Tuesday, September 30, 2008


In true "MckMama" fashion, here's my list about the new blog I found (thanks to Kameron):

1 is the number of new blogs I've been reading today (click here to view: http://www.mycharmingkids.net/)

521 is the number of followers she has (holy cow!)

13 is the number I have (not that I'm comparing... I don't do that!)

3 + 1 is the number of kids she has (one on the way) - and, by the way, she uses nicknames, but I figured them all out... took me awhile!

5 is the number of things she and I have in common - love for photography, for our children, for cute children's fashions, for home decorating, for NOT cooking.

Her site is worth checking out - she's a photographer and her pictures are what I love the most. She also creates amusing contests, such as "Name this photo," where she asks her readers to write a "caption" for a photo of her kids, and picks a winner... or "Not Me Monday," where she reflects on things she DIDN'T do over the week (my example: "I didn't spend the entire evening reading a blog when Aidan finally went to sleep. I never stay up later than when Aidan first shuts his peepers. I would never do that. Not me!")

Why I am writing so much about her? Well... sometimes you just get inspired. Her photographs inspired me to be brave and take pictures of the Pod today with the macro lens (you know, the one I have to manually focus, which is super hard for me!). And I'm tempted to add some orange accent pillows to my living room couch. : ) And I'm still trying to find that perfect blog layout...

Anyway, here are my cutie bug's pictures of the day...

Enjoying the jumperoo thingy...

Notice my baby's blues aren't so blue! And you may wonder why he always has a bib on lately? Enter Exhibit A. : )
Practicing with the manual focus - how am I doing??
Aidan figured out how to manuever his first toy!!! He was turning and cranking away at this thing!

Ok, let me preface these next pictures with a little background info: my favorite group of girlfriends at school bought Aidan this awesome Radio Flyer. It's been sitting in my living room (to the disdain of dear Chadly) since May and I've been dying to use it. Finally, IDEA!! Put him in the bumbo, in the wagon. Yes! Perfect. My mom and I had great fun wheeling him around a few weeks ago... and Chad had even more fun when I showed him Aidan's new trick! So the other day, I took Aidan out in the cul-de-sac to check the mail, and my favorite neighbor Jennifer and her kids were just pulling in and thought Aidan was the cutest thing! Her son even came running out with a big [dirty] frog umbrella to shade Aidan's eyes! So... I may have taken Aidan out in it again today. I may have wanted the neighbors to oogle over him and think he was so precious. And I may have taken him all the way down to the park to show him off, when I didn't run into ANY neighbors along the way. I may have. : ) My favorite part (and Chad's too)? How he hangs onto the side rail, like a big person!! And I swear when we were about to go down a big bump on the sidewalk, he hung on like he was bracing himself. He's already preparing himself for Daddy's driving!! heehee

He really WAS having a good time... until the ride was over and Mom didn't take him out of the wagon, but took a long photo session instead...
Looking at Sasha - he definitely has my scowly eyebrows!
See, I'm getting better! He's in focus and Sasha's blurry.
And now Sasha's the focus - I'm getting it, I'm getting it!! Sasha obviously does too, as she poses for the camera...
"Mom, if you don't me out of the sun... I'm... going... to... SNEEEZE!!!!"
"Ok, enough. Time for my bottle, woman."
So, I'm still in search of the perfect blog layout... I do NOT understand why Blogger doesn't have more to chose from. And I've gone to "thecutestblogontheblock," but most of those Chad thinks are "too busy." Seriously? He has an opinion about my blog layout? Well, I guess it's about HIS family, after all. By the way, I know I said I got his permission to post that totally awesome picture of him with his snazzy silver belt... but he was a little shocked to see it "for real." heehee Too late!! (don't tell him there's an edit button)...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Making lists, rolling babies, totally 80s!

Sorry I've been slacking on my blog commenting... but I am selfishly posting another post before I catch up. : ) Forgive me!

