Sunday, February 28, 2010

All About Food: Favorite Pictures

Lately, the little man has been all about food. Sometimes it's the only way I can get him downstairs in the morning; he loves his new room so much, but if you tell him he's going to get a banana if he goes downstairs he'll head for the stairs in a heartbeat.

Here are a couple of my favorite, most recent, eating pictures of Baylor. Enjoy!

Eating apples off a plate ... all on his own.

Stabbing a piece of turkey and cheese sandwich with his current favorite, the purple fork.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

P&G: Torturing Pregnant Women and Moms Everywhere?

I'm assuming all of you have been watching the Olympics ... at least a little here and there, right? If you're in the US, you've probably also seen the commercials P&G have been running, thanking moms of Olympians (and, in at least one commercial, all moms). In my opinion, they are incredibly well-done, succinct, beautiful, and ... absolute torture. If you haven't seen them, take a look:

and ...

and ...

Touching? Yes, most definitely.

My favorite commercials of the Olympics? Probably. (In spite of crying every time I see them, they really are great.)

Torture devices for moms and pregnant women everywhere?

You be the judge.

*On a side note, I'd like to thank my husband for helping me figure out how to embed these videos onto the blog. Now that I know how to do it, I won't have to send you all to YouTube to check stuff out! Ah woo hoo! Thanks, honey!

Names ... Oy

Well, we're having trouble agreeing on and coming up with names for Paco (no, we aren't going to name the kiddo that, Dad ... sorry) so I'm throwing it out to you guys. We need ideas, yes, but we do have some and I'd like opinions on them if you have them.

The middle names have been decided upon. If it's a girl, she'll get my middle name "Jean" - just like my mom and my Great Aunt Marty. If it's a boy, he'll get my mom's maiden name "Cartwright" - Baylor's middle name is "Denney" which is both my husband's middle name and his mom's maiden name.

So, onto first names ...

For the boy's name we really like "Easton". That's all we've got, and we both really like it. It means "east of town" and "outdoorsy". We're not really debating this one, but if you have other boys' names you like feel free to throw them out.

The girls' names are what we're having trouble with.

I like "Vivian/Vivienne", but it reminds Bryson of Pretty Woman so he associates the name with a hooker. I like it because it's beautiful but can be shortened into something spunkier if need be. And it came from The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, which is where I found Baylor's name.

We both like the name "Maelle" (pronounced "my elle"), but I am against it because I feel like people will have no idea how to pronounce it just by looking at it and she'll be constantly correcting and clarifying.

Other names we/I have thrown around for a girl:
"Maybelle" (my great-grandmother's name)


The name cannot start with "B" for either sex, or "J" for a girl. No offense to people out there who do this, but we don't want all our kids' names to start with the same letter. It's just not our bag. And Bryson has requested no triple "J's" for the girl. ("Juniper" was my idea ... I still like it.)

The name needs to be unique, but not weird. We just like it that way; again, no offense to the people who chose more traditional names.

The name needs to sound good with our last name (Jacques) ... this is the hard part. I pronounce our last name like Jacques Cousteau (the French way, if you will). My husband pronounces our last name "jay-quess" ... something someone in his family started a while back. If I have anything to say about it, our kids will go with my pronunciation (that's what Bryson used to go by in high school when we first started dating ... and it's what his grandmother prefers so I have other "higher ups" on my side).

The name has to go with the middle name we've already chosen for that particular sex. We're not changing those so don't even try it.

Any ideas are welcome, but even if EVERYONE on here likes it we have final say. I ... er, we ... reserve the right to reject any name ideas, even if it is for a seemingly silly reason.

Any help you guys could give us would be fantastic! Send me an e-mail, leave me a note on Facebook, leave a comment on here ... how ever you want to respond, please do!

And have a wonderful day!

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Movie Worth a Date Night

There is a new movie coming out called Date Night, starring Steve Carell and Tina Fey, and it looks hilarious! Part comedy, part action it looks like it has everything to please both men and women. (Mark Wahlberg ... ahem, Christine.)

Doesn't this look good?!

