Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Wierd or notable things about Switzerland (and pictures).

Here are some random things about Switzerland that I found noteworthy
  • There are more than your average number of people using hand crutches. The ones that come up to your elbows. I'm thinking maybe because there is so much skiing in this country?!? But honestly, we saw at least 3 people a day on crutches.
  • You have to pay for water and ketchup. Here in the 'ole US if you order water with dinner it is generally free, over there it is "Sparkling or Still?" or "With Gas or Without?" and you have to buy a bottle of mineral water (for about $3 a person), they don't serve tap water. You also have to pay for ketchup/mayo/mustard packets.
  • Beer and wine are either the same price or cheaper than soda!
  • Often a queen bed is made up of two twins pushed together with no attempt to disguise it, they actually have twin fitted sheets on each bed.
  • Speaking of sheets, they don't really use them. Just a fitted sheet and a down comforter, sometimes one comforter per person. I loved this, Sean did not. He felt that they were too warm, but if you went without it was too cold.
  • Cribs are actually Pack & Plays, which was less than ideal because Colin does not consider these appropriate for sleeping. I think it is the flimsy mattress that he has issues with. Only one hotel in five had a real crib mattress, although I wouldn't exactly call it a real crib. It was a metal frame on wheels with a mesh fabric sides.
  • The trains system is awesome and so much easier than trying to drive. Especially because we wouldn't have been able to read the street signs. Additionally it is a very easy way to travel with a baby, even with all our luggage.
Okay now for some more pictures. These are from a little day trip we took to Fribourg (for no other reason than that is the folder I randomly opened)

The streets of Fribourg

St. Peter Canisius! The Canisius Connection followed us all the way to Switzerland.

The Cathedral Entrance in Fribourg. I've got Colin in the sling here.

Our "big boy" riding the train!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Why don't you want to help babies?

For all those readers who are not currently sponsoring my March for Babies, you only have a month left! Don't you like babies? Don't you want to help save babies lives? A little goes a long way so please please please consider sponsoring my walk.

"I'm not asking much just a token, really a trifle. What I want from you is... your voice!"

No I want your money, but I want it to save babies lives and increase their quality of life! Come on now, all the cool kids are doing it!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Excited about Puffs!

At Colin's doctors appointment on Tuesday he got some homework! To aid in the development of a pincer grasp he is supposed to have some finger foods every day. I had purchased some wheat puffs cereal for him to eat (They have less sugar than cheerios) and he has spent a couple days pushing them around the tray. I would put one in his mouth and he just looks confused. So while picking up some baby proofing items at Baby's R Us, my mom found HAPPYBABY Organic Puffs in the food isle. I ordered them from Amazon but they haven't come yet so I decided to just buy one jar in apple flavor (I ordered banana and green but as it turns out they are cheaper at Baby's R Us!). I put a few on his tray before giving him his dinner, and popped one in his mouth. Well that was all it took! As if he had been doing it for months he picked them up pincer style and popped them in his mouth. He even started biting them in half first! We are very excited about these puffs! They have less sugar than traditional puffs, they are organic, and they are comparably priced to the regular puffs, plus they are vitamin fortified! To complete the picture the packaging is also recyclable and BPA free. What's not to love?!?!

Monday, March 23, 2009

...and just like that we are back home!

So did I confuse you? Did you even miss me? Well good. We were in Switzerland from March 10-22nd. We arrived home yesterday around 7ish. I had some blogs scheduled to post while we were away (Sean fears a drop in readership/comments if I don't post often enough, and apparently less comments mean we have no friends.) Plus I felt it was like leaving a light on in your house so the crazies think someone is home. I was able to pop on near the end of the trip and post the 8 month old blog and the those few pics of the Jungfraujoch adventure (easily the highlight of the trip for me!)
All in all the trip was a huge success, we had a great time, and Colin was as perfect as he could be. I'm so glad we went, and if it weren't for Sean's conference I would never have . In the weeks leading up to the trip I was very nervous about traveling so far with an 8 month old. I am hear to tell you it was a piece of cake! I've got some ideas for 'tips for traveling with infants' for some future posts, so you can look for that in the days/weeks to come. I took well over 500 pictures (and it could be closer to 750, but I'm not wasting my time counting them) so I couldn't possibly post them all here but I will try to upload a few pics from time to time to give you the flavor of Switzerland. As with any trip the pictures aren't nearly as good as the real thing, so you'll just have to go and get a good look for yourself.
Here is Sean with a sleeping Colin in the backpack on top of the Schilthorn.

