Sunday, December 12, 2010

Somewhere Along The Road of Motherhood... (poem)

Somewhere along "The Road of Motherhood"
I lost my identity.
I all of a sudden had to become everthing for everybody,
no longer able to just be me.
I now wear many hats, you see.
Dauughter, Sister, Friend, and now Mother.
And that last hat is harder than the others.

Of course I'm overjoyed for a family like mine.
A husband, a baby, what more could I need?
But alas a sadness creeps in at times.
A yearning for some autonomy.

Motherhood isn't what I thought it would be.
To some it doesn't come naturally.
And sometimes there's guilt when you've had enough,
when you want to walk away when things aren't easy.

The expectations are what is killing me.
To work, be a wife, and a nurturing mommy.
I'm torn between desire and capability.
And come down hard on myself when I can't juggle all three.
But "If I don't do it, it won't get done."
That's my mentality.

So onward and upward, with a smile on my face.
Most times it's real but then there are those other times.
Times of sadness I'd like to erase.
And hope that sometime soon I'll find my place.
To just be me.

Just a Note - My feelings don't just stem from motherhood per se, it's all of the responsibilities that come with being an adult/wife/mother. I love my son more than anything. This is just a fragment of all of the emotions I feel about my experience.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Baby's 1st Thanksgiving

The pictures explain it all! The little one loved Thanksgiving with all of the food, family, and fun. That was his grandma holding him by the Turkey. I made him homemade mashed potatoes so he could participate in eating what we were eating, and he gobbled it all up! It's amazing just to think that last Thanksgiving, he was in my belly kicking me in the ribs and this year he was in his high chair, his little feet kicking at the dinner table.

Thanksgiving means so much more now. We're so thankful for our God, our marriage, our amazing son, and our friends & family. Having a baby really forces you to look at everything through your little one's eyes and it's wonderful to experience everything like it's brand new. What a joy! How was your Thanksgiving?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Monkey See, Monkey Do!

My little one is 8 months old and this is shaping up to be the most interesting and fun month of his life yet. He finally seems to be comprehending the world around him. In the previous months, life was just happening around him. Now, he is starting to participate, which is exciting.

For instance, he has learned to wave "hello" or "bye bye". It's more of a copy cat behavior at this point, but it's still cool! We'll wave at him when saying hi or bye and he'll smile and wiggle his little hand and fingers LOL Then we praise him like crazy of course which he loves.

He also will copy what he sees on TV. I've been watching him while he watches NickJr, and when he sees other kids do something like dance or wiggle their hands or feet, he sees to be trying to mimic.

And my favorite behavior? Well, I have always kissed his little cheeks and blown raspberries on them, and guess what? He's finally picked up on it and just last night he laid a big wet open mouth kiss on my cheek and blew raspberries! Then I returned the favor, and he did it again! LOL I'm just amazed at how much these little babies learn and absorb in such a little amount of time.

Now crawling is another issue.. he isn't anywhere near that yet but I'm not worried about it. He sits on his own, rolls all over the place, and army crawls on his belly to get what he wants. I think crawling is around the corner though because he'll pull up on his knees but not know what to do next so he'll drop down again, hehe. It's only a matter of time before he convinces himself that he's brave enough to start moving. :) My little monster is growing up!! Ahhh!!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Back To Work I Go - And Baby Goes To Daycare

So bittersweet. Well, right now it feels more like bitter. I graduated, got a job as a Family Therapist, and I start tomorrow. I've been counting down the days til I started work, only now to feel so lost as the day approaches. Last week we had a trial run with daycare so that I could be around to run to the rescue if he really was having a tough time. Well, he had a tough time. He cried for 4 hours straight, only taking a nap for 1 hour, then waking up for more crying. I kept calling for updates, and the daycare lady told me that she feels that we spoil him. How she came to that conclusion in only a couple of hours on the first day of watching an 8 month old, I have no clue.

In any event, I told her that he just needed time to adjust and that he's the only baby in our family right now so he gets held a lot. We don't spoil him at our house, but far be it from me to tell his grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins not to hold him when they see or babysit him. Thankfully he started to adjust towards the second half of the day, but it was still a traumatic experience for the both of us.

On top of that, his stridor got worse from all the crying he did. Stridor is "a high pitched sound resulting from turbulent air flow in the upper airway, usually heard on inspiration". He has had this stridor on and off since birth, but his pedi kept saying that it was normal for him, that he was just overly excited, and that we shouldn't worry. So every time he would get upset or very excited, he'd do that gasping/whistling noise. When he calmed down, it would stop. At some point, we though it might be Croup, which is an upper airway infection that can cause the stridor sound. But that turned out to be false since he never seems to have any cold or flu like symptoms along with the noise.

So of course, at daycare (where he probably was the most anxious since he came out of the birth canal), his stridor got really bad. The daycare lady started talking about not wanting to get her business shut down if he stops breathing, and all kinds of malarkey. So, to appease her, we brought him to an Ear Nose and Throat specialist. Turns out, I'm so glad we went because we now have a diagnosis for the noisy breathing. Thankfully it isn't severe, but our baby has mild Laryngomalacia. Laryngomalacia, also known as a "soft larynx", is "a very common condition of infancy, in which the soft, immature cartilage of the upper larynx collapses inward during inhalation." So when he gets excited and takes a deep breathe, the soft larynx fold together causing the whistling. The specialist said that it's genetic so somewhere along the line, myself or my hubby may have had family with the condition. And 95% of all cases correct themselves by 12-18 months of age. So though the daycare lady was a pain in my patoot, at least we now have a name for our little monster's squeaky breathing, and we're glad it's not asthma or anything life threatening.

But besides all of that, tomorrow I start work officially and I won't have the luxury of dropping everything and running to his aide if he is not adjusting well. And I'm a mess. I can't bare for him to be crying for hours again, exacerbating his condition, and just feeling lousy for the next week or two. This morning, I held him during his feeding, and just started bawling because I was picturing his little lip curled downward at daycare, looking around for mama and dadadadada (as he likes to call him). But at least he'll only be at daycare on Mondays and Tuesdays. We're very blessed to have family and friends who are willing to watch him for the rest of the week. So I guess The first two days of the week will be my nail-biting, stressy messy days, and then I'll be able to breathe a sigh of relief once we hit Wednesdays!

Looking back on my time as a stay at home mom, I wish I didn't complain about the lack of sleep, time, or money so much. I was blessed to be able to spend 8 full months with my baby, 24/7. And though it was tiring, I at least was the one who cared for and spent the most time with him. Now he'll be cared for by others more than by his own mother, and that is something I'm still trying to come to grips with. In the long run, I know that this will be the best thing for us since we'll be in a better financial situation and be able to move to a safer, quieter and more spacious apartment/neighborhood. So I guess I'll have to bite the bullet, and hope that things fall into place. For today, I'll just enjoy my pumpkin's first Halloween, and revel in my last day as a stay at home mom. Alas, time is my worst enemy! Pray for me!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cut The Fluff - Week 5

I know, I know, last week I said I was ready to throw in the towel. But this week, I'm more hopeful! Call it more sleep (yes the bambino is sleeping better these days!) Or possibly last week was just some major PMS, but this week I'm feeling like I CAN DO IT. I went to my weight watchers meeting over the weekend, and while I didn't want to weigh in cuz I didn't feel I worked hard enough last week, I felt that I needed to know the truth so I could move on from there. Well to my surprise, I lost about half of a pound. While that may not seem like much to others, it's great for me since I was expecting to see myself gain!

So for this coming week, I will work on tracking my food better, more water, and exercise 3 times this week... for an hour each time!! ::gasp:: I was gonna stick to my 30 minute rule (brought on by laziness) but 3Carrigans had a great post that shed some new light on why it's important to work out for an hour, not just 30 minutes or else you'll just maintain the weight you have on. So I will try doing an hour 3 times this week.

I also met a great woman on twitter, howtoloseit, and she's a Team Beachbody Coach who is motivating me to get these last 25lbs off. Check out her website HERE. Plus, of course my #CutTheFluff girls! So I have a lot of support and will continue on my Quest for a healthier me!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cut The Fluff - Week 4

So I skipped a Cut The Fluff post last week because I had nooooo motivation to eat well or exercise. I just have so much on my plate. I still only get about 4 hours of sleep a night due to the baby's night wakings, and I'm so tired during the day that I can't even focus on remembering to comb my hair half the time, let alone losing all the weight that I want to. And I'm going back to work full time in 2 weeks, so that's an added stress also.

