6.30.2009

Today



William did great today. He was such a trooper. First off, Lake Forest Hospital is wonderful. The nursing care was amazing and it's a small and comfortable hospital in general. I now completely understand why our doctor recommended we go there instead of downtown. It was just really pleasant.
Luckily, we were given the option of going into the OR to be with William while he was put under and we agreed it would be best for Matt to accompany him. The surgery took a little over an hour and William came through recovery rather quickly. We got comfortable in our room, where the little guy snuggled in and passed out after watching his first ever episode of Sesame Street. (Quick note: Watching Sesame Street is kind of like being on drugs. Seriously, watch it, totally crazy.) He even slept through the removal of his IV, thanks to his gentle nurse.

We were home by 1:00. William enjoyed hummus and mangoes for lunch (followed by some tylenol with codeine) and then played until a long late afternoon nap. We watched some of Horton Hears a Who (more for us than William), but all he wanted to do was crawl around and play. Dinner and then in bed by 7:00. We're going to have to wake him in the middle of the night for some more pain meds, but feel pretty good about how well he did today. We were expecting much worse. I'm sure tomorrow will be rough, but it has been a relief to know that the experience wasn't traumatic enough to break his spirit.

Thanks to everyone for all of your kind thoughts, calls, texts, emails, etc. etc. We're incredibly lucky to have all of you and such a happy little guy -- These pictures were all taken pre-procedure.

6.29.2009

Tomorrow


William's surgery is tomorrow morning. The Hannemaniac Older Set is a bit worried, mostly because it's totally out of our hands. The thought of putting a baby under general anesthesia is just plain scary. However, our surgeon is the department head of pediatric urology at Children's Memorial, so we're in great hands. (Hopefully very steady and accurate hands.)

Our pediatrician has warned it will be a rough week. William will be sore and cranky. There will be lots of tears, but after that, we'll see this smiling face soon enough. He won't remember any of it -- Wish the same was true for the two of us. But, as we've learned, parenting is about making the best decisions for your child, even if that means it's harder for yourself.

Crosstown Classic




Not too many boys can say that the first baseball game they attended was the Crosstown Classic, but lucky William now can lay his claim to this one. However, the penetrating sun and crazy heat forced us to seek some shade. After the first inning the little guy and I went into the club section, enjoyed the air conditioning, shared a burger, enjoyed a cold beer and formula (guess who had what), and made lots of friends. The biggest, burliest of Sox fans couldn't resist those cheeks! William worked the area until the 8th inning when it cooled off enough and our seats were shaded.

Sox won. Anthony suggested the winner determine which team will claim William as a fan. He and Kari made the same bet for their future children, but there is no way she will hold up her end of the bargain. Sounded good at the time, but now I'm not so sure, either. I think the Cubs colors suit William. Plus, we're officially Northsiders... Anyway, it was a fantastic game, Bill Murray was sitting in a box about ten feet from us, and we got to hang out with Kari and Anthony. William loved it, passed out by the end, and we got some great photos of the little guy hamming it up. (Not different from most days...)

Wrist Rolls


This kid LOVES grass. And he also loves food.... See pudgy wrists and thighs as evidence. In the last week his personality and facial expressions are really becoming his own, like this one. Don't you just want to give him a squeeze?
(Photo credits go to our friend Emily who came "out to the burbs" for a walk with William.)

6.25.2009

Errands Make Me Want to Cry

I took today off for a doc appointment for the little guy and just sat down to make a list of other things I have to do. What I have is basically a list of all the places I hate to go. My plan is to do returns at Babies R Us and DSW. Then, hit the dry cleaner, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, Costco, and Whole Foods. All around William's two naps and appointment. Anyone who knows me knows that all of the above places, except Whole Foods, turn me into a crazy woman. Hopefully I'm able to make it through alive and don't hurt anyone or ask to see too many managers (Babies R Us, I'm talking to you).

