Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Day in the Life: Sammy Edition, almost 12 months

I posted this a few weeks ago as a guest blogger for Ashley over at the domestic wannabe.  In case you missed it, here is the post!

I'm a stay at home mom to a beautiful and courageous 1 year old son, Sammy.  If you'd asked me a year ago if I thought I'd be a SAHM, the thought would have been foreign to me.  Somehow the second I laid eyes on my son, years of thinking I'd be a working mom vanished from me.

Today is Saturday October 7, 2012 and my baby Sammy is about to turn 1 in 4 days!!!  I can't believe it.  Time has flown by too fast and I've fortunately spent the last year trying to relish each and every day I've been Sammy's Mom.

I would have chosen a weekday, but I kept forgetting to take pictures throughout the day, so I had to choose today as I was running out of time to get this post over to Ashley!  Se la vie!

Sammy slept really well last night, only waking once almost 10 hours after he went to bed.  It was 4:52 am and I took my tatas over to see Mr. Sammy who nursed for a bit and went right back to sleep.  I was back in bed by 5:15.  After getting my husband to stop snoring in my ear, I finally was back in lala land.

7:00 am on the dot and Sammy is up!  Why is it that baby's don't need alarm clocks?  This kid has a wicked circadian rhythm.  I force Paul out of bed to get in the shower while I nurse him and change him into a fresh diaper.

7:20: Sammy is ready to play!  Fortunately, Daddy is just stepping out of the shower and I hand him over and hop back into bed for a few minutes!  Paul has to work today, but I can normally squeeze in at least 20 minutes to myself in the mornings while he gets ready and spends some Daddy Sammy time together downstairs.

8:00 I'm being summoned as Paul has to leave, so I drag myself downstairs and give Sammy some breakfast.  I give him some cheerios, fresh peach, a little piece of a banana and some of my cinnamon raison toast with cream cheese and fresh pumpkin butter from our visit to the pumpkin patch.

8:30, We are done with breakfast and I straighten up and we head downstairs for some play time.  Sammy helps me fold up some laundry and I start chasing him around and making sure he doesn't kill himself. This child is into EVERYTHING.  My husband was putting the suitcases away on vacation and Sammy crawled right in.  Then he stayed there for 45 minutes!  It was a miracle.  So now, we have a suitcase in our family room.  It's a non torture containment device.  Seriously, it's screaming 1 way to entertain your infant with a household item pin on pinterest.

9:45: I can see Sammy is starting to wain and I take him upstairs and start our naptime routine of getting into his sleepsack and reading to him.  He also is getting over a bit of a cold so I clear out his nose with the best invention ever: A snotsucker.  Yes, worst name ever for the best baby tool ever.

10:00: I nurse Sammy

10:25: He FINALLY goes to sleep and I relax with my google reader, facebook, texting some friends back all in the cozy of my bed.  I've gotten into the habit of making sure I take time for myself during his first nap.  Sometimes I even take a quick nap.  I call it putting oxygen on myself first.  Sammy spent many, many months not napping or sleeping well at night, the exhaustion I felt was so overwhelming I really needed to rest myself in order to ensure I was going to be capable of being a good Mom for the rest of the day.

11:15: I hop in the shower, video monitor close by.  I want to get myself ready for the day since we have plans to go to a fun ocktoberfest.  I love Fall in the dc area.  Not only is the weather perfect, the leaves are gorgeous and there is always something fun to do on the weekends.

11:50: Sammy is up and ready for me to come get him.  He isn't one to wait patiently in his crib so I try to get him before he goes nuts. I nurse him for a few minutes and then go to change him.  I don't get a new diaper on in time and while I am holding him, he decides to pee more than he ever has on me.  Seriously, I felt like I was the one who peed myself.  Fortunately, I absorb all the pee and none of it gets on the bed.  Unfortunately, this means me being ready to go when he woke up, was a complete waste of time as now I have to find a new outfit to wear.  At least Sammy looks cute!

12:20 pm:  We head downstairs and I get lunch ready.  We are having left over turkey meatballs with broccoli and cheese and spaghetti squash cooked in EVO, garlic, basil and lemon juice.  It is gorgeous out and I decide since the days of warm weather are fleeting, we are going to eat al fresco out on the deck.
1:00 We are done with lunch and I clean up the kitchen.  We bought these terrible baby proof locks which when tugged to hard break off.  Paul and I broke a couple, before we realized we had installed them and now Sammy with his herculean efforts to get into things he isn't supposed to broke more.  Finally, I gave up and made one of the lower drawers a busy box for him.  I left a bunch of the tupperware in there and added a bunch of other things like buckles, teething things, toys, ribbons to keep him busy while I'm cleaning up or making dinner.  Genius Idea if I don't say so myself!

