Happy Birthday Mommy!

>> Thursday, February 26, 2009

Yesterday was my birthday. I have to admit this birthday was a little hard on me. I was not my normal chipper birthday month self. I usually count down the whole month of February until it is here. This year I was like blah! But all in all it was a good day. Michael had already given me my presents over the weekend so I could play with them. My new Itouch and then the Wii Fit I pouted my way into. hehee. Spoiled rotten...I know.

It started out with Michael making breakfast. A duty we have been splitting on our new diet. He even got Lily dressed. When he brought her down she was clutching a card in both hands and had a huge smile on her face. Almost like she had picked out the card all by herself. It was adorable. Of course then she didn't want to give the card up! She was so happy the whole morning. She knew it was a Mommy day and decided to be sweeter than usual.

Work was really busy that day. I usually try and take my birthday off. A general rule of thumb is that no one should have to work on their birthday! But now that we have Lily my vacation time is precious! My company doesn't give sick time so anytime I take off eats away at my vacation time. It just wasn't worth it to take a random Wednesday off.

When I finally got home and settled we decided to go to outback for dinner so we didn't have to cook or clean up. Plus Outback has to have something on our diet! It was good and Lily was behaved for the most part. I think because we take her out so much she is adapted to it. I believe it is good for her and gets her used to people and public, etc.

By the time we got home she was out like a light and went straight to bed. I stayed up and worked out on my Wii fit and then went to bed. Happy Birthday me! I guess that is what happens when your losing the battle of spiraling towards thirty.


37 Weeks

>> Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lily is 8.5 months old! This past weekend was uneventful. We finally purchased our second convertible car seat for the convertible (my car). What a task. It has taken me well over a month of research to find a good one that fits. And which one fits? The most expensive one of course! We ended up going with the Britax Roundabout.

I did some research and along with our EvenFlow Triumph in the Pathfinder, it got the highest safety rating. Funny enough this one was more expensive than the EvenFlow which we consider our "primary" carseat. Pros of the Britax: Compact size (our number one deciding factor). This actually fits better than her infant carrier in the back. These cool little Velcro things that hold the straps in place so that you can set her in and not have to pull the straps out. Obviously the safety rating is a pro too. Cons: PRICE! and it only goes up to forty pounds. Our EvenFlow goes up to fifty. She is a chunker so we will see how many years it last. Oh and it is not very pretty. But I am telling you this thing fits good! So we got that one.

That was the highlight of our weekend. Our really expensive Babies R' us trip. Sad huh?

Lily ended up with a fever most of Sunday. No apparent reason but she was not her self. Very clingy all day. She wanted to be held and rock for most of the afternoon and slept most of the morning. Tylenol did not seem to lower it too much either. It was pitiful; her eyes were all glassy. But she woke up Monday fine. Not sure what was going on. Teeth? She hasn't really gotten a fever with teeth before though. Honestly our fevers are usually signs of an ear infection. Ugh. I will kill somebody if she has another one. We have a follow up with the ENT on Thursday so we will know then.

Two milestones this past week. Lily is now clapping her hands. And she official stood for no more than five seconds unassisted. YaY! Very exciting! I scared her the first time she stood up when I screamed with excitement and she immediately fell. I am not sure when she started this but we noticed she can now go from crawling to sitting and from standing to sitting. Her mobility in the past week has really been improving. Or should I say her ability to move without falling (i.e standing to sitting usually consisted of a fall).

Coming up this week: Mommy's birthday, ENT visit, Family March Birthday celebrations, Mandy's baby shower. Whew that sounds like a lot.


Gadget Galore

>> Monday, February 23, 2009

I got an early birthday present for my awesome hubby! I am blogging from my new iTouch. How cool is that? So if you weren't already looking forward to weekly update there may be more on the way! Although I could see how this could turn into a place to put the MANY random thoughts and ideas that flow through my head...as if you don't get enough of that already. I will keep rambling to a minimum!


South Beach Diet Update Week 2

Last week was sooo much better. My cravings have decreased and my will power have increased significantly. Michael doesn't seem to mind as much either. No more "needs" when we are done eating. I have one no sugar added fudgesicle a day and that is my saviour. My headache is gone. I do think my intake of diet soda is increasing so I will have to work on that. I really do feel like we are eating better! A lot more veggies than we are used to that is for sure. So totals after this week.....

