Friday, October 31, 2008

Kids in Costume at Gymboree!

Today was a ton of fun at Gymboree. All the kids wore their Halloween costumes to their play class! The Moms were all decked out in cute Halloween t-shirts (not to mention the requisite socks) too.
Chris and Joe just love Gymboree. Chrissy has so much fun playing and jumping on all of the equipment. Joey is at the stage now where he can go down the slides with my assistance. Of course, the best part is at the end when they get the parachute out and the instructor blows bubbles and leads the group in song. Whoever invented Gymboree is a genius. It's fun for kids, and Mom's too!!!!
Here are some of the pictures I took today. I also have a video of Chris singing the "Bubbles Song" that I need to work on (the file must be too large or something because I had trouble posting it).

Here's Christopher in his scary Skeleton outfit!
This little girl, Maya, is a sweetheart!And last, but not least, baby Joe looking so festive in his Halloween shirt!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's the little things in life........

This terra cotta brown sugar saver came in the mail today from Sur La Table. I have been wanting one of these for a long, long time and every time I go to order one, it's "out of stock".

A popular item for sure!

Simply soak it in water for 15 minutes, pat it dry, and place in an airtight container with your brown sugar. The label says that it will keep the brown sugar soft for up to 3 months.

I got one for my mother as a stocking stuffer, too!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Having Christopher home every day has been wonderful! The only glitch in this whole plan is the nap schedule. These two kids have entirely different personalities and needs when it comes to sleep behaviors.
Joe is quite capable of soothing himself right to sleep. Luckily, I did not have to go through any of the torture of having him "cry it out" like some parents do to get him to be able to do this. I simply learned to read his "I'm tired" cues, and then I place him in his bed with his stuffed animal, and off he goes. This will probably all change tonight now that I've put it in writing!
Christopher is a different story. He requires what feels like an endless routine to get him to sleep. He wants either me or Greg to lie down with him. He needs story after story after story. In between stories he wants to come downstairs for snacks. It's not good at all. How we let it perpetuate into this is beyond me.
So now, naps are really tricky. Chris was used to taking a 1-2 hour nap every day at school (BTW without all of the above described routine....hmmmm).
The only way I seem to have any success is if Joe is already asleep for his nap. Then this gives me time to work on Chris.
Oh well, hopefully I'll be able to figure something out that will work! Or maybe, Chris is just outgrowing the need for naps.

Maternity Leave = House Projects??

Talk about delusional! I need to stop initiating mini projects around here. I start them, and then I never find the time to finish! It's not like taking care of kids every day gives you any spare time to get the house in order. What was I thinking, anyway?
Here's the list of projects around the house that I've initiated and have yet to finish:
1. Linen closet. Just bought some luxurious new bath towels at Linen's and Things (they're going out of business, prices are reduced, but not by much). I need to weed out the older towels that these newbies will replace. Need to organize that closet in general! It's a MESS!
2. Children's clothing. I have piles and piles of clothes that I need to sort through. I saved all of Christopher's clothes, and Joseph has been making good use of them. Once Joe outgrows them, then they go in the "Craig's List" pile. Because I swear I am going to put stuff up on Craig's List. Just haven't gotten to it!
3. Maternity Clothes- I have a tote full of clothing that I need to post on Craig's List. We're done having children and I will not need those clothes again. Yay!
4. The pantry! This one is tough!!! It seems like just when I have it organized to my liking, it gets all messed up again!!! One trip to the grocery store is all it seems to take to throw it off kilter.
Here's the pantry today. messy messy!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Joey Eats Solid Foods!

Big news this evening! Joey ate an entire bowl of rice cereal!! I had been debating on whether or not to start him on solids, and now given how well he did, I'd say we made the right move! I remember when we started Chris on solid foods. It took at least three different tries to get him to finally take some in. Not the case with Mr. Joe. He ate up the whole bowl like a true champ!
Tomorrow, we'll give him some apple juice too. Here are a few pictures from joe's first "dinner".
First: The 'before" shot, with his "My First Halloween" bib:

Now, the "after" shot- not too messy at all!!! I like this so far!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Christopher is finally feeling better after being hit with two colds, one right after the other. I kept him out of preschool all last week, not so much because he was too sick to go, but I thought it best to give him the week to strengthen up. No sense spreading more germs at school, either.

Well, after careful consideration, I've made the executive decision to take Chris out of school and keep him home with me until I go back to work in January. While this may seem like a no-brainer, it was a decision that required much thought. Christopher, like all little toddlers, is a creature of routine and habit. And because I work, a major part of his routine, for as long as he can remember, has been going to school everyday. When I was first expecting Joseph, I planned to keep Chris home with me full time from day 1 of my maternity leave. But then Greg convinced me that it was best to have him keep going at least a couple of days a week to keep him used to his routine, because he has a very difficult time with transitions. It would be one thing if I didn't have to go back to work, but since I do, well maybe it would be best to keep him going part time.

