Monday, June 30, 2008

Gimmie A Smile!

Brett has been slowly smiling more and more. However, it has been difficult to get him to mug for the camera. When we came back from a stroller walk this past week on vacation (which I will blog about soon), Brett was all smiles. He was practically giddy with joy.

I was flashing my camera like mad, and like Tyra Banks, he was working it.... (notice his adorable dimple!)





The best part? When we took him out of the seat we noticed he'd had a MASSIVE diaper blowout. It was all over his clothes and the carseat. So, yeah, he was laughing at the mess his mommy and daddy would have to clean up!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Brett Updates

I mean to update with this post earlier this week, but time got away from me.

Last Friday, Brett had his 8 week checkup (or 2 month checkup, I guess). He weighed in at 11 pounds even, and was a staggering 24 inches! He is the longest & skinniest baby I've ever seen. We actually compared these measurements to Steve's baby book, and right around the same time, Steve was 11.2 pounds and 23 1/2 inches. So Brett is right on track to be 6'4", 200 + pounds, just like his daddy!

He also had his first round of shots, which was hard for me as his mommy to watch, but he pulled through pretty well. He cried at first, and then slept for a couple of hours, but he didn't have a fever & wasn't too cranky.

Then, on Saturday Brett took his first road trip! We went up to Chicago for the first time with Brett to attend a party thrown by Steve's parents. Yes, Brett was the guest of honor. He did pretty well on the trip up, sleeping most of the way. He was a little cranky during the party, but I think he was way overstimulated - meeting lots and lots of new people and being in a new place. I snapped a picture of Brett, Steve, Steve's dad & grandpa together.... Brett is the first grandson to carry on the family name, therefore creating 4 generations.



Afterwards, Brett slept fairly well in a new environment overnight and did brunch like a pro (again, he slept).

I'm crossing my fingers that this trend continues, because very shortly we are taking a 6 hour ride to Michigan for our vacation. Last weekend was a "trial run" for the big trip!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Turning over a new leaf

So, yesterday I did something drastic. Something that will affect our financial future. Yes, I accepted a part time job and gave notice to my current full time job that I won't be returning after maternity leave. Ultimately this is the best decision, and I feel good about it. I've enjoyed spending these last weeks with Brett and taking this job gives me the opportunity to spend an extra 2 days at home with him. I feel good about this job. It's doing admin/bookkeeping work, which I am very comfortable with, plus it seems like a friendly atmosphere and not too "corporate" (which I did 2 jobs ago, and it just wasn't my cup of tea).

The only issue? It will be cutting my salary by over half. I know we can make it work.. I wouldn't have taken a different job if we couldn't, but it will be a lifestyle change.

After I gave my boss my notice, I went into work and collected my stuff and turned in my keys. It wasn't easy. I said goodbye to everyone and realized how much I will miss my co-workers. I worked with a really great staff.... but it's more important to me to spend time with Brett. It's hard to believe I spent 3 years there.. moving from leasing agent up to property manager of the apartment complex. I have some super crazy stories that I could tell. It was definitely the most interesting job I'd ever had. One day in the future I may pursue property management again, who knows?

So here's to the future! I start my new job July 1st. I hope all goes well!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Another reason why I love summer!

Miraculously, this year we managed to get some flowers and vegetables in. Knowing that Brett's due date was May 5th, I hadn't planned to do much this summer (note: while Steve's outside duties include mowing, picking up after the dogs, trimming, fertilizing, etc., mine have always included planting and care of flowers). I pretty much told Steve that there wasn't a chance in hell I was doing it this year, so he said he would. So we put impatients in front (along with some non-stop begonia baskets), and instead of flowers in the back, Steve decided on a vegetable/herb garden. With the rising food prices, I thought it sounded like a good idea. We also have pots of my favorite flowers - pink gerbera daisies - and some pansies on our back porch. I decided to take some pics.



Brett shows us how we should all stop and smell the roses (our climbing rose bush).




Vegetables - we planted alot of stuff, experimenting to see what lives and what dies.



My beautiful magnolia trees are just starting to bloom!



