A Revival, Again.

Hello again friends. It’s been a very, very long time.

I have some updates to give, and the blog will soon be getting a makeover. Sadly, we no longer have three beasts. This is one of the reasons I could not post for so long. In February,  we said goodbye to our oldest dog, Capone. It happened very fast.  One day, he was fine. One day, he skipped breakfast. Three weeks later, he was gone. Cancer in his abdomen.  I miss him dearly, every single day. Every single dog I look at, and I see a lot of them, I miss those big brown eyes and his mile wide grin. It’s been months and I have yet to fold up his crate and his sweater still sits on my nightstand. I miss my dog.  But I don’t want to spend the day crying. Someday, I’ll tell you all the story of Capone. But not today.  I’ve tried to make my peace with it, 10 1/2 years is a damned good run. He didn’t suffer, and I was with him at the end. You can’t ask for much more than that.

RIP,  Old friend.

RIP, Old friend.

On a much lighter note, I’m much lighter. In September, I decided to lose a little weight. Shit was getting scary. Nothing even in the plus size stores fit me anymore.  I was BIG. I decided I would give a 10 day diet a shot, maybe I could get something going.  Lose a few lbs, see the scale move, get inspired.

Man..did it ever.  As of last week, I’ve lost 90 lbs (Put four back on this week, but let’s not talk about it, I’ll get rid of them!)

Here’s me at Xavier’s birthday party last year:

553695_785252158169_1146908123_nAnd here I am at his party THIS year:

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Okay not the best comparison shots. Here’s another:

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That was at 80 lbs down.

I wish I could tell you a secret that was exciting and new. But it’s just calories in, calories out. I eat a lot of salad, I walk, I do yoga. I drink lots of water and take my vitamins.

(We’re still not talking about this last week that was a shitshow.)

I’ve started a weight loss group on Facebook and it’s a stellar little community. It helps hold me accountable and provides support for others who are facing the same sort of challenges.

OBVIOUSLY I still have a ways to go, but I am proud of what I’ve done.

My mom and I took a trip with Xavier back to Illinois last month, and we got to spend some time with our family, which was really great.  I got to meet two of my nieces that I hadn’t, and Xavier got hang with his aunts and uncles.

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Xavier is doing fantastic. He’s just the coolest little mini-me.  I cannot believe how lucky I got. He sleeps, he eats, he’s happy, he’s healthy, SO smart and sweet and charming and funny. He’s BUSY, and getting busier every day.  Man how I love this kid!

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Xavier’s birthday party was on Saturday and it went very well. I’m excited to show you guys that, but it’s going to need a post all to itself. Here’s a sneak peek:

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I’ll post more details soon, promise!

Sandy, you nasty old bitch.

Tell me about it, Stud.

Well, we survived it.

Sunday night I watched The Weather Channel and essentially scared the shit out of myself. They said it would be hitting around “Early afternoon”. Well…I was scheduled to work an hour away, until 3:30. Oh man..the thought of getting STUCK an hour away from my baby? No thanks, Frank.

So I took the day off and we hunkered down (whatever that means.). Well..it just misted until like 4 anyway. Lots of wind, but that’s about it. Then around 5:30..RIGHT as I had put sweet potatoes in the oven, of course..the lights flicked off and on 3-4 times, and went out.

Shit on a goddamned dick.

Well, we tried to make the best of it anyhow. Went to bed, still no lights. The first thing I heard when I woke up the next morning was..nothing. Nothing but the sound of my neighbor’s generator. I knew..we still had no power.

So the first thing I said was “Who wants to go to breakfast then?” And so we did.  Then we came home, collected our crap and headed over to a friend’s house. We took showers and charged our phones. I wanted to stay longer but Xavier was being REALLY cranky, and refused to nap in a new place. So we headed home. On the way home, I psyched myself up. The power will definitely be on when we get home. I had preemptively turned on the porch lights when we left so I would see as soon as we turned into the driveway. I just KNEW, surely it would be on by now.

But the closer we got to home, the more and more dark houses I saw. I knew that it wouldn’t be on. And damn..it made me so sad. Of course, when we got here the porch lights remained dead, and I started to cry. Yep. I cried.   I’m still all messed up over Irene’s 6 days of  no power. I knew it was happening again, we’d be putting our food into coolers,  and it would be days of dumping water in the toliet tank just to do something simple like FLUSH, brushing my teeth with bottled water, and showering at my friends’ houses. And I just couldn’t face that. After I finally got Xavier down for his nap, I curled up in my bed and just dozed in that sad, helpless kinda depression.

Throughout the day, I had noted Xavier’s crankiness, and when he woke up from his nap, his nose was a faucet. I thought he might be coming down with something. But then..he just climbed up on my lap and nestled his head under my chin.  I noticed he was pretty warm and thought “Yea, he’s getting sick.” Great. So after cuddling him awhile I decided to take his temp and see what was going on.

