Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day fun

Here's some pictures of Ryleigh's first time in a sprinkler, with her cousins Amelie and Maeve. They had a lot of fun!

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Playground Pickup

Here's the scene. You're at the playground with your kid, when you happen to notice another mom with a kid around the same age. The mom approaches the swing right next to the one your child is in, and plops her kid in it. After a couple of seconds the kids start waving to each other and laughing. Inevitably that go to question of, "how old is she?" comes into play. Then you start talking about milestones, the quality of the playground, et cetera. Next the kids decide they want to go to the slide. They follow one another, and you and Other Mom follow suit.

After several trips down the slide, brushing the wood chips off of dirty pants, and a few quick moves to prevent rocks being put into mouths you know it is time to go home. But you've really enjoyed the company of another mom. It's rare to just meet a nice, friendly, normal person at the playground. How you wish you had more friends.

And then you start thinking to yourself, "Would she think I'm crazy if I asked where she lives, or even  ::gasp:: should I take the plunge and ask for her number?"...... Then you doubt yourself and think, "She's going to think I am insane."

Yes my friend, you have now entered the new world of picking up "friends" at the playground.. Gone are the days of going to bars, or clubs, or, in my case, brother-sister dorm activities to pick up guys. Now it is time to try and make friends with the other moms at the playground. You want play-group buddies for your kid, right?

9 a.m. playdough fun

It still strikes me as odd when I am doing things "early" in the morning. For example, this morning around 9 I was making a batch of homemade playdough and letting Ryleigh explore it for the first time. Through out most of my life if you had suggested I do something active before like 11 am, I would have laughed and your face and gone back to sitting on the couch watching TV. Welcome to mommy hood where your activities start bright and early in the morning.

Here are some pics of Ry's first encounter w/playdough

"Mmmmm.... playdough star!".... (yeah, not so much.... she learned quickly that playdough does not taste very good at all!)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Warning: online shopping can make you depressed

So after seeing the link for a website called ModCloth on Facebook about a million and a half times I decided to click on it. I really wish I hadn't done that. And here are 3 reasons why...

If only I had a couple hundred bucks to blow on a new dress and a fun evening out for which to wear said dress. ::Sigh::

Monday, May 24, 2010

A new perspective

This weekend, practically at the last minute we decided to head up to NH to spend time with my family. My parents, Laura, and my Nana went up with us.

My Nana has been staying with my parents ever since he apartment got flooded in the great RI flood of 2010. Despite the fact that we go to NH several times every year my nana has never come with us, so this was a fun first for her.... and then we discovered she actually had a lot of "firsts" this weekend.

Not only was it her first trip to NH, but my nana has not left the state of RI since '85, and that was only to go to Mystic, Connecticut. And she had also never seen a fire in real life until my mom built one in the fireplace! She's also never gone swimming in a pool.

Sometimes I struggle with feeling like my life is boring now that I am pretty much stuck in the house every evening at 7:00 because of Ryleigh's bedtime. I miss those times of getting to go out with friends, have bon fires, go to the beach last night, or go out to a restaurant late at night. It's a tough transition when you become a parent.

But this weekend I gained some perspective and realized that although my social life may be slow right now, while I have a young baby, I have been blessed to have all the experiences I've had in my life.

I go to NH, and RI several times a year. I've moved from RI to VA to NJ. I've been to 3 countries outside of the US, and visited 15 states. I've been on a cruise. I've been hiking, fishing, boating, and I go to the beach a lot during the summer.

And I know that some day I might get a social life back....(maybe when I actually get over my fear of calling people on the phone).... but for now I am blessed to have to many fun memories to look back on!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thank you Ryleigh!

Today Ryleigh decided to give her momma a break by being well behaved, and cooperative.

I decided to go out and buy a potty today. Mostly because I was hoping that it would hopefully make collecting samples from Ryleigh a little easier. As well as the fact that she has been very interested in going potty. So I got a 3-in-1 thing that has the regular separate potty, as well as a seat that can go on the big toilet, and it can also be used as a step-stool.

I really didn't have very high expectations, but I figured I'd give it a try. Plus, we'll be needing one eventually anyway, so why not get one now.
Well, Ryleigh was absolutely wonderful today. First time on her new potty and she peed enough for her urine sample. Woohoo!

Second time on the potty she pooped enough for one stool sample. Wow! Now she just has to repeat that one more time and we're good to go.

The best part is, she requested to sit on the potty both times, and actually really did have to go!

I'm still not ready for full out potty training, but we're off to a good start!
Plus, she is teething... but Ryleigh is a weird teether... she'll be super fussy/runny nose/miserable 2 weeks before teeth ever make an appearance. Now that the teeth have broken the surface she's just super tired!!

So thank you Ry for making mommy's life a little easier!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Oh the joys of mommyhood

Today I got to have a fun little lesson on how to go about collecting a urine, and stool sample from a toddler.

They seriously want me to wrap her diaper up in plastic wrap so that when she poops it won't get any diaper fibers in it.... I'm pretty sure a diaper doesn't hold much in if it's wrapped in plastic wrap. I feel like I'll need to duct tape all the outer edges so no poop slides out. (Totally gross, I know!) And what happens if she pees in said plastic wrapped diaper? I'm going to have a huge mess on my hands!

