Monday, April 30, 2012

Letters To Tory: Eight Months

Tory Bean,

As if it was even possible, life with you becomes more wonderful every single day. You're starting to feel less like a baby and more like a little girl with one spunky personality. This month you started waving "hi" to people and especially to Chloe the dog. Sometimes, especially after a nap when you're in a great mood, you'll even say "hi" in your own gibberish language. Although the pronunciation isn't quite right, I know that's exactly what you're saying. It's too cute for words!

Speaking of Chloe, she's quickly becoming your new best friend (although I'm not sure she'd say the same about you). When we ask you "where's Chloe?" you twist and turn all around trying to look for her in her usual spot on the couch. If you hear Chloe's footsteps down the hallway while we're trying to put you down for a nap, our chances are over. You'll pop right up to see what Chloe's up to.

Mostly, you have a friendly, outgoing personality and you'll flash a great big smile to anyone who shows you attention. I say mostly because you aren't very fond of elderly people and startle when men talk to you without letting you warm up to them first. (Daddy says he's just fine with your fear of men, by the way. At least until you're 30, that is). I feel so bad for your great-grandmas who always want to hold you. Is it their gray hair? Perfume? The sound of their voice? I'm not exactly sure but I hope you warm up to them soon. They love you so much!

Developmentally, your mind is growing by leaps and bounds. One of your favorite things to do these days is lift each toy out of a basket, examine it and throw it over your shoulder. You can create quite the mess around you! Recently, you're very interested in blocks and balls that fit perfectly in the size of your hand. I can't wait for you to discover how those blocks and pieces fit through the shapes on the top of the bucket.

This month has definitely been your most active. You're quite the wiggly worm! You roll from tummy to back and back to tummy constantly and can even scoot backwards on the hardwood floor. You're not crawling yet, but I think you're close. As of now, you seem content to roll to your destination. Thankfully, one big change I've noticed this month is your ability to stand on your legs without jumping up and down. For a while there, I thought you might bounce your way through life!

These days, you weigh 15.5lbs and are 26 3/4 inches long. You're wearing 9 months clothes but are quickly moving into 12 month sizes, which I'm excited about (there's a closet-full of adorable dresses, sandals and sun hats just waiting to be worn). You eat three meals of solids a day, but are only interested in purees. I gave you a mum-mum cracker the other day and it's seriously the only thing I've seen you refuse to put in your mouth!

We celebrated your first Easter in Nebraska this month and you wore the most adorable pink sailor dress. It's hard to believe next year you'll be hunting for Easter eggs with your cousins!

A few of your favorite things this month are bath time (which happens quite often these days as smearing food in your hair is also a favorite past time), stroller rides around the neighborhood, your jumperoo swing, books (particularly those with flaps that lift or ones with different textures) and Daddy. Oh, how much you adore your daddy, little girl. The biggest gummy smile goes to him every single time.

Happy 8 months, baby girl!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Week In The Life 2012: Sunday

Alright, I've really fallen off the wagon on the picture-taking for this project. Today was sort of a boring day and I didn't have much motivation to document it. But, to finish this little project, here's a recap of Sunday - the final day in a Week In The Life: Spring 2012.

Sunday, April 29
Weekend Day

Tory's awake. Dang, I have no idea why she is waking up at Midnight the last few nights! With sleepy eyes, I make my way to the kitchen to make a bottle, feed Tory and rock her back to sleep.

Tory's awake again. Change. Feed. Rock. Back to sleep.

Grrrr. Tory's awake again! I let her fuss for a few minutes before realizing she's not going back to sleep. I get up, unsuccessfully attempt to rock her back to sleep, before finally bringing her back to bed with Andi and I. I know I should let Andi sleep since he's got a full day of travel ahead, but it's 6:00am ... and I'm tired, too.

I turn on the tv to Sesame Street (I know, bad mom) and lay Tory between us. She's not really watching tv, of course. She rolls back and forth between Andi and I, grabbing at his face and kicking me in the head with her legs. After a few minutes, I finally just get up with her. I change her diaper and bring her to the kitchen to play.

I make Tory some breakfast (1/4 cup of rice cereal with pears and raspberry puree mixed in) and feed her. Meanwhile, Andi gets up and takes a shower.

Andi comes upstairs and Tory and I watch him run around the house packing up last minute things. We practicing waving "hi" to Daddy. I toast an English muffin and top it with butter and jelly, then sit down on the kitchen floor to continue entertaining Tory in her activity center. I'm feeling extra blue this morning at the thought of Andi leaving in a few hours. Man, I miss him already.

Whenever Andi travels, I have a habit of cleaning my house just the way I want it. That way, everything stays nice and clean while he's gone as there's no one around to make a mess other than Tory and I. I decide now's a good time to wipe out the fridge and disgard all expired products.

I lay Tory down for her morning nap, then get ready for the day (today I'm wearing jeans, a black tank top and a black fleece zip-up. I brush my teeth, comb my hair and put on make-up just as Tory wakes up. Girlfriend only slept for 25 minutes. Definitely not long enough. I hear Andi go into her nursery to get her. He picks out an outfit for her to wear and dresses her for the day while I finish getting ready. Listening to him struggle to dress her is quite possibly the funniest thing ever. She is very wiggly these days so I hear a lot of "hey! come back here!"

