Friday, February 27, 2009

Gimme a D!

Here is a video of the little guy using consonants! As I was uploading this he was watching himself and repeating da da da. He only says da da at the beginging, the rest is just me hoping he will do it again. Which he did the moment I turned off the camera. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Hat New Hat!

Last week while I was out shopping for a new hat for Colin, he decided to lob his current hat out of the stroller unbeknownst to me. So my plan to get an extra hat backfired because we were now back to one hat. Well Aunt Sisty got wind of this and what arrived in the mail today? A brand new hat which she apparently whipped up in about 3 hrs. Aren't you impressed?! Here it is:







Do you think he likes it? Don't you wish you had an Aunt Sisty?!?

How is Colin doing?

I thought I would give a quick update because Colin slept 4 hours and 15 mins last night! That is the first 4hr chunk he has done in months! I would guess since he was about 4 months old. Of course he did it between 8:30 and 12:45 which means I wasn't sleeping the whole time (I was watching the president! I <3>

I never mentioned it but we moved Colin to the big bath tub at about 5 1/2 months when he was sitting up really well. He was getting too chilly with most of his body out of the baby tub in our drafty kitchen. We tried using the baby tub in the bathroom where it was warmer but it turned out to be easier just to let him sit up. Shortly after that he had a bout of severely dry skin so I moved to an every other day bath with a 'sit bath' in the sink just to spot clean on the off days. I also switched to an unscented soap and started using Eucerin Aquaphor ointment. Not sure which of the three things (or maybe the combination) really cleared up the dry skin but it worked. I've noticed if I skip the lotion a couple days in a row (like when Colin carries it away and I loose it!) the dry skin starts to creep back in so that is probably what helped the most.

Here is a picture of Colin in the big tub.

Colin is much more vocal these days, although most attempts to get him on video he gets distracted by the camera and stops talking. I'll keep trying and get something up soon. He is also becoming more 'mobile' not really crawling or rolling but scooting on his butt to get toys that are out of his reach. He doesn't seem to have real intentions of getting anywhere so he his movements happen at a snails pace but occasionally I realize he isn't where I put him (in that he is 2 feet to the left and facing the other way, not that he is in another room).

He is a lot more dexterous these days and does a lot of passing hand to hand. I think he would benefit from a set of stacking rings because he will often place on of his linking letters on another toy and then put more letters near by. Maybe I'll find a set in Switzerland! Wouldn't that be fun!

One more picture for good measure. Looks like someone might have my (full forward) profile. Poor kid!

Monday, February 23, 2009

My darling husband.

I read this on another blog and decided to do it because Sean doesn't get nearly enough attention on my blog!

What are your middle names?

  • Lawrence and Joanne (Both after our same sex parent)

How long have you been together?

  • Married- 3.5 yrs
  • Dating-10 years

How long did you know each other before you started dating?

  • We met as freshmen in college sometime in August I guess, and started dating November 1st so about 2 months.

Who asked whom out?

  • Sean asked me out.

How old are each of you?

  • Sean is 29 and I am 28 for a few more months.

Whose siblings do you see the most?

  • Sean's. His sisters more than anyone else. His brother just relocated to Miami and my sister is in Central New York.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?

  • Driving and being lost. But that is why we now have a navigation system. It is the cheapest marriage counselor I've ever heard of.

Did you go to the same school?

  • High School No
  • College Yes Canisius College is the best College in the world
  • Grad School No

Are you from the same home town?

  • Nope

Who is smarter?

  • That would be Sean. I'm going to embarrass him and tell you that he gradated #2 in our college graduating class of... ??? on the short side of 1000 I think. No one told me what number I graduated, they probably didn't want to hurt my feelings.

Who is the most sensitive?

  • I would have to say me, but he has his moments too.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?

  • Pio Pio in Jackson Heights is the first thing that comes to mind but we don't usually eat there "as a couple" in that we always bring out of town guests there.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?

  • I guess Ireland is currently the winner, but Switerland will soon beat that out.

Who has the craziest exes?

  • Sean does, but only because of one in particular. However he also has the only 'ex' that is still a friend of ours too.

Who has the worst temper?

