Monday, May 31, 2010

Road Trip to Charlottesville

Over the weekend, we decided to test the waters of traveling with a baby and settled on the destination of my college town - Charlottesville. It had been over 4 years since we last visited and I couldn't wait to finally take some outdoor pictures of our little family.

The two-hour drive down was nothing eventful as Anna slept the entire way. However, once we got to the restaurant where we met up with hubs' friend, everything went south. Anna had a big diaper blow out - through her diaper, onesie, blanket, AND onto the car seat. Things went further downhill when, for whatever reason, little A cried and whined through the entire meal. The lunch was a nonstop dance of grabbing a few bites and taking her outside. Yes, we officially became one of those parents that we used to stare and point at.

Once we got to the campus (or grounds, using the proper UVA lingo), we had a great time walking around and taking pictures. Hubs carried Anna using Baby Bjorn for the first time and she loved it! Happy all the way and not even a small whimper came out of her. Eventually, she fell asleep in the carrier and, shortly after that, we called it a day.

Unfortunately, she had another one of her meltdown episodes and cried for more than half of the drive home. I questioned again and again if all the work was worth it, but once we were home and I looked through the pictures, it was clear that the trip was not a complete failure and I am looking forward to our next road trip.

Happy Feet
Cheese!
Future Wahoo?
More images of the trip here.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, May 28, 2010

happy friday & long weekend

Hello, TGIF. Any fun plans for the next three days? We are taking our first family road trip...wish us luck. I feel like I have the entire house packed and it's only a DAY trip!

Have a beautiful weekend, everyone. See you back here next Tuesday. Can't quite believe that June is almost here. Where has the year gone?

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Anna's Baby Book: 10w4d

[First, a note: I apologize to those readers who started reading before this blog became 99.99% about my baby, but until I am off maternity leave I have virtually nothing else in my life and hence, nothing else to write about. So for the time being, bear with me as I gosh about my little one.

But since I am not keeping a baby scrapbook, this blog is serving as that. So it is likely that even after my maternity leave, this blog will be 98% about the girl pictured below. Thankyouverymuch for reading!]

Anna is 10w4d old.

She has very good control of her head. She can turn to look at things. She notices people when they walk into and out of the room. And smiles a lot.

Her cute factor has also risen threefold this week, as she is quite a chatterbox. I can't seem to get over how cute she sounds! So fun.

If she's awake and I make eye contact with her, and talks to her… she will immediately goo and gaa and sing back with smiles, chuckles, and a little sparkle in her eye.

She can bring her hand to her mouth and suck on her entire fist.

New for this week, is that she doesn't like strangers. She screams bloody murder when anyone other than her Mama and Papa picks her up. Heck, she starts to wail when strangers just look at her. This includes her Grandma C, who has been taking care of her daily (4 hours each day) since she was 5 weeks old. I hope she gets over this fast...because we have a boat to catch soon!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Second Month of Mamahood

A continuation of things I am learning from the early days of mamahood:

: That you really will think your child is the cutest in the world.
: That I spend a good chunk of my day pumping, washing bottles, and rocking this bouncer.
: That the said bouncer is the most used baby item in our household.
: That immunization shots can make a baby go bonkers. Not during the shots, but after them.
: That my hair is permanently in a ponytail and face is forever bare naked and I wear t-shirts with holes in them. I am a frumpy mommy.
: That snuggling with Anna and chatting with her is the best.
: That I am obsessed with Anna's feeding schedule. She eats every 3 to 3.5 hours, no more no less, people!
: That I can't wait until my baby starts doing things on her own (such as holding the pacifier), but yet, I am sad she's growing up so fast.
: That despite all the whining and screaming and fussing and crying, I am still so in love with her!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

$19 ON Swimsuit

(get it here)

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

sleeping bug

Guess who woke up all happy this morning after the longest stretch of sleep ever?
My sweet little girl.
11pm to 6am.
That's 7 hours of peaceful, restful slumber (...for me as well).
That's amazing.
That's life-changing.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Baby Anna Turns 2 Months!

Hey Tiny Tong,

You are two months (+ four days) old. How can that be? You are growing so big and so painfully fast that we no longer count your age in weeks, but months. At your two-months well checkup today, you aced your round 1 immunizations. Hardly a peep out of you when the nurse stuck your chunky thighs with needles. Such brave girl! And I think you became your ped's favorite patient today with all those gummy smiles!

Even more fun than watching you grow so big, is watching those bright brown eyes of yours become more focused and more curious every day. You have discovered just about every single facial expression in the book and use your voice now for more than just blood-curdling crying. Your coos are irresistibly adorable. Yes, you are becoming one fine baby.

I am enjoying you more and more each day, if that's even possible. Good news, Mama finally decided to stay home until the end of the summer with you. We are going to have so much fun, baby. You just wait.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Our little outing

...included a spit-up, gigantic ants, and soaked clothes.

But.