We all load into the family truckster in route to the airport. What is my deal today? I'm seriously holding back tears as we're driving down the highway. I do not want Andi to leave. Sigh. He starts making small talk and I'm thankful; it takes my mind off how sad I'm feeling right now.

We arrive at the airport, say our good-byes and head back home. Tory's asleep before we even leave the airport grounds. I'm glad she's finishing her morning nap in the car.

Back at home, I park in the garage and let Tory continue sleeping for a few minutes. She's such a light sleeper, she usually wakes up the minute we pull into the drive-way but this morning she must be pretty tired.

Meanwhile, I let Chloe outside to go to the bathroom and she darts off the bottom step of the deck to charge at the neighbor dog. In the process, she somehow twists her leg and whimpers and hops across the back yard. I walk into the back yard to retrieve her and carry her back into the house. I'm put her up on the counter top to look for a sticker in her paw or to see if I can see where her leg is bothering her. I don't see anything specific, but she won't stand on her leg at all. Poor puppy dog!

The morning nap is short-lived. Tory's awake so I carry her inside the house. I warm up the remainder of her bottle from earlier this morning and carry her downstairs to the office to call my mom on FaceTime. My parents get many FaceTime computer calls the weeks Andi is traveling. It give me someone to talk to and something to do to pass the time. My mom and I visit about my sister's bridal shower yesterday, about Tory, about my sister's upcoming wedding next month and about our weekends. I sign off with her once Tory get restless and ready for lunchtime.

Today Tory's feasting on a butternut squash and corn puree which is very runny! I can't say I'd buy that particular variety again because it was so messy, although Tory didn't seem to mind it. It was seriously like trapping liquid on a teeny tiny baby spoon.

Andi's sister Lindsay and her boyfriend John stop by for a visit. We chat for a while in the living room. They take Tory into her play room and entertain her for a bit while I check my email, Facebook, etc.

Lindsay and John leave and I put Tory down for a nap. She's super tired after taking two disjointed naps this morning. She falls right to sleep following her bottle.

I haven't eaten anything since the English muffin this morning and I'm feeling sort of light-headed. I look in the cupboards for something to eat, then the refrigerator, then the freezer but I can find anything that sounds good. I hear Tory from her nursery so I'm distracted and never eat.

Tory's awake. We play in the living room for a while with toys. Chloe's leg is still bothering her and she won't put any weight on it at all. I'm growing concerned. I'm not sure if she just sprained her back leg or if it's broken. It can't be broken, right? While she won't put any pressure on it, she's not crying or whimpering either. I suppose I'll have to take her into the vet tomorrow.

Tory's becoming very exploratory this afternoon. I've never seen her move around this much and she's rolling and scooting all over the living room. I guess I usually pull her back to the blanket so she isn't on the hardwood floors, but today I'm letting her roam around and discover. She finds the dog bowls (uh oh!) and plays with the floor vent for several minutes.

I was going to do it tomorrow, but I decide to call the nanny candidate we selected and offer her the position. We chat about the job for a while and she's excited to start on May 8! So relieved to finally have the search behind us. I also swap several text messages with our current nanny about her last day, etc. I'm sure going to miss her!

Oh my gosh, I'm so bored. It's eerily quiet in our house. There's an empty feeling I just can't shake. I decide a trip to Target is in order to pass the time. What do I need to buy? Probably nothing but I'm sure I can find some groceries or baby clothes or SOMETHING TO BUY!

Tory and I wander the aisles of Target. We buy some groceries for the week, toilet paper, baby food, and a few shirts for me. I had made a commitment to myself to stop buying cheap Target clothes, but that was before I was feeling down and in need of a quick pick-me-up. I do feel better ... $200 later.

Back home, I set Tory in her high chair with a Mum Mum cracker and a sippy cup of water while I unload the groceries. I warm her up some dinner (purees of summer veggies like zucchini, corn, green beans). We jam to some country tunes and I swear she's dancing in her seat. Very cute.

After her dinner, we play more toys on the living room floor. Tory is very content to be playing by herself for once and is rolling all around the floor. She's not crawling yet, but is definitely finding her way to move from place to place.

She made quite the mess of toys by the time she was done!

Bedtime for Tory. I make her a bottle, change her diaper and rock her to sleep. She's not having bedtime tonight, even though she's so tired, so it takes about an hour to get her to sleep before it's all said and done.

In the midst of several attempts, Andi calls to say he made it to New Mexico and give me the low-down on our landscaping project taking place this week.

I'm wiped. I upload the dishwasher, pickup the toys in the living room, wash bottles and decide to skip dinner in lieu of blogging time in bed. I finish my W.I.T.L. post for Saturday and this one for today before calling it a night.


To sum up my week in a nutshell:

  • I wash a whole lotta bottles.
  • I change a heck of a lot of diapers.
  • Naps and bedtime are a time suck. Oh my gosh, I spend a lot of my time convincing a certain someone to get some sleep!
  • My husband will tell you and this little project proves it, I'm a creature of habit. Although I'm a stay-at-home mom somedays, a working mom a few others, my life is wonderfully predictable. The basic details of being a wife and mom dictate my days and I truly wouldn't have it any other way. As boring as it seems, I'm living the life I've always dreamed of. How many people are lucky enough to say that? 

Week In The Life 2012: Saturday

Saturday, April 28
It's the weekend (aka: dual parenting day!)

