31 October 2012

Hello, Kitty!

I'm happy that the weather is decent enough to go trick or treating this evening, since this is Natalie's first Halloween.

She's going to be a little kitty cat and she already played at the park in her costume today while I snapped some photos.

I hope everyone has a good and safe night.

Remember, a lot of candy can be a chocking hazard, so you should probably eat most of it for your kids. That's just good parenting.

Have fun and happy Halloween!

30 October 2012

Over Sharing

Babies and poop are synonymous with each other, as every parent knows. Hell, even those without children know that babies are miniature turd machines.

Having a naked baby is just asking for an accident to happen as I learned tonight.

If a baby's gotta go, a baby's gotta go, and that's just what Natalie did during her bath this evening.

I texted my sister afterwards and said, "Natalie just pooped in the tub for the first time. Should I post a picture of it on Facebook, or do you think people would appreciate it more if I personally emailed it to them?"

My text was not meant to be taken seriously, in case sarcasm doesn't read well through the internet. I know that no one outside of me and husband want to hear anything about my child's bowl movements, ever.

There are parents who think that the whole world needs to know every disgusting fact about their child's bodily functions though and they happily share those details thanks to social media.

Besides being mentally damaging to the person who gets a photograph or written description of someone else's kid's poop, puke or snot in their news feed, it shows how self involved people are.

It seems so arrogant to think that 400 of your closest Facebook friends want to know about every daunting, disgusting or insignificant aspect of your child's life.

Sure, you can argue, "If you don't like what I post, then unfriend or unsubscribe from me."

It goes beyond what other people think and into how it may affect your child one day. Some of the things parents put out there are flat out embarrassing and should simply be kept quiet.

I.E.: Announcing your pre-teen daughter just got her period, or posting pictures of your potty training toddler with crap running down their leg because they couldn't make it to the toilet in time.

Who knows if those posts will ever come back to bite your child in the ass? Chances are that by the time your kid can read or has access to the internet everyone will have forgotten about your disturbing information or your account with said post will be long gone.

Think about it though, would you have wanted your parents to announce your most awkward and uncomfortable moments while growing up to all their friends and plenty of strangers with pictures and great detail?

 Would you want  to share private information about what you do behind closed doors with everyone about yourself now? Consider your child and how they might feel before hitting the "post" button to get a few "likes" or comments.

There's a controversial blog, STFU, Parents that's dedicated to over sharing parents. The site is submission based and it's content is taken from personal Facebook or Twitter accounts (nothing is from blogs, don't worry).

A lot of people criticize the author and accuse her of attacking "proud parents".

 Before you make any harsh judgments, you should really spend two minutes on there to asses things for yourself. I warn you though, some things cannot be unseen.

What are your thoughts? Do parents need to STFU on social media or is it their right to say whatever they want?

29 October 2012

First Hurricane

Dear Hurricane Sandy,

Suck my balls.

Love, Sean. 

So I know you've all heard of this little storm the east coast is getting. So far here in Virginia things aren't too bad yet. 

Perhaps the media is hyping things up more than necessary, which wouldn't surprise me but I'm pretty concerned. 

The federal government is closed, schools are closed and public transportation shut down. There have been press conferences on the news all day and word  is this is going to be a horrible storm of great magnitude. 

We're definitely going to lose power in our household, but if that's the worst of it then I really can't complain. I just hope all my friends and family stay safe, warm and with lots of booze in their system. 

Update on 10/30/12: So we lost power last night around 10 o'clock. It's still out now and I assume it will be for a few days. We're at my in laws, who also lost power (they live two blocks from us) but they have a generator running. Other than that, all is well. 

Second update: We're back with power as of 7:30 pm! We spent the day with Matt's parent's, snuggled and warm inside. Natalie definitely enjoyed being with Mam-mam and Pap-pap all day. It was such a treat for her. 

My thoughts are with those who lost so much, many of which in NY, NJ and CT. 

Waiting for her first hurricane to arrive. 

Watching rain fall

Pajama wearing kinda day

28 October 2012

Museum of Natural History Blogger Date

Exciting title, right?

 Today me and Megan from Our House of Pink had our very first blogger meetup!

She lives two hours away from me and was ever so kind as to make the entire drive my way. With three children. Under the age of five. And herself as the only adult.

