Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weekend round-up

Friday night my mom flew in from Texas to spend the weekend with us (really with Elizabeth).  :)

On Saturday we hung around the house for a bit and then ventured out to Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard to try some wine and eat a picnic lunch.  It was a fantastic day, warm and sunny with delicious food and great wine!

Elizabeth sleeping at the winery.

Enjoying our picnic.

The fabulous wine.  All gone...

Grandmother and Elizabeth

Ben and I
(squinting into the sun)

On Sunday, we hung around the house because it was raining all day.  I took mom to the airport this afternoon and we have been enjoying a lazy day. 

I hope you all had a great weekend as well!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Finals

I have been trying to get to CVS all week.  I finally made it today and I think I hooked up some pretty good deals.  I spent $47 and saved $42 and I got $8 back in ECB.  Everything I bought was on sale (except for the diapers, but I had a coupon for those) and I had a coupon for everything that I bought.

I bought:

One (30 count) box of Claritin and got one (10 count) box of Claritin for FREE!
Two colgate total toothpastes
Three-pack of Huggies Wipes
One bag of Huggies Diapers
Two pack of tooth brushes
One bottle of ACT
Two bags of Kotex

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Two Months Old

Dear Elizabeth,

You are two months old today!  The first month felt like it flew by and this month seemed to go more slowly.  Last Thursday at your 8 week appointment you weighed 10 pounds and 9 ounces (60% percentile) and you were 22 3/4 inches long (78% percentile).  You dad and I were sure you weighed 12 pounds and were 3 feet tall.  Ha!  :)

I am 2 months old!

This month you discovered your hands, and then you discovered that you can fit your fingers in your mouth.  You have started trying to fit your whole hand into your mouth and get mad when it doesn't fit. 

You are wearing 3 month clothes, size 1 diapers, and lots and lots of bows! 

You took your first road trip this month, you hosted your first cook-out, met the Easter Bunny and celebrated Easter, went to your first birthday party, and met lots of new people. 

For Easter you got a bumbo seat that you LOVE!  You spend a lot of time each day sitting in your bumbo and playing on your tummy time mat.  You like to lay on your back on your tummy time mat and play with the butterfly that is hanging.

You have started eating 4.5-5 ounces per bottle and you still eat 5 times a day. 

I went back to work last Monday (April 9th) and your dad is taking a month off and staying home with you.  You LOVE spending all day with your dad.  You watch sci-fi tv shows, make dinner, talk to dad's co-workers on the phone, go to Home Depot, and play (a lot!).

We are continuously amazed at how much you are changing and how big you have become.  This past Friday (April 13th) we started you sleeping in your crib.  You screamed a lot the first night, but finally fell asleep after 40 minutes.  Since then you have done pretty good at going to sleep in your crib.  Your doctor said you may start to roll over in the next few weeks, so I wanted to make sure you were sleeping in your crib before that happened.

You talk to us a lot and love to smile whenever you see us.  You talk a lot when we put you to bed at night and eventually you fall asleep.  In the mornings we know you are awake because you are talking to yourself and laying in bed with a big smile on your face.

You love to lay on your back and kick and kick and kick.  You slide yourself all around on your back.  We put you to sleep in the middle of the crib and every morning you have moved all the way over to the side.  You have been doing this since we brought you home and it really freaks us out.  I think we are starting to get use to the idea of you moving on your own, but we are not ready for that yet.

We love you so much and can't wait to see how much you grow in this next month!  Here are some pictures of your adventures from the past month!

Nana and Pap Pap had a very nice welcome.

Pap Pap got home from work and picked you as soon as he walked in the door.

Climbing over the boppy pillow

Nana loving on you

Uncle Adam loving on you

All the Novak ladies!

Kelly came to visit for your first cook-out

Snoozing while hanging out with dad

Dinner with Aunt Leslie

Go Pens!  It's hockey time!

Easter dress

Enjoying your Easter basket, mostly your bumbo seat

First Birthday Party (Shelley's)

I am 2 months old!

Elizabeth- we love you very much.  Happy 2 month birthday!


Mom and Dad

Monday, April 16, 2012

Weekend round-up

This past weekend we didn't have much planned and then it turned into a busy weekend.  Friday night I went with some friends to see the Legwarmers perform.  They are an awesome 80s cover band and I had so much fun!  I only stayed until 11, but I was impressed I stayed that late.

As you can see, I did not dress up.  But I did love seeing everyone else's outfits.

Love my girls!  Pari, me, Ann, and Kelly.

The Legwarmers!

Pari and moi

The Legwarmers (again!)

Before I went to the concert I had the brillant idea that Ben should try to get Elizabeth to sleep in her crib.  She is 8 weeks old and for the past 8 weeks she has slept in the Fisher Price rock and sleeper (we have put it next to her bed).  So... mostly because her screaming and baby tears upsets me, I decided it would be a good idea to try this when I was not home.  Ben took on this task and I am so happy he did.  He said it took about 40 minutes of screaming/crying/upsetting noises but she went to sleep in her crib. 

Saturday night I braved the tears/screaming/noises and helped Ben put her to bed.  She laid down and went right to sleep.  Score! 

