Friday, December 30, 2011

Out with the old

I know 2011 was a pretty crappy year for a lot of people but for me, it was one of the best. Obviously, I had a better year than others because I was blessed with my son this year. And because I was told I'd never have children (suck it, fertility "specialists") I feel doubly blessed.

Sure, there were lots of sleepless nights and plenty of tears, but all in all, 2011 has been the best year. I have experienced so much joy, so many surprises, so many proud moments.

On top of the wonder of becoming (and being) a mama, I got to spend Thanksgiving with my brothers and their amazing families. (I love that we all got together and it wasn't because someone died!)

So, as 2011 draws to a close, I feel for everyone who had a crappy year and pray that 2012 brings you health and happiness. And for those of us who had a lovely 2011, here's to more smiles and laughter in the coming 12 months.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ho ho ho!

Santa made an early visit to Milo last night. He brought along the Mrs. and one of his elves.

Milo wasn't quite sure what to make of the big man (or his friends) but he took it in stride. I think he might even have whispered his Christmas list to Santa while I wasn't looking.

Friday, December 16, 2011

8 Months

Dear Milo,

As usual, I start this letter by being amazed at how fast time flies and how much you change on a daily basis. In the past week, you have started crawling on your hands and knees and pulling yourself up on your crib, the couch, the stairs, me.

You are quite mobile and try to get into everything. We're going to be baby gate central soon.

You still refuse to sleep through the night, waking every two to three hours. So Daddy and I are having to be strong and let you fuss and cry more because we fear we've already spoiled you. Although, just yesterday, I felt a sharp little nubbin on your gums! So, I'm pretty sure you've been teething, and maybe that's what has been messing with your sleep schedule.

You're becoming quite sociable, smiling at most people and playing with the other babies at The Little Gym. You are especially taken by the little girls, but you follow one little boy around and try to do the things he does -- even though he's two months older than you.

Helping Mommy fold clothes

Your personality is really showing. You try to be so independent ... until you're not. You want to feed yourself and pick things up and do lots of things on your own. Until you get hungry or sleepy or don't want to go to bed. Then you're Mr. Clingy. And while I want you to be independent, I can't help but love your hugs.

We spent Thanksgiving in Illinois with your aunts, uncles, cousins and Grandpa. You even got to see Gramma D for a while. The drive was long and boring, but you did really well -- sometimes crying, sometimes playing quietly, napping quite a bit. It's not easy being stuck in the car, so I'm proud of how you did.

You enjoyed spending time with your cousins, and I know they enjoyed spending time with you. Even though they are a lot older than you and you won't get to grow up with them, I know they will always be there for you. They love you lots. How could they not?

Soon you will experience your first Christmas. It won't mean much to you this year, but Daddy and I are really excited to have you open presents. As for us, we already got the best gift back in April -- you. If we got nothing else, we would feel fulfilled. You are better than toys and games and sugar plums. And when you smile at us, it warms our cold, dark December nights.

I love you little man.



Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Milo and Grandma Louise

Milo never met his Grandma Louise (my mom) but that doesn't stop him from loving her.

Shortly after we got to Grandpa's house for Thanksgiving, Milo saw a picture of Grandma. He immediately started smiling. And every time someone holding him would walk near it, he smiled. He even reached for it.

I'm usually quite skeptical and only sort of sappy, but I think Milo knows his grandma looks out for him somehow.

Monday, December 5, 2011

True mommy confessions

I did something today I said I wouldn't do.

Remember a while back when we were told kids younger than 2 shouldn't be watching TV? Yeah, well, I'm pretty sure the experts who determined this weren't sleep-deprived mothers who haven't showered in two days, home alone with a 7-month-old.

I sat Milo in his play yard with Sesame Street on the television while I took a shower. I know. I just lost my Mother of the Year nomination. The thing is, whether Milo is in his crib or a playpen and whether or not the TV is on, he's going to cry for me. I have a hard time believing my baby's development is going to be severely hampered by my attempt to distract him for five minutes.

And here's why. Sesame Street did not distract him from the fact that I left him in a play yard.

Nor did it keep him from figuring out to pull himself up into a standing position. I'm pretty sure he wasn't paying any attention to Elmo.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Countdown to Christmas

Yesterday, Milo, the S.O. and I went to the Merry Christmas Tree Farm to harvest our Christmas tree. It was a very brisk day, so we bundled Milo into the new snowsuit Gramma D gave him.

