Stop using the “S” word!

Sometimes parents annoy the shit out of me.  I probably annoy the shit out of other parents as well so I’m not going to deny my annoying tendencies to post thousands of pictures and videos proudly displaying my son and his inherent cuteness.  I’m probably the most annoying of all!  But I’m not here to talk about me, I’m here to talk about you…or maybe not you…but definitely some of you who are bound to lay your eyes on this.

What REALLY annoys me is when parents brag about how smart and ahead of the game their child is.  My husband is even guilty of it and I have to firmly remind him why he shouldn’t do that.  He’s gotten much better.  If you scroll through my Facebook and Instagram you will never once see ME refer to my child as smart or the best or way ahead of the game…you’ll see a ton of other people say it about him, but never me.  Why?  Because I don’t want to give my child an ego.  I want him to always strive to do better because he works so damn hard at it and that’s what I love so much about him, his drive. I also don’t want to compare him to another child because every single child learns and develops at their own rate.  Every. Single. One.  No child is better than another because you think they are the most intelligent creature God ever created.  I also know what milestones are meant for, and they are certainly NOT meant for bragging.

A child is not born smart or ahead of his milestones.  And smart is really just a relative term.  Also, a child who has the means to build on their foundation, with the help of his or her parents and caretakers, is vastly capable of being ahead of these “milestones” doctors set which are simply the least or expected things a child should be able to achieve by a certain age before becoming concerned about developmental delays.  They are simply measurement tools to ensure there is nothing going on that can’t be physically seen.  They are in no way shape or form a stepping stone for parents to rub “smarts” in everyone’s faces.  Your child can crawl, (s)he’s so SMART!  No, your child doesn’t have a physical disorder that would prevent them from crawling, you are lucky to not have to intervene…smarts have NOTHING to do with it, human instincts to crawl and being physically capable does.

Your child may be smashing all these milestones really early, mine did too, but some don’t develop that quick and some have certain conditions that don’t allow them to smash them like we were fortunate enough to.  These developmental milestones are in place to look for signs that your child doesn’t have a condition that would involve intervention and further medical diagnostics to determine what is going on.  Hello…this is how they discover when babies are hard of hearing!  Get off your high horse and stop giving your child an ego so early…they are working hard to learn everything all at once, instead of bragging why don’t you work with them to develop into kind and well mannered human beings who work hard to achieve both your and their own goals in life.  The world needs more humbleness and less showboats.  I don’t know when or why medical diagnostics on well visits turned into a competition of smarts.  I’ll take it all back if you can show me your 4 month old doing long division, but I won’t hold my breath waiting.

And if you are on the other side of the fence and think your child is not intelligent, step back a second.  Toddlers and children love to tease us old folk.  If you want something so hard in every breath of your being, your child will pick up on it and tease you with it.  If there are no diagnosed developmental delays, chances are your child is messing with you.  They are all sponges and will only do what they want to do.  You just have to find a way that makes it fun for them…playing is learning, too.

Now if you excuse me, I’m going to continue praising my child for his hard work and not shout from the rooftops he is so smart.

End Rant.

Also, for those who use the term “smart” to their child, this is a very good read on why you shouldn’t use the “S word”.


Guess who’s back?!

Bless me WordPress, for I have sinned.  It has been about 6 months and 27 days since my last blog post, stay tuned for what’s happened since.

First, this isn’t just a tease and I’m going to leave you again for 6 months.  How can I know this for sure?  Because I am OFFICIALLY finished with graduate school!!  (Wait, what?!) Yes, FINISHED!  The ending was lackluster…it literally just ended and that was it. No fireworks, no confetti, no parade.  Nothing.  Now I just have to anxiously await my grades that should be available on Friday.

There has been a ton that happened since Joey turned 1 so I am planning a couple small-medium sized posts throughout the next week or so to catch up probably along with some ranting posts and funny posts.  How a child learns and grows is amazing and it makes me absolutely certain that you must start early and show your child with your example how to be a decent human being and learn to love others and have an inquisitive mind.  He kept with the sign language and he’s verbalizing and signing full thoughts now so expect to see a love letter -type post about baby sign language.

