Friday, November 15, 2013

Viva Las Vegas! Happy Anniversary weekend Hubs!

One year ago today my loving Hubs and I were frantically scrambling around and trying to catch our plane to Las Vegas!  We ran through the airport Home-Alone-style and boarded the flight minutes before they left the runway, and because it was Southwest and we were late, I sat a few rows ahead of him dreaming about our wedding which was only 2 days away.

A year later I thought we'd be in the beginning stages of growing our family, but could never have dreamed we'd have our honeymoon baby in our arms while planning our one-year anniversary.  For his present (as if the beautiful baby I carried for him wasn't enough!), I got Hubs a trip to Fed Ex field with a "backstage" tour of the stadium.  He was an adorable tourist, and he carried his video camera all over the stadium.  We got photos taken with a photographer who encouraged me to "shake the baby" to wake him up.  Ermm... that's not how babies work buddy...

This one is my favorite, though obviously Little Man is not a big Redskin fan...

For my anniversary gift, Hubs bought me a Louie Vuitton wallet and a beautiful canvas that he had printed with the dates of all our "firsts" on it. I love the canvas and can't wait to hang it up! Sadly, it has a misspelling that means we will have to either doctor it up or get a new one, and he is so upset about it.  I asked my two craftiest friends for advice (thanks girls!) and they think it is possible to fix it, so we'll be trying that asap. I love having a husband who remembers the sentimental things like our first "I love you" and our first date.  The spoiling me rotten part is pretty nice too, but the goopy sweetheart piece of him is what stole my heart.  He is such a romantic, and he brings out the best parts of me.

Our first New Year's Eve together

This weekend we will go out for a nice dinner and just enjoy each other's company.  Little Man is probably going to visit Ex, so we might get a relaxing night with no Thomas the Tank Engine or SuperWhy! as background noise.  Just our Baby Vegas snuffling around and wanting cuddles.  Our actual anniversary falls on the Sunday, so we'll be spending it with family and both boys.  Oh that reminds me... I have a giant block of cake to pull out of the freezer!
The entire top layer of this cake traveled home with us from Vegas.
It is probably very freezer burnt.
Happy Anniversary Hubs!  Here's to many, many more!  I'd give this first year a 10 out of 10!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Do I Have A Fake Ergo Carrier?!

So today I saw something online (and for the life of me I can't remember where this rabbit hole began) that mentioned there are counterfeit Ergo baby carriers being sold at discount prices.  Supposedly even if you bought from a reputable online site, there is a chance your carrier can be a big fat fake.

Here is one article and then there are dozens more that I found that talk about how angry these women are about their fake carriers.  I took my adorable carrier out and compared it to the "real" vs "fake" versions on that site and saw that it has two red flag items that might mean it is a fake - the warning label is similar to the fake one, and the buckles say "warrior" instead of "stealth".  But in all other respects, my carrier seems well-made, safe, and looks identical to the "real" photos - the stitching, safety elastic, and everything else on my carrier is perfect.  I am not concerned at all about the safety of my carrier, and if I was I wouldn't use it at all - real or fake!

Now according to the comment section of the articles I was reading, supposedly there are Ergos made in other places, and really the only way to know if yours is a fake is to contact Ergo with serial numbers and registration info.  Ergo has sent mixed messages - one woman says she got an email saying any variation at all indicates a fake, another said when she contacted them with pictures of her "fake" label that she was assured it was not counterfeit at all.

