Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our Big, Crazy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the primary holiday for my mother's family, but I didn't realize that the big, crazy tradition of all of us piling into my parents' house didn't start until I was 18.  Apparently, I declared that I had no desire to travel to a secondary location after travelling home from college, so everyone met there.  Who knew I had such power?  I simply remembered a few prior Thanksgivings at my aunt and uncle's, but they certainly weren't every year.  Or quite as insane.  This year there were *only* 19 humans, 5 dogs, and 2 cats.  14 humans, and all of the animals stayed at the house.

Usually, I'm fairly involved in the cooking, but I really didn't do too much this year.  I was a little preoccupied with the Lion.  Fortunately, there were plenty of hands to help in the kitchen.  Including my talented sister-in-law who managed to even look gorgeous while getting her hands dirty.

There also is a fair amount of parade, dog show, and football watching the day of.  However, we begin arriving on Tuesday and don't all leave until Monday, so there are MANY opportunities to be responsible for cooking.  Our tradition includes Greek food on Friday night, a movie, and usually running a race and ham and scalloped potatoes, though those were altered this year.  People still ran on their own, and my mother, aunt, and I hit up a Zumba class, but no race.  And the ham was substituted for lasagna on Wednesday, but did make its appearance on Sunday.

Fortunately, there are plenty of rooms to spread out, though Robby did get a little over-stimulated at times.  He found it a little rough to sleep until it quieted down on Saturday, resulting in my never sleeping more than an hour at a time.

 Thanksgiving dinner starts with everyone listing something they are Thankful for.  We start with the youngest, and go to the oldest.  Some are serious, some are funny.  I was thankful that my parents were such good role models for me to now be a parent.  Chris was thankful that Robby has more hair than he does, that I have supported him by listening to his heartbreak over Penn State, and our son.  However, the highlight of the list was my grandfather starting with, "I have slept with this woman since the 50's..."

I am truly thankful for both my little family and my big one.  It is my favorite time of year.

And Robby has no choice but to get used to it.  Even if it requires changing into pajamas as the party continues late into the evening.

Happy 1st Thanksgiving, Lion!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Lion at 6 Months

1/2 a year old.  Seriously.  Maybe it's the sleep deprivation, but it does not seem like it has been that long.  Although, in reality, it is 6 months and 1 week.  But since last week we were travelling, I am just pretending that we're on a week delay.  In a couple days you'll get a Thanksgiving post.  We only even took these photos today, but they're still pretty accurate as to his size.

This month has brought on a world of advancements, and again, they were more mental and physical than size.  Thank goodness.  He is starting to slow down.  He has moved exclusively into 9 month clothing, though he has a few 12 month items that we rotate in.  Mostly because they are collegiate attire that we don't have in 9 month sizes.  He has a doctor's appointment tomorrow afternoon, where we will find out the length, but we were there the day before his 6 month birthday for a terrible rash and he weighed 18 pounds, 6 ounces. 

***UPDATE: He was 27 1/4" (80th percentile) and LOST weight and was 18 pounds, 2 ounces (60th percentile)***

Sitting?  No sweat.  He can lean forward or back and right himself at this point, though he still tips over frequently.  He has to be watched but not supported.  We have moved past rolling as the primary means of movement, and onto the army crawl, or if he can convince someone to help him, he'd prefer to walk holding hands.  He is up on hands and knees, and we anticipate true crawling to occur in the next week or two.  He can hold onto something and stand much more securely, and enjoys playing at the coffee table, or watching his bathtub filling while holding the edge.  He is very good at manipulating his pacifier in and out of his mouth, or toys in the direction that he wants them to move.  Today we had a new development in that he was in his crib where he was SUPPOSED to be falling asleep for a nap, and I was sitting on the floor putting his clothes away.  He spun around, crawled up next to the side, and pulled down the bumper and gave me the BIGGEST grin.  Very cute, but not what he was supposed to be doing.  At least he's not pulling up yet.

