Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Weary Wednesday

It's been interesting around here the past couple days. Natalie's sitter (who comes two days a week) was out because of her 3 mos old daughter's *cough* sickness (I'm sure she probably IS sick, but I was still waiting for an actual phone call and not a text message and I was beginning to get a bit worried she was ditching me). Watching Natalie Tuesday was surprisingly fine. I had to work a full day and didn't have the time to play with her as she was accustomed. She managed to entertain herself for the bulk of the day by crawling around the upstairs chewing on some pinecones (I have a box of them in my craft room), tormenting the cat (who really has been a good sport), and attempting to make a b-line for the bathroom whenever the door was left open. (By the way, what IS it about that spot between the toilet and the wall? The dirty little spot at the base of the toilet with the little plastic piece that covers the bolt holding the toilet to the floor. She LOVES it...gross!)

Anyway, she was an easy baby.

Fast forward to today. Screaming, wanting to be held non-stop, rubbing her eyes but refusing to go to sleep, pulling folded clothes from their neat little stack, pulling all the books off the bookshelf and general mayhem. And I'm on a conference call. I swear, had I turned the phone off mute, they would have thought I had a whole daycare in my room. Everytime I tried to lay her down her head would hit the matress and she'd close her eyes, but within seconds her butt would arch up in the air and she's wave it around attempting to get up. Kevin made the funny observation this past weekend that when she fights being tired its like her head is tired, but her butt still wants to party. So true, Kev, so true.

So with a comfort feeding (and who doesn't love to eat to solve their problems?) she was finally down. When she got up a few hours later she was a different kid for about an hour. Then back to the "mommy, mommy hold me, bounce me, hang me upside-down by my toenails, etc, etc". And honestly... who can blame her? I'd be bored to tears if I had to entertain myself the second straight day in a confined area with the same old toys to play with. If only I could clone myself to hang out with her like she wanted. In the midst of the hubub I got a text from my sitter. Joys! She hadn't fallen off the face of the planet and had not decided to ditch me. She said that her daughter was now going to be checked out for allergies and asthma.

And that our cat may be the problem...

She also said she she wouldnt mind watching Natalie at her house if the cat turned out to be the issue. ARGGGGG!!!!! One of the biggest reasons I hired her to come to our house was so I could be AROUND Natalie more. If this *@#*$#@ cat is the only thing keeping me from seeing my kid I might poke my eyes out with a bottle brush!! (not to get too graphic) Why not get rid of the cat, you ask? Because it happens to be the beloved friend and bedtime cuddle-buddy of my dear husband and I might just nullify our marriage vows by kicking her to the curb. He claims she's the reason he married me. =)

Thankfully that beloved husband of mine came home early to rescue me from certain peril with bored daughter and peace returned to our house.

For now.


Please dont be the cat.
Please dont be the cat.
Please dont be the cat.

I dont know if I can handle that right now.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Extreme Yard Makeover - Kevin & Lauren Edition

This week has been an exciting week around our house. Kevin's brother, Curt, has a landscaping business and work has been slow lately for him (rain has been scarce here). So that's meant that he's had time to do some work on our yard. Our yard has been pretty scary for about a year now ever since we got two humongous (and beautiful) trees removed from our yard to both open it up and relieve pressure on our basement walls (from the roots). We had the stumps ground down, but there was a large pile of mulch and roots in the middle of the yard and much of the grass was dead. We also had a non-working 1960's bricked-in barbeque in the middle of the yard that had become more of an eye-sore than a fun backyard feature. Here are a few before pics:
Notice the large hole that is our crumbling back steps. NOT very kid friendly.

And here are a few pics of what it looks like now.

It's still underway, but I think it's going to look pretty cool once it's done. The next thing on the agenda once this is done is to get the house painted. We were thinking a darker green or a barn red. Does either one of those sound like it would look good? Any other ideas? The roof will be replaced within the next few years so don't worry about matching to it. Here's the color of the brick on the front of the house.

We're so bad about permanent decisions like this!

Pub Crawl

Well, all that stressing out about being away from Natalie for my birthday getaway was for nothing! My in-laws had a terrific time with her and Kevin and I had a wonderful night away for some "grown-up time". Let me just say my husband is SO thoughtful and planned a really nice getaway. He arranged for us to stay one night in a bed and breakfast in Fells Point (Ann Street Bed & Breakfast).

For those of you that aren't familiar with good ole' Baltimore, Fell's Point is a neighborhood in the city that is right on the water and full of old historic buildings, fun bars and pretty cool cobblestone streets. I've only ever done day trips down there and haven't gotten to experience some of the fun nightlife that the area has to offer. So this was a new experience.

The B&B that we stayed at was a neat old rowhome with only two guestrooms that was decorated in true colonial style. The owner lived right next door and we simply walked downstairs and through a door that led into her picturesque kitchen for a tasty, gourmet breakfast in the morning. The kitchen and back patio seriously looked like it had come out of a magazine...the proprieter had SUCH a knack for decorating true to colonial style.

We got to Fells Point around 2pm and after check-in we walked around and checked out the shops and got a bite to eat in nearby Canton at Claddaughs Pub (home of a very good buffalo chicken sandwich).

That evening we were pretty full from dinner so we decided to hop from pub to pub in Fells Point grabbing an appetizer and a drink at each place. I LOVE dinner this way because you don't get full. Besides, I'd never done a pub crawl before and considering I'm in the last year of my 20's I was long overdue for getting my feet wet. Blue Moon was the drink of the evening (and really refreshing on a hot summer night). We also enjoyed shrimp, mussels, empanadas and calamari.

