Tuesday, June 8, 2010

WE HAVE MOVED!

Hello followers, fans, and anyone else who has stumbled upon this blog....

WE HAVE MOVED!

Please switch all bookmarks or links to http://mommyburgh.com

MOMMYBURGH

It doesn't look pretty yet, but I am working on it. I will be posting over there from now on, and getting things up and running soon. I have added new posts but please be patient while I switch everything over and get a new blog button!

Thanks again!

xoxo
Erika

Friday, June 4, 2010

Recent Mobile Photos

I really need to start carrying my camera around, because mobile photos just aren't as cute. But I want to remember these, because they tend to be the most spontaneous!


helping daddy cook dinner

new slippers!

picking up her toys with her feet



*Thanks to Handmade Baby Love for the slippers!*

Moms and Dads and that Great Divide

I wasn't born yesterday, I completely understand that men and women are very different in many different ways. We don't think alike, our emotions couldn't be further apart, and we go about tasks very differently.

When it comes to parenting I understand that we both have different styles. I prefer to run to Kirsten's side the moment she is crying, not take the time to pee and lazily walk down the hallway before attending to her. I hold off on all pee breaks if she needs me. My bladder is now programmed to not work unless the baby is asleep.

Something that seems to always bother me is mostly how we just interact with the baby. Maybe bother is the wrong word.... irritate?

When Kirsten wakes up in the middle of the night and it is my turn to tend to her, I rush out of our bedroom door as though the house is on fire. I make a bottle with such speed that I even surprise myself, since it is usually some random hour like 2am. I hurry into her room, pick her up, and rock her. My theory is, if I can get to her before she REALLY wakes herself up, then it will be easily to get her back to sleep. Usually this works out well.

My husband, however, prefers to take his time when it comes to dealing with the baby. She wakes up in the middle of the night and it feels like 30 minutes goes by before he actually makes it to her room to feed her. He goes in the bathroom, takes his time making a bottle all while Kirsten is screaming from her room. I lay in bed grinding my teeth thinking, "She is going to wake up and you are going to have a heck of a time getting her back down. And then who will have to get up and finish putting her to bed?????" ::grind grind grind::

Another thing he does that always gets under my skin is his need to put her in or on things... like a bouncer or play mat. He holds her for about 5 minutes and then says, "Oh you want to go in your bouncer?" and straps her on in. He then immediately leaves the room, leaving me with the baby who HATES her bouncer!

Why do men do this? I break my back carrying her around with me, doing everything with one hand, and holding off on all projects until she is happy playing or asleep. My husband though would rather put her down and let her scream until it gets to that "oh my god I am about to die" scream.


Why are we programmed so differently? Why do we as motehrs feel this need to be attached, literally, to our babies whereas our husbands see nothing wrong with just placing the baby down and going down in the basement for 30 minutes doing who knows what (probably hiding so that I have to get the baby).

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Two Announcements

ONE
I have officially bought www.mommyburgh.com and will be moving my blog there within the next few weeks. I am also working on a new design! Stay tuned for BIG surprises and a new look!


TWO
I finally got a ticket for Blogher 2010 in NYC AUG 6th and 7th! I am beyond excited to meet all of my fellow bloggers, and a few of the people I have major blog crushes on! I can't wait to learn more about blogging and making my site a lot better.
BlogHer


Thanks to all of my readers for making this possible. I am still such a small part of the blogging world but can't wait to make these improvements and get more exciting things in motion for MommyBurgh

Welcome to Parenthood?

Maybe there is some sort of "right of passage" that I had yet to pass through until last night. This special moment between baby and parent. A very special bonding moment that will forever change the way you look at going out for dinner.

Gone are the days of taking my time to get ready when we go out for dinner. I am sure my hair will develop a permanent kink in it from all the pony tails I wear. I wear makeup sometimes for two days, just adding more to my face to get rid of the bags under my eyes. I don't curl my hair anymore; I don't wear eye shadow, and forget about lipstick!

Gone too are the days of going to restaurants that require too long of a wait, seats that make it too difficult to balance a baby on one knee, or simply sitting at the bar for faster service.

We now live in the land of high chairs, eating with one hand (which I have mastered) and only going to places that have the changing table in the bathroom (I am surprised by the places that DON'T have this feature!).

I was aware of all of this. I knew that we now entered a whole new world and I was embracing it. I enjoyed showing my baby off at restaurants and was even proud of my baby for tackling a few places that I once figured would not be baby friendly!

But this whole new life smacked me right in the forehead last night when Kirsten peed all over me in PF Changs.


My mother-in-law was holding her throughout most of dinner which meant that she barely ate. So after finishing my meal I took Kirsten so she could eat. She was acting especially squirmy but I figured it was due to us sitting at the most uncomfortable booth ever (when holding a child). I tried to entertain her but she refused to sit or stop moving.

That is when I felt it, gushes of liquid going down my leg. I reached down and felt my dress... yep... soaked. I held her up and saw that her entire lower half was literally dripping in pee.

Great..........

I grabbed the diaper bag and held her away from my body as we made our way through the restaurant to the bathroom. The whole time I prayed to every God possible that 1. there was a changing area and 2. I had the sense to bring a spare outfit. Thankfully both were true.

I cleaned her up and she giggled and smiled at me, knowing full well what she had just done. I couldn't help laugh. Of course I would get peed on the day that I actually put on nice clothes for a dinner out. I usually wear my "mommy clothes." You know what I mean, the clothes that are somehow stain proof or at least already have so many stains and marks on them that any new ones would go unnoticed.