We picked a blue spruce that is much (much, much) smaller than last year's Griswold tree.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Get up, stand up

Guess who figured out how to pull himself up to a standing position. All by himself. In his crib. At 2 o'clock in the morning.

This guy.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

7 months old

Dear Milo,

As usual, I am amazed that time can slip by so quickly. This past month has been a whirlwind, punctuated by your lingering cold (this time accompanied by a cough) and your suddenly becoming a creature of the night, feeding every two hours like a newborn.

How cute are you when you do sleep?

You've also become pretty clingy lately. You want me to hold you all the time and you don't like other people holding you much. You threw a fit when your uncle tried to hold you the other day and you broke down in tears yesterday when the woman working produce at the grocery store told you you were cute. From my selfish standpoint, I love that I'm the one person who can soothe you, but it makes it difficult for me to get things done or go anywhere.

Still, your being clingy and my lack of sleep don't diminish how adorable you are to me, or how many new things you've done this past month. Suddenly you're mobile, army crawling everywhere you want to go. You're trying more and more foods and different combinations of foods, and you think you should be able to try whatever Mommy and Daddy are eating.

We've been giving you baths in your own bathtub. You love splashing in the water and playing with your bath toys. It's one of the cutest things I've ever seen.

But then, I'm pretty sure you are absolutely the cutest thing I've ever seen.  After seven months, I'm still in awe of the fact that I made you. I suppose I will always feel that way. You are the best thing I've ever done. I'm so proud of you. I love showing you off.

There's nothing like that smile to melt my heart. I love you so much.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday rewind

One year ago this weekend, I posted this picture:

So much can change in just 12 months:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Traveling Thursday

Look who's mobile.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Since Milo was born, everyone has said how much he looks like his dad. He does. Since Milo was born, I've searched for some resemblance to me. I don't see it. Someone once told me there's a theory that babies look like their daddies during the first year so those daddies will accept the babies as their own. Maybe that's true, but I can't imagine either the S.O. or me not accepting this little man as our own -- resemblance or no.

That doesn't stop me from looking for some of my features in him though.

Me, as a baby
Nope, don't see any resemblance.

Milo's daddy with his grandpa
But I do there.

Monday, November 7, 2011

I blew it

Just six days into NaBloPoMo and I blew it. Even with an extra hour in the day, thanks to the time change, I still didn't find time to blog yesterday. Blame it on a baby who suddenly doesn't want to sleep through the night, or on his runny nose. Blame it on housework. Blame it on shopping or a couple exciting football games. Or just blame it on my forgetful nature.

Whatever the excuse, I blew it. Now, I have to decide if I should just throw in the towel completely or try to keep blogging every day -- despite the excuses.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Saturday Smiles

Milo and Ripley have been paying more and more attention to each other.

With mixed results.

AACK! I've been kissed by a dog!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Scooting, snoozing and schedules

Milo is thisclose to crawling. In lieu of actual crawling he has learned he can roll around to get to what he wants. He is also scooting around but mostly backwards. As I type he is rolling and scooting, trying to get to the basket of clean laundry. I don't think he's going to help put it away. We will soon have to begin baby proofing in earnest.

The other new -- old -- thing is Milo has been waking every two hours to eat. I try to follow the advice I read -- rub his back, talk to him, don't pick him up -- but he is actually hungry and settles back down after I feed him. He also doesn't like napping during the day and has to be tricked into it, either in the car or after eating. I'm just not ready to try the cry-it-out thing.

Actually, we have tried letting him cry it out. Sort of. He ends up crying so hard, he chokes himself. Or I end up in tears. So, I have to come up with something else. And soon. No one is sleeping much around here and we are starting to wear a bit thin.

Still, he's so sweet when he smiles it's hard to believe he's not getting plenty of sleep.

Even when he's trying to get into things

Thursday, November 3, 2011

At the zoo

We visited the zoo last week. It was a chilly day but sunny.

Milo especially liked the giraffes and the apes.

Those are some big doggies, Mommy.

I want to do that!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Not so spooky

Milo's first Halloween was more geeky than spooky.
Trekkie family

Detail of Baby Spock ears -- made by yours truly

Baby Spock dispatches a baby monkey

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Milo's first blog post

HU*IJ(NJPM zjc      „ŒSM AZ

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Reality check

Lest you all think the life of the 40-Something First Timer is all sunshine and roses, I have to tell you that the past week has been pretty hard on my little family. Milo and I have had colds. Milo got a horrible, bleeding diaper rash. To top it off, he got his vaccinations and has had a fever. So, lots of tears, dirty diapers and lack of sleep.

