9/30/12

Funny Family Photos

One of my biggest regrets since becoming a mother is not having professional photos taken of Oliver after he was born. Still at 8-months old, we have no photos. However, we have plans. Big Plans! We are going to have photos taken next month. The new dilemma is what poses to do? What kind of photos suit our family the best?  I'm here to tell you cutesy cuddly family photos are not for us. We are crazy, and therefore need photos to match. 
While looking online for inspiration we found these...  A few ideas we like, families that made us feel better about ourselves, and a few we think should have landed the families in Child Protective Services care...



LOVE!



We want to make friends with them.

Glad they are not our neighbors.

I am a middle child.
I have no doubt the older sister pushed that kid...
Just like mine did.


Negative!

Not only would FTD set this up with Oliver.
We would have it framed.

This is my family.

Hi! My mom is a Crazy Bitch.
But she thinks otherwise.

Come on.  These turtles deserve more.
Get the photo from a more discrete location. duh!

And the Award for Father of the Year goes too...
Not this dad.

Classic! Family with Three boys.


Really?
I can smell that from here!


A family portrait in a Cocaine t-shirt?
And father of the year goes to...
This guy!




Thank God I did not grow up in this family.
"Hey Kids, get out of the car! I got a really great idea..."

This is close to us, but we need more dysfu*ktion.

Very Cool!

However, too cool for us...

Close...

Spot on!

LOVE IT!

Oh, for fucks sake!
Can someone get CPS on the line?

This is brilliant!

That would make me proud.

Every family has one...



Uncle Rod...
Droppin a deuce.

Love this.

And the winner is....
Definitely NOT this one!




So, in the end we have decided to wing it.. and probably listen to the photgrapher.  I don't need anymore regrets...



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9/28/12

Babies Eat Bliss

Babies Eat Bliss
Friday's fan question comes from one of my favorite mums....  And it is a gooood one!


Q. What has been the most difficult thing about becoming new parents, besides lack of sleep?

A. First of all, very smart throwing in 'besides lack of sleep,' because easily that has been the most difficult, it has made even the most mundane daily tasks difficult.

That being said, both FTD and I agree a very close second is keeping the bliss in our marriage. Oliver ate the bliss.  Ok, I should not blame Ollie per se, it is just that having a baby has consumed our time and energy, thus leaving little time for *us.* At the end of the day we climb into bed sleepy eyed, force a smile, a good night a kiss and pass out.  Before the birth of our son (ahem, my pregnancy), we were blissful, madly in love and had no trouble maintaining a happy marriage.

Ok, now... I want to kill that muthaf...

Having a baby thrown into the mix of our relationship flipped us on our heads. Both during my pregnancy and early days of having a new baby, some days I felt like I didn't even know the man I married. FTD nods and adds that he felt the same about the stranger I bacame at times.  Our views and ideas for raising a child were sometimes in line, then sometimes so far apart I yelled divorce and ran off.

The first couple of months of our son's life we disagreed more than we agreed.  I blame 25% of that on the sleep deprivation, 25% of just plain fear of being new parents, 25% on our cultural differences and views for child rearing and 25% on FTD being too stupid to just agree with me.  I would insist that I had the God given gift of mother's instinct, so I just knew something was right.

I wish I could say our marriage is all better now, but it is not.  We have to work extra hard at having a blissful marriage, where we didn't before.  The stress of having a child and pile of new bills and expenses is very taxing for us. Very taxing. There is still a lot of fear associated with having a baby and S.I.D.S. (cot death)  I think we also project that fear into our relationship woes.

I have come to the conclusion that until life with baby gets a little easier, my marriage will suffer.  Sad, but the honest truth.  We have made the decision to put our child before our marriage. I am sure that is wrong, but it is what we have just naturally done.  Regardless, one thing that we never do is allow our frustration with each other spill over onto our child.

I learned a long time ago, 'Having a child is a process, not an event.'  We are new to this and learn something everyday. Our son is #1, our marriage is #2 right now.  The one thing I guess we have realized in all of this is that we love each other very much. We power through the fights, disagreements and fear together, albeit ugly as hell sometimes. I have faith that when the dust settles of being new parents, we will emerge stronger and more in love than ever.




Thanks again Mrs. H!  This question caused me to get up an kiss FTD, TWICE!  Having a new baby is so damn difficult all around, but so incredibly worth all of the angst and confusion.


(Have a question about anything?  Email me firstimemomanddad @gmail.com and I will answer it in an upcoming Friday Fan Question post.)





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9/27/12

8-Month old baby observations





I don't even know what to say. Am I really 8-months postpartum, and my little baby 8-months old?  Didn't I just write about him being 7-months old yesterday? 


It's all going too fast. I say it every time, and judging by the old women who accost me in the grocery to tell me, "Cherish this time because it goes too fast,"  I will continue to say this every time. Forever. I just cannot believe it has been 8-months since I was pregnant.  Too fast...

The list...

