Thursday, September 29, 2011

Friday 5: Body Changes After Baby

Here is a very scary comparison picture to put up.  I know I stopped doing body-after-baby posts when it started to feel like bragging, but this is more than just weight, it's the details that sometimes fail to get mentioned.  And, I apologize that the angles are just different enough to make it somewhat trippy.  These pictures were taken on September 15, 2010 (5 weeks pregnant, but still the same body), and September 29, 2011 (now, 4 months post-baby).

In the interest of full disclosure, I will be giving numbers, so if you don't want to know, I suggest stopping.

1)  Weight
I am really darn lucky.  I know this.  I had no trouble losing the weight.  I have been a lazy bum that eats a lot of crap, though, so my weight actually did go back up after it had dropped BELOW pre-pregnancy weight.  On the left, I weighed 135 lbs.  On the right I weigh 136.5.  They are the same clothes, but because I took a lot of monthly update pictures in them, they are pretty stretched out now.  Also, I'm not running right now, so there is a distinct difference in muscle tone.

2)  Joint size
I know this sounds strange, but with all the swelling, joints expand.  My feet went from a 7.5 to between an 8/8.5 and I've had to purchase a lot of new shoes.  Now, that's not really a bad thing, other than it's not in the budget.  Also, you may recall that I tried to jam my wedding rings on my fingers 6 weeks post-partum, and had to have them cut off in the emergency room.  My fingers grew MUCH larger.  My rings were previously 3.75, and now are 5.25.  I understand that that still means that I have abnormally skinny fingers, but they are gigantic to me.  Again, this is mostly the joints, and not the part in between.

3)  The Girls
Yes, I'm still nursing.  Therefore, this is likely to change again, but not always.  I went from a 36C pre-pregnancy, up to a 38F during, and down now to a 36DD.  Again, a slightly non-traditional route.  I was terrified that everyone kept telling me that they were going to get bigger once the milk came in.  Thank goodness that was not the case, and they, in fact, went down in size.  I have spoken to many women where this was a permanent change, but I really wouldn't mind going back down.  Who knows.  I have been blessed that nursing has not been problematic at all.

4)  My Hips
OHHHHH my hips.  Now, I know some of you are looking at the picture trying to figure out what I'm talking about.  No, I'm not talking about size, or appearing any different.  They are PAINFUL.  This is part of my excuse for not running right now.  I always had bad hips.  A drunk guy fell on me when I was 18, and I was in a car accident at 20, so they've always hurt.  Even before I gave birth Chris tried to get me to go see his chiropractor.  I never did.  After giving birth?  Multiple times a day I will turn, and a stabbing pain will shoot through my hip.  I feel it in my knees and ankles, as well, as the whole alignment is off.  I can barely walk sometimes, and going down the stairs in the middle of the night to get the baby is my own version of hell.  I have finally given in and scheduled a chiropractor appointment for this afternoon.  I'll let you know how it goes.  I'm really hoping that I can get some relief!


This, folks, is my stomach.  Which, ok, really isn't too scary, again, lucky.

5)  My Stomach
Yes, I know people are looking at that hating me.  There are no stretch marks.  None.  How?  God was kind.  I have a lot of spider veins on my legs, but that's it.  The linea negra has not totally disappeared, and I'm not sure when it will.  Obviously, I had been wearing a different bra and pants, and those are the marks.  Try and ignore those.  

The excess skin.  It bothers me, but I continue to hope it will shrink over time.  Everyone tells me it will.  You can still see that bulge, and it is easy to grab handfuls.  Sorry for the graphic imagery.  All I can tell you is that as of 4 months?  Still there.  

You may notice that my stomach is broken out, which may seem odd.  It is.  Certain babies (hmm hmm LION, talking to you!) dribble a lot of milk while they're eating.  I try and clean it off, but it never seems to be good enough.  So I have teenage skin...on my stomach.  Joy.  

Bonus #6 - A quick run-down of other changes, or lack there-of

- Hair: Lost a bunch, but it seems to have stopped, and hasn't really been an issue, other than disgusting the husband who cleans the drains.  It's as curly as ever.