Le château de Chillon (The castle of Chillon)

Un bébé endormi (A sleeping baby)
Look for more about my amazing translation abilities in future posts. I've scheduled my mom to come this week to help me get Colin over the jet lag.. but in all honesty I don't think we have any jet lag issues! No matter, we will enjoy her company all the same!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Greetings from Switzerland

A few quick pics of the fam at the top of Europe! More to come.

See Sean out there?

The Jungfrau mountain (this doesn't do this scene justice at all but it's the best I can do)

Colin and I inside a glacier! They carved an whole 'palace' out of the inside of a glacier. Freaked me out!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

City Boy!

Enjoying some nice weather. Colin getting his first look at ducks, he was very amused.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Colin is 8 Months Old.

Dun da da! [Trumpets blowing] Colin is now 8 months old!! Our doctors appointment isn't until the 24th so his height and weight stats will have to wait until then.
Height: 30in 97%ile
Weight: 21lbs 6oz 75%ile
Head Circumference: 46cm 60th %ile

Sleeping: No real change. Still up 4 to 5 times a night (maybe more, I stopped paying attention, it's better not to know)

  • Reading books. He will now grab books and expect you to start reading them to him.If you don't understand he gets angry. (Sounds like someone will be a fun toddler)
  • Traveling. Colin is a serious trooper!! (More on this later)
  • Being 'worn'. This is definitely his favorite way to travel. The stroller is acceptable, but the sling and backpack are preferred.
  • Being sung to. He has liked this for a while but I'm not sure I mentioned it. When he gets cranky he likes to be sung to to distract him. It is not uncommon for me to break into song in the middle of a restaurant. Favorite songs include "You are my Sunshine" (sorry Sisty) "Sunshine Lollipops and Rainbows" "Lets go Fly a Kite" and "While Shepard's Watch Their Flocks by Night"
  • [Updated to add] Sean reminded me that Colin's current favorite toy is his plush Mets baseball, it has a little chime in it so it makes noise when you play with it. Colin loves to watch his dad 'juggle' the ball.
  • Getting dressed. Gone are the days when Colin would laugh when you put something over his head. Now he just gets angry, this is right up there with face washing as his least favorite things.
  • The vacuum. Have I mentioned this already? Colin starts getting silent and sullen as soon as it comes out of the closet. He will allow me to vacuum while he is in the sling but forget trying to do it while he isn't. Whoa Nelly!
  • Pack and Play's. As far as Colin is concerned this is not a bed and should not be slept in! I assume it has something to do with the lack of a solid mattress.
New things:
  • new "words" da da, Hi, (and Hi dada a 6am favorite), mama (once) and today (once right after I had said and signed it to him) I can't say for sure if he understands what he is saying but he certainly seems to use them in context (at least hi and da da)
  • new "signs" Milk... again not sure if he means it but he signs it frequently. (think one handed milking a cow and that is what it looks like)
  • He has discovered rolling as a means of locomotion, and seems very interested in crawling but hasn't mastered the coordination.
  • He leaned how to clap at 3am the other day...lovely time of day for such things don't you think?
  • He can also cluck his tounge now.
  • Oh and he has two more teeth (for a total of 6, 4 on top 2 on the bottom)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Favorite Things- Baby Books!

I wanted to share some of my current favorite books to read to Colin. We have been given quite a few books and read to Colin at least twice a day. I'm partial to books that rhyme myself so most of my favorites do. Colin seems to enjoy being read too and will eagerly look over the arm of the chair to see the books below. Also if there is a book out he has recently started 'asking' for it to be read, in that he picks it up and makes frustrated noises until you open it and read it to him.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
This was the first book we ever read to Colin. I felt like it was good for an infant because it has big simple images and bold colors. Plus there isn't really a story line to follow so it is simple to start and stop wherever. The first few time he would sit and listen to only a few pages at a time, as the days went by we were able to get further and further into the book.

