Monthly Archives: October 2011

Happy Halloween – Moooo-mmy Monday

I know I’ve already posted something today but you can’t really think that I was NOT going to post a picture of Annmarie’s Halloween costume? What kind of newbie mom do you think I am? Sheesh.

I bought a Carter’s cow costume for Annmarie from eBay (thanks for the tips, moms!). It was “new with tags” and I only paid $15 for it (and that included shipping). Carter’s charges more than twice that amount. Have I mentioned I’m uber cheap?

The plan was to find some fabulous Halloween party where we could all dress up as a family of cows but that didn’t happen. I think nobody really felt like hosting a party (and I can’t blame them – I hate hosting parties only because I hate the clean-up!).

Friends of ours ended up having some people over their house Saturday night and I was happy to hear that the moms were dressing up their babies for the occasion.

I’m a bad mom, however, because I failed to take my camera with me so I didn’t take a single picture of all the cute little babies in their costumes. But my friend sent me this:

It looks like Annmarie is moo-ing at sweet Kolton as he lovingly touches her face. But I don’t think it went down like that. If anything, Annmarie spent the evening gently slapping Kolton’s face (I’m so sorry, Traci) and snatching things from other babies. Oh – you want that hanger? I don’t think so! I’ve been chewing on that all night!  (Annmarie spent a good 20-30 minutes just chewing on a plastic hanger)

Annmarie did surprisingly well in her costume for a couple of hours. However, when I tried to put her back in it the next day for pictures – I felt like I was wrestling a bear (or a really fast and wiggly cow). So here are pictures of Annmarie in her cow costume:

Mad cow! (a lot of pictures were of “mad cow” but I deleted them all):
Mad cow?

Happy cow
Annmarie 034

Restless cow (seriously – we couldn’t keep her still. She kept trying to topple off of the chair):
About to jump

Me: “Here – pose with Petie“:
Annmarie 042

Annmarie: “Oh – hey Petie“:
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Annmarie: “Let me just get a little closer…
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“… he looks good enough to eat!” (My little cow turned into a carnivorous cow):
Trying to eat the dog

What? I wasn’t trying to eat Petie!”
What?  I wasn't trying to eat the dog.

I’d put her in this costume tonight to hand out treats to the neighborhood kids but unfortunately this isn’t very warm for babies. The little boy Carter’s costumes have separate fleece pants and long sleeved tops. Why are the infant girl costumes sleeveless with tights?! Geez. Maybe Carter’s is just prepping little girls for that phase in their early 20s where they hit up bars in skimpy clothing during the winter.

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Shutterfly Promotion – Holiday Cards!

Can I just tell you how much I love Shutterfly? And I’m not just saying that because they contacted me about another holiday card promotion (I did it last year) I really just like their products.

Since having Annmarie, I’ve made several photo books. They usually run great promotions throughout the year. I bought a book when they were having a buy one get TWO free promotion – and that ended up being my mother’s day gifts to my mom and MIL (filled with the pro family pics we had taken by the fabulously talented Maria).  Can I tell you that my mom looks at that damn photo book EVERY DAY.  And she lets me know this too.  Parents eat this stuff up!

I just made another photo book with a coupon we scored buying a new point and shoot camera. I don’t think I can sing the praises of their photo books any more.  I hate having loose photos sitting around and photo books are such a nice, clean way to present your favorite pictures. 

But their site is really easy to use, the products are always good quality and their prices are really competitive.

I think someone might be getting an Annmarie calendar for 2012… not saying who but let’s say that he had a hand in creating Annmarie (but let’s be honest – his role was quite minimal compared to mine. Just sayin…).

And I know I’ll be using Shutterfly when it comes time to send out invites for Annmarie’s first birthday. (And holy hell – I got a little choked up typing that out…)

Since I have mentioned previously (and most folks probably have already figured this out) – I’m terrible at keeping in touch. Holiday cards are really the best way for me to communicate out to old friends and family the adorableness and awesomeness of Annmarie. This is actually more for my family that doesn’t e-mail or check my Flickr or Facebook account (that’s my lazy way of sharing pictures of Annmarie with people).