The first reading said 105.6. That can’t be right.

Tried it again. 104.7. …..Huh.

One more time 103.7

So I give him a dose of ibuprofen, call the on-call pediatrician and explain the situation, describe his symptoms. He said “Yea, I don’t like that. Take him to Hasbro.”

So we do. On the way there it was POURING rain, harder than anything during the damned hurricane! They take his temp and it had already come down 99.9. They look him over and tell me it’s an upper respiratory virus, it just has to run it’s course, and just keep pushing ibuprofen and fluids.

We stopped off to grab some dinner on the way home and while we were waiting, my mom texted me that the lights had come back on. Hal lay loo!

So we head home, and just as we walk in, prepared to do our victory dance, what do we see? Squirt’s guilty face. And one of the coolers, looking like a damned bear had mauled it. And food from inside, strewn all over the living room. Yogurt containers torn open, cold cut containers gnawed to bits. I can always count on that dog to fuck up.

He’s afraid of the dark, yanno. We left a battery operated lantern on for him..but it appeared to have gone dead, possibly before the electricity came back on.  Not that I’m making excuses for him..he sucks.

Xavier still ended up in our bed that night. When he doesn’t feel good he ONLY wants to be held. So we do what works. Judge me if you need to, I am an occasional co-sleeper. So at around 6 am, the heat this kid was throwing off of him was incredible. He was just tossing around and whimpering. We got up and I took his temp. 103.7. More meds and it went back down. We decided at 10 to take him for a walk and at first, he seemed alright.

But about 10 minutes in, he just put his head down on his tray and whined.  So we took him home. John tried to put him down for a nap, and all he wants is me. He wouldn’t sleep and we had to pry his little fingers off of me so I could go to work.

By 4, however..John tells me that he has been inconsolable for nearly an hour. And despite meds, his temp is climbing to almost 102. I call the dr again, and they tell me I need to give him Tylenol AND Ibuprofen. Well..we only had ibuprofen in the house of course. So, I left work and picked up some Tylenol and headed home.

He was hot and miserable and didn’t want to eat anything. But we got his temp down, and got him to stop crying.

Last night was pretty rough. At 4:30 in the morning he woke us up HOT again, and I had to give him a tepid bath to get his temp down from 103.7. So scary. But today, he’s much perkier and eating well. So hopefully, this is the tail end of it, and maybe..just MAYBE..tonight he’ll tolerate his halloween costume long enough to get some pictures taken. Which I will surely post!

And here are some crazy ass aerial photos of the coasts of RI. Obv, it’s nowhere near the wreckage that NJ & NY are dealing with, but we were insanely lucky and we are intensely grateful. http://www.flickr.com//photos/ridotnews/sets/72157631891636224/show/

 

The Pirate Party Post.

I know, I’ve been gone forever again. Xavier has EIGHT teeth coming in and he’s cranky and busy as hell. He can walk, btw. He can RUN.  My house is a series of barricades. Barricades that need work.

But I’m going to make it up to you today. This is the pirate party extravaganza!!!

Are you pumped? You better be, hillbilly.

We rented out the Aspray Boat House in Warwick RI for his party.  This place is seriously a hidden gem and I almost don’t even want to tell you about it. I heard about it from a friend, and got super lucky that they still had a Saturday in July open.  Everything regarding this place was exactly as it should have been, and the best part was I didn’t have to waste time meeting with anyone. Much, much easier than picking a wedding venue. And much, much cheaper.

Here’s the link for info:

http://www.gaspee.com/AsprayBoathouse.html

The pictures leave a lot to be desired.  But it’s right on the water, there’s a dock and everything. Which..is a great thing for a pirate party.  Day of however, a giant, disgusting dead goose washed ashore.  I just did my best to pretend it wasn’t there, and when John finally arrived he disposed of it. Phew.   The ONLY major problem we had was that the place has NO AC.

NO AC.

NO AC!!!!

In July. In HOT AS BALLS JULY.

So I walked around lookin like Fat Sweaty Betty all damned day.

Here’s some pictures of the place:

 I know, perfect for a pirate party, right?

Okay so I’ll get down to the details, you know you want them.

Outside, I did this to pick up on the treasure map thing. (Okay, I had my brother do it.) Basically we just cut up pieces of red cardstock and taped them to the ground so it made kind of a dotted line to the door, where I was going to make a giant X out of crepe paper streamers. However, I expected to be able to CLOSE the doors. I had to leave them open to let air in because it was just too hot. So we improvised with a smaller X.

I hated that the tape was showing. But my brother was being a really good sport about helping while I was inside running around like a loon. He had already taped them once the wrong side up, gone back out and redid them, so I didn’t care complain about tape:-).

So there’s our smaller X, a pair of cuties, and some toddlers too. Ha!

