Monday, February 27, 2012


Audrey is such a good sharer that she shared her germs with Mommy and Daddy! So now we're all sick. And now that I know how she's been feeling, it's no wonder all she wants to do is cuddle.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

viral upper respiratory infection

In other words, Audrey has her first cold! Why do doctors do that anyway? Diagnose in such a scary way when there's a simple way to say it. Like hemangioma. When Audrey was born and they told me she had a hemangioma, I freaked out! Just say birthmark for goodness' sake! Anyway, I digress...

Monday, she didn't quite seem her active self, but she didn't seem sick. Monday night at dinner, I noticed she was shivering, so I took her upstairs and she had a low grade fever of 100.3 degrees. Monday night was rough. She was in bed with us all night battling the fever. Tuesday was more of the same. We would give her Motrin or Tylenol and the fever would come down, but as it wore off, it would come right back up. So we took her to the doctor.

Audrey's doctor, who we LOVE, didn't have any appointments available so we saw another doctor in the practice. He said her ears looked fine, but that her throat was very red and she had her first "viral upper respiratory infection." He said it tends to last about 10 days and that the runny nose, congestion and cough would be on their way.

This doctor also made a comment that the reason she hadn't been sick until now was because I stayed home with her instead of putting her in daycare, and that "her kindergarten teacher will only see her a month out of the whole school year," because she'll be so sick. This really made me and my husband mad. We won't be seeing this doctor again, I don't care that he's been a doctor since I was a child. I would rather take my daughter to the Emergency Room. He made it seem like I was harming my daughter by staying home with her! First of all, you know nothing about my daughter except the symptoms I just told you has has now. And just because she isn't in daycare doesn't mean that we never leave the house! She is exposed to germs and people and other children. And maybe the reason she hasn't been sick yet is because she was breastfed for 13 1/2 months and has built a strong immune system! Grrrrrrrrrr... I'm not surprised at all that her first cold came right after we finished nursing for good.

Anyway, rant over for now I guess. Wednesday brought the constant runny nose and today she started with the cough. Her fever seems to be gone, but you can tell how much her throat hurts because her normal, awesome appetite is lacking! She is drinking okay, but it is a struggle to get her to eat anything but yogurt. I guess that's better than nothing, but it's just not like her.

So we're on day 4 and hopefully she starts to get better soon. Did I mention that all 4 of her molars are also coming in right now too? Poor baby! She does seem more like herself now that the fever is gone, but she's extra cuddly. I wish I could just make her better!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Diaper Motorcycle

On Wednesday, I told you how one of my friends had a baby boy. Her baby shower was in November, and I wanted to do something special for her. I did a little searching on Pinterest and found this really amazing, awesomely detailed tutorial for a diaper motorcycle from Sweetaprils.

I gathered the supplies and it came together so easily! I didn't take any photos while I was making it, but I did get a few of the finished product. I can't take any credit for the idea, but everyone, including the mom-to-be, loved it at the shower! I definitely recommend heading over to Sweetaprils blog for the tutorial if you're interested in making one. It is so easy to follow!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


That's right! I'm celebrating! Last night, one of my very best friends gave birth to a beautiful little boy! I can't imagine a more fantastic Valentine's Day gift for her and her husband! The beautiful new mommy and I have been friends since high school, but for some reason, we became much better friends after we graduated. She was a huge support for me through my miscarriages, and she struggled herself along her journey to conceive. I think that's what makes this baby boy so special to me. I'm sitting here crying because I am so happy for her and her husband and because I love this baby, that I have not even met yet, almost as much as I would my own flesh and blood.

I am so grateful for your friendship and that you are a part of my life! Congratulations on your sweet little boy! Get some rest and soak up every second of him. Auntie Sara can't wait to come visit and snuggle him!
Love you!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Being a stay-at-home mom

Yesterday, I laid out a day in my life as a stay-at-home mom. I gave you the details, the facts. Every day is slightly different, but most go something like this. What I didn't say is how I like being a stay-at-home-mom.

