Tuesday, September 30, 2008

In Case I Forget

You never, ever catch me without my camera. It's always stashed somewhere, either my purse or the diaper bag or stuffed into my back pocket. I carry my camera b/c I love pictures and my husband (a very very very amazinglt talented photographer) taught me to capture moments that aren't staged.


Another big reason I take pictures of any and everything (including my best friends wearing stupid hats or a frog hanging out on an antenna) is b/c one day I will get old. I will get very old and forget all these precious memories my daughter is sharing with me.
I never want to forget these moments and so I take these to always remember them

The day you rolled over on your own...


The first time you saw snow...


Or your first taste of Twisty Treat.

:)


I pray I never forget, but just in case I have the photos to prove it.



The Tides Are Changing

This morning began as it normally does. I wake up, do my thing then attempt to nurse Roo. Yes, you read that right, attempt. I pulled out the boppy, got situated, pulled Roo into my lap... and nothing.

She wanted NOTHING to do with me or my boobs.

I switched sides hoping that would help... nothing again.

I had my husband get a sippy cup of milk and she didnt' even want that. All she wants right now is her pacifier and her tag blanket.

:(

I feel so rejected.

I had noticed yesterday that when she nursed, it wasn't for very long and even her night-time nursing was significantly shorter. Does this mean it's time? Is she done with nursing?

Done with me? Is this where it all begins? From here on she doesn't need me and will walk around embarassed by me, proclaiming her independence?

Oh, my boobs hurt just thinking about it.

I always said she would wean herself when she's ready... maybe she's ready.

But I'm not... :(

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Only Me

I swear, I'm the only klutz in the world that can slice her finger open on a perfectly unbroken plate.


I Can Smell It

I can smell it in the air.... fall.

It's right around the corner, teasing me.

When you walk outside in the morning, the air is sweeter and cooler. It makes you close your eyes, inhale deeply and sigh with happiness. Fall makes me long for pumpkin pie, candy corn and long sleeved t-shirts.

I'm a native Floridian and summer is in my blood. But that brief few weeks of fall where you bundle up like it's going to snow and run the heater in your car when it gets anywhere near 68 degrees, it's simply perfection.

Fall makes me linger outside longer than normal, take longer than usual walks and it just makes me an overall happy person.

I love sharing this with my daughter. I love sharing the pumpkin patches, my favorite holiday (Halloween) and warm apple cider. I hope she loves it just as much as I do.

:)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Roll Roll

Roll roll... roll off the bed.

She did it.

Roo rolled clear off the bed the other night. From a dead sleep, she rolled up over the stack of pillows we'd placed around her and down to the floor... the hard floor.

Dear Lord.

We co-sleep and have never had this problem before. Normally, she stops if she runs into a pillow. Not the other night... and not last night when she attempted to roll over my husband in her sleep.

Is this normal?

Do 18 months start rolling over human beings? Has her instinct to roll taken over? Is this normal? Did I start rolling when I hit 18 months and my mother forgot to mention this fact to me? Is there a chapter in the baby books I missed?

I'm kinda scared now. I mean, should I try and get her back into her crib (where she sleeps like CRAP!!)? Should I buy railings for the bed (which, by the way is a king size bed)?

We bought a railing for the bed months ago when she first started co-sleeping with us, but we felt like we were turning our bed into a crib and didn't want that.

I've always had the idea of buying a twin mattress and throwing it on the floor for her. Or maybe I should just go ahead and buy a toddler bed for her. Honestly, we like having her in our bed. It's quite convenient to be able to roll over, cuddle with her, kiss her, all those things she won't let us do during the day.

Egh. Any tips? Suggestions? Help! :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Call It Kick Ass.

Today was a kick ass day.

My friend Angela and I had a playdate and whenever we get together we have so much fun. We always do something different, so it never gets boring. Today we visited the JW Marriott which has an amazing lazy river in their pool area (If you decide to go, be prepared to pay $16 for parking).

