Friday, September 30, 2011

what can i say? L wanted this super cute spacey set by International Playthings & at $11.99 on zulily i couldn't resist... if i mention him acting spoiled later in life remind me of times like these. after all, we created a monster...
tell me you're a zulily member? no? it's like crack. click here: ;-)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

tUmMy TiMe!!!!!!!!!
much hated, so i hear, by most babies.
L spits up during his. then eventually cries.
what is this good for again?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

a day in the life of L
right now i'm lying across my mommy sighing sweetly, oh and stretching big.
but earlier i was working on my motor skills. or, as i saw it, waving bright colored rings around with my hands while mommy said YAY! and shouted out color names. i threw one of them behind the washing machine, bye bye orange ring!
then she connected several rings together and waved them before my eyes, of course i watched their every move. so she said a lot more YAYs.
yeah mommy's weird and i'm hungry.
chat with ya later!,

Monday, September 26, 2011

vat full of couscous.
thanks to the german, i will be gulping this big bowl of couscous by day this week. one-handed of course. baby L is generally in the other (hand/arm) unless i'm driving of course. live locally and you might see me driving aimlessly about. anyway, the couscous, mix & chill.
in it:
Isreali couscous
(prepare your fave couscous per package)
Cherry tomatoes
Chopped red pepper
Chopped red onion
Fresh cilantro (sub parsley if you don't dig cilantro)
Chopped carrot

You could...
Add: cubed avocado
(if you plan to eat it the day you make it, just doesn't last for days)
Add: cubed mozzarella
(for extra yum/protein/texture)

Friday, September 23, 2011

postcard from hogwarts
thank you, uncle jamey...
liam -can't wait- to go there with you someday!

Monday, September 19, 2011

liam digs diaper time.
ha, surprisingly, so does mommy!
we talk about how much poopy he makes & how weird it looks.
yep, kids. this is my life now.
shopping success continues to = L not having a meltdown & me finding fashion that's dairy cow friendly. good lord, how life has changed. "they" all said it would, it's just unfathomable 'til it occurs. i'll sum it up in two very succinct words: bLiSsFuL sAcRiFiCe
ha, anyway, back to s-h-o-p-p-i-n-g. shake it to some pet shop boys, loveys.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

breastfeeding survival bowls.
what the hell is that, you wonder?
well, once you are reduced to using just one arm for hours on end and find your a$$ parked on a couch or in a chair almost full time, you'll get it. all that baby feeding = you STARVING and not able to create fancy eats or even really EAT fancy eats. But yummy sustenance is so vital! and, lovey, you are in survival mode that 1st several weeks of nurturing your newborn. holy wow.

so, in those little bits of time you GET time, time that includes using both hands AND being on your feet, whip up a few of these "bowls" in easy to heat up containers. they can be eaten with one hand, without dribbling food all over yourself and your little offspring, they're tasty AND moderately healthy. and remember,you're burning like 500 extra calories a day whilst breastfeeding, so don't be too hard on yourself calorie/fat wise right now.

make me mac & cheese bowl
OK mommies, cave and buy a couple boxes of the macaroni and cheese you loved "when you were in college", whip it up per its directions, then, add a little sour cream and a sprinkle of your favorite "gourmet" cheese, i.e. gorgonzola, gouda or goat—stir. then disperse amongst a few storage bowls, depending upon how large a serving you wish to have at each stuck on the couch, one-handed meal. top each with a little more cheese, then stow away in your fridge or freezer based on when you think you'll eat it.

tex mex refried bean bowl
crack open a can of refried beans, divide it between two storage bowl containers. top each with a thick layer of the salsa of your choosing, a layer of shredded cheese and a great big dollop of sour cream. lid it and forget it, 'til you're starving and one-handed.

perfect little pasta & sauce bowl
cook up pasta of your choice, add a wee bit of olive oil to your storage bowl, then add your pasta, next, top with a sauce you love (marinara, alfredo, pesto, for example), then a sprinkle of parmesan or mozzarella, a few shakes of dried basil (or fresh if you've got it!) add some easy awesomeness.

bring on the black bean & rice bowl
boil up a bag of 10-minute jasmine rice and divide it amongst two storage bowls. open up a can of black beans and likewise, divide. top with a ton of fresh salsa, a handful of shredded cheese, a bit of corn if you'd like, then a dollop of sour cream and store.

