Wednesday, December 29, 2010

You’re only cool if you celebrate Christmas twice

We traveled to Dallas for Christmas this year to spend it with Chris’s family but didn’t want to take all of our gifts for each other there only to have to bring them back (with the gifts from his family). So we celebrated Christmas last Tuesday; I wanted to do just like it were Christmas, you know, open one present the night before, read the nativity, and then open everything else the next morning. However, it’s time I get used to having to schedule everything around Chris’s work schedule. So instead, we had one little celebration after Miles’ afternoon nap.

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The first gift of Christmas was his first ornament—a holly bell with his name and the year engraved on it; everyone in Chris’s family has one of these, and Chris and I have one for the year we were married.

And of course, it has to go straight in the mouth. As did all of his other presents.

In Texas, Miles was having a hard time adjusting to a new schedule and house and noise, so he wasn’t the happiest baby, but we managed to get a few pictures before he started screaming.

The first picture is after we changed him into his photo shoot outfit—those pictures will come later. The other two are during stocking-opening. He needed some assistance to figure out what to do. Apparently he prefers to just lie down on his stocking.

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And this is the morning after Christmas when Chris was awake with Miles. Apparently there was some sort of blow out, which is why his sleeper is on the floor, and as soon as he was stripped down, Miles was very excited.

Overall we had a great Christmas and hope that all of you did as well. I’m still working on a Johnson newsletter to email out. No promises.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Animal tracks

Yesterday was the warmest day we have had in a what seems like a very long time, so we finally took the dog to the park (and Miles came, too). We had some rain on Thursday, so much of the trail was still slightly muddy and along the way, Chris made a couple of comments about some interesting tracks he kept seeing. After about a mile, he stopped and looked more closely at one of the tracks. It only took me about two seconds to have it figured out: the elusive animal was the dreaded human in shoes.

As soon as I realized that my super intelligent husband who prides himself on his ability to identify all sorts of birds, animals, tracks, etc. had made a mistake, I said, “blog update.” And being a good sport, he even took the pictures from his phone.


He wanted me to point out, in his defense, that he originally was only seeing the heel of the shoe.


As we continued to walk, I saw the following. He must have thought it was a stampede.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tonight’s bath brought to you by the letters M and H

Thanks to our friend Meredith, Miles is learning his alphabet during bath time. Please disregard the major scratch on his face—apparently I need to do a better job of trimming his nails.

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And in other news, he is no longer failing to thrive. This child gained three pounds in the last month. Now he has chunky thighs like his mom.

Miles and the bearded man

Yesterday was the BIG day! The day that all parents look forward to. The day that truly shows that you are, indeed, parents. The day that your child meets Santa for the first time.

I had done my research prior to visiting Santa because I wanted to make sure that we were meeting an authentic looking Santa. And where does one find that sort of Santa? The fancy mall, of course.

We made sure to time our visit to Santa just after Miles’s morning nap because in order to get a smiling picture, one must have a well-rested child. Well, I figured it at least increased our chances. Santa arrives at the mall at 10 am, and we made it there by 11; and there was no line! Bonus.

There weren’t, however, any elves helping this Santa—only a slight disappointment. Before we got in line, we told the two young men working there that we would be purchasing the digital copy of our photo because then, we figured, we could do whatever we wanted with it. I guess you don’t actually have to purchase a photo, you know, in case your child takes terrible pictures, but in order to take your own pictures with your own camera, you must purchase.

Miles and I walked up to Santa, and he explained the best place to set the baby on his lap and the best place for the parents to stand. So I set Miles on Santa’s lap, stepped beside the camera, and started making all sorts of silly noises. Luckily, Miles hasn’t yet developed any stranger anxiety, in fact, I’m not even sure he noticed that he was sitting on an old man’s lap.

After they took their picture, I got to look at it on their screen in order to approve it, and Chris started snapping away. (When we got home, we compared the pictures, and ours turned out much better). After Chris took a few, he stepped away to pay for the picture, and I talked to Santa a bit. It was then that Miles noticed the man with the beard, and he looked up at Santa in the cutest way. I wish we had taken a picture then.

Chris and I talked to Santa briefly (again, no line), and he expressed that he views it as such a privilege to be part of a baby’s first Christmas. A very good Santa, in my opinion. 

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I’m pretty sure Miles told Santa that he wanted for his mom to stop making him wear sweater vests for Christmas.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It’s beginning to look, feel, and smell a lot like Christmas!

Although I decorated the house and put the tree up a week ago, today felt like the real start of the Christmas season around here.  It was the perfect Saturday to get into the festive spirit since it hasn’t gotten out of the 30s and low 40s all day—we even had some sleet/hail/frozen rain mix!

The day started with Chris getting up with Miles so that I could have a morning to sleep in. And what did Miles do? He slept 45 minutes more than he has been lately. And I couldn’t get back to sleep after he woke up anyway. I did, however, lay in bed while Chris got him changed and fed. After I came downstairs, Chris and I both commented that it would have been a great day to go for a jog except that it was so cold. It is highly possible that we said that only to make ourselves feel better but fully knowing that it wasn’t going to happen.

