Then and Now

Happy Six Month Birthday, Sam! In honor of this glorious day, I am blogging via pics...a piece I call, "Then and Now..."


What an angelic newborn face, blissfully ignorant to the ways of the world and untouched by the corruption of mankind...

Now... Recently completed courses in "working the parents 101" "I am the cutest baby in the world and how to use that to my advantage: an overview" and the "tantrums: the world can be yours" course. We now understand that if we play our cards right, we have everyone on puppet strings...


8 1/2 lbs of pure infant. An effortless lift in and out of the car is all you need to transport your bundle from one place to another as not to wake him...


Mom and dad are constantly buying formula, diapers and now ibuprofen as the 20lb munchkin is not as effortless to get in and out of the car...


A sweet nap in the living room in his bouncy seat gives mom and dad a break and a chance to relax...what a precious little boy...


Forget this seat, I'm getting out of here! You people are boring.

And there you have it!
Sam's mom

Things I might do differently...Sam's mom confesses

As the days of mommyhood get easier, I often think back to pregnancy and all those books I read about birth plans and the "experience" of labor and those first few weeks and all those plans I made. And I have to admit, like most women, there are a few things I would do very differently.

10. While I believe there is never an inappropriate time to have Starbucks, downing a Grande Latte on an empty stomach three days before my due date, and coincidentally, two hours before my water broke might not have been enough to sustain me through the 24 hours of labor and delivery. Next time, I might add a carrot muffin to that order.

9. In retrospect, inviting my friends who are 'considering' having babies over to my house the first month home from the hospital might have been a bit insensitive. While I knew that I would eventually comb my hair and get out of Andy's yard shirt and what I referred to as my lounging pants (Andy had a different name for them) for all my girlfriend knew..."I" was what "happened" to women after they had babies. I still have one friend who might have changed her mind about kids permanently after she visited the zombies known as Andy and Rachel while we described how fantastic parenthood was with our monotone voices and our baggy eyes.

8. I would have packed differently. It is very important to have shoe and ensemble choices in Jamaica or on some exotic vacation, but sitting in a hospital room, post baby, is not the time to think about what you might feel "cute" in today. I found that I had packed things like 8 bottles of gatorade, a pair of earrings, four tubes of lipstick and no hairbrush...I had nine months to pack, you would have thought I'd have planned better.

7. If you end up wearing last night's mascara into the delivery room, make sure that your birth plan includes someone who is solely responsible for smoothing your hair and wiping under your eyes before those first "precious" pics are taken. My post delivery shots look like I was headlining at Goth Fest.

6. Never, never try and do the stand sideways and suck your stomach in pose in front of the mirror at the hospital five hours after you've had a will start to wonder if they really did get the baby out or if there might be another one in there still.

5. I don't think I would come home from the hospital, put my precious bundle down for a nap and comment on how easy this new mommy thing was...just stay away from famous last words in general.

4. As much as you want to hear labor stories before you have your baby...don't ask to hear them. You will find yourself on the phone with your OBGYN saying things like, "Well, getting this baby out is NOT my better think of something because I'm not going through labor that's for sure!"

3. I would not take any kind of hospital tour, no pediatric wonder our mothers and grandmothers laugh at us...we have to have orientations for EVERYTHING! Needless to say, two hours into our pediatric tour, Andy was looking out the window at a man in the parking lot saying things to me like, "I remember a time when we were in that parking lot. Do you think we'll see our families again?"

2. Don't spare your husband's feelings or try and 'feel him out' after YOU'VE just had the baby. Give him a honey do's what he wants.

1. Lastly, I think next time, I'll stay at the hospital longer. Nothing beats having a staff of people worrying about your child's every need so you can get some rest.

But, despite the learning curve, It sure is the best thing in the world to have a chubby pair of cheeks to kiss on everyday!

Happy Mother's Day


Strangers and Fake Outs

So I'm standing in line with way too many items at Kohls, but let's face it, who ever buys just the stuff they need at Kohls...raise your hands...that's what I thought. I rationalized the purchases because Kohls was having a huge sale, which my friend, Courtney was prompt to remind me that Kohls was always having a sale. Okay, so whatever. Anyhoo, a nice lady was standing in line beside us and looked down at Sam who was getting antsy in his stroller (apparently Sam does not have the same feelings about Kohls that his mother does). She smiled and said, "he's cute". Not in his face, mind you. Just more to me than to anyone else. That's when he angelically lifted that sweet head of his and locked eyes with the nice lady...then it happened. I could see it all in slow motion. The lower lip pooched out, the eyes filled with water and the most pathetic whimper I have ever heard came sailing out of my precious ones mouth. My goodness, what had this poor woman done to upset him? If he had been a king in Babylon, the woman could very well have lost her head or been sent to a fiery furnace from the reaction he gave...luckily Sam doesn't have that kind of power...yet. I looked at the lady apologetically and said, "its not you...he's just tired of shopping." To which she smiled and agreed. After all, he is just a baby. Most people do understand that. Sam stopped the crocodile tears about thirty seconds after they started and busied himself with his "Roo" again. A few seconds later, he decided to look around again, and again he caught the eye of the nice, non axe-murdering woman in line at Kohls. "Please God, don't let him do it again! Just let him be precious to this sweet woman." As I heard God chuckling from heaven, Sam did it again. BAM...bottom lip, watery eyes and that pathetic cry. At that, I have to say that the woman looked a little offended and just moved out of his line of sight.

Now I know what you mothers are saying, "Chill, Rachel, he's just a baby. He doesn't like strangers." Yes, I realize this and I can understand why he might cry at someone that he didn't know getting in his face and making baby noises and pinching his cheeks ...but this woman was standing ten feet away. Did she hold up a knife and threaten to gouge out the eyes of "Roo" while I wasn't looking? It just makes me wonder what it is about certain people that a baby doesn't like. Aren't their expectations fairly low at this point? He really doesn't cry at all strangers. You should see him at my Weight Watchers meetings...complete flirt. You should see the woman talking to him and making kissy faces and ogling over him...not one tear. He leaves there every week the most popular boy in the class and he still hasn't lost one single pound! (side bar, put the phone down, don't call the authorities...I'm doing weight watchers, my child is was a joke). I'm sure there is something about some people that just doesn't sit right with babies. I know that for future Kohls experiences...I would love to see the criteria.
So in the same vein of Crocodile tears...Sam has developed a fake cough. Yes, you heard me, a fake cough. He sort of makes a circle out of his mouth, sticks his tongue out and makes a noise like a cough...but its not a cough. He then looks up at me as if I'm supposed to comment. I think he developed it from when he really did have a cough and I would make a fuss over his cough and he would smile. One thing is for sure...he's obviously doing it for some sort of effect. They memorize your reactions so quickly it seems.

It was like when we were at the doctor and she was trying to get Sam to sit up. Well at our house, from like three months on, we would always grab his hands, pull him to a sitting position and then up to his feet. We would all cheer and say "ta-da" and Sam would look so pleased with himself. So when the unsuspecting doctor tried to sit him up at 4.5 months, he put his feet on the ground and pushed himself up to standing (with her holding him, of course), then looked at her and smiled. She laughed and said, "My you are proud of that aren't you." I think Sam was actually wanting her to yell "TA-DA!" and clap so I think he was a little disappointed.
Well, Sunday, my precious baby is getting dedicated. We are excited to have our familied attend this event and a party at my house afterward...why do I feel like I live at the grocery store?