5 years ago tonight, on the night of a blue moon, we stood outside in front of our family and friends and vowed to love and honor each other for as long as we both shall live. It was a magical foggy night in Newport (nothing like this picture) and was one of the happiest nights of my life. Not only was I marrying a wonderful person with a kind heart but I was marrying my best friend.
This week I dug out our old wedding album and so many memories came flooding back over me. Our wedding was the biggest and best party we will ever throw! The food was delicious (not that I got to eat any of it that night), the music so personal (thanks to Anna, Dad and Joe), the wine was flowing, the crowd was dancing the night away and it was wonderful to have all that love under one tent. All those months of stress came together to create one very special party....a party just for you and I.
I love you S and can't wait to spend our "Wooden" Anniversary in the wooden seats of Fenway Park. After the game we are off to our favorite Indian Restaurant for a lovely dinner.....I can't wait! Tomorrow we are headed back to Newport for another wedding. It will be fun to be there 5 years later, pregnant with our second child and living a very different life then we were living the night we got married. Thanks for being you and for being the most loving, patient and kind husband and father. I love you very much!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
This week Z was invited by his wonderful Kindermusik teacher, Ms. R, to come on an "Adventure" and try out the preschool music class. This is the class that he will be enrolled in this September and she wanted both he and I to experience it before then:) Z is in love with Ms. R and was very excited to be able to see her on this special "adventure" day.
In the car I told him that this was a special "big kid" class and that mommy would be waiting for him in the next room instead of being with him in class. This idea didn't really sink in and he just said, "Okay Momma". We were the first to arrive and so we watched her set up all sorts of fun ocean things. The theme of the class that day was a trip to the beach and Z dove right into the fishing set and the sand table that she had set up. Ms. R told him he had a special spot on the rug with his name on it (right next to her spot) and he went over with me and found it right away. As the other children started to arrive, Z's anxiety set in and he started to cling to me (one of the boys was a bit noisy and Z hates noise). Ms. R told him all about how he was going to sit next to her and then took him into the other room to show him where I would sit. He was not too big on this idea but when she called the kids to the circle, he went with her and sat down right next to her. I quickly exited, trying not to cry.
In the next room I busied myself with my schoolwork. My friend W from Kindermusik came in and asked if this was the first time I have ever left Z someplace, fighting back the tears I answered, "yes". I have been attending Kindermusik classes with Z since he was 4 months old! This was the first time he had been in that room without me......the first time I had left him anywhere (other than with family or close friends). I started to cry a bit and W decided to skip her errands and stay and chat. It was very sweet of her to talk me through my first time dropping Z off :)
The 45 minutes flew by and before I knew it Z was coming down the hallway to find me (looking a little unsure if I was going to be there or not). When he saw me, his face lit up and he jumped into my arms. We walked into the class and he walked me over to his spot for the parent/child part of the class. I was amazed....Z was a different kid! He was singing, doing the movements of the songs and truly participating in the class. In our parent/child class he often clings to me, buries his head in my lap or is just plain silly. This was a new grown up Z and I fought back tears once again. I was so proud of him, proud to see that he is growing up and doesn't need me to always be by his side. It is time for him to "fly" from the nest and start to experience things on his own.
In September, Z will start preschool 2 days a week and this class one day a week. I know that first week I am going to be an emotional mess (and also very pregnant) but it is for the best. I can't hold him back any longer....he is no longer a baby. As my friend W said, you will drop him off on the first day of school in September as a "baby" and pick him up on the last day of June as a "young child". I better start stocking up on tissues now!
Posted by Raising Z and Lil C at Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
I think you know the mom I am talking about. Super Mom (or moms) is the mother who seems to have it so easy. She always looks great and usually makes the rest of us feel sooooo inadequate! For those of you who are still unsure if you know a Super Mom (or are not sure if you might be one) here are some clues that will help you identify such a mom.
Super Mom's baby slept through the night at 6 weeks, not 15 months like my beloved Z ;) Nursing was never an issue, it was so easy and wonderful. They didn't have latching issues, or a baby who couldn't digest the milk or yeast infections that hurt like hell. For this mom their baby never cries (at least in public) and always seems so happy. Super Mom's child is never sick, naps 2 to 3 hours a day, eats whatever is offered to them, transitioned beautifully into a big bed and potty training took only 2 days (maybe a week).