Saturday we hung out at the house most of the day, went for a 2-mile walk, and Ben made some delicious banana muffins with our left over bananas. 

Sunday we got up and went to Church and then headed to the grocery store.  We only used 4 coupons so it was not anything to write about.  :(

Sunday night we went to Adam and Shelley's for Shelley's surprise birthday party.  They were super excited to meet Elizabeth and we had some delicious food.

Singing Happy Birthday!

This cake was soooooo good!!!

Ben and Elizabeth
(yes, they match)
(no, that was not planned)
(Yes, Stacy, the outfit has bows, ruffles in the back, and polka dots!)

Adam, Shelley, and Elizabeth

Sunday night we put Elizabeth down and she screamed/cried/made sad noises for about 30 minutes and then drifted off to sleep.  Tonight I put her down and she talked to herself for a bit then went to sleep without any tears or screaming.  Maybe she will be good every other night???  I dunno...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Confessions of a scary mommy

I read this online today on and had to re-post it on my blog.  I'm a new mom but this rings so true.

by Jill Smokler
Have you ever let your children fall asleep in front of the TV or do your kids' homework because it's just easier? Well, you're not alone. "Confessions of a Scary Mommy," by Jill Smokler shares personal and anonymous essays on the good, bad and hysterical moments of being a mom. Read an excerpt:
Chapter one

Being a Scary Mommy: Mommy Confessions

-I confess that most days, I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. Everyone thinks I have it all together — good wife, good mom, successful career — but I really don’t. I’m ready to stop pretending to be perfect now.
-I tried for seven years to get pregnant and now that I’m a mother, I wonder whether it was all worth it.
-If I have to watch Barney one more time, I may have to stick a fork in my eye. Actually, then I’d get some attention. Maybe not such a bad idea.
-I sometimes try to get sick, just so I have an excuse to go to sleep at 6:00 p.m.
-I joined a gym just for the free day care. I drop the kids off and read magazines and blogs in the locker room.
-I pretend to be happy being a stay-at-home mom but sometimes I feel like I’m slowly dying. I cry every night in the shower. This isn’t what I thought it would be.
-I kiss my young teenager good-bye in the morning as she leaves for school, rising above the hormone-fueled snarling and histrionics. Then I close the front door and flip her off, with both hands.
-I miss the career I gave up more than I miss my son when I go to the grocery store. But I always get to go back to him.
-Hidden in the pantry in a box labeled “flour” is top-of-the-line chocolate and a few joints. I rarely resort to it, but it’s a comfort knowing it’s there

There are a million ironies in motherhood: The day you decide to change the sheets will inevitably be the night your child wets the bed. With a million toys in the house, your baby will without a doubt prefer to play with pots and pans from the kitchen cabinet than with any expensive learning game, and your kids will always fall asleep early for the sitter who gets paid by the hour to entertain them. It’s unfair, uncool, and unjust, but, unfortunately, it’s the way it is. Perhaps, though, the biggest irony out there is that despite never actually being alone (can you remember the last time you peed in peace?), as a mother you can feel totally isolated.

A few years ago, I was a stay-at-home mom to three kids, ranging in age from a newborn to a four-year-old. I was living in a new house, in a new town, among unfamiliar neighbors. It was lonely and overwhelming and I was bordering on miserable. A fellow mom from down the street stopped by our house to introduce herself and ask how my days were going. Half joking, I responded, “The baby is a bit of an asshole, but he’ll grow out of it. We’ll survive.” The look on her face was enough to let me know not only that I had offended her, but that we would not be spending our afternoons commiserating together. She had three young kids, as well—was she not going slowly insane, too? Did she not long for an afternoon without kids wiping snot on her jeans and a baby spitting up constantly? Did she not lock herself in the bathroom, ignoring the whining on the other side of the door? Apparently not. Or she faked it a hell of a lot better than I was able to.

We like to paint motherhood as a picture-perfect experience, filled with idyllic children and beaming mothers. A perfect newborn peacefully resting on his mother’s chest. A toddler taking tentative first steps into the loving arms of his mother, who is smiling proudly and wiping tears of joy from her cheeks. A mother’s long, blond hair trailing in the wind as she holds hands with and runs alongside her beautiful, impeccably dressed children. A mother and daughter sipping tea and painting each other’s nails, telling each other their deepest secrets and dreams. A mother leading Girl Scout troops and chairing PTA events and fluffing her daughter’s prom dress before her nervous date knocks on the front door.

Those moments of motherhood are indeed miraculous and joyful; they can also be few and far between. What if that baby never latches properly and breast-feeding becomes a nightmare that results in both baby and mother sobbing for hours on end? What if instead of happily reading together with her child for hours, the mother of a tough toddler wonders, just for an instant, whether there is something more to life than puzzles and ABCs? What if a mother, once her teenage child leaves the door, breathes a sigh of relief that the drama is temporarily on hold and drinks a glass of wine alone in the bathtub?

Do these things make motherhood any less perfect? Of course not: they make motherhood real.