I really am contemplating whether I should take a break from all the weight loss aspirations like @Mommyboots did, as explained in her blog post HERE. I think I'll give it another few weeks though. I'm hoping that once I start working, I'll get into a good routine that will help me stay on track with eating since I'll be busy. A lot of times, I find that my poor eating is a result of being too close to the fridge at home while taking care of my little one LOL. One spoon of food for him, two fork fulls for me! I'm looking forward to not having tons of food readily available to me 24/7. Here's to getting back on track this week. *fingers crossed*

So what are this week's goals?

Goal 1: Stay within daily weight watchers points allowance
Goal 2: Take two walks (no pressure to add a specific amount of time)
Goal 3: Lose 2 lbs

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

We. Need. Friends.

No, no, no, I'm not saying that my husband and I don't have ANY friends and that we're social outcasts. Not at all. But my husband and I have been discussing how becoming parents has made us quite the lonely bunch. Why, you ask? Well most of our friends are not married, and don't have children yet. And the ones that do (in)conveniently live out of state.

So our Saturday nights consist of playing with the baby all day, taking naps when the baby does, eating, watching TV, then playing with the baby some more until he falls asleep. We then of course fall asleep 10 minutes after he does because we're so exhausted from our day (of doing basically nothing at all.) And now that the munchkin is almost 8 months old, he's pretty much past the "newness" phase where everyone wants to come over just to see him. Now we're at a point where people call to hang out, and if we can't find a sitter, the answer is a resounding NO. Aw, maybe next time, they say. Ya, right.

We just haven't been able to find a niche group of young married parents like ourselves to relate to. How much easier (and more fun) it would be to have dinner with another couple with a peanut like ours. The kiddos could play together and the rest of us could have adult conversation. We could feel like "us" again. I wonder if it ever gets better. I guess once our friends start having kids, it will be a little easier. Except now we'll have a toddler running around with no interest in a tiny newborn. :::sigh::: For now I'll stick close to my twitter/babycenter friends and hope that we find some actual bodies to hang out with sometime soon. My twitter name is joonluv630 by the way. :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Don't label me with that number, please!

Today has been a rough day. I looked up my credit score and was NOT pleased, to say the least. My score has shot down 200 points in the past 10 months. Why you ask? Well, it all started in 2008 BEFORE the economic collapse. My husband was in Real Estate full time and I was a full time case worker. I was in grad school part time and knew that if I didn't go full time at some point, I'd be in school for the next 5 years despite being in school already for 2 years thus far. So, not knowing what the future had in store for us, we decided that perhaps we could survive on the one income since my husband was doing extremely well and I also had student loans to cover extra expenses. So I quit. Please know that we didn't make this decision lightly. I sought wise counsel (like the bible teaches) and each person I turned to said that it seemed like a good idea, seeing my husband's income was abundantly flowing, plus we had money saved up, etc.

Who knew that the economy would crash the way it did for the first time in decades? Certainly not us. In any event, we survived for a couple of months, then the housing market slowed down terribly. Let's face it, it didn't slow down, it stopped. Real Estate was NOT the business to be in. And now we had barely 2 nickels to rub together, literally. My husband had to search for a regular 9-5 and I came up preggers. Wow.

I don't even know how we survived, but we managed to keep our basic needs met. (Actually I do know how - God - and God working through our family.) And then my husband found a Customer Service job. Hurray! Things were looking up, and soon our beautiful baby boy was born. Happy happy joy joy! Wait, hold off on the streamers. Six weeks after I gave birth, my husband got laid off. This was even tougher than the first time because we didn't have ANY savings since we were living paycheck to paycheck. Again, we managed. Thankfully, 2 months after that fiasco, he found a great sales job. But by the time he found this job, it had been 2 months of having to forego making payments on certain bills and loans, in order to pay for rent, electricity, the car note, and other basic needs. We did the best we could to survive. Finally I got my degree over the summer and recently found a job as a Family Therapist that starts next month. So there's a light at the end of the tunnel, right? What's the problem?

Unfortunately, though we weathered the storm(s), we are still dealing with the after-shock which is my damaged credit. When we got married, we put most things under my name because my credit was perfect. It was in the mid 700s. But after 10 months of difficult times, my credit is pretty much in the high risk range. Sadly, some accounts are now in collections because of being 60 days or more past due. So the creditors keep calling...and calling...and calling. No matter how hard we try to work with them, we can never seem to catch up for the lost 2 months. And of course they don't care about how perfect my credit was prior to 2009. They all paint me with the same brush - as if everyone who has bad credit MUST be irresponsible. No, it couldn't be due to a rough patch. Of course not.

I feel like screaming to each one of them over the phone, "No I am not bad with money. No I am not a shop-a-holic. No I am not a gambler. No I am not lazy. NO I AM NOT A LOSER, DESPITE WHAT YOU MAY THINK MR. CREDITOR!" But that won't help. I'm sure they've heard it all. I've tried to tell them that we've just come out of the hardest year of our lives and are trying to rebuild. Some are nice about it and some are jerks. But all want their money. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand this because the bible says to owe no man anything but love. I know debt is wrong. We just have had extenuating circumstances that have put us in this situation. Yes, things will get better, and God-willing, 2011 will bring amazing things. BUT today is today. And today is tough. Today it seems like the 6 weeks it'll take to get my first paycheck will be the longest 6 weeks of my life.

Try rocking an overtired baby to sleep while the phone keeps ringing every 30 minutes. Which of course leads to me putting the phone off the hook to get some peace. No, I'm not trying to run away from our debt but I don't know how many different ways I can say that we won't have the extra money to pay everything off until I start working. Period. I guess I can rest on that saying "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger"... hmm.. but that doesn't make me feel any better. I tell ya, it'll be a difficult road trying to put together what has been destroyed, but we can only go up from here. So thankfully, I can at least feel good about that.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Healthy Eating, God's Way

I usually don't put any of the devotionals that I write on this blog, since this blog is geared more towards motherhood, dieting, etc. However, the devotional that I wrote for next week is about healthy eating! So I figured, it would find a place here, at least for the week. :) And since I'm a Christian first above all else, oh well for those who don't agree! ::cheesy grin::

Healthy Eating, God’s Way - October 12, 2010

Key Verse: Daniel 1:16 – So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.

Healthy eating has been a life-long struggle for me. I’ve been up and down when it comes to weight. To show you what I mean – I was a chubby baby, thinned out around age 5, back to chunky at 8, thinned out again around 13, porked out during college, thinned out right after college, back to chubby after getting married and having a baby. What a rollercoaster ride! But thankfully, as I get older, I’m starting to lean more towards just being healthy instead of trying to be a size 8.

When reading the Bible this morning, I came across the story of Daniel. To make a long story short, the king of Babylon took over Jerusalem and ordered that the strongest and most affluent Israelite men were to be brought to him to be trained for his service. Daniel was one of them. During that time, the king ordered that the men be fed the best meat and wine from his palace. Daniel, however, asked that he and his comrades Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, not eat what the others were eating. Daniel 1:8 says, “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.” So the palace food that, in my opinion sounded pretty darn tasty, was considered defilement of the body to Daniel. Wow. That’s definitely not what I’ve been thinking of when the most exciting night of the week for me has been Pizza night.

So God gave Daniel favor with the guards, and they agreed to let Daniel and his boys eat their own food for 10 days. All they ate was vegetables and water. ::GASP:: But guess what happened at the end of the 10 day challenge? They looked healthier and better nourished than the others. That’s just in 10 days! To make things even better, verse 17 says, “To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.” So not only were they healthier physically from the change of diet, but emotionally and spiritually they were healthier as well. This sheds new light on why it’s important for all of us to take care of our bodies (and minds).

Later on we find that Daniel’s healthy eating led to wisdom and God giving him the gift of dream/vision interpretation. This in turn led him to become very close to the king. How might eating healthier change your life today? You may not need to lose weight, but eating healthier will make you feel much better inside and out. Isn't it amazing how even guidelines for healthy eating are in God's Word? Praise God!

Additional Verses:

Daniel 1:19-20: “The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king's service. In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

Monday, October 4, 2010

Are you apart of the 11:11 club?

For the past couple of years, I've noticed that I will look at the clock almost daily at exactly 11:11am or 11:11pm or 1:11pm. (Ooh, I'm looking at the clock at 1:11pm as I type!) And I did a quick Google search about it. Turns out there is a whole 11:11 club out there! Supposedly, there are guardian angels on Earth that use this digial recognition just to let you know that they're around. I don't know how much of that I believe, but it's still an interesting phenomena. People have even written books on this subject. There must be something to it since I had no clue that anyone else but me experienced it until I Googled.

Some other folks believe that it is nothing but our imagination. They believe that we notice other time combinations daily as well but since 9:42 doesn't stick out as much as 11:11, we don't remember it. I don't know if I believe that either. So I'm at the middle ground on the subject. I don't know if I believe that spirits are running around forcing you to look up at 11:11 but I don't believe that it's completely hogwash either. What do you think? Learn more about the 11:11 phenomena HERE!

