Sunday, August 30, 2009

Beautiful Pictures

Yesterday, Marino and I were lucky enough to have a photo shoot with Shey Marin in Frederick. Shey just recently moved back to Maryland, and we honored to have her take our picture - she's really an amazing photographer!

Check out her blog for a sneak peek of the pictures (and contact info if you are local and in need of beautiful pictures). I am in love with them!

Friday, August 28, 2009

5 on Friday

I started this blog, in part, as a love note to Marino. I'm sort of macabre after my near death experience last year, so I always think, "What if something happens to me and Marino never knows how much I loved him?" Best case scenario, he reads this when he's older and is reminded of how much Evan and I love him. My buddy Jill/kindred spirit over at Zingo Tots told me her 13 year old reads her blog sometimes and says "Wow, Mom, you really love us, huh?" ::heart melts::
In this vein, I introduce "5 on Friday" - a weekly post about 5 special reasons I am loving my boy each week.

5. He had a skin infection all week but he was as cheerful and sweet as ever.

4. He loved the hummus Grandma and I made for him this week (best eater ever!!)

3. He started patting his chest anytime someone says "me" this week

2. Yesterday morning we went upstairs to say goodbye to Evan in the morning and he said "DaddyO"which is what I jokingly call my dad

1. Today I said "come to mama" and he walked half way across the room to me!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Adjusted Birthday

Today, Marino is 12 months adjusted (8/26 was my original due date). Auntie Chelle and Auntie Rianne came over after work and hung with the boy. Auntie Chelle brought over super cool new sneaks for Marino that she brought back from Dr. Jay's in NYC. Is Marino a lucky guy or what?

In honor of Marino's adjusted birthday, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on all the cool things he can do now:

* take up to 7 steps at a time (it would be accurate to call them stumbles, but we have to start somewhere, right?)
* can stand for close to a minute (until he thinks about it, then he falls over)
* "brush" his hair and his teeth
* plays peekaboo
* he does the penguin dance
* eat with a fork and cut with a knife with some assistance
* eats table food almost exclusively (I just puree fruit for yogurt)
* pats his belly if I say "big belly"
* pats his chest if we say "where's/who's Marino?" (this just started today)
* knows other people/animal's ears, eyes, mouth and nose
* knows what "gentle" means
* can clap, wave and blow kisses
* says "yay" if there is clapping or cheering
* drinks from a sippy (when he feels like it)
* drinks a bottle with one hand
* can say a handful of words: mama, dada, hi, bye, ball, dog, up, banana, whoa, uh oh, occassionally says "this"
* makes a chewing motion if he wants food or signs "milk" if he wants milk
* knows/does "in"
* rides his Lightning McQueen ride-on car (but only backwards)
* can throw and kick a ball
* plays chase and plays "fetch"
* is an avid climber:)

It's pretty amazing how much have changed in the past few months. He's really made some amazing strides.
Happy adjusted birthday, Marino!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Step by Step - the Video

I finally got a decent video of the boy taking steps. Evan and I are such dorks...we were counting the steps in this video!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pictures! Video!

You know what the last few posts have been missing? PICTURES! and VIDEOS!

Here are a few....this picture my Aunt Sally took the weekend before last at the family picnic.

Favorite cousins...
Um, do you see this hug around the neck? Too much cuteness!!

These pictures my friend Gina took at her twins' 4th birthday party on Saturday. Since I am usually the one taking the pictures, it's rare I have pictures of me doing my favorite thing...
being a mama:)

Did you notice I am wearing the same shirt one week apart? I swear, I am such a creature of habit. I probably put that shirt on every Saturday without even realizing it.

My mom and Ray came fron NY this weekend to visit us (ok, let's get serious, they came to visit Marino). On Sunday, Evan and I spent the whole day tubing in West Virginia with friends, so Marino hung with Grandma and Grandpa Ray all day.

And here is a tiny video of some zombie steps.

He took many more coordinated steps today, but none of them while I was holding the camera. He even took 5 steps over to Max, grabbed his tail, and then took 2 more steps holding his tail! It was pretty awesome!

