The Taynors

The Taynors

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Year in Review - 2011

Mike and I are just about to go out and celebrate New Years Eve.  We are the lucky ones that have an over night babysitter, but since none of our other friends are as lucky, we will be having a quiet date night.  I am dressed and ready to go...and now waiting around for Mike to get ready (I don't agree with the stereotype that men are always waiting around for women to get ready)! 

Anyway, I had a few minutes to recap a great year.  Here are some of 2011's highlights.

On a personal level:

- Of course the birth of Ryan and becoming a mother.  This is by far the biggest life changer that will ever happen to me!
- Many of my friends also became mothers for the first time.  Kelli welcomed Noah, Kelly had baby #2 Brooklynn, Amanda had Bennett, Heather became pregnant with Baby Ryker (who we will hopefully meet very soon), and even though Jackie gave birth in 2010, this year really felt like Eloise's first year.
-Allyson and Eric got married. Yay!
-Megan and Matt graduated from college
-Mike got his MBA and started real estate classes
- Brian has been very successful in his training of the UFC fighters (especially Frankie Edgar)

Top News Headlines:
(in no particular order)

-The death of Steve Jobs and all of Apples technology
-Case Anthony trial (she is totally guilty!!)
-Michael Jackson trial
-Osama Bin Laden was killed
-The Royal Wedding (Prince William marries Kate)
-Final NASA shuttle mission
-Tsunami and earthquake in Japan that killed so many
- New Jersey experienced an earthquake and Hurricane Irene in the same week!
-Charlie Sheen went crazy
-The Kardashian's took over reality TV
-Oprah's last season
-US Women's Soccer World cup (made it to the final 4)
-Derek Jeter hit his 3000th hit

I'll be back to add more as I think about them.  What a year it has been!

Couldn't Resist

This week has been all about being productive. I guess because I had the week pretty much off from work, I filled my "free time" with projects around the house. So much fun right! I have cleaned out every drawer and closet throughout the house, I have organized anything I can get my hands on, I have done a million loads of laundry, I have cooked, cleaned, payed the bills, balanced our holiday finances, hosted a Christmas, attempted to organize NYE, dealt with insurance bullshit, grocery shopped...blah blah blah. You get the point, it has been a non-stop week. Anyway, it's just about midnight and I just finished putting away the last load of laundry (for now at least). As I looked over at our video monitor, I just couldn't resist... I had to go in to RJ's room and give him one last kiss goodnight.

I know a major mommy rule is to just leave baby alone if he is sleeping, but with his little tush up in the air, I had to go in one last time to give him a love tap.

I mean seriously, how can I resist one last peek at this sleeping angel?! Every once in a while I have to remember to stop trying to be super mom and just sit back and enjoy my baby. Now I can go to sleep with visions of my sleeping beauty instead of worrying about what I didn't get done!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Traditions

I love the holidays and I am a sucker for traditions.  I look forward to all the holiday celebrations, and even more so I look forward to knowing what we will be doing from Thanksgiving through New Years Eve.  What I mean by that is it is comforting to know that we will be celebrating our Girls Christmas a week of two before Christmas day EVERY YEAR and that I will get to see my aunts and female cousins at our cookie exchange on a week day in the beginning of December.  There is so much going on, and I really like traditions because they keep things familiar and there are not many last minute surprises.  It also helps ensure that you get to spend a little bit of special, quality time with all the important people in your life.  I have Girls Christmas, and Blue Christmas, and Boyle Christmas, and now Taynor Christmas, and I love each one of these events because each is different from the other.  Every Christmas brings a little something special that I always look forward to from year to year.

When Mike and I started dating, we had a very hard time figuring out our holiday "schedule".  We both have great families and a ton of holiday traditions... and neither of us really wanted to make any changes.  It has taken 6 years, but I think we have finally figured it out (for now at least)!  And then to make things even more interesting, we are not only combining our traditions but we are creating new ones for our children to grow up with. Here is a little taste of my favorite Christmas traditions.

Getting the tree-  I grew up with a real Christmas tree.  We would all go out as a family, pick out our favorite, and cut it down (Jackie, we did this at a Christmas tree farm, not just in the woods randomly haha).  Normally we did this the first weekend of December and we would go back to the house and decorate the entire space all in one day.  The house would go from nothing to a Winter Wonderland in just a few hours.  This is one of the traditions that Mike and I have decided to continue!

Girls Christmas-  This year was our 13th annual Girls Christmas.  The tradition started when we were juniors in High School and I am so excited that it is still going on.  The people who have attended has changed a little bit over the years, but it has been myself, Jackie, Kim, Heather, Kelly, and Laura pretty much from the beginning.  I love this Christmas!  We rotate whose house it is at, we get all dressed up, we have a nice sit down dinner, and then we do presents (really awesome presents).  The gift exchange goes like this: each person buys for one person and then everyone buys a smaller gift for all of the girls (hence the name Small Gifts).  Because you are shopping for one of your very best friends, everyone tends to be extra generous in their gift giving.  It is also a great night for everyone to get caught up on all the craziness going on in each others lives.  Girls Christmas always leads to a bit too much wine and a whole lot of laughs.  I hope this tradition continues until we are 80 years old!

Christmas Eve-  Growing up we would go to Nanny's house for Christmas Eve and this was my favorite night. Santa would come early and we would sing Happy Birthday to Baby Jesus and we would watch for Rudolph's red nose as we drove home. Then as Nanny got sick we started to spend Christmas Eve with just our immediate family and celebrate Blue Christmas at different night (more about this is a minute).  So then Christmas Eve turned into a night were we would go to church and then have a quiet dinner.  Megan, Brian, and I would also exchange presents to each other just for some fun.  When Mike and I started celebrating holidays together, he would come spend Christmas Eve with us. 

This year was a big change for us, Christmas Eve became Taynor family Christmas.  It really worked great, so I believe this plan will stick.  We went up to Mike's parents house at around 1pm.  We watched the Giants beat the Jets, we had a big dinner, and we exchanged lots of presents with Mike's entire family.  My brother and sister in law were there, Mike's grandmother and uncle stopped by, and we skyped with Barbara and Wayne from Florida.  We pretty much did everything we normally do on Christmas Day, just on Christmas Eve instead.  The best part about it was that we were not in a rush to go anywhere... the day/night was all about spending time with Mike's family.  I think it was one of my favorite holidays I have spent with my in-laws so far.