Tory's awake and crying from her crib. What's up with this little girl waking up twice a night lately? Making up for lost calories after being sick last week? Growth spurt? Teething bout approaching? I listen to her fuss for a bit before getting up and making her a bottle. She drinks 5oz. and falls back asleep.

Tory cries out again and I go into her nursery. Feed. Rock. Back to sleep.

I force myself awake and into the shower. We have a nanny interview this morning at 8:00am and I think it's appropriate to shower and dress in something other than pajamas before she arrives. I also know Tory will likely wake up at 7:00am so I try to squeeze in a little time for myself to get ready for the day before she does.

I meant to snap a picture of what I'm wearing today, but I get distracted in knocking out chores before the nanny candidate arrives. Today I'm wearing a white tank, navy blue sweater cardigan, skinny jeans and my new gray slip-on shoes I scored at Target the other day.

Tory's awake and Andi goes and gets her from her crib, changes her diaper and brings her back to our bedroom to play for a while. It's nice when he's home on the weekends and I can actually get ready for the day without a baby rolling around at my feet or fussing for my attention.

Once I finish getting ready, Andi and I do the baby hand-off. He jumps in the shower and I bring her into the kitchen for breakfast. Today Tory's having 1/4 cup of rice cereal with plums and bananas mixed in. Just as I'm sitting down to feed her, the nanny candidate arrives (10 minutes early - nice!) so I invite her in and ask her to join me at the table while I feed Tory breakfast.

I've already spoken to this girl on the phone several times and by email so I'm fairly certain of her skills and qualifications. At this point, it's just a formality to meet her and determine whether I jive with her personality.

Andi joins us in the kitchen and begins to ask her the "tough interview questions." He's such a boss-man. You can tell he manages a workforce of people on a daily basis. We find out our new nanny candidate loves to travel just as much as we do and also learn about her family background. Both Andi and I click with her and he gives me the "yes" sign by dropping our code word phrase.

The nanny leaves and Tory's ready for a nap. I make a bottle and rock her to sleep in her nursery while Andi makes breakfast.

Coffee and breakfast with my husband. It's quiet and peaceful in our house for the first time this morning. Andi's made us some sort of egg scramble with broccoli, cheese and bacon. He's the best at just throwing together whatever we have in our fridge and it always comes out delicious.

I eat my eggs wrapped in toast. Anyone else love their eggs this way?

Andi even cleans up breakfast when we're finished. What a husband! I ask him if he's showing off for my Week In The Life posts and wants to be featured in a positive light. Ha! He tell me no, and that he feels guilty for leaving on another work trip tomorrow. Trying to help out where he can, he says.

Andi invites me to sit downstairs with him while he packs his suitcase. I bring my laptop and write my Friday blog post while he organizes his clothes. Sometimes I think he's the lucky one who gets to jet off to some glamorous photo shoot while I stay home and live a mundane life. But as I'm watching him pack, I'm realizing I'm the one who's got it good. Packed in Andi's suitcase: two pairs of rain gear, heavy-duty work boots, wool socks, wet wipes, zip ties, electrical tape and ear plugs. It doesn't exactly seem like he's going to be living it up with cocktails and luxurious group dinners!

While I'm downstairs, I change the laundry so Andi has all the clothes he wants to bring with him on his trip. Just as I'm starting another load of laundry, I hear Tory crying from upstairs. She's awake - that wasn't a very long nap!

I go upstairs to get Tory from her crib and bring her out to the living room to play toys. Meanwhile, Andi finishes packing his bags for tomorrow's trip.

Andi's friend Jill arrives and they leave for our cabin in Wisconsin. Andi is selling our wakeboard boat today and is driving to the cabin and back to meet the buyer and finalize the deal. I'm super bummed he's going to be gone all day as it's the last day I'll see him before he leaves for his work trip, but it's the only day he can take care of the boat deal. I'd ride along too but we decided not to subject Tory to five hours in the car and I was already planning to attend Andi's cousin's baby shower taking place later today.

Overall, I'm feeling really bummed today. In addition to missing out on a weekend day with Andi, my sister's bridal shower is also taking place today in Nebraska. The party was thrown together last minute and unfortunately flights were crazy-expensive to go back home. Since I couldn't swing going home for both the bridal shower and the wedding next month, I had to miss out on the celebration today. My mom is sweet enough, however, to FaceTime me into the party. She calls Tory and I on her iPad and sets it on her lap so I can see the shower taking place. It's almost like I'm there ... and definitely better than nothing!

I sign off on FaceTime as Tory's getting fussy and ready to eat lunch. I warm her up some vegetable purees, then make her a bottle and rock her to sleep for her afternoon nap.

Once Tory's asleep, I hurry downstairs to the office and call my mom back on FaceTime to catch the rest of the party. I chat with my aunt Cheri, cousin Jen and my sister Ashley (the start of the party!) before signing off again. This is the part that STINKS about living so far away from my family. Sigh.

Tory wakes up from her nap and I start to pull our things together for Andi's cousin's baby shower this afternoon. I dress Tory in a cute little pink dress with white tights and silver shoes. She looks so grown up sitting on the floor playing in the diaper bag as I make her a bottle and load the car.