Cut the Fluff - Week 2

I had a terrible week. blecchh.. I didn't do ANY exercise (what the!) and I didn't track my weight watchers points as closely as I should have. The result? I gained 0.4 lb. ::gasp:: I know it was my own darn fault. I just let life get in the way of my goals. I know it shouldn't be an excuse but the munchkin STILL doesn't sleep through the night so I STILL feel like the walking dead. I can barely keep the house clean and cook dinner, let alone find the energy to work out. But there is light at the end of the tunnel:

Over the weekend, my brother and his girlfriend came over for dinner. His girlfriend brought her world famous SLAMMIN cheesecake. She left the cheesecake here. I brought half to my mom but kept the other half. (naughty, naughty) It then began taunting me from my fridge. I had a slice late last night (more naughty naughty) This morning I woke up, took one look at it (drooling), and threw it out. !!! I can't believe I did that! I have to admit, I felt a bit panicky because I was thinking, What the heck am I doing? Sweet goodness going to waste?!?! But I knew that I'd have another HORRIBLE week if I allowed such a weakness to remain on my back. So that was my triumph, since I've never done that before. I threw away perfectly good cheesecake. (I'm still shaking and twitching from the after effects)

The goals for this week are pretty much the same as last:

1) More fruits and veggies
2) 2 hours of exercise (Lord help me!)
3) Lose 2 lbs
4) Drink 6 glasses of water per day (NEW)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

He's Officially a Belly Sleeper!

Babies grow and change so quickly. It's amazing (and weird) how they'll reach a new milestone over night. Two nights ago, I put the munchkin to bed on his back, like always. Hours later when I went in to check on him, this is what I find:

I couldn't believe it! I was so excited for him but at the same time I was like "aww nuts, he's growing up!" One of my twitter friends @RosesDaughter said that once her Pookah started doing that, he began sleeping through the night. Music to my ears! ...or to my eyes since it's twitter.. oh who cares, the important thing is SLEEP! That has been something I have been lacking for what now will be 7 months come October 1st! Yes he'll have a good week here and there, but for the most part it hasn't been easy. I don't mind the actual wake ups, since I tend to wake up for my own potty breaks throughout the night. It's just that once he's awake, he's AWAKE. He will not go back to sleep for 2 hours. No matter what I try. I'm hoping that the belly sleeping will help that. I did notice that last night, he fell asleep after 1 hour, instead of 2. That was because after changing him, giving him a bottle, and singing to him for a little while, I put him on his belly and pat his back. He fell asleep quicker. Yes! I'm hoping that in the next couple of weeks this will transition to him sleeping all night period. We'll see! But for now, I'm proud of the little guy and can't wait to find out what new milestones are to come!

Monday, September 27, 2010

New Health Challenge - Cut The Fluff Week 1

I'm amped! I'm ready! I have joined a new health challenge! It's called Cut the Fluff and was started with a few lovely twitter friends of mine @RosesDaughter, @mrs_cjones, and @3Carrigans.

My goal is to lose 20 lbs by the new year. I do want to lose more weight than that but losing 20 lbs will get me to a weight where I feel more comfortable and confident in myself, which sadly has been something that I've been lacking since becoming a new mommy. It's weird because though I'm currently at the weight I was before having my little munchkin, it's all proportioned differently. Of course I have a little too much cushion in the belly area.. boo!

In any event, today is the first day of major change! I have to admit, the major challenge will be exercise for me. I tend to do well with my eating, for the most part, but do NO exercise so getting into a healthy exercise regimen will really be tough.

So here are the challenges for the week:

Create a calorie goal and track everything you eat.
- DONE! I'm currently on weight watchers so I have 26 points a day plus 35 flex points a week.
Incorporate fresh fruits and vegetable into as many meals as you can.
- Hmm... I must go to the market today to stock up.
Get in at least 2 hours of exercise this week.
- Uh oh! This is what I was nervous about! Okay, so I'd like to start off with 30 minute cardio, 4x this week.
My Personal Goal - Lose 2 lbs for the week

: Get my hair done (My hair looks like a rats nest)

I'm super excited! If you wanna join in the healthy fun, click on the link 'Cut the Fluff' in the first paragraph to join!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I'm cranky today...why o' why?

Questions For the Little Munchkin:

- Why o' why must you wake up each night at 2:00am and not fall back asleep until 4:30am?

- Why must nap time in our home sound like you're getting open heart surgery WITHOUT anesthesia?

- Why do you like to poopy IMMEDIATELY AFTER mommy just changed you into a fresh, clean, dry diaper?

- Why do you cry three times a night when the binky has fallen out of your mouth, so mommy can trip over slippers, bump into the night stand, and stub her toe on the side of the crib to put one of the four binkies that are laying right by your head, back into your mouth?

- Why must you throw your toys on the floor, watch mommy pick them up & hand them back to you, only for you to throw them back on the floor again and squeal with laughter?

- Why will you ONLY fall asleep to mommy singing "You Are My Sunshine" 24x in a row, and then begin to cry if she stops for a breath of air?

- Why must you "play" with our two cats and bunny rabbit by pulling their tails and grabbing their paws until they run away and hide in terror?

- Why is it such a joy to yank at my earrings, poke at my eyes, sock me in the nose, and stick your whole fist in my mouth?!!

- And lastly, why must you be sooo darn cute while you do each and every one of these things every single day!?!?!?!?!?!

Okay after re-reading this, I feel so much better, hehe. I love the little guy... even if I do look like a war victim after taking care of him all day. :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

My munchkin has croup!

Yesterday morning, the baby was playing like usual in his exersaucer, having a grand ol' time. When all of a sudden he started doing this wheezing/gasping for air noise every so often. At first I though he was just being silly because in the past he sometimes did this when super excited. The sound I'm talking about is if you jump out at someone and yell "Boo", and the other person gasps out loud. It's a scary sound when it's coming from your cute & cuddly 6 month old.

So after about an hour of being frantic I knew I had to bring him to see his pedi. Thankfully our pedi is really good with squeezing us in whenever we feel nervous about something. Of course when we got there, the baby made a liar out of me and didn't make the noise once. His lungs sounded clear and he sat there all smug, playing with his plastic keys. BUT me being Ms. Prepared, and knowing how sneaky my little one can be (tee hee), I videotaped the sounds he was making with my iPhone. ::shakes fists in air with triumph:: So I played it for the pedi and he immediately said that it was something called Croup, which is a viral infection caused by the common cold. It's a swelling around the vocal cords, and is common in infants and children. If it's mild, it'll go away on its own. The munchkin didn't have a fever, just very slight congestion and a cough every once in awhile.

So what were the doctor's orders?

- Keep his Cool Mist Humidifier on at all times
- Lots of fluids
- Steam him up by turning on all the hot water in the bathroom, then sitting with him (outside of the shower) just to inhale the vapors with the door closed
- Keep a close eye on his breathing and temperature

It's Day 2, and so far he still has that wheezing sound (which is actually called Stridor.) I hope this goes away soon. Babies who have a severe case have to go to the ER and get oxygen treatment! :( I tell ya, I'm watching my lovebug like a hawk. Right now he's sleeping comfortably in his bouncer with a blanket and his wooby. What's a wooby you ask? Only his BEST FRIEND.

I guess it's going to be a nice quiet day of us cuddling and loving and babying our little one... and me going nuts disinfecting everything in the house. No relaxed weekend for this mama ::sigh::

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Gratitude Journal

I am thankful for God, my husband, and my baby son.

I am thankful for family members that help us out when our finances get out of wack.

I am thankful that even though I'm desperately searching for a job (and have no bites as of yet) God has been providing for us left and right.

I am thankful that my husband is doing well at his sales job, and actually enjoys what he does.

I am thankful that, for the most part, my baby sleeps through the night.

I am thankful for the funky smell that grows underneath my baby's double chin because I get to make little sniffy noises and say "ewww!", which cracks him up every time.

I am thankful for a handful of close friends that are so loving and caring towards me and my family.

I am thankful for THIS chicken gyro recipe because I made it for dinner tonight and it was a big hit.

I am thankful that the Lord somehow helped me to graduate grad school in the midst of financial woes, pregnancy, birth, a newborn, and many sleepless nights.

I am thankful that my mother always makes herself available to babysit her grandson when mommy and daddy need a much needed rest.

I am thankful that MY grandmother is still alive and well, and also makes herself available to babysit her great-grandson when mommy and daddy need a much needed rest.

I am thankful for our favorite TV Show "Big Brother", which happens to be the only show that I know of that airs new episodes 3 times per week.

