Friday, July 30, 2010

It's All About my Husband on his Birthday!

Today is my husband's 33rd 25th birthday. I dedicate this post to him, because a lot of my blog tends to be about me and Aubrey, when he in fact is a huge part of our lives!

Justin is a strong, loyal, dependable, funny, caring person. I knew all this before I married him. I knew all this before I got pregnant. However, I had NO idea how much love he had in his heart, and what an amazing father he would be. And I'm not just saying that because it's his birthday or because I want people to think he's so great. He really is.

Let me count the ways…

When I am too tired to deal with things, he tells me to go back to bed and that he'll take care of Aubrey. When he comes home from work, he quickly gets changed and then spends the next hour playing with Aubrey, rolling around with her on the floor and playing with her toys. When he notices me getting frustrated about not having anything to wear, he offers to give me money so I can go "guilt free" shopping. After I spend 45 minutes cooking dinner, he is always the first to get up and start cleaning up the mess. And likewise, when I am too darn tired to cook dinner, he quickly says "I'll get a pizza instead." Although, that could be a jab at my cooking...When I need to talk for an hour about everything in the world that is bothering me, he sits and listens. He really listens. I know this because he doesn't "Uh huh" me to death, but he actually tries to give me good advice and solutions to my problems. He laughs at all my jokes. Even the really, really corny ones. He asks me if I'm ready to go when I have no makeup on (my response being, "Are you kidding? I have no makeup on!"), and then he proceeds to tell me that he couldn't even tell that I hadn't done my makeup yet.

Justin is the kind of husband that makes you truly believe that you are the best person in the world. When in fact, I can honestly say he is the best person I have ever met.

Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I think I know why Aubrey will not play independently in a playpen for a few moments while I make my freshly squeezed lemonade (my attempt at being like Brie Hodge). This girl is suuuch a copycat of Mommy! She must be doing what I'm doing at all times.

If I'm glancing through a magazine or newspaper, she grabs it (and tries to rip out all the pages). If I look up at the tv during a heated debate on the View, she stops and watches til I stop...or until Whoopi is off the screen, for some reason she is mesmerized by Whoopi. I'm thinking of putting a framed picture of Whoopi up over her crib to keep her occupied in the early morning hours. I digress. If I am typing on the computer, she wants to bang the keys til they pop off. If I am drinking a bottle of water, she asks (screams) for the bottle and attempts to drink it.

You get the gist. She totally wants to be like me. No wonder she won't let me leave her side for even just a moment! Sometimes I like to use her copycatting to manipulate her to do what I want. For instance, when I want her to play with her toys (and not the dog's bone, Daddy's flip flops, the curtains, or the lamp cord), I lie on the floor and start playing and then she starts playing. Actually, it's more like I build a tower of blocks and then she violently knocks them down and goes back to what she was doing. But still. My plan to get her to play somewhat works.

Unfortunately, she doesn't copy me at everything. I tried to trick her into sleeping by lying on the floor with her, closing my eyes, and saying, "Night! Night!", but she just stared at me and crawled away. It looks like I'm gonna have to work on that one a bit more.

Monday, July 26, 2010

My Handsome Son

Apparently, I have a baby boy. And he is quite handsome. Every time an old fellow sees Aubrey, he assumes she is a boy. Last night at Wegmans, one older gentleman joked that if "he" was for sale, he will buy him. He then continued with, "Let me tell ya, that is one handsome son you have there!" For some reason, that just cracked me up. I continued to laugh as I was shopping through the produce aisle.

It didn't bother me because Aubrey could have easily been mistaken for a boy yesterday. She had on no bow or headband and she was dressed in a black dress...sitting in the shopping cart, you couldn't tell it was a dress. It looked more like a black tank top. Additionally, Aubrey is pudgy and still pretty bald, so I'm not offended when she gets mistaken for a boy.

However, I will say that after a few customers commented on my handsome son, I dug through the diaper bag, found her yellow headband, and stuck it on her. She didn't resist my putting it on her, which leads me to believe that she too was a little tired of being called a boy :)

Today, it’s pink all the way!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Can someone please pass the wire cutters?

Anyone try to take a baby toy out of its packaging lately? Of course you have, you're all moms. I'm assuming you all know what I'm talking about then. Why on God's good earth do they make it so freaking hard to take a tea cup set for a 7 month old out of its packaging?!

