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?? :)