Thursday, June 30, 2011

Have I told you lately I'm a push-over?

Something has happened to my baby boy's cry. 
Suddenly it's unbearable to listen to.
I'm talking full on gut wrenching, blood curdling, ball to the walls deep yodeling "MAMAMAMADADADADADAMAMAMADADADADA!!!!!" complete with super soaker size tears streaming down his 11:30pm, 3:00am, 4:45am...
...and I just. can't. stand. it.

I really thought I could be a tough mom. I was a nanny for a good portion of my adult life...I know how to put my foot down and just let a kid cry it out (when necessary) and still remain calm. But I don't know how to handle this. I  truly feel like this could be manipulation. Because he started this particular scream a few nights ago and it awarded him a snuggle in bed with mama for the rest of the night (a rare prize in this family).  But I didn't know what else to I think he thinks this is the ticket to some late night company.

So I try to wait it out. It can't go on forever. He'd lose his voice if he screamed like that for longer than 10 minutes. The trouble is...I can't make it longer than 3. The sound is slowly eating away at my heart and I'm pretty sure his main food source (me) will die of heartbreak if I don't address this immediately.

No feeding required. The kid just wants to cuddle. Which is sweet...but at 3am...I'm not a push-over like that...I need my beauty rest. NO child, NO! I need to sleep. But then he puts his heavy head on my shoulder...and I melt. Okay...maybe for a few minutes. Geeze! What's become of me? Am I training my child to scream? Am I teaching him how to manipulate?

We both lost so much sleep last night that G and I slept in til noon today. Oy!
Will it happen again tonight? I don't know...

[Have you entered my current giveaway? Only 5 days left...]

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Save the World Giveaway!!!

The first of many exciting giveaways...

I'd like to welcome and thank our first sponsor: The Greener Route

As a new mom...I have been looking for ways to reduce my carbon footprint and be more responsible with the amount of waste I produce (heaven knows babies and their things create a lot more waste then one should for being so small).  Recently I had heard about people using reusable sandwich bags for snacks and things in the diaper bag...this was a completely new concept for me and I was bound and determined to learn more. That's when I came upon The Greener Route.  Danielle specializes in making great and stylish reusable food bags. Her bags are incredibly cute and so practical. Not only do they hold in freshness with their velcro enclosures but they're also incredibly easy to clean. I machine washed and dried mine and they came out looking good as new....and for less messy items (like nuts) you can just sort of shake out the crumbs and re-load. What I like best about this product is that after a few days of being in these food doesn't start to taste like a zip-lock bag. Previously I always kept nuts in my diaper bag for hunger panic moments on the go...but I always had to toss the nuts when they'd been left in the bag too long because they would end up with a plastic-chemical taste from the ziplock baggy...but with The Greener Route bags my almonds have stayed fresh and free of that plastic taste for more than 5 days! I highly recommend this product and hope that in using these bags I can not only help "save the world" but also save my taste buds along the way!

Want to Win a set of The Greener Route reusable bags (1 Snack + 1 Sandwich bag in fabric of your choosing)??
There are many ways to enter. YOU MUST COMMENT BELOW TO ENTER. Leave a comment below for each entry placed...and don't forget to leave me your email address with each entry so I can contact you if you are the lucky winner.

Mandatory Entries:
1. Visit and tell me which fabric pattern you'd choose if you were to win a set.
2. Follow Gunnar's Mother publicly with Google Friend Connect, see link on the left. (If you are already a follower let me know your GFC name)

Additional Entries:
3. "Like" The Greener Route on Facebook, be sure to say thanks for the GM giveaway on the Greener Route wall.
4. "Like" Gunnar's Mother on Facebook

Bonus Entry (Only the first person to answer will get this bonus entry):
 Scavenger hunt...visit and answer the following question:
5. Where did Danielle live before Pennsylvania?

I have the adorable "Modern Midwest Garden" even came shipped in  eco-friendly 50% recycled/100% recyclable about saving the world!
Giveaway entries end July 5th. All entries will be placed in a hat and drawn at random...the winner will be announced on July 6th! Good luck Everybody!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fun in the Chicago Sun

I woke up this morning to the smell of pancakes! Yum! Nicole and her kids were up and had breakfast ready and waiting! What service! And I didn't even have to leave my house. The kids had a great time playing together in the morning before we hit the ground running! 
What a day! First we stopped in the park off Michigan Ave and Chicago for a picnic in the park (made by the fabulous Nicole...seriously I haven't lifted a finger since she arrived.) Followed by a trip to the American Girl Store and little Miss Riley was able to talk her daddy into buying her a doll over the phone! Nice work! Lucky day! She got an adorable doll that looks like her and a matching outfit...lucky girl!  