Bless her heart.

We initially planned on going to the National Zoo but the weather called for rain and high winds so we made an alternate option and went to the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History in DC.

I was really excited to meet her and her three daughters, Kayla, Kyleigh and Kinsley. Megan and I have been blogger friends for about two years.

We found each other when we were pregnant with our baby girls. Her youngest daughter, Kinsley, is a month older than Natalie. Megan and I got to know each other through reading each other's blogs and we just clicked with one another.

I was really excited to meet her and her beautiful daughters who I've also gotten to know a lot about via blogging. I didn't feel like I was going to meet strangers and I wasn't nervous at all.

We walked around the exhibits and chitchatted, often tending to a cranky baby who didn't want to sit in their stroller, taking potty breaks and generally making sure not too much mischief was going on.

I absolutely adored her girls (how can you not?) and feel like I bonded with them as well. They are all so full of personality and just so easy to love. Natalie really liked them as well. She was really intrigued when she first saw Kinsley and wanted to touch and poke her. She giggled at Kayla and Kyleigh while they drank from a water fountain and they both began acting silly to make her laugh.

It was a bit hard to talk to Megan considering the noise level of our surroundings and the fact that we had four children between us. We got along well, which I expected, and I genuinely see a true friendship forming between us.

I'm happy with the way things went today and very much look forward to making future plans together.

Natalie grabbing Kinsely's hand. Or pinching her. Not sure which one. 

Four girls in front of the giant elephant. 

Kayla, photographer in training. 

Screaming baby in the poster on the wall, screaming baby in the stroller. 

"The hell's her problem?" 

Kyleigh, the snack thief. 

Sweet Kayla. I bribed her with a snack to take this picture. She agreed and then afterwards told me she wanted to take a picture in front of another showcase. After I took the second picture she said, "Yay, now I get another snack!" Such a little negotiator. :) 

Oh that angelic face! 

Baby girls who connected us. 

I think Natalie looks like she belongs more in their family with her hair color than mine! ;) 

26 October 2012

Happy Friday

I'm looking forward to this weekend, even though the weather here in Virginia isn't going to be so great. A blogger bud and I are planning a date with our munchkins and I am really excited about it! Hopefully the rain we're suppose to be getting won't screw things up.

I also want to thank everyone for all the support and love on my last entry.

I'm feeling a lot, lot better. I think just talking about it and hearing other people relate made me open my eyes and know that it's totally normal.

Natalie must have started to feel sorry for me too, because she's been a lot sweeter. Two nights ago she reached for me while she was in Matt's arms and gave me a long hug. Then she would look at me and hug me again and again. I melted.

Enjoy your weekend!

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."

22 October 2012

Feeling like a Failure

I have been feeling less than inspired to blog lately, as you can see.

The reason behind it is pretty simple: I haven't wanted to. The reason behind not wanting to is a little more complex.

Recently Natalie has become more and more attached to Matt. I think it began with our trip to the beach in September. We were all together everyday for four days straight. She realized how much fun Daddy is.

It was really cute at first because it wasn't extreme. She'd follow him around from room to room or reach out for him to hold her. No big deal, she still wanted me.

In the past week or so she's been absolutely nuts about him. Don't get me wrong, it's amazing to see the two of them connect and bond together.

The thing is that she doesn't want me anymore and she freaks out if I try and hold her when he's around. She cries for him, stretches her arms across the room to try and reach him, and if he has to hand her off to me she grips onto him for dear life.

I feel guilty admitting this and stupid saying it but it's made me feel a little depressed, hence the lack in posting.

It  hurts my feelings that she chooses him over me and in a weird way it makes me feel like I'm failing as a mother.

I'm the one she's with all day, the one who plays with her, feeds her and takes care of her. Why doesn't she feel closer to me? Am I doing something wrong? Can she sense when I get impatient or frustrated with her? Am I not nurturing enough? What is it?

If I were on the outside looking in I would tell myself that I'm  over reacting and reading too far into it. I would shake myself and scream, "She's ten fucking months! She is not judging you! Pull it together!"

That's when I start to feel guilty.

I know I should just suck it up and be happy. I have it made. A beautiful daughter, sweet husband and a thoroughly good life. Why am I focusing on one negative aspect that is hopefully just a phase?

