Monday, June 28, 2010


Can I just say how much I love this man? What an amazing daddy he is!

Leaving on a Jet Plane

So, we are leaving for Philadelphia in a couple days. No biggie, right? I've traveled all over the US many, many times in my life... but never like this.

This time, we have a baby.

Not just any baby - a newborn baby.

A newborn that CRIES!

I'm a little nervous about the whole stuck-in-a-plane-with-a-screaming-crying-baby-while-other-passengers-shoot-me-menacing-looks thing.

Not to mention toting all our CRAP through three airports. (In case any of you readers are not parents, having a baby automatically increases your amount of STUFF by ten. It's a law, I'm pretty sure.) We will have a stroller, carseat, suitcase, diaper bag, backpack, and carry-on to take. Oh, and don't forget the baby.

So keep your fingers crossed for us to make it through alive - I just hope the other passengers don't revolt and tie us up with duck tape halfway through the flight.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I think I should write a book. It will be called, "Things No One Ever Told You About Parenting".

Chapter One: Worrying.

I am worrier by nature. Even before becoming a mama, I planned and stressed and worried my way through life. Then, enter Baby Cole... and that amount of worrying is multiplied by a thousand!!

Let's face it, it kind of makes sense. I mean, all of a sudden I am responsible for a WHOLE ENTIRE LITTLE PERSON!!! And to make matters worse, this little person is entirely dependent on me for HIS ENTIRE EXISTENCE!!

No pressure or anything.

And you know what makes things worse? The internet. There will always be an opinion out there that will cause more worry. Is my baby having enough wet diapers? Is he gaining enough weight? Do I have enough milk? Is he sleeping enough? Is he sleeping too much? Everyone has a different opinion about what's right, what's ok and what's not.

I guess all there is to do is to take a deep breath and go with my maternal instincts... and keep our pediatrician on speed dial!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dear Baby,

Dear Cole,

Next week we are going to Pennsylvania. I just can't wait for you to meet these wonderful people:

These beautiful people are your great-grandparents, Great-Grammy and Great-Grandpap. Your Great-Grammy is one of the most beautiful people, inside and out, that I will ever have the priviledge of knowing. She is kind and thoughtful and generous, but spunky and fun as well. She's the type of lady your Mama wants to be like! And your Great-Grandpap has an amazing sense of humor - but what I remember most about him is how well he treats your Great-Grammy and takes care of her with so much love. He is an excellent example to you of how you should always treat ladies in your life.

This lady here is your Great Grandma Barbara. She's so excited to meet you! I have a feeling the two of you will have a lot of fun together - she's the type of Grandma who will turn around on the highway to drive over the bumps in the road again (the ones that make your tummy tickle) just because you asked her to. She'll let you eat candy that will rot your teeth. She's got a special way of keeping a young outlook on life... I think the two of you will get along great!

Your daddy and I hope you always know and appreciate your extended family. We hope you know how fortunate you are to have so many loving generations in your young life. They have so much to teach you! We can't wait to see what special memories you will make with each of them.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Breastfeeding Post: Part 1

I optimistically named this post Part 1 in the hopes that I will soon write Part 2 with a much more positive ending.

My name is Mandy and I am a proud breastfeeding mama.

I am hugely passionate about breastfeeding - I hold completely with the belief that breast is best. I won't get started on all the benefits of breastfeeding (perfect nutrition for baby, healthier for mama, less expensive, more convenient, etc). Breastfeeding was one decision Chris and I were both adamant regarding: we would breastfeed exclusively for six months, and hopefully continue supplementing up until Cole was a year and half.

Then I actually started breastfeeding.

And OH MY GOSH the PAIN!!!!

We are talking crying screaming bleeding nipples I-would-almost-rather-go-through-labor-again-than-feed-my-son pain.

I got blisters on my nipples. Bleeding cracks the size of the Grand Canyon. Vivid dreams that my nipples fell off (which is not far from the truth).

It would take my mom and Chris together to force Cole onto my breast, amid many tears and screams on my part.

I called three different lactation consultants, and visited two more. I discussed my predicament with our pediatrician and called the nurses at the birthing center.

