Happy Halloween!!!

From our cheeky little skeleton to you.... 
...  hope you had a spooktacular day.  :-)


excuse notes and secret signs

I feel like I owe you this:

Really I haven't not blogged that much this week... but here it is Friday, and all I've managed to do is tell you about last weekend, and post some (admittedly awesomely cute) pictures of Gwen and pumpkins. And I don't have a lot to offer today, still busy finish up this big work project, and getting everything wrapped up before the weekend. Next week should be better, and I have posts brewing in my head about perceived judgment, sleep (always with the sleep) and what we've been working on to make it sounder, plus I'm sure I'll go on and on with pictures from Halloween. I can't believe Monday is November already... where is this year going?

In the meantime... I just wanted to share two things I think are neat.

So this video... love it!:

And as shared by the lovelies at Our Growing Family... Hey Baby, What's Your Sign?

Mommy is a Leo:
Your deep emotional generosity is a great gift to your child. Leos make proud, bold, and determined mamas; your big heart and protective nature will help ensure that your child knows he is well loved. Leo moms are also highly creative, so make sure to explore the arts with your child from an early age -- this is a surefire way for the two of you to bond. Go to museums, take a craft class, do a messy art project together at home. One thing for Leo Moms to keep in mind is that your larger-than-life personality and natural flare for the dramatic can sometimes overshadow your child. Make sure you give your babe plenty of time in the spotlight, and appreciate him for the unique creature he is.

And my baby Aquarius (this is the dawning of the age...):
Aquarian babies are natural rebels who like to do things their own way. Get lots of toys to keep your child from becoming restless during tummy time, and lock those cabinets early. Give her the chance to crawl freely on grassy lawns and toddle around the playground. Embrace her discoveries by letting her collect the rocks and other little treasures she finds. Support her individuality by allowing her to decide which outfit she wants to wear or which stuffed animal she wants to sleep with. And introduce new toys, books, and games regularly: Kids born under this sign are bright and often develop ahead of schedule.

These were pretty spot on for us... at least so far! We'll see if Gwen grows more into her Aquarius sign, or not. What's your sign? Does it fit you?

More next week, have a great weekend!


me and my pumpkin... a horror story, in pictures

Daddy, I see it down there...

Dun, dun, dun... pumpkin!

Do. Not. Like. Pumpkin.

"See... its okay to touch the pumpkin, it won't hurt you."

Do. Not. Like. Pumpkin. (still)

Yay, all hands are away from the pumpkin... and we're standing, that means we are moving further from the evil pumpkin.

Don't know if she'll be liking the evil pumpkin better now that its carved.

Well see how the story continues in the days to come...


pumpkins and puppies

Travis had an alumni meeting to go to Sunday for most of the day. I knew I didn't want to stay cooped up in the house all day (especially since the weather was supposed to be so nice)... plus, I realize that here it was, a week from Halloween and the end of October, and Gwen hadn't had her first trip to the pumpkin patch yet! So Sunday morning I called Ro up and asked her if she wanted to join Gwen and I at Linvilla Orchards. She did, so off we went.

It turns out... Gwen is not such a big fan of pumpkins! Maybe its because they are almost as big as she is, but every time I tried to get her to sit with a pumpkin, this happened:

Oh well... we still had a really nice time.

After that we headed to the BabiesRUs to pick up some gifts for some babies we'll be seeing in the coming weeks, then it was home to try to get Gwen to nap. It didn't work so well, but for the most part she seemed none the worse for it.

Showing off how good a stander she is... one handed, and she's even started letting go and standing solo for a second or two at a time.

Then we headed outside to relax with the pup for a bit... which Daisy loved!

Trav arrived back home after that, and we just relaxed for the rest of the evening. We did take advantage of this relative "heat wave" (70s, that heaty for fall!) and cook our dinner on the grill.

Today is nice and warm again... highs in the mid-70s, so I'm going to take advantage and go for a walk around the block (hopefully that will chase away some of the still lingering cobwebs... she woke at 12 and 4 last night, and it took a while to get her back down at 4).


a fabulous fall weekend, in two parts

Oh Monday, Monday... (can't trust that day)
Another week, the last one in October. Can you believe that? I can't. This month, my favorite month, has flown by. I'm sure the fact that we had something going on every weekend made it go even quicker then normal. This past weekend was no exception. Both days were very fun, but very full. Two parts, since this would be way too long otherwise.

Saturday... what an awesome day. I got to see my best friend Babs for the first time in over a year! Which means that my baby finally got to meet her Auntie Babs!! She is in PA visiting from Cali for a month. She's leaving the 11th of November, but will come spend her last PA weekend down at my place. This weekend though, Gwen and I headed up to her parent's place. It was wonderful.

Pictures are worth a thousand words:

The best part... my "I'm never having kids" Babs is now rethinking her anti-baby stance (just to clarify, anti-baby for her, not babies in general!).  :-)  What a great day.

We headed home around 4:30 to meet Trav for dinner (satisfying a craving at Chick Fil-A), where we talked about our days (he had been quite productive in our absence), then it was home to get the babe in bed.