A Pity Party For My Hosed Legs

For the last week I have been stuffing myself, sausage-style, into a tight pair of over-the-belly compression hose. They are exceedingly uncomfortable, both because the lady at the store had me purchase the tighter compression ones and because my swelling is getting worse by the day. Every morning it is a struggle to smush myself into them, and every night I wrestle with them to get them off.

Yesterday, however, was a different story. Just when I thought I finally had it figured out how to best put them on, I was hit with a twist ... literally. My right leg was all twisted up, from knee to thigh, making them even more uncomfortable than they were before. Ordinarily I would have just let it go, but I could barely walk with them twisted so badly. So, broken-hearted, I peeled them off and tried again.

Again, I got them all the way up, with much straining and heavy-breathing, only to have the stupid right leg all twisted. At this point, I broke down into tears. My showering was for naught; I was sweaty from still being warm from the shower and the exertion it took to tug this torture device up my legs and over my belly. I was exceedingly tired, from being pregnant, from the aforementioned exertion, and from not getting to bed early enough the night before. And I was frustrated that these hose were besting me; I thought I had them all figured out, I had carefully gathered them for optimal application, and still they were twisted.

Unable to stand the twisty-ness, I pulled them off yet again, took a moment to sob into my pillow, sat on my bed, and tried for a third time to put these damn things on. The third time was kind of the charm; the twisting was tolerable and I could move with them on. Still crying, I readied myself for the rest of the day, mad that the whole "getting dressed" event took me more than a half an hour. Eventually, I pulled it together and got through the rest of my day.

Knowing what a pain they had been yesterday, I decided to take a closer look at my compression hose this morning. Imagine my COMPLETE surprise when I found that the right leg was sewn on backward.

Yup, you heard that right.

The toe is pointed in the opposite direction of the belly! The toes DO NOT point in the same direction! (Insert expletive here.) So no matter how much I wrestle with them, that right leg is pretty much always going to feel twisted because ... IT IS! Ugh.

I don't know how this escaped me for the first five days of wear, but it is bugging the crap out of me now. If both toes were pointed the other way, I would chalk it up to how compression hose are supposed to be. But only one leg is this way, so I have to believe it's a mistake. One I intend to correct, today if possible.

Just one more thing to add to the Tick Tock List. Grrr.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

While You Weren't Looking, Mom ...

I taught myself how to climb! I mean, I know I've been getting up on the green leather chair lately, but this ...

... this is what it's all about!

I can see so much on this stool, even if I'm just squatting!

Fine, fine ... don't have a cow! I'll just sit here, all innocent like.

Wait, why did you take away all my stools?! I can still see them in the pack n' play, you know?

Fine, I won't climb on those anymore.

Yeah, it rocks and swivels, and I still managed to climb up on it. Jealous?

Aren't I sweet?

I think I'm ready for my own ladder now!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Jackson Pollack of Crayons

I honestly couldn't be prouder of my little man. He has finally gotten into coloring, and I am over-the-moon excited about it!

Just look at that concentration!

He even gets excited when he rediscovers his current favorite color: blue!

That's my boy!

Yeah, I put his artwork up on the fridge! The first one went in his baby box, but this one is a true gem! I might even frame it for his room.

If the artwork really picks up, we'll have to clear off all the other stuff on the fridge and create our own little gallery. But for now ...

Like I said, I couldn't be more excited or more proud of my little man.


Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone felt this way more often?

More "Bowl-ing"

The new suction bowls have generated a lot of excitement around mealtime at our house, so they are getting a lot of use. And we've been trying new foods in them, too!

Like yogurt ...

... that was a pretty messy endeavor, though.

And pasta ...

... always a favorite, but still super messy.

And, of course, applesauce!

The little man could not be happier to have a bowl or two to call his own.

Sometimes it's the simple things in life, you know?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Breakfast Bowl

The other day, Little B got to try eating his oatmeal all on his own. It was a good first food to try with a spoon in that it stuck to the spoon really well, but a bad first-try food in that he doesn't LOVE his cereal. I tried to remedy that problem by adding cinnamon to the mix, but he didn't seem overly impressed. Be that as it may, he still gave it the ol' college try.