Some holiday cards I’m eyeballing are…

Are you noticing a theme yet? Basically I want a holiday card that allows for multiple pictures because I can never decide on just ONE picture (as evidenced the the 1000+ pics of Annmarie in her Flickr album. Clearly I have a hard time deleting pictures).

So if you made it this far in my Shutterfly promotion post – congrats! I’ll tell you about the fantastic offer Shutterfly is offering my readers. I have 3 Shutterfly codes for 25 free cards to share.

Since I don’t really have many readers… if more than 3 of you actually leave a comment, I’ll do some random number generator thingy. So – leave a comment, tell me you want the card code & how adorable Annmarie is… by Sunday, November 6th. I’ll announce the winners on Monday, November 7th.

(Btw – I should probably note that I’m a bit of an a-hole.  I thought the deadline for posting this was October 31st but I just reread the e-mail from Shutterfly and I was supposed to post it by YESTERDAY.  Let’s see if they give me a free pass so please know that those promo codes may not be valid!  I’ll let you know!)

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When Did I Become… Wednesday

When did I Become… such a bad driver?

Seriously guys – I’ve managed to damage my car AGAIN. And again, I have nobody to blame but myself.

I was a terrible driver when I first started. I had several accidents, several incidents of hitting a curb hard enough that I popped my tire, lots of speeding tickets… you name it.

But then it kind of stopped. I totaled my car in 2001 but that was not my fault. No really, not my fault!

I hadn’t had another incident for quite some time until last year.

Remember this?
Old accident (November 2010)
I got t-boned at an intersection. Of course it was my fault (despite me arguing that the driver had her flashers on and was STOPPED… she didn’t accelerate until I had turned!)

Then I did this in June:
Bad driver
I clipped a dump truck.

Well now I’ve managed to scratch the crap out of the side of my car (the same side that I seem to constantly damage). I didn’t snap a picture but I am very irritated with myself. I backed into (against) a concrete slab. It is about the height of the small side bumper thingies). Luckily I didn’t poke a hole in my car door like the last accident but this is still pretty annoying.

I think it is time I stop driving.

When did I Become… such a social turd?

While I am completely capable of being social and friendly with people (and strangers) – I seem to have difficulty connecting with new people in a way that would lead to a friendship. It just feels so awkward.

I did Stroller Strides when I was on maternity leave and was friendly with the moms there but never actually took it a step further. And I know it was all on me. I would always quickly leave the class when it was over instead of hanging around and socializing with the moms. I never pushed to find out if we had things in common (outside of reproducing).

There is a mom at daycare whose daughter shares the same birthday as AM. I know this because I met her at Stroller Strides (and she was how I found out about this particular daycare). I’ve run into her around the city one other time and we chatted for a bit but that was it.

Yesterday we ran into each other picking up our daughters. We chatted for awhile and she suggested hanging out “sometime”. I gave my usual, “SURE! sounds good!” and was ready to bolt (I always make that empty promise) but she gave me an opening: “We usually go on walks in the evening. We’re going to go on one now…” and I totally froze and said, “okay. well I’ll e-mail you about getting together.” Then I bolted.

In all fairness, weekdays are tough for after work play. Annmarie usually goes to bed by 7pm (and it is all her… she falls asleep right around 7pm). So between feeding her, bathing her and whatnot – it doesn’t leave a lot of time to hang out.

But man – when did I become so lame? I want more mom friends. I want play dates. I need to act like a normal human and e-mail that mom, don’t I?

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Pumpkin Patch (Mommy Monday)

Annmarie is a little crawling speed demon. She has figured out how to crawl across the rugs, hardwood floors and kitchen tiles. She’s also managed to seamlessly go from sitting to crawling and back to sitting. I am now worried that she’ll be pulling herself up to standing soon (and that we will discover this when she is hanging out of her crib).

She has 4 teeth coming in on top. They’ve all broken through the gums but haven’t come in completely.