good girl salad bowl
mind you this bowl doesn't last in the fridge as long, but you'll feel light and happy when you partake of it, simply add a bunch of your fave lettuce, a few cherry tomatoes, a few pieces of raw broccoli, some shredded carrots, pine nuts, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds, your fave cubed or crumbled cheese. be sure to have a good salad dressing on hand you can add to this when it's time to scarf it down.

my stuck-on-the-couch-for-hours-on-end-breastfeeding-L tray
breastfeeding a newborn? you MUST have one of these. don't have a tray laying around, get one or make one! then, "arm" it with all the sorts of things you'll likely need in a two-hour span. this will evolve from morning to night, and day by day, i'm finding. each time you get up to pee, sleep, shower, go to bed (as these are the only things you're allowed to do besides breastfeed your infant) RELOAD/RESTOCK your tray.

suggested contents:
-TONS of water. i make sure mine has a liter bottle of sparkling water on it and often times a giant cup of ice. STAYING HYDRATED IS PARAMOUNT.

-snacks, now, put some thought into this, think: healthy, tasty, doesn't need refrigerated at all times, doesn't constipate or give gas to your wee one. i encourage fruit and veggies, nuts, dark chocolate, granola bars, etc.

-reading material: magazines, books, your kindle, etc. because trust, you're going to need all sorts of entertainment to pass the hours upon hours you'll spend just sitting there, doing something VERY important, growing your baby!

-the remote control: tell your significant other to hand it over, you've earned it.

-tissues/wet ones: essential for spit ups, wiping off your own hands after snacking, additional bodily fluid accidents you'll just have to experience on your own.

-your cell phone, WOW, why i didn't list this 1st blows my mind a bit. calling and texting, facebooking and tweeting are also excellent pass times as you embark on your new job as dairy cow. ;-)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

ventured off to the mall together (AND motherhood maternity outside the mall) without a major meltdown or a stroller malfunction (by that i mean operator-error, of course). WARNING: this could bore the tears out of mommy pros and those without silly fears.
no joke, i was sweating. yes, part of that can be attributed to the 88 degree temps, but mostly it was bonafide anxiety. yeah, i am afraid of weird things.
truthfully it mortifies me when he freaks in public. makes me feel like i don't know what i'm doing or at least look like i don't. i freaking ABHOR the "sympathetic" smiles and i sense the "ugh" vibes from others. (such meltdowns and reactions have taken place recently at both ikea & tj maxx, much to my horror, will i eventually get used to this?)
furthermore, L's stroller is daunting. it's like a transformer, and transformers are for boys, not girls. plus, it's on the heavy side for my wussy little arms.
i fed L until his little heart was as content as it was going to get, changed him and told him we were off for a little window shopping, he grinned. i'm serious. into his car seat he went, and out the door we strolled, yes, much like the day i took him through the starbucks and taco bell drive-thrus. baby steps, no pun. again, he dozed off on the way, YAY.
10 minutes later i pulled into the mall parking lot and gave myself a little quiet pep talk. i opted to leave the car running for my little guy as i tackled the stroller in the trunk. WHAM BAM, unfolded and ready to go, wasn't quite as bad as i anticipated.
popped his car seat out and into the stroller and winced as he did, upon being brought out into the scorching sunny heat. pleeeease stay asleep, i prayed. he did. we rolled into nordstrom, being asked two or three times "how OLD is he?!" i answered quietly and moved right along. we had an exchange at baby gap to make. got there without a hitch.
until... we encountered a bevy of vibrant spanish speakers laughing and chatting at a volume that caused L's eyes to bolt open. EFF. a wee whimper sent me hauling tail away from said women. thankfully he drifted back to sleep and i made my exchange and my way out of the store. meandered through the rest of the mall for a lovely, quiet, not-sitting-on-the-couch-nursing-all-day thirty minutes before he woke up fully a look of "where the heck am i, i think i'm going to cry" on his round little face. "OK OK, we're out."
back to the car, out in the heat, baby put in car, stroller transformed and painstakingly lifted back into the trunk. i dared to drive towards motherhood maternity, L wide awake (but not crying—a small miracle). i hauled his car seat out of the car and up to the store opting to skip the stroller since i was only exchanging a nursing bra and heading out.
HA! a sign on the door of the store reading "be back in 15 minutes" foiled my plan. 15 minutes from what time?! damn. it was so hot. L was so heavy. into a neighboring store i dashed, gently swinging his seat to hopefully get him zzz-ing. i did this successfully, even though my arms were nearly broken off.
back out into the heat to see if the stupid shop keeper had returned. NOPE! i waited five more minutes dropping a crap load of EFF bombs admittedly. then i saw her, she rushed to open the door, apologizing profusely. it was the same girl i purchased the bra from. she told me she was in the back of the store frantically pumping. she has a four-month old at home. i had to empathize, no matter how hot and sweaty i was.
we chatted for a good 30 minutes about babies, me holding L's carrier the whole time, and him remaining asleep.
home i drove, baby STILL fast asleep. opted to leave the cumbersome stroller in the car once i arrived at the house. made it inside, peed and even managed a glass of water before my new boss awoke with a cry. got his diaper changed and it was back to the couch i went for his afternoon two-hour snack, pretty much unscathed. success & love. gosh this is madness...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

