Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Eve

So far this holiday season has been really special.  Obviously now that we have Nathan it makes everything just a little more special and a little more magical.  I always love being around family this time of the year and I'm so glad we braved the multiple flights with Nathan to get here.

Christmas Eve we have a few traditions that we've done since my sister and I were little girls.  The first is opening a present on christmas eve.  We let Nathan open 2!!!!  The first was a book given to him by his nanny.  She recorded her voice so that whenever we open it, she will be the person reading it.  We all shed a tear watching the two of them cuddle on the couch.



The second present was Baby's first christmas ornament.  His favorite Auntie and Uncle gave this to him to open and hang on the tree.  I've hung mine on our tree for 30 years now.  



Next we put out most of our presents under the tree....we still kept a few special presents hidden until the next morning though.  

Then, we watched a christmas movie to get us in the mood while sipping on a few christmas drinks.  


My favorite present was watching Nathan's face while he was getting so much attention.  Best gift ever!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

First presents...

This weekend we had our annual "Holiday" party with all of our best friends.  Nothing fancy, just a little get together where we all bring food and appys and hang out for a night.  And of course