Sunday, December 25, 2011


I'll write an official post on Charlie's first Christmas later this week. But for now, I just wanted to say that I'm posting this from MY NEW iPAD!!!! :) Love!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Charlie is ten months old!

Well, close to 10 1/2 at this point... :)

So much is changing with our little guy. He's crawling, pulling up on EVERYTHING, creeping, and talking up a storm. While I don't understand much of what he says, he certainly inherited his dad's gift of gab.

To flash back to October, this is how Charlie used to move:

Then he started officially crawling last month:

And now he loves to walk (with a little support):

He's come quite a long way from this little guy:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Charlie is nine months old!

Technically, it was yesterday, but I'm writing about it today. :) Charlie is celebrating his nine month birthday with a growth spurt. He woke at 3:00 this morning to eat (that NEVER happens) then woke for the day at 6:30. He nursed five times throughout the day and ate the following for solid meals:
Breakfast - YoBaby organic banana yogurt; half an organic blueberry waffle
Snack - half an organic kiwi cut into cubes; 1/4 cup of organic oatmeal mixed with breastmilk
Lunch - cubed sweet potatoes with cinnamon and organic green beans
Dinner - organic cheddar cheese on a slice of whole grain toast; half an organic banana

I am loving making Charlie's food, and I try to feed him organic as much as possible. He's doing so well with his finger foods too. I even got to witness an excellent example of the pincer grasp at dinner tonight. :) Here's our little man in all his nine-month glory!

Charlie is just 91 days shy of his first birthday. I can not even believe that! He is such a good baby and I am so proud to be his mom. Love this little boy!

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Day in the Life of Charlie's Mom

In the past I've done a few posts on what Charlie does throughout the day. Today I thought I'd do one from my perspective. Now that I'm back at work, much of Charlie's day is a mystery to me. I know he eats, sleeps, and plays at school, but I don't have the nitty gritty details. I do, however, know what my busy days are like... so here we go! :)

5 AM - wake to my alarm and pump the left side
5:30 - Charlie is starting to stir so I go in to nurse him. Sometimes he settles back down but since I'm awake I figure I might as well. :)
6:00 - Charlie is back asleep so I hop in the shower. I usually shower at night, but I'm presenting today so I hoped for a morning one - and Charlie cooperated quite nicely.
6:40 - Charlie is awake; I dress him and bring him downstairs. I finish packing his bag (milk and food for the day). Last night I put in his bibs, sippy cup, bowl, spoon, and clean clothes. He also has a bag with a bunch of clean diapers, wipes, and wipe solution for a couple of days.
7:00 - We're in the car and ready to go. The drive is only about five minutes, which is great.
7:10 - We drop Charlie off. He eats his yogurt with Miss Sandra while I unpack his bags. John and I kiss him goodbye.
7:20 - We stop at Dunkin for breakfast. I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I don't like the Dunkin in my town. I feel like it's kind of dirty and they often mess up my order. Ugh!
7:30 - I drop John off at the train station and then drive to work.
7:55 - I arive at the high school (we have a professional development day today). I head to the nurse's office and pump.
8:30 - The presentation finally begins. It's actually pretty informative and entertaining, which is a nice surprise.
11:00 - I excuse myself a little early from the second presentation and pump again.
11:45 - I drive to the other elementary school and eat lunch with the other afternoon presenters (spinach salad and sun-dried tomato panini).
12:45 - 3:00 - My colleague and I do four presentations to teachers in grades 3-6 on reading workshop. They go very well, and I'm excited to be able to leave early to get Charlie from school.
3:30 - I arrive and Charlie is sleeping - boo! I pump while I'm there.
4:00 - Charlie wakes up and we head home. My neighbors are outside with their kiddos so we hang out and say hello (after letting the puppies out to go potty, of course).
4:30-5:00 - Charlie and I play together. He gets some tummy time, which these days means he rocks back and forth on hands and knees (I need to snag a photo of this!)
5:00 - We nurse, followed by a little oatmeal mixed with milk.
5:30 - It's play time again! Tonight's activity involves an empty tissue box (see video below). ;)
6:00 - We head upstairs for bath time, followed by massage, jammies, a quick nursing session and bedtime. Charlie is asleep by 6:30.
The rest of the night involves the following...
  • emptying Charlie's bag from school; loading bottles into dishwasher and putting dirty clothes and diapers into the hamper/wash
  • general tidying up around the house, including laundry if needed
  • making and eating dinner (though my Peapod order isn't here yet, so I'm typing this instead and I'M STARVING!
  • doing a little school work
If all goes well I'll be in bed and sleeping by 10 so I'm ready to do it all again tomorrow. Phew! And as a reward for making it through all that - here's Charlie!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Where is my brain??

On the way to work today I noticed that my left side felt a little full and I thought to myself, "It will feel good to pump when I get to work." And then I thought, "Which will be difficult since my pump is sitting in my bedroom at home." UGH! Where is my brain?? I lost it somewhere in the second trimester and it hasn't come back yet. I need it, especially now that I'm back at work, so if you see it, please let me know. Thanks!

(Incidentally, I turned around and went home to get my pump. Let's hope this was the last time I'll have to do that!)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Shopping Buddy

Guess who accompanied Mommy to Target today? He rode in the shopping cart for the first time like the big guy he is - way to go Charlie! Huge rave for his shopping cart cover too. I felt like he was comfortable and protected from any icky germs on the cart.

I don't just wear Superhero bibs... I'm an actual super baby!! :)
Charlie hung in there for the whole time (about an hour). He just looked around and stared at the people we passed. It was pretty funny. And I appreciated having full use of the cart space, which used to be occupied by his car seat. Win-win!

Friday, September 23, 2011

I'm Alive!!

