  It's just a lot for this new mama to handle successfully.  Not to mention the extra pumping session I have to throw in there to make sure we have milk on hand.

I broke down and bought formula today.  I have been thinking and thinking and thinking about buying it for weeks.  I've talked about it with Tim, my mother, my mama and non-mama friends alike. I've spent more time than I care to admit on the internet looking for advice.  Should I or shouldn't I?  Will a random formula feeding here or there hurt my milk supply?  What if Noah prefers formula to my milk? (That is secretly my worst fear with this whole thing which I guess goes to show you that I am far more attached to breastfeeding than I care to admit).  

I suppose I always saw formula as a back-up to breastmilk when breastfeeding didn't come easily or your situation didn't allow for breastfeeding.  But if I can breastfeed easily, which I can, then why would I turn to formula as a method of feeding my child?  What I have to give him is free while formula is ridiculously expensive.  My answer is that at times it is going to be far more convenient for us, for me.   If I am happy and relaxed then so is Noah.  If not battling with nursing in public makes me happy and relaxed then there you have it.

He will not suffer if fed with formula here and there.  He will not stop breastfeeding.  He will continue to grow strong and healthy regardless of where he gets his nutrients.  My boobs have given him three whole months of immunities and antibodies and nutrition.  And now they are going to share that job from time to time with Similac.  We'll just consider it a special treat for Noah and a mental health break for me.  

Brain dump concluded.  Carry on.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Adventures in Ebay-ing

Yesterday I scored a vintage mid-century modern chair on Ebay that I plan to re-upholster.  By re-upholster, I really mean enlist my friend D to do the dirty work all on the premise of "learning" from her.   But I'll totally buy the fabric!  Anyhow, it was a local seller so after I won the auction I contacted her to schedule the pick up for this morning.  I drove about 45 minutes south of the city to her suburban home where she sells her wares--apparently mid-c furniture hidden under a tarp in her yard is considered her "store".   That was kind of weird in itself, but what happened next takes the cake.  

I walk into her backyard through a HUGE wooden gate, seriously 25 feet tall.  I am greeted by two insanely large dogs that I am told are some sort of wolf/hound hybrid but totally nice!  so sweet!  don't worry about them!  Sure, lady, sure.  They did turn out to be lovely dogs, insistent on smelling my butt and everything, but that did not prepare me to come face to face with a COYOTE (ok, there was a chain link fence between us but still!  A LIVE COYOTE, people.)  She launches into some story about saving the coyote and raising it and she couldn't have just one since they like packs so now she has SIX coyotes, in pens in her yard, in the Chicago suburbs.  ?????  I'm all for animal rescue but methinks she's lost her mind.  I asked her what her neighbors think (the houses are less than 100 yards apart) and she giggles nervously.  I didn't ask any other questions.  

Then she asks if I want to PET the coyote...hmmm, let's see, what part of me looks like I want to pet a coyote?  Sorry lady, I didn't dress in proper petting zoo apparel today.  Good god.  I paid for that chair and hightailed it out of there, but only after she tells me that the cash I gave her is going to help her buy food for her coyotes and I have done a good deed for the day.  Super.  I am an enabler.  

Monday, October 13, 2008

Jazz hands

Newsflash!  Noah has found his hands!  And he has discovered that he can TOUCH things and GRAB things and BRING THEM TO HIS MOUTH.  It's like the discovery of ancient ruins or my original hair color.  In all seriousness, I feel like he has just blossomed this past week.  He is so much more alert and aware of his surroundings.  His laughs are contagious.  And the smiles...oh the smiles.

He loves to "talk" to inanimate objects, especially ceiling fans. Those ceiling fans, they are the best conversationalists I tell you.  Our days are lazy and revolve around what rattling, primary colored, squishy toy we are going to play with next.  I honestly couldn't ask for anything more.  He's a good baby--I know most parents are going to say their baby is good when pressed, but he truly is a sweet, even-tempered baby.  We've not had colic (I have no idea how awful colic must those of you mamas and papas with a colicky baby, I pray for your sanity), we've not had hours and hours at night of glass shattering screaming (at least not since he was a few weeks old), he's sleeping through the night again, I could go on and on about how easy we have it.  There are definitely some days when I want to put him up for sale on Craigslist, but then I always think about how awful it would be to end up the lead story on the 5 o'clock news when I most likely haven't showered yet that day.  (Just kidding, Jojo!  I would never wait that long to shower!)