Michael: 15 pounds
Stephaine: 7.4 pounds

Not bad eh? I seem to be following a steady half of what he is losing. Men! But I am still proud. We have decided to transition into phase 2 instead of going full force adding all carbs back. The next two weeks we will add in a few servings of fruit a week. Just because it will be easier to control until we get good and used to the diet. So we might do our "transition" for two more weeks.

We also added a Wii Fit to our household with the goal (for me at least) to do thirty minutes three times a week. That will be a feat with Lily but I am confident. I did it yesterday for thirty minutes and whereas I think it is hard to get a hard core aerobic exercise with it it will be easier to do strength and balance with it. I was a little sore this morning from some of the yoga poses. Whew I am definitely not as young as I used to be. Some of them were tough.

Michael and I were talking over dinner and I told him, like I have on most days, how proud I am of him. I know this is a big change for him...well me too of course. We both have different areas it is a change for us but I knew this diet would be harder on him. But this is the perfect diet for him since he has a triglyceride problem. So I am interested to see his blood work after a few months of this. The doctor said this would help.

Although we are obviously doing this for health (and vanity!) reasons, Lily plays a big party. Neither one of us have ever been thin people. I am not saying I want her to be thin. But I do want her to be at peace with her healthy weight. Not struggling with her weight like we do. I am the smallest in my family and I am not small! Especially post baby. Hopefully we be able to lead by example. That is really my motivation. Well that and that size X pair of jeans :)


Crazy Hair and Chick Flicks....a day in the life

>> Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It must be tough being a young lady. You get up and you have to fix your hair, figure out which diaper doesn't make your butt look too big and then pick an outfit that is so adorable that the daycare workers will only have eyes for you...especially during snack time. And when you wake up with hair like this you sure have your work cut out for you. And then there is Lily whose daycare workers decided to help her out with a "pigtail" right on the top of her head. I call it the 'lolipop kid' look. Straight from the Wizard of Oz.

Then you come home and beg Mommy to watch a movie. Dilegently crawling over to the movies when you don't think Mommy is looking. Pulling up to get a good look. Then the hard part...which movie to watch. A lady has a lot of choices. What could her and Mommy bond over?
Should she go with the old faithful? Sex and the City is Mommy's favorite?! Although it may suck Mommy and her in for days at a time. Who has that much of a time commitment?
Maybe she should keep looking....oooooo....here's a good one!

Comedy, Drama, weddings, and SATC actors! I think we have a winner!
Mommmmmmyyyyy! Come watch this movie with me!


Bye Bye Baby Weight

>> Monday, February 16, 2009

I have a ton of events this year. Between weddings, showers, vacations, parties...it is all a bit overwhelming. Especially when I look in the mirror. Notice all of these are picture events. I have avoided the camera much of 2008 with the benefit of usually being behind the camera. But since I am actually a bridesmaid in an upcoming wedding it will be hard to pull off bridesmaid duty and picture duty. So I have started a diet. Or should I say WE have started a diet.

Michael and I started South Beach Diet with the recommendation from a friend. I am normally a weight watchers girl but found it hard to follow while nursing due to extreme hunger. I actually already owned the book from a past attempt. Obviously I did not have enough motivation that time, right? Basically it is a healthy Atkins. I am not a promoter of Low Carb diets and a lot of people think that is all SBD is. In fact it is a health fat and healthy carb diet. It also focuses on the Glycemic index of foods.

My evaluation so far....Today will mark the end of week one

Weight Loss
Michael: 9.5 lbs
Stephaine: 4.2 lbs

Phase 1 is very restrictive. Pretty much no carbs. I try to be completely honest on this blog. Sometimes it can be TMI but that is my style. I don't sugar coat. So for the sake of honesty I will tell you this week has been tough. I wanted a freaking brownie and a large french fry soooo bad. Michael is really struggling since he cut out fast food with the diet and he eats it about five times a week (a mix of fast food and sit down restaurants). But I cooked every night, and made our lunches every day. And above is the fruits of my labor. Did I mention no fruit the first two weeks as well?

