spilled milk...

It's not news that it is hot here in New York and has been for several weeks. Everyday. Without a break. I am kind of terrified of the inevitably huge number that will arrive printed at the top of our utility bill this month. Yet, nothing could be done. In this heat, it's about survival.

Survival and ice cream.

Only today, we have no ice cream in our house. Last night after enjoying a bit before getting ready for bed, I went out to the kitchen to put the second half of mine back in the freezer. I had had enough and didn't want the rest to go to waste. I put the lid on, placed it back in the freezer and closed the door.

Or so I thought.

This morning when Mr. Boom pulled open the freezer to fill his thermos with ice we found a few cubes in the tray. Floating in a vat of water. Oh my ____!!!! I'm not sure exactly why the door didn't close last night. Maybe I didn't push it hard enough. Maybe something got stuck. It was closed enough that I didn't notice a difference at the time or when I was in the kitchen again at about 1:00 am to pump. But, the evidence was undeniable.

Garbage pick-up was this morning and out went a full bag of almost everything. We were able to salvage what was in the center and was still frozen solid (a couple vacuum sealed meals and vegetables) but the rest, including the ice cream, went in the trash.

And then there was the liquid gold. My very small but precious freezer stash of pumped milk. Thankfully it was all still slushy so, I was able to make G's bottles for today from the few freezer bags, which will allow me to freeze yesterday's milk later. This was not in the plan. The first thing I said after we saw what had happened was, "The milk!!!"

Things happen in strange ways. In the end, I'll probably only lose a few ounces. Just two days ago, after a bad day of pumping, I was lamenting about my small stash. Today, I'm thankful that I only had about a day's worth frozen and that this incident wasn't a much larger disaster.

Today, I will not cry over spilled milk. But, I will be pumping more and will give the freezer door an extra nudge. Every time. Just in case.


my cup runneth over..

After putting G to bed last night, I sat down at the computer to put together a quick photo order. Since returning to work, I'm frequently asked for baby photos only to sheepishly hand over my iPhone. It is one of the hazards of this digital age - so many memories living on hard drives and smart phones. So, last night I set out to fix that. I put together an album of some of my favorites and uploaded them just in time to take advantage of a Snapfish free shipping offer. In a week or so, I'll finally be able to fill up one of the brag books I have tucked away and will have photos ready the next time I'm asked.

And, that was a very roundabout explanation for why I am actually posting...

While browsing though folders, I came across this photo and my heart nearly burst with joy, love and reminiscing: I am so very blessed.

first swing...

We had decided that last Saturday, at 7 months, it was high time the George learn to swing. Knowing that the forecast predicted terribly hot and humid conditions, we figured we'd outsmart mother nature and get to the park by 8:30 am before the worst of the heat rolled in. The surprise was on us as the heat of the day was on full blast long before we stepped out the door that morning. As in, we were drenched by the time we made it to the park - 2 short blocks from our doorstep!
Still, G did get to swing (for about three minutes) and he seemed to get a kick out of being suspended in air, looking around at the park and playing with the chains. Something tells me our neighborhood park is about to become a favorite of this little boy!


when things are easy and when they are not quite so...

This photo captured one of the easier moments of the past two days. Sunday was hot, humid, overcast with threatening storms and absolutely nasty outside but, this boy does not like to be kept indoors all day. He had taken a wonderfully long nap that didn't allow for a trip anywhere outside of town. So, we walked. The dark clouds stayed quiet for a blessed hour as we walked and walked around the block. G didn't make a sound the whole time. He loves people watching and becomes enthralled with the cars and trucks driving by. About halfway in I stood in front of the stroller and talked to him a bit, then took out my phone to snap this photo saying, "Smile for Daddy!" And, so he did.
The not-quite-so-easy part was the reason why I was sending a photo to Mr. Boom instead of walking with him. Scheduling G's baptism. It has been a chore. First we had to put it on hold because of the hip/harness issue. Then, it was a renovation project and knowing that summer and the resulting vacations wreak havoc with party planning. By the time we knew it, we were looking at autumn and finally found a date that seemed to work for us,the godparent, my out-of-town sister and nephew and the church. Booked it and done. Right?

Not even close.

The priest is free, the church is open but, the church hall where we planned to hold the reception? Notsomuch. The hunt was on (and fast!) for a venue that wouldn't eat up G's college fund, would hold the amount of people we want/need to invite AND had enough available parking. While I was taking that cute photo, Mr. Boom was driving from one end of the county to the other checking out potential places.

Without any luck.