So, all this to say that we're good, we're thriving, we're waving our hands in the air.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Can I "Make It Work"?

I got my hair cut last night.  Am I totally rocking it or do I resemble your neighborhood Republican, suburban, soccer mom?  Please be honest.  I just don't know how I feel about it.

P.S. It gets "flippy" at the ends.  I don't think I'm ok with "flippy".

(Disclaimer: suburban, Republican, soccer moms are AWESOME!  The world needs them.  I'm just not one.)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I don't think she feels the same way as I do about pie

I think this should be inspiring me to work out and lose this last bit of baby weight but it just kind of pisses me off. Damn you Jessica Alba.

Just when you think you have it down...

SOMEONE has decided to quit sleeping through the night.  We had almost four whole weeks of 12 hour sleep at night but now?  Not so much. 3 am is party time in our household...again.  I am hoping that this is just a short phase and that Noah will go back to sleeping like a champ.  If he doesn't, Dr. Weissbluth* and I are going to have a little chat.  A little chat that may involve some strong language.  My guess is that he's going through a bit of a growth spurt since he demands to be fed at 3 am, but I also blame every change on a "growth spurt".  If he's fussy at a different time-growth spurt.  If he poops more-growth spurt.  If he sleeps more/less-growth spurt.  Pretty soon he'll be a giant.  

Also, today I was out shopping with a friend and another mom walked by in the store pushing her huge ass stroller (that is apropos of nothing, just that it was much too large).  She stopped when she saw Noah (I was holding him) and asked his age. When I told her he was almost 3 months old she responded with a "Oh!  He's so SMALL for 3 months!  Mine is 2 months and much bigger."  Huh?  And also SHUTTHEHELLUP.  Here is a lesson for all you lovely people out there:  Never, I mean never, comment on the size of someone else's child.  I didn't really get why this was such an issue until now.  It is RUDE and OFFENSIVE to comment on a baby's size.  Noah just so happens to be very average in size and maybe her baby was just a little fatty.  And a fat baby is a-ok!  But so is a smaller baby.  I kind of wanted to run her over with her own stroller AND shove her 5 carat diamond up her ass.  And twist it a little.  

Noah will bring the muscle to the showdown.

(* Author of "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby")

Sunday, October 5, 2008

It's The Great Pumpkin, Noah Smith!

Over the weekend we took Noah to the pumpkin patch.  Not so much so that he'll have some fond memory of picking out his pumpkin but more so because mama wanted photo opportunities.   Who can resist a little munchkin dressed in farmer flannel sitting atop a pumpkin?

And of course we needed a family shot.  We don't have many pictures of the three of us so it's always nice to bring along the grandma to act as the photographer.  (Just kidding, Mom.  We really brought you so you would buy me pie.) (Not that I need more pie...obviously.  See below for evidence of too much pie.)

And the smiles.  The smiles are becoming so frequent but they never fail to make ME squeal with delight.  Who can resist this little boy?  

He is so awesome.  And the perfect size to sit atop a pumpkin.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ok, why didn't anyone tell me about this?

How cool is this?

(Sorry it's so small)

Its called a Wordle (  You can put in your own words, like I did above, or you can link to a blog and Wordle will import the words and randomly arrange them.  I have a very special place in my heart for fonts so this is like my Garden of Eden.  I made quite a few variations and I am planning to print my favorite one and frame it in Noah's room.  Don't be surprised if you start getting these as gifts, folks.  

Also, ?  Where you can MAKE YOUR OWN BOOKS?  Anyone?  Bueller?  I mean, this is the best discovery ever.  I know I am so far behind as far as knowing about these things, but how does that saying go?  One man's trash is another man's treasure.  You might be sitting there saying, oh THAT?  Sheesh, Sara, that was SO last year.  But to me?  These websites are shiny and new and oh so much fun.

(Disclaimer:  I am in no way saying that Wordle or Blurb are trash.  Got that?  Good.)

