Thursday, April 30, 2009

before 10

showered, got dressed, dried my hair, changed clothes, washed bottles, pumped, changed outfits again, woke the baby, played with baby, changed the baby, fed the baby, gave baby to daddy.  Washed dishes, cleaned counters, swept kitchen, took out trash, tidied living room, dusted living room, vacuumed living room, did pushups and crunches on freshly vacuumed carpet, changed shirts, made lunches, gathered my things.  Got to work, scored tests, gathered info and wrote a 9 page report, attended a meeting and saw a counseling kid all before 10am.

In other news, I want to cut my hair. short. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


My stomach was upset today.  I don't know why.  I think maybe I had too much salad at lunch (is that even possible?).  More accurately, I probably had too many walnuts or feta on my salad.  It was really good at the time though.

Regardless of the reason, I didn't feel 100%  On top of that, I stayed up late last night and got up early this morning and I was dragging.  I, apparently, really am too old to stay up late anymore.  

I go to work, do my thing, get home, and entertain the baby for a while.  I really really just want to take a nap, but instead I put on a happy face and played airplane and tickle and helped Abs practice sitting and standing etc.  Eventually Abby went down for a nap and Kyle got home.  I fell asleep for about 15 mins - which was nice, but not enough.  Abby was awake again.  I tried to feed her, but she would have none of it.  

I guess she just wasn't hungry.  As soon as we stopped trying to feed her, she was much happier, and remained a happy baby for the next 45 mins until it was time for her bedtime bottle.  So let me recap:

I'm tired.  My stomach hurts.  I just listened to a screaming baby for 30 mins.  I had a salad for lunch.  ....And then.... Then,  I remember that I need to go to the gym.  *head falls, insert annoyed groans here*

Have you ever really really really REALLY not wanted to do something?  

I got myself up, I managed to change into my gym clothes.  I put on my shoes, got my purse, and forced myself to the car where I made myself drive to the gym to try my first spinning class.  The guy who works the desk downstairs even asked me if I was all right on the way out. Sigh. 

The class was great - for, oh, about the first 90 seconds.  Then it got hard.  And it remained hard for nearly an hour.  I'm not sure it's my thing - it was a little painful.  BUT, I did it, I didn't walk out, I finished.  Then I came home.

I was hoping I would feel good about making myself go work out - that I would look back and think "see? you feel better now" But, really, I'm just even more tired and tomorrow I won't be able to walk .  I mean, I'm glad I went because now I don't have to feel guilty about not going - but my body is tired today and needs some rest. 

8 things

My friend Bethany tagged me in this little distraction.  :)  

8 Things I look forward to (in no particular order):

- Summer vacation
- My parents coming to visit
- Abby growing 
- One day moving closer to home
- lunch
- spending lots of time outside in the city
- traveling
- my future life - in general.

8 Things I Did Yesterday:

- went to work, met with my boss
- went to mass, met up with Kyle
- went to the pediatrician, had the offspring weighed.
- went to the bank and got a free gel pen
- went to fed-ex and mailed off some papers
- held abby upside down and tickled her until she couldn't laugh any harder
- voted for Kris Allen
- stayed up past my bedtime

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:

- fit into my old clothes
- travel the world
- afford to stay at home and raise a dozen kids
- run a respectable distance
- visit a tropical island
- see my far away friends
- own a home
- eat chocolate with no consequences (hey, as long as we're wishing..)

8 Shows I Watch:

- Grey's
- Desperate housewives
- Office
- Amazing Race
- American Idol
- 60 mins
- The unit
- Daily Show

I tag:

Billie Jo
( and anybody else who feels like wasting a few mins  :-) )

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

spring sprung

Before our April vacation, the trees in front of the high school were still bare from winter. When I got back, the front lawn of the school was in full bloom.  The weather has been very warm.  Today we almost reached 90!  Tomorrow, however, the high is back to 60 - which is more typical of this time of year. 

Spring is a great season.  Everybody is so thirsty for the warmer weather, the flowers, and the sunshine.  You feel better just being outside.  At least I do.  

Of course, with spring at the high school, we also gets to experience the joys of sending dozens and dozens of young women home for to change into something more appropriate for school.  ;)

Oh, and I get spring fever - in that I want to just stay home and play outside all day.  Work gets much harder when the weather is nice. Y'know?  Especially when your high school doesn't have any air conditioning - and your office has no windows.  Yeah, you just want to get out and go make daisy chains. 

In other news: I went to mass with Kyle today and they had a nice ceremony for sending off all of the soon-to-be graduates.  After the service, they had a nice lunch of sandwiches and such.  For the record - I passed up lemon bars, brownies, and chocolate chip blondie bars.  And they were big, and they looked good.  It was hard - but I did it...and it needed to be chronicled.  This is about day 9 of no sweets, fried foods, or soda. 

