Meet the Sullivans: October 2012

October 31, 2012

Through the Tunnel








This boy loves adventure! He has so much fun crawling through the tunnels and under the slides at Gymboree and at home he is always trying to crawl under all the tables and chairs. This little tunnel provides O with so much entertainment. It is one of our favorite new toys to play with together.

Happy Halloween!

October 30, 2012

Big Boy

Dear Owen,

Today we went for your 9 month old well baby doctor's visit, although you are almost 9 1/2 months. Better late than never, right? We tried getting into the office earlier, but they are always so busy!


You are 28 1/4 inches tall (47th percentile) and weigh 20 pounds 10 ounces (45th percentile). You are getting so BIG, my little boy! Dr. K says you're growing right on track!

You adore Dr. K and even squiggled out of my arms to get on the floor so you could get over to him and pull up on him. He let you sit on his lap and play with his Goofy tie while he and I chatted about you.

He is happy with your growth and development and said my biggest concern should be safety since he can tell you are / will be into everything--he is right, you are!

No regular shots today, just a flu shot.

Dr. K and I also talked about your little breathing / gasping thing. He said it may be Stridor. He isn't overly concerned because it's just occasionally and doesn't cause you any distress. I was told to watch it closely to make sure it doesn't get worse. He says it will go away as you grow and your airways widen.

We're so happy and thankful for your good health and sweet spirit, Owen! You're fast asleep in your carseat in the nursery right now.

xoxo,
Mommy

October 29, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

I'm 31 people. I almost don't even believe it. I still feel like I'm a young twenty something most of the time, which I'm so thankful for.

I had a fantastic birthday weekend filled while time with my loved ones, lots of sweets and treats and plenty of slobbery kisses from my little dude. I feel very spoiled and very loved!

Saturday afternoon my mom and sister took me out to lunch. Lunch was great and Owen was pretty good the whole time. Afterward we strolled around Stanford Shopping Center. The weather was gorgeous!



Saturday night we got together with Keith's brother and sister and their families with the intention of carving pumpkins, but instead we all just ate dinner and watched the Giants game and enjoyed each other's company.

Sunday morning Keith brought me a Pumpkin Spice Latte and even let me sleep in! Sweet husband! After Owen took a super short nap we all went for a walk.

My mom and sister gave me this delicious smelling candle as part of my birthday gift and I wish I could be burning it wherever I go. It smells like Fall smothered in frosting!

They also gave me a new Hot Tools curling iron I've been wishing for. I finally got to utilize some of the tricks I've been seeing on other blogs and vlogs on how to get "those" waves. I think I did a pretty good job for my first try!

Keith took me out to dinner while my brave mother-in-law watched Owen for us. Dinner was amazing! We got to the restaurant early to have a cocktail in the bar and watch the start of the Giants game. I had a Lemon Drop --my favorite cocktail-- and it was perfect.

Dinner was fabulous and the view of the Bay was absolutely gorgeous!

We even took our time and had coffee and dessert, which we never ever do when we go out to dinner. We don't get much uninterrupted time together anymore, so not only was it nice to be out for a nice dinner, but it was really really nice to get to enjoy Keith's company.

When we came home my mother-in-law had Owen asleep in his crib (which is a major accomplishment!!), so Keith and I were able to watch the rest of the World Series and witness the Giant's win! Hooray! What a great birthday surprise that was.

I feel so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life who are so kind, caring and thoughtful.

October 28, 2012

Weekend Reading

These are a handful of my favorite posts this week. The hit home and stopped me in my tracks by being so truthful, interesting and for reading my mind. I hope you'll kick back with some coffee (or wine!) and enjoy them!

The Happiness Project by Hello! Happiness
On Blogging, Judgement, The Un-Blogger, and Why I Blog by ILYMTC
Because I Can't Get This Back by The Blue-Eyed Bride


In other news...

Today I turn 31. Yikes! I'm starting feel the effects of my "birthday weekend" already from the lunch with my mom and sister yesterday, pumpkin spice lattes yesterday and today, cakes and cupcakes last night and lychee fro-yo yesterday afternoon. I'm enjoying all the birthday sweetness to the max, you could say.

