Monday, January 31, 2011

Not all gentleman prefer blondes

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I need blonde volunteers to start stopping by our apartment. Apparently Peanut doesn't see enough blondes.

My sister Debbie is blonde and her hair down right freaked him out.

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She did get a smile out of him a couple of times but then he would look up and stare at her hair.

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What is that on your head? Why do you look so different?

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I don't think I like that.

This was followed by crying. Actual crying with a real tear that rolled down his chubby cheek.

Apparently my child has been too sheltered and we need to spend more time with Auntie Debbie. After he gets used to her hair he can find another reason to be terrified of her :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A little laughter

As much as I hate to admit it, B is totally Peanut's favorite. He completely lights up when he sees his daddy.

I love way Peanut talks and laughs with him.

I also love the way B is a total and complete dork with Peanut.


Friday, January 28, 2011

A binky and some duct tape

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Peanut isn't all that attached to the binky but we almost always use it when it's time for bed or a nap. It's really fantastic as it works almost immediately. The binky goes in and the eyes begin to droop.

We also use it when we put him in the dreaded Torture Device otherwise known as The Car Seat.

Except Peanut hasn't mastered the art of keeping it in his mouth. He sucks for a while, gets distracted it falls out of his mouth. Or he is chewing on it. Or he has discovered his tongue and their just isn't room for both the tongue and the binky.

All of this would be fine if he didn't actually want you to hold the binky is his mouth for him. You could also just put it back every other minute if you like.

Over and over and over. Once he falls asleep or settles down and the binky falls out it's not an issue but until then...

I was thinking of using some kind of duct tape to secure it to his face.

Don't tell social services.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Baby Sleep Methods

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Another hot topic seems to be having a baby that sleeps thru the night and all the various ways to get that.

The one thing I've realized about parenting books is that they all seem to think that whatever method they have is the only one to follow. It could drive a person insane trying to guess which is right and which is wrong.

The only thing left to do is figure out which is right for you and which is wrong for you.

Oddly it doesn't seem to be something that parents often talk about. It might be because people do feel so strongly about the various methods.

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Ferber, Baby Wise, Sears, Pantley, Sleepeasy, Weissbluth, Karp, Mindell, Nighttime Parenting, and so on and so forth.

Let them cry it out so they don't require having you soothe them to sleep. Don't give them any "crutches" or they will become needy, spoiled beings. Don't let your baby cry it out or they will become evil, untrusting beings. Sleep with your child, don't sleep with your child, sleep with them in the room, get them in their own room ASAP. Rock your child to sleep, don't rock your child to sleep.

Are you tired yet? Of course you are... everyone but the children are ready to go to sleep.

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So heres the deal in the clapping household. We're completely guilty of using any and all crutches to get Peanut to sleep. I rock him, nurse him, give him a pacifier or any combination of. He used to wake the minute we put him down in the bassinet (which is right by my side of the bed) so I started using a heating pad to warm the sheets before I put him down. It worked and he stays asleep. Oh and the Sleep Sheep, gotta love that.

Don't forget the ceremonial sleep dance done every first Thursday following every other full moon. I've found if this very helpful.

When he cries I pick him up. Actually when he cries at night it's just to eat and then he goes back to sleep. At what point do you stop feeding in the middle of the night anyway? Is this totally going to bite me in the arse later? Probably.

On Christmas day he slept for 4 1/2 hours straight and I was excited. Every day after that he started sleeping longer and longer until we worked our way up to a consistent 7 hours a night. A few days of that and we actually had one 8 hour night. For some reason the last couple of nights he has been waking up every 3 or 4 hours but I expected him to go thru different phases of sleep patterns.

As is, we don't have much of a schedule. He doesn't go to sleep at a particular time each night. Sometimes he is wide awake until late and sometimes I couldn't keep him awake if I tried. I know we need to get into more of a groove and am undecided on where to go from here.

What about your experiences? Did you use a particular sleep method? Did you try a sleep method? Did your kids sleep well? Were your kids on a schedule? At what age were they on a schedule?

Do tell :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Xino Restaurant, Santa Monica

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The day I was due with Peanut without even a hint of a contraction, B and I ventured to Santa Monica to Xino Restaurant.