Such a fun time, Kev. Thanks for the good memories!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Baby Steps for Moms

Well it's Friday night and I've spent it FREAKING out about being gone from Natalie for the first time ever. Tomorrow night, Kevin has planned a birthday getaway for me. And while I WAS really, really excited all I feel now is really, really nauseated at the thought of being gone from my kiddo-rooney for the first time. Oh the trauma!

I'm sure I'm not the first mother out there to feel such anxiety about that first night away. And I know I've got to deal with it. It it's not like I can just sit on the child for the rest of her life because I have separation issues. I'm just deathly afraid of something happening to either one of us while we're apart. I want to BE there to raise my kid and BE there to see her go to prom, get married and have kids of her own. But if I keep this up, who says she's even going to be able to leave my sight to actually accomplish any of those things? So I'm really trying to not think about it and tell myself everything is going to be "fine". That and a lot of prayer.

I'm not sure what I was thinking a few weeks ago when I exhuberantly agreed to take a 5 day getaway with my sister in September sans Kevin and Natalie. I AM looking forward to the time with my sister, but if ONE night away is killing me now, I'm going to be a basket case then. Baby steps... breathe in, breathe out. I've got to go get my paper bag.

Baby babble and Peek-a-boo

Kev here -

Recently we've been enjoying listening to Natterbug learning new sounds she can make. Her babble is so happy and cheerful that is really lightens the mood around the house whenever we hear it. :)

Hope you enjoy these movies. Sorry the quality is poor, I had to use my phone to take these movies since the other one wasn't available/ready.

She's also learned recently how to play peek-a-boo, except in the reverse role! We find it fascinating that she is playing with us like this. She really cracks us up. Fast forward to about 1/2 through this video because the first bit is a bit dull, unless you'd rather watch it all. :)


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fishin' at Pooles Island

Kevin here -

Went fishin' last night and finally got around to heading all the way to pooles island, an uninhabited island a good ways south on the bay from us. The weather/water was just right for heading out there so we (Larry/I) went for it. Bunch of Perch, Catfish and Croaker, and a good look at this island I'd never seen before. Even has a lighthouse on it. It's off-limits to beaching because the military owns it but is still beautiful :)

My phone doesn't take the greatest pics, but there's a lighthouse there!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Down the Ocean, Hon.

For those of you that dont live in Maryland, you won't quite get the title of this post. It's a local dialect thing here... Just say it like you're talking through your nose and you're half way there.

This past weekend we took 4 day trip to the ocean with our friends the Buslers and Chris, Kera and the girls. What a good time we had! From visiting a park with the kids, hitting up a waterpark (sorry... no pics of that), hanging out on the beach (pictures of that are coming) and walking the Ocean City boardwalk and eating all of the junk food it has to offer, we had a terrific time.

Nat and Me

Kera, Callie and Sienna

Natalie and Joshua and Mike

The Families

Natalie was a gem on this vacation. Kevin and I were totally surprised because she'd been such a handful the previous two weeks. We think we realized though that Natalie was really MISSING the interaction with other kids. On the trip there was a 1 year old, a 4 year old and twin 2.5 year olds in addition to Natalie. She always had someone to play with and enjoyed crawling around the house to explore the new area. Since we got back she's been fine with us putting her down (something she screamed at last week) and has been able to entertain her self for little bits of time. It's like she's a new kid! I think we'll probably just try to get out for some more social play now that we're back into the routine.

Oh... in regards to sleeping, we're also trying out ONE nap a day - rather than two. She doesnt seem to need two and we dont fight her as much to go to bed. *Sigh* What a relief that this is all it took!

Natalie loved the beach. It was a little too cold to get in the water, but we played in the sand and she ate quite a bit of it. She had animal crackers for the first time and enjoyed shoving them (sand-covered and all) in her mouth one right after the other. All in all it was a terrific time!

Annual Crab Feast

Our friends, the Buslers, held their annual crab feast at the end of June.

Kevin, Mike, Melissa, Kera and Chris

Other than the crabs (which were AWESOME), my favorite part of the night was that it was sans children. We adults had a good time with water balloons, card games and just chillin out like old times. Such a fun time!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Welcome to July

Welcome to July, Natalie! Crazy to think that I get to experience most of your "firsts" right along with you. Hope you enjoy this month. Lots of fun things to come!

Isnt this a cute outfit from Nana and Papa (my parents)? It was a get-better-soon gift that arrived in the mail just yesterday.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Mother Needs Some Help!

My daughter is out-of-control! What ever happened to my sweet, precious, smiling and good-sleeping princess I do NOT know, but within the past two weeks we have a defiant, poorly sleeping, fussy little tyrant.

Last night she was up SCREAMING at 1230am and would NOT go back to sleep. I tried holding her, rocking her, patting her, singing to her, giving her the pacifier... NOTHING worked. I knew she wanted milk - but the middle of the night feeding been something I've been giving into for almost 5 days now and this is one habit I'm not going to support. So we both laid on the floor (her writing around like a freaky little fish, arching her back and sliding backwards on the floor - breakdance style). She eventually calmed down and fell asleep. But she was then back up at 530 with the same song and dance. This time I fed her - because I honestly wanted my last hour of sleep. Yes... inconsistency is bad I know.... I can't believe I'm dealing with this and she's not even 10 months old yet!

Today, the sitter has been trying to put her down for a nap for the last 2 hours and ten minutes. We let her cry it out for an hour and fifteen minutes and finally went to go get her after she quieted down a little (but obviously wasnt still asleep). She's still tired, fussy and determined not to take a nap. Now, she COULD feel bad. But I dont think so. As soon as you pick her up she's fine - and this is NOT the first time she's done this little charade. Any advice? Any books I can read? I need HELP!