I am thankful for the new church that we're interested in attending regularly, which has been making going to church exciting again.

I am thankful that God is so forgiving, and that His mercy and love endures forever. (Read Psalm 136)

Are parents to blame?

Earlier this morning I was on the Baby Center site and was reading a thread on one of the message boards. A woman created a thread about feeling horrible because she felt her step-daughter was evil. She said that the step-daughter had tried to smother her biological daughter with a pillow. She also jerked her 6 month old's arm very hard while in their van. She terrorizes the other children by biting them, hitting them, etc. Because of the chaos that the little girl has brought to the home, this woman told her husband that she didn't feel comfortable with the child in the house and doesn't allow the child to come over anymore. She is willing to bring her husband over to the step-daughter's house, but not have the little girl in her home for fear that she will do something harmful to her other kids. She also mentioned a boat load of other stuff about her husband being a drunk, and not being bonded with his son (the 6 month old).

Immediately pretty much everyone chimed in that this woman was a bad mother and was showing favoritism. That the little girl wasn't the problem, it was her. They said that a 6 year old is incapable of murder. They said that as long as she was being a good mother and watching her children, that nothing would happen. Another member attempted to side with the original poster and say that though the situation is difficult, the safety of the new baby and other children are most important at this time.

I have to say, being in the mental health field, I agree with the one lone poster who was brave enough to speak up. I'm appalled that this woman would be lambasted and told she is a horrible mother because she feels that the step-daughter may do something terrible to harm the other children. Yes, the original poster was out of line by calling the step-daughter "EVIL", however, I can tell you, through studying mental health, all too many times there has been a sibling who killed another sibling, and it was all due to parents ignoring the warning signs and not taking it seriously.

You can be the best parent possible, but you still can't watch your children 24/7. Everyone needs to sleep. Short of locking each child in a separate room, there is no way to completely keep all of your children away from each other. It's like blaming a parent for a child who dies of SIDS. No parent can CONSTANTLY keep watch to make sure that their child is still breathing (though many of us try). Similarly, no parent can CONSTANTLY keep watch to make sure that one 6 year old isn't suffocating another at 2 am when others are asleep. This is why removing the child with the emotional difficulties is the best thing to do. Sorry if this angers people.

Many of the posters said "Well the step-daughter is probably going through a lot because her parents aren't together and she may be jealous of the other children..." Yes this is true, BUT parents are responsible for the well-being of their kids. If one of your children is showing signs of aggression towards others, which is bordering on life-threatening, it is the job of the parents to remove that child from the home immediately - step-child or biological child. Once ALL children are safe, then the parents can now focus on getting the child in question the appropriate therapy, medication, mentoring, etc.

YES a 6 year old CAN kill another child, sadly, they can even kill themselves. Just this past April, a 6 year old in Oregon killed herself after being told she had to go to her room for time-out. This is a sad case but clearly the poor child was mentally unstable. She wrapped a belt around her neck and hung herself from the side of the crib. It is debatable whether she meant to do it, but her parents did report that she had already been caught playing with a belt around her neck before. Either way, these things happen and any form of mental instability should be taken seriously, not brushed off as just "kids being kids". 6 year olds can be mentally disturbed just like adults can.

I just had to sound off about this because in the social service field, I've seen so many children taken away because parents refused to see that one of their children was dangerous and needed to be separated from the others. Separation doesn't have to be final, but death IS. I was hoping to share my opinion in the thread itself, but by the time I got there, they shut it down because it was getting to be a heated argument.

Incidentally, many other members believed that the original poster was a fake or a "Troll" as they call them, and was just writing this to cause chaos on the board. Either way, I think it's an important discussion to have and am disappointed about how many people felt that it was okay to ignore the violent and aggressive behaviors because the child was "going through a lot".

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What's The Deal With Sleep Regression?

I noticed that every month around the time of his monthly birth date, the munchkin has a day or two of horrible sleep. HORRIBLE SLEEP. Two nights ago was one of those times. He woke up at 1am crying and refused to go back to bed until 4:30am. And going back to bed wasn't an easy task either. He didn't go down without a fight! So as I was sitting there trying to figure out what to do, tired, cranky, and frustrated, I decided to do some research on the subject. (The baby was in his bouncer playing with a toy, completely oblivious to the fact that this was NOT play time.)

I found out that many times when babies go through sleep regression, it's because they are about to hit a new developmental milestone. Reading about this definitely made me less cranky and more excited about what new things he'll soon be able to do! Here's a snippet from: Ask Moxie Q&A

"Your baby is going through enormous developmental spurts that you can't see, because they're dealing with cognitive processes. They work through these spurts the same way they work through the physical spurts, but when your baby is practicing recognizing patterns, you can't see that. Leading up to the actual new skill the baby is going to go through several weeks of intense brain work and prep that you can't necessarily see (unless you know specifically what to look for). One of the side effects of this brain work is that they don't sleep as well as they do during times in which they're not about to master a new skill. They may seem restless in the night (like they do sometimes when mastering a physical skill) but it's just nothing you can see and label. So we call it a sleep regression."

Aha! Now that makes sense! The article goes on to say that it usually happens at specifics weeks of age - weeks 5, 8, 12, 19, 26, 37, 46, and 55. Since the munchkin just turned 6 months (24 wks) I guess that explains it since a developmental spurt is coming on at 26 wks. I tell you, Thank God for the internet! This has definitely made me understand what's happening and feel less like my baby will forever have sleep problems. (Ya that's what I really thought for a second.) The article then talks about a great book called The Wonder Weeks by Dutch researchers Hetty Vanderijt and Frans Plooij. This book goes into greater detail about what's going on in our babies little brains the first year and a half of life. If your baby was born earlier than 40 weeks then he'll go through the milestones later. If your baby was born later than the 40 weeks, he'll go through them earlier. We're in the latter group. Baby was born 4 days late.

In any event, I plan on getting that book to keep around the house for those times that I'm frustrated with the little tyke because it'll ease my mind and help me to be more patient knowing that the fussiness is for a reason - a great reason! My munchkin is growing up! ::sniff::

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

H2O September Challenge Begins Tomorrow!

So I've been feeling really sluggish lately, my skin has not been great, and my weight is not where I'd like it to be. I started examining my eating/drinking habits and realized - EUREKA - I do not drink enough water AT ALL. I mean, almost NONE. If I have a glass a day, that warrants a pat on the back.

I thought to myself, So what? Water can't be that important, right? WRONG. I did some research and found out these facts about good ol' H2O:

1) 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.

2) Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

3) A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.

4) Water leads to overall greater health by flushing out wastes and bacteria.

5) Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

6) Water helps to maintain healthy body weight by increasing metabolism and regulating appetite.

7) Water naturally moisturizes skin and ensures proper cellular formation underneath layers of skin to give it a healthy, glowing appearance.

So after learning about these water facts, I decided to start an H2O Challenge! Please feel free to join me out there in bloggy land. I'll be drinking 6 glasses of water a day for the 30 days of September. That's 180 glasses! I know, I know, you may be saying but I thought we have to drink 8-10 glasses? Well I'm going from 1 glass a day to 6 so I think that will be enough of a challenge for now. It'll be tough, but I'm looking forward to all of the benefits. Not only will it help increase my weight loss, but my skin will look better, I'll have more energy to take care of my 6 month old cutie pie, and I'll feel healthier as a whole. So I'm really excited! I even created a ticker for this challenge! Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Our Sears Photo Shoot (proofs)

Our lovebug is 4 days shy of turning 6 months, so we thought that it was the perfect time to have our first family photo shoot! We had a great time. The baby was in a wonderful mood and was all smiles. (I was such a proud mama!) :)

I was surprised that he was so easily directed! All the photographer had to do was call his name and do a little baby talk and he was all gums!

The whole photo shoot was about an hour, and good thing too because he was completely spent after that. He whined for about 15 minutes until he fell asleep in my arms while we were picking out our favorite shots. There were a couple of pictures that I didn't like because of my own shortcomings, but once I saw how cute my son and hubby looked in all of them, I ignored the nonsense and just thanked God for such an amazing gift. What a great day!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Just a quick FYI - podcast coming soon!

The other day, I was creating my bucket list. You know, the list of things I'd like to do before I kick the bucket. Well, one of the things I had on there was to one day create a podcast about marriage, parenthood, and life in general. I kept saying I really wanna start a podcast but would never get around to doing it. FINALLY my hubby gave me a little nudge in the rear end. (I needed it!) He told me that he believed in my vision and that I should get started. And I thought to myself, You know what? He's right! So...