We got there and it was absolutely gorgeous out. I pulled out my camera to discover my low battery warning was on so I took photos sparingly.

Several of our friends make up the chef team and we'd been looking forward to dining there.

Left to right you see Wagyu beef tartare on lotus chips, Crisp pork belly and congee (or Jook as we call it is a rice porridge), Sui Mai (a kind of pork dumpling) and Lo Bak Go (a cake made out of daikon with pork).

Really fantastic and apparently they have top secret recipes which is always intriguing. They specialize in dim sum which they serve daily until 4 pm.

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Chef Curtis went a little crazy and we ended up with enough food for 8 people. Really though B always orders twice the amount of food than we can eat because he wants the leftovers.

On the far side you see their Salt & Pepper Crab and in the front is the Clay Pot Chicken. This chicken is sooo flavorful with pieces of chicken, mixed mushrooms, lup cheong (chinese sausage, it's more firm, less fatty and sweeter than American sausage) and those rectangles on top with the purple lines are slices of taro. All of this is in a really fantastic coconut sauce. It would be hard for me to go back and not order this again.

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The Salt & Pepper crab is made from fresh (as in live) Dungeness crab that has been lightly battered and fried up in a wok with some garlic. The whole thing is sprinkled with salt and pepper.

I love eating crab with B because he gives me the easy pieces and likes to work on getting every bit of meat out of the smaller pieces. If you are a crab fan than you will love this dish. Simple and perfect.

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The Curry spiced seafood fried rice was different than any fried rice I've had. This is not just a side dish. It had crab, shrimp and sea bass in it. Unique and definitely worth ordering.

In front is the a spicy braised eggplant with beef. The sauce has chili, hoisin, a good amount of garlic and was just rich enough. The beef was very tender and eggplant perfectly cooked.

I'm getting so hungry thinking about this food.

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Xino is located on the 3rd floor of the new Santa Monica shopping center right next to the promenade. The next time we go I'll be sure to take photos of the restaurant itself and the beautiful veranda.

I'm hoping we'll be heading there soon...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

12 weeks

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Our little man is 12 weeks old today. Can you believe it's been 12 weeks?

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12 weeks and I'm still alive...and I've managed to keep the baby alive as well.

When we first brought him home I would have dreams where I drop the baby, or leave him somewhere or do something equally as stupid.

I don't worry about that so much anymore. I mean, he hardly even flinches when I hit his head as I'm pulling him out of his car seat.

Babies are durable, man.

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I love this last picture because it makes me want to kiss his cheeks. Besides cropping this photo hasn't been edited at all. He was moving around and the blur adds a softness to the picture.

12 weeks ago we were counting down until Peanut arrived.

Actually by this time I was tweeting his arrival from the delivery room bed. Childbirth... blogger style.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Poor kids

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I have some deep and compelling posts to make ~eyeroll~ but instead I've been spending my time taking pictures of babies.

Most of the time they have no idea what is going on.

Some of the time things don't work out that well.

Is it bad that these make me laugh every time I look at them?

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At least I got him to look directly at the camera.

What?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Stroll thru the park

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We've had absolutely gorgeous weather around here lately. Yesterday I took Peanut on an outing to the park. We went around 4 pm and it was still 78 degrees but there was a breeze and the shade was perfect.

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We walked past the play area and I smiled to myself trying to imagine him running around.

Everything is new now. First time at the park, first time admiring the trees.

The last time I was here I was about 9 months pregnant. There was a little girl sitting by herself on the teeter totter. I watched B as he walked over and got on the other side. He had to control the whole thing which looked to be quite the workout. It's like doing a bunch of squats. Eventually he convinced me to get on her side which I'm sure didn't help at all.

Anyway, she was happy and it made me laugh. He doesn't think twice about things like that. He doesn't ever care about looking silly.

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As we walked and I chatted with Peanut it was fun to see him look at our new surroundings. He was fascinated by the trees and the jingle of a dog's collar as it ran by.

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We kept walking the path until he got tired and fell asleep. I sat on a bench and read a book while he napped.

It smelled like freshly cut grass... and spit up. Well, the park smelled like grass and I smelled like spit up. Still, it was nice regardless.

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When was the last time you went for a nice walk? If you live in a snowy area do you still get outside to take it all in?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Free Time

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Laundry time- this load looks clean!