He went after the first few bites with gusto.

Most of the cereal made it into his mouth, but he quickly lost interest in feeding himself the beige blobby stuff. Oh well, not bad for a first try.

We have since tried applesauce, which fared very well, and yogurt, which held his enthusiasm but was quite messy as it was of a thinner consistency.

No matter what, though, he gets totally geeked to be handed a spoon or fork and have a suction bowl in front of him. Gotta love that first taste of autonomy!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Happiness Liquified

In spite of yesterday's not-so-great news ...

I was THRILLED to find that McDonald's finally has SHAMROCK SHAKES!!!! Yes, that is a look of sheer joy on my face.

Doctor's Appointment: You're Kidding, Right?

I had my 33 week OB appointment yesterday, and it did not go as well as I had hoped it would. But I kinda knew that was going to happen given the state of my knees these days. Here are the stats:

Blood Pressure: 110/72
Starting Weight: 128 lbs.
Current Weight: 170 lbs.
Belly Measure: 35 weeks

Yeah, I gained 6.5 pounds since last visit, and my belly jumped from measuring a week behind (30 weeks at the 31 week mark) to measuring two weeks ahead. Oh, and my husband had her check my chart from the last pregnancy, and I am spot on with my weight from last time. (Insert obscenity here.)

After we got through all the stats, she asked how I was feeling and if I had any questions. I told her about the water pooling about my knee area, and she went on to prescribe me maternity compression socks. What are those, you ask? Well, apparently they are compression socks that go from your toes, up your legs, and over your belly.


So, I get to go pick those up this morning. Thank goodness it's winter, and I can wear pants over these beauties. My OB wore them for all of her pregnancies and claims that they really help with your mobility. We'll see.

Anyhow, that's the deal. For those of you wondering, she says I am right on track to having another big baby (Baylor weighed in at 10 lbs. 10 oz. and 21" long) so we'll see if she's right.

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

39 Days

Last night my knees exploded. Not actually, but they certainly looked and felt like they were going to. Apparently I ate too much sodium at dinner or was too sedentary in the evening because by the time I went upstairs to bed my knees were miserable. Climbing the stairs alone was painful and slightly taxing, and I had to enlist my husband to help get my knee-high, open-toe (uber-attractive) compression socks off. Ugh, it was a dismal sight ... shades of what happened when I was pregnant with Baylor appeared before my eyes.

And then my husband said, after some calculation,

"Only 39 days to go!"

He smiled at me, hopeful he'd helped, then asked after seeing my dazed reaction, "Is that good or bad?"

Well, that all depends on how you look at it.

In 39 short days I get to meet my son or daughter. That part is wonderful, exciting, and awesome.

Then there's the rest of it. I'll try to pick this apart as best I can, but I already cried once this morning just thinking about all this so bear with me.

First off, there is the physical aspect of it. Yes, in 39 days I won't have to sleep all night on my left side, my leg swelling will go down, I won't have all this extra weight on me (though I'll still have some), and so on and so forth. Until then, however, I have 39 days to fight water weight gain, my dreaded pregnancy nemesis. Not only does the water weight I tend to gain rob me of normal-looking knees, but it makes my joints feel arthritic. If it spreads to my hands, it will bring on pregnancy-induced, water weight gain carpel tunnel syndrome, making it so I can't feel anything my fingers touch. Not cool, and not a whole lot of fun when you're trying to diaper a wiggle worm. So I have a battle ahead of me to keep the water from settling under my skin and, at the same time, not deprive myself so much that I binge on salt and ruin the whole thing.

After those 39 days, I will trade the uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms to feeling like I have been sawed in half from hip bone to hip bone. Laughing, crying, walking, sneezing, coughing, climbing, sitting, standing, and every other little movement we take for granted throughout the day will suddenly hurt and I am not looking forward to it. That said, I know I have to do it, so I'm just trying to reconcile the notion in my head.