And let's not even talk about collecting the urine sample!

I am thinking of going to BRU tomorrow to get a potty.... maybe I'll luck out again like I did the other day.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

It's all about the little things

Ryleigh is the type of child who does not hide when she is having a BM. I know some children will hide in a corner, or behind a piece of furniture. Not my ultra-lady-like daughter. haha. She is painfully obvious.

Well, this morning I notice her little face start to scrunch up, and start to get a little red (the tell-tale signs). So, with a stroke of genius I decided to take advantage of the moment, and I sat her on the potty. She's been interested in the potty recently. She waves good-bye to the water when it flushes, and the other day she decided the potty would be a good place to put a cat toy.

I didn't really have any expectations with sitting her on the potty. I was just trying to get her to make the connection, and to get a feel for sitting up there. Well, wouldn't you know it. She had no problem sitting there, and doing her business! (probably because she already got interrupted in the middle of the act, and wasn't able to wait any longer. Haha.)

But now I am one happy momma because that was one less poopy diaper to change. Woohoo.

And for those of you who are grossed out about a blog about poop I suggest you don't read any more blogs written by moms. haha

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Peanut Update

Ryleigh had a pediatrician appointment this morning. She got weighed, measured, checked out, and punctured with needles :-(

She has gained 7oz since we last weighed her at the nutritionists 2 weeks ago. Considering she hadn't gained weight in the previous 3 months I am very thankful for those 7oz. The pediatrician said it seems like the nutritionist is really helping. Yay for that because adjusting her diet is the easiest solution to this whole thing.

Of course the doctor still said we should get her tested for various other things, "just in case". She even cited some cases where doctors didn't pick up on something and then got sued. So, I'm still really feeling like the doctors are just trying to cover their butts.

I do have two major annoyances though.

1. The doctors do not communicate with each other. CHOP never sent the paperwork from the G.I. to the pediatrician like they were supposed to. The pedia. didn't even know we had been to see any specialists. So, I was the one to relay all the info from the specialists to the pediatrician. And even though I have been paying attention to what the doctors have to say, I am still only a layman, and I don't like the fact that the doctors are basing their decisions on info I have relayed. What if I forgot something important in my stressed out state of mind? Why can't they just fax over info to each other??

2. Annoyance number 2. Ryleigh's pediatrician is leaving the practice. Therefore, enter doctor #6 who will be working with us to "help" Ryleigh. With a lack of communication amongst the professionals, and no consistency with her primary care physician (one time it was by our own doing, but the other times were out of our hands), I am the only one who actually has the full picture. I am the one who has taken her to all her appointments and listened to all the doctors. I am the one who feeds her and monitors her nutrition. I am the one that has the best grasp on how Ry is doing developmentally. Therefore, I feel like all of this is on my shoulders. Ryan is incredibly supportive and helpful, but when he can't be there to talk things over with the doctors I feel very alone.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A new stage....

Today we officially entered a new stage of parenthood..

We've been leading up to it for a while as Ryleigh has been walking more independently.... but since she loves clinging to her Me-me I didn't think it would ever be a problem. Last weekend at the zoo she refused to walk unless two people were on either side of her, holding her hands.

But today at the Aquarium, oh my goodness. You would have thought that we had greased her hands up with butter before arriving. Despite having me and Ryan holding her hands she somehow kept slipping her hands away and running around wherever she wanted. How is it possible that 2 adults can't hold on to one little toddler?

Thankfully we can still run faster than her and she never got more than a couple feet in front of us. But as I now realize we are in this new stage I suddenly feel like taking Ryleigh to public places may be more of a hassle than it is worth.

I thought about becoming a hermit and just staying inside where it's nice and safe from now on. But then I decided against it. Looks like I'll just have to learn and adjust to this pleasant new stage :-)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A successful day

If success was measured by how much stuff you managed to acquire in one day I'd say today was very successful.

This morning my friend Jeanie and I loaded the kids into her car and went yard sale-ing. We were in West Deptford, National Park, Pitman, Sewell... and probably everywhere in between. I found some great stuff for Ryleigh. She got a new little piano, some new shoes that definitely look like they've never been worn, and I got some cute apple canisters for the kitchen.

I also got a new-used play kitchen for Ryleigh for free from Jeanie.... which then led to a trip to Wal-mart where I purchased fake food, pots and pans, and dishware for the kitchen. :-) Ryleigh loves her new pots and pans. Super cute pics to follow some day.

And to top it all of I got some roses from Ryan as a pre-mother's day gift.

All in all I am happy with all of my purchases and thankful Ry has some new toys to keep her entertained!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Another reason

So today we used a wonderful tool on Bank of America's website that helps you figure out if you are financially ready to go from renting to buying. According to the info we gave, not only can we afford the mortgage, insurance, and average taxes for our area, but we would also, most likely be pre-approved for more than we thought! (we're still going to stick with a lower price range though).

So I think Ryan might finally realize that we can afford a house, just like I said!

If everything goes according to plan I think we'll start looking next April, and move by the end of July. We're thinking of going to some open houses in the area before then just to see what our money can buy.