It's been almost a month since my last post, and so much has happened since then. I started back at school which means that Charlie is at day care every week day. I'm pumping three times a day (four if you count the one I do in the morning on the side from which Charlie doesn't eat). So how's it going?? I'll break it down for you:

School - I'm teaching third grade again, which is good because I'm familiar with the material. I do however have 24 students, which is way more than I've had in the past (I usually have 19 or 20). My class consists of one student with autism, two with ADHD, two who regularly see the counselor, eight that are well-below grade level in language arts and two below in math. They are what I lovingly call "needy." That being said, I'm really enjoying being back at work. I love my school and my colleagues and while I'd rather be home with Charlie, this isn't so bad. I am, however, missing some brain cells. A few times a week I find myself making silly mistakes and it's so annoying! I'm hoping my brain comes back soon.

Day Care - Charlie is doing well at school too. In the past three weeks, he's only been crying once or twice when I've come to pick him up. Usually he's smiling at his friends or teachers and seems well cared for. He did get his first cold which turned into an ear infection - boo! But I guess it's now or in pre-school/kindergarten. The only tiny problem we've had is that Charlie sometimes comes home wearing someone else's clothes. I'm apparently the only mom who actually labels all her child's clothing. It's a little frustrating, but I don't mind too much. Charlie is also eating really well at school. We've tried lots of new foods over the past month. He's now had: peaches, mango, apples, avocado, plums, bananas, oatmeal, brown rice, yogurt, butternut squash, zucchini, carrots, green beans, peas, and sweet potatoes. I've also started giving him some finger foods to try including hard-cooked egg yolk, sweet potato cubes, pancakes, and waffles. So far, he loves everything!

Pumping - I was very nervous for this at first. My biggest concern was that my supply wouldn't hold out, and while it's still early, I'm happy to say this hasn't been an issue at all. My other concern was that I wouldn't find time. I'm pumping at 5:30 AM on the left side, then at 8, 11:30 and 3 on both sides. I get anywhere from 18-22 ounces a day, and Charlie takes about 17 so we're doing well. I'm pumping in the closet in my classroom. It's very glamorous! ;)

So, that's how our month has gone... and as a reward for your patience in reading all that... Here's Charlie!


Hard to believe he'll be wearing a shirt this size someday...

Six month photo shoot

At a photo shoot for a toy company - fun!

Charlie loves feeding himself; this time it was organic waffles - yum!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

First Day of School (Sort Of)

First things first - I have decided to call Charlie's day care "school". For whatever reason, I like the way it sounds (probably because, as a teacher, I've been going to school for almost 30 years). Today Charlie and I went to his school and spent about an hour in his new classroom. I like the space where he'll be and he spent the entire time sitting on the play mat and playing with toys. I got to talk with two of the teachers in the room (there will be three when he officially starts next week) and got a feel for what his day will be like. The school seems great and I feel confident leaving him there; but to be honest, the whole concept just doesn't feel "right" to me. I'm really struggling with this right now, and I'm hoping it will get better in a couple of weeks once we've all fallen into this new routine. As I was driving today (I do some of my best thinking when I'm driving) I seriously started to resent the womens' liberation movement. If it weren't for this whole "equal rights" thing, I'd be sitting pretty at home with my baby while my dear husband went to work to provide for his family. I'm mostly joking, but I think there is something to be said for the 1950's nuclear family. I absolutely love my job, and I'm looking forward to teaching again, but I wish I could wait until Charlie was in Kindergarten. I feel like the best place for him is at home with family. He could socialize with friends in the neighborhood at play dates and Gymboree classes. I know this is our own fault. We live in a HCOL area about 20 miles outside of NYC. Le sigh... It will be OK.

In happier news, Charlie took his bath in the big bath tub today, rather than the sink. He's getting so big!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Baby and the City

What's this?? A post from yours truly two days in a row?? Well, lucky you. ;)

Charlie and I went to NYC today to visit JA at work. We drove to Hoboken, purchased our tickets for Pier 11 and boarded the ferry when it arrived. I called John when we got off in New York and told him we were waiting right by the adorable little duck pond with the waterfall and pretty flowers. Cue silence on John's end... then, "Umm, there is no duck pond at Pier 11." Uh oh! Somehow I had managed to get on the wrong ferry and was on the west side of Manhattan when I needed to be on the east side. This would ordinarily not be a problem since I could just hop in a cab, but Charlie doesn't exactly travel well in cabs without his carseat. He was riding in style in the Maclaren Spitfire, which we busted out for the first time today.

I really love this stroller! But, I digress. After asking three friendly officers of the NYPD, as well as an equally-friendly employee at the ferry station, it was determined that I was going to have to walk. So we got a wonderful tour of Battery Park and the surrounding areas and finally arrived at John's office about 25 minutes later (after one more check-in with a super-friendly Parks & Rec officer who actually exited his vehicle and showed me the path on his map!) Who says New Yorkers are mean? During the walk Charlie tried his best to avoid looking like a tourist, but he was pretty wide-eyed the whole time. But he wasn't wearing a fanny pack or anything, so we blended in pretty well, I think. ;)

After being scanned through security (which included a full-on airport X-ray system and metal detector, along with scanning my ID and printing out a visitor badge with my name and picture on it) we headed upstairs to visit JA's co-workers. Charlie was his typical charming self, though he did play it a little shy at times. I nursed him in the mothers' room they have on their floor (wish we had one of these) and then we headed to lunch. Charlie was a perfect companion throughout, though he kept opening his mouth everytime I picked up my fork or grabbed a fry off JA's plate. He's getting ready for finger foods, I think!