This experience certainly will not keep me from taking her out. And hopefully it won't keep me from wanting to dress up every so often. But I feel like now we have been ushered into parenthood with a proper initiation.

Thank-you Kirsten. I look forward to you pooping on me the first time I wear white pants out on one of our dinner dates!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I ask you... Why?

No seriously, WHY?


Why is it that that motherhood causes us to become absolutely batty about things "possibly" happening? Let me be more specific... while pregnant, from about 37 weeks on, I felt like every little twitch, gurgle, or pain was me going into labor. Baby kicked... OH MY GOD ITS TIME! Of course it wasn't time. I would know when it was time. But as someone who NEVER experienced labor before, I took every little minor thing as a sign that the baby was about to come flying out of my body and someone needed to be there to catch it.

Well now that the baby is out, and someone successfully caught her, I have new "OH MY GOD THIS IS IT" moments. These are now called I MUST BE PREGNANT AGAIN moments. I am in constant fear of getting pregnant again. Not that I wouldn't welcome another baby and be extremely happy about it, but honestly, not now, please! We are good with one, and will discuss another at a later day (if ever).

Here I am, nearly 5 month post giving birth, and I live in constant fear of being knocked up. And every little thing that happens to me I see as a sign. Perhaps it is because with Kirsten we had no idea I was pregnant until about 11 weeks along. I went through those first weeks thinking I had the flu, the heat was just getting to me, or my hormones were out of control. Turns out, I was pregnant.

So now everything is a sign pointing directly towards being pregnant. I get a stomach ache, must be pregnant. I feel a little dizzy, must be pregnant. I snap at my husband, MUST BE PREGNANT!

I cannot tell you how many times I have thought of running to the store to get the 50 pack of pregnancy tests, just so I have them handy for all of these moments. Chances are I would go through it in a week. I did pee on the ol' stick once since having Kirsten, and of course it was negative. But I had myself convinced I had a bun in the oven due to feeling car sick earlier that day.

So why is it that we do this to ourselves? Is it just me? Or are we doomed to now read into everything? I spent an entire pregnancy thinking something was wrong. Every little feeling just had to mean something. I could not just let it go or calm down and trust myself.

Why people? Why must we be doomed to a lifetime of over analyzing and keeping the pregnancy stick business booming???

Wordless Wednesday

Summer is....




a great city with fabulous friends


days so hot that your hair curls


safari gear


the beginnings of a garden

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My Summer Pledge

This summer I pledge to.......



* learn patience with my daughter. I promise to not gritting my teeth, which causes huge headaches, thus me losing my cool way too often with people, especially her.

* go on more walks. Baby, you WILL learn to love your stroller!

* put on a bathing suit at least twice a week

* visit more farmer's markets and cook with more fresh ingredients!

* turn my green house into an actual green house, where real flowers and plants live. Not the weeds who currently reside inside.

* paint my kitchen, master bedroom, and hallway

* drink less coffee, and more smoothies

* eat outside at restaurants

* take in every moment, savor every second, and create the best memories for Kirsten. Even though she won't remember this summer, I want it to be one of her BEST

Monday, May 31, 2010

Baby's First Sleepover

What a weekend!

We had our first night away from baby this weekend and it went much better than expected. I had the usual worries.... will she be buckled into her car seat properly? will they feed her the way she likes it? All the normal stuff that a mother worries about when giving her child to someone else for the evening.

We dropped Kirsten off Sunday morning for my parents to watch her for the night. We drove home and I almost felt lost. No baby to bounce on my hip, no eating with one hand while she sits on my knee, no hitting pause on the tv because she pooped in her diaper in the middle of Real Housewives of NYC. Just quiet. A quiet house and two people with nothing to do. So I layed out and got a tan.

We had the pleasure of attending a wedding Sunday evening for our dear friends Dana and Brandon. It was on the Gateway Clipper and sailed all over Pittsburgh. It was a great wedding, with amazing views of the city and lots of friends. We danced, took in the scenery, and just enjoyed our night without responsibilities.

Coming home that night was a bit different.... no tip toeing past her bedroom, whispering in bed, or turning the tv down so low that we may as well have it on mute. Nope, no baby so no need to worry about a thing. It was really awkward, to be truthful. How did I do this before? How did we live in this house WITHOUT the baby?

We picked her up this morning, Memorial Day. She was smiling and happy. We got a great report on how she slept last night and how she was a huge hit at the picnic my parents attending with her. Of course she perfect, she wasn't with her parents and could do whatever she wanted at grandma and grandpa's house. What kid wouldn't be on their best behavior? Even at nearly 5 months she understands that concept!

Here are a few photos from the wedding.....





Friday, May 28, 2010

Testing out the bathing suit...




I bought this suit for Kirsten when she was a week old. We were buried under about 20 inches of snow and I was daydreaming about taking her to the pool this summer. And here we are, pools open this weekend the weather is amazing!

So of course we had to give the suit a test run. We also tried out our Monkey Doodlez swim diapers! I started my cloth diaper experience by thinking we would only use re-usable swim diapers... boy we have come so far!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

4 Month Photos (finally)

I finally got around to taking Kirsten's 4 Month photos!!!!