Christmas Day-  As kids, Christmas day was pretty similar to what I imagine most kids Christmas day was like.  We would wake up early, wait for my dad to give us the o.k. to go downstairs.  We would open stockings and all our Santa presents.  We had a big breakfast which included cinnamon buns, eggs and bacon (as we got older we added mimosas to our breakfast).  Then we would go through all of our new, fun toys and get ready for Christmas Day part 2.  Mid day we would leave and go spend Christmas dinner with the entire family and DeeBee and Poppy's house.  There was about 30-40 of us for dinner and it was always a full blown party.  I LOVE being part of a big family.  Gift giving is always simple because there are so many people, once the cousins got older we started just doing a secret Santa.  Even though every person only gives/receives on gift, the exchange process is always very loud and very wild (I'm going to add a small video of this years exchange soon so check back). When Mike and I started celebrating Christmas together, things changed a little bit.  Instead of going to my parents on Christmas morning, we would wake up super early and go up north to be with his family first thing. 

As you can probably guess, this year was another big change.  I made it very clear last year that once we had kids, we would be waking up and spending Christmas morning at our own home.  That is why we went to spend Christmas Eve with the Taynors.  This year we woke up when Ryan woke up, we opened his Santa presents, we had a big breakfast (Cinnamon buns included), and Mike and I exchanged when RJ napped.  It was perfect and relaxing and exactly how I imagined Christmas morning to be with my own child.  Around noon we left to see my parents, Brian, and Meg.  We then did Christmas morning part 2 with them; exchanged presents and had lunch and just watched Ryan enjoy his first Christmas.  Last but not least we were off to our Boyle family Christmas.  This might change in the next few years and that makes me sad.  More cousins are getting married, having their own children, starting their own traditions and it makes it very difficult to get everyone together at the same place on Chrismtas Day.  Currently our immediate family is about 40 people... its crazy!  I really do understand that things will have to change, but I am not ready for it.  I really hope we are able to get as many of us together for Christmas day for as long as possible.

Blue Family Christmas- This is that Christmas that use to be at Nanny's on Christmas Eve.  Now we do it a few days after Christmas and we change who hosts it this year.  I was able to host everyone this year, and it was a great night.  For this tradition, we get together with my dad's brothers and their families, we have a nice dinner and we do a "White Elephant" type gift exchange.  This particular event is the one that has changed the most from my childhood, but it is still really nice to catch up with my dad's side of the family. 

Obviously, I am very blessed to have SOOOO many people to spend the holidays with.  Things can get hectic and sometimes stressful but its all worth it to have such wonderful holiday memories. 

In short, now the Mike and I have our own family, we will be celebrating Christmas Eve with his family, Christmas morning at home, and Christmas dinner with my family.  I really really hope that as Brian and Megan get married, they are able to make their traditions similar so that we can spend time with them and their future families too.  Now we have to decide the little things... like are all the presents from Santa or do mom and dad give gifts too?  Do you open any gifts on Christmas Eve? Do we do a Secret Santa with our brothers and sisters now that the family is getting bigger?  Do we wrap the presents in the stocking or just put them in?  What will we serve for Chrismtas breakfast?  When will we fit in Christmas mass?  I guess some of these decisions will just work themselves out over the years!

**Check back for this years Christmas pictures and videos in a few days... I am getting there!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Big Decisions

It's just about time to make a very, very big decision!  A huge decision that really affects our whole future.  I need to decide if I am going back to teaching or resigning from my job.  There are so many pros and cons to both sides and I am really having a hard time figuring it all out.  One thing I do know is that I have to decide soon or I'm going to go crazy thinking about it.

Right now I am working 3 jobs.  Things are busy and hectic and crazy each week but I am really enjoying it.  First of all, I am doing hair.  The salon is finished and I have about 40 regular clients.  In addition to my regulars, I am getting more and more interest each week.  I have an average of 4 clients a week.  The second job is working for my brother in law.  He owns his own business and I have been doing office work for him.  Its super flexible and I can work whenever I want.  The job entails making phone calls to potential clients to follow up and try to get them to book the work to be done.  From him, I get paid hourly and a commission for each job I book.  The third job is the newest addition and I really love it so far.  I am working for my chiropractor as his Public Relations CA.  I am re-writing and designing the website, creating brochures/newsletters/marketing material, I help plan office events and reach out to the community to get them involved in the office.  This job is also very flexible... I work from home and can go into the office whenever needed.  Between the three jobs I am working almost every day but I love the fact that I make my own schedule and I am in charge of how much or how little I work from week to week.  I have control over how much money I make and how hard I work.  Plus I am really having fun, so I don't mind working a lot.

Here is a sample week with my current arrangement:

Monday- Ryan goes to my mother-in-laws for the day so I am super productive.  This week I ran errands, grocery shopped, and went to the gym in the morning and then I had 5 hair clients from 2-8pm.

Tuesday- Home with Ryan in the morning, work at the chiropractor from 12-2:30, back home with Ryan in the afternoon, and then back to the chiropractor at 6pm for a meeting, then went to the gym at 8pm. 

Wednesday-My mom came to watch Ryan for a few hours in the morning, so I went to work for the chiropractor from 11-2:30 and then went straight into the Waterproofing office from 3-7:30pm.  I got home a little bit after 8.

Thursday- Pediatrician with Ryan at 10, dropped him off at my aunts for the afternoon, and went to work at the Chiropractor from 12-3.  Then I had a hair client come to the house from 5:30-7.

Friday-Gym at 7:00am. I was home all day so I worked from home while Ryan took naps (from 9-10:30 and 1-2:30) and we went out to do some Christmas shopping from 11-1pm.

Obviously, this is a chaotic schedule and I am by no means a "stay at home mom".  The hardest part about it is figuring out who will watch Ryan and when.  We have been balancing it between me, Mike, my in-laws, my mom, and my Aunt Linda.  But I have to say, this week I made significantly more money than I would for a regular teaching week.  Here is the thing... some people might hate this kind of week but I am really HAPPY!  The down side to this current situation is that there is no stability and no health benefits.  It is a little bit scary to give up such a secure career like teaching and go into something so unreliable.

Now on to the teaching side of things.  It's a great job, with great benefits, and I work with great people.  But if you read my past post about going back to work, you know I was really not happy there.  Being an English teacher is very stressful and very demanding.  I was working from 6am-5pm and then coming home with hours of work to do.  I would spend nights and weekends grading and planning and prepping.  The students were getting to be very difficult and I spent most days dreading going to work the next day. 

Honestly, I do miss the good kids at MTHS and I miss being part of the faculty there.  I had a lot of great friends and I loved being part of the team.  Its just that I really was miserable on a day to day basis.  The problem is, if I don't go back to work on February 1 its a permanent decision.  I would have to resign, back out of the pension system, and I would lose my spot as a teacher.  If I ever wanted or needed to get back into the career, I would be with every other English teacher out there fighting for the very few jobs that become available.  Its so scary to give that up. 