ALERT THE PRESS - In the next couple of weeks, my podcast will be up and running. ::trumpets:: I'm in the process of recording some episodes, and once I have a few of them under my belt, I will be uploading them to iTunes and the rest will be history! So you heard it from the horse's mouth folks! (hmm.. I never really liked that saying, but anyway..) The "Love, Life, and a Baby" podcast will be up and running by the end of September!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Baby Food Revisited

So I tried to make homemade baby food today and it didn't turn out as well as I thought it would. I tried to purée Pears. It was very time consuming and the Pears didn't purée as well as I wanted them to, so they were lumpy when I fed them to the baby. He liked it just the same, but I was nervous with all of the bits and pieces in it. I got some advice from the BabyCenter message boards, and now I won't be steaming the fruit in the microwave, I'll be baking them. It takes longer but they get completely mushy, and it's safer for the baby because I won't be microwaving plastic.

So the task for tomorrow: Pour 1-2 inches of water in a baking dish, cut Pears in half and put them middle side down, bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, then purée in processor.

They're supposed to get really mushy and the baking will release all of the wonderful sweetness, yum! One good thing about Pears is that it has a wonderful effect on my little one's bowels! He was constipated for two days and having 2 ounces of Pear mush loosened everything right up! Nice!!

By the way, if anyone is interested in making homemade baby food, the best site out there is: It not only gives you recipes, but tells you at what age it's safe for your baby to eat which foods. (For instance, around 6 months, the best first foods are Apples, Pears, Avocados, and Bananas) It also answers questions like how to preserve the food, how long it lasts, etc. Great resource!!

ETA: 8/25 - 2:00pm - My homemade Pears Baby Food came out perfect this time! The baking worked wonders! I cut the Pears in half, baked them in 2 inches of water, peeled and chopped them, then puréeed them for 10 seconds with 1/3 cup sterilized water. The results? Creamy, yummy, sweet, goodness! Baby loved them! The two pears I puréed ended up making 4 servings of baby food! (Each serving had about 2 ounces in it.) All in all, I'm glad I didn't give up cuz now that I know what to do, I'm gonna be a purée monster! lol Next week is avocados. Can't wait! They don't have to be steamed first, just very ripe. I'm looking forward to it!

Wow, a bloggy award! Thanks!

So my Blogger/BabyCenter friend, Tricia, gave me a blog award! I feel so honored! Hehe! So now, I have to share seven things about myself and then I pass this award onto nine other bloggers. Er.. I don't have nine other bloggers to share it with I don't think but I'll figure something out. :)

1. I secretly (well not so secret anymore) want to train to run a 5k race. I've always admired marathon runners. The dedication and endurance is amazing! But the furthest I've ran is down the block to catch up to Mr. Softee. Ya I have my work cut out for me.

2. I just learned about Kettle Corn THIS YEAR. How could this gift from God stay hidden from me for so long?! Oh the blissful mix between salty and sweet! And this buttery delight is only 1 weight watchers point per cup! ::faints:: I'm actually typing with one hand right now because the other hand is stuck in a bowl of Kettle Corn - and I'm trying not to butter up the computer keys. (It's not working very well)

3. During my pregnancy, I developed stinky sweaty feet. Ridiculous! It was the wacky hormones, ugh! But the worse part is, the issue hasn't quite left the building yet hehe. It's already been almost 6 months post partum! Gee wiz! I'm always telling the hubby "Break out the foot soak!"

4. Sometimes I dream of Big Macs. This is another thing left over from the pregnancy. When I was pregnant, I had some serious cravings for beef. Beef was the hilight of my day. I ate a Big Mac 3x/week or so towards the end of my third trimester. And every so often I have dreams of little Big Macs dancing on my tongue. Yum yum! In real life I wouldn't dare eat it because it's 13 weight watcher points! Maybe I should somehow plan for it though because my mouth is watering just typing about it! ::wipes laptop down::

5. Okay only one more pregnancy reference. For some reason I have COMPLETELY forgotton the extent of pain that I was in for 30+ hours during labor. Many people say that God wipes the pain away from our memories so we'll do it again. And I'm really starting to believe that's true! A month after delivery, I told hubby that I wouldn't even think of having another kid for at least 5 years because of the pain, healing, etc. Well guess what? Last week I was bargaining with him about TTC (Trying to Conceive) in the next 2 yrs or so. I'd try again in a couple of months if we were financially stable! Crazy huh!

6. I love spas. I love facials, back massages, body wraps, saunas, foot rubs, manicures, pedicures, THE WORKS! I've actually contemplated opening up a spa of my own. After thinking about how much time, effort, and money that will entail, I decided that I'd rather save up $5,000 and create a Spa Room one day when we buy a house. Then I'd hire a massage therapist who would just come twice a week and work on me privately. I can't wait!

7. My hubby and I are thinking of creating our very own podcast about marriage, parenthood, and life in general. I think we both just LOVE to hear ourselves talk that this would be the perfect hobby for us to satisfy that craving. I'll keep everyone updated when we finally get things off the ground. :)

Okay so here are the blogs that I feel deserve this award. Check 'em out when you can!


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Weight Watchers has called me back home!

BabProject - Week 10 (I think) - So I skipped on writing two weeks worth of BabProject (Body After Baby Project) posts. Sorry! it was basically because I was down on myself for doing so poorly and not having anything positive to report. But now, I am on top of the world! I decided to re-join Weight Watchers, and that was the best decision ever. I was reluctant to do it before because of money issues, but the day I went online to join, there was a deal where registration was only $1. So I had to do it!

So far I'm doing really well. In two weeks, I've lost 5 lbs! That is awesome because I was at a stale mate for about a month since I stopped breastfeeding and wasn't really burning any extra calories. But for some reason, there is something about the weekly meetings that motivates me every time. I guess it's just the idea of getting weighed in and seeing in my little booklet the progress (or lack thereof) that drives me. And some may say "well maybe you'll end up not going all together to avoid weigh ins." For me, that's not an option because We're already on a tight budget, and we're paying $40/month for me to do this, so it's important that I use every last dime's worth by going each week.

Months before we conceived, I joined Weight Watchers for the first time, and lost about 15 lbs. Then I got pregnant, cancelled my membership, and quickly became a member of the "wacky cravings club". So back I go, to the wonderful home I call Weight Watchers. I can't wait to see how much weight I can lose this time around. My goal is to lose another 20 lbs by the new Year. That's 5 lbs per month. I already reached this month's goal of 5 lbs, hopefully I can keep it up. Eventually I want to get into working out again. I'm still so exhuasted for some reason - oh wait, I know why, it's called "my little munchkin gets my head spinning". So thinking of going on my stair master for even 15 minutes makes me yawn and want to curl up under the covers with a good book. We'll see what happens. I'm going to try to go as long as I can with just counting points LOL and around the time I start to get to a plateau, I'll pull out the big guns and start working out 3x/week. Hey, I'm being real with myself. No use making all these goals when I know that right now I don't have any intentions of keeping the exercise one. But the counting points I can do, and so far I've been doing that well! So exciting!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ahh, the Joys of Baby Food!

My little munchkin is almost 6 months old already! Whoa, where did the time go! He is so fun to be around now. He has a great personality and will get people's attention in the elevator, at the park, anywhere you can think of! Ya, he can be a pain in the patoot sometimes, but then he'll give this adorable gummy grin and I melt all over again!

And what's even more fun - He began solid baby food! He's been having rice cereal mixed with formula for about 6 weeks now, but last week we tried some apple sauce and BOY DID HE LOVE IT. We made sure to get the Mott's natural organic no sugar added brand, and started him off with a tablespoon. Well this little foodie began crying when the applesauce was done so we had to give him more hehe. (Just like his mama!)

The doc said that we can introduce one new baby food each week. So next week I decided to make my own Pear baby food. We got a baby food processer as a baby shower gift so I figure why not try to put it to good use. This is the recipe I found:

Homemade Pear Mash

1 ripe pear
Rice Cereal (optional)

1. Peel and de-seed a fully ripened pear
2. Cut into chunks
3. Steam pear chunks on the stove or use ziploc microwave steamer bags for 3-5 min.
4. Puree pear chunks
5. Add rice cereal (if desired) to thicken up.
6. Serve at room temperature
7. Freeze leftovers in ice-tray (if making a big batch)

I can't wait to try it! I will definitely be using the ziploc baggies to steam the pears because I do not trust myself trying to figure out whether they are steamed enough or burnt. I hear that its pretty easy to make your own baby food because as long as you can steam them properly and puree them down to mush, you can feed your baby any of the stage 1 foods. So this is the order of how I plan on introducing foods:

Week 1 - Applesauce (complete!)
Week 2 - Pears
Week 3 - Avocado
Week 4 - Bananas
Week 5 - Carrots
Week 6 - Sweet Potatoes

I'll blog about our progress, and will put up some baby food eating pics! That should be interesting LOL

Monday, August 2, 2010

So I fell back on my diet but a new plan arises!