I was trying to set the timer, pose Pete, and get out in time, all while getting Kirsten to smile. Obviously it did not work!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lets Play Barbies!

I was babysitting a two year old named Addison the other day, and watching her play with her Barbies got me thinking.....

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As a child, I loved Barbies. I was a total tomboy but man did I love Barbies. I had probably 150, along with all the essentials... Barbie dream house, bath tub, convertible, and hair salon. I also had the special tape player and all of the cassette tapes (looking back, what music was even on those tapes? Probably subliminal messages telling us to buy more plastic crap).

Anyway, regardless of my love for getting muddy and never brushing my hair, I loved having Barbies. However, there was a major problem. I refused to keep any of their clothes on! That is right, I had 150 naked Barbies in my playroom and I had no desire to change it.

My parents used to beg me to put clothes on my dolls, but I refused. I referred them in the buff, and would not hear otherwise. I am sure they were beyond embarrassed when guests would come over and see the pile of naked dolls.

I was certain that all little girls acted this way. Every girl that got a Barbie for her birthday would thank Sally for the great gift and them promptly strip the doll naked and toss her in the pile with the other nudists. Truth was, all of my friends managed to keep their dolls' clothes on and their parents did not hide their faces when their kid took the doll in public.

I loved showing off my Barbies. I would hold them up proudly and say, "Look, this is Lifeguard Barbie! See?" Clearly there was no way of telling if it were Lifeguard, Traffic Guard, or even Doctor Barbie.... they all had ZERO clothes on! But I insisted on knowing which one was which.

I wil say, I did exercise some self restraint when it came to the special limited edition Christmas Barbies. These were something to be envied, and I knew it. I would brag at school to all my friends that I had every single Christmas Barbie since I was born (which to a 6 year old, is a long time!). These Barbies remained in their boxes and sat on my shelf, looking down at me, and constantly taunting me with their beautiful dresses. I somehow managed to never open any of their boxes... something I am thankful for today but am sure nearly sent me to the psych ward at the age of 8.

I wonder if Kirsten will be a Barbie nudist like her mom?

Wordless Wednesday


crazy hair and big smiles

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

We are now on Facebook!

Check it out kids, we are now on Facebook!

The page is extremely elementary at the moment, I hope to work with it more tomorrow.

MommyBurgh on Facebook


Tell your friends, tell your co-workers, tell your enemies.... we're expanding!

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Things We Do....


Oh the things we do to our children. I always promised myself I wouldn't be a mom who put strange outfits on my child simply for my own pleasure, rule officially broken the day I saw huge flowered headbands for baby girls! I also told myself I would not place my baby in poses for photos that would come back one day to haunt her..... sorry Kirsten!!!!

Mom's Got Skills

I read a lot of fellow mommy bloggers and a lot of people post about the funny talents they came up with or never knew they had until they became a mom. It is so true, we sign up to feed, cloth, nurture, and take care of a baby, but the job quickly turns into 500 different things before the kid even turns 1.

Here are a few skills I have now acquired since becoming a mommy....


* I can now feed a baby (bottle) and type on the computer at the same time. I'd like to thank my many years of talking on the whole while doing my nails for this particular skill. Sometimes I use the "bottle under the chin" method or opt for the "reach around" where I cradle the baby and hold the bottle in the same hand.

* All moms know how to army crawl from very early on. We learned this because we are absolutely 100% scared to wake a sleeping baby. Why? Because there are some days when it takes literally ALL DAY to get the kid to sleep in the first place. Or maybe Oprah is REALLY good today and we just need 10 more minutes! I have army crawled my way in and out of Kirsten's room on many occasions. I do this either to insert a binky or turn her jungle sound machine on repeat to keep her asleep. The object of this game? If baby sees you, you're done. The screaming and rolling around will start and you are forced to pick her up and DVR the rest of 16 & Pregnant.

* You lose all sense of privacy. I first lost it when I got my dog. He had to be everywhere that I went, including the bathroom, so I started to use it with the door wide open. I moved in with my husband, then boyfriend, and I regained my privacy. I couldn't let him know of all the secret things that went on in the bathroom when a woman was in there, so I closed the door and would try to pee as quietly as possible. I eventually got over that fear but still would feel the need to unwrap a tampon as though I was diffusing a bomb. This was short lived, because we got pregnant and the baby arrived. Gone are my days of ever closing the bathroom door. I leave it open simply because I am terrified she will hear it and wake up. Or I need to keep an eye on her while she plays on the floor outside the door. Even better, I learned VERY quickly to pee while she was strapped to my in her Moby wrap. Never thought I'd see the day where I would be peeing while a person was attached to my chest sleeping.

* You know those spots in your floor that creek every time you step on them? We have a lot in our house because an old wood floor is under our carpeting, so really no one can walk though without being detected. Since our dog is very far from being a guard dog, this is our only line of defense against a robber. Well since having the baby they have become a problem. I put her down and creek my way out of her room, usually causing her to stir. Or I try to walk up the stairs and to my bedroom just to get a small item, and what could have been a good nap turns into her waking up and screaming. All because of a creek in the floor! Well I'm crafty and like all moms learn the tricks to keep a kid asleep. I can now navigate my way through my entire house without hitting a single spot that will moan or creek under my feet. I can even do this in pitch black night. My husband has yet tp fully grasp this concept of being quiet after baby goes to bed, but me, I am a pro.

Summer? Is That You?