I am always baffled by these moms. Do they work harder than I do? Is it that they are more organized and relaxed? Were they blessed with an easy child? Do they not over think every parenting issue and that is why they are so successful? Do they drug their children (or themselves)? Or do they do a lot of "editing" and maybe even some "story telling"???
If you know one (or two or three) of these moms or you are one of these moms....maybe you can help me out. I am feeling like there has to be a secret out there and I want to be in on it before baby number 2 comes along. Z is a wonderful child and I don't think I have messed him up too badly but I am so tired these days and know it is only going to get worse in the weeks/months to come. So if you do know the secret to the super mom....please share :)
Posted by Raising Z and Lil C at Monday, July 27, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Okay, as many of you know I am a bit of a Christmas freak :) It is my favorite holiday and every year I can't wait for Thanksgiving to come so that I can start my holiday season. I tend to start my shopping and organizing for the holidays during the summer which helps to make December a little less stressful (S can't stand this!!!).
Every year (for the past 10 years) I have spent some time on July 25th watching QVC's Christmas in July celebration. It makes me soooo happy! When I use to have DVR (in all honesty even before DVR existed) I would tape certain parts of the day so that I could watch them when I had the time.....so sick I know. I have never ordered anything during these holiday celebrations but I have ordered from QVC a handful of times. I have always been very satisfied with my purchases (our Northern Night Flannel Sheets are my absolutely favorite buy ever). I love QVC (love to watch it when nothing else is on) but if I ordered as much as some of the people in the world, S would file for divorce!
Tonight S is out at a birthday party and so I knew I would have plenty of alone time to watch the Christmas in July celebration. I am curled up with my sparkling water, laptop and loving this evening of Christmas cheer. S don't read this next part.... This year I even ordered my first product from this Christmas extravaganza....I ordered this and I am so excited. I think it will be the perfect gift for Z (not sure if it will be birthday or Christmas) and the perfect thing to help him expend some of his energy during the LONG winter months with the new baby :) I can't wait for him to get it :)
Happy Christmas in July!!!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Z was such a trooper today :) The dentist said that he was the most calm two year old he has ever worked with. It was a very traumatic experience for him but he handled it beautifully. I am so very proud of him and for S for being so strong.
We had to wake Z up to get to the dentist by 8 AM. I kept looking back at him in the car and smiling at him, knowing that the smile I was getting back would be forever altered. I wanted to make a mental note of his beautiful smile and tuck it away into my mind forever. Once we walked into the dentist, I was fighting back tears. I tried to keep busy and actually didn't get a chance to give him a hug when he went in, probably just as well. They wouldn't let my mom go in (they forgot to tell us the one parent rule) and so S and Curious George escorted Z into the room. This worked in my favor, it was really nice to have my mom with me. I started to tear up and she suggested that I go for a walk outside. I paced the parking lot sobbing. I wanted to be in there, I wanted to comfort my baby, it was my fault that we bought the stupid trampoline, my fault that his tooth was coming out and he would be in pain and my fault that his beautiful smile would be changed....all my fault.
Once I was able to pull myself together, I went back in to wait with my mother. It seemed like hours but it was only about 30 minutes before the door opened and S and Z came out. Z looked shell shocked and clung quietly to S. His cheeks were tear stained (from when they gave him the Novacaine) and he was a bit out of it. I rubbed his head and felt a sense of relief....he opened his mouth and I fought back tears again. The hole was much bigger than I thought it would be (I am sure when the gums heal it will not be not so big) and his other tooth looked bigger. I smiled at him and gave him a kiss on his cheek, he was still Z and still adorable.
S went to put him in his car seat and Z began to sob. He did not want to be let go of, he needed to feel close. S pulled him out and hugged him. I asked Z if he wanted daddy to ride in the back with him, he agreed to this. During the ride home S told me all about the procedure and how brave Z was. He only cried during the Novacaine and S doesn't think the gas really did much for Z. He was so proud of him :)
Z would not drink or eat anything once we got home and was very clingy and a bit weepy. We gave him some motrin and let him watch some TV. My mom had bought him a special gift and he enjoyed playing with this very much. The motrin ended up making him loopy (almost drunk) and this was a bit scary. The last time he took motrin was when he was 10 months old and he got so loopy he banged his head against his crib and gave himself a bloody nose! I thought maybe he would have outgrown this reaction but I guess I was wrong. I kept trying to get him to eat or drink but he complained of his tooth hurting.
