Friday, November 28, 2008

That New Office Supply Smell

Throughout life, there are scents that evoke happiness. For some it's a new car, or the smell of gasoline (which I personally despise), leather or fabric softener...but I prefer the smell of office supplies. Yes, I'm a weirdo, but opening a pack of sticky notes or stepping in to Office Max brings me great joy.

Even as a child I loved the start of each school year and the promise of fresh pencils, trapper keepers, and notebook paper. Some may read into this as signifying new beginnings. While that's very profound, I really think I just like the order and organization that school/office supplies represent. I know this is strange, but I simply can't help it.

As a new parent I've discovered I love Grayson's scent too. Not just the typical "baby smell" like Johnson & Johnson shampoo, but even oddball things like his breath. It may sound crazy, but it brings me such comfort and joy to smell his milky breath. I'm sure it has something to do with pheromones or a similar DNA source, but I just love it.

Yes, I know this is abnormal and I've probably scared off half my readers, but I don't care. Chalk it up to being a crazy mom.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Michael's parents were sorting through some old family pictures recently to see if Grayson resembled Michael as a baby. While they do have some strong similarities, it was revealed that Grayson actually favors Michael's dad (aka Popper).

Here are a few of Popper's baby pictures. It's kinda spooky:

Judging from Grayson's eyes and length, I do think he'll eventually show DNA from my side of the family, but there's no denying he's a Vidrine.

Friday, November 21, 2008

What Grayson Has Been Up To Lately

Hanging out with my new friend Mr. Sock Monkey

Locked and loaded ready to go to school

Smiling and talking on my changing table

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Baby Boom!

Let me start by saying, no we are NOT pregnant again...I have even better news. In a few months, Grayson will have a cousin (via my sister Amy & brother-in-law Ben), in addition to five new playmates through other couples we know. That's a total of SIX babies!! WhoHoo!

We only know the gender of one so far...Miss Kate who is expected to make her debut this coming Friday if not before (hang in there, Nicole!). The other five babies are still too early to know their sex, but they are all due between May and July 2009.

This baby boom is quite exciting for our household and will be so much fun for Grayson to have friends so close in age. I have all kinds of baby shower and gift ideas floating through my head. It will be difficult to restrain myself!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mr. Sniffles

Since birth Grayson has battled nasal congestion that never seems to completely go away. It's usually pretty minor and doesn't seem to bother him so we don't worry much about it.

That all changed two nights ago when we noticed his nose seemed more "stuffed up" than usual, so we brought him back into our bedroom to sleep just to make sure he was breathing okay. We've tried all sorts of things for relieving the congestion -- suctioning his nostrils, saline spray, even a humidifier -- but nothing seems to help.

He's not running a fever, so maybe it's just the weather change or the dryness of our house now that the heater is running. Whatever the cause, it's definitely upsetting him and leads to fussiness and difficulty sleeping at times. He doesn't seem to be eating quite as well as he normally does either.

I don't think it's bad enough to warrant a doctor's visit, but I am open to any other home remedies for clearing up his tiny nasal passages. It may be kinda cute when he snores like an old man, but it can also be scary to think of him not being able to breathe clearly.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Survival Guide

After my recent submersion back into the workforce, I've picked up the following tips to help me try to get a handle on our new schedule.

1. Preparation is key. The more I can do in the evenings helps me be less crazy the next morning. This includes preparing Grayson's bottles, cleaning and preparing all of my nursing pump equipment, packing my lunch, and even thinking about what I'm going to cook for dinner or wear the next day.

2. Stay hydrated. It feels like I'm constantly thirsty due to all of the water that goes to my milk supply, so I try to carry around a large nalgene bottle at all times.

3. Anticipate a mid-afternoon slump. By 3 p.m. I'm in desperate need of some caffeine or sugar so instead of heading for the vending machine I'm trying to stash somewhat healthy snacks at work to give me a much-needed energy boost.

4. Don't sweat the small stuff. This includes things like leaving the dinner dishes for a bit to go play with my family or not micro-managing Michael as he dresses Grayson in the morning.

5. Remember this too shall pass (and quickly). It's amazing how much Grayson has changed in only 12 weeks which makes me try to savor everything he does -- even the not so fun stuff. 