Oh sleep. What a subject of continuing rollercoastered emotions! We're up, we're down, we sleep for 6 hours, we're up every 2-3 hours. My nights are getting fuzzy here (probably from not enough sleep!), but we had a night or two in there that were great. One (Friday, probably) she woke at 11, then slept until 5, then snoozed in bed with us until the alarm went off at 6. Another (Saturday night, I think) she woke at 11 and 2, but then slept until 7:15! But then, we have another bad night like last night. She didn't nap well yesterday, so I wasn't surprised when she was out quickly... in bed by 7:20ish. But then she was up around 11:45 and took a while to go back down, again at 2ish (I think?), and then again at 5, when she came into bed with us and alternated between breastfeeding, sleeping on me, and crying. For last night, I think part of the problem was that she seemed super gassy. We tried broccoli for the first time yesterday, so that might have been the cause (definitely no more broccoli for her for a while!). Hopefully tonight will be better... we all need some more Zzz.

That's all for now... but tomorrow I'll have another post, with picture from Gwen's first experience with a pumpkin (spoiler: she's not a fan!! lol).


12 things

Things that are fun: 
1. New glasses:

(And a baby on a train.)

2. Getting to see my best friend this weekend (she's meeting Gwen for the first time)!! I can't wait!

3. Gwen just tried chicken for the first time last night.
She was about as sure of it as she was of any other food the first time she tried it... but I'm hoping she'll enjoy it even more tonight. I think I'm going to start sending some food into daycare for her soon too. Right now she gets cereal twice a day (once at daycare and once at home for dinner), and food once a day (at home with dinner). She's starting to get better and better with the food, so I think I'll be comfortable enough soon to start sending some in to eat in addition to her cereal at daycare.

4. Fun cars in Center City:

5. Harry Potter... in less then a month!
Also in less then a month: Halloween, getting my hair chopped off and donated to Locks of Love, our biggest work event of the year, my bitty babies 9 month pictures!

6. Puppy Snuggles:

7. Morning baby snuggles.
The teething hell continues, and with it Gwen's not great sleep. Its been better lately, but still not good. However, since she's been waking at 5:20ish the past few days, I've been grabbing her and bringing her to our bed. That way I can breastfeed her laying down, and then we can snooze a bit more until the alarm goes off. Though it will be awesome when she starts sleeping better again... and later... I am enjoying the early morning baby snuggles.

8. Busy days at work.
I find that my work aggravates me the most when things are super slow (especially when I don't have any personal projects that I could work on in the meantime), so that I feel unchallenged and therefore unfulfilled. Work lately has been the exact opposite! Busy, full of projects that I'm really enjoying, and ones that have a concrete finished product that I can be proud of. Sure I still wish for something a little more me. But overall, lately the days have gone by quickly, and I've been satisfied at the end of them.

9. Finding a fabulous dress, that fits me like a glove, for our big work event:

My postpartum body is so different then my pre-baby body. My boobs are bigger, my belly is rounder, my thighs and hips are curvier too. It was harder then I anticipated finding something that looked good, was appropriately work dressy, and didn't show off my back tattoo. This one flattens what needs to be flattened, and accentuates the curves I want to show off. This is especially good because of #1 below...

Things that make me go Ehhhhh...: 
1. Did you notice above how I was listing upcoming things I'm excited about... and how our biggest work event of the year comes AFTER getting my hair chopped off? Well, its two days after to be exact. I'll admit, that makes me nervous! What if I don't love it? What if I love it, but haven't figured out how to do it well yet? Hence why I needed a really great dress!  :-)  Distraction.

2. I really, really hope that more then one tooth pops out in Gwen's mouth soon...
because if all this discomfort is for one stinkin tooth, I'm going to cry. I already told you how Trav slept holding her on the futon Sunday night... well, Monday night I ended up fighting to get her to sleep from 11 - 12, then giving up and holding her to sleep on the futon from 12 - 3. After that she slept in her crib from 3 - 6, so that was nice... but I was a bit sore and tired the next day for sure. Last night was better, but still not great. Girl woke and I fed her at 11something, then she woke and Trav rocked her back to sleep at 2something, then (as mentioned above) she woke and I brought her to bed with us at 5:30ish. I'm so so glad that Trav is able to rock her back to sleep. I didn't want her to have to rely on the boob... and it is amazing to have the help at night during this, otherwise I don't know how I'd make it.

3. Speaking of boobs... I has two. And they are currently disappointing me.
I think the lack of sleep lately has played a HUGE roll in this, but my supply has dropped a little. It sucks because I'm not adding to my freezer stash at the rate that we are pulling from it (a bag a day... which we always did to rotate through, but now I'm not adding a bag back in everyday). I'm doing my best to pull it back up... only 4 more month until we hit my goal of a year, at which point I'm going to start introducing her to other liquids during the day anyway. I know I can do this, it just sucks that I have to worry about trying to pump things up. I'm doing my best to get extra rest when I can, drinking as much water as possible, taking my vitamins and my Blessed Thistle & Fenugreek supplement, pumping longer whenever possible, and eating plenty of calories & lots of protein during the day. I might add an extra pumping session to the evenings if I have to, but it would be exhausting to try to fit in, so I'm really hoping I don't need to. Any other suggestions?