On the ferry ride home (John walked us to the pier and made sure we got on the right one) I started to nurse him again, but after a few minutes, he looked like this:

New York may be the city that never sleeps, but Charlie sure does! :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Yikes - today was one of the craziest days Charlie and I have had this summer. This morning we dropped off Daddy at the train, then continued on to my school to start working in my classroom. I brought Charlie's pack 'n' play, his Baby Bjorn bouncer, his Jump & Go, the Bumbo, and an assortment of toys. I also had a bunch of diapers, wipes, changes of clothing, bibs, and burp cloths. We were there from about 9 AM to 2 PM - and it was so hard to actually do work! I only managed to cover a couple of bulletin boards and unpack the closet. Charlie did his best to keep himself entertained, but he needed to see me at all times. He also (understandably) needed to move every twenty minutes or so to another activity. Plus, it was really hard to do work when my beautiful baby was there just begging me to play with him!

During one of our feedings today, I suddenly realized that the walls and floor were shaking. I immediately knew it was an earthquake. It only lasted a few seconds, but even Charlie picked his head up, looked around, and made a face as if to say, "What is that??" It was, in fact, baby's first earthquake. That's one for the baby book! :)

Charlie was not too pleased with napping in the pack 'n' play. He took two naps that were each only about 30 minutes. Poor guy. He then fell asleep for the last ten minutes of the ride home - FAIL! Since I knew he wouldn't be going back to sleep when we got home, I opted to make some food for Master Charles. In about 40 minutes time I was able to make brown rice cereal, pureed avocado, and baked butternut squash. Yummy! Charlie ate prunes for dinner, but I'm sure he'll be enjoying these other tasty treats soon.

While his bedtime is usually around 6:30, he was asleep in his crib before six o'clock. Sweet dreams buddy!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Charlie is six months old!

I wanted to take this time to recognize that our son is half way to a year! I can hardly believe that he is six months old. Charlie is such a good baby and I am so thankful that God gave him to us. Here's a little insight into what our day looks like at six months:

6:00/6:30 - wake up and nurse; diaper change; play

8:30 - nurse; diaper change; first nap

10:15 - wake up and nurse; diaper change; play

11:15 - eat oatmeal and fruit

12:15 - diaper change; second nap

1:00 - wake up and nurse; diaper change; play

3:00 - diaper change; third nap

4:00 - wake up and nurse; diaper change; play

5:00 - eat fruit or veggie

6:00 - nurse (from one side); naked time; bath

6:30/7:00 - nurse (from other side); bedtime

He seems to be a creature of habit, and I love how he's fallen into this little routine. And I am so incredibly appreciative of his 11-12 hours of straight sleep. Glorious! :)

Today I made some more food for Charlie. This morning I headed out to Whole Foods to purchase some organic sweet potatoes and pears. I couldn't find the pears so I bought Gala apples instead. When I got home I put the potatoes in the oven to bake for an hour and put the apples in a steamer basket in a saucepan to steam for 10-15 minutes. When they were done and cooled, I simply scraped the flesh into the blender. I mixed the apples with some of the water from the saucepan since I plan to mix them with oatmeal and breast milk. I mixed the sweet potatoes with breast milk. Both got pureed in the blender (separately, of course) and poured into trays for the freezer. Voila! Charlie enjoyed some homemade applesauce and oatmeal this afternoon and we'll try the sweet potatoes on Thursday (following the four-day-wait rule). He's currently eating two meals a day (fruit and oatmeal and another fruit or veggie) and seems to love everything so far. I really love that I know exactly what's going into his body too (and what isn't, namely pesticides and other chemicals). On my list for next week: sweet peas and zucchini. Mmmmm!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Just in time...

On Monday I welcomed this new beauty:

Our avocado green washer finally crossed the rainbow bridge into appliance heaven. And since Charlie started solids, he now has what I am calling "real person poop." This makes laundering our cloth diapers interesting. :) Charlie is loving his food, so I'm glad that we can continue onward. So far he's had oatmeal, avocado, and prunes. The prunes were because he went a week without pooping. Trust me when I say he made up for it today!

Thanks for the prunes Mom!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

We have an eater!

It's official - Charlie got his first taste of "solids" this past week. While on vacation with my family in New Hampshire (baby's first trip to the mountains!), he ate oatmeal every day - and he loved it! I was admittedly nervous about this and wanted to wait until as close to six months as possible. I'm really glad I did too, because there was no doubt in my mind that he was ready. After the first bite or two he was already leaning forward and opening his mouth for more. Super cute! Here is the evidence... check out that little smile after he finishes his first bite.

In case you are wondering, we are using Earth's Best Organic Oatmeal mixed with breast milk. Tomorrow we're heading to the local farmers' market to see if they have any veggies and fruits for our next eating adventures. I'd like to try avocado, sweet potatoes, squash, banana, pears, and apples. Yum!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Charlie is funny

I'm going to try my best to describe this, since it wasn't possible for me to get a picture without risking Charlie's safety. Tonight during naked time we were practicing our sitting. I sit behind Charlie while he tripods. Tonight he decided to bend his arms so he could put his toes in his mouth for a bit, then pushed himself back up again. He did this a few times in a row - hysterical! I can't leave him sitting alone just yet, or I absolutely would have gotten a picture. Maybe I'll be better prepared tomorrow. :)

I also wanted to say that today was just an awesome day. My son is amazing! He's not even six months old yet, and I'm pretty sure he didn't even cry for a second today. Amazing, right? He is on quite the little schedule lately, with very predictable naps and eating times. He also accompanied me to the store this afternoon and was a perfect companion. I know not every day will be so perfect, but I am convinced that he is one remarkable kiddo!

Next week is the big week for starting solids!! I've got all our materials ready to go. The spoons are already in the drawer.