- Skin: It was much better while I was pregnant.  Back to breaking out.

- Internally: Digestion is back to being problematic.  Lactose intolerance has returned.

- Smell: I'm back to being unable to smell anything.

***UPDATE as of 10 months HERE***

Are there other changes people have dealt with?  Or are there things you thought you would face and didn't?

My Attempted Baby Photo Shoot

I am not a photographer.  I do not pretend to be a photographer.  I have a pretty good camera, that I have no idea how to use.  I'd love to take the time to learn, but it hasn't really happened.  However, I am also cheap.  Therefore, we have no portraits of the Lion.  Hopefully, we'll get some once he can sit up, since I think that would be fun.  At this rate, he'll also be crawling.  Which...may prove problematic.  Anyway, here are some of my favorites.  My biggest problem?  I don't have a backdrop, or any solid-color walls.  So, I tried to make do with some blankets that just never seemed big enough.  Feel free to tell me how I should just give up and pay someone.

 All the bears we had sitting around.  Confession:  I owned them all pre-baby, except for the blue one (Mr. Bear)

His best friend.  Mr. Bear.  Thanks to my brother's in-laws.

My happy boy.

He likes sucking on his lips right now.  Which is a little odd...but cute.

Admittedly?  This is a nursing shot.  I never thought I'd ever want a photo with him nursing, but since you can see absolutely nothing?  I'm kind of in love with this.

I swear I chose the lighting that looked best for the individual photo when I was editing.  But...this one looks really weird after the dark ones, I know. the very end I let Harper back in so she could participate.  

There were some pretty bad outtakes, since Robby wasn't so into this whole idea.  I'll just give you 2.  Didn't edit them at all.

Just THOROUGHLY licked.  You can see the dripping slobber.

Daddy's tie on the baby?  Cute in theory, not in practice.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Growing into gifts

I find myself frequently thinking of my son as one of those gel capsules that you put into water and it just explodes into some sponge shape.  Ya'll have to have played with those at some point in your childhood.  He just has grown so QUICKLY.  This has led me to really appreciate larger-sized gifts that I received at my baby showers.  Some of the ones that seemed huge at the time are starting to fit.  Take for example this adorable dinosaur hat from Raquel and Jeff:

Oh, wait, hiding from the picture.

Nope, don't want to be sitting.

Yay!  Mom's finally letting me stand up!  (Hence, the complete obscuring of the hat.  Ah well.)

Also, he's finally starting to use the most adorable gift I received, and had raved about previously from Matt & Michelle (Who are providing their own lil playmate for the buddy soon!  So excited!).  This bag of farm animals is so very cute, but also a great toy for both now, and when he starts imagining.  Right now the horse is his favorite because it has a tail that's easy to hold on to.

And, is also, delicious.

So, my decision has been made.  I'm going to be trying to get gifts that seem huge and/or advanced from now on.  Because they all grow into them (entirely too soon!).

Thanks everyone!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Lion at 4 Months

Happy 4 months little man!

I believe this month we made more mental and physical strides than growing ones.  Thank goodness.  The Lion was getting HUGE.  We did move up so that now we're wearing SOME 9 month clothes, but at least we didn't FULLY grow out of a size of clothing again.  As always, our appointment isn't until Tuesday, so I don't know official stats, but if my quilting mat and bathroom scale have anything to say about it, he's 27" and 15.5 lbs.  Which would put him at 100th percentile of height and 60th in weight.  Sheesh.  Still don't know how I ended up with a giant.

This month's physical achievements include mastering the tummy to back roll and, consequently, the speed rolling across the room.  He actually only goes to the right, though.  He still can't go the other direction.  So we have a little bit of safety in that.  He's become much more coordinated and loves pulling out his pacifier and putting it back in (sometimes).  He's finally interested in toys.  And grabbing animal fur.  Poor fur-babies.    He will now step while being held in a standing position, and can momentarily hold himself in a sitting position.  Though, in a "Mommy of the Year" moment yesterday, I learned he canNOT hold it long enough for a picture.  He conked his head on the floor pretty nicely when I tried.  :(

Mental gains include now saying many consonants (m, n, d, g, b) and a few different vowel sounds.  He likes to scream.  Which is EVER so lovely.  Of course, still lots of raspberries and bubbles and laughter.  He still likes books, but rarely will sit still for more than one.  Same with singing.  He loves having a stuffed animal with him, though doesn't care too much which it is.  He will now turn to look at you, and will sometimes look at what you tell him to (e.g. Dada, Momma, Puppy, Kitty...that's about it).  It sure seems like he's saying Momma when he's annoyed, but still doubt that.  Think it's coincidence.  