Mentally, it is extremely fun that we can now hold some conversations with him.  Simple, mostly one-word conversations, that he doesn't vocally answer, but understands.  He understands "sit up", "give me your hands", "where is your puppy", "do you want paci", "go to sleep", "do you want to eat", and other simple phrases.  We were truly floored, though, when on our way to Target a week ago Sunday, he was fussing, I turned around and said, "Buddy, can you put paci in?" and he DID.  Really hadn't thought he was there.  He continues to babble and sing, and has different sounds and tones for different things, but no actual words...until, perhaps, tonight.  Chris and Robby were playing with Harper on the floor, and we both SWEAR we heard "puppy" come out of his mouth.  I'm not counting it until we have confirmation, but we both independently thought we heard it.

The Lion continues to love to sing, but doesn't want to sit still long enough to read books.  His favorite songs are those that I sing him daily, namely "Bushel and a Peck" from Guys and Dolls, which I sing during diaper changes, and "Everything's Alright" from Jesus Christ Superstar, which I sing before bed.  Chris currently HATES Bushel and a Peck because it's always in his head.  His favorite activity is swimming.  He splashes and plays as long as I'll let him.  He loves being out in public, too.  The more people around, the happier he is.  Robby's favorite toys are anything he can teeth on.  He enjoys things that are loud and that he can bang...but mostly if he can also chew them.  Can you tell that BOTH of the bottom 2 front teeth broke through last week?  Little man is no longer all gums.

He continues to be almost exclusively breast fed.  He might get one ounce of some fruit or vegetable at night, but that's it, and he usually won't finish it.  We think he's not doing well with rice, so he is currently cut off from rice cereal and mum mum's until further notice.  We bought oatmeal, though, and will be trying that for his cereal.  We didn't start it tonight, though, because he was on his first night of pears, which he seemed to enjoy.  So far, he is a fan of: squash, pumpkin, apple, pears, and parsnip.  He dislikes: avocado and peas.  He is debatably allergic to and/or has a bad reaction to: rice and sweet potatoes.  The sweet potatoes will be tried again in the future, though.  They might have been the cause of the rash, but it also might have been viral, so we will try again later. 

Last month, I had to swoop in and sit him back up.  This month, I was taking the pictures.  So when he removed his sticker-tie....It was Chris to the rescue. a rare thing.  Robby is currently eating about every hour and 1/2 to two hours during the day, and waking every 3 hours at night to eat (and it was hourly while we were travelling).  I get that he's going through a growth spurt, but I have been reading many sleep books, and am starting to lose my mind a bit.  He's doing alright with this, but I am exhausted.  He goes to sleep by himself and is set down while awake, so he doesn't have negative associations, and he self-soothes, but he's just such a PIGGIE.  I hope it slows down soon.  

And, finally...5 and 6 months side by side.  He looks like a bit of a lump in this photo.  He is wearing different pants, but you can tell that the shirt fits a bit better.  Again, not a huge change size-wise this month.

Lil man, I LOVE spending time with you.  You are so vocal and opinionated, I relate quite well.  No one can get you to do something you don't want to do, unless of course it's changing your diaper (which you HATE) just because that's not optional.  You are an absolute flirt, and already show a preference toward blondes.  You enjoy talking to men with deep voices the most, though.  Or puppies.  Puppies actually beat both blondes and deep voices.  If Isaac Hayes was a "blonde" golden retriever or something?  Your mind would be blown.  

It is so nice that there are now games we can play that are interactive.  You will peek from behind blankets, or smack your lips and expect that someone will smack them back at you, and you even have taken to throwing things for us and the dog.  The days fly by.  Except when you're screaming, but, y'know, you're a baby.  Though, that excuse won't last forever, mister.  ;)  I continue to wish time would freeze.

Monday, November 21, 2011

College Friends

Chris is vastly superior to me in a very important way...keeping in touch with people.  I am admittedly quite poor at picking up a phone or writing an email.  I guess I always assume people are too busy or don't care to hear from me, so I go with passive means like blog posts to feel like I still have contact.  And just assume that any of you that care read.  I know, this isn't a particularly effective route to maintaining friendships.