Me

1. I am still tired. Dog ass, I want to punch strangers in the face for fun, tired.
2. I am bored with my life.  I want to run around like I used to. I know this must sound selfish, but it's true. I miss the freedom.  8-months and I have not had more than two drinks, gone out with my girlfriends for a late night, or gone on even the shortest of weekend holidays. I feel like a caged animal.  I also feel bad now for saying this b/c I love my baby so much, and would not trade him for a Hangover style night in Vegas... Not that I wouldn't love one... 
3. I am still breastfeeding exclusively.  What this really means is, I am still carrying around these huge things on my chest that leave a trail of liquid wherever I go like Hansel and fu*king Gretel. I still have to watch what I eat and avoid Caffeine.  It's not awesome. However, this is just for a year of my life. It is worth it... Only 4 months to go!!
4. I am down to my last 10 pounds of excess baby weight to loose! I wore my pre-pregnancy jeans last weekend! They fit even better after I dropped the tear of satisfaction! Yay me!
5. I am such a different person, with different priorities. I feel like I have matured 8-years in 8-months.
6. I have a new level of patience. I can put up with anything. Well except the hair pulling. Oliver yanks on my hair so hard sometimes I want to bite him. Seriously, bite him.
7. I live on a tight budget now. Before Oliver I pissed away money. Now I am so afraid of not having enough to feed him, diaper him or even have a roof over his head. I save and pinch pennies.  I kind of hate this about my new motherly ways.
8. I am now a Been-there-done-that mom.  I look at moms with newborns and smile fondly, remembering the good ol' days.  WTF is that?  I'm still a new mother!! How can I feel like an old mother already when I look at babies just months younger than mine?!
9. I hate to admit this, but so much time has passed since being a big fat constipated, gassy beached whale of a bitch, that I look back on pregnancy fondly now... Ok, "fondly" was the wrong word... I look back on it with a wicked case of amnesia because I think now it was not really that bad... Ok, "that bad"  was the wrong phrase... Oh screw it. Pregnancy sucked, but I forget how much since it has been so long. And thanks th the amnesia, I would totally do it again for another Oliver.  
10.  I have the capacity to love like I have never known how to love before. I love being a mother so very very much, even more today than yesterday, even in the haze of no sleep, and even when I am dreaming of a Hangover style night in Vegas with my unmarried friends. 

Oliver

1. WOW!  What a big fat baby boy.  He is wearing clothes for 12-month olds.  His feet are so big they don't fit in Carter's Footy PJ's. His hands look like they belong on a 3 year old.  
2. He is a human wrecking ball.  Now that Ollie is mobile he crashes into everything in his way. He pulls himself up on anything that will hold him, and things that will not.  He is constantly up to no good.
3. The word "No" means "Go" to him.  We have tried every discouraging word and phrase to keep him from power cords and cat food.  Nothing works.  
4. He has figured out that screaming, fussing and whining will get him attention.  I am trying not to respond as much, but he knows as long as he keeps it up and gets progressively louder someone will come running.
5. The child has a death grip. I have to make sure I do not push Oliver within arms reach of anything when out shopping.  If he grabs hold and I take it away, he makes such a huge scene you would think I was trying to kill or kidnap him.
6. Now that he can drink from a straw, not only is my drink no longer safe, no one else within arms reach is safe either.  He will grab at strangers in line.
7. We are beginning the transition from baby purees to baby meals.  He has never been fond of mush.  He still only eats lunch and dinner.  Not a huge fan of food in general.  Just nursing for him is fine.
8. His only word is mama so far.  He is trying out all kinds of sounds, tones and pitches.  I LOVE hearing his little voice. I hate hearing him scream for fun.
9. He still is not sleeping longer than 6 hour stretches.  I am close to sleep training. I am just not sure I have it in me yet. Clearly, I have not reached my breaking point.
10.  Oliver is awesome.  I am so lucky.  If I was not a selfish human I would not have any complaints.  He is a wonderful blessing.  I love watching him grow and become a little boy.



9/25/12

Come on dude. You are not a Rooster!



Have I told you lately how much I love my super son and being a mother? I can honestly say motherhood has made me 100% a better person. (Seriously, that is not saying much.) However...

(Yes, a wicked rant about the not so joyous aspects of motherhood is about to ensue...)

...This morning at 6:20am (I know this does not sound early, but when you were up nursing at 1am and 4:20am it is!) my darling, sweet baby was ready to start his day with a coo and a smile.  I on the other hand, had no desire to smile or coo at anything but my sweet dreams. I staggered in to his room, one eye open the other closed trying to desperately hold on to my sweet dreams... I looked at his brilliant smile, smiled back and said, Come on dude. You are not a Rooster! Why do we have to get up before the sun every morning? I swear he knew what I was saying, because his mischievous smile got bigger, followed by a squeal that got FTD up too. Damn it...  Hello morning, goodbye Channing. 