1:20: He is still busy in his busy box and the kitchen is nice and clean.  I mentally took a picture for you guys but unfortunately forgot to actually do it! 

1:30: Daddy is home! Paul works as a branch manager for a bank and sometimes works on Saturdays.  He gets a day off during the week if he does, which is also nice.  Last week he took of Wednesday and we had a totally fun day as a family.  Paul also surprised me by taking the reins and painting our kitchen!  I've got a great hubby! Paul takes Sammy and goes to change with him and play.  Sammy loves when Daddy comes home.  It's so cute.  He and Bailey race to the door when they hear the garage door.  Bailey was exceptionally excited today and race up and down the hallway with his bone.  Sammy was looking at him like he had gone mad.

I use this time to finish the laundry from earlier.  We've been using BG 4.0s with snaps for about 6 months now and while I was soooo anxious about using CDs, they have been amazing and such a money saver for our family. 

2:00: I go upstairs to see what's going on since we were supposed to leave right when Paul got home.  Instead I see Sammy sitting on the couch watching football while Paul sits at the kitchen island eating!  I cease to be amazed by what Paul comes up with during Sammy and Daddy time.  If I didn't relish my breaks, I would probably have more to say about it.  Trust me, if I had the intuition to bring my phone with me I would have had a picture to show you all.  It was a pretty classic are you kidding me right now scenario.

2:15: It's gotten too late to go all the way to the Octoberfest, so we decide to go for a walk up to an awesome shopping center near our house called Fairfax Corner.  They are having an art festival today so it will be another fun free fall day with the fam.  Paul decided it was a good time to pump the tires on the stroller and so it was also a good time to snap some photos.  The leaves are just starting to turn now and the weather is beautiful.  We run into some friends and chat for a minute as we go looking through all the local artists.

3:20: We are back home and we let Sammy play for a little bit.  He hates being strapped in the stroller now and if I don't give him some time to burn off energy after it's built up during a walk I'll never get him down for a nap.  I have no clue if this is just a boy toddler, or if he has ADD, but seriously he has SO much energy!

3:45: Paul takes him upstairs for his naptime routine and I head up in a few minutes to nurse him and put him down.

4:10: Sammy is sleeping!!  No fuss, just a bunch of babbling for 10 minutes until he is finally out.  Paul is working on Sammy's first year photo book for his birthday party next weekend.  Sweet Home Alabama is on so we watch that together and then I steal the computer so I can type up our day so far!

I open the mail and I see that Sammy's birthday shirt came in from etsy.  So excited!!

5:25: Sammy's up!  I go to get him, nurse him for a few minutes and then bring him downstairs for dinner time!  We are trying something new from Trader Joes: Butternut Squash Risotto.  It was really easy to make and also really good! 

6:00: Play time!  We all go downstairs and play around for a little bit.  Super exciting, Sammy walked long enough to catch it on video!  He took his first steps on 8/24, but I don't think he realized it.  On 9/23 he took a bunch in earnest and then today was REALLY doing it!  So exciting!

6:45: Bedtime is usually Daddy and Sammy time, so Daddy goes up to read a few books and give Sammy a bath

7:00 Bath Time! 

7:15:  Daddy hands me a sleepy, squeky clean baby.  I soak up his freshly bathed smell and nurse him.

7:30: Sammy is in Bed!!  Sleeping babies are the best, seriously.

7:45: Grandma just came over so we can go on a date!!  We are buying a new dishwasher and going out for dinner.  Yay!!

8:15: We head out for Lowes and a good spanish restaurant called Alto Plaza.  It has great food, always has coupons and has the most wonderful atmosphere.  Also very important, they always have $5 margaritas!

11:00 We get home and are so thankful for my mom having given us some time to ourselves as a couple.  What a special treat!

11:30 Bedtime for mommy and Daddy!

I love this section of Ashley's post.  I found them really helpful when I was pregnant.