Impatients. Menards - $10.67 for an entire flat. Normally we'd spend twice that at a more expensive nursery. Never again!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mr. Snugglebutt

I think I have about the snuggliest baby alive. I love the fact that Brett loves to curl up in my arms and fall asleep. It is one of the best parts of being a mother. However, this poses certain problems. For example, as I stated in one of my earlier posts, I am trying desperately to lose my baby weight. Besides trying to eat properly (which I am getting better and better at) I need to exercise. And, now, I am MOTIVATED. I have some awesome workout videos and a really great treadmill, and some free weights. I have all of the tools I need. AND, I'm still on maternity leave. This is good right? I should be able to work out all day, right? Not so much. I have a baby snugglebutt. He will hang out in his swing, or bouncy seat, or under his mobile for about 5 - 10 minutes (on a good day) and then he's bored and wants to be held. I've even tried the pacifier. He's picky, though. If he's not getting what he wants, that pacifier gets spit right out. Now I know the first thing you are thinking "It's nice out. Why don't you just put him in his stoller and take a walk". And, yes, I agree with that statement. In fact, when my husband comes home from work, we normally do that. However, I also have 2 dogs that will throw a fit if I don't take them with Brett (impossible!), and I don't want to come home to a trashed house (hence Steve - he walks the dogs while I take the stroller).

I don't quite know how this started. I've read numerous things that say you can't spoil your baby by holding him too much. Okay, I agree. And, when Steve and I brought him home, we just didn't know what to DO with him. Like, some people "get it" to be parents. We didn't. We (or I at least) were afraid he would break if we put him down. Or I felt guilty if I put him down, like I was ignorning him. That part was hard for me because as a typical newborn, he was just a "blob". You know, he didn't do much at all. And, I didn't know what to do. Great combination. This combined with adoring grandparents who wanted to snuggle constantly with him led to a baby who wants to be held at all times.



Brett gives daddy one of his first rare smiles!!!

Now that Brett "gets it", it proves hard for me to get anything done. I can occasionally "trick" him by rocking him to sleep and getting him down for 30 minutes or so during the day. At these moments I'm racing around like a chicken with my head cut off. Laundry. Check. Lunch. Check. Etc., etc.

The worst thing? Getting a shower. I usually put him down in his pack & play (in our room) so I can hear him while in the shower. He normally starts cooing and making silly noises, which end up escalating to fussiness and eventually all out crying. I race to get out, but feel horrible if he's crying for 5 minutes. This is why at least once a week I don't get a shower until Steve gets home from work.




Steve gets the second shift. This is when I get my stuff done!


Brett has a pretty normal sleep cycle right now (by normal I mean like a regular person - not a baby). He is a GREAT sleeper at night (as I write this though, I know I'm pretty much screwed tonight). He'll fall asleep right before we go to sleep and then wake once to nurse in the middle of the night (I can't fault him for being hungry), and then he'll go back to sleep. But he's like us. He'll stay awke for the majority of the day. We hang out. And eat. And eat. And eat. That is Brett's favorite thing to do - nurse. I guess he has to store up his "reserves" to get through sleeping through the night. Which, come to think of it, is a pretty good thing.

Oh well. I shouldn't complain. I've been blessed with a beautiful baby boy who's healthy and (for the most part) happy. He just likes to snuggle - A LOT!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Yep, I'm Guilty. But He's SOOO Cute!

Okay, so I swore I'd never be one of THOSE moms. Come on, we all know moms like this. You know, the ones who will post a 45 minute video of Timmy sleeping in his bouncy seat just because it was cute and thought the world would be as enthralled with their boring kid as they were.

Well, I am beginning to fall victim. Rest assured, this is a SHORT video. Only over a minute. But (to me anyway) it is sooo cute. Brett is still so young that there isn't alot he can do yet, but the one thing that he LOVES is his mobile. It's amazing how interactive he has become in the short 8 weeks he's been with us. The only thing I wish I caught here was a smile. Yes, he is beginning to smile. They are still few and far between, but they melt my heart when they happen!

video

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Chicago Visitors

Rick, Tina and Evan came to visit this weekend! I meant to take a picture with them and Brett to upload here but I forgot :(. Evan is 1 year and 4 months older than Brett and he has grown so much... I look at him and think about what Brett will look like next year. Soon, we hope they will be friends and I'm sure they will get into all kinds of trouble together!

Also, Tina and I got New Kids tickets for the last Chicago show! If you follow this blog at all, you will understand that I am excited! Hey, I'm not ashamed to say I was a fan. It will be like being in 6th grade all over again (which, come to think of it wasn't the best time of my life, but oh well). I'm sure we'll still have an awesome time!

For updates on Evan, check out Tina's blog on my links section titled "Oh The Places We'll Go".

Losing The Baby Weight

Okay, so I've accepted the harsh reality that at least 25 pounds that I gained, was not the "water weight" I had hoped it would be. I do admit I indulged a bit more than I normally would... I had dessert practically every night and my workouts slowed waaayy down (and at the end they were completely non existant). Before pregnancy, I was happy size 2-4, and I had to work REALLY hard to maintain my figure (alas I was not blessed with my mother's metabolism). See pic as the "before"...