Sorry for neglecting the blog the past few days. We ventured out to Central PA to visit my parents and I took a break from life for a bit. Actually, in all honesty, their computer is slow and I hate sitting and waiting for pages to load.

Anyway, we had a wonderful weekend at there and it really got me excited for summer.

We talk endlessly about summer and all of the adventures we cannot wait to go on... like the zoo, random walks through parks, vacations, and the local water park. My number one thing I am excited about is getting Kirsten into a bathing suit. I cannot wait to see her chubby legs sticking out of a bikini as she wades in a shallow pool, tugging at the hat I insist she wears, and finding a way to swallow half of the pool water.

This weekend really made the whole "it's summer" thing real. We went on walks around the neighborhood (which, by the way, is the best walking neighborhood on the planet. Tons of kids, great streets, and amazing houses), cooked out, and just were lazy. I love that about summer, the freedom to do whatever you want.

We live in Western PA where the snow is always 80% of the year, it was so cold that I am honestly surprised my fingers have yet to fall off, thus making malls the only place to really go for a walk or social interaction for about 6 months out of the year. So my bank account officially stays at zero and I stuff myself full of pretzels and iced coffees. It is fun for the first 2 months, but that longing for summer begins very shortly after Thanksgiving.

This weekend really opened my eyes to the little girl that Kirsten is on her way to becoming. She sat in the exersaucer at my parents' house and actually played with the toys. She spun herself around when she heard a sound behind her, turned the little rattles, and pushed the buttons to hear the kitty or puppy. She would look up at me with the largest grin, giggle, and then go about her business. She was almost validating what she was doing by checking in with me and saying, "Look mom, I'm a big girl!"

This gave me images of her sitting up and playing with toys, actually playing with them and not just shoving them in her mouth. Sitting in our backyard while we grill and enjoying the evening. Or being able to ::gasp:: entertain herself. I realize we are worlds away from so many things, but the renewal of the seasons and everyone's sanity really only makes these milestones that much clearer.

And with that... we are heading to the backyard to hangout and grill some steaks!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Do you ever wonder "what if"

Do you ever wonder where you would be in life if certain things never happened? If you would be a different person or still be on the same path?

I always go through my laundry list of past boyfriends and think, "Oh God why did I date that LOSER?" But maybe I had to date that loser in order to find my wonderful husband?

Before Todd I dated someone who was incredibly abusive and an alcoholic. Did I mention that on top of those wonderful attributes he was also addicted to gambling? I dated this gem of a guy for about 7 months. I spent wasted 7 months of my life with someone who was nothing but toxic. Why did I do this? Mostly because I felt really lonely. I needed someone to be there with me while my friends moved on with their lives or were off doing amazing things. I felt stuck in my life, thus I latched on to someone who will forever be stuck in his own life.

Those 7 months were absolutely terrible, with a sprinkling of a few nice moments. (I did my dog from him after all). He stole money from me, treated me like a servant, and never did anything out of the kindness of his own heart. I cooked him dinners, drove him around, sat at bars while he gambled away hundreds of dollars (sometimes large chunks of my paychecks).

I remember one time I had the flu, barely able to keep my head up let alone hold any sort of conversation or sit in a bar for hours. But where was I? At the bar, with my head on the counter, waiting as he spent 4 hours gambling. He was in another part of the bar, as I sipped on orange juice and got sympathetic looks from the bartender, and would text me to bring him another beer. A beer on my dime. About 12 beers in, and $200 lost, he decided it was time to go home. We walked out of the bar, or should I say, I carried him out of the bar. We got into my car and I listened for the twenty minute car ride about how I am a terrible person because I "judge" him for his decisions. I never said a word, but me sitting at the bar looking miserable gave him the impression that I was silently judging him for being an alcoholic who gambled way too much.

It wasn't until a few months later, when he ditched me at a wedding that I decided I needed to move on. Funny thing is, I never cried. I did not shed one tear for this guy. Moving past him was difficult though. I figured it would be easy, considering he was so horrible. Why wouldn't it be easy to move on from someone who sucked that bad? But his damage was done and I was left a hollow shell of a person. I started going out, a lot. I was obsessed with being friends with everyone, and being someone that everyone knew. I worked out all the time and became obsessed with my image. I wasn't myself, but I was getting attention, and that was all I needed.


(this was me, who was I?)


About 6 months later I met my soon-to-be husband and everything changed. I slowly but surely got myself out of that dark hole and became the person I was always supposed to be. I look back and wonder if all of this mattered. If all those "friends" I made were genuine (my guess is no) and if I really did look beautiful. I look at photos from that time and think, "Is that seriously me?" I am so different from that person, so far removed. I give Todd a lot of credit for pulling me out of that period of my life, but a lot of it was my own will power. I wanted to become a better person, and so I did. I got a job as a nanny, finished school, and we moved in together. I started to enjoy simple things and nights in, instead of having to constantly be social. I started to read more often and work on who I was on the inside. We would sit on our deck and talk for hours about nothing at all, and that was amazing to me.

I have come such a long way since dating the boyfriend before Todd, and I can't even imagine still being on that path. I look back and wonder if any of that even happened. It did, and it happened for a reason. Going through all of that made me a stronger person, and made me into the mother that I am today. I want Kirsten to know that people will come and go into her life, and even though she will suffer from many broken hearts, to hold out, because her true love could be just around the corner. And I hope she never under estimates herself. I was so weak after dating that guy, and was even weaker in the aftermath, but somehow found a reason to lift myself up and make myself better.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wait wait wait... I can't do it all??