Inspired by Chad's cousin, I am working on a "101 in 1001" list (see "A Wrinkle in Time" on my sidebar for hers!). It's 101 things you want to accomplish in 1001 days (roughly 2.75 years). Mostly, it's a big to-do list... but a lot of people add environmental, charitable, and "just for kicks" items. I'm up to 51 right now, so I'm halfway there. As soon as it's ready, I'm going to keep the list in my sidebar so I can show off what I've accomplished! I think it'll definitely hold me accountable. One of my goals will be to read 20 books (Kameron has an ambitious 50 on her list, but it'll be amazing if I read ONE!). So I've started the "Twilight" series... I've heard so many people talking about it! And low and behold, it takes place in Forks, Washington! My mom, brother, and I stayed there once on an Olympic Peninsula vacation - and it really was a dismal, rainy place!

In other news, Aidan rolled over today!!! Seems like just when we say he CAN'T do something, he does it the next day! We saw our friends Melissa and Keith and their "advanced" 4 1/2 month old Andrew last night, and he was a pro at tummy time... he'd prop his head way up, push up, roll over, and laugh all the while. So Chad and I were motivated to try it. Well... as I was peacefully snoozing in bed, Chad runs in and wakes me up, saying he wants to show me something. I run into the office, in a panic, and there's our little boy, happy on the floor - on his tummy!! Chad said he had just rolled from his tummy to his back, and I missed it!!! And of course, did he do it again for Mommy to see? NO. Oh well - soon enough. I was thrilled! : )

Yesterday, we went to Chad's cousin's wedding and then to Keith and Scott's double "totally 80s" birthday party. I walked in, dressed in my best 80s garb, and no one (I repeat NO ONE) was dressed up! I just knew that would happen! But luckily, Kristin (Scott's wife) and Laurel (Kristin's brother's girlfriend) were out shopping at Value Village for appropriate attire. One by one, the girls changed into crazy outfits, complete with side ponies, hot pink lipstick, blue eye shadow, and Madonna lace gloves. But boy times have changed... normally, Kristin and Scott's parties are a bunch of singles or young marrieds, partying it up like they were still in college. But we walked in with our baby, Melissa was nursing hers, and another couple was 5 months pregnant. It became a total babyland!! Melissa's husband Keith took Aidan and was talking in his best goo-goo ga-ga voice, and I could just sense the single guys eyeing him, telepathically sending him the "knock it off, we're trying to watch the game" vibes. It was great!! : ) Chad called me the "coolest 80s MOM ever," as I walked in with my purse and bulky diaper bag. heehee

So I started this post on Sunday and now it's Monday morning... yesterday we spent the day cleaning and I never got a chance to get back here! Anyway, I'll add my pictures and post this thing!!

Notice the Babylegs!! : ) Wow, our front yard looks really green! I LOVE this time of year.

At Kristin's... Andrew and Aidan, 4 1/2 months old!
(Flashback - here they were only 3 months old and their heads were still wobbly!)
Melissa & me - both sporting Babylegs!
80's prom queen Laurel : )
We told Kristin she looked like Jennie Garth circa "vintage 90210" : )
Yes, I DID get permission from my husband to post this. I decided, when we got home, that Chad needed some accessorizing. The first couple pictures were ever-so-boring, but then he posed and gave me this! Nice!! : )

Friday, September 26, 2008

Life before DVR...

I can't wait for the day Chad and I explain to Aidan what life was like before cell phones, computers, e-mail... how you had to keep change in your pocket for the nearest phone booth, and how you used to have to WRITE LETTERS. Whoa! He'll be in awe of how we survived without rewinding live TV and will wonder what those boxy plastic thingys are in the media cabinet (VHS tapes).

Well... I have NO idea how I ever managed without my newest love - DVR ("digital videos rock!"). : ) Instead of going to bed when Aidan did last night, I stayed up and watched my first DVR movie - "Bridge to Terabithia." Ok, if you've seen this, maybe you were as misled by the previews as I was... I thought it was JUST a children's fantasy movie - action, adventure, special effects, magic, and mystery. I was NOT prepared for the cry fest that insued by yours truly. I won't give the plot away, but let's just say you might need Kleenex and your favorite stuffed animal to cuddle. Geez. Good movie, though. A must-see. And being a music teacher, I cried everytime they showed the music class, out of joy and jealousy. It must be a fantasy flick - kids singing with enthusiasm, in tune, playing instruments to the beat of the music??? And even the "naughty" kids were partcipating?? Yeah right!!! Dream on, people!

