Friday, July 24, 2009

Awesome wraps...

I bought myself (several) of these wraps and am just in love - I can't wait until I have a real baby to put in them because for now, I'm trying them out with Matthew's baby! My friend Kristen has a giveaway on her blog ( for a pretty purple tie-dyed one, and Rachel, the owner/creator of Wombfruits, is also "auctioning" one off on hyena cart where you get your choice of colors for only $18! The normal retail price is $30-$40 depending on the color you want... they are so beautiful, soft and well-made in person. I can't say enough good things about them!

Check out Rachel's blog and the link to the drawing on hyena cart:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gaining perspective

A good friend of mine has a friend from school who just lost his 3-year old son Christopher due to an accident involving the family swimming pool. My friend is naturally really shaken by this, and while I never met the P family (not using their name out of respect), hearing about it has caused me to do a lot of thinking over the past week.

I spend a lot of time thinking about "life" these days - I'm surrounded by new life, especially since I have baby girl growing inside me, getting bigger each day and making her presence known with more frequent and stronger kicks and punches. I spend my days with one very lively little boy, who manages to suck all of the energy out of my body by the time I get into bed each night, though I never seem to recover it all by the next morning. There are some particularly challenging days where I'll say to David, "I think this kid is trying to kill me!" and though I'm joking, I feel like I need to express the reality - that in two short years, one small person has become my reason for living. Putting aside all the jokes and mom-plaints, I simply can't imagine what my life would be like without him.

So here I am, contemplating what no parent ever wants to consider - besides the shuddered thought upon first hearing of someone else's tragedy, and then the conviction that "that would never happen to us." I'm certain that the P family thought that it would never happen to them either, and yet they are now dealing with an unspeakable loss. What I am most amazed by is that they are a couple who are rooted in faith, and in a statement that they issued as part of Christopher's obituary, they said that they know he's in a better place. I give them so much credit for being able to turn their grief over to a higher power.

I thought about what we would do if, God forbid, anything happened to one of our children. As I've mentioned before, David and I were married for a while before Matthew was born, together for a total of 7 years before our duo became a threesome. I'm grateful for the time we spent together before adding a baby because I believe it gave us a strong foundation from which to raise our family. Many couples face challenges when a baby enters the mix, and while we were no exception, I'm glad to say that having Matthew has made us stronger as a couple as we've encountered and overcome those challenges along the way. I know there will be more- not only from Matthew but very soon as we add baby girl to the mix, and I'm hopeful that we will continue to face the obstacles together and come out stronger in the end. But I think about what an amazing impact Matthew has had in his two years. I think about how our marriage, though strong on its own, has become cemented together by his presence.

There is not a day that goes by, no matter how frustrating or tiresome being a parent can be, when Matthew fails to make us laugh. Sometimes it's at how unbelievably stubborn he can be (at which point, each of us silently proclaims him "your son" to the other); sometimes it's how sweet and endearing his personality is. Those of you who know me well know that we've had our share of pregnancy losses in the 3 years, something I don't wish on anyone. But the idea of having Matthew taken from us is just too much to think of. There's just no comparison. He's become his own person, with feelings and opinions (not that we always like them!) You can see each day as he takes in new knowledge and finds a way to apply it to the world around him. I feel like not having him would be taking away the very air we breathe. In two years, he has managed to give David a reason to get up and go to work every morning, while hating that he has to be gone all day. He has given me endless opportunities to learn things again for the first time, to see the wonder of the world - a world that we often consider mundane and boring - through a child's eyes. He has reminded us of how precious life is, how joyous, funny, crazy and maddening it can be all at the same time.