But back to Chris.  This weekend was the Philly Marathon.  Chris's best man, Matt, decided that he was going to run the 1/2 for the first time ever.  He only recently got more serious about running, and took it as a challenge.  He encouraged us to sign up with him back when I was still pregnant, but I didn't think I would be ready.  It turns out that I probably could have jumped on board.  Matt didn't exactly take his training as seriously as he would have liked, and a lot of walking ended up being involved.  If I had signed up, I think I could have trained up to a level to join in.  Ah, well.  Too late now.

At the time, the only person who took him up on the offer was Chris and Matt's 3rd amigo from college, Annette.  She flew into town from Columbus, though she lives in New Orleans.  Long story.  Regardless, she decided to hang out with us on Saturday.  

They all enjoyed getting to spend the day together, and to be stuffed full of all the food I obviously felt the need to prepare.  I felt such pressure with them running the next day that I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the perfect pre-race meal.  And then just kind of winged it.  I had cold cuts/sandwiches, pasta salad, and chips for lunch, and made meatballs, pasta, salad, and baked bread for dinner.  They seemed to think I chose well.

Funny story.  The first year we were dating, we met up with Annette and her husband, Dan at a tailgate at Penn State.  Annette had wandered off somewhere, but Chris introduced me to Dan AS Annette.  To this day, I enjoy making my husband feel awkward about this.  ;)

Great to see everyone, and congrats to the runners!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday 5 (or 9): My Dream Christmas Wish-List for the Lion

Honestly, the Lion is very well provided for, but here are some fun items that I'd place on his dream Christmas list:


1)  From Vicarious Clothing, paying homage to the Office:

2) Our moose obsession continues: Bullwinkle Hat from CutieHats

3) I just think all little boys should wear Oshkosh Overalls


1)  Organic Cotton Teethers Veggie Crate from Uncommon Goods

2) Xylophone from Hazelnut Kids

3) Wooden Toy Cars from Little Wooden Wonders


1) Music Classes

2) We have an activity center he stands in, but these are cool: 

***Disclaimer, I may find a million other things I'd prefer and/or not want to take up the space with any of it between now and Christmas.  ;)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Lion on the Move

The Lion is not quite crawling yet, but his rolling continues to be fast, and he has a new trick up his sleeve.  The purposeful army crawl.  Yes, we are starting to baby-proof the house as best we can.  All 4 stories of it.  UGH.  These stairs are going to kill us.  Or him.  Hopefully neither.  Needless to say, I now have to be even more on my toes since he is getting into EVERYTHING.  Evidence below.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday 5: Things I am Grateful For

I know I have been trying to post what I'm thankful for daily, but I know I've missed enough days (and fully intend to not post on the weekend) that I will put up my 5 today.  As Kat said, and I mentioned in one post, this is for Sara's Gratitude Project 2011.

In no particular order:

1.  I am thankful that I still have a job.  It may be a struggle, and it may sometimes be in question, but I am no doubt blessed that it still exists.  And it's been great to be at home part-time with the Lion.

2.  I am thankful that I am musical.  And that the Lion appears to have inherited this.  I remember having a "heated debate" with a fellow member of my choir in college.  He was quite pompous about his musical taste.  He would only listen to opera or classical music and thought anything else was drivel and a waste of time.  My response was that, certainly, not all music was complex and challenging, but sometimes all you wanted was something that could immediately set a mood, whether it be cheerful, somber, or sexy.  He even acknowledged that that argument was long as I realized that the music was crap.  I am merely thankful that I can appreciate it all!

3.  I am thankful, that even if it takes prompting, I have a husband that will tell me I look pretty when I haven't showered and am wearing sweats.