Btw, those last two photos and a bunch of others from The Murphys will be smattered in here. Thank God they were there with their camera or I would’ve gotten jackshit.

I printed up free coloring pages from TwistyNoodle.com and just trimmed off the edges where the ads were.

Well, I had John trim them off anyway:-) Then I scooped up some Pirate Crayons from Iparty. Yes, I could’ve just gotten regular crayons. But PIRATE crayons weren’t very expensive at all, at 29 cents a box. I just put 4 packs on each table and it was a hit with kids and grown ups too.

I also did a pirate accessories table. I put eyepatches, hooks, swords, mustaches, hoop earrings, temporary tattoos, bandanas, paper pirate hats and even a few pirate masks. I wish I had taken more pictures of this because it was so fun.

We set up the gift table in the entranceway, and kept the decor there simple with just a net tossed over a little table. Didn’t matter anyway, it was covered very quickly anyway.

The cake was one of my absolute favorite things. I’m pretty sure my wedding cake wasn’t this awesome.  One of my mommy friend/coworkers tipped me off that we had a little cake boss working right under our nose at the store.  Who knew?  This girl was a freaking DREAM to work with. I gave her almost full artistic license, I said just make it pirate themed and delicious. And she showed up on time, with this freaking masterpiece.

I know. It was amazing, just look at it!!

Also, she did a smash cake. All I asked was no red or black frosting, and no chocolate. (Xavier hasn’t had it yet.) I didn’t say what I DID want though, which I know, is a bitch. But she came through for me with this adorable little creation:

How cute is that?!

Now, I am not going to put her name on the interwebs cuz she’s not officially in business. (But she fucking A should be.) So if you email me and ask me very nicely I will give you her info. I’ll stop raving about the cake now.

You might have noticed surrounding the cake are some cookies. Cookies that are so amazing, this whole time you’ve been like “OMG shut up about the cake and tell us where you got those amazeballs cookies right now!!” Brace yourselves.

I made em. NBD.

(That was sarcasm, in case you didn’t pick up on it.) I did make them, that part wasn’t. But it was just Betty Crocker mix and a whole lot of cussing.  Funny story about those though..I was actually running on schedule, shit was getting done and I was feeling good about it. I EVEN had a little time to relax penciled in for the night before the party to be all “I’m done lalala”  I just had to run a few errands first.

While running those errands I received a phone call from my husband, and he was using his “approaching a bear on bath salts” voice, so I knew it wasn’t good news the second I heard that tone.

“Baaabe? Yea..you kinda left the cookies down low..and Squirt kinda….ate them.”

And at this point I don’t remember much. But my brother says I recited this lovely monologue from the film The Boondock Saints:

What I sounded like (NSFW!!)

So..my “LALALA” time turned into “Bake and ice and package 35 more goddamned cookies” time. AND HERE’S THE PUNCHLINE:

After the party..I had about 40 cookies left over. Didn’t even have to do that.

Don’t you dare ask about the dog. DON’T.

Moving on. In May, a friend of mine had a popcorn buffet at her baby shower. I couldn’t wait to do one. So even though that popcorn has absolutely nothing to do with pirates, I was going to do that shit. And so I did. I borrowed the containers from her, and ordered from www.popcornpapa.com. Another easy transaction. The bags didn’t look very big though, so I ran around RI looking for backups of these flavors, only to be eating the shit for a month because I bought way too much. Figures, eh?

They have like a bajillion flavors to choose from, but we went with Kettle Corn, Hot N Spicy, Chicago Style, Extra Butter and Cheesecake.

Chicago Style was awesome, my total fave. It’s a mix of Caramel and Cheese.  Cheesecake, second fave. Extra butter and Hot N Spicy, they mean it! Kettle Corn..I’ve had better but it was decent.

It took all I had not to bust out the Xyron Machine and personalize those bags, but I had to draw the line somewhere. I wrapped the containers with twine and affixed the labels to the twine. As you can see, that was kind of a fail. Next time I’ll just cut to the chase and bust out the glue gun. No more fucking around with these polite little glue dots and what have you. (It’s late, can you tell?)

Oh! See that banner behind the table? That was SUCH an easy project, it was pretty much just like doing the invitations all over again. Leftover pocketfold invitations, brown cardstock, typed up in Word and printed it out and attached it to twine. I made it adjustable because I knew we were going in sight unseen to the Boathouse and was just guessing as to where the hell I was going to put it.  Here’s where I put it:

Are you getting bored? Here’s a picture of my kid smashing his cake to bring you back:

Hell yea he’s cute.

The centerpieces….geez these things had me stumped. Everything I found on the interwebs was just a little too pricey for 8 tables. I considered balloons, but on the serious, balloons cost too damned much to look that cheap. (Again, much like your mom.)  So these are my $5 centerpieces, and I’m sure they’re going to blow your mind.