After S and my mom left, he crawled up on my lap and started to sob. He told me that he didn't want them to take anymore teeth out. He told me that it hurts and wants to keep his teeth. I guess in the office he told S that he wanted to be a turtle (like Franklin) because they don't have teeth! I started to cry, gave him a hug and told him that the dentist wasn't going to take anymore teeth right now. The poor little guy was so confused and trying so hard to make sense of all that had happened.
At noon I finally got him to try to eat something. I showed him how you could take little bites of pancake using the sides of his mouth. He tried this and ended up eating 12 silver dollar pancakes! I then showed him how to drink on the side of his mouth and he downed three sippy cups :) He had been so afraid to hurt his tooth so he kept refusing food and drink but he was starving. I was so relieved that he now had a full belly.
He is asleep now, he passed out quickly from the crazy day. I am so proud of how brave he was and his smile might not be the same but it is still adorable. Tonight we will put his tooth in his special tooth pillow and see what special treat the tooth fairy brings!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Z's tooth finally comes out this Thursday and for the past few weeks we have led him through a crash course on baby teeth and the Tooth Fairy. We have read many books (our favorite being Franklin), ordered a special tooth pillow, have said a little "prayer" to the tooth fairy asking for a special present and talked about how the dentist is going to take out his "boo boo" tooth and then it won't hurt him anymore.
This whole concept is a bit old for Z but he seems to be understanding it pretty well, especially the Tooth Fairy part :) In the Franklin book the Tooth Fairy brings different things to different children. One receives money, one a book and one a box of crayons. When we asked Z what he wanted the tooth fairy to leave for him he said, "a box of special crayons so I can draw". Our original plan had been for the Tooth Fairy to leave some money for his piggy bank but how can you refuse such a simple and sweet request?
Now that Z is prepped for what is to come on Thursday, it is time to get daddy ready for the big day. No parent wants to see their child in pain (no matter how big or small) and I know it will be very hard for S to restrain Z while he is crying. Our goal is to not have to put him under which means that S is going to have to do whatever it takes to keep him still so that he takes in enough gas so that the Novocaine shot will not be so painful. I unfortunately can not be in the room because I am pregnant, so my mom and Z's beloved Curious George will be going in my place. It will be a long 30 minutes for me sitting in that waiting room, not being able to be there to comfort Z. But when I think of all of the horrible things that children around the globe are suffering from, it puts this whole thing in perspective and makes me realize how blessed we truly are.
I will let you know how it goes....
Monday, July 20, 2009
I want to thank S and Z for the most wonderful birthday! It was perfect from start to finish :) I woke up to a dozen yellow roses and a very large Thomas the Tank Engine balloon. Once the boys finally woke up, I got to open my cards and present. Z picked out a very nice Tonka Truck card and my gift.....the ipod Nano that I have been wanting. My ipod mini is 6 years old and has seen better days....this gift was AWESOME :)
As if that wasn't enough, S had planned a whole day of fun for us. We packed our cooler and our beach bag and hit the road. We headed to a very crowded New England town where we had a wonderful lunch on the beach and walked the boardwalk. We played ski ball (my favorite game) and the lucky duck game and came away with some really "great" prizes. After we had our fill of fun and games we moved on for a drive along the coast. We explored areas we have never been to and soaked up all that New England has to offer on a beautiful summer day.
