7 Quick Takes

1. I've been bitten by the Fall bug! I want to make decorations, sip Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and take Charlie apple/pumpkin picking! (FYI - Pumpkin Spice Lattes arrive September 4th!!!!) 


2. I cannot believe it is going to be 90 today despite the cool weather in the 50s the last two days. 

3. It will be so nice to have the hubby home for THREE WHOLE DAYS!!!! I have no idea what the plans are but, maybe we'll break out the picnic basket and take Charlie to the park. 

4. Charlie is really starting to make A LOT of sounds. He really loves to "talk". 

5. We got Charlie a Rhino Oball yesterday and he loves it. He really enjoys toys that he can grab and shake. 
6. Another toy Charlie loves at the moment is his Cabbage Patch Kid since it has a rattle in it. He enjoys bouncing it around with this feel, staring at its eyes, and putting its hands in his mouth. 
Sorry it's so blurry...Camera phone + Moving baby

7. Charlie is rolling a lot more from him belly to his back. He also is picking his head up nice and high. It is like a switch just turned on one day and now this is his thing. He hated being on his tummy for tummy time until a week or two ago. 

The Unofficial End To Summer

Since September of last year, I had been waiting for the beginning of summer because that was when we would get to meet our little one. We have spent almost one whole season with our little one. Before the official end to summer, I would like to try to take him out to Montauk because that is our favorite place. Unfortunately, it is quite a few miles away. Once the summer traffic has disappeared we'll pack him up and take him out there.

This "summer" Charlie:
-was born
-made it to the beach
-learned to roll over back to front and front to back
-met all of his uncles and some of his cousins
-swam in his pool
-was Christened
-began grasping and playing with toys
-got his first mosquito bite
-went to a duck pond
-went to a fair
-went to a car show
-went to the Hamptons
-went to a parade
-listened to a concert outside

I used to hate the end of summer because it meant that I had to go back to work but, this year as summer ends I'm excited to see what the Fall will bring. The perk of Fall used to be new school supplies and Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Now, the Fall means that we can to see Charlie grow and experience all kinds of new things every day. Some of the things we would like to do with Charlie are:
- Apple Picking
- Go on a hay ride
- Have a photoshoot in a leaf pile
- Go to a pumpkin patch
- Take a walk through the changing leaves
- Decorate a pumpkin
- Make apple sauce and have Charlie taste it!!!
- Go to a football game
- Go to the Bronx Zoo
- Go to the NY Botanic Gardens

Here are some links I've found to Fall Activities with Infants and Toddlers:

As I think about all the activities that we will do with Charlie, I can't wait to see how much he will learn and grow. Parents have a responsibility to teach their children everything they can. Infants/toddlers learn by experiencing different settings with their parents. Charlie may be too young to remember most of what he do in the next few years but, he will have experienced it and will have taken something away from it. My friend Sarah wrote a great post on homeschooling that I feel embraces this concept. You should really check it out!

Cookie Bottom Brownies

My dear friend from work used to make us these brownies when things were particularly stressful. I know she made them for the first day of work this year so, I decided I would make some too as a Bon Voyage dessert for our special visitor! They are so yummy! The only difference in the way I did them was I put the cookie dough on the bottom. Generally, I do not ice the brownies because they are so rich to begin with however, if you'd like more deliciousness by all means add chocolate icing or chocolate ganache!

 1 tube of chocolate chip cookie batter
 1 box of brownies
 13 x 9 Pan Nonstick
 Cooking Spray

 Procedure: Spray your pan. Preheat your oven to 350. Spread the cookie batter in the bottom of the pan. Prepare the brownies according to the box. Bake for approximately 28 - 31 minutes. (My oven it is more like 31 min than 28 min.) Cool and enjoy!

The (what would have been) Second Day of School

My Students and I
Yesterday would have been my first day back at work. I woke up in the morning looked at my beautiful boy and couldn't imagine bringing him to the babysitter's house. I've never felt more at peace with my decision to stay home. When my friends arrived home from work, one texted me to see how Charlie's doctor appointment was and share stories from her day. While I missed the laughs from work, I had so many more wonderful memories and stories to tell at the end of my day. These are moments I would have missed if I were at work.