Here is a list of acceptable foods
Certain Meats and Poultry, including
Boiled ham
Lean ground beef
Turkey and chicken breast
Canadian and/or turkey bacon
Low- and/or non-fat lunch meat
All types of seafood

Beans, including:
Black eyed peas
Great northern beans
Pinto beans

A wide variety of vegetables, including:

One serving of nuts each day such as almonds, cashews, or macadamia nuts
Low-fat cheeses
Fats and oils such as olive oil, avocado, or mayo
Sugar substitutes
Treats such as sugar-free gelatin, hard sugar-free candy, and fudge pops

And for the long list of yummy no-no foods
Certain Meats and Poultry, including
Fatty cuts of beef
Prime rib
Dark meat chicken and turkey
Honey-baked ham

Certain Vegetables, including:
Green peas

All Starches, including:

All Fruit and Fruit Juice
Whole Milk
All Alcohol
All Sweets, including
Ice cream
Baked goods

So the hardest? Alcohol, Sweets, and cereal. I love cereal...eat it every morning. Michael's hardest...ALCOHOL, bread and potatoes.

The first week I did feel alot of cravings. I would eat until I was full and know I was full but had this feeling in my throat like it still needed something. Something like a chocolate chip cookie. I can't explain it. When I asked Michael he explained the same exact feeling. I noticed an improvement in this feeling starting yesterday. I will update you next week on how that "need" is coming along.

My only other two complaints are a headache and little havoc on digestion system. I had a headache for about four days. It felt like I was getting off caffeine. Which I wasn't. I did some research and apparently it is common with carb withdrawal. It just proves my addiction to processed sugars, etc. Disgusting really. It was an annoyance but nothing unbearable. The digestion issues or lack thereof might be TMI so I won't go to much into that. Let's say it's not a "show stopper" for Michael like it is for me!

I would say we have both surprised ourselves this week with our willpower. I only fell once. I had a customer visit last week and we had lunch brought in. I had a small helping of white rice because I was starving and that was the only thing left. Michael had a few handfuls of beer on Friday night so that was his cheat. I had one low carb beer. So I guess I cheated twice but who's counting! I feel like we are eating better. Way more veggies than we ever eat! It is inspiring me to cook more. I actually need to be getting up early to account for the morning eggs that we are now having. That adds about ten minutes to my morning routine.

All diets have costs. This one is pricey because of all the fresh veggies I have been buying. In part because Lily started on table food last week and I have been making her steamed fresh veggies, and because of the diet. We may have to switch to frozen to save some mulah though. It is hard economic times! Fresh stuff ain't cheap. But I think that is what gets people in this mess to start with. Processed foods are just cheaper! A neverending cycle.

I will give a SBD update next week....hopefully a little lighter.


8 Months Old

>> Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Happy Eight Month Birthday to you Lily! What a lovely birthday present we had for you....surgery.

We got up at 4AM to take Lily to Blue Ridge Surgery Center to get a double Myringotomy with pressure equalizing tubes. We had to report at 6AM without letting her eat or drink after midnight the night before. So Michael and I worked really hard to keep her up past her 9PM bedtime. We made it to 9:30PM. It was so precious to see her head nodding off while I tried to read her a story to keep her interested. But alas we had to give up and but her to bed. So we dressed her in her surgery outfit. They requested a top pant combo so she wouldn't be cold during the surgery. They made her take off the top for the procedure. Our grand plan was to keep her asleep as long as possible to fight off hunger issues. My little baby is just like her Mommy...once her eyes open her mouth opens for food.

We were successful she stayed asleep until about 6:30 right before pre-op. Everyone was really nice. I will say the place could have been a little cleaner to my standards but nothing gross. Just an older building. The nurses asked us a bunch of questions, we talked to the anesthesiologist about what to expect when she woke up, and got to pick a "flavor" of gas for her to smell. We picked strawberry. Hopefully she like it! Then the doctor came for any last minute questions. We didn't have any. Then the nurse came to take her away.

