Monday, March 22, 2010

Mommy Mondays

It's already here again...  Monday, that is.

I have to tell you, this week, on my journey through parenthood, I'm most thankful for a small tube of genius.  If you have a little one, you completely get my drift.

Okay, I promised I'd never publicly write about any of Daniel's issues, but this time I think I can let it by.  Only for the sake of other expectant or first-time parents who may be reading...  My little one didn't get a diaper rash this week; in fact, it was more like a neck rash that looked EXACTLY like diaper rash.  I'm guessing the moisture (a.k.a. excessive amounts of teething drool) was catching under his chin, and from wearing bibs non-stop, it just didn't have room/time to heal itself.  What did I use?  Desitin.  It's good stuff. 

What Is It?
I'll let Desitin explain itself, "...the only leading brand that contains the maximum level of zinc oxide, immediately forming a protective barrier to help heal and soothe diaper rash discomfort. Our thick, rich, hypoallergenic, pediatrician-tested formula provides overnight relief for baby’s tender skin. There’s no stronger treatment available without a prescription."  What that means in "mommy" terms is this:  when your little one's rear (or any other area) is looking as red as Clifford the Big Red Dog, you're more than likely dealing with a diaper rash.  But guess what?  You can find these "rashes" in other places where moisture backs up and causes irritation... 

Where Can I Get It?
You can find Desitin at any pharmacy, grocery store, or market in the baby section near diapers and wipes.

How Much Is It?
Walgreens sells it for $4.49.   Walmart sells it for a bit cheaper.  
You won't care how much it costs when you see how well it works!

What I've Learned 
You won't believe what I found when I was researching this...  Turns out that Desitin offers other products!  Ones that are designed specifically for rapid relief, overnight protection, and multi-purpose treatments...  You know, multi-purpose, as in the rash around Daniel's neck! 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

He's Eleven Months Old

 Anyone else as surprised by that as we are?!

Today felt like it was a special gift to us because not only was Daniel turning eleven months old but it was incredibly beautiful outside.  We were even visited by some of our great friends and family as well.  It was just an amazing reminder of how blessed we truly are.

Daniel has been all over the place this month - well, that is somewhat of an understatement.  He has made his way into some pretty outstanding predicaments, and it has been hilarious watching him discover new things (and places) to get himself into.  You will not believe how he has grown!

In his 11th month:

He took his first trip to the Rainforest Cafe; see here.
We found out that he really enjoyed watching the fish.
We decided it was time to start, "Operation Sippy Cup."
It worked on the first day...
Daniel has been bottle-free since March 1!
We also started him on whole milk.  1-2 oz per cup.
He was drinking 6-8 oz of milk 3 times a day.
He would drink 1-2 cups of juice & water each day.
He caught a yucky virus along with an ear infection.
That messed up his sleeping schedule.
Now, he's back to sleeping anywhere from 8-11 hrs.
He takes two naps a day.
Sometimes they're 30 minutes or 2 hours.
He weighed around 23-24 lbs.
He wore size 12 and 12-18 month clothes.
He started WALKING on March 4; see here.
He got his 4th tooth.  On top next to the front one.
He's still missing his 2nd front top tooth!  Weird.
So, he started on "table foods."
He really liked yogurt, applesauce, peas,
and mashed potatoes.
He really did not like carrots or blueberries.
His "system" really did not like black eyed peas.
Thanks to Daddy for trying those out on him!
He began climbing...  on everything.  into everything.
He liked flipping boxes over and standing on them.
He liked pulling out the tv stand drawer
and standing/sitting in it.
He learned to turn on/off the television.
He continued to find his way into the shower.
While in the bathroom, he'd play in the toilet
and unroll the toilet paper.
He always crawled underneath his musical table...
and got stuck.
He loved other kids.
However, he was a little bit extremely rough.
He was a hitter, biter, and hugger.  Nice combination!
He chewed on toes, clothes, and everything in sight.
He started pointing toward things he wanted.
He loved getting to go consignment sale-ing.
He especially enjoyed his consignment inflatables;
one was filled with balls and the other a punching bag.
He loved "flying" when Daddy threw him up in the air.
He began shaking his head, "No."
He didn't sleep well when away from home.
He learned to "throw" a ball.
He'd roll it to you if and only if...
you sat in the floor with him and rolled it back.
He took his first ride down the slide with his Daddy.
He loved, loved, loved his Daddy...
He followed him into his office, in the kitchen, etc.
He would cry when Daddy left each day.