I'm immensely saddened by the loss of a little boy whom I never met. My heart and prayers go out to the P family as they have to wake up each day and realize that he is gone. I pray that Christopher's life, though cut short, was not in vain. I know that he has made an impact on David and I, as we have taken the time every day in the past week to stop and realize what an incredible blessing we have been given. We are so grateful to have been trusted with Matthew's life and to have the amazing chance to raise him. Sometimes we take the little things for granted... sometimes we need to be reminded to stop and thank God for a baby's laughter, for the way he smells after a bath, for how angelic he looks while he sleeps. I am so incredibly sorry for Christopher's loss, and I am and will continue to be thankful for my son (and eventually, my daughter) each and every day. I hope that you'll do the same.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A pregnant pause

Last week, my girlfriend Christina and her husband Joe were visiting from London for the weekend to attend her brother's wedding. For the past few years, Joe has been moving around the world (literally) with his company, so I don't get to see much of her. They lived in Indonesia for a few years, and are now in the UK. They (and I) are hoping that after a few more years abroad, they'll be able to settle in to a permanent position in the states. I should point out, they don't have any kids (yet.)

Matthew & I went to see them at their hotel, which is right next to a cute little shopping center, so we figured we'd walk around a bit. Christina knows that I'm expecting a baby girl in the fall, so she gave me a Carter's gift card and figured we'd hit the store while I was there. So the four of us headed out, with Matthew in the stroller. No sooner did we enter the store than Matthew pointed to one of the speakers in the ceiling and declared "music up, dance!" (Meaning, the music is coming from up there, and I have to dance!") I resisted at first, but I had brought the umbrella stroller, which means he could break out pretty easily. And when you need to dance, well, you need to dance. So I let him out of the stroller and he did start dancing right away, which of course progressed into running around the store like a crazy person, redesigning the front windows, wreaking general havoc.

I was grateful for the two extra sets of eyes (and hands) on Matthew so I could go about my shopping. Buying girl clothes is just too easy!! As my pile grew, I could see that Christina and Joe grew more exhausted trying to keep up with Matthew. They were great with him - but you could just see the look on their faces of "thank goodness his mother is taking him home with her!" They never complained, never made the "wow, you have your hands full," comment that I HATE to get. But you could see it in their eyes... by the end of the day, they were pooped and so happy he was going home. He wasn't being bad - he was just being Matthew.

I remember those conversations between David and I after spending the day with one of our nieces. I remember saying "this is SO much work," or even one time, after a particularly challenging day (I will be kind and not mention whether it was my niece or his), "why do people do this?!?" We waited more than four years after getting married before we got pregnant, and I've always been glad that we did. I think it gave us a chance to really enjoy it being just the two of us for a while, and appreciate (and handle) the changes that having a baby brought to our lives.

So I don't think Matthew has caused them to run out and seek permanent birth control methods, but I don't think they're in any rush to have a baby any time soon. Or more specifically, no rush to have a toddler any time soon ;). I think if their biological clocks were ticking, Matthew did a great job of helping them press the "snooze" button.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tiny little winner :)

Congrats to SHANDI, who won the onesie in my first-ever blog giveaway!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Laptop woes

I have been without a laptop for a few days and it's driving me crazy! I actually have things to say ;). I did order a new one that will be here tomorrow and will hopefully be up and running quickly, and David is working on fixing my old one. So hopefully I'll be back soon!

Friday, July 17, 2009

More Bambino Land...

Green Baby Bargains has Bambino Land muslin burp cloths and washcloths for sale right now - 3 per pack for $11 and $10, respectively. The burp cloths are fantastic. I'm a little disappointed because about 2 weeks ago I ordered both the blankets and burp cloths as a gift for a friend who's expecting - and of course, I paid retail! And now I can't make a GBB purchase from my phone and my laptop is six feet under. So if you're fortunate enough to be able to access Green Baby Bargains, give the burp or wash cloths a try - they're fantastic.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Glamour mom

I used to work for a woman who had someone come to her house at least once a week to blow out her hair and do her makeup, to the tune of about $300 per session.  I remember thinking to myself, "some day I'd like to have that kind of money, that I can have regular blowouts." 

Little did I know that regular blowouts would be available sooner rather than later.  My hairdresser?  None other than Matthew, of course, who has less interest in doing my hair than in holding the dryer when I'm attempting to make myself look quasi-decent.  You don't know what I would give for "wash and wear" hair - I'm so envious of those women who can hop out of the shower, towel dry and go.  I mean, I could  do that - but then I'd look even worse than I already do.  My hair is the trifecta of horrors when left to air-dry: fine, flat and somehow frizzy at the same time.