Milo has been pretty clingy lately anyway but since he's been sick, I can barely put him down to go to the bathroom or write a short blog post. He naps, but only while I (or Daddy) hold him. I love him so much but I really need him to start feeling better soon.

It's really hard to type one handed. Plus, it breaks my heart to see him in pain.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

6 months old

Dear Milo,

Six months ago I only had an inkling of how amazing you'd be and how much fun you'd be. We've had our ups and downs but mostly ups. Which have made the downs totally worth it. This past month has been busy. You got another cold, and we're struggling with a bout of either really awful diaper rash or a yeast infection on your bottom. Good thing we see your doctor tomorrow.

This month you have decided you are quite independent -- when you want to be. You have started sitting by yourself. You are rolling all over the place. You even try to feed yourself.

On the other hand, you've also become quite clingy and don't want to let me out of your sight for very long. I'm flattered, but Mommy needs to shower once in a while and feed herself, Daddy and the dog sometimes. Still, your tight hugs and gummy smile make my day.

You recently discovered your feet and like to play with them. And you are trying out all kinds of new sounds. Earlier today you sounded like a baby Wookie.

You've figured out what the camera is for and have turned into quite a little ham. Which makes for some really cute pictures.

It's all very exciting, but sometimes I miss my little floppy baby. Sometimes I miss you being little at all. When Daddy weighed you last week you were up to 20 pounds. My doctor said her kids weren't 20 pounds at 1 year old! You need to slow down a little on the growing. We're having a hard time keeping you in clothes that fit.

We're gearing up for your first Halloween, followed quickly by your first Thanksgiving and your first Christmas. It's going to be exciting, but not just because of the impending holidays,  also because of all the changes we'll see in you. I expect a tooth to pop up anytime now. And I just know you'll be crawling or walking before I know it.

Daddy and I are such proud parents. We love taking you places because everyone tells us how cute you are. It's hard to just say, "Thank you," instead of what we really want to say: "I know, right?"

There are days where I feel at a loss to tell you how much you mean to me. It's beyond words. I love you so much and I love how much you love me.

I'm looking forward to the second half of your first year. I know it's going to be just as much fun as the first half.



Thursday, October 13, 2011

Boogie down

Of all the icky baby body fluids, snot and boogers are by far -- in my opinion -- the worst. Yes, they are worse than poo, pee and spit up. I'm not sure what it is about snot, but it gives me the willies like nothing else. I hate using that snot sucker bulb to clear Milo's nose, but I know it's a necessary evil.

When Milo had his first cold a while back, my good friend Lisa over at Grandma's Briefs gave us some samples of Boogie Wipes (along with a coupon). We didn't end up using many during that first cold, but Milo has the sniffles again, and -- because we don't live in the world of The Brady Bunch, where doctors make house calls to little kids with the sniffles -- I whipped out the snot sucker and the Boogie Wipes.

Milo is too young to get how to blow his nose, thus the snot sucker. But with sneezes, he ends up with boogies on and around his nose, and Boogies Wipes -- Gentle Saline Wipes for Stuffy Noses -- are great for wiping dried up snot and boogies. They are also great for catching snot the sucker pulls out (yuck!).

I had been using regular tissues to wipe his nose, but as someone who has suffered colds and allergies, I know that even the softest, most lotioned-up tissues out there can still leave you with a sore raw nose. The thought of Milo's cute little button nose all red and raw made me cringe.

Gotta keep that cute little nose clean and comfy.

I don't have that worry with the Boogie Wipes. They have saline (just like the spray pediatricians recommend) to soothe. Milo still doesn't like his nose sucked out or wiped, but the Boogie Wipes definitely help ease the process.

If you are interested in getting some Boogie Wipes for yourself, head over to Grandma's Back Room at Grandma's Briefs by Saturday, Oct. 15 and leave a message for a chance to win.

I plan to invest in the 90-count economy size and may even check out the adult version (Saline Soothers) before the true cold season sets in.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"I can feed myself, Mommy"

Hmmm, what do we have here? Applesauce. Can I eat it with my hand?

Ah. This is much easier.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mommy makes applesauce

Now that Milo is eating some solids -- including applesauce -- I decided to try my hand at making some of his food.

I started out with some medium-sized Gala apples,

peeled, cored and sliced.

I put them in a large pot with just enough water to cover them.

I boiled them until tender, then scooped them into the food processor.

I pureed the apples with some of the cooking water until I got the consistency I wanted. From there, the sauce went into a freezer tray,

And got taste tested.

It passed with flying colors.