To keep you engaged I’m going to tease you with a couple pictures from 1 to 1.5 and I’ll have updated stats from his next well visit for you this week 🙂  If there is anything you’d like me to write about, or if one of the pictures makes you wonder “what in the?” or “how was that experience” drop me a note and I’ll be sure to write a post about it for you – I need help getting ideas together anyways since I have almost a 7 month catch up to do now!

I also need to play catch up with those I’m subscribed to.  Bear with me as I get back into the swing of things – I’m working through ideas to get this space better than it was.

Baby Joey – 11 months old!

How can it be that we’re in the final month of his first year?  They say it goes by so fast and I can confirm that we just came home from the hospital and I blinked and now have an 11 month old.  It’s insane.

This month has been insane.  Still only have 2 bottom teeth but there are 4 on the top and one more on the bottom that are so close…I hope they all come at once so he doesn’t have to keep dealing with the pain of breaking teeth.

He’s completely independent when it comes to meal time.  He wants to eat what we eat, and boy does he eat.  He’s come so far with meal time just in the last 2 weeks…I’m impressed.  He also tries and keeps trying much more than if I were to try to feed him.  He is quite adventurous when it comes to food.

Also, are you sitting for this one?  Because you should be.  He started walking this week.  (WAIT, WHAT?!) Yes.  Walking.  He takes up to a dozen steps at a time now.  If he is calm and does it on his own he is really REALLY good…when I call him he gets super excited and runs and usually falls on the 6th or 7th step.  But it is all he wants to do now is keep on trying, he has no fear even when he tumbles.  He’s going to be running by his birthday.  I can’t believe I have a walking baby.

He’s also very talkative and has expanded his verbal communication yet again.  His words last month included: mama, dada, baba, gaga, nana (no) and have expanded this month to include: poppop, anna (Illiana, his favorite teacher), and dat (while pointing…meaning “what’s that?”).  It sounded like he said wawa the other day but I am not going to count that until he repeats it again and uses it correctly so for now our count is officially 8 words at 11 months old.  Crazy.

He absolutely loves his signing dvds.  He can care less about what is going on inside the TV unless there is a signing dvd on.

He loves dancing.  Play some music and he bounces.  It’s hilarious.

I can’t believe my little starfish walker is 11 months old… I can’t wait to see how much he develops in this last month of his first year.  My baby boy is getting so big!!





Baby Joey – 9 months old

How is my baby growing up so quickly???  It is almost time for his first Christmas already!

All throughout Joey’s 8 month we’ve been weaning him off of Nutramigen to see if the lactose intolerance has been outgrown.  Guess what.  This time the weaning was a success!!! We’ve even integrated dairy items into his solid foods including yogurt puffs, string cheese, and he even had a few tastes of panna cotta without any major disasters.  He does reflux a little with the dairy since he’s adjusting but nowhere near the reaction we previously got when attempting to switch back to a gentler milk based formula.  I call that a win!  We’re keeping him on the Zantac for at least another month to let the adjustment to lactose sink in and then we’ll start that weaning process.  I think my baby is going to do just fine 🙂

His school put on a Christmas play on the 17th that was adorable, all the little babies and toddlers with their instruments and singing.  So cute.

He’s holding himself up on objects, trying to stand up from a crawling position with the butt alllll the way up in the air.  He can pull himself up from sitting in the pack and play.  He’s cruising around chasing the cats but gets excited and falls after a few steps.  I just stick close so I can catch him…I want him to explore all for himself so he can learn.  I like watching him try to figure things out for himself.

STILL NO TEETH…hopefully his Christmas wish for 2 front teeth comes true…still have a few days left!

He’s eating big people food like a champ…gumming everything lol.  String cheese is by far his favorite.

