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Friday, May 27, 2011

Support your Library!

When was the last time you visited your town's library?  If it has been forever, you really should make a trip.  The library has many things you can borrow besides books and you would be surprised what is now available.

Of course there are books to borrow, but the library also has newspapers, magazines, movies and audiobooks.  Did you know that most libraries now have digital downloads for you as well?

Before I take a long road trip, I try to pick up an audio book.  Since they are so expensive, I try to borrow one from the library.  This morning I decided to check out what the local library had available for audio books and I discovered digital downloads!  Right to my iPod!  I won't even have to go to the library today.

I was very excited.  I went to the login page.  It required my library card number.  Not a problem, I grabbed my library card.  I typed in the number.

It told me my library card is expired.  Looks like I will have to go anyway.  Darn!

Any suggestions for a good audio book? 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Zoo Pictures

Here is a link to the zoo:  http://southwickszoo.com/ 
They have big cats, monkeys, unusual animals and a large deer park (where you can feed the deer).  They also added an aviary to hang out with the birds.  Great zoo, definitely worth a visit.

Here are some more pictures from the Zoo:
This peacock chased my sister after she took his picture:
Zoe at the Zoo!  (try saying that 5 times fast!)


And a great picture of my sister and Zoe:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Naps.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could take a nap every day?  How about 3-4 naps?  Yes, this would be heaven.  Babies get to do it and I think I am really jealous. :)

Last night Zoe slept for seven and half hours.  That isn't how long she went in between feedings...that is how long she actually spent sleeping.  We think it may be a combination of the fact that she was awake most of the day yesterday and she was swaddled for bed.

We have been experimenting with no swaddle for bed, but she tends to wake up around 3am or 4am and start fussing.  I think she wakes herself up by moving around (kicking her legs, arms waving around).  So yesterday Anthony did a test run of what it would be like to take care of her while he is working.  And she stayed awake most of the day.  As I am typing this, she is trying to nap and I keep waking her up.  So why did she stay awake most of the day yesterday but today she is wanting to sleep all morning?  Maybe it was the change in routine with Dad taking care of her instead of Mom?  I haven't been able to figure it out yet.

Speaking of the test run....Anthony decided she needs to be in daycare most of the time.  He had a really hard time getting work done while taking care of her.  I was home all day in case he needed back up (and he did once, while on a phone call) but I think he did a great job taking care of her.  He even changed her outfit twice!

Anthony once told me that her outfit was never getting changed until it was stained.  Apparently spit up counts. :)

We decided to feed her a half hour earlier than our normal night feeding.  We want to start spreading out that last feeding, get her to bed earlier.  She ended up going to bed a half hour earlier, so that worked perfect.  I decided to swaddle her when I put her down though.  We did spend a few nights with no swaddle, but then she woke up at around 3-4am. 

It was refreshing to wake up so "late" this morning at 5:45am.  I'm hoping we can establish some sort of wake/nap schedule soon.  I want her to get a full nights rest.  A full night's rest for me too would be nice.  Then again, in a few weeks I go back to work...then I need to get up at 4:45 or 5am anyway.  Yeesh.

Maybe I can take a nap at work?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Running Sneakers

I put on my running sneakers today.  It felt really good to slide my feet into them.  They were comfortable, just like I remembered.  Just putting them on made me feel ready for some exercise.

I didn't go for a run.  I didn't even go for a walk.  But I did go down to the mailbox to make sure my Netflix movie gets returned. :)  Oscar went with me.  (this is a really short walk, not like we live out in the country where someone's driveway may be a mile or more long)  But while we were outside and I was wearing my running shoes, I decided to play with Oscar a bit.  I was feeling so good, I decided to race Oscar around the house.  He took two detours (one into the woods and one around the cars) and he STILL beat me.  I'm outta shape.  And my dog is fast. :)

I also unpacked a bin of my clothes from the attic.  This was specifically my work clothes that I was looking for.  I'll be going back to work in a few weeks and I need to make sure I have stuff to wear.  At this moment, I don't have too many clothes that fit me properly.  Weight loss plus pregnancy has really changed my body.  I'm hoping I'll start losing some more weight soon though, because I found a pair of jeans that fit me just before I got pregnant...and they don't fit me now.  :(

Looks like those running sneakers will get used sooner than I thought...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Zoo Results!

