Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sophie the Giraffe

I think Cole is the last baby in the world to have Sophie the Giraffe.
 "Look, Mama!!"

Monday, September 27, 2010

I rush home from my long day at work, thinking single-mindedly of getting home to hold my baby.

I hurriedly drop my things at the door, reaching out my arms that have felt empty all day long.

He smiles at me, a look of pure happiness - my joy at seeing him must show on my face. I kiss him, hold him, tickle his miniature feet,  feed him, read to him, listen to him talk, change his diaper, help him stand while he explores.

There's nothing I would rather do.

There was a time that I would long for relaxing time, for "me time".  But our time together is so limited, I selfishly guard every second.

I impatiently count the days until I can be at home with my little man again.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My little dino-man

Cole says "RAWR!"
And just when you thought he couldn't get any cuter:

Friday, September 24, 2010

sneakin' up on me

This whole growing-up deal is a sneaky little thing. 

Take the other night, for example. 

I was innocently drawing a bath for Cole the other night when I realized that he probably didn't need the newborn sling anymore.  We tried it without it, and of course it worked fine.

Then all of a sudden it hit me.


It's those little things that catch me off guard. Each time he grows out of an outfit or we have to loosen the straps on his car seat. 

The big deal growing things, I am totally prepared for. Move to the crib?  Mentally, I'm all set for it.  First steps?  I can't wait.  But all those sneaky little growing up things that they don't warn you about break my heart in about a million pieces...

...and then make me happier than I ever thought possible!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

On this day...

Dear Cole,

On this day one year ago, I found out my life would change forever.

I found out that we were expecting you, my darling son.

Words can never describe how I felt that day when I saw those two pink lines.  I was overjoyed.  I was nervous.

If I had know that day what was ahead, I'm not sure I could have handled the excitement.

I liked to think that I was prepared to be a mama.  But I wasn't prepared for just how much my love for you, my overwhelming love for you would change me.

I am a better person because of you. 

You bring me such happiness and joy, some days I feel like I could explode. 

Thank you for being our son.  Your Daddy and I will love you until the stars fall from the sky.

Love, Mama

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Post-baby body

Call me vain, but one of the things I was really concerned about when I was pregnant with Cole was my post-baby body.  Let's face it, with women like Heidi Klum and Gisele Bundchen who look like they never even had a baby six weeks later, there's quite a bit of pressure to do the same.

I wasn't expecting to look fabulous right away.  And I wasn't going to give myself a hard time about it, either.  I mean, I just grew a human, for goodness' sake!  I was intensely proud of what my body could do. 

Thanks (unfortunately) to my little man's habit of making me throw up every day, I gained very little weight and was at my pre-baby weight less than a week after having him - but my waistline was another story.  And still is another story. I have stretch marks in places I didn't know you could even get stretch marks.

But you know what? I love my son and I'm a great mama whether I still fit into the jeans I wore in high school or not.  And every time I look in the mirror I see a mother, the person I always wanted to be, not a woman with a wide waistline.

And Cole doesn't care either.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Top Ten Must-Have Baby Items:

So I've been thinking a lot lately about what baby items I simply could NOT manage without.  These are the things that if you are pregnant, you should RUN to the nearest Target (why Target? because Target has everything and is awesome on top of that) and buy.

1. My hands-free pumping brassiere.  Yes, I'm wearing it right now.  This thing has saved my life while pumping many times.  Ever try holding two flanges and trying to put a pacifier into your screaming baby's mouth?  Yup, this thing is worth it JUST for that. Not to mention how I spend 3-4 hours a day hooked up to this thing... might as well make it just a wee bit less boring by being able to multi-task.

2. Moby wrap.  Who'd have guessed that my little man would love a long stretchy piece of fabric over his Baby Bjorn?  I didn't even buy one, I just bought some stretchy jersey knit and cut it to the right size.  This wrap has saved my bacon on more than one occasion, since Cole loves to be held all.the.time.  Ever tried unloading the dishwasher while holding a baby?  This makes it one thousand percent easier.

3. The Boppy.  When I was nursing Cole, the Boppy was a.mazing.  I even wished I had brought it with me to the hospital - trying to control five or six pillows, stuffing them into the right spots and trying not to drop my screaming hungry baby was not super fun.  The Boppy just fits right around me, puts the baby at the perfect height, and supports me perfectly.  Even now, when I'm not nursing, I use the Boppy to support my arms when holding my heavy little chunky monkey.  And I'm not the only one who loves the Boppy:

4. Baby bathtub.  Folks, this thing ROCKS!  Since we've always lived in teeny-tiny houses with little by the way of bathroom storage, I hesitated to buy the bathtub for Cole.  But right before he was born, I found one for $5 on Craigslist and thought what the heck, I'll try it out.  You guys, I LOVE IT!!  As a super nervous first time mama who has had more than one nightmare about accidentally drowning my baby in the bath, this thing was a lifesaver.  It helped me to really relax and enjoy Cole's bathtime.  If I had it to do over again, I might splurge (and by splurge I mean spend $20) and get the tub that has a temperature thingy since I'm forever getting the temperature wrong. 

5, 6, 7. Our carseat.  Well, they won't let you leave the hospital without one, so yeah, it was kinda important.