Peanut is staying at my parents tonight and we are having some lovely mommy and daddy time.

Seriously, typing that was really weird. Using mommy and daddy to refer to B and I is still a little bizarre.

The bathroom smells like his bubble bath and it makes me miss him.

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It's funny how things change. We have a free night so the master plan was to go to dinner early and then go home and read/play online/listen to music.

If we're really motivated we'll get up tomorrow morning and clean the apartment.

Party animals, I tell ya.

Friday, January 14, 2011

When mommy has a meltdown

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A person can only go so long without a sufficient amount of sleep before things start to crumble around the edges.

As B is working I usually make sure he gets at least 6 or 7 consecutive hours of sleep. After that I would wake him for his turn taking the baby. We had it worked out so that he would wake early and take the baby, allowing me to get some much needed sleep.

In that first month, specifically those first few weeks this was a very difficult task. When the Peanut would wake I would take him into the nursery to feed and change him. As soon as I got the baby back into bed I would sit down to pump.

As I sat there pumping I would watch the minutes passing by.. every minute up was a minute I could have been sleeping. Start to finish the process would take roughly an hour.

I would climb back into bed knowing the baby would be up in 45 minutes to an hour. Just the thought would make we want to cry.

Some nights I would secretly curse at B.... the man who doesn't even wake when the baby is crying 2 feet from him. The man sleeping soundly while I counted the 3 more feedings I would have to endure. Alone. While he slept.

Sure I could just wake him and ask him to take a late night feeding. He wouldn't have minded but that wasn't the point.

How could he not wake up everytime the baby moved let alone cried?!

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One particular morning Peanut started to cry. The sun was starting to rise and it was a clear indication it was B's turn to feed and change our baby. But B didn't hear Peanut. As usual. ~huff~

I nudged him and he turned over. He turned over but he did not wake.

~glare~

So I kicked him. I kicked him and said, "Hey. It's your turn."

He woke up and said OK. But OK wasn't good enough. He was supposed to take the baby so I could sleep. I mean, how could I sleep if he didn't even hear the baby?! How could I sleep if I had to tell him to get up. The baby was crying now and I couldn't sleep when the baby was crying!

GET UP! I mean, I wanted to see him leap from the bed and rush to the bassinet. NOW!

After that B did get up and he did rush to the baby. I turned over and dozed off grumpily.

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That's when I heard it. The sound of B talking happily to Peanut. He was sitting in our bed, inches away from me... and he was happy.

The nerve.

My eyes flew open as I waited for the silence to come... the silence that would allow me to sleep. Oh but it didn't come because someone had the nerve to be happily chatting only inches from me.

I'd been up approximately 96 times, raising our child while he was sleeping his life away and now he was trying to drive me crazy. I couldn't stand it anymore. I couldn't stand it just one more second.

I'M TRYING TO SLEEP AND I CAN'T DO THAT WITH YOU RIGHT HERE! I CAN HEAR YOU. I CAN HEAR THE BABY. I JUST NEED SOME SLEEP. WHY CAN'T I JUST HAVE SOME SLEEP!

There may have been some whimpering, some hysterical looks and a few blubbers here and there. All on my part.

So B picked the Peanut up and left the room. He was probably running for cover but he didn't say a word. He's a smart man and he just got out of dodge.

My point? When mommy has a meltdown just nod and smile and back out of the room slowly.

Scratch that... smiling could get you killed in a situation like that. Just nod, apologize for whatever you did wrong (like existing) and get out.

The End.

P.S. No B's or Peanut's were injured or permanently damaged in the making of this memory.


P.P.S. I slept for several hours and woke up refreshed and ready to start the day. I did this after apologizing to B and then I warned him to move fast when it's his turn. It was a rollercoaster around here.

P.P.P.S. Peanut slept for 8 straight hours last night. It was bliss.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sweetness & Photo Projects

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This picture has nothing to do with anything but I thought it was super sweet.

I just wanted to say thank you for all of your responses to the breastfeeding post! It's wonderful to have such a supportive group out there. I knew you would be.

Also, since there are so many people tackling photo projects I thought I would share a couple things I'm loving right now.