Tory and I drive across town to Andi's grandma's house for the baby shower. Meanwhile, my mom calls me on her way home from my sister's bridal shower and gives me the play-by-play of their party. I'm so sorry I missed it! It sounds like everyone had a really nice time celebrating my sister.

Tory and I arrive at the baby shower and we chat with all of Andi's aunts and cousins. There were three babies born in his family in the last eight months -- Tory in August (8 months), Connor in October (6 months) and Jaxen in January (4 months). It's actually Jaxen's baby shower but he was born prematurely so we had to wait a few months until he was strong enough to celebrate him.

Toward the end of the party, we decided to get a picture of all the babies together. We set them all on the couch and started taking photos. I've mentioned before how "bossy" Tory is when it comes to her cousin Connor. She paws all over him whenever she gets the chance! As we were snapping photos, Tory started to pull on Connor's shirt, then touch his face, before full-on jumping up on her knees and smothering him as she tried to kiss (ok, bite) his face! Everyone was dying laughing as we kept pulling her off him and re-positioning her on couch. Finally, Connor was getting scared of Tory and started to cry when he saw her. Poor guy, Tory was obsessed! I've never seen her move as quickly as she did to get to Connor.

Tory and I left the party and drove back to the 'burbs. She was in such good spirits at the party today and allowed everyone to hold and play with her. We had a really fun time spending the day with all the girls of the family!

We pull into the drive-way at exactly the same time Andi returns home from the cabin. He helps me unload the car, then he plays with Tory for a few minutes before it's time for bedtime.

I put Tory to bed while Andi runs to Walgreens and to grab dinner for us. We're both starving and neither of us are in the mood to cook.

Andi returned home with Pad Thai, fried rice and cream cheese wontons. He dished up our plates and we headed downstairs to swap stories about our days and watch another episode of Gossip Girl.

We head upstairs to bed and I'm feeling anxiety set in. I have a heavy heart about Andi leaving for his work trip tomorrow. I'm feeling deprived of quality time with my husband; frustrated we didn't get to spend enough time together over the weekend. Sometimes I think it's harder when I have a good week of him being home. It makes me miss him all the more when he's gone again.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Week In The Life 2012: Friday

Friday, April 27
Stay-At-Home-Mom Day

I hear Tory crying and a second later feel Andi BOLT out of bed to get her. He told me he was going to get up with her tonight and I guess he means it! I look at the clock and realize it's only Midnight so I tell Andi to lay back down; we're going to see if Tory will go back to sleep on her own (she's only been asleep for 4 hours so she's not hungry yet). He give me a deer-in-the-headlights look (I think he was still half-asleep!) and lays back down. After a few minutes of fussing, Tory is quiet.

Tory starts crying from her crib and I start to sit up, only Andi darts out of bed faster than I did can manage. He looks at me and asks "Should I get up with her?" and I give him the go-ahead to make her a bottle. I listen to him fumble around in the kitchen for a minute or two and then fall back asleep.

I hear Tory cry again and Andi walks into the bedroom. He tells me she was asleep in his arms, but woke up when he laid her down in her crib. We listen to her fuss for a minute or two and then I hear Andi fall asleep. Her sounds must not bother him but I'm lying in bed wide awake while she tosses and turns and turns in her crib.

UGH! I throw the covers off and jump out of bed. Tory's still awake, I'm awake and Andi's sleeping. I realize I won't be able to sleep until the baby does so I might as well get up and rock her back to sleep. It takes me all of five minutes of holding her before she's sound asleep.

I crawl back into bed and quickly fall back asleep. That'll teach me. I want Andi to help with the night feedings but I'm basically up listening to them anyway because it's impossible for me to relax and let him handle it until everyone's finally back to sleep. Logically, it probably makes more sense for me to quit nagging at him to help and get up with her myself. No use in both of us being awake.

Andi wakes me up as he's leaving for work and I'm completely out of it. I must have been sleeping HARD. He tells me "see you at swimming" and I have a brief panic attack as I rack my brain for the answers to "what day is it?" , "what time is it?" and "where are we going today?" I say an internal prayer he's quiet as he leaves the house and even though he tip-toes out of the house quiet as a mouse, Tory still starts to whimper from her crib just as he shuts the garage door. Dang. That girl is such a light sleeper!

I drift in and out of sleep as I listen to Tory babbling to herself in her crib. She isn't crying so I decide to leave her in there for a few minutes longer. In the meantime, I have a quick dream that we're at swimming class and I leave Tory there with Andi while I go next door to Panera to have coffee by myself. In my dream I feel so stressed and I finally have a moment to breathe by myself. When I wake up, I wonder why I felt like that when really I'm not feeling very stressed at all. I think it might be because Andi's leaving for another work trip next week and I'll be solo-parenting for 7 days. Maybe subconsciously, I felt like I need to squeeze in so "me time" before he leaves?

Tory's getting restless and has apparently decided she's had enough with the toys in her crib. I get up and walk into her nursery to greet her good morning.

I give Tory a few hugs and kisses, change her pants and carry her to the kitchen to feed her breakfast.

I warm up a jar of bananas, peaches and raspberries and mix 1/4 cup of rice cereal together. Surprisingly, Tory eat it all and doesn't seem phased by the taste of the fruit I've mixed into the cereal. I'm shocked! Good job, Tory Bean!

