Friday, January 27, 2012

100 days.

I'm sure no one else really cares but me, but there are only 100 days until The Monster turns one!!

How can that be, you ask? Well, I'm asking the same darn question, but he'll be 9 months in less than 2 weeks, so his first birthday is seriously right around the corner.

In true crazy-new-mommy fashion, I've already started preliminary plans for his birthday. It won't be some grand affair, but something fun and family-filled.

At this point, he's not really obsessed with trucks or airplanes or dinosaurs, so I get the luxury of choosing the theme. And, I'm a sucker for teal/light blue and red and, who doesn't love Dr. Seuss? I've checked out Pinterest (follow me!) and Etsy for ideas and here are a few things I've got earmarked for the big day in May!

Luckily, I'm pretty handy with design software and I'll be able to design some of this myself. Yay!

Source: via Emily on Pinterest

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

recent designs.

First, I have to say thanks to my friends who have chosen me to design invites for them, and have been sending business my way. Thanks!!

Also, since our days with the magazine, we've forged great relationships with the owners of a restaurant group and I continue to do design work for them, which definitely keeps me busy.

Below is a birthday invite for my friend's parents and a restaurant flyer for a dinner special at one of the restaurants.

J and I also did the photography for this one. Yep, we're full service like that!
If you see something you like, or would like a custom invite, announcement, flyer, etc., please email me at 
divinemrsem {at} gmail {dot} com

Friday, January 20, 2012

** fo real, i had this all typed out last night and ready to post, but then our internet stopped working and didn't start back up again until about an hour ago!

Before I jump into my post, I first want to say thanks to those that commented on my post from Tuesday. I'm a spaz and if my baby doesn't seem to be on track with other babies, I get worried! But, in all honesty, I know he'll eat when he wants and what he wants  and doesn't care one bit what I want. Oh, how I love that boy!

And, I fully realize I did not hold up my end of the bargain. I missed posting on Wednesday (and now Thursday, but it's not my fault!) and my excuse is that daycare called because our baby had a 103 (really 104 after adding the one degree because his temperature was taken under the arm) fever. I picked him and he couldn't have looked any more sad. I dropped everything and tended to our baby. Sorry!

Ok, now on to what I want to chat about. And, get ready, it's still all about Jack being sick! Like I mentioned, Wednesday he had a really high fever and we brought him home, stripped him down, gave him Motrin and a bottle and hoped the fever dropped. I got an appointment with the doctor again. She couldn't have been nicer and explained that it's possible that the J Man just spikes high fevers. So, from now on, unless it's 105, we're going to watch him until we really think he needs a doctor visit.

It is so heartbreaking to see our little monster not acting like himself.

I looked in his little mouth today during one of our several diaper changes when he was super fussy, and noticed there are at least 4 teeth about to break through. And, I'm thinking this quite possibly has something to do with this 2 weeks of sickness we're experiencing!

I'm ready for this guy

to be back to being our little monster!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

feeling stuck.

So, Jack has been eating solids for more than 4 months and I get the feeling it's time to move him on to finger foods. His pincer grasp is still developing, I think, which means he may not be completely ready.

But, in the last month, he's gone from consistently taking 24-27 ounces of formula a day to taking 20-24, on a good day. This means that some days he gets less than 20 ounces. And, he doesn't always polish off his rice cereal + veggies/fruits. And, he used to eat a cup of rice cereal a day, no problem.

I just think it's time.

However, the doctor said to wait until 9 months and for his pincer grasp to develop.

It doesn't make me feel better when I see posts and pictures of other babies that are the exact same age as Jack eating finger foods.

I know. I know. Comparing one baby to another gets me nowhere, but I just really think it's time. In the last few days I've been several over babies (all born within a week of the monster) eating finger foods. Is he behind??

To be quite honest, that's my biggest fear.

But. (again, there's a but) Like I tell myself when my frustration rears it's ugly head, he'll be eating for the rest of this life, why push him into something he doesn't like or isn't ready for? It's way easier to say that than practice what you preach when you feel like your little man is falling behind other babies his age.

Maybe a call to the potentially unfriendly nurses at the doctor's office is in order.

But, before I throw questions to the wolves nurses, I'm asking the blogosphere. What's your advice?

Oh, and before I go ... here's a funny story.

I picked Jack up from daycare today and when I went to his little classroom, he was shirtless. Uhh...??? I thought they'd just finished up changing his diaper or something.