Secondly, I have 39 days to finish everything on my Tick Tock list, and more. I have done a crappy job of getting things done, but I've been trying to not let the house go to pot and I've been tired. Sue me. The list is looming large over my head and I need to start ticking things off it before I lose my mind. So there's that.

Then there's all the emotional stuff that goes along with bringing another person into our family. I'm bracing myself for post-partum depression (and will be getting advanced help from my OB and therapist), so that part is as under control as I can get it right now. But then there's Baylor.

Deep breath, Nicole.

I know, without a doubt, that the people who will be helping me after the baby is born love and care for Baylor more than words can say. I know he won't be short on attention or love. It's the selfish part of me that is so very sad that I won't get to scoop him up and hug him or carry him around like he's used to. We won't have our laundry time for a long while. All those things we do together throughout the day will change, and I have 39 days to both soak up all the goodness and prepare Baylor and myself for this new world we're going to enter into.

I worry I will have to divide my love like I'm going to have to divide my time, something I'm not good at anyhow. I'm worried things will fall through the cracks and all this mommy confidence I've gained in the past 17 months will disappear. I have 39 whole days to worry. And yet I have only 39 days to worry.

So 39 days are ahead of us to try to get ready for a new life. Just when I got used to our rhythm it's going to change, and I'm kinda sad about it. (Paco, if you ever read this and are a stay-at-home mom or dad, you'll understand. I hope you'll forgive me for feeling this way.)

I know we'll eventually get into a rhythm again; I'll just have two kids instead of one. We'll find our new normal together, and everything will be happy and good.

It's just the getting there that has me worried.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Little Puppy

My little man fell in love with this puppy romper the minute we saw it at Gymboree; he even hugged the puppy on it in the store! Needless to say, we had to get it. (Bonus: Rompers make an excellent extra outfit in a diaper bag since they are both a top and bottom.)

He finally got to wear it today, and he was pretty excited.

He really liked to pet the doggy on his chest and point out the eyes, nose, and mouth.

He's just so cute!

Oh, and did I mention it has a tail on the backside? Yeah, it's that cute.

The Office Detention

You have to see this article and photo on The Huffington Post. For you fans of The Office, it'll make you smile.

I hope this is real. Either way, it's funny.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I Wonder If I'm Growing

I Wonder If I'm Growing
by Raffi

I wonder if I'm growing
I wonder if I'm growing
My mum says yes I'm growing
But it's hard for me to see

My mum says eat your sandwich
It'll make you grow up tall
But when I eat my sandwich
I'm hardly bigger at all

And I wonder if I'm growing
I wonder if I'm growing
My mum says yes I'm growing
But it's hard for me to see

My mum says wash your hands now
Then you can go and play
Hey, I can reach the tap now
For the very first time today

And I think I must be growing
Yes I know I'm really growing
My mum says yes I'm growing
And now I know it's true.

Movie Montage About Love

On this Valentine's Day, take a look at this movie montage all about love. Some of my favorite scenes were in it, some were not ("I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich ..."), but it is a good compilation to warm your heart.

Or to help you remember or discover some really awesome movies to watch today. If I had the time, I'd be watching Pride and Prejudice, The Notebook (with a box of tissue), Bridget Jones's Diary, Juno, The Birdcage, Away We Go, and 500 Days of Summer (for the first time).


Saturday, February 13, 2010


Yup, a different kind of spooning.

My little man is learning how to use a spoon slowly but surely. With his new Munchkin suction cup bowl and his new Gerber spoon, he scooped away at his current favorite ... APPLESAUCE!

Yeah, his version was more of a dip-and-lick situation, so Grandpa E tried to help him out with his form.

All in all, he's doing pretty well with it, though he's really got the hang of the fork down. But food stays on a fork much better than it does a spoon, so that's not too too surprising.

Baby steps, you know?

Thursday, February 11, 2010


It's amazing how much Baylor learns everyday. I can't even believe how much he picks up and holds onto with that beautiful brain of his. Lately, his interests have been primarily that of the alphabet variety. Yes, he is learning the alphabet. He couldn't sing the song if you asked him to, but point to a letter (especially an upper case one) and he'll tell you what it is.