After breakfast, I clean Tory's hands and face and plop her into the activity center so I can wash bottles and make a cup of coffee. Tory isn't very interested in entertaining herself this morning so I dance around the kitchen a little bit and give her a cold teething ring to suck on to buy myself a few more minutes of chore time.

I pull out the baby food blender and puree three bananas about ready to over-ripen on the counter top. I also puree some leftover pears in the refrigerator. Tory is very interested in watching me and I warn her each time I turn on the blender, otherwise she nearly jumps out of her seat at the sudden sound.

Oh no! First lift-the-flap book casualty. Tory rips the mitten flap directly off the page and I catch her with the paper piece in her mouth. Oops! We're definitely entering the stage where Tory wants to eat anything she can get her little hands on. I can no longer turn my back for a minute and assume she won't be eating something she shouldn't be.

After I clean up the dishes in the kitchen, I take Tory back to her room to pack her bag for swimming class. I dress her in a cute GAP sweatsuit my aunt Cindy gave her for Christmas. This is such a weird season / stage for clothes. One day she's wearing short-sleeve shirts and the next she's wearing sweatsuits. Good thing we have a range of clothing in 9 month size!

Next, I carry Tory to my room and get dressed myself. No time for a shower this morning. As I hurry to apply make-up and brush my hair, Tory's fussing and rolling around on my bedroom floor. She's getting really tired and unfortunately, we're heading out the door to swimming class so she won't get much of a nap.

Back in the kitchen, I warm up a bottle to feed Tory before swimming. She's ready for her morning nap, but unfortunately swimming class falls during it. I usually try to leave a few minutes early and get her to take a nap in the car on the way there. I load up all our bags, put Tory in her car seat and head out the door.

Once in the car, I crawl into the back seat and feed Tory her bottle with the car still parked in the garage. I don't trust her to feed herself (I tried that once and she dumped the entire bottle of formula down into her car seat). I feed her half the bottle now and will give her the other half after swimming class. I don't want her tummy to be too full right before swimming, but I don't want her to be hungry during class either.

As soon as we pull out of the drive-way, Tory's already falling asleep in her car seat. This means she'll get a half hour of sleep or so before it's time for class. Better than nothing, I decide.

Once at swimming, I pull into the parking lot and check Facebook and Twitter on my phone while I let Tory sleep in the back seat. She is O-U-T. Why does it always happen that babies fight and fight you to sleep at bedtime but times like this, when you don't necessarily want them to sleep because you have to go somewhere, they're out like a light?

I wait until the last possible minute before I have to wake Tory up from her nap. Class starts at 9:30am and I need a few minutes to change her into her swimming suit in the locker room. Andi arrives at swimming as well and helps me carry in Tory's car seat while I grab the bags. We both scramble to get changed (him into his swim trunks; me getting Tory ready) and rush out to the pool before class begins.

Swimming class starts. I love that Andi makes time in his busy work schedule to take Tory to swim class. It's one of my favorite parts of the week watching the two of them together in the swimming pool. Andi's the perfect parent for her in class because he cares for her, but he doesn't baby her. I think Tory learns a lot more in class when Andi takes her vs. me because of this.

Class is over and Tory is DONE SWIMMING. She's fussed the last few minutes of class after Miss Amy dunked her head under water while they were "zooming." I know the instructors know what they're doing and it's the only way Tory will learn to be in water but it doesn't change the fact that she doesn't like to be dunked. Maybe "dunked" is a harsh word, it's not like they dump her under water or anything. She just doesn't like to have her face in the water and unfortunately that's a part of swimming, kiddo.

I spend the next 10 minutes or so quickly drying Tory off and dressing her back in her clothes. Poor baby is tired and keeps fussing and rubbing her eyes. She usually falls asleep on the car ride home and then I can never get her to lay down for a nap afterwards. It's like her car cat-nap gives her just enough energy to push on through.

Back at home, Tory is suddenly wide awake. I'm starving so I put her in her activity center to play for a minute while I make something to eat. I warm up some leftover taco meat, make a taco and sit on the floor of the kitchen next to the activity center to play with her while I shovel food in my mouth. This is usually where I eat most of my meals on stay-at-home mom days.

While I'm sitting next to Tory and eating my taco (which wasn't very good, by the way), I make a list of the things I need to buy today. Mostly a few groceries, formula and several bridal / baby / and wedding gifts for various friends and family.

Since Tory's still in full play-mode, I decide to run to Baby on Grand in Hopkins, a baby specialty store, to pick up a few gifts for Andi's cousin's baby shower we're attending tomorrow, for my friend who's just announced she expecting and my other friend who's having a baby any day now. At the store, I find several cute things (which I won't document here as I'm giving them for gifts to some of you!) and I treat myself to a new Chew Beads necklace since Tory has been loving on my red one lately.

Back at home, I feed Tory some peas for lunch, give her a bottle and lay her down for a nap. She's pretty tired from all our excitement this morning, so she allows me to rock her to sleep. I sit in the chair and rock her for 20 minutes or so. For once, I don't have anywhere to be, I'm not starving, itching to take a shower, or anxious to change the laundry. Today I quietly hold her and stare at her peaceful face as she's sleeping. It's absolutely quiet in our house - not a sound to be heard - and I'm enjoying this moment with her.

I lay Tory down in her crib, grab the laptop and finish writing my blog post recap of yesterday.