Hey everyone -  On Sunday we were at the Southwick's Zoo for the Great Strides walk for Cystic Fibrosis.  We were part of the team "Viver's Givers" which ended up being over 100 walkers!

Here is a picture of some of the walkers, we are all the way to the left in this photo:

Team Viver's Givers ended up raising over $11,000 for the Great Strides campaign!  I would say that is pretty impressive for the first year.  I do believe this will be a yearly event and that my family will try to stay involved.  It was a lot of fun to see my friends that I haven't seen in a while, including meeting my friend's baby who was born just two days before Zoe.

I would include a lot more pictures here, but guess what?  I didn't take any.  Nope, not kidding.  I got out the video camera and I did some video, but no pictures.  If I get a chance to transfer some videos, maybe I can share those.  My sister took some pictures, so maybe if she says it's okay, I'll share some of those photos.

We did have a lot of fun at the zoo even though it was raining.  By the time we were almost done at the zoo, it had started to pour.  We got soaked when we went in line to get some lunch.  Lucky for Zoe, her car seat and stroller had great umbrella shade things attached and she stayed dry.  My sister, myself and my husband however...we were soaking wet.  We had a good time though, I'm looking forward to doing it next year.

I'm sorry there were not more pictures.  I'll try to get some pictures posted for ya maybe tomorrow or next week.  And I'm glad everyone enjoyed my Steak and Cheese Sub rant the other day, I got loads of feedback!  Thanks! :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Steak and Cheese

Ok, I will post about the zoo tomorrow, with pictures even.  But today I want to talk about something more important.  The destruction and ruin of a good steak and cheese sandwich.

If you have ever had a good steak and cheese sandwich, you know that they are some of the best things on earth you could eat.  I mean, we are combining meat and cheese, melting it all together and putting it in a convenient carrier: bread.  Some people like to add mushrooms, onions and peppers, etc.  I just love plain steak plus cheese.  MMmmm, yummy goodness.

However, I have recently noticed a trend at sub shops.  They are making this sandwich incorrectly!  It's a travesty!  And honestly, I HATE the sandwich the way that they make it.

A steak and cheese sandwich should have the steak grilled up on the flat top grill.  Once cooked through, cheese should be added.  It should be melted and mixed in to the steak, so that it is all combined and ooey gooey goodness.  What I am finding is that sub shops are just putting the cheese on top of the steak, letting it melt for a few seconds and then flipping it into the sandwich.

Do you know what happens when they do that?  The cheese sticks to the bread and not the steak.  It becomes one with the bread.  And then you have a dry, plain steak sandwich with some plastic-tasting bread.  It's nasty.  I think the other way this is happening is that the person making the sandwich puts the cheese on the bread (not even cooked!) and then puts the steak in, thus creating the same effect.

THIS IS NOT THE WAY YOU MAKE A STEAK AND CHEESE!

I have now reached a point where I will need to ask the place where I am ordering this sandwich how they make it.  This will be embarrassing, but if they don't make it correctly, I don't like the sandwich and I don't want it.  I don't know why they are making it this way, is this being taught at culinary institutions?  Is it a food safety issue?  Why would they make it this way?!?!

I have been to 5 different places in my local area, and they are all doing it this way.  It's a travesty.  I am so disappointed.  This used to be a guaranteed favorite meal of mine, no longer.  :(

It's a sad day indeed when D'Angelo's can make my sandwich correctly, but the local sub shop cannot.  Boo!

If anyone can tell me where I can get a great (properly made!) Steak and Cheese Sub/Grinder, please let me know.  Okay, end of rant for today.  I'm really craving one of these sandwiches, but it just ain't worth it anymore.  :(

Friday, May 13, 2011

Missing Post

Here is my missing post:
This coming weekend is our walk at the Southwick's Zoo for the Great Strides campaign for Cystic Fibrosis.  Did you miss my previous post about this?  You can find it here:  Blog post about CF.