4.  I am thankful for all the hardworking medical researchers that are out there making strides.  Especially those of them that can actually get their research STARTED.  (hmm hmm....exercise guy)

5.  And, as fluffy as it gets.  I'm thankful for a cold beer on a Friday night while watching football on the couch with my husband after the kiddo goes to bed.  Off to do that.  ;)  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Flashback: Study Abroad in Ireland

I was just asked about travelling in Ireland recently, and it made me realized that 10 YEARS AGO I studied abroad.  Man that makes me feel old.  My knowledge may not be current, but I scanned in some pictures from what was a wonderful semester.  It was a very surreal time, though, as I was living in Ireland over September 11, 2001.  Being an American abroad was part pride, but there was also an element of disguising the fact of who you were.  It was not necessarily safe to be American, and as our foreign policy decisions were questioned, often you would meet with out right hostility.  I have to admit that frequently I let my Irish accent take over and just let people assume that I was, in fact, Irish.

I stopped just short of scanning my entire scrapbook.  Well, not really, but here are some of the more interesting pictures.  These were from our trip to Belfast.  My friend Dave and I got lose at one point in a less than ideal part of the Protestant neighborhood at night, and did have all sorts of horrible scenarios running through our heads being silly, Catholic college kids.  Of course, none of them happened.

My dad came over, and we did a lot of touring around the southern and western portions of the country.  This is on the Cliffs of Moher.

Some of our frequent hang-outs.

The Aran Islands.  I'd say my #1 recommendation of places you must see.

The iconic image of an Irish cross.

And, of course, there's me.  A naive, little 20-year-old.  How cute.  :)

I'd love to go back, and Notre Dame is actually playing a football game there next year, but I don't see us having the money or the vacation time.  Which is very sad, but it is what it is.  I can still reminisce.   

Today I am grateful for all the opportunities that my parents gave me growing up.  Thank you Mom and Dad!

People Say the Darndest Things

Today I am grateful for random comments that make you reconsider what you're doing, who you are, or just what people are thinking.  I had two of those yesterday.

Yesterday morning I was deeply saddened when I called our gym and asked, "I see you have a swim class for 6 months and older.  My son is 5 1/2 months.  Is there any way he can join?"  They said no.  I promptly decided we were going to go to the pool anyway and swim on our own.  Well, promptly following his nap.  And feeding.  And, alright, it was about 2 hours later.

Predictably, Robby LOVED swimming in the indoor pool and did a great job with it.  He watched all the older kids having classes, was happy floating on his stomach or back, splashed away, and loved "jumping" in (with my help).  His version of jumping was standing on the side and having mom do the jumping portion.  He also thought it was hilarious when I took him into the deeper area and treaded water while holding him so he bounced a bit.  After half an hour, I decided he had had enough, though I would place money on that he probably would have stayed in forever if I let him.  Takes after his mom just a little bit.

As we were getting out, I saw an earring on the ramp.  (Oh, how awesome is it that this is a handicap accessible pool, so there is a full wheelchair ramp...which I could walk up while carrying a baby????)  I called the lifeguard over and told him, but said I couldn't get it while holding the Lion.  He looked pretty miserable, but started to get ready to jump in.  I said, "If you don't want to get in, you can hold a baby, and I can grab it."  His face lit up, and he took that offer.  I got the earring, took Robby back, and the lifeguard said, "Man, he's a lot heavier than he looks!  How much does he weigh?"  After I told him 18 pounds, he said, "You don't look nearly big enough to have an 18 pound baby."  I thanked him, but I think that this probably-just-graduated-high-school male is a little confused on how things work.  As the baby gets BIGGER, the mom does tend to get SMALLER.  God forbid I ever had to birth an 18 pound child!!!

After the pool, Robby and I went to the outlet mall to return some pants for Chris.  Obviously, we had to go in all the baby stores while we were there.  While in Carter's, an elderly woman walked up to me and asked, "Do you work here?"  Ok, not an odd question, I've gotten it a million times at various places.  But not when I was sopping wet, stinking of chlorine, wearing a sweatshirt and track pants, and pushing a stroller.  That certainly just resulted in me looking at her with the most confused look ever.  Ah, well.  Guess I give off that Carter's vibe.  (All apologies to a great store whose employees certainly do NOT look that grungy.)