Remember the "Always looking for adventure" wall decal we put up in his new room? Yeah, point to the letters in "adventure" and he'll say each and every one of them. Yes, this is a bit of a prideful moment on my part, but isn't that what being a mom is all about?

Anyhow, I can't take all the credit for it. He's just taken an interest in a lot of his toys and books that are focused around the alphabet, and my sister got him started with the ABC stacking blocks at my parents' house. Go, Aunt Christine!

He also likes his Leap Frog Alphabet Pal caterpillar.

And his Parents Rubber Blocks! (I'll talk about them more later in the post ... apparently Blogger has decided to mess with my picture order and orientation. Grrrr.)

And possibly most of all, he loves his Dr. Seuss ABC book! His Sandra Boynton A to Z book is a hit, too.

So, his Parents rubber blocks. He got them from my sister for Christmas and just adores them! Each of the 26 blocks has a letter of the alphabet on it as well as a corresponding animal (though I take umbrage with putting a unicorn on the block for "U" since it's not a real animal). Plus, they are rubber so they would have to be thrown pretty hard to hurt much of anything ... Little B even likes to nestle into a bucket of them every so often. You can find these at Target; they make a great gift for any little guy or gal!

So yeah, the little man is learning about letters. That's what's new. What's new with you?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Who Makes the Coolest Cookies?

My mom and sister do!

For all of you Office fans out there ...

Isn't that awesome? They made them using a cookie cutter kit from Williams Sonoma and a little of their natural creativity.

They also made sweet, Valentine-y ones, too.

And then they decorated them by piping some of the smoothest, best-tasting buttercream frosting I've ever had onto them. (My sister is a buttercream genius, I tell you!) And then decorating them with sprinkles.

So very yummy and festive! Kudos, ladies!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

On the Lookout for Shamrock Shakes!

Alright, dear readers, I need your help.

Last year, if you recall, I was only able to have one Shamrock Shake from McDonald's because it turned out that the dairy bothered Baylor.

So this year I am going all out and having a bunch! I told my husband I'm going to drink my weight in Shamrock Shakes which isn't true, but I probably would if it was humanly possible.

Yes, I love them that much.

So, if you see that McD's has gotten in their Shamrock Shakes for the season, could you please let me know?! I would really appreciate it!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Operation Tick Tock: Fire Extinguisher

Over the weekend we went to Costco and knocked one of the things off my Tick Tock list: buy a new fire extinguisher! The new extinguisher is quite a bit bigger than the one we previously had in our house, but it's Costco ... come on. (I was just surprised we didn't have to buy a palate of them.)

Next step, taking down the old one (that hadn't been serviced or paid-attention-to in years) and put up the new one. My trusty helper is a whiz with the stud finder.

Of course, I'm pretty sure he's a leftie and our cheap-o stud finder is tough for lefties to use, so he mostly just found the "studs" in his hands. What a cutie!

I was even able to find our ever-elusive level and was happy to find that the original marks I made were already level! After drilling the pilot holes, I got the screws in without a problem and the whole thing went up like a breeze. Bada bing, bada boom!

So if you're ever at our house and there is a fire, the extinguisher is in the front hallway closet. Please use it!

We also played a bit today. Little B was quite industrious with his blocks. Just look at that tower!

Then he found the remote control and was able to turn on the television, much to his delight.

He then tried to turn it off, with much less success. "Off."

And then for some reason he decided to stretch while working on turning the t.v. off.

We played "ride the horsey" ... yes, he enjoyed it a lot.

And then he fell asleep during lunch. Yup, lunch.

Apparently it was all too much excitement for the little man. I was able to clean him up, turn on the dishwasher, get him upstairs, change his diaper, and get him into bed without waking him up, so that worked out pretty nicely. I have no idea what made him so tired, but it was truly amazing how quickly he dozed off.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My Gentle Giant

My little man got to have a play date the other day with his cousin Wyatt. They are only about four weeks apart, but Wyatt is an average-sized kiddo and Baylor is pushing the upper limits of the growth chart. Lots of people mistake him for a two year old when he is just now turning 17 months old.