So back to my daily blowouts: I try to dry my hair while having distracted him with something else: a beloved toy, an episode of Curious George, a cup of chocolate milk (the syrup is sugar free, I promise!)  I'll quietly skulk away and wait a minute to make sure he's really engrossed in what he's doing before turning the dryer on.  And with the flick of the switch, he's at my side, demanding "hold it!  Matthew hold it!"  So my choices are: I can either give in and let him hold it, or I can keep wrestling with him as he tugs on the cord, trying to get it away from me.

After many sessions of wrestling, I decided to give the alternative a shot.  "Fine," I told him, "You can hold it for Mommy."  Thus my new hairdresser was born.  Usually I end up sitting on the floor, moving my head all around in a pathetic attempt to get my hair somewhere near the stream of air.  It's less blowout than it is chasing, and I have to wonder if my hair is just drying from the air created by my head movements and not the dryer itself.  But eventually, it gets done.  Don't get me wrong - it looks awful, but it makes him happy.  And it's still better than truly air-drying.

So for now, I still don't have someone showing up at my house and pampering me on a regular basis.  But, I'm not dropping $300 a pop, and my blowouts are done with much more love than some random stylist would give me.  Not to mention, if the stylist ever dropped his pants in the middle of a blowout as mine is prone to do, that would just be completely inappropriate ;).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Noise pollution

When we bought this house, we were coming from an apartment that was directly across from the Long Island Railroad.  So at the time, even on our busy street, our house seemed like a quiet paradise in the suburbs.  We even laughed as the previous owners showed us that he'd had soundproof windows installed to dull the street noise... talk about overkill, we thought.  On our first night sleeping in the house, I remember that we had a tough time falling asleep because it was too quiet.

Cue real life.  Our house was built in 1924, so pretty much every move you make creates some sort of creak or groan.  The floors whine in protest of my ever-increasing weight.  The doors seem to want to squeak, no matter how much WD-40 I spray on the hinges.  "But they don't build houses like they used to," David tells me when I complain about living in what feels to me to be our own rendition of a PBS show.  I didn't sign up for "1920's house," yet here I am.  

Those of you who don't live in an old house probably have no idea what the problem is.  But have you tried putting your child to bed, voices of the sleep experts resounding in your head: always put your child down drowsy but awake.  So you try your best to do that, and start sneaking out when his eyes are too heavy to stay open and he's just moments away from dreamland.  And then, cccrrrrreeeeaaaakkkkk!  You step on the wrong spot on the floor and he springs up from the bed, yelling "Mommy stay!  Mommy lay down!" and all you can think is "f**king 1920's house!"  Sure, it's not the floor's fault.  Instead, right before I leave, I could start screaming, "Matthew, are you asleep yet?  Matthew, Mommy is going to leave now!  Can you hear me?  Matthew?" and then it wouldn't make any difference whether the floor creaks or not!

So out of desperation and necessity, I have learned a precise pattern of foot movements that will cause the least amount of noise when leaving the room.  I carried out the routine this morning and 3:15 a.m., after taking more than an hour to get Matthew back to bed.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief as I made it to the hallway without event, and then I pulled the door closed and sssqqqquuueeeaaakk... followed by "Mommy stay..." and me cursing under my breath.

I finally did get him back to bed - only to get into my own bed to find that my pillow had been stolen, the sheets had been "slept" off the bed (a phenomenon in which David manages to take the fitted sheet off the bed every night and leave it bunched in the middle of the mattress) and both man and dog snoring away like a matching set of giant and miniature chain saws.   As I wearily climbed into bed, I heard noises over head... the house settling, I presume.  Freaking 1920's house.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tiny little giveaway

For my first giveaway, I thought I'd start small :).   I went a little crazy and bought too many of these, so I'd like to give one away!  This Carter's onesie will be perfect for your own little girl or to give away as a gift.  
Rules - really simple:
1. You must be a follower
2. Leave me a comment and let me know you'd like it!
3. Winner will be chosen at random on Sunday evening, July 19.

Size newborn - description below the photo!