So how do I feel now that I've been permanently home with Audrey for the last 10 months? I am most definitely grateful for the opportunity! I have been able to breastfeed without pumping. I have seen her first steps, heard her first words and experienced every new discovery with her. There are so many people that would love the opportunity to stay home with their children, but just can't. I try not to take this opportunity for granted. I know what a blessing it is. She is so smart and such a loving, sweet little girl. I know this is in part due to the quality time I have been able to spend with her, reading to her, playing with her, teaching her and loving her.

That doesn't mean it has been easy or that I am the perfect mom. There are days when I don't give her enough attention. There are days when I struggle to come up with new ideas to keep her entertained and teach her new things. Financially, living on one income has certainly been a sacrifice for us. Mentally, I could definitely use more adult interaction in my life.

But Audrey is growing up so incredibly fast. I know that I will never have the opportunity to relive this precious time with her, and I treasure it. I kiss her and cuddle her and tell her I love her many, many times a day. I let her help me fold the laundry and empty the dishwasher even though it takes twice as long as doing it myself. I help her stir the oatmeal as it is cooking on the stove. We sing and dance together, we tickle each other and laugh together. These are moments and memories that I will treasure always.

Do I miss working? Yes, sometimes. I loved my last job. I loved interacting with brides. I loved the opportunities I had to be creative. I loved being a part of what made a couple's wedding day so special. Will I ever return to the workplace? Most likely. When Audrey, and any other children we may have, start school, I'm sure I will go back to work. Doing what, I don't really know. I have a degree, but have never really developed a career. That used to bother me, but it doesn't any more. My family is my career. Somewhere in my heart I always knew it would be. And it is the perfect career for me. Because what I do best is take care of the people I love.

Being a stay-at-home mom is not for everyone. It is not an opportunity afforded to everyone. It is more exhausting and difficult than I imagined it would be, physically and emotionally. But it is also more wonderful and rewarding than I imagined. I think about other stay-at-home moms in a much different, more positive way. It has allowed me to form a beautiful bond with my daughter. It has been beneficial to her growth and development, as well as mine.

It is a blessing. Every single day. And I am grateful.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A day in the life...

I write a lot about Audrey, but I haven't been writing much about my experience being a mom, and more specifically a stay-at-home mom. It is definitely much more difficult and exhausting than I ever imagined, but it is also more rewarding.

So here it is! A day in the life of a stay-at-home mom:

2:30am-4:30am - Audrey has been waking up somewhere in this time frame lately and just not going back to sleep in her crib. If we take her in bed with us, she will fall right back to sleep, so that's what we've been doing. Don't judge us. We've tried everything and this gets us all the most restful night's sleep.

6am - Audrey tends to wake up about now. Since she's in our bed, I usually turn on cartoons and she'll sit there quietly and watch while Mommy rests a little longer.

7am - Around now Audrey starts to get a little antsy and we'll get up. She gets a clean diaper and we'll go downstairs. We have finally finished nursing (post to come soon!) so I'll get her a sippy cup of whole milk and she'll sit quietly and "read" books. That gives Mommy some time to check her email and google reader, then we play.

9am - Breakfast time! Audrey's breakfast is usually Greek yogurt and fruit, oatmeal and blueberries, toast, a scrambled egg with cheese, or some combination of those things.

After breakfast can be many things. I may put a load of laundry in or do some dishes. Audrey loves to help with both. I may put cartoons on for her. Sometimes she'll watch, but most of the time she'll play with her toys or books and just look up on occasion.

11am - Nap time for Audrey! Once she's down for her nap, I do a quick clean-up of the playroom. I used to be OCD about it and constantly clean up after her, but that got exhausting. Now it's just a quick pick-up at nap-time and a more thorough job at bedtime. Once that's done, this is the time I'll usually get my shower and eat something if I haven't already yet. Sometimes I try to do some things around the house that aren't so easy when she's awake. Other times, if I'm lucky, I have time to comment on some blogs, write a blog post myself, edit some photos, or work on a craft or sewing project.