Today I'll be spending the day with my boys, and I'll be escaping for a few hours for a mani pedi all by myself. And I'm really really really hoping the Giants can bring home a win today and win the World Series. What an awesome birthday gift that would be!

Happy weekend, friends!

October 24, 2012

Oh, How the Nights Have Changed

When I was pregnant with Owen people seemed to always be telling me that once you have kids your life will never be the same. I always though, "Well, of course, right?"

You're going to add another person to your family, forever changing the dynamic. You're going to be responsible for them for the rest of their life. You're going to love them beyond anything you can possibly imagine, so much that it hurts sometimes.

I knew life would change, but I never imagined just how much, on a daily basis, it would be so so very different.

The comparison between our nights before O and after O feel so different. Even though sometimes I wish I had a little more time to myself, not an ounce of me wishes we could go back to those nights, as fun and carefree as they were.

A typical night before O:


4:30pm I leave work and head home. Sometimes stopping at a store to look around, often Home Goods.

5:30pm Arrive home, change in sweats and get dinner started while maybe having a glass of wine and listening to the news. I would usually be making something new, rarely ever repeating a recipe and always trying to make something very involved.

5:45pm Keith gets home.

6:30pm We eat dinner on the couch (gasp) while catching up on our favorite shows or watching a movie. Sometimes both.

8:00pm Read some blogs (me), play video games (Keith), read a magazine, work on a puzzle together, take a quick trip to Target together, go for a walk or go get frozen yogurt, etc.

9:00pm Head up to bed to read a little before going to sleep.

A typical night now:


5:00pm Start dinner while Owen plays in the pack and play, walker or the rainforest bouncer. I usually have about 15 minutes to get everything going and in the oven. I very rarely make anything that requires more than oven baking / heating.

5:30pm Keith gets home and keeps an eye on O while I set the table and finish getting dinner together.

6:00pm We sit down for dinner in the Dinning Room. We eat with Owen in the highchair between us and take turns feeding him and keeping him happy and occupied. Dinner usually only lasts 10-15 minutes or however long we can entertain him with puffs or his water.

6:15pm Dinner is immediately followed by bath time. One of us clears the table, puts the dishes in the dishwasher and runs the bath water while the other entertains O and grabs the bath stuff.

6:30pm After the bath we either have Family Fun Time or head straight up to O's room to feed him and put him to bed. It all depends on when he woke up from his last nap.

7:00 or 7:30pm O is asleep and we collapse onto the couch to watch a show or a movie or just zone out for a while!

9:00pm Bed time for me! I usually read a bit and then start to fall asleep, which is when Owen usually wakes up, which means I head back into his room to rock him back to sleep.

9:30pm The time I actually get into bed and drift off to sleep for a few hours (if I'm lucky) before O wakes up again and needs help getting back to sleep.

Like I said, wouldn't change a thing! Now, off to fold some laundry and empty the dishwasher...

October 23, 2012

You Know You're a New Mom When...

...you take your otherwise healthy happy baby, who is bright eyed and in very good spirits to the doctor two days in a row. You take him to the doctor two days in a row because the first doctor saying your baby who is occasionally gasping (especially when excited, crying or laughing) is "just fine" is just not good enough. You need a second opinion, of course.



In our defense, we are new parents and Owen has never been sick, so we don't yet know what illness will look like on him. And we're probably a little paranoid. Keith has exercise induced asthma, so we're very aware of O's breathing--really, what parent wouldn't be concerned when their child's breathing is irregular?

The first doctor checked his oxygen levels, ears, nose, throat and did a little exam. He concluded that our robust boy (his words, not mine) is absolutely fine.

The second doctor, a pediatrician in our pediatric group, check all the same vitals and concluded the same. She also pointed out Owen's humor and suggested that it is just a new noise he's learned to make to get attention and be funny. He's a real comedian, this kid. We were advised that if no other symptoms revealed themselves that he is totally fine.