Part of my desire to work in the past was that I love kids and making a difference in their day. Now, I have my own little one and I want to spend my days making him happy and wholly healthy. At the school I worked at, we prided ourselves on educating the whole child: mind, body, and spirit. If I had returned to work, what would happen to MY child's mind, body, and spirit while I wasn't there...

I know many people have to return to work for various reasons (and I very well may be one of them at some point) however, right now I am home with my beautiful little boy.

I can't say that it isn't weird seeing back to school commercials and school buses making runs on our block. Honestly, it is strange that everyone is headed back to school and I'm not going this year. I'll miss the excitement of the kids on the first day of school or the joy in their eyes when they finally understand a math problem they've been working on for the entire period. But, at this moment, my beautiful boy fell asleep in my arms and is snuggled up in his bassinet next to me. I will be here to see the smile on his face when he wakes up from his nap. I will be here when he giggles and coos. I will be here when he rolls over.

I honestly feel like this is one of the hardest things I've ever done. Yes, my pregnancy was emotionally trying and child birth was physically demanding but, right now I desperately wish I could have the best of both worlds.

Teaching with Charlie in his Moby.
Halloween with the Faculty
I'm sure it will get easier as the days pass but, the only life I've known since college has been as a school teacher in a wonderful little school with an amazing faculty who has become my family and my friends.

I know it would be harder for me to go back to work and leave my little one every day so, I am very grateful for the ability to stay home with Charlie. I wouldn't give this up for anything.
Mommy and Charlie 

This song has been running through my head since Mass...


Our 3 Month Old

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
 On August 22nd, Charlie turned 3 months old. At his doctor's appointment today, we learned that he is 24 in long and 11 lbs 10 oz. He can roll from his back to his front and his front to his back. He has also figured out how to slide himself on his back across the doctor's table.
 Charlie is in size 2 disposable diapers and one size cloth diapers. He has found his voice and enthusiastically shares it with everyone! He has such an adorable little squeal/coo. He still loves music, books, car rides, and walks.
 He really enjoys sitting up like a big boy (with help of course). We are using the bassinet part of his stroller less and less. We have put him in the big boy part of the stroller mostly reclined and his is thrilled. The pediatrician says, "He is perfect!" (We already knew this but it is nice that it is confirmed.)
We celebrated his birthday as always with CUPCAKES! He was able to celebrate with his special visitor, his uncle Chris, Chris's friend Matt, Mommy, Daddy, Gram, and Pop Pop. This might have been his biggest birthday party yet! Daddy made him his special sign.

As an aside: If any of you Cloth Diaper and are in need of some Bumkins products, plum district has $25 for $50 worth of items. (Here's my link if three of you buy the offer I get mine for free) - http://www.plumdistrict.com/three_for_free/74a689b05d/click
The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time Mom

Bacon And Cheddar Potato Salad Recipe

Bacon And Cheddar Potato Salad Recipe - Food.com - 409734

I made this tonight as part of our BBQ. It was super easy and tremendously tasty. Basically, it tastes like a cold loaded baked potato. YUM! I will use any excuse to include bacon and cheese in a meal!

2 lbs red potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch cubes 
1 cup mayonnaise 
1 cup cheddar cheese, 
shredded 1/2 cup green onion, 
sliced 8 slices bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled 
2 tablespoons milk 
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (optional) 

1. In a 4-quart saucepan, cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain and cool slightly. 
2. While potatoes are cooking, combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add potatoes and toss to coat. Season, if desired, with salt and ground black pepper.

7 Quick Takes

My sweet little boy was three months old on the 22nd! I can't believe how quickly he is growing up. 
Our schedule/routine has been completely thrown off by various visitors/family members.While it is fun to have so much company, it will be nice to get back to our routine again. 
Charlie went to Play Hooray! this week. It is a music and play program offered at the local library. It was nice to see some other kids and parents in the area. Charlie really enjoys music so he was thrilled. He also enjoyed playing with these neat bells that he could grab and shake. 
Monday would have been my first day back at work. I'm not sure how I will feel when everyone I know goes back to work and I am at home with my little one. 
As a result of our routine being thrown off, Charlie has been all out of sorts in terms of naps and bedtime. I hope a few more consecutive hours tonight than I did last night. 
The youngest brother is headed back to college this weekend. It is hard to believe that he is already a junior looking at study abroad programs. I can't believe his 20! Just more of an indication of how time flies! I remember him being Charlie's age! 
This weekend is the triathlon in town. We'll have to try to figure out something to do on Sunday that is away from home or else give in and go cheer on the athletes. I wonder if I know anyone competing this year. In the past, the oldest of the three boys has done it.