Daycare's going better.  He eats three 4oz bottles a day most days, and sleeps only a total of about 2-3 hrs.  He typically makes up for that the next day at home with me.  He definitely is learning a lot from being around older kids.  His class is still only "officially" him and Isaiah (who is 6 months, and chubby and adorable), but Miss Laurie also watches a few of the "Perky Penguins" (1 year olds) at the beginning and end of the day.  So, I've even met Patrick (13 m) and Lia (16 m).  And, can I just say that I'm jealous, seeing as Lia is one of my absolute favorite names and Chris won't go for it?  And she has the cutest little pom-pom pigtails.

Robby no longer is passive in these photo sessions.  He may give off that slug-like appearance in the photos I chose to post above...but there was a lot of movin and shakin going on...  And eventually a no-holds-barred cage match with the poor defenseless lion.

Comparison collages.  This first one doesn't have this month's picture in it because Picnik would only do 4 without a premium membership...and...I'm too cheap for that.  But I was so super excited to find that I actually DID have a newborn picture with the lion doll.  OK, it was 1 week.  But close enough.  Better than I had before.'s proof that, if anything, he looked bigger last month.  Just with less hair.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Yet Another Busy Weekend

The fact that it's 8:30, Robby still hasn't woken up, and I'm able to write this should speak volumes.  Little man is EXHAUSTED.  And, for once, I'm not that bad.  For approximately a month, he has been a TERRIBLE sleeper.  I'm talking an absolute minimum of 3 times a night being up...with the average being close to hourly, and bad nights being every half hour.  Chris finally took pity on me and has actually gotten up a few times this past week.  But, no matter what anyone says, I do not have an easy baby right now.  Anyway, onto what exhausted him in the first place.  The weekend.

It all started when Chris and I went to the Penn State/Temple game on Saturday.  It was great getting out, walking around, talking, tailgating, like back pre-baby.  Robby was home with grandma.  So we got to meet up with some people that Chris works with, and then sit in phenomenal seats...and watch a really painful football game.  It turned out alright, but OOOH.  That was touch and go ya'll.

It got really exciting towards the end of the game...and not in such a great way.  There were a group of people sitting in the box behind us that, shall we say, didn't have good manners.  Everytime something good or bad happened, things would come flying out of the box and rain down on everyone below.  I should say, the people in the box were Penn State fans, as were all the people getting littered on.  As the game wore on, tensions mounted, and words started being exchanged.  And there were plenty of young children who should not have been hearing what was being said.  The people in the box were intoxicated, and there was one man in particular who just had this entitled smirk that was doing his best to add to the situation.  Security, of course, spoke to the people in the seats (who were doing nothing) and not to the people in the box.  As Chris said, he wishes he knew what company owned the box so that they could be informed what sort of behavior had been coming from it.  Oh well.

Saturday night, some relatives of Chris's came over for dinner.  I suppose they are his cousin's wife and daughter, but I'd say the relationship is more like sister-in-law and niece, but you get the point.  We frequently meet up with them at Penn State games, but they live in Virginia, so they hadn't gotten to see the house or the kid before.

The next day we got to see Karleigh play softball.  Her team is currently Virginia champions, so they travel to play a lot.  They demolished their opponents, and while Karleigh wasn't thrilled with her batting, she did make it on base and did well playing 3rd.  I'm so glad we got to see her play for the first time!  She's truly passionate about it and is hoping to be able to go to college on a scholarship.  Crossing our fingers, but looks pretty good!