Despite a cool breeze all day, it was beautiful. The water was warm and there wasn't a big crowd. There was a zero-entry pool for kids, a playground and a tiny splash park.

I could not keep Roo out of the pool! She loved loved loved it. We only had two face-plants into the water and only one inhalation of water through the nose, we were good. Roo was also kind enough to let me lay in the sun for a minute and soak it in.

I definitely am going back and I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Watch Out Below!!

This past week there has been a lot of noise outside our house. We're talking trucks, chainsaws, construction workers and heavy equipment. Since we live on 24 acres of peace and quiet, this is rare. So rare, that all the dogs don't know what to do and figure barking along with all this noise is a good idea.

Why all the noise you ask?

Well, it seems that the huge, tall tower in the property next door needs some work. Translation: the tower is leaning 9 feet to the left and without this noisy work, it will crash on to our property.

Work away, I say! Work away!

I'm at a lost for why it's leaning. We haven't had any major hurricanes lately, no one is out digging holes around the guide wires (unless my dogs have gotten loose without telling me) and we've ceased on all the off-road racing around the base of it years ago.

And who didn't notice it leaning, besides me and my family. I mean, someone has to have a job where they monitor these things, right? Some guy gets bad big bucks to drive around in an air-conditioned truck and measure? Right? How does this guy figure that leaning even the tinest bit is okay? Why wait until 9 feet?

Maybe it's in the handbook... Section 108, Paragraph 23, 3/4 of the way down the page: If said tower is leaning between 1-8 feet to either the left or right, Ignore. If any further than 8 feet, bring out the calvary.

So pray along with me that this work is done and the tower that powers everyone's cell phone and god knows what else, remains rooted to the ground, standing erect.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The New Baby Smell


In honor of Kristen and Rebecca's pending bundles of joy, I give you my warm, fuzzy new baby memory.


When we bought Roo home from the hospital, she was this tiny little baby. All fragile and sweet-smelling, we were positive we would break her somehow. We'd never been so nervous in our life and that first night home, all alone just the three of us, we kept looking at each other wondering if we were doing it right.


That first night was such a big mess. Roo refused to sleep in her crib, the bassinet, our bed, anywhere...except my arms. It was exhausting. I could barely keep my eyes open and every time I put her down, she'd wake up SCREAMING! So we compromised, she slept in my arms while I stayed up all night and watched paid programming.


It was the first of many nights that this happened. But in the middle of never-ending yawns, snores from my sleeping husband, and bad acting about spacebags and pimple creams that I connected with my daughter.


She would wake to nurse and as I held her, our eyes would meet and everything around us would disappear. My heart would swell, tears would form and fall, and my stomach would develop butterflies. She would stare at me as if she was telling me that as long as we had each other, the world would have order.


Now, she's an independent child of 18 months that is running endlessly and would rather chase dragonflies and frogs than put up with my never-ending kisses. But occasionally, she'll let me hold her longer than necessary and our eyes will meet and I'm reassured she's still my little girl.


I wish you both nothing but sweet memories of your newborns.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Getting Through The Days

Parents Bloggers Network and Yoplait Kids are asking: What do you rely on to get through the day?

When poised with that question, a thousand things run through my mind.

I've got a whole long list of things that I use each and everyday as a Mom. There's my husband, disposable diapers, pacifiers, tag blankets, Spongebob Squarepants... my sanity. There's my well-stocked diaper bag or my fuel-efficient truck. I could go on about diaper wipes, lavender scented shampoo, lotions and diaper creams.

The one thing I find myself reaching for day after day: my camera.

There has not been a day since March 15, 2007 that I haven't taken a picture of my child. From my husband's first shots of her out of my womb to my staged portraits of Roo, my camera has been there. Trusty, dependable and thankfully, rugged my camera has always been stashed in my diaper bag or tucked into a back pocket. I've used it to capture spur of the moment giggles or perfectly coordinated pictures with perfect pig-tails and matching outfits.