Motherhood isn’t a chain of wondrous little moments strung together in one perfectly orchestrated slide show. It’s dirty and scary and beautiful and hard and miraculous and exhausting and thankless and joyful and frustrating all at once. It’s everything. Anyone who claims that motherhood is only the good stuff is simply in denial (or she’s on some serious drugs). Admitting that this job isn’t always easy doesn’t make somebody a bad mother. At least, it shouldn’t.

We’re all on this ride together. We are not the first ones to ever accidentally tell our children to shut up, or wonder — just for a moment — what it would be like if we’d never had children. We aren’t the first mothers to feel overwhelmed and challenged and not entirely fulfilled by motherhood. And we certainly won’t be the last.

Nothing can be lost by admitting our weaknesses and imperfections to one another. In fact, quite the opposite is true. We will be better mothers, better wives, and better women if we are able to finally drop the act and get real. Who are we pretending for, anyway? It is my hope that no other mother feels as alone as I felt those first few months of motherhood. There are millions of us mothers, all feeling the same way, all across the globe. All we need to do is find one another.

Scary Mommies of the world, unite!

The Scary Mommy Manifesto

Please solemnly recite the following before proceeding:

I shall maintain a sense of humor about all things motherhood, for without it, I recognize that I may end up institutionalized. Or, at the very least, completely miserable.

I shall not judge the mother in the grocery store who, upon entering, hits the candy aisle and doles out M&M’s to her screaming toddler. It is simply a survival mechanism.

I shall not compete with the mother who effortlessly bakes from scratch, purees her own baby food, or fashions breathtaking costumes from tissue paper. Motherhood is not a competition. The only ones who lose are the ones who race the fastest.

I shall shoot the parents of the screaming newborn on the airplane looks of compassion rather than resentment. I am fortunate to be able to ditch the kid upon landing. They, however, are not.

I shall never ask any woman whether she is, in fact, expecting. Ever.

I shall not question the mother who is wearing the same yoga pants, flip-flops, and T-shirt she wore to school pickup the day before. She has good reason.

I shall never claim to know everything about children other than my own (who still remain a mystery to me).

I shall hold the new babies belonging to friends and family, so they may shower and nap, which is all any new mother really wants.

I shall strive to pass down a healthy body image to my daughter. She deserves a mother who loves and respects herself; stretch marks, dimples, cellulite, and all.

I shall not preach the benefits of breast-feeding or circumcision or homeschooling or organic food or co-sleeping or crying it out to a fellow mother who has not asked my opinion. It’s none of my damn business.

I shall try my hardest to never say never, for I just may end up with a loud mouthed, bikini-clad, water gun–shooting toddler of my very own.

I shall remember that no mother is perfect and that my children will thrive because of, and sometimes even in spite of me.

From Confessions of a Scary Mommy: An Honest and Irreverent Look at Motherhood — The Good, The Bad, and The Scary by Jill Smokler. Copyright © 2012 Jill Smokler. Published by Gallery Books. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Bump in the Road

Yesterday was my first day back at work.  I woke up extra early because I was not sure how long it would take me to get ready, pack up all my work stuff, kiss Elizabeth goodbye a billion times, and head out the door.  The day went well, my students were happy to see me, the staff was super nice, and I went to the gym after work to get back into gear.

Then we watched Bones last night.  You need to check out the episode here. 

The title of the episode is "The Bump in the Road".  The episode is about Bones' first day back at work after being on maternity leave.  Hello!!!!  Was this episode speaking to me?  Did the writers and producers plan to air this because they knew I was going back to work?  Divine intervention?  Coincidence?  No idea, but it gave me a little laugh...

The emotions Emily Deschanel portrayed on the episode last night echoed in my heart, my soul, and my new mommyhood being.  I came home from the gym and held my baby girl all night and didn't want to let her go (just like Bones after her first day of work).  I did not have Ben send me a picture every 30 minutes like Bones had the daycare center director do, but I really like the idea!  I missed my baby girl and I know that no one in the world could possibly explain this or understand this (just like Bones).  See the theme developing???

Anywho, I have now survived my second day of work.  It isn't getting any easier, but I know she is in good hands.

Elizabeth, when you look back one day and read this, know that I love you very much and leaving you everyday has been the hardest thing I have ever done.  But I do it to provide you with a wonderful life.  I love you.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


He is risen!  He is risen indeed!

We got up early and went to 9am Mass and the came home and saw that the Easter Bunny had been to our house.  Elizabeth got a lot of goodies from the Easter Bunny and her Grandparents, but she received a wonderful sermon at Church that was far more important than her Easter basket.  We took a few pictures of our Easter outfits and the goodies the Easter Bunny left.  Happy Easter!

The Easter Bunny brought Elizabeth some goodies.

The Easter Bunny also brought Ben and I some goodies.

Easter Family Photo, Elizabeth did not feel like smiling

Elizabeth in her Easter dress.  The Easter Bunny brought her a bumbo seat!

Grandmother sent Elizabeth a basket!

Pap Pap and Nana sent Elizabeth a book and a cute outfit!

Playing in the bumbo and the new hat the Easter Bunny brought

Another family portrait.

Second Easter outfit.

Sitting with Dad

Having fun on the tummy time mat.