Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snow pictures

Here are a couple pictures from our snow day. Clearly this was before I hated snow.
Look at those rosy cheeks!
I like the snow, Mommy!

Almost a Snow Angel

Snow Baby

Daddy and Conor


Oh my. There are no pictures in this post because that would take up too much room in my litany of complaints. I am so freaking tired of snow and being inside. It doesn't help that Conor is getting four (FOUR!) teeth and has been miserable and clingly and whiny and louder than such a small person should be. Poor little guy. He has one tooth that has popped though (next to where the top, center, right tooth is coming in) but the other three are still beneath the skin but close enough to the surface that you can see the white tooth. I'm doing my best to keep him doesd up with Tylenol and am seriously contemplating rubbing brandy along his gums as apparently my grandmother did with my mom and aunts. But really, that's just brandy that won't be in my egg nog so I better save it!

So anyway, we are leaving the house today. We have stocking stuffers to buy for MOrgan and I think I"m going to stop by Niki's (surprise, Niki!) and comiserate with a fellow stranded cabin-fever-suffering mommy.

Did you know that both the mailman and the paper person have tromped through the snow each and every day to deliver our mail and newspapers? I mean, these fellas are amazing. Also, did you know that all three local news stations have been broadcasting nothing but weather news from 4am until 11:30 (LITERALLY!) for the last 8 days? Did you know that this is really annoying but even more annoying are those people who actually write into the newspaper to complain about it? I mean, come on! The Price is Right is great and all but I don't think I've ever been so irritated by missing a TV show that I felt compelled to write to the newspaper.

Oh my. This post is getting ridiculous. I'll end it for now. I promise that in the next post I will ramble less, and post pictures more. I know you're all here to see pictures of my adorable little chomper and not listen to me babble.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire (even if it is only a fake, natural gas fireplace) is so delightful, and since we've no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, LET IT SNOW!

Holy cow are we having some crazy weather in Portland. The last seven days (Yes, SEVEN) have been snowy and cold and windy. And yes, I hear you North Dakota people, but I'm telling you, this is craziness. We have three and a half inches on the ground right now and they are saying to expect another 3-6 inches over the next 12 hours. Its light, fluffy, powdery snow too. Not the normal big sloppy, soggy flakes we're used to. No snowball fights here. The snow won't even stick together.

We took Conor out in it for a walk last weekend and frankly, he wasn't too impressed. I had fun making a snow angel though. Enjoy the snowy baby pictures. Hope you are staying warm and dry wherever you are today. I'm gonna go make some eggnog. Yum, everyone loves a good cup o' nog.

*UPDATE* My nog (I love saying nog. Try it. NOG) is delish. Maybe a leetle too much brandy. At least we will be warm tongith. I mean tonight. :)

Tucker. Loves to frolick.

Ok, turns out the pictures of Conor in the snow are on Kristen's camera so until I get them from her, here is Conor in his Hugh Hefner jammies. How cute is he?
Our street last Sunday.
Our back yard and shed (no, that is not our house) last Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Santa, Baby

Evidently, when said baby is only 10 months old, Santa is scary as...well, you know. And really, when I think about it, when would we ever say to a strange man, hey, dress up in this costume and hold my baby. Meanwhile, I'll stand back here and jump around like a crazy person to hopefully induce a smile out an obviously unhappy baby.
Yes, Conor and I visited Santa yesterday. We went downtown to Santaland at Macy's where Kristen and I used to go as kids ourselves. In fact, my mom and her sisters also went to Santaland (back then it was Meier and Frank) so it was a kind of tradition that we picked that Santa. Meier and Frank used to have this great kid wonderland-type Santaland with an actual train that ran along the ceiling that kids could actually ride in. In a word, AWESOME! But the train got old and they don't do that anymore. Too bad, because in a few years Conor would have loved it.

So, our first Santa experience wasn't the best, but maybe next year. Enjoy the pictures. Oh yeah, Santa said I could sit on his lap too. Yikes.

Sleeping Through the Night and Swaddling

Conor is sleeping through the night! Finally! Well, really, its all my fault that he didn't sleep through the night months ago. For months now Conor has been going to sleep, on his own, each night. No fussing, no playing in the crib, no long drawn out process of stories and bottles and kisses and rocking. Just two stories, the swaddle blanket (more on that later), the passie and in bed. At 6:30, no less!