Nope. Turns out he had a little bit of an up-the-back blowout and they thought he didn't have a change of clothes. (Hello, I'm not one of those mothers. He has another set of clothes. Trust me.) So, there he was, shirtless, in the middle of daycare.

Sweet. His first foray into white trashdom.

Monday, January 16, 2012


My intention for this week is to blog every day. I'm sure if it doesn't happen, most people won't care, much less notice.

•Jack is a crawling machine! In the last day or two, it's become more obvious that he's not happy unless he's crawling. The moment anyone sets him down he's off to the races. The only way to deter him, it seems, is to put him near something he can pull up on. Crawling and pulling up. That's our life right now.

•With every passing day, I'm less satisfied with our video monitor choice. If I remember correctly we did a little research, but obviously it wasn't enough. We get so much feedback all the time and we've had issues with the audio also. Sometimes if we turn it off while it's still plugged into the charger then try to turn it back on, there's no sound. I definitely think for future children well do a different monitor. Who knows...maybe in the near future I can talk J into a new one.

•J and I have never had a real budget for ourselves. I always thought that since we had a somewhat irregular income (thanks magazine business), it was nearly impossible to budget our money. Apparently I was wrong. Thanks to Dave Ramsey, we're now working toward a budget and hopefully becoming debt-free! I'm pretty pumped about getting everything going and I have high hopes for the future! Has anyone done Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover?

•This past Saturday I had lunch with a couple girlfriends I don't see often enough. We had good food, great conversation and ended up spending 2.5 hours in the restaurant catching up! I think I needed a lunch date like that, and I know I need to take more time for myself like that in the future.

•Poor Gus is having serious skin issues. He's been on steroids for it for months and though he goes through periods when his skin looks basically normal, it continues to flare up. There's not much we can do, except going to some veterinary dermatologist to find out what he might be allergic to, but that seems a bit silly and, honestly, our vet says that pugs are just yeasty dogs. It makes me so sad to see his skin looking so awful. And, to make matters worse he's very aware that Jack has overtaken him in our "pack" and doesn't like it one bit. I hope he knows we still love him and that he'll always be our first furbaby.

•I'm typing this post on our iPad. Not easy, but convenient!

Happy Monday y'all!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

happy new year.

We had the best of intentions to take family pictures sometime in November to use for our Christmas card. However, they didn't every happen, which made Christmas cards (using a new picture) a little tough. 

Instead, we took a family picture on Christmas Eve and I was determined to send out a New Year Card.

Success! Happy 2012!

sicky sicky boo boo.

I knew starting our baby in daycare meant he was exposed to more germs, but I didn't really realize just how sad it is when your baby is sick. Friday night, Jack slept terrible. Unless he was in our arms, sleeping on our chest, he was crying and miserable. Around 2 or 3 a.m. we decided he had a fever and since we have a crappy thermometer and have never even tested it, we knew it was over 100 and climbing so we took him to the hospital. Probably overkill, but we weren't messing around. The doctor there put him on Amoxicillan. We're on day 4, but that hasn't knocked it out yet. Yesterday I took him to the doctor and she said we were on the right track. She said to add benedryl to our mix and hopefully he'll improve. So far, he's about the same.

Seeing my baby feel bad is the worst feeling ever! At first, when giving him his meds, he would open his mouth and take whatever. Now, the moment he sees the dropper, he starts shaking his head and pursing his lips. And, after it's over he's usually crying. I feel so mean making him take the meds, but I know he needs them. If I could be sick instead of him, I'd take it!

As I mentioned I took Jack to the doctor yesterday. We love our pediatrician. She came highly recommended from several people we know and she hasn't disappointed. Unfortunately, the same can't always be said for the nurses that answer the phone. I called on Monday to ask a question or two about Jack being sick and the nurse was short and unfriendly when I said he was on antibiotics. Her response was, "Well we don't usually start them on antibiotics until after 10 days. He probably needs an antihistamine, but you can't take an antihistamine and antibiotic together." I was taken aback by her rudeness and lack of help and just said thank you and hung up. After seeing the doctor, we found out that what the nurse said wasn't true and he's on benedryl now.