I came across the above image while messing around with Comedy Central's Indecision 2008. It is Election Day and I was reminded of all the hilarity that ensued while McCain and Obama were duking it out.

I used to be someone who followed politics regularly. I was very well educated and could hold my own in a conversation with most people on any topic. However, since having my baby, it took a back seat to bottles, diapers, and poop explosions.

However, now that I have to deal with some decisions politics all of a sudden are playing a major role in my life. Should I be a stay-at-home mom? Could I stay within the work force and manage my household at the same time? What sorts of jobs are out there for me? How will I be judged on both sides of the spectrum... whether I stay at home or work?

I took a lot of women's studies courses in college and am pretty well versed in the history of women in the workforce, and women in the domestic sphere. It is such a complicated web, and it seems that history only goes in circles when it comes to these topics.

We have the Roaring 20s when women wanted to be sexually liberated and free. They pulled up their skirts, wore their hair short, and basically stuck their middle finger up to staying at home and being Suzy Homemaker.

But then we have the big turn around, the 1950s when women were seen going back home and regaining their role as the domestic housewife after the men came back from the war. They took pride in their homes, were taken for a ride when consumerism had a huge boom, and strived for perfection.

Of course both of these are merely just stereotypes. Of course there were other things going on during both these times. These women were apart of a certain class that could allow them these luxuries. But it still says a lot for women's history.

I feel like we just keep making these circles. We go from making leaps and bounds when it comes to women in the workforce, and then turn around and celebrate women in the domestic sphere. Which is both great! But it leaves a new mother almost lost and confused. Well, at least this mother.

Basically it comes down to what we can afford. Could I stay home? No. So my only option is to go out and work. But what does that say about me? I am now tossed into the pool of women known as "Working Mothers" and for years it seems like the "Working Mother" and the "Stay-At-Home Mother" have had it out for one another. Why is that?

I worked for a family (as a nanny) who were never home. The parents were absent and I was made into the main parental figure. I took care of the two boys from morning to night, only handing them over for bed time and weekends. The other worked long hours, and the dad was basically nonexistent. I saw the toll that it took on the two boys and felt for them. My heart reached out for them when they preferred me over their own mother, calling for me when they woke up in the middle of the night and not "mama."

"I will not do this to my own children," I promised myself. I will not be the mother who is only there part of the time, and basically paying someone to do my job.

Then I had Kirsten and I saw first hand how difficult it is to live on one income and have a baby. It is just something that we cannot do, and it breaks my heart to know that I do have to be the mom that leaves her child in the care of others. However, I still don't have to be "that" mom, the one that is completely tuned out to their children, and relies on help to do EVERYTHING for the kids.

If I go back to work will people judge me and think that I am not a good mother? I read on message boards constantly that fight between working and SAHMs and think to myself, "why can't we find some common ground?" Why is one better than the other? Why does one make me a better mother? SAHMs cry out "I have the hardest job on the planet!" as if having to hear the words to validate their choices. And working moms scream, "Going to work makes me a better mother for when I am there with the baby." They are doing the same thing, validating their choices. It is as though our culture is forcing us to feel guilty regardless of our choices.

So where are we now? Are we the 1920s flappers who lives freely and had no worries? or are we the 1950s June Cleavers trying to make our lives as perfect as possible. I like to think we are somewhere in the middle, but there is still a huge struggle as to which is the most acceptable.

Even though I have to choose working, I am not sure how I will deal with the stigma that is automatically cast upon it. Will I care? Do I have to care? We'll see.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

How Did We Get This Kid?

Todd and I were talking this weekend about how awesome our baby is... probably our favorite subject the past 4 months. We started out by questioning, "did you think we would get this baby?" When I was pregnant we imagined what she would look like, and came to the conclusion that she would look just like me. See, the genes in my family are super strong, as seen through myself and my brother (we look just like our dad) and my brother's children (they look JUST like my dad). All of my dad's siblings have children that look just like them and so on... Basically my dad's side of the family are a bunch of freaks who all look alike.

We had an ultrasound that Todd swore up and down looked just like me. I didn't see it really, but went with it. I secretly loved the fact that our baby would be a mini me.

Then we had our baby....





When she came out it was hard to tell who she really looked like, because her face was wrinkled up in an angry little ball of fury. Then I got to hold her, and really get a good look at her, and realized that she looked not a thing like me. She was 100% her daddy!

As you can see from the photos... all daddy.

But then there is her personality. We should have known from that first moment that she would be a handful. She came out screaming, and continues to make her presence known where ever she goes. She is so loud and full of energy. She wants to be on the floor rolling around, grabbing onto things, watching the tv, apart of conversation... she just has to be apart of the energy that is going on in the room, and usually, she is the energy. From morning to night she just goes goes goes....

Did I think she would be this way? This little girl just full of personality who is the spitting image of her dad? No. But man am I excited that we have her.

Other babies are cooing or sleeping silently in their car seats at restaurants. Kirsten prefers to pull at the table linens and scream her head off like a dinosaur when the waiter comes over to refill our waters. She would rather be up and in your face, than lying on a bouncer minding her own business. She hates being in or on something that is away from the action. No swings, bouncers, play mats... she needs to be on your lap engaged in your conversation.

