December 31, 2006

Photos will be better than ever!

I just set up my flickr account, which is where all of my photos are going to be posted from now on since I'm posting on the new blog. Here is a link:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rachael1013/sets/

You can also get to it by going to the right hand side of my blog and clicking the 'photos' link under 'Cool Stuff'. I will make sure to include it in my post when I add new pictures. The pictures are better quality and I'll be able to put more up, so I'm excited about that! I wil post pictures from my New Jersey trip as soon as I get unpacked and get them organized, and will post another blog entry about the rest of the trip!
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December 22, 2006

Feliz Navidad!

Hello! This is my first real post on the new blog. I don't have any pictures to post right now, but when I do, I'll make sure to leave good instructions on how to access them. It will also be easier for me to post links for people on this blog.

I'm writing this on Justin's laptop in the dining room at Dad and Helene's house in Flemington, NJ. Emmy is sitting across from me writing some tips for Kira and Mom when they go to D.C. next week, Dad and Kira are working on putting the lights up on the tree, and Justin and Sam are upstairs taking a nap. It's been a pleasant day so far, and tonight we are going to the Shaker Cafe around the block for Mexican Night. Dad goes there every morning when he's in town to get his daily egg sandwich.

Sorry it's been so long since my last update. The last couple of weeks have been a little crazy with celebrating Christmas with a few people, getting ready for our trip, and the big storm that hit Washington and Oregon last week and knocked out power for thousands of people, including ours for a while!

The weekend of the 9th was busy and fun! On Friday we went down to Tacoma and went to see the Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo. It was pretty cool, and it made me wish that I had a better camera since that kind of thing is so hard to take photos of with an ordinary camera. I was a little disappointed that we didn't get to see more animals - although we did see a racoon in the trees while we were looking at the lights! After that, we popped over to Tacoma General Hospital to visit Brie and the babies and drop off some hand-me-downs and lots of bottles we're not using, and to see them for the last time until next year. That night and the next night Brie and Kyle were rooming in at the hospital with Ginny in preparation for her homecoming that Sunday! It's very exciting, she's been home for almost 2 weeks now and things are going well so far. Roman is not quite as advanced and is still in the hospital as far as I know, but they're still hoping that he'll be home for Christmas. On Saturday the 9th we headed up to Bellingham and went to Mom's Kulshan Chorus Holiday Concert, then on Sunday we all headed over to Rob and Susan's house for brunch and to exchange Christmas gifts. We had a really great time, and it was really wonderful to be able to spend time with Rob, Susan, and Mom all at once. I think I've been really lucky in life to have parents who value family so much and have such good relationships with each other. We had a really great time! Then that evening we got to spend some time with Leela, Esme, and Ty. It was a really great weekend.

Last week we spent a whole day over at Brooke and Dave's while waiting for our power to come back on after the storm. Brooke, Lorelai, Seamus and I decorated Christmas cookies and we had a cozy little Christmas gift exchange in the evening. We also had Laurie over for lunch last Sunday and she got to see how big Sam has gotten and hang out with us. It was really great to see her.

Now we're in New Jersey and looking forward to Christmas Eve and seeing our families that evening and on Christmas Day. Kira's looking forward to a short trip to D.C. with Mom next week, and I'm looking forward to lots of people passing Sam around and enjoying taking care of him while I have a little R & R! Woo hoo!

Sam is doing pretty well. He did wonderfully on the flight out here. He was a little fussy, but didn't really cry, and took a pretty good length nap during the flight. We did curbside check in again, which is very convenient with so many suitcases and a carseat and trying to carry Sam around and keep him happy!

Since we got here he has been a little under the weather. The last couple of nights he has had a pretty high fever (102.6 and 102.4) and has been a little fussy and clingy. We're not sure if he just has a fever because he's teething or if he has caught some kind of bug. His fever was definitely better in the middle of the night last night, but he did feel a little warm this morning when he got up.

The biggest change is that he's definitely army crawling now! He can really get going if you give him some incentive like a remote control or a video game controller. He can get up on his hands and knees and take a little crawl, but he hasn't gotten it down very well yet.

That's about all that's going on! I will definitely get back on during our vacation and post more updates and some pictures as our vacation goes on. I'm sure that Sam is going to get totally spoiled and there will be TONS of pictures of his first Christmas!
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December 7, 2006

First Haircut!

Tonight I gave Sam his first haircut! It was slightly difficult until I realized that the key was to stick the bottle in his mouth, then it was pretty smooth sailing. I just cut it in the front and on the sides around his ears. It was starting to get in his eyes a little bit in the front. It didn't look too bad when we put him to bed, but we'll see what it's like tomorrow! See photo album for pictures!

Also, we just put Sam to bed after our bath, bottle, book ritual. And it literally took 2 minutes after Justin put him down for him to go to sleep. I looked at the clock, and he cried for 2 minutes, then silence. CRAZY! He's doing so great.

It's funny, I notice new things every day. Today he was in the exersaucer and his book fell over the edge and he actually leaned forward to look over the edge to see where it went. Wow. It's really amazing watching him learn and develop.

He is also really close to getting his top front teeth, and has been pretty fussy because of his mouth hurting. I think they'll come through in the next couple of days.
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December 6, 2006

I Can't Believe How Fast Time Goes By

Sam is now 7 months old, and I can't believe how fast the time has gone by, and how much he changes every day. He's such a big boy now - that may seem silly, but anyone who is a parent will know what I mean when I say that I already have nostalgia thinking about how small he was just a few months ago.

So, what's new in his world? He is now a champion eater, and enjoys breakfast, lunch and dinner along with his bottles every day. He still loves his yogurt, and usually gets a little with every meal. It seems to help with his digestion, and his spitting up is definitely improving. I think soon it'll be a rare event instead of a regular one! It's been fun being able to start giving him 'regular' foods like mashed potatoes and letting him try things like different flavors of ice cream!

He still wears bibs pretty much all the time, but the main reason for it at this point is the drool! He is a big drool machine. Right now he's drooling a lot because he seems to be getting more teeth. We think that the next ones to come in will be his front top two teeth, they're right there, but not quite coming through yet.

Sam is also VERY close to being able to crawl, and he can sit up by himself! It is amazing how much better at it he gets just day to day, but he can now sit up for long periods of time by himself and even catch himself sometimes if he starts to teeter over. He can also sometimes go from sitting to lying down without tipping and bumping his head. He can move around the floor now, and once he starts crawling he's going to be all over the place - I am sure going to get a workout chasing him around! He now gets up on his hands and knees and rocks back and forth a lot, he even scoots a little bit, but he doesn't get the alternate leg movement quite yet!

The biggest change lately has been the start of establishing a bedtime routine for Sam, and teaching him to be able to put himself to sleep when it's bedtime. We currently start around 9:30 and get him into the bath - the great thing is that he loves the bath so much he can be in there for a long time, or if we're feeling tired or it's late we can just do 10 minutes or so in the tub. After his bath, we get him all cozy in his jammies and give him a warm bottle and read a few books to him. Then he goes into the crib (without a pacifier) to go to sleep. We haven't been doing it for long - just about a week - but it is going pretty well so far! The longest he's cried in the past few days is 15 minutes, but tonight it was more like 10. It's hard to listen to him cry, but it's also nice to know that he'll be able to put himself to sleep and that if we're really tired or need him to go down, he knows what the bedtime routine is and will start to understand what it means when it's bedtime. It's hard to know what advice to listen to, and which experts to listen to, and which methods to choose. But I think that what we're doing is going really well so far. He also sleeps through the night almost every night now, which is really nice!

We are having so much fun with Sam even though the teething has made him quite a bit more fussy than normal in the past week! Last night he went and spent a few hours with Brooke and Dave while Justin and I went out to celebrate our 7 year dating anniversary! It's amazing it's been that long... we just went to a movie, but it's always fun to get out just the two of us, and I think we've done a pretty good job so far of making time for us to spend together.

We leave on the 19th for our Christmas trip to New Jersey. Before then, we have some things to look forward to. This weekend we're heading up to Bellingham to see some people that we probably won't see again until after Christmas (Rob, Susan and Maggie, Esme and Ty, and Justin's Dad). We are also going to see Mom's Kulshan Chorus concert on Saturday night, and visit with Leela on Sunday. Then on the 15th we'll have our Christmas celebration with our friends before going on vacation. I'm looking forward to watching Seamus and Lorelai open their presents. It really gives me a peek into how fun it will be for Sam's first Christmas that he's actually more aware of! During our trip we'll get to see lots of relatives and have a couple of celebration dinners. I'm mostly looking forward to Sam meeting the relatives he hasn't met yet, and spending time with Dad, Helene, Lianna, and my cousin Emmy. We always have a really fun time.

In other news, my friend Brie found out today that her daughter, Ginny, is going to be able to come home from the hospital on Sunday as long as everything goes well! It's so exciting, she's been in the hospital for a little bit over a month since she was born at 30 weeks. Her twin brother Roman will have to stay in a little longer, as he's not quite as mature as she is. We are very excited for her to be home and to be able to go down and visit and hold her and really start getting to know her! The other good news is that my good friend Leela found out last week that after 1+ year long interview process, she's been accepted into the United States Border Patrol training program! It's a little sad because it means she'll be away from Washington for at least 3 years, but we're really happy for her too!

The other big news is that this month both Justin and I got Lasik surgery and no longer need to wear glasses! I am still in the recovery process - using antibiotics and LOTS of eye drops - I have to use them every hour. Justin is just using them as needed at this point. I'm still geting used to not having to put on my glasses in the morning and being able to wear sunglasses, and not trying to feel my contact lenses! And I'm definitely enjoying being able to see Sam and lie with him and play with him and not having to worry about him grabbing onto my glasses!

Well, I'm off to read for a little while before bed - the new Michael Crichton book came out last Tuesday! I will be back again soon to update!
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November 30, 2006

More teeth coming?