Here is one last person who says funny things.  Or, rather incomprehensible things.  Ok, it's just a video of Robby waking up and babbling.  Enjoy.  (Yes, it starts out with the lights out.)


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Playing with the Big Kids

This weekend we finally had a gathering of friends over.  It wasn't anything extravagant by any means, but we finally got over the intimidation-factor and, also, lowered our standards a smidge.  Not much.  We still were cleaning like mad men, but the stove wasn't cleaned.  And I still cooked 3 dishes, but one tasted awful (Thanks for pretending it didn't everyone.  I really need to find a new recipe for that dip.) and 3 is definitely on the skimping end for me.  Regardless, it was nice to get back in the game.

Robby was into getting to play with the "big kids", though wasn't the most gracious host.  As you can see above.  Where he is trying to pull Hailey over.  Fortunately Hailey's 10 months old and much more stable than my little man.  Dean is 8 months.  And...Robby's big enough to look like he fits in.  Ridiculous.  He actually outweighs Hailey.

Please try to ignore that every time Chris takes pictures you get excessive cleavage.  It's either that or no pictures.  Sigh.  Someone tell me next time, please.  Robby just likes to hang on shirts.

Hailey also made use of some of the hand-me-down toys that are still too advanced for the Lion.  Well, Dean, too, and once again, Robby got upset because they were crawling all around, playing with the cool stuff, and he was stuck.  I think it's going to motivate him pretty soon.

Until then, he'll just sucker nice people (who bring brownies, too!) into being his support system.  Thanks everyone!  Had a great time!  So obviously today I'm grateful for wonderful friends.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Guest Post by Chris: Success with Honor

This was not the planned post for today, but Chris felt compelled to address the horrible situation involving his alma mater, Penn State.  So today I am grateful to be married to a passionate, moral man and grateful for those who fight to protect the innocent among us.

“Success with Honor.” “The Grand Experiment.” For as long as I can remember these two statements have been synonymous with the Penn State family and with many that follow college athletics closely. To those that are not familiar with these statements, Joe Paterno created these beliefs when he started coaching 46 years ago. His idea was that you could have a student athlete that succeeded both on and off the field, one of upstanding character, and one that met certain high academic standards.  JoePa showed the college football world that this was possible over those 46 years, and we the Penn State Community believed every bit of it.  For the better part of my life I have believed in these statements, I have believed that JoePa was above all things, and that JoePa was God-like. Joe has been looked on by the sporting community as the one person that has done things right. Heck, Penn State is one of TWO NCAA Division 1 programs (Stanford being the other) that has never, and I mean NEVER been investigated by the NCAA for major violations of the NCAA bylaws for college athletics.  JoePa created that image by demanding excellence from his players on and off the field and preaching it to all that wear the Blue and White.  I had tears in my eyes when JoePa passed Paul “Bear” Bryant on the win record. Same when he hit win #400 last season.  I have always felt that JoePa is Penn State.  However, with one short sighted decision, all that Joe built was gone. 

This past weekend has been arguably the most trying time that the Penn State Community has ever had to deal with. I myself, a die-hard Penn Stater, am still struggling with the acceptance of the news that broke this past Friday evening about former coach Jerry Sandusky and then blew up on Saturday with the cover-up scandal.  Today I find myself struggling to feel the way I used to about my Alma Matter. Today I find myself saddened by the actions of not only Jerry Sandusky, but also those in power at Penn State, those that failed to do the right thing. Today I question what else JoePa and company lied about and hid over the years. Today I question my loyalty to the University that I grew up loving, attended, and graduated from.