So those are the life lessons I've learned this week. Right when I seem to get things figured out they change, but such is life. 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Post With No Name

We've now completed two full days of me being back at work and Grayson attending daycare. I'm not gonna lie -- I'm exhausted. I don't even have the mental capacity to think up a clever title for this blog post. 

Last night I got in bed at 9 p.m. and would have slept til morning if I didn't have to get up to feed Grayson one more time. The only reason I even made it to the bed was because Michael saw my eyes glazed over and walked me from the couch to our room. 

Today is a little better, but I'm thankful I decided to start back mid-way through the week instead of tackling a five day work week right off the bat. 

Grayson still seems to be adjusting well to daycare. He's learning little tricks of independence like holding his pacifier in with his hand. I guess he realizes if it falls out it may not get put back in right away so best to just hold it there. 

He still isn't napping very well each day so I'm trying to put him to bed earlier. This is difficult for two reasons: 1) because my milk supply isn't used to such a long night and 2) an earlier bedtime means less time we get to spend together. 

The best part of my day is walking in to daycare to pick Grayson up and seeing how his day went. I have to seriously restrain myself from kissing him too much or constantly holding him. I'm looking forward to our weekend together, although Nana and Popper are coming up from Houston so I'll have to share.

I'll close for now by expressing my joy for the simple pleasure of casual Fridays. Wearing jeans to work tomorrow will allow me one less thing think about which makes me so very happy. 

Monday, November 10, 2008

We Survived

Well Day 1 is over and I'm happy to report that Grayson and I both made it through without too much emotional damage.

When I dropped him off this morning, there was another infant starting daycare for the first time and it reassured me to see how crazy that mom was compared to me. Both the mom and dad were there with their 10 month old son and I could tell the father did not get what the big deal was. She was slightly over the top, which gave me some perspective and actually calmed me down a bit.

There are currently two teachers in the infant room and six kids -- all boys and one girl. All are between 2-6 months except for the other new boy who is already walking and probably ready to move up to the next room soon.

When I left, Grayson was sleeping like a log in one of the teacher's arms and didn't seemed bothered by any of the other baby cries or noises. I totally held it together until I got in the car and called Michael. Once I started talking about Grayson waking up without me there the tears came and I had to cut the conversation short so I wouldn't become a road hazard.

Before I dropped Grayson off, I set a personal goal to only call and check in one time and try to not pick him up until 3 p.m. Surprisingly, I was able to accomplish this in large part because I power shopped at the mall as a distraction. I knew if I stayed at home I wouldn't last very long before I broke down and went back to pick him up.

Shopping may have proven to be a bad choice though because I think I single-handedly boosted national retail sales for the fourth quarter. I'm not joking. People were gawking at all the bags I was carrying by the time I left. Here is just part of my loot to show you the ridiculousness:

On a positive note, I'm about halfway done with my Christmas shopping and that's saying a lot since we have about 40 people to buy for just family alone. (Yes, I know this is crazy but Mike and I have six sides of family combined and most of those even draw names!)

When I picked Grayson up his teachers told me all about his day. He seemed to do well overall. His feeding and napping schedule are a little off from our normal routine at home, but only by about an hour which I honestly thought would be worse.

He didn't seem to nap as well as usual due to the new environment and flurry of activity from the other infants. It sounds like he spent a majority of the day looking around in amazement, taking in the new people and surroundings.

When we got home Grayson and I sat and talked to each other for a while. He was really smiling and chatting like he wanted to tell me all about his day. He is holding his head and neck up for a really long time now with a good deal of control and seems like such a big boy now that he's been to "school."

I think he's glad to be home though, because as I laid him down to take a nap his eyes closed before I could even get him tucked in his crib.

As difficult as it is to let someone else care for him, I realize that doing so makes me really appreciate and value the time we have together instead of it feeling like a job. While I was at the mall I passed by the children's play area and took notice of the moms who were sitting and watching their kids. Some seemed so worn out and just thankful to get a break that it reaffirmed that this decision is right for me.

The interaction and educational activities Grayson will participate in at daycare will also be great in the long run as well, particularly since he's an only child.

All-in-all this roller coaster of a day has gone well which helps me mentally prepare for going back to work. Thanks to all of you who called, texted or sent positive thoughts our way. It helped us survive!