Guys – I can’t handle this growth. And as crazy as it sounds, you really understand your own mortality when you can clearly see a little human being grow and develop every day. I want my baby to stay a baby. And ohmygod… I’ve turned into my mother.

This past weekend we went to a fake pumpkin patch. I say fake because it was really just a farm that had like 4 palates of pumpkins. I think the place was known for its corn maze but I was really hoping for more. We went to this place because I bought a Living Social deal but we were pretty underwhelmed. You know who else was not into it? Annmarie. I think during the first year of a baby’s life, the parents make a big deal out of holidays and outings because it is their baby’s “first” anything… But they’re too young to understand or enjoy any of it.

But what kind of parent would I be if I didn’t snap 100+ pictures of Annmarie’s first pumpkin patch visit?

Annmarie 056
She would rather hang in her stroller and read.

Annmarie 059
Did you know this about donkeys?

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Annmarie 065

Annmarie 112
Obligatory dorky family photo!

Annmarie 123
Happy!

Annmarie 127
Thug life.

Hay ride
On the hayride. She hates having socks (or anything) on her feet so she is always trying to pull them off.

Ooh - what's this?
In the corn maze admiring the corn stalks. Actually, she’s trying to determine if she wants to try to eat it (and she tried).

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What I’m Wearing & Watching Wednesday

What I’m Wearing

I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts around how life has changed for a blogger since becoming a mom. There are typical things like how date night usually ends at 10pm or something silly. But for me? One of the biggest things as a mom is that I don’t wear heels. I didn’t wear heels very much mostly because I’m already tall so wearing them only made me feel like a giant. But I still owned them and wore them on occasion. But now? Now that I have to lug an arsenal of bags AND a 25 lb baby in a car seat, the idea of balancing it all on heels just seems too daunting.

I’m also a big fan of dresses and leggings:
Annmarie 034
(my uniform on weekends, either a dress or a tunic with leggings)

But another reason I’m not big into heels anymore is that I’ve somehow become much clumsier. Maybe it is the hauling of so much stuff, but I seem to bang up every pair of shoes I own.

These heels? Nearly new. I’ve worn them less than 10 times and I’ve already managed to scuff the toe badly:
scuffed shoe

And have I mentioned (repeatedly) how cheap I am these days? But I can’t continue to wear these shoes anymore. Having this type of scuff just knocks your entire outfit down a few pegs and makes you look sloppy. YARG!

Any tricks on masking this terrible scuff on a cheap pair of fake leather Target heels so that I can at least get away with wearing these shoes a few more times?

What I’m Watching

This won’t be a laundry list of shows that I’m loving (aside from the new shows I mentioned last week). Instead this is just a quick blurb about how I’m excited for the return of The Walking Dead. I’ve never been a HUGE zombie movie fan (although there are a few zombie flicks I’ve enjoyed, mostly of the comedic variety like Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland) but this show is great.

And maybe a part of the reason I like the show is because I like seeing an actor from a movie I love in something else. Notice a theme of why I watch certain shows? If an actor in a new show is from a previous show/movie that I really like, I will watch their new show.

The Walking Dead has Andrew Lincoln who was in Love Actually. And I’m not embarrassed to say I love that stupid movie. LOVE IT.

Sorry for the 2 unrelated topics smooshed into one post. I couldn’t decide what to write about and both are pretty uninspired.

So how can I fix my shoe? Do you watch The Walking Dead?

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On the Move (Mommy Monday)

After weeks of watching Annmarie rock back and forth on her knees, take a few crawls forward and flop to her belly… She officially became a crawler this weekend.

One of my worries about working full time was that I’d miss a ton of Annmarie’s “firsts”. I am so happy that I got to witness this moment.

We were just hanging on the floor with Annmarie and we watched her get in crawl position. She moved forward a bit and we completely expected her to flop to her belly. But she kept moving forward and forward. We couldn’t believe it!

I filmed this the same night so she was still moving slowly (sorry for the dark quality… Not sure why my phone does this).