Thank you Kathleen for introducing me to Project Life
I'm really, really loving this. B, if you are reading this please take note! (I want the Turquoise)

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It's basically everything you need for a fantastic album without all the time and effort necessary for scrapbooking. I'm sure a lot of you have already heard of it and if you are a scrapbooker you probably already know Becky.


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Becky does a picture a day like a few of you do but she also has a bunch of other ideas. You could do a family journal, an album for each child, highlights of the month or basically anything you want. Pictures of all your crafts? Landscapes? Dogs dressed in costumes. What?

Pictures of the things you are grateful for at any given time. The possibilities are endless and I think the price is great for what you get.

Also, thank you to my friend Kelly for showing me the Joy of Love

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Sign up and you can take a FREE 28 day photography class!

Whats not to love about that.

Maybe with all these tools I'll be on my way to achieving 2 of my New Year's Resolutions. One is learning to use my camera and the other is creating albums with the photos I take instead of just having all of them sit in my computer.

I've got a good start so far.... but it's only the 13th :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mystery Gift #2: Sticky Toffee Cake

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We received this cake in the mail... and this one didn't have a note either!

I've never even heard of sticky toffee cake before this but let me just say right now that a Christmas will not go by without it.

I will dream about this cake. It is insanely good.

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Basically you get a cake (that we had frozen) and you pour an entire jar of toffee sauce over and then you bake it.

I wasn't really sure what to expect. I mean, there way a huge pool of toffee sauce sitting on top of this cake.

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The cake just soaked up that sauce and created a soft, sticky, decadent piece of Christmas heaven.

I have no idea if this is traditionally eaten at Christmas but since we got it at Christmas it's a Christmas cake to me.

It comes from The English Pudding Co that sells product in select stores and also does online ordering.

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I had every intention of going back and taking pictures worthy of it's decadence... but we ate the rest of the cake right out of the baking tin.

Can you just see the sticky love up there! That didn't come out right. Can you see how moist and delicious that looks?!

Seriously, go on to their site right now and see if they sell in a store near you. If they do then get your hiney to the store. If they don't I want you to think seriously about ordering one. It's so delicious.

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I like my dessert with a side of Peanut, so here is some for you.

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He adores his daddy.

Have you ever had sticky toffee cake?

Did you send us that sticky toffee cake?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Play date

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A great part about having a baby is increased opportunity to spend time with other adorable babies!

This cutie patootie was born 7 months before Peanut and his mommy has been giving me car loads of things as he grows out of them. I mean loads! Clothes, carriers, swings.... a lemur costume. Seriously. I have a small collection of costumes to dress Peanut in randomly throughout the year.

Anyway, you totally want to squeeze his cheeks and fluff his hair. Admit it.

Those big eyes just draw you in.

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Another munchkin you just want to squeeze.

Adorable and very fashionable!

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So many cute little boys around these days!

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Isn't it amazing that of all the toys available it's things like this that kids always want to play with?

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Not to be outdone by the boys is this little angel. Doesn't she look like a little angel with the sun shining in her hair and those big cherub eyes?

You would be convinced if you heard her speak, so soft and sweet like a little princess. Really, its that sweet.

I'd like to remember these times when they are all wreaking havoc in a 10 years.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Breastfeeding is hard

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I started this post months ago and am now just getting back to it. These types of posts take me some time to sit and write... which doesn't happen often.Italic

I know breastfeeding is a hot topic so here is my disclaimer: I am just sharing my experience. I believe that breastfeeding, how to do it, how long to do it and whether or not it works for you is a personal decision.

Of all the things that come along with motherhood, breastfeeding was the most surprising. For something that is so natural, something that has been done forever, it just didn't seem to come that naturally. I mentioned the trouble with breastfeeding briefly in a post and was amazed and grateful for the comments and emails I received regarding the process.

First off, I'd like to shake the people that say it doesn't hurt if you get a proper latch. I mean, like pick-up and really shake them. As if it's my fault that it hurts in the beginning.

Come on people, there is an industrial strength Hoover vacuum disguised as an innocent looking baby trying to suck liquid out of my body through my nipples.

Tell me how that doesn't hurt?

All those nurses popping in and asking me if he has a good latch. Um, I think so, I mean my toes curl and I have to hold my breathe while he sucks but he seems to have my nipple half-way down his throat... does that count?