I have come to realize if there was one thing I took for granted the most before becoming a mother, it would have to be sleep. After a particularly late night out on a work night, I would shrug and think, I'll catch up by going to sleep early tomorrow night, or just sleep in on Saturday. Now that I am a mother there is no such thing as catching up on sleep.  There is no such thing as sleeping in on Saturday morning, unless you call 9am sleeping in. Which, before baby, 9am on Saturday morning was reserved for death and sample-sales only. If neither had happened, you better not be calling. 

I'm so sick of waking up with the rest of the cocks on the planet!  I have not had more than 5-6 solid hours of sleep since Oliver's birth 8-months ago. I tell myself that one day I will sleep well again. One day... Ok, honestly, I want to scream and cry.  I just want to go to sleep and sleep for as long as possible. I want to feel well rested.  I want to wake up, after all of the cocks on the planet and say, hello day! 

I know that the worst is behind me. But, candy coating and bullshitting aside, I hate the sleep deprivation associated with being a mother.  Sure, I can tell myself all kinds of crap reasons why it's not that bad, or this too shall pass, but when it's 1am and I am laying in bed unable to get to sleep, I want to cry because I know there is no way to change the fact that at best, I am looking at 5 hours of sleep, and that's only if Oliver does not wake up wanting to nurse before 6am, which is next to impossible.  

For those of you who are not moms yet, GO TO SLEEP!  Sleep your ass off.  When someone calls you lazy, give them the finger and go back to sleep.  Your day will come and you will thank me for this advice. For those of you who are moms, I feel your pain, I know how bad it sucks.  I am right there with you praying to God that not only will you get to sleep soon, your baby will stay asleep just 15 minutes more than yesterday.  

Oh, and if you are that mom that throws a couple of toys in the crib, or turns on a DVD in your baby's room, then crawls back in bed begging the parenting Gods for forgiveness while you steal 15 more minutes of sleep, I am right there with you...





  

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9/24/12

What. Just. Happened?

I don't even know where to start. The last three days were anything but average. Maybe it's that Oliver has only a few days left of being 7-months old, and wanted to catch up on milestones, or his fever caused delirium. What ever it was, the last three days have been intense, annoying and shocking to say the least...


The short story... My weekend played out like this. Oliver mastered the fever, shit smear, sipping from a straw, crap sleep, snot smear, fussing, standing unaided, SCREAMING and finally deciding, I'll have what she's having!

So listen up Mrs. What to Expect When You're expecting the First Year Milestones:  Stick my weekend in your pipe and smoke it!


The long story... NO worries, I still shortened it as much as possible.

Fever: 

When I was putting Ollie down Thursday night I thought he felt warm, but not warm enough to signal any alarms.  By Friday morning the boy was hot! It was clear I needed to take his temperature to see how how he was. My friends, we don't play the rectal temp game in my house. We have one of those worthless forehead strips that gives a shotty estimate, and a regular digital thermometer for when we really want to know what's going on. (FYI: FTD thinks the strip is great and totally accurate. I think otherwise.)

After FTD's crap strip read 101 degrees Fahrenheit, I busted out the digital, reliable, one. All I could think was Oh No! This is possibly going to be Oliver's first actual temperature, and I have no clue what to do. Fear was setting in. My little guy was properly sick!  The digital thermometer read 102 degrees.  I called a been there done that friend to see what to do. She told me to calm down and give him Advil and see if it brings the temp down. I calmed down, gave him the Advil and waited... (I know I should have called the doctor's office, but I knew they would just say come in, and I just didn't think Ollie was that sick.)

This vicious cycle of stupid head strip, digital thermometer, then Advil, repeated every 8 hours for the next 24...  Finally by the 24th hour the fever broke. Still, Oliver showed signs of feeling crappy all weekend. So sad to see him that way. Then all of the sudden around 5pm on Sunday he was a happy energetic baby again.

Some moms said maybe it's teething?  Others said maybe viral?  What ever it was, good riddance!

Shit smear: When I put Ollie down for his midday nap I let him nap in my bed. Once he woke up, I went ahead and changed him on my bed while he was still too dopey. Hoping to avoid the log rolling ritual he does at every diaper change to make me crazy. I took off his onesie, then the diaper, SHIT EVERYWHERE!  EVERYWHERE!  Up the back, and coming out of the sides of the diaper. Of course I did not notice until there were shit angels (you know as opposed to snow angels) all over the sheet.  Normally I would cry, but Ollie was sick, so I changed Oliver and the sheets with a smile. (Albeit a fu*king smile)

Sipping from a Straw: I always have a big cup of water. Always. Since Ollie has become Mr. Grab & Dump, I have had to use only cups with lids. (Think Starbucks, plastic screw-on lid cups.)  Anyways. I'm holding Oliver and pick up my water to have a drink.  He always grabs at the straw, but never does anything but yank it out.  This time he grabbed it, stuck it in his mouth and sucked! No kidding the 7-month-old monster drank from my straw!  Thank God it was not Daddy's scotch straw.  Beware parents, babies drink from straws when you least expect it!