All in all, there are way more good things then bad... so I think I'm doing alright here!


Friday, my brother Ethan and his girlfriend Elise came up from DC to visit for the weekend.
This is Elise (and Ethan)... Hello, Elise!

This is also my fussy, most likely teething baby... Hello, Fussy Baby! (More on that later.)

Anyway, E and E came up to visit with us on Friday. It was wonderful to see them. I haven't seen Ethan since the summer and I hadn't met Elise yet (she's super sweet).

On Friday we went out to a nice sushi lunch (a good break for me too since work was busy busy busy), then they left their bags at my office and went to the Franklin Institute. They rejoined me at the end of the day to head home on the train. 

We hung out and had Chinese food for dinner. Gwen had some green beans and Cheerios, which she greatly enjoyed.

Saturday we were up bright and early, because that's how we roll now... but those college kids were still sleeping, so Gwen and I took some 8 month pictures. Outtakes:

WWE style
I like to call these three, the stages of face eating:
Face grab.
We also wore our adorable Thing 1, Thing 2  Dr. Suess outfit.

I had to take a picture of her butt in it... so cute! I love the pockets!
After that E and E came down to join us...
Hello Uncle Ethan.
We went out to grab some breakfast, then hung out for a little (I actually sat in the car for 30min after we got home while Gwen napped... she really needed it, more on that below too). Then it was into the city for E, E and I, for some more wandering about. Trav had a bachelor party to go to that night, so he stayed home since he had to leave for that in only about an hour.

We walked to the Art Museum first, so the tourists could run up the stairs, a la Rocky. :-)

After that we took a taxi down to the Reading Terminal Market and walked around forever, checking out all the goods. Elise bought some licorice (some of which she gifted to Trav and I, so sweet). Ethan bought some honeycomb for Elise, a piece of turkey jerky and some pumpkin pie fudge (delish!). I bought two candies, a peppermint hot chocolate for myself and a coffee for Ethan. I ogled lots of different meats at the booth run by a group of Amish from Lancaster... especially their uncut slabs of bacon! Mmmm. However, trying to schlep home pounds of meat didn't sound like fun, especially since I was already carrying almost 15 lbs of meat:

Then it was home for Gwen and I... on to our girls night. Just little G, me, and Daisy. Gwennie was restless. A combination of still fighting off a cold, and what we think is teething, has led to a cranky baby who isn't getting enough sleep. She was having trouble napping, and has been waking up 2 - 3 times a night (post us going to bed, sometimes she wakes once before 10 too)... just uncomfortable and unhappy. Occasionally she'll put herself back to sleep one of those times, but mostly she needs some cuddles, maybe some Highland's teething tabs, and some boobing. For the first waking, she normally goes back to sleep no problem... but lately that second (or third) waking has been rough. She'll go back to sleep, but restlessly, so that when I try to put her back into her crib, she wakes crying... repeatedly. Its no fun.

Saturday night was no different. I was up with her twice (I think... its a little fuzzy), then she was basically up for the day at 6:15. I brought her into bed with me and we lazed about, cuddled, and played for an hour and a half, then took a little 20 - 30 minute snooze with her head resting on my stomach, then a little more playing before we got up for real at 8ish. We headed to the store to get out for a bit, then ate some lunch, after which Trav got home. He didn't get a lot of sleep the night before either (though obviously for VERY different reasons!), so he headed upstairs to shower and take a nap. Gwen took a quick nap too, played for a while, then we went for a walk with Daisy. It was beautiful out on Sunday! Once we came back, we woke Trav up (it had been 4 hours!) so I could hop in the shower. I headed out with Gwen to a different store, and again ended up sitting in the car for a while on my return to let her get more of a nap (the car puts her to sleep a lot when she's tired).

After that we lazed around. Gwen was definitely a bit crabby. My poor babe... I hope those teeth come in soon so we can all get some rest.

Sunday night Gwen woke twice again, and it took me about 40 minutes to get her down the second time. So when she woke up just 20 minutes later, I couldn't do it. I tapped Trav awake, and he was great and headed right in to get her. From the sounds of it he got her to sleep once, but she woke when he tried to put her down. So next thing I know I'm waking to my alarm at 6am, with no Trav beside me.

Ignore the angry face... he didn't appreciate the flash!!
When I headed into Gwen's room, I found my sweeties sleeping on the futon together. I'm glad they got the sleep. And I'm so glad Trav is willing to take over for me when I need it.

As for today... another busy day that flew by. I've been working on a big project for work... our annual report which doubles as a brochure type program for our biggest event of the year. Needless to say it has to be good, and I'm really enjoying being involved in the process. Though there were some coworker frustrations with it, only doubled by the fact that it was a little hard to concentrate. The lack of sleep is definitely catching up with me. I think this is more then one good night can fix, but it would be a start and that is what I'm really hoping for tonight. I've been going up to bed at 9 most nights, just trying to catch up where I can, and tonight will be no different.

So on that note, I'm off... wish me luck with sleep, and I'll take any advice you have for helping a teething baby to sleep better!!