Sigh.... so it's been way too long since I wrote again. It's really crazy here right now - everything is covered with snow and ice and last night it was like 18 degrees. I feel like I'm back in Michigan again or something. Plus everyone here (including me to some degree) is afraid to drive around/can't drive around, so I stayed home all day today. Plus our furnace is broken. It's been broken since the night before Thanksgiving, and it was supposed to get fixed on Monday but with all the snow and stuff it hasn't happened, which I find slightly ironic. Right now our house is being heated by space heaters.

Sam has been a fussbudget at bedtime the last couple of days. He was going to bed at a good time, between 9:30 and 10:30, but has been up until midnight at least for the last couple of nights. We can tell he's really tired, but he just doesn't go to sleep. He might be getting some more teeth, but it's hard to tell because he doesn't like it when we mess with his mouth. Anyhow, we don't have an actual set bedtime for him, and it's hard to know how to establish it. There are just so many opinions ('expert' and otherwise), routines, ideas, etc. out there that I don't know what to listen to. Today I got an artile in my e-mail from one of the baby websites telling me about how you shouldn't let your baby have 'sleep crutches' (pacifiers, being rocked, white noise machine, a bottle) because they will lose their ability to put themselves to sleep or soothe themselves. It talked about establishing a bedtime routine. Then there are the people who think you should let the baby cry it out in his crib, which is hard to listen to and makes me feel bad. He's only seven months old. ARGH! So, we are thinking about starting a 'routine' with a bath and maybe reading a story together with the lights turned down, but it's just hard to know what to do. This is the first time I feel like I really don't know what the best thing to do is or whose advice to take. In the past, I think I have always been more confident about knowing what to do. Oh well, I know we'll figure it out in the end.

We had our housewarming party on the 18th, which was really a lot of fun. It was a good motivation for me to finally get EVERYTHING unpacked and get pictures hung on the walls and stuff. Our house is all tidy and we are really all settled in now! It's great. I've been a lot more relaxed and not feeling like I have to do so much in the last couple of weeks. Lots of people came over including Brie and Kyle, Suman, Esme and Ty, Mom, Kira, the Whalen-Robinsons, Courtney and Tom, and Laurie. We sort of had people coming and going between 2 pm and 8:30 pm, and we didn't even have too much food left over! Ty is adorable, and it was so cute to see him and Sam together.

Sam had his first Thanksgiving last week! And his first taste of mashed pototoes! It was really cute, it was a totally new texture for him, and he wasn't sure about it at first, but then he ate a bunch of it! A few days later he got to taste some of the delicious pumpkin pie that Mom made (we had a whole extra to enjoy after Thanksgiving!). He REALLY liked that. He definitely has a huge sweet tooth just like I do. We also celebrated my birthday and Tara's birthday some, and I got a really beautiful Unicorn calendar from Tara that I've never seen before. And Brooke gave me a couple of unicorn things and tickets to the Barenaked Ladies concert last Sunday! We actually made it to the concert despite the bad weather, although it did involve trecking through the snow from our parking place. And the arena being quite chilly for the whole concert. That's okay though, the concert was totally great. Mike Doughty's Band was the opener and that was pretty great too.

Last Saturday we went to the Pacific Science Center and met up with Jason, Stormy, Gryphon & Tempest and with Justin's Mom and Rich. We ate lunch and went around the Science Center and looked and played. Then we went and saw the Dead Sea Scrolls. It was really cool. I was surprised at how small and perfect the writing was! It's just amazing to think about seeing writings that are so old. It was Deanna's birthday, and they gave me my birthday gift, which was the new Annie Liebowitz book of her photos from 1990 to 2005. I was very happy! I had a really good birthday this year.

Last Sunday Rob and Susan and Maggie came down and visited with us at our house, then we went out to lunch and to Babies R Us since they'd never been there. Maggie is so adorable! She is doing great! She is up to 13 lb 8 oz, catching up with Sam fast! She looks so much like Rob. I got to hold her and carry her around for a while. She loves to be held up in the air above your head, and has the cutest little smile. I am glad they were able to make it down, and I can't wait to see her again!

We went and got family portraits yesterday at the Babies R Us near our house. It was totally not busy since no one was out that early (10:00) because of the snow/ice. It went really well, and the pictures turned out totally cute! I'll post them so everyone can see. We're going to be sending out some pictures and stuff in our Christmas cards, which is the main reason we decided to get them now, and I think six months is a good age to get them done.

Not much else has been happening around here. Sam eats three meals a day now, and sometimes another snack before bed. He has breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He mostly only eats in his high chair now unless we are not at home. His favorite food is Peach Cobbler baby food, and he LOVES yogurt. We've been introducing it into his diet slowly. We started out fast, and he had two good days of not throwing up, but then he started throwing up a lot, and we think we just went too fast. He is still drinking soy formula so he's not used to real dairy. We stopped the yogurt for a couple of days and now we give him a little bit with each meal. It seems to help his digestion and helps his poops be a little more normal baby poop instead of being so firm. Although the dairy does definitely add to the stink factor! He doesn't like green food in general - definitely didn't like the peas or the green beans. We have been trying spinach & potatoes and he seems to like that a little bit better, so we're going to keep giving it to him. He also likes sweet potatoes. We've been introducing a little bit of juice to him after some meals, and he seems to like it, but isn't crazy about it.

He's working really hard on sitting up and learning to crawl. He now gets up on his hands and knees and rocks back and forth. This will help him to build up the muscles he needs to crawl. He's a lot better at getting around now, rolling and scooting around all over the floor. He really loves taking baths and his favorite bath toys are the measuring cups we gave him. He is figuring out how to splash with his hands and loves kicking his legs in the water.

We'll be leaving for Christmas in New Jersey on the 19th, and I'm super excited about the trip. I can't wait to see everyone again! That's about all that's going on right now! I'm going to go update the photo album, so take a look!
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Welcome to Our New Blog!

Hello everyone! I am starting a new blog today because the blog I've been keeping for the past year and a half (http://www.babycrowd.com/jr/online/rachael/welcome.html) is reaching it's storage limit. Sam is almsot seven months old now, so from now on I'll be posting our updates and new photos via this website. Welcome!
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November 13, 2006

Sam has TEETH!

Well, that is the big news! The last month has been super busy with trying to get settled in and unpacked at our new house. Who knew it took about 100 times as long to get everything done when there was a baby involved? This weekend Mom came down from Bellingham and I actually got ALL the rest of our stuff unpacked except for four boxes that are left in the garage that have random stuff, most of which I'm not sure what I'm going to do with. I feel so great! I also actually got a bunch of pictures and stuff up on the walls, which is nice, it doesn't look so bare anymore.

Sam has been fussy for the last week and we could tell that his two front bottom teeth were just super ready to pop right out. Well, he went to visit his Grandma Deanna and Grandpa Rich and spent the night with them on Thursday and Friday so I could work on sorting out the garage & unpacking. And when he got home, he had TEETH! How exciting! They were just little white lines at first, but they're coming in more every day and soon he'll have two fully emerged teeth.

Other than his being fussy about his teeth, things have been going great with Sam! He is really interested in learning how to crawl, but he's just not quite there yet. He has been scooting a little bit more and we've seen him actually get up on his hands and knees a few times now. I'm enjoying his not being able to move too much while I can. I know that once he starts crawling, I'll be crawling all over the place after him. He is a champion at turning in cirlcles on his belly though, and when he's in the living room he likes to touch the books on the bottom shelf of the bookshelf.

Sam has also recently become interested in the cats, and likes to touch them and grab at them when they get near enough. Phoenix isn't so tolerant, but Piper is actually pretty good about it. This morning he let Sam grab his tail and chew on his leg a little bit before getting up and moving away. Maybe it's because he knows he still weighs almost 4 pounds more than Sam does.

We had Sam's 6 month well baby checkup last week. I was very surprised to learn that Sam only gained about a half pound in between his four and six month checkups. He's been eating a lot, but I guess he's just a skinny little baby. His height did increase (26.5 inches) and he's right on track development wise, so the doctor said it's nothing to worry about as long as we're making sure he's getting enough to eat. She also got to witness first hand how much he wiggles and squirms all the time, and said that might have something to do with it - he's just burning all his calories!

Speaking of food, Sam has become a champion eater. He is onto the Stage 2 baby foods, which are 3.5 oz of food (instead of 2.5) and have mixtures. He still enjoys the ones that have bananas, like Banana Blueberry and Banana Orange. It's fun being able to experiment with some new foods. The doctor also said we can start trying out fruit puffs. They're little star shaped snacks kind of the size of cheerios, only they melt in the baby's mouth so there is not so much of a choking hazard if they can't really chew yet. We're giving them to him sometimes also to help him develop his motor skills in picking up small things with his hands. He still spits up frequently, but I am pretty sure it's decreasing. It's hard to tell when you're with him all the time whether things are really changing!

Sam enjoyed his first Halloween. I will post some new pictures in the photo album when I'm done with this entry. Sam was Yoda for Halloween. Not that many people got to see his costume, but it was super-cute.

So, that's about all the SAM news I have for now. In other news....

I talked to Rob the other day and he told me that Maggie weighs over 12 pounds! I can't believe she's gotten so big, and is catching up with Sam so fast! I am missing them, I haven't seen them in a very long time. I believe that they're going to be able to come and visit later this month. I'm really excited to see Maggie, Rob, and Susan, and for them to visit our new house! I can't believe she's already almost four months old! I just got an e-mail from Susan with some pictures, and she is SO cute. I can't even believe it all!

The biggest news in my world is that my friend Brie who was pregnant with twins had her babies two weeks ago. She was only 30 weeks pregnant, but her water broke in the middle of the night and they could not stop her labor, so the babies came early. She had a very fast birth and didn't have to have a c-section. The babies, Roman and Giovanna (Ginny) are in the NICU in Tacoma. They are both doing very well, although Ginny is a little bit more advanced. Ginny is breathing on her own, and Roman is on his way off his ventilator with it getting turned down a little bit more each day. Both babies are now taking breastmilk, which is wonderful. I haven't talked to Brie much since she had the babies because she's been busy working and visiting the hospital every day, which is about 30 min from where she lives. For anyone that knows her and is interested in hearing more of her story and/or seeing some pictures of the babies, her baby blog is at: http://www.babycrowd.com/jr/online/brieshon/.