Note on this picture... it was taken on one of our cruises by the Carnival staff and it was just so hilarious I had to buy it.

Then, pregnancy....


This picture was taken at 33 weeks.. the latest pic I have uploaded of me preggers... I had Brett at 37 weeks. All things considered, this was a pretty flattering pic of my swollen self.

Then the "after" pic....

I really feel soo much better now than I did during the first month post pregnancy. You literally feel like you've been through a war zone after giving birth. Your body is recovering and it's definitely not pretty. Now, at least I feel HUMAN.

But the thing is... my body is totally different now. I've always gained weight pretty evenly all over my body, but it is now concentrated in my belly and arms. Weird, right?

Friday I decided to accept my fate.. I currently cannot fit into my old clothes and maternity clothes are just baggy. Solution? Shopping. But this wasn't happy shopping. It was "I'm fat and nothing fits" shopping. So, with a heavy heart I drug Steve and Brett with me to Kohl's. The good news? I was able to purchase clothes in the misses section (to my relief I don't have to visit Lane Bryant). The bad news? I am wearing clothes 3-4 sizes BIGGER than I had before (you do the math). And, my body is all different. The pants I bought fit my pregnancy pudge, but are waaayyy too big across my rear and legs. It just looks strange. And the tops had to be large no matter what... if nothing else for the sheer fact that I am nursing.

So I left with a few tops and pants and most of my dignity.

The bright side is that I started back on the treadmill 2-3 weeks ago. I had to start really slow but I am gradually building back up. I'm only still walking, but I hope to be running by the middle of next month. And, today I started lifting weights and doing crunches (I currently don't have a waist, so I need to work on that). After initally loosing like 30 pounds, the rest is creeping off slowly, but I am determined to make it work. Hey, I own a pair of Seven jeans, and I WILL wear them again!

Also, my mother did me one of the biggest favors post pregnancy that anyone has done for me. She bought me a large tube of Strivectin (and thanks mom, that stuff is really expensive!). I did not fare so well on the stretch mark war (if you saw my belly at the end, you'd understand). This stuff is amazing! While the stretch marks aren't gone, they look sooo much better than before. As I keep applying it, they look less and less visible.

So, hey, along with my Seven jeans, I will set a goal to get back into a 2 piece by next summer! Now that I've said that, everyone needs to hold me accountable!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Trying To Be Like Daddy

If you know anything about my husband, Steve, you know that he is incredibly intelligent. In fact, that is a major reason I was attracted to him in the first place. I've always found intelligence to be far more attractive than, say, athleticism (but for his credit, Steve does hit the treadmill).
Right before we first started dating in college, I was hanging out in his room and he was watching Jeparody with his roommate, and I swear he got every answer right! That sealed the deal for me...
Since he graduated from Butler, he went on to get his masters at Ball State and is now in the process of acquiring his doc from there as well. In about 3-4 years you can call him Dr. Steve.
Anyway, intelligence is a trait that I really hope got passed on to Brett (and if it wasn't - sorry, that's probably my fault!). He and Steve have watched Jeoparody almost every night together since he was in the womb... and so to encourage Brett, we like to dress him in this onesie...

Also, as I have stated in numerous blogs while pregnant, Steve's 6'4" physique dwarfs my 5'3" stature. And, while it's hard to tell what Brett's features will turn into later, one thing is apparent. He is one long and lanky kid! He has his dad's arms and legs. Hey, maybe if he IS athletic - we may have the next NBA player! He was born at a staggering 21 1/2 inches, and I'm really anxious to see what he's at next Friday at his 2 month appointment. He's also incredibly thin (again, from his daddy - I pray he doesn't have my metabolism), so finding clothes is beginning to be a bit of a challenge. Overalls seems to work well.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Baptism

Brett was baptized on Sunday.

Here are a few pics from the day. The gown is from Steve's family - circ. 1914.










Monday, June 2, 2008

Funny Brett Pictures

I've collected a few silly pics of Brett over the past week or so...

Firsts of all, Brett is total squirmer in his sleep. You can put him in the middle of his bed and over the course of the night he'll migrate to one side or the other.... or he'll completely turn around. We tried to put him in an "inclined to sleep" sleeper and that was a bad idea. He would squirm down to the barriers and I was afraid he'd suffocate himself. So, we've tried the sleep sack. It's better... it mostly keeps him on his back, but he still finds a way to move around.




Here's a pic of Brett in his "studly" onesie. The shirt says it all...



And, finally, B-man will occasionally sleep with his arms folded, and sometimes it's pretty funny. I think he wants to be a gangsta when he grows up. This one is my favorite...