-What is the most surprising thing to you about being a mom?
How naturally mothering came to me.  I am the youngest of six, so I have never been around babies.  Sammy's diaper was the first I ever changed.  I had no idea how much I would love my baby and how easy that makes it to mother, even when it is one of those days that become so long.

-What advice would you give to new or soon-to-be mamas?
Relax and don't sweat the small stuff.  All that matters is that you have your arms and your heart open wide for your baby.

- What are your top three baby products?
Halo Sleep Sacks:  I love these for the peace of mind that they provide.  I know Sammy is nice and warm and isn't tangled in a blanket.  I was terribly paranoid about SIDS and these provided me decent peace of mind.

Boppy Pillow: I've used this every single day since Sammy was born.  If you are planning on nursing, this gives baby a nice place to side lay and gives your arms a break.  Now that Sammy is older it is easier to nurse him without the pillow, but before he could sit up, it just really killed my back without it.

Motorola video monitor: This has also given me great peace of mind.  It is great to see if I need to go in there, or if he is just crying to readjust himself.  The screen is big, it has a great talk back feature if you ever need to wake up your baby, plays lullabies and has a thermometer.  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Drumroll please....!!

Congratulations to #11, Shauntel!  She is going to have a great time selecting a Christmas card for her adorable son's very first Christmas!  So happy to be able to provide you with a $50 Tiny Prints Gift Certificate.  
Yes, I had to google how to do a screen shot on a mac (apple key + Shift + 3) if anyone is interested!

Thanks for everyone who played along.  I wish I had a prize for each of you.  If you have a blog of your own, write Tiny Prints, they are always really happy to help spread their name through social media giveaways.  There are a ton of coupons right now and if you follow them on facebook they giveaway a lot of cards fairly often.

I loved all the responses to the tiny prints giveaway.  I'm glad you guys decided to play along!  It was neat to see all of your choices for cards.  It was awesome reminiscing about the things I also loved so much about Christmas.  Siblings, smells, food, music, grandparents, presents (esp when we were little).  It's exciting now that as a parent I get to help and watch Sammy as he builds these memories.

Hopefully you don't judge me, but here is the response that made me laugh the most (I mean, I laughed A LOT, I even caught myself laughing to myself when I was nursing Sam in the darkness of his room before he went to bed for the night).

Yes, I  know I have no shame and I have a serious problem.   You see, I love people falling (as long as no one is hurt).  I used to tivo America's funniest home videos so I could go back and watch the falls.  There would be tears by the time I was done watching.

Here is Katy's hilarious Christmas time Fail:
  • Katy said "My Christmasfail was when I was about 12 years old - we had just opened all our presents when I realized we hadn't yet seen the stockings. So I yelled STOCKINGS and got up to run to see them, and promptly slipped and fell on my face on the linoleum floor. And yes, the moment was captured on video!" 
Hope this helped get everyone started to a fun Christmas season. 
Monday, October 29, 2012

Stay Dry, Humble and Win Some Free Tiny Prints!

Today is the last day to enter the tiny prints giveaway.  Even if you don't send out Christmas cards, you could use the gift certificate for birthday cards, thank you cards, or other fun stuff on the tiny prints website.  Plus since only 4 people have entered, odds are really good!

I hope everyone is safe and dry today on the east coast.  We are all hunkered down enjoying the stillness of the storm.  I'm so thankful all our lines are buried and we live across the street from Wegmans.

This really puts things into perspective.  Not just for the servicemen who are cold and wet and in danger, but for the sacrifice of those who have served and given so much that there would be members of our armed services whose duty it is to watch over their grave 24/7 365 even when it puts their own lives in danger.  So incredibly thankful that our problems have always been microscopic in comparison.

Here's what we are up to today!

Good luck to everybody.  Stay dry and safe!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Christmas Card Time, A Tiny Prints Giveaway!

What an exciting time of year.  The leaves are starting to blaze away with their fiery reds and radiant oranges.  The day skies are crystal clear and blue, the sun is perfectly warm and the nights are giving way to brilliant stars and a crisp cool air whispering that winter and Christmas is coming! I adore this time of year.  I love the stillness that you know will disappear too soon, replaced by the storm of travelers and shoppers and kids needing to go see Santa.

I realize this is a bit early to be talking about Christmas cards, but if you are indecisive with pictures and cards like me, it helps to get a head start.  