when i'm not blogging here... i could be blogging
in the meantime, liam just went on his 1st vacay, was a mini one to orlando, but a trip nonetheless. he did fabulously and acquired this little eeyore while there. note: this boy seems to like being out and about more than he likes being home. although today he's being mostly an angel baby. SUCH LOVE.

Friday, September 9, 2011

the good the bad & the ugly.
admittedly i just put a fresh diaper on L & an outfit fresh out of the dryer (at which time i got spit up on, hot wet paper towel to the rescue), plopped him in his car seat & ran out the door in hopes that i'd get a repeat of yesterday's car ride induced 3-hour nap. i also selfishly hoped to both EAT AND DRINK something myself since i did spend the ENTIRE MORNING feeding L.
once safely in the car & rolling, i watched L dose off slowly much to my and truly his own delight (this boy has a hard time falling asleep, no idea where he got that from). but then i hit a red light and a rogue sun ray shined in at the exact same time.
then, yes! miraculously, eyes fluttered close again.
at the next red light, L remained asleep & i whipped out my tweezers for a 30 second eyebrow touch up. so needed. and starbucks was in sight. all the more needed.
through the drive-thru L kept ZZZing. hallelujah.
dare i try to fly through a taco bell drive thru too? would slowing to a stop again = my demise?
two bean burrito supremes later & L still in dreamland i felt victorious. but still decided to wolf down BOTH burritos in the 2-minute drive to my house just in case.
smart me.
i managed to get in the door, pee and fetch a glass of agua before the adorable little monster woke up with a fiery cry.
EFF again.
which finds me back on the couch, feeding L once more, pausing here & there to change his beautiful green poopy diapers.
oh & today he's not even happy whilst eating (he "boxes" both me and himself to demonstrate this) probably because he's exhausted. one of those instances i wish he was more like the german—able to sleep anytime anywhere. cannot wait to get a good night sleep tonight. HA. YEAH RIGHT.

p.s. this entire post was typed with my left pointer finger. YAY.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

things i've learned as of late
(which explain why i'm blogging very little)
veteran mommies of wee little newborns are laughing at me as they read this, i am certain.

*going to the loo is a luxury AND must be scheduled.
*dash into the shower the SECOND you wake up or RIGHT before you hit the sack.
*i can eat a bowl of cheerios in a minute & a half.
*i can wear less of my closet now that i'm breastfeeding than i could while pregnant #grrr.
*i'm extremely, painfully envious of kathie lee & hoda, i want their job in a fierce way.
*i can fall asleep as early as 10PM, especially if baby L has gone down for "the night" by then, take advantage of the head start on sleep.
*swaddled babies fall back asleep faster and more soundly post middle of the night feeding than un-swaddled babies.
*a newborn is a much much tougher boss than any boss i've ever had. volatile, demanding, never satisfied, screams at you A LOT, makes you redo things over and over and over (i JUST changed that diaper two minutes ago!), etc. etc. etc.
*there is NO love like baby love. no comprehension of it until the moment it floods you and it changes EVERYTHING instantly.
*there is no comfort like being cuddled by a recently fed, recently changed, warm little newborn.
*take notes, as close to daily as you can, on little details about your baby you observe, love, learn, get frustrated by but will one day find funny. i tend to do this with one hand, while i'm holding him, on my computer in one document i keep adding to. i know these details will be precious to me forever.
*you CANNOT take too many photos OR videos.
this very barely scratches the surface, I KNOW. i could go on. and on... but baby L demands! thought i'd share this little photo with you from his bath yesterday morning. isn't he #LOVE?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It's September.
Life tossed a lot at me in August 2011.
It took all I had in me to avoid a straight jacket and/or a mental ward. Both bitter & sweet being torn between giving birth & getting acquainted with my precious all-consuming first child, Liam and losing my precious and irreplaceable mother to the horror that is ALS. Sadly, losing her has put so much else on the back burner. Nevertheless, Baby L has brought light and

