Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Other Baby Boy

Loving a teenager isn't always as easy as loving a baby. They don't accept your snuggles and kisses the way a baby does. Instead of sweet-smelling skin and soft hair, there's braces and whiskers and pants that hang down around their knees. They don't gaze at you lovingly, they roll their eyes to the ceiling and mutter under their breath judgments on your intelligence and social relevance. They have dirty pigsty rooms and lie and get Fs and leave their socks under the coffee table and forget to take out the trash. But sometimes, when you look at them, you remember the tiny little babies they used to be, and you can't believe it's possible to love someone this much, even someone who can be a huge pain in your butt sometimes. And you wouldn't trade them for the world. Stinky feet and all.

Happy 16th birthday to my first baby. Mom loves you, kid.


Monday, January 17, 2011

The Daily Snooze

So, clearly the daily posts are not happening. I think I got swept up in a frenzy of New Year's resolutionary and forgot that I spend all day inside the house, staring at my baby. Super cute, but not exactly fodder for genius. As proof, here are some posts I have considered and rejected.

Dump the Pump: God I Hate Breastpumping
Elliot Has a Rash
Hey Look, It's Snowing Again
I Have a Nice Camera and a Cute Baby, Enjoy These Photos (oops, done that one)
A Trip to Target
The Nannies I Can Afford All Scare Me
Visiting My Work Peeps
Visiting My Ex-Work Peeps
Visiting My Work Peeps From Two Jobs Ago
California Baby Lotions Smell Good
Elliot is Adorable
A Clogged Milk Duct Can Make You Wish For Death
Wow, Daytime TV Sucks

Also, it took me 2 days to write this post and it's not even that good. So there's that. Maybe once I start leaving the house I'll have something interesting to say. Here's hoping.

Meanwhile, I have a nice camera and a cute baby, so enjoy this photo.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Picture Perfect

For every picture of Elliot I get that looks like this:


...I get 30 that look like this:

What a goober.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What Lies Beneath

After living in this house for almost 5 months, it's become quite clear to me that we need to finish the basement, like, yesterday. Four people and one TV, in the main living area, is not working so well.

Olivia, while I love her dearly, has a fondness for annoying teenybopper TV shows like iCarly and enjoys watching the same movies over and over again. Sometimes in the same day. I cannot tell you how many times I have been subjected to Confessions of a Shopaholic. (WHO the heck cast that scrawny little dude as Luke Brandon?! Not even close, Hollywood.) (God I can't believe I've read all those terrible books.)

Josh enjoys watching sports, in the same way other people enjoy breathing in and out. Do you have any idea how long the baseball season is? Do you have any idea how many games a team plays in a season? I do. 162, and I'm pretty sure every single one was on our TV this year. Football season is now taking over, and while he quit NASCAR, he replaced it with HOCKEY. Kill me.

Dylan has been grounded from the Xbox for a few months, but odds are in his favor that he will be ungrounded at some point before he goes to college, and that means hours and hours of watching him slaughter zombies while having cryptic, one-sided conversations with his goober friends via headset.

Me, I love a good HGTV marathon. So sue me.

But, yeah, we need a family room.

This isn't to scale, but it's a good approximation of how I think we can turn our unfinished basement into an additional level of living space. The big section on the right is where the furnace lives, along with the hot water heater, workbench and a lot of low ductwork, so it makes sense to wall it off for storage. That will leave a nice area for a computer desk at the bottom of the stairs. Dylan's bedroom will be at the front, where there are windows on two walls. The family room will be in the middle, with built-in bookshelves along the back wall and a ventless fireplace hanging next to the sofa. Cozy. Josh had the brilliant idea to recess the TV into the wall (that's not sarcasm, it really is brilliant), so it bumps into the storage area and leaves the walkway clear. For, you know, walking. See - brilliant! The laundry room is through the door between the electrical and workbench. I didn't put it into this drawing, mostly because I forgot. We'll also add a bathroom. Hygiene is good.


The big problem with the basement is the janky floor. It's cracked + insanely not-level. We will probably have to have it jack hammered out and re-poured. And since our savings will be depleted by my four months of lying on the couch and eating bon-bons (HA!), we'll be relying on a big fat tax return to do the work. We missed the stupid tax credit by a month, so here's hoping that having a baby, buying a house and paying extra income tax every month (learned that lesson the hard way last year) adds up to a healthy return. Plus, if we can con Josh's dad into some free labor, it will make it even more likely. Maybe we can trade him for a hot tub.