I can’t wait until he gets to open his Christmas presents – lots of items to help him develop his standing and walking skills, fine motor skills, and a lot of cause and effect play.  This is going to be the best Christmas ever!




37 weeks in vs 37 weeks out – last picture 2 days before he was born



Baby Joey – 8 Months

Sorry this is 4 days late but it’s been a crazy week here on the home front.  We’ve been going through a full heater install, with duct work and all, and a whole house humidifier and air purifier.

We visited pop pop on his 8 month birthday in Philly.

These last 8 months just blew by and this little guy is a real mover now.  He’s been crawling for a couple weeks but he’s super fast now.  The cats underestimate his speed and it is pretty funny when they get caught!  I’m giving him his space to figure out things but intervening when I sense he could get hurt.  He’s a champion sitter and can seamlessly transition from sitting to crawling but he still has some tendencies to topple over when he gets excited.  As long as he is not near anything that can hurt him I let him go (if it is not on hardwood floor, that is) so he knows he has to control his movements to prevent the topple.

He started 2 days/week at a daycare that also is a learning center and has already started his permanent educational record which is pretty freaking cool.  Everyone at the facility is very nice and he took a liking to all of them really quick.  There is one little girl in his class that he just loves, too.  Her name is Madison.  He doesn’t wave goodbye to anyone but he waves goodbye to her.

He’s been doing awesome with his food, he’s up to 4 solid meals each day, cereal, fruit, vegetable, cereal with bananas.  I think he had another growth spurt because he just feels so much heavier in the last week and a half and he’s been sleeping a lot.  He seems a tad taller too (which, seriously, I have a toddler not an 8 month old.  He’s in 12 month clothes and I don’t think that is going to last long…)

We started the transition off of Nutramigen.  We are very very slowly introducing GentleEase which has the lactose broken down, just not nearly as much as the Nutramigen so it is definitely a step up.  Last week we did a whole week of 20% GentleEase, 80% Nutramigen with no issues so we moved up to 40% & 60% this week with no issues so far.  We will keep increasing by 20% until he is fully weaned off of it but I have a lot of hope that this is finally happening after several failed attempts.  I think he is old enough, big enough, and functional enough at this point where his body can handle the transition.

Other than that he is just his typical happy self with (still) no teeth. LOL.  I have a feeling this next month is just going to fly by but I also can’t wait for his first Christmas.  We are putting the tree up on Friday 🙂  Can’t wait!



























Baby Joey – 7 months

I feel like I always start these posts with “wow what a busy month it has been” but truly that is definitely the case with Baby Joey’s sixth month.  Since turning 6 months we packed up everything we owned, fit it on a 26 foot truck, a 10 foot truck, another 10 foot truck, and 4 FULL car loads (no lie…), and made the 130 mile move north to Waverly Township in our new home.  When I tell you that these trucks were packed top to bottom utilizing all of the vertical space, I am not lying.  I cannot believe how much stuff we have.  It definitely doesn’t look like that when you look at the house but there was so much…and it is almost finally all put away!

I made my trip up to the new house with a packed car, 2 cats, and the baby on a Friday morning.  Unfortunately he had a stomach virus the week of the move and we had a full 10 days of poo every hour on the hour.  At least we prevented diaper rash by acting quick with the triple paste and using warm rags in lieu of wipes…last time he was so raw and I felt so bad for how much pain he was in.  The first 1 1/2 hours of the trip flew by with lots of cries from the cats but a silent baby…that all ended in the last 30 minutes when he started screaming so loud.  I couldn’t concentrate.  I called my mother to meet me at the new house and the phone disconnected and all she heard was half hour and screaming so she darted to the new house to meet me and laid a blanket on the floor since she knew there was bound to be a poo…there was.  I called my husband to just talk to me as my anxiety was pretty bad at this point and he advised that I pull over and change him but I hadn’t a clue where any of his bags were and I had no where in the car to change him since it was packed.  I decided to pull over at the toll booth and give him a binky and tell him we were almost home.  He calmed down enough for me to feel comfortable and keep going and he screamed the last 10 miles of the journey until we pulled up in the new driveway where he decided that’s when he was done.  I rushed him inside, changed his diaper, and introduced him to his new home.