She is a handful. We don't get a break until she goes to bed at night. Did I think this would be my kid? No. And I wouldn't trade her for anything.

I hope she grows up to have the biggest personality. I hope she is always curious. I hope she always wants to be apart of the action. I never want her to be shy or think she isn't good enough to hang out with anyone. She is the funniest little girl I ever met, and I cannot wait to see her develop even more.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Our Day at the Zoo

One would think that having a shih-tzu at home would be enough, but we decided we needed to check out the other exotic animals in our neighborhood and bought a season pass to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.

It was a wonderful day, and the weather was amazing. Best part, Kirsten was an angel the whole day. She barely made a sound, checked out all the animals, and enjoyed some good people watching too.

Afterwards we went to the Church Brew Works in Lawrenceville and had a yummy dinner. Again, Kirsten was awesome. I think she knew people were watching and wanted to put on a show. "Look everyone, I'm such a good baby. Look how lucky my parents are! I'm such a good girl." Meanwhile, we were onto her little tricks. Regardless, we were happy that she enjoyed the day as much as we did. Truly a great family day.







Friday, May 14, 2010

Conversations with Kirsten

Because conversations with babies are the only social interactions I have anymore.....


4 Month Checkup

We took Kirsten to her 4 month visit yesterday, and it was interesting to say the least. My dear sweet baby just did not want anything to do with the doctor. From the second we walked in, and her eyes popped open from her nap, she was against being there. I tried shaking her pink kitty in front of her, but she only wailed even louder. I picked her up, showed her the fish tank, and talked to her about how we have been here before, and the doctor is a really nice guy. She gave the place a sideways stare (I think she watched way too much Max & Ruby) and decided to go with it... for now.

Once inside the room that is when everything just fell apart. She saw the nurse and knew the jig was up. This was not something that would be fun and exciting as I had tried to explaint o her. No, this was going to be terrible, and she wanted to get out ASAP.

Kirsten 4 Month Stats:
weight: 12.5 lbs
height: 23.4 inches

Basically Kirsten is doomed to be a shorty like her mama! Sorry kiddo!

The shots went as well as expected. She screamed from start to finish and no matter what toy I shoot in front of her, or what song I sang, she screamed.

The doctor advised us that he wants us to only do rice cereal for now, twice a day and then adding a lunch time meal when she is ready. I was sort of confused, because she loved her sweet potatoes so much. I figured, as long as she doesn't have a reaction and wants to eat it, then there is no problem. He said he wants to wait on veggies or fruits for her until 6 months!

Once we got home Kirsten wanted to show us that she is not that demon child that took over her body at the doctor's office. She was really great and happy, which was good because some babies can have bad reactions to shots. To show us that she is a big girl she decided to sit for about 2 minutes by herself. And me, being the super photographer, captured it!




She fell asleep around 7:30pm (a lot earlier than usual) and was up and ready to party around 3:30am. So I joined her party, and we both passed out around 5:30am.

All in all it was a good doctor's visit. I'm over being upset about the whole solids thing. Maybe I did push her, and maybe she is ready. We will try the rice cereal when I can convince my husband that it is a good idea to keep practicing it with her. Untul then, I'll just enjoy my little 4 month old girl!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Finding My Way Back


Remember all those promises you made your husband way back when you first got pregnant? Or maybe you both promised these things to each other...

From the moment we learned we were pregnant (hugest surprise ever) we began making promises to one another. The first promise was that everything would be okay. Surely enough that promise was easy to keep. We made it through the shock together, and grew to really love being pregnant, and once Kirsten was born we forgot all about those initial fears.

The next promises were more selfish. "I promise I will never fall out of love with you." or "I promise to never lose that spark." These promises came when we realized that a child would change our way of life majorly, and we were getting very comfortable with how things were going. So it was scary facing the fact that our days were numbered as an independent couple. We went out whenever we wanted, ate whenever we wanted, and slept in on Sunday mornings. Things were going really well. We made all these promises to always make time for each other, to still go out with friends, and not forget who were were before baby.

... and then the baby came!

All those promises seemed to be lost in our new, chaotic life. Like zombies we wake up in the middle of the night and feed the baby, then wake up no later than 6am every morning. No more sleeping in on Sundays or staying up past 10pm. We come home from work and play "pass the baby" with each other. The person without the baby races around the house trying to get things done, like laundry or making dinner. Dinner is something that needs to be made within 30 minutes, or else we lost our window. No more steaks or making pizza from scratch. All of that is traded in for veggies that can be made in the microwave and plain chicken made in a pan. One person gobbles up dinner as the other dances around the room with the baby, then switch.

After the baby goes to bed at 9pm we are so exhausted that we just stare at the tv until someone finally says, "lets go to bed." All we talk about is the baby. No more discussions about politics or making elaborate plans for summer vacations. If we do make future plans we go through the laundry list of things we need to know before we can go somewhere... can we take the baby? is it stroller friendly? what will the weather be like? we need to go early so we don't interrupt her sleep schedule! how long will we be in the car?

So my question is.... what the heck happened? What happened to, "the baby won't change US." What happened to, "we will go everywhere with the baby. She will love restaurants and parks and museums!" Don't babies love these things? Apparently not ours!

I laugh when our friends mention the restaurants they go to with their baby. I think to myself, "my baby would cause such a scene!" We only take Kirsten to very family friendly places, where we know her screaming will be muffled by other babies screaming or the sound of 20 televisions broadcasting a game. And there always has the be the option of just grabbing the food and leaving at the first sign of a major tantrum.