The sky was blue, the sun was shining, the air was delicious.

The baby touched grass for the first time. The puppies got to stretch their legs. And this Mama wore something other than her pajamas.

It was a delightful afternoon, in my book.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, May 14, 2010

advantages of a small-ish place

Unfortunately (...or maybe a blessing in disguise), our potential crib didn't work out.

I spoke too soon when I said the house seems to be in a tiptop condition. It was not. While the owners took care of the 19-year old house, they never replaced anything such as the roof, windows, or HVACs. Since we were going to put a large chunk of our savings as down payment, we didn't want to spend more on fixing up the house. So...after going back and forth with the sellers trying to negotiate what they were willing to replace, the deal eventually ended.

I am not too disappointed. It was a great house, but admittedly, a bit out of our price range. We have always aimed for houses that could easily be afforded with just one income. If we had bought this particular house, we would not be able to live comfortably with just one person working. Which means, no vacations, no savings, no fun splurges. And I like my vacations, savings, and fun splurges. So, no biggie that it didn't work out. The search continues.

I started thinking about how living in a small-ish 1200sq condo actually isn't too terrible with an infant. Of course, once Anna is mobile, my hope is to have a bigger place for her to crawl and play. However, until then, I see some advantages of a small-ish space.

: Less money. Unless you are resourceful, decorating and furnishing a nursery may cost an arm and a leg. We skipped the nursery entirely. Baby A's crib is next to our bed.

: More convenience. Since A's crib is in our bedroom, we can easily hear when she wakes up at night for her feeding. And speaking of feeding, we simply walk a few steps to the kitchen, instead of going downstairs if living in a house with multiple levels, to warm up the milk. Trust me, when you are sleepy, the less you have to walk the better.

: Less clutter. Because our place is small-ish, we are careful with what we buy. We don't have all the baby products deemed must-haves by the baby industry, such as baby monitor, wipe warmer, bottle warmer, diaper genie, or baby swing. We have very basic things to take care of Anna and not missing the luxuries. Or maybe we don't know what we are missing...? Either way, Anna is a happy baby.

Do I want a bigger place for our family? Of course! But I take comfort in that we are managing just fine and saving more moolah along the way.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

10 Things I Love About You

10 things I love about Miss Anna these days {at 2 days shy of 2 months}:

1. Stretching out her feeds to about every 3-3.5 hours during daytime. Getting up to eat just ONCE at night. Eating 100-130cc per feeding, 6-7 times a day.
2. Rocking tummy time. Holding her head up high. Rolling over from tummy to back when the mood is right.
3. Coos! That girl is quite a conversationalist.
4. Her smiley face in the morning. She's a happy baby when she's fed, well-rested, and clean.
5. A little bit less fussy...or maybe we are just getting better in dealing with it!
6. Wore a dress for the first time and looked SO CUTE.
7. The way she just stares and stares and stares. She is getting more interested in the world around her.
8. The other day she looked for me! She was on the couch with hubs and I went to the bathroom. Hubs said her head just kept on turning and turning. He brought her to the bathroom and her head turning stopped when she saw me.
9. It seems like she's spitting up less now...
10. ...but is having more exploding diapers lately. Still, loving that because that means she's healthy! Right?

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hats Off to "They Draw and Cook"

For me, cooking is a thing of the past. These days, I am a pro at using the microwave oven and those readily-mixed jars of sauce are my best friends. What's the point of cooking an elaborate meal when this baby of mine starts crying the second we are about to begin eating?

It's still fun to look, though. I still drool over food blogs and today I get to add another one to my right sidebar - They Draw and Cook. This wonderful website translates recipes into cute artwork. Stinkin' cute artwork!

If you’d like to see more amazing recipe artwork, make sure to check out They Draw and Cook blog!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My First Mama's Day Card

I look forward in showing Anna this card when she's older and telling her the story of her Papa dipping her tiny foot in homemade paint (a mixture of cornstarch, salt, sugar, food coloring, and water).

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Embellished Wooden Clothespins

Yesterday I found a bag of wooden clothespins at a moving sale and this morning, while the baby was still sound asleep, I decorated them with scrapbook paper. It was a quick and easy project!

I think these pins make great desk accessories to clip papers together...or add a magnet to the back and they’re great for hanging notes, photos, and important paperwork on the fridge.

All the practicality and utility of a clothespin but with more glamour and flair! :)

The making of these is pretty straight forward. Supplies: wooden clothespins, scrapbook paper, decoupage, scissors, and a brush.

1) Trim scrapbook paper to cover the clothespins. This step is most time-consuming because the clothespins all vary slightly in shape and size and you must trim each individually.

2) Apply a thin layer of decoupage glue to the top of the clothespin.

3) Place your paper onto the clothespin. You’ll need to rub it slightly with your fingers to make sure it is properly adhered. Allow to dry.

4) Apply a layer of decoupage glue to the top of the paper. This seals the paper and gives it a nice matte finish.