  • I have to say me because Sean is the most even tempered person I have ever met! Although his 'lost temper' moments are more memorable because they are so infrequent (and more funny).

Who does the cooking?

  • I do, Sean gets very stressed out about cooking.

Who is the neat-freak?

  • Sean is the neat-en-er, but I am cleaner. His threshold is lower than mine.

Who is more stubborn?

  • Equal parts of stubborn, which means that when we get mad, we go to bed mad because neither one will be the first to give an inch. I generally cave first, but he falls like a house of cards right behind me.

Who hogs the bed?

  • This used to be me, then we had a baby and now it is most definately Sean! I now get about 4 inches of bed space.

Who wakes up earlier?

  • Colin! But Sean gets up with him in the morning so I can sleep for another hour (or two as the case was today, Colin decided 5am was morning.) He is a good Daddy isn't he?

Where was your first date?

  • The haunted catacombs in Buffalo.

Who is more jealous?

  • Sean but only marginally (because neither one of us is all that jealous.) I got 'hit on' at a bar once during Seniors Week, a fellow classmate asked me if I was still seeing the guy I had been dating forever, I said yes. and he walked away. Sean watched this from the other side of the room, came over and said "Are you ready to leave now?" but it wasn't really meant to be a question.

How long did it take to get serious?

  • Umm.. I don't know, I guess it was always serious.. but I guess it depends on your defination of serious.

Who eats more?

  • Sean.

Who does the laundry?

  • Me. As per our marriage contract, I do laundry and he does dishes.

Who's better with the computer?

  • Sean mostly, but I'm better at Matlab Excell and Powerpoint!!

Who drives when you are together?

  • Sean, or else we fight. My reaction time is a hair slower than his so he looses his mind and acts like I'm going to crash the car, then I yell back that I'm not going to crash the car, and who has been in more accidents?!? NOT ME, Then he yells back that he drives more so it just makes sense that he would be in more accidents and I say quitely.. yeah so?!
The end.
If you do this little ditty, leave a comment with a link so I can read it too.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Colin and the Cats.

At various times people have asked me how the cats are with Colin. For the most part they are just fine. They are curious but cautious and tend to just give him space. But instead of just telling you I figured I would show you. First some backgound on the cats. We got both cats at the same time, right after we got engaged but they are not related. Sadie is about 2 weeks older and is a female simaese that I found on craigslist.com. A woman purchased a cat from a breeder not realizing the cat was pregnant. She decided to give away the kittens without 'papers' instead of giving them back to the breeder to sell.
Griffin is a male tabby, born from a house pet and a stray. His mother was Sean's friends, brothers, girlfriend's cat. Both cats are wonderful and have never bitten or scratched anyone out of anger (a question only people without cats ask.) Sadie claimed me as hers and Sean is Griffin's person, which slightly offended me at the time since they were both MY cats and Sean didn't even live with us when Griffin chose him.
Here are the pictures starting with Sadie (because that's how they uploaded):

In this picture Colin is only days old. Sadie has always been a snugly cat and has accepted that she has to share us occasionally with Colin. It is sometimes difficult for her to understand that she is not allowed to step on Colin but she is getting better.

This next picture is obviously staged. After laying him down Colin started to cry and she high tailed it out of there. This is pre-swaddler blanket days so Colin is swaddled in a normal receiving blanket kept tight with safety pins.

This next picutre is another example of Sadie sharing with Colin:


On to Griffin:

This is a picture of his first attempt to get a good look at the new arrival.

Griffin prefers to lay near our heads rather than lay on us. I'm not really sure why but Griffin loves heads, it is not unusual for him to give your head a 'bath' (in that he licks it). Here he was reaching out to Colin in his sleep.

This next picture illustrates Griffin's extreme tolerance (one of his best traits, and unusal in cats.) I laid Colin on Griffin very slowly and after an initial startled look he just laid his head back down and allowed himself to be photographed.. I eventually picked Colin back up, Griffin never moved.