Nifty floor plan created on www.gliffy.com.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Name Game

Turns out, changing Elliot's name was easy as pie. I went to the Vital Records office downtown, and a really nice lady tapped that second L right into the computer for me. She even held Elliot and cooed at him while I filled out the paper. The whole thing took 20 minutes and didn't cost a penny, aside from the $14 charge for the birth certificate. It's official, yay!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Elliot

We're doing it.

Get This

Here is what I've learned in the past 6 weeks: you do not need that much stuff for a newborn. Babies R Us and Target want you to think you do, so you will register for craploads of junk and people will buy it for you. But the truth is, tiny babies don't require all that much. This is a list of what I think you need, how much of it, and stuff I recommend. If you are related to me and thinking of having a baby in the next couple of years, you can have mine. This is in addition to all the Duh stuff, like a crib, carseat, rocker etc.

Nightgowns (4-6)
These open-bottom nighties make diaper changing in the dead of night a million times easier. Expect to go through a few every night if your baby is a puker.
Onesies (3)
Get these white cotton t-shirts with snaps in the crotch to go under two-piece outfits. If you have a summer baby, you'll probably want more of these, but maybe the cute kind, with puppies on them.
Outfits & Sleepers (4-6)
You'll only need a few little outfits in the 0-3 size for baby to wear outside of the house. Look for soft, comfy bodysuits with snap crotches. I do not understand why they even make newborn outfits with zippers. You have to pull their little legs out every time you have to change the diaper, and the zipper up by the face is annoying and stupid. Baby Gap and Target Dwell Baby have cutie patootie options.
• Socks (6 pairs)
Get socks that fold down, not fuzzy ankle socks. Those socks are cute but only stay on a baby's feet for 2.2 seconds. You will spend half your waking hours (that's a lot) looking for the other damn sock.
Sleep sack (1-3, optional)
These are like sleeping bags you wear. They are supposed to take the place of blankets in the crib, I guess. Some even have built-in wraps to swaddle the baby in. I bought one of these, it was $35 and a giant velcro-y pain in the ass. But it zipped from the top down, which is sort of brilliant. Why don't all baby outfits do that? We used sleep sacks for a few weeks but I didn't love them.
• Towels (4)
• Washcloths (6-8)
• Burp cloths (12)
Bibs (10) 
Load up on bibs and put one on your baby EVERY TIME HE EATS. Otherwise you will change his clothes a hundred times a day. If your baby hates being naked (like mine), or hates having things pulled over his head (mine), or refuses to extend his arms or legs so you can pull them through clothing (mine also) bibs will be your best friend.
• Diaper cream
I love Boudreaux's Butt Paste. Fun name, good stuff.
• Lotion
Get Burt's Baby Bee Buttermilk Lotion. Oh man, I love this stuff. It is the best thing you will ever smell and super good for delicate skin. Elliot had baby acne and chapped cheeks, and after just two days of using this, his skin cleared right up. Did I mention that it smells so good you might be tempted to drink it? Don't though.
• Shampoo
My sister swears by Mustela body wash and shampoo. It's good, but I wish it came in a pump dispenser. No cradle cap!
• Pacifiers (4-6)
MAM pacifiers are the only kind Elliot will allow between his lips. He doesn't care that Target only had pink ones with hearts and little girls on them. He's secure in his manhood.
• Diaper covers (4-6)
Josh's mom and sister got us 3 months of a diaper service as a shower gift, so we're doing the cloth diaper thing during the day. I tried just about every cover they make and Thirsties are the best. Bummis Super Whisper Wraps are good too. Proraps are trash.
• Blankets
6 flannel
3 thermal
2 fluffy or knit
Bedding
Buy your bedding as separates, not a set. There is no point in buying a crib bumper when you shouldn't use it anyway. 2-3 sheets and a crib skirt if you feel like it.
• Bottles 
If you're doing any bottle-feeding, vented bottles are the way to go. They keep air out of your baby's tummy, where it will make him cry like he is being eaten by demons. I love the Dr. Brown smaller plastic bottles. I also bought some basic plastic Gerber bottles to use with the breast pump.

Things I Love More Than I Thought I Would
Not So Much
  • Co-sleeper
  • Boppy
  • Moby
  • Outfits that say stupid things like "Mommy's Little Hero" on them