I got the buckets, flags, beads and coins at iParty, and the shells and “gems” in the dollar bins at Michael’s. Oh, and I stole that sand from the beach. Yes, really, I did that shit.  Be damned if I’m buying bags of sand when I live in RI!

Don’t worry though, I paid for it. While I was scooping eight buckets o sand and loading them into my car, a large winged insect came zooming out of the sand I’d just disturbed and stung the shit out of my ankle. I screamed and drew a bunch of attention to myself and the eight buckets o sand I was stealing. Pain and embarassment, paid in full.

A couple days before the party, I took eight gallon ziploc bags and put everything for each table into it. Gems, beads, shells, crayons, tablecloth, coins. That way it was super easy to enlist my friend’s help without being a hypercontrolling beotch. (More than I normally am, anyway.)

I think that’s about it on the details. So I’ll wrap this up with a few more photos and call it done. I hope to be around more!

Hi!

I know, I know. It’s been FOREVER.  And I’m really sorry, but I have some pretty solid excuses.

1. Due to my work schedule at my real job, combined with shooting weddings with The Murphys, and one awesome little birthday party, I did not have one single day off from June 10th til July 2nd. Not one.

2. Xavier’s Birthday party ate up my entire week last week. What wasn’t spent on his birthday, was spent entertaining my brother Tom, who made it to RI on July 2nd.

3. Xavier has been kind of a lot recently. Very clingy towards me in particular. Unless he’s sleeping, if I leave his sight or his 5 ft radius, he FLIPS THE FUCK OUT.  He’s got yet another goddamned tooth coming in, #10, and I think that’s partly responsible.

 

I think the birthday party needs a post all on it’s own and I don’t have time for that right this minute.  So I’ll just give you a little bit of an update on him first. He is ONE. I cannot believe it. He’s increasingly mobile, and has taken a few drunken, zombie like steps on his own here and there. He stands unassisted, climbs down from the couch, tries to climb up my legs, gives kisses, kicks his legs, dances, and makes pigfaces on command.

That’s his pigface. I guess it’s also his “Beach Face”, because he made it all day that day. My brother and I took him to the beach on his actual birthday. He was being super clingy and didn’t want me to put him down, so I almost didn’t bother taking him down by the water. But I did, and man..he looooved it.

LOVED IT.

That night, we did cake at home with just the five of us.

This was the first time he’s ever had anything like this.

I also bought a seperate cake for us, but unfortunately, I dropped it.

 It still tasted okay though.

Ha! Happy birthday, Tom!

 

Now, onto the smashing!

Yep, that’s my husband, in crocs. Eat your hearts out, ladies..all mine.

And yea, the baby with the lighter.

Jesus.

 

At this point, he still has no idea that this is FOOD. He’s just happily making a mess.

 

And that was it for the little cupcake:-)

Now, I don’t think he actually got much into his mouth, but he was up well past 10pm that night. So clearly, he had some lol.

Yesterday was his one year pediatrician’s visit. He is 27.5 lbs, and 31 inches long. Both of those and his head circumference were off the top of the charts. HUGE kid. I put size 2T Pj’s on him last night and they fit well.

But he’s awake now, so I’ll post more on the party later!

 

Pirate Party Planning

Because I’m not busy or anything.

Now I see why people have these obnoxious, over the top birthday parties. The urge to go overboard is strong. Really effing strong.

No room for this in the budget? Shitty.

But I’m trying to curb it as well as I can and remind myself that this is a child’s birthday party.  A birthday party he won’t remember.  And in total candor, folks, my budget for this party is about $8.  But hey, I’m used to making $8 enough. So for the invitations, I DIY’d that shit. I have a metric fuckton of leftover wedding crap, so I dug up some leftover black cardstock, and purchased this card kit from AC Moore:

http://www.acmoore.com/p-56725-greeting-cards-with-envelopes-5×7-50-setspkg-white.aspx

Except in a brown paper bag color that they don’t have listed on their website. I believe it was actually closer to $10, it might have been on sale.

So without further ado, here’s what I rustled up for about $10.

 

I asked (begged, and bugged and pleaded) one of my coworkers to doodle up some pirate shit on the envelopes. She was kind enough to indulge me. And only two came back like this:

Yay Buttpirates!

I used my super fly calligraphy skills to address them, but I’m not gonna show you that because I’d either have to waste one with a fake name and address, or put someone’s address out on the interwebz. Not gonna. Trust me though.

Trust me. It’s awesome.

I got lucky at the post office and found these US Merchant Marine stamps:

Thank god I found something that goes. Because be damned if I would be sticking some lame ass liberty bell on those envelopes. And I really didn’t want to go the custom route because it’s expensive..and as I mentioned, I have $8. So thank you, USPS.

