26 September 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Fashion is one of my favorite parts of fall.

25 September 2012

Miracle You Are

It was December 3rd, 2011. I was three days past my due date. It was about six pm on a Saturday and I had just finished a nine hour shift at my job as a receptionist in a hair salon.

I knew my baby was going to make her arrival in the days to come, so I asked my friend/co-worker Zalina if she would cut and color my hair since it would be awhile til I had a chance to do it once I was a mama.

She happily agreed.

We went through our typical notions. She started applying color and we were conversing.

A few weeks prior, Zalina and her husband started trying for their third child. She had just found out she was expecting and I was thrilled for them. She is a good friend and we talked a lot about her dream of becoming a mom times three.

In the middle of her applying color to my hair, she ran to the bathroom. I thought she was getting sick since that seemed to happen a lot this pregnancy.

She emerged from the bathroom with a look of worry. I asked if she were okay and she told me she was bleeding. We both got nervous and knew that was a bad sign.

She rinsed my hair quickly and called her husband to come get her. We were panicking. I didn't know what I could do. This wasn't just a little spotting, she was bleeding so heavily that she needed to grab towels to stop it. (Sorry for the details.)

Her husband picked her up and took her to the ER. I was sad. I knew she was miscarrying and my heart broke.

Not much time passed before I was heading to the same hospital where she was hours before. At six in the morning on December 4th, just twelve hours after her ordeal,  I went into labor.

Natalie was born and I was in love. I had mixed emotions but called Zalina to let her know. She was happy. I asked how she was doing, what the doctors said and she told me they did an ultrasound and told her to come back in a few days for a blood test. The ultrasound didn't look good. There was no heartbeat, just the sac the baby should be in.

Weeks went by. Her hormone levels were rising and the pregnancy was progressing. Still, the doctors told her her chances of staying pregnant were only at 25%.

She made it through the fist trimester and her chances of remaining pregnant were starting to increase.

Months passed and she was now in the clear. She went through the remainder of her pregnancy with no problems and delivered a perfect, healthy baby boy on August 2nd.

He's now 7 weeks old. I just saw him yesterday and it is incredible to think that there were so many odds stacked against him in the begining.

The journey we go through to get here is amazing. It makes me so thankful every day to have my own baby girl and to have gone through everything completely unscathed.

Z and I at the baby shower I threw for her at work. (I could have really used a tan in this. A push up bra wouldn't have hurt either.)

Welcome to your life.

Baby Alex.

23 September 2012

Angry Rant

It has become painfully obvious to me that the world we live in is full of self-absorbed assholes.

Everyone feels entitled to something, like they’re the most important person walking the earth. They deserve to be treated like royalty, deserve recognition for their awesomeness.  

They are clearly superior to you, and therefore respect for you goes out the window.

I am so sick of egotistical bastards. I'm sick of shallow, superficial people. I'm sick of goddamn reality shows and everyone who wants their 15 minutes of fame.

I'm sick of rude people who can't process how easy and natural it is to have common courtesy and say "please" or "thank you." You're an adult, do you really need to be taught pre-school lessons?

I know if you look for and focus on the negatives then of course the world seems like a crappy place.

Some things are just so ridiculously right in my face that there's no way I could turn my cheek the other way and pretend I don't witness selfishness everyday.

I like to think some people must be the absolute most fucking oblivious people ever, because there is no way any human would consciously treat others the way I've seen some people treated.

Example: Today I was at the mall with my daughter, sister and niece. While leaving and walking to the underground metro connected to the mall, I noticed an elderly blind man feeling his way around with a walking stick.

I had my hands full with a very fussy baby that did not want to ride in her stroller. I kept watching the man though, making sure he didn't need assistance.

He was searching for a door to the mall, and I told my sister I felt I should help him. Right then a crowd of other people were walking over from the metro and I knew he would be okay. Someone else would help guide him if need be.

Instead, some dickhead opens the door for himself and let's it hit the blind man in the shoulder.

He was fine, but I was outraged. Furious. Fuming. What the hell could I do though? Chase down this jerk with my baby in hand and scream at him?

It makes me sad to know how inconsiderate others are. It's depressing to think about the world my kid(s) will live in.

30 years from now, how much more will narcissism have risen and compassion declined?