life to darkness and death for me. And he did the same for my dear mother in the 10 short days she had with Liam before leaving us. I thought I would share with you the piece I had read at her memorial service last Saturday. And a couple photos of her with Liam that I will cherish forever. As I go forward, I will borrow from the loving way she raised both me and my brother (see his tribute to her here) as I raise her grandson. Love you forever, mom.

It's impossibly hard to capture our mom, Connie Christoph in a brief statement. As much as I adore and thrive on words, they fail me when it comes to truly filling all of you in on how absolutely vibrant and beautiful she was as a mother. How when others talk about the things they'd do differently from their moms when raising their own children, I draw a blank, because there's not a single thing that comes to mind. She raised us just right. She really did. Which is why her leaving us is an especially crushing blow. What do children do, even grown ones, without the person that shaped and encouraged them so naturally and awesomely.

Small little details that come to mind... Every single Christmas our dear mom made sure we had three special things beneath the Christmas tree: A sweater for warmth. New PJs for sweet dreams. And a book for continued learning. Even though she was a school teacher herself, she understood the importance of letting us take what she called "Mental health days" off school from time to time. When I couldn't sleep, yes, even as a child I was an insomniac, mom would tell me the most vivid, imaginative tales of a pair of sweet little beings she conjured up, called Candy kiss & Lollipop. I recall tales of their adventures and cool imagery like talking rainbow-colored fish and glittery waterfalls all serving to calm a worried child. She inspired in both of us, a desire to experience new things, from trying an exotic ethnic dish we'd never had before to not being afraid to venture off to a place we'd never been. She encouraged us both to find ourself through embracing the world. And to express ourselves freely and fully.
Mom taught us from a very very early age not to tell lies. She told me that Jesus lived in my heart and he would know when I did fib. When I grew up she loved telling me how I would ask her how he didn't get all wet when I drank water since he lived inside me. Being truthful made saying goodbye to her extremely difficult. It was impossible for me to honestly say "It's OK for you to go now mom". Because it wasn't. Living without my sunshiney mom is an unbearable thought. I did manage to say I wanted her to rest, to be free of the torturous set backs caused by ALS and medical procedures gone terribly wrong.

Nevertheless, despite ALL that she was plagued with, she fought, harder than my brother Jamey and I realized she had in her, and our already massive respect for her managed to grow and grow in her final couple months. She was, and I say this not to boast, or lessen the value and amazingness of any other mother on the planet, but seriously she was the very best mother there ever was. Not just to Jamey and I, but to my husband, Tim and to the countless children she taught. Always always instilling gently, great values. Always teaching selfless love. It was a total honor for Jamey and I to share her endless motherly love and nurturing with the elementary school aged community. And it sustained her.

I mention her incredible fight this past summer with a vast mix of love and sorrow. Mom mustered up all the will, all the strength, all the unfathomable courage that she did with one very special goal in mind. To meet my first child and her first grandchild. And she achieved that. Against a lot of odds. Amidst unfair trials. And somehow, I do believe, alert little baby Liam sensed that, for her stared at her with awe when he first "met" her via Skype the day after he was born. He was calmed by her when placed in her arms, or upon her propped up legs. He cooed when he was held up to her face for kisses.

It saddens me way too much to think of Liam not getting to know my amazing mother for himself. But I find a bittersweet peace in the fact that he will also never have to experience the crushing pain of losing what we all know would have been the very best grandmother in the world too. Everyone that knew and loved mom will make sure Liam and any other potential grandchildren will know so much about the incredibly special woman their own mommy called mom.