All this was accomplished through a few very painful nights of the dreaded cry-it-out method. When Conor was brand new I was pretty sure letting him cry it out would inevitably lead to years of therapy, a disdain for his mother and possibly a future as a serial killer. But, my dear friend Niki said she had done it with her son and he is, quite frankly, adorable and I am certain not doomed for a life of crime. So, finally one night Morgan and I decided to just give it a go. And he screamed for 55 hours. Ok, it was really 55 minutes but I swear each minute was as long as an hour and it was easily one of the most difficult parenting nights yet. But the next night the crying time dropped to 15 minutes and the night after that 5 minutes and then suddenly he was just going to sleep.

But, every night, anytime between 2 and 4am, Conor would begin to fuss and I would give him a bottle. I knew I should leave him and just let him fuss. But, when that noise starts in the middle of the night, my sleep addled brain just screams "make it stop!". Somehow at that witching hour any good parenting strategies go out the window and I'm practically running to "make it stop!".

But, I also loved that time. Conor is not a cuddly baby. Despite my many, many efforts, he doesn't like to snuggle and hasn't (willingly) rested his head on my shoulder since he could hold it up on his own. In the middle of the night, however, he would snuggle. And I mean really, really snuggle. His little head was in the crook of my elbow and he would turn to face my body and it was 10 blissful minutes of Mommy and Baby time. Then, when he was done with the bottle, I'd give him his passie back, lay him in bed and go back to sleep. The whole process did not take more than 12 minutes on any given night.

So, I didn't want to give it up. I knew he was capable of sleeping through the night because he had done it in the past but it was nice. He's growing so fast and getting so big that those tiny 10 minutes in the middle of the night reminded me of when he was little.

But one night I had just had enough. Something in overly busy, haven't-slept-through-the-night-in-10-months part of me outweighed the Mommy part of me, and I just let him fuss. Yeah, he fussed (quietly) for about 2 minutes, went back to sleep and hasn't woken up since. The last few nights have been blissful.

But I do miss my cuddle-bug time.

Not only did Niki reassure me that cry it out isn't a serial killer maker, but she gave Morgan and I our first swaddle blanket. Conor was about five days old and she had found one on sale at Fred Meyer. First of all, swaddling is not as easy as they make it look in books and at the hospital. No matter how tight you wrap them, little babies have an uncanny ability to wriggle right out. The swaddle blanket however, has velcro! You stick their little legs into this little pouch and hold their arms down at their sides and and wrap one flap across his right arm and attach it, via velcro, to the leg pouch and then wrap the flap over the left arm and velcro it to the back. It keeps him snug as a bug.

We've tried to get him to sleep without the swaddle and it just hasn't worked. We've thought about just letting him cry it out again but don't really see any value in that. The swaddle causes no harm and its an instant bedtime cue for Conor. Worst case scenario, we'll still be swaddling him when he's 14. Ideally however, he'll eventually grow out of the blanket and gradually learn to sleep on his own. The other day I went in to wake him from a nap and his arms were entirely out of the swaddle and he was fast asleep on him tummy with both arms over his head. So, he can sleep without the blanket.

But we'll save that for another day.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Tree Pictures

What a little cutie!
The perfect tree.
Before we cut it down.

Conor loves to read stories. Morgan does this book particularly
well since he does all the animal voices.

I was finally able to download the pictures of THE MOST BEAUTIFUL TREE we've ever had. Also, just a few pictures of our adorable boy.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Cabin

Kristen, Keenan, Conor, Morgan, Erin, Tucker, Tillie (Kristen's dog)
The Family at Trillium Lake
Christmas jammies courtesty of Uncle Keenan and Buggy
I think he was waiting for Santa

One of the things I love most about Morgan is his spontaniety. I always want to be spontaneous but I'm usually too busy planning to remember to just do it. It's one of those great ways that we play off one another and an another example of how opposites really do attract.