Tory's awake. She took a nice little rest which she desperately needed. Ever since she was sick last week, she hasn't been on the greatest sleeping schedule so I'm really hoping to get back into our routine. I get her up and change her diaper. I grab our shopping list, load her up in the car seat and drive to TJ Maxx and Target to grab the last of our bridal / baby gift items and a few groceries.

Back at home, I warm up some baby food for Tory and feed her. Andi calls and says he's about 30 minutes away from home. Unfortunately, he has a work event tonight so he's only coming home to see Tory for a few minutes before she goes to bed.

I decide to give Tory a bath while we wait for him to get home.

Bath time!

I dry Tory off, dress her in pajamas and read her some bedtime stories. Andi brings us in a bottle and kisses Tory good-bye before leaving for his work event. I rock Tory to sleep and thankfully, she goes down without a fight.

Since Andi isn't home, the truth comes out on what I usually eat for dinner. I remember I have a mini frozen pizza in the freezer and throw that in the oven. Good or bad, I open a Fat Tire beer too which has shamefully become my nightly dinner ritual lately.

While my pizza is cooking in the oven, I call my sister and we talk on the phone for the rest of the night. I eat dinner while talking to her, fold some of Tory's laundry and write a few thank you cards all during that time. Suddenly it's after 9pm and I'm exhausted so I say good-night to her and turn off the lights.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Week In The Life 2012: Thursday

Wow, I'm getting tired of writing about my own life, I can't imagine what it's like reading these posts. However boring, I have committed to documenting a "Week In The Life" and so I will go on ...

Thursday, April 26
Working Mom Day

I wake up to sounds of Tory fussing in the other room. No way, no how little girl! After the battle it was to get her to sleep last night, I'm NOT letting her wake up four hours later. I listen from bed to see if she goes back to sleep. She eventually does just that.

Tory's awake again. This time I get up and make her a bottle. I change her diaper, feed her and crawl back in bed 20 minutes later.

My alarm sounds and I get out of bed. No snoozing this morning. Since I didn't take a shower yesterday, I REALLY need to today. My hair feels gross. I'm fairly sure someone could slip-n-slide on the grease covering my face. Sick.

I stand in front of my closet for what feels like forever and contemplate what to wear to work today. I hate my clothes so I seriously stand here and STARE. In an effort to make my wardrobe more versatile, I buy shirts that are both comfortable (read: glorified Target tees) which I think I'll be able to "dress up" for work with a scarf or cardigan. Except, these clothes lose their shape quickly and never really fit me well in the first place. Lately I've made a few trips to the mall to buy nicer pieces of clothes for work, but the same scenario haunts me. Do I really need to spend $50+ dollars on a shirt / blouse / jacket that I'll only wear 3 days a week? The answer's always no. And THIS is why I have such a hard time finding clothes to wear in the mornings. Definitely not my favorite part of the day.

The nanny arrives and I give her the run-down on Tory's last feeding and sleeping schedule. There's not too much to discuss this morning (no packages are set arrive, no fix-it men scheduled to work on anything) so I head off to work fairly quickly. Andi's still downstairs showering and I consider walking downstairs to say good-bye ... but I don't. Isn't that horrible? I'm just too tired and think he'll probably call me in the car on this way into the office (he doesn't). As I'm pulling away I wonder if something will happen to him today and I'll never have had the chance to say good-bye to him and then I kick myself for not walking downstairs to tell him I love him. I feel like a weirdo for having this full-on internal conversation with myself as I drive to work.

I pull into work and snag the last parking spot left in the lot. It's by a sign and construction cones that say they'll be resurfacing the area nearby today and to avoid parking there. But it's the last spot ... and I  have to leave in an hour for a meeting across campus anyway so I decide to park there anyway. Parking at the U will make you do crazy things ...

Once at my desk, I check my email, personal and work social media sites and update my blog. I waste almost the entire hour before my 9:00am meeting on mindless tasks before realizing I'd wanted to update the survey spreadsheet and send it out to everyone before the meeting. Dang, now I feel like crap for setting myself behind. I scramble to pull together the survey results and my meeting notes before rushing out the door to our main office building.

I walk into the main office's conference room for our every-Thursday-morning meeting and only one other person's there. Meetings never start on time around here which is a) good when you're running late b) annoying when you're on time and waiting on everyone else. I use the bathroom, stuff a few papers into people's mailboxes and make chit-chat while everyone else trickles in.

The bagels arrive (a meeting ritual) and I decide to have one today because I'm STARVING. Usually, I avoid eating one because it's kind of gross to sit around a conference table and watch everyone else lick the cream cheese off their fingers. I grab extra napkins to ensure I'm not one of these people.

Holy geez, I'm dying over here! The meeting's still going on and I'm getting restless. I eat the other half of someone's chocolate donut left in the tray in the center of the table. Now I'm feel guilty for eating an entire bagel and half a donut this morning. I strike a mental note to begin eating better as cabin season is fast approaching. Either that, or buy a one-piece swimming suit which sounds like less work. I'm half-listening as other people finish their weekly updates.

Following the meeting, I drive back to my office. There's no parking (dang) so I'm forced to park in the parking ramp which is a 10-minute walk from my office. I hate when this happens.

My co-workers also return from the morning meeting and decide to go to lunch. I skip out from going because I'm still stuffed from breakfast. No surprise, here.