Where did the time go?

It seems like only yesterday I was going out on maternity leave. Now, Charlie is three months old. I have taken a leave of absence from my job. Summer is over. The teachers and students are headed back to school.

One thing I have realized in my three short months as a mother is that you can't rush things. Inevitably every time Charlie and I try to go out in a hurry, he shows me that this is just not how it is done with an infant. He has discovered that he LOVES to wait all day until I put him in his car seat to have an explosive poop. It is almost like he knows I'm in a hurry. It is his little not so subtle way to tell me that I need to slow down and smell the [poop] as it is in our case.

I've been thinking about my pregnancy and Charlie's first couple of weeks. I miss both stages but, I love where he is now. It is hard to imagine that this wonderful little person was the size of a grain of rice when we saw him for the first time on the sonogram screen. I often wonder what he will sound like when he talks, what he will look like when he is the same as his uncles, and what he will become when he grows up.

As often as I wonder, I try to keep my mind in the present and cherish each little smile, coo, and tear because I know someday he will be grown up and I will miss this little bundle. Photobucket

Cloth Diaper Developments

After two days of Cloth Diapering, the time has come to do some laundry. We purchased Rock in Green detergent. We also received two sample of Bumgenius Detergent when we ordered from Cottonbabies.  I have to say that after one wash I can see the difference between Rock In Green detergent and Bumgenius Detergent. The Rock In Green got all of the yellow tinge out of the diapers from the poop however, the Bumgenius Detergent left the tinge.

Washing diapers is not nearly as terrible as one would imagine. I simply emptied our wet/dry bag into the washer. Put it on quick rinse to get the yuckies off. Once that was finished, I put in two tbsp of the detergent, set it on hot with a second rinse, and GO! After that, I separated out my covers to air dry. Threw the rest of the inserts into the dryer and waited. The whole process was relatively quick and painless.

I have to say that I don't know how I would have been able to cloth diaper if I were still living in our apartment since, we didn't have access to a washer except at the laundromat. This would be an entirely different ball game if I had to hand wash all of these. I know people do it but, I don't think I could.

On Sunday night, the hubby began asking about the cloth diapers. This is so exciting to me because at the beginning of all of this he was so dead set against he. He took it upon himself to learn how to put the insert into the cover and what to do with it when it was soiled. I showed him the difference between covers and inserts, pocket diapers, and all in ones. He quickly discovered that cloth diapers were not any more difficult then disposables! YAY! (I have to say the fact that they save money was also a big plus.)

At the moment our stash is:
8 flip covers
16 stay dry inserts
12 doublers
4 Bumgenius 4.0
1 Bumgenius Freetime
1 Govia One Size Cover
4 Bumkins One Size Cover
4 Swaddlebees Simplex All In One One Size (en route)

I think we are complete, unless I find something too cute to pass up.

I chose to get a bunch of all in ones because they are easy to use, if the little one has to go to a babysitter or stay with someone who doesn't want to cloth diaper. (We do have a bunch of disposables thanks to my in-laws so, those will certainly come in handy when going on day trips or visiting.)

In the coming weeks/months, I hope to make some cloth wipes and cloth diapers. Obviously I'll be starting with the cloth wipes first. The diapers will definitely take more sewing skills than I have at the moment.

*Here's a great link from babycenter with lots of cloth diaper sewing links https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ArEKq5v645hhdGxVTk9rckdGMHA5RzhCbFEwTlRSOGc&hl=en#gid=0
The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time Mom


Mr. Bobbily Head

Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?
Mr. Bobbily Head 
I love you 
how could any
baby be so good
and so alert
and so sensitive
and so beautiful
Mr. Bobbily Head 
Thank you so much 
for being born 
~Susan Polis Schutz
July 4, 1975 

We took our little one to a local park yesterday.   It was a lot of fun.   As you can see, we took lots of pictures.   The hubby found the above poem in a book called "Someone Else to Love."   It reminds us so much of our little guy, especially when he tries so hard to hold his head up on his own.   He enjoys his trips outdoors.   Hopefully the weather holds up and we can get in a few more adventures before summer's end.     