He’s done a lot of learning this last month, too.  In addition to “dada” and only saying “mama” when he was upset he now says “mama” quite frequently to gain my attention, he can also say “baba” and I swear he is saying “more” when he eats and he gives me the sign for more…but it’s more like “maaaaaa” as he’s doing the sign lol.  He can sign both “more” and “mama” and discovered he can clap like an excited member of an audience cheering on their favorite artist!  He’s still a very tall and skinny man wearing size 12 months clothes because he is so long but only just recently moving up to size 3 diaper since he has such a tiny waist and hiney!  We are currently getting his records transferred from his old doctor to his new one since he had to skip his flu shot when he was sick so we need to get that going immediately especially if we are in search of a daycare to get him out and active 1 day each week (and so mommy can have a break of triple duty of baby, work, and school!).

He’s sitting up by himself although doesn’t understand sometimes he has to actively keep himself up or he will fall…he is awesome at sitting I just wouldn’t call him functional just yet…have a little more learning to do before that but I’ve seen pivots with his arms recently so we are on our way to functional sitting!  He scooches just a tad but I think that will turn into crawling quite quickly as the little butt is going directly in the air to try to help out the scooch.  He can hold himself up in a standing position with the assistance of furniture…watch out!  He loves his walker.  He loves his jumper.  If he could walk and jump all day I think he would…this boy has energy.  He loves belly sleeping and can sleep 10-11 hours at night on his belly.

His pop pop misses him and is coming up for a visit this weekend to go to his very first visit to a pumpkin patch!  The baby also got to experience his first snow this past Saturday.

I can’t believe how jam packed this month actually was but there was a lot of moving and developing going on and I can’t wait to see what the next month brings, although I do wish time would pause for a little while so I can enjoy all of these milestones before they continue to whiz by.  Oh and those who are still on tooth watch, you’re still going to have to wait.  STILL no teeth although we keep swearing he’s on the verge of busting one out…I can see it, he can feel it, and I feel bad it hurts him but they NEED to come out…so teeth, if you can hear me…man up and come out.

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Thank you.

Eight years ago I moved out of my element and I found myself lonely in a new town hours away from my family to be with my husband.  I immediately grew a bond to my mother in law because I had no one else and she was entertaining at first.  After a while the entertaining turned to back handed compliments that hurt and it was still done after letting her know how I felt.  After that it turned into deliberate attacks against me, broken promises and lies to her son, screaming and cursing in public at her own son calling him, and I quote, a “fucking faggot” for all the neighbors to hear, and kicking us out of our home.  She turned many people on her side of the family and her friends against me for no reason and I never had a voice nor has anyone even told me what was said.  Now I turn to my blog to get some of what I need to off my chest.  This is not even close to everything I went through in these eight years as I would be writing a novel and I don’t want to expose everything [unless anyone who was told we were anything but loving parents heard different] but I needed to vent at least a little bit to give a background on why I have so much anxiety since becoming pregnant and having a baby and how someone who seemed as happy as I used to has PPD.  Here’s a narrative of what I would say if I ever could get rid of the anxiety to tell her how her actions affected me:

For years you have been crude to me, never able to give me a compliment publicly, rather always giving me horrible criticisms or literally gagging at how much your son loves me. I took it. I took it all. I had no one else here to talk to so I took it because I was lonely. You knew it bothered me. They all told me “ignore her, that’s just how she is, you can’t change it” but that’s no excuse for the terrible things you say to people or in general. I’ve watched you say some pretty nasty things to others and they just take it while having a terrible look of shock and appall because they know they can’t say anything about it because “that’s just how she is.” I’m so sick of this excuse.  I’ve cried on the phone with my mother and siblings because of your harsh words and broken promises. There’s no excuse for my tears and here I stand, not taking it anymore, and they were all right…

You won’t change.