I am really looking forward to this event.  We will get to see some friends that I haven't seen in a while, including meeting a new baby that was born just two days before Zoe!  They are practically twins.  Well, except for that whole not blood related at all and he's a boy and a lot taller than her already.  This boy's mother and I already decided that they will either fall madly in love or look at each other like they are related and say "ewww!".

Either way would be fine with us I think. :)

So the walk should be a good time.  The weather man isn't predicting great weather, but hey, it could always change (and it frequently does in this region!).  It will be fun regardless to see our friends and check out the animals.  Plus it will be Zoe's first trip to the zoo.  Since I love animals so much, I'm hoping it's the first of MANY trips to the zoo.

I would like to thank everyone who donated to our fund raising efforts!  We raised just over seven hundred and fifty dollars!  I never believed I would be able to raise that amount, thank you a million times over.  I was amazed at everyone's generosity.  Early next week I will post a picture of us at the zoo and will update everyone on how the event went.

Again, thank you!!

Where did it go?

Blogger had some technical difficulties, so my post from yesterday got deleted.

Basically it said we were going to the zoo this weekend for the Cystic Fibrosis walk and that I would post pictures next week.  Very odd problem.  I am going to try and find the old post for ya.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Zoo! (and a walk for Cystic Fibrosis)

This coming weekend is our walk at the Southwick's Zoo for the Great Strides campaign for Cystic Fibrosis.  Did you miss my previous post about this?  You can find it here:  Blog post about CF.

I am really looking forward to this event.  We will get to see some friends that I haven't seen in a while, including meeting a new baby that was born just two days before Zoe!  They are practically twins.  Well, except for that whole not blood related at all and he's a boy and a lot taller than her already.  This boy's mother and I already decided that they will either fall madly in love or look at each other like they are related and say "ewww!".

Either way would be fine with us I think. :) 

So the walk should be a good time.  The weather man isn't predicting great weather, but hey, it could always change (and it frequently does in this region!).  It will be fun regardless to see our friends and check out the animals.  Plus it will be Zoe's first trip to the zoo.  Since I love animals so much, I'm hoping it's the first of MANY trips to the zoo.

I would like to thank everyone who donated to our fund raising efforts!  We raised just over seven hundred and fifty dollars!  I never believed I would be able to raise that amount, thank you a million times over.  I was amazed at everyone's generosity.  Early next week I will post a picture of us at the zoo and will update everyone on how the event went.

Again, thank you!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Baby Crack Addiction

Crack is cocaine right?  Did you know that I am addicted to my baby?  She is like baby crack.  I love her smell, her face, her smile.  I don't even mind those exploding poopy diapers.  But especially that smile and little giggle...it lights up her face and mine...and now there are scientific studies that prove it's true!

Check out this article:
http://www.babyzone.com/baby/article/baby-smiles/?CMP=NLC-NL_AutoDisneyBaby_week-6_baby-smiles

And I quote (from the article above):

"Dr. Lane Strathearn, assistant professor in Pediatrics at the Baylor College of Medicine, and a developmental pediatrician at Texas Children's Hospital, helped conduct a study that showed mothers pictures of their own and other smiling babies (as well as infants with sad or neutral faces). Their responses were recorded by MRI. "When mothers see their own baby's face, 'reward' centers of the brain are activated, similar to when a cocaine addict gets a shot of cocaine!" Dr. Strathearn says. "It's like a 'natural high' that I believe stimulates responsive care-giving behavior, and strengthens the mother-infant bond.""

Who needs drugs?!  I got a baby!

If you know me well enough...send me an email (or comment here, and we will figure it out) and I will send you a video of my very own baby crack.  I was lucky enough to capture it on video this morning, yay iphone!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How to Give a New Mom a Heart Attack

How is this done?   Your new baby sleeps through the night for the first time.  Whoa!

Last night we fed her a bottle at 9pm.  We have started to give her more food during the day because she was starting to sleep longer at night (going 5 hours between feedings) and she was skipping one of her meals.  We had been feeding her six times in a 24 hour period, but she was getting only 5, so we upped her amount of food.  We know this was helping her go longer between meals, especially at night.  In fact, we had 5-6 nights of her going 5 hours between meals.