I'm happy to report that O has been breathing normally all afternoon.

I guess I can also say You Know You're a New Mom When...your baby pulls a prank on you and makes your think he's dying because he can't breath but he is actually totally fine and just thinks it would be funny if you had to drag him to the doctor two days in a row.

October 22, 2012

Recipe: Pumpkin-Pomegranate Muffins

Would you believe this recipe has been sitting here in Blogger waiting to be published for almost two weeks? Now that Owen is mobile and has said buh-byee to that glorious albeit short evening nap I'm getting a lot less time to do "my" stuff like bake and blog.

Anyhow, here is the recipe for these delightful muffins I baked forever long ago. They were tasty and moist and disappeared in a flash.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large egg
2/3 cup sweetened dried pomegranates, chopped
Cooking spray

Preparation
Preheat oven to 375°.

1. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and next 5 ingredients (though cloves); stir well with a whisk.
2. Combine granulated sugar and next 5 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Fold in cranberries.
3. Place 12 paper muffin cup liners in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray. Spoon batter into prepared cups. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. 4. Remove muffins from pan immediately; place on a wire rack.

Note: This recipe doubles easily to feed a crowd. These are best warm, but you can make ahead to jump-start holiday cooking. Bake up to one month in advance, and place in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Let the muffins thaw at room temperature, and then microwave at MEDIUM-HIGH about 30 seconds to heat through.

October 19, 2012

Owen is 9 Months!

Dear Owen,

You are such a sweet little angel and each day you make us fall more and more in love with you!


You have been standing on your own for a few moments at a time without holding on to anything. You know just how to slowly lower yourself to the ground safely too.

You've made some new friends this month at Gymboree and in our playgroup. Just this week during parachute / bubble time I sat you down in front of me and you crawled away to the other side of the parachute to watch the teach blow the bubbles. I think you wanted a better view. You were so independent and confident.


Your top left tooth has come through, and it looks like there might be three other top row teeth in the works.

You can climb the stairs like it is no big deal. If we leave the door to the entryway open you crawl toward the stairs as fast as your little body will take you. You think it is so funny to race off toward them!

You like to "help" me vacuum by pushing the caboose.


You are a serious little dancer! You bounce to the music in the grocery store while you ride in the cart, you bounce while I read "The Wheels on the Bus" to you and whenever you hear music.

You have started to wave a bit and high-five.

Just a few weeks ago I started taking you to the child care at our gym. You don't love it, but you calm down after a few minutes of being in there with the other kids. Mommy is so thankful to get some regular exercise.

You have learned to shake your head as if you're saying "no". You seem to sort of understand what it means when you do it because you shake your head when we offer you food and you don't want any more. But, you also shake your head randomly while crawling, being pushed in your stroller, etc. I wonder what's going through your mind when you do that.

You are doing a great job at drinking water out of your sippy cup. You would love to drink water all day long if you could, but I'm afraid it will fill you up without giving you enough calories.

You've dropped your evening nap, so that leaves us with just your morning nap (about 2 hours after you've been wake) and your afternoon nap. We hoped this would result in your sleep better at night, but it hasn't seemed to help much.

Speaking of sleeping at night... Typically you wake up 2-3 times and are up for the day before 7pm.

You nurse about every three hours and we supplement with formula if I feel like you need more or if I am out of the house and not available to nurse you.

You've been refusing purees for a while now, so we've moved on to mushed and soft finger foods. This month you've been eating avocado, well cooked pasta, sweet potatoes, smashed black beans, turkey meatballs, oatmeal, organic puffs, baked apples and yogurt.

You wear mainly 6-12 or 12-18 month clothes and are wearing size 3 diapers.

Thank you for just being you, Owen! You have the sweetest personality and always have a smile for everyone you see (even if you're tired, hungry, antsy). We are so proud to be your parents. We feel infinitely blessed to call you our son, Big Boy!

Love, Mommy

October 17, 2012

31 Days of Our Daybook: A Nice Little Tuesday

Yep, I can probably guarantee that I will never be good at keeping up with this blog on the weekend.

