Monday, September 29, 2008

Las Vegas Placeholder

Vegas was a ton of fun and just what the doctor ordered. For all of us, I think. We spent some time at the spa on Saturday morning and all of my stress that lived in my shoulders is gone for now. I know that it will be back very soon, but this is expected to be a good week at work so I think my stress levels will stay low for at least a few more days.

We packed a lot of fun into about 53 hours which means that we didn't sleep much. And I am still pretty tired. So even though I promised to spend some time writing about the trip as soon as I got home, that just isn't going to happen. I overestimated the amount of sleep I thought I would get. I actually got about 4 hours less a night than I normally do.

The good news is that I came home with a little money thanks to a good poker game and some luck at the slot machines. The bad news is that dance class didn't go well at all while I was gone and I think we are done with it for now.

Will post more as soon as I can voluntarily keep my eyes open past 8pm.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Off to Vegas

I am leaving for Sin City tomorrow morning. I will be sure to post about the weekend on Sunday night when I get home. I am looking forward to finding out how Matt handles the kids alone for the weekend. He has the football game on Saturday so he won't really have them both very much. The hardest part will really be Friday after work and Saturday before the game. I can't wait to find out how our little dancer does this week.

Have a great weekend and I will be sure to post on Sunday!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm Going To Say Thanks, but No Thanks

When I was pregnant with Avery we attended several classes to get ready to bring her home. They were the run-of-the-mill prep classes that just about every new parent takes so I won't bore you with the details. But in our nursing class, one of the pieces of advice caused a great deal of discussion between Matt and me. It was when the instructor suggested that both mother and father taste a small amount of breast milk so that we would know later when an expressed bottle was spoiled. 

Matt wanted nothing to do with that.

For me, I totally understood the reasoning and it made good sense. Besides, she wasn't suggesting that we grab a bag of Oreos and a glass of breast milk and watch a movie. She simply said to place a small amount on our finger and taste it so that we know what it is supposed to taste like in a bottle. I didn't see the big deal. 

(and I am not ashamed to say that I followed the advice, which actually did come in handy because there were several times that I wondered if we had kept the expressed milk in the refrigerator too long)

Matt just couldn't even believe she would suggest that and he was not going to have anything to do with tasting breast milk. He just thought it was the most disgusting thing ever. 

Please don't get me wrong; he is 100% supportive of nursing the kids. He couldn't be a better partner when it comes to making sure they get mother's milk for 1 year. Just don't ask him to test the milk to see if it is good or not. I'm sure there are a lot of other men out there that feel the same. They probably just haven't had the opportunity to share these feelings because the subject has never really come up. 

Until now.

Because today I saw this story online and I thought of all the business that Ben & Jerry's would lose if they actually took PETA's request seriously. Here is the story.


Vermont-- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sent a letter to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, cofounders of Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc., urging them to replace cow's milk they use in their ice cream products with human breast milk, according to the statement recently released by a PETA spokesperson.

"PETA's request comes in the wake of news reports that a Swiss restaurant owner will begin purchasing breast milk from nursing mothers and substituting breast milk for 75% of the cow's milk in the food he serves."

PETA officials say a move to human breast milk would lessen the suffering of dairy cows and their babies on factory farms and benefit human health.

"The fact that human adults consume huge quantities of dairy products made from milk that was meant for a baby cow just doesn't make sense," says PETA Executive VP Tracy Reiman. "Everyone knows that 'the breast is best,' so Ben & Jerry's could do consumers and cows a big favor by making the switch to breast milk."

In a statement Ben and Jerry said, "We applaud PETA's novel approach to bringing attention to an issue, but we believe a mother's milk is best used for her child."

Can you even imagine? I am going to thank Ben and Jerry the next time I eat some Phish Food. I am sure Matt will do the same.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Yeah, um, So Far Ballet Class Sucks

Let me start by saying that my (evil) neighbor is attempting to teach Avery to say "No Obama!" which is going to get him into some big trouble. She goes around saying "vote for Obama" all the time and one freaking evening with Sampie has changed her mind. grrr. 

Ok, so we attempted ballet class again on Saturday morning. This time our strategy was to have Matt take her in the hopes that she wouldn't be as clingy to him. She is apparently much smarter than we are. She made sure that Matt stayed in the dance studio with her rather than going out in the waiting area with the other parents. The teacher tried to entice her with a wand. She placed it on the floor by all the other kids and told Avery that she could come get the wand and join the group when she was ready. Then the teacher made the mistake of turning around and walking away. At that point, Avery turned to Matt and said, "I want that wand!" and then ran up to the group, grabbed the wand from the floor, and then ran back to Matt as fast as possible. She's good. We need to be afraid.

I got there about half way through class hoping to see her dancing. I went in the studio and had Matt switch kids with me so I could talk her into going to dance. No such luck, though. She ended up joining the group for the last 2 minutes of class, but only when the teacher brought out the stamps.