Baby Cakes This book is just too cute! It it almost reads like a jump rope game (think teddy bear teddy bear turn around.) Some of the lines allow you to be interactive and tickle your little baby cakes. It is also a really a great book to end the day with because one of the last lines is "now my little baby cakes go night night".
I Love You Through And Through
This book is very simple with only a few words per page but the message is sweet and the illustrations are charming. Like all of these books, the pages are thick paperboard and therefore don't rip easily, so Colin can man handle them and they don't get damaged.

Miss Spider's Tea Party: The Counting Book
This is another one we have been reading since he was less than a month old. It's a counting book, so it starts with "one lonely spider...' and ends with "twelve flowers...". The message again is cute, (albeit lost on Colin at this stage, but he will get it eventually) and the rhyming is very well done. No tripping over the syllables and you attempt to get the cadence correct.

Rainbow Colors ( Peekaboo)and Peekaboo Farm: I think if Colin were to choose his favorite these would be them. They are lift the flap peekaboo books along with touch and feel textures. In the last month or so he has really started to reach out and feel these books.
Plus, unlike some of the other peekaboo books, the flaps are the same hard paperboard as the pages (which are pretty thick) so when Colin decides to grab onto them they don't give the impression that they are about to tear off. The pictures in these books are just that, photos of real objects and kids which is a welcome change to the illustrations, even if it is only a photo of a stuffed animal.

Those are our favorite books right now. What are your favorite books for babies?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Put me in Coach!

With only one month remaining before Opening Day at CitiField, Colin is getting ready!
Hes got the jacket and the hat!
(He also has a sweatshirt, a jersey, a plush ball, two t-shirts and a towel, and I didn't buy any of it!)

He is even practicing his signs, this one means "steal second base!"

I think this one means, "Get me a hot dog"

Lets go Mets!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sick Jones! You are Sick!

As in sick and twisted not ill. Here is another instance of sleep deprivation twisting my sense of humor... although in this case it is probably more of a case of me not really thinking things through. Okay here goes.

Thursday morning I have to take a friend of mine to the airport at 8am. Sean is the "late person" meaning he works 10-6, so he keeps the baby home with him while I go. I arrive home around 8:20 and hear him in the shower. Since Colin has outgrown his bouncy chair in the few emergency situations where we need to shower and he is awake we have been putting him in a blanket lined laundry basket with a few toys. I hear Sean say to Colin "okay buddy I'm just going to rinse off and then I'll be all done". Well I immediately start busting a gut with suppressed laughter as I formulate my plan. (I'm sure you can see where this is headed) I sneak into the bathroom and pick up the baby (who startles a bit but remains quiet when he sees it is me) and then sneak out again. In my head Sean will open the curtain and think the baby disappeared (as in *poof* he disappeared! (yeah like that is possible! idiot!)) No he opens the curtain and in the nanosecond it takes me to open the door (BUSTING A GUT mind you) he thinks the baby has been abducted and is NOT amused. I realize the fatal error in my judgment but still can not stop laughing only now I'm laughing at my own stupidity for thinking that he would think the baby magically disappeared!

We have a running...I don't want to say argument because it isn't really an argument but it isn't a running joke either...so I guess it's a running theme?? in our relationship that I have no sense of humor. His family is big into teasing. To me teasing is something that other kids did to me in grammar school and it is not nice. So while I understand they mean no harm, it still takes me back to the play ground where Billy Costello is 'teasing' me because when I turn sideways I disappear and everyone is pointing and laughing. Anyway, the point is that I have attempted to 'tease' Sean (because this is what he thinks is funny and I want to be one of the cool kids too) about a handful of times in our relationship and every time I do it I end up hurting his feelings. Which I say proves my point that teasing is mean, but he says I don't do it right. So here we are again, I play a trick on Sean and it goes poorly. He said to me later "Your mother will be horrified by that mean joke" Oh darling husband you know my mother so well!! He also thinks if I post any more instances of my current sense of humor someone is going to call child protective services on me. I swear, no animals (human or otherwise) were harmed during the filming of this movie.

Friday, March 6, 2009

As I was saying before...