I have two psych reports to write tonight for meetings I have tomorrow.  It's the first time I've had to write at home all year. Sigh.  Oh, that reminds me - I had the meeting for the kid I wrote about in the previous post.  He is no longer in SPED, and I got no real answers about his history.  He'll be repeating his senior year next year since he basically has no credits.  Hopefully being in more challenging classes will spur him to action - we'll see. 

In more news: Abby weighed in today at 10.8 - so she's gained about half a pound since our last visit.  We'll go back in a week for another weigh in. 

I don't have much else to report - and I have to go get started on these reports (....or watch idol) so, I'll catch ya later. :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

through the cracks

I have a case that I've been working on for a few weeks now.  

This student is in 12th grade on paper, but has not earned any credits in school for a few years now.  This means that they have not passed any classes for a while.  They are in special education, and it was time to update their records - so I got to do the testing. 

This student did really well with my testing - scoring within Average and above Average ranges (and compared to the scores I normally see - this pretty much makes them look like a genius) So, I talk to the woman who did the academic testing - she, too, had all Average scores and above.  So I check their state test scores.  Not only did they pass their state exams - they scored quite high.  In addition, this student comes from a stable home, with both parents, and has great school attendance. 

So, of course, the question is - do they need special education services?

I look up their records in search of all the previous psychological testing that has been done.  I didn't find anything in the folder - but that's not uncommon.   So, I put in a formal request to our office to give me a copy of the most recent testing on file.  About a week later, I get the report in my box. 

The last time this student was tested was in Kindergarten.  1996.  13 years ago.  Obviously, I'm shocked.  For those of you unfamiliar with the way things work in SPED- records should be updated (with current psych testing) every 3 years in order to re-evaluate the student's needs.  However, for some reason, this wasn't done.  I asked my school about it (I mean, this student has been here for over 3 years now) and they tell me that it took them 3 years to get consent for the testing.

Ok ok.  Maybe I can still figure this out.  Let's see why they were placed in SPED in the first place - I start reading the 13 year old report (which, by the way, is poorly handwritten on unlined paper).  The report, while difficult to read, is well written.  The testing was thorough.  So what were the scores that placed this child into special education?  He scored within the Average or Above Average ranges on EVERYTHING.  Cognitive, Academic, Visual-Motor Integration and several other things.

I'm now thinking that perhaps even though this report obviously doesn't support placing the student in SPED, maybe the team decided against the psych's recommendations.  It happens. :)  But no, I flip to the last page and see that this psychologist recommended him for SPED placement.  (bangs head on desk).  Why??  Apparently, this 5 year old student had "attention difficulties"

In her defense - the psych stated that this should be a trial year and that the student would need to be reassessed.  But, you see,  that never happened.  

And so, here I am.  I have an 18 year old student who is bright and witty and friendly and smart - but who has been coddled by the SPED system for the last 12 years and has never been challenged in the classroom to their level, has never learned to push themselves, has never learned to take responsibility for their actions.  And I get to be the one to tell them that they no longer qualify for these special services.  18 years old, no high school credits. It's sink or swim now.  Hopefully they'll learn to swim - but statistics would argue otherwise. 

How does this happen?  I'm not really sure.  I feel bad for the kid though.  He's been done a huge disservice. 

Sunday, April 26, 2009

farmers market

Today Abby and Karen and I went downtown to check out the farmer's market.  It was great.

As promised, we had some pretty warm weather today.  It was at least in the high 70s here, maybe into the 80s.  Unlike the south - people up here don't know what to do with this kind of "heat" when it lasts for a while.  But today, on the first summery weekend of the year, I think the entire city was outside.

I took the bundle me out of Abby's carseat today and I wore flip flops all day long (there is no way to tell you how much I love flip flops - but I would wear them year round if I could).  Abby wore a skirt for the first time, and while we made sure to keep her cool and in the shade as much as we could - the poor girl was sweating with the rest of us by the end.  Either way, we had a good time.

I was so excited to buy the fruits and veggies at the market.  Who knew how much you could buy?  Let me tell you what I got: 

15 tomatoes, 4 red peppers, a Huge bag of spinach, 2 bunches of asparagus, 7 plumbs, 7 pears, a 5lb bag of apples, 5 huge naval oranges, a box of strawberries, a pound of grapes, and a bunch of bananas.  

And how much did that cost me?  $18.00  I dunno about you - but my grocery store would have cost a lot more than that.  The farmers market may end up being a weekly trip for us. 