So, that's the news for now! I'll be sure to post some pictures tonight or tomorrow, and hopefully I will post again soon. Now that Sam's passed the 6 month mark, there should be lots of exciting news and developments to write about!
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October 24, 2006

My first (but surely not last) experience feeling like a mean mommy

The last two nights, Sam has been super-fussy at bedtime. He has not really wanted to be held and was wiggling about, and last night we finally got him to go to sleep by lying down in our bed with him. Tonight both of us were getting frustrated because he was so tired and would not go to sleep. So... we finally tried just letting him cry it out. We haven't done it before. He pretty much falls asleep in one of our arms (often drinking a bottle) every night. Since I'm a stay at home mom and Justin works at home, we don't have as much of a need for a schedule, so it hasn't been a problem. At our last pedi appt, the doctor suggested it might be time to try and start teaching him how to go to sleep on his own, but we didn't really see a need.

Anyhow, tonight after holding him for 20 min and starting to get frustrated, I just put him down in his crib and walked away. I went into the other room and started working on balancing my bank acct. He didn't cry for a few min, then started to cry. I put him down around 10:17 and he started crying at 10:19. He finally stopped and fell asleep between 10:40 and 10:45. I felt bad just letting him cry, but I don't want to fight with him to make him go to bed. It is hard though. I guess this is just the beginning of many experiences that I'll have feeling like a mean mommy. At least there are lots of other times when I get to feel like a really good one.
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October 21, 2006

Happy October

Well, once again it's been too long since I updated the blog. At least this time I do have a really good excuse! It takes a lot longer, and it is a lot harder to settle in, when you have a baby to take care of all the time! Today Justin and I picked up the last 2 boxes and remaining food from our old condo. We are COMPLETELY moved as of today! Yay! It's so wonderful at the new house. We have so much more room and I am enjoying unpacking and arranging all of our things, even though it's taking a long time to get settled in. Today we took Sam to Tacoma so that he could go stay at his Grandma Deanna's house for the night. She'll bring him back tomorrow, and in the meantime I will work like mad to get things done around the house and catch up on things like paying bills, e-mail, and finally updating this blog!

This is the 2nd time that Deanna has taken Sam. Last time, a couple of weeks ago, she actually took him for 2 nights. It's so wonderful, it's been so helpful in letting me try to get things settled at the house. I like unpacking, but it's hard to have things packed and not know where things are for more than a month! He has done great away from home, and does great sleeping and napping at other people's houses, which is wonderful. I am so glad to have that flexibility with him. Speaking of sleeping, Sam is actually getting back to normal. His patterns got a little bit interrupted by the trip and then coming home to a new house. But he is getting back on track. He's currently sleeping from between 9:30 and 10:30 each night until around 8:30 the next morning. He usually wakes up once or twice during the night and just needs his pacifier back and a pat on the back to get back to sleep, and I think that soon he'll be sleeping through the night no problem. He sleeps and naps in his crib most of the time now, although we have not yet tackled getting him into his crib while he's awake and having him fall asleep on his own. Since his current schedule works pretty well for us, I don't see any rush in this area.

I am still immensly enjoying being a stay at home mom. Lately I have spent most days at home with Sam, just hanging out, playing, and sometimes napping with him. Of course I have to get out of the house by myself once in a while, but it also is fun to take Sam shopping or to the playdates that usually happen every week or two with other moms that I know.

I can't believe that it's almost been six months since he was born. He is developing into a wonderful little boy. He still has the most blonde hair ever, and it just keeps getting longer! People ask me when he's going to have his first haircut, and my initial response is - never! But really, I don't want to cut it right now, it's adorable. So, he probably won't be having his first haircut for a while. Maybe when his hair starts to block his vision. Ha.

He's rolling over all the time now, and wants to crawl badly. He can't really do it, but every once in a while, he does manage to scoot a few feet, which is very exciting. The next big milestone I'm looking forward to is seeing him able to sit up by himself! I can't wait to be able to sit with him and play, and for him to be able to sit in a high chair when we go out. He's out of his infant seat because he got too long for it, but he's not able to sit in the high chairs, so we usually end up taking his stroller into any restaurant we go out to eat at.

We acutally took his high chair out of the box at home recently. It's wonderful because the seat has 5 positions and reclines back, so he can sit in it now even though he can't sit up by himself yet. It's shorter than I thought from looking at it before, but it ends up being about the same height as our dining room table, so I guess that's good. He likes it - the other day he sat in there while we ate dinner at the table like normal people! We haven't done that in a while since at the condo we were using the dining room table as a desk for Justin.

Sam is also eating regular food now. It's a little earlier than what the doctors recommend (6 months), but he is so hungry - he was eating every couple of hours - so we decided to start him on the baby food. He loves it. He will gobble up a whole container at a time! We haven't been very consistant about it so far, but some days he'll eat it twice. Also, if we catch him before he starts to get too tired, we like to feed it to him mixed with rice cereal before bed - that definitely helps him sleep through the night! He likes most flavors, although peaches and bananas are probably his favorites. The only one he's completely rejected (we tried twice) so far is peas. And who can blame him really?

He still loves bath time and splashing around in the water. He's 'talking' a ton now, and he's been drooling like crazy. He's had teething symptoms for a couple of months, which is normal, but now you can actually see teeth shapes in his mouth beneath his gums. He's been drooling and chewing a ton in the last few days, so we might actually get a tooth sometime in the near future!

Our next doctor appointment is in a couple of weeks on Nov 2, so we'll have an update on his height and weight then. I am always quite amazed at how much he's grown. It also means more shots, which is yucky. Hopefully he'll do all right - he did okay last time but it's a little bit heartbreaking to have to hold him while they stick him like that.

Everything else is going pretty well. Justin is still enjoying working at home, and I love having him around the house. My little sister Maggie is doing well - I got an e-mail from Susan that said that she is up to 11 pounds now! That means that she has almost doubled her birth weight in only 3 months. What a champion! I have not seen her in over a month and miss her, so hopefully I'll make it up to Bellingham to visit soon. The other bit of super-exciting news in my life is that my good friend Brie is pregnant, and found out at 20 weeks that she is HAVING TWINS! Holy cow! I am so excited for her, I can't even believe it. We went to her baby shower a couple of weeks ago in Bellingham, and they got tons of cute stuff. I don't get to see her enough, but I get to keep up with her on HER babycrowd journal (http://www.babycrowd.com/jr/online/brieshon/), which I check every day for updates. I can't wait to meet her little ones in December!

Well, my back is getting sore from the computer chair, and I have lots of stuff to run around and get done while Sam's not here, so I'll end this here for now. I'm going to go to the photo album now and post some new pictures, so check them out!
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September 30, 2006

Successful September Vacations

I'm back! I'm writing this update from the Homewood Suites in Portland! We don't have internet at the house right now, so I'm doing the update while I can. Unfortunately I don't have a cord with me to transfer pictures from my camera to the computer, so it's going to be a few days before I can post pictures from the things I'm going to update about. I'll post another update when I get the pictures up of course!

I got back from my vacation to New Jersey on Wednesday night. The trip went really well. Sam was SO good on the airplane both ways. He didn't even cry! On the way there, we ended up having an extra seat, but we didn't on the way back. Actually, we weren't even seated next to Kira, but we got a nice guy to switch with us. The plane was really warm on the way back, so Sam slept for pretty much the whole plane ride.

We got to see lots of people during our vacation, which was wonderful. Sam got to meet his Great Grandma Doley, it was really cool. We spent about half of our vacation in Ocean City, and had spectacular weather for mid September. We got to go to the beach on Sunday and Monday, and it was in the 80s both days. The water was pretty warm too. While we were down there, we got to visit with my cousins Matt, Laurie, Emmy and Erica, and with my Aunt Ann and Aunt Barb. It was really nice to be able to see everyone, and to spend more time with people than just visiting for dinner or something.

We had a great time hanging out with Lianna, and going out to the bus stop with her on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. She just had her 8th birthday, and I can't believe how big she is. It's so fun to watch every stage she goes through. We had fun playing with Sam and making jewelry with the bead kit I gave her for her birthday. Dad and Helene had a great time visiting with Sam too, from what I could tell! Helene was so great while we were there. She just did a lot of things like doing our laundry and washing Sam's dirty bottles- it just made the difference between it being just a visit and being an actual vacation for me!

When we got home, I was sleeping in a new house! Justin and his friend Tim moved a lot of our stuff while I was gone with Sam. It was actually really disorienting to come home and be living in a different place. Most of our stuff is still in boxes, and I can't really fully unpack and make everything how I want it until we get new furniture and shelves and stuff. We're planning on taking a trip to Ikea this week, and then maybe I'll be able to post some pictures on here of our new place! It feels really good to have more room, and we are really glad to have our own bedroom again.

Sam is doing great. He eats rice cereal before bed every night now. It's amazing how much he seems to change every day. Since we started giving him the cereal two weeks ago, he's actually learned how to eat. It's so amazing that in such a short time he could go from 'what are you doing? I have something in my mouth... I better spit all of it out" to sitting on our lap opening his mouth and wanting the food and enjoying it. It's really just so much fun to watch him grow. He's also rolling from his back to his stomach with ease now. In fact, it's kind of hard to keep him from doing it, and almost every time we lay him down he flips right over. Even though he's only almost five months old, we can see how much he wants to crawl. When he is on his stomach, sometimes he starts working really hard and you can tell he really just wants to take off across the floor. There is just so much to look forward to. Right now I can't wait until he can sit up on his own!

Yesterday we got to meet up with Amy, who used to be in my book club, at the Portland Zoo and see her daughter Saige. She's 17 months now, and I think last time I saw her she may have been less than 6 months old. She's very cute! We had a great time at the zoo - I had not been to this zoo before and it's very nice. Plus since we joined Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, this is one of the linked zoos around the U.S. that we can also get into for free. Today we went to the Portland Pirate Festival with Brooke and Dave. Justin stayed at the hotel to sleep because he was up all night last night working. I was disappointed that he didn't get to go with us, but they have a deadline coming up for his work on Tuesday so they're all trying to get things done.