Cloth Diapering: Day 1

Today is the first official day of cloth diapering.

Stash: We have 8 flip covers, 4 bumkins covers, 1 govia cover, 2 bumgenius 4.0, 12 infant prefolds, 18 flip stay dry inserts.

LO has been in a flip cover with stay dry inserts since around ten this morning. So far so good. No leaks. No explosions. All is well. I'm not finding cloth diapering anymore difficult than using disposables. We will still use disposables when we go out and when he goes to bed for the night (at least for the time being). I'm too chicken to dive in head first.

Interestingly, the only difficulty I'm running into is where to put the disposable wipes. When using a disposable diaper, I would just put them in the soiled diaper as I used them and throw them out together. Now, without the disposable diaper, I need to find another solution. Clearly this is why many people who cloth diaper use cloth wipes as well because then they all just go into the same bag.

So, far I'm not sure how many diapers I'm going to go through in a day. I've been trying to change him about every 2 hours. (Now, he's throwing me for a loop with this spontaneous nap so, we'll see what happens.) I've planned for approximately 12 diapers a day.

We are going to use the rock n green detergent for the diapers for the time being. Namely because I know it won't ruin the diapers. As time goes on I'll look for more economical detergent. I was just having too much trouble sifting through all of the information out there.

Why am I trying to cloth diaper? 

The first reason is it will save money in the long run. The side effect is that we will be making less trash. I don't like the way the natural diapers feel. It is kind of like wrapping him in a paper towel. So, this is better for the environment as well. The diaper covers and pocket diapers are so cute! I love the patterns and colors! (They are much more fun than the disposables.)

Where did I get my information? 

FRIENDS! (Yes, I have several friends who CD.)

Where did I get my cloth diapering supplies? 



7 Quick Takes

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!

Well, our little man is such a happy camper. He is thrilled with his house guest. He gets up every morning nice and early to get some play time in before Charlie's morning nap. I am amazed at how much Charlie seems to interact and play with his special guest.
Yesterday, the little guy and I went to Mommy & Me Yoga at one of the local libraries. (Yay for free activities!) The other mommies and I had a great time. Charlie enjoyed watching the other babies and even laughed a few times during the activities. It was nice to be out of the house for awhile. Two other moms invited us to join them for a music class on Monday so, we'll be heading back to the library again next week. It is nice to have some interaction with other parents.
Blogging has been put on the back burner this week since we have a house guest. I feel like it is more important to spend time with family. 
I miss blogging when I can't get to it each day. 
Charlie has made himself a little schedule. (Clearly, he is my son.) Due to the festivities over the weekend, he got all messed up with his naps and such. At least he seems to be back in the swing of things now...a week later. 
I applied for a part time job this week shelving books at a local library. I haven't decided whether I hope I get it or not but, it would be good to have a little more income so things aren't so strapped. 
This week I am reading: 

How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm: And Other Adventures in Parenting (from Argentina to Tanzania and everywhere in between)

So far I'm about halfway through, I am finding it refreshing because I am someone who feels pressured to do "everything right", especially when it comes to Charlie. However, what I am quickly realizing is that, what is right when it comes to Charlie is what makes him happy and healthy. So what if he won't nap in a crib/pac n play/bassinet? If he naps on the couch/my bed/ in the Moby/ in my arms/ in the car/ in the stroller and he is happy, then I am doing a good job. 

Justice with Mercy

A few weeks ago my friend, my former teacher, was killed by a hit and run driver. As a Sister of Mercy, it is believed that she would have asked for "justice with mercy" regarding the punishment of her killer. The phrase "justice with mercy" has been running through my head. I've been having a hard time making sense out of it. So, in true teacher form, I consulted the dictionary.

Justice: "the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments; the administration of law; especially : the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity; the quality of being just, impartial, or fair"

Mercy: "compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one's power; also : lenient or compassionate treatment , a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion."