19 September 2012

First Beach Trip

Summary: I don't expect anyone to even attempt to read this long post. I journaled everything in way too much detail at the end of each day. It's for my own memory. To give you a short conclusion of the trip, it was a success.

The sound of the waves crashing on the beach put us to sleep every night. We woke to that same peaceful sound every morning. We all ate horrible food and were lazy as we possibly could be.

It feels like Natalie aged a few months in the few days we were there. She learned to sign "more" when she wanted more food, learned to play peek-a-boo, and even took a couple of independent steps. I am so proud of her.

Matt and I also enjoyed our time together and rekindled some romance we have kinda let fall by the wayside.

Everything was blissful, minus the day I broke my $400 dollar lens (day three).

 All in all it was an amazing time, one I'll never forget. I hope you all enjoy the photos I've shared!

Day one: September 16th, 2012. Today was great! It was the first time Natalie got to experience the beach and she seemed to like it. The car trip wasn't nearly as long as I thought it would take (about two 1/2 or three hours) and she didn't completely flip out in the car like I thought either.

We got here about four o'clock and once we were settled we headed out to the beach. We got our feet wet and played in the sand. Her reaction to everything wasn't huge but she did give a few smiles and I think she liked the new experience. Then we went back to the room, got cleaned up and I decided to take Natalie back out so Matt could relax alone.

We went for a walk and played on the beach. There was a little girl on the beach who was interested in Natalie. She was about 10 or 11 years old and super sweet. They played together as well as a baby and 10 year old can play together (which isn't very well) and then Natalie and I went back to our room.

We watched tv, ate dinner (pizza) and now she's fast asleep for the night.  I have the balcony door open right now as I type and the sound of the waves is beautiful. Yes, indeed. Life is good.

Pondering life. 

Sandy bum. 

Mommy, baby and ridiculously squishy boobs.  

She really likes taking photos with us.

Day Two: September 17th, 2012 We woke up to the sound of crashing waves because I left the balcony open. (We're on the fourth floor.) After getting cleaned up we went for a short walk on the boardwalk. There we stopped at a souvenir shop where I bought some sunglasses and a magnet. (It's my thing that I have to buy magnets when we go on vacation.)

We got back to the room, Natalie took a nap and then it was lunch time. It took us forever to find a restaurant that looked decent and we finally just settled on going to another hotel that had a restaurant for fine dinning. Food sucked but it was a momentous event. I ordered Natalie some mac-n-cheese (healthy, I know) and I was feeding her I asked her if she wanted more, and signed it to her. She looked at me, waited a little while and then signed more back! I was so phsyed but a little cautious to say she did it on her own. Then throughout lunch I would ask her without doing the sign and she did it back. This was a definite first and I was beyond proud!

After lunch we went to the room to change to go to the beach. We got to the beach, built a really lame but awesome sandcastle (a family first), played in the muddy sand, saw some dolphins and then the weather got gloomy so we went back to the hotel. There we spontaneously decided to head to the indoor pool. After that Natalie took another nap. We hung out in the hotel until dinner. We then headed to a restaurant and ate. It was an okay restaurant. The atmosphere was amazing: laid back, scenery was gorgeous, outdoors, kid friendly... but the food was crappy. It was still a great time. Then we went back and put Natalie to sleep after a couple hours. Now I'm listening to the waves and enjoying some wine. Damn I'm going to miss this place...

Early morning beach

"Look, Mom, I can build it on my own." (My arm looks so discolored because there was something on my lens, not because I'm really dirty.) 

Mud lover

Family pic before dinner

Day three: September 18th, 2012 Today we woke up, got ready and headed out to Asseteuge State Park to try and see some wild ponies. Natalie fell asleep in the car and slept the whole drive. (It should have taken about 40 minutes but we had to turn around a few times because we were a little lost so it took longer.)

The park was a pretty big disappointment. I expected that there would be horses roaming everywhere and that I could get some awesome photos. (I honestly didn't get very many photos today.)

We tried to get out and walk around the beach but it was way too windy. Sand was blowing on our legs and in our face and it hurt like hell.

We then drove around the entire park but didn't see a single horse, even though horse crap was everywhere. We finally decided to leave since there were no activities we could do. Once leaving the park we noticed a car stopped on the side of the road. The passengers in the car were observing two horses that had walked right up to them. We of course were excited and pulled over to get a better look. We gawked, Natalie wasn't impressed and then we left.