So one option would be, go back in February and work through June, and then make a definite decision this summer.  Of course its not that simple,  if I go back to school I wouldn't be able to keep up with my current work situation.  I would have to stop doing hair, quit the chiropractor, and not work for Jerome.  I would be giving up everything I just worked so hard to get.  Bottom line is... I can't put off the decision any longer.  I either need to dive in full force to my new "career" or go back to my old career and say "thanks but no thanks" to my current jobs.  ITS SOOO HARD. 

Really, I know in my heart what I want to do.  I have already made up my mind, but it might not be the smartest decision.  Mike and I really need to have a business meeting and weigh the risks and benefits.  I hope it works out and I end up in a spot where I am excited to start each day and I don't have the weight of dread on my shoulders every night when I go to bed.   

I'll be back with the official decision soon!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

9 months

Ryan- I seriously feel like I just wrote the 8 month update.  November flew by!  This was a great month, probably my favorite one yet.  You celebrated your first Thanksgiving (and first friends Thanksgiving), went to Eloise's first birthday party (I can't believe she is already one), had a sleep over at Grandma and Grandpa's house, and went to cut down your first Christmas tree.  We also have been doing lots of Christmas shopping, you love being out and about in the crowds.  Dad and I took you to get Christmas pictures taken and we had planned to go see Santa but you were so exhausted from the photo shoot that we decided to wait until next week.  This was also a HUGE developmental month for you.  Here are some details:

*We go to the doctor this week so I will update weight than.
*You started to crawl at 8 1/2 months old and you have not stopped moving since.
*You pull yourself to standing all of the time and by using anything you can get your hands on.
*You are cruising already. 
*You can stand by yourself for brief moments.
*You started eating puffs and have gotten much better drinking from a sippy cup.
*You are back to hating getting your diaper changed or changing clothes.  You literally wrestle and fight against me every time.  I am not a fan of this particular activity.
*You have several nicknames, all starting with B- Bubba, Booger, Buster
*You are always talking, its like you are trying to tell us a very important story.  You do say "mama" a lot but its not directed towards me.  Its more like you are just smacking your lips together.  Your common word (or noise I should say) is "Eh, EEHHHHH, Ahh"
*You are always moving and always talking.  You are a very active boy!
*You love to sing and dance.  We dance around the house and sing songs all day long.  I feel like I am always putting on a show for you!
*You are a much happier baby now that you can move.  I can't wait to see what happens when you can walk.
*You are back to loving your pacifier.  I am trying to limit you to using it at nap time and bedtime.  But I'll let you have it if you are realllly about to meltdown in public.
*You had your first bump on the head and 2 black eyes this month.  You play rough!
*You have super chubby, chunky thighs (hmmm I wonder who you get that from).  Chubby baby thighs are the cutest!

It has been amazing watching you grow this month.  I really feel like you are going to walk sooner rather than later because you really love to be on the go.  You have no fear and are willing to try anything, even if it leads you to getting hurt (hence the black eyes).  I have always heard moms complain about when their babies start to crawl... they miss the time when the baby couldn't get into things.  But I must say, I love crawling Ryan.  I will take you getting into everything and me chasing you around the house any day over the hysterical crying, miserable baby of a few months ago.  This stage is so much more fun!

I love love love you Ryan and am so excited to celebrate your first Christmas this month!

This was a particularly hard photoshoot because Ryan wouldn't stay still for even a second.  Most of my pictures like something like this...

Need Help...

Okay fellow bloggers or blog readers, I need your help.  For some reason I am having trouble with some of the silliest things on these blog websites.  First of all, when I "follow" another blog, my picture does not appear.  I have edited my profile to include a picture and when I select to be a follower I attempt to upload a picture.  But it never works!  In the end, I am still that silly gray box with  no picture.  I know this is such a silly thing to be bothered by, but I am just frustrated that I can't fix it!

Second, I can't comment on anyones blog.  When I attempt to leave a comment for someone, it keeps telling me I am unable to do so.  Sometimes I get a message that says my account is not set up to leave comments.  What am I doing wrong!  Again I am frustrated because I can't fix it.  I want to comment on the interesting posts of the blogs I read... or respond to a comment people are leaving for me.

Anyway... Help Me!  If anyone has any suggestions on how to fix these problems I would really appreciate it.  Alright I am done with my rant!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gender Neutral

When I was pregnant, we decided not to find out the sex of the baby.  I know I am very out numbered in this decision!  People would seriously look at my like I committed a crime when I told them that we were waiting til the birth to find out.  The idea of keeping it a surprise made people crazy, they just didn't understand why we would do that.  I heard all of the same things... How are you going to decorate the nursery, you aren't going to be able to buy any clothes, I'm to much of a control freak I just need to know, and I want to start building a relationship with the baby as soon as I can.  Here is my reasoning to all of those questions/comments.

Decorating the nursery-  This is the silliest reason for finding out the sex of the baby.  You can absolutely create a beautiful gender neutral nursery!  And it doesn't have to be corny, green and yellow the  way everyone thinks.  Don't get me wrong... Ryan's room is green and yellow.  But I think we found a tasteful, sweet way to decorate.  There are plenty of options...gray, yellow, tans, brown, white, black, primary colors, green, etc.  With the help of the Internet for ideas, it is not hard to decorate a neutral room.  And then after the baby is born you can add some personal touches to make it just right for your new baby.  For those of you who really want a super girly room or blue boy room, you can still have that when they get a little bit older.  It won't be long before that baby is growing into a toddler and is going to need a big kid room.  That's the perfect time to decorate for the specific gender!

Clothes-  Having clothes for the baby was never an issue for us, this is what we did.  Before the baby was born, I bought 2 baby girl outfits and 2 baby boys outfits.  I brought them both to the hospital so we were prepared for whatever sex we had (A Boy!! Yay!!).  Besides that we had a few neutral sleepers and blankets and onesies ready to go for the first week.  That was all we had before he was born.  Within 1 week of Ryan's birth, his closet was FULL with clothes.  Every single person that visited brought boy clothes.  Even people I never met before (co-workers of my father for example) sent cute little outfits for Ryan.  We were given enough clothes that I did not have to shop at all until just recently.  It was great... we got everything we really needed at the shower, and then got all of his clothes after the announcement was made. 

For the planners and control freaks-  Hello!  I am the biggest control freak there is!  For those who know Mike and I, you know that we are both obsessively organized, plan every little thing in our lives, and have to be in control at all times.  So yes, not finding out the sex of the baby was out of our comfort zone.  But here's the thing... does it really matter?  Does anything change if its a girl versus a boy?  We were still prepared.  The house was ready, our finances were in order, the hospital bags were packed, we took all the classes.  We were just as ready for this baby as anyone else would be.  I didn't want to be in control of this.  I trusted in God and let him be in control of this baby.  I didn't over plan getting pregnant and I didn't want a machine telling me what my baby was going to be.  I knew we had a boy when they put him on my chest.