Oh it was hard! I tried not to let her see me cry and gave her a quick peck and an "I love you" before I turned around fighting back tears. Then we were ushered out into the lobby, all teary eyed to wait. I think they should give the parents gas as well because it was awful waiting. But Michael did his best to distract me. Apparently I was not nearly as bad as he expected me to be. It helped that there were like five kids there getting tubes! But Lily was first since she was the youngest. One lady had twins getting them at the same time! EEK! Here is a picture of what they did. He said she would have a lot relief from the pressure release. The tube would allow the fluid to escape and hearing to return to normal. So we waited....
Fifteen minutes is like eternity when you child is away from you. I really had to go to the bathroom and didn't want to because I knew the doctor would come out as soon as I went into restroom. The procedure only takes 10-15 minutes. But I decided to go and low and behold when I came out Dr. Clark was sitting with Michael. He said when he made the incision in her eardrum a ton of fluid gushed out. We should see an immediate difference in her hearing and a lot of drainage over the next few days. But he did say the eardrum did not look infected just full of fluid. But the procedure went fine and we were going to see her in the next few minutes. He said we may see an improvement in speech and balance too. She is actually right on schedule with this stuff so we are doing good and I don't think we will notice. If she starts talking in full sentences we will know something is up!

The nurse came and got us and took us to recovery. I could hear her before I got to the door. Screaming. It was terrible. It was her pain scream. Like when she would wake in the middle of night, eyes still closed and inconsolable. Those were usually the nights we knew her ear was hurting. Like crying her in sleep. The nurse told us this was normal and she may be like this for a little while longer. They recommended I nurse her and then go on and head home. As soon as we were alone and I was trying to nurse her I just broke down. Michael did not understand but it was like a huge wave of relief went over me. I have to admit I had a neurotic fear of her not waking up from the anesthesia. It could happen. So the emotion was just too much and I just started sobbing. She just kept screaming so it made it worse. Well nursing was impossible she wanted nothing to do with it so we were out the door five minutes after we went back to recovery. Still screaming! Out the door two hours later. They bring you in to pay (30 mins), pre op (1hr), surgery (15 min) and recovery (15min). Not too long of a day. I remember getting on the beltline and noticing all the traffic and thinking oh yeah everyone is stuck in morning commute traffic. I felt like my day had started many many hours ago. Was is lunch time yet?

She finally calmed down about twenty to thirty minutes later during the car ride home. I think she cried herself out and she was out like a light. We got home and I took her out of her car seat. We recently switched out of the infant carrier so I assumed she would wake up when I picked her up but nope still out. We walked upstairs with intentions of nursing her. She still has not ate and its like 8:30AM now. But even after I laid her in my bed she was still out. So I laid with her and we slept. She finally woke up at 10:30AM. Wow!

She woke up like nothing had happened. She was smiling and cuddling with me. Cooing. So I let her eat and then we played and she climbed all over me like a jungle gym. Just like it was a weekend day with all of us home.

We decided since she was in a good mood we would go out to lunch and do some errands. So we went to Chili's. She was still in a great mood. A little bit of crusties, blood tinged, in her ear but that was it. Then we went to Target. New rule. If you get surgery you get a new toy. So we picked out this Ball popper thingy. It is hysterical. She was still great in Target and in BJs. Just stayed in her stroller observing!

So we went home and played with her new toy which she loves! I will have to get a video of her with it. She loves balls so this was a special treat. She even picked up the balls and placed them in the contraption a few times. After that it was a normal day, eat, sleep, play.

A few eight months milestones:
-Started saying "mama" this past weekend. This is in addition to "dada" and something that sounds like "dog." Also tries to converse! Just babbles at you alot more.
-Started crawling to everything and pulling up very easily
-Can crawl with stomach off ground but usually chooses not to
-Started table food this week: Cheerios, veggies, will start fruit next week. She actually seems to prefer table food to baby food. So we are finally letting daycare feed her some puffs during the day.
-Weighs 20 pounds
-Upgraded to convertible car seat in SUV, and getting one over the next week for my car.
-Pushing out of majority of 6-9 month clothes and is pretty much in 12 months. I never thought I would say this but I actually had to go buy a stack of clothes for her. She was running out of fitting clothes! I never thought is was possible! She is still so short that the 12 month are long on her but hopefully that wont be an issue as it gets warmer she can wear dresses and shorts. We have no shorts so I may have to work on that! We are really short on PJs too.
-Is trying to stand up alone without holding on. For the past two days we have noticed her in the middle of the floor with her butt in the air on all fours, and crying with frustration. She really wants to stand. I cannot imagine the frustration! She has let go of what she is holding on to for a second and not realized it. This usually results in a fall though.
-Increased frustrations. She seems to feel stuck sometimes when she is standing, or if we don't help her.
-Crawls or cruises short distances to us with up reached arms, whining, and tugging. AKA "Pick me up woman!"