We then stopped at CVS for some things and Wendy's for lunch.

We headed to the hotel room and tried our damnedest to get Natalie to take a nap but she was not having it. We decide to head to the beach to wear her out. Once we stepped outside we were hit in the face with huge gusts of wind. We tried to fight it but the sand hit us in the face so there was nothing we could do but turn around. We stopped at the indoor pool and swam for a short while. There was a young couple that was on their honeymoon at the pool and we made small talk with them.

We again went to our room and tried to get her to nap. By this point the weather was getting worse and there were tornado and sever thunderstorm watches. I was a little freaked out. We hung out in the room since there was absolutely nothing to do.

There's a coffee table in the room, and Natalie loves cruising around it. She holds onto the sides and walks around the living room. She was standing near the couch and decided to walk to the coffee table all on her own. She took a couple of steps all on her own and we were so ecstatic! I don't think she even realized she wasn't holding onto anything.

Later, I was distracted by some nut job who was in the ocean swimming while bad weather was occurring and Natalie was doing her thing playing on with the table. Matt was on the other side of the room listening to his voicemail. As I look to check on her she is squatting and standing, then loses balance and hits her face on the table. I was taking pictures of the guy in the ocean (with my telephoto lens that I got for my birthday), and I dropped it on the floor to try and catch her. The lens is completely fucked, which really sucks because I think it's past it's warranty and it was REALLY expensive.

Finally, around five o'clock Natalie fell asleep.

Matt and I spent some time together, and then debated what to do about her sleeping schedule. If we woke her up she would be cranky. If we let her sleep she would be up all night. We decided to try and keep her asleep for the night, despite how early it was.

That of course didn't work and she woke up around eight and she was not in a good mood. We gave her a bath, ate some dinner and played. Around nine thirty I took her down to the pool again and we had fun playing with a ball that someone left. I would smack it across the pool and then we would chase it and do it all over again and she just loved this. We only stayed fifteen minutes because her little lip began to quiver from being cold. Then we took a bath together. I was hiding my face behind a washcloth and saying, "Where's Mommy?" and she would pull the washcloth down and I would shout, "Peek-a-boo!" and she would giggle. We did this many, many times. Then I took a little plastic clam she has and hid my face. This was the same routine as the washcloth, but then I hid her face and pulled the clam away and shouted peek-a-boo. Then she took the toy and put it to her eyes. I asked, "Where's Natalie?" and she pulled it down with a smile as I said, "Peek-a-boo!" She seriously amazes me. She finally fell asleep around 11:15, which is a lot earlier than I anticipated. Matt's knocked out too and here I am again trying to remember every little yet special moment of the day. We're leaving tomorrow around eleven probably and I am really going to miss this.

It was an incredible vacation, one I'll never forget. We're going to be taking home a lot of memories and I can't wait to share them with baby girl when she's older.

Neigh horsey

This thing was getting way too close to me so I had to back up.

Trying to walk along the beach

After a few self timed family shots Natalie was through with it. 

Day four: September 19th, 2012 Good-bye Ocean City! We left this morning around eleven o'clock since Natalie was ready for a nap. Before hitting the road we took one last walk around the beach and got some last photos. It was pretty chilly out, so I'm glad I prepared and packed some long sleeves.

Kinda squinty eyed.

16 September 2012

Sunday Snapshot

First time in the ocean. Couldn't decide if I liked this shot in color or black and white more.

13 September 2012

Picky Eater

We started Natalie on solid foods at six months. We've been buying her Gerber baby mush that comes in the little plastic containers.

She was doing pretty well with those and would eat almost an entire container in one sitting.

Then I decided to start making her food myself last week. I figured I have the time and it's easy enough. It's a lot more pricy to buy things fresh and the prepackaged stuff is definitely more convenient but what the hell? 

The only problem is that she won't eat anything I make. It's not like I've tried any new or weird foods either. I've stuck with the basics and things she already has tried and liked.

I'm not sure if it's just a phase or if she just needs to get used to the fresh stuff. It's really discouraging though and feels like a waste to have to just throw it out after many unsuccessful attempts.

I suppose I really should just start freezing it and retrying later. I can't force it down her throat though and if she doesn't like it she doesn't like it.