We're looking for at least 3 bedrooms, and 1 1/2 baths in West Deptford. We want an outdated, but ready to move-in place. We are really really looking forward to having a house that we can update. We want to do all of the work (or as much as we know how) on our own. And yes, we know it's a lot of work, but it is what we are passionate about. We can't wait to get our hands dirty, and covered in paint :-). Plus, we're looking at it from an investment stand point and we know if we bought an already updated house it would take more money to make improvements on it in order to increase the value of the house....

My mom says I watch way too much HGTV and that I am starting to sound like the hosts of all my favorite shows. hehe.

But back to the title of my blog. Another reason I want to buy a house is to get new furniture. Ever since leaving my RI home to head to college I have only used dorm furniture and cheapo IKEA or hand-me-down furniture. We haven't wanted to buy nice new furniture for an apartment because we know that whatever we buy may not work in our future house. So Ryan has promised that once we buy a house we can FINALLY make use of his Raymour and Flanigan employee discount! Woo hoo! I can't wait!

Smart kitty

Yes I am a dork and I am writing a blog about my cat. But she really is smart.

Ryleigh loves the cat and is constantly chasing her around trying to give her toys.
So poor Hera was just laying there, unsuspectingly when Ryleigh came over and starts shoving a toy in her face. The cat gave her a menacing look that didn't even phase Ry.
Then before I knew it I saw the cat take a swipe at Ryleigh's hand.... and then she ran. Ryleigh started tearing up a little, so I checked out her hand. She had the tiniest little scratch, that can barely even be called a scratch really. Just a little white line on her skin from where Hera's claw grazed her.

Hera still knew she was in trouble, so she ran and hid. But once I saw that she didn't really do any damage I had some mercy on her.

It kind of amazed me how a cat can have that much self-control, even when getting frustrated. I'm pretty sure she wanted to claw Ryleigh's eyes out, but she simply just gave her a little warning scratch. She knows not to hurt the baby, even though we never taught her that. She just has an intuitive instinct.

And I feel kind of ashamed that my cat has more self-control than me sometimes!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Not my proudest moment

Today something in me snapped. I literally lost all self-control.

Recently we have been stressing about whether or not to buy a house when our lease is up next summer. Basically we're realizing we're not going to have enough money for a down payment. So we have been thinking of signing another lease on our apartment to give us more time to save. I hate this idea because that means we will be spending that year giving away almost 10,000$ to the landlord, instead of putting our money in a financial investment like a house. Arrg!

I really have been trying to accept this and be thankful for what we have. But so far I've been failing big time.

The hardest thing is that we have no backyard for Ryleigh to play in. We have a very nice, green, common area right outside of our apartment. I look at it through the window and wish that I could simply bring Ry outside and let her run in the grass and kick a soccer ball. I tried it one day and realized that the grass is covered in dog poop! We've had issues with our neighbor leaving dog poop on the sidewalk where we have to walk all the time. The issue ended after we complained to the office. Now they're just leaving it all over the grass. I literally cry about it because I am so sad that my daughter can't just go outside to play. And yes, I know we can go to a park, but we're talking about my dreams of owning a house with a white picket fence and all... and it is so hard to think about putting off my dreams until 2012!

So today, after having to walk past another pile of poop I noticed that the neighbors door was open and I just yelled, "CLEAN UP YOUR DOG'S POOP. IT'S DISGUSTING!"..... a minute later we heard their door open and someone walk outside.

As I said, it was not my proudest moment, but man it felt good to yell and just let it all out!

Monday, May 3, 2010


Facebook won't let me upload pics, so here's some from this weekend

Very interested in the monkeys.

First time petting a goat. Ryleigh loved it because the goat didn't run away like Hera always does!

The hippo in the background was pretty cool walking up and down the steps, and swimming. Very active.

Getting eaten by a giant cobra
lovin' on a lion

Wonderful Weekend

This weekend my mom came down to visit... well, actually, she's still here, but will be leaving in a few hours.
I'm so glad she came down. I have been feeling so down/lonely/frustrated/etc, and it was so nice to have someone to talk to and have fun with. Ryleigh loves having her grandma around too.

On Saturday, with a forcast of 91 degrees we decided to head down to OC. I thought everyone would have the same idea and we'd be stuck in traffic forever. Nope. No traffic. Empty parking spaces right near the boardwalk. Beautiful weather for laying on the beach. :-) We bought Ryleigh her first shovel and pail and she absolutely loved it! We ate good food, and just enjoyed relaxing. And Ryleigh got to ride the rides for the first time and I think she enjoyed it, but she was a little scared going up high on the elephant ride.

On Sunday after church we headed to the zoo. It was very very humid, so we were dripping with sweat, but we still had a good time. Ryleigh had fun naming all the animals, and roaring at the lions. Ryan and I also did the math and realized that after paying for 2 adults, plus parking, it wasn't really that much more to just buy a family membership to the zoo.... so now we can return for "free" whenever we want. yay!

Now I am enjoying some freedom as my mom is reading books and playing with Ryleigh and I actually get some free time with the computer. What a nice way to start the day!