Well, that's most of what's going on here! Sam was taking a nap, but now he's awake and crying, so I better go and get him. I'll be back as soon as I can - we are not getting internet at the new house until October 4, but hopefully I'll be able to post before then and share some pictures from our trips!
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September 14, 2006

Success!

We made it to New Jersey! I am writing this entry in my Dad's dining room. We had a direct flight yesterday. Dad's plan of reserving a window seat and an aisle seat worked perfectly - we had a whole row with an empty seat between Kira and I for Sam to be in. He was so good on the plane! He didn't cry at all. He had a bottle and fell asleep before we even took off. He took a couple of naps during the flight, and laid on the seat and played and chewed on things for the rest of the time. On the drive home, he had another nap. Everything went really well. We didn't get to bed until pretty late because of the time difference. Sam initially fell asleep between 12 and 1, but he was sort of fussy in his little bed. He fell asleep and didn't want to eat his rice cereal before bed, and woke up crying at about 3 or 3:30. I gave him another bottle then he just slept in the bed with me for the rest of the night. We ended up getting up around 11, so I still got a good 8 hours of sleep with a few wake-ups. He doesn't sleep as well in his travel bed because it's a lot smaller than his crib, so I'll still try it, but I think he might end up in the bed with me for the rest of the trip. It's okay because the bed is definitely big enough for both of us. He's down for a nap right now, and I thought I'd post a little update. Lianna and Kira are making jewelry right now with the bead kit that I bought for Lianna's birthday. I'm glad she likes it. Tonight Kira and I are going in to Philadelphia and going to a play with Emmy, then either tomorrow or Saturday we're heading to Ocean City for a few days. It's rainy and gloomy out today, so hopefully the weather will improve while we're here - especially for the time we're at the beach! I can't wait to see everyone this weekend. I will post again soon!
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September 11, 2006

Still Well

Once again, it has been WAY too long since I updated, and I apologize for that. August and September have turned out to be busy months for us, and I let things slide a little in the online world. I will try really hard to update much more often! I have also added a bunch of pictures to the photo album, so check it out!

So much has been going on in our world! We have had fun - I've gone to my girls night out dinner, we visited the Evergreen State Fair, attended Esme's baby shower, had a great time at my friend Kelly's birthday party, went to both the Point Defiance Zoo and the Woodland Park Zoo, attended my friend Melinda's wedding, and more. Here is a recap of some of the bigger exciting events that have happened....

Justin in China

Justin stayed in China until August 7, which ended up being about 2.5 weeks. Sam and I missed him a lot! I did okay until I hit the two week mark, then started to feel somewhat overwhelmed with taking care of Sam by myself 24/7. I was very happy for Justin to be home.

Book Club Trip to Chelan

After Justin got back from China, I took a four day trip to a rented house near Lake Chelan with some of the other Moms from my book club. I left Sam with Justin because he went to Levenworth with some of his family during that time, and I knew they would want to see Sam. It was my first time being away from Sam for any length of time. It wasn't quite as restful as I thought it would be. I spent a lot of time with Seamus and Lorelai, so I was still helping out with kiddies while I was there. It was really great to bond with them even more though. They are such great kids! I didn't miss Sam too much until the last day, and I was ready to go home and be with him.

We're Moving!!

When Sam started showing signs that he was going to be rolling over, I suddenly realized how hard it would be to give him room to play in our Condo. Not only that, but I began to look around and realized I have no idea how it would even be possible to babyproof this place with the amount of stuff that we have in here. Justin's been working at home from a desk in the living room, which is less than ideal, and I think Sam is ready for his own room. So... we decided it's time to look for a new place to live. We started with thoughts of buying a house, but quickly realized that we weren't sure we were up for that. The first problem being that we definitely don't have the money for a down payment on the kind of house we'd be looking for. We are also not sure we're in a place where we want to deal with looking for, bidding on, losing, finding and doing all of the process to own a house. It is a big step to go from owning a small condo to owning a house with property. Eventually we decided that in many ways, it would be more feasible and a better idea for us to rent a house for a couple of years until we are really ready to take the plunge. We found a house last week in Bothell (about 15 minutes north of where we live now) and we have signed a lease! We rushed through things a little bit because I am going away with Sam this week and that will give Justin time without us in the way to move stuff. We are very excited, as we're gaining 1000 square feet, plus a yard! It has 3 bedrooms (one for us, one for Sam, and one we'll use as an office), plus a big family room in the basement where Sam and all of our friends little ones can run amok. We are so excited about moving, having more room for Sam, and I am very excited about finally being able to comfortably have people over to our house again! I am looking forward to hosting my book club sometime soon. I will post pictures of the new place as soon as we're settled. As for the condo, we are pretty sure that instead of selling it, we will rent it out. It would be nice to have the money from selling it right now, but we haven't gained that much equity yet, and I feel like if we don't keep it for a while we will kick ourselves in 10 years. It's a good investment, and we can easily rent it out for enough to cover the entire mortgage & homeowners association fees. So, anyone know someone looking for a one bedroom condo in Redmond?

Baby News from my Friends

My friend Esme had her baby last week! He is totally adorable, his name is Ty, and he's just precious. We got to go and visit her on Sunday, and she seems to be doing really well, as does the little guy. It's a funny connection, both Esme and I had our babies on their due dates, which less than 4% of people do. But what's funnier is that I had Sam on Esme's birthday, and Esme had her little boy on my sister Lianna's birthday, which also happens to be the birthday of her little boy's Aunt! Crazy, huh? It's so exciting, and I am looking forward to watching Ty, Sam, and Maggie together as they grow up. In other SUPER exciting news, my good friend Brie found out recently that she is having TWINS! A boy and a girl. They are due in January, and it has been so great watching her go through the process and everything. I can't wait to meet her little ones!

Maggie

My little sister Maggie is doing well. They found out a few weeks ago that Maggie has a partial cleft palate, which is why she hasn't been doing that well with bottles or breastfeeding since she got home from the hospital. They have special bottles for her now, and she'll have to have surgery when she is betwen 9-15 months old. It's a shame, but judging by how well she recovered from her first surgery, I think she will do just fine. She is gaining weight now and is totally adorable. She looks so much like Rob, I can't believe it! We visited them on Saturday night and had a delicious pasta dinner. Check out the photo album for pictures of Sam and Maggie together!

Sam, Sam, Sam!

Sam had his four month checkup last week. He now weighs 13 lb 6 oz! He is getting close to having doubled his birth weight, which babies usually do by 6 months old. He is also 25 1/4 inches long. Only 3/4 of an inch left until he officially outgrows his infant car seat! We haven't taken his next car seat out of the box yet, but it looks like it's time to start figuring out how to use it. Sam is right on track. He had to get four shots again at this appointment. I didn't do as well with it this time and almost found myself in tears. He stopped crying soon after though. He got a little fever and his legs were sore, but cuddles from me and Justin usually did wonders for him.

Sam is doing great. He knows how to roll over from his stomach to his back now, although he isn't always that interested in actually doing it. I have probably not given him quite as much tummy time as I should, but I am thinking about it more now. He is working on rolling the other way, but he can't quite do it yet. He's gotten very good and turning from his back onto his side though, and likes to lie that way.

Sam is now laughing! He laughed for the first time a couple of weeks ago. It's very funny, it doesn't really sound quite right yet, although it's improving. At first it almost sounded a little bit like coughing. So, our new goal in life is to make him laugh, which seems like a pretty happy goal! He is still a very happy baby and smiling constantly, which is wonderful.

We also started him on rice cereal last Friday on the advice of our pediatrician. She suggested feeding him some of it before bed to see if it would fill him up a little more and help him sleep without waking up to eat in the middle of the night. We decided to try feeding with a spoon and start getting him used to that rather than just mixing it in his bottle with formula. It's so funny! I never thought before about the fact that there's a time in life when you don't know how to eat, but there definitely is! The great thing is that he has SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT two of the three nights since we started!!!!! Yay! The one night he didn't, we were in Bellingham, so he wasn't in his normal crib and stuff. Friday he slept from 11:30 to 9:00 and last night he slept from about midnight until 9:30! It's so great to REALLY get a full nights sleep finally. So, hopefully this is the beginning of a wonderful trend!

We are starting to think about getting Sam on a little bit more of a schedule for eating and naps, but we don't really know where to begin. It would be nice if he took longer naps and fewer of them. The doctor also suggested that perhaps we might want to think about starting to teach him to fall asleep in his crib instead of just putting him in there after he's already asleep. So, those things are on the horizon. We haven't come up with a plan or anything yet, so if anyone has advice in these areas, we would totally welcome it!

I am still having a wonderful time staying home with Sam. We're currently getting prepared to leave on Wednesday for a week long trip to New Jersey with Kira. I can't wait for Sam to meet all of his family there! We're going to have a great time, but it will also be my first time travelling with Sam, so there's a lot to think about and look forward to. Speaking of which, I need to get the laundry out of the drier because I'm thinking I need to start packing to make the next couple of days a little less stressful. Thanks for reading my mondo update, and I promise to post sooner next time! Hopefully I'll get a chance to do at least one update while I'm on vacation.
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August 2, 2006

Still Here and Doing Well

Sorry it's been so long since I updated. This month has turned out to be pretty busy for me, especially since the 19th when Maggie was born. I've had family visiting, and then Justin left for China, so I haven't gotten much internet time at all since I'm taking care of Sam all the time. I've made it through a week and a half as a 'single parent', and it's not going too bad. I won't write about everything that's been going on every day, but here's an update!

First the stats - Sam had his 2 month doctor appointment on 7/6 and he was 11 lb 1 oz and 22.5 inches long. He had to get four shots two in each leg, and it was very sad, but he only cried for a minute. He was a little fussy and sleepy for the next couple days after that, but recovered nicely.

WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO

On the 14th, Justin and I went out to see the Gabe Dixon band at the Crocodile Cafe in Seattle, and left Sam home with a babysitter. We had a really good time, and it was great to get out together. Maybe when he gets back from his business trip we can schedule monthly or bi-monthly nights for us to go out without the baby. It was really nice to just spend a little time together, and I know that it's important to keep that up throughout Sam's childhood so that we can stay close to each other and not forget about nurturing our marriage as well as our family and relationship with Sam.

On the 19th, Maggie was born. She is still in the Children's Hospital in Seattle, but is doing great. She will be 2 weeks old this Thursday. They started her eating from a bottle on Monday the 24th, one mL at a time (1/30 of an ounce). She's now up to eating 36 ounces at a time, and they're increasing it by 3 mL once or twice a day. The goal is to get her up to eating 60 mL at a time before she goes home from the hospital. She is very cute.

Also on the 19th, Dad, Helene and Lianna arrived from New Jersey to visit and meet Sam for the first time. We spent lots of time together and went to the Tacoma Farmer's Market, Point Defiance Zoo, and a Powow in Seattle on Saturday. On Friday night Lianna came and hung out with Kira, Sam and me at our apartment and we went swimming - including Sam! It was his first time in the pool. I bought him a little floatie that was only $2.50 at Target (what a deal!) figuring that if it didn't work it wouldn't be a big waste of money. It ended up working out really well! He can't be in it by himself, but it did a good job of supporting him so I only had to support him a little bit while spinning and pushing him around in the pool. Since he's still getting baths in his infant bathtub in the hammock until he can sit up, he's not used to being actually immersed in the water. He had a good time and smiled and cooed. For a lot of the time he seemed amazed and was just concentrating on what he was feeling, but we'll definitely be going swimming together more during the summer. I can't wait to show Justin when he gets back. Check out the photo album for some pictures. On Saturday, Dad, Helene, Kira and Lianna took Sam to the hotel with them around 6 pm and I didn't see him again until noon the next day! That's right, Sam had his first night away from home without Mom or Dad. I went to a movie with Brooke then came home and had 8 consecutive hours of sleep. I did have a little moment of being unsure on my way home from the movie, but it was forgotten as soon as my head hit the pillow, and sam was happy and had a good night without me.

Last week, Justin's Aunt Anna and Cousin Nicole and her kids were visiting from Arizona so I spent a couple of days hanging out with them, Stormy, and Justin's cousin Gayle and her daughter Misty, who had her baby the same day I did! Her daughter is named Gabriella and is very cute. I also spent a lot of time with Kira that week and visited Rob, Susan and Maggie a couple of times.

HOW WE'VE BEEN DOING

We have actually been doing pretty well! Justin left for his 3 week trip to China on the 19th. Yes, 3 weeks, you heard me right. Originally it was supposed to be 10 days, but it got longer and shorter, and this is where it ended up. I was very apprehensive about the whole thing, but it's been a week and a half, and I'm doing okay. I've been spending a lot of time with family - Justin's family, Dad & Helene, and Mom. Mom is here from Bellingham right now and is going to be here hanging out with me until Saturday so I can get a little break and get some things done, and then on Sunday I'll be heading up to Bellingham for Esme's baby shower and to spend a couple of nights up there.

In addition to his first time swimming, Sam has also just gotten over being sick for the first time. I noticed that he was hot when I picked him up last friday, took his temp and it was 99.1. I gave him Tylenol and his fever went up and down, but he was stuffy and mucousy for the next few days. On Sunday he had a 101.2 fever and was fussy all day - crying and sleeping in 30 - 60 min increments. I called the doctor on call from the pediatrician's office and they told me that since he's 3 months old he's past the newborn stage so if he hits 104 degrees OR has a fever for 6 days, then I should bring him in, but just giving him the tylenol, keeping him hydrated and monitored was the best and right thing to do. He is doing much better today and has been on his current normal schedule and smiling and happy during his awake time today, so we made it through our first fever even without Daddy around to help! Go us!

Sam is also drooling like crazy and has started chewing. He likes to chew on my fingers. I felt and looked in his mouth and can definitely feel something on his gums like there might already be a tooth trying to come through. I bought teething tablets and baby oragel to have on hand if we need it. Unfortunately since he's so little, most of the teeting rings etc are a little too big for his mouth. Plus I have to hold them for him since he can't really do it himself.

Sam's favorite thing to do now is just to grab things, like his blanket, and play around with them. He puts his blankets and bibs over his face and in his mouth, and is happy to ride in his stroller for a long time while just playing with a blanket. He really likes riding in his stroller, so we've been to zoos and he and I have been doing a lot of window shopping just so we can get out of the house and he can see new things and ride around outside.

BABY POOP TALK ALERT! Sam is doing a lot better with the constipation. I have not had to give him a suppository for 10 days, and he has pooped a normal amount - every other day or every day for the last 10 days. He has done it by himself, and it's not so hard anymore, so I am very happy about that. I think that since he's three months old now, he's kind of normalizing and getting used to life in the non-womb world.

THE BIGGEST NEWS

As some of you may know, on Friday the 21st it was NINETY SEVEN DEGREES in Seattle. That is WAY too hot, especially when you live in a 3rd floor condo with no circulation like I do. It was sweltering - it didn't cool down at night enough to cool down the condo for several days after that so the heat stayed in. The advantage to it being so hot was that that night, Sam slept from 10:30 until 9 the next morning, just waking up twice to eat. Since then, Sam has been sleeping during the night every night! (Knock on wood!) He was sleeping from 10 or 10:30 until 8 or 9 the next day, but since he got sick he's been sleeping from about midnight until 11 AM, just waking up 2 times to eat. It's WONDERFUL! It is really such a blessing that this happened when Justin is gone, because it was definitely the thing I was most concerned about with him leaving for so long since I tend to get so tired when it's 4:30 in the morning and Sam's still going strong. It's great to hopefully be seeing the beginning of a regular schedule for him, and makes it so much easier to do things during the day with him. The next hurdle is getting him to sleep in his crib. I bought a white noise machine, and we'll start trying this out in the next few days - to see if I can get him to nap and sleep for at least part of the night in his crib. Wish me luck!

I think that's a pretty good update for now. I can't promise regular updates for the next week and a half since Justin could possibly be in China until Friday the 11th. Once he gets back I will be less busy and should be able to update more often! Thanks for reading!
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July 20, 2006

I Have a New Little Sister!

Sorry I haven't updated in a while, and this one isn't even about Sam! Margaret (Maggie) Parker Costello was born today at 4:37 pm weighing 5 lb 14 oz. She was about 10 days early. Susan (her mom) was induced this morning, and did great with the labor. Maggie has to have surgery tomorrow to repair it. The surgery takes 3 hours and has a 90 % success rate. Please keep Maggie in your thoughts, she is my sister and I'm already in love with her! She is so beautiful. It is definitely still funny to think that my sister and little boy will grow up playing together! Also, please keep Susan in your thoughts. She is all alone because Rob had to go with Maggie to the Children's Hospital ICU since she was transported there since that's where they'll do the surgery tomorrow. Susan and Maggie are both doing well so far, but I'm sure she is worrying tonight. Woo hoo! There are photos in the photo album, and I promise to update about Sam soon. Dad, Helene, and Lianna arrived tonight for their visit, so I'll be sure to update again by next week since so much excitement is happening!
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July 6, 2006

Update on Maggie

I just talked to Rob and everything is fine with Maggie! They kept them at the hospital last night and monitored her, and she is doing A-OK. We are back to the original plan of Susan being induced on the 19th, and Rob and Susan are down in Tacoma enjoying the Farmer's Market today. Yay!
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July 5, 2006

I Might Have a New Little Sister Soon

I've written some of this before, but the background is that my stepdad (was married to my mom for 17 years, they got divorced 2 yrs ago, so he's really a dad to me) and his new wife are expecting a baby. The baby has duodenal atresia, which means the stomach & intestines are not connected right so the baby has to have surgery within 12-24 hours of being born to repair it. The surgery has a very high success rate, but the baby will be in the hospital a minimum of 3 weeks (that's if everything went perfect), and maybe up to 2 months. They are having the baby in Seattle, which is about 1.5 hours from where they live in Bellingham, so they'll basically be moving to Seattle for a couple months and are not sure where they'll stay (maybe Ronald McDonald house or something). We offered our place, but it's a 1 bedroom condo and they didn't seem sure about staying here especially since we have a 2 month old baby. She is due around the 28th, but they scheduled her induction for July 19.

Rob just called me and Susan is on the way to Seattle in an ambulance right now. She went in for her twice weekly NST today and the baby's heartrate is fine, but she was not moving as much as they would like. So, she's on her way down. Rob is heading back to their house to get some stuff and drive down here. Susan is all alone in the ambulance, and they're meeting the doctor when they get down here to find out what's next. It's possible that this baby is going to come now. Please keep us in your thoughtsand wish us good luck - I may have another sister soon!
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Two Months and Going Strong

Once again it's been way too long since I updated. I have been spending most of my 'free time' in the last week reading "The Emperor of Scent", which is my July book club book. I just finished it, and it was interesting. I was worried after finding it in the biology section that it would be too hard or dry, but it was actually well written. Now I'm about to fully immerse myself in the new Laurell K Hamilton book. Yay! On a personal note, I am currently very happy because I have contacts again! I stopped wearing my contacts when I was only a couple of months pregnant because they were uncomfortable and I couldn't deal with the maintenance because I was so tired. I now have soft lenses and I can't believe the difference comfort wise. It's great! I ordered my first 3 months supply and have also sent my glasses off to get new lenses.

We had a great weekend in Bellingham last weekend. On Saturday we went to Katie and Marshall's wedding! Sam was awake for a crazy amount of time - I think almost 5 hours, then slept during the party that night. They got married in Katie's parents backyard, and it was a beautiful day, and the gardens were a great setting. The wedding was pretty short, then we all hung out and ate and visited, and Katie's brother and his band, 'Feed and Seed', played. They are a really good bluegrass band and her brother plays the banjo and sings. We left for a bit and visited Justin's dad, then went back for the party and bonfire. They had 2 kegs from Boundary Bay, and it was crazy! How crazy? Well, at this party began the longest chaing of keg stands that most of us had ever seen. And who started this madness? Yes, the mother-of-the-bride. Not only did she start the whole thing, but she did FOUR keg stands. The father-of-the-bride and father-of-the-groom also participated, as well as other family members and friends. It was pretty hilarious. Sam did not have to witness any of this debauchery as he was asleep in his sling the whole time.