I'm excited to be able to help you get in the mood for fall and the 2012 Christmas season by giving one lucky follower a tiny prints gift certificate worth $50.  It can go towards anything except shipping, and cannot be combined with any other promos.

The winner of the Tiny Prints giveaway will be chosen on October 29, 2012 using

To be eligible you will need to:
  • Follow my blog
  • Comment on this post with your favorite Christmas memory
  • For extra entries:
    • Leave a comment telling me your favorite thing about this time of year.
    • Link your favorite tiny prints 2012 Christmas card
    • Leave a comment telling me your biggest Christmastime fail (did you fall into the fountain when trying to run from Santa?!)
Last year was my first year using tiny prints.  I splurged after seeing on someone's blog the perfect first Christmas card for us as brand new parents.  I knew exactly the picture I was going to use from Sammy's newborn shoot.  Had he been due a few weeks later, I would have probably made these are birth announcements too.  The extra money spent was well worth it.  I absolutely love tiny prints.  They have the best quality and excellent customer service and they proof all your cards for free (totally awesome considering my abnormal ability to have brain farts).

They also have a really great selection that includes Christmas cards with pictures, pet Christmas cards (you know we are the type to have chosen those pre Sammy), Christmas card birth announcements, even cards with space to write about your family's year.
Here are a few of my favorites from the Tiny Prints 2012 collection.  If you follow them on facebook, you will also be the first to get freebies and specials.  Last year I was able to get a personalized valentine's day card for free!  If you aren't on facebook, tiny prints has a special offers page.  Very cool!  They also have great pinterest boards with lots of party and crafting ideas.

* I have been compensated by Tiny Prints to review their 2012 Christmas Cards, however my opinion on their products is solely my own.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

10.11.12: One Year with Sammy!!!

This has been the best, and most speedy year of my life.  I have done everything I can to enjoy each and everyday with you over the past 12 months, doing my best to live with a true intent.  How I praise God for the gift of this wonderful life changing year.

A year and a day ago I never could have imagined a love like this.  I had no clue about so much of this world and how true it is that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  In just one breath you taught me so much and I will always love you and thank you for this wonderful gift of making me a Mom, Sammy.  You are truly the most special part of my soul.  I've always thought when celebrating birthdays that we should also think of what our mothers were doing that day.  It's hard to believe I was becoming a mom through so much hard work and pain a year ago.  I can't imagine my life before.  It's hard to describe the before and after of a first time parent.  I think that is why when you are pregnant and people ask is this your first.  They always have this air of excitement for you as they know, the best is yet to come.  This saying my friend pinned says it all. 

As I look into your eyes today, it doesn't seem possible that a whole year has past.  It seems like just yesterday we saw each other for the first time and yet, I have seen you, held you, breathed you in everyday of your life and it seems like no time has passed at all.  I hope that all the years of your life are this magical and yet, I pray that they all don't go by so quickly.

 To think that when I was 16 and told your Daddy, that I couldn't wait for the day we would be parents together, knowing he would be the perfect Dad, I am amazed at God's faithfulness.  That my first love, got to be my last and that through so many storms (some felt like a cat 5 hurricane), we have weathered them and the dream we had so long ago as kids is far better than either of us ever could have imagined.  I think of the devastation of what was in December of 2010, a miscarriage and a cancer diagnosis all on the same day and how just 22 months later almost to the day that all seems so far away.

I will never forget, Sammy.  Every good and perfect thing is from above James 1:17

Today, October 15 is the first anniversary of your due date.  On Oct 11, 2011 you made your debut.  You were born blue, your umbilical cord wrapped so tightly around your little neck.  I have never prayed so fast in my entire  life.  My heart stopped as I shot up looking all over the room for my baby that had grown from a prayer, to a poppy seed, to what looked like a firefly as we saw you for the first time on a tv screen as we learned your tiny heart was flickering creating a beautiful glow inside your body.  You've lived a year of life my love.  A huge miracle that so many babies never get to.  I will praise God always for you. 
For this Child I Have Prayed 1 Samuel 1:27

You have gone from a beautiful 8 lb baby who loved to eat and lift your sleepy head onto your pillow (my breast) .  You're a thriving toddler now and I yearn to hug and kiss and hold close forever.

Happy Birthday Sammy!  We love you "to the moon and back"

Twelve Months with Sammy!