This next picture is from last week. Griffin more than anything loves Colin's things (the stroller, bouncy chair and the boppy pictured here.) We often find Griffin sitting in or on something of Colin's (with the exception of the crib they learned quickly that was off limits.) In this picture we aren't sure if Griffin wanted to be close to Colin or if he was trying to reclaim the boppy. (n.b. Colin doesn't need the support of this anymore but Sean is afraid he will fall, or more that Colin will fall and I will yell at him (I don't think I have ever actually yelled at him for anything but he is overly concerned about it))
Colin thought it was great. Griffin tolerated 'being pet' until we decided Colin was getting too rough. For only 7 months old he is learning fast about being "gentle".

One last "Behind the Scenes" picture from the Christmas photo shoot. The cats were more interested in the garland I was holding than Colin but it is still cute.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Colin is 7 months old!

Today Colin is 7 months old! Can you believe it? In honor of his 'birthday' he tried pureed blueberries this morning. Blueberries for the blueberry! He didn't seem to notice. Although I will say they were a little more challenging than other fruits because I decided to filter out some of the seeds. I didn't realize how 'seedy' blueberries were until I pureed them! (Blueberries are not a true berry and therefore do not apply to the 'no berries before 1 yr old' rule)

What is Colin up to at 7 months?

Likes:
  • Balloons! He got a balloon for Valentine's Day from my mom. Just the simple kind you blow up, but it is shaped like a heart. He LOVES it, although gets a little frustrated when we don't let him bite it!
  • Animal noises! To get him to smile in the pictures I was oinking like a pig. He thinks it is absolutely hysterical.
  • The cats. Griffin is very tolerant, I'll post pictures of them later. Sadie mostly gives him space.
  • Going for walks. He gets very excited when getting strapped into a stroller, and if I take too long to get myself ready to go out the door he gets mad.
  • Washcloths during bath time. I can't use a washcloth to soap up Colin anymore because he loves to eat the washcloth and suck out the water. I find it a little gross because that water isn't filtered but I'm trying to relax.
  • His new Vulli Teether I love it too it smells so good!
  • Books. He loves story time.

Dislikes:

  • Having his faced cleaned after mealtime. I was trying so hard not to let this happen because it is most annoying but I couldn't prevent it. He cries when we try to wipe his face, and of course he is always a mess. We generally find food spots later that we missed in our rush to clean him up.
  • His second nap of the day. This nap is always a hard sell, I don't know what it is. Nap #1 is easy but #2 is so hit or miss, I think the problem is that nap #1's length can be anywhere from 1-2 hrs. So I can't seem to get the timing consistent for nap #2 and sometimes wait too long.

Sleeping:

  • Still not good but we have our good days and bad days. He was having a crib strike for two days but I think we are thankfully over that now. Last night he went to bed at 7:00 woke up around 9:00 but I was able to get him back to sleep without taking him out of the crib. He woke again at 12ish and nursed for 4 mins and went back into the crib slightly awake. At 2 same thing, and at 5 he was very hungry but ate and went back to sleep until 6:45. The good news is that he only woke me up twice, since I still hadn't fallen asleep yet at 12.

New things:

  • Push ups and lunging. He really wants to crawl but he hasn't quite figured it out yet. He can get to all fours from a seated position but he immediately puts his butt down.
  • Consonants are starting to creep in. I hear D's and B's with some frequency now. He also has a coo that sounds very much like Hi!

One more picture:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Another use for baby food cubes!

As you know, I've been making my own baby food. I love doing it, which is odd because I was never really all that into cooking. I guess this is just such a 'baby' version of cooking it is hard to screw up (although I obviously have!) Regardless, I have had an overstock of sweet potatoes (who knew 4 sweet potatoes would go SO far!) so when I came across this recipe for Sweet Potato-Turkey-Meat Loaf, I figured I could use some of my extra food cubes. I used 8 cubes (well 7 and a 1/2, one partial cube fell out while I was defrosting and stirring) but probably should only have used 6. I ended up having to add extra bread to absorb the extra wetness (I did follow the reviewers suggestions to add less ketchup as well). Fully pureed sweet potato is more wet (since I add water) than mashed so that didn't really help either. Regardless, it came out really really well! I think you should try it! It is definitely going to become a regular in our house, and that says a lot since I'm fairly picky. An added bonus, if you remember my superfood phase (From this book.), it has a superfood (turkey) and a superfood sidekick in it (sweet potato is a sidekick for pumpkin.) So it is pretty good for you! If you need further convincing of its tastiness, I ate the leftovers for lunch and dinner tonight and I generally turn my nose up at leftovers. (Yes, we had leftovers for dinner on Valentines Day... we are totally boring parents now.)
Let me know when you try this and LOVE it!
Moreover (that is for you Kristeen), I have been using allrecipes.com to do some meal planning lately because I'm terrible at grocery shopping for dinners. The site has this great feature that allows you to create a shopping list, and it organizes things by types of foods (so all the dairy is together) making it SO much easier to shop. Normally when I shop off a list I end up with two or three things left that I have to go back through the store to look for (so inefficient!) I'm actually enjoying meal planning now, we'll see how long it lasts.