Lastly, the guessing game can be fun.  I enjoyed hearing everyone's theories on why they were sure the baby was a girl (or boy).  It was fun having a pool guessing the sex and birth date.  I spent many days imagining my life with the new baby... sometimes I pictured a girl and sometimes a boy.  I'll admit it now, I kind of wanted a girl.  My friends all had baby girls and I always pictured myself having a baby girl.  But to tell you the truth, when Ryan was born it didn't matter at all!!  He was breathing and healthy and in my arms, the gender was the least of my worries.  I will never forget that moment when the doctor announced  "You have a Ryan!"  That day when I held him in my arms, I was sooo glad that I didn't already have an image of this baby in my head.  I hadn't created my own identity for him based on his gender and I was just happy to meet him.  Its so hard to put words to this feeling, but I will definitely do it again.

If you are a mom to be and trying to decide if you will find out the gender, I highly recommend waiting!  It may be hard at times during the pregnancy, but it is totally worth it!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Letter to a Future Me

Dear Future Shannon,

I am writing this letter to help you through some of the struggles of having a newborn baby at home.  You are about to have a second baby and I want to give you some advice to make things a little bit easier.  By now you have probably forgotten the specific details of when Ryan was a newborn, so here are some tips from the past you.

~Don 't rush the baby out.  As it gets later and later in the pregnancy, you are going to be very anxious for the birth of the baby.  But its important not to rush things along.  Remember that the baby will be healthier and happier the longer they are inside.  Be patient and let your body do its job. 

~Everyone says it, and you know its true, but make sure you cherish every single second of the first few weeks.  The time goes by soooo fast and it all becomes a blur.  My advice would be to stop whatever you are doing every once in a while and take a moment to soak in whatever is going on around you.  Just take in the sights and sounds that surround you and breath in the perfect new baby smell.  Give an extra hug and kiss to that precious little baby because it will never be that small again!

~Don't sweat the small stuff.  I know, I know... another cliche, but seriously, don't do it!  Don't worry about the laundry, or the kitchen floor, or cooking dinner, or clearing the clutter.  Who cares about all of that.  Don't spend your time trying to be super mom, spend your time holding your baby.  Again, it goes by to fast to waste time worrying about your house.

~Let people help.  Whether its chores or shopping or coming over so you can take a nap... don't be afraid to ask and accept help.

~If you have another very fussy, colicky baby, I promise eventually the crying will stop (or happen less frequently at least).  You are not doing anything wrong and there is know way to "fix" the problem.  Just try to comfort the baby in any way you can and trust the fact that it will get better. 

~ Don't worry about all the little details (exactly what time should he eat, how long should he nurse, he just ate an hour ago he can't be hungry again, he has been sleeping for 3 hours should I wake him up, how many ounces is he getting, when should I start solids, am I holding him too much, why doesn't he like his swing, etc etc).  For the first three months of life, just go with it.  All babies are different and all babies need different things.  So do what you think is best, trust your instincts, and don't over analyze every decision you need to make.  You will not totally screw up your child by nursing him too often or holding him to long. 

~I know you love to be on a good schedule, but don't force it.  Babies need to find their own schedule that works for them.  So go ahead and guide things in the direction you want them to go, but don't stress out if its not going as planned.  Eventually the baby will fall into a schedule that works for them and you will be able to adapt.  Ryan found a good routine around 6 months. 

~I promise you will sleep again one day! Maybe not the same way you slept before having kids, but it will get better.  Eventually babies sleep for longer stretches.  So even if the baby is 4 months old and still waking up every 2 hours, have faith that it will get better! 

~Go to sleep when the baby sleeps.  This will be hard during the day, especially because this time around you have another kid to worry about.  But if they kids go to bed around 7-8pm, you should be in bed by 8:15.  Its so tempting to stay awake, spend time with Mike, watching TV, or whatever it is you want to get caught up on.  But just go to sleep.  You will need the rest big time!

~Cuddle with the baby as much as possible.  With Ryan, I was always trying to get him to lay down to sleep and he only wanted to sleep in my arms.  Now he finally sleeps all on his own and I miss having him sleep in my arms.  Enjoy the cuddling, sleepy moments now because they don't last long. 

~Its okay to sneak away from the crowd to spend some quiet time with the baby.  Use nursing as an excuse if you have to and get away from the noise and the people.  It will save your sanity!

~Nurse as long as you can.  Don't set a specific end date or any expectations.  Its easy to get frustrated if its not going well or set specific time limits... but just do whatever works for your body and try to nurse that baby as long as possible.  Bottle feeding is no fun!

~Last but not least, don't forget about time for you and Mike.  You need some couple time and some alone time to help get through the difficult transitions.  You and Mike are a team and you need to keep him a priority. 

Just breathe, relax, and enjoy that baby!
Love, Shannon (November 2011)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Upcoming posts...

Ahhhhh I have so much that I want to blog about!!  Thoughts and ideas are constantly running through my head and I just need to write it all down so that I feel better.  BUT I have an awful cold and am always feeling tired and just can't get the motivation to sit down and type.  So instead here is a list of things that I will eventually blog about :)

Postpartum depression/anxiety
Update on my work situation
Making decisions about teaching
A letter to myself for when baby #2 comes around

Check back, I will one day actually write these posts instead of just thinking about them!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Travel Plans

Those who know me, know that I love to travel.  I don't really spend a lot of money on clothes, shoes, going out, etc. but I am always saving up to go on vacations.  For the past several years, pre-pregnancy that is, I would always have a vacation on the horizon.  When I would come home from one vacation, I would start the count down until whatever the next adventure was.  For obvious reasons, my traveling has come to a hault.  But I am starting to get the itch to get back to planning.  I officially have the travel bug.  I love to research cool places, search for the best deals, and plan all the details of the trip.  I know that traveling will be different now that I have a baby, but since he is a little bit older I am ready to get back out there.  I already have lots of plans made for the next year or so.  I'm really looking forward to these vacations before starting all over again with baby #2.

1.  February 2012- Mike, Ryan and I are all going to Palm Harbor, Florida to visit my in-laws.  They have a home right out side of Tampa and near Clearwater Beach so it will be a nice get away from the cold NJ winter.  This will be the first time we take Ryan on an should be an interesting experience!

2.  July 2012- Mike and I are going to Key West for Nick and Heather's wedding.  I am really looking forward to this trip because it will be our first couples vacation since Ryan was born.  Hopefully we will go for 4-5 days so that we can be there for the wedding and do some vacationing.  I have never been to Key West so I am super excited. 