While Miles took his morning nap, I got ready for the day (instead of taking a nap, too) because Miles was invited to his first birthday party. We, of course, were fashionably late because I didn’t want to wake him too soon. But he made an appearance, giving ample time to give the birthday girl her gift—one of those Sing-a-ma-jigs. We got back in the car at about the time he needed his second nap for the day, leaving him about 30 minutes to sleep in the car seat before we got home. I tried to transfer him to his crib, but that only works if he has been asleep for about 10 minutes or so.

Instead, I fed him again, changed him into something fancy, and we headed out to his first symphony concert. The Charlotte Symphony and Orchestra does a concert every December called, “The Magic of Christmas,” in which they play a variety of Christmas music accompanied by various vocal groups (and sometimes the audience). Chris surprised me with tickets to the concert last year, and I was excited to take Miles this year. Chris wasn’t too sure about taking a 7-month-old to a concert, but I thought he did remarkably well. We made sure to get seats on the aisle in case we needed to get out, which we did. We met some of our friends there; and between the two babies in the group, there was always someone standing in the aisle with a baby. During the first half, Miles was enthralled with the loud music and lights. He was tired, which usually means he wants to snuggle against my chest, but he really wanted to be facing the music to see what all the noise was about. Also, we discovered he really likes applause. Chris stood with him until Intermission, but it wasn’t until the second half when there were two slower songs in a row, that I got him to fall asleep.

After a stop at Panera for dinner (because it was a soup kind of night), we headed home to finally trim our tree. Around here, we always wear Santa hats and listen to carols as we decorate, so of course, I had to get Miles his own hat this year. Unfortunately, the only one I found (that I was willing to spend money on) had silly ear straps.

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You can really see that Miles has lost his blue eyes here. They’re still in between brown, green, hazel.

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I attempted to wear antlers instead this year, but soon after this, Chris made me put on the hat because it was too hard to get the top of the antlers in the pictures.

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This is what Miles wanted to be doing instead of looking at the camera.

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This was after we turned off the flash in an attempt to get more ambiance in the photos, but it also made everything a little blurry—especially because Miles doesn’t like to hold still.

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This is what happens anytime we are on the floor because Scout really likes attention. It makes for a VERY blurry picture.

And here’s the big moment—hanging the first ornament.

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But the biggest reminder that it is the Christmas season is the cold I am in the middle of. Let’s hope this doesn’t turn into the sinus/ear infections of last year.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Miles: 7 months

Officially Miles turned 7 months yesterday, but Chris took the laptop with him to Colorado, and the desktop decided to “take a break” last night, so this post is a day late. But I’m pretty sure not much has changed since yesterday.

Since his 6 month appointment fell a few days after his half-birthday post, I didn’t get a chance to update on his stats, but it wasn’t what the doctor was hoping for, I guess. Everyone is always telling me how healthy he looks because of his chubby cheeks, but he only fell in the 10th percentile for weight. I wasn’t too concerned about it because he is in the 90th percentile for height (but really length because they measure him lying down, whatever). I’m not saying that Chris and I are the skinniest people in the world, but we are both relatively long and lean, and the doctor has met both of us on several occasions, but she was still concerned because he has dropped two percentile groups in his last few appointments. She suggested that I start adding pureed meats to his food rotations, add some butter or olive oil to the food that I prepare for him, which I was already doing, and maybe start supplementing with formula if I wasn’t opposed to it, which I’m not. She did make me a little bit worried because I know I am not producing as much milk as I used to, and because I only produce on one side, I thought maybe he wasn’t getting enough to eat. So I’ve been giving him formula before he goes to bed at night (no, it is not making a difference in getting him to sleep longer) to see how it goes. He has to go back in two weeks to get a flu booster shot, and if he hasn’t changed weight significantly, I might just go back to all breast milk because it’s cheaper than formula.

Overall he is still a very happy baby. He really only cries when he is tired, which can be fixed by putting him down for a nap. He is napping consistently two times a day for about an hour and half (ish) each and taking a shorter naps most days in the late afternoon. He goes down without a fuss on most days, but I can’t say always because every time I do, he screams. And Chris is always here for those ones and is very quick to point out that I was wrong. He is going to sleep at about 6:30 most nights, waking up one or two (sigh) times, and getting up anywhere between 6 and 7 in the morning. I would really love for him to sleep through the night again, but I haven’t seen those nights since he was almost four months. Not sure what happened, but I know it will come again.

He is consistently eating pretty much anything I give him: sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, apples, pears, squash, avocado, banana, and yogurts. I think he has had enough “first tastes” now so that I can start mixing things up a bit. He did not really enjoy the turkey that I gave him on Thanksgiving, but he did enjoy the mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie that we let him taste at the restaurant. Chris is always trying to put things in his mouth, mostly ice cream and things of that nature, and I think I need to give up trying to stop him.