Oops I lied..

So when I looked at my blog count I didn't realize that drafts were counted in the total. I'm not yet to 100 posts because I had some drafts mixed in that were never published. I've just deleted them and added some more labels to older posts to help with searching for things (I'm probably the only one who searches for posts on my blog but just in case...) I think this is post 189 now so I'll let you know when I hit the big 200 mark (assuming I even notice).

Sorry for the false alarm.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Ugly Buggy Discount.

If you don't already know this about me, I'm a bargain shopper. I used to say I was the Queen of Bargain Shopping until I read about some of the bargains my blogging buddy Gwen Mangine has gotten. So I'll just be the Duchess of Bargain shopping.
Here is my latest story of the hunt:
Colin is growing out of his car seat/infant carrier so I wanted to be prepared and have the new stoller and car seat ready when it was time. So I went on the hunt for the perfect new stroller! I knew I wanted another Maclaren because of the quality and the wonderful umbrella fold quality. I ordered the Maclaren Triumph from BabiesRus.com and when I came I realized that none of the 'five position recline' was even close to flat. This stroller is going to be a major place for naps while we travel next month (I'm crazy for traveling internationally with an 8 month old, but that's another post) so I needed it to recline flat. So it went back. Turns out it is the Maclaren Techno XLR that reclines flat. Well that one retails for 360.00! OUCH! So I went on the hunt and found a new one on Ebay for $195 including shipping, a matching foot muff, the rain cover, an extra piece of padding (not sure exactly why it came with that) and the baby head positioner. The catch.. its is a color pattern that no one wanted. Its called Tan/ Crimson and her is the picture. However, in REAL LIFE its more of a camel and burnt orange (the picture does not come close to how ugly it really is!). My biggest concern looking at it online was that it would get dirty. My new concern is that it is borderline embarrassing to push this color combination around and have people think I actually picked it out and paid money for it. However, I have no shame. Some of you might remember the 'ugly luggage' discount I got when I first moved to NYC. I used a piece of luggage that had jean pocket print covering it. It was hideous!
The upside of the 'ugly discount' is that you never have to worry about people stealing your stuff!

P.S. this is my 200th post! I'm the big time now. =) HA!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What are you reading?

So I've recently started reading while Colin nurses. He gets so distracted these days I've had to retreat to his room to feed him so I've started keeping a book in there. I've been reading The Happiest Toddler on the Block It is by the same author who wrote, The Happiest Baby on the Block, Harvey Karp. Sean and I could not have lived without the advise from that book when we first brought Colin home, so I thought I would see what he has to say about toddlers. This is obviously a wee bit pre-mature but Colin is already showing a bit of a stubborn streak so I wanted to get a head start.
All things considered, I like the book. I really like his writing style and use of examples. His theory is that our toddlers are like little cave-men. They have limited language and minimal logic, they are ruled mostly by emotion and impulse (I know some adults like that!) because their brains are still developing. One point that I found very interesting is that adults are very good at speaking a toddlers language when he is happy. Saying "MmMMm yummy cracker", instead of "Are you finding that cracker to you liking Colin?" but when they are upset all of a sudden our language becomes more complex "Colin, we don't bite when we are mad, we use our words". He explains when kids are upset they simply hear "Colin blah blah blah blah blah blah" so it stands to reason they would miss the message entirely. He offers lots of tips and solutions for turning off tantrums before they start and shortening them when they do.
If you have a child between the ages of 1 and 5 it might be worth the read! I certainly found it interesting. I can't comment on how well it works yet, but I'll let you know in a year or so!