What a fun month Sammy!  I can't believe you just finished off the first year of your life and celebrated your very first birthday.  It is amazing how much love you have brought into our lives and those of our friends and family.  You truly are a joy and the best part of my soul.  I love you so much Sammy.

This month, you left your sticker alone, but refused to smile.

I think you may have broken the cuteness meter this month.  Seeing you in fall clothes looking like a little man was melting my heart.  Baby clothes are cute, but toddler boy clothes, o m g.  You also are cutting teeth right and left which is funny because for the last 5 months you've only had two.  I think you are up to 4 through the gums and 4 more right on the edge of breaking through.  The first top tooth caused some pain for all, but the other ones were so quiet, I didn't even realize they were coming (hopefully that's a trend).

This month was really fun.  The weather was perfect and you were lighting up our days with something new all the time.  You had some really big milestones happen this month which included walking and your first words!  On 9/23 you took a ton of steps for the first time.  You then continued to do it again and again amazing us with how you needed to just let go of your fears and go for it.  I took you to little gym for the first time and you were the youngest in the class.  It was awesome to watch you see the other toddlers running around.  By the time we left you were walking all over the place.  I filmed you by the end and you were walking for over a minute straight!

I can say that leading up to this milestone was hard for you and conversely for me too.  I think you were extremely frustrated wanting to walk but being afraid to let go or not having quite mastered the concept in your mind.  Your sleep was disrupted and Oscar the grouch could have been your twin.  I hate to say it, but there was a definitely a day in there when I swore we would both be better off if I went back to work.  Fortunately, once you started walking it was back in business for sweet baby Sammy.

With the change of weather and your new upright mobility, it was time to fork over the exorbatant amount of money for your first pair of shoes.  Seriously, I don't spend this much on my own shoes which will last me more than 2-3 months and are a good 5x bigger than yours.  Come on stride rite, have a sale already!  You've got some big feet kiddo!  5.5 wide!

We got you some lunch first (good rule of thumb, never take a hungry baby shopping) and you have started making it a point to take over our food too.  Here you are enjoying Daddy's sandwich!

Your very first word that wasn't mama, dada, baba which I think we apply meaning to rather than you knowing what you are saying was "UP"  You clearly said it with hands outstretched for me when I was in the kitchen with you.  It totally took me by surprise and you better believe I picked you right up!  The funny thing is now when we are driving I hear you screaming Up, Up, Up, Up!  Sorry dude, but you mean out and also sorry but you're stuck.  Ever since you became mobile you have grown an increasing dislike for being tied down.  The stroller and the car are now two torture devices. 

Some other fun milestones:

You learned how to throw and understand when I saw throw the ball to Bailey!  You even initiate playing fetch on your own.  Bailey and I love playing with you.  Seeing you beam with pride after Bailey retrieves the ball you've thrown is really awesome.

You dance!  At first I thought you were having a seizure but then I realized you were boobing your head to the song on one of your toys.  Now you dance when you are standing and it is really freaking cute!  I can even say dance Sammy dance and you do it.  Pretty awesome to watch you connecting so many words to actions. 

Your fearlessness and desire to get into everything is also increasing.  I've turned my head several times and had to raise my jaw off the ground when I see what you've gotten yourself into in a matter of seconds.  You are finding your way into everything now by climbing.  Your rocking chair, the dishwasher, the kitchen drawers.  You are keeping me on my toys little man!

This month's edition of it got too quiet:

We also lowered your crib before you figured your way out of it and got hurt.  You are getting SO tall!  Here you are helping Daddy.  I hope you learn how to be a handyman like him.
You also really started reading on your own, you love it!  It cracks me up because you are thumbing through books to look at the pictures.  You really love the colors and images from Daddy's berstein bear collection.  You also adore touch and feel books as well as any type of peek a boo books.  Though, you keep destroying them which is really annoying.

 You are giving the best hugs.  They are so wonderful.  First thing in the morning or after naps, or sometimes just because we've come to pick you up or you are in the mood to snuggle.  They are so deliberate and provide such a wonderful sense of a job well done.  I love that you love to be loved and that you adore showing affection.

We also did a lot of fun fall activities.  We took you to the pumpkin patch for hte first time.  To the fall festival in our neighborhood and out for lots of walks.  It is amazing to reflect back on this time of year last year and remember all the things we did leading up to your arrival, to bring you home to those first sleepless weeks.  I have a whole new reason to love fall.

Happy 12 months Sammy!