An excited Karen and a tired Abby
Trying out her standing legs - she would not look at the camera. we tried. :)

After the market, Karen and I enjoyed some all fruit smoothies before jumping on the T to head home.  Of course, by this time, Abby has missed her afternoon nap, is hot, tired, and ready to be home.  She did ok for about half the ride home and then just decided she was done.  Poor thing.  In an attempt to pacify her,  I put some water in her bottle.  This was a first.  She drank for about 1 min before she caught on that it wasn't going to get any better than that.  Then she was Doubly done.  So there I am - that poor woman on the train with the screaming baby.  Karen had gotten off at her stop.  I eventually get her resettled into her carseat and with a little rocking action, she passed out.  I started to worry about how I was going to get her stroller off the train by myself.  Since we live at the end of the line, there was only me and a really old man on the train.  There were 3 really steep steps to get off the train and here I have a heavy stroller loaded down with bags and bags of veggies.  Luckily, the driver was nice enough to help me out. 
on the way downtown

Needless to say, Abby passed out when it was bedtime.  I think she had a good day though.  She is so observant and quiet.  She was staring at the fruits and veggies with wide eyes most of the time at the market - and there were so many people around.  I can't tell you how many people commented on her.  So, a tiring day, but a good day.  

In other news, Kyle comes home tomorrow afternoon.  He was awarded his scholarship tonight and got to make a speech at the convention and everything.  I think he's having a good time at the conference.  He called last night to tell me that he is now the secretary for the MA chapter of this organization.  I think he found some students his age and enjoyed hanging out with them quite a bit.  I'm glad he got to go to the conference and have a few days "away" to do some things that he enjoys.  He's such a great fella. 

Ok.  So it's 2am and after crashing on the couch earlier tonight and waking up to reruns of desperate housewives, I think I should probably head to bed.  Tomorrow is my last day of vacation (boooooo)  so I'd best rest up to make the most of it. 

I'll leave you with a picture of Abby's impression of the dramatic hamster.

such a ham

Friday, April 24, 2009

go sox

I love Fridays.  Just wanted to throw that out there. 

My day: I intended to try a spinning class this morning, but by the time I was done with Abby's morning routine, the class had already started.  So, I decided to try another group class later.  I got dressed, got my shoes on, got my things together and went to wake Kyle before I left.  Somehow, I managed to get Kyle up while putting myself to sleep.  I woke up 2.5 hours later from the best nap ever.  I guess I needed it. I did go down and do some cardio later - so that's better than nothing. 

Kyle won a scholarship from the MA chapter of the National Federation of the Blind ( I think that's their name) So, as part of the deal, he has to go to a conference this weekend.  They present him his award tomorrow night at a banquet - until then, he doesn't know what he's won.  Sooo, this afternoon, we drove an hour out towards the middle of Massachusetts and dropped dad off.  

It was a gorgeous day.  Just beautiful.  I opened the balcony door and just let the breezes blow through the apartment.  While I was driving back home, I took the scenic route through some nearby neighborhoods.  I love looking at houses - especially these big beautiful houses.  I love Arkansas - but I swear, they just don't make houses like these down there.  Huge, unique, well decorated, magazine houses.  Not to mention the neighborhoods are enough to make Wisteria Lane jealous.  I mean, they're almost so picturesque that it hurts.   I just drove and drove through the winding roads, enjoying the sunshine and the blooms, and daydreaming to myself of owning a house one day.  I'll never own one like these, but it's oh so fun to imagine.  

It's kinda strange to be home alone.  I know he's only going to be gone for 2 days, but I kinda miss him anyway.  Ummm - scratch "kinda" out of the last sentence.  

Anyway, today we took a few pictures just for the fun of it. I'm a few weeks late for the opening of baseball season - but we thought we'd break out the sox gear anyway.  She still doesn't fit into the onsie part of this get up - but, lemmetellyou, daddy Loves that she has her own baseball. 
go sox!

Here's Abs showing off her finger preferences

gotta love gummy grins

The outfit comes with these cute little booties...

...not that they had any hope of actually staying on.

mother of the year

...will not be going to me this time.

I'm not sure, but I think Abby might have the very beginnings of a tooth coming in.  Either that or she just has a very tiny sharp white spot on her gum for no reason at all.  I'm going to ask our ped to look at it on Tuesday when we go back.

Until then, I started re-looking at the signs of teething babies.  She doesn't seem overly bothered by this little invader, but at the same time, she's very drooly, she's been waking up more during her naps, she's been fussier lately, and she's been chomping down on her hands like they were going out of style.  As an aside- several of my friends with kids have noted how their child has a preference for what fingers they like to suck on.  I don't know if Abby will change, but so far she has shown a clear preference for only her left index finger.  She just hooks it around her lip and nom nom nom.  Sometimes she adds the middle finger as well - but most of the time, she's a pointer finger chewer. 