Today I also let Charlie practice with an empty sippy cup. At first, he just tried to eat the whole thing...

But then he got the hang of it once I showed him how. He was sucking on the spout like a pro!

Wait until next week and there's WATER in there! ;)

Friday, July 15, 2011


Why the overuse of the exclamation point, you ask? Well, at Charlie's weight check today he gained seven ounces in the past week. This was after gaining only three ounces between four and five months. Silly little guy was not requesting more food after he ate from one side, and since I had an oversupply, I was only feeding from one side. But he needed more, and since I've been nursing from both sides, he's moving in the right direction. Phew! It's not that I was again using formula (the ladies in my play group jokingly call it the "f" word) but I felt confident that it wasn't the right choice just yet. After consulting with a lactation consultant last week, I knew we were on the right track to continue exclusively breastfeeding. Just in time to start thinking about solids. More on that to come... ;)

In more happy news, Charlie is just starting to discover his four-legged siblings. Today, Molly was practicing tummy time with a toy just like Charlie. She's such a good big sister. Charlie repayed her by grabbing a handful of hair on her head. We're still working on how to gently pet our puppies. :)

He looks innocent enough, but Cairn Terriers beware of Charlie and his grabby hands!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Day in the Life of Charlie (5 months old)

It's been a little while since we've documented our day, so I thought it was time for an update. Here's what our day looked like today. It started with this handsome face greeting me. :)

5:00 - wake up to nurse, then back to sleep

7:00 - wake up for the day; change diaper and clothing; nurse; play

8:00 - bring Daddy to the train station

8:30 - nurse for a few minutes; 1st nap (Mommy does laundry, tidies up the house, and does some internet research on her new washing machine and first birthday party ideas - she's Ca-Raaaazy!)

10:00 - wake up; diaper change; nurse; play

11:45 - diaper change; nurse for a few minutes; 2nd nap (Mommy makes and eats lunch)

12:30 - wake up; nurse; diaper change; play

2:20 - 3rd nap (Mom naps too)

3:00 - wake up; nurse; kind of fall asleep again

4:00 - play

5:00 - nurse; play

5:30 - nurse from other side; play

6:00 - naked baby time (air out diaper area); bath; massage; jammies

6:30 - wind down; hum our bedtime song

6:45 - nurse for a few minutes; bed

That's it... hope you enjoyed some insight into our day!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I hope that one day...

... I'll be as great of a mom as my mom is to me. I had a bit of a rough week and she drove down from MA today just to check in and say hi. And then my dad surprised her by accompanying her on the trip. So Charlie and I got to see them both and hang out together all day. It was awesome! My favorite parts of the day were when my dad was making Charlie laugh during lunch and when my mom got to change Charlie's outfit three times. Love my happy spitter! ;)

Speaking of spitting, I tried out our new drooler bibs from Apple Tree Boutique today. Love them! Here is Charlie modeling the doggie version while he practices his sitting up skills.

Edit - I forgot to mention that my dad lowered the crib mattress today. Tear! Baby Charlie is growing so fast...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Changing Tables

I never really gave much thought to those changing tables in restaurant bathrooms. Until, of course, I became a mom. Today Charlie had a massive poopy diaper while we were out to lunch with friends. No problem, right? I have a beautifully stacked diaper bag ready to go. Unfortunately, the bathroom did not have one of those tables. Have you ever tried to change a poopy diaper on a five-month-old without a flat surface? I wouldn't recommend it. I'm surprised Charlie is still talking to me, frankly. ;)

Where were you at one o'clock this afternoon???
And because a few people have requested a new photo of Master Charles, here ya go... Don't worry, I didn't include any of today's diaper incident... Just pure, summer fun. :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Here's a cute little video so you can hear Charlie's giggles. Quite possibly my favorite sound in the world! (Sorry for the crazy camera angles... I was recording it myself on my iPhone.)

Breastfeeding Goal #2...

...accomplished! You may remember that my first goal was to make it to six weeks (the time most experts say is the toughest to get through - so don't give up!) After making it to six weeks, I set my next goal to be the end of the school year, i.e., through the three weeks of pumping while Charlie stayed home with family. It was a rough start and I definitely felt a little overwhelmed at first, but we did it! Charlie took his bottles like a champ and I was able to replace the 20 oz. he consumed while I was at work. Phew! Along the way, I learned a few tricks that I think will help me immensely when I go back to school in September.
  1. If possible, keep your pumping equipment set up so you don't have to waste time at each session. I will be pumping in the closet in my classroom and I'm going to set up a comfortable little station for myself. I'll keep a comfy chair in there next to a small table. I can keep the pump set up on the table with the tubing and power cord ready to go. This way, I'll just have to attach the tubes and switch on the power cord.
  2. Probably the most time consuming maintenance part of pumping is washing the parts. Someone recommended keeping the parts in a Ziploc baggie in the fridge between sessions. Brilliant! I'm lucky enough to have a mini-fridge in my classroom so this will be very easy. At the end of the day I'll just bring the baggie home and wash them along with the bottles from day care.
  3. Most people know that your supply is greatest in the morning. I pump once at home after Charlie's first feeding at 5 AM and get at least 5 oz. from one side. I also plan/hope to feed him again before we leave for the day. I'm not sure I could pump more than 15 oz. at work so this system works well for me. I could probably also pump before I go to bed since Charlie last eats at 7 PM, but sometimes I go to bed not long after him. :)
So that's it - the plan for back-to-school. I'm sure there will be some days when I'm going to want to quit, but I know I can do this. It's very important to me that Charlie get only breastmilk until he's a year old. I take those recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics very seriously!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Consolidating Sleep

In yet another sign that our little Charles is growing up, I think he's starting to consolidate his sleep. Charlie was king of the forty-minute nap. But lately, he's started taking longer naps in the morning and afternoon (one and a half to over two hours long!) It's just so weird to think of him having any sort of predictable schedule, but it looks like he's on his way...