Last night she was WIDE AWAKE after that meal.  I hung out with her for a few hours, but then gave up and went to bed.  So she stayed up with Dad for a while.  He reported this morning that she fell asleep around 12:30am.   At around 3:15am, I woke up.  Not because someone woke me up.  It was probably because I have been waking up at least once a night since last Christmas.

When I woke up, I realized two things.

1.  No crying baby woke me up and it had been at least 6 hours since her last bottle!
2.  The monitor wasn't turned on.

So I thought maybe I just didn't hear her and she was awake.  I got up to check on her.  She was making her little baby noises, but she wasn't really awake.  A well-trained parent can recognize this.  I turned on the baby monitor and crept back out.  All without touching her or waking her up. 

I went back to bed and thought "in about 15 minutes she will wake me up for the bottle".  I fell asleep within minutes looking at the monitor in my bedroom.  The next thing I knew....it was 6am!  Holy Crap!

This time I jumped out of bed.  I could hear her fussing.  I checked on her.  She was fine.  Just her usual "I'm hungry get me a bottle" fussing.  I fixed the bottle, and we had the NICEST morning.  Lots of smiles and no spit up while eating.  Wow...a morning like this was VERY welcome and much appreciated.

Can we get a repeat performance tonight?  We are definitely going to try!

Monday, May 09, 2011

My First Mother's Day

Good morning everyone!  Look how early I am getting out this blog post!  I finally set up the laptop in the kitchen.  It will probably stay there semi-permanently until I go back to work.  I want to get some studying done for some certifications I am working on and I want to just get back on the computer.  I need to "practice" before I go back to work.  Which basically means I need to try and remember my passwords, get back to my internet surfing and blog posting.  :)

I hope everyone had a good weekend.  We had a good weekend here.  Anthony had to work through most of the weekend and he didn't get home until really late from his trip to NH on Friday, so I felt kinda bad about that.  Poor guy is working really hard.

My first Mother's Day was great!  Saturday night we went out to dinner with Anthony's family.  I got my second Mother's Day card at dinner.  (The first came in the mail on Friday)  A few of Anthony's relatives got to meet the baby for the first time and we took loads of pictures and had a loud, fun, italian time!

I got another card from my friend Katie and I also got a few emails wishing me a Happy First Mother's Day.  It was really nice. :)

So what did Zoe and Anthony do for me for Mother's Day?

Zoe got me a great present.  She went 5.5 hours between feedings Saturday night through Sunday morning!  yay!  We have had a few nights in a row now (5 and counting!) of her lasting at least 5 hours.  She isn't necessarily sleeping the whole time, but she is for most of it.  We have started to adjust her feeding schedule so that she gets more food during the day now.  Yay!!

Anthony also did some nice stuff for me for Mother's Day.  He wasn't sure what to do, so he did what any techie would do, he googled it.  Most of what he found on the web told him he should make me dinner.  That wasn't a very good suggestion because he makes dinner most nights. :)   So instead he decided he would clean the house!

I thought this was a great present.  My house really needed cleaning.  So Sunday morning he made me breakfast (not in bed, I had to get up for the baby and pumping breast milk anyway) and then we both pitched in and got the house clean.  Now if we can only keep it this way...

Thursday, May 05, 2011

What is my day like?

Mostly my day is filled with taking care of the baby.

Some days I get dressed.  Some days I don't.  I do make an effort most days.  Today is not one of them.  I don't have to go anywhere and my pj's are comfy!

I have small windows of opportunity to get things done in between feedings (about every four hours) and changing (diapers, clothes) and pumping breast milk (every two hour or so).  So there isn't a whole lot I can get done.

In between stuff I try to get laundry done, dishes cleaned, and sometimes I feed myself.  But mostly I leave that up to my husband since he is a WAY better cook than I am.  I'm really good at PB&J sandwiches and most easy stuff like tacos.  Although apparently I am the meatball maker because the other night he wanted some to cook some in his gravy (red sauce or spaghetti sauce to us non-italians) and he asked me to make them for him.  I couldn't find the last recipe I wrote down, so I just made it up.  And they came out pretty good.  Then it occurred to me, I knew how to cook something!

