Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rejuvenating Date Night

Over the past two months, Michael and I have been lucky enough to have a few date nights. If it were not for our wonderful parents who are willing to take Christian overnight, we would never get the opportunity.

Last month's date night consisted of us getting dressed up and going to a Hibachi style restaurant. The food was great (and according to Mike so were the drinks).

This past weekend we went to a deluxe Cinema in which you are treated like the stars (or at least that's how I felt). We were seated in the most comfortable theatre seats ever and served food and drinks. I must say the movie flew by and everything was great.

It is these rare date nights that I am thankful for. We are able to have somewhat of a night off from parenting and time to reconnect. We discuss things from all over the spectrum (wedding stuff, to future goals, to what we're having dinner tomorrow night).

Every couple should be allowed one date night a month. So if you're a grandparent - offer to babysit, and if you're a parent - don't be afraid to ask! We all need alone time every now and then, and once a month is definitely a start!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Troublesome Two

Every Thursday afternoon, I babysit my niece Gabriella (age 2). It's great to spend time with her and for Christian to be able to interact with his best friend and cousin. Their eyes light up when they see each other.

Gabriella often greets Christian as if she is so much older, putting on a sweet voice, patting him on the head, and saying, "Hi CJ!" It really is so precious.. that is until the fun really begins.

They are now both at the age of sharing (or lack thereof). Constantly tugging on the same toy, until one falls or the other cries. Feeding off each other's every move. They learn so much from one another (like how to push Christian's table-top toy over to the bookcase, only to climb on top & pull books down - giving me a heart attack).

Last week they were playing, while I was washing dishes and suddenly I hear my niece yelling, "Aunty, Aunty, hurry, hurry!" I rush over and low and behold, Christian has an egg on his forehead. They were playing, he tripped on a book and smashed his head on... well I have still yet to figure out what he hit his head on, but luckily, a week later, the bump is gone and all is well.

So you may ask, what do I do to calm them down from all the excitement? Cheerios and books. The three of us sit on the couch, they snack on cheerios and I read to them, until they are ready for nap time - a very relieving time of day when the two of them are together.

Enjoy the photos!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Battle of the Binky: Take Two

We had it all mapped out. When Christian turned 10 months old we did away with the bottle. At 11 months we began the slow transition to milk. And at a year old we ditched the binky.

Take One: The week after Christian’s first birthday we decided that it was time to say bye-bye to the binky. Since I am addicted to reading books on development and websites on parenting, we tried the “trick” of cutting holes in the binkies. The presence of the whole prevents the suction effect of the binky. As soon as we gave Christian his binky he took it out of his mouth and threw it. We knew that we would be faced with a few days of extra fuss, but it was well worth it in the end. Until..

Take Two: Over the past month we noticed that Christian would walk around with his sippy cup hanging from his mouth. At first I blamed it on teething, thinking he was just biting it for the sensation. We slowly noticed that it was becoming the new binky. Two nights ago, Michael went into Christian’s room to take the bedtime sippy of milk out of his crib, what he saw, was quite upsetting. Christian had the spout of the sippy cup in his mouth, using as his self-proclaimed pacifier. We immediately decided that it was time to transition to a different type of drinking cup.

When searching for a sippy-cup, we found that one with a soft-spout was best. It was the easiest transition for Christian from the bottle, but now this soft-silicone has become a problem. I spent twenty minutes in the store today, searching for a new sippy-cup, but could not decide on one. I know that this will be a process, of some sleepless nights and excessive fussiness until Christian realizes that he will not be getting his former sippy cup/binky source, but we have done it before and we WILL do it again.

So parents – do you have any suggestions for sippies that you approve of and your child likes?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Although Michael and I have been battling the stomach bug over the past week, Monday was amazing. It was by far our best Valentine's Day together because ... HE PROPOSED!

Michael took me to a small beach in Wickford. We walked through the snow to sit on a bench overlooking the water. It was beautiful and we definitely lucked out with the weather (it felt like Spring). He took a gift out of his jacket and began his "speech". His words were, "I've been wanting to give this to you for a while now..." and he got a bloody nose. It was so cute and funny. Ironically the first time we were ever on the beach together, Michael got a bloody nose and now when we're taking the next step, he got one again.

After that was squared away, he handed me the gift. He told me how he felt and I began to open it. It was a book and inside the cut pages was a ring box. My heart skipped a beat. I was so excited, yet didn't want to psych myself out. He took the ring out of the box and said, "will you marry me?" It was perfect.

I have not taken the ring off since, and absolutely refuse to! It was the sweetest, most perfect proposal. Since then we have already begun talking about wedding details. How large/small a wedding? By the water, in a church, all-in-one venue? And the big question: WHEN?! We're hoping for late May/early June of 2012.

We are now one step closer to our dream. We've created a beautiful family, a welcoming home, and now we can begin planning the wedding of our dreams; the official beginning of the rest of our lives together. Perfection.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cabin Fever

I'm sure everyone in the Northeast can say that they are SO.SICK.OF.WINTER. With the continual snow fall and below 40 degree temps, I've had enough. Christian, Michael, & I have been suffering from "cabin fever".

Now that Christian is active (constantly running and tearing the house apart, like a toddler tornado) we're finding it harder and harder to find things to do in the cold weather. I'm sure others can agree, having a toddler in the winter months is trying. The only time Christian leaves the house is to head to Grammy's, Papa's, or Nonnie & Poppie's. The poor kid cries everytime someone leaves because he wants to run out the door with them, but it's just too cold.

I've joined an online Mommy Meetup Group (courtesy of meetup.com), and they have weekly events whether it's at another person's home, or story time at the library. Unfortunately with the weather being as bad as it's been, I try to avoid driving Christian anywhere. Needless to say, we have not been attending these weekly meetups as often as I'd like.