Next on my pile of books to read: Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day

I really think I need to get a little table to hold my books and my water, but I think Sean would pass out if I try to squeeze another piece of furniture in that room (but it would totally fit!)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Big step to protect kids!

As of February 10th, 2009 (yes that is just a couple of days away) all toys (and a few other things made for children under 3) are not allowed to have more the 0.1% of the six phthalates (DEHP, DBP, BBP, DINP, DIDP, and DnOPA)!! The US Consumer Product Safty Commission stated that this applies to all items in inventory regardless of when they were made! Meaning after that date you can't buy toys with higher levels of this dangerous chemical in them.

While this sounds FANTASTIC, here are some questions that immediately came to mind.

1) Are these the only phthalates or are there more that are not being regulated?
2) Who is going to police this rule? Will Baby's R Us get fined for selling phthalate laden toys on Feb 11?
3) What happens to all the old toys? Who takes the hit for all that wasted inventory? (I will bet the answer is the consumer more than the manufactuerer!)
4) Who is responsible for testing the toys? The manufacturer or the seller?
5) What does 0.1% equate to? 0.1% of what? the entire weight of the product? How did they come up with this number?

I'll let you know if I come up with anything. You can read the press release here

(n.b. not my baby or photo)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Any Ideas?

This is what sleep deprivation does to you. You walk away from a pot of steaming apples and this is what you come back to. (my ability to multi-task was always sub-par, now it is clearly non existent. I'm lucky I didn't burn the place down! (I do own a fire extinguisher now...just in case)) I kid you not this pot looks like it is coated with a non-stick surface. I've tried using a brillo pad and got no where.. in fact this picture is AFTER I brillo-ed the pot. If anyone has any suggestions on how to remove burned on ... apple drippings ?(sugar I suppose) I'm all ears. I used a brillo pad, I tried to boil water in there to soften it. I tried to dissolve it with vinegar... nothing even scratched the surface... I'm thinking I may just have to toss it.

You should have seen it when I first turned off the heat... like a cloud of charcoal.



Thursday, February 5, 2009

I Love Lukas!

My little nephew is the cutest! Here are some recent pictures that my sister took.. Kristy is too busy to post on her blog so I'm doing it for her.

I got him this outfit for Christmas so I'm very pleased to see how cute he looks in it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Just Pictures

Sean's older little sister had her Sweet 16 last Saturday so we spent the weekend on the island. Here are a handful of pictures.
Who needs a high chair? Have food will travel! (Colin eats organic store bought food too!)Yummy Prunes!
Look at me all dressed up in my black and white outfit.

Our Little Fam in Black and White for the Party.


Little Lauren is 16! Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen! (Lauren is in purple, Oana (my B.I.L's fiance) is behind her)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

New reason to ditch your teflon pans!

Many have doubted the dangers of cumulative exposure to one of the chemicals that make up Teflon- PFOA. On the DuPont website it states clearly that the FDA found Teflon acceptable for conventional use. Thanks for nothing FDA! Dozens of studies have linked PFOA’s with cancer, immune disorders, obesity and reproductive problems, and not just in animals at least 10 of those studies showed effects in humans. Most recently, a paper published in Human Reproduction took blood samples from over 1200 women and showed that those with higher levels of PFOA and PFOS took longer to become pregnant than those with lower levels!

The good news:
Two companies are currently making non-stick pans without PFOA’s, Cuisinart GreenGourmet (available at Bed Bath and Beyond) and GreenPan™ Cookware (available at Target). Both companies report that these pans are safer than traditional non-stick cookware and have none of the high temperature toxic emission concerns that Teflon coated pans have. Both companies have also gone to some pretty impressive lengths to make these products more environmentally friendly, including post-consumer recycled packaging, soy based inks and lower energy use in production. I have one of each type of pan that I got for Christmas. The Cuisinart Pan is 'prettier' but so far both have performed well in the non-stick department. GreenPan's are less expensive.

For people who aren’t convinced that the new non-stick coatings are safe, stainless steel and cast iron are both good options that have been around for years, no ‘greenwashing’ there.