3.  August 2012- Mike, Ryan and I are joining a big group of our friends and renting a house in the Outer Banks for a week.  We are going with the Barkers, Arzonicos, and Eberhardts.  That means there will be 8 adults and 5 kids under 2 1/2 years old.  We can go to the beach, hang by the pool, go into town, and just have a nice relaxing week.  I hope these kind of vacations become an annual thing. 

4.  November 2012- Girls trip!!  The girls and I are going to go on a vacation to celebrate out 30th birthdays!  We have tried many times to plan a girls vacation and it either doesn't happen or only a few of us are able to I'm really excited about getting the whole group of us together.  We have had many discussions about where we should go (a wine tasting resort, spa, beach location) but recently we have been thinking that the best bet might be VEGAS.  Honestly, Las Vegas has a little bit of everything we are looking for.  We can do relaxing spa days, we could shop, we could lay by the pool, we can go out for nice dinners and wine, and for those wanting a little bit more night life... well Vegas is the place to be.  I really really really hope this trip actually happens because we are all new moms and we deserve to do something to celebrate our friendship!

5.  February 2013- Last but not least, we might go to Disney World.  This trip will have a double purpose.  The main reason we are thinking about going at this time is because it is the Disney Princess half marathon.  Several of my girls friends have all agreed that we will train together and make it our goal to run in this race.  So far I have never run more than 3 I have a lot of work to do.  In addition to the race, it will be Ryan's first trip to Disney.  He will be just about 2 years old by then and I think thats a great time to take him on his first trip.  So we are inviting anyone who is interested in coming with us.  Pretty much, we will be there and anyone can join us. 

Hopefully all of these vacations and training for a half marathon will help me keep away the baby bug.  I am no where near being ready to have baby #2 and I want some me time for a little while.  I also would like to be living in a different house by time we get pregnant again.  So setting all of these fun goals will distract me from wanted to get pregnant before we are ready!  I am looking forward to all of this traveling with my son, husband, and friends.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

8 Months

Its been another awesome month.  Ryan is at such a fun stage.  He can play and smile and laugh and interact with us.  Every day he does something new and I love to just watch him explore.  Just like every month so far, this past month we did plenty of things for the first time.  We took Ryan to NYC for the 9-11 memorial so he went on a train for the first time.  We went apple and pumpkin picking, Mike and I ran a 5k with him, and we had his first Halloween.  Jackie's mother made him an amazing Lion costume and we went trick or treating with the Barkers and Arzonicos. 

Here are some things he has been doing during his 7th month:

* He got his first 2 teeth!  My mom found them in the middle of October (7 1/2 months old)
* He is sleeping much better!  Most nights are from 7pm-7am and he takes 2-3 naps a day.  I really appreciate these good sleep patterns after the first 4 months of craziness.
* He loves to sing songs.  His current favorites are The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Wheels on the Bus, If Your Happy and You Know It, and Old McDonald.
* He is a champion at pee-a-boo :)
*He can go from laying down to sitting up on his own.
*He can pull himself up to standing!  I was not ready for this just yet!
* He is ALMOST crawling.  He tries so hard.  He can scoot, and roll, and rock back and forth, but he just can't get the actual crawling action.  I feel bad because he wants to do it so badly and he gets frustrated that its not working.  Hopefully he will be moving any day now.  Then life will never be the same!
*He started using a sippy cup with water
*He now has 4 bottles a day and eats 3 meals a day.  He is on a pretty good schedule.
*He loves to sit in the middle of the floor with all his toys and play by himself.
*Cranky man still comes out almost every night from 5-7pm.
*Mike and I are more in love the ever before!

Here is the cuteness from the month:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Making Baby Food Success!

I don't have any fancy gadgets, not the baby bullet or a special baby food steamer, but I wanted to start making some of my own baby food.  I was given the book Baby Love at my shower and I love it!! It has lots of different baby food options for all different ages AND  the author makes it super easy to understand. I know that logically I can not make 100% of Ryan's food myself, but I figure that some home made baby food is better than none.  My reasoning for wanting to spend the time to do this is because 1) Its healthier for him, there are no added preservatives or sugars and 2) Its much cheaper than buying all of the jars. 

My birthday way Monday and Ryan was up with my in laws so I decided that making baby food would be  a fun way to celebrate my birthday (haha I know I'm weird, relaxing in front of the TV is what I should have done).  I got all my ingredients together and off I went.  I hit several road blocks along the way.  The sweet potatoes I was roasting dried out and my blender burnt out in the middle of one of the recipes.  I decided things were not in my favor that day, but I wasn't giving up.  I threw the sweet potatoes in the garbage (I'll attempt that recipe at another time) and bought a new blender and I had much more success the next time around. 

So far I have made pears, peas, a banana/apple/pear combo, and a peas/edamame/apples combo.  They are all frozen into little 1 tablespoon servings and in a container in my freezer.  The recipes made about 30 servings of each so I have a pretty good amount for just getting started.  My goal is to make a few new foods each week and that way I'm always replenishing  my supply and trying new recipes.

Now lets just pray that Ryan actually likes these home made purees!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My First 5K

I grew up in a family of runners.  My father has run the NYC marathon, my sister was a competitive cross country runner in college, my brother is a personal fitness trainer/soccer player/athlete that could run a race without any kind of training, and even my mother has run a 5k in the past.  And then there is me, the one person in the family that has trouble running to the mailbox and back.  I have always said that I would be in big trouble if I ever had to run for my life!  Well, I decided it was time to give running a try.

It all started when my sister decided to run the Seaside Heights half marathon.  She asked us to go along and run the 5k race and the help support her.  My original plan was just to put Ryan in the jogging stroller and walk the race.  I planned on doing it at a quick pace, but not to run.  But then I started working out much more regularly and I felt like I was in much better shape.  Side note- like I said earlier, I have the advantage of having a brother who is a personal strength and conditioning coach and owns his own gym.  As long as I have a babysitter, I can go and workout whenever I want.  His group sessions really kick my ass, but I have become addicted to them.  I try to go at least 3 times a week, but Mike and I have to take turns with who gets to go at night.  Anyway, this past week I was feeling pretty good and decided what the hell, I am going to run the race.  The final push was when my dad volunteered to hang out with Ryan during the run so I didn't even have to worry about the stroller. 

So I didn't train to run (like I have attempted to do in the past), instead I just worked out and got into better shape over all.  I still didn't expect to run the entire 3 miles.  Mom and I had made a plan to run as much as we could, but take several breaks to walk.  That being said, I shocked myself when I actually ran the entire race.  If you are a runner this probably seems like such a small accomplishment and a silly blog post, but for someone who doesn't run EVER, this is really a big deal. 