Her teacher said to try again next week (that will be week 4 if you are keeping track) because she should be used to things by then. I somehow doubt it. We are going to try again, though, because I am crazy (and also because I will be out of town so Matt can deal with it!).

perfectly happy after dance while she was eating lunch.
she even kept her dance outfit on for gymboree because she liked wearing it so much. 

Later on Saturday while Avery was napping after a rough morning of avoiding dance class and playing hard at Gymboree, I spent some quality time with Jack. He is sitting up now, but isn't that steady so I still have to be careful to watch him. He is just such a happy guy and he makes it easy to be around him.
Jack in his cowboy hat. It's a little big now but he likes to wear it.
laying around the house

On Sunday we went to Derrin and Jolene's house for a football party. Jolene is such a great hostess and had toys for both of the kids to play with. Jack LOVED the "spin and play" toy that she had and stayed occupied for almost an hour. Avery was a little more curious about the fun things in their house. She loved the pool table and had my blood pressure rising because I could just see her throwing one of those balls into the glass shelves or windows at their house. Luckily we left without causing any major damage. 

such fun for little boys!


Boot Camp Update:
I have enrolled in another session of boot camp at my gym. I loved it last time and I was the only one that didn't miss a class. 21 people started the boot camp and 5 of us completed it. 3 of us are signed up for the class again. I am so glad that we were able to work it out so that I can spend 3 days a week doing this in the evening. It is a lot more work for Matt so I am glad that he was willing to go along with the plan.


Tomorrow morning I am off to Dallas for Lauren's mom's funeral. (you can catch the story at La La's Land on my sidebar) I am so sad for her that she has lost her mom before her baby was born. I know it is going to be hard for her but hopefully all of her friends can help fill the void as much as possible. 

Friday, September 19, 2008

6 Month Stats

(Because this is a mommy blog, after all!)

Jack had his 6 month well check today and he braved the pain of 4 more shots. And I noticed while I was placing my initials on the shot sheet in his file that all of the initials on that sheet belonged to ME. Matt hasn't had to take him for any of his shots. That's wrong and I am going to correct that next month when HE takes Jack back for his flu booster shot. Fair is fair. I don't want Jack to be in therapy in 20 years talking about how I always made him go and get shots but his father really loved him and never took him for that kind of torture. No way. If he is going to be in therapy for something that I did, it is going to be much juicier than that.

As we already all knew, Jack is a big boy. He is 21 pounds, 9 ounces now. That is greater than the 95th percentile for weight. (Again, though, I argue that because the weight and height percentages are based on formula fed babies, but whatever.)  He has grown a little more than an inch from the last check and is coming in at 28 inches tall now. That is the 90th percentile. 

Jack is sitting up now and laughing more than ever when you tickle him. He is still a big time thumb sucker, which the doctor told us is a VERY GOOD thing at this stage because he will start to wake up in the middle of the night and wonder where we are (because he is starting to understand that we still exist when we aren't around him) and having his trusty thumb around will help him get back to sleep easier. 

He is really enjoying the whole food thing. He has eaten his way through the cereals and now has moved on to carrots and pumpkin. I will be making sweet potatoes for him this weekend. And after about a week of pain and suffering, I am finally feeling better so he is back in my good graces. He is nursing normally now and I guess I am on the downhill part of this mountain since every day now is a day closer to that one year mark. Let's hope I don't have to go through another painful issue in the next 6 months. 

Tomorrow morning we will try dance class again with Avery. This time I will attempt to take pictures if she has another meltdown. If I can avoid the dirty looks from the other parents. We'll also go to Gymboree where she is actually happy and knows what to do.

Jack asleep in his bed. So cute how he sucks his thumb when he sleeps.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This Week in Pictures

If you are keeping up with things around here, Jack just made matters worse by getting a tooth! His bottom tooth popped in on Friday and now I have even more fun to look forward to when it comes to feeding him. If this kid wasn't so cute...


Avery had dance class again on Saturday. Things started out fine but there was a little girl there that was just screaming her head off and after about 10 minutes of that, the other girls thought it would be wrong to let her scream alone so they all joined in. Avery included. At this point all the parents were in the lobby area and the door to the dance studio was closed. So I was sitting on the bench holding Jack and laughing uncontrollably at the sound of 7 little girls crying. It was like one of those laughs in church where your whole body shakes but you can't actually let out a laugh sound. I didn't want the other parents to think that I am sadistic or anything, but I have to tell you that it was actually very funny to hear because they were crying for No. Reason. At. All. The teacher was very nice and calm. She was holding the kids and playing with a puppet. There is nothing scary about ballet class.  
After about 20 minutes of pretty consistent crying, most of the kids had moved on and started enjoying the class. Everyone except Avery. She had her thumb in her mouth and was alternating between heavy sniffles and bursts of tears. I heard screaming and also saw her throw herself down on the floor (she always falls gently, my delicate flower). I finally went in the room about 25 minutes into the class and rescued the other parents from having to hear her crying. I just didn't want the other kids to start to cry again because of Avery. Of course, they were pretty busy having a good time by this point so they weren't really bothered by her waterworks. Not sure if that will be our last dance class or not, but I am sure that Matt will have to take her if there is a next time.
Avery before the crying started.