This is what happens when you put off all the things you don't like to do: You have to do them all at once. When you're a working mom and are left with Saturdays for these trips, weeks can go by before you build up the courage to deal with the masses. Too many Saturdays have gone by and I'm grabbing the bull by the horns and taking the weekday opportunity. Today may end up being just about the worst day ever or I may give up and find myself enjoying a chilled glass of white and some fresh pasta at The Noodle. Regardless, at least I get to spend it with the little guy.

6.24.2009

A Cool 105 Degrees

The definition of Bikram Yoga is: Bikram's Yoga, also known as Hot Yoga, or "Fire Yoga," is ideally practiced in a room heated to 105°F with a humidity of 40% for 90 minutes. This is where I was last night.

I have gone to one of these classes before (when I was in really good shape), but hardly made it through the class. I didn't hydrate and had no idea that you shouldn't eat for at least two hours beforehand. I've always wanted to give it another try, but just haven't gotten around to it. So, with a fair amount of badgering from Britt, I agreed it was high time I get my butt in gear and she convinced me that this would be just the way to do it. You see, in my head I still have the "I just had a baby" excuse for not fitting back into my regular clothes and not focusing attention on myself, but come on, William is going to be ten months this weekend. (TEN MONTHS, I know, it's crazy!)

Anyway, I like to complain about the extra junk in my trunk, but I'm not doing anything about it. Luckily I have Britt, who knows what I need (even when I don't) and insisted that I join her in class. It took me a couple of weeks to agree, because I was scared I'd get my butt kicked again. And I did. But, that's OK. There were moments when I was positive that I would throw up and then possibly pass out. At one point my mind started to go a little cookoo and I convinced myself that the class would never end and this hot room was my new reality and I would live there forever -- In other words, I convinced myself I was in hell. The mind is a powerful thing (my mind also tends to be a bit dramatic). But, there was one thing that kept bringing me back: If I made it through 22 hours of labor, I can get through 90 minutes of anything.

And I made it. No running out the door for cool air, no passing out, no vomiting. Afterward, we took cool showers and then went out for tapas and white wine. I figured we just sweat the wine out from the night before and then replenished the system. The best part is I felt centered and relaxed in a way I have not for a long time.

This morning I still feel great, and instead of my usual 5 am playtime with William, I strapped him in the BOB and went for a walk. I credit this to the class last night. So, I'm going back on Thursday. I took them up on the Beginner's Special and have a $25 2-week pass. Consider this the exit from my "I just had a baby" period. Hopefully.

6.23.2009

Why We Did It


This photo was taken at 11 pm the night before we started William's sleep training. He was delirious and we wearily looked at each other and admitted we had a problem.
Now we are in a much better place with a more rested baby, who can still make crazy faces -- But, not in the middle of the night.

6.21.2009

Happy First Father's Day, Dada


"Dada, dada, dada, Daaaaaaaa..."
William's first word and the only word that he really seems to understand. It's not a coincidence, rather I think it speaks to how much he loves his Dada.

Happy Father's Day, Matt. You're an amazing Dada, the kind you hoped you could be and I knew you would be.

6.19.2009

This is What Happens When Grandma Gets Bored


Grandma B doesn't like it when I use the word "whore," but Matt doesn't like it when Grandma B dresses William up like a drunken sailor. "Hay-ay!"
Only William can make this outfit look cute.

Shoe Whore


I went to Nordstrom during lunch yesterday. Innocent enough. I found the sale rack of kid shoes. Four pairs later I have come to realize something. I know NOTHING about the size of kid feet. It took Laci (who does not have a child) to break the news that William wouldn't be able to wear these shoes for about a year. What?!?! And that he might need a wide. Not taking it personally. He is a sturdy kid, after all.

But, I won't be deterred! I brought them home, let William check them out, forced his feet in them, and have decided to hang onto them. The prices were awesome and *fingers crossed* he won't need wide shoes. They're just too cute not to keep. Mini New Balance and Keens make me melt.

And, YES, those are Crocs. I know, I know. But, they're perfect for little feet, even if his little feet will be in them in December. Matt and I don't have matching pairs... At least not yet. Kidding. Or am I?