All to no avail... we are three weeks in, and breastfeeding still causes me so much pain I dread latching my baby on. I cry every single time, with each breast. And I don't know what to do. I have tried everything, because I want nothing more than to succeed at breastfeeding. I have taken breastfeeding classes and researched breastfeeding and followed every person's advice. But even as I am trying to stick it out, since many people tell me the pain will eventually stop, I am not sure how much longer I can put up with the torturous pain for eight hours every day.

Any words of advice? All I want is to feed my child without pain. I want so badly to enjoy this experience. Has anyone else had these troubles? I would love to hear anything you all have to say!

A story of an opinionated baby

Every day there is a new lesson Cole teaches me.

Today's Lesson: The Cardboard Box Phenomenon (PS: I don't think I have ever had to spell that word before in my life! hope I spelled it right)

You know how you will buy your kids the coolest, most awesome, fantastic, (and expensive!) toy in the store... and they will have a better time playing with the cardboard box the toy came in?

Yeah. Cole already does that.

We have no less than five (count 'em, FIVE) awesomely fantastic places for him to sleep. A beautiful basinette, an adorable Moses basket, a rocker, a travel bed, and a crib.

Guess where this little boy prefers to sleep?

No, not a cardboard box. I am not THAT bad of a parent. Although, I'm sure if I would let him sleep in a cardboard box, he would probably prefer that.

No, he sleeps in his carseat. The cheap carseat that was a hand-me-down from one of my best friends. It's not even NEW!!

Same goes for baby-wearing. We have two slings and a Baby Bjorn... and Cole only sleeps in his Moby wrap. No, not even a real Moby wrap - it's a long piece of fabric that I wrap around myself. A PIECE of FABRIC, people!!!!

Just goes to show you... simpler is almost always better - even for newborns!

And at least we know that if there is ever a car accident in our bedroom while Cole is sleeping, he will be safe and sound in his carseat.

Someone. Hurt. My. Baby.

Yesterday Cole had his three week check up at the pediatrician. He's gaining weight, grew an inch and impressed the doctor with his enormous strength.

But, he needed his PKU test done... which meant he needed blood drawn. Which meant he needed to be poked. Which meant he needed to BLEED!

I'll bet you can guess how I felt about that.

There is nothing worse than listening to your baby, your flesh and blood, sobbing hysterically from pain that someone inflicted on them.

Every nerve in my body was screaming "SOMEONE IS HURTING MY BABY! STOP THEM!"

I have to admit, as nice as the lab tech was, there was a split second when I considered tackling her to the ground so she would stop making my baby cry.

I'm sure this is just the beginning of overprotective mother syndrome. Can someone please tell me just how I'm supposed to deal with childhood bullies, the flu, the first girlfriend breakup? I never realized parents feel just as much pain as their children do!
I thought I was awfully prepared to be a parent... but every day I am surprised by just how unprepared I really was!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cole's New Trick

Cole has a new trick.

He thinks it is hilarious to poop on me when I am changing his diaper.

Yeah, you laugh... just wait till it happens to you. Two o'clock in the morning, while I am blurrily rubbing the sleep from my eyes and trying to change his diaper, when I am pooped on. I swear I heard him giggling at silly Mama frantically trying to get a diaper under his messy bum.

Remember these? I was totally prepared for pee showers and sprays with my PeePee TeePees... but what to do about the poop?

I guess I will just work on setting a new record for fastest diaper change ever...and record these stories to tell all of Cole's dates when he's older!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dear Baby,

Dear Cole,
Last night, you smiled at me for the first time. I had no idea that a toothless, gummy grin would ever be able to make me so happy. Your eyes focused on mine and I smiled at you, then your whole face lit up with your wide smile!
I had no idea I would love you so much.
Love, Mama

Sunday, June 20, 2010

From England With Love

Check out this beautiful sweater and booties set that my sister's husband's parents sent us - all the way from England!! Su (that's Stu's mom) hand knitted them out of the softest, most luxurious bamboo yarn I have ever felt. I am so honored that she took all that time and effort to make these! Cole is so blessed to have so many loved ones in his little life - even all the way to England!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