So what's left to do? Give him a little extra time to play in the tub, chase him around the couch for the millionth time, read and let him "draw" (scribble, but he loves it & it's adorable!). When the roads aren't as bad, we head for the library (our local library has an entire floor dedicated for children with several play areas), or to do laundry at Grammy's and play with Uncle Tim.

So share you're ideas (Please, I'm begging!) to help each other get over these "Winter Blues" and cabin fever!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Project 365

Just an update on one of my resolutions.

Project 365 is off to a rocky start. This particular resolution is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I am always taking pictures, but to actually think outside the box, is not so easy. My daily pictures have mostly consisted of Christian, which is fine, but I think that should be another project all together. My plan is to take pictures that I ordinarily wouldn't. Drive an extra mile out of my way to discover new beauties.

Yesterday, I stopped at the bike path, which I pass on a daily basis, and decided to take a few shots. It felt so good. But I need to make time for these things. I had Christian with me, so I couldn't go far in this cold weather. Here are two of my favorites from this spur of the moment shoot.

My plan is to take a different route to work this week. Leave a little earlier and try to take some pictures. When you really stop to look, you'll see that where you live has a lot more to offer than you'd normally think. I find myself getting caught up in the daily spin of things, but it's refreshing to stop and take a second to snap a photo of something I never really noticed before. 

I'll try to post at least one shot a week on here.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

School Update

So since the Fall of 2010 was my first semester back to school since having Christian, I thought I'd give an update.

I took on a full-time course load, which at RWU is equivalent to 4 classes (or 12 credits). Time management played a huge factor, and although this semester went well, I know the Spring will be even tougher. I struggled in one class in particular (Research Methods), but even with this I earned a 3.5 GPA.

At the end of the semester I chose my classes for the Spring. I will be taking (1) Psych of Adolescence, (2) History of Modern Japan, (3) Intro to Clinical Psychology, (4) Positive Psychology, and (5) Practicum Experience in Psychology.

The fifth course is also my internship. I applied for and received and internship on campus in the PAL program (Peer Advisor Leadership Program). This will require my attending a 3 hour class once a week, along with completing 12 hours a week related to the internship. I'm excited, but also nervous.

I am taking on a tougher and larger course load than last semester. I will be at school nearly 27 hours a week between class and my internship, work 25 hours a week, plus homework time and of course my home life.

So for those of you ladies thinking about going back to school after having a child, you're right. It will be tough, but you CAN do it. It just takes a lot of dedication (and time management). Feel free to share your stories!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Time to Reconnect

The end of this statement is typically 'with old friends', but this time, I mean that it is time to reconnect with my partner, Michael.

Anyone who is a caretaker (of any kind) knows that it can often put a strain on your relationships. Although having Christian has brought a new found love and joy, it has also brought new stresses. I find that Michael and I used to be light hearted, spontaneous (more him than me - I am and always will be a control freak/planner), and well frankly, fun. Now our days are filled with caring for Christian, work, school, errands, and whatever else needs to be done (which there is always something). 

I have come to realization that we need to make time for each other. Yes, we still rent movies & cuddle on the couch, but what about date nights? I'm talking the real deal. Not dinner and a movie as always. What about going to the rock gym or taking a two hour drive just to get dessert? 

Before Christian, we always took a yearly trip. Our first year together we went to NYC for Christmas, the following year we took two trips, one to NYC and the other to Orlando, FL for a weekend. Just before Christian came we spent a weekend in North Hampton, NH and another was spent going to Niagara Falls. We didn't take any trips in 2010. We can blame it on money, or fear of taking Christian to unfamiliar places, but it's time to stop making excuses, and just do it!

I know it isn't going to be easy, but it is necessary. Every relationship needs a little rekindling. We need to reconnect. Talk about our hopes, aspirations, pipe dreams. And so, I will make that extra effort to go somewhere, do something, anything, to spend time with Michael. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year Resolutions

Let me begin by saying that I apologize for my lack of posting! Things have been crazy this year, but I am finally getting the hang of motherhood, being a student, partner, and working.

With a new year comes a fresh start. Here are some of my new year resolutions (yes, that's plural):

1. Blog at least once a week - This will be tough with such a hectic schedule, but I feel that it is important for many reasons. Blogging will be my outlet. I feel that I can openly express myself here and reflect on my experiences. I want this blog to be a resource to other young mothers that they too can achieve whatever they wish. This should also serve as a journal, so that when my son is older, he can see just how hard his parents work and hopefully gain from my experiences.

2. Project 365 - Michael bought me a new camera for Christmas this year. I have been wanting one for quite some time, and now that I have one, I cannot resist the temptation. I have always loved photography. Project 365 will push me to take one photo a day for an entire year. I'm hoping that it will push me to really explore my passion of photography and help me grow as a person.

3. Reconnect - As a new mom, I feel the need to reach out more. I have a few friends that are having (or just recently had) children. I want to be there for them, just as others have been there for me. My goal is to set up "playdates". A time for the children to play and us mothers to reflect. Every parent needs an outlet. Whether we vent about our worries of our child not sleeping through the night, or kickin' the bottle, or simply chat about our aspirations, it's a necessity.

4. Get back to church - Michael and I used to attend church on a regular basis, but since having Christian, it's more of an occasional thing. There is no excuse. I used to say "it's tough with a baby", but hey, what isn't? If I can go to school, work, do homework, and find time to spend with Michael and Christian, we can most definitely make it to church once a week. I am hoping that beginning next Sunday, we can try out a new church and become a regular member.

With that being said, you can expect to hear from me more often. I hope that everyone had a happy and safe holiday season. Feel free to share your Resolutions. I am sure we can all use a little inspiration.