11th Month in Pictures:

Sitting in the tv stand drawer, watching "Sesame Street"

Notice how he's flipped over the bin and is standing on it
Rolling the ball to Daddy

In his inflatable school bus with WILD HAIR

A "punching bag" lion that Daniel got as an early birthday gift...
You'll see it again!
Meeting baby Gavin for the first time

Trying to get away from Daddy

Flying high

Yes, it scares Mommy to death...
But, Daniel loves it!

First slide ride with Daddy

Have I mentioned that Daniel loves his Daddy?!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mommy Mondays

Monday is almost over, but I cannot let this week pass me by without mentioning what has REALLY fascinated me this past weekend...  I'll give you two words:  CONSIGNMENT SALES.

When I was pregnant with Daniel, every "mom" friend I knew told me I had to consign.  Well, I went along because it obviously is the cool thing to do.  Now, I haven't consigned anything personally, but I have hit 3 different sales 5 times in the past 4 days and done fantastically well for the upcoming season for BOTH of my boys.  I say "both" because the one in the womb counts already especially when you are needing to plan ahead and CONSIGNMENT SALE shop.

What Is It? 
Consignment sales are practically very nice yard sales that are indoors (at least that's how I'd put it).  What consignors are able to do is sell their gently used or new items for a small fee.  In most cases, consignors get 70% of what their items are priced if sold, and the "vendor" gets the remaining percentage.  Consignment sales are usually twice a year, one for fall/winter sales and another for spring/summer sales.  Both sales have children clothing, shoes, toys, furniture, baby gear, maternity items, etc.  There are even half off days at the end of every sale to get the best for your buck!  Items are usually priced at half off retail.

Where Can I Get It?
I am fairly certain that Middle Tennessee has more consignment sales than stores.  If you plan ahead, you can hit the sales almost every weekend in March and August.  Check out this site; it actually allows you to type in your address and show you every sale within a particular distance.

How Much Is It?  
To go and look, it's free.  If you are able to leave with nothing, I'm amazed!  I've been floored at the incredible deals we were able to get for Daniel and his baby brother.  I was able to get an Easter outfit (Children's Place argyle sweater, polo shirt, and pants) at a half off sale in White House for $2.  Then, I realized he'd need some shoes, and I found those brand new in a Gymboree box for a whopping $4.  Your jaw is dropped, I KNOW! 

Let Me Be Honest...
I've been to sales that honestly aren't that great...  Items were stained or ripped or highly overpriced.  I have a hard time paying a large amount for items that have been used.  However, if you hit a good sale, you'll know it.   Do your research.  If you're looking to buy shorts, see how much they are online at Gymboree or Children's Place, and make yourself feel amazing when you find them for $4.  If you're looking for sweaters, check out the Baby Gap before you pay too much!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Wish You Were Here

Sometimes I imagine talking to her now that I have a son myself.  One that's rambunctious, energetic, and playful, just like I've been told her son was.  I imagine getting to hug her again, sharing dresses and shoes, and even sitting together over a glass of orange Gatorade.  I picture calling her for advice on how to cook Brian's favorite meal and for direction on how to keep a wild child calm.  She has been there.

But now, she's not here.

She left us a year ago today.  She left behind two amazing children, who between the two of them, have given her six grandchildren:  4 who are here, 1 who is with her in Heaven, and 1 who is on his way.  She left behind 3 little ones who called her, "Nana."  They now live in the house she and her precious husband shared.  She also left behind 1 she never met.  She died just 5 weeks before he was born.  And she'll won't be here for this 1 who's on the way... 

However, she's meeting the 1 grandbaby we never did.  When I miscarried, I can remember her being very quiet about it.  She hugged me, but she honestly never discussed it with me.  I don't know if it's because my sorrow made her uncomfortable or because it was difficult for her as well.  I can remember months later, when I became pregnant with our second, that she said, "It is finally time."  I recall her telling me right after Brian and I were married to wait at least a year before getting pregnant, and when I miscarried before our first anniversary, she later told me that it just wasn't time.  That statement from her cut like a knife, but a year after her passing, I'm thankful to have that memory of her. 