One of the best things about the toys we registered for when Avery was born is that they are almost all unisex. Jack is really enjoying playing with them now that he is a little older. Here he is on the gym mat that Theresa gave us when Avery was born.

Thanks, Theresa! I love the mat and I play with it all the time.

Since the weather was so great today we went to the park with the kids right after work. Jack hasn't really gotten to enjoy the park much yet because he wasn't sitting up and couldn't really hold himself up in the swing well. But that all changed tonight and he had a good time (despite being very tired) swinging and playing with Avery and Matt. Avery continued to avoid actually smiling and looking at the camera at the same time. She KNOWS that I love to take pictures and she intentionally messes with me by not cooperating. I just can't imagine how things are going to play out when she is a teenager.

Matt and Jack talking to each other

Jack's first time in the swing at the park

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I'm Pretty Sure This Is an Ancient Form of Torture

I'm going to need someone to remind me why I nurse because right now I can't think of ONE GOOD REASON to continue. 

I am in the middle of my 3rd battle with mastitis since Jack was born. And this one is the worst of all so far. It is so bad that I am actually on vicodin, which means I really shouldn't go to work. BECAUSE OF NURSING. Is that not the most ridiculous thing you have ever heard?

Besides the pain (oh my goodness the pain!), it is really awkward to have to tell your boss, co-workers, and employees the actual reason why you aren't coming to work. I have just been saying that I am sick so I can avoid the embarrassment. 

The hardest part is that I have to pump. I can't just decide to forget about nursing all together because that will just cause more problems. So I have to psych myself up for it and then suffer through the pain for as long as I can. All this for Jack. He better appreciate this when he is older. If he ever brings home a goth girl or something like that I am going to remind him about the time (or 3) that I suffered through mastitis just so he received the very best nutrition. That ought to work, right?

I also had to miss our last night of boot camp since I started the pain killers and antibiotics yesterday. I will just attend the first session of the next class (Monday) so I can see how much I improved in the number of sit ups and push ups I can do in 2 minutes since we started the class. I can report that I did not lose a single pound as a result of boot camp. I know that because I was weighed at the doctor's office yesterday and I was so confident that my weight would be lower. It wasn't. I am pretty disappointed in that but I know that I have lost inches and almost a clothes size, so I guess I gained some muscle. I also know that I am stronger and more energetic. So in the end, I guess it was worth it, but is sure would have been nice to lose some weight, too. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas

Things I have recently lost and where they were found:

my phone--found in the bottom of the washing machine, wet
the mail--found in our clothes dryer
our camera--found under a pillow in our chair in the living room
the phone book--found in the refrigerator
my wedding ring--found under my hairbrush in the bathroom after about 4 hours of searching the house up and down. 
a birthday check for Avery--still missing. dammit.

I think I am just tired. 

While I was still on maternity leave I was venturing out of the house with Jack for some reason and I was so impressed with myself for having it all together. I had Jack in his seat, his diaper back appropriately packed, extra milk pumped in case he needed it while we were out, make-up on, etc. I had the keys in my hand and LUCKILY we have a mirror right by our front door because I glanced at myself on the way out and realized that I wasn't wearing a shirt. At all. 

I need more sleep.

And the lack of sleep is making me a little crazy. I mean, I am so lucky that Jack sleeps for 9-11 hours at night, but the problem is that he isn't consistent. For 3-5 nights in a row he sleeps for 11 hours and the world is great but then for one or two nights he will only sleep 9 hours, which means he is up at 5 in the morning.  (hey! I can hear you, lady! yes, you--the one whose child is only sleeping 5 or 6 hours. I hear you yelling at me to shut up. I am just's hard no matter what.) I have to get up for work at 6, so having that alarm clock of a son start fussing at 5am when I really ought to get one more hour of sleep is just cruel.

In about 3 weeks I am going to Vegas to celebrate a friend's birthday. Matt and the kids aren't going to go and I told my friend that the thought of a quiet hotel room with no kids sounds like heaven. I think I will just sleep all day and all night for the whole weekend. Everyone will hate me for not wanting to go out...but it might just be worth it! :-)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Olivia's Birthday Party

Avery attended Olivia's 3rd birthday party today. It was scheduled to start right when she normally takes a nap and she started dance class this morning so I was afraid she was going to be too tired but she ended up having a lot of fun. (notice a theme in that kind of worry for nothing?)