And I know it's been a while since I posted one of these videos... Can you believe how big he's getting??

Monday, June 20, 2011

Breathable Bumpers

Not long ago Baby Charlie would lay on his back, swaddled in his crib. He would awake in the exact same spot. Fast forward to the past week - our little man is moving! This afternoon when I put him down for his nap, he moved from his back to his tummy, and from the middle of the crib to the edge. This makes him mad! I totally understand... I wouldn't want to sleep pressed up against my hard headboard either. Enter this little contraption:

It's a breathable bumper made of mesh fabric. This will hopefully keep Charlie comfortable and keep his arms and legs inside the crib. The mesh makes me feel better about keeping air circulating too. Hopefully a win-win situation. The reviews seem good so I ordered two (one for home and one for my mom and dad's). I'll keep you posted on how it works...

This weekend I also ordered a new portable crib mattress for the pack n play down the shore. With my summer vacation approaching, I'm hoping Charlie and I will be able to enjoy a few days relaxing at the beach/pool. He actually does really well in the pack n play, but I feel badly with him sleeping on that lightly padded cardboard. As he gets bigger I think the mattress will be more comfortable. As I've mentioned before, using cloth diapers and nursing has kept our expenses down tremendously since Charles was born. It makes it that much easier to justify these unexpected expenditures to keep our guy happy and safe, especially when he's sleeping. A happy, sleeping baby = a happy mommy!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tummy Sleeping

Well it's official... we have a tummy sleeper. Charlie rolls on to his stomach as soon as you lay him in the crib and puts himself to sleep that way. We are no longer swaddling (obviously) and he's doing a great job! Last night he slept from 7-5:15, with a few little wake-ups. I only had to go in once because he put himself back to sleep within a few minutes each time. He also returned to his typical nap schedule (two in the morning and two or three in the afternoon for 40-50 minutes each). Phew... I was so nervous about the de-swaddling process but he solved it for me with his new rolling skills. ;)

I also wanted to report that I am becoming an expert pumper! When I first started at work it took over half an hour, but I've gotten it down to about 20 minutes now. I don't really enjoy pumping, but with my Simple Wishes bra I'm able to eat lunch, play on my iPhone, or do whatever else I can while sitting at the table. And between my early morning pumping session and the two or three I fit in at work, I'm able to replace the twenty ounces that Charlie is drinking while I'm at work. This experience is helping me feel more confident about being able to continue nursing when I'm back in the classroom in September.

How sexy is this??   ;)
Tomorrow I am home with Charlie (I'm taking my last personal day) and I cannot wait to spend the day with him. It's amazing how much I miss him during the day - he's all I think about! We might also stop by a friend's house and Charlie could have his first experience in a swimming pool. You know I'll be taking photos. (Well, someone else will be taking them since I'll be holding him.) ;)  Enjoy this beautiful weather!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Imagination vs. Reality

As you may know, Charlie had not yet rolled over. I wasn't too worried about it since he had plenty of tummy time and great head and neck control. In my mind, I envisioned his first roll over experience. We'd be playing together on the floor... maybe singing songs or giggling together. I would place a favorite toy to his side and put my face near it. Charlie would be so in love with us both that he'd reach over and roll. He'd be so excited and I'd be so proud! Yay Charlie!

Now here's how it really went down. At 2:30 this morning Charlie woke up. I clicked on the video monitor and prepared to wait a few minutes to see if he'd put himself to sleep. After a couple of minutes went by I clicked it on again... and there was Baby Charlie on his tummy! Yikes! I ran into the room and flipped him back over, which made him freak out even more. I then had to unswaddle him (freakout #3) and tried to help soothe him back to sleep. He did finally fall asleep about an hour later... and then woke again around 4:30. I fed him them and put him back down. He slept for another hour or so. The rest of the day has been interesting to say the least. We have quit swaddling cold turkey for naps and tonight will be our first experience for bedtime. You'll remember that Charlie has a problem with finger sucking and keeping himself awake. The over/under on how many times we're going to have to get up is five. I'm taking the over and JA took the under (he claims to be an optimist.) I hope he wins.

Charlie did roll over once more for me this morning, but only once he got really annoyed with lying on the floor. It is wrong that I cheered when he started to cry after the roll? Yeah, probably... ;)  Anywho, wish us luck with the de-swaddling process. Hopefully it will be like our transition to the crib and we'll be back to normal by week's end!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Four Month Visit

Our baby is growing! Charlie went in for his four month doctor's appointment. He is currently 13 pounds, 3 ounces and 26 inches long. He is a lean, mean, baby machine! ;)  At first I was nervous that he was too skinny, but the doctor assured me that he was fine. She also said that the growth charts and percentiles are based on formula fed babies so they don't necessarily apply to breastfed babies. We talked about starting solids and I've decided that we'll start sometime this summer (when he's about six months old). Very exciting!

Charlie also got a few more vaccines today and handled the needles like a champ. He actually stopped crying once I picked him up. I nursed him right afterward and he was all smiles again. He seemed fine the rest of the day and even attended a neighborhood party this afternoon. He is such a good boy!