I decided that I would try one of the gum soothing tricks I had read about and see if it was something Abs liked or didn't like.  So I went and got a small baby washcloth (we have tons, most of which we've never used) I dipped the end in water and froze it.  When it was frozen, I gave it to Abby so she could suck on the cold part.  Its supposed to help them soothe their sore and teething gums.  But as it was Abby's first time with something icy - I was interested to see her reaction. 

So I give it to her and of course it instantly goes to her mouth.  It doesn't take her long for her eyes to get big and for to give me this look that says "what IS this?"  I spend the next 5 mins or so helping her hold the cloth and rubbing her gums with it.  All the while she keeps giving me this crazy look.  It was actually kinda funny I thought.  After a bit, she starts wrinkling her nose and smacking her lips and one eyebrow is raised and she's still staring at me with that face.  Finally, I decide that she doesn't really like it and I take the cloth back.  

That's when I notice something odd.  The cloth is really slippery.  My first thought was that she just drool soaked it to that point, but upon further inspection - it was soapy.  Ooops. I thought I had taken a rag that had never been used, but apparently not!  Suddenly, all of those "are you crazy?" looks make sense.  The poor girl just got her mouth rinsed out with soap for no reason at all. 


While I'm on a roll, I'll also confess that while Abby was super fussy in the evening, I totally used the TV as a babysitter.  I plopped her in her swing, pointed her at the TV and turned on baby einstein.  I love and hate that it works so well. She was completely entranced for the whole 30 mins.  Of course, its probably better than the two law & order episodes we watched together earlier in the day.  

Today is supposed to be warm, and tomorrow is supposed to be in the 80s!  I have every intention of spending as much time outdoors as possible....and taking pictures.  Which I still need to upload. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

ho hum.

Today was a good day.  Abby and I hung around the house and played between her naps. Miguel, the apartment handyman, came and fixed our garbage disposal in about 4 seconds. I made a pork roast for the first time.  Kyle got home late and we watched American Idol and now I'm going to bed.  For some reason, sitting at home all day entertaining a child is extremely exhausting.  I'll post more tomorrow.  Ooh, tomorrow is customer appreciation day at the gym - I'll be there with bells on. dumbbells. 

Monday, April 20, 2009

Day 1

Today was the first day of this 42-day challenge that Kyle and I are doing together (although Kyle is doing it with me and not as part of the whole group of people who have joined in)  

I'm feeling pretty motivated.  My goal is to lose 10 lbs by June 2nd.  I have lots of things in place to help keep me accountable and on track and at the moment - I feel good.  I feel optimistic.  I know this feeling will fade, which is why I have so many tricks and rewards set up for myself.  Its really nice that this is my spring break week - it gives me a little extra time to get into good habits that will be harder to maintain once I start working again. 

As stated in my previous post - today was a good first day for this challenge because I got to watch thousands of people run the marathon - which is pretty inspiring in itself.  

I had my usual oatmeal for breakfast, we made a big yummy salad and a sandwhich for lunch and for dinner - baked fish, brown rice, and asparagus.  Mmmm. Good stuff.  Kyle and I walked around for a while this afternoon, but I also made it to the gym to try a new class tonight.  It was called 20/20/20.  Its 20 mins of cardio, 20 mins of cardio + weights, and then 20 mins of muscle toning.  There were hard parts, and then there were harder parts, but I'm glad I went and enjoyed the class (once it was over of course).

My favorite salad: spinach, tomatoes, grapes, sunflower seeds, chicken.  No dressing needed, but a little raspberry vinaigrette goes a long way. :)

I have a little box that I've added to the top right of the blog - that will keep track of my weekly progress.  Right now I am at +10 and I hope to be at 0 by June 2nd.  Its just one more thing to keep me accountable.  And just to be clear - since many of you are worried. I'm NOT dieting.  I am not skipping meals or trying to only take in 800 calories a day.  I'm just eating Healthier.  I'm not eating candy and I'm only drinking water - no cokes.  Oh, and I'm exercising 3-4 times a week.  If anything, I'm probably eating more than I used to - it's just instead of having brownies, I'm having chopped red peppers or some cheese and crackers. And Kyle's doing it with me - which is really nice. 

I won't talk about the challenge in every post, but I wanted to document day 1 here and explain the new little countdown box.  I'm excited to build a healthier me.


Today is Patriots Day in Boston - which is the official reason many businesses are closed today.  But Marathon Monday is the much more popular reason to celebrate the day.  