So when did the promises fade away? Of course the first few weeks we were just trying to survive, and make it through our day. We loved our baby so much that it really didn't matter what we did, or if we ever left the house. Now, the weeks go by and we stop and realize that we didn't go anywhere except for work and the grocery store.

I find myself getting angry with my husband over the smallest things. I never cared before that he always managed to get more salt on our kitchen counters than on his food. I never cared when he left cups all over the house. Now, it angers me to no end! My blood begins to boil when I walk in the room and see salt all over and cups just left about. I snap at him, "could you help out a little bit?? Is it THAT hard to pick up a glass??" I'm sure he thinks to himself that I am on a constant 24/7 period, unable to see past the hormones.

The reality is that we are new at this, and we still have yet to find our groove. We always make promises. We make them daily. We always say, "when she is older we can do this" or "maybe when the weather gets warmer we can go out more." And the weeks just keep going by without much change. I am going to start making a real effort to start checking things off these promise lists. Who cares if Kirsten throws a fit in the middle of a restaurant, or she just isn't down with the zoo that day. At least we did something as a family.

Also, I am going to make more of an effort to connect with my husband like we used to. Instead of staring at the tv after the baby has gone to bed, I'm going to ask him about his day, and actually listen. I do care, it is just so hard to do when lists are flying through your head and your nerves completely fried.

I never thought we would be that couple, the one that needed to remind themselves that they are in love and all of this started with just the two of us. And at one point we did get along perfectly fine, without all this chaos.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day!

On Mother's Day this year I decided to participate in the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure here in Pittsburgh. It was such a fantastic day, aside from the cold weather. There were so many people there and the walk was a ton of fun!




It was really incredible to walk with all of these women who are survivors, or families who lost a loved one or were celebrating a person who survived cancer. As we walked I read all of the signs on people's backs and was amazed by how many people are affected by cancer.

I hope to do this next year, and involve Kirsten and my mother. It was far too cold to take the baby (the original plan) but I am so happy that I did this regardless of going by myself.


the photos are from the race and me afterwards!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Scout Organic Clothing GIVEAWAY (CLOSED)



Happy Mother's Day!

As a special mother's day treat to you guys, I am having a giveaway! The amazing people over at Scout Organic Baby and Kids Clothing offered one of my readers a really amazing prize..... ANYTHING IN THEIR STORE! You read that right, you can pick one thing, anything, from their store!

I was so amazed and happy to hear about this giveaway and wanted to start it tonight!

Just to tell you a little bit about their products, we have a pair of pants and a dress from Scout and love them. They are organic kids clothing sized for baby - kids. We love the way they feel and how stretchy the clothing is! Since we cloth diaper, I really struggle to find pants that fit over the diaper. Stretchy baby pants just do not cut it! I would have to buy a size larger, and since Kirsten's legs are so short, everything is then way too long. Poor baby has to wear leg warmers or rompers all the time if she has on her cloth diapers.




I found Scout clothing and decided to give it a shot. They have skinny shorts and I was really curious if they would fit over a diaper. I ordered a pair and a matching dress to go with it. I opened the package and was instantly impressed by the colors and material. I washed them and they only got softer! I strapped on Kirsten's diaper and pulled up the pants (I bought them according to her age, not a size larger) and they fit really well! Finally, pants that fit her!!

Both the boys and girls clothing are cute and practical. Great lounging clothes, but cute enough to go out and look their best!



Giveaway Rules
~ giveaway will end on Monday May 10th at 9pm EST
~ one winner will be chosen using www.random.org
~ I will contact the winner for their address and forward it to Scout to receive their chosen product.
~ Winner may choose ONE item from ANY of their collections as a prize
~ put each entry in a separate comment!

Entries
please be sure to leave me a valid email address so I may contact you!
entry number one MUST be completed before doing any additional entries!

1. Go to Scout's site and let me know which item you would choose if you won!

additional entries

2. Follow me on Twitter PGHmommy

3. "Like" Scout on Facebook

4. Tweet the giveaway! Between NOW and the end of the giveaway you can tweet up to 5 times, for one entry each! Leave me the link to your tweet!
You can create one of your own or use this: Mother's Day Giveaway! Win ANY item from Scout Organic kids clothing! http://tinyurl.com/2ahbe5l Ends Monday! @PGHmommy

5. Become a blog follower!!! Already a follower? Just let me know!


Good luck!!!




and the winner is................

(I based this off of 34, even though there were 30 comments. The last comment is actually 4 entries in one)





Congrats to Number 14!!!! I will be contacting you soon for your information and the item of your choice!

Thanks to everyone for entering!

More giveaways coming soon!

You are 4 Months Old Today


Dearest Baby Kirsten,

Perhaps I should stop calling you baby, because you are no longer a baby but a little person. When you were really little we used to always say, "oh one day she will be grabbing onto things, sitting on her own, rolling around the room." All of these things were out of your reach. They seemed like these goals that were years away.

Well my dear, they are so much closer than you think. You love to hold things and immediately shove them into your mouth. Sometimes I think you wished your mouth were bigger, so you could fit sea horse's head right in there. You get so angry when the links on your play mat will not stay in your little grip. You twist and turn on your mat, all red faced and frustrated. However, along with all that anger comes turning over, another milestone we never though you could reach.