We have never been to Chuck-E-Cheese with Avery so this was quite a fun experience for her. And she kind of kept looking at us as if to say, "hey! where has this place been my whole life? Did you two know about this?" It's just that once you introduce Chuck-E-Cheese to a kid you can count on going over and over until you start to know all the words to the songs they play. And then the trips there end with tears. Your tears. But we made an exception for Olivia because we just love her so much and Avery always has a good time when they get together.

One of the great things about the party was that when Olivia was opening her gifts (which she did at a champion speed!), she genuinely seemed to appreciate each one. She oohed and ahhhed over almost everything. She hugged stuffed animals and looked at the covers of movies. That was really cool to see. What a great little kiddo!

Here are some of the pictures from the party...

Avery and Olivia both do their best to NOT look at the camera and smile at the same time. This takes talent and a lot of practice, folks. It doesn't just come naturally.
And then there is the ONE person look and smile trick. This is when two kids get together and conspire with each other to really mess with your head by having one do exactly what you want but the other hold out so that the picture you want is never fully realized. Again, great practice and coordination is required for this trick. They practice right from birth, I believe.
Clearly these two girls are not related to their mothers in any way that matters. This is not what Lauren and I would be eating if given the choice. I actually had to pull Avery away from the veggies to go play the games. Where did I go wrong?
Of all the rides and games they had at Chuck-E-Cheese, the slide with the fake steering wheels and mazes was her favorite. It didn't require a single token. Go figure.

She finally threw me a bone! Not exactly the photo I was going for, but I will take what I can get. 

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Weekend of Firsts

Fall is my favorite season of the year. Mostly because it is football season. So when College Game Day on ESPN came on last Saturday morning, we were watching it. It was Jack's first time to see it and I made sure to tell him all the background info on the hosts of the show. Matt just laughed at me and reminded me that Jack is 5 months old and doesn't care. I just thought it would be better for the interview in about 18 years if I could say that Jack watched his very first College Game Day when he was 5 months old and we talked about how he will be on it one day. You know, when he is playing football for Texas. (but I digress....)

(on to my point)

The first FIRST for us this weekend was Jack's first UT game day. Matt and I go to all of the home games. We are very lucky that the kids can stay with my parents while we enjoy ourselves on campus. Even though they aren't at the game we still dress the kids up in their UT gear for game day just to get into the spirit. And brainwash them so they won't want to go to any other school. It's the American way.

just before we left for the game on Saturday

future longhorn
clearly burnt orange is his color

The second FIRST for the weekend was that Jack started eating solid food on Sunday. We started him off with avocado just like we did with Avery. He is not quite 6 months yet, but we could tell that the boy is hungry and needs more than just milk because he is eating much more frequently and he isn't sleeping as long as he used to (9 hours instead of 11) which is killing us. So I just decided to go ahead and give him some food to see if that helps him sleep better and it did the trick. Second child syndrome, I know, but we don't get the naps that we used to when we just had one child.

Jack wasn't sure about the food at first. He made a funny face when we gave it to him but he ate it all and seemed to want more. So far we have given him avocado for 2 days and we'll move on to banana on Wednesday. After 3 days of that we will start with cereal. 

Of course now that he is eating solids it means more work for us on the weekends because I will make all of his food just like I did with Avery. That means Sunday afternoons will be spent making baby food and freezing it for the week. It isn't hard to make the baby food and it is nice to know that he is getting a good variety of food. We almost never have trouble getting Avery to eat fruits and veggies and we think it is because we gave her all kinds of food when she first started on solids.  We are hoping the same thing will happen for Jack.

after his first bite. you can see a little avocado on his chin

he really wasn't sure about the taste and texture but he kept opening up for more.

The third FIRST this weekend wasn't captured on film because I was too busy watching to take pictures. Jack started rolling from his tummy to his back. He has been rolling from back to tummy for a few weeks now but once he was on his stomach he just laid there until one of us moved him. He didn't mind it, really, except when he was asleep and woke up on his stomach, so he didn't do much about trying to roll back. But today he figured it out and he had a great time rolling back and forth from his stomach to his back. Our days of laying him on the bed and walking away are over. 

Avery had a great time spending the night with Grammie on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. We went to a poker party at Stan and Melissa's house on Sunday night so she stayed with mom and had a good time playing at Grammie's house while we were gone. She especially loves the mornings when she has my parents all to herself. She made eggs with mom this morning and helped her cook them for the first time. We really enjoyed seeing some old friends (hi Christina!) at the party. 

Mom returned Avery just before 9 this morning and she was in a fantastic mood for the rest of the day.
here's Lucy and Avery hanging out in the living room. I know Lucy doesn't get the top billing that she used to, but trust me, that dog is loved and spoiled to death.