My favorite part of DVR & On Demand? Catching a movie or show halfway through, wishing I had seen it from the beginning, pushing Record, and then Poof! It's all there! AND I can fast foward through commercials!! Hallelujah!

Thought I'd answer some FAQs:

1) Aidan's lip tape... here's the scoop:

Before surgery - we used tiny rubber bands and steri strips to make a band that would stretch across Aidan's cheeks, pulling his top lip together. This allowed the skin to stretch in his lip and begin to prop up his left nostril.

After surgery - rather than Vitamin E and massage, our doctor wanted us to place a tiny square of silicone rubber on his scar to help with the healing. I tried one strip of the tape, but the silicone wasn't making contact with the scar. Then I tried one main strip and two side strips, but this was a major hassle (besides looking ridiculous!). So my mom suggested doing the rubber band/steri strip combo and that seems to work! It keeps the silicone in place with a little tension (yes, sometimes Moms are right!! Shhhh... don't let mine know that). : ) Our doctor suggested 3 months of the silicone... I can't wait for the day our little boy has NOTHING on his face! Those of you that suffered through the NAM, I sympathize!

2) Haberman bottle:

This is a special valve bottle for cleft palate kids that allows them to more or less "chomp" on the nipple and get out milk on their own. Since they lack the ability to make a suction AND swallow, it's either this or a squeeze bottle, where you squeeze the milk directly in and he just gulps it down. After getting cramps in my hand from the squeeze bottle, I was ready to try anything! The PIGEON nipple is similar to the Haberman, but the flow it non-adjustable and is faster (too fast for Aidan's liking). The Haberman essentially is just a special nipple attached to a Medela breast pump container. Before surgery, Aidan was addicted to his pacifier... since then, he doesn't take it, but he seems to LOVE sucking on the Haberman nipple. Whatever keeps him happy for now, I say.

3) Umbilical hernia (aka: the KNOB):

Some of you have inquired about Aidan's hernia. Here's a recap. He started developing it within the first month. We noticed it changing color and then it just grew, and grew, and grew! It reached it's peak at 3 months, where it was the size of a big jawbreaker. Now it's marble size (big marble) and proceeding to go down. It occurs frequently in premature babies, when the abdomen hasn't closed completely. Technically, the hernia is part of his intestines squeezing through the abdomen. Yuck! It doesn't hurt him and it's not a big deal, unless it gets hard and we're unable to squish it down. Right now, I can smoosh it and within seconds, it pops back out. If it doesn't receed completely by 18 months of age, he'll have a minor surgery. I'm not sure if he'll have an outie or an innie... we'll see!!

Ok, and now for the pictures! I had to capture Aidan's latest addiction: sucking on his two fingers. He's definitely a right-handed boy! (here he is with one finger in... the other came later - he's loving his links!)

Oops! I'm caught letting him watch TV. It was only for a second! He looked too cute sitting here in the chair, like a big person!
Piggies! My favorite...

Monday, September 22, 2008

4 month check-up, auction night, meeting Ryan!

So I forgot to post results of Aidan's 4-month check-up a few weeks ago... and I want your stats too!!

Aidan was:
6 lbs. 5 oz. at birth
3 weeks early
14 lbs. 11 oz. at 4 months (50%)

What about your munchkins? What were they at birth? How early (or late!)? And how about at 4 months? You know I LOVE my comparisons! I'm dying to know how he measured up to Reid! : )

What's he doing at 4 months?
*laughing a lot (he's getting really ticklish!)
*grabbing at toys
*crying when he's tired
*napping ONLY in his swing (arghhh!)
*his umbilical hernia is finally going down (pray for no surgery!)
*NOT sleeping through the night yet
*still using the Haberman and eating a lot
*taking Zantac for possible reflux - hmmm... I'm not sure if it's working, but his painful constipation seems to have subsided
*loves standing and being walked around outside

my first attempt at the silicone taping...