When I Have a Child...

I was talking to girls at work yesterday about the stupid things people do in college, like drinking too much, jumping off roofs, getting dogs, etc. I personally think getting a dog while a student is never a good idea for a thousand reasons I won't get into. To show just how passionate I am about this I started the sentence, "When I have a child, they better not...."

Whoa! Um, NEWS FLASH, I have a child.

Parent Grade = F-

6.18.2009

Spaghetti Sandwich

I work late a lot, especially around my events, so I often get home starving. When this happens Matt is usually thoughtful about saving something for me that he may have otherwise finished himself. About a month ago, we found this exact situation.

Matt had saved left over pasta for me, which was perfect. I asked what he had for dinner.

Matt: "Well, I took two pieces of bread and put some of that pasta between them. And I just ate that."

Lisa: "So, you ate a spaghetti sandwich?"

Conversations like this are quite typical. Yet another reason Matt is one of the funniest people I know.

6.16.2009

Boy Time


Matt watches William. William watches Howie. Howie watches ???

6.11.2009

Best Ever Spinach Artichoke Dip

I've been asked again and again for this recipe (sometimes by the same people, but I won't name any names), so I thought I would share it here with summer right around the corner.

I cannot take any credit for this recipe. There is a restaurant/bar in Iowa City that served this and it was a staple in my college career. (Which explains some of the college weight gain.)

Anyway, my sister's friend worked there and shared the recipe with her. I've had it for years and it's my go-to appetizer. It makes a really good sized batch, but is usually finished, no matter the number of people.

Here it is:
3 blocks cream cheese
2 boxes frozen spinach
1 can artichoke hearts (I suggest halved or quartered)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 mayo
5 shakes tobasco (or more if you'd like)
1/3 teaspoon of: black pepper, ground double super fine mustard, thyme leaves, rosemary leaves, onion powder, garlic powder
Parmesan cheese to taste

Directions:
Cut cream cheese blocks into slices and dry the spinach and artichokes as much as possible. Mix all ingredients in a pot over medium heat. Stir often. Add milk for creaminess, if necessary. Add parmesan to taste. Best served with tortilla chips.

YUM. Matt is our official taste tester, but I can tell you it is all in the balance of the thyme. That's what really makes it work. If you make it, let me know how it turns out.

6.10.2009

Silence


It hasn't quite been a week, but here we are... Silence since 7 pm and three full nights of sleep in a row without staring at each other helplessly. No little munchkin cuddled between us at 4 am. I have to admit, I do miss the way he would put a hand on each of us or cuddle as close as possible under my chin -- But, then I don't miss his head jerks, which resulted in a jaw crack and my teeth clattering together.

I believe we are over the hump. Is it bad luck that I said that?

6.09.2009

...Sleep Training Continues...

Each day has been different. We feel totally drained, not due to our limited sleep, but because of the anxiety and stress of listening to William scream and wonder if we're doing the right thing. You see, Sunday morning was not good. After a fair amount of screaming in the middle of the night, our little guy woke up Sunday morning with swollen eyes and a bit of a scowl. He wouldn't make eye contact, and there was none of the smiling, laughing, or squealing that we're accustomed to every morning. We were freaked, even took him to the park at 6:30 am to see if some pushing in the swing would help. He cracked a tiny smile, but not much. We were convinced we'd broken his spirit and then our resolve started to break down. But, a couple of phone calls to good friends got us back on track.

It's been about four days now. Sometimes he fusses, sometimes he just rolls over and goes to sleep, and then there are the times that he screams like a maniac. We're still on edge. Any time William quiets down in his crib, we just sit waiting for a piercing scream. We're permanently speaking in a whisper, walking on tip toes. I can hear him screaming in my head, even when the monitor is quiet. Who would have thought that sleep training could bring on such anxiety and stress... Certainly not us.

We're hoping the worst is behind us. I stayed home from work yesterday so Grandma wasn't left to fend for herself. He did alright, limited screaming in the morning, lots of screaming in the afternoon, and mostly quiet at night. Hopefully it means we're almost there! Fingers crossed that it goes well for Grandma today. And his sweet smile, giggles, and squeals aren't broken by a little tough love.