Needless to say she is getting to be a big girl quick. Who knows the ear help means she could be walking way sooner than I expected. I ain't gonna lie she is a big baby with a big head. I fully expected her to be a late walker but man she is trying! With the standing attempts and the frustrations it might be sooner than I expected. Til then....


Sunny Sunday

>> Monday, February 09, 2009

This past Sunday was gorgeous for a Sunday in early February. It was seventy so we kicked off our shoes and spent some time outside. Lily had a sundress waiting to be worn! We don't get a whole lot of time outside because it has been so cold, and definitely have not had any since she got mobile! First we went to swing for awhile. She loved it as usual!

Holding on for dear life!
Curious Baby
Hot Daddy! I love this picture. I want to frame it for my desk at work but I think it might be too cheezy.

After swing time we spent some time out of the blanket in the front yard. Lily has been getting up on all fours in an attempt to truly crawl. This is possible on something other than hardwood floors and apparently grass. She was very interested in the grass and leaves and did not stick to Mommy's protocol of staying on the blanket. We had a lot of fun! Here are few pics of the day. Oh notice Michael shaved his beard so yes he looks different. Him and the Razor got in a fight Saturday morning and the Razor won. It was hysterical. I got out of the shower and was shocked by his appearance. I haven't seen him without his beard in a LONG time. His favorite line is "I know it is terrible! My face isn't covered up anymore." It is really starting to grow on me though.

Daddy and Lily

Look how Blonde she is getting!

Belly off the ground crawling!

Lily is having surgery tomorrow on her ears. Wish us luck. I will post on that and and Eight Month Birthday post! Til Then.....


Steve and Michele's Shower

Meg, Dana (Michele's sister), and I threw a wedding shower for Steve and Michele this weekend. After much debate and a large guest list we decided to host the shower at a restaurant in Cary called Lucky 32's. What a great idea! I had no cleanup, prep, stress. It was great! Shane at Lucky 32's got me a menu for a brunch at a reasonable price per head, and we provided alcohol (champagne cocktails to go with the brunch theme), and we came an hour early to prep and done! It was fabulous! And unique. Our friends have not had a shower like this before. Elegant and fun. I think all three of us did a great job.
Lucky 32's did a great job! I would recommend them to anyone doing a party. I really liked that you could bring in your own alcohol, there was no room charge, and they did the main set up. We got a good deal for how nice the party was! The room was full of natural light and it was a beautiful day so it worked out.

I was lucky enough to get half off gift certificates through Triangle Listener rewards too. So a $50 dollar certificate for $25. Awesome! The only prep work I had was flowers (Lowe's food is the bomb), a Lowe's Food cake, invites, we did balloons, and picture centerpieces. All in all fairly simple. Mainly just coordinating which is what I do best! Here are a few detail shots.

Meg and CraigBrooke and Scott

Sexy Dave

Brian and Jen

Me, Meg, and Michele Jenna and Jen
A Daddy and Lily Moment....

What Happens when Scott gets your camera.....

Brent Posing

Dave in the "jungle"

Thoughtful Scott

Brooke pondering (actually not a bad pic...Scott might have hidden potential)


Scary Moment #1

>> Friday, February 06, 2009

I have come to realize that there are those moments in parenthood that just scare the crap out of you. I have been lucky. Lily's birth was painful, but for the most part normal, quick recovery. She was absolutely healthy, no scariness. For every parent it is different. For every child it is different. For my sister in law it was getting genetic testing over the past few months, for another friend it was getting false positives from her amniocentesis. For me it was taking my baby to the ear doctor.

