Monday, December 29, 2008

Post Holiday Shopping

Merry belated Christmas! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is going shopping afterward. Whether it's to spend gift cards received or just take advantage of the holiday sales, I always seem to go shopping in the days following Christmas. This year is no different, just toned down a bit. Like many, I love a good bargain and these are the days to find them.

We didn't do a Christmas tree this year since we didn't want to shell out for all of the accessories, like a tree stand, skirt and ornaments. I decided that we would buy a bunch of stuff after Christmas and put it away for next year. Friday we went to Home Depot and got a tree skirt and about eleventy billion lights, all half price! Then we hit Cost Plus/World Market for ornaments. We got $40 worth of ornaments (all 50-75% off). More half price ornaments purchased at Target yesterday and I think we're ready for next Christmas.

Yesterday we also went to my new favorite store, Kohl's, for yet another roasting pan (we now have 3). Kohl's sells Levi's on the cheap, which has been awesome for me since I wear jeans everyday but am trying to lose the baby weight so I'm not quite fitting into my old jeans and don't want to buy a new pair of expensive jeans. Kohl's Sunday circular advertised a sale on denim so I figured I would look for another pair of jeans. I found a pair of Levi's marked at $34.99 and figured they'd probably be on sale for $30, which is pretty great already. I got to the register and they were $7!! I don't know if it was the wash or what that was on sale but I'll take it.

Every year I also find myself taking advantage of the holiday sales to buy sweaters. I could always use sweaters and this year is no different. It's been hard getting dressed to go out to dinner or anything where a nursing tank and sweatshirt just won't do. I was checking my email on yahoo and saw a link for Martin + Osa. I've seen this brand in magazines before and decided to check out their sale. It's a pretty good one. I bought 2 sweaters this morning for $36 total, with free shipping!

Off to find more bargains!

Friday, December 26, 2008

3 Months

Dear Ava,

Today you are 3 months old! You are getting so big so fast.

This past month you got better at holding your head up, so much so that we put you in the Bumbo a few times. You seem to like it alright but something about being in that position makes you poo your pants. It has resulted in some funny pictures. You have also started pulling yourself into a sitting position when laying on your back with a little help from Mommy or Daddy and will stay seated pretty well as long as you are propped up.

We started going to the New Mom's group this past month. You seem to like the other babies but are also pretty content to just lay on your back and look at the ceiling.

You met Santa and your great-grandma this month and celebrated your first Christmas. Santa was very good to you and you received many toys and a swing from Grandma.

You are still a good sleeper, although it seems harder to get you to fall asleep. You seem to be going to bed later than you were last month but you're sleeping longer so it's a trade off. We're going to start trying to get you to go to sleep earlier after the hoopla of the holidays calm down. You started sleeping in your crib this past month and it was a smooth transition.

This month you also started grabbing some toys and shoving them in your mouth. You will sometimes get upset if you can't get the toy in your mouth though.

You laughed for the first time this month! You let out a little giggle on 12/21 and had a good laugh on 12/24. Your dad was holding you, bouncing you around and lightly slapping the bottoms of your feet and you loved it! You had a good chuckle going. It was great!

It's pretty fun being your mom and I love watching you with your dad. As always, I can't wait to see what the next month brings.



Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Who's Ready for Christmas?

I think we are, actually. We don't have a tree set up yet but I will set it up Christmas Eve so that Santa will be able to put the presents, near it. Our tree is about 2 feet tall and will need to go on our dining table so it needs to wait.

This past weekend I made cookies...and a mess. I made 3 different color glazes for the cookies and used pastry bags to decorate the cookies. They came out good and were delicious but I probably used about every mixing bowl we had.

We finished up our shopping and wrapping last night. I ventured out today in the snow (will it ever stop snowing?) to go to the grocery store(s). Despite almost spinning out in the middle of a 6 way intersection, which was scary, it wasn't too bad. Luckily Ava was home with her Dad. I would have freaked out more if she had been with me. I hit Whole Foods first and was able to get just about everything I need. The store is small and was very crowded so it kept me from doing too much milling about and grabbing things that weren't on my list. I only had a few items that I couldn't find at Whole Foods so I had to go to other grocery store in our neighborhood. Despite the 2 stops and the slow driving due to snow, I was home in about an hour and a half. Better to get the grocery store out of the way today since I will be doing loads of baking over the next 2 days. I'm making coffee cake tomorrow for breakfast on Thursday which means I get to open my Christmas present from Fredo early. He's the best husband and got me something I've been wanting for a long time -- a KitchenAid Stand Mixer!
I can't wait to use it!

Thursday I'm tackling eclairs and cornbread. The cornbread should be pretty easy. I'm hoping the eclairs come out okay but if not, I do have ingredients for a back up dessert.

I love baking so I'm excited for all of the things I'll be working on the next few days. And of course, I'm excited for Ava's first Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ava and Santa

We took Ava to get her picture taken with Santa this past weekend and finally got the picture.

Ava looks like she wants to take a nap right there on Santa's lap. Santa looks like he would rather be off enjoying cocktails elsewhere. I guess that will happen when you have kids crying on your lap all day.

I was kind of hoping for a child crying on Santa's lap picture but Ava did not cooperate. Oh well, there's always next year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Another Open Letter

Dear Residents of Chicago,

Thank you for not shoveling your sidewalks this morning. Four inches of snow is no big deal and doesn't really need to be shovelled right?

Really, thank you for making sure I got my cardio in today. Pushing a stroller a half mile through the snow was just what I needed to get my heart pumping. Thanks for thinking of my health and of those 3 cookies I ate right before going to the bank! Pretty sure I worked those off.