Speaking of the sling, it's actually "The Ultimate Baby Wrap" and I would recommend it to anyone reading this with a baby or expecting one. It is basically a REALLY long piece of t-shirt fabric with a pouch and rings to secure it. It is soft and holds the baby so comfortably. Sam loves it, and when he gets bigger he'll be able to ride facing outwards. Check it out. It would have been great to have it when he was a newborn just to wear around the house to be able to hold him while doing other things. Rob gave it to me, and it's awesome.

Sunday we had brunch at the Bagelry with Rob and Susan. Susan is still looking big, and we are very excited because they have scheduled her induction date! She's going to be at the University Hospital on the night of the 18th and will be getting induced on the 19th. It's going to be a busy week for me - Dad, Helene and Lianna also arrive for their visit on the 19th! The baby is doing fine, and will have surgery to repair the intestines 12-24 hours after she's born. The surgery has a very high success rate, so we are all really optimistic. The bummer is that they found out last week that Maggie will have to be in the hospital for longer than they were first told. She'll be in the NICU at first, and will have to be in the hospital for a minimum of 3 weeks if everything is perfect, but it could be between 1 and 2 months. Rob and Susan will basically have to move to the Seattle area for a while. It has been a strange journey for me with Rob & Susan getting pregnant and then getting married, but now I am really excited to meet Maggie and spent time with Rob's new family.

Sam is doing great. He smiles all the time now, and it's the best thing ever. Of course, I know there are many more 'best things' to come in the next... well, the rest of my life! After trying Playtex Drop-Ins bottles because Sam was spitting up a lot, we've switched to the Dr. Brown's bottles, which seem to be working great. He's spitting up much less, and the way the bottles work, he is able to eat at a good speed and doesn't get any air in what he's eating. He's also a lot more interested in his Play Gym now. He bats at the toys and smiles and last night he actually grabbed the ladybug toy! I just looked over and he was holding on to it. It was pretty funny because he sort of had this look on his face like he was a little freaked out that he'd actually done it and had no idea what to do now that he was holding on to it!

I'm a little nervous because Justin is going to be leaving for Hong Kong/South Korea in a few days for a week and a half. It's a long time to be on my own with Sam, and I'm just nervous about the nights when he's fussy and being really tired and up with him in the middle of the night with no help. Maybe when Mom gets back from her vacation I can talk to her about staying here with me for a few days. I told Justin he better bring me back a good present from China.

We have Sam's 2 month doctor visit tomorrow so we'll be able to find out how much he's grown, and I can't wait! Two weeks ago, we also went to Phil's birthday Luau. Check out the photo album for a picture of Sam in his Luau gear. I think htat's all for now - I'm going to go get something to eat while Sam is still napping!
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June 26, 2006

All Smiles

Man, it is hotter than heck. It's supposed to be 89 degrees and sunny today and our condo is turning into the sweltering hot-box that it becomes in the summer. There are certainly advantages to a 3rd floor condo - we didn't have to use our heat last winter - but during the summer it gets pretty warm, even with the fan going.

Sam slept a lot yesterday and I think it was partly because it was so warm. Eventually we peeled ourselves off the sofa and went out to dinner at Ruby's - it was nice to be in the air conditioning. Sam actually slept during the night last night. He went to sleep before midnight and slept (only waking up to eat) until 7. He was awake from 7-9 then went back to sleep again for a while. It was really good, if he could be on this kind of schedule every day that would be nice. Maybe someday...

He is smiling all the time now. I just love it when he smiles at me. I could sit there and look at him all day long. Yesterday he had a little milestone - he smiled at being tickled for the first time! A lot of the time he's still not sure about it, but every once in a while, he does like it. Well, we're off to Tacoma to visit Kira for a little bit. More soon!
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June 24, 2006

First Bath with No Tears

Well, Sam is 7.5 weeks old and usually cries like a maniac when we give him a bath. The last few times he's been okay when we put him in the baby tub and he's just laying on the hammock thing in the water, but as soon as we pull out the washcloth and start washing him, he starts to cry and turns beet red. This time we put him in the bath, and no crying at all! We kept waiting for it to come but he just had his big blue eyes open and kicked his feet like usual and didn't cry even when we took him out into the cold air to put him in his towel! Woo hoo! It was great. Now he's dressed and his hair's cute and fluffy and he's lying on his Baby Einstein play gym and swinging his hand at the little plastic card with a pig on it.
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June 21, 2006

Welcome to Seattle - Aunt Becky is Here!

We are very excited today to have guests here at our house! Aunt Becky arrived from Atlanta this afternoon, and she and Mom are staying here until Thursday, we're going to head down to Tacoma on Thursday to enjoy the Tacoma Farmers Market. Sam is getting tons of love and cuddles. Sam is doing really great. He's "talking" a lot more - he coos more and just makes little noises. He's still eating tons, and growing quickly out of his newborn sized clothes. He's discovered his tongue and loves just sticking it in and out of his mouth, which is quite adorable. We are still just loving spending time with him, and really looking forward to the new things that come every day with him!Here's what's been going on the last few days...

Last Friday I took Sam up to Mt. Vernon to Mom's school to let her show Sam off to some of her students and co-workers. It was their last day of school and they were having a barbeque. Luckily the weather even stayed nice enough to be outside, and there were LOTS of really yummy desserts.

Saturday we made it to the Fremont Fair, and I even managed to catch part of the parade. Traffic was a little bit of a nightmare on the way there because 520 was closed AND there was a Mariners game! It took me more than twice as long as normal to get to Fremont, and by the time I got there the parade was about to start so the traffic was all crazy. I missed the beginning of the parade so didn't see too many naked people! Ha. I did get to see a good part of it, and then Mom, Keith, Kira, Sam and I got some food (mmm... Funnel Cake!) and looked at some of the booths. I also got a pretty good workout pushing Sam's stroller back up the hill to where I'd parked the car. We headed up to Bellingham to spend the night and had a father's day dinner with Justin's dad and his neice Crystal.

We stayed the night Saturday at Rob and Susan's, which was really nice. We got up and made a big breakfast and enjoyed bacon, eggs and really yummy blueberry pancakes. It was a really nice way to spend Justin's first fathers day. I'm really excited - it's probably less than a month before they'll induce Susan and we'll get to meet Maggie! We spent most of the day there, then in the late afternoon went and hung out with Mom for a while. Check out the photo album to see what she got Justin for father's day. Adorable!

We came home Sunday night and on Monday I went to the eye doctor to get an exam and look into getting contacts again. I've been wearing my glasses for about 10 months now and I'm finally ready to get rid of them again. I'll be getting soft lenses this time. They had me try some on and I was really surprised at the difference! I could barely feel them and it was so quick and easy to get used to them - not at all like the hard lenses I used to wear. I also found out my prescription for my left eye is a lot different - because I discontinued the hard lenses, my eye went back to it's natural shape, and I was really surprised by how much correction I needed even with my glasses on! So, I think that I'll be really happy when I get the contacts.

Oh, on a final note - we finally got our dishwasher here and installed yesterday. It's wonderful and a lot quieter than our old one. Yay!
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June 15, 2006

Yes, We Are Still Here!

Sorry it's been so long between updates again. I haven't had much time to be online in the last week. My e-mails are way behind too. Of course, with Justin's trip last week I didn't get time then, and it seems like I've been busier. I think things are picking up for a couple of weeks - with the trip last week and plans most days this week, and Aunt Becky coming to visit next week I feel like I don't have much "free time" for a while. Hopefully the first couple of weeks in July will be calmer so that I can get some down time before Dad, Helene, and Lianna come to visit.

Sam is still doing great. He's been on soy formula for a little over a week now, and it's working out really well. He's not constipated anymore, so he hasn't been very fussy at all. It also seems to make him spit up a little less - of course he still does, but it is not every time he eats, and yesterday he didn't spit up all day long! It's a little bit more expensive since we can't get it at Costco, but of course it's worth it for him to feel better! He's asleep in his swing right now after being up for 3 hours in the middle of the night last night and then again this morning for a couple of hours. Last night he slept for six hours straight, which is somewhat insane. I'm looking forward to the day when that's the norm. But, I really feel like we haven't had it too bad with his sleeping habits. There are better nights and worse nights, but for the most part we usually get in at least a couple of stretches of 3.5 to 5 hours in the night sometime. He's such a good little baby.

Justin left for Phoenix last Wednesday morning and came back on Saturday night. Wednesday I did get out of the house with Sam - we went to Tara's for lunch with Brooke, Kelly and all the kids. Then I went shopping for a little bit and found the cutest little Hawaiian shirt for Sam to wear to Phil's Luau next weekend. I'm really excited to see it on him! Sam slept really well that night, which was great since I was so nervous about being on my own for four days. On Thursday we just hung around the house and cuddled and 'played' together. At this point, playing with Sam basically consists of holding him when he's awake, talking to him, listening to him coo, and maybe shaking a rattle sometimes. It's still lots of fun for me though! Friday we went and saw "Cars" at the mommy movies with Brooke, Dave, Lorelai & Seamus. It was pretty good. Afterwards we all met up with Tara and had lunch at Ruby's in Redmond.