Only eight more days of pumping work before I'm off for the summer. I can not wait to take Charlie swimming and to the beach (with proper clothing and shade-cover, of course). How cute is he going to look? Especially in this adorable pirate ensemble from Auntie Abby:

I'll be sure to take lots of pics when Charlie dons his first swimsuit. :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Working Girl

So I've survived my first two days back to work. My mom is doing a phenomenal job with Charlie (like I knew she would) and I am actually enjoying being back at school. What I'm not enjoying, however, is pumping. Ugh... what a pain. I dislike preparing and washing bottles and I especially dislike having to worry about when I'll have the time in my schedule. Yesterday and today worked out well because the teachers I was subbing for had prep times in the morning and afternoon. But tomorrow through Friday I'm in a Kindergarten classroom (that's a whole other challenge!) and she only has one prep in the morning. My plan is to pump then, pump at lunch, and pump right after school. Lunch is at 11:30 and school ends at 3:00. Not ideal, but what can you do? This is also really making me question how this will work in September when I'm back in my classroom. I have forty minutes for planning time and forty minutes for lunch each day. I'm new to pumping so maybe this will change, but it takes me five minutes to set up, twenty minutes to pump, and about seven minutes to clean up and store my equipment. That doesn't leave much time, does it? And how do I make copies, meet with parents, or talk with colleagues? I just don't understand how this works... I'm going to have to consult with my friend Alice... :) 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Charlie is four months old!

That's one-third of a year people - can you believe it?? I sure can't... At each month mark I find myself reflecting on when we first brought Charles home from the hospital. He was so tiny, and I was so clueless. Well, he's definitely grown, and I'm a little less clueless. We've come a long way...

I go back to work tomorrow, and I know that everything will be fine. Charlie's in good hands and it will be god to see my colleagues again. Wish us luck!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Trial Run

Tomorrow I am visiting my classroom as a mystery reader. I'm so excited to see my class and to be back at school, especially since I get to bring Charlie with me. On Monday I have to go back to work without him... that will be a bit more challenging. :) Since I carry our health insurance I have to go back or we would have lost it for the summer months and had to pay out of pocket - ick. Thankfully, my mom, JA, and JA's mom are going to watch Charlie so we won't have to start day care until September.

This little trial run will give me a good idea about pumping at work. I am really struggling with how this is going to go. As a teacher, I have set times each day for planning while my class has PE, music, art, etc. The problem is that those classes are not necessarily at the same time each day. The only thing that stays constant is my lunch period. If Charlie is eating every 2-2.5 hours, then I should also be pumping at those same intervals. There's no way this will happen at work. Best case scenario - I feed him just before I go, pump during my planning time, pump at lunch, and pump right after school. It won't be so bad for these next few weeks because I'll just be subbing, as opposed to returning to my classroom. But next year, in addition to pumping during planning and lunch times, I'll have to find times to make copies, meet with parents, and collaborate with colleagues. It's already stressing me out (which won't be good for my supply either!) Oh boy... I think I better go to bed before I really get myself all worked up.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

One Year Ago Today...

I woke up to this:

This morning, I woke up to this:

Amazing, right? What's also amazing is that Charlie made it a whole week STTN. He is currently asleep in a pack n play at Grandma and Grandpa's house down the shore. Let's hope his streak continues... :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Finger Sucking Stinks

Charlie discovered his hands not too long ago. I absolutely loved the look of wonder on his face, especially when he realized he could touch them together and use them to grab toys. Ah-may-zing! ;)  But these cute little fingers were wreaking havoc during naptime. He likes to suck his fingers, but rather than creating a soothing effect, it keeps him awake way longer than necessary at nap time. So today I put him in the Wombie, which I had purchased a while ago but didn't end up liking because it wasn't a tight enough swaddle. Well, it's perfect for naps! Now, instead of him crying for 10-15 minutes as he tries to put himself to sleep (but can't because of the finger sucking) it takes him no longer than 2-3 minutes for each and every nap - including the dreaded last nap of the day. I'll be honest, I am dreading the de-swaddling process because I know this finger sucking will be an issue at bedtime too. Any advice?? For now, we are enjoying a peaceful household where everyone is getting the sleep they need. And while we're on the subject, have I mentioned that Charlie has slept 10-12 hours straight the past three nights?? Mommy is in heaven, and enjoying it while it lasts...

After the Christening on Sunday, Charles was given numerous gifts and cards from his generous friends and family. And you know what that means - more thank you notes!! ;) While they're not my favorite thing to do, I did get to order some new stationery since we already went through the 50 cards I ordered just before he was born. In keeping with the nautical theme, I decided on these:

If this kid doesn't love the ocean as much as his mom, you can't say I didn't try! :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Back to Yoga

Oh, how I've missed it! I did a quick cardio yoga video this morning (just 20 minutes) and I loved it! When Charlie went down for his first nap, I fired up the On Demand Exercise TV and did Tom Morley's Cardio Yoga class. It was a great re-introduction and I'm proud to say that by the end my heels were back on the ground in downward dog. There's a distinct possibility that I will be sore tomorrow, but that's OK. No pain, no gain.

Speaking of Charlie's naps, I wanted to offer a quick update on the sleep training. Charlie is still falling asleep on his own in his crib, and taking between four and five naps a day which average about forty minutes each. When he hits the four month mark, I expect his wake times between naps will increase to about two hours. This should lead to less naps throughout the day. At this time, I plan to try Pantley's method for lengthening nap times. She recommends stationing yourself outside the nursery about ten minutes before the typical waking time. At the first signs of stirring, go into the room and pat or shush your child to try to get them to go back to sleep. She says that after doing this for a week or so the baby will be able to sleep though that first waking period and take a longer nap. We shall see... there's always something, right? Once we get the sleep thing all settled it will be time to start preparing for solids!

We head back to NJ tomorrow to get ready for Charlie's big day. It will be nice to be home again and get back into our regular routine. Just two more weeks before I head back to work (for three weeks, then I'm off for July and August). The time sure does fly...