Now I'm going to eat 3 more.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Shit List

Dear Babies R Us,

I'm writing to inform you that you have officially made my shit list, effective immediately.

I've been trying to find the Ultimate Crib Sheet as I was told it would make my life easier. That may be so but the quest to find it is slowly killing me.

I began my search for said sheet where I always do, on your website. The website has never steered me wrong in the past so I had no reason to doubt any information found there. There's now a nifty feature where you can search your zip code and see if the product you are looking for is in stock. This is only available for a few stores but Chicago is included so yea!

I searched for my item and entered my zip code. The Ultimate Crib Sheet is available at every Toys R Us and Babies R Us store in a 20 mile radius of my house. I decided I would drive to the closest Babies R Us store (which is still about 10 miles awhile and in a suburb) since Ava needed Swaddle Me's and diapers and wouldn't it be just great to get everything in one place? That would have been too easy.

I got to the store, finally, after getting Fredo to unstick the car door that was frozen shut for me and after scraping all of the ice off of my windshield. Did I mention it was 7 degrees? At the store and looked high and low for the damned crib sheet. I asked someone for help. No one could find the thing so I was told it was out of stock. How could that be as the website said it was in stock? I asked if other stores could be called to see if they have it in stock. Well yes of course you could call but if they're busy they won't answer the phone and you know, they are really busy right now.

So I will be ordering the stupid sheet online. I wish I could say I will never shop there again but that would just be too hard. Instead, I will just shake my fist and curse you Babies R Us!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mom Date

I had my first mommy date today.

One of the moms from my new moms group and I met for lunch. Instead of flowers I brought my kid. After lunch we sat around and talked for a bit. It was fun and hopefully I've made a new mom friend.

After we parted I made a few stops on my way home and probably kept Ava out a bit too long. I was punished for my lollygagging with a nice blowout diaper.

Now I am trying to figure out how to tell what size frosting tips are. I have the pastry bags and a bunch of assorted tips. I need a 1/4 inch and a 1/2 inch plain tip for the eclairs I want to make for Christmas. Of course, the tips don't have sizes associated with them, they have numbers. No where can I find what the numbers mean! At this rate I'm going to end up cutting the tip off of a Ziploc bag. This is the crap I use nap time for.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Raw Fish and Footprints

Fredo and I went out for dinner together for the first time since having Ava last night. We had to twist my mother's arm to come babysit for us (yeah right, she's been practically begging me to go out so she could stay with Ava) while we went out for sushi. I had been craving sushi since, well probably since getting pregnant.

We went to a terrific restaurant, Hachi's Kitchen and ate our weight in sushi. We both ordered the chef's choice and a sashimi appetizer. The chef's special ended up being about 6 courses and dessert. By the end, we felt like we couldn't eat anymore yet we kept wolfing down whatever was put in front of us. It was so good! After dinner, we met a friend of ours out for a drink. Being at the bar on a Saturday night made me feel a little old. One of the first things I said upon walking in the bar was how loud it was in there.

Today we took Ava down to the Winterfest in Roscoe Village, a neighborhood near ours. There were sleigh rides, a trolley and the shops had specials. The maternity store on the street had a clay footprint ornament making table. We pressed Ava's foot into clay and now we have an ornament to remember Ava's first Christmas.

It's such a great idea. I'm thinking of getting some clay this week and making ornaments for the grandparents this year.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I'm not complaining, I'm just saying

Ava has been asleep all day! This is amazing as naps were getting pretty sketchy.

Yesterday we decided that the moses basket has run it's course and it's time Ava starts sleeping in her crib. This was decided after a few nights of putting Ava to sleep with her feet almost touching the end of the basket and her waking up with her head almost touching the other end. We think because the basket rocks when she moves it wakes her up.

We got the baby monitor set up and last night, for pretty much the first time ever, we put Ava down for the night in her crib. She woke up once but the second time she fell asleep in the crib. She doesn't put herself to sleep often so this in itself was a big deal. She probably fell asleep finally at 8 or 8:3o and slept until 5:3o this morning. I wanted some more sleep so I put her back down and she slept until almost 9. Then she was acting fussy so I put her back down at 10:30 and she's been sleeping pretty much ever since! It's almost 1 pm now. I almost don't know what to do with myself with all of this free time. Oh wait, I know. There's always laundry and house cleaning and I bet Maury is on right now. I could always use some, "You are NOT the father!" (just kidding).

I think she may be waking up now, but could it be? Did she inherit her mother's love of sleep? I'm trying not to get too far ahead of myself here. This could just be a fluke, but I'm baffled by how much she's slept already today.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Exploding Poo: Part 2

We've gone through quite a few onesies (5 to be exact) today and it's not even 2 pm. A few were spit up on and a couple were poo-sploded on.

Ava and I went to the new moms group at the hospital where she was born today. It was nice to be out of the house and to be around other moms with their babies. Soon after we got there, I heard it. My baby has audible poops, must take after her father, and this one was no different. She was sleeping and stayed asleep so I figured it must have sounded worse than it was since it didn't seem to bother her. The minute she stirred, I got her out of her car seat to see that I was wrong. It wasn't that bad but it definitely called for a new outfit, which is too bad because her first outfit was so cute.

Then we got home. Fredo was holding Ava and heard the unmistakable sound of our baby crapping her pants. I took her to her room, laid her on her changing table, began to undress her and promptly called for back up. She had poo all over her back. While trying to figure out the best way to get her onesie off without getting poo everywhere, we had the following conversation.

Me: I feel like we should just cut it off.

Fredo: It's just poop, not like it's a gunshot wound or something.

I found that hysterical. I'm still laughing about it.