Like Father, Like Son

I caught this moment on Sunday morning after Grayson had his first feeding. I left him awake in the bed with dad as I went to bake banana nut muffins. When I came back I found them both snoozing away with all of their arms up by their heads. So adorable.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Facing the Inevitable

The moment of truth is nearing...D-day (as in daycare day) is almost upon us. I don't officially go back to work until Wednesday, but Grayson starts his transition into daycare tomorrow morning. 

As I explained in my last post, I've been focused on getting Grayson's things in order for this big day, but I've overlooked one major component -- what am I going to do with myself while he's there? 

I'm going to have to make some kind of plan to keep myself busy so that I don't get emotional. Maybe I can distract myself with some Christmas shopping. 

On a related note, how am I going to work in the hundreds of kisses I give him throughout the day in less than half the time? I guess I'll need a strategy for that as well. So many things to plan for, so little time!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Property of GV

I've been getting everything in order for Grayson's daycare debut next Monday. This means completing a packet of paperwork, getting his pediatrician to fill out some medical background forms, and labeling all of Grayson's stuff so it doesn't get lost or accidentally sent home with other kids. 

We definitely won't be traveling lightly when we go to drop him off. We have to bring his paperwork and shot records, two back up sets of clothes, diapers/wipes, ready-made bottles for the whole day, and a few blankets. All of this has to be clearly labeled with his name or initials. True to form, I've already started a list of things I want to be sure and not forget. 

As I sat down to label the clothes in Grayson's dresser, I realized it's already time to clean out a few things he's outgrown. It seems like just yesterday my mom and I were putting the tiny newborn shirts, socks and onesies into that drawer and now he's already too big for them. These are the same onesies that swallowed his little body when we first brought him home from the hospital two short months ago. I guess packing on more than four pounds and several inches will do that to you. 

Monday, November 3, 2008

All in how you look at it

I consider myself an optimist which has been coming in handy lately since there seems to be a lot of good news/bad news situations arising. I should preface this by saying the bad news isn't life-changing or even incredibly horrible, it's really just a bit of a wrinkle after something great happens (is that an optimistic PR spin or what?). 

For example, a wonderful milestone was reached today in the wardrobe arena. I was able to wear some of my pre-pregnancy jeans (and yes, I could actually breathe). This fact did not go unnoticed by my cousin which I very much appreciated. The bad news, you ask? Grayson christened them with a leaky diaper of some really stinky nastiness oozing out the side onto my leg so I couldn't enjoy this small victory for the whole day. 

On a related note, I'm only three pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight which is very exciting. The only problem is my hips and stomach skin may never return to where they once were so my body still looks different that what I'm used to. Hopefully as time goes on things will continue to shift back to their old self. 

In other news, Grayson's peely cradle cap is getting a lot better (thanks to Erin & Jen for the suggestions. We did both!). The bad news is that his hair is now falling out in strange patches. I don't think this is related to the ointment we applied, I think it is just the natural progression of a baby's hair falling out but it's funny looking. There is a bald stripe on the lower backside of Grayson's head where he lays down and the hair surrounding it is oddly long in comparison. Oh well.  

After many phone calls and stressful days, I'm finally getting our daycare situation in order. We have a spot secured at a place in Norman which I like, but we'd prefer to use a downtown OKC daycare that's only four blocks from my office and much easier to get to before they close at 6 p.m. The downtown place hasn't had any openings, but I've learned today that one may become available by next week. Just in case, I went to pick up the paperwork at the Norman daycare so we'd at least have something lined up. All of this is great, but when I got back in the car after picking up the paperwork a wave of emotion came over me that was a mixture of panic and apprehension. I started to tear up thinking about leaving Grayson with someone else and I had to call my cousin (who is an amazing working mom) so she could talk some sense into me. 

On the good news front, Grayson slept through the night last night for seven hours straight. Whohoo! The two prior nights had been very challenging so it was good that we all got some much needed sleep. He's been off his feeding and napping schedule a little today which I think may be due to a growth spurt, or the fact that he's catching up on calories from missing his nighttime meal. Either way, I'm keeping my fingers crossed he now has enough meat on his bones to sleep longer at night. 

Well, Mr. Grayson is waking up from his nap so that's all of the time I have for now. Hope everyone has a great start to their week!