Now, that I showed you some happy stuff, here's the bad news...the boy has ANOTHER SKIN INFECTION. Remember he had one last month? Well, it's back and it's ugly. Luckily, I knew right away what it was this time, so I just showed up on our pediatrician's door step Saturday morning and begged her to see me. He's back on antibiotics (oral and topical). We also have an arsenal of new products to try and we are also going to try Evening Primrose Oil (orally). I really hate eczema!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Welcome to the World, Baby Vincent!

My friend Monica had her baby, Vincent, early this morning. You may remember, she was having pre-term labor beginning at 29 weeks, but Baby Vincent arrived at a healthy 38 weeks (ironically, the night after her last day of work before maternity leave - good timing!). Vincent is 5lb, 7 oz and 18 inches long (Monica is very small, so no worries there). Best of all, he is healthy! I'm very happy for her and I can't wait to meet him!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

1st Steps!!

Marino took his first steps today. Daycare said he took two steps this afternoon. Thankfully, he did a repeat performance for Mama when we got home! Yay!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Another Busy Weekend and Skin Update

This weekend was another busy one with the boy. I'm not looking forward to summer ending - I love having my weekends free to hang with my favorite little man!

After the Fair on Saturday, Evan, Marino and I went to a family picnic at Great Seneca Park. My grandfather and his wife, Joanne, were visiting from Florida and it was great to be able to see them.

Marino's favorite cousin Pacey was there. She decided she wanted to sit in Marino's stroller with him:)

Marino got a chance to visit with some of his other cousins, too. Doesn't he look a lot like Erica (on the right)? They have a very similar complexion and hair color/texture. She is the sweetest girl in the world, so hopefully he will take after her in that regard as well.

L to R: my Aunt Kerry, Evan, Marino, Pacey, Miranda and Sigrid.
Marino and his great grand Pap.
On Sunday, Evan, Marino and I went to visit with The Western's (all of them). It was great to see everyone and meet the newest additions: dogs Coco and Ruby. Marino really enjoyed swimming with everyone (including the dogs!).

Here's Marino playing with Aaron (can you believe he is 7 months older than Aaron? they are almost the same size!).

Ruby decided she wanted to lay like the babies!

Daddy and Marino swim time!

Mama and Marino swim!!

Marino's eczema has gone from bad to worse over the past 10 days or so. I thought he had a heat rash, but I guess his eczema flairs up from heat (and it's been in the 90s for the better part of the past 10 days). Today was especially tough. I was groggily changing Marino's diaper at 6am when he showed me his hand and it was full of blood! He had ripped open a gash in the back of his knee. I cleaned it, put a Band-Aid on it and put cotton long pants on him, thinking we would be ok. Nope - he opened up the other knee on our commute! Ugh! Luckily, we have nurses at daycare, so they cleaned it an put a figure eight wrap over it so he couldn't get to it.
The silver lining is we had an existing dermatology appointment today, so the doctor got to see it at it's worst. The dermatologist said it's atopic dermatitis. When I read up on it, a lot of things clicked for me. I'm always saying "his skin is just so sensitive" (he gets hives from his own saliva, the dog's saliva, random things like water bottles, etc) which is typical for this condition. We have some prescriptions now and a plan for bad flare ups like our current one (wet wraps over night) but the doctor told us we should prepare for this to be an ongoing problem until somewhere between the ages of 5 and 10. Even then, he said it is likely he will have sensitive skin even as an adult. He also asked me a lot about asthma, as there is a strong correlation between the two conditions. Time will tell if asthma will be an issue (let's hope not).
To add insult to injury, when we arrived at the doctor's office, Marino had a very red eye. When I looked inside of it, he had some strange black thing in the very bottom of his eye. The nurse helped get it out (which did not make Marino very happy). Guess what it was? A fly! Poor Marino - not a good day. First an eczema flare up, a bloody knee and then a fly in the eye!
To end on a happier note, can I tell you how proud I am of my boy's palate? I try to make him lots of different kinds of foods, in the hope he doesn't end up one of these kids who refuses to eat anything but mac and cheese and chicken nuggets (I was one of those kids). Every week, I make him something new and outside of the stereotypical "toddler food." Last night I made rice pasta with pureed asparagus, artichoke hearts, summer squash, peas, dill and unsalted butter. Well, daycare reported he LOVED it! They let him pick it up and eat himself because he was so enthusiastic about it. I swear, this boy loves everything (not so much meat, but definately all fruits and vegetables). Hopefully that will continue as he gets older (although I'm sure he will go through an "only eats pizza" phase or something).