We stumbled upon this wonderful beach at around 3pm (our perfect time for the beach) and had no problems finding a parking spot right up front. We set up our beach cabana from LLBean, loaded up on more sunscreen and hit the water. The waves were so much fun!! I am sure my midwife would frown if she knew I was playing in these large waves but there were lifeguards and I was much more cautious than normal :) We would take turns with Z in the shallow waves and the other would go out and splash around in the big waves. The water was 64 degrees and actually felt really good :) We all had the biggest smiles on our faces.....it was so fun to be a kid again :)
Once we had our fill of the water, we headed back to the tent for a rest and some snacks. Z and S built a large sandcastle community and Z had the best time knocking it all down. It was the most perfect day for the beach and when you arrive at 3pm, you end up with the whole place to yourself.....it is wonderful :)
After a few hours, we loaded up our things and changed our clothes. We were now in search of the perfect lobster shack for dinner. S found the greatest place (although it was much more pricer than a shack) and we both had lobster dinners while Z filled up on dinner rolls and cherry tomatoes :) Dinner was delicious but all good things must come to an end (especially when you have a very tired toddler who has been in the sun all day!). We hopped back in the car, put on a DVD and headed home via the back roads to miss all of the traffic.
Once home we put Z to bed and then S brought out my mini cake. The bakery had goofed and put the wrong label on the cake....it was chocolate and I am allergic :( With 15 minutes until they closed, S ran to the grocery store and bought a brand new vanilla cake (my hero!). He lit 3 candles, sang to me and I made my wish. We enjoyed our cake while our neighbor put off the biggest home fireworks we have ever seen! No that part wasn't planned by S but it was the perfect ending to a perfect day :) Thank you S and Z....I love you very much!
I also want to thank my mom, dad and sisters for a wonderful party on Saturday night. It was lots of fun and LB, thanks for making me a cake. It was delicious ;) I also got to see Harry Potter on Saturday :) Thanks again everyone....I hope 32 ends up to be a wonderful year!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Well today I turn 32.....yup I have taken 32 trips around the sun. I remember when I was a child, the weeks leading up to my birthday were filled with excitement and joy. There were parties to plan, wish lists to make, deciding what I wanted on my cake.....so many decisions. Family parties were always a big deal on my birthday because I was born on my mother's birthday and she was born on her father's birthday. That's right, 3 generations on the same day :)
I couldn't think of two more perfect people to share my birthday with. My mother is one of my heroes, someone I strive to be like every day. She is a teacher (as am I), put her career on hold to raise her children (as am I) and family means more to her than anything (the same for me). I can't imagine my mother having to spend her whole birthday in labor (I was born at 10:50 at night). But she did it and says that I was one of her greatest birthday gifts, her first born.
My Pops was one of my favorite people on the planet. I can still feel his coarse fingers as he rubbed my back or pinched my shoulder. He too was a family man and always made sure to spend as much time with us as he could. We had many happy summer days at the lake, he came to most of our sporting events and was there whenever my parents needed a baby sitter. He died just before his 76th birthday, this year he would be 89 :)
This year, my birthday kind of snuck up on me. With the baby coming, taking a class and putting so much energy into making sure that Z has a great summer, I wasn't thinking too much about my birthday. Besides, once you get older, they don't seem to really matter that much any more. However, I would like to thank my mom and Pops for so many wonderful birthdays and let them know that it is an honor to share such a special day with them!
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thank you everyone for your advice, and Shawna too (her comment wouldn't go through). We have a crib if we want it (we have had a few offers)!!!! After a lot of discussion we are going to play it by ear (I know, I know....first time parents make a big deal about everything!!). Z will be sleeping on an air mattress and in a big bed at the lake for a month, so who knows....maybe that will be the transition time he needs to move into the bed. If not we will take my BF's son's crib for a bit until he is ready :)
Z's current room is decorated just for him, it is just smaller than our other room. We decorated it for him when he turned 18 months (all sports and baseball) and he loves it. A few months ago we took out all the baby furniture and he got a new big boy dresser (well new to him), desk and a really cool shelf for all of his treasures and books. He LOVES his room and so the plan will be to just move one of the bunk beds in there when he is ready (hopefully this September). We have already ordered the bed rail :)
My big hesitation with moving him into a bed is purely selfish. He is not a good napper (naps every other day, every two days) and I count on that hour or 90 minutes of downtime each day to relax. I fear that if he was in a big bed, he would not be contained and therefore would never nap again. We will try it at the lake and see how it goes but there I have support and other people around to help me get the downtime I so desperately need :) That is the big reason why we are keeping him in his crib for now ;) I have been working with him on reading a digital clock and hope to put a sticky on the clock at the lake that tells him when he can get out of bed. We shall see how it goes :)
Thanks again everyone! I truly appreciate all of the comments, phone calls and emails I have gotten over the last few days and all of the wonderful advice :) Have a great weekend!!!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I think I mentioned before that we decided not to move Z from his room or his crib. We thought with all the changes coming down the pike, this would be just too much for him. The child LOVES his room and his crib and I can see him sleeping in his crib for the next 20 years. There might be a time when we take the side off and convert it into a day bed, but he loves his crib.