My heart goes out to the victims of this monster that was allowed to walk around free and clear for 10+ years.  Those victims will live with memories that they will never be able to escape, no matter how hard they try.  The fact that most, if not all, of the victims were “at risk kids” being helped by what truly is a fantastic organization, The Second Mile, makes it even harder to accept.  These kids were sent by their parents to an organization that they believed would help mold their children into fine upstanding citizens. They were to be taught life lessons about what is right and what is wrong.  And they were sent to one place that is SUPPOSED to be safe, a University setting.  How are we, as parents, supposed to trust anyone if you can’t trust the staff at a major University?  This may be the part that rubs people the wrong way, I know it does me.
I first found out about the investigation of Jerry Sandusky earlier this year through Penn State fan sites and forums.  As quickly as the word broke that he was being investigated by a grand jury on allegations of sexual conduct with minors, the news was hushed.  At that time, my initial reaction was to think that, “well this will be ugly, but it will blow over quickly.”  Never in a million years did I expect that once the grand jury convened that several high ranking Penn State officials would be charged with perjury and failure to report a sex crime.  Never did I expect that possibly the biggest cover-up in the history of college athletics would be unveiled, especially when it involved Penn State.

Because of this, I am left with so many questions about a place that I love, a place that I worship.  Saturday night I wrote an email to the Board of Trustees demanding the resignation of President Grahm Spanier, Athletic Director Tim Curley, Vice President of Finance Charles Shultz, and Joe Paterno.  These were the men that failed to do what needed to be done.  Yes, Joe did what he legally needed to do by the letter of the law in reporting the allegations to his superior Tim Curley.  But he could have done more and he should have done more.  One thing to keep in mind is that we do not know what the GA told Paterno.  There are differing theories on the description Joe was given and this is crucial to how we judge JoePa.  If the description was merely “I think I saw Sandusky naked in the shower with a young boy” then it is hard to say JoePa did the wrong thing by merely reporting the matter to his superior, Tim Curley.  Now if he was told the specifics outlined in the grand jury report then Joe deserves to be judged harshly.  I can only hope that in the upcoming months more light will be shed onto what happened.  Maybe Joe did pursue this and was shut out by his superiors or told it was taken care of?  Is it likely? Especially knowing that JoePa runs the University, I don’t know.  One thing I do know is that Joe was not protecting a “buddy” because he and Sandusky had not gotten along for years, and that is a known fact.  I do not believe that Joe was part of the “cover-up” directly. I think Joe's failure was in not doing more than he did.  Morally JoePa should have made sure the police showed up and investigated this incident immediately.

Ask any of my friends or family and they will tell you that I am a loyalist to the extreme. Yes, I wanted JoePa to retire about 10 years ago already and yes I hoped that this season was truly it for Joe (which as a side note I really think it was regardless of the current situation).  Everything was set up for a great end of a career.  His contract was up at the seasons end, he turns 85, he has the all-time win record for Division 1 football, PSU has a great chance at the first ever Big Ten Championship game and a great New Year’s Day Bowl Game.  JoePa has done it all.  But now?  Now, that incredible career is tarnished with a stench that will never go away only because JoePa appears to have chosen to do the bare minimum.  Maybe I am wrong about JoePa.  Maybe people won’t judge him as harshly after we learn more about what happened.  Honestly, I hope that is the case.  It would be really sad to see everything that JoePa built at Penn State be labeled with an asterisks.

One major issue I have with the Penn State administration is that Sandusky continued to maintain an office on campus after the 2002 incident despite all the smoke around him.  Not only that, but he continued to bring children on campus despite being told not to.  Another thing to note is that Penn State officials did alert the Second Mile about these allegations and they also chose to do nothing.  They are just as guilty as Penn  State on this and no one seems to be evening mentioning that.

This upcoming Saturday I will travel to Penn State for the last home game of the season versus Nebraska.  This was a game that I was looking forward to prior to this past weekend.  The mood of the game has already been dampened, but I will go to support the student athletes on the field, especially those playing their last game in the Blue and White.  I won’t lie though; it will be very hard to mutter up the courage to sing the words of our Alma Matter though, especially the last two veruses: 

“When we stood at childhood's gate,
Shapeless in the hands of fate,
Thou didst mold us, dear old State,
Dear old State, dear old State.