And that's exactly what we've done since June. He goes 3 days a week and it's worked out pretty well.

But after this month with poor Chris getting so sick (and the rest of us too, including Joey!), I thought maybe it's best for everyone if he's not being constantly exposed to the daycare bugs. The holidays are coming, and we have lots of travelling to do. Wouldn't it be great to not be worrying so much about whether we're all going to be healthy enough to travel. Sure, I know that germs come from anywhere and everywhere. But lets get real here. I would say about 95% of what ails this household comes from Chris, and he picks up stuff at school.

My plan is to slowly reintroduce Chris to school in mid January. This will give him time to become reacquainted with his teachers and his friends. I pray that I've done the right thing and that I'm not setting us up for a really difficult transition for Chris when my leave is over. I would hate to put him through unnecessary angst just for my sake.

Fingers crossed! Until then, I am going to enjoy having my little boy home every day and will make the most of this short time together!

Fall- Right outside my front door

You know, there's something really magical about being able to be in your own home during the day. I know that must sound wierd, but when you are normally used to going to the office all day, having the chance to actually be in your own home before it gets dark outside feels like a luxury.
This is the first autumn that we have lived in this house (since we got married!) that I have been home every day, during daylight hours. I really can't get over what a beautiful fall we're having! The colors on the trees are just begging to not be taken granted for. So many people drive to different locations around upsate NY and New England to catch a glimpse of the fall foliage. This year, I am so glad that we don't really need to go anywhere to experience fall in it's full glory. We can simply step outside into our own yard!
Those leaves on the ground will be raked into big piles later today, perfect for jumping in!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Peace and Quiet at last...And I have nothing to say!

I don't know about anyone else, but the best blogging ideas come to me when I have absolutely no time (or free hands!) to actually type up a post. I am typically writing my posts with little Joe in my lap anyway. He seems to have a very keen sense for when his Mom is blogging. He doesn't like it at all. Not one bit. He wants all of my attention, as often as he can get it. And you know, he is just so beautiful that I have to stop whatever it is that I'm doing and smother the poor little bugger with kisses.

Christopher and Joe have both gone to bed. The house is pretty quiet, with the exception of that annoying fuzzy/humming noise those pesky, yet necessary, baby monitors make.

Yesterday, on October 23, Greg and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary! We had a fantastically romantic evening out at the four star restaurant "Champs", with both kids in tow
(please note the sarcasm here!). I have to say, my dinner was lousy! I ordered the balsamic glazed chicken. I was hoping for something on the lighter side, and this was about the only entree (apart from the salads) that appeared "healthy". Well, it wasn't. I came with two ginormous scoops of garlic mashed potatoes that I swear were sitting around for hours, and a veggie side dish that was way overcooked. Nonetheless, our evening out really wasn't about the food or the ambiance. It was about celebrating the life we have made together, and these two beautiful kids we've brought into this world together. They are the most precious little beings we've ever laid eyes on, and they make us both so very, very happy.

When Greg and I first got married, we were not really sure if we wanted to have children. I personally will admit that I spent most of my adult life feeling as though I was not a "kid' person and hence would probably not ever have them.

All I can say is thank God for my change of heart!!! What would I do without these two little guys??? Sure, I would have a quiet and very neat house all the time. I would have a dream wardrobe. I would have complete control of my life. I would have all kinds of time for writing thoughtful posts on my blog (what would my blog even be about without them? Marketing?!?!? Boring!!!).

Thank you Christopher and Joseph for making your Mom and Dad the two luckiest people alive. We are so very blessed to have you!!! XOXOXOXO

Christopher is such a good big brother! He really tries to help out with taking care of little Joe.
Any time that Joe is crying and needs some attention, Chris will run over and try to help out until I can get there and pick him up.
I took this picture this morning of Chris playing with Joey in the exersaucer, showing him how to play with all of the toys that are attached.
Two good boys!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Vaccines- the necessary evil

Ugh! Today baby Joe goes for his 4 month well-baby checkup. And we all know what that means- vaccines! And many of them! Boy did I really hate going through this with Christopher. I think the shots hurt me as much as they hurt him. I was so concerned with giving too many vaccines all at once, at such a young age. I wondered, like many parents do, whether they were to blame for the rise in incidences of Autism and other developmental disorders. There were times when I was downright obsessed over it. Researching on line feverishly trying to find answers. Are they safe or not?? I still had Chris get every shot on schedule, nonetheless. Our pediatrician aligns with the AAP, so he would never recommend not having shots.
I thought for sure this would be easier with Joe since I was more experienced with this, having had Chris get the shots with no issues. But no such luck. I'm nervous about it for sure.
All the evidence out there shows that vaccines are safe. But, every baby is different and every baby has different ways of processing "stuff". All of the vaccines administered by our pediatrician's office do not contain thimerosol, so this makes me feel somewhat more confident about it.
The fact of the matter is this- I am going back to work in January, and these kids go to a preschool/daycare and in order to go, they must get their vaccines. In a way, this makes the decision much easier for me. Just do it.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Peet's Coffee! Not bad but not great either