Eventually a pediatrician came by the hospital room and told me it would hurt for a few weeks until my nipples toughened up. He was right.

I never thought I would pray to lose the feeling in my nipples.

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We weren't really sure how the whole breastfeeding was going to go because of my breast cancer history. I received 35 rounds of radiation to the left breast and didn't know if any milk would come in on that side. There isn't a lot of info for women who have cancer treatments and then have babies afterwards as it isn't that common.

At the hospital I diligently nursed on both sides and quickly noticed how incredibly painful it was on the left. Eventually it was dread-the-next-feeding, stifle-a-shriek type of painful.

By the first day I had my suspicions that nothing was coming out. I worried that the poor kid was putting all this effort in with no reward. I know this is a common fear for many moms. I knew that if he didn't nurse on the left, no matter what the milk wouldn't come in, so I kept plugging away.

The first few days were the normal blur but I was constantly worried that he wasn't getting enough to eat. In the hospital we documented every time he nursed, every time he went potty and I crossed my fingers things were going well.

By the 4th day I was positive nothing was coming out on the left and unsure if enough was coming out of the right. He was constantly crying and always wanted to eat. I mean, non-stop fussing and rooting around. He would latch on like a starved animal, suck voraciously and then slowly slow down. I would nurse until he fell asleep and start the process again 15-30 minutes later. He seemed hungry all the time and his tummy was making funny little noises. He kept giving this high-pitched cry and I was at my wits end.

Peanut had urinated only once since he was born. I made a few frantic calls to the nurses who would tell me that he was getting everything he needed. Then I would explain how he wasn't going to the bathroom. Nothing, no bowel movement, no urination. They told me to get ahold of the doctor as soon as his office opened in the morning.

I spent most of the night in tears and completely sick to my stomach that Peanut was hungry and I wasn't feeding him. B stood in front of me looking completely helpless and trying to comfort me. I didn't sleep at all that night. Not a wink.

I remember wondering how long this would last. I was so tired I was shaky.

It's an incredible responsibility being the sole provider of that which keeps your child alive.

When we went to the doctor in the morning it took her 2 seconds to tell me that he was dehydrated and that I needed to give him a bottle immediately. She popped one open right there in the office and he sucked down 2 ounces in record time.

I have never felt so relieved. I wanted to cry I was so happy. She explained that it might not have been my plan but I needed to supplement with formula until my milk came in and I produced enough.

My thought was screw the plan.. my plan is to feed my baby. Thats the plan. I was on the verge of having a complete breakdown. She loaded me up with formula and sent us on our way.

It was like having a new baby. He stopped fussing and crying. He ate, he slept and I felt like I could breathe again. Just typing this out, thinking about that night made my stomach flip.

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For the record, do you know what happens when a baby continues to try to nurse while nothing is coming out? Your entire nipple turns into a blood blister and eventually a big scab. It's not pretty. It also doesn't feel very good. Poor little Peanut, he sure tried, but I never got milk on my left side.

I continued to breastfeed and eventually my toes didn't curl whenever he latched on. It would have been nice to have two working breasts to give the right one a break but you gotta work with what you've got. I would breastfeed, then bottle feed, then pump. Totally exhausting.

I'm exhausted re-capping those few days. The first week is just pure craziness. If I ever have another baby I'd like to skip the first couple of weeks please.

Rest assured that there are a lot of things I really love about breastfeeding and I'll post about those soon. Peanut is thriving and a happy baby now that we're feeding him. :) We've gotten into our own groove and the Peanut gets a combination of breastmilk, formula, bottle and breast.

The kid is like his father... he doesn't care what type of food it is or how he gets it, he just likes to eat. Thank God.

All photos taken by Adrienne Gunde

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Duke loves Peanut

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On Christmas Eve day I stopped by the bike shop to visit B. At the door I was greeted by Duke.

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Duke is by far the most adorable puggle I have ever met and one of the sweetest dogs in the world.

I was sitting on this chair with Peanut and Duke was at my feet looking up with those big brown eyes. I scooted over and patted the seat next to me and he jumped up to make himself comfortable.

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Apparently Duke loves babies.

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The sweetest thing ever. I think everyone was happy here :)


PS Who has a cure for puffy dark exhausted looking eyes?
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