So much has changed about these dolls since I was a kid. First of all Kirsten and Samantha have been "retired"...what? crazy! And of course when I was growing up there was never a store...everything was bought through the catalogs. The dolls came in beautiful white boxes, the books were also everything is red and the packaging isn't quite what it used to be...but the selection these days is far beyond the 3 original dolls that I first fell in love with. 

Anyways...then it was on to the Hershey Store and the Lego store and some shopping for the mommies. Then a quick tea break at Argo Tea and on to Navy Pier where the kids enjoyed views of ships and Lake Michigan, some gelato and rides on the ferris wheel and carousel! We even got some Garrett Gourmet Popcorn to take home with us! 
We had a fabulous dinner with turkey burgers and sweet potato fries waiting at home for us (Guess who planned that? Yep...Nicole!)...Such a fun day in the beautiful Chicago sun!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Great News

So today I found out that a dear friend of mine is pregnant with her first baby! I'm just so thrilled for her because I've really been wanting this for her. I've always known she'd be the perfect mother...that little tiny embryo has no idea how lucky it is to come into this world with such incredible parents! It's truly thrilling! It just took me back...

Waiting to find out if you're pregnant is such an agonizing time. How should I know I only had to wait a month? But that one month...seemed like 10 years. So I can only imagine what it must feel like to have to wait any longer. I think for me the most frustrating part was knowing that I was pregnant but not having physical proof or evidence to convince myself or my husband. My body felt different right away. I remember I was suddenly Soooooo Thirsty...I wanted/needed gallons of water...and for me being the somewhat desert animal that I am...that was quite strange. I tried all of those tests that claim they can tell you 7 days sooner...but I didn't get a positive test until I was 6 days late. I probably peed on 20 sticks...I was a little impatient. God knows how many sticks I would have gone through if we hadn't conceived that first month...
...but what a rush! Just seeing those words "pregnant" body went numb with excitement followed quickly by a "Oh Crap!" feeling of...what did we just do? It's so exciting and yet so unbelievably scary at the same time. Suddenly your body isn't yours is TRULY a temple...a temporary home for the most precious thing you can imagine...your child. Your world truly turns upside down. And it hasn't gone back seems so much more full. I wish these feelings for all of my friends.

In other news, my dear friend and college roomie Nicole has come into town to visit for a few days with her two cuties Riley and Braxton! We had such a great day today...we hung out for a bit after they arrived and then we took a walk down to Lincoln Square for a bit. Nicole brought and prepared dinner (too sweet) and we watched "The Bachelorette" (guilty pleasure!) together. Too fun! Tomorrow we'll do some more fun Chicago things! Can't wait!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Baby Test: Can Do Crowds...

Um. Yeah. So we had a crazy weekend. Didn't really plan it. But somehow we ended up in two major Chicago Festivals in the last two days.

With G's Grandma and Grandpa in town we took an impromptu trip downtown for the Taste of Chicago. G slept through most of the "taste" part...which is pretty impressive considering how crowded and noisy it was (I believe we can thank our "City Mini" stroller for the success of the naps...thanks to the huge canopy and full reclining mode). 

Then we went to listen to the music portion on the lawn (G's first experience with Grass...he did NOT take well to the grass...wanted to be picked up immediately).

And then today...
We decided to take part in the Pride Parade with John's work aboard the PEPSICO Pride Parade Float! This turned into a full day event. We left the house at 10:30 and didn't get home until 6:00pm.  Thanks to our amazing stroller...G did take a few naps.  Our float didn't start moving until about 2:30 or so...and WOW...craziness! But what fun! G was such a hit! It was so fun to watch people's reaction to the baby on the float.  They'd go from crazy party/screaming to high pitch baby voices..."Ohhhhhh look at the baby...HI BABY!" I'm not sure who was getting more attention...G or the guy on the float who took his shirt off. I have to say at times I was a little worried about his ears from all the screams and loud music (but thanks to a generator problem, the music wasn't blaring the whole time)...and I gave him breaks from the sun in his stroller (which we kept on the float) every 15 minutes or so.  Eventually we had to sneak off the float so I could nurse him without all of the distracting music/screams/etc.
waiting for the bus...we've got our pride gear on!