Miles is definitely developing a personality, which is so fun to watch. Now that he is mostly sitting up, he will turn and look at me over his shoulder, smile, and then turn back around. Just checking to make sure I am still there or something. He loves to jump in his jumper/activity center, but only if he can see me while he does it. When he’s done, he’ll start yelling at me, so I walk over to get him, and he now reaches up for me to take him out. He screams a lot when he is playing on the floor, but not in an angry way. He just likes to hear himself. So far he hasn’t done it at church, but that will be fun. But the best, the experience that showed me he is truly a boy, was the other night as I was burping him after his bottle. He let out a huge burp, and then turned and smiled and laughed. I couldn’t help but laugh at that.

He loves his daddy now, which has been great for me. He gets the biggest smile on his face when Chris comes home and reaches straight for Chris’s face. He still is a little unsure of Chris putting him to bed at night, but now that he is getting a bottle, we will remedy that situation.

He has been able to roll over for over two months now, but wasn’t interested in it at all until this past week. He used to just lie on his stomach and scream until one of us rolled him over. But he seems to be more interested in his toys, so there is added motivation. And because he is falling forward still while he is sitting up, he has no choice but to get into a better position on his own.

And because Chris took the laptop with all of the photos on it, the only ones I have are from his first Thanksgiving. These were taken on our smaller camera, so they never look as crisp, but that’s all I got.



His hair is getting a little unruly in the front and over his ears, but the thought of cutting it breaks my heart.

I sure do love this little guy. But I sure am looking forward to Chris coming home tomorrow and giving me a day to sleep in.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A good feeling

There’s nothing better than putting your baby down to bed, not hearing a peep from his room, and coming downstairs to watch Glee with a bowl of honey nut  cheerios.

‘Nuff said.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A list of today’s blessings

I’m grateful that Miles took a really long morning nap so that I could as well.

I’m grateful that Chris agreed to go on our own little Turkey Trot when I know he just wanted to sleep.

I’m grateful for Boston Market’s Thanksgiving feast.

I’m grateful that Miles took a really long afternoon nap so that I could clean my carpets.

I’m grateful for my Dyson.

I’m grateful for my steam vacuum.

I’m grateful for two great pets that keep me company.

I’m grateful for my family that Skyped me from their dinner table (especially my sister who was eating one of their THREE pies in front of me).

I’m grateful for my in-laws who called to wish me a Happy Thanksgiving because they knew their son was at work.

I’m grateful for Gerber’s canned turkey so that Miles could have a feast of his own, and that I didn’t have to puree it myself. Even if it smelled like dog food.

I’m grateful for Healthy Choice frozen dinners.

I’m grateful for Diet Coke. More than I can say.

I’m grateful for Jeopardy. And saved episodes of Glee that I can re-watch.

I’m grateful for a husband that works so very hard for our family.

I’m grateful for my testimony in a loving Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus Christ.

And of course, I’m grateful for the blessing of raising one of His precious children.

And…I’m pretty sure I’m grateful for the cookies I’m thinking about making.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Impromptu Fall Photo Shoot

I promise that I am also planning on doing an entry with more words than pictures, but I couldn’t resist putting these adorable pictures up first.

As I was driving home from Costco today, I noticed a very nice little patch of green grass with beautiful fall leaves, and I immediately knew I needed to get some pictures. No, I do not drive around with our camera in the car. Chris and I went back later after running some errands. I later realized I should have put Miles in his “My First Thanksgiving” outfit since we aren’t really having a Thanksgiving this year, but oh well.

And I also know that I should be adjusting colors in Photoshop since we really only use our fancy camera as a point-and-shoot, but we haven’t gotten around to loading the program on this computer.

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Proof that he can sit up with out his hands on the ground (he fell over about three seconds later).

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The most sure way to get him to smile? Sing a song. I believe this one was my warm-up song from 8th grade choir: “Mama made me mash my M&Ms.”

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Lone Traveler

As promised, here is the story of my return trip to Charlotte from Denver. Looking back, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but still makes for a good, little story.

When Chris and I flew to Denver, we booked a flight that stopped in Memphis for an hour or so because with two of us, it wouldn’t really be a hassle. We had checked the stroller frame and car seat with baggage, so we didn’t have any extra junk to haul around; I strapped Miles to me, and since he was drugged, he stayed pretty mellow the entire time. But when I returned home, I was alone because Chris had left the day before to get back to work.

My brother drove me to the airport with specific instructions from my mother to walk me inside to make sure I got off okay. So that’s what he did even though I explained that I could push the stroller with one hand and pull the suitcase with the other.

We walked up to the Delta section only to see that I have to check myself in at a kiosk before I can go up to the counter. Does this really save time? I absolutely hate it! No one ever knows what they’re doing and there is always a reason that you need to talk to the agent anyway. Especially if you’re last name is Johnson and have been put on the terror watch list because no one was willing to take the time to fix it in the system. (We spent years having to see the agent at the desk). So, I go up to the kiosk, swipe my credit card, and nothing happened. I tried again. Nothing.  I asked the agent (or greeter, I’m not really sure which) for help. She asked if I had swiped the card correctly. Yes, I’m not stupid. She tried it herself. Nothing. She asked if I was sure that was the day of my ticket. Of course, I said. Why wouldn’t it be? I usually have a copy of my itinerary printed out, but Chris had it with him. So she directed me to the ticket counter for real help.