May no act of ours bring shame
To one heart that loves thy name,
May our lives but swell thy fame,
Dear old State, dear old State. “

Those words just don’t feel the same today as they did last week.  I know they say that time heals all wounds.  For myself, and for other Penn Staters, we will survive. We will unite as one as we always have and always will.  For the victims of Jerry Sandusky, I can only hope that somehow their wounds are healed sooner rather than later. I know it is a stretch, but I can hope and pray that once justice is served that those victims can gain some relief in knowing the punishment was dealt.  I do hope that one day people will look at Penn State with respect like they did before.  The Penn State I know is not what is being drug through the mud right now. The Penn State I know is a proud institution with a proud fan base that does things the right way.  I hope that people will realize that when we say “We Are Penn State” that the “We” is not the individuals that failed to stop a monster.  The Penn State community is a very strong community and will remain strong despite the dark days we have ahead.   

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday 5: Teething Symptoms

Teething has been a long, hard battle at our house.  And it still is going nowhere.  Remember when we first showed those white bumps at 2 months?  Well, those two white bumps are STILL white bumps.  Just the symptoms have gotten worse.  Hopefully we'll cut a tooth soon.  However, I thought I'd share a bit of what I've learned with you.

1)  White bumps on the gums

This is kind of a no brainer.  If you can see the teeth, there are teeth.  HOWEVER, I have learned that this does NOT mean that they are necessarily coming in any time soon.  It has been 3 months.

2)  Fussiness

No, he's not fussy ALL the time.

Now, I don't know how much to give credit to this.  Has Robby been fussy?  Sure, but babies are fussy.  So, who knows.  On to the more concrete things.

3)  The Teething Rash

Isn't this lovely?  Apparently, baby spit gets more acidic when it is time to cut a tooth.  Therefore, at night, when they drool and lay in it, it gets all over their face and causes them to break out in a most unpleasant manner.

4)  Excessive Drooling

The drool is MUCH more plentiful, so it soaks the sheets and makes it virtually impossible to avoid planting one's lovely, smooth, chubby cheek directly into the mess.  Bibs become daily attire.

5)  Green Diarrhea

Aren't you glad I don't have a picture?  Because your child is swallowing so much drool, their digestion gets thrown off.  Hence, the green diarrhea.  You also may notice diaper rash, yet again, due to the acidic nature.

Bonus #6) Dropping the latch vs. Chewing on things

Harper is demonstrating the chewing.  No, thank goodness she's not teething.  ;)

It hurts to eat!  The baby will start and stop because he won't want to put pressure on his gums.  And then get upset because he's hungry.  Vicious cycle here.  At the same time, he always is shoving things in his mouth to chew on.  Masochistic little man.  It's like touching a bruise to see if it still hurts.

- Low grade fever
- Rubbing cheeks and ears

What am I grateful for?  I am EXTREMELY grateful that we do not have to teeth as adults.  That'd be PMS on steroids.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Grateful for Rain

No, it's not raining right now.  Nor do we need rain.  But today has been a long day with no pictures, so I was thinking of short anecdotes.  Of course, I appreciate that rain helps plants grow, and all that good stuff, but really?  This is just about my complete enjoyment of it.

I remember once writing about my favorite place for school, and it was sitting on the bench in front of the large window at my grandparents' watching the rain fall on the lake and reading.  Really?  I can't imagine a better day than getting to curl up with a good book, under a blanket, while rain is falling outside.  Sadly, that doesn't happen so often right now, since someone doesn't think I should sit still, but one day we'll get back there.  Hopefully.