1pm - Audrey usually wakes up from her nap. Sometimes it's only an hour and a half nap, others it's two and a half or three hours, but for the most part it's right around a two hour nap. If Daddy's home, we fight over who gets to go pick her up because she gives the BEST hugs when she first wakes up from her nap!

We let her pick out her outfit for the day out of her closet. Yes, we usually let her stay in her pajamas until after her nap. She's comfy. But she loves to pick out her own outfit. Then we'll go downstairs for lunch. Lunch is usually whole milk and leftovers from dinner the night before, or a grilled cheese, or a selection of fruits and vegetables that she can feed herself, or a combination of some of these things. She likes to feed herself most at lunchtime for some reason, so I try to give her foods that she can easily do so.

1:30pm-4pm - Playtime! In the afternoon, we usually go on some kind of outing. It may just be some errands I have to run. But, it has been an unseasonably mild winter here, with little snow, so we've been going on lots of walks in the stroller. In the fall we played out in the yard, and the one snowstorm we had we played in the snow. If it's really cold, we may just stay inside and read books together or have a tea party. Audrey LOVES to read books and I think we read every book on her bookshelf at least once a day. She also loves to sing songs, and play with her dolls, blocks or balls, or play hide-n-seek. Sometimes we attempt craft time, but she doesn't seem to really enjoy that yet.

4pm - We usually start thinking about/preparing dinner. Audrey loves to be in the kitchen! She always wants to help stir and see what's going on. If she's not interested in dinner prep, she'll go to her drawer and play with the plastic cups, utensils etc. we have in there for her.

5:30pm - This is usually dinner time. Early, I know. In the summer when my husband is in the midst of the season it may be later, but sometimes he'll just eat what we've had when he gets home if he works late that day. Again, Audrey "helps" with clean-up or plays with her kitchen stuff.

6:15pm-7pm - This is a quieter playtime. We read books, or play on the floor. Mommy and Daddy get lots of kisses and cuddles. We count fingers and toes, or point to eyes, ears and noses.

7pm - Tubby time! Audrey LOVES tubby time. We brush her teeth and wash up, then she splashes and plays with her toys. When she gets out, we dry off, put on lavender lotion and put on the pajamas she has picked out for the night. We head upstairs to her room and read a story together. Mommy gives hugs and kisses, then leaves while Daddy puts her down.

7:30pm - Audrey is sleeping. Mommy picks up the play room, and most nights I climb into bed. Hubby and I will watch TV together, or I'll read while he's watching some sport I'm not interested in. This is our time to unwind and chat and relax. Most nights we're usually sleeping by 10pm.

12:30am - Audrey will sometimes wake up about now, though she has been better lately. A quick cuddle of reassurance from Daddy and she'll go right back down in the crib.

And then we do it all over again the next day!

Some days I can't believe how much I accomplish and others I wonder how I could be so exhausted when it felt like I did nothing. But then I have to remember, I am a maid and personal chef. I am a teacher, kisser of boo-boos and the tickle monster. I am a friend and a lover. I am a cloth-diapering, baby-wearing, breast-feeding, proud mommy. I am an accountant and investor. I am a therapist and a photographer. I am a writer and recorder of memories. I am a shoulder to lean on. I am a party planner and travel agent. I do all this, and more, and I "work" 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I don't get vacation or sick time.

This post turned out to be much longer than I expected with just the "facts," so stay tuned in the next few days for my reflections and thoughts on what being a stay-at-home mom is like for me.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A day at the museum

Mass MoCA is the largest center for contemporary arts in the United States. Not only is it a really cool place to visit, but it also holds a special place in my heart because I worked there in high school with my two best friends, April and Kristen.

Yesterday was the museum's annual Free Day, so my hubby and I took the opportunity to introduce Audrey to Mass MoCA for the first time. I didn't realize it until we got there, but my husband had never been inside the galleries either! I hadn't been inside in years, so it was quite a treat despite the many people taking advantage of the day!

They had lots of activities going on, but we just wandered around on our own. I only brought my point and shoot with me, but we did get a few pictures of our fun afternoon. When we were in an area that wasn't too crowded, we let Audrey walk around. She seemed to really like it and she was very good about not touching anything.