I swear to you, I could not make it through the day without my camera. I need it simply because as a mom, my life is crazy. I'm running from sun up to sun down (and then some) and one day, my mind will fade. I won't have such clear, crisp memories of my daughter's first solo trip down the park slide or her first Halloween, but my camera will and I have the photos to prove it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Priceless

Tickets to Seasame Street Live: $54

Parking: $5

Elmo Balloon: $8




The look on Roo's face: Priceless.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Is There An Off Switch On A Toddler?

This morning we had an early playdate. Normally, my child sleeps in until 900 or 930am (she doesn't go to bed until 1030pm) and mean mommy had to get up her at 800 to make it to our playdate at 900 in Winter Park. Let's just say Roo does not appreciate being woken up before she's ready.

It took me about fifteen minutes to get the tears to stop and for her not to freak out on me when I set her down. Of course, I freak out whenever I'm running late, and running late we were. I rushed everyone through breakfast, filled the diaper bag with everything we could ever possibly need and corralled them out the door.

I get halfway there when my friend calls me and says, "Are we meeting today? I thought it was tomorrow?"

What!

Luckily, she got her baby up and ready and was only fifteen minutes behind me.

We had a playdate at the park on Park Avenue in Winter Park, which is a great little area with tons of fabulous shops. There are not any playgrounds or swings there, but there are squirrels and my Roo loves to chase squirrels. So we walked, window-shopped, chased squirrels and sweated our tushies off.

It. Was. Hot.

It was so hot that as soon as we got home from the playdate, Roo and I both crashed for early naps. We skipped lunch, turned down the a/c, crawled under the covers and snoozed for two hours.

I am still dragging ass from this and of course, my energized toddler is making it her mission to pull every DVD we own off the shelf and on to the floor.

Is there an off switch on her somewhere? Anyone?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

BPA, Wha?

There was an article in our local paper about BPA Bottles and whatnot. Of course, the whole time I'm reading this article I'm thinking about the numbers on the bottom of all of my daughter's sippy cups or what companies use or don't use BPA.

Everything.

So after some research I found a great cheat sheet and wanted to pass it along to you.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Alpha Mom?

A while ago I found this article about Slacker Moms vs Alpha Moms. As I read it, I noted I was a mix of both. Meaning, as an Alpha Mom I desired nothing but the very best for my child and always made sure her socks matched before we walked out of the house. I brush her teeth, comb her hair, give her one nap a day, three meals a day and read to her everyday.

On the other side, the slacker mom in me is relaxed and lets certain things be as they are and refuses to follow a set schedule. The slacker in me lets my daughter watch cartoons, splash all of the water out of the tub during her bath and nurse whenever she lays eyes on her boppy pillow.

I'm sure if I had to pick, I'd claim myself as a slacker mom, but the word slacker brings to mind a mom that doesn't care. Slacker makes me think lazy rather than laid back. Slacker sounds like a label.

Why don't you just observe my parenting ability and simply call me: Mom.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Dear Roo (18 months)

Dear Roo,

Today you are 18 months old. 18 months of fast, furious fun. A cute little bundle of energy who loves the sound of her voice (especially when you realize it echoes in certain areas), chasing squirrels at the park, and her Mommy and Daddy.

Recently, you tested the waters of temper tantrums and found them quite to your liking. I'm not sure what to think about this, except that you'll (hopefully) grow out of it. The word "no" tends to set you off, but I can easily diffuse a ticking time bomb with well placed kisses to your tickle spots or, as a last resort, goldfish crackers. Nothing stops tears faster than a yummy treat of baked cheese.

Speaking of cheese, you've fallen in love with slices of bright yellow American cheese. If I make you a sandwich, you'll pull out the cheese and eat that, all the while throwing the bread and meat overboard. You've also developed a taste for raisins and red seedless grapes, which makes me happy. Yay, a healthy snack.