Lily has her specialist visit because of our chronic ear issue. Basically the ear infection that won't die. Antibiotic resistant, and persistent. We have been ear infection free for a total of two weeks since Lily was 5 months old. The appointment with the ENT was not terrible. I wanted to know what was causing them, and what options we had. I got the same speech the paediatrician gave me about under developed Eustachian tubes. My three options were

-keep going with the antibiotics
-take her out of daycare
-get tubes

Okay first of all. I am a microbiologist. I know why bacteria become resistant. I have know was mercer is (the super staph infection for those you that don't), and I don't agree with keeping her on antibiotics for three months. I have made that clear. Then taking her out of daycare is not really an option since I have to work to pay for the specialist. So we are left with tubes. Ugh I really don't want to do this. The procedure sounds simple. That is not my issue. But they have to put her under to do the surgery. This is where the problem lies. I am 26 years old and have only been under once, and that was for wisdom teeth removal. I am scared of anesthesia. I know I shouldn't put my fears on my children. But there could be reactions, complications, etc. It completely freaks me out. To see my little baby in a hospital bed is not really an option for me.

He did say there was no infection but a lot of fluid still in the ear. But no redness. I should mentioned she finished her round of Vantin antibiotics on Wednesday. This was Thursday morning. So he told us to think on it and he wanted to see us back in a month pending no further issues. If we wanted the tubes we could schedule it any time.

They wanted to get a baseline hearing test from her as well. So the audiologist came and got us and had me hold Lily in my lap inside this sound booth. It was pretty cool. They play sounds at different levels and wait for her to turn her head. Once she turns her head to the sound a bunny lights up and moves to encourage turning of the head when she hears something.

Well she did not pass the hearing test. I should note that this is the part that scared the crap out of me. To date it is the scariest thing someone has said to me as a parent. I calmed but the initial reaction was total fear! She is not deaf by any means, but it's not good. She compared it to Lily hearing the world under water. Was she going to start losing her hearing? Was this my fault for not doing tubes sooner? Panic. I could tell Michael was worried too. He even called me at work to discuss it and really started pushing the tubes to me which is completely out of character. I make the decisions like this and he normally just goes with what I decide. But for him to have a strong opinion I knew he was worried.

To make matters worse she woke up a few times last night, and she was really snotty this morning. Our classic ear infection symptoms. One 24 hours period off antibiotics and it is back! It is so frustrating. So Michael called today and scheduled the surgery. She is booked for next Tuesday. The worst part is she cannot eat after midnight on the day of the surgery. Obviously they have never had to get a baby out of the house without morning milk! This should be interesting.

As a parent you have to make scary decisions. I know it is the right one. I wish they could do it without the anesthesia because that is what scares me the most. But I know if she ended up losing hearing it would be my fault because I am suppose to take care of her. She cannot make the decision so I have to do it for her. It is tough. It is a lot of responsibility! I guess it should be easier than it is because if she is suffering than I should do whatever it takes to make that stop. But there are always so many factors! I know there will be many more scary moments. This will probably be a joke compared to what is coming in the years to follow. As Michael says "it never gets any better than it is right now...only worse" It pessimistic but so true in relation to parenting.

So that is it. We are doing it. I let Michael take charge on this one. It is nice to give up the control....sometimes :) He also requested the doctor to give up some more antibiotics to get us through the weekend.

On a happier note got lots of people coming in town for a wedding shower tomorrow! Should be fun. Hopefully my freshly cleaned house does not get too messed up!


Do you ever.....

>> Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I was thinking of some random things that I do that might be kind of weird today.

For example, do you ever.....

-Bite you baby's fingernails? Yeah it is gross to write that but I do it. I have been known to bite her toenail (pre being on the floor and using her feet!)
-Hit the next blog button up on the top of this page just to see what craziness you get. It is quite entertaining!
-Flip through the Pottery Barn magazine and completely redesign a room of yours....in your head.
-Randomly try on hats at _____(insert department store here)
-Give the skinny girl in the dressing room line the evil eye when she asks for a smaller size
-Just stare at the baby in her crib sleeping, or randomly get up to check on her just because you miss her
-Really, seriously, picking up the phone now to order one of the infomercial weightloss programs at 2 in the morning. But they really look like they work!!!! In my defense Bare Minerals my make up started as an infomercial and I LOVE it!
-Facebook stalk people you haven't seen in years and never even really liked so why do you care?

It is weird the things you think about at work to avoid doing real work.


Picture Update

>> Monday, February 02, 2009

Just a few pics from the past few days...I have been horrible about taking them lately.

Playing in the "worthless" playmat that actually got cool once she got older I like fishies

All smiles for Mommy

Standing Tall

All dressed up for Aunt Meg

Michael hated this "ghetto" headband, but I thought it was adorable in a ghetto way