Maybe I have a fake, maybe I don't.  Unfortunately, I don't have the box anymore to compare and/or ship back if it is indeed a fake.  In the future though, I will do some serious research before buying a carrier anywhere but through Ergo or Babies R Us - if only for the peace of mind it would give me to know I will not unintentionally be buying something that might be of lower quality than the price I am paying for it.  I have no problem buying well made but cheaper items (see; shoe collection, sweaters, etc...) but if I am buying a "designer baby carrier" that I am probably wearing more often than I carry my designer purse?!?!  That thing better be 100% next time, with nothing to give me pause or ask questions.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Why I Don't Gamble With Baby Vegas

Over the last few months, I've had to make a ton of decisions on how to raise Baby Vegas.  And believe it or not, just because I've done it once before with Little Man doesn't mean I will make the same choices for my second son. Not only do I not remember everything I did with Little Man, things have already changed since my firstborn was a baby.  Yes, in five years, things have changed. So not only do I have to defend my decisions to my (well-meaning but wrong) older generation of moms/grandmas I have around me, but I have to defend them to myself!  Just because I did it once doesn't mean it is still the best or safest way to parent!

Between my BabyBump iPhone app and my Facebook newsfeed, there are so many questions and then opinions about baby rearing.  Breast-feeding or formula?  Attachment parenting or crying-it-out?  Pureed food or baby led weaning?  These debates can get incredibly heated, but I generally avoid them and am not too concerned.  While these choices are obviously very important to you and yours, your decision in them does not affect me or the life of your child.  Your breastfed baby is just as safe as my formula fed one.  Kids who start on purees will eventually eat table food.  There are no studies that identify whether serial killers were carried in Baby Bjorns instead of a tye-dyed ring sling.  Maybe your kid will end up "better" than my kid, or maybe they won't.  These kind of choices are innocent parenting choices that always just prompt me to say - and only when asked for my opinion - "Here is what I do, but really, do what you think is best."

But then there are the debates that have me slamming down my phone in disgust or typing away long-winded answers in frustration.  Baby carriers rested on the tops of shopping carts.  Guidelines on how long to keep your child in a car seat and/or rear facing.  Crib bumpers and the "back to sleep" initiative.  These questions make me angry because there is in fact just one answer to all of these - do what is safest despite what is convenient!  That's it.  No, you don't hear about thousands of babies dying from any one of these things.  But there are plenty of injuries, and there have been deaths.  So why would you risk being that unlucky parent for a little bit of convenience?  Yeah, I've been there.  I hate having to wake up a sleeping baby to transfer them to a wearable carrier or one of the carriers that is pre-attached to your shopping cart.  I have beautiful crib bumpers gifted to me for my first son from before the state of Maryland outlawed them for safety reasons. I've watched my son sleeping on his tummy so sweetly and deeply that I was tempted to walk away and get my work done.

Then I think about it again.  I think about those women who knew it would never ever happen to them.  The ones whose child would never fall off a shopping cart as she rolled over a curb, or turned down the aisle too quickly. The mother who walked in to see her child tangled in a crib bumper or smothered under a heavy quilt.  Those few mothers out of those hundreds of mothers who just know it will never happen to them.  And then I don't gamble. It isn't worth the risk  My son's life is worth making the safe bet - which is not betting at all.   Just because your parents did it and "we turned out fine" is not an excuse any more.  Know better, and do better.  Don't be the person that gambles and loses! You can't possibly know what life has in store for you. You might be the car involved in a collision on the Beltway, or you might get home safely with two kids sharing a single seat-belt. No one wakes up in the morning and thinks, "By golly I better be extra-safe today because I have that accident coming my way."  If there are ways to prevent infant and child deaths and you aren't doing them, then that is when I want to shake you and beg you to become informed. Even when doing your very best all the time as a parent, accidents happen.  Every day can't be your lucky day. So please take the extra time to read up on child safety and carry it out.  The one time you realize that you prevented an accident or injury will be worth all the headache and work you swore you didn't need to be doing.  And if you never happen to encounter a situation where your child is saved by one of the safety measures you took - well then, consider yourself lucky, and I'd recommend you play the slots.

