Monday, January 23, 2012

Paul Loves Yankee Candle

Another post I forgot to publish from September!

No, Paul will not be losing his man card, he just happens to really like candles.  I think he gets it from his Mom.  Not really a bad trait.  Paul's favorites are yankee candles and while they can have the impression of being expensive, we generally get the awesome deals from their regular non outlet stores.  They always have $10 off of $25 coupons if you google for them, like I mentioned in this post.  We normally combine that coupon with whatever sale they are having and walk out spending less than $20 for tons of loot.  This past summer we hit up their semi annual sale.  I meant to mention it during my frugalicious nesting post, but I guess since this was more me going to the mall for Paul and his love for candles its slipped my mind that we got close to $300 worth of yankee candle goodness for about $20.

During their semi annual sale they sold us 3 awesome runners for $5.  Each were normally priced at $40.  Savings of $115 (winning!).  Then we got a bunch of prizes from the games at my baby shower $3 for $10 normally they were $15 a piece, savings of $35 and then some pretty glass candle holders for fall $2 for 5 normally $10 each savings of $15, 5 hand sanitizers for $5 normally $4 each savings of $15 and then my husbands all time favorite autumn leaves medium jar for $10, regularly $22 (he burns this all year long...don't ask).  Combine all of that with the $10 off of $25 savings and yankee candle you have just bestilled my heart. 

Frugalicious Splurging aka Opportunity Costs

I wrote this post back in mid October and left it as a draft without posting!  D'oh!

So it is time for my quarterly posting ;)

This is a quick catch up because I've been busy with this guy:

Before Sammy came I was in high speed nesting mode.  In fact since I sort of caught the nesting bug a bit late, it carried into my first two weeks post partum big time.  I purged through the whole kitchen my closest, the garage.  It was GREAT!  I hadn't had a house so cleaned since our condo living days when there were only a few rooms and 1,000 sq ft to clean.

My biggest nesting endeavor was finally giving in to my desire for a sectional couch.  Ever since we moved into our home in 2006 I've wanted one.  Originally it was for our basement, but then I realized our family room would be much improved with a nice chocolate aka bailey colored sectional.  So, in case anyone missed marketing 101, my want became a need with operation prep house for Sammy.  I knew it would be great for all the guests that would be filtering in and out of the house looking for a place to sit while admiring our new bundle of cuteness.  It would also be nice for me to be able to comfortably hang out on on main level during the day.

Here are the before and afters of the family room.  I'm looking to change the paint color in the family room/kitchen, any suggestions?  I was aiming towards the blue/grey family:
A very early before, no curtains, rug etc:


What have you changed to get ready for a new addition in the family?
Sunday, January 22, 2012

Three Months with Sammy

Well, Sammy...what can I say about how amazing you are?  I keep thinking about how the author of baby 411 described the intensity of her love for her babies.  She said she loved them so much, she wanted to eat them!  I thought that was a bit much, but now I find myself singing to you " I love you so much, much, much, I could just munch munch munch".  So far you find it funny, but once you really understand what I'm thinking I'm pretty sure you are going to run, fast!  Haha, I think I might have too little adult interaction on my hands, but that is really how I feel.  Last night when I put you to bed in your room, I even told Daddy that now that you were here and I knew you, that I wish I could put you back in my belly so you could be that close to me again.  I loved you when I was pregnant with you, but nothing even close to how much I love you now.  I really underestimated how much I could love someone.  Truly it is such a wonderful thing.

This month there were a lot of firsts.
You went on your first awake trip out of the house to Wegmans!  You even tolerated being in the Ergo.  I'm working on you loving that thing because a) it was expensive even though I got it 50% off thru and I need you to let me have my hands free!

You were awake when we left and asleep when we got back.  So since you were sleeping I left the groceries at the house, grabbed Bailey and took you for a walk  in the carrier up to fairfax corner.  Next time I'll remember about Body Heat and not bundle us both up.  I'm glad I didn't kill you from overheating.  Mommy Fail.

We celebrated:
Your mommy's birthday for the first time.  Remind me next time to put on makeup, k?!
As an added bonus to the awesome diamond earrings you and Daddy truly surprised me with for my birthday and belated push present, you decided for the first time in your whole life to sleep 8 hours in a row at night!  WOW that was freaking amazing.

One year of your Daddy being cancer free!!!

We went on a LONG walk, and then you decided to stay asleep so we dressed up and went for a nice lunch at Ozzie's.  I hadn't been there since the weekend before you were born.  You loved that place and their burger and meatball sliders when you were in my belly!  In fact, it was the first place I ever felt you kick me in response to food.  That is when I knew you were a boy.  You loved your Daddy's favorite foods: burgers and pizza.
 Your first Italian Christmas Eve at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  You got to see your cousins again for the second time.  The last time you were just born so not much action going on from your part.
The best present under the tree!

You're starting to move your head so much it's hard to get a good picture of us!
You (2.5 mo) and your Cousin William (6 mo). 