Nothing even remotely close to the church was a viable option. The locations were either a fortune, run down, had bad reviews or had no parking at all. We were looking to book a simple luncheon, for crying out loud, not a wedding! Actually, our wedding may have been easier. Thankfully, last night we found and booked a place. It is a good distance from the church (although right off the highway) but, fit all of our other criteria and will allow us to use the same caterer as was used for my baby shower...which was delicious!

Now, if only I could find a printable, digital invitation design that I actually like!


seven months of g...

Hello sweet boy,

Today you have been in our lives for seven wonderful months. It's your third season, your first summer, and it's been a scorcher! We've had to get creative with outings to keep you cool and, earlier this month you had your first swim in your very own little pool. Which you loved. A lot. We are so looking forward to taking you on your first vacation to the lake next month.

At seven months you:
  • have made it through your first illness - an ear infection. You were pretty uncomfortable but bounced back quickly. Then, after only 4 days of the antibiotics, you developed a rash all over your little body. Likely diagnosis? A slight allergy to penicillin.
  • are rolling as far as we will let you. We'll put you down on the floor to play with your toys and in mere seconds you'll roll yourself across the room to something more interesting. Thinking that crawling is in the very near future. Let the baby proofing begin!
  • are still toothless for now.
  • have made nighttime a guessing game. Just when we think you've gotten the hang of sleeping better (read: 1-2 short wake ups), you all of a sudden revert back to a few nights of being up every hour on the hour. Let's grow out of this one quickly, okay?
  • giggle. A LOT! At silly sounds we make, belly raspberries and when we laugh. It's the best sound in the world. I hope you can always find and enjoy humor in the everyday.
  • love your food. It is such a pleasure to feed you and to be treated to your joyful, "Mmmmmm's." So far you have loved everything you've tried and we're hoping you become as much of a foodie as your parents. You eat a mixture of jarred food and food that I make for you (chicken, peas and green beans so far).
  • are quickly climbing the growth charts. At your 6 month appointment you weighed 16lb, 14 oz (35th percentile) but, just three short weeks later (7.15.10) at the sick appointment for your ear, you were already up to 18lb, 4oz!
  • are still wearing almost all of your 3-6 month clothes and have started being able to wear a few more of your 6-9's without them looking huge.
  • are still nursing well. I pump for you during my work days and you, thankfully, have been taking your bottles without a problem.
  • have handled Mama's transition back to work (part-time) like a champ! You spend two days a week with your Yia-Yia and one day with Christine and your friend, C.
  • understand object permanence, especially when it involves the t.v. remote control!
  • like playing peek-a-boo with a small blanket or burp cloth.
  • have started to suck your thumb a bit more to self-soothe. It's not all the time, but seems to comfort you when you remember to use it.
  • really, really want to stand on your own and would be happy if we held you up to do so all day long.
  • are slightly obsessed with the pull chains on the ceiling fan in your room and love turning the light on and off, and on and off and...
  • reach your little arms up to us now when you want to be held. love this!
  • have a new way of letting us know you want something - you hold out a hand and touch together your thumb and first two fingers in the direction of the desired object. so cute!
  • no longer want to sit in your infant carrier in the stroller. You now sit in the stroller facing forward and intently watch the world go by. You seem to be particularly interested in passing cars and trucks.
  • no longer want to sit in your stroller at all when we are on indoor outings, such as the mall. Thanking your grandma everytime I put you in the ERGObaby. You end up content and I'm happy to have your snuggled close.

We absolutely adore you, little guy, and are continually amazed by how much you change everyday and how much you have changed our lives for the better.

I love you to the moon and back,



a few favorites, for now...

Because favorite things in the life of an infant have the potential to change instantaneously, here are a few that G is loving in his little world right now:

1) Murray. The big, orange furry monster that hosts Sesame Street. Want to see a silly baby grin any time of day? Pick an episode, any episode of Sesame Street on the DVR and as soon as this shaggy thing pops on the screen...bring on the smiles! Although I'm not a fan of plunking my baby in front of the television, Mama needs to shower. Murray helps me accomplish this task every morning. He may be a bit ghetto for my taste but, he helps a Mama out and makes the boy giggle. Can't argue with that logic.
2) Hot-Kid Baby Mum-Mum Rice Rusks. Say what? Way to make a really simple teething cracker sound super complicated folks. Baby food purees are great but, these are helping G learn to start feeding himself while buying me a minute to prepare his meals without squeals. The box we have at home says they are "No mess." Liar, liar, pants on fire. The sticky, spit full rice clumps end up everywhere with these things but, G loves them. And, that's what washcloths are for, no? Thanks to my cousin for the suggestion.
3) Evenflo Triple Fun Jungle Exersaucer. G is obsessed with this thing. He jumps and jumps and jumps until we are certain he will wear out the industrial strength springs on the legs. And then he jumps some more. See the alligator in the front? It comes apart in three pieces and his personal mission is to make sure those pieces are always hanging off the front. He'll bounce them out, toss them out or swipe them out but, the alligator must never be intact. Not ever.
4) Happy Bellies Organic Oatmeal. It's actually pretty tasty and is a staple for both of G's daily meals. I just picked up their multi-grain cereal and we'll try that soon.
5) Fisher Price Laugh, Learn & Love to Play Puppy. All of a sudden, he loves this puppy. I think it is quite possibly possessed (several times, I've heard it talk in the middle of the night over the baby monitor - even though it is across the room from the crib and none of the sensors could have been triggered. It now gets switched off at bedtime) but, G is tickled by the songs and the heart that lights up. He particulalrly loves when the puppy and I sing "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" together.

(Standard disclaimer: Nope, I'm not affiliated with any of the above companies, nor did I receive products or compensation of any kind (sadly) for saying nice things about them. They are just things G likes. Period.)

job description...

My mom sent this to me in an e-mail last week and I couldn't resist both laughing out loud and posting here.

PARENT - Job Description
POSITION: Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma, Dad, Daddy, Dada, BaBa, Pa, Pop
Long term, team players needed, for challenging, permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities! Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.

The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be a willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

None. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you

None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.

While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love, and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right.


mama initiation, by fire...

Three firsts happened for G yesterday, none of which were welcomed or amusing in the least:
  • ear infection
  • high fever
  • projectile vomiting...times two

Wednesday night, G felt very hot all over and when the thermometer reading went over 101, I knew I'd be making two calls in the morning: a sick day for work (my 2nd week back) and the pediatrician. He hadn't been himself all day and had been tugging at his ear. So, Thursday morning we got a sick visit appointment. As soon as the doctor looked in his left ear it was obvious. Ear infection. By mid-afternoon, G had his first dose of antibiotics.

I figured on a rough night ahead based on his fever and the ear pain. I did not expect what happened after his dinner. He had eaten well, as usual - chicken, sweet potatoes and oatmeal with some pears to top it all off. Within ten minutes, G, the kitchen floor, counter, cabinets and I were all wearing every last bite of that meal. Projectile. Followed by scared, very unhappy screams from the boy and immediate mopping up and clothes changing action by Mama.


And in the end, I'm left wondering how I could have overlooked the memo about this fabulous initiation.


adventures in baby food purees...

I knew this appliance purchase would come in handy one day. I was just picturing poolside frozen margaritas, rather than food purees. Oh, how life changes ;-) While I was still pregnant with G, I told Mr. Boom that I wanted to try to make his baby food. He went along with it (likely as another of my fleeting preg-brain whims). When it was nearing time for G to actually try solids, though, I got more serious about it, especially for veggies and meats. Fruits, well, the jarred are just plain easier than the peeling, cutting up and cooking down but, feel free to refute my opinion on this. Forget the marketing gimmick of the $150 baby food processor. The Magic Bullet does the trick at a third of the cost and, according to Mr. Boom, makes a pretty darn good smoothie too!

Veggies were a no brainer - pick up bags of organic vegetables, microwave, puree with a little added water and portion out in freezer trays. Perfect and far less than HALF the cost of the jarred variety! Here's a cost comparison from our (ridiculously expensive) area:

  • Gerber 2-pack of organic Green Beans = (2) 2.5 oz servings for $1.29 = $0.65 per 2.5 oz serving
  • Trader Joe's frozen organic Green Beans = (18) 1 oz servings for $1.79 = $0.25 per 2.5 oz serving
So far I've made peas and green beans and he loves them both. Though I kept them simple and stuck to just the veggies for the first tries, I'm planning to add in some light spice for the next round.

Next, it was time to introduce meat. The idea of feeding my baby meat of unknown sources from a jar? Well...blech! I just couldn't stomach the thought when I knew I could make them simply, easily and would know exactly what I'd be feeding him. For his first try, Mr. Boom and I picked up a large, organic chicken breast from the supermarket. I brought it home, cut it in half and diced it up into about 1" pieces. I vacuum sealed half and threw them in the freezer for later. The other half went into a pot of boiling water with some garlic for about 10 minutes, until they were cooked through. Following a suggestion from Wholesome Baby Food, I added sweet potato to the chicken for the pureeing process, as chicken alone will end up crumbly and dry. It worked out perfectly and G absolutely loved it!


you know your baby is a boy when...