In the big picture, who the hell really cares if she has a preference right now? I'm still her mom, I'm still raising her and when she grows up I'm sure we'll still have a great relationship.

It's just so hard to shake this feeling of inadequacy. It's so hard not to feel like less of a mom because of this. The funny thing is I would never think twice about a mother going through the same thing. I'd never say, "Her baby prefers her husband over her, she must be doing something wrong."

Why are we as mothers, as women so damn hard on ourselves?

Took a family trip to Front Royal yesterday. 

12 October 2012

Foxy Lady

When I was first contacted by Hullabalu, a New York based toy site that launched this month, to do a review of one of their stuffed animals I was a little hesitant.

Let’s be real, stuffed animals can be pretty pointless. I’ve never seen a baby actually play with or interested in one for longer than two seconds.

Natalie isn’t even a year old yet and she already has a decent sized collection of stuffed animals that she could care less about.

I took a look at the site though and just had to take them up on their offer. Their stuffed animals are so cute it's ridiculous.

What really convinced me though were the descriptions. Each animal had a few sentences written about the "hobbies" they enjoy and funny little quirks about their personalities. I thought it gave them so much character and it made me fall in love with them.

It was hard to make a choice on which one I wanted but I  finally settled on a fox named Nigel. He has the softest fur, a cute button nose and freakishly large eyes.

I was planning on keeping the little guy for my greedy self since I didn't think Natalie would show the least bit interest in him, but to my surprise she actually likes him! She get's excited, starts panting and hugs him when she seems him.

I mean come on, she doesn't even show me that kind of affection!

I hope she becomes attached to him and he becomes her favorite childhood toy. The two already look like the best of buds.

*My opinion of this product is completely my own.

11 October 2012

Name Game

I have always felt a little bit awkward about my name. As long as I can remember people have not so subtly told me I have a dudes name.

"Sean? Like the boy's name?" "Isn't Sean a boy's name?" "You spell is S-E-A-N, like a boy?" 

And then there's the brutal mispronunciations I've heard:

"Shane" or my favorite, "Seen" are the most common but there is a whole smorgasbord of others.

With time I've become more and more comfortable with my name, though I still get a little annoyed when people question me about it.

When you think about it, names are pretty damn important.

This might sound like a bunch of new agey BS but I think our names build our character and shape our personalities. For instance, I was given a boys name because my parents didn't love me and wanted me to suffer a lifetime of ridicule, therefore I'm a teensy bit cynical.

When I was deciding on a name for my own daughter the decision was hard.

The name I really loved and wanted turned out to be more of a boy's name (which I was okay with) than a unisex one like I thought. My husband wasn't too fond of it so it was off the table and now we had to start from scratch.

I looked through baby books and searched the Internet. I found names I thought were okay and created a short list to be considered. Matt and I couldn't seem to agree on any though and I honestly didn't love any of them.

One day the name Natalie popped into my head. I thought it was really pretty, feminine and sweet. When I envisioned a Natalie, I saw a little girl with brown hair and a sweet smile, who's happy and full of life. I could also imagine a grown woman who's strong willed and independent at the same time.

It seemed like a good candidate. I asked Matt what he thought and he really liked it too. We unofficially agreed on it, but stayed open to the option of changing our minds, though that was unlikely.

By the time I was so far along in my pregnancy we were so attached to the name and knew it was a keeper.

I resisted but finally looked it up online to see how popular it was. I was a little disappointed to see it was ranked pretty high on the list. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad other people love it enough to give to their daughters. I just wanted something a little less common.

I definitely was set on the name though and knew it would be special despite how popular it became.

She's been Natalie for a little over ten months now and I cannot see her having any other name. She fits all the characteristics that I pictured and it suits her quite well.

 I'm happy with our choice and look forward to seeing who she will blossom into.

How did you choose your child's name? Was it something you knew you would always use, or something that surprised you?

10 October 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Annnndd she's over the photo shoot.

08 October 2012

Happy Columbus Day

The weather has gone from sunny, nice and in the 80's just last week, to dreary, cold and in the 50's.

We've been stuck inside for two days since  it's too cold to go to the park. Maybe we're going a little stir crazy?

This is what we've been doing to keep ourselves entertained. Not terribly sanitary but whatever.  