The first mile felt really long and I got a cramp in my stomach.  But I kept going and the cramp went away and I found a good pace.  The second and third mile were much easier.  By the end I was definitely tired but I felt pretty good.  Running in a race type setting was a huge help!  I am super competitive so running with other people pushed me to keep going and stay focused.  When I looked around and saw a 9 year old girl keeping pace with me or the 75 year old women pass me during the second mile, I kept thinking "If they can do it, I absolutely can do it." 

I am proud to say that I completed this first race in 35 minutes and ran 97% of it.  More importantly, I want to do it again.  Maybe one day I will actually run fast instead of my slow paced jog.  But hey at least I have taken the first step!

We have Teeth!

After "teething" since he was 2 months old, Ryan cut his first two teeth this morning.  We have been checking his gums every day for weeks since he has been drooling incessantly, fussy, and putting everything in his mouth.  This morning, I jokingly asked my mom to check Ryan for teeth assuming there wouldn't be anything there... and to our surprise she could actually feel the teeth.  My mom was so excited that she was the one to find them and promises she will follow the old tradition of buying him his first pair of shoes!  My dad even got a silver spoon and tapped it along RJ's gums to make sure he heard the official clink of the teeth.  I didn't know anything about these old traditions, but it was fun to see my parents get so excited and do the things they did with us when we were babies. 

So its official, Ryan's first tooth - 7 1/2 months old!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

7 months!

Another great month!  Ryan is at such a great stage.  He is much happier (most days), he is silly and fun, and he is very expressive.  It is easy to tell what mood he is in.  Ryan is better and playing on his own and overall he is so much fun.

As always, here are some of the fun things we did from 6-7 months of age.  We had a labor day BBQ at the house,  we went to Monmouth racetrack, we went to the O'Brien Irish Angle golf outing, we watched football (the Giants are currently 3-1) and Yankees playoff baseball, we walked in a charity event for breast cancer, we went apple and pumpkin picking, we babysat for Jay, Emma, and Brooklynn, and we spent lots of time with both sets of grandparents.  Most importantly, I did not go back to work this month as planned so we got to spend lots of time together!

Here are the developmental events of the month:

-Ryan sits very well on his own.  He likes to sit with toys all around him and play.
-He is very close to crawling.  He can get on all fours and rock back and forth.  He wants to be on the move badly.
-He can get around by scooting, pushing backwards, and rolling all over the place.
-He is completely sleeping through the night.  We have reached the 7am-7pm sleep schedule!
-He is getting better at naps.  In the morning, I can just lay him down and leave the room and he will go to sleep on his own for about 1.5 hours.  The afternoon is a little bit harder, I still have to rock him to sleep.  Some days he takes a 3rd nap, but not always.
- He is STILL teething, but no teeth have come through. 
- He eats two meals a day- fruit for breakfast and veggies for dinner.  I am trying to wait til his teeth come in to get into a real solids schedule, but your a hungry boy!
- He still loves to be on the move.  He loves going on walks and he just watches and observes the world around him. 
- As a have said, diaper changes are a real wrestling match.
-Bath time is chaos. 
-He can take his pacifier in and out of his mouth on his own.
-He is becoming a thumb sucker.
-He loves being up on Daddy's shoulders
-I feel like his face is always changing.
-He is so sweet and smiley and cuddly and just plain love-able!

And because I love his little hands!

I know Ryan can give me a run for my money, but I wouldn't change one thing about him.  I am more in love than I ever imagined I could be!  He is perfect!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Random Thoughts

Lots on my mind recently, so here is a brief discussion of the random thoughts and happenings this week.

* Ryan said "Ma Ma" today!  It was not directed at me, and it was really just a new sound (ma ma ma ma) but it still counts.  This was the very first thing he said that was actual consonants!  He was laying in his crib, fighting sleep like always, and I could see him looking up at the ceiling just saying ma ma over and over again.  It was great!

*I did some babysitting this week and I just want to say God bless mothers of twins.  On Friday, I watched Brooklynn so I got to experience having a 6 month old AND a 2 month old.  I can't imagine doing that everyday, so if you have twins I'll pray for you!  Then on Tuesday, I watched Emma so it was a morning with a 6 month old and a 12 month old!  Again, I had my hands full.  I have realized that one of the many reasons why pregnancies last 9 months is so that you can't have kids closer than that in age.  Unless of course you are a mother of multiples, in which I say it again... God bless you!!

*On a sad note, my last time nursing Ryan was this past Thursday.  The outcome of our nursing journey is this: 5 months of almost exclusive breastfeeding and 2 months of transitioning from breastmilk to formula.  In total, Ryan was nursed for 6 months and 3 weeks.  I do really hope circumstances are different with my next child so that I can do it for even longer.  It makes me so sad to think that I will never ever nurse him again, but I honestly know that it was the right time for us both to stop.  I will miss those bonding, cuddly moments so I will have to make it up with extra cuddles during other parts of the day. 

*Diaper changes are a complete wrestling match!  I literally break a sweat when trying to change his diaper or clothes.  Now that Ryan is a boy on a mission, he does not stay nicely on his back.  As soon as I lay him down, he flips his body all over the place trying to roll around.  Sometimes I put him on the floor and basically sit on top of him just to get the job finished.  Oh boy, I can't wait til he is crawling.  This boy is going to keep me on my toes.

*Mike has been working so hard on the salon and it is almost finished!  I believe it will be complete and it working order by this weekend.  Now I need to get my name out there and hopefully fill that salon with tons of paying customers.

*Ryan still cries during his bedtime routine.  Yep, almost every night.  I long for the quiet peaceful relaxing bedtime where we take a bath and listen to lullabies and I massage lotion softly onto his chubby legs.  But no, he has a look of panic during the whole bath, we wrestle to get him in a clean diaper and I have to flip him over six times just to get his PJs on and by half way through RJ is so tired he is hysterically crying.  He does not calm down until the lights are off and he is in my arms drinking his bottle.  Does anyone else go through this 30 minutes of chaos every night before bed??

*September has been an awesome month and I am totally in love with my little man.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ordinary Day Photos

I was reading one of my favorite blogs Baby Rabies and she gave me a great idea.  The photo challenge was to take 1 picture an hour from the minute you wake up until you go to bed on just a plain old regular day.  The photos should not be planned or posed, the house does not need to be clean, you shouldn't dress in a special outfit... the idea is just to get pictures of what a normal day is like.  We all take tons of pictures of special days and birthdays and holidays, but one day we are going to miss the ordinary days.  I was so excited to do this and I hope to do it a few times a year. 

So our ordinary day was Thursday, September 15, 2011.  It was very sunny and warm all day.  We had nothing special planned, it was a normal Thursday.  I'll admit I took way more than 1 picture an hour, but I won't post them all.  All of the pictures are of Ryan, because these days my ordinary days are all about him! I hope you enjoy the peak into our normal lives and that you complete the challenge too!