Monday, November 4, 2013

So much for posting every day

Today is the 50th day of school in our county, so Little Man's class is celebrating with a 50's dance complete with root beer floats and hot dogs.  It should be fairly hilarious because A) a kindergarten dance?  And B) Little Man hates ice cream and carbonated beverages.  But I dutifully dressed him in his greaser costume and tried to slick back his mop of hair before school... it turned out more flock of seagulls than greaser, but I think I got an A for effort.

To add to my morning craziness, every day for the next two weeks he is supposed to be in a different color outfit for their color unit. This is after I spent all last week dressing him in outfits for "Spirit Week".  Considering he could care less what he wears, it's really a pain in the ass.  But I feel like if I don't do it, then the other moms and teachers will judge me for not caring about this super fun Color Unit.  *Sigh*  So I am organizing a bunch of special outfits for this week and he will be the cutest and most involved kid in his class.  
We all had a great extended Halloween weekend!  Saturday was lunch with my grandmother-in-law and a costume party with some of my favorites. Then yesterday we invited some more friends over to watch scary movies and eat our leftover candy.  Hubs laughed with me later that I never really held Baby Vegas for more than a minute or so all night - he was everyone's favorite party guest.

Last but certainly not least - I finally started my exercise program again!  I am hoping I can keep up with it, and I know that I can as long as I put my mind to it.  I love how great I feel when I'm keeping up with my workouts and eating well, and it is always a nice bonus to see the pounds drop off.  My goal is to lose 15 pounds by January.  All about willpower.

Friday, November 1, 2013

BloPoMoNaNoNa ... Or whatever this month is called...

In November, some bloggers will take the month to challenge themselves to make a post every day - National Blog Posting Month or "NaBloPoMo".  While I doubt I will be able to have a post-a-day with little ones running around and prepping for the Halloween to Holidays Death Spiral, I want to at least try and post a little more so that my updates are a little less "OMG 3 WEEKS OF CRAZY UPDATES JAMMED INTO ONE SENTENCE!"

Not my chart, but its accurate/funny.
Celebrating Halloween on a Thursday is much trickier once you are out of college. The "grown-ups" went to our Halloween party last weekend, and this weekend we are keeping it a little more low-key and having a few friends over. Really though, I am just happy that Hubs and I managed to scrounge together a couples costume to wear, since this holiday always seems to sneak up on us and I have so little try.

Caesar and Cleopatra
Last night was finally Halloween and we enjoyed it as much as you can with two kidlets who give no craps about the holiday!  The houses in our 'hood are pretty spaced out and so we didn't get too many trick or treaters.  Leftover candy may derail my diet plan just a little...

Anyways, the boys wore adorable outfits and Little Man even wore a mask (for thirty two seconds while I held his hands for the photo).  Hubs' parents came over and gave them special Halloween pajamas. Gramma even adapted Little Man's pjs with a hidden hook-and-eye that will hopefully keep them from being removed during the night!

Little Man had some fun themed clothing for school the past few days, but somewhere between the bus ride and getting home he must have lost the cape for yesterday's school costume.  [Because of his hatred of Halloween sensory issues, I had his school "costume" as a shirt with a shiny blue cape attached.  That way he wouldn't have to wear his costume all day.]  I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture with it before he left for school.  But here is the cute outfit he wore Wednesday!
Festive without the itch.
In true Vegas fashion, Baby had a costume change mid-Halloween evening.   He had this gem that I picked up at Target a few months ago...
What. Is. That?
And then his fancy costume.  Spoiled rotten kids.  Although really, the outfits were definitely all for Mommy's amusement.

Pumpkin boy and Captain America!  Photos are deceiving, that mask was not appreciated.

And so we stayed up late watching Ghostbusters and eating pizza, celebrating Halloween in the quiet of our own home.  Maybe we'll go trick-or-treating next year if Baby Vegas is up for it, but for now we are enjoying not having to work too hard at this holiday.  

Although by the look of this sleepy little boy, some of us worked very hard this Halloween...
Had to pry him out of bed this morning
See you tomorrow folks!