Your development is right on track and you've even started using two-word phrases and feeding yourself with a spoon and fork. You can easily identify body parts (ours and yours) and love it when we play "This little piggy" on your toes.

Each and everyday I find myself watching you grow a little more. Each and everyday my heart swells with pride and I can't believe how lucky we are, how beautiful you are. I love watching you discover new things. It's like I'm relearning everything along with you. I love how much joy you get from the small things in life. I love how you pick up sticks in the yard and poke at the dogs through the fence. I love how you pick up your dolls to give them kisses and then demand Daddy and I kiss them as well.

I love you so much Roo... I can't wait to discover more with you.

Love,
Mommy

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Paint It Black

Just be forewarned, I'm in a black mood today.

Yesterday was my nephews birthday. The son of my sister, who I haven't spoken to in three months. I haven't spoken to her in three months b/c I told her to mind her own business about something and she proceeded to tell me I'm a bad mother, an immature brat, a person who wants everyone to hand her things, etc etc.

I didn't call my nephew yesterday to wish him a happy birthday b/c I knew a fight would ensue and I didn't have the patience to be nice to my hypocritical sister. I called my Dad and asked him if he'd call for me, he responded back in a pissed off voice that he wouldn't. Apparently, I can't please anyone in my family.

I haven't spoken to my mother in three months either b/c the day before I got into a fight with my sister, I got into a fight with her. She called me up and attacked me calling me a bad mother, a porn star and the wife of a loser husband.

I feel bad for not calling my nephew, for backing out, for pussing out. I made him a card and meant to send it last week, but never got around to it (I'm notorious for not mailing things on time). I'm going to mail it out tomorrow with some money, hopefully this will relieve some of my guilt of being a bad aunt.

The whole thing about my Dad getting pissed off at me dumbfounds me. It seemed like he was mad at me for trying to put him in the middle, but was I? Was I really asking too much of him? He said it wouldn't mean anything coming from him... but I wasn't ready to duke it out with my sister or have her hang up on me.

Everything has just put me in a foul mood... so foul that I just want to crawl into bed, hide under the covers and wait until everything blows over. The other part of me, the fighter, wants to call everyone up and bitch them out for saying such mean hurtful things about me. I want to yell at them for making me out to be the bad guy when all of this is their fault.

Honestly, am I at fault for both my mother and sister calling me up and calling me names? Saying such horrid, awful things about me and my family that they will never be erased from my mind?

The one thing I've learned from this is that I want my family, my husband and children, to never be so negative towards one another. I want us to do nothing but support and encourage one another. I want us to love unconditionally, even if one of us is making stupid mistakes or dumb moves. I never want my daughter to feel the way I feel towards my Mom... never.

I'm sorry about all the ramblings today, I promise I will return tomorrow to being my usual sunny, wise-cracking self.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Beaten Up By A 17 Month Old

Most people wouldn't admit to this, but I am. My 17 month old beat me up... Okay, maybe I'm being a tad bit drastic, but she has spent the last hour smacking me in the face and I'm tired of it. The last smack was to the cheekbone and my eye ball is still hurting from it.

She's smacked me once or twice before and I've told her no each time. But tonight something has changed. She's turning into one of those rotten children who don't listen to their parents. Is it something I did? What did I do to deserve being smacked around by my own child? Maybe this is payback b/c I let her watch cartoons and eat goldfish crackers...

After the last smack I put her in her crib and let the room. Currently, I am sitting in my bathroom listening to her call out, "Baby" and playing with the few toys she has in there. Bedtime is not in her line of sight at the moment.

Egh.