7:00 am - I went in to get Ryan out of his crib.  I was very lucky that this was one of the mornings that he slept all the way til 7!

7:30 am- Just finishing our morning nursing and cuddle time.  The morning is the only time I still breastfeed and I love this time with him.

7:45 am- I am not a morning person so we spend a lot of time just playing in bed before I get the energy to actually go downstairs.  This also gives us a change to hang out with Daddy as he gets ready for work.

8:30 am- Just finished a small bottle and getting ready for play time.

8:30  Getting in as much time with Dad as possible before he leaves.  Mike has such a hard time leaving every morning.

8:45 am- Log rolling across the living room, almost nap time!

10:30 am- Just woke up from his morning nap.  Getting changed and ready for the day. I tryed to get some work done while he slept.  I checked e-mails, created business cards, payed the bills... you know all that fun stuff.

11:00 am- Playing and hanging out upstairs while I tackle the laundry and cleaning.

12:00 pm- Lunch time, squash was on the menu!

12:15 Lots of kisses and cuddling after eating.

12:30 Running errands.  Today we went to Sally's for hair supplies and to the bagel place for mom's lunch.

1:00 pm- Playing in his excersaucer (his current favorite thing) so that I could eat lunch with a friend.  He was just about ready for his afternoon nap.  I did a haircut while he was sleeping. 

2:30 pm- He's awake!  Notice that he is in a different place in his crib every time he wakes up.

3:00 pm- Ryan was hanging out with Gigi because I had a hair client come.

4:00 pm- I was still working so Gigi was still babysitting. 

5:00 pm- Yay for Daddy being home.  Mike tries to get in some play time before its time for bed. 

6:00 pm - He skipped his late afternoon nap so someone is getting very tired and very cranky. 

7:00 pm- I finished working and it was time for bed.  Little man was super tired.

7:15 pm- Bedtime routine.  Change his clothes and diaper, lotion on his legs, lullabies, bottle, and cuddle time.

7:30 pm Sound asleep!!

I didn't even think to continue taking pictures until Mike and I went to bed.  So just picture me working on the computer trying to find part time jobs, Mike leaving to workout, us finally eating dinner together at around 8:45 in front of the TV watching the Big Brother Finale.  I tryed to straighten up the house during commercial breaks and we went to bed around 11. 

And that is a day in our pretty boring life! 

Friday, September 16, 2011

New Status- Work from Home mom

If you follow my blog, you probably read my very, long panicked vent about going back to work in September.  Well things got even worse in July and August.  I was an emotional basket case.  I spent most days having a nervous break down and/or hysterically crying about going back to work.  To be honest, I was having a rough time with many things in life but returning to work was the biggest of the weights on my sholders.  The logical side of me knew that I needed to go back to work.  We needed the money to be able to eventually accomplish the goals we have for our family and there was no reason for me to HAVE to stay home.  But I just couldn't come to terms with it.  I wanted to be home with my baby.  I couldn't stand the idea of leaving at 6am every morning (before he even wakes up) and not getting back until after 4 every afternoon.  Then I knew the work load that goes along with my job would mean that the time I was spending with Ryan would be compromised by grading papers, lesson planning, and doing school preparations. 

Anyway, I was feeling totally frustrated and hopeless and knew something had to change.  After many conversations... and heated arguements... my husband and I decided it was best for our family for me to extend my leave of absence from teaching.  My return to work date is now February 1, 2012.  In the mean time I needed to find some ways to make money!  The best solution for us was for me to go back to being a hair stylist. 

Here is the new plan.  Mike is currently transforming the garage into an at home salon.  I am going back to take some refresher courses on haircutting and coloring.  I am also really trying to spread the word about my new "business."  I do have a pretty good client base to start that I have been working with while teaching, but I need that to double!  In addition to working with hair, I am also trying to get some part time gigs as an English tutor.  So basically I think I now officially fit into the work from home category.  I spend my days coming up with ways to market myself, researching part time work opportunities, scheduling appointments, creating a business plan, etc. and then I spend many evenings actually doing hair.   At this point I am not tutoring, but I am actively working on that.  I have many goals (how many clients I need, how much money I need to make) and I am really working to hard to make this work.  I would love to be able to stay in this work from home mom category.  I believe its the best way for me to spend time with my son AND help earn some money that will go towards our family goals. 

Wish me luck!  Any suggestions on how  to make this profitable are welcome!

Fall Fun

The only thing that makes the end of Summer tolerable is that it is followed by Fall.  I love the fall.  I love the cooler weather, opening the windows for fresh air, pumpkin spiced coffee and beer, Halloween decorations, the change in the color of the leaves, playoff baseball, start of football season, pumpkins, and of course my birthday.  Here is my list of things I want to do this fall:

-Go apple and pumpkin picking
-Try lots of different pumpkin beers (I missed them very much when pregnant last year)
-Bake apple treats like apple crisp and homemade apple sauce
-Go on lots of walks to take in the nice weather and beautiful colors
-Carve pumpkins
-Dress Ryan up in his Halloween costume and take lots of pictures
-Do a fall photo shoot in the leaves with Ryan
-Work out!!  I am motivated!
-Totally unrelated to the fall, but I want to really market my hair business
- And hopefully watch the Yankees play (and win) playoff baseball

After a rough spring and introduction to motherhood and then a very emotionally draining summer, I am ready for a very peaceful, fun Fall!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

September 11, 2001

This is a few days late, but we have recently celebrated (not really the best word to explain the acknowledgement of) the 10 year anniversary of 9/11.  The attack on this country has become one of those days that people ask "Where were you when you heard about the plane hitting the Twin Towers?" 

I was 18 years old, and a college freshman.  I was still dating my high school sweetheart.  There was no such thing as ipods, facebook, or twitter.  The NY Giants had just won a great football game the night before.  It was a beautiful, sunny day.  I was going to community college at the time so I was still living at home.  I was getting ready for my second week of school when my father called into the bathroom to tell me a plane hit the Twin Towers.  At the time we thought it was a small private plane.  We really believed it was just an accident.  So even though it was breaking news, I finished getting ready and left for class.  By time I reached Ocean County College, the second tower was hit and the first tower fell.  I was in shock listening to all of this on the radio.  I was literally hearing the play by play on the radio.  We were all trying to figure out what the hell was going on together.  The newscasters did not know, and I sure as hell didn't know what was happening to our country, but it was pretty clear that this was not an accident.  Needless to say I didn't go in to class.  I did find out later all classes were cancelled anyway.  Living only an hour outside of NYC, many people were directly impacted by this event.  Life pretty much shut down for a few days to give people a chance to be with their families.  At this time I stopped at a Dunkin Doughnuts to get a coffee and to do what everyone else was doing, call family members to let them know I was okay.  At this time I was going up to NYC every Monday and Wednesday to take dance classes, Tuesday and Thursday I had college class.  Many family members, especially my grandmother, were panicking that I was in the city that day for dance class.  My brother and sister were currently in 7th and 12th grade so I knew they were in school and both my mom and dad were working.  We all pretty much agreed we would go straight home at the end of the day.  My grandmother cryed in relief when I called her to say I was not in the city that day. 