You berated me in front of your company. To not cause a blow up, I did not lower myself to your level and berate you back, rather I walked away; however, I am the one that was said to be in the wrong even though I was trying to not cause a huge blowout and verbally lash you in front of your company. Thereafter, during the rest of my pregnancy (about another almost 7 months), you ignored me and talked about me behind my back to your family. God knows what lies you made up for them to hate me now, but I never got a chance to speak. God bless the ones who saw through your bullshit and just listened but knew that it was just you being you again. I can’t let our son grow up with influences like this. I want our son to know the true meaning of family and not when you are in the wrong that you lie and pin everyone against the one who was acting in the best interest of everyone involved. You did this to your own son, too.

What a shame.

I don’t know why I was banished from some of the family. I don’t know what I did wrong…probably because I did nothing wrong and never had a chance to defend myself because whatever story you told was so believable that neither myself, your son, or our perfect little baby’s presence is acknowledged even when we literally bump into them.

Do we even exist to anyone anymore?

I hear you talk. I never once heard you ask how my pregnancy was going. I heard you laugh at me. I heard you talk about how much everyone hates me. I heard you excitedly exclaim “I can’t wait to see how many people actually visit her in the hospital” knowing you already knew the ones who weren’t going to visit because they were ‘on your side.’

When did these ‘sides’ start and how come I couldn’t help anyone choose?

Did you know that through it all I never spoke ill of you to your family or friends. Ever. To this day this stands true.

I had a very long and complicated delivery and almost died. You were so close to getting your wish. You came into the hospital without being invited or even asking if it was OK when we asked for no visitors due to the trauma we had all gone through and the baby being in the NICU but you were welcomed by your son and not turned away by me. I was kind to you. I knew that no one deserves to have a grandson taken away from them so I tried to let you back into my life even without you apologizing for the ways you wronged me and you still continued to berate me. I gave you another chance even though I didn’t want to and you still spouted your anger. You called me ignorant because my child had just fallen asleep and I was about to eat dinner I barely could keep my eyes open making and you come over unannounced and almost wake the baby. I asked for some time to eat with my family but I was ignorant for not offering you food that I didn’t have any extra of, nor did I expect to have company, I was ignorant because I didn’t want my colicky baby woken up after tirelessly trying to get him to nap. That is not how you treat a mother with a 2 week old son let alone a mother with PPD!

How dare you put me down when I was already weak and helpless?

I am nothing but a failure in your eyes. Always have been. After the baby was born you never offered to help me. You never offered any assistance to your son. The lack of support you provided worsened my PPD. Having so many people against us worsened my PPD. I know that I can’t have my son seeing how you treat others and picking up those traits. How do I tell my son that he doesn’t know his paternal grandmother because she refused to wash her hands after she smoked so she would be allowed to touch the baby. That she’d rather not be near you than to do something so simple because it was a rule that we had. You made fun of our personal choice to keep our son healthy. You are angered he can’t come over your house because it is filled with the stench of tar and nicotine that we don’t want his tiny lungs exposed to. The rules we set didn’t apply just to you but rather EVERYONE near our child and we stick to those rules and everyone complies. Except you. Because you can never be wrong. Because you need to be the center of attention and you let everyone believe that this was all about you and we are terrible people for making such a preposterous request.

That’s it, isn’t it?

That’s what this was all about. You lost your attention just enough to get a taste of how lonely it is and you needed to take it back. With lies. With deceit. With your terrible comments about my new family. You are a hypocrite. What happened to “I’m Italian, I yell and scream at you one minute and hug you the next?” I guess that applies to everyone except me. I was getting too much attention and you were jealous. If I can’t even be spoken to like an adult and asked for my side of the story and automatically hated and ignored for whatever reason you gave them, then you can have that attention because I don’t want it anyways. I don’t need it if family who used to like me and support me through our entire journey for a baby are so quick to flip and turn on me without even hearing my side. The truth. 