It's just the busiest time for us with family, fun and to do's.

Today is Wednesday and I have not written a 31 Days post since Friday. We've been busy and tired. I've been tending to my family and our home and having some fun. We went shopping for new clothes for Keith's new position and had dinner at our friend's house and let our babies play together. We went to the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival on Sunday and that evening my sister and I saw Carrie Underwood in concert at the HP Pavillion. It was a great concert, but mostly it was just fun to do something with my sister. We went to Gymboree and did the grocery shopping...

And that brings us to today!

Keith went to a conference on Monday, which is usually one of his "off" days, so he had today off. Because Keith was home we skipped playgroup this week in favor of having time together.

We each got our workouts in in the morning before heading to Costco in the afternoon. Our weekend days remind me of that scene in Old School when Will Ferrell's character is asked about his Saturday. He says, "Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we're going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don't know, I don't know if we'll have enough time." That is our life.

For dinner I made a really simple dinner, but it was awesome. We had tri-tip roast and a wedge salad. Owen had smushed black beans and a turkey meatball.

He went down really easy last night and I'm hoping the new iPod doc we bought for his room helps him sleep better!

October 16, 2012

Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival

Over the weekend we took Owen to Half Moon Bay for the Pumpkin Festival. Keith and I go every year and follow it up with a stop at Pastorino Farms.

Last year I spent the entire time thinking about what it would be like when we took our little baby the next year. Owen was really so good the whole day! He loves to check out everything around him and smile at all the people. He even got to try some pumpkin pancakes!



We had breakfast and coffee first and then walked around looking at some of the booths. Most of them weren't open yet at 8:30, but by the time we made a few laps around most of them were ready.

We were able to find the booth where I've been buying the blown glass pumpkins I've been collecting. In my opinion Totally Blown Glassworks makes the most beautiful and unique pumpkins. They come all the way from Seattle for the festival and I hope they keep coming back year after year. This year I added a blue and aqua pumpkin to my collection.

The Half Moon Bay brewery had a booth this year and they were selling a Pumpkin Ale, which Keith said was really good.

After taking in the festival we drove over to the pumpkin farm to pick out our pumpkins. Owen was amazed by all the pumpkins and hay.










I had to share this picture. In my mind, when I imagined taking Owen to the pumpkin farm and taking his picture with pumpkins, I pictured our sweet baby boy sitting happily on or near a few orange pumpkins and gourds.

Well, well, well. If you have children you know that the picture in our minds never quite measures up to the reality. Owen had hay and dirt in this hands, on his shirt and on his face. He may have even gotten a little dirt in his mouth. That's the reality, friends, and it's just fine!

Aren't these pretty? They creeped Keith out for some reason.



Our pumpkins.

This is the trip home. Owen likes to do this thing where he holds his cup above his head with both hands. He is so impressed with himself when he does this. It's adorable.

I would say this is the first of quite a few holiday traditions Keith and I have that we've now been able to include Owen in. It's definitely a little more challenging with a baby (of course!), but much more exciting to experience it all with him!

October 12, 2012

A Strapping Little Thrill

I have a love affair with my dSLR. I'm no pro at using it, but I have a lot of fun playing around with it. I keep telling myself that one of these days I will find a class and learn how to use all of the manual settings, but for now I think my pictures are looking just fine.
kindly ignore the nail polish on two fingers, but not the others. I was testing polishes at Target that day. 
Since I adore my camera so much, and because its as much of an accessory to me as a purse, I think it should look the part. That boring old, standard Canon strap needs some updating. My camera needs some cuteness.

camera straps

I like them all so much, and of course the sequin one looks so fun but is definitely not very practical. It would probably be scratchy, and do you really think I could get Keith to carry the camera with that strapped to it? I'm going to say no. 

Which is your favorite?

31 Days of Our Daybook: Sweet Sweat

Today was a fun day for us. Owen and I went to the gym together after his morning nap. This was the very first time I left him with someone other than family, and I was pretty nervous going into it the whole time. I didn't know if he would be happy or have separation anxiety and I didn't know if I would feel comfortable leaving him.