I'm serious. I want to know WHY! There is NOTHING in Target that has more intricate packaging than the baby toys. It's not like a bunch of babies are gonna come crawling through aisle 9, swiping blocks and baby laptops from the shelves. And it's not like baby toys cost a ridiculous amount of money. Why is there a need to not only box the toy, but to have several plastic tie-like reinforcements on the back? The toy we bought today also had the cardboard backing that was then additionally wired to the box. It took me 10 minutes to unwrap two new toys for Aubrey today.

I wish they made it that hard to take a can of Coke out of the box, maybe then I'd be able to kick my caffeine habit!

But seriously, if anyone knows why they make it so difficult to get those little plastic toys out of the box, enlighten me! My best guess is so that they can "display" the toy in its box to lure us all into buying them...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Why do you blog? What do votes mean to you?

I was drying my hair today and I was thinking about why I blog.

The first thing that comes to my mind is that writing to me has ALWAYS been my outlet. I have kept a journal since I was eight and have never stopped. It is scary to think I have all those crazy teenage years documented! If they were “accidentally” lost or tossed in the garbage, I think I would be more relieved than upset. I always journaled because it was a safe place to express and work out my feelings. I also knew that when I had a preteen or teenage daughter one day, I could go back and read them and remember just what it was like to be 15 again. Blogging to me is not a personal journal, but it is another outlet I have to be creative and express my feelings.

However, I think the primary reason I started the blog and why I continue to write it is because I was so surprised by motherhood. I wanted to document my experiences for other new moms out there so they knew they weren't alone. Sometimes I feel incompetent or insecure about being a mom, but when I read other moms’ blogs or go onto the Baby Center chat boards, I feel so much better knowing that everything I am experiencing is completely normal. I blog because I don't want any other new mom feeling like she is alone in her experiences.

So then I started thinking about the Top Mommy Blog votes and why those of us who belong to Top Mommy Blogs want votes. The answer to this question will vary greatly by each individual blogger. A lot of bloggers want to be on that first page because you get inundated with emails for reviews and giveaways. I don't want votes for giveaway and review opportunities, because those are not the reasons why I am blogging. I know some bloggers love that stuff, but it's just not my cup of tea. When I did some reviews and giveaways, it just felt more like "work" than fun. So for me, I just like to stick to the writing and sharing.

Then why do I want votes? To be honest, one of the reasons I like getting votes is because it's similar to that fun little rush you get when one of the items off of your wedding or baby registry gets bought, or when you get an email from EBay saying you were the highest bidder and won your auction. Or like that little surge of excitement when you get a new follower on your blog or facebook page. It's just fun. It's one of those little things that make you smile and say, "Oh! Someone thought my blog was half decent enough to take time out of their busy day and vote for me!

Although, I would have to say that the primary reason I like getting votes is because it gives me a better chance of gaining new readers. Most of my loyal readers follow me on facebook or get updates on my new posts from being a follower (thank you!!), but being on one of the first few pages of Top Mommy Blogs helps me get exposure and I am trying to reach as many moms as possible with my blog.

So thank you to all of my readers who take time from their day to read my blog. I hope you relate to some of my stories and that they help you feel like you are not alone. And thank you to everyone who votes for my blog and contributes to me getting that little surge of excitement when I see a new vote was cast; I love it!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Landscapers and Naptime...lethal combination.

Would it be completely self-centered and selfish of me to contact my condo management company and request that the landscapers NOT cut the grass and use extremely loud blowers (forgive me, I don't know the technical name of the blowers) right at my baby's window during naptime????!!!!

Oh my goodness!! Naptime is precious and sometimes I think they have a conspiracy against me. Like, the landscapers sit in their trucks and have a look out man who says, "Ah ha! She just laid down the baby...drop the hoagies and gatorade and go! go! now! Start the insanely loud lawn cutting equipment and do it RIGHT by the nursery window!"

They've been outside now for 2 hours. I'm about to go outside and bribe them with fresh lemonade to just go away. And go away quick. No one has to know. Just go. The grass looks fine, now GO! My baby needs her rest and her mommy needs to do laundry!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Someone stop the rollercoaster!

Aubrey's crawling and climbing stage has thrown me for a loop. Like a super sized, upside-down roller coaster loop. And I thought the rolling stage was bad! I'm sure when she is walking, crawling and climbing will seem like a breeze. But for now, I am exhausted!