In the meantime, I prepare for my afternoon meeting by printing a million marketing signs and categorizing them into envelopes to be delivered. I finish the survey spreadsheet I've been working on all week and email it out to everyone. I also print copies of the survey results for our staff to review at the meeting and tie up other loose ends on my to-do list.

My co-worker / new boss volunteers to attend my 1:00pm meeting for me (score!) so I can continue tackling projects on my to-do list. This affords me time for lunch so I send an intern to pick me up a Papa John's personal-size cheese pizza and a Diet Coke. After she returns, I eat at my desk while I continue working.

I pack up all the packets of papers I spent the afternoon preparing and start the long trek to my car parked 10 minutes away. I especially despise parking far away when I've got an arm-ful of crap to carry with me. I may curse to myself as I walk the entire way to my car.

As I'm walking up to my car, my Blackberry beeps with a new email. Then as I'm pulling out of the parking garage, my co-worker / new boss calls me with some news that makes me want to HURT SOMEONE. Apparently the email I just received (and she received as well) indicated there was an error in the survey results I'd spent the last two days compiling. STAB. STAB. STAB. Our corporate office said they'd re-send the revised results by end of day tomorrow (Friday - my day off) and directed us to delete all survey results we'd received prior. STAB. STAB. STAB. I nearly scream when I learn the news. As I walk into our main office building, I toss the giant stack of papers I pulled together this afternoon into the recycling bin. GAH.

I sit through another staff meeting and provide my marketing update. I'm counting the minutes until my weekend begins. I'm really missing Tory.

The meeting wraps up and I high-tail it out the door. I call my co-worker / boss and provide an update on my project list as I won't be back to work until Tuesday. Thank goodness it's the weekend!

I'm home! I walk into the house and greet Tory and the nanny. After a quick update, the nanny leaves. I change Tory's diaper (it's always wet when I come home from work; a minor annoyance of mine. If you were a caregiver, wouldn't you make sure the child's diaper was dry when the parent arrives)? I carry Tory to my room and change out of my work clothes.

I feed Tory dinner (tonight she's having peas, brown rice and butternut squash). I give her a plastic spoon to play with as a distraction and play the game where I pick up her sippy cup from the ground a hundred times.

Andi calls and says he's about a half hour out yet and he bought steak for dinner. Nice, I don't have to plan anything for dinner ... because I haven't even thought about it yet.

I clean Tory up and decide to give her a bath. Sometimes on Thursdays especially, I like to take a bath with her after work. We sit in tub and she plays for a while. I take a few deep breaths and relax as she splashes and kicks in the water.

The downside of taking a bath with her, of course, is I stand in the bathroom dripping wet and naked while I towel dry her off, lotion her little body up and dress her in her pajamas. By the time I'm done with all of that, I'm usually dry (and cold) already.

Andi's home and starts dinner while I get Tory ready for bed. We read stories in the rocking chair and she's patiently listening to them tonight. The nanny said she didn't take a very good nap this afternoon so she's pretty tired by now.

Andi brings us in a bottle and I feed Tory. She's tired tonight, but still fighting me. I rock her for a few extra minutes before laying her down in her crib but she springs awake just as she feels the sheets underneath her. Ugh, I hate when this happens. I give her a pat on the tummy and tell her "nite-nite" which almost never works. She starts to cry and I watch her on the monitor for a few minutes. Will she  soothe herself to sleep tonight? I wouldn't bet on it...

I join Andi in the kitchen just as he's plating dinner. He grilled a steak which we're splitting, with green beans and a loaded baked potato.

I eat a chocolate as I wait for him to finish setting our plates. Apparently the writers of Dove chocolate wrappers don't have kids. My wrapper says "Get a good night's sleep." I wish it were that easy.

I see a note flapping on the front door and ask Andi about it. "The landscaper might stop by tonight," he says and I give him the biggest raised eyebrow I can muster. For real? Now Tory will NEVER go to sleep tonight.

She's still fussing in her crib, by the way, (although not totally crying) so I leave my nice, hot dinner and go back to her nursery to rock her back to sleep. As soon as I hold her, she falls back asleep. I know she's so tired but is so stubborn in giving in sometimes. I rock her for a few extra minutes just for good measure before laying her down in her crib once more.

The landscaper does stop by and Andi chats with him in the front yard while I re-heat my dinner. As I sit down to eat, he comes back inside and we fire up another episode of Gossip Girl. Tonight, Blair has enlisted the help of Dan to trick Chuck into sleeping with her. Drama!

I give Chloe some love while Andi pulls up his Google Calendar and we review our summer schedules and dates for the cabin. Like everyone I'm sure, our summer has booked up super quick and we won't be able to spend nearly as many weekends at the cabin as we originally thought. Several more photo shoots and work trips have cropped up for Andi and the conversation turned his mood sour. He goes to take a shower while I clean up dinner and get ready for bed.

Since he's not in the best of moods now, Andi goes to sleep and I read a few blogs and check Facebook before going to bed myself. Now I'm feeling kinda pissy because my husband was being pissy and I go to sleep wishing we wouldn't waste the valuable nights we do have at home together in grumpy moods. Hopefully tomorrow's a better day.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Week In The Life 2012: Wednesday

Working Mom Day

Tory cries from her crib. I sleepily crawl out of bed in route to the kitchen, warm up a bottle and walk back to her nursery to feed her. This morning I don't even wait for Andi to get up .. and he doesn't. Before he left on a business trip last week we'd made an agreement to split the late-nights now that Tory drinks formula and the mama doesn't have to be the one feeding her. Somewhere on that business trip he lost memory of that conversation because since he's been back, he hasn't gotten up with her once. Oh well, I feed her and crawl back in bed 20 minutes later.