Friday night, Brooke and I had planned to go to the Hall & Oates concert at the Paramount. With Justin out of town, it posed a problem for me since I had to find someone to stay with Sam while I went out. I called my Mom and Kira, but they both weren't really available. Luckily for me, Renee, who I used to work with at Raising More Money, had offered to babysit for us anytime. She is super sweet and also has tons of experience and used to be a nanny. So I e-mailed her, and luckily she was available! I guess this is a milestone - at 5 weeks, Sam had his first babysitter. I didn't feel nervous or have much anxiety about leaving him behind. Maybe because I pretty much spend 24/7 with him, but also because I totally trust Renee, so I wasn't at all worried about leaving him with her. So, Brooke came over at 7:25 to pick me up. The concert started at 8:00 and we figured that would be enough time to get there. Well, we didn't account for there being some kind of horrible, bizarre traffic problem on 520, so we didn't get to Seattle until 9:00. ARGH! Since we didn't have tickets yet, and we would have been 1:15 late by the time we got inside, we decided to ditch the concert. So we decided to drive back to Bellevue and have dinner at Maggiano's Little Italy in Lincoln Square. It was actually very good - we tried the artichoke spinach dip, Ravioli with Pesto Alfredo, and this really yummy apple dessert. We had a good time despite our plans being totally changed, and I decided that I want to go out for fun meals with friends more often and decided to start taking the initiative to arrange 'girls night' meals out with some of my friends from around here every once in a while!

On Saturday Mom came over and Kira came over, we hung out and then took Sam to Kirkland and went for a walk in the sunny weather and then ate at Jalisco's Mexican Restaurant. We had a good time - I always do when I get to spend time with them. Mom and Keith spent the night and I went and picked up Justin from the airport that evening. On Sunday, Mom went to visit Kira in Tacoma, and Justin and I slept in (thanks to Sam sleeping well), and then we headed out to Best Buy to deal with the dishwasher fiasco (more on that in a minute). Sunday night Keith made DELICIOUS spaghetti sauce with italian sausage (love it), then we watched Full Metal Jacket. To be more accurate, Sam, Mom and I watched Full Metal Jacket in the living room while Keith and Justin cooked. Okay, so they were making beef jerky in the kitchen, but it was still a funny thing for them to be in there while my mom and I watched a war movie in the next room. Justin got a food dehydrator for his birthday, and beef jerky has sort of become his new hobby. It's fun and delicious.

Tuesday I had my 6 week postpartum doctor visit, which went well, then I went and got my hair cut. When I got home, Justin and I took my car to the car wash to clean and vaccum it. It was desperately in need of cleaning since I haven't been driving it much lately and somehow it was very dirty from sitting inside the car port here at the apartments. I would think that would keep it from getting dirty, but if I thought that then I'd be wrong. Tara stopped by that morning to lend us an extra car seat base, so now I have one in my car too so I can drive my own car when I go out with Sam. She had Nate with her, and he seemed fascinated by the cats. He's really a cutie and so smiley every time I see him!

Yesterday Sam and I went down to Olympia so that he could meet Brie and I could visit with her. She's been on bed rest recently because of a blood clot in her leg, and Kyle is working during the days now so it worked out well and hopefully made her day less boring! She is doing all right - she is not working right now but is looking for another job. She's about 10 weeks along in her pregnancy now, and she has much worse morning sickness than I did. She has anti-nausea medication from her doctor, but still seems to be getting sick several times most days. Yuck. That is no fun. I am keeping my fingers crossed for her that it will let up once she hits the second trimester. I am looking forward to what's to come - her baby shower etc! It's really kind of fun to watch one of my good friends go through the whole process now that I've been through it myself. On our way back we stopped at Babies R Us and got some more of the pacifiers that Sam likes since we only had 2, and some MORE burp cloths and a couple of other things.

I think today is going to be another lazy day - we don't have plans to do anything. Which means I have time to write about the great dishwasher fiasco that's going on right now. The bottom line is that we have been WITHOUT A DISHWASHER for a week now. Well, that's not completely true, we have a dishwasher, but it's not hooked up. I'm really glad that I went and bought those extra bottles when I did, because I've been washing them by hand and Sam goes through them pretty fast! So, you may be wondering what happened to make our dishwasher not be hooked up? Well, it's a long story, so buckle down...

Friday, 6/2:
Went to Best Buy and bought a new dishwasher. We scheduled to have it delivered and installed the following Wednesday. It was a little bit of a bummer we had to wait, but we were really excited about getting it to our house and having a new one since our old one has been a little bit on it's last legs and has been making funny scary noises every time we ran it lately. Now that we're using it to wash and sterilize the bottles, we've been running it a lot more often. They told us that someone would call us on Tuesday to set up the exact time for the delivery.

Tuesday 6/6:
By 6:00 no one had called us to schedule anything, so Justin calls Best Buy to find out why and what is happening. He is subsequently put on hold for an hour, and finally hangs up and calls back. At some point after 7:30 we talk to the installer and switch the delivery to Thursday instead of Wednesday. We are told that someone will call us the next day to schedule the exact time.

Wednesday 6/7:
At 7:00 no one has called us to schedule anything. I call Justin, who is now in Phoenix, and he tells me to wait a few minutes. At 7:30, they finally call him to schedule it and they tell him that they will be here to install the dishwasher between 2 and 4 PM on Thursday afternoon.

Thursday 6/8:
At 10:00 AM the front gate calls my phone. I let the person in because I figure it's the diaper guy since that's his usually delivery time. About 10 seconds later Justin calls me and tells me that the dishwasher people just called him and they are ON THEIR WAY. As in, they were on the highway when they called him. I quickly get off the phone. I still have a load of clean dishes to be unloaded from the old dishwasher, and have not cleaned out under the kitchen sink so they can access things, since I THOUGHT I had until 2 PM to do it. I jump out of bed and the phone rings again. It's the front gate. I actually talk to the person this time, and it's the diaper guy. I quickly plunk Sam down in his swing, manage to unload the dishwasher and partly clean out under the sink, then there's a knock on the door. I open it, and the 2 installers and the diaper guy are all out there. I put the diapers aside and let the dishwasher guys in. I apologize for not being ready, and explain that we were told they'd be here later in the afternoon, to which they act oblivious and don't really respond. They take out the old dishwasher and take it away down to their truck. They take the new one in the kitchen and start to install it. Then they open the door and notice that it's BENT. That's right, it is damaged. It came out of the box that way. So, we call Best Buy. They said they'll just have to get another one from the warehouse and have the installers come and put that one in. They say that it won't be able to happen today, but possibly Friday or Saturday or Monday at the latest. I am frustrated, but it's not TOO big a deal at this point. They leave the new dishwasher at my house, and I'm left with no dishwasher. They tell me they'll call me about the next delivery. Later that day someone contacts Justin and says there is another one at the warehouse and they're going to hold it.

Friday 6/9:
Someone contacts us again and tells us that the one at the warehouse is no longer available and that we will not be able to get a new dishwasher until the NEXT Friday. We are unhappy. The installer calls Justin and tells him that they are going to bring our old dishwasher back and hook it up so that we will have a working dishwasher until the new one can be installed. They tell him this will probably be on Saturday and that they will call us. We never hear from them again.

Sunday 6/11:
Justin and I head over to the Best Buy in Bellevue and visit Customer Service. We explain the situation. No working dishwasher, lots of being told people will call us and not calling us, our old dishwasher taken away, having to wait forever. We go back to appliances and it turns out that they have one of the model we bought in their backstock in the store. We go back to customer service and decide they will exchange the one we bought for the one in the store and the installers can bring it. They tell us we won't be able to have it delivered until Wednesday. Then their computers are down. They tell us they can't do the exchange until Monday when they're back up, which will push the delivery back until at least Thursday. We ask to have the delivery fee we paid ($50) refunded since the delivery hasn't actually been completed. The guy says there is nothing he can do. We ask to speak to a manager. A manager comes. We explain the situation again. Finally it hits him that the installers TOOK our original dishwasher, leaving the damaged one at our house for some reason. He suddenly realizes that this is messed up and actually tells us that they should not have done that, they should have left ours and took the new one back. They refund us the $50 for the delivery. They tell us that they'll process the exchange on Monday and call us about the delivery. This is a much abridged version of what happened. We were in the store for over an hour.

Monday 6/12:
No one calls us.

Tuesday 6/13:
I call the store. I talk to someone there named Josh in appliances. He tells me that they processed the exchange and the delivery and installation is scheduled for Friday. I tell him that this doesn't work for us unless they can do it early in the morning because we're not going to be around. He says that they call the night before and we won't know until Thursday. I ask if he can please see if they can do it on Thursday since it's been over a week and I just want to get it taken care of. He says he will call the installers and see what he can do and call me back.

Wednesday 6/14:
At 5 PM I still have not heard anything. I call Best Buy again. The girl at the customer service desk knows my name without me telling her. It's like all I have to do is mention the word dishwasher and they know. I talk to a manager. He finds Josh. He has not been able to reach the installers, but it's pretty obvious to me they will not be coming at Thursday. Josh calls Justin a couple of hours later, and still has not been able to reach the installers.

Today 6/15:
As of right now, we have not talked to anyone else. Supposedly the installers will call tonight to set up a time for tomorrow. Unfortunately, this doesn't really work for us unless they can come in the morning between 8 and 10. Since they have not been flexible up to now, I doubt that. I am thinking it's going to get pushed back to next Monday, which is really annoying.

I have to say that this is not one of the more impressive customer service experiences that I've ever had. There is not much that is more annoying to me than people saying they're going to do things then not doing them. Like telling us they'll call us, then not doing it, which has happened multiple times. It's also ridiculous and annoying the amount of effort it takes for the people in the store to communicate with the installers. It shouldn't be that hard to get in touch with them. Beyond any of that, I don't feel like I should have to be the one to keep calling them. They should keep me updated on what's going on, even if they don't have the information that I want. The whole things is pretty irritating, and it makes me think twice about buying any more appliances from them in the future. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens next to find out how this is going to resolve...

Okay, since this is now officially about the length of a novel, I'm going to go now. Sam is hungry anyway, so I better go and feed him! I will update again soon.
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June 6, 2006

Monster Baby!

We went to the pediatrician today for Sam's one month checkup. He weighs 9 lb 6 oz! That's right, he has gained about three pounds since his last appointment four weeks ago. That's 50% of his body weight! I guess I should have known with the monster amount he's been eating, but I just didn't realize. He's now 21.5 inches long (gained .5 inch) and his head is 14.5 inches in circumfrence. He is in the 50th percentile for weight now, but his head actually is still lower than the 50th percentile. Everything else is good, he is healthy and happy. He had to have his 2nd Hep B shot today. He cried like a maniac for about 2 seconds during the shot, then pouted, then he was fine. Speaking of the pout, I got a pretty good picture of it which I'll post in the photo album just after I finish this entry. It's very cute.