Go forth and CREATE.

She'll have an AWESOME wardrobe

Just a quick congratulations to our good friends, A & M, on the announcement of a little GIRL due in February!  I can't wait to buy that little sweetheart a few flouncy dresses and teeny ballet slippers and little be-ribboned doo-dads.  I don't care what they say, baby girl clothes are still far cuter than baby boy clothes.  No one can resist them!  Lots of love to you THREE!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Time marches on

I have to balance that last post with a something a little more introspective and to show you that I am not 18 years old, I swear.  Tim and I attended a close friend's wedding in Kansas over the weekend (Hi S!~ It was gorgeous and lovely and you were stunning!!!  Have fun on your honeymoon!) and we sat at a table with the bride's sister's friends.  They were hilarious and an all around good time, but while we were sitting there and chatting I just kept thinking how they were older than I am, and man, they have KIDS, and families, and pee-wee football games to attend, and RESPONSIBILITIES.  And to our left was a table of young adults, early twenties, who were seemingly unencumbered by parenthood and those pesky responsibilites.  I kept thinking that we should be sitting with those people and not at the ADULT table.  I mean, we aren't ADULTS...or are we?  

We're parents now.  That's not to say that parents don't have fun (I had my fair share of the open bar and paid for it all day yesterday), but we're not free and loose like we might have been in the past.  And it hit me like a ton of bricks at the wedding.  We had something very much in common with the people at our table--our kid(s).  Having Noah and being solely responsible for him is a huge undertaking and has really forced me to "grow up" in these past months.  I no longer feel like I am playing house with Tim...we're actually living this life and truly enjoying it.  I look at the pictures my 21 year old brother puts up on his Facebook page and I reminisce about my own 21 year old experiences and for a few minutes I might pine for those days.  And then I look at Noah and see that my life has a different trajectory now.  As a parent, and therefore an adult (no matter how old you are when you have a baby, it makes you grow up), what I consider "fun" is morphing into something new.  Late nights out at the bar just don't exist for me anymore and that's ok.  My fun now involves making Noah laugh just so by tickling his cheeks.   Or blowing raspberries on his chubby belly.  And it is so fantastic.  

My love for all things silly and immature will always be there, just below the adult-like surface, this I can promise.  But from now on, it's Noah's job to be the child, and my job to show him how fun life can be.  

Friday, September 26, 2008

My apologies

We have a problem. A big problem. I hesitate to share it with you for fear you may look at me a little, um, differently. Ok, here goes: I am obsessed with Gossip Girl. Like the can't miss an episode and no, watching it the next day on the DVR does not work for me kind of obsessed. I am ashamed. Truly ashamed. This show is so damn addicting and maybe it's because lately I am starting to feel, shall we say, older, that I am drawn to a show about uber-privileged 18 year olds with a penchant for Chanel bags and Chloe dresses.  In my defense the show does have some kick-ass music, but that's pretty true of most prime time dramas these days.  So, every Monday from here on out will be devoted to the Upper East Side, Serena and Dan, Blair and Chuck, and Nate's unfortunate choices in women.  I'm so sorry.  

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Two Months

Dear Noah,

Over the weekend, you turned two months old.  And something changed.  You seem to have "woken up" to the world.  And it is amazing to watch you focus so intently on the world around you.  You're quietly alert much of the time, always taking in the scenery and storing it all away in that big brain of yours.  You know my face and search the room for me when I am not holding you.  I love that you do that...knowing that you need me and I need you just as much in return.  You see your father and smile that big, innocent smile of yours that shows him just how much you love him too.  Your smile is the greatest gift I receive everyday.  It's the very first thing I see in the morning when we wake up and the last thing I see when you go to sleep and it cause my heart to burst into a trillion pieces.  I am always picking those pieces up off the floor.

We spend our weekdays lazily together, there is not always a plan for the day and I love that we get to spend that time together, just us.  Most days we play on your activity mat and you adore the little ducky that rattles.  You're not yet able to reach out and hit the rattles but you are so close.  Your tiny fists shake and swing in all directions but when you do hit the rattles and they make noise you are so surprised with yourself.  It won't be long before you're batting them back and forth!  Your newest trick is getting your fingers in your mouth when you're laying down on your tummy.  At first we thought you would just suck on your fist, but oh no, you take after your mama and you found that left thumb so fast.   The minute you're placed on your tummy you have your left thumb in your mouth and start happily sucking away.  The pacifier is no contender against that thumb of yours.  