We were lucky enough to inherit a crib for the baby. It only needed a new mattress so for less than $100 we had a solution to our crib problem. This past weekend, after getting home from our vacation, we decided to put the crib together (well I guess I begged S to do it). Half way through assembling it, I burst into tears. It seemed very old (not even on the manufacturers website anymore) and rickety. If Z climbed up on it to see the baby, the whole thing would fall apart (no exaggeration). I thought of SIDS and all of the other horrible things that can happen to babies in bad cribs and started to freak out.
S was a bit calmer and suggested that we put the entire thing together before we decide. "We have a few months to figure this out," he said. Within minutes his frustration got the best of him and he started yanking the thing apart and used a few vulgar words. He too decided that it was a death trap and it was headed straight for the dump (the next time they were open). I just hung my head and cried. He put his arm around me and told me that we would buy a new crib, no big deal.
So I started to research new cribs.....they can be a bit pricey! For us to get a mattress and even a cheapo crib, it was going to be close to $300. We have a lot of other things we need to buy for this baby (not to mention our insurance rates just went up) and so I could feel my heart racing. Nobody is selling second hand cribs anymore due to the new laws about baby furniture (although I am not sure I want something second hand unless it is less than 5 years old) and so I started to cry again (got to love hormones).
I told my sister of our dilemma and she thought I was crazy. "Why would you spend money on something you don't need?" was her reaction. She reminded me that we have bunk beds in one room and Z's crib will convert into a double bed....we really don't need any more furniture. She suggested that the baby spend the first few months in the bassinet and then move into the pack n play until Z is ready for a big bed. We can always un-bunk one of the beds and move it into his room so that he doesn't have to move. Once again I could feel the tears welling up.....this baby isn't even born yet and is already getting the shaft. Z had a dream nursery and this baby will have a pack n play.....my crib set will not fit in the pack n play :(
So what do you think? What should we do?? S said we should try to get Z in a bed now, but is it too late for that at this point? I don't want him to think that the baby is taking things away from him and I am not sure I am ready for him to be FREE. I agree with my sister about not needing to spend the money on the crib, but is the pack n play the best option? "The baby will never know and plenty of kids sleep in pack n plays!" she pointed out. I know I am making a bigger deal of this than I should, after all Z slept in a bouncy chair for 6 months! Any advice would be welcome :)
Monday, July 13, 2009
1 happy child
2 loving parents
lot's of enthusiasm
a sprinkle of patience
1 bedroom condo
1 1/2 days at a children's amusement park
1 blue tank engine
3 fun swimming pools
1 bottle of sunscreen
lot's of laughter and sunshine
Place the happy child and parents in a car headed north (make sure the car is filled with gas, luggage, snacks and a portable DVD player). After a few hours in the car, make sure to mix things up by allowing them to spend a few hours at the amusement park. Once they are hot and tired, send them to their condo so that they can cool off in one of the three swimming pools. Once cool, order them a pizza and let them rest over night. Beware that the happy child might be so excited that sleep will be hard to come by. He might toss and turn and then end up in bed with the parents. Make sure to sprinkle lots of that patience to keep things nice and calm.
After letting the family rest for 10 hours or so, they should be ready to go. Make sure to apply sunscreen and send them back to the amusement park for the day. After a day of pirate ships, antique cars, driving crazy tractors, a fun splash park and a crazy ball room the family will be ready to cool off in the pool again. Make sure to feed them an early dinner at a child friendly restaurant and put them down to rest for another 10 hours.
Once the sun has risen, put them (and all of their belongings) back in the car for their final adventure. Introduce one blue tank engine and watch the child smile and squeal with delight!! Allow the child one ride on this train but use caution, he will be bursting at the seams with excitement :) The loving parents at this point will be filled with many happy memories of a wonderful weekend with their precious son.