She may be little, but she's got a lot of love to give. This girls' Carter's bodysuit is a must-have. Short sleeves. In brown/pink.

  • "Little Sister" appliqué offers adorable appeal.
  • Heart embroidery adds a lovable touch.
  • Expandable neckline and inseam snaps make dressing a breeze.
  • Soft cotton construction and tag-free neckline promise lasting comfort.
  • Details:
    • Inseam snaps
    • Cotton
    • Machine wash
    • Playwear not intended as sleepwear
    • Imported
I have some more exciting stuff planned, so stay tuned!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Feeling Nostalgic

My baby boy is getting ready to turn 2 in 2 weeks, which I can't fully comprehend.  It feels like just yesterday that I was a full 9+ months pregnant, bouncing on that damn medicine ball in the hopes of jostling him out of his cozy little home.   It seems so appropriate to title the blog after the Darius Rucker song because truer words have never been spoken.  I guess, don't stress the early years too much, because they will be over before you know it.

I remember when I was struggling with the decision of whether to go back to work, one of my friends had told me "the next thing you know, you'll be sending him off to school for the first time and you will NOT be thinking, 'I wish I had worked more.'"  Around the same time, my sister recited advice she had received - the days are long, but the weeks fly by.  So there are days when I think I won't make it until David walks through the front door and brings some relief, but overall I know that there absolutely will come a day when these will all be memories, and I won't be needed like this.  I'll have the freedom I'm looking for now, but it already hurts to think about how much I'll miss being the center of Matthew's world.

Identity crisis

So I decided to change the name of the blog, because, frankly, I hated the old one.  Last week when I decided to start one, I had (what I thought to be) a creative name thought up, but it was already taken.  So David suggested the "Raising Angels and Demons" title and I went with it.  But even if baby girl is a total angel *fingers crossed for that one*, that implies that Matthew is a demon... and I just can't have that!  Yes, he can be precocious.   Yes, he can sometimes work really hard on my last nerve.  But a demon?  MY BABY?  I think not.

So honey, I appreciate your attempt at being witty... but the name had to go!

So now I just have to figure out how to change the url without losing my throngs of followers :).

Vera Bradley purse giveaway!

Lauren Nicole gifts has the cutest handmade and monogrammed items!  I just ordered 2 things for my sister for her birthday (which I can't mention yet, since her birthday isn't for another week) and of course, picked up something for myself as well :)

Right now she's giving away this adorable Vera Bradley Bali Blue Handbag.  Go over to her blog to check it out - and look at her wonderful creations while you're there!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

New favorite blankets!

Those of you who know me, know that I always claim that I'm not a "blanket person."  There are some moms who love blankets, they have a different blanket for their baby for every day of the week and a few alternates, just in case.  For the first 10 months of Matthew's life, I could really care less about what I threw over him during the day, and relied on sleepsacks for bedtime.  Then I discovered Australian muslin swaddling blankets and fell in love.  With generous 47" x 47" proportions, these cloths make wrapping even the biggest of babies a breeze.  They're lightweight but warm enough to take the chill out of a cool night, and my favorite feature is that they just keep getting softer and more snuggly each time you wash them.  I really wish someone would make an adult sized one ;).

I just found these muslin blankets at Bambino Land - I love their colorful designs!  I bought a set of blankets and burp cloths for a friend who's having a baby, but now that I see their new pastel solids, I may just need to get a three-pack for my baby girl who's coming this fall...

Best of all, Bambino Land has offered a 10% discount for readers of this blog - use code "raisingangels" for a discount on everything, including sale prices!  They have a ton of great stuff on sale right now, so check them out.  Code is good until July 30.  Happy shopping... and may your babies be snuggly :).

Better yet - if you are only buying swaddling blankets, Green Baby Bargains has them for more than 50% off!  Get these while you can!!  I only wish they had the solid ones.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The naked truth

Matthew has become quite a nudist these days.  It always starts the same way: he is now crazy about playing with water, so I will find him running the bathroom sink, or elbow deep in the toilet (thank goodness we keep them clean.  Even still... ugh.)  His new favorite is to stand in his Learning Tower and "wash the dishes."  I'm not foolish enough to discourage a bit of housework, so I remove anything potentially hazardous from the sink such as glasses and knives, and let him loose.  So first, his pants will get wet - he hates being wet.  So he starts this frantic chant of "water wet pants!" while furiously shaking off the offensive wet clothes.  Then, of course, the shirt has to come off too, and now we're down to just a diaper.  The diaper never stands a chance, and we're back to being naked... again.