I reiterate that Griffin is one of the most tolerant cats ever! For all those people who say cats are evil, take a look at this! These pictures were taken just before nap time. Colin and I walked into his room to find Griffin on our 'rocking' chair. Me and my sleep deprived sense of humor (more on that to come...) thought I would make Griffin move by having Colin sit on him! Genius PHOTO OP!! Well Colin thought it was the funniest thing ever and Griffin just took it in stride. After about a dozen pictures both on my camera and my phone, Griffin finally decided to vacate the chair. I place Colin briefly in the crib thinking I should reward this behavior with some treats for Griffin. Off to the kitchen I go and when the treats aren't in the drawer I check the microwave (sounds odd but Sadie is pretty good at rescuing the treats from our imposed confinement and the microwave is one place she can't get into.) Well the butter dish was in front of the microwave and apparently our microwave opens with some impressive force. This was the result.

This mess made me very glad I still had one roll of emergency paper towels in the house. My new years resolution was to give up paper towels in a effort to be more eco-friendly. I picked up this nasty paper towel habit sometime in college and felt is was time to stop. Well the thought of throwing a butter soaked wash cloth into the laundry with other things made me cringe, so I went for the paper towel. Now back to the fact that it was nap time! Colin lost his patience with the crib plop so I put him on the floor in the hall while I cleaned up the butter (why not wait until after he is asleep you ask? Because Griffin would have decided that the butter was his treat for being good! The outcome of which could not be good!). Well of course Colin started screeching at the idea of being left on the floor, so what does Griffin do? (Am I asking too many questions?) Walks right over to him and starts licking his head! Perfectly distracting Colin until I could get the mess cleaned up. Griffin finally got his special reward (of course, Sadie did too because that girl has super sonic hearing when it comes to a bag of treats (oh and if you are wondering I had to go to the backup supply of treats because the bag I was looking for was empty in the garbage!)) Then it was off to dreamland. I couldn't wait to share these pictures! So while there are 100 other things I should be doing right now (like buying a new butter dish!) I'm posting this!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

200th Post Discount

I reviewed g-diapers here and for the most part I continue to be happy with their performance. Traditional cloth diapers just were not an option for us living with shared laundry facilities so these diapers have offered a perfect compromise between ease of use and eco-friendly.
In honor of my REAL 200th post I'm giving you a g-diaper coupon code for 20% off of your entire order at gdiapers.com! Simply use code "kiwibaby" now until June 30th!

The coupon code is one of many from the "Green Baby Shower" in the back of Kiwi Magazine - a magazine for "Growing families the natural and organic way." I've been getting this magazine since I was pregnant and it is a little bit of sunshine in my mailbox once every two months. Love it!! If you want in, go to their website to sign up now for your own subscription and get a gift subscription for a friend free!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Colin and his Balloon

Here is a video of Colin enjoying his Valentine's Day balloon.

Colin and his Balloon on Vimeo.

I'm trying a new video hosting site, so hopefully this works.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I get by with a little help from my friends...

A friend of mine from my Canisius days has a brother who is in a contest to win a free wedding. They need your help because the couple with the most votes wins a $30,000 wedding.

Click here and Click the "Vote for this Entry" link. Then refresh the page and vote again! You can vote ten times per day per IP address! My friend Sneks is without a doubt one of the sweetest and nicest people I know and I would appreciate it bunches if you would take a second to click through and vote (you don't have to sign up or give an email address or anything!). Jen is the kind of person who will do anything for her friends, and has been really supportive my efforts to raise money for the March of Dimes. I hope to pay her back in spades and help her little bro get this wedding. It is 2 mins of your time, to get them $30,000!!!

Voting is open until March 17th, so vote often and help a girl out!


Sunday, March 1, 2009

My mother wouldn't do this!

Colin has this one toy that he is absolutely terrified of. It is a Bert & Ernie Giggle Ball and it is actually pretty scary, it makes this insane giggle sound and bounces around, and it looks like a severed head, but it has two faces. If I even take it out of the toy basket he starts to get uncomfortable, and turning it on just leads to tears. So why then, does it take all my self control NOT to take it out of the basket and show it to him? I'm sick and twisted! I blame sleep deprivation. My mother would not have done this.