But we liked it for other things too - a major space saver was getting the snap and go stroller frame and the swing frame for the carseat too... a must since we live in such tiny houses with limited space.

8.  These burp cloths.  I made at least a dozen and we use them all.the.time.  Because Cole spits up all.the.time. 

9. My diaper bag.  If you do nothing else, invest in a good diaper bag...one that's cute AND functional.  I had one before Cole was born that I bought years and years ago for $3 at  yard sale.  It was fine, but it wasn't exactly what I wanted.  It was too bulky and didn't fit under the stroller and I just didn't like it.  My mom bought me my JJ Cole diaper bag - it was splurge - but since I use it every single day and will use it for my next child, I think it was worth it.  And I LOVE not having to fumble for a diaper and wipes while trying to hold a crying baby on a rickety public changing table - look for something that's got lots of compartments so it's easy to find what you need.
10. Books, books, books.  For a long time, Cole was not really interested in anything I would do to try to entertain him other than books.  He loves being read to and looking at the pictures - and it doesn't get any more portable. 

So there you have it.  Baby must-haves as according to Mandy!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Tulelake Fair

Last weekend we went to the Tulelake Parade and Fair.  It was Cole's first parade and he was so excited:
But he woke up when the fire trucks came through:
Isn't that the most perfect profile you ever saw?
Look, they match!
We had lots of yummy greasy fair food, including an elephant ear that was bigger than Cole.  He was eyeing it...but don't worry, I didn't give him any! 
We checked out all the exhibits, but in true Cole form he was most interested in Chris' soda bottle we had in the stroller cup holder.  I'm pretty sure red is his favorite color, he loves to stare at anything red.
He even got to go on his first pony ride!
As we were leaving, we met up with Chris' cousin to get a picture with almost all the grandkids... look, they're all boys!  I think I need to have a girl next so we can get some pink going on with all these boys!
I love being a part of all of Cole's first experiences.  Even if he is more interested in a Coke bottle.

A Reader

Cole is totally going to be a reader.

It's no secret that I LOVE to read and read a lot.  So of course, I read to my baby.  And he's such a genius, he reads to himself too:
He just adores books! I'm so proud of my little man!

Saturday morning cuddles

Nothing like a lazy Saturday morning cuddling with Daddy in bed.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Dear Cole,

    Yesterday I was holding you and laughing with you when all of a sudden, you giggled.  The cutest little tinkling baby laugh I ever heard.

    Ever since going back to work, I live in fear and sadness that I might miss your little firsts.  I was heartbroken at the thought that I might miss your first laugh.  I should have known that you wouldn't let me miss out!

    Thank you for sharing your first laugh with your mama! 

   Love, Mama

When multi-tasking isn't an option

I am such a multi-tasker.  I love to do more than one thing at once. While I'm writing this, I'm pumping, eating, and texting.

But since having Cole, I've learned how it can be absolute perfection to do just one thing at a time.  Before becoming a parent, I always thought babies were a little boring.  Cute, yes.  Adorable, of course.  But I always wanted to be doing something else while being with babies.

Not anymore.

As I rush home from my day's work, all I can think about is spending uncluttered time with my baby.  There's nothing I would rather do than read to my little man, or sit on the floor listening to him talk, or hold him while he practices standing.

Even as a consummate multi-tasker, I don't do anything else.  I just spend time with my son.  There was a time I would have thought this boring, not stimulating enough for me.  Not anymore. I don't need anything else other than the absolute perfection of watching my baby. 

I think of all the things I should be doing - laundry, unpacking, organizing, dishes, cooking, lesson plans, vacuuming... but I know that my child needs my undivided attention more than anything else. 

In a world where multi-tasking reigns, and it's never enough to only be doing one thing at a time, I have learned that the rules of the world don't apply to raising my baby.  Sometimes I need to just stop and enjoy with every fiber of my being my beautiful son.  

And it's anything but boring.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sitting up - a whole new perspective

Cole is so active and alert, he is in LOVE with sitting up in his Bumbo seat.  He'll just chill there, his head bobbing around, checking everything out...tell me he's not the cutest thing you ever did see:

I know, right?  I love him!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy Grandparent's Day!

Happy Grandparent's Day to the best Gram and Pap and Grammy and Papa ever!

And of course, to my grandparents as well!

We love you all more than you know!

Let's see how many more major life changes we can squeeze in

So in the past two weeks we have moved to a new house in a new (old) town, started a new job (full-time...AHHH!), and figured out where Chris will be staying the weekends he's on call at Providence Medical Center in Medford.

It's been a mess.

A stressful, complicated mess.

But here we are, working on (slowly) unpacking, lesson planning, and spending as much time as possible with my little man when I am not working.

I promise my house will not always look like this:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

We're Baa-ack!

Did you miss me?  :) I never realized I would miss Internet so much!

And wow, do we have big news to share.

Guess who rolled over?  All by himself?


No, just joking.  Of course, it was Cole.  And it was amazing to watch.  He just flipped right over like he'd been doing it his whole life.

He's also discovered how to chew on his lower lip, as you can see in the picture.

I'm pretty sure he's a genius!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

remember me?

Why, hello there.

Remember me?

Your friendly neighborhood blogger?

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.  Just fallen off the face of the Internet temporarily during our move.

We'll be back to our regularly scheduled blogging in a short time!
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