If you've never seen a marathon - it's pretty cool.  Kyle ran a marathon once - in Little Rock.  He had never ran a race before and just decided to run a marathon so he could check it off his "things to do before I die" list. Does this give you an idea of how stubborn he can be?  :)  I remember when I was waiting for Kyle to finish the race, I was so inspired by all the different people who were running.  Old and young, men, women, teams, solo - they were all running for a reason.  

Here's Kyle running the Little Rock Marathon
The Boston marathon is a pretty big deal.  Kyle and I watched most of the race coverage on TV today - but we're lucky that the course runs right in front of our apartment, so we got to experience some of it first hand too. We didn't stay out too long - the high today was 48 and that cold north wind was blowing hard - not the best baby weather.

Abby had a special outfit for the day of course.


Here are a few pictures of the race

These are the leading women as they pass our apartment- the view obviously from our floor inside.  The American- Kara came in 3rd in the end - but she was amazing to watch!

we wondered if there wasn't a double meaning behind these signs posted along the course.

there they go!

outside our apartment

Yesterday we bought an Ergo baby carrier for Abby.  We decided to try it out today as we took her out to see the race.  She seems to really like it.  She's super cuddly and seemingly content when she's in it.  The only downer is that you can't turn her to face outward in it - so we'll seeif we end up wanting something different or not.  Here we are all ready to go


Everything goes to the mouth now - daddy's fingers are no exception

Cheering on the runners!


The marathon was great to watch.  It is inspiring to see so many people running that kind of race.  There were 26,000 people running today - well those are the ones who were registered.  I saw people who were running for a cause or for a person, we saw an old man dressed as a bumble bee, another man running in a kilt.  There was a man who ran dressed as an iPhone and on the way home we saw somebody dressed like a banana.  Fun times.  It was also fun to be part of the hundreds of admiring and cheering fans - clapping and yelling and high-fiving the runners.  Who knows, maybe one day I'll run a race. Maybe not a marathon to start...but maybe something smaller.  We'll see. :)

And I leave you with a picture of these baby blues. Gotta love 'em. 


Sunday, April 19, 2009

watch me learn!

Y'know, just over 4 short months ago, Abby had never had air before - never seen a face or felt somebody hold her.  I am constantly amazed by how much she is learning now days.  It's so much fun to watch her learn.  I'll just go ahead and warn you now - I've got lots of pictures. 

On Friday we had a beautiful day.  It didn't quite hit 70, but we got into the upper 60s.  Boston hadn't been that warm in over 160 days which is shorter than usual (and we still haven't reached 70)  It was great.  Even the trees seem about ready to venture out their blooms.  We decided to go out and enjoy the day.  Kyle kicked the soccer ball around with a friend while we let Abby experience many firsts (winter in Boston isn't the best time for a baby to be outside)

It was really windy - and Abby, having not been outside much, rarely gets to experience wind - especially a strong one.  This is her face when the first big gust hit her.
"omg mom, what. was. that?"

It took her a few moments to figure out that nothing bad was happening - and then every time a big gust would come she would close her eyes and grin.  A few times she tried to kinda bite the air - it was pretty funny. 

"Ok, I decided I like it"

dad playing soccer - he doesn't always color coordinate to match the ball. Promise.

The other big first for this day was grass!  Abby has never been on grass before.  She wasn't sure what to think at first, but it didn't take her long to like it. :)

"Hmm, what do we have here..."

"woah, mom, have you checked this stuff out?"

So that was fun - I look forward to her being outside much more often. 
Here's a picture of her playing with her new fun dome - you can just see her learning can't you?


Today Kyle and I went out for Sunday burritos.  Something we've only done once since Abs was born.  It was sooooo good.  We brought a bottle to feed Abby and so Kyle put it on the table while he took Abs out of the carrier... 

It was so funny.  Abby looked over and saw the bottle, her eyes got big - like you could see her pupils dilate and focus on her liquid lunch.  She reached out and grabbed the top of the bottle and pulled it to her mouth.  Then she took both hands and held the bottle.  She fed the whole thing to herself!

Kyle and I were just dying.  We were laughing so hard.  We were quite amused.  Who knows if she "meant" to do that or not - but either way, it was funny.  At least to us it was. :)


"I got this, yo"

One last picture I took today.  During mass this morning (have I mentioned how much we love our new church?) I kept giving Abby her toys and exchanging them to keep her occupied.  As I switched one out, I would stick another in my purse.  At the end of the service, I looked down at my purse and just thought "wow, I'm a mom now"


Friday, April 17, 2009

the cereal question

Oh me oh my.  