I feel like I have to throw out everything in my house to keep her safe. I guess if I want to be less extreme, I could just buy her a helmet. Do they make baby helmets? Seriously. She is now awake for 3-4 hours at a time and for that whole time she is trying to play with everything that can hurt her--cords on the floor, climbing up the glass door, and crawling under everything that has sharp edges. I would love to put her in a play pen or her jumperoo for some much needed relief, but she doesn't like the confinement of those previously loved places. Thank God she still loves her stroller...if I had to cut out my Target trips and neighborhood strolls I would go nuts!

Oh, this crawling stage is so fun! I have doubled my daily calorie intake just to be able to keep up with this wild woman. When she goes down for her nap, I plop myself on the couch and "AHH...” exhale! I hope I get used to this new pace, because it doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

Any other moms out there have any suggestions for how you entertain your crazy crawler?!

Thank God she's so cute!

We lowered the crib after we woke up to this a few weeks ago!

Playing dress up

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"Dancing with the Stars: Mom Edition"

Step aside Cheryl Burke, there's a new dancer in town. I don't think I've danced as much as I have in the last 7 months since my college days, if you can call what I did back then dancing. I think it was more like a cheap champagne induced attempt at dancing. Thank God people didn't video tape things on their cell phones back then...

But since Aubrey's been born, something that always calms her down is music and dancing. When she is crying and won't calm down, I quickly turn on one of the cable music stations and get moving. A soon as she hears the music, her cries immediately turn to laughs. Hmm, it just occurred to me that she could be laughing at me and my dance moves, but I will give her the benefit of the doubt and say she just enjoys the music and dancing.

Yesterday, we danced to the tunes of Leann Rimes. Personal issues aside (homewrecker!), that girl sure did put out a fun song, a remake of John Anderson's "Swingin" (click here to see the video). Holy crap that is fun to dance to! As Aubrey and I sashayed around the living room, I tried to follow along with the moves in the video-from the dips to the spins to the lifts. And by the end of the video I was about to pass out on the floor. I think that counted as a work out.

Just give me a few more mornings of dancing to uptempo music videos, and I will be on my way to "Dancing with the Stars: Mom Edition".

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Shout Out to the Single Moms

God bless single moms.

I have no idea how they do it. Wednesday night my husband went to a Phillies game and last night he went to Poker. He also has been painting and fixing up our bathroom the last two days (he's on vacation), so his help with the baby has been limited. Over the last two days, I've gotten a tiny taste of what life would be like if I had to do this on my own. Oh, and to make the experience more authentic, Aubrey is teething, AGAIN! This is her third tooth and I swear I think this is more hellish than the first two! So, when you factor in a busy husband and a teething baby, you could say it's been a tough two days. On more than one occasion, the thought has gone through my head of just how single moms do it.

HOW DO THEY DO IT?! After two days of not even being completely on my own, I was starting to wear down. How do they do it day in and day out?

Single moms have to work full time outside of the home to support their baby(ies). They have to cook dinner each night and have no one around to watch the kids so they can do so. They have to get themselves and the kids showered and ready in the morning without any help. If they have school aged children, they also have to manage homework, activities, and sports ALL on their own. If they want to run out to the grocery store or Target for an hour sans kids, they can't just leave them home with the husband. I don't see how they can sneak in any time for themselves, and I'm basing this on my schedule with just one baby! I'd be running around like a chicken with its head cut off, and most likely wearing two different shoes half the time. In addition to this insanely busy schedule they have to manage, the finances are usually tight when it's just mom bringing in a paycheck.

I would lose my mind if I had to do this all on my own. Before I became a mom, I never stopped to think just how hard these women had it. They are truly the strong women of this world. God bless you, single moms!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

7 months ago from today, the high was 43 degrees.

A lot has changed in 7 months. 7 months ago, the high temperature for the day in our town was 43 degrees. Today it is 95 degrees. The changes in my life since December 8th, 2009 (Aubrey’s birthday) have been just as drastic as the weather.

Tonight, I was making dinner and Aubrey was on the floor playing with her toys. It amazed me at how quickly she has become independent. Just two months ago, she couldn't do much more than roll around to entertain herself. Now she is not only rolling (come on, that is sooo last March), but she is crawling (with a lot of breaks in between!), sitting up, pulling herself up, it's crazy. Every day she is just getting faster, stronger, and more talkative.

She is also showing her little (or should I say big) personality these days. Aubrey knows what she wants and she goes AFTER it! Whether it's a toy, a remote control, or a hug from Mommy, she makes sure she gets what she wants. I think that's why she is so mobile--sitting around and waiting for things to be given to her is just not an option! Aubrey goes right after what she wants. This leads me to believe that the terrible twos may get quite terrible, but hopefully her independence and determination stay with her throughout her teenage and adult years.