On the way home from the pediatrician, we stopped at the chiropractor for Justin to get adjusted, and we set up Sam as a new patient. Yes, that's right, our 5 week old baby got a chiropractic adjustment today. A year ago, I would have thought this was an insane thing to do. But then one day I was waiting for Justin in the waiting room there and picked up "Chicken Soup for the Chiropractor's Soul". Don't ask me why, the Chicken Soup books are ridiculously "heartwarming" and I am not usually interested. But there wasn't much else to read. There were all of these stories in there about babies and children being helped by Chiropractic when no other doctors could help or when they were having serious health issues that couldn't be figured out or treated. So I started to think about it. Sam has been constipated for much of the last 4 weeks. We've had to use suppositories to help him along several times because after going only 1.5 or 2 days without pooping he starts to get fussy. So I started to think that maybe the chiropractor could help him. We are also going to switch him after this container is gone to a soy based formula instead of a cows milk based one to see if that helps. Some babies can't tolerate cows milk very well until they are older - I believe my Mom said my sister was like that. In any case, I did a little more looking on the internet and decided to take the baby to Justin's chiropractor. It makes sense in many ways - babies spines grow so much during the first year, it makes sense to have someone track it just to make sure that everything is developing well. He adjusted him - if you are imagining the jumping around, squeezing and cracking that you may have experienced if you've been, don't worry, it wasn't like that! It was very gentle, he just felt all around his spine and neck and hips and then used the activator to do a gentle adjustment. He said he'd guess Sam will go to the bathroom on his own tonight or tomorrow morning. If he's right, I'll definitely be a believer!

If you haven't checked in in a while, I wrote a long entry yesterday about what we've been up to for the last week, and this entry may start up a new page - so if you're curious, make sure to go back to the previous page and read about our adventures as well as what Sam's been up to and what kinds of new tricks he's been doing.
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June 5, 2006

Can you believe it's beena whole month?

Sam is one month old already! Can you believe it? I hardly can either. He is definitely looking more like a pudgy cheeked baby now and not an infant anymore. He's still in newborn sized clothes, but they actually fit him now and I think soon he'll be fitting much better into some of his 0-3 month sized clothes. I haven't posted in a while, so here's an update on what's been going on for the past week, and with Sam!

On Monday, we headed up to Bellingham for a Memorial Day BBQ at Justin's Dad's place. It was fun to hang out with all of Justin's nieces and nephews, and Sam got to meet lots of family members he hadn't met before. We got an excersaucer from Scott & Michelle, which is great, and I'm sure Sam will be using it before we know it. After the BBQ we stopped and visited and let Sam meet Marshall & Katie, some friends of Justin's who are getting married in just under a month! Then we headed over to Mom & Keith's to hang out for the night and stayed overnight. It was Sam's first night away from home, and he did great. He is also still enjoying his infant seat and falls asleep almost every time we go anywhere in the car.

Tuesday we headed home fairly early in the morning so Justin could get some work done. That evening Kira came to visit us and get in some quality Aunt time with Sam. It was great to see her. She's been busy with the start of the season for the Tacoma Farmer's Market, which she manages, and we are really looking forward to going down with Sam when the weather is nicer (maybe this week!).

Wednesday I went and saw Mission Impossible 3 and took Sam with me. There were only 2 other people in the theater, so I was not worried. Sam did great and slept most of the time, although he woke up and cried a couple of times towards the end, but he was just hungry. I fed him and he went right back to sleep. After the movie I wasn't quite ready to come home, so I headed over to Borders since there was a new Jeffrey Deaver book I wanted. I ended up with a stack of books, and I got to visit with Andrea, who I used to work with at the Bellevue store when I worked at Borders. It was fun to show off Sam to one of my old co-workers, and got a few good books which she recommended to me. Andrea is the queen of SciFi/Romance/Mystery and always has great recommendations!

Since we've had Sam, we've had to run our dishwasher almost every day to keep all the bottles and dishes clean. It is pretty run down and has been falling out of the wall a little bit, now it's making scary noises when it starts up that make me wonder every time that we run it if it's going to be the last time. So, we went to Best Buy on Friday and bought a new dishwasher. It's going to be delivered on Wednesday, and we're looking forward to not worrying about that anymore. While we were there, we both drooled over the washers and dryers and refridgerators, but we decided that we should wait until we move to get a new fridge, and with the size of our apartment we can't fit a washer or dryer bigger than what we have now.

Saturday I got to have some much needed time by myself. I went out to the fabric store and to the movies with Brooke. We discovered a Landmark Theater by her house that has independant and 2nd run movies for only $3! We checked it out and it was nice. We went and saw Kinky Boots. It was really good, just like Kira said after she saw it, funny and heartwarming, and a really interesting story.

Sunday I took Sam to book club and he slept almost the entire time! It was crazy. We got to see Macaela again, she is very cute and her hair is the prettiest shade of auburn. She and her sister are going to be such a cute pair of girls. I'm looking forward to seeing more of them now that I am more used to having Sam around and feel like I'm able to get out to join the other moms for play dates and things that happen in the mornings.

Only 16 days until Aunt Becky is in town visiting - we are so excited to see her, and I'm very excited for her to meet Sam.

Sam is being very good right now about letting us get some rest. For the last week or so he's been sleeping usually from midnight or so until between 9 and noon, just waking up to eat and for diaper changes. He gets fussy every once in a while and wants to be held, but usually I can go back to sleep with him cuddled up on top of me. It's great to be able to actually get some sleep and Justin and I have been doing pretty well with trading off so we both get several hours in a row. Usually I go to bed around 12 or 1 and Justin takes care of Sam during the night, then I take over covering his feedings etc sometime in the morning around 7 or so and Justin gets some sleep. He's eating a lot, and definitely looking like a baby now instead of a newborn. He's got little pudgy cheeks, and his eyes are big and wide. We have a doctor appointment tomorrow, so we'll get to see how much weight he's gained.

Sam has also started to respond to his first toy. I noticed that a lot of the rattling toys we had you have to shake them pretty hard or quickly to get them to make noise, so when I tried to show them to Sam he couldn't really focus on them since I had to shake them so much to get his attention. We went to the store and got another rattle that has a plastic ball that spins so I can shake it or spin it to make noise, and Sam will actually look at it and stare and stop what he's doing. It's such a little thing, but so exciting. He's starting to smile more at random times, and I can't wait for the day he looks at me and smiles and I can tell he's actually smiling at me. He's also cooing more, which is so cute and exciting for us. I love just spending time with him when he's awake - he's so alert. Every day I'm glad that I decided to stay home with Sam instead of going back to work. At this point he's not even doing that much, and he's only awake for a quarter of the day most of the time, but I would hate to miss any of it!

Justin may be going out of town for the first time since Sam was born. People he work with want him to come to Phoneix for some training for two or three days, and it's possible he'll go as soon as this Wednesday. I feel both prepared and unprepared at the same time. I know that I can take care of Sam by myself, and I can get out of the house and get to Brooke and Dave's whenever I want to. Mostly I'm worried about just being so tired because I'll have to get up with Sam every single time he's up. It's amazing how eight hours of sleep is less restful when you have to get up three times for a half hour or whatever. It will be hard to spend that much time with the baby without any breaks, so I'm sure that I'll need a little bit of a break when Justin gets back. In any case, it'll certainly be an adventure, and we'll see how it goes.

Well, I think this has gotten long enough, and I'm going to go and snooze for a couple of minutes while Sam is napping right now. I will try to post more often, it seemed like this week was particularly busy for some reason, but I'm not sure why. I'll be back soon with more stories of Sam!
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May 29, 2006

Has it really been almost a month?

I'm sitting in my living room now watching/listening to Mom, Justin and Keith play Donkey Conga 2, and enjoying my first wine cooler in over a year. Mmm... Strawberry Daiquiri... Sam had a bath tonight and is now sleeping contentedly and being held by Keith.

We hung out at home for most of the week except for a trip for me to make some exchanges at Lane Bryant, and a trip to the grocery store. We have had a tiring last few days. On Thursday night Sam was awake from 9:30 pm until 4:00 am and then slept for only 1/2 an hour and was up for another hour or so. Last night he was better, but we still only got a couple of hours of sleep at a time, and Sam was fussy and woke up every time wanting to eat. He's been sleeping most of the day, so we'll probably be in for it in a couple of hours. Luckily Mom & Keith are staying here tonight, so hopefully Justin and I will at least be able to get 3 or 4 hours of sleep in a row at some point during the night.

On Friday morning Sam and I got up at 8:30 am and actually left the house before 9:30 (a first for us!) to go to the Mommy Movie at Kirkland Parkplace. Every other Friday you can go and see a 9:45 showing of any of the movies they're showing with your baby/child. Brooke and Dave were taking the kids to see 'Over the Hedge', and it looked cute so I decided to tag along. It was pretty funny, and popcorn makes a delicious breakfast. Sam slept through the entire movie, but there were babies crying and kids making noise the whole time, and I'm sure I'll be going back! It's so great that you can go see a movie with your kid and not worry about it if they're making noise, although at this point Sam doesn't yet make any peeps so we can still take him to any movie showing we want to. Afterwards we went out to brunch at the Brown Bag Cafe (mmm), and gave Justin some much needed rest while we were out of the house.

Saturday we went and saw X-Men 3 - Brooke and I went to the 2:20 showing, then Justin and Dave went to the 5:10 showing and then we all had dinner and watched 'Hoodwinked'. X-Men was quite good, and there were lots of good previews. I can't wait for the new Pirates of the Carribean movie that comes out next month!

Well, everything else is going fairly well! I am going to sign off for now and go catch some zzzs while everyone is still up, we have to go to Bellingham tomorrow for a barbeque at Justin's dad's and will be a lot more sociable if I get some sleep tonight! More to come soon!
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