So I have actually had more than a few people the last few days mention that we should consider starting Abby on cereal to help her gain weight.  It seems logical, right? Cereal being thicker than milk alone and all.  Most of the time, when I'm passing teachers in the hall or the conversation keeps running - I don't have time to really talk about it.  So, that's what blogs are for, right?  A chance to talk. 

So, here are a few reasons Kyle and I are holding off on starting cereal for Abby just yet.  

Some of the requirements for eating "solids" - cereal included are things she hasn't met yet.  For one, she can't yet sit up on her own, she's still pretty wobbly.  She hasn't yet shown interest in food, she can't yet make the chewing motion needed.  Another reason it is recommended to wait to start foods is so that the baby's digestive tract can fully develop.  Especially since Abby is still so small, there's a chance that her tract hasn't matured enough to adequately digest solid least not without some discomfort. 

One teacher at school suggested that we start putting rice cereal in her bottle - to "thicken it up"  She is a very nice lady with good intentions.  But, rice cereal does not have near the nutrients that milk does.  By putting rice cereal in the milk - you are just replacing the milk and actually decreasing the number of calories and nutrients that she gets.  

Really, the thought that rice cereal helps babies gain weight is somewhat of a myth.  Rice cereal is not introduced for caloric benefit but just to teach the baby how to eat.  It gives them practice chewing, swallowing, eating off of a spoon etc.  When we do start cereal - it will in no way replace any of the milk Abby gets, but it will be more like an "exercise" in eating.  

Another thing I learned recently is that the longer a baby is fed only breastmilk, then the less likely they are to develop food allergies later.  Now, neither Kyle or I have any food allergies - but it's just another reason we're not in a hurry. 

As far as Abby's weight goes, the pediatrician thinks she is underweight because she is not eating enough - not because what she's eating isn't working. So our plan is to feed her every 2 hours whether she seems hungry or not.  Also, after she nurses, I will pump and feed her what ever is left right away.  I think Kyle and I both feel pretty confident that increased feedings will be enough to get her to gain weight.  Like I said earlier- she is otherwise a perfectly happy and healthy little girl.  Obviously, we'll follow our ped's advice and expertise in this area, but she seems to think that Abby will be fine on milk if we just give her more of it. 

Oh, and I'd also like to say that I have many many friends who have started their babies on cereal who are around Abby's age.  I am a big believer that everybody should do what they think is best for their baby and I just want to be clear that I think that people who start cereal early are just fine.  If it works for them, great!  Maybe if Abby were bigger or a little stronger or showing any signs of being interested then I'd be doing it too.  But for now, We are hoping to wait as long as we can before starting her on cereal or solids. 

I know a lot of the people who read this blog are mothers, so feel free to share your experiences - they are different for everyone.  Here is one of many links I found to be helpful.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

4 months etc...

We took Abby for her 4 month check up today.  Bottom line - I have a little bitty baby.  

At 2 months old, Abby weighed in at 9.10lbs.   At 4 months old, she's a whopping 10.2 lbs.  That means she gained less than half a pound in 2 months.  This isn't great news.  On the up side, she did grow nearly 2 inches in length.  Developmentally, the doctor says she seems healthy and strong - she's just - not gaining weight. 

Below are her growth charts for weight and length.  Her weight puts her between the 1st-3rd %tiles according to the doctor.  Her length puts her around the 50th-75th %tile. 
****I had to correct this because I had originally put her length in as a 3 month old - which told me her length was in the 95th %tile.  It is actually right on target around the 50th.  This makes more sense - as she didn't look like she was super long to me.  Sorry for the confusion, but now the graphs are right****

So, what now?  Well, on the doctor's orders, we went and bought some Fenugreek - an herb that is supposed to help increase milk production.  On top of that, I'll be nursing Abby more frequently and pumping right after and also giving her anything I pump right away - instead of saving it for the next feeding.  We go back in about 10 days to have her re-weighed.  If she's gaining - then all is well.  If she's not - then on to plan B.  Whatever plan B is.  Kyle and I think plan B is probably bacon grease. 

Also, the doc said that it sounded like Abby was on a good feeding schedule and that she is taking on the right amount of milk per day.  Her guess is that maybe Abby just becomes content so easily, that she stops eating before she's really done and doesn't ask for more.  Anyway, we'll see how things go this next week.  Oh, and if you've never taken Fenugreek - it makes you smell like maple syrup - so y'know, that's gonna be Great for my motivation to eat healthy.  I'm just gonna walk around wanting pancakes all day.  

Oh, and she also got shots today.  She did great.  She looked scared when she got them and cried, but was back to her calm chill self after a few sucks on her paci.  Poor baby.  Such a trooper.  And she didn't bleed this time - thank goodness.  