As much fun as all of it was...I am thrilled to say that there isn't much planned for next weekend.  There may be by the time it rolls around, though.  So, better take a cue from Robby and catch up on my sleep.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Lion is on the Prowl

Ok, saying we had news probably made people jump to all sorts of conclusions.  I promise you, whatever you thought?  Probably wasn't that.

Take a look at this picture.  Something is wrong with it:

There USED to be a baby on the blanket.  Where did the baby go?

Aha!  There you are!  As of yesterday, we now have a speed roller.  At 3.5 months.  I was always terrified that my kid would be doing this early, but I never thought it would be THIS early.  I did it at 4.5.  Ugh.  Time to start babyproofing.

Here he is rolling in the video.  He is GREATLY objecting at this point since he had been doing it for awhile and was tired.  I swear he's usually quite a bit quicker.  Sigh.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Our First Sick Day

This weekend wasn't so fun.  Don't get me wrong, it wasn't terrible, but I won't be bragging about it in years to come.  Why?  Both Robby and I got a pretty nasty cold.  Not the flu, not the plague, just a nasty cold where you blow your nose 5 million times and want to take naps.  But you're not allowed to take naps with a baby.  That's when they burn the house down and children's services comes and finds you.  So I suffered.

And you know what's worse?  If you're nursing you can't take any of the good drugs.  And by "good drugs" I mean things like NyQuil or Sudafed.  You know, crack.  ;)  Taking some Ibuprofen and Benedryl when I have a couple hours before he'll want to eat again just doesn't cut it.  Almost makes you want to stop breastfeeding.  But, the poor kid is only 3 months old, so there's really NOTHING he can take.  He can take infant Tylenol if he has a fever, but he didn't, so he was limited to saline spray (which we actually didn't use), and a nose sucker.  The kid actually really enjoys the nose sucker. We have an electronic one and it kind of buzzes, so he cracks up when you use it.

Furthermore, Chris went to State College for the Alabama game.  No, I am not criticizing that.  I encouraged him to go.  His birthday is today (Happy birthday, hun!) and he deserved it.  But I do feel a tiny bit of smug satisfaction that he now has the cold.  Even if he was helpful and actually woke up once with the kiddo on each Friday and Saturday.  That is big ya'll.  1) Chris doesn't hear him.  So, yeah, I had to kick him, but still.  2) Those would be the first 2 times he's ever gotten out of bed to take care of him.  So, you know he was taking pity on me.  Well, and that Robby no longer is getting fed every time he wakes up.  Since 99% of the times he wakes up it is because he crawled to the end, bashed his head on the bars, and lost his pacifier.  So you just need to move him and plug it back in, again.  

OK, I know he doesn't look sick.  Swear he was.  He did great being back at daycare today, and we have big news tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

On the Road Again - Travelling with Infants

Robby isn't so sure about this travelling thing, but I've got to say?  He's pretty good at it.  Sorry bud.  You haven't made us miserable enough to stop going places.  We started out with a 2 hour trip to Chris's parents when Robby was a month old.  The way there went PERFECTLY...because we left before his normal wake-up time.  The way home, Chris decided that we should test out driving at one of his crankiest times of day...  That did not go so well.  It resulted in about an hour of the two hour drive being accompanied by screams that I could do nothing to calm down.

Since then, we've stuck with leaving somewhere between 3-5 am.  That way, we at least get a couple good hours of driving in before he wakes up and would like to be entertained.  We have done two trips that are 8-9 hour drives: New Hampshire and Columbus.  New Hampshire couldn't have gone better in both directions.  We leave him in his pajamas, hit the road early, and just GO.  Columbus was rough on the way back, but we were only there for 3 days, so he didn't get to rest up before getting stuck back in his car seat. This has led to a terrible fear of the "baby trap" as Chris calls it, and he's been having meltdowns all week when we strap him in.