This was our was vandalized over night (someone slashed the tires and stole the "i" this happened to most of the Pride floats...but that didn't prevent us from having a good time!)

All Smiles!

Here we go!!

We acquired a hitchhiker who was promptly asked to "get down"

The crowds were insane! This was definitely the way to do Pride...on the float...

...we got to see it all without the claustrophobia.

loved this sign!
After such a crazy weekend...we realized...we have such an easy going kid. Through all that craziness we didn't have a single melt down, not a single tear was shed.  Way to go G! Thanks for being so patient and chill!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Everything I know I learned from my Readers...


It's true. I LOVE MY READERS.  Because...every time I have a dilemma, problem or readers really come through for me.

 I just want you all to know how much I appreciate every comment, every suggestion. You are making me a better mom.

Here are some of my favorite tips from my Readers to date:
  • When wondering what to do with baby on the beach Kendra suggested bringing a flat sheet. BRILLIANT!
  • When I posted something about not having grass for G to play on Lisa M suggested getting a blow up baby pool for our balcony. Love this idea. We are just waiting for the perfect day to blow up the little pool I bought at Target!
  • Emily G suggested letting G play in the tub naked, without water to air out his bum. So fun! We did this a few nights ago...he peed 3 times. Glad we were in the tub! Easy clean up for sure!
  • Anonymous reminded me that child proofing isn't always good...because "the world isn't child proof, time to start teaching him what is a toy and what isn't"
  • When I was worried G had moved beyond snuggling Lisa M reassured me that the cuddles would return when he got a little older and sure enough...she was right! Snuggles have made a comeback!
  • Kelly C suggested Annabel Karmel's "First Meals"...with starting solid foods. A book we're using with G.
  • Lisa M taught us how to save an avocado! Cut half-leave the pit in the side you save, plastic wrap around, put in Tupperware and in the's all about keeping the air out, folks!
  • Jenn suggested throwing a sheet over the crib when sharing room with baby in a hotel...Worked like a charm!!
  • Amanda (Mother of Ambition) suggested I put a sheet on the floor and do my craft projects on the sheet for easy pickup when I was worried about needles, scraps and such being left on the floor for G to find.  I tell you...sheets are the new "do it all baby product!"
Signing "Thank...

There really are hundreds more...But I just wanted you all to know I think of you all everyday and am so thankful for your readership and your valued ideas and input! Here's to YOU!!!  THANK YOU!!!!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

This Little Mommy Stayed Home

This Little Mommy Stayed Home: A Novel  So I just finished reading Samantha Wilde's "This Little Mommy Stayed Home"...I got stuck at the climax of the book last night at 1am and was determined to finish it today...afterall I now only have approximately 22 days to finish my next book for book club (and at the rate I read...that's going to be a stretch). 

This book is all fluff and fun, exactly what I was looking for.  For all you SAHM's out there...Wilde illustrates our plight oh so well. But not just that...she truly depicts the woes of postpartum shock better than anything I've read to date. There were moments when I truly found myself giggling out loud because I was right there with the character...or could relate so well that I thought she had been writing about me.

And then of course the book takes some far stretched curves and detours that took me away from the realism that had charmingly grabbed me in the beginning...I found myself thinking...could this really happen? (I won't give away all that happens for those of you mom's who want to [and should] read this book) I don't know...but it made for some excellent page turning towards the end.  Fast, fun read.

GM Rating: 3 out 4 star's

In other news...I made the yummiest breakfast/lunch meal today. It was totally an accident. Because if you know anything about me...I can't cook to save my life. So this didn't involve much cooking...
I call it:  
Better than on Toast Oatmeal (why? because I usually put all these ingredients on toast and call it lunch...but today I was out of bread so I just put it in my oatmeal instead! Best idea I've ever had!)

McCann's Quick Cooking Oatmeal (1/2 C)
Milk (1 C)

Skippy Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter (1 T)
Honey (a drizzle)
1/2 a banana sliced
Cinnamon (1 dash)

Cook oatmeal as instructed on box (but with milk instead of water) Add toppings, mix and ENJOY!!! Yumm!!! I was almost tempted to make a second was that good!!!