Your first Christmas Morning:

Your first New Years Day:

New Years Eve you spent in your crib and I spent it in bed sleeping!  Daddy had to go to our friends wedding by himself since we were without a baby sitter.  Oh well, I love that we had a little party in your crib!

You fit into your halloween costume finally!  They should have said 3 months, not 0-3 months to mislead silly new mommy's like me.
You're getting your game face on for when you have to lay down the law one day in the office:

You really started to love toys.  I'm so excited about this.  It is so awesome watching you be excited.  Checkbook has switched from cute clothes to cute toys.  I've managed to reign myself in, so we are still frugalicious and buying only what you need.

You started to teeth!  Fortunately my former boss gave you Sophie the giraffe and you love to drool all over that thing.  I'm a little worried about the teething so early, since I think now it effecting your sleep and making you more congested from all the drool.  Ugh! Please don't let the 4 month sleep regression visit us at this house!

You have gotten awesome at tummy time.  Your head control is amazing, you can sit up so well now.  You are really becoming a little man.  You also are finally taking an interest to what I have a feeling will be your best friend, Bailey.

You had a few sad firsts too.  You fell on my watch and hit your head REALLY hard.  I am so glad God loves you so much and protected you from very serious harm.  I know he has a plan for you one day.  I was so incredibly scared and upset and angry at myself for not being more careful with you.  I hope I can forget the sound of that cry and the sight of you on the floor.  My poor baby, I'm so sorry.  I now even more so understand Hanna's prayer in the bible.  When she sobbed from the deepest part of her soul for her baby and the people at the temple thought she was drunk.  I know that is how I cried.  I know because I woke you up with my cries when you were in my arms and you looked at me and started to belly laugh.  Yes, I don't know why you thought my deep grief was funny, but you belly laughed for the first time that night.  God I guess was telling me you were ok.

When I took you to the pediatrician the next morning, she confirmed what I had prayed for.  That you were a resilient little boy, who is going to be ok.  She however did tell us that you were coming down with your first cold.

One week later, I can say you are finally on the mend from your first fall and first cold.  Praise God.

Here is to another wonderful month with you my little boy.  I pray everyday, that God continues to lend you, his beautiful child, to me for a very, very, very long time.  What a beautiful gift you are Sammy.

Things loved this month:
Nose Frida.  A must with any sick baby
Sophie the Giraffe
Fisher Price sea horse
Infantino twist and fold playmat

God's plan > My plan

There haven't been many times I have heard God speak in my life.  There was a time when I was 16 and Paul tried to tell me God speaks to him and I sat there stunned with the impossibility of the concept.  How 12 years of being in a relationship with God changes you!  There have been times since then that I've begged God to speak, but either I didn't listen or he wanted me to shut up and stop asking.  This time though, I truly believe he is speaking to me.  I'm doing what I can to ensure I'm not making a hasty decision about leaving work, but I do still hear God saying, come follow me, trust me.  If you listen and obey what I am asking of you to sacrifice, all of your worries will be just that, because it is I who give and take and change, not you.

I hope that I am doing the right thing by trying to ensure that I'm not just being a normal new mom struggling with leaving her baby.  I'm giving this part time stay at home mom, part time working mom gig a few weeks before throwing in the towel at work and doing what I believe God placed on my heart at 6:18 pm on Oct 11, 2011.  Yes, one minute after Sam was born I heard him call me and convict my heart.  I've never felt anything so certain in my life.  In the weeks and months that have followed Sam's birth, the nagging pain in my chest has not gotten any better.  I catch myself crying about my decision to leave my baby for the office.  I've asked over and over again of new moms if this was normal, or if it is postpartum depression manifesting itself in one wicked arena of my brain.  My whole life I thought I would be a working mom.  How could 29 years (23 if we account for the first 6 years of my life) of certainty go away in a minute?  All the other moms assured me I was normal and things would get better.

I'm fortunate to have the best boss.  I've been working in a corporate office almost 10 years and have had so many bosses.  Some have been great, some have been sent straight from Satan's door.  None have ever been as compassionate, helpful and generally awesome as mine now.  This makes my decision to potentially leave work very hard on me.  He was completely understanding when I told him a week before my scheduled return to work about how bad I felt about leaving Sam.  He offered me my job part time.  Every mothers dream.  I was ecstatic, I praised God, cried for his awesomeness in my life, for the gift of my wonderful boss, for the ability to take pressure off of my spouse to be the sole provider for our family.  So then, why am I still struggling with leaving my baby.  He isn't going to daycare, he is going to be with his grandmother who loves him!  Why?!