The alarm sounds and I hit snooze.

The alarm sounds and I hit snooze again. (Sound like deja vu from yesterday morning)? As I close my eyes I remember the dry shampoo I bought at the salon a few weeks ago. I haven't tried it out yet! I decide today is a perfect opportunity to test out my new hair product. I close my eyes for 15 more minutes of sleep. (So much for my new goal of showering before work ... )

Alright, I have to get up now. I get dressed, do my hair and make-up and snap this self-portrait before I leave for work.

The nanny arrives and I her the run-down on Tory's eating and sleeping schedule. Today I make coffee in the Keurig - Starbucks Blonde - to take along on my commute into work.

I pull into the parking lot at work and pray for an open spot. Yes, I got one! Today's going to be a good day.

Once at my desk, I finish typing my Tuesday blog post, check my email, Facebook, Twitter, etc., then check my to-do list to see what I'm working on today. I start by revising a few marketing materials for our graphic designer.

More working at my desk for the next few hours. This morning's not very exciting.

My co-workers and I break for lunch and walk to Subway down the hall. We decide the line's too long to wait and opt for the food court in another building instead. Today I ate a Portobello Florentine Sandwich with homemade potato chips and a Diet Coke. Forgot my camera in the office so I didn't get a pic.

Back at my desk ... more working. I finished analyzing the survey from yesterday and typing all the data into our year-over-year tracking spreadsheet. This seriously took me all afternoon. I wanted to poke my eyeballs out by the end. GAH.

About a half-hour earlier, my computer starts acting goofy and I can't email out the survey results my boss has been pressuring me to provide. GAH! I restart my computer a dozen times and finally call our IT guy who says it's some sort of computer patch the system is trying to run. "Go have a coffee and come back in 20 minutes," he said. No thank you, I decide. I'm calling it a day.

I pull into the drive-way and avoid rush-hour by leaving just a few minutes before my normal time. I love those days. The sun is shining and I'm ready to play with my baby girl.

After I get today's recap from the nanny, I load Tory up in the stroller and we head outside for a walk along the neighborhood path.

Baby shoes ... I love it!

Back at home, I lug the activity center out to the front porch and we sit outside and play for a few minutes. Tory's not having it though and so our front porch adventure is short-lived.

Tory's fine dinner tonight is butternut squash and apricots. She was a little pistol at dinner tonight! She ate well, but also wiped half of it in her hair and demanded her own spoon to "help" feed herself. Oh, boy ...

Our second nanny interview of the week arrives. I quickly scope her car out as she pulls up to our house (has to have a reliable car, you know!) and then greet her at the door. I instantly like her bubbly personality and she pitches right in to help me with Tory while I clean up her dinner mess. Nice!

Andi comes home from work and we interview the nanny. We liked her.  We have one more interview on Saturday morning and then we'll decide on a candidate. Having two really good people to choose from so far makes me feel much more comforted about finding someone new.

The nanny candidate leaves and Andi asks to go for a quick walk. Tory and I have already been, I say, but we'd be happy to take another spin around the neighborhood. As Andi buckles on the Baby Bjorn, Tory kicks her legs and squeals with excitement. There's something about daddies and daughters - she just can't get enough of him these days.

Back at home, Andi puts a sweat band on Tory's head. The letters stand for Just F'ing Rage. Her face while wearing this thing was hilarious. We were dying laughing!

I pose Tory in the chair for her weekly "how much did I grow" photo session with the zebraffe (zebra? giraffe? we're not sure what it is).

Pajamas, books and bedtime. I make a bottle for Tory while Andi starts on dinner.

Holy crap, Tory is NOT having bedtime tonight. I'm STILL working on getting her to sleep when the tree guy comes to the house to give Andi an estimate on a rotten tree in our backyard. The two of them stand outside on the drive-way (next to Tory's window) and talk LOUDLY for what feels like forever.

Tory's still fighting me on bedtime. I'm trying all my tricks and nothing's working. She's so tired but just won't give up. And the loud voices outside her bedroom window definitely aren't helping. I finally pull out the bitchy wife card and walk outside to tell "Andi" to keep it down. Ok, it's not really Andi talking loudly, it's the tree dude. OMG SHUT UP!

Tory's finally asleep. Man, that was a lot of work. Meanwhile, Andi ate his dinner while my plate sat all alone and got cold. I tell him he has to clean up in payback for me having to deal with Tory and her bedtime antics tonight. He agrees.

We fire up another episode of Gossip Girl on Netflix. I eat my re-heated dinner of salad, a pork chop and broccoli.

I ask Andi to please get me a chocolate chip cookie because he OWES ME for tonight. The power of bedtime ... he does it.

We clean up dinner (I helped a little bit but Andi did the dishes - good work, honey!) and head to bed.

Andi turns on a new How I Met Your Mother episode from iTunes but falls asleep instantly instead. I read a few blogs and check Facebook.

Light's out.