Inside these lovely envelopes:

Yep. we actually took the time to burn those edges. They smell like fiyah. Glued them onto leftover wedding cardstock using my handy little Xyron glue runner thing. We figured out when making our wedding invitations that this was the best glue for cardstock, btw: http://www.amazon.com/Xyron-3-8-inch-Adhesive-Runner/dp/B000S168L6

So there’s one side. And on the other side is this:

Again, can’t show you the whole thing because we gotta keep the stalkers at bay. But I just made it up in Word after googling for wording and an appropriate watermark.

I would show you more stuff that I’m pinning and planning, but a certain chunky bald fellow is demanding my attention right now. Something about needing food or whatever.

 

 

 

 

Xavier, Month 9(ish)

Well, technically, he’s 10 months old today. But I was busy as fuck this month so I failed on taking his pictures, and we fell behind on vaccines so he didn’t see the pediatrician until yesterday.

Obviously, he’s still really freaking cute. Which is good, because he’s the goddamned devil. Kidding..he’s actually insanely freaking charming. I can’t take him anywhere without getting stopped because he’s smiling at strangers.  He’s a really happy kiddo, and I’m lucky.

But yea, he still has no damned hair.

What he lacks in hair, he makes up for in head size. Still chillin in the 9oth percentile.

He’s got seven teeth. I’m pretty sure there’s one straggler coming in now, but it’s taking it’s sweet ass time. He is pretty good with his seven teeth. (So is your mom.) We’ve started on finger foods and he’s doing great. The thing is though, I have to literally sit and feed him one cheerio at a time, or he grabs handfuls of them, shoving them into his mouth, until his mouth is crammed full. (Again, just like your mom.) Chubby little fistful after fistful. And it’s not just cheerios or even little finger foods. Mum Mum Crackers? Teether Biscuits? NOM! He breaks them in half and shoves the two halves into his mouth.  He probably thinks my chunky ass is gonna try to take his shit. He doesn’t know yet that there’s way better foods out there than plain cheerios and diced carrots, I don’t need his crap.

I shouldn’t write when I’m tired. Let’s move on.

He’s down to four bottles a day now,  3 are seven ounces, and bedtime is 8 ounces.  We feed three meals, and one snack. It appears to be working, he’s 23.75 lbs. He jumped from 50th to 83rd percentile.

He’s a super busy little booger, he started crawling about a week ago, and he cruises along the furniture. He prefers to stand and cruise to crawling, he only crawls as a last resort. Don’t ask me. We have had to really step up our game in the childproofing department, because he’s into EVERYTHING now.

“What? I’m just standing around, nbd.”

Those jeans he’s wearing, btw, are size 18 months.  They don’t even fit him when he’s wearing his cloth diapers! So is the hoodie. When my friend Tess gave it to me I thought “Oh this will be so cute come Fall 2012”

But the hat? The hat is a size 3T/4T. I shit you not, his head is that effing big.

He’s 29 inches tall, having grown an inch and a half since his last visit three months ago.  He jumped from 50th to 60th percentile there.

That’s the look I get about 400x a day now.  “No, Mom, I def was not playing with that electrical outlet. You told me no like 400x…sheesh.” (Goes back to playing with said outlet.)

Sleeping..oh sleeping. Sleeping has become a serious problem around here. I think..I might have spoiled my child. I don’t know. I talked to his pediatrician about it, and he tells me that until we teach him to put himself to sleep, he won’t learn how to put himself BACK to sleep in the middle of the night. Which..he sleeps through the night like 1 out of 5 nights, so I know he totally can do it. (And what awesome nights those are!) But the other four nights, he wakes up at least once. And sometimes, I’m tired/lazy. And the quickest way to knock his little ass back out is to put him in bed with me.

 He basically recc’d crying it out. Which, I don’t wanna stir the shit here, for some babies, and some moms, that’s totally fine. Do what works for your family. If I’m being honest, I don’t think I have the stomach for it.  So, this is me, looking for some hippie sleep solutions.

I can’t believe my little baby is going to be a year old in just two months. I’m starting to lag behind on party planning because I’ve been so busy, but I need to get crackin.

“When you’re a Jet..”

Confession: I have a strange desire to put my kid in a pageant. But not really. But kinda. But I won’t. Probably. I think I just watch too much Toddlers and Tiaras.  And the way Xavier blows kisses and claps and dances..well, I think he’s just really talented alright?

Nah..but he is wicked cute huh?

Alright that’s all for now. This weekend, I’m tagging along for some more wedding photography with some heavy hitters.  Here’s hoping I don’t fuck it up. 🙂

When your fan club aren’t fans.

Sorry for the crappy cell phone pic, it’s all I had on me when this was going down.

I’ve always said having pit bulls is like having your own personal fan club. They follow me around, thinking everything I do is awesome and interesting. They’re happy to go anywhere, do anything.

A couple of things have made something completely obvious here:

My dogs don’t really like my baby.