Crap Sleep: With Oliver feeling like ass, he had been sleeping like ass too. Both Thursday and Friday night Oliver was up every two hours just fussing. I changed him every time then nursed him back to sleep.  Again, my lil' man was sick, I was prepared to put up with anything with a smile. (Again, albeit a fu*king smile)

Snot Smear: Since I had two bad nights in a row with Oliver, FTD got up with him so I could sleep in on Saturday moring. When it was time for Oliver to nurse, FTD brought him into bed with me. I nursed him and then we both went back to sleep. When we woke up and hour later Ollie, had a streak of snot across his face, I had one on my chest, and the sheets had a nice smear too.

YES!!  The new clean sheets. I could not believe it, the damn sheets again! As per the theme of the weekend, Oliver was sick, so I cleaned him, my chest and changed the sheets with another (fu*king) smile. Even though this time I was close to breaking!

Fussing: Oliver is not regularly a fussy baby.  However, when he is pissed, or as I have learned, not feeling well, Oliver is a very fussy baby. All day Friday and Saturday, were spent trying to appease and unappeasable baby.

I never cried. I am very proud of that. Still had the Fu*king smile through all of the fussing!

Standing Alone:  Oliver has now figured out he can stand up un-aided for 3 seconds.  He pulls himself up, lets go with one hand, then lets go with the other, wobbles back and forth trying to keep his balance then falls backwards.  It's so scary because he tries this on anything he can pull himself up on, even if furniture is right behind him. My son is trying so hard to bust his head open or give me and FTD a heart attack or both.  As much I am impressed, I am not stoked about this.  Oliver is a week shy of 8-months-old.  Standing and walking should not be on the books yet! right?

SCREAMING! God help me and my house. When Oliver finally started feeling better on Sunday afternoon, he also started screaming.  Not mad screaming, just plain screeching screaming. After 15 straight minutes I didn't know what was going on.  I called my sister to let her listen. She just laughed and said, "Oliver is coming into his voice. It sounds beautiful!" Naturally, I asked her if she was drunk. This screaming went on for 30 minutes before he finally stopped. Thankfully he still has not started back up.

Seriously, screaming to scream. If your child has not done this yet, do yourself a favor and go buy earplugs, because it will do your head in!

I'll have what she's having: Last but certainly not least, Oliver is over raw and pureed food. He wants what's on my plate. He wants his food cooked and warm and that's the end of it. He ate my potato, beans, and I am sure if I let him, my meat. I am still leary about giving him meat. I was hoping to make it to 9-months to let his digestive system further develop, but I am not sure if I can fight him off for that long.

What a weekend!  For those of you out there worried about your child hitting a specific milestone, or milestones, worry no more. That shit can happen all at once over a 72 hour period. Oliver had his first fever, drink from a straw, stand on his own, potato and macaroni and "came into his voice" all in the same weekend!  Did I see any of this coming?  Hell no!  However, this weekend has taught me, when you least expect it, your baby will blow your mind and expectations!





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9/22/12

The Sunshine Award!

Just when I thought nothing would make me feel better about the cool autumn weather blowing away my garden of flowers and herbs... The Sunshine award came along and brightened my day!

Thank you so very much to my own personal little rays of sunshine, Chewylicious and That Suburban Momma, for shining your beautiful light on me. You girls... XX




The conditions of this award are to answer the eight questions below, and nominate 8 other awesome bloggers.

The Questions:

1. What is your favorite Christmas/festive movie? National Lampoons Christmas Vacation! I watch it every year at Christmastime.

2. What is your favorite flower? Gardenia

3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic beverage? Sweet Tea or Cherry Coke. I love them both equally!

4. What is your passion? Writing.

5. What is your favorite time of year? Summer. I loathe winter.

6. What is your favorite time of day? Noon.

7. What is your favorite physical activity? Dancing and running

8. What is your favorite vacation? Anywhere I have to use my Passport to get to.


8 Blogs I'm passing the award off to...
  1. Bat Crap Crazy
  2. Mayor Gia
  3. Non-Stop Mom 
  4. Old Dog New Tits
  5. Peanut Butter Spoonfuls
  6. Suburbia Interrupted
  7. This Too Shall Pass
  8. Daffodil's





    It's the no post, post!

    Oliver had his first (low grade) fever today. So needless to say, I spent the day being a worried mommy. Poor dude was hot and fussy all day. Luckily, the fever broke with in 24 hours and all order has been restored.

    We spent the day having lots of fussy naps and quiet time. I did not have the time, nor the mind to write today. But not all is lost, since I cannot give you a good post, I thought I would at least give you a good laugh...

    I present to you, The Greatest Nap Photo. EVER! I hope you have a weekend this relaxing!




    Please click on the lady's fat head to send a vote my way! XX
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    9/21/12

    10 rules for mummas of little boys

    10 rules for mummas of little boys
    Today's question comes all the way from the other side of the world, New Zealand. Mrs. G's question was prompted by an article she read online titled, "25 Rules for Mothers of Little Boys."  I recommend all of my mummies with little boys read it.  I would even have to say mummies of little girls could learn a couple of good tips from this article as well.  Very insightful.

    So here goes... 