6.06.2009

Ferber Method: First Morning Nap

I'm not going to say we're cured. We know William knows how to sleep. He has slept through the night many, many times. It's just that his sleep patterns change week to week and this week he has been fighting to stay awake from 7 pm to 10 pm each night. But, last night, he cried for maybe 40 minutes with periodic checks from Dad and then silence... Until 5:30 am, our usual wake-up time. Yes!

I thought naps were going to be much worse. Honestly, I can count on one hand how many times this kid has napped in his crib. And that is only when we sneak him in there - It never lasts longer than 20 minutes. I put him in his crib 45 minutes ago. He played, quietly fussed for a few minutes and is now totally asleep. Whoa.

I'm not yet filling out my application for Mom of the Year, but we have progress. Fingers crossed for Nap #2 and Night #2.

6.05.2009

Ferber Method: Night One

We're sleep training. It sucks. Matt is playing the soother. He went in after the first five minutes of crying. He just went back in after ten minutes. Now we wait 15...

I think I'm going to run out and get us dinner. And lots of wine. We're in for a long night. It's taking everything not to go in there and get him.

Pre-child know-it-all Lisa couldn't understand how everyone couldn't just let their babies cry it out. Pre-know-it-all Lisa was an idiot.

Whatcha Lookin' At


6.02.2009

That Poor Baby






So, we went to Maifest in Lincoln Square this past weekend. Yes, we trusted that William would be safe surrounded by:
A. Lots of post-college frat boys sloshing around with huge beer steins, and…
B. Broads peeling themselves off the ground as they giggled about how funny their falls were and then wanted to stick their finger in my child’s mouth to feel his cute teeth.
While there were plenty of A and B, there was also:
C. Parents like us who still have a good time and enjoy a rather large stein of beer.
We were not alone – LOTS of STROLLERS, which somehow made it all seem like a team effort.
So, we navigated our way through the crowd with Alan, Lara, and little Jack, found a place to camp out and had an awesome time! William was thrilled with the people watching and constant availability of Cheerios. We were just as excited with the beer, beautiful weather, and the distant sound of polka.
Unfortunately, there were plenty of 20 year olds looking to share their wise advice about the appropriateness of bringing babies to street festivals and the bar we stopped at for dinner. (It was a restaurant when we arrived, little did we know the front would fill up with these pillars of child rearing.)
We heard enough, “Oooh, that poor baby.” And I’ve got news for you fools: This poor baby was riding in a jogger, which costs about the same as your rent. This poor baby drinks organic formula and eats homemade baby food. This poor baby spends his days playing with grandma and his evenings and weekends constantly surrounded by people who want nothing more than to love him up. But, imagine this, I held my tongue. I know, I know, it’s shocking to even try to imagine.
Because… I was that girl. It was not too long ago that I would have been saying the exact thing, acting all put out when someone ran into me with their stroller. I was rude and judgmental and obnoxious and over-served. And way too familiar with starting sentences with “I would never…”
In the end, here are the morals to my story:
1. Don’t judge, because the tables will turn on you, you dumb know-it-all.
2. Sometimes holding your tongues pays off because people really would have been talking about “that poor baby” if my tongue had gotten us into a bar brawl. Not that it’s happened…
3. Street festivals + Families with Strollers = Good times
4. Beer soaked cheerios are the new delicacy.
5. You’ll never run out of comebacks when you think about it for a few days.

6.01.2009

So You Think You Can Find a Better TV Show? Don't Think So.

The new season of So You Think You Can Dance is here! Somehow everything is better. People really underestimate how outstanding this show is each and every week.

I often re-watch dances atleast once. "Ooooh, can we watch that one again before we hear what the judges think?" And Matt always agrees, because he too is captivated as someone without life long exposure to dance. I usually laugh and cry during each episode. What can I say? The art of dance is under appreciated.

Don't judge until you watch. I dare you not to be inspired.