If you follow all of these instructions very carefully....know that the result will be one perfect family vacation :)
Z driving the antique cars and playing the big piano
shooting the cannons and playing in the ball room
driving the crazy tractors and playing in the splash park
a swing at the park and the run to the train station
A Day out with THOMAS!!!!
A covered bridge :)
Ending the weekend with a picnic on the beach!
Friday, July 10, 2009
This summer my friend M and I are taking a graduate class together. One night a week we grab dinner, enjoy a nice relaxing drive to class and sit down for our 4 hour class. It is so nice to get away for awhile and have adult conversation around a topic I am passionate about (I actually like doing the homework). I have to admit that this class is making me miss my time in the classroom (well just a little bit).
We are taking a Science and Technology class and the credits are being used towards our teacher recertification. I am a big science geek (for those of you who don't know I have a degree in Zoology) and so this class is right up my alley. I sometimes feel like Monica Geller in the Friends episode entitled "The One with the Cooking Class". In this episode, Chef Monica took a beginning cooking class to feel good about herself after she received a bad review in the paper. In my class the majority of the students have never taught before and most hate science, so this is my opportunity to "shine" :)
I love being a SAHM but I feel it is also important to keep current in my field and have some time to enhance the other parts of myself. I would love to find some sort of part time teaching opportunity....I would LOVE to teach a college course. I know, I know.....have the baby and see how long it takes for things to settle down before you go and talk about taking on something new :).
When I got home from class this week, I came home to an empty house. Z was staying at my mom's because S was at a Red Sox game and I debated going up there to stay with him. Exhaustion came over my body and I knew the 35 minute drive would be difficult. I called my mom's house and got the chance to speak to Z, he was so sweet. He told me what he was reading, that he loved me and kissed the phone. I hung up the phone and cried. What am I going to do when I need to be away for him for a few days when I go to have the baby???? Oh I guess that is a post for another day :)
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Dear Mother Nature,
I have been trying so hard to stay positive and not join in on the complaining about The Crappy Weather in the Northeast. I stopped checking the extended forecast (for it depressed me), found fun activities and outings to keep Z and I busy in the rain and kept a positive attitude that the Low Pressure System you had circling around our area had to leave sometime. I do think it was a bit extreme to have it rain on 25 out of 30 days in June and the lower than average temps were also a bit cruel....but I tried to stay up beat. I hoped that once the 4th of July came, summer would come with it.
Last week we said "good-bye" to June and in came a rainy and cool July. The rumors that the weather for the 4th was suppose to be beautiful, kept me going. The 4th was gorgeous!!! Thank you so much Mother Nature, we really needed that. We had three days of no rain!!! It was seasonably warm (80's) and sunny.....the perfect start to summer. Just when I was ready to shave my legs again and cultivate the garden (did I mention you are killing our vegetables and herbs with all this rain?) it started to rain again.....and it hasn't stopped for the last two days! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!! I am at a breaking point and I can't take it anymore!!!
Please, please, please Mother Nature take some pity on the Northeast. We really need some of your healthy sunshine....our plants are dying, tourist attractions are suffering and people who work outdoors (landscapers, house painters, construction workers etc.) are not able to keep up with their workloads! Please, please send us some of the beautiful weather that the rest of the country has been enjoying. We don't mind a rainy day once or twice a week but 6 or 7 is a bit extreme!
P.S. The weather canceled our plans for the day and rather than spending another day in a germ infested play place (those places are loving this weather by the way) I bought Z this toy today. It has kept him busy for 2 hours so far and I hope that it continues to keep him busy this afternoon :) It is the perfect toy for Z (and for mommy who hasn't slept in 3 days).
Posted by Raising Z and Lil C at Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
We were down visiting S's parents over the holiday weekend. It was a weekend jam packed full of activity and Z had a blast :) S and I got to go on our first date since Valentines Day (we celebrated the 6th anniversary of our engagement) and it was wonderful. We had a lobster bake pool party with the family, checked out the big boats at the harbor, S went and saw fireworks with his sister and dad (they also played 9 holes of golf) and we all went down to the shore for clam cakes and chowdah. It was a delicious weekend ;)
Here are some pictures to share.
Posted by Raising Z and Lil C at Tuesday, July 07, 2009