When I see newborns or babies who are a couple of months younger than Aubrey, I just can't believe she was once that small. I try to remember what it was like holding a baby so tiny and still, but it's all a blur. Maybe it's from only sleeping 3 hours a night back then, but all I can imagine is who she is now; my 20 pound weight that tries to squirm off the changing table and crawls under every apparatus in the house.

She's my little sugar. Aubrey makes everything I do now have a true purpose. She makes me want to do better in every area of my life. While I had no idea 7 months ago just how crazy my life was about to get, I also had no idea how much BETTER it was going to be. Or how hot July was gonna get.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Family Vaca Cut Short

We had high hopes for our first mini family vaca this week. We planned to go the shore for three days, figuring that any more time than that would be too much for both us and the baby. Well, unfortunately, three days proved to be too much! If we weren't in the middle of a record breaking heat wave, maybe things would have been different. But 100 degree temps plus sky high humidity are not a good combination for a 7 month old baby and a very pale, sun sensitive mama!

The grimy motel we were staying at didn't offer us much of a reprieve from the hot, humid weather. I think I'd rather be outside baking than sitting on one of those filthy beds! At least I brought a King size blanket for us to put over the bed's comforter. See, sometimes being a germ-a-phobe pays off.

Aubrey was a great sport with the heat and her new place for two days, but she just couldn't get comfortable enough to sleep. She partied til 10pm last night and naps were not really an option. Our visions of having some drinks outside and enjoying the scenery were cut short by her late bed time. Oh, we still had drinks outside, but we were accompanied by our squirmy little princess who kept trying to drink Mommy's Miller Lite.

We ended up leaving a day early, but no love was lost. We got to do everything we wanted--visit the zoo, walk the boardwalk...and well, that's about all you can do with a 7 month old. I think sometimes Justin and I get so excited to do "family" trips and outings, that we forget there isn't much you can actually do with an infant!

We still enjoyed our 2 day "vacation" if you can even call it that. The car ride itself is fun enough for me. I love that time to chat with Justin, sippin on our beverages as Aubrey naps away. Next year should be a bit better since she'll be older, and we have learned our lesson about hotel get what you pay for. Next year, we will definitely opt for something bigger and CLEANER, even if it means putting up a few extra bucks. It will be worth it!

Aubrey sweating bullets at the zoo, but still manages to throw on a smile.

This is what hot, tired, and miserable looks like.

Thank God Mommy remembered to bring this clean blanket for me to lie on!

Our happy family after a looong day!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

And Breathe 2,3,4...

Well today was a whirlwind, let me tell ya. Some days go so smoothly with the baby that I can't wait to have a second. Other days (like today) make me scream out, "One is plenty, thank you!" You know it's gonna be a long day when the baby wakes up at 4:45am, bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to start the day.

Aubrey is at the stage where I cannot take my eyes off of her for one second or she is chewing the dog's bone or banging her head against a table leg. Both of which have happened. More than once. She isn't crawling, but she is "creeping" and doing this weird downward dog thing where she gets on all fours, sticks her butt in the air, and leaps forward. So, today I spent the whole time she was awake with my eyes glued on her, entertaining her to the max. Because you see, she is also at the "Mommy, you better be playing with me at all times!" stage. Additionally, Aubrey has determined that sleep isn't really that necessary. Not only did she wake up at 4:45am today, but she only took two 1 hour naps ...leaving me with very short "breaks" to rush around and try to get everything done from taking a shower to eating lunch.

In an effort to give myself a break from stacking blocks and playing with musical toys all day, I figured we'd go take the car to get washed for the weekend. I planned it so we'd have enough time to get there so she wouldn't be hungry right away, and then I could feed her while we waited. Well, just my luck (sort of like the luck I had earlier in the day when she was screaming for food and the bottle flew out of my hand and spilled everywhere and I had to start all over again...), the car wash temporarily closed for a half hour. So as we drove home (no way am I waiting a half hour because we all know a half hour really means closer to an hour), she got hungry and wailed the whole ride home. Fun, fun, fun!

Today was definitely one of those days that I felt completely content with just having one baby! But then tomorrow will come, and she will sleep normally and everything will go smoothly and I'll be thinking of names for the next little one. Well, I can only hope that's what tomorrow brings...

My Crazy Little Squirmer