    Q. What would be your top 10 rules for mummas of little boys?

    (Ok, truth be told, we are in no way qualified to answer this question. Well let me rephrase that... no I mean the question... What would be your top 10 rules for mummas of little (7-month old baby) boys? 

    We think we could help a few mummies out there so here goes, 5 from me and 5 from FTD....


    A. 

    First Time Mom's Rules:

    1. To circumcise or not, is up to you. This is going to be the first major decision you will make as a new mother of a little boy. Make a very informed decision. This is YOUR family's decision and no one else's. This matter is also no one else's business but your own. Trust your heart, gut and information to guide you to the right choice for your family.

    2. Point that little fire hose down!  It is inevitable that your little guy will hose you down the first few weeks, years, but if you always point his lil' wee down during diaper changes, you will have far less diaper leaks. 

    3. Create your little guy's style, don't just resign to trucks and tractors. Just because your baby is not a little girl does not mean you cannot play dress up. Boys have great clothing options too. Like FTD and I dressed Oliver in his Tuxedo onesie every time we went to a party, or put him in his sports Jersey onesie every time our favorite team played. Our kid has style... when we can be bothered. ;)

    4. Let your boy be a boy. Boys need to smash things, bang their heads and live a little. It was so hard for me to stand by and let FTD let Oliver cry through tummy time and learning to crawl frustrations. As a mother it is hard to be tough. I still am not, but I do see the necessity for letting a boy be a boy.

    5. Play up the 'mama's boy routine- Even though I said it is necessary to let a boy be a boy, it is also necessary to love, squeeze and spoil your little boy as much as possible.  Do not hold back because he is a boy. Boy's need loads of attention and affection too. 


    First Time Dad's Rules:

    1. No matter what the mummy says, daddy knows best! Because We're MEN! SO too bad ladies - you can't win...you have no peepee.

    2. Never let the little boy play with your newly assembled star-wars millennium falcon Lego set unsupervised.

    3. If your wife has a lady friend with big bazoobas, always hand the boy over when he hasn't eaten for a while and get the camera ready.

    4. Start them early on Rambo, Commando and Conan the Barbarian before Mommy's "Teletubbies" infect the boys mind and turns him soft.

    5. Make new friends who have similar aged boys and then you can steal their diapers when no-one is looking. (LMAO! My husband is just not right! Not at all!)




    PLEASE!  Some one help us round this list out!  Mummies of little boys... I know you have something to add!






    9/20/12

    My baby just said, “Ma Ma!”

    My baby just said, “Ma Ma!”
    Ma Ma! He said, “Ma Ma!” That sweet little beautiful angel said, “Ma Ma!” For the last, oh, 7 months and 3 weeks, or Oliver’s entire life, FTD and I have been in his face with, 'ma ma's and 'da da's. I never actually thought he would say, ‘ma ma’ first, but sweet angels on earth my little man said, “ma ma.” Can you tell I am a little bit excited?

    Two days ago both FTD and I thought we heard a Ma da. Yes, Ma da. Of course Oliver was going to be diplomatic about saying ma ma or da da by saying “ma da,” he is our son! Then we heard a clear “ma tttttsss.” That was the point we just decided he was practicing sounds again and went on about our business. I was personally crushed. I was sure I was about to hear the words I had been waiting my son’s entire life to hear, “Mom, you are so much more awesome than dad. Oh and p.s Ma Ma.” Not so much.

    Moving on…

    This morning we woke up to MA MA! Then he busts out, ma ma maa ma ma ma ma ma ma maaama. My heart was just thumping out of my chest, my legs went weak, I got chills, he was really saying, "ma ma." I was speechless because my son was not. The words had finally come.

    I picked him up, kissed him all over and said, “ma ma” repeatedly. Nothing. No reply just smiles from all the love and kisses. Luckily, when I put him down and walked away the “ma ma maa ma ma ma ma ma ma maaa ma's,” returned. YES! YES! YES!

    Truth be told, I am completely aware that he has no idea that ma ma means me. However, I do think he is realizing how much I love it. When he says 'ma ma' I give him a reaction. I clap and smile and repeat it back to him. This is by far my favorite milestone reached to date!

    Ok, enough about my awesome baby. Here are some fun facts about why and when babies say ma ma or da da.

    1. According to Baby Center: “Vocalization is a game to your baby, who's experimenting with using his tongue, teeth, palate, and vocal cords to make all sorts of funny noises. At this stage, babbling sounds the same, whether you speak English, French, or Japanese in your home. You may notice your child favoring certain sounds ("ka" or "da," for example), repeating them over and over because he likes the way they sound and how his mouth feels when he says them.”


    2. The Med Guru says: “A recent research, led by University of British Columbia post-doctoral fellow Judit Gervain…. According to the research, the ability of children to pick up and speak words like ‘mama’ and ‘papa’ earlier than any other word, depends mainly on the very simple fact, that almost all languages have words for mother and father depicted in patterns of repeating sounds, thus making these words simpler for babies to catch and comprehend or retain."