I could probably be a better cook if I wanted to, I just don't have any desire.  And why bother when my husband is so good at it?  Wait a minute...that must be his theory on cleaning....

Yes, I am the one who is good at cleaning.

But not lately.  My house is a mess!  With Anthony working from home, it's tough to get stuff done during the day.  I am trying my best to be quiet and keep the baby quiet while he is on the phone with clients.  Someday we will move and he will have a real office and we won't need to tiptoe around the house while he is on the phone.

And then I am supposed to sleep when the baby sleeps.  Yeah right!  That's the only time I can get stuff done!  Like write blog posts, return emails, try to get my photos uploaded to the computer.  And oh yeah, pump more breast milk, feed and change the baby.  And feed me, can't forget that.

I'm pretty much a zombie.  I get about 3-4 hours sleep at a time.  Although Zoe is starting to show signs of sleeping longer.  We have had a few nights in a row of five hours.  Speaking of sleep, I probably should take a nap with her right now.  Then I can be refreshed to clean the house later.

Yeah right! haha.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Blogging on the road!

I am blogging once again from my phone. I am waiting for Anthony (he is at his old company as a consultant) and I am waiting in the car. So I thought it would be a good time to blog. This is a lot harder and slower than a computer but it still gets the job done. The auto correct feature works really well but I still get some funny corrections. For example, when I wrote blogging in the title, it corrected it to say blotchy. I think I may have just typed it too fast.

I still don't have the laptop out for me to work on. That was a goal of mine for this week. I really wanted to get back online more. That way I would know what is going on in the real world and could post more to my blog. Hopefully I will have that done by the end of the week.

I don't have anything else interesting to write about. I could write more about the baby but I was hoping to avoid my blog becoming all about the baby. Maybe tomorrow I will write more about life in general and how that has changed with a baby. I will try to make it interesting and amusing instead of gross and/or obnoxious. I'm sure no one wants to hear about her bodily functions. Even if they are louder than a grown mans. Or even if there is projectile fluids on mom or dad. :)

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Pregnant Again.

Did the title of the post scare anyone?  haha, no, I am not pregnant again.

I just look it.  I'll explain in a minute.

I got a Moby Wrap at my baby shower.  What is a Moby Wrap?  Check out the website:  http://www.mobywrap.com/  Basically it is a giant long piece of cloth that you wrap around your body like oragami and then somehow manage to squeeze your baby into it and they will be secure, comfortable and still be able to breathe.  Yeah right.  The instructions for this thing make it look VERY easy.

I have been practicing for over a week.  Zoe gets very upset with me when I try to put her in it.  Maybe I should have practiced with the Buzz Lightyear first like I did with the car seat. 

Today I finally managed to figure this thing out.  I think.  At least Zoe is sleeping and not crying.  She isn't falling out.  She seems to be breathing properly.  It feels comfortable.  Sort of.  I can't really lift my arms too high and forget bending over.  (Good thing I practiced all of those squats in kickboxing!)

So here we are...
I looked at this photo and my first thought was "whoa, I look pregnant again!".  So I thought I would share that with all of you. :)  I don't actually look pregnant at all without this wrap on.  In fact, I went to Old Navy today and actually bought a shirt in a size MEDIUM!  Yay!  Go weight loss before I got pregnant!!  (see my posts from 2010 for more info there)

So why am I wearing my baby as the latest fashion accessory?  A couple of reasons.  #1, it's called skin-to-skin contact.  Okay, so we are fully clothed but the point is that having the baby on my chest where we can feel each other, keep each other warm and smell each other keeps us both calm, relaxed and happy.  I'm hoping it will help with that whole "relax" thing.  I don't do that very well.  Ever since the baby was born I have been unfortunately back to myself.  I'm not calm and relaxed anymore like I was the entire pregnancy.
#2, Wearing the baby like this helps with producing breast milk.  We need more milk!

and last...but not least...I LIKE IT!  Seriously, if I had my way, I would do nothing but sit in my recliner with the baby on my chest all day long and not get up at all.  Wearing the baby just feels good.

I'll try to post more this week if I can.  My plan tomorrow is to set up the laptop in the kitchen so that I am able to access the internet more quickly.  But first I would need to find that laptop....