Along with being naked, he's very interested in all of his newly uncovered body parts!  So he will take any opportunity to drop "penis" into a conversation.  Like the other day when we were driving, and a little voice popped up from the back seat:

M: Daddy!
D: Yes, buddy?
M: Penis, Daddy!
D: Um... ok.

We recently spent some time with my friend Michelle and her two beautiful children.  I was trying to be a good parent and friend by preparing Matthew ahead of time that her older daughter, Parker, has peanut allergies.  So I said to Matthew, "no peanuts around Parker!" and he said "no penis Parker!"  Who knows... maybe he was just pointing out the obvious that Parker is a girl ;).

I'd say more, but my nudist baby is standing on the coffee table with a black Sharpie in his hand, so I better take action before anything is marked permanently!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Goodbye, old friend...

I heard it today and didn't want to believe it... my much beloved "pee on a stick" website has closed down.  For three years I checked that site at random times in my life, and it feels like a sad closing of a chapter now that it's gone.  Granted, the info on there was so outdated (tests from 2006?  An HPT that was like 8 steps and took 20 minutes to process?!) Not to mention, over the years I've probably become more of an expert than the site itself.  Yes, when it comes to peeing on things, I've definitely earned an honorary PhD (ha!  PeehD, get it?)  But there was something comforting about visiting that site, like pulling on a warm sweater on the first chilly day of fall.  

The first time I found peeonastick was September 2006 and I had just discovered - much to my shock and amazement - that I was pregnant.  I'll never forget telling David the minute he got home from work - we were both excited but wandering around in a "now what?!" daze.  We had been planning to start "trying" that following month -  but it seems we didn't need to do any actual trying.  I remember going to the grocery store together that evening to pick up stuff for dinner and leaving with pizza bagels (which neither of us eats) and Twizzlers (which we both eat, but not usually as the cornerstone of a meal).  We were just awestruck by how our lives were about to change and feeling like we needed to start preparing for a new baby NOW.   

Over the next few days, something nagged at me... something told me that things weren't quite right, and thus an obsession was born.  I snatched  HPT's off the shelves of CVS and Target like we were headed for nuclear winter and pregnancy tests were the one thing that would see us safely through.  First I drank gallons of water, then I denied myself water in the hopes of "more concentrated pee," I scientifically monitored how dark my urine was at each trip to the bathroom.  And all the while, I watched as those two hopeful pink lines dwindled away into one sad, solitary beacon of what was to come.  I pored over photos on peeonastick and read her FAQ's so many times that I can recite them by heart.  She promised that fading lines can - but DON'T ALWAYS - indicate miscarriage.  I lost that pregnancy around 6 weeks - I didn't even realize I was pregnant until 5 weeks so really, it was over as soon as it started.  

But not all was lost - something was born during that week... an insatiable addiction to POAS, HPTs, FMU, TTC and BFPs... and in David and I, we became parents that week.  From the moment we learned we were expecting, everything changed for us.  Our focus shifted from ourselves to this life that we wanted so badly to create.  And ultimately, that chapter of our journey ended with Matthew.  

So peeonastick Meg, wherever you are... thanks :).    But if I go over and find out that is closed too, I may just have to cry!

First post

 I decided it was time to start my own blog... I have so many funny, frustrating, wonderful and horrifying things that happen on a daily basis, I thought it would be good to have a place to write it all down.

It's not rocket science... it's parenting.   Anyone can do it, right?!

My husband came up with the title - he wanted me to name it "Raising a Matthew Monster" because that's how we lovingly refer to our very active, almost-2-year-old son Matthew.  But I said "what about the new baby?", our daughter who's due November 2.  So, being optimistic, he has deemed her the angel.  That remains to be seen :).

Thanks for looking!  I will start adding entries soon!