BABProject - Week 7 - So I skipped a blog entry for BABProject last week. I guess I was really busy between taking care of baby and my internship. But truth be told, it probably was because I had such a huge set back with my diet that I was too depressed to even write about it. I actually gained all the weight back that I lost 2 weeks ago. It's very discouraging! It takes less than half the time to gain weight than it does to lose it. Part of it is that Aunt Flow is rearing her ugly head once again so I'm sure it's water weight and all that jazz. But it's still annoying to see that number on the scale.

The good news is, I've decided to go back to a macrobiotic way of eating. Macrobiotics "from "macro" (large) and "bios" (life), is a dietary regimen that involves eating grains as a staple food supplemented with other foodstuffs such as vegetables and beans, and avoiding the use of highly processed or refined foods." It's a Japanese inspired way of eating. My hubby and I started eating this way while trying to conceive last year and lost 10 lbs each, as well as had a lot of energy, and ended up making a baby so I guess it works! I am re-reading this book "The Hip-Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics" and it talks about how eating a balanced diet of yin and yang foods will make you feel better physically and emotionally, as well as allow your body to drop weight naturally. The author,Jessica Porter, lost 50 lbs without starving herself. She just changed what she ate, as well as the combination of things she ate. To learn more about Macro eating, click on: Macrobiotics.

So my new goal for this week is:

Drink 6-8 glasses of water per day
Get back into Macro eating
Exercise 3 times
Lose 2 lbs

My reward will be to get the new makeup that I've been wanting for weeks! :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Twitter lingo says it best - major #diet #fail

BABProject - Week 5 - I seem to be on a rollercoaster ride when it comes to my eating. I had an amazing week the week before last. I lost 4 lbs and was feeling great. Last week, I fell off the bandwagon. My emotional eating got the best of me. When we stress over finances, or future plans to move into a bigger place, I tend to grab naughty snacks to indulge in. Ya, ya, ya, I know about the stocking up the cupboard with healthy stuff but it's more than just reaching to the closest thing near me.

If I'm really feeling crummy, I'll go out of my way to drive over to the nearest burger king for a whopper jr. It doesn't help that my hubby is right along w/ me. Friday night he begged for me to get him some KFC. I was proud of myself for not getting anything for myself, but guess who was picking at his food over his shoulder? I ate the biscuit, half of a fried chicken breast, and half of the box of potato wedges. What the! And it happened so gradually that I didn't even realize what I was doing til it was too late!

And the rest of the weekend unfolded pretty much the same. All I can do is start things up again and hopefully pick up where I left off two weeks ago. Here's some NEW motivation for me: On August 7th, my girlfriends wanna go to Splish Splash, which is a water park in NY. Talk about fear out of my mind! Who wants to be walking around in bright sunshine with a roley poley belly all over the place?? NOT ME! So I would love to at least lose 6 lbs in the next three weeks. That may not be much but it'll do wonders for my self-esteem that day. That, plus a great black bathing suit with shorts that cover the badunkadunk and I'll be set!

Since I didn't reach my goal last week, I don't get the new make up (sob!) But this weeks goals are:

1) Exercise 4 times
2) Eat well
3) Lose 2 lbs

Reward: New Makeup! (I really need it!)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lesson Learned: When he's ready, he's ready

My munchkin is so fun to be around! I would have to say that month 4 is the funnest month of being a mommy. Of course, I've heard time and time again that it gets better and better every month, so I can't wait to see what's in store. He sleeps longer at night, he's awake longer during the day, he plays, he's starting to roll, he laughs, he babbles, and is such a little character. It's funny because just 3 weeks ago, he was waking up countless times during the night, wanting to stay up and play. And I was really getting exhausted and frustrated. I tried so many things: schedules, feeding techniques, swaddling, no swaddling, binky, no binky, cereal in bottle, cereal by spoon, no cereal at all.. you name it - I tried it. And no matter what I did, baby still woke up throughout the night, time and time again.

But guess what? Right when I resigned myself to the fact that I would have luggage underneath my eyes for the rest of my life, he turned 4 months old. And he has been sleeping 9 hours a night every since. Crazy! It had nothing to do with what I was trying. And it definitely was a great lesson. We can't control our children. Even now, they depend so much on us to live, yet they are their own little beings with likes, dislikes, attitudes, sleep patterns, etc. All we can do is guide them in the right direction, and hope it sticks.

That is one piece of info I would definitely pass on to other new mommies. Every baby is different and what works for one may not work at all for another. The milestones they reach are completely up to them. This mama won't question it - just enjoy it. Sleep! Thank God for sleep! And thank God for my lovely little family! :)

Two steps forward, One step back

Boo! I weighed myself today and gained 2 lbs back from the 4 lbs I lost last week. I don't get it. I'm doing the same thing as last week! This time I've increased the working out to 4 times, and still stay within my calorie range. Okay wait.. the only thing I can think of is that I haven't been drinking as much water as I did last week. Also, even though I am staying within the appropriate calorie range, more of the calories this week are carbs, than last week. ... ok so maybe this week isn't exactly the same. But still!

It stinks that my body seems to react so viciously to carbs. God forbid I have mashed potatoes with my chicken instead of string beans and salad.. forget it, my body goes bonkers. This week I figured that I would keep under 1700 calories, but see if I could incorporate more of the food that I actually like. Sadly, the experiment didn't quite work. I really don't know how this will be a long term lifestyle then. Because I can't swear off completely from having an occasional potato, slice of bread, or even pasta. Will all of my hard work always get sabotaged unless I forever eat leaves and twigs??

I choose to believe that because I'm increasing my exercise, I'm gaining muscle. Whether I'm delusional or not, that has yet to be determined. For the rest of the week I'm going to go back to drinking 6 glasses of water a day, and hopefully by my Monday morning weigh in, the scale will be kinder. *fingers crossed*

Monday, July 12, 2010

Diet Success!

BABproject Week 4 - I had a great weight loss week last week! Finally! I worked out 3 times - 30 minutes each time. I also decreased the empty carbs I had been eating, and stayed within an appropriate calorie range. The result? I lost 4 lbs!

This really has motivated me to keep on going, and makes me feel that my weight loss goals are reachable. I have no idea what clicked this week LOL But being a part of the the BABproject definitely helped because the gals have been really encouraging on twitter. I also did NOT want to have another sob story post on here about how I didn't reach my goal. Phew!! I also think the exercising, as well as the low carb kicked things into gear.

Now I can get myself a pedicure! (Thank God cuz if you got a good look at these little piggies o' mine, you'd get me a pedicure even if I gained this week hehe)

This week's goals:

1) Continue with the low carb, 1600-1700 cal eating plan
2) Increase my exercise to 4 times this week

Reward: I can purchase a new make-up item (woo hoo!)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Family - Not what it's cracked up to be..

What is it about a new baby that makes grandparents (and yes even great grandparents) go completely insane? It's been a rough couple of days because my mother and I have not been talking due to excessive meddling from her and my grandmother. It doesn't help that they babysit my son 3 times a week so I can finish up the internship weeks that I missed during maternity leave and finally get my degree mailed to me.

The major argument was that the pediatrician said that the baby should be eating every 4 hours because he is a little overweight, and he needs to learn how to be able to eat at appropriate times. He's 4 months right now, so this is the time when it's important to start helping him have a more normal eating/sleeping pattern. Well, I've explained this to my mom and grandmother a number of times and they continue to belittle this and say that they've raised kids for years and pediatricians don't know everything.

So they proceed to feed him at their own schedule (which is pretty much as soon as the poor kid starts crying), as opposed to respecting what my husband and I have requested. I've tried to ask nicely, I've tried to send articles to my mom about grandparents having to respect boundaries, but to be honest, earlier this week I was at my wits end. I came back from my internship to find my grandmother feeding the baby about an hour and a half sooner than was necessary. I just blew up. It didn't help that I had about 3.5 hours of sleep that night since the little tyke still doesn't sleep through the night. Needless to say, I became the bad guy, and everyone pretty much came against me (including my brother which pissed me off, but that's a whole other story) saying that I shouldn't have yelled at them, I was out of line, etc.

My husband, trying to make things better, called my mom that night and tried to calmly ask her to please respect our guidelines for the baby and that we love them and know they love our son, but it's important that they realize that we are the authority figures when it comes to him. Well my mom was NOT having that. Considering our family is filled with a plethora of strong-willed women and spineless men, she was not used to a man sticking up for himself. She then told my husband that she did not care about watching our son, she was just doing it as a favor (which is not totally true), what does he know because he runs away whenever the baby cries (which is also not true.. not anymore anyways), and that she didn't care what he or I said, if the baby was under her roof, he would be taken care of the way she deemed fit. Wha?! I'm so proud of my husband for not letting her have it because I would have, but he wanted to be respectful (though he was seething inside).