This isn't the first time I've been basically dismissed by one of the nurses at the doctor's office. So, after Jack was fully examined and everything, I decided to mention it. Though I'm not usually a complainer (and I said that), I felt it was necessary for her to know that I have been hesitant to call and ask questions in the past because some of the nurses act like they don't have the time for me, or that I'm asking a stupid question. Anyway, needless to say, the doctor was appreciative of me saying something and wanted me to know that if I ever feel like that again to ask for her directly. Score one for the new mom!

Jack slept better last night, but had a fever again so he skipped daycare again! I love having him with me, but it's so hard to keep him happy without holding him most of the day.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Jack: 8 months.

This past month has been one of the most fun since Jack was born. We definitely have a mover and a shaker on our hands. This boy is not completely satisfied unless he's on the floor playing with toys or on the move, crawling from room to room or pulling up on anything he thinks can support him.

So many things have happened in the last month! Toward the beginning of the month, we found his first tooth finally making an appearance and just a week later, tooth number two was breaking through. Now, at the end of his 8th month, his first top tooth is imminent. The drooling has resumed with full force and I can see the white through his gums.

We finally transitioned the man from hanging in his carseat (or being held) when we were out to dinner to sitting in a high chair. To say he's enjoyed sitting up at the table is an understatement. As long as he has toys or people to "talk" to, he's a happy camper. And, since we're sort of slacker parents, we finally put his highchair together at home and Jack is now eating meals there.

Speaking of a Jack being a happy camper, he's started clapping. It's more like one hand occasionally slapping, if not rubbing on, the other, but it sure is cute and we're super proud of our clapper!

I posted about this before Christmas, but Jack got his first haircut. After way too many people called him "she" I finally caved and we cut his super cute mullet and over-the-ear wings. It took a few days, but I'm used to his shorter 'do and think he's still the cutest thing ever.

Our boy loves to talk. He's always saying bababa, mamama (love it!), yayaya, woooo and something along the lines of dadada. And, of course he loves a good, loud scream every so often, also.

Our really great eater has gotten a little more fickle over the last month. He started out scarfing all of his solid food and struggling with his bottles some. Then, all of a sudden one morning as I got about halfway through his food, he started crying and doing what we lovingly call "helicopter arms". I tried to keep feeding away, but the spoon in his face only made the crying worse. Things have improved some (he's definitely better with the bottle, even though it takes upwards of 45 minutes to finish it all), but it's probably a battle we'll fight for the forseeable future. As long as he seems satisfied, I've resolved to just let it go. Frustration never helps. Maybe once we start finger foods, things will start to look up.

And, probably the biggest news of Jack's 8th month was when he started daycare. I posted about it here, but we realized that he wasn't getting the attention he deserved and needed with us at work. And, he really needs interaction with other babies. So, as hard as it is on all of us, it's for the best and I know we'll all be better for it. To say that we cherish our evening time together now is an understatement.

8 month stats:
•about 20 lbs.
•on a good day: 24-26 ounces a day, 1/3c rice + veggies/fruits three times a day
•mostly wearing 6 or 6-9 month onesies
•size 3 diapers

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

tough and exciting.

Jack will be 8 months on Friday, and since he was almost 4 months old, I've been lobbying for daycare.

Don't get me wrong, I love having him with me at work, but I know he's also a distraction (albeit, usually a welcome one) and sometimes a bit of a nuisance (the whining!). But, honestly, everyone at the paper loves having him there, crying or no crying ... whining or no whining.

**edited to add: nuisance is completely the wrong word ... but I couldn't think of a different one. He's not a nuisance, it's just that people feel the need to pick him or hold him when he's fussy and I know they have work they need to do. But, I also know that people love to pick him up; they don't feel obligated.

I called one daycare in our town in September and they had an opening, but J wasn't sold that we needed to send him then, so we didn't take it.

Fast forward 4 months and it's time. The monster is full-fledged crawling (we're talking room to room, here) and pulling up on everything! He needs interaction with other people and, most importantly, other kids. And he definitely needs more schooling than sitting in a exersaucer or walker and playing with the toys in front of him.

While I realize all of these things and it was my idea in the first place to send him to daycare, that doesn't make it any easier!

So, this morning, I packed up diapers, wipes, formula, rice cereal, baby food, spoon, bottle, extra clothes, his lovie ... everything! ... and sent him to his first day of daycare. Thankfully, the man is only going three days a week for now. I'm not sure I could handle

The saying is most definitely true: it's harder on the parent than it is on the child.

I know Jack will be just fine, and in the long run, this is what's best for him. But that doesn't make day one (or the following days) any easier.