Abby decided to rock her new sunglasses from Kelly today!  Here she is saying " 'sup my people?"  Or maybe she's summoning the cameraman to come closer.  Either way, she had fun. 

After the doctor, we went to Whole Foods to get my Fenugreek.  On the way, I apparently completely lost my brain.  First I couldn't find my phone and figured I'd left it somewhere.   After about 15 mins of looking and Kyle calling - I suddenly think I can hear it and I find it - in my pocket.  Who doesn't check their pocket first??  Then we get to Whole Foods and Kyle is making his way to the store with Abs.  I turn to lock the car and realize I can't find my keys.  I'm digging in my purse looking for them and can't find them.  Did I leave them in the car?  Yes, yes I did.  I left them in the car - in the ignition - with the car still running.  What? Yes. I dunno. So, its locked and I have to call Kyle to unlock it (he's now waiting at the store front)  But, oh, guess what?  I can't find my phone again.  After several mins of looking, Kyle finally calls me and I discover that my phone IS in my purse after all.  Ugh.  Car unlocked, engine turned off.  Kyle gave me a hard time about that.  Fairly so I suppose.  We were both famished while in the store (not a good thing)  We walked out with 1 bottle of Fenugreek, pasta salad for dinner and 3 different loaves of bread.  I LOVE bread.  It was a pretty funny sight.

In other news: I tried the kickboxing class tonight at the gym.  I loved it - mostly.  It felt much more natural since punching and kicking is what I do (or did)  I was, however, extremely disapointed in myself when I just couldn't do some of the things I used to do.  I mean, I KNOW I've lost a lot of strength, I just don't think I realized how much until tonight.  I couldn't do a full situp - I couldn't do side planks either.  Oh, man, that was disheartening. But, on the up, the instructor complimented me on my kick form (lol)...oh, if she only knew. 

My friend Tanna is encouraging people who'd like to join her in a 42-day summer challenge to do so.  She has rules up on her blog - but the gist is no sweets, consistent work outs, no fried food, lots of water.  Until June 1st.  I'm gonna do it with her and I hope that she (and others) can continue to motivate me.  I know I have to put Abby first - and I am.  But I can't just sit around and not exercise either.  My goal is to lose 10 lbs in those 42 days.  I think that's do-able.  I just wanted to mention it since I'll probably be talking about it in the future. 

Sorry this is so long - we just had a lot on our plate today.  Tomorrow is our last day of work before spring break starts.  Yay!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Its time to clean out the dusty part of my brain where I keep my random thoughts.  

Having a baby is different than what I expected.  Then again, maybe I didn't really expect anything in particular.  Either way - it's not always easy and I think I was surprised by how it effected me.  I didn't transition into motherhood as easily as I thought I would, and there have been some tough moments.  Now, having said that, I'm starting to feel things improve.  I feel like I'm finally getting to know Abby - and I'm bonding with her more than I was able to at first.  Please don't take that the wrong way.  I've always been completely in love with her - but it takes a while to get to know someone sometimes.  Now that she's more interactive and is developing more of a personality - I'm starting to feel a stronger bond develop.  It's a good thing.  

I've tested half a dozen kids at the high school this week.  At least half of them had scores within the Average range - this makes them look like geniuses to me.  Every one of them is failing all of their classes.  And not because they can't do the work.  They just don't care.  When I was in school, I always wanted the teacher to be proud of me - I wanted to do well.  When does that go away for these kids?  Did they have it at one time and lose it?  I know they have hard lives...its just too bad that they're going to have to learn from their mistakes the hard way before they understand why this whole school thing is so important - if they ever do. 

I joined the gym and I'm excited about it.  I want to be healthier and I want to lose weight.  I can do this.  Maybe by Abby's 1st birthday I can be somewhere close to my goal. That give me time, right?  I took Abs to the daycare at the gym yesterday.  It was her first time in a "daycare" of sorts.  She slept in her carseat the whole time and was the only one there - so it doesn't really count, but it was still kinda weird.

Spring is starting to peak out around here.  I'm so ready.  I'm tired of still wearing my big coat to work.  I want to put away my scarves.  I want to wear flip flops!  Please warm weather - hurry up!  You know you've lived in the north a little too long when you check the weather before you leave for work and think "Oh, 38?  Yeah, I don't need a coat"   Seriously. 

I never set a goal for how long I wanted to nurse Abigail - I just figured we would until it seemed like we shouldn't.  Lately, my supply has dropped.  I don't know if its related to exercise or food or what.  I DO have a hard time eating enough during the day because it feels so forced. I'm probably getting 1200-1350 calories a day.  I'm pretty sure thats not enough.  But I hate having to force snacks when I'm not hungry.  Anyway.  I'm hoping that over spring break (next week!) that I can work on getting the supply up a bit.  Otherwise, we may have to start supplementing formula.