It's official... Charles is a Roman Catholic! :)  The event on Sunday went beautifully and we celebrated with friends and family afterward. Charlie did an awesome job all day, though he couldn't nap with all the commotion going on downstairs. The last two nights he's STTN (12 hours!) so I'm certainly not complaining. Here is a photo of all of us on our little man's special day...

In other Charlie news, here are a few other photos I've snapped in the past couple weeks...

Charlie and Sophie, his new BFF

"Hey Mom, did you know that there were toys hanging from this thing??"

My fellow teachers know... May is "Get Caught Reading" Month

We tolerate the Bumbo for a few minutes each day. :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Charlie and I made an unexpected trip to Massachusetts this week for my uncle's funeral. While it was such a sad occasion, I couldn't help but think how lucky Charlie is to have been born into our family. He was surrounded by so much love this week in spite of the pain that everyone was feeling. He certainly brought a smile to everyone's face and he was a champ as he was passed around to every single person in the room. :)

This weekend, we will celebrate a happy event - Charlie's Christening. My parents and in-laws have been amazing in helping us prepare for the party. I can't wait to celebrate with everyone, and I'll be sure to post tons of photos next week. Charlie is currently my assistant as I make cookie favors. He's really got a knack for baking!

My mom and I took a shopping trip with him yesterday to a few baby stores. She is determined to purchase a walker for him. All I could remember were horror stories of children tumbling down the steps in walkers, so I was a little hesitant. But she assured me he'd be fine. And so, Charlie is the proud new owner of this (well, he will be when it's delivered on Saturday):

I do have to say that is was hysterical to see Charlie sitting in the ones we tried at the store. He was in heaven as Vavo pushed him through the aisles. :) His feet are just about hitting the floor, so he should be ready at the four month mark. I'm excited for him to try his exersaucers too... so many fun, new toys for him to discover!

Finally, I know I've been slacking in the food journal department. Rest assured, I'm still eating lots of healthy vegetarian meals and snacks and I'm currently a pound or two below my pre-pregnancy weight. But my belly still needs a bit of toning, so my new journal is going to document my exercise throughout the week. In looking at my schedule (which has vastly improved since Charlie naps in his crib now), my goal is to walk at least a mile with the Baby Jogger stroller on each and every sunny day (which we basically do already). I also want to do a yoga video at least 2-3 times per week. This should be really easy to accomplish and once I've got this down, I'll up the ante. You gotta start somewhere, right?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sleep Training

This week, Charlie and I embarked on a little sleep training adventure for naps. Previously, he would need to be rocked to sleep for five to ten minutes. During this time he would fuss and cry until eventually falling asleep. While my thighs and calves appreciated the workout they received bouncing him around four times a day, neither one of us was pleased with the situation. I tried every sort of combination for timing his naps, ranging from one to two hours of wake time before putting him down - every time he'd cry himself to sleep while being rocked. Also, once asleep, it was nearly impossible to put him down without him waking again. So after reading both Ferber's and Pantley's books, we set out to make nap time a bit more enjoyable. For the past three days we've done some sleep training and I'm happy to report that Charlie is putting himself to sleep pretty regularly! I kept the video monitor with me at all times so I could both see and hear him. So here's how it all went down the first two days...

Day One (wait time is one minute, three minutes, five minutes until he falls asleep or a half an hour has passed)
Nap One - He fell asleep at the 28 minute mark. I hated every second of it, but kept telling myself it was important for him to learn that he could do this. He slept for 45 minutes.
Nap Two - This time he fell asleep at the twenty minute mark and slept for 35 minutes.
Nap Three - He feel asleep within ten minutes but only slept for 30 minutes.
Nap Four - He feel asleep within ten minutes but only slept for 20 minutes.
Nap Five - Same as Nap Four.
On day one Charlie went to bed at 7:30, and woke at 11:30 and 4:30 to nurse. He was still sleeping at 7:15, so I woke him for the day.
Total nighttime sleep = 10 hours and 45 minutes
Total daytime sleep = 2 hours and 30 minutes
Total sleep = 13 hours and 15 minutes (Most sleep experts recommend 12-15 hours for a three month old.)

Day Two (wait time of two minutes, four minutes, six minutes)
Nap One - He fell asleep WITHOUT CRYING AT ALL!! However, it took him thirty minutes to fall asleep (I put him down an hour and a half after his last waking time when I first noticed his sleepy cues). He was just chilling in his crib until he drifted off. He slept for forty minutes.
Nap Two - I had to go in once at the two minute mark, and he was asleep within five minutes and slept for 40 minutes. He woke to eat and then fell asleep on my lap for about twenty minutes. I thought, "WWFD?" (What would Ferber do?) I carried him upstairs and laid him in his crib - he woke a bit, but put himself to sleep - successful transition!! He continued to sleep for another twenty minutes.
Nap Three - I had to go in twice (two minutes and four minutes) and then he was asleep, but he hadn't gotten a good burp out after he last ate. He slept for about five minutes and was up again. Technically, I'm supposed to forego this nap and move on, but I knew the burp was the issue. I burped him, calmed him down (took about a minute), and put him down again. He was asleep in three minutes and slept for twenty minutes.
Nap Four - I went in twice and he slept for thirty minutes.
The best news - he slept from 7:30-5:00 straight through last night. Yippee! :)

Today we continued our training and he's getter better and better each time. I'm so proud of my little guy!

In other news, I finally completed my to-do list for the Christening next weekend. The menu is set with the caterer and includes chicken parm, salmon piccata, vegetable lasgana, roasted potatoes, grilled vegetables, spinach salad, cookies, fruit salad, and cake. Mmm, mmm, good! I also arranged for a cleaning service for the house (which hasn't really been done since Charlie came along, and probably even a few weeks before that when my belly was so big!) His Madrinha bought him the cutest outfit to wear after the Mass and his gown is all ready to go. I have my dress and shoes, and I'm still deciding on a cardigan or wrap. I think we're in good shape!