You turn your little body and roll right from your back to your belly. Most of the time you get sidetracked by your little hand, preferring to stick it in your mouth and drool all over your fingers to rolling onto your belly. We know that you can do it, we also know that you are simply choosing to do things your own way.

I can see those tiny gears in your head working hard at figuring things out. "Now is this stuffed monkey too large to fit into my mouth? Or maybe if I twist it in such a way, I can get at least most of it in there. More importantly though, what the heck are those things attached to my legs???" You love your feet! While feeding you and watching you play, you rub them together, almost as though it comforts you.

Even though you hate both of your strollers, I know one day you will love going on walks with me. I cannot wait to stroll through parks, just me and you, enjoying a beautiful Pittsburgh afternoon. I also know that you will eventually not need me to do all of these things for you. Soon you will be sitting on your own, able to entertain yourself. Soon you will be able to hold your bottle, thus causing me to be completely useless.

But my darling, this month you reached some amazing new heights. We started solids and you love them. Just like your grandmother, you are in love with sweet potatoes! Your little faced stained orange and most of the food going on the bib, you gobble up as much as I can stuff into that little mouth.

As I always promise, I will try my best not to let you grow up too fast. I will keep a close eye on you as you discover the world around you, and try to see things through your eyes. You make this world appear so amazing and new, I love that you can help me see things in a whole new way. I love that you follow my voice, and every time I catch your eye, it as though you are seeing me for the first time. People always comment that they can tell that you love me so much, just by the way you look at me. And I get choked up every time I see your little face light up because of something that I did. I hope I always light up your world. And I hope we can always be patient with one another. I am learning as I go too kiddo!

I love you so much. And really can't wait to see what this month brings. You grow and change every day, and I love that I am here to see every second of it.

With love, always,
Mommy


The first photo I ever took of you

and the winner is....

Now to announce the winner of the Boogie Wipes giveaway!
Thanks so much to all who participated! A new giveaway will begin next week!!!!!!







CONGRATS to #31






I will be contacting you to get your mailing information so you can receive your prize!!!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tales of a Poopy Diaper: Shopping

I am pretty certain Mother Nature was on her period last week; because we had TWO count em, TWO poopy diaper blowouts while using disposable diapers. I tried to justify it by using Huggies Pure and Natural diapers (hey, the package says they are environmentally safe!) but she was having none of it.

I wrote about the first episode, where we had poop all the way up the back and then Mrs. Smug Pants Magee decided to just make my day even better!

Well episode number two occurred two days later. I was out and about with the baby, again, trying to shop for various items. I was at an outdoor strip mall, enjoying the weather with Kirsten inside her ERGO baby carrier. She was having a good time, seeing the world from my vantage point, and I felt really good about the day. After the whole dress shopping debacle I was really excited for a good shopping experience.

I was breezing through the home goods section of TJ Maxx when the explosion happened. I looked down at Kirsten and she was red faced and really concentrating on something. I knew it, I know that face far too well. Just then the whole store heard her butt just explode! Thankfully the baby was in clear sight, or else I would have to play the "no it was the baby" game with the people who were standing nearby. An older woman giggled and said, "oooooh someone really had to go! hehehehe" Thanks lady, if it's so funny, how about I pass her off and YOU change the diaper!?

Anyway, I figured she would be pushing for a bit, so I gathered my items and headed for checkout. Things were beginning to get stinky so I tried to face her away from the guy checking us out. He must have thought I was crazy, turning away from him and not making eye contact or giving in to his small talk. Sorry dude, no time to discuss the weather! I have a poo-sposion attached to me torso!

Thankfully there was a Panera Bread next door. I ran inside and began setting up the diaper station, feeling good about being super prepared this time. As I unhooked the carrier and began to take Kirsten off of me, that is when I saw it, she pooped all the up the front, through the front of her pants and ONTO ME!!! (Tori Spelling discussed this in her book MommyWood and when I found out I was having a girl I anticipated this moment. The “poo up the puss” moment. Well here it was, thanks for the warning Tori!)

Dear Karma, THANK YOU!

I never changed a poo-explosion that quickly. I was terrified someone would walk in and think I decided to roll around in my daughter's dirty diaper. Without anything to really do about myself (I was wearing a yellow dress at the time) I attached Kirsten to me and sprinted for the exit. I could only imagine how badly we smelled, or how weird it must have looked to see me run full sprint from the bathroom to the parking lot!

Thankfully we got home quickly and I was able to change us both. Kirsten just giggled and chewed on her hand, her answer to all of life's problems. I chose to soak my dress and pray for a better shopping experience next time.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Solids -- Take Two




The solids have been going very well, and this time I managed to get some photos! We are still on sweet potatoes, they seem to be an over-all hit! Everyone I talk to tells me that their baby loved them too in the beginning.

I keep second guessing myself, wondering if I rushed this. But then I see how she gobbles down the jar, with a big smile on her face, and I know it was the right decision for us.

Next week I think we will try a fruit, maybe pears, and see if this continues. We do have a doctor appointment next Thursday and I will address the issue further with him. However, it appears she loves it so I'll keep on this path.

I will say, the sweet potato colored poo has been interesting!!!!



For the record, Kirsten turns 4 months on Saturday!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Photos from Today


Today Kirsten had a play date with her friend Addison



Today Kirsten tried to eat an apple.



Today Kirsten sat outside and enjoyed the weather.