(I have a thing for decorating everyday things. See how I prettified some boring binder clips here using the same piece of scrapbook paper.)

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

moving sale goodies

Taking advantage of my time at home and great weather, I went to a moving sale this morning with my mom and picked up a few random things. All for a grand total of two bucks.

1. An assortment of cookie cutters. From snowman, to heart, to candy cane, to pumpkin. I got them covered for all major holidays. Mmmm...looking forward to not only making yummy but also cute shortbread cookies.

2. Miniature terracotta flower pots. Am thinking about personalizing them with some paint and planting wildflowers.

3. Bright red cloth napkins and ceramic flower napkin holders. There is something about this combo that makes you feel like a grown-up. I want to host an early-afternoon soiree just so I can show them off.

4. An egg beater with heart-shaped handle. How fun.

5. A bag of wooden clothespins, which I am planning on turning them into something fun and festive. Sort of like these.

6. Finally, a pair of light green and yellow square dishes that I can pretty much use them for whatever.

Well, I didn't think I would enjoy digging through other people's unwanted items, but it was time well spent! Second-hand, reused, re-purposed. I confess, I like them all.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Making Baby A: Postpartum

I had my postpartum checkup today. This visit was the last in the long line of checkups that started with my first prenatal appointment. I have come a long way and, to end my pregnancy posts, I thought I would write about my recovery process.

Pregnancy is hard. Labor and delivery is harder (or supposedly, but I got lucky) than that. And recovery is harder than that. The days following the delivery were brutal - hard to sit, hard to stand, hard to walk, hard to do anything. I won't go into details, but I gradually felt better as the weeks went by and considered myself fully recovered between weeks 5-6. If I can give one piece of advice to the mothers-to-be, it would be: make sure to have someone taking care of YOU during the first weeks and move as little as possible.

Although the pain is gone, my body is most certainty not the way it used to be. By the time I delivered, I had gained 30 pounds (pregnancy was 39w3d). The first few weeks after I gave birth, the weight melted away fast. I wasn't active. I stayed at home most of the time and did no exercise.

I thought I was on my way to be one of the few who drops to her pre-pregnancy weight without lifting a finger.

Wrong!

Since about 1.5 weeks ago, I haven't dropped a pound. Currently, I am still 8 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. But, I am not too concerned about the number on the scale.

What I am concerned about (and don't like) is my JELLY BELLY. It is very normal, though. After all, my skin and muscles were stretched out like a balloon for 9 months. If I “let it all hang out” I look 3 months pregnant. My jeans don't fit. My shorts don't fit. I can only wear stretchy pants.

To be completely honest, while I LOVE being a mother, I just don’t want to have a “mommy tummy”. And I can see how this will continue to become more of a problem as time goes by. So, I am determined to get back to flatten my tummy somewhat.

As for my postpartum checkup, the doctor said I healed very well. She has no concerns and gave me the green light to go back to my old lifestyle. She casually mentioned not to get pregnant again in the next six months as it would be very hard on my body. I don't have a problem with that. One baby is too much to handle...for now. :)

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Baby Anna: Week Seven

Miss A is 7 weeks old today! She is continuing to thrive - eating well and packing on the pounds...er...ounces? We won't know exactly how much she weighs until her next well check, but Pesto is getting increasingly more uncomfortable whenever Anna sits on him so I can only imagine she's getting heavier.

As I mentioned before, Anna is fussy at times...and I think I found the culprit. Overtired baby = FUSSINESS. Long story short, I need to learn to recognize Anna's sleepy signs and put her down for naps immediately before the fussiness starts. This sleeping thing is basically the center of my universe right now. I hate seeing Anna fuss - I get frustrated and she's not getting the rest she needs to grow.

On another note, Anna is starting to smile and coo spontaneously and it just grabs my heart! I think she's the cutest thing ever. Don't you agree? :)

Lastly, a video. My little girl isn't a fan of tummy time, but she LOVES to bounce. Look for her expression at the end. Cuteness overload!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Our (Potential) Crib: Status Update

The past two days have been hectic. After accepting our offer on 4/28, the contract was ratified the very next day. Then a whirlwind of activities commenced...all while trying to juggle a needy baby. Buying a house and taking care of an infant at the same time? Not recommended.

Things are moving as smoothly as it can be, though. The bank has all our finances in order and an appraisal is in the works. This morning was the home inspection and, except for some minor details, the house seems to be in tiptop condition. I like the house even more now after walking through it for the second time.

But I kind of got overwhelmed, to be honest. Lots of yard work, cleaning, and decorating in our future. We need to turn this great big house into a cozy home. Just have to keep this in mind: It won't happen overnight...or even in 5 years. Baby steps.

If all goes well, we close on the 25th and the whole moving thing will happen over the long weekend. Am not happy about it, but thinking that it should be the last one in a while makes me actually look forward to it!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!