Daddy and Audrey in front of Nari Ward's Nu Colossus

This was my favorite! So cool!

Audrey exploring Nari Ward's Mango Tourists

Sanford Biggers' The Cartographer's Conundrum

Audrey was more interested in her shadow

than she was this exhibit.

By far, Audrey's favorite

was Sol Lewitt's

A Wall Drawing Retrospective.

Pretty colors, Mommy!

Natalie Jeremijenko's Tree Logic has been there since I worked there,
and I've always loved the upside down trees!

There were, of course, some things I didn't care for, but all-in-all it was a fun afternoon for all three of us! Just walking around in the buildings and tunnels of the former Sprague Electric company complex, that is now Mass MoCA, is so interesting and full of history. Thank you Mass MoCA for Free Day!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

New blog design

*UPDATE - 2/11 4PM*
We had so much fun at the museum! Photos to come soon! :) Oh yeah....and the new blog layout is up! Let me know what you think! :) If you notice anything that isn't working, I'd love a heads up about that too. Happy Saturday!

*UPDATE - 2/11 1PM* 
The blog is a mess! I'm sorry! Don't judge it yet, it's far from done. I'm in the middle of the changes and we decided to bring Audrey to the museum for family day! :)

I've been working on a new blog design. I have a list of things I want to blog about (besides Audrey) so I thought a pretty new layout would be good motivation to get writing! If you come to my blog to read instead through a reader, please hang in there while I change some things around. Everything should be up and running smoothly in a day or two. :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Audrey - 13 months


You have been 13 months old for a week and 2 days already. I don't know what has taken Mommy so long to write your letter this month. Maybe I'm trying to keep you from growing up so darn fast!

You added a few new words to your vocabulary this month. Auntie taught you how to say "happy" so that you could wish Mommy a Happy Birthday! It's now one of your favorite words! Sticking with "h" words, you also say "hot" now, but it doesn't stop you from trying to eat or touch something hot. You can say "apple" now too and correctly point to an apple or picture of an apple without any help!

You continue to LOVE books and reading. You grab a couple books off the book shelf and plop your tooshie down on Mommy's lap for story time. Mommy loves this new habit and enjoys the cuddles while we're reading. You have a "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" book that you love Mommy to sing to you. You even grab the book yourself and try to sing it. You point to your head and say head, but the rest of the song is just the cutest sing-song voice.

You have always loved animals, but you have a new-found love of elephants this month! Your grandpa taught you how to make an elephant trunk with your arm and you love to do this now. It looks more like your "trunk" is coming out of your ear rather than your nose, but that just makes it cuter. You are such a silly little girl! Every night, Mommy let's you pick your jammies out of the dresser and you ALWAYS pick a pair with elephants on them if there are any clean.

The big event of the month was your first black eye. I say first because you are Mommy's little spit-fire and I'm sure there are many more to come! Around 4am one morning, you were crying and you got very mad because Mommy told you to go back to sleep and wouldn't take you out of your crib. You got so mad that you hoisted yourself up and right out of your crib! I think Mommy and Daddy were more upset than you were, but you gave yourself a shiner that lasted a good 2 weeks. You've been sleeping with Mommy and Daddy a lot more since then, and needless to say, sleeping continues to be our only struggle with you.

Despite that, you continue to surprise and amaze us with how cute, smart, loving and adventurous you are! We've had very little snow this winter, but we had one good storm this month and took you out to play in it. You did much better than you did after the fluke storm in October. You loved having Mommy and Daddy pull you around in the sled!

On the day you turned 13 months, we went to a pool party for your cousins' birthdays. We weren't surprised that you loved the pool! You are definitely a water baby! Tubby time is probably your favorite time of the day, so you were so happy and amazed when we took you in the "huge tubby!"

You give the BEST hugs and kisses, and even blow kisses now. Mommy loves your sweet love and cuddles. It melts my heart and makes me so very happy. I can't imagine my life without you, my sweet girl! You are my world!

Love Always!