You've also started sleeping through the night.  I say this knowing that you can change that game plan at any time, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that you keep it up.  No need to go back to that waking up at night nonsense.  That wasn't any fun for either of us, was it?  No sir it was not.  If you keep this up I will get you whatever you want forever and ever.  I promise.   

I love you so very much my little monkey.  You have brought so much happiness and joy to our lives.  Thank you for picking us.  We are so damn lucky.

Love, Mama

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sara learns to code part TWO

Check out what I did.

I wish I could say I did that all on my own, but Photoshop Express must be properly credited. It's a fantastic program...makes Kodak Gallery look like kid's play. Go here to play with Photoshop Express (shhh, it's FREE).  

Friday, September 12, 2008

Baby Stuff We Love and Hate--Updated

There are a million posts and reviews out there for baby products and I figured my opinion didn't really matter.  Except I then decided that I can do whatever I want so without further adieu, my picks for best and worst baby accoutrements.  Keep in mind that this is what works best for US...your baby may have a completely different opinion and voice it loudly.

Mama's Faves:
  • Mei Tai Wrap by CatBirdBaby.  This carrier is a little complex at first because there are no buckles and it takes a while to learn how to balance baby and get the wrap tied on properly. But it has been so great when Noah's been fussy...within minutes of getting him settled and cozy in the wrap he falls asleep and STAYS asleep.  I've taken him on walks in it, out shopping, and just around the house so I can get things done while he's awake but not pleased about spending time in his swing.  Love it.  Plus this company is located in Chicago and I always like supporting the local economy.
  • Bugaboo Frog.  I KNOW.  So expensive, so trendy, there are just as nice strollers out there for less, yada yada.  But listen!  The Frog?  It is super awesome.  It's an all in one taking the baby from infancy to four years old (though if my four year old isn't walking his ass around then feel free to smack me one).  We love the bassinet feature and especially that it's removable so if Noah falls asleep on a walk then I can just take off the bassinet and bring him in the room with me.  It's got shock absorption and heavy duty tires which may seem silly but we can power over the uneven sidewalks and curbs with no problem.  It will be nice to get through the snow easily too.  Yes, I do plan on taking him out in the cold way in hell will we to survive the winter inside all the time. The one negative I can see is that there is no way to make this stroller a double stroller (they offer a stand on platform for older kiddos, but no extra seat) so if/when we have a second baby we'll most likely have to retire the Frog or hand it down.   Other than that, our Frog is pretty damn sweet.
  • Diaper Dekor Plus.  So far this diaper disposal system is working out really well.  I like that it contains the smell of the dirty diapers without using air fresheners or battery powered fans or anything like that.   It's simple to change when the bag is full and can convert to a standard garbage can when you're done disposing diapers.  I don't know how well it works once you have dirty diapers after solids (I hear those are NAAAASTY), so I will revisit this item at that time and amend my opinion.
  • Skip Hop diaper bag.  We have a now discontinued version of the Skip Hop Duo Deluxe which I bought for Tim so he could have a more manly type diaper bag.  I then bought myself a very lovely and very large diaper bag because I thought I would need something pretty and fabulous.  Unfortunately for our wallets, we both use the Skip Hop and my fancy bag sits on the bench in the foyer.  The Skip Hop easily attaches to the stroller with included clips and can hold anything we could possibly need for a day out with Noah.  It's waterproof, includes a changing pad, and doesn't make Tim feel like a little girl carrying Mommy's purse.  Mission accomplished.
  • Medela Pump In Style Advanced.  This electric breast pump saved me.  We have a little oversupply issue chez Smith so my doc suggested I pump to relieve the pressure and help Noah not gag everytime he latches on.   I first bought a manual pump since I'm not going back to work and didn't think I would need the portability of the electric pump.  Well.  That manual pump is a wussy, weak and downright embarassing example of a breast pump. Shame on you Mister Manual Pump. The electric Medela, on the other hand, is the Michael Phelps of breast pumps.  This bad boy deserves NINE gold medals.  In ten minutes I can have enough pumped for a bottle or even more.  Tim can feed the baby.  My mother can feed the baby.  Hell, you want to come over and feed the baby?  Feel free!  Milk for all! 