First Bath

We gave Cole his first bath a couple days after we brought him home. As you can see, he just loved it:He cried and screamed so much Chloe was sure we were inflicting some severe bodily harm on her new playmate. She was very attentive and I'm sure that if she had opposable thumbs, she would have been right up there helping out so she could make sure it was done right.
Poor little guy was just exhausted by his ordeal:

Friday, June 18, 2010

Chillaxin' with Dad

Dear Cole,
In just a couple days, your daddy will celebrate his first Father's Day. I am loving watching this man I love so much become a Daddy - thank you for bringing out that special part of him. We love you more than you can ever imagine.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Milk Coma

In case you were wondering, this is what a milk coma looks like.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chris is Graduated!!

We are officially a family of two college graduates! I am so proud of my amazing hubby - it's been a long road to get here, but he stuck it out! He's such a great example for our son and I am proud to call him my husband!

Don't worry, no pictures with this post

Being a mother changes you. In more ways than I can count already.

Take, for example, my modesty. I was always very modest. You know those girls in the YMCA pool locker room that dress and undress themselves from underneath a towel, even though it is extremely awkward and takes at least twice as long? Yup, that was me.

Not anymore.

Not since giving birth in full view of an audience of no less than 10 people (yes, even though I was in the throes of painful contractions, I still had the presence of mind to count, because I could not BELIEVE I was actually letting all these people watch me like a TV show).

Not since having to pee in front of a nurse after giving birth, so she can pour water on me to ease the BURNING PAIN that is peeing after pushing out an 8 1/2 pound baby.

And not since breastfeeding a baby. No less than 20 people in the past two weeks have examined my boobs and/or nipples (and sometimes complimented me - "Oh honey, you've got GREAT nipples!").

And the weird thing is, I don't really care. I am proud to breastfeed my child, not embarrassed. I am glad to have people examine my nipples if it means they can help me feed my child better.

And having ten people watch me give birth? I got the best thing of all out of that - and if it meant I had to have a thousand people watch for us to have our son, then it would be worth it a hundred times over.

I will NEVER...

I always said there were certain things I would NEVER do when I had kids.

Well, Cole is 13 days old and today I already broke one of my rules.

I picked his nose for him.

I know, disgusting, right? I always told myself after watching other mothers pick their childrens' noses that it was GROSS and I was SO TOTALLY NEVER going to do that to my own babies.

But Cole was hungry. And he couldn't eat with a big booger plugging up his nose. And I DID use a tissue, so it's not like I used my bare hands or anything.

Yeah, I will NEVER use my bare hands to pick boogers...HAHA!

Monday, June 14, 2010

We may have a problem...

Cole is not even two weeks old yet, and already we have over a thousand pictures of him.

We may have a problem. I think I have an addiction to taking pictures of this adorable little man.
My name is Mandy, and I am a picture-aholic.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dear Baby,

My dearest son,

Yesterday you found your fist. You discovered that if you move your hand into your mouth, you can suck on it and calm yourself. I couldn't be any prouder than if you won the Nobel Peace Prize. I think this is the beginning of many, many proud mama moments.

I love you so much.

Love, Mama

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Change of perspective

I used to think that nursing a baby would be so boring. What, you just sit there and do NOTHING?? ick.

But now I get it.

You don't do nothing.

You look at your baby. You examine every millimeter of his face. You notice the constantly changing expressions and wonder what he is thinking. You play with the tiny notch in his ear. You gaze at his feet, with their miniscule toenails. You stare at every hair on his head, marveling that he was grown inside of you, down to the last perfect eyelash. You watch his hands fold delicately in each other. You tickle his chin, just for the joy of seeing a response.

It's anything but boring.

Baby Cole

Cole was welcomed into the world by all his family and loved ones - I am amazed at how loved this little guy already is!Chris is one proud daddy!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Dear Readers,
I am so proud to introduce our son, Cole Christopher Figueroa:

He was born on Wednesday, June 2 at 3:31 pm. He is 8 pounds, 6 ounces and 20.5 inches of pure perfection.
We are completely in love with this adorable little man!! More pictures to come very soon...I'm just having a hard time tearing myself away from my perfect little son!

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