My understanding, based solely on the definitions, is that she would have wanted him to be punished fairly because he did something wrong. But, she would not have wanted him to be punished severely despite what he did. She would not have wanted him to lose his life because he took hers. He did not intend to go out and kill her. He was just driving. 

Spending his life in prison won't change the fact that he killed her. It won't bring her back. In fact, if he spent, his life in prison two lives would be lost...

She loved life. She loved every minute of her life and encouraged others to live the same way. It is not our job to judge this man who took her life. God is the only judge. Our God is a merciful God. God asks us to have mercy on others because He has mercy on us. He is the only one who can withhold mercy. 

Micah 7:18 tells us not to hold a grudge but, to have mercy. In order to show mercy toward those who hurt others, we must have grace (God working within us.) God must be at work in me in order to find the strength to forgive the man who took such a wonderful life from this world. 

I find comfort in knowing that she is not gone forever. We will see her again. She would want us to take this situation and turn it into something wonderful, something positive. She would want us to live each day fully and walk in her footsteps filling each day with works of mercy both corporal and spiritual. 

The corporal works of mercy are: 

  • To feed the hungry;
  • To give drink to the thirsty;
  • To clothe the naked;
  • To harbor the harborless;
  • To visit the sick;
  • To ransom the captive;
  • To bury the dead.
The spiritual works of mercy are: 
  • To instruct the ignorant;
  • To counsel the doubtful;
  • To admonish sinners;
  • To bear wrongs patiently;
  • To forgive offenses willingly;
  • To comfort the afflicted;
  • To pray for the living and the dead.
Incorporating the spiritual works of mercy on a daily basis is certainly easier than incorporating the corporal works of mercy. However, I think that making an conscious effort to look out for opportunities in my community will make the corporal works of mercy far easier to incorporate into my life and my family's life. These are things that my friend based her whole life upon. It would be wonderful to continue to carry them out in her memory. 
Growing Home

A Special Saturday for Charlie: Roman Catholic Baptism

Saints and Scripture Sunday
Yesterday, our beautiful little boy was baptized during a private Mass. It was absolutely perfect. Charlie was so attentive and couldn't take his eyes off of Fr. Mike. Our little one knew that it was a special day for him. Mike told us that one of the greatest blessings a child could receive was from his/her parents. He encouraged us to trace a cross on Charlie's head each night before bed. Mike asked us to pray with Charlie and for Charlie as a family. (So, we'll still be searching for some family prayer resources!) It is heartwarming to know that Charlie was welcomed into the Catholic church and the Christian community at large with open arms.

One of the things that made the day so special was that my brother was in attendance and was able to serve the Mass, with his friend, for Charlie. My brother is also the little one's Godfather. Charlie is so taken with him. Before Thursday, he had only ever seen him on Skype. Right now, he loves looking at his Godfather and playing with his beard.

A few parents' prayers for their children:
God the Father of mankind, who hast given unto me these my children, and committed them to my charge to bring them up for Thee, and to prepare them for eternal life: help me with Thy heavenly grace, that I may be able to fulfil this most sacred duty and stewardship. Teach me both what to give and what to withhold; when to reprove and when to forbear; make me to be gentle, yet firm; considerate and watchful; and deliver me equally from the weakness of indulgence, and the excess of severity; and grant that, both by word and example, I may be careful to lead them in the ways of wisdom and true piety, so that at last I may, with them, be admitted to the unspeakable joys of our true home in heaven, in the company of the blessed Angels and Saints. Amen.

O Heavenly Father, I commend my children to Thy care. Be Thou their God and Father; and mercifully supply whatever is lacking in me through frailty or negligence. Strengthen them to overcome the corruptions of the world, whether from within or without; and deliver them from the secret snares of the enemy. Pour Thy grace into their hearts, and strengthen and multiply in them the gifts of Thy Holy Spirit, that they may daily grow in grace and in knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ; and so, faithfully serving Thee here, may come to rejoice in Thy presence hereafter. Amen.

We received many beautiful cards. However, two had verses in that stood out.

Isaiah 43:1: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name: you are mine.
I have always loved this song. 

Jeremiah 1:5: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I dedicated you,
a prophet to the nations I appointed you.