Potty training eve **warning – this post contains a picture of a poo

Tonight we change our toddler into his last night time diaper and say farewell to the changing mat.  Tomorrow when Joey wakes up he will be stripped of his diaper and placed on the potty and there’s no turning back.

What have I gotten myself into?  I mean, I know it’s time.  He’s ready.  We’ve been amping up this day for weeks.  Why am I not ready?

We created this child in September 2013, he was frozen for a whole year before we met again, and now he’s this crazy talkative and bright little man.  He’s not tiny anymore.  He’s my big boy.  I don’t know if I am emotionally ready for this but I will pretend to be strong for him so we can get through this.

OK, I think I’ve finished my pity party.  Thanks for joining me for that.  I’d love to hear your experiences (the good the bad and the ugly), any tips, words of encouragement, or something particularly funny to get me through the next week.

Oh…and about that warning of a poo picture.  Joey finally successfully pooped in the potty the other day but last night…well…he had other plans for that poo.

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poo picture

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”.

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/06/the-s-word/397205/

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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!!

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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

    
    
 

   
    
    
    
    
    
 

What my 9 month old really wants for Christmas…

I was inspired by an article I read on huffington post to showcase what my 9 month old son really wants for Christmas.  

You can view this article Here

I stuck to a very small and simple list of gifts for my 9 month old because he is truly entertained by everything except what is purchased specifically for him, especially items that don’t cost anything at all.

If Joey were to write a Christmas list to Santa of the top 10 items he wishes for it would include:

1. This pack of tissues he has been playing with for the past 3 weeks.  

   
 
2.  This glittery ornament.

 
3.  The back of the dining room chairs.  

 
4.  The only spec on the table.

 
5. These boxes 

  
6. The vent in the hall (and of course the edge of the carpet too…let’s call this a combo gift)

  
7. The cats food and water bowls

  
8. Whatever is under the table (usually nothing, sometimes a cat)

  
9. Any kitchen drawer

  
10. This big shiny drawer of coldness

   
 
Now I challenge you, if your infant or toddler could write a letter to Santa of the top 10 items s/he wishes for Christmas, what would it include? 

Merry Christmas xoxo

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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What is motherhood?  

When I first embarked on this journey to motherhood five years ago at the fertility office I had a totally different view of motherhood.

I remember all the happy times growing up with my mom and siblings.  She loved us unconditionally.

I saw all the pictures mothers posted of their loved little ones on Instagram and Facebook.  Everything looked “picture perfect”

Don’t be fooled by these pictures.  It is definitely not all sunshine and rainbows…

Don’t get me wrong I would go through anything for my child, some days are just harder than others.  Some days are amazing.  And some make me question “what the heck am I doing??”

Here’s a set of real pictures that I believe show every side of motherhood for me:

Motherhood is..

Putting your one week old, freshly out of the NICU in the cutest onesie for newborn pictures and he is completely unimpressed…


It is hoping he doesn’t poo, pee, or puke on your wedding gown just so you can get that perfect picture.  We did.  And the only thing that got pooped on, peed on, AND puked on was me 😳

 wedding dress with no poo

It is never being able to dress your child in yellow again after having to return to the NICU because his Bilirubin score jumped up over 19

never wear yellow again

It is being super excited for your child to meet his godfather only for him to be completely unimpressed

meeting the godfather

It is being so excited to pick up your child from daycare at 6 weeks old because you’ve never been away from him for that many hours before (thank you USA for shitty maternity leave…)

saving baby from first day of daycare

It is being the cause of his first cut and first real tear

being the cause of his first cut and first tear

It is hating bath time

loving bath time

It is pouting when he does “the lip” but it is the cutest little sad face ever

the lip
It is hoping he doesn’t explosive poo while in his white baptism suit that he completely despised

hating baptism suit

I may look composed here, but don’t be fooled…I was scared to death since he didn’t poop yet and was cranky all day.  Thank God the priest bored him to sleep!!