Both my reading of parenting books and talks with other moms indicated that around the six month mark, I should expect that G would be “learning something new every day.” Sure, he’s a little sponge and it made sense that he’d pick things up at a rapid pace but figured the every day part would be an exaggeration. Wrong!

Sunday, he played a game with his Daddy. When Mr. Boom smiled, so did G. When Mr. Boom was straight-faced, so was G. Mirroring expressions, all of a sudden.

Yesterday, he got the hang of grasping and eating a vegetable rice rusk biscuit.

Then, there were the wee hours of this morning. G woke at about 3:30 wanting to nurse. I went in, changed his diaper and we sat down in the glider. As I was getting both of us adjusted, he passed gas. A millisecond later, he mimicked the sound and blew raspberries, “Plbttttt”.

Must have been a fluke, right?

A few seconds later, another round of gas followed by another, “Plbttttt”. By the third time, it was all I could do not to burst into a fit of laughter (he was till semi-drowsy and I didn’t want to risk waking him fully).

Yes, he is learning something new every. single. day. And, he is such a boy!

-- posted from my iPhone


goodbye my sweet, furry friend...

This morning, with very heavy hearts, Mr. Boom and I made the very difficult decision to say goodbye to our beloved cat, Hemingway. He's been on a slow decline for the past year or so but, still had good quality of life until this past week. By last night, it was obvious that he was in pain and that we would have to help him along. Our sweet boy was far too good to us for too long to allow him to suffer. We are so grateful to the compassionate vet, Dr. Chen who was there to help us today.

I rescued Hemingway from a shelter Easter weekend of 1997. He was the craziest, liveliest cat I'd ever met. Running through my apartment sliding on the wood floors and bouncing off walls and jumping on everything (refrigerator, counters, tops of doors, top of the shower, range hood, everywhere). He was absolutely a people cat. He followed me wherever I went and loved to be on my lap.

Hemingway was smart. Too smart. He knew to knock things off surfaces in the middle of the night to wake me up for playtime or fresh water (fresh cat!). And, I easily taught him to play fetch and to roll over on command by saying "Roll over, Kitty!"

People food was his weakness. He particularly loved lunch meat and canned corn. Weird but true! Every time I opened a can of corn, he would make a bee line for the kitchen and beg for the water and a few kernels. In contrast, he hated every brand of cat treat I bought for him until just a couple of years ago when we discovered Greenies. Then, that was Mr. Boom's trick for cat bonding - a few Greenies each day.

Since we brought G home, it seemed to be Hemingway's mission to either ignore or turn his nose up at the baby. Another male invader of his domain. Funny enough, in the past two weeks, he seemed to make peace with his "little brother." In his last days, he would stand in front of G and allow himself to be pet and have handfuls of hair or an ear tugged without so much as a sound. It was as if he was asserting his role as G's first pet. Saying hello, saying goodbye.

We had a good, full 13+ years together and he will be missed terribly.

Good night, my sweet friend.


wordless wednesday: a borowed office, work day #2

-- posted from my iPhone

working mama...

I am officially a working (out of the home) mom.

21 hours of each week, plus commuting hours, will be dedicated to something other than taking care of my baby. Attending to the needs of a program, at an agency, far from my home. Making sure requirements are fulfilled, teaching adults new skills to better their service delivery, e-mailing, speaking on the phone…and being away from where I really want to be.

My maternity leave was an almost always wonderful and far too short 6 months and 10 days. I know that extended time was a blessing and I am further blessed by being able to work an abbreviated week. I get it. But, today, I’m allowing myself a bit of a pity party as I sit at a borrowed desk, at a borrowed computer until I’m assigned my own desk at my new office. Pumping every few hours and trying not to think of the obvious Bessie comparisons. Still, yesterday was quick. A training day that kept me busy and distracted.

Today, is a different story.

On day one in the office, I was able to cross off every item on my to do list in about a nano-second, leaving the rest of the day to sit and think about what I could be doing at home with G. Crud. Keeping busy is clearly essential to my survival right about now. I know it should get a bit easier day by day and that once a routine is established it will be okay.

The relality is this: the very best part of my first day back at work was the homecoming. I walked into my in-law's house and heard G giggling in the next room. I put down my bags, quickly slipped off my shoes and made a beeline for him. The moment he saw me, I was rewarded with a big, gummy grin and his little chubby arms stretched out to me as if to say, "Oh there you are Mama, welcome home."
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