The semi-amusing anecdote is that not once, but TWICE I had the experience of walking across campus in the rain, just relishing the cool drops on my head, and having a guy run up behind me and offer to walk with me under his umbrella.  The guy at OSU, I did take up on the offer, because I had learned my lesson at Notre Dame.  I had declined, saying I was enjoying walking in the rain (which I was).  The poor guy looked devastated, and I can only imagine how low he must have felt.  I do acknowledge that it's a pretty weird thing to GENUINELY love walking in the rain.  It must have come across as the ultimate shoot-down, though.

There ya go.  Today I'm thankful for rain.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Irrational Fears

We all have them.  You can own up to it.  Mine may be a little more bizarre than some other people's, but that's ok.  Here goes a revealing look into my head.  These are the things I am afraid of:

1)  Spit

Having a baby has made me deal with this.  Unfortunately.  On the upside, his drool doesn't bother me nearly as much as other spit.  Maybe because it's expected?  Chris enjoys being cruel and threatening to give me wet willies or to lick me.  WRONG.

2)  Flying

This picture is actually new.

I used to be ok with this.  I thought I was lucky.  My mother is TERRIFIED of flying, to the point that she needs an "aid" to get on and off planes.  But, that's an improvement from the days when she wouldn't fly.  I'm going backwards.  I used to think it was fun, and now, particularly if I start to fall asleep, I feel like I'm falling out of the sky.

3) Eels and Water Snakes

  (I know I'm stretching on this one.  Do you really think I'd dress him up as an EEL?!?!)

When I was 8 years old I was happily swimming behind the canoe in the lake at my grandparents' house when my uncle turned around and said a few fateful words, "Katy, you know there are eels in there..."  I screamed and almost tipped the boat trying to get in.  There is something UNNATURAL about snakes swimming.  I'm sorry.  It just shouldn't happen.  I actually am NOT afraid of snakes on land.  But this is part of why I am putting off registering for a triathlon.  Open water swim?  No thank you!  However, I do find eel sushi delicious.  Go figure.

4)  Heights

This one isn't so bad, but it's bad enough that my friends think it's just HILARIOUS to sit next to me on a roller coaster.  Also, I promise you I will never go bungee jumping or sky-diving.  But, I can go up in a tall building just fine.

All of these paranoias make me grateful that God has given me the strength to overcome my fears.  Head over to Miss M's Month of Gratitude.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Real Halloween Costume

The Lion actually DID come home in the skeleton outfit.  Who knew?  Still, we had something else planned for that night.  Not surprisingly, the Lion was....the Nittany Lion.  Although most people thought he was a bear, which was just fine by me.

These are less than great pictures of me, but I know I'm not who matters here.  That is one cute little bear/lion.  It's a 12-month-sized outfit, so there was some cuffing going on, but he still was very snuggly.  That might have been something to do with trick-or-treating running from 6 to 8 pm.  He was a sleepy man!

We had no intention of actually going trick-or-treating, but we did stop by across the street and next door to show off the cuteness.  We also ran into another neighbor who has a little boy, Kaden, who is a couple weeks younger than Robby.  He was dressed as a pea pod, which the Lion found utterly fascinating.  He insisted on grabbing at the fuzzy green outfit the entire time Kaden's mom was trying to take pictures.

I also harassed my elderly neighbor, Ann.  She's in her 80's, and I don't think she intended to hand out candy.  She was sitting in her living room watching tv in her nightgown, but I kept ringing the doorbell until she gave up and opened the door.  (Understand, this is usually how it goes, and she's always thrilled that it's us.)  I knew she'd want to see lil man in his costume, and I was right.  Though she immediately started bustling around trying to find stuff for trick-or-treaters, since she had forgotten what day it was.  And tried to give me candy, which I refused.  1)  Robby isn't eating it yet (though is thoroughly entertained by the crinkly wrappers) and 2) We have TONS left over.

Another neighbor gave me props for getting face-paint on him, but honestly?  That was really easy.  He laughed the whole time.  Apparently it tickled.  There you have it.  Lion's first Halloween.  Maybe next year he can get a sugar high.  (Doubtful, but he can dream.)