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Preemie GTG: County Fair

Saturday, we had a preemie get together at the County Fair. Megan was there with Simon, Katie was there with Brendan and Laura was there with Cameron and Evan. It was great to see everyone again and all the babies are getting so big!

Here's Marino and Simon getting reaquainted. They got a long famously!
Marino is REALLY into climbing right now. He spent a good 20 minutes trying to climb up this gazebo.

He even tried to conspire with Brendan to climb it!

Katie calls Brendan "The Dictator" and, judging by this picture, Brendan must have passed on his dictator tricks to Marino!
Here's a picture of all the babies. From L to R: Cameron, Evan, Marino, Brendan and Simon.
There were lots of great animals to see at the fair - even more than I remember from the last time I was there. This miniature horse was one of my favorites. I remember we used to drive from NY to MD several times a year to visit my grandparents when I was a child and we always used to pass a miniature horse farm. For some bizarre reason, my parents never wanted to stop there;) so I always promised myself I would go on my own one day. It must be gone, though, since I never see it on my drives to NY now:(
Here's Marino, Simon and Brendan checking out the animals.
Here are some alpacas that were there. They had cool haircuts.
There was a bunch of baby ducks. I loved them!
Marino was pretty into this Clydesdale. Maybe he'll be a rider one day like his mama?
The Fair has a "birthing center" where you can watch mama cows give birth. Seems sort of cruel to me, since I was think being in pain is enough to cause them panic, let alone fifty onlookers. Needless to say, we did not watch any births, but we did visit the end result, this baby girl calf, that was born the day before. She's adorable!!
Here's a picture of Brendan, looking very handsome.

And Simon, who really liked all the animals (and even talked to them).
And here's Cameron and Evan. Poor Laura was stuck in traffic on the Beltway for 90 minutes!!
This is how you know your child is ready to leave the Fair!
The funny thing is that we were in the First Aid center at the time he did this. They have an air conditioned room there and the nurses said "Let those babies in the a/c room! This one needs it!"
Speaking of which, just a mama tip for you, the First Aid center at the Fair is open to moms and little ones who need to cool off, nurse, get changed in a comfortable environment, etc. Just something to keep in mind for your next hot trip to the Fair!

Can't wait to see everyone next month!

Friday, August 14, 2009

NMR - Perspective

(this is NMR: Not Marino Related)
Those of you who know me well know I am a "glass half empty" kind of girl. Looking at the bright side of things is not my area of expertise (Evan handles that job around our house). One of the more petty things I get bummed about these days is the shape of my body. I have been heavier at other points in my life, but not in quite the same way as I am now. I was also in good shape for several years before I got pregnant, so it's been that much more difficult to adjust to having a different shape and size. While I am generally pretty self-depricating, occassionally I have moments of clarity. This afternoon I was taking a body sculpting class (my third one this week) and I had this revelation at how amazing my body really is. A year ago I almost died. Organs shut down. Blood escaped and pooled in places inside me it doesn't belong. Bacterias invaded my insides and almost won their battle to take over. Those 2 weeks I spent in the hospital, I could never even imagine that today my body could do all the same things it could do before I got pregnant. I can distinctly remember thinking that there was no way I would ever be the same again physically and yet, here I am. So,while I would love to be a size 4 again, it was nice to put in perspective today: I AM ALIVE AND I AM HEALTHY.

Disclaimer: tomorrow I will likely wake up complaining about being fat again...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Quick Updates...