    "It's probably no coincidence that many languages around the world have repetitious syllables in their 'child words,'" Gervain said, citing "papa" in Italian and "tata" (grandpa) in Hungarian as examples.”

    3. According to Science Daily: “A scientist at The Johns Hopkins University now reports that the sounds that give parents such a thrill actually mark the very beginning of human word comprehension. It is now believed that the origins of language -- linking sound patterns with specific meanings -- stem from discrete associations infants make, beginning with parents, at 6 months of age. Six months is the youngest age anyone has been able to show that children seem to pair sounds with a specific meaning…"

    4. *The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends....


    • Use “reciprocal” play—when he smiles, you smile; when he makes sounds, you copy them. 
    • Repeat your child’s sounds and say simple words with those sounds. For example, if your child says “bah,” say “bottle” or “book.” 
    • Read books to your child every day. Praise her when she babbles and “reads” too. 
    • When your baby looks at something, point to it and talk about it. 
    • Point out new things to your baby and name them. 
    • Show your baby bright pictures in a magazine and name them 

    *Want a full list of baby to toddler Milestones?  Check out this link to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

    For those of you still waiting to hear ‘ma ma’ or ‘da da,’ just you wait! It will be the most beautiful thing you have ever heard, next to your baby’s first cry and giggle.





    Sources:
    BabyCenter
    Med Guru
    Science daily 
    Center for Disease Control and Prevention

    9/19/12

    Floor Wars - Episode 6-The return of the HEADBUTT! (Dad Post)

    Floor Wars - Episode 6
    The return of the HEADBUTT!

    Ahhhhh...Memories! When Ollie was born he was such a tiny little bundle of innocence and helplessness. The good ole days!  I remember with fondness how I could nestle the little bugger in the palm of my hand.  The 3am feedings, the cute little wailings, the tiny novelty onesies - what grand memories!

    Then, of course the tempo shifted a bit a couple of months later when he had the strength to keep his head upright and flexed his genetic RIGHT to HEADBUTT! 
    I can vividly recall seven occasions in which baby Ollie cracked me with such awesome force that the pain nearly knocked me off my feet.  One blow was soooo powerful it actually loosened an incisor and I lost temporary control of my sphincter.

    I learned to duck and weave, to hold the boy horizontally, to turn my head instinctively and to eat chewy foods on the other side of my mouth for a few weeks!  Problem solved! I could now watch as he inflicted similar damage on mummy, family members and the cigarette-smoking neighbour who always insisted on holding him - KARMA!

    And NOW we've entered a new realm of HEADBUTTERY (yes it is a word and is copyrighted by firsttimemomanddad.com).  As a seasoned crawler of nearly 2 weeks, Ollie has re-discovered his passion for inflicting damage on in-animate objects through use of his IRON-LIKE noggin!

    As I watch him scamper about the floor, investigating awesome stuff like a hidden-from-sight Cheerio stuck to the inside of a table-leg or the now lifeless shell of my right rear surround speaker, baby Ollie reminds me of the victorious Imperial AT AT walkers attacking the vile rebel base on HOTH in "The Empire Strikes Back".

    He steadfastly locks his sights on a particular object and then with lightening speed, powers head-first towards it, feigns and lunge attacks the cat or the edge of the (padded) coffee table with his head. Textbook manoeuvre from the Imperial stormtrooper training academy!

    BANG - CRACK - SMASH - DONK - Bloody hell!  

    As a concerned Dad who now watches crawl-time like a hawk and manages to stop 98% of these imperial attacks, it's somewhat disturbing and I dread to see what he's capable of doing when he masters the art of STANDING, WALKING and RUNNING!

    How the heck do you Moms and Dads deal with this besides foam-padding EVERYTHING in the house or fitting the bugger with a restraining bolt?  What works? What doesn't? Help me First Time Mom & Dad readers...you're my only hope!






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    9/18/12

    Cleaning out the Closet-Keep, Donate, Dump or Delusional?

    Cleaning out the Closet-Keep, Donate, Dump or Delusional?
    Every Spring and Fall I take on the laborious task of cleaning out the closets.  Since FTD and I share a mid-size walk-in closet there is just not enough room to hold all of our stuff year round. To alleviate the clutter I keep what we will need for two seasons in the closet at any given time. I do this to our coat closet and now Oliver's closet as well. It's annoying, but it is necessary.

    Here is how this whole thing works. I have two or three storage tubs for each of us and two for our coats as well. I start by emptying out the storage tubs into four piles; Keep, Donate, Dump and Delusional. Let me explain...

    Keep:

    This is of course the clothes I plan on wearing for the season. This pile also has the Spring Break t-shirt from 1996 that holds too many memories to part with, the tops I spent too much on, that I have never worn because they require an "occasion," and the hideous grandparent gifted sweaters I have to keep readily available for surprise invites and drop-ins.