Nana and her boy

got the taping figured out
Bath time!! He LOVES splashing, but never, EVER smiles! Weird.
"What are you looking at?"
Taking a ride in his wagon around the house, bumbo style! heehee We got this on video - super cute!

Facebook - for those of you who don't have a facebook account, it's just like myspace... but seems easier to find people (or for them to find you). I've recently become "friends" with a lot of high school alums... sort of an online reunion. Makes me feel old to see people I knew, now with husbands and families, all grown up. And I'm finding myself overwhelmed with my online accounts... when I post pictures, I have my blog, facebook, myspace, AND my babysite to worry about. It's too much!!

DVR!!! Comcast came today and installed DVR and HD digital cable at our house. We really didn't want more channels (seriously!), but we had to upgrade to get the DVR. I am beyond excited to record my shows and watch them when I actually have time (why does Aidan always cry through my 9 o'clock shows??). : )

Family Support Center Auction - Every year, Chad's parents invite us to a local auction that supports needy families in Olympia. We typically get dressed up, buy a ton of gift baskets and trips, and have a great time sitting at our table. This year, however, we brought Aidan. : ) And he was the only kid there! I dressed on the casual side, preparing myself for spit-up, drool, and whatever else might attack me! Our table was towards the back, so we could slip out whenever we needed.

This year it was held at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound (about 15 minutes south). It's a hotel with an indoor water slide park! My mom just took my nephews there a few weeks ago. They have a wave pool, water slides, arcade games, etc. It's pretty cool! I can't wait until Aidan's old enough.
Chad and I shared Aidan duty, walking him around the hotel, introducing him to people we knew. Last year, we were pregnant at the auction and didn't know it, and found out the next day. Needless to say, a lot of people were surprised to see us with a baby! And someone asked if he was conceived on auction night! haha

Since money is tighter at the moment, we didn't bid on any items or trips... just gave a flat donation. But my mom went with us and bought Aidan a big basket of moose stuffed animals!! Like he needs MORE stuffed animals! : ) Thank you Nana!

Highlights of the evening:

*Aidan had his first MAJOR blowout, where you could see the poo through his outfit!! Chad was holding him (smooshing the poo around) and said, "What IS this??" "Um, honey, that's poo."

*We got heckled by some drunk guy outside when we were taking pictures. He said he was gonna charge $12 for being in our picture. He thought he was REALLY funny.

*Wearing flats instead of heels this year. YES!

*Attempting a picture of Aidan with the pirate - you'll see... : )

"Where's my dessert?"
Happy boy getting his diaper changed

Aidan's favorite pose
Happy and peaceful, falling asleep at the end of dinner, until...
... he saw the pirate!! Whahhhhhhhhhh!
Meeting Ryan... tonight we finally got to meet cutie bug Ryan! Brooke & Rob are already amazing parents, relaxed as can be, looking joyful despite lack of sleep. Hearing that Brooke DID want drugs & a hospital for a fleeting moment during her natural water birth did make me relieved. Contractions did actually hurt! Phew. She's not Wonder Woman after all... or maybe she is. : ) We got some hilarious pictures of our boys. I can't believe how big Aidan looked - like a toddler! And I can't believe Ryan weighed 9 pounds and he seemed SO teeny - and Aidan was 3 pounds smaller! How was he ever that small?? We had a great time chatting about babies, milestones, labor & delivery, parenting joys and fears... and gummy bears. : )
feeding my giant

I tell you, Aidan ALWAYS makes those eyes around other babies! My kid's a freak, what can I say?
Tiny Ryan & HUGE Aidan!
Double chin city!
Ahhhh, sweet Momma and baby

Ryan Robert Judge, 5 days oldAidan at 6 days old, wearing the same froggie sleeper he loaned out to baby Ryan!
2 weeks old, still in newborn clothes (Ryan will probably be out of his next week, or sooner!)