The agent asked, “What’s your final destination?”


“Going through Atlanta?”

“No, it should be non-stop” Because who wants to try to handle a plane change alone with a 6-month-old?

“We don’t have a non-stop to Charlotte.” So she asked what time I thought I was leaving, did some typing in the computer, and then directed me to the USAirways counter. Oops. I assumed that because we flew Delta for the first leg, and because Chris flew home on Delta the day before, that I would be on Delta also.

So then I walked over to the USAirways counter, still with my brother, which I was grateful for at this point. I checked myself in with no problems, but then the agent asked where the baby’s boarding pass was. What? Doesn’t the ticket need to just say “Infant in arms”? No, apparently that’s how Delta does it. Not USAirways.

Let me explain how this tripped was booked. Chris found the flights one night while we were watching TV while I was feeding or holding Miles. No big deal. Until I was checking our itinerary a few weeks later to send to my mom and noticed that Chris had typed his name in as “Chris Johndon.” And he had forgotten that we now have a child and had not added Miles to the ticket. I called Expedia because that’s where we booked the ticket, and they explained that they could change it in the system, but our boarding pass would still have his name misspelled. The guy kind of laughed when he realized that Chris hadn’t just typed a d instead of an s, but he failed to type the rest of his first name or his middle name at all.

But apparently, it only applied to the first flight under Chris’s name. USAirways likes you to put in the baby’s name and birth date. Luckily, the agent was willing to just do it there at the counter (which begs the question, why is it necessary at all?).

Then I asked her if I could check my stroller and car seat at the counter since it was just me traveling alone with the baby.

“Don’t you want it with you in the airport?”

“No, I’m just doing to strap the baby to my chest so that I don’t have to carry more things.”

“Well, maybe you should just gate check it.”

“I really don’t need it; can’t I just check it here.”

“You can, but I really think you should just gate check it. I wouldn’t want it to get damaged at all—not that we would damage it, but just to be safe.”

This went on for a while longer until I finally just caved and agreed to gate check. Fine and dandy, but I don’t think anyone realizes how hard it is to go through security with stuff and a baby.

As I mentioned before, one great thing about having a baby was the family line at security in Charlotte where we got to skip to the front of the line. Not so in Denver. They have a family line, but it didn’t appear to be any different than anything else. So there I am, taking Miles out of his stroller, carrying him on my hip and trying to get my shoes off, place the shoes in a bin, place the diaper bag in a bin, placing the plastic baggie with my liquid medicines in it in a bin, unhooking the car seat from the stroller with one hand, placing it on the conveyer belt, and then trying to fold the stroller frame up with one hand (it involves twisting the handlebar and pulling up on the frame at the same time)! I managed to get it all on the conveyer belt with one hand, still managing to hold onto our boarding passes and my driver’s license, with NO help. Not ONE person offered to assist me in anyway. Not even a TSA agent that should be there to help people in the family line. Oh wait, a TSA agent did step forward to tell me that I needed to turn the car seat up-side-down so that it wouldn’t get stuck.

Gee, thanks for the help, sir.

But we made it through security in one piece.

After that, the only real hassles were trying to get some food in a busy airport while pushing a large stroller that I didn’t want to have with me in the first place.  Oh, and unfolding it all again in the jet way.

I guess I should be grateful that we traveled before all of the TSA changes. I’m pretty sure that Miles would not go through the body scanner, but how are they supposed to scan me and not him? And how could they pat me down in the new way with a baby in my arms? I’m almost positive that there is no way I would let a TSA agent hold my baby. I’m not sure why, but maybe it’s because they always seem so surly.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Miles from home (get the pun?) I’m so clever.

This post has been a long time coming, but I find that when Chris is out of town, as he has been for the past three days, my motivation to do anything greatly diminishes. Since no one will see me, I may stay in my pajamas longer. Since no one needs to eat but me, I may just have cereal for dinner. Since no one is here to complain, I may just watch chick flicks after Miles goes to sleep rather than blogging.

But back to the point: our recent travels to Denver. Chris was able to secure a few job interviews in the Denver area (yay!), so we made a family vacation out of it last week.

Our immediate concern was flying with a 6-month-old. I have great confidence in Miles and his mellow attitude, but if he gets tired, he wants to be walked around, which is not always the easiest thing to do on an airplane. Ever the physician, Chris was eager to offer Benadryl as our solution. I was a bit weary of the whole thing because it seems against logic to medicate an infant for something he doesn’t have just to make traveling more convenient. I was way more weary when the bottle said not for children under the age of 6. But Chris convinced me that he knows what he is doing, we tested it at home, and then gave Miles some Benadryl before our flight. Awesome. He was so sleepy that he slept the majority of both flights.