It is trying to see if he really is allergic to milk by reintroducing it only to end up experiencing the week of never ending poo and rashes.  FU milk allergy.

the week of poo

Motherhood is being scared seeing triple digits on the thermometer…
Or texting pictures of what looks like hives to your mom and the doctor out of fear that it just may be a flesh eating bacteria.  Trust me, it is not
But even though you are scared and now sick yourself, the only thing that stops the crying is snuggling with mommy 
Motherhood is a challenge you need to face head on.  Cooing and smiles are not constant…sometimes it is just non stop screaming because your baby cannot tell you what he needs but you try anything and everything in an attempt to calm him down.  Is he hungry? Is he wet? Is he too hot?  Is he too cold?  Does he have a fever?  Is this teething?  But nothing stops the screaming sometimes.


Eventually things calm down.  This is not an everyday thing, but it is real.  It happens. What makes it better are days like this


And this


And this


But be warned…there are days that you are trapped under a baby and need a drink so bad you take an awkward picture of yourself and text it to daddy to show the severity of your thirst in order to hurry the drink fetching up #notashamed


It is watching your baby discover his love for oatmeal and not being able to feed him fast enough (or clean enough)…

Or completely despise everything you put in his mouth that day because he didn’t nap…

tired feedings
It is also the very real possibility that he will poop in the high chair…which almost always ends up in a blowout.  No lie.


  

There are days that my patience is definitely tested but it all fades away and is always replaced by the beauty you see on Instagram

Screams are replaced with smiles

  

He will start learning things that will continually amaze you and make you realize that one day he won’t need you

Motherhood is a lifelong thing, But they won’t be little for long so take advantage of the mommy snuggles as much as possible…one day you will have your last snuggle and you won’t realize it until it has already happened… Dirty floors can wait, you’ll be cleaning them forever…baby snuggles don’t last as long.



  

And through it all, you must learn to look back and laugh at all the times you pulled your hair out or went to bed crying from the stress us mothers have because how can you not just smile and giggle at the cutest fucking face in the whole world.  And he is all yours.

When that day finally comes when you realize you had your last snuggle, just close your eyes and think of when you first made eye contact.  This is where the phrase “love at first sight” has true meaning.

first eye contact
I’m sure I’ll post a part 2 of this as time moves on, but I’ll be enjoying the good and the crazy because it doesn’t last forever.  Monday will make 6 months for us and I need to take advantage of this as much as I can.

Baby Joey – 5 Months

What a productive last month it has been!  On top of working 50+ hours a week from home, grad school, and taking care of the baby I have just gotten a little crazier…we are MOVING!  This is an awesome move as it will be closer to the baby’s closest relatives – my mom, all my brothers and sisters, and nephews and nieces will all be in very close proximity to our new home and we are so excited to be doing this!  They have been the biggest help for us even being 100 miles away so it makes sense to move closer to the ones who help out 🙂

As far as baby goes, solids are interesting for him!  He’s loving a majority of the foods…and I am making them all myself!  We tried some of the jarred foods in a pinch and for traveling and he does not enjoy them…he much prefers home made and I don’t mind making them at all because at least I know how everything is being prepped and cooked and there are zero preservatives in them.  It’s much cheaper, too.  Right now he is on green veggies and by next week we are going to introduce him to some fruits!

We are awesome at rolling from back to belly and belly to back and he can do it going left and right, he’s amazing on his feet…always putting weight on it but obviously requires assistance as he has no balance yet.  He’s not interested in sitting…he’d much rather stand so we are working on some floor exercises to help him with sitting.  He did scare me though as he is able to lift his upper body off the ground and lunge over so safety is even more important now since he has built up quite a bit of strength.

Teething is still strong with this one, gums are now white and hard, too…could still be a while, though.  I did notice an attitude difference on days he is not wearing his amber necklace (we do not put it on him going to day care…I’m a crazy worrier) so I think it is actually helping with the pain levels.  And there’s drool…man is there drool!  He’s like a waterfall!

Still has quite a bit of acid, the dosage has been increased again.  He’s using his tummy muscles a lot so I expected the acid to increase before it decreased.  Once his tummy muscles are fully formed I assume that the acid will start to decrease.  If you miss his dose by just a few minutes, though, it is spit up city!

I think the craziest accomplishment has been within the last week…he’s been repeating dada quite a bit and I actually caught it on camera.  Yesterday I kept saying “daddy” to him to see if he would try the hard “e” sound but of course he didn’t try and I didn’t expect him to.  This morning he actually said daddy.  I can’t believe that at 5 months old he said “daddy”.  He really is a bionic baby!