The problem is, the situation goes deeper than a feeding schedule. It's about the lack of respect that we get from our family. I'm 28 and my husband will be 30 in a couple of months, yet we're treated like children. Always. Everytime I ask them to do, or not to do something in regards to my son, they scoff at it, saying that they know how to take care of babies, and that whatever I'm asking is silly. We've had arguments over when to start solid foods (They were trying to force me to feed the baby rice cereal at 8 weeks old!) We've had arguments over when to allow him to drink water, etc. By the way, just to let you know what I'm up against, my grandmother once refused to EVER watch our son again unless we followed her rules of feeding him cereal. So that's the craziness that's happening over there. Yup.

Anyway, it's been this constant back and forth, struggle, and it just came to a head. Though I miss talking to my mom, this had to be nipped in the bud. My husband brought up a great point to her. What happens when the baby is now 5 years old and we tell him that he's not allowed to eat candy, or watch something on TV because he misbehaved, but when he goes to grandma's he's allowed to do what he wants? That's undermining to us, and confusing to the kid.

Not to mention that for the past couple of months, I've gotten very little more than discouragement from them all. If it's not a snarky remark about my weight, it's a comment about how my house is not clean enough for a baby, or how I'm not bathing him enough (despite doctor's orders of only 2x/week due to bad eczema). It goes on and on. Why not have a little grace? Why not show some understanding that I'm a first time mom who still gets less than 5 hours a sleep every night, who busted my butt to finish up graduate school, who now is looking for a full time job to help support our family, I mean c'mon!

For once I would love to hear "Hey, you're doing an amazing job." I don't even remember the last time I heard that. Except from my husband and my friends. And speaking of friends, the scripture is sooo spot on that says, "A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." (Proverbs 18:24) I have had more encouragement from friends (some friends that I have not even met in person, can you believe it??) than I have from my own family. Yes my family helps out with babysitting, yes my mom helps out financially when we're in a bind, but many times going over to their house is emotionally draining.

I wish I could express that to them, without being yelled at for being "silly" or "overly sensitive". At this point, all I can do is focus on God, my NEW family (me, hubby, and baby) and enjoy all that life has in store for us. I've been mulling over this family issue for the past two days now, and it really has done nothing more than give me indigestion. I have to remember, the bible says, "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" (Matthew 6:27) Worrying about this family issue will not change the situation. I can work on myself, and eventually apologize for shouting at them, and what they do in return is up to them. I have Jesus, and I have tons of other people in my life that lift me up instead of tear me down. And I thank the Lord for that, big time!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Oh, What a Mixed Bag of Nuts am I!

Sometimes my head feels like a mixed bag of nuts. Being a new mom has been incredibly wonderful/emotional/scary/exciting and my opinions about my life change depending on what day or time you ask me. My son is 4 months old now and time seems to be flying by! (Note to baby: Don't grow so fast please!)

Over the past couple of months, I became a new mom, my husband lost his job, he then found a new job, I graduated with a Master's of Science in Mental Health Counseling, and as of now I'm trying to figure out where I fit in the grand scheme of things. I was hoping to stay at home with the bambino until he was at least a year old but God has a different plan, it seems. My husband earns enough for us to survive (barely) where we're at, but doesn't afford us to do the things we've been hoping for such as move to another apartment in a quieter, safer neighborhood for our son, and start to save up for our dream home.

So I've been having mixed feelings. I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place. If I choose not to work until the baby turns 1, we'll have to re-sign the lease and our goal of having a better life for him would be squashed. (Did I mention that we only have one bedroom? So by that time he'll be a toddler , and a toddler sleeping in our room will. be. chaos.) But if I choose to get a full time job at the end of the summer so we can have two incomes and start working towards our plans, then I feel like I'll miss out on some major milestones that my pumpkin will go through.

I have this fear that I'm going to hear from my mom or a day care worker that baby said his first word. Or took his first step. But where was mama? Out in the rat race unfortunately. I mean, I always knew that I'd eventually go back to work because I worked so hard for my Degrees and really want to help people with emotional difficulties. I even want to own my own practice one day. So yes, there are a number of things that are a part of my life goals that I would love to fulfill - but one little 16 pound chunky monkey has me all sorts of confused.

I try not to speak with my husband too much about it because he ends up feeling bad that he can't be the "ideal breadwinner" that he thinks he's supposed to be. But the fact is, this isn't the 1950s. We live in NY, the economy sucks, and we're both 20 somethings just trying to live and love life to the best of our ability. I mean, we're in this together so I don't feel any resentment towards him at all. I just wish that maybe we lived in a different state, where rent wasn't $1200/month minus utilities. Ahh well.

I think I know what I have to do, but it still makes me sad at times. I'm sure I'll feel differently once we're more comfortable financially and I'm decorating our new place and moving all of baby's toys into his very own room. But for now I'm going to continue being a mixed bag of nuts and enjoy every last moment being a stay at home mom. It's amazing how time can be your best friend and your worst enemy, all at once. Go figure.

It feels like Groundhog's Day.

BABproject - Week 3 - Remember that movie Groundhog's day? Remember how the main character kept waking up and doing the same things over and over again? OMG. That's me. I had major intentions to workout last week but guess who came to town for the first time since before I got preggers? AUNT FLOW. I hadn't seen the wench for over a year and I did not miss her one bit. But alas, she showed up less than two weeks after I stopped nursing. Bah.

In any event, when Aunt Flow is around, especially this being the first time she came in a long time, I did not have any motivation to move when I felt so bloated. so crampy. so icky. So exercise was a big fat zero last week.

But I did pretty well with my eating. As a matter of fact, around Friday I weighed myself and was actually down 2 lbs! But hold your applause everyone. Yesterday, July 4th, I made probably 2 bad food choices and this morning I weighed the same as last week. Talk about discouraging! I did a full week of eating great and one day where I decided to have two buttermilk biscuits and a regular coke, it all came creeping back.

I'm thinking that I may need to start a low carb type of eating plan because when I eat any bad carb, even in the littlest increment, it sticks to me. But in the past when I stuck to eating good carbs like veggies, along with poultry, fish, and a little fruit, weight came off quicker... The only problem was, yet again, if decided to have a treat like a small piece of cake, there goes the scale dial again. Gee wiz!

In any event, I'm glad Aunt Flow has left town so I feel more energetic and will try AGAIN. New goals though:

Goal #1 - Stick to a low carb type of diet plan for one week.

Goal #2 - Take a multivitamin and green tea capsule each day for one week. (I need the energy!)

Yup, that's right, if I finally reach my goals this week, I'll get a pedicure. My feet need it bad! This is why I put a reward for such a small amount of time (in case anyone was wondering) because it's so hard for me to reach even that! LOL Ahh well! Here's to another week of trying! At least I'm still motivated to try! Thanks BABproject!! :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Birthday Fun and Back on Track! (week 2-BABproject)

Today is my 28th birthday! I did a ton of celebrating this weekend... which included some unhealthy food choices. I also was doing some emotional eating earlier in the week so my first week in the BABproject wasn't so successful. But the good news is, I'm back on track and have resolved to be in a MUCH healthier state this time next year. It kinda feels good to start things off on my birthday. It's like turning over a new leaf!

Yesterday I stayed within my calorie limit and I also did 30 minutes on my Cardio Twister. I plan on doing the same today. I'm hoping to do some form of exercise for 30 minutes, 5x/wk. But since I didn't reach my goal last week, it remains the same:

GOAL #1 -If i can stick to my calorie limit for a whole week, I get a pedicure! Woo hoo!

Conclusion: No change in stats this week, BUT I am a lot more optimistic that by next week I'll reach my goal AND lose a pound or two. :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

I'm a part of the BAB Project!

Hey! I came across this blog: Hope Springs Eternal where this lovely woman put together something called the BAB Project which is the Body After Baby Project. It's a way for mothers to keep each other motivated and accountable with losing weight after having a baby. I'm so excited because I really need the motivation. The first bunch of weight fell off like butter, but I have about 15-20 lbs that is extremly stubborn. Plus, as many of you moms out there know, taking care of a baby all day is exhausting!! After taking care of my son, cleaning up a bit, and making dinner for my family, I'm about ready to drop into a puddle at the end of the day!

But now that I've found the BAB Project, I think I'll be more likely to make an effort to get healthy! We have to post our progress every Monday, so I at least will have motivation to reach even small goals by the end of the week so I can post by Monday.