For some reason I can’t embed the video so here is the link. http://www.flickr.com/photos/28391599@N03/6253614553/in/photostream

She moves faster everyday and we are quickly realizing our house is not safe! Lots of objects will be moving to higher ground…

That’s the big news around here. While I am happy, a part of me feels a little sad. She’s growing up so fast!

Speaking of which, have you guys seen is Google Chrome video? I’m a little late on this but holy hell… It had me in TEARS!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4vkVHijdQk

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Frugal Friday

Over the last few months, Jeremy and I have really been looking at our finances and trying to figure out ways to cut unnecessary expenses.  Or maybe Jeremy has always done this but I lacked any sort of fiscal responsibility until we had a baby and then I was presented with all sorts of, “holy crap – that costs WHAT?!

Some things I’ve started to do include…

      • Use coupons!  I’m nowhere near the “Extreme Couponing” madness but the fact that I’m even using coupons is a big deal. 

We do the majority of our grocery shopping at Whole Foods and they do a great job with being able to print coupons from their site.  I don’t really go above and beyond to track down additional coupons though.  Baby steps, people.

  • Not buy so much random shit for myself.  Jeremy would probably disagree but my mindless shopping (whether it be online or just a random trip to the mall) has pretty much ceased.  I still occasionally buy stuff for myself but it is nowhere near what I used to do… but I think I’ve replaced that with wanting stuff for Annmarie.  So maybe I’m not actually saving anything.

So that’s just 2 things and I realize that is nothing impressive.

Some other areas of improvement in our financial lives include:

  • Cable – do we really need it?  Jeremy is toying with the idea of dropping cable and buying a digital antennae, paying for Netflix streaming and Hulu Plus.  I’ve already mentioned the need to break up with some TV shows so I feel like this should cover us.  Has anyone done this?  Any regrets? 
  • Phone – Jeremy tried to see if we could cut our cell phone bill down but it seems we’re already doing the cheapest plan available!  It is kind of crazy what we pay for our service.  And after analyzing usage, I’ll be sending more text messages (to at least make some of my plan worthwhile).  Brace yourself, friends.
  • Dining Out- Surprisingly, we really haven’t been going out to eat much.  I don’t know if this was intentional (on Jeremy’s part) but I’ve noticed we’ve been eating at home more a lot lately.  However, this means that I’m eating more cereal for dinner.  I’m okay with that thought because I love cereal for dinner. 

    My current favorite cereal. I love you, Kashi.

  • Sewing – I’m making Annmarie’s clothes!  Okay – I totally made this last one up but I am going to start sewing things.  I MEAN IT!

How do you save money?

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What I’m Watching Wednesday

The Fall season is here and that means new shows!  It also means that I am watching way too much TV.  Since having a baby – I’ve realized that I need to break up with some shows.  But first – I am analyzing the new episodes of shows I already watch AND some new shows to make my determination.

So for new shows, I’ve watched:
Up All Night
Free Agents
Whitney
New Girl
Suburgatory

Here’s my analysis so far:
Free Agents
I just read that Free Agents was already cancelled.  I actually found some of it to be amusing but it was obvious that it wasn’t going to last.  NBC’s really fast cancellation has made my decision about breaking up with it easy.

Whitney
NOT that funny.  I think SHE is normally funny but this show is just not funny.  It isn’t making it into my rotation.

Up All Night
I’m trying to give it a chance.  Sometimes it is funny, sometimes it isn’t.  We’ll see.  As a new parent, I really thought I’d enjoy it more.  But I really like Will Arnett.  I’m not sure how much longer I can last.

New Girl
I think this show is cute.  I generally like Zooey Deschanel but she isn’t why I enjoy the show.  The roommates are actually pretty funny.

Suburgatory
I.LOVE.JEREMY.SISTO.  My love for him goes back to Clueless.  LOVE HIM.  And my love was solidified when he was on Six Feet Under (one of the best shows in the history of tv shows). 