On Tuesday, Evan, Marino and I got a chance to visit Sandra, Ishmael and Baby AJ. He's changed so much since we last saw him! He's adorable, as you can see here...
What's better than an aunt visiting? 2 aunts visiting! Here's a picture of Marino visiting with both of his aunts (Richelle and Rianne) last night. Marino is a lucky boy.
Marino has been standing for longer and longer periods of time independently. Both last night and tonight, he stood on his own for 10 seconds! Unfortunately, the toe standing/cruising continues. One day we will laugh about it, I'm sure. In the meantime, can the whole world (not all you wonderful people reading this blog, of course) stop asking me "Is he walking yet?" and then pull the sad face when I say no?!! Seriously, I get asked that a MINIMUM of half a dozen times a day. And I really don't want to hear about how your kid was walking at 7 months or whatever, ok? The average age for walking is 10-18 months so until January, get off my back. Marino's non-walking certainly isn't due to a lack of effort on either of our parts. I don't need further doubt put in my head about Marino's development; I already spend a significant part of my day with a furrowed brow over that very topic. If you all could pass that message on to the rest of the world, I would appreciate it!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Beach Babies!

On Friday, Marino and I took our first solo road trip to New Jersey to visit Sonia, Cat and Wil. We ran into some traffic and we had to make one stop on the way there so I could play with Marino (he was bored and cranky). It definately could have been much worse!

When we got to New Jersey, Marino and Cat had some good play time. Cat was sooo excited to see Marino; it was really adorable. Here's a picture from the playground we went to on Friday. It had little pieces of rubber which is a great idea...but not for babies who still pop everything in their mouths! Marino put a piece in his mouth and while I was trying to pull it out, it got further back in his mouth! Luckily, Sonia is an expert at this, and she just pushed him forward, popped him on the back, and out it came. He was upset and we were all a little scared. I definately will not miss the "chew everything" phase when it comes to an end! Here's Sonia with Marino and Cat (Sonia is now 28 weeks pregnant...Baby Siena is coming in October!).

Here's Marino in Aunt Sonia's wonderful backyard. There are pools, water tables, castles to climb, beautiful grass, chipmunks and even delicious cherry tomatoes! I love her puts mine to shame!
Other people's toys are so exciting!!
Both Cat and Marino kept trying to drink out of the bubble bottle.

Beach day!

On Saturday, Sonia, Cat, Marino and I went to the beach at Ocean Grove. Rachel met us there which was is a rare event for all of us to get together twice in a month!! The beach was very nice although it got pretty crowded. It was a perfect beach day...not too hot, no clouds and a slight breeze. The kids loved it!

Cat and Marino, playing on the beach.

Happy guy in the sand!

Momo and Aunt Rachel (note his sand beard from eating sandy Puffs all day).

While we were at the beach, we all sent our significant others out to have fun. Sonia's husband went to Atlantic City, Rachel's boyfriend went to a party and Evan went to the Redskins training camp for Fan Appreciation Day with a couple of his friends. Since I started this blog after football season, I haven't discussed this yet, but Evan is OBSESSED with the Redskins (I'm sure I will mention this again during football season). Here is a picture of him goofing around at the training camp.
Sleep training update:
I am very happy to say that sleep training is still going really well. He is now sleeping through the night half the time and the other half the time he wakes up once in the middle of the night but falls back asleep within a few minutes. He even slept through the night one of the nights we were at Sonia's house! Last night was a little more difficult than most (20 minutes of crying at bedtime) but we had a very busy weekend with lots of changes, not to mention the heat index was over 100, so I think he may have just been overstimulated. I used to dread putting him to bed at night, since I never knew when he would wake up and scream for me to hold him, but things are much more calm and predictable now and I think we are all a lot happier.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Just a Few Cute Pics

I wish I had some exciting stories to tell about this past weekend, but the truth is, I am still not feeling myself, so we had a pretty uneventful weekend. Sleep training is still going well. Last night I put him down awake and he went to sleep in 2 minutes...tonight he fussed for about 10 minutes and then went to sleep.

So, until I have something new to tell you, I'll leave you with a few pictures Evan took of Marino eating his favorite food: Mama's homemade mac, cheese & broccolli.