The only thing she definitely will eat is rice cereal and oatmeal.  She still loves snacks and anything that she can feed herself, such as small pieces of bread.

She doesn't even want me feeding her anymore. Every time I bring the spoon close to her face, she grabs at it and turns her head away. I eventually give up and just let her "feed" herself which means some food gets in her mouth but most of it get everywhere else.

Let me know if you have any tips on how to get her to eat more.

On a completely unrelated note, we're taking our first family beach trip this Sunday. We'll be gone from the 16th to 19th and I am so excited! Natalie HATES car rides with a passion and it's a four hour trip each way, so we're going to have a really good time driving.

Also let me know if you have any tips on how to keep her from screaming her head off in the car.

Not so sure about the pickle.

12 September 2012

Wordless Wednesday

When I was pregnant someone asked me what I was naming my baby. I told her and she said, "Ooh, that's a sexy name. You're gonna have a sexy baby."

Natalie's been working on that.

04 September 2012

Nine Months

Wow, nine months old today!

Every day Natalie is impressing me more and more. I know every baby does their own thing at their own pace, but I feel like she's right where she should be as far as the developmental stages go.

She has great motor skills, knows simple commands like "clap your hands" without needing you to gesture it, she knows her name, she makes new noises and loves taking her hand and rubbing it over her mouth to make an "ababababa" sound. Overall she seems to be a bright little babe.

As far as solids go, she tries everything that is safe for her. She's a big fan of finger foods that she can feed to herself.

Sleep wise we're still waking up several times a night to feed her. She's still has no schedule whatsoever. It doesn't matter if she takes one or two naps or how early they are in the day, she usually stays up til at least ten now. She is still all over the place.

She definitely has two teeth now!

She loves climbing stairs, all day long. 

She's lost all interest in her pacifier. She won't even chew on it. I can't even trick her in her sleep and get her to take it instead of the bottle. 

We had her nine month check up today. She had some vaccinations along with part one of her flu shot. She'll go back in a month for the second part. Doctor said she's healthy and doing well. Her head circumference is17 inches and three quarters, putting her in the75th percentile. Weight was 18 lbs 10 ounces, putting her in the 59th percentile. And height was 29 inches, putting her in the 93rd percentile!

Hard to believe her next check up will be when she's one year old! Time is flying.

Happy nine months Natalie!

02 September 2012

Stranger Danger

A couple of weeks ago me and Natalie were with a friend and her four year old son at the metro station coming from the zoo.

Her son was sitting with me and Natalie on a bench, as we waited for the train. His mom was a few feet away, talking to my sister, who was also along with her daughters.

Some lady came over and sat next to us and then her and I began one of those awkward conversations where she's talking to Natalie but I obviously have to answer and I'm not really sure what's rhetorical or not...

Anyway, the woman proceeded to talk to my friends son, assuming he was mine. She asked, "Do big brothers take naps?" (we were talking about how Natalie was cranky and ready for a nap). He was really outgoing and laughing and told her no, he's a big boy.

Right then the train was approaching and my friend came over and grabbed her sons hand and said to him, "Come on, don't talk to strangers."

I thought that was really rude and I was a little offended. Did she not trust that I would protect her kid should anything happen?

I just kinda stared at her for a moment and she says, "You never know, right?" I didn't know what to say. That's her kid and she has the absolute right to teach him whatever she believes, no matter how over cautious I think she's being.

I thought about how I want my daughter to be a people person and to interact with adults and be friendly. I thought about how I already let tons of people approach her and talk to us.

Then I read stories like this and I get freaked out.

Some nutjob approached a family, in broad daylight and tried to take their little girl right before their eyes, while the father was standing there playing with her.

Then I ponder if I should be less lax with who I let near my child, even though I'm constantly with her. I question if my friend has the right idea and I'm doing it all wrong. I start to wonder if I should buy mace and just spray anyone coming towards us in the face with it.

Stories like that are rare, sure. It does happen though.

I like to think that I have decent judgment and would be able to trust my instinct should a situation occur where I need to fight for my child's safety.

The scary truth is that there are psychos and predators just looking for their next target and will do anything to get to them.

I will protect her and keep her as safe as possible, all the while trying to do my best at raising her into a sociable being.

What do you think? Do you/will you let your kids talk to strangers if you're around? Is it extreme to tell them not to, or do you agree with it?

I'd do anything for you babe!