But this comedy?  I’m afraid it isn’t going to make it.  It make me laugh but there is something about it… I just know it won’t last.  That makes me sad for Jeremy.

Shows I’m Breaking Up With

I think it is time I give up on all my Bravo shows.  That means no more Real Housewives.  It is time to say goodbye.

There are others that I’m too embarrassed to admit I watch but I’m dropping them too.

So what are you watching these days?

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If She Wants It… (Mommy Monday)

Annmarie seems like she is THISCLOSE to crawling.  I know I’ve been saying it for weeks now but she really does seem close this time.  There were a few moments over the weekend that Jeremy and I thought we were about to witness Annmarie take off crawling… only to have her flop down on her belly.

But even so, we have figured out that if she wants something – she has figured out how to get it.  The idea of putting toys just out of reach from her so that she’ll try to crawl towards them doesn’t matter.  She simply rotates her body (this she has figured out how to do on her hands and knees – she picks up her hands and rotates her body!) and then rolls on the ground to the object.  Or she’s figured out how to push off of things with her legs to put her within arms reach of the desired object.

Right now her desired object has been the pacifier.  She was off the pacifier for awhile but now its her best friend.  I suspect it has to do with her teething. She has 4 teeth coming in right now!  She’s been a bit of a sourpuss lately because of it.

Back to her determination to grab things though.  We have an exersaucer that allows her to walk around a bit.  A part of it is supposed to stay stationary but allow her to walk around in a circle.  We have this in the kitchen and I set it up when I’m prepping food or cleaning her bottles.

Lately – she has figured out that she can move the entire exersaucer if she just pushed forward really hard.  What this means is that I have to stay on top of her so that she doesn’t open drawers or pull down pots and pans.  You really have no idea how NOT babyproof your house is until you have a somewhat mobile baby on your hands.

But the one thing she absolutely loves doing is pulling down the towels that are hanging off of various appliances (dishwasher and oven).  I tried to take a pic with my phone but it is very blurry but you can see her trail of towels.  She pulls them down, chews on them (she’s chewing on one in the picture), waves them about and then drops them on the floor as she moves on to the next one.
Pulling down towels
 

I’ll end this post with a cute picture of Annmarie:
Annmarie in sunflowers

We visited a sunflower field over the weekend.  My friend, Myriam, gave me the scoop on this field after I admired her great shots from a maternity session.  For anyone in Maryland that wants to check out the field – it is in Jarrettsville, MD.   (Clear Meadow Farm)

Anywho – I’m sharing this one picture (instead of the 100 that we took… but if you want to see them, you can see the album here is because I’m balancing Annmarie on my head.  I really wanted a picture of just her surrounded by sunflowers so I did what any mom would do… I improvised and balanced my dear 23 lb baby on my head.  You can still see my hands but only if you’re looking!
Annmarie 152

Okay and I really wanted a close up of her admiring the flower.  We didn’t realize there was a bee on the flower and after Annmarie grabbed the flower and agitated the bee – we took off running.  We didn’t want to find out if she was allergic to bees.

 
Annmarie 096

I’m just sharing this because I think its cute.

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Whimsy Wednesday (I still have yet to make anything)

I have good intentions… I really do. But for some reason, I can’t seem to get motivated to sew anything. Here is my sewing machine right now:
image

Hooray for taking it out of the box but all I’ve done is put it another box of sorts (a basket). I put all my sewing related things in this basket like a sewing book (I’ve read 2 pages of the intro), a sewing DVD (it came with the machine), some sewing supplies (pins, pin cushion, thread and some fabric).

But now I have started throwing other things into the basket… Some photos, a checkbook, a stroller fan… And this means things are looking grim for my new hobby.

Help me, friends… Help motivate me.

Another hobby I have let fall by the wayside is photography (I still don’t really know how to use my DSLR).

I wish I could claim that having a baby has diverted my attention but I know several women who can sew and take amazing photos… All learned/honed while caring for a baby.

Someone teach me. Motivate me. Help me!

What hobbies do you have?

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