After we had done the Black Friday/Cinnabon tradition Morgan suddenly decided he wanted to go up to our friend's cabin at Government Camp. So, out of the blue at 4pm on Friday, we packed up Conor, Tucker, the pack-n-play, the high chair, a bag for Conor, a bag for Morgan and I, a box of toys and my rubber boots and headed up the mountain. The best thing about this particular cabin is that the owner don't use it very often and when they used in the past it was only at Christmas. So basically, the whole place is decorated for Christmas all year round. Not just red and green curtains but a whole set of Christmas themed dishes, artwork, even napkins. The only thing we were missing was the snow.

We stayed Friday night, watched a movie and played games and took a hike around Trillium Lake on Saturday. As we were heading back home Saturday afternoon we stopped at the Christmas tree farm where we got our tree last year and picked out THE BEST CHRISTMAS TREE EVER! Ok, ok, I know we said that last year too, but this one is really great.

I've never been a big Christmas person. Somehow all the cutesy decorations, jingle-y songs and fake gaiety drive me crazy. Maybe it was pregnancy hormones or just the thought of Conor on Christmas morning but I can't get enough Christmas this year. So, the tree is up, decorated (with multi-colored lights which I normally can't stand but somehow this year look magical) and all my admittedly meager Christmas decorations are up. And its only December 1st! And I went to Goodwill today in an attempt to find more bargain basement Christmas goodies. Tree skirt--check! I can't wait to take Conor to sit on Santa's lap and watch him open presents on Christmas morning.

I tell ya, parenthood just keeps getting better and better!

Thanksgiving and the Day After

Cinnabon! Yum.

We hosted Thanksgiving at our house this year because it has the best overall layout for many people and because I have TWO OVENS. Yes, a favorite feature of the new house are the double ovens. You can cook a whole turkey (18.5 lbs to be exact) on top and stuffing (which I forgot in the oven and it burned), green bean cassarole, and mashed potatoes on the bottom. Additionally, once dinner is done, you can put a pecan pie in the bottom oven to warm and cook a pumpkin pie in the top oven. One tip, don't set your oven to convect. Turns out it will cook a 18.5 pound turkey in two and a half hours instead of the expected 5 hours. Ooops!

About that turkey...I have to say Morgan made the very best turkey I have ever eaten (sorry, Grandma!). He rubbed a variety of herbs and spices under the skin and basted the bird with olive oil and garlic. About halfway through the cooking process I remembered that I had come across a marinade injector when we moved in. Its basically a big, nasty looking syringe with which you can inject the meat with its own juices from the pan or any variety or sauce or marinade. Not only is it an effective tool for keeping the turkey moist and juicy, but it's a lot of fun to use.

Conor got to eat a little of everything on the table and I think we might feed him turkey every night. That tryptophan is great! He slept from 5:45 until 7:45. A new record.

On the day after Thanksgiving Morgan and I have a tradition of going to the mall and getting our one Cinnabon for the year and generally watching the Black Friday mayhem. Conor was, of course, along for the ride and got his first taste of a Cinnabon. I know, I know, its not exactly organic but it's only once a year so I figure, what the heck!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families!

A Cool Panda Bear Rocking Toy at Cost Plus

The table before dinner
The table after dinner

OMSI - An Urban Mama's Oasis

The ball pit.
Playing with the wall of beads
Conor's Newest Trick. Say, YAYYYYYYY!
Just hanging out with Zack.
Conor loves the "big" kids

Conor and I went to OMSI last week with our dear friends, Christy and Zack. Zack is exactly one week older than Conor and Christy and I met at a New Mom's Group that is generously hosted by St. Vincent's Hospital (More on the new mom's group later. I need lots of time to go into just how much I love them) for mom's who have recently delivered there.

Christy and I are similar in that we both need to get out of the house frequently lest we go a little crazy. So she called on WEdnesday and suggested that Conor and I meet her and Zack for a couple hours of good ol' OMSI fun (for you out of towners, OMSI is the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry). They have this great room for kids under six and a smaller area within that room for kids under two. It was so great and Conor loved it. He played in the ball "pit", made faces at the fish in the eye-level fish tank, and generally had a good time with his lil' buddy.

Many thanks to Christy for getting Conor and I in on her free pass and getting us out of the house so mommy and baby keep their sanity.