Finally, I am treating myself to some girl time this weekend. Tomorrow I'm taking Charlie for a lunch date with Alice and on Sunday I'm watching a movie with Meghan while Pat and John stay with Charlie. I'm hoping the movie is good!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"Which growth spurt was the worst?"

This was a recent question posted on the 3-6 month board of Everyone responded, "Definitely the three month one!" Awesome... I think we started it yesterday. :)

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Today we head back to NJ! :)  Charlie and I had a great week up in MA and even had another STTN experience (last night he slept from 7:30-5). Now that he's three months old (more on that tomorrow) Charles feels that he's mature enough to go through the night without waking to feed. We'll just see how long this lasts... This morning I ordered both Solving Your Child's Sleep Problems and The No-Cry Sleep Solution. I figure that I'll read both so I can determine which method will work best for us. Ferber is so controversial, but many people swear by it. But if it's not for us, Pantley and Sears offer another alternative. Charlie is great at night (meaning he falls asleep easily and gets a good stretch before waking) but naps are a nightmare! (No pun intended.) He will cry for 5-10 minutes and has to be rocked/shushed to sleep every time. He also has to be completely asleep before you can put him down. My goal with the sleep training is to be able to lay him in his crib for naps and for him to put himself to sleep. It will take me a couple of weeks to read the books and then we'll begin... I'll keep you posted.

Last night my dad took my mom, Charlie and I out for dinner for Mother's Day... and I blew it!! I typically have a stocked diaper bag - bibs, burp cloths, changes of clothing, diapers, wipes, toys, etc... But I had packed a separate bag to visit Wendy and my whole routine was thrown off. So we ended up at the restaurant with no bibs, no burp cloths, and one change of clothing. Charlie then decided to have an epic demonstration of his spit-up skills. Ugh - bad mommy! So we took our food to go and I ate my dinner on the car ride home. Maybe next year... ;)

Update - I'm now home and getting ready for bed. When we arrived, JA was waiting with an early Mother's Day present. I received two beautiful cards (one from him and one from Charlie), a dozen pink roses, and a new Mom charm for my Pandora bracelet. Love it! And I love my family...

We are off to a family party tomorrow for John's godson's First Communion, so I won't be around until Monday. Happy Mother's Day everyone!!

Monday, May 2, 2011


Tomorrow Charlie and I head to Massachusetts... solo. I'm only slightly apprehensive about a four hour drive with a three month old. He's really great in the car, so I'm sure we'll be fine. My plan is to leave after his first morning feeding, which means I shall spend the day packing and getting ready. JA is working from home today which is so nice because he gets to spend some time with Charlie before we leave for a few days. It also means I get to take a proper shower, i.e. one that lasts longer than four minutes. ;)

I can't believe our little guy will be three months old this week! He continues to amaze me every day and I can't imagine life without him. How could anyone resist this face?? :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


That clever little acronym is used on to refer to when your baby sleeps through the night. I never really thought about this, because I figured we were a long way off. Well... for the past four nights, Charlie has, in fact, slept through the night. He has dropped his 12/1 o'clock feeding and now sleeps from 7:30 to 3:30. Today he actually didn't wake until 5 AM! I was staring at the video monitor for an hour watching him breathe because I was so nervous that something was wrong! Of course, my body is adjusting to these longer stretches and I'm in a world of hurt when I first wake up. Thank goodness for hand expression and my pump! I've read that babies do this sometimes for a week or so, and then go back to waking more frequently at night. I will enjoy the sleep while it lasts!

10 hours of sleep??!! This boy clearly takes after me. :)
I toured a day care center in town yesterday and would feel comfortable having them care for Charlie. I forgot to ask about cloth diapers though, so hopefully that won't be an issue. We are touring another center tomorrow; once I've seen it, I can make my decision between the two.

Breakfast - Fiber One toaster pastry; two hard-boiled eggs
Snack - organic granola bar
Lunch - soy chicken patty on a whole wheat wrap; side of mac n cheese; side of mixed veggies (broccoli, cauliflower and green beans)
Snack - mango sorbet
Dinner - two slices of margherita pizza; garden salad
Dessert - Easter candy

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Photos

We didn't take Charlie to see the bunny this year. Honestly, I think mall bunnies are slightly creepy and I was a little hesitant to let some stranger hold my little guy since he's still so small.  I'm sure we'll do it next year though... For now, here's a few we took tonight:

Happy Easter!

Charlie attended his first Mass today - and he did such a wonderful job! He slept through the opening procession and woke shortly after the music stopped. I nursed him downstairs and then my mom held him for the rest of the service. He was smiling at me the whole time and barely fussed at all. Way to go buddy! I should also mention that he had his longest sleeping stretch ever last night (he ate at 7, bed by 8, and didn't wake again to eat until 2:45!) He must love that new crib that Vavo and Grandpa bought him. :) In other sleeping news, he also took his first "un-swaddled" naps today. Here's proof:

I still plan to swaddle for bedtime, but we'll keep trying naps this way so we can start transitioning without it at night. Plus, I feel better about leaving him with other people who haven't quite mastered the swaddle (ahem, JA, ahem). ;)

Breakfast #1 - egg and cheese sandwich on a deli flat with ketchup
Breakfast #2 - egg white veggie flatbread; decaf latte
Lunch - vegan tortellini stuffed in an acorn squash; garden salad (romaine, tomato, cucumber, carrots, and croutons) with Italian dressing
Snacks - Easter candy
Dinner - leftover tortellini and mixed veggies (carrots, asparagus, snap peas)