    Donate:

    This is the pile of clothes I love, but know the time has come for them to belong to someone else. This pile also holds the Christmas, birthday and awful baby clothes I will NEVER EVER put on my body or my child's. What?  My trash is someones treasure. After all, someone bought these fine specimens of shit...er... clothes thinking they were superb. These same people are also on PeopleofWalmart.com

    Dump:

    This pile is the worst of the worst.  While it is meant for the city dump, it should be burned to ensure these articles of clothing never see the light of day again.  This one holds the clothes I painted the wall and myself in, things I wore until they fell apart. Literally. Things even the Goodwill will not take. You know it is bad when Goodwill throws the bag back in your car, screaming "LEAVE!"  Again, for examples go to PeopleofWalmart.com

    Delusional:

    This happens to be a very special pile. This pile is beautiful. All of my favorite clothes that I cannot fit into anymore, but love so much I cannot part with are piled, very high, here.  Why do I call it the delusional pile and keep it separate from the keep pile?  Because I am so incredibly delusional I think I will be a size 4 again, or that somehow I will be able to pull off that twenty-something look at thirty-something. No, really, I think it possible!  What if this whole, "Wait until you start chasing a toddler, the pounds will melt off," is true?  Granted the whole, "Breastfeed and the pounds will melt off," proved to be a load of horse turds. But, maybe, just maybe, the toddler marathon will get me into my pre-teen denim!

    I'll tell you exactly what I tell FTD every time he questions this pile, "I will NEVER give these clothes up. I will wax nostalgia with them every year and then be buried with them."

    Side Note: Before baby, marriage and grown-up bills I had a consignment pile. Until consignment shops start buying Target, that pile will remain non-existent.

    Ok, so once the bins have been sorted, I start doing the same with the clothes in the closet. I fold the keepers and delusional items and put them in the tubs, then bag the donates and dumps. I do the same with the shoes and coats.

     A trick a friend taught me was to hang all of the new clothes with the hanger hooks facing me, once I take the garment off the hanger I turn the hanger back around. This way, at the end of the season what ever has not been turned around should be donated or dumped. Truth be told, 75% ends up folded in the delusional pile.

    Ten hours, a war won in "F" bombs and 44 "Really?"s from FTD and I'm finally finished. I step back and admire my hard work. While the task is laborious and time consuming, once I am finished I am filled with my favorite thing, self-gratification.

    I have a feeling I am not the only one undertaking the closet swap each or every other season. What are your tips or tricks for making this process less laborious and time consuming? Or do you just say screw it and keep the same clothes all year long?

    9/15/12

    Idols, Awards, Shamelessness & Thank Yous.

    The last two weeks of my life have been a blogging mess.  I mean I have been out of blogging control with all of the blogging things out there.  I used to just write my daily post, then go on about my business.  Now I am becoming some sort of "Blogger."

    Which can I just say, I freaking HATE the word BLOG! Maybe I would be happier to say I am a blogger if the damn word were not so ugly. Not so close to booger.

    Anyways, I am not quite sure what direction I am going in, with the reviews, weekly questions, and Saturday reader company reviews, (This weeks company did not get their website up in time. Again, email me it's free to my readers!) I see a post pattern forming, but trust me, that will change. I am not a pattern or predictable kind of girl so no way in hell will my blog ever be... I have also just decided to change the word 'blog' to something else that suits me better... stay tuned...

    OK, moving on.

    Idols. 


    I have auditioned for "Blogger Idol." All of my peers were trying out, and all I had to do was submit 250-500 words of why I was the next Blogger Idol, so I did it too.  Yes, I would jump off a bridge... No, I have no idea what I wrote for my audition. I auditioned on a whim, winged it. You can too click here!

    On September 20, 2012 the 12 finalist will be announced. Then there are a series of writing assignments. If you would like more info or to audition please go check it out.

    This past Monday there was this big announcement about how a 13th finalist would be chosen from blog reader support. Readers are to go to the Blogger Idol Facebook page and leave the blogs name in a comment. When I checked out the Facebook page I nearly cried when I saw Mrs. Layes went there and voted for me. I may not have thousands of followers, but I sure do have the best damn blog readers out there.

    I just do not feel like I can compete with blogs that have thousands of followers. (Even if they did get 95% by hosting a blog hop) To Mrs. Layes, and anyone I may have missed that just voted, thank you SO SO SO much. That really means a lot to me.  (For the Blogger Idol Facebook page click here.)

    I'll let you all know how it goes... but no worries I am not holding my breath, so I will not die and stop blogging.

    Awards.

    I really do feel so honored to have received 5 awards last week. That was insane.  Don't worry though, my head still fits through the door way. I am humbled but not stupid, awards do not make a better blog, good content and fabulous readers do.  So again, thank you so much to all of you who gave me the awards and support me and my blog.

    I nearly started listing names of readers again. (FYI I love giving shoutouts!) I love that I know you all by name. I know your baby's names. You have shared pictures with me, even if you didn't want me to post them. I love our little group.  I will NEVER EVER loose sight of that. I write for us! (If you are new and want to share more about you and/or your baby's photo, either for the blog baby page or just to show her off to me! please email me at firsttimemomanddad @ gmail.com)

    Shamelessness.