  • Sleep sack.  We don't have this exact model, but any sleep sack that is designed to keep the baby warm like a blanket works.  Now, I knew before we had Noah that I wasn't supposed to cover him with a blanket when sleeping because he could suffocate, higher risk of SIDS due to suffocation, etc.  But we didn't buy these sleep sacks before he came home.  Instead I decided that there was no way for a newborn to figure out how to get a blanket over his head. Stupid first timer.   I put a blanket over him and ta da!  Over his head in a matter of an hour.  A quick trip to the baby store and we've been steadfast sleep sack users ever since.  
  • Exercise ball. Ok, maybe not a baby product per se, but Noah loves to be bounced while I am holding him and an exercise ball makes it so much easier.  Especially as he's getting heavier.
  • Other things we love in no particular order:  Graco Pack 'N Play (good for multi-level houses...ours has an attached changing table and Noah naps in there as well), Sassy Me In the Mirror toy, a mobile above the changing table (Best Thing Ever.  Pick any mobile, attach it to the wall or ceiling (ours is an Etsy purchase) and watch your baby be amazed), JJ Cole Bundle Me for the car seat.
Mama's (and Noah's) Take It or Leave It Items:
  • Fisher Price Nature's Touch Cradle Swing.  My child must be in the minority when it comes to his feelings about this swing.  Every parent, and I mean EVERY, sings the highest praises for Holy Father Fisher Price and his swing.  But Noah can barely stand it for more than a few minutes.  There are days where he tolerates it and even smiles at himself in the overhead mirror, but I feel that if we didn't have it, he wouldn't know the difference.  I basically use it as a place to plop him down when I need to get something done quickly and am far enough away that I can't hear him screaming in protest.  YOUR kid will love it, I'm sure.
  • Swaddle Me swaddling blankets.  Maybe it's because we never mastered the art of the baby burrito in the hospital, but Noah hates to be swaddled.  When we brought him home these blankets were the very first things I wanted to use because I was SURE he would love them.  Not so much.  And damn it I wish I hadn't washed them all and thrown away the packaging.  He fought and fought against the swaddle and screamed bloody murder until we unwrapped him.  These now sit, unused, in the back of his closet waiting for a more accomodating Baby v. 2.0.
  • Crib bumper.  Ours came as part of a set and I wish I had just bought a fitted sheet and crib skirt instead of the whole set.  We'll most likely never use the bumper (suffocation risks, SIDS, etc.) and the bumper/quilt were the most expensive part of the set.  I almost stopped a pregnant woman in Target today who was contemplating a crib set, including a bumper, to tell her to put it back and save her money for diapers.  But then I remembered when I was pregnant and would have hated someone for telling me that because damn it if my baby wasn't going to have a fully coordinated crib bedding ensemble.  And it's really so pretty all folded up, in the closet, on a shelf, in the way back.
  • Pampers Swaddlers aka the diapers that leak.  We have had no luck with the Pampers. These were the ones they used in the hospital so I figured they were the best of the best.  So of course (OF COURSE) I went out and bought the super jumbo mega pack. But they leaked, and leaked, and leaked for us.  We switched over to Huggies Supreme Care and have been pretty much leak free since.  (But I am giving Luvs a try this week since they are SO MUCH CHEAPER and have gotten great reviews...I'll let you know. Don't wait on the edge of your seat or anything though.)
  • Updated: We tried the Luvs.  They're ok.  I still think Huggies are our personal best bet since we have had the least leaks/blow outs with those, but the Luvs were ok for day time use.  As long as I changed him frequently, they held up.  Luvs are also made by Pampers I believe so they're pretty similar.  The Pampers were definitely softer than the Luvs, though.
Ok.  I'm tired now.  Hope this helps any parents or parents-to-be sift through the millions of baby products out there.  So much of what you need is dependent on the baby you get and his/her temperament.  Good luck and godspeed.