I was reluctant to do this, but here is my current picture (which is my BEFORE):

That photo is very depressing! But I'm motivated to make a change. My next photo will be updated in one month.

This week's small goal is to stick to 1800 calories per day. If I can do that for the next 7 days, my reward will be to get a pedicure! I also will be working out also, but I don't want to add that to my first small goal because if I put too much on myself, I usually don't stick to it, then I feel bad about myself and have pizza and brownies! (Big no no!) So it will be small goals that I will add on to as I progress. Here's to gettin thin by the end of the summer! Woo hoo!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Are there any REAL Work From Home positions out there?!

My little pumpkin is 10 weeks old and things are finally starting to normalize. Praise God! We have a pretty good schedule going. He wakes up at 5am, he gets fed, then goes back to bed for another 2 hrs (which makes mommy happy). Then we start our day with a ton of mini naps, play time, and mommy trying to clean, cook, and do research for my internship. By 10pm, he has his last feeding, and is put to bed. Don't wanna jinx myself but he's been sleeping through the night, woo hoo! Every once in awhile he gets up at 2am, but for the past 2 weeks, he's mostly been sleeping from 10pm-5am.

Though the past two months have been wonderful because of the munchkin, it's been extra stressful as well. My hubby lost his job 6 weeks ago and we've been barely surviving ever since. He's gone on 4 or 5 interviews and hasen't gotten any of them. It's really starting to bum us out. And the thing is, I would definitely be out working myself if it wasn't for the fact that I have to finish up my internship hours by August to officially get my degree. So I'm kinda stuck.

This is what led me to try to do research on reputable "work from home" jobs. I know I know, everyone says that it's impossible to find a real work from home job. But I've been doing research and this is what I found out from ppl who are doing it themselves:

1) - It's a forum where ppl come online and talk about what jobs they've tried, what worked, and what were scams.

2) - hires salespeople and licensed agents for both health and life insurance.

3) - recruits agents with specialized language skills.

4) - offers a list of 200 companies that offer "direct seller" jobs, kinda like Avon or Pampered Chef.

The one I'm currently pursuing is It's a service where you can text "chacha" which is 242242 and ask any question you can think of and they send you an answer in 3 minutes or less. Apparently the ppl who are answering you are ppl sittin at home in their undies searching the net for you LOL So I took two tests and I'm waiting for an answer on whether I can be one of the "underwear answering ppl" :) You have to be really good with internet searching and fast typing skills. And you get $.20 per question. They say if you do a question every 3 minutes, you make about $6/hr. If I could do that for 3 hrs a day, 6 days a week, that would be a nice little chunk of change to pay a bill or two. We shall see!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Baby Weight Be Gone!

It's taken me six weeks to finally get a chance to write a new blog post. Being a mommy is hard work! I definitely have had it rough between sleepless nights, no time to myself, or alone time with my hubby. And even getting a chance to take a shower is a luxury. But with all the overwhelming craziness, it's still the best job in the world and I wouldn't trade it for anything else!

And finally, at six weeks old, my little munchkin is starting to sleep longer which gives me more time to do things for myself...such as blog! :) So today's blog will be about my BABY WEIGHT.. ahh!!! I gained 30 lbs during my pregnancy and thankfully, due to breastfeeding,I lost 20 of them in the first 4 weeks. But now, I have the stubborn last 10 lbs that will not budge. It's probably because I've kept some of my naughty pregnancy eating habits, and that can only lead to disaster. I already felt like losing weight prior to getting pregnant so I actually want to lose about 20 lbs at this point. SO I decided to start THE SOUTH BEACH DIET tomorrow! Woo hoo! I usually am a Weight Watchers kinda gal but when I want to lose a bunch of weight, I have to do more of a restrictive type of diet first, then switch over to something that will help me maintain it.

So since carbs are my biggest obsession, I figure it's best to try to go cold turkey to release the hold it has on my life! For two weeks I'll be in PHASE ONE which is the strictest part of the diet. I'll be able to have beef, turkey, chicken, fish, tofu, eggs, low fat cheese, and all the veggies I want. I will NOT be able to have sugar at all (not even fruit b/c of the sugar in them), and no bad carbs such as white bread, pasta, or even potatoes! Yikes! I'll update my blog with my results but I'm sure I'll be a cranky little monster by day 3.

I just want to make sure that I do it in a healthy way because I'm still breastfeeding and I don't want it to affect my milk production. So I'll be drinking tons of water, and eating six times a day... just healthy food instead of my usual coke and hoagie meal plan. Is it bad that I feel like today is my last day of sanity so I'm shoveling food into my pie hole as I type? I have been eating like a bear going into hibernation. It's really quite sad, but I figure I want to get my fill of tasty treats before I say goodbye. *cut to Boyz II Men song* - "It's so haaarrdd, to say goodbyyeee, to yesterdaayyyyyyy.. oooooh!!" God help me...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Michael Aaron Jr. - Here at last! (Part II)

Here's the conclusion of my birth story!!

5 am Monday morning (Mar. 1)-
I had now been in labor for 23 hours... and I was spent. I mean I was seriously at the point where I couldn't talk through contractions, and in between contractions I just wanted to sit still and focus. That's when we knew I was in active labor. So off to the hospital we went! Btw, the ride there was horrendous... every bump made my cervix and uterus angry lol And they made sure I knew it!

6 am - I was checked and was 4 centimeters dilated. Now everyone in that room seemed to be excited... EXCEPT FOR ME. All I kept thinking was that I was in labor for this long already and still only 4 centimeters?! I was expecting 8 by this time and with this intensity of pain! Oh but wait... the pain got worse.

7am - 3 pm - This was the highest level of pain I have ever been through in my life. At this point I was completely confused. I didn't know what time it was, who's voices I was hearing, I mean I was completely in the zone. My L&D room was dark, and there was Christian music playing on the boom box in the background... the songs I had chosen weeks earlier to help me through this experience. Every so often I would hear nurses come in and say how impressed they were with me and how they couldn't do it, etc. etc. My hubs kept with the positive affirmations and our doula gave us direction with walking the hospital halls, sqautting to bring the baby down into the birth canal, and telling me that I could do it everytime I cried and said I couldn't. (I tell ya, hiring a doula was really the best thing we did since we were so gung ho about having a natural child birth! I just know that I would have given up after like 4 hours if she wasn't there.)

I just realized that I have been saying that I was in labor for 29 hours, but now that I'm re-counting, It was more like 33 or more! I experienced 33 hours medication free.. and the rest - well let me explain: Well ladies and gents... around 3 pm, I was checked again and was ready to hear that I was 10 centimeters and ready to push... what did the doc tell me? 6 centimeters... $%&%&#$!!! At that point I broke down and cried in front of the doc, the nurses, everyone. I tell you hearing that number really broke me down. I totally would have been able to have a FULLY natural child birth if labor ended at like, I don't know, say hour 20... but 30+ hours later my body (and sadly my mind) had completely given up.

4 pm - It was at this faithful hour that I turned to my hubs and said our code word for pain meds - PEANUT BUTTER. As soon as he heard it, he ran like crazy to get the nurses... and a short time after that the epidural was administered.

Initially I was a little heartbroken about my decision. Though I was now pain free, I cried and kept asking my hubby and our doula whether they were disappointed in me. Of course they said that they were super proud of me and that I was like a serious warrior for enduring all that I had. After I did a little grieving for the birth story I was hoping for, I focused on having a healthy baby and avoiding the main concern which was a C-section.

6pm - I dilated from 6 cm to 10 cm and was ready to push! Hip Hip Hurray! Our nurse's shift was over but she had gotten so attached to us and our story that she stayed on for the extra time to be present when Mikey came into this world.

The pushing was nuts! The pressure was serious, and my epi was wearing off so I actually started to feel the contractions again! But that was okay because with pushing, I had a purpose, and I was ready to meet our little guy FINALLY! At 6:53pm Michael Aaron Jr. was born! At the final push, he came flying out (according to my hubby hehe, projectile baby!) and he came out crying! When they placed him on my belly, it was the most amazing thing that I have ever experienced in my life. All the pain was washed away, everything I endured was totally worth it when I looked into his cute face. I was bawling and so was my hubby. It was truly a miracle!

Now I'm sitting here and looking over at my little one.. completely and utterly in love. Ya he doesn't do much as of yet - eat, sleep, poop, and cry - but in just a week, he has brought so much joy into our lives. Joy that we had no clue about before his arrival. Staring into his face, it brings to mind the verse that I would say to myself throughout the pregnancy: 2 Corinthians 9:15 "Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" God is sooo good and we are so blessed to have Mikey in our lives! We love him dearly and couldn't ask for anything more!