Tips and tricks we've learned along the way:
-  Car sleep does not count as sleep.  The baby will still want to nap or go to bed when you arrive at your destination.
-  Bring lots of books.  I suppose this depends on your child, but Robby LOVES to read, and I always bring his favorites (Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Seuss's ABCs, and Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs) and read them 50 zillion times.  I think I need a wider selection in the car.
-  Make sure to have a blanket.  My husband loves car air conditioning.  We freeze if not prepared.
-  Do not forget the favorite stuffed animal.  (Mr. Bear is winning at our house.)
-  Similarly, do not forget the pacifier.
-  Try never to stop for your needs.  The baby will need to stop enough as is.  However, plan ahead if you will be on, say, the Bronx highway, or the dead zone of West Virginia.
-  If he's melting down, there's not much that's going to save you.  You're either going to pull over or listen to screaming.  There is that breaking point around 8 hours that they just can't get past.
-  Have more outfits than you imagine it would be possible to go through.  See below:  Robby had pooped through 3 outfits, so he is wearing his present from his grandparents (they had just returned from Ireland).  It's unwashed, but he survived.

And, if you're lucky, all will go well and you'll start planning your next trip.

Don't worry, Robby, it's not for another month.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011 improved with mustaches!

This weekend we returned to Columbus to celebrate my bridesmaid Hannah marrying her LONG time boyfriend Jeremy.  I went to high school with the two of them.  And they were dating then.  And we're ancient. This is a couple that knows each other well.  And is all the better for it.

Jeremy just about made me cry because he had told the Rabbi that, "No one has ever made me happier than Hannah, and no one could ever make me happier than Hannah."  I sat there cursing my eye make-up.  The two of them really are suited for each other, and I love them dearly.  Congrats, ya'll!

Now the important part.  They had a photo booth!  And accessories!  My parents stopped by the reception briefly (...and the bride and groom were so excited about this that they walked out to the parking lot to say hi!  I was amazed!) to let me introduce Robby to people.  Children were welcome, but we assumed that there was no way that he'd last through a ceremony and reception without much screaming.  And, our friends that have a daughter a week younger made it about an hour into the reception, so we think we made the right call.  But our photo booth photo:

I'm a little in love with this.  Too cute.  And now since I'm out of time, a few other photos:

Typical.  Me dancing with little girls.

Yes, they put on rain ponchos.  And yes, we were worried that the cake was going to tip over before they cut it.

Hannah made it up in the chair.

And...eventually so did Jeremy. (featuring some guy's head)

Lots of love!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Can't believe I videotaped myself...

I love listening to how people talk, and I suppose that was my motivation to actually record myself doing the accent post that's going around.  I'll try and give a disclaimer that I had been at the pool and was totally grungy, and the angle's really funky...but whatever.  It's me.  Take it or leave it.

The point is to see how people say different words in different regions.  I am a messed up amalgamation of language.  I have lived in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, New Hampshire, Ireland, and Illinois.  And my parents are from New York.  So...just try and figure out where I get my messed up speech pattern.

The instructions are to say these words:
Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

And answer these questions:
What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you use to change the TV channel? 

My fond memories of TP-ing are really one incident where my girlfriends and I were going to get a frenemy's house, and half of us (myself included) chickened out and sat on a bike path in the middle of the night talking.  Well, and the many times I got stuck cleaning up our yard after my brother's friends got our house, and it "might have been mine".  BULL.

My Strong Man

Robby's starting to beef up with more than just fat!  Yay!  And even better, his legs are starting to stretch out so that they will fit into the holes in the bumbo.  Such a relief!  He's able to sit and enjoy it now, and he's really getting pretty good at it!

That one was even a few days ago, and he's improved since then.  And the stronger his neck gets?  The more he's enjoying sitting there.  Shocking, I know.  Funny moment?  Our friends were watching Robby when we went out to dinner, and the husband was so worried about putting him in the jogging stroller they had for their toddlers that he bungee corded the carseat into it.  Confession?  We have the exact same stroller, and he rides in it nightly.  He's head is definitely stable enough, though we're just walking, not going for runs.

Also proof of the "Robby is getting strong" statement?  Tummy time is improving!

I had to share all three of those because I'm obsessed with my son and couldn't decide.  Keepin' it real folks. And, I know I'm biased, but totally the cutest baby ever.  And the most talented.  Obviously.  Enjoy!