I'm praying this is something that won't continue b/c I hate being smacked (Honestly, who does?). I wonder what will pop up when I google smacking 17 month old child....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Local Event

If you're in the Orlando area, check this out:

Z88.3 Little Ears Expo
Date: Saturday, September 20, 2008
Time: 10:00-4:00 p.m.
Location: Faith Hall at First Baptist Church of Orlando Map & Directions
Cost: FREE
Calling all mommies-to-be and moms with infants and toddlers! Z88.3 has the privilege of having so many great moms on staff. Our staff realizes just how much information there is to learn about being a mom. It can be overwhelming, so we are here to here to help! Join Z88.3 at the second annual Z88.3 Little Ears Expo on Saturday, September 20, 2008 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. in Faith Hall at First Baptist Church of Orlando.
The expo is free and will include booths from many different exhibitors who will be offering information for parents as well as selling some of today’s newest baby products. The expo will also offer free seminars throughout the day about first time parenting and being a parent with toddlers.
We would like to thank the following organizations for helping to make this second annual Z88.3 Little Ears Expo a successful event:
Centra Care-Florida Hospital’s Urgent Care
First Baptist Church of Orlando
Heart 2 Heart Birth Center
Momslikeme.com
Magical Mealtime
Monkey Joes of Central Florida
Mark your calendar now for a day filled with lot’s of fun and great information! We hope that you can join us at the second annual Z88.3 Little Ears Expo.

Never Forget

I have a feeling that if you stopped any American and asked them where they were today seven years ago, they could recall exactly what they were doing. The tragedy that happened that day really is burned into our minds forever and we will never forget.

I know I never will. Even though I wasn't directly effected, I was still, like all Americans, effected.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

26.2 Miles of Peace & Quiet

About two months ago a friend of mine, Mom of Two, mention she was doing a half-marathon this year. She inspired me to start re-thinking my running goals and convinced me to do a full marathon with her in 2010.

I've always wanted to be a hard-core runner. Currently, I'm a medocre runner. I've been addicted to running since my brother became a state champion runner while in college. I loved that he could just go out and run... and run... and then run some more. He was such an inspiration to me that I started running as well and fell in love with it. I could tie on my shoes and just take off for long runs, short runs, speed runs, whatever. It was so freeing. As I ran I could forget things, or hash them out in my head. I could recite historical facts in my head or sing along with my ipod.

When I got pregnant it was in the dead heat of a South Carolina summer and temperature were well above 100 degrees, so I stopped. I'd read somewhere that overheating your core temperature could harm the baby. So I stopped running and didn't start again until she was born. It's taken a lot of time to get comfortable running again. All my extra weight sorta slows me down...

Anyways, I'm back and I'm in training. I've got two full years to get into fighting shape for my goal. I am sooo excited about this.

Wish me luck!

Monday, September 8, 2008

The People You'd Never Choose, If You Could

Sidenote: Today's blog is being co-written by my husband, who is in a foul mood... Enjoy!

Six weeks ago to the day, my husband, JB, asked his brother to mow the back lawn. Said brother agreed enthusiastically that he would comply.

And we watched... watched for six, rain-soaked weeks as the grass grew and grew... and G-R-E-W. We'd drop hints as the backyard turned into a grassy Savannah-like environment that danced with the winds from each and every hurricane that passed the peninsula. With each day, we watched his favorite deaf and dumb dog, Hank, leap over the tall grass while imagining he would be pounced upon by waiting lions as they stalked their prey.

Today, JB repeated this request and was met with adamant, block-headed opposition. The request was shot down by said assailant, who claimed his precious social life was more important than any obligation to his family.

We continue to ask ourselves if we should buy lion-repellent and hope for the best or hire tutsi (African lion hunters) to patrol the backyard.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Dear Boobs

Dear Boobs,

I know it's been awhile since we've spoken, you truly have been busy as have I. But I simply must tell you how much I miss you... how much I miss the old yous. I miss how small and pert you used to be. I miss how graceful and perfectly proportioned you once were. I miss how I could once go without a bra. Now, I dare not attempt it since you tend to leak and sag in the worst way.

Now you're nothing but milk jugs to a greedy, hungry child who insists you belong to her.