Why?  Because she was honest.  She was blunt.  She sometimes hurt your feelings.  Yet she had an incredible way of wanting more of her...  At least, that's how I am feeling now.  Oh, to have just one day with her.  To introduce her to Daniel.  To have her speak to her grandchild in my womb.  To open the fridge to find she has bought Coke in glass bottles and to see the cabinet full of cereal just for us.  To have her tell me what I'm doing right...  and what I'm doing wrong.  To teach me how to cook.  To shop until we dropped.  To just be here

Yet, now that she is gone, I'm happy for her.  I'm even somewhat jealous.  She's in the place we all long to go, and she's now happier than I'll ever be while here.  There are days when I cannot wait to be there with her, but for the most part, I'm selfish and wish she was here... 

In memory of my mother-in-law, Cindy

Thursday, March 4, 2010

These Socks are Made for Walking

We've been waiting for months...

When he rolled over at 5 weeks, when he stood by himself at 6 months old, and when he crawled just a week later, we were sure we'd have an early walker.  I can remember people saying, "He'll be walking by 9 months!"  Well, he's only a month off, but Daniel walked today for the first time.

Sure, he had been taking steps in between Mommy and Daddy for quite some time, but that is when there are arms held out for him and he has no fear of falling.  However, today was a bit different.  Brian and I were in the living room (Brian standing near the loveseat; I was sitting on the couch), and Daniel was "perched" at his usual spot, holding on but standing beside the coffee table.  Neither of us were looking at him, when he just took off.  He stepped toward Brian without even thinking about it.  He just did it!  It was only 3 or 4 steps, but we didn't have to convince him to do it or sit in front of him with our arms outstretched.  He just walked... 

It has truly amazed us.  I've been so proud ever since that moment...  Such a huge milestone for our growing family.  I kept telling Daniel he HAD to walk before his baby brother got here...  And HE DID!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


and yet, so vividly, I can tell he is getting closer to making his appearance...

13 weeks to go...  13.  Does that seem as few to you as it does to me?

I watched my first born figure out how to turn a canvas bin upside down in his play yard this morning to use it as pedestal to get closer to his mother (and/or more so, get my attention), and I couldn't help but imagine two of them doing that very same thing together.

I feel incredibly blessed.  I really do.  It gets more exciting not knowing what lies ahead.  How to fit two cribs into one room.  How to get more diapers with the same amount of money.  How to feed two children at once.  How to chase the one that will be walking while holding the newborn.  How, how, how?!  I don't really know yet; that's why it is all so unreal to me at this point.  However, at the same time, I'm so ready for it.  I'm so ready for that miracle of uncertainty to hit us square in the face.  I love how God shows up in the midst of situations that seem so unreal and make them His

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mommy Mondays

I'm fairly certain I've missed a few Mondays, but let me tell you that the past few weeks have been rough.  From battling a physiological kidney issue which was thought to be a kidney stone from a house full of sickness (colds, ear-infectioned baby, etc), there is no wonder why I haven't posted much. 

HOWEVER, I've become a huge fan of the Rainforest Cafe.  It's my Mommy Monday pick this week!  We took Daniel, who is ten months old, and he LOVED it!  It was so visually stimulating, not just for him but for the adults as well.  The food was amazing - a little pricey but totally worth it.  I would highly suggest taking your wild children there any day!  (Well, more so as a special treat!)

(Daniel admiring the fish at one of the aquarium tanks)

What Is It? 
A rainforest-themed restaurant that is decorated with everything from tree-swinging gorillas and high-flying butterflies to fish-filled aquariums and a bubbling, hot spring.  They have a gift shop, aquarium tanks, and great food! 

 (Daniel and his Daddy watching the bubbles at the hot spring)

Where Can I Get It?
They are spread throughout the United States, but for those of us in Middle Tennessee, it is located in the Opry Mills Mall in Nashville.  Visit their website if out of state, and click on the toucan at the top of your screen for other locations.

How Much Is It?  
It's free to visit the gift shop!  However, the real excitement begins when entering the restaurant!  Food prices range from $5 - $35 per menu item, but you honestly get quite a bit of food for the price.  Go here to see a sample menu.  We tried the Awesome Appetizer and the Blue Mountain Chicken Sandwich, and both were under $15 and delicious!  It is a special occasion kind of outing for families.  Kids eat for $1.99 on certain nights, so make sure you call your location and ask about that special!

(Daniel and Mommy visiting the "Talking Tree" in the gift shop)