As predicted, my first day back was awful.  I heard that the dread of the day was worse than the actual day, but honestly the day sucked.  My first stop after the bathroom stall for a cry fest was to see my work best friend.  His smile and hug was enough to send me back into tears.  I loved that he missed me and was so happy I was back, but even though I had missed him for three months, I missed my baby who I'd just left an hour before more.  He understood and laughed at me.  He has two babies at home too which he and his wife hate leaving as well.  I confided in him that I was mere moments from handing in my resignation and he sat me down, stopped laughing at me and told me to shut up and to not make any hasty decisions.  He was/is right and for his wisdom and friendship I am grateful.  I'm glad I am getting the opportunity to ensure I am making the right decision.  I need this time to make sure I am going to be ok changing my life plan and following God's plan.  Stupid thought right.  God's plan > My plan, I know this but yet I'm still too human and stubborn to just do.

Day two was far better than day one.  My makeup at least stayed on and I didn't cry until I got home and finally had my baby in my arms.  It was easier on day one knowing Sam was with his Dad.  Day two Sam was with his grandma which I guess is second best, but it didn't go well.  He slept only 40 minutes all day and when I got home things were not as I would have wanted them to be.  I missed him, and knowing that he was crying instead of being his normal happy self made it horrible for me to be at work and even worse to be stuck on 66 with all the other dingbat drivers trying to get home (I heard new moms are worse behind the wheel than drunk drivers, I believe it).

As I sat at work on day two, I decided that I would actually read a blog aside from my two favorites.  How serendipitous that it was a post so similar to the one I'm writing.  The now stay at home mom, summed up my thoughts perfectly.  She says, as women we are trained to believe that in the 21st century we can do whatever we want, but that should include work, babies, marriage, everything.  What if what we want is to be at home with our babies and that is it.  Why should we not be able to do that without mommy guilt too?  Here is her post, "I don't want it all".  I couldn't agree more with what she said.  Just like her I went to college, worked hard, I've done everything aside from going to law school or getting my MBA to ensure I can do whatever I want in my life (career, marriage, mother).  I thought I would want to do all three and I know I can, but somehow I am reminded once again that if you want to make God laugh, make plans.

So, in a few short weeks I'll get you an update.  I have in the back of my mind that working moms are better balanced, but we shall see.  My baby is only 14.5 weeks old once, then 25.2 weeks old once, one year old once.  I want to be the one with him when he looks up after doing something for the first time with eyes so big wanting to say "WHOA Mama, did you see what I just did!"  Yes son, I did and Mama is so very proud of you, lets do it again!

To all those Moms who came across this first day back at work, how did you do?  Did you change your mind about going back if you were able to financially?
Saturday, January 21, 2012

Breastfeeding must haves: $Free.99, hot and fresh all the time

I just survived my first day back at work.  I say survive because honestly it felt like I was dying.  The emotional turmoil of having to go back was worse than what it felt like when we couldn't conceive, worst than the two miscarriages and worse than the physical agony of morning sickness and aches and pains of the last month of pregnancy.  I did survive though and it was nice to see my coworkers and see their smile when they saw me and listen to them tell me they were happy I was back and that they missed me.  I missed them too, but really, I missed my baby a LOT more and it had only been an hour since I'd last seen him, not 14 weeks like I hadn't seen my coworkers.

I wasn't surprised when by lunch I caught my first ounce of shit talking about breastfeeding.  Of course it came from a man, who happens to be a father.  He unsolicited decided to tell me to give it up, because really the benefits are really only there for the first 3 months.  REALLY?!  OMG you idiot.  I'm all for mothers doing whatever works best for them, but for this mamma and her baby exclusively breastfeeding is one of the main reasons I don't want to be at work! Beside the amazing health benefits for baby and mom, if my milk is $Free.99, hot and fresh all the time, why would this frugalicious mama not EBF?

These three things are must for any pumping mamas:
1) A good pump.  
I was going to get the Ameda truly yours because it has a closed system (less chance of bacteria), however my sister already had the medela pump in style.   Frugalicously I accepted her donation

One of my male coworkers (hehe) bought this for me.  He was slightly embarrassed about the purchase but his wife insisted it was one of the last few musts purchase items left on my registry.  She was definitely right.  I have used this every single time I've pumped which is almost every day since Sam was 6 weeks old and sleeping thru the night.  My boobs loved to sleep, however when I woke up, I was leaking, in pain and worried about my supply.  So, off to start my stash I was.  I was also scared if I got sick or there was an emergency or if knock on wood my supply dried up that I wouldn't have any breast milk for him.  I now have hundreds of frozen ounces of breast milk for my Sammy.  With this bra I've been able to read books, eat, pretty much do whatever I want.  I did forget that I still had it on with my bloused unbuttoned after my first work pumping session on Tuesday morning.  Thank you GOD that no one saw me and that I realized this just as I was about to leave the nursing room.  Can you imagine?!

3) An IPhone!  
Pumping at work has been so much easier because I can look at pictures or videos of Sammy, check out the Oct 11 baby facebook page, catch up on work and personal email and pretty much do anything.  I absolutely love my phone and it was the best push present EVER!  Siri is a bit annoying, but now that I can talk my text messages my friends may have noticed that I actually text.

What are your favorite things for breastfeeding?