Before the wonder drug took affect:                             After:

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And next to the tax deduction, we learned that the next best thing about having a child is the family line at airport security. In Charlotte, we were able to skip right to the front of the line. Awesome!

Chris was busy much of our trip, but we were able to spend time with my immediate family and my grandpa and aunt that came from Utah for my niece’s baptism. Miles hasn’t yet developed stranger danger, so he was pretty happy with whomever was holding him. He was especially interested in his three cousins, always wanting to touch their faces and giggle at their antics. The following video is him enjoying his cousin Abby act like a frog. If you don’t want to watch it, just know that it ends with spit up.


My sister was always eager to hold Miles but kept complaining that he wasn’t snuggling with her like he does with me and Chris; I had to explain that it was probably because her pregnant belly was in the way. She’s a little baby hungry.


And of course, Miles was in love with his Uncle Steve just like all children. Steve was happy to play with him, loving the smiles that Miles so freely dishes out.


We were so happy to be able to spend time with family that lives so far away. And of course, it was great for Miles to meet his Great Grandpa Sieb and Great Aunt Bronwyn, even if he doesn't  realize it.

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But my favorite picture was taken at 4:30 in the morning before anyone else was awake (poor Miles didn’t adjust well to the two-hour time change). It was a little cold in the house that early, so he needed his hat to stay warm. Or, I just thought it was cute.


The trip home deserves it’s own entry, which I will have to get to another time. Stay tuned.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Half Birthday

Today is Miles’s (still not sure where that pesky apostrophe should go) first half birthday, not something I will celebrate in the coming years, but I figured the first one is kind of a milestone. In all honesty, all I can think about is being half way done with breastfeeding. Selfish, I know.

I know that I said the big milestone at 5 months was that he was eating solids, but that may have only been a half truth. I started rice cereal when he was about 4 1/2 months, but it didn’t go so well. He started waking up every few hours all night long. Not fun. So we suspended cereals for a while longer. The second time around went much smoother, and now he is officially eating his veggies (carrots and sweet potatoes so far). Carrots were not a big hit the first two days, but I think it had more to do with time of day than with taste, texture, or temperature. I was trying to feed him at the same time that Chris and I ate dinner, you know, so we could enjoy a family meal together. But that is the witching hour for Miles, so he was not totally into something orange being shoveled into his mouth. And I’m just going to say it: I do not like the smell of poop from a solids-eating-baby. I thought I didn’t like the smell of newborn poop, the poop that everyone else kept calling “sweet,” but I totally get it now. Anything is better than what we have now.

This past month has been a real challenge for my confidence in mothering. Just when I thought I had the whole thing figured out, he totally changed the norm. Where he used to be able to fall asleep without a fuss, he started crying and fussing. Where he used to sleep through the entire night, he started waking once or twice. Where he used to go right back to sleep after being nursed at night, he would cry or coo or whatever, just not sleep. Where he used to wake up after 7 am, he would wake up at 6 or so. Not cool. He could be teething, he could be growing, he could be testing my fortitude, I don’t know. We’re working through it.

He is still a very happy baby, though. He loves to be held and snuggled, but also loves to wiggle on the floor, jump in his jumper, or play with toys (kind of).

And in honor of his half birthday, we gave him sweet potato. We were going to put a candle in it, but didn’t have any.


This is the face I get if I don’t put enough oatmeal in the spoonful. It also comes with a nice gagging noise.

We also gave him a cupcake. And by that I mean that we put it in front of him, took a picture, and then Chris ate it.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Since Halloween fell on a Sunday, and since Chris is working anyway, he had our Halloween festivities yesterday. We spent the day shopping for things for our church’s Trunk or  Treat because I was in charge (yippee), so Miles needed to have some Halloween spirit all day. The hat and socks were bought last year from Target’s Dollar Spot, which Chris found amusing because I was pregnant at the time.


Then it was off to the Trunk or Treat as a Tiger family. Chris and I made our costumes on Friday night—please notice that my stripes are so much more neat than Chris’s. He got a little carried away. And then the cat walked across them as they were drying, so there are a few paw prints to make it more authentic. The paw prints on the floor were not so cool, though.


Everything was just too much fun for Miles.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pickin’ Pumpkins


Chris had yet another Saturday off, so this time we went to a local farm to pick some pumpkins that we may or may not carve for Halloween. The farm had a wide variety of farms animals, a hay ride (one where the driver smoked a cigarette the whole time), and an actual pumpkin patch. You could tell that some of the pumpkins had been strategically placed, but there were pumpkins that you could literally pick.

The first stop was to the pig pen with the following sign:


So what did Chris do as soon as he had Miles in his arms? Holds his fingers up to a pig’s snout.