Which..all the dog people reading this are going “Duh!” Babies are annoying. They screech, grab body parts, take all the attention, they have all these cool toys that you’re not allowed to eat, their faces get covered with food and you’re not allowed to lick em.  It’s a lot of bullshit to ask of a dog to put up with, when you think about it. But..I don’t know I guess I just expected that they would. I have the kind of dogs who like EVERYONE and EVERYTHING. They’re happy, GOOD dogs.  So..I have to confess, I didn’t bother with a whole lot of baby preparation. People would ask, I’d say “Well they’ve been around babies and kids, so I’m not too concerned.”

Sure, they’ve been around other people’s babies and kids. Babies and kids that go home.

And it doesn’t help that Xavier is freaking OBSESSED with them. He’s always trying to grab at them, screeching in their direction, offering them toys they’re not allowed to take, dropping food they’re not allowed to have. (Yes, I’m that mean. They have allergies, dammit.)

I just expected they would tolerate all of this, because they really do like everyone, everything, all the time. I can count on one hand the TOTAL number of times I’ve seen these dogs react to anything with less than unabashed enthusiasm. But now, I see things like that picture above, and I’ve realized I’ve been pretty fucking unfair.  I’m embarassed to admit all of this, but between work and the kid, there just hasn’t been much left for them. I feel like I’m always telling them to be quiet, go away, leave that alone, stop that, get out of there.

My dogs deserve better.

So, we’re really focusing now on creating positive associations between dog and baby. And I’m trying to pay more attention to the four leggers, and yell less. We’re taking them for walks together. Hopefully, they’ll start to enjoy the company of little bald people soon.

Some other things that are happening around here:

1. I’ve got another niece on the way! My brother Joe and his wife Teresa are expecting their third baby this August. SO EXCITED.

2. It looks like we might have a LOT of company for Xavier’s birthday party in July. My bestie Tess and her FOUR children are coming out too. Also, my brother Ben and his wife and their daughter (who is three weeks older than X and super cute!!) are trying to come out for a visit. And my brother Tom is still coming!  I’m thinking I won’t be attempting the birthday cake myself.

3. My nail lady disappeared again. The last three times I’ve been back to that salon, she’s not there. The place is pretty scummy looking and they use cheap products, so I decided it was time to go somewhere else. The new man did a pretty damned good job, the place was clean and he used quality products. He did make me bleed in three places….but it wasn’t on purpose and he was really sorry. I’ll give him another chance.

4. Xavier can pull himself up and cruise along the edges of things.  His 9 month visit is on May 2nd (The day before he turns 10 months.) I am DYING to see how big he’s gotten, everyone keeps telling me he’s a tank. All I know is his 12 month size cl0thes are tight.  And that I bought a size 4t hat for him yesterday that fits him.  Hopefully, there’s a big brain in that big head, one that can get his little ass a scholarship because I spend all his college money on hats.

Word to your mother.

An Xavier Update

 

It’s that time again ladies & gents, get ready to have your worlds dazzled with captivating information about the amazing things my child is doing. He went to the pediatrician today and got all measured up, he is 19 lbs even, 27 inches long, and has a giant 18″ noggin. The height and weight are average, but the head is giant, 97th percentile! That means only 3% of 7 month olds have bigger heads than he does. I wonder what they look like.

There’s his giant dome there. And the face he made after he got his two shots.  We decided to skip the flu shot. His pediatrician said it takes two weeks after the 2nd round of flu shot to even start working. By then, we’d be in March, when flu season is pretty much over. So we’ll just get one in the fall. He was pretty happy with where Xavier is at as far as milestones, sitting unsupported, rolling, etc.

He has two teeth on the bottom.

 

And lemme tell ya, those bad boys are sharp. You have to watch your fingers, he’s like a puppy.

The other night, I was changing his diaper and talking to John, and I hear him making this weird sound. I look down and he’s got his frank n beans clamped in his chubby little fist. Oh crap. So we enter a new chapter, and he’s kind of obsessed. As soon as his diaper comes unsnapped, THWAK, it’s all hands on *ahem* deck. I’m trying to ignore it and play it cool.  At first I kept removing his hands and telling him no, but that only made it more appealing, evidently. So I gave up and maybe he’ll get bored with it.

That’s the face John made at me when I said that.

Another big milestone, we are swaddle free! I thought I’d be swaddling this little monster into college. He just wouldn’t even consider it. But the more he rolls, the less safe it becomes. And besides, his big ass was breaking out of it a couple times a night and we’d have to get up and reswaddle anyway. So we just quit, cold turkey. And he’s done pretty well. He doesn’t seem to know what to do with his hands as he’s drifting off. Naptimes are harder than bedtimes.

But bedtimes are harder now too. He got his first cold this week. We had to run out and purchase a humidifier. It was mostly chest congestion and a bit of sneezing, but no fever and he stayed in really good spirits.