While at Dunkin Doughnuts, I met a much older man.  He was probably in his late 70's.  He was very nervously sipping on his coffee next to me and somehow we struck up a conversation.  It turns out he had recently moved to Toms River from north Jersey.  His wife had passed away and his youngest son had moved across the country and lost touch with him.  The only family member he still had in his life was his oldest son and daughter in law- and they both worked at the World Trade Center.  He was just waiting... waiting to here if they were alive.  I had no idea what to do to help this man, so I just stayed and sat with him.  We talked for a long time.  He told me stories about his kids and his wife, and he told me how proud he was of his son for getting some big NYC job.  After about an hour of talking with him I had to leave.  When I left, he still had not heard from his son.  I still don't know if they made it out of the towers alive or not.  I was overcome with sadness that this sweet old man might have lost the only family he had in this terror attack.  Like many people, he was suffering more than I can understand.  It was an awful day.

As the 10 year anniversary came around I couldn't help but think about that man and wonder what happened.  I watched the reading of the names on TV and saw those young kids read the names of their parents that they barely got the chance to meet.  The sadness associated with that day was a strong as ever.  But I also remembered the sense of pride I felt to be an American after that day.  I remember seeing all of the flags flying high for weeks to come and the patriotic songs playing on the radio.  I do remember how we came together as a country instead of fighting against each other.  I never want our country to go through that kind of suffering again, but I wouldn't mind returning to that place of unity we had as a country. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

My Favorite Things

I'm laying on my living room floor watching Ryan play in his activity center and I keep thinking "wow six months is really a fun stage!"

Here are just a few of my favorite things that my little bugger is doing.

-He holds my hand when I nurse him, and it melts my heart.
-His face lights up when I walk in the room, especially after a nap.
- If I have to go in his room at night to soothe him, his little hands reach up and grab my hand and he holds it until he goes back to sleep.
- He log rolls across the room to get to what he wants. It's so cute to see him so determined.
- He laughs so hard when I dance like a crazy women.
- And my very favorite thing is when he cuddles up to me when I rock him to sleep.

Yay for the hellish first few months being over. I am really loving life these days!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, September 5, 2011

Life Will Never Be Like This Again

Recently someone gave me advise that I have heard a million times since Ryan was born.  I always believed them but I didn't really think about it.  When this new person repeated the same advice for some reason this time it really hit me.  She said "Enjoy these moments, life will never be like this again."  She went on to explain how her first child grew up so quickly and then when she had her second and third child its just not the same as having your first.  Of course having additional children creates a whole new feeling of joy, but its different.  It will never be about just you and that one baby.

So I am very aware of this recently.  It has 100% changed my way of thinking.  I am officially making the extra effort to appreciate every single moment with Ryan.  I hold him a little bit longer before laying him down to sleep, I give him even more kisses, I smile extra big when he does something silly, and I watch him in awe as he learns new things each day.  I don't want to rush these days, I have a feeling they are going to be the best days of my life.  Mike and I love him more than we ever believed we could and we are going to live in the moment.  I will try not to get frustrated with the lack of sleep or upset with my lack of social life, and just be truly happy with how blessed my life is. 

I will never get to be a first time mom again, I will never get to give 100% of my love to one child again,  and Ryan will not stay my baby boy for long.  So I'm going to cherish every single second of this stage in my life!

6 Months- Happy Half Birthday!

Ryan- I CAN NOT BELIEVE you are six months old already.  Time is totally flying by.  This past month has been by far my favorite.  You are much happier, very curious, and learning new things every day.  You definitely turned a corner, you even look like a much bigger boy.  I just want to hug you and squeeze you all day long.  Here are some of the fun things we did this month.

-We celebrated both Uncle Matt and Aunt Megan's graduations.  You went to lots of parties and got to visit with lots of friends and families.
-We went to the beach a few times.
-You experienced your first earth quake AND hurricane in the same week.  The earth quake happened when you were taking a nap in your crib (and of course it woke you up).  For the hurricane, we evacuated to GiGi and Pops house and had a hurricane party with Aunt Megan, Uncle Brian, and Ciri.  Luckily we didn't have any major damage from either event. 
- You had your first overnight home alone with Daddy.  Mommy went to visit Amanda and Bennett in MD.

You are a very active boy and love to move and play.  Here are some of the thing that were significant about this past month.

* You are a very big boy!  You weigh in at 18 lbs and 11 oz (75th percentile) and are 27 inches long (also 75th percentile).  That makes you the same height as Eloise but 2 pounds heavier... and she is 3 months older than you!  But I love my Bubba boy and your chubby thighs.
* You love to roll all over the place.  You can log way across the room.   This is how you get where you want to go, just throw your legs in the air and roll in any direction.
* You love your bouncy chair and excersaucer.  You also are starting to develop favorite toys (sophie, crinkle dog, play mat, and the thing at Gigi's house that you lay on your back and kick it to make noise). 
*Your favorite game is peak-a-boo.  You will bring the blanket over your face and leave it there until someone comes over and takes it away saying peak-a-boo.
*You laugh and smile and flirt much more.
*You like to be entertained, you do get bored and fussy if no one is paying attention to you.
*You sleep through the night most nights, but you do wake up very early (normally between 5:30-6)
*Napping is still a challenge and very irregular.  Some days you nap great and some days we are back to 30 minutes at a time.  But you definitely need your sleep to be a happy boy.
*Your hair is starting to grow back, its very light as of right now.
*Your eyes are still a beautiful blue!
*You like to experiment with making new noises. Today you started doing raspberries with your lips.
*You can sit unsupported, just not for very long. 
*I know I say it every month, but I really think you are teething.  You will wake up hysterically crying, you drool A LOT, and you are pretty cranky the last few days. 
*You started solid foods.  So far you have had peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, pears, peaches, bananas, oatmeal, and rice cereal. 
* You still spit up all of the time.  I am so over this and look forward to our spit up free days.

Since this is a special month marking your half birthday, here are lots of pictures of your transformation.

Comparison next to the bear at 3 days old and 6 months old:

Bath time at a few days old and 6 months:

Pictures by the month:

And just a few more recent cute ones... just because you are so darn cute:

Being silly

6 months!

Labor Day BBQ 2011

Diaper change time Aug 2011

Ryan and Eloise July 2011