After looking at some goats, some horses, and some chickens, we made our way to the pumpkin patch to pick our pumpkins, but mostly for some pictures. So, here you go:


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The best picture, of course, had a farmer in the background. Well, I’m not positive he was a farmer, but doesn’t he look like one?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010



I’ve really painted myself into a corner. Except that I don’t like that analogy—who paints floors anymore? You only hear really old people tell stories of how they painted themselves into a corner in their youth. It’s more like I mopped myself into a corner. Except that I don’t mop. It’s more like I Swiffer Wet-Jetted myself into a corner.  And here’s how:

I opened my big, fat mouth and told everyone that I was going to run the Amica Insurance Half Marathon in December to get rid of my big, fat, post-pregnancy bum.

As you may remember, I was able to procure a rather fancy jogging stroller several weeks ago with some amazing store credit, and yes, I love it, but I didn’t plan for Miles not loving it. Or the fact that when you haven’t run, I mean really run, for over a year, it kinda sucks.

My original plan was to get into running shape in September when Chris had a regular schedule that would allow me to run in the mornings after feeding Miles. Except that sometimes I still needed to pump. Sometimes I really needed to eat breakfast. Sometimes it was too hot. Sometimes it was too humid. Sometimes I just wanted to sit on the couch and watch the Today show followed by The West Wing.

So then Plan B was to just hit the ground running (literally) once the jogging stroller came in and the weather finally cooled off. I have tried, really tried. But when your training program tells you to run 5 miles on your third day of training, it’s not pretty. Miles is usually good for about 30 minutes. Yesterday he was fantastic. Today, we only made it a mile.

And I didn’t account for the SNAKES! Today I finally got Miles calmed down by walking really slowly so that he could stare at the trees, and we were about a quarter mile from the car when I spotted a snake in the middle of the path. I stopped (far enough away to be completely safe) to assess the situation. It wasn’t terribly huge, but I’m not sure that really matters. I HATE snakes! I thought perhaps it was dead, smushed by some heroic biker, because it wasn’t moving, but there was no way I was going to test that theory by walking past it. I backed up a little bit more and contemplated throwing something in it’s direction to see if it moved. But what if it started moving? I would be forced to turn around and go back the way I came, the opposite direction of the car. So I just stared at it. And then I saw it’s tongue move. I froze. I waited for it to slither across the trail. And then I sprinted away. I may have even looked back to make sure it wasn’t following us.

And then I decided that if I can sprint with that stroller, then maybe this half-marathon thing is do-able. Maybe.

If I pay for registration, then won’t I be forced to do it?

Monday, October 11, 2010


Chris had last Saturday off, which isn’t always the case during residency, so we actually went somewhere. We are always disappointed when we end up spending his days off running errands, cleaning the house, or just sitting at home. So late Friday night we decided we would drive down to the Columbia Zoo in the morning. Our original plan was to take the dog on a family hike, but we discovered that she has a sore on one of her paws, so she needed to stay home.

We started the day an hour later than usual because Miles tried to wake up an hour earlier than usual, so I brought him into bed with us (even though Chris always reminds me that it isn’t safe). The only thing rushing us out the door was that McDonald’s stops serving breakfast at 10:30; Chris even gave me a time reminder while I was getting ready. The man loves his egg biscuits.

The drive took about two hours; during which time Miles slept. I found a nice shady spot when we first arrived to nurse, and after a quick diaper change (being careful not to touch anything around us), we were off to see the animals.

I’m not the biggest fan of zoos, what with the smell and the sad animals in their little habitats that you can never see because they are always sleeping, but I knew that once I had children I would have to make some concessions. But really, watching Chris at a zoo is almost as exciting as watching a child. I had to remind him several times not to take so many pictures of the animals because we don’t need 50 pictures of giraffes.

Miles seemed pretty indifferent to the whole experience, which seemed to disappoint Chris. The only time Miles really showed interest was in the aquarium where he actually talked to the fish. We didn’t, however, spend much time in there because it was a little crowded, but I guess that’s to be expected when the weather is warm on an October Saturday.


I wish I had taken video because Miles was talking pretty loudly at those fish. If only I had let Chris bring his fish tank with him when we moved.


Don’t you love his safari hat? And you can’t tell, but his shirt has a monkey on it. Our outfits must always be appropriate for the occasion.


Isn’t he cute??

After we walked most of the zoo, we walked to the botanical garden where Chris kept expressing his desire to have one in our next backyard. He apparently needs a paved path where he can pace while on the phone. He needs a shade garden. He needs a water feature. He needs a forest path. He needs a lot of land.

After the garden, we finished the day with a few more animals and then got back in our car where Miles slept the whole time again. What a great baby.

What a great day.

I only wish I had taken a picture of our lunch. Going to the zoo, I anticipate spending more money than necessary on food, but I also expect the food to fill me. While I was trying to secure us a shady table, Chris went into get our food. I told him to get me the Italian Sub without seeing one. When he came out, we both had to laugh at their poor excuse for a sandwich. I couldn't even see the meat.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Miles: 5 months


This past month was all about sleeping, and then not sleeping, and then sleeping. We were given the green light from our pediatrician to let Miles cry it out to help him develop his sleep schedule, so that’s what we did. This time, I subscribed to the book recommended by the doctor (not the one I’m married to), Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. In this book, the doctor says that I need to let him cry for an hour for naptimes and indefinitely at night to help Miles establish good sleep habits.