Today, when Abby woke from her nap, she was in the BEST mood.  She was actually laughing.  Laughing like a little human being.  I just kept tickling her over and over so that she's keep laughing.  Later, while she was laying on her blanket, I was tickling her again and she was giving me those big open mouth grins and squinting her eyes.  It was fun, and I realized that I was actually having one of those moments that I had imagined.  ...Tickling my baby and making her laugh. Check. 

I really need to do laundry.  

Did I mention that next week is spring break?  Yes it is.  I have 5 reports to write before then.  Its not gonna happen - but whatever.  I can write them on break, right?  

Ok, gonna go watch some tv with the guy I married. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

morning smiles

A short video of Abby waking up on Easter morning.  Sorry for the focus issues - I was watching her and not the camera most of the time. :)

Monday, April 13, 2009


I'm going to have to credit my friend Kelly for starting this.  She showed me a book that had tons of peep recipes in it.  It got my project-wheel a-turnin' and the next thing you know, Kyra, Kelly and I are buying all of the peeps left at Target.  I'm not sure we had a real plan when we started (besides the peep bikini that Kelly wanted to try to make) But we had a lot of fun in the process. 

Here are some of my peep dippers and peep-cicles (frozen) - think what you will about the completely  unnatural florescent sugar coated marshmallows - but anything dipped in chocolate and peanuts or pretzels is good in my book. 

Here's a view of the whole batch we say, "creative" peepcicles.  Fun to make, let me tell you.  And yes, that first one is covered in fruity pebbles - don't judge - they were good.  The second one was made for Kyle - as you can see, it has one eye.  Don't worry - Kyle thought it was pretty funny too. 
A peep sunflower cake.  Well, it's actually boston cream pie, but you get the idea.

Here is our peep decorated vase - which was going to hold flowers, but ended up holding more peeps...go figure. 

I really do think Kyra summed it up best when she said "Yes, this happened"

Kyle was crowned King of the Peeps.  You cannot say that the boy isn't a good sport! He even put on a "robe" and posed with his peep subjects.  I'm a lucky girl. 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter!

We have had a lovely day.  Our day started early this morning with a bright Easter sunrise streaming through our windows.  We wanted to go to the early mass at 8am, so for once, I was the one waking Abby up for the day.  There is just nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby, is there?


We all got up and got dressed and headed to church.  Normally we go to the 10am service - which is FULL of families and children.  We love that service for that very reason.  But today we went to the earlier one which had very few babies - or kids in general.  It was still nearly standing room only, but Abby was surrounded by about 20 little old ladies who could not keep their eyes off her.  Every time I turned around, one of the ladies on the pew behind us was holding her hand or stroking her head.  In some circumstances, this might have bothered me - but this time it didn't.  They were being so gentle and you could tell that she was bringing them much happiness. 

The church service was nice - I always love the festive nature of Easter.  They bring out the trumpets and the big swooping Easter hymns.  It's good stuff.  After the service, we took a moment to snap a few Easter pictures.  Abby wasn't really in the mood to smile, but she was so well behaved during church that we didn't push it too hard. 



There was one other baby in church that looked about like Abby's size and was also bald.  I went up to them afterwards and asked how old she was - they said she was 4 months.  I asked them her name - Katherine "with a K"  How funny is that? 

After church we came home and opened some Easter treats from Papa & Ouma.  Abby even got her daddy some Obama fridge fun. ;-)


All too soon, Kelly and then Kyra had to leave to go catch their respective flights home.  It was really great having them up here. Family is important.  After the girls were well on their way, Kyle and I packed up the child and some food and headed over to Jon & Stephanie's house for a nice Easter lunch with friends.  It was all very tasty and we were thankful for the company.  Friends are important. 

This is Abigail's first Easter - and my first Easter as a "real" mom.  I mentioned it previously, but I wanted to note again how having a child makes you see things a little differently.  I can't wait to color Easter eggs with Abs one day - but I also can't wait to teach her all the true meanings of Easter.  She's such a little tabula rasa.  On days like today, it hits home a little more that this parenting gig is a pretty big deal.  We're responsible for teaching her the things that will shape her life.  I look forward to it very much - but it's still a pretty big task, y'know?

Abigail, I promise that your father and I will always do our best to teach you well.  We will do our best to lead by example and to explain the important lessons in life as well as show them to you - every day.  We love you very much, thank you for making our lives more complete. 

Happy First Easter, sweetheart.