    I have been complaining to other Bloggers lately about how I need to find a proper job because my family requires dual earnings, but at the same time I am worried about finding the time to keep up the blog daily.  A couple suggested I set up a Paypal account for 'donations.'  Really?  I think that is shameless and tacky!  And how in the hell could someone make a living off of their readers.  Ewww I feel dirty just talking about it! I guess this is a new thing bloggers are starting to do.  I just feel like it is wrong.  Maybe my tune will change when I am jobless and my unemployment benefits run out... but I just do not know... it's seems as ugly as the word Blogger.

    As shameless as I can get is to ask for you to click the "top mommy blogger"  button below so I feel awesome in the top 25. (The site refreshes the votes all of  the time. Once I get close to the top, my votes are wiped away!  So frustrating!!) Or sign up for Plum District because it is awesome, and I get $1 when you do. Yes, that's how bloggers make money, readers clicking ads, selling space to advertisers, and doing reviews.  I am probably never ever going to get anywhere with any of that.  It's not my goal

    Finally

    Thank yous...

    Thank you so much to my sweet wonderful group of readers.  Most of you have been with me since the days of tiredofbeingpregnant.com and I will never be able to thank you enough for coming back every day to read my writing.  I have been so blessed to share my stories, rants and experiences with you, all while getting some free therapy through writing.  While I am not planning on quiting blogging anytime soon, you and your little ones will be in my heart forever. Thank you, I truly do love you.




      I'm addicted to this site!




    9/14/12

    Going from nipple to nub-the transition to a sippy cup

    Today's, "Friday Reader Question," is all about transitioning to a sippy cup.  

    Q. "Hi April! Have you experimented w/ different sippy cups yet? I've been looking for articles and blogs online but they all say the same stuff, so I was wondering if you had anything you could share. Thanks!"

    A. We gave Oliver his first sippy cup, a Dr. Browns "Soft Spout Training Cup," about two months ago when he was 5 months old. (It came with a big Dr. Browns gift set I got at my shower)



    We were going for a walk in the height of summer and wanted to bring cold water just for Oliver. Since ice does not fit in the Dr. Browns Bottle, we thought we would try out his sippy cup. At that age he was not strong enough to lift it up to his mouth, so we held it for him while he tried to figure out how to get the water out. Luckily, it only took him a minute or two to figure it out. We decided that the sippy cup was too much trouble and to hold off until Ollie was older. Plain and simple, Oliver was not ready for a sippy cup at five months old.

    Fast forward to 7 1/2 months old and Oliver is all about the sippy cup now. At this point I only give him the Dr. Brown's sippy cup when we go for walks since it is still so warm outside. He loves banging it against his stroller and throwing it at me to see how many times I will pick it up and give it back. So far, every time.  I am a loser. He still has issues getting it to his mouth, especially matching the spout up to his mouth, but he seems to enjoy the act of trying regardless. I will end up holding it for him 7 times out of 10.

    More times than not, I let Ollie drink water from my cup when he needs a quick drink of water to wash down solids or cool off. It usually spills down the front of him, but it works. The sippy cup is just too much trouble to fill up for a few sips of water and then wash all 4 parts. Plus, according to our pediatrician Oliver is getting all of the liquid he needs from nursing. So, at this point the sippy cup is not a regular thing. Plain and simple, I still do not think Oliver is ready for a sippy cup, nor does he need one regularly.

    Thank you Mrs. E. for this great question! 

    Here are some facts about making the transition from nipple to nub. ; )

    1. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends – to transition from the bottle at a year, to limit sippy cup use in general and to use the pacifier until age 1 for naps and sleep time only.


     2. In the study, “Injuries Associated with Bottles, Pacifiers, and Sippy Cups" in the United States, 1991-2010,” in the June 2012 Pediatrics (published online May 14), data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System for children treated in an emergency department for an injury caused by a bottle, pacifier, or sippy cup were examined. In the U.S., 45,398 children under age 3 were treated in the hospital emergency department between 1991 and 2010 -- or approximately one child every 4 hours. Most injuries (86 percent) occurred from falls while using the products, and 83 percent of falls resulted in lacerations or contusions to the mouth and face. Study authors also found that two-thirds of injuries occurred among 1-year-olds, an age when children are unsteady on their feet and prone to falls. Given the high number of injuries associated with using bottles, pacifiers, and sippy cups, study authors recommend children not use these products beyond the intended ages, and that parents help their children transition to a cup around age 1 as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Source: American Academy of Pediatrics.
    3.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics HealthyChildCare.Org website: Children should not be allowed to have water continuously in hand in a “sippy cup” or bottle. Permitting toddlers to suck continuously on a bottle or sippy cup filled with water, in order to soothe themselves, may cause nutritional or in rare instances, electrolyte imbalances. When tooth brushing is not done after a feeding, children should be offered water to drink to rinse food from their teeth.

    How would you answer this question?  What has your experience been so far?





    (If you have a question or topic you would like discussed please email me at Firsttimemomanddad @gmail.com) 



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