Our gym is great. It's clean, new, huge and the people there are so nice and helpful. The women working in the child care assured me Owen would be just fine, and he was. My sister met us at the gym, so she and I got to get our workout in together. I was telling her when we were cooling down that this is exactly what I thought being a stay-at-home mom would be like... only took me 8 3/4 months to actually make it happen.

I am so happy to be able to have another way to work out during the week without having to go to the gym at night after Keith gets home. And I really am excited to have another thing for Owen and I to do that will get us out of the house when the weather gets bad. There is only so much shopping we can do!

After showering and picking up my little guy from child watch we said good-bye to Aunt KC and headed home. Owen went down for a nap and I got to watch the end of the Giants game. The tension was crazy. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for that last strike that would send the Giants to the NLCS. It's Orange October again, my friends! Owen wore his Posey t-shirt all day long.

Owen helped me bake some Pumpkin Pomegrante muffins in the afternoon. Please note that by "helped" I mean he crawled around on the kitchen floor pulling out all sorts of fun stuff from the cabinets. He had fun rolling around a plastic can of peanuts (sealed tightly), a large plastic bowl, a baby brush and a 6-cup muffin tin. Seriously need to get KS to put those child proof latches on all the cabinets.

When Keith came home we fed O, gave him and quick bath and put him to bed. He was really fighting it tonight. I think he was over tired because he skipped his evening nap today.

Here's to hoping that missed nap turns into a extra long night of sleep for us all.

Keith and I ate dinner on the couch in front of the tv. (gasp) Modern Family was extra long and extra funny this week. I'm so thankful for such a funny show.

I wrapped up the night with a little blogging and some menu planning while Keith did some studying for his new position in out-patient PT! (Hooray!!!) We've been waiting for this for quite some time! Being in the hospital meant Keith worked Tuesday-Saturday, which has been a pain as far as getting away for the weekend, going to family / friend gatherings and just having a normal weekend. Not to mention how much more physically difficult it has been for Keith to be in the hospital lifting people etc. He'll still be on Saturdays for a little while, but they've promised its temporary!


October 10, 2012

31 Days of Our Daybook: Pants

I can't believe I am actually writing this post before bed, as in on time. I'm usually too exhausted to formulate thoughts at the end of the night, much less type them out.

Buying pants for a baby is really kind of difficult for me. Should I buy them a little big? Just right? Should he wear a belt? Little baby girls can wear tights or leggings, which just seems so convenient to me and I'm so envious of that, but maybe the girl moms feel differently.

But alas, my son will not be wearing either, so I buy him pants. I realized this morning that he had grown out of all but two pairs of his non-sweatpant pants. SO, Owen and I headed to do a few errands before Gymboree and stopped at Old Navy for some jeans and cords for that cutie.

Owen really doesn't like riding in his car seat much, but whenever we pull up to Gymboree he smiles so big as I unstrap him from his car seat. he just loves it there so much, and subsequently I do too!

After class we ran the rest of our errands. We went to Target for a few things, then Bed Bath and Beyond to look for mini bundt pans (no luck) and Babies R Us to check out a few strollers.

We're in the market for an umbrella stroller. We're trying to decide between the Maclaren Globetrotter and the Maclaren Triumph. If you have any suggestions or tips I'd love to hear them!

The rest of the afternoon was pretty standard. Owen took a nap while I got dinner going and when Keith came home we sat down for dinner together.


It was definitely feeling like Fall this evening, so I made this Southern Living Shepherd's Pie and it was really good and pretty easy to make. Next time I make it I'll take photos and share the recipe.


Before getting Owen ready for bed we played a bit and Keith read him a few stories while I cleared out his closet and drawers of all the clothes that no longer fit him.


I filled a whole large laundry basket with pajamas, socks, onesies, pants, etc that he'll never wear again. It was kind of emotional putting away some of his cute little outfits that I remember him just wearing not too long ago. This sweet guy is growing way too fast!