Will you ever return to your former glory? Will we ever have bra-less days in thin, trendy tank tops? Will we ever go back to one sports bra, instead of two? Sadly, unless you meet a fabulous surgeron with skilled, steady hands, I doubt it. :( I doubt you will ever be a fraction of what you use to be.

But alas, I promise to love you for all the hard work you've done and all the overtime you've put in. I know I told you it would only be for a year, but I appreciate you handling the unexpected delay like the degnified ladies you are. I swear, up and down, that two years will be your maximum output. I promise that in seven months you will be free to hang out and relax. I promise that we will try everything to perk up your outlook on life.

Thank you for everything.
SuZ

Friday, September 5, 2008

Snack Attack!!!

It's safe to say that a growing toddler needs substance and I do my best to keep healthy snacks on hand at all time, so when hunger does strike I am prepared. My truck, my diaper bag, my kitchen cabinets are always stocked well. Luckily, my daughter rarely turns down food. She takes after me in the fact that she's always hungry, never turns down food and hasn't met a snack food she doesn't like.



Want proof?

Yes, that is my diaper bag. Complete with Gerber Graduate Crackers, Raisins, Fruit Cups and Apple Sauce... and tons of more burried in that bag. A great new snack I've discovered and Roo LOVES is Brother-All-Natural Fruit Crisps. They are freeze dried snacks that have no perservatives and have no sugar added. A very yummy treat that even I enjoy, when she lets me snag one. :)

This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as an entry for a contest sponsored by Brothers-All-Natural.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

She's Here! She's Here!

The birth of a child is such a splendid event. When it happens to your family, it's a super duper splendid thing.


This morning at 10:55am, Miss Morgan Rayne was brought into the world kicking and screaming.



Weighing in at 9 pounds 1 ounce and stretching out at 20 1/2 inches, she has a full, thick head of hair and beautiful green eyes.
Words cannot even express how happy I am for my brother in law and his wife. I, literally, am bursting at the seams with glee and want to rush back to the hospital and snuggle with our newest addition.
Of course, I'm sure my jealous toddler will not approve of this, but there's always tomorrow!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sleepy Time

It's no secret that my child isn't the world's most perfect sleeper. From the word go, she woke every few hours and it wasn't until she was 12 months that she finally slept through the night. Even now, she's not the best sleeper, but I take her as she is and indulge in naps during the days to keep my sanity.

I admit that when my friends talk about their child sleeping through the night from the second they came home from the hospital, my eyes narrow and my mouth gets that squinty, pissed off look. I grumble under my breath and rejoice when people complain that their perfect bundles of joy have suddenly stop sleeping so perfectly.

But alas, my child now sleep better than before.

My point is, I've learned to deal with it. I roll with the punches she's hands out and adapt when necessary. So this weekend when she had to get up earlier than her normal 930am wake up call, I did a happy dance because early wake up leads to early nap and ultimately results in early bedtime.

I should've known better, I really should have.

Both times this weekend that she went to bed early went horribly horribly wrong. Both saturday and sunday, Roo was asleep before 830pm and both saturday and sunday she slept HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!! So bad that I had to resort to nursing her back to sleep multiple times!! Something I swore I'd never do because as soon as I cut off the night feedings, she started sleeping through the night. Both my husband and I were soooo exhausted from this sudden change of sleeping, we were literally dragging ass all weekend unable to do anything exciting.

So last night rolls around and Roo is no where near tired come 830pm... so she stays up until 1030pm when she blissfully falls asleep in her crib. She slept until 700am without a peep! I woke up this morning feeling soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo refreshed... and soooooooooooooo happy! I bounced out of bed and did the happy dance then and there. I pulled her into bed with us and she and I slept until 930am.

The moral of this story is that my daughter is a night owl and if it means a late bedtime for her gives me more sleep and more peace in the middle of the night (because I am veeeerrrrryyyy crabby in the middle of the night), then so be it! My child will stay up late and that is that.

And it is.

Good Night!