He sits up pretty well. He seems to be stuck at the almost point, where he gets excited and falls over about ten seconds in.

I know, he’s so damned cute I can barely stand it.

He’s obsessed with being in his jumperoo. BUY A FREAKING JUMPEROO.

He screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeams, mostly while in said Jumperoo. You probably don’t believe me, but he’s trying to talk. He looks RIGHT at the dogs and says “OG” or “DGGG” or “DAH”  He also growls while trying to say “Hi”. Again, you walk into a room, and he looks right at you and says “HAAAA” or “EEEEY”

The doc gave us the go ahead to start trying meats. Meat in a jar seems unnatural and weird  to me, so I dusted off the magic bullet today and I’m going to try some chicken and apple for him. We’ll see how that goes.

He’s still nursing (YAAAAY!) and we’re still supplementing a few bottles a day of formula. I know that once the 12 week limit is reached with the Reglan, we’ll probably be done nursing. But that’s alright. He eats 2-3 jars or pouches of pureed food a day, plus a mesh feeder snack. His fave is mango. The little booger is batshit for mango.

He’s into everything! We all look like we were mauled by a honey badger, with claw marks on our faces and missing patches of hair from him grabbing and yanking and clawing at us. You can’t take your eyes off of him for a second because as soon as you turn your head, he’s into some shit. He’s SO close to crawling, and when he does…we’re SO screwed.

And here is my favorite picture from this little naked baby photo session.

“Draw me like one of your French girls”

The End.

Playdates & Petri Dishes

It is my completely unscientifically based theory that breastfeeding sucks (ha) all the immunity out of you, and gives it to your baby. Which, hey, I’m doing all of this for that exact reason, I don’t want him to ever be sick, ever ever. But holy crap, can I NOT be sick for a few days?

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am freaking sick. AGAIN. I’ve seriously been sick three times since Thanksgiving, with different, crazy random shit that lands me in the ER. And this time, I’m pretty sure it was something I picked up at Xavier’s playdate on Wednesday. Children are disgusting little petri dishes and carry around more diseases than a third world prostitute. Or your mom. Last Wednesday, I found myself in a room full of cute little germbombs.

If I’m being perfectly honest, I don’t know how much Xavier got out of it. He pretty much just sat in his bumbo and watched the older kids.

And tried to steal his Bumbo Buddy Andrew’s stuff.

And drooled a lot.

The three older kids got a bit more, learning to share and stuff. But mostly, it was nice for the moms to have a chance to chat.

I know, it’s a LOT of cuteness huh?

But under the cuteness, evil lurks. An evil deathplague that attacked four adults and five children this weekend. Highly contagious, apparently. Friday night, it claimed it’s first victim, keeping the dad of one child up all night praying to the porcelain gods. Saturday, it set in around the rest of that household. Sunday I went to work, fine and dandy. Sunday night, I started feeling a big queasy at around 6 ish. I barely finished my dinner, not feeling right.

By 8 pm, I was feeding Xavier his bedtime bottle when I told John “I’m going to need you to take him, right now. I need to go vomit.”

And so I did. And I continued as such until around 3 am. Oh it was awful. PAINFUL. I always forget how much puking sucks. It really sucks though. At 2, John got up to check on me, and I laid there on the couch, moaning, with the trash barrel next to me just in case. He was all “Aww poor thing, this sucks!”

By four, he’s on the bathroom floor himself. The shit sets in FAST.  He didn’t leave the bathroom until approximately 9 am. It was HORRID.

Mercifully, Xavier and my mom appear to have been spared. Monday night, Xavier woke up 3x and just wanted to be held, but other than that he seems okay. Please let it stay that way, because I just can’t imagine a poor little baby going through the horror that was inflicted upon us.

I really need to look into some immunity boosting hippie shit or something. I can’t keep doing this. Also, need a hippie cure for Roxie’s arthritis. Any of my dog owner friends had any luck with things like acupuncture or water therapy? The Rimadyl is working but I worry about her liver & kidneys. More on that later, someone just woke up.

My cloth diaper post.

Remember how I said I like to do hippie things? Cloth diapering is a major one. However, if I’m being totally honest, it wasn’t because it was greener that we decided to do it. It was because we saved a shitload (ha, get it?) of money. They’ve already paid for themselves, I think. (Read: math is not my strong suit.) But being green is a nice bonus. Plus I feel like they’re cute, and they’re nicer on his bum. Evidently, babies who wear cloth diapers are far less likely to get diaper rash, and are potty trained sooner.