Yesterday, a package came from my Mum with a ton of goodies for the boys, and a pound of Peet's for Greg and I ( thanks, Mum!!! You are too nice!).
I have been wanting to try Peets, but have not really made much of an effort to go and find it anywhere. I know Wegmans sells a few different varities, but not the whole range. With such great local places like Parkleigh and Canal Town Coffee Roasters who carry their own coffee, you really don't need to search very far to find a good brew.
I was really excited to brew up some Peets today. I am sipping my first cup as I type this post, and I have to say I like it, but I don't love it. It won't replace my favorites like Parkleigh Private Blend, or their Kenya AA.
I love coffee, but have never been a fan of the blends that are bitter or really strong. I am a bit of a wimp, I like my coffee really mild yet flavorful.
Nonetheless, this cup of coffee is going down real nicely, after a night of many awakenings due to a little baby with a stuffy nose!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Joey's First Head Cold!

Unfortunately, I can add one more milestone to little Joe's list........he has his very first head cold!
He caught it from his big brother, who has been sick since about Monday.
Poor baby!!! Last night, he was up every hour until about midnight, and then he would sleep for two or so hours before waking up coughing again. I feel so bad for this little guy! Yes, I know it's just a harmless cold, but it always seems so much worse for an infant.
I am really hoping that what all the books (and our pediatrician) say is true about breastfeeding passing on specific antibodies to specific illnesses. Hopefully I'll be able to protect Joe's cold from getting much worse or turning into an ear infection!
Regardless, he seems to be in good spirits! Poor little sweetie!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Jospeh turned 4 months old on October 7. I cannot believe how fast time flies! He is growing by leaps and bounds and is just so happy! While I am excited to see every important developmental milestone met, I also know that these are signs that time is truly moving along at too fast a pace.

I have been making sure to cherish every moment because January is just around the corner and it will be time for me to go back to work!

These days, Joe is talking, laughing, rolling over, and playing with his toys. He's just getting cuter and cuter by the minute!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I just returned from an invigoratingly beautiful walk along the Erie Canal. Why I didn't make an effort to do this sooner in my maternity leave is beyond me. This would have surely become the morning routine on the days that Chrissy goes to school. As long as the fall weather stays reasonably moderate, Joe and I will definitely do this more often!

The fall colors along the canal are simply spectacular! I can't believe I forgot to bring my camera! And to think I work for Kodak! I took several shots with the Blackberry and posted them to my facebook. As you can see, the BB does not do justice to the scenery. Note to self, keep the camera in the stroller!

We ended our walk at Starbucks. I was surprised to find that I wanted something on ice, in spite of the fact that the temps were in the 40's during my walk.

Joe slept through it all. The two ladies sitting at the table next to us at Starbucks were hoping Joe would wake up so that I'd take him out of the stroller. No such luck today!
I think the cold front they've been warning us about has made it's way here. Seems a bit colder this morning than it has in recent days.
Hopefully any rain that's forecasted will hold off long enough for baby Joe and I to take a walk. I usually just put him in the stroller when the mood strikes, and we walk around our neighborhood.
I think we'll do something different today. Maybe a walk along the canal. I had been telling myself all summer that we should do that instead of the neighborhood routine, but there seems to always be a reason not to.

There has been an extremely bright star shining every night in the south sky. Greg thinks it may be Saturn. He got his telescope out last night, but had no luck getting it into view. We'll try again tonight if the sky stays clear.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fall is in full swing here, despite the recent warm days. The leaves are turning beautiful shades of gold, red, and orange. It won't be long before all of those beautiful leaves are covering the yard like a thick blanket.
I've been really enjoying dressing up the house for Halloween!
Christopher has yet to decide what he wants to be this year. He goes from a Wiggle, to a witch, to a bumble bee. I wish he'd pick! We're going to a party on Friday and I'd like to have his costume by then!
Joey is going as a puppy. I found his costume at Target. They have such cute things, it was hard to pick. The puppy outfit was so soft and adorable, it seemed fitting for a soft, adorable little baby!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Score 1 for Marshalls!

Every once in a while you can find some really , really good stuff at Marshalls. I must have been in the right place at the right time or something because today I scored big. They must have just received new inventory of good brands, because I really could have gone crazy in there. With our current economic climate, one must be careful with the spending unfortunately!

I got a very cool Juicy Couture dress. Probably last season, but for $69.99, I really don't mind!
It's a petite, and I love that! Very cool aubergine color that is hip right now. I've bought other Juicy items there before like the ubiquitous velour hoodie and a great pair of sunglassess.

They also had an entire aisle dedicated to Le Crueset and All Clad!! Great stuff too!!! I could not indulge for myself, but I did get a few Christmas presents for others!

I may have to check back next week to see what else is new there!

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