The first couple of days were really hard and pretty much meant that I went in there at the end of an hour to soothe him to sleep after an hour of screaming. At first I would go about doing something really involved during the crying session (i.e. working out, showering, or cleaning). But after a couple of days, he would be asleep after only a few minutes of crying and sometimes without any crying at all.

But we never had the courage to let him cry at night. We’ll get there.

In the pat month he has also really discovered his voice. So much so that I noticed that we are keeping the TV volume much higher now because we can’t hear it over Miles. Isn’t that pathetic? It’s not like we are trying to drown him out; we just want to hear the dialogue from the TV. At first he was just cooing, but now he is screeching. And yes, once he did squeal when Oprah came on.

At the 4 month appointment, my doctor said it was probably time to start solids because he had dropped a little in his weight percentile. I wasn’t planning on starting solids until 6 months, but she made me really worried that he was hungry because he had started sleeping 10-12 hours straight at night and was only eating every three or four hours during the day. So when my mom was here, we decided to start rice cereal.











It didn’t go well the first time. But then my mom remembered her trick: the pacifier. Spoonful of cereal, suck on pacifier. It worked pretty well for two more nights, but then I decided to stop because it didn’t seem to be sitting well with I'm at night. He was waking up four or more times at night. As soon as I stopped, he slept again. Maybe I’ll start giving it to him during the day instead.

But the biggest development happened just yesterday when he smiled at the dog. That’s a big deal around here.

Also, after reading this post, Chris and I have decided that we have become “those people” because all we do it talk about the baby. But he is pretty dang cute; how can we not?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Grandmas are great!

I dropped my mom off at the airport this morning after a week of shopping, eating, napping, and watching our new guilty pleasure, “Friday Night Lights.” As always, my mom was more than generous while she was here, but mostly we loved just spending time with her. And I’m sure she loved spending time with her grandson. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures.

The other unfortunate thing? Miles was not on his best behavior. Previous to my mom coming, Miles and I had an excellent routine going; he napped three times and day and had started to sleep through the night (like almost 12 hours). Yes, he had been trying to wake up before 7 am, but we were working through it. But after my mom got here, he started crying way more before falling asleep, and he woke up some more at night. Now, I’m not saying it’s grandma’s fault, but it was sad that she couldn’t see how great he usually is. Really, he made me look like a bad mom.

And the past two nights it has been like having a newborn all over again—waking up every  couple of hours. I’m tired all over again.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Long Awaited Arrival


Back when I was still pregnant and in the midst of my nesting phase, Chris and I spent A LOT of money at Babies R Us in one night; they were having sales, and we had coupons, so it just made sense to buy everything at the same time. In this shopping spree, we bought my rocking chair and ottoman. It’s a big, cushy brown corduroy arm chair that is super comfortable, especially in the middle of the night when I fall asleep while nursing. The only problem with this chair started about three weeks after Miles was born: major squeaking. I mean MAJOR. We tried to WD40 the problem but quickly discovered that the noise was coming from inside the chair, which would require taking it apart (way beyond our skill set).

Luckily, we purchased the buyer protection plan that they offer you for everything you purchase. I normally decline the warranties because how often do you actually need to use it?It’s just a ploy to get more money from parents-to-be that will do anything and spend anything for their babies. But the chair was one of the more expensive items (might have been the most expensive) we purchased.

So after three months of squeaking and not actually rocking in the chair because I was worried that the noise would actually wake Miles up instead of lulling him to sleep, I called to get the chair serviced as per the protection plan agreement. I spoke to a very nice man on the phone who told me that squeaking did not seem to be listed on his computer screen as things that could be fixed. But I am too smart for that.

I looked at the plan brochure in front of me and said, “It says here that the plan covers ‘defects in workmanship,’ and it seems to me that noise so loud that I don’t actually want to rock in the chair is a defect in workmanship.”

He agreed that that would be annoying (he has a child at home, too) and agreed to put in a service request and told me to expect a phone call from the service company in the next three to five days. After about six days, I got another call from the warranty department to tell me that there really is nothing they can do about the squeaking, so they would like to send me a merchandise credit for the retail price of the chair to buy me out of my service plan. I should expect a credit in the mail for $389.99 (more than we actually paid because we got it on sale).

The first thing that came to my mind?

I can totally deal with a squeaky chair!

We bought the chair when it was a new product which meant no customer reviews online, but now I see that pretty much everyone has the same problem. I’m not about the replace the chair with one that squeaks in the same way.

So I used my credit to buy the one item that I have had my eye on all summer: the BOB Revolution jogging stroller. I had been debating the purchase forever because they are quite a bit of money, but if I want to be able to run ever again, I need to have a stroller. Chris and I agreed that this would help my sanity, although I don’t think he understood how expensive they are.