Keep it all.  I don’t want it.

You made your bed and you must now lie in it. We gave you many chances to make this right. I tried to bring you back into my life and you quickly showed me you couldn’t change. You pinned everyone against me while I didn’t even have a voice to speak for myself. And you denied doing it. For this, you will never gain my trust back. You lied to your son when he asked you at the baby’s baptism if you were smoking as he was giving you an opportunity to hold your grandchild and you lied. I watched you. How dare you? For this reason you will never be allowed near my son without me being present and I can guarantee you will not be holding him. How does it feel to be shunned from my family like you shunned me from yours?

My son will never know evil. I will protect him from you.

You also hurt your son with your treatment of me. You hate me so much you won’t step foot near him while I am present. The day before father’s day you said while running out to your car “if I don’t see you happy father’s day.” You said it just to say it. Because he was right there.  You should have made a big deal about it because we worked damn hard and had a lot of heartbreak to get here. You live right next door. You have a phone. You didn’t step foot next door to wish him well. You didn’t call him.  What if you didn’t see him the day before, would you have even bothered? Don’t worry, though, my mother called him and told him she loved him and wished him the greatest of days. She cares for your son more than you will ever know and she is not afraid to show it. It killed me to see him wait for your call that never came. It killed me to see him not even get acknowledged by you on this day. He put on a good act but there was pain in his eyes. I made the day as special as I could for him to keep his mind off of you.

What a shame.

You have done nothing but make our lives hell and now it is over. Now we will go on in peace and start a new life. We will be surrounded by people who actually care for us and are excited to see us and not the ones who hate us for reasons we don’t even know. We have a voice where we are going. We have support where we are going. We gave you plenty of chances to make it right and you didn’t so this is where we must part our ways. You knew this day would come as you smiled when I even brought up the idea of my leaving due to the hatred your family shows me because of your lies, but I stayed for your son. Keep on smiling because this is now a reality.

Remember, YOU kicked us out.  You broke a promise you made to your son and then kicked us out.  But we found happiness in our new home.  A home your son asked me to be a part of.  A home near my family that he felt more welcome.  Your son offered to move away from YOU after we were kicked out to make me happy.  Now how does that make YOU feel?  

Here’s to the end of my depression. Here’s to the end of my anxiety. Here’s to the beginning of getting the family support I needed that you never gave and prevented from even happening. Here’s to your son finally having some happiness and for us to finally be that perfect happy family. We will get through this together. I’ll see you someday. Until then I hope you realize, now, what the gravity of the situation really was and how you hurt and betrayed not only me but your own son.

Your drama and constant need for attention caused this.

I do need to thank you, though. Although you ruined my life here, I’m beginning a new and even better one with my own little family surrounded by people who love us and actually want to be around us. People who have been helping us from the beginning. I’m glad your son has been so welcome in my family as he often apologizes for how well he is treated in my family and the same feelings are not reciprocated in a good portion of his. There are some shining stars in his family but not enough to keep us here anymore. We deserve happiness and we are finally getting it.

For that, I thank you.

For the family who have not been in contact with us for the passed year due to things that weren’t so kind that you have heard about us…if you’d like to hear our side, the truth, please contact us…we are actually pretty interested in how we are portrayed as anything but nice and maybe a little over protective of our miracle baby.  We are also more than willing to accept you back in our lives without prejudice if you promise to not judge in the future without first hearing both sides.  We were very hurt not even connecting eyes and completely ignored at a family party and it made our decision much easier to leave.  We are willing to let bygones be bygones if you would like to actually ask if what you were told was true.  I won’t even ask why you are asking or if you even read this post…I don’t care.  The more family our son has, the better he is…but if you are just digging for info to feed back to someone else then please don’t even bother.

Just keep on pretending we don’t even exist and we will be better off.