I think the boys had a lot of fun, though it's hard to tell at this age since they just sort of play near each other not necessarily with each other. Hopefully they'll start to interact a little more as they get older.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Close to Home

My mom went in for surgery today; just outpatient - it took less than an hour - but the cause of the surgery definitely hit close to home.

My mom has skin cancer; two spots of basal cell carcinoma, to be exact. She found out in late autumn of last year and has been trying to get into surgery ever since. Today was the day, and I think she was relieved to have it over with. One spot only had to be scraped, but the other had to be more surgically removed and sewn up with stitches.

Hopefully this one surgery will have taken care of those two spots for good, and she'll be on the road to recovery. That said, this first incidence of skin cancer means she has to be super-vigilant about skin checks in the future.

We are all thankful that her skin cancer is not melanoma, but it is a reminder that you have to be so careful out in the sun. For more information about basal cell carcinoma, check out the Skin Cancer Foundation's website. Page 4 tells a lot about what you can do to protect yourself against skin cancer.

All the best to you and yours. Take care of yourself for both you and the ones you love.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Raptor is Learning ...

You guys remember that from Jurassic Park? Where they think they're safe, then the raptors start learning things like how to open doors? Yeah, that's my kid.

He's learning new things left and right; some of it is just awesome, and some of it changes the game for us. Like tonight when he learned how to undo the buckle on his high chair. *sigh*

Anyhow, we got down his peg puzzle yesterday and he has been all over it. I was checking my e-mail today, and as I looked over I saw this ...

Yup, he lined up his puzzle pieces, making little groups of colors or shapes. I think he got frustrated when he couldn't make groups of like colors AND shapes, but he kept on rearranging things to get it right.

Then he got to putting his puzzle together ... and I have to say, he did a pretty good job. He's definitely come a long way from when he first got the puzzle and would stack them any which way.

For the longest time, he's been hiding pieces of his toys in his winter boots and I finally caught him in the act today.

After we went to the grocery store, we dropped some bananas off at my parents' house and in the seven minutes it took to get home - well, I found this when I opened the sliding door.

I unbundled my sleepy little man, took him upstairs, and set him in his crib. He slept for about 45 minutes then woke up sobbing. End of nap.

After lunch, he was back to his happy little self, running around the house. I could hear him coming around the island and I snapped this picture as he popped around the corner.

The day was not complete without a little exploration.

My little raptor is systematically trying to figure out how to open the cabinets; so far the locks are besting him, but I know it won't be long before he gets them.

Ah, and we must reset the dishwasher!

Somehow, he got his superhero/villain ball stuck in his Ikea stool. And for some reason, he wanted to carry the whole kit and caboodle around the house. Funny little guy!

He wanted to play with his stacking cups, but the big yellow bin of rubber blocks was in the way. At first he only had one foot in the bucket. While I went to get my camera, though, he got all the way in.

Then apparently his legs got a little tired.

Things I didn't get pictures of:
Little B sat down near me with his My Little Michigan ABC book and started naming letters. Every so often he'd look up at me and smile.

He took out his kitchen stacking cups and, after going through them, put one up on the counter and said, "Eight." It was the eight.

He's starting to understand the concept of light and dark.

He can pretty much open the fridge by himself and likes to take out salad dressings we keep on the bottom door shelf.

And cute things about him right now:

He'll eat just about anything if you let him have applesauce every other bite.

He hugs everything. Hard plastic toys. Puzzle pieces. His Elmo truck. Owl, of course. You name it, he's probably hugged it.

He's all about reading on the couch now. He used to want to sit on the floor on my lap, but now he's excited to say, "Up!" and get up on the couch to sit next to me. (Which is good since my lap is slowly but surely disappearing.)

We think he's a leftie. He does things with both hands but is so much better with his left.

He loves babies. He gets this big goofy grin whenever he sees a picture of a baby. I hope that is a sign of good things to come.

He likes to look at pictures we have on our digital photo frame and frequently asks me to turn it on.

That's it. Hope you enjoyed a little slice of our day!