Hope everyone has been having a great three day weekend.

Pop on over to my blogger buddy's page to win this adorable poncho for your little one. It's from an amazing charity that helps women in other countries earn a living.

Stay awhile on her blog for some hilarious and ridiculously funny stories. Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone!

06 October 2012

Please Vote for Me

If you wouldn't mind, please take two seconds to click the link at the bottom of this post to vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs.

All you have to do is hit the icon I provided and that's it, your vote has been cast.

It's kinda silly but it would really make my day if you did it. If you don't then it will make me and Natalie cry, and that look isn't flattering on either of us.

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

04 October 2012

Ten Months

Every month I say, "Wow, I can't believe we're at x amount of months already! Time is flying by."

But now more that ever does that feel like it's true. I CANNOT believe my baby girl is 10 months old today.

So many of my blogger friends that I've been following for a long time now are posting about their babies first birthdays and it feels so surreal that I'll be doing the same in just two months.

I haven't started planning her birthday party yet, and I would appreciate any ideas for a winter sorta theme you may have.

Not too much has changed in the last month. The biggest thing is that she is starting to communicate better and better. She points at things that she wants or in the direction she wants you to take her.

She's becoming more vocal and it's so cute. She makes an "UH! Ra-ra-ra." noise a lot and I just love it.

Sleep wise, you guessed it, she is still waking up a few times a night to eat and there is absolutely no patter to her sleep schedule whatsoever. I really look forward to the day when she sleeps through the night.

I'm sure she's just on track with where she's suppose to be but I really feel like she's a baby genius. She does things that amaze me every day.

She'll grab the remote and point it at the TV (a fine example that we don't watch nearly enough TV in my house), she'll lean towards the doorknob when we stand near the door and I'm holding her and try to turn it. Just the other day she saw her snacks container and signed "more" without being promoted meaning she wanted some snacks.

She still hates car rides, stroller rides and sitting in her highchair.

She is still a picky eater. We've completely given up on solids but she is not too keen on table foods either, unless it's carbs. She wants to feed herself and that's fine, but she usually wants to put the food on the floor first and then in her mouth.

She has become such a Daddy's girl. She chooses Matt over me all the time. I truly am not bothered by this. I think it's sweet and I welcome her wanting to be in his arms so I get a break. He loved it too and the bond between them is adorable.

She really likes opening and closing things. She's also really big on looking at photographs, especially of herself.

Other than that, not much else to report on. Every single day I feel so lucky to have her. I've been enjoying our time together and cherishing the small moments, like when she first wakes up and is so groggy that she lets me cuddle her and rub her belly. We did that this morning and she actually fell back to sleep.

Matt and I are constantly telling each other how lucky we are to wake up next to her smiling face every morning and have her in our lives.

She is amazing.

Happy ten months my little girl .

Edit: Right after I hit publish on this she was sitting in her highchair making an, "mmm, ma-ma-ma." sound! I don't think she was actually saying Mama, but that was a first!

Updated on 10/27:

She tries to say "bath" by saying "ba". I know that seems like a stretch but she doesn't try to say any other words when we say them and she'll say this anytime we ask her if she wants to take one.

She took Matt's keys today and pointed at the door. He held her up and she tried sticking the key in the keyhole.

Every morning she wakes up and rocks back and forth like she's dancing.

Today she was doing such a good job taking steps to me! She took two steps maybe three or four times. It really is a confidence issue, because she is completely capable of doing it. Or maybe she's just like me and too damn lazy. Meh.

She is so destructive. She took the remote control for our tv from our room today and threw it down the steps just to watch it go down. Can't be mad at her, she's too cute and just so curious.

When she drinks water from her bottle or sippy cup while in the high chair she puts it in the spot on the tray that's designated for drinks when she's done.

I swear she has said "mama" when referring to me. Alright so I'm really not sure about this at all but she has said mama and mom. Could be coincidental or could mean I'm the superior parent. Who knows?

She just seems like she has learned so much and is understanding us so well. We'll tell her simple commands and she does them or calms down when we tell her it's okay (sometimes). Matt says I really need to watch my mouth around her. That's gonna be tough, but I'll be glad when her first word isn't the "f bomb".

I SWEAR I only put these ridiculous head pieces on her for photos.