After I placed the order online, I was obsessed with tracking the order. I felt like a kid waiting for Christmas. At least three times each day I tracked my package on the FedEx website, anxious for the glorious day when this would show up at my door.


And yesterday was the day!


I still can’t use it because the car seat adapter hasn’t arrived yet, but it sure does look pretty sitting in my dining room. Why the dining room? As it turns out, townhouses are really small. And jogging strollers are really big. I’m still looking for its permanent home.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010



Let’s talk about nap time.

Before our trip to Richmond, we had started “crying it out” for three naps per day. The first couple of days, it took an hour of crying followed by me going in there to put in a binky and holding him for a minute to get him asleep. But over several days, the crying time became less and less—on Wednesday, he was asleep within 10 minutes with no real crying.

But traveling threw us off.

Right now, he is whimpering. I think he was nearly asleep when the landscapers came around to trim our hedges. Wednesdays have been the hardest because it is lawn mower, edger, and leaf blower all day.

Now let’s talk about what I do during nap time.

Right now, I’m watching TV—not an unusual occurrence. I really feel like I should be more productive. Most days, I try to work out or take a shower or clean or something, but right now I just want to sit. When Chris walked out the door this morning I told him that I wanted working out to take care of itself. He told me that’s the problem.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Richmond, how we love thee?

We traveled up to Richmond on Thursday morning for Chris to interview with a group up there; apparently we have to start the process really early.

Let me start this post by proclaiming that my child is so GREAT! Chris was convinced that the drive was going to be miserable with a baby and wanted to give him Benadryl as a preventative measure. But the non-medical parent won out, and Miles was excellent. We stopped once to feed him and give him a break from the car seat, but the rest of the time, he slept or sat contentedly.

After checking into the hotel, Chris left to go tour the hospitals and talk with important people, and Miles and I wandered the city. Our hotel was very close to just about everything.  That evening we had dinner with two of the doctors (and one wife) from the group at a restaurant built in an old tobacco warehouse—very cool. And again, Miles was excellent.

That night was interesting though because Miles slept in the same room as us for the first time since he was under a month old. I woke up at every noise. And he was loud. Lots of rolling around, scratching the mesh siding of the crib, whimpering, etc. In fact, I think I actually fed him an extra time that he didn’t need, but it was easier to feed him than listen to him.

The next morning, Chris entertained Miles while I got ready.


And then he put on his jeans, but commented that they felt kind of tight. That’s because they were mine. Sadly, they look better on his bum than they do on mine.


We spent Friday getting a community tour from a realtor and wife of one of the doctor’s so that we could get a feel for where we might live if we moved there. We also had breakfast and lunch with this couple (and another from the group for lunch only). I was completely lost all day, but we saw some really nice areas. We went out again on our own that night so Chris could see in person some of the neighborhoods he has researched online.

We also went to the mall because I was promised a trip to H&M. Sadly, I did not buy anything. It’s hard when I feel rushed by a fussy baby. But Chris was a good sport and walked Miles around outside.

And finally, on Saturday morning we walked around the city a little bit before getting in the car. I think you can tell from this picture that the architecture is more important to Chris than  his wife and child. Why are we in shadows? Because he made us move over so as not to block the Capitol building.


We really liked Richmond, but aren’t making any decisions any time soon. So stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Miles: Four Months


I truly can’t believe that I am the mother of a four month old, but alas, it is true. And I really think this past month has been my favorite. Yes, the first month was great because he was so small and precious, and all he did was sleep, but this month has brought so much personality.

We have been working hard on his sleep schedule, and for the most part, it has been working out pretty well. With some inconsistencies. I’m not sure if it has made a difference in his attitude, but it has definitely helped me to feel more sane. I can actually plan things. I can shower at a consistent time everyday. And…I can even…work out! Yes, finally. Occasionally he still wakes up needing to be rocked back to sleep about 15-30 minutes after he is put down, but we’re working on it. I think this next month will bring more crying-it-out.

And he really won’t sleep when Chris tries to put him down to sleep. Really.

I mean all out screaming!! It sounds like torture. But, they’re working on it. It helps that Chris will be home for bedtime all this next month.

Miles has discovered the joy of hands and feet of late. I didn’t think I would be able to tell when he “found his hands,” but it really has been remarkable to watch him progress. All of a sudden, he was scratching at the pattern on his boppy pillow or trying to grab at my face. Which means more manicures for him. He still isn’t very interested in grabbing toys, but that could be because he doesn’t have very many. He much prefers staring at the ceiling fan. Or my face. Or the TV. He really loves the TV. His feet have only been a discovery of the past week or so. They haven’t made it to his mouth yet. Yet.


And what does this love of hands and feet bring?

Drool. Lots of drool.

Another big development is that my little blue-eyed-boy is turning into a brown-eyed-boy. Just the way I like them. Except on my husband who has blue eyes. 

We really love this little guy (who looks like he has blue eyes in this picture).


And if you ever need to see more pictures of this adorable boy, go to my facebook page.