When I was pregnant, I totally thought I’d go ahead and bite the bullet and spend the money for a fancy stash of BumGenius diapers.  These ain’t your grandma’s cloth diapers, lemme tell ya. My friends that cloth diaper (and I have a few!) mostly use BG’s. And I have to say, they’re well made, soft and absorbent. But they are expensive.  I considered buying used, as weird as that sounds. I have seven BG’s in my stash. I got two as a shower gift, and bought two on babiesrus.com with a 20% off coupon, and the other three I recently purchased on Diapers.com, they were on clearance, buy 2 get one free. These were justifiable purchases, because my mom babysits Xavier a lot, and with her Multiple Sclerosis, her dexterity isn’t all that hot. Snaps are tough, velcro is much easier for her. So the velcro ones are her stash.

Here’s some pictures of BumGenius:

I know, the whole thing seems intimidating, but it’s really not. They work almost like disposable diapers, only instead of throwing them in the garbage, I throw them in the pail. (Sometimes. Sometimes I leave them on the changing table and John puts them in the pail. Whatever.) The only extra step is pulling the liners out before throwing them in the pail, and then doing an extra load of laundry every other day. No big deal, I swear.  Even the poop, since it was almost all breastmilk poop, (read: water soluble) just goes right in the pail. This wasn’t a problem because for awhile there, the boy seriously would go like 5-10 days without pooping. I KNOW. But totally normal for breastfed babies.  Now that he’s on solids and pooping every day, we’re getting one of these and installing it:

And the idea is you just spray the poop into the toliet. Or sometimes, all over the wall, from what I’ve heard/read.  Six months after having a baby, the thought of poo on the wall isn’t nearly as appalling as it once was, I am sad to report.

We also have one Rumparoo brand diaper we got as a gift. It went into my mom’s stash, because it’s also velcro. It seems to be holding up nicely, but we’ve only had it since Christmas.

Same principle as the BG’s.

But the bulk of my stash came from Sunbaby Diapers.

Which, as you can see, are almost the exact same design as the BG’s, at literally half the price.  The quality is not AS good though, if I’m being honest. The inner and outer is less effective than the BG’s. They do leak sometimes, but to be fair, Xavier’s a serious super soaker. I don’t think anything could quite hold up. And for the price, you can’t beat it. $144 for 24 of them. Holla! One, the snap stuck together and therefore ripped off, but they have held up quite nicely.

http://www.sunbabydiapers.com/

 

I also have two Baby Beehindz brand. I ordered these from Totsy.com. I was dumb, and thought they were pocket diapers like the BG’s.

They are not. They’re hemp, with hemp inserts that snap in. Kinda weird, and when I got them I was like “Oh crap, these are useless.” But then I realized there’s no returns on Totsy. Shit!

They require a cover. I obviously didn’t have one, so I booked it over to Bellani Maternity, in Warwick RI, my local hippie baby store, and I was all “WTF Do I need here?” And they told me this cover would be a good idea:

 It’s a one size, and it’s pretty cool, because it has fancy gussetted leg holes that don’t let the pee leak out. This is our bedtime diaper now, the baby beehindz hemp diaper, and the Blueberry brand cover. What’s cool about the cover is we don’t have to wash it every night, we just wash it every other day. So I only have the one, and that’s good, because it was as much as a diaper!

Worth it though, because the boy pees buckets. Any other diaper, the kid wakes up soaked in his own urine, and I can attest from my drinking days that that is no fun. (Kidding. It wasn’t my urine.)

As for laundry, obviously you don’t want to wash poo in the same load as your fancy clothes. Cloth diapers do have to be washed special, with special detergent. Standard detergents and fabric softeners contain oils to make your clothes soft. However, oil does what? Repels liquid. So your diapers will become less absorbent when you have these oil residues build up on them. So you gotta get diaper detergent. We use Rock N Green.

http://rockingreensoap.com/

I don’t buy it online because it gives me an excuse to go to the hippie baby store. But the bag costs about $15, Xavier is 6 months old, we’ve been CDing for about 4 months, full time, and we’re on our second bag. So it lasts awhile, and they have fun smells like marshmallow.

I also will toss in a scoop of Oxyclean, and so far, my diapers are stain free. Lots of people dry them in the sun, and I did it a few times in the summer. But we’re kinda lazy and just usually throw them in the dryer.

So here’s a picture of my kiddo in his cloth diaper on NYE:

Aww look at his chubby little thighs, couldn’t you just eat them up? OH and one other thing, he has not had a diaper rash yet, at all. But you can’t use a lot of diaper rash creams with cloth either, so you gotta be careful. I’ve used California Baby Diaper Rash cream here and there if I spot some redness and it seems to clear it right up. I hear REALLY good things about CJ’s BUTTer too, but haven’t gotten around to ordering any.

So I’ll wrap this up with a list of links with more info than I gave you:

http://www.theecofriendlyfamily.com/2010/07/ive-never-looked-back.html
http://diaperpin.com/howto.asp
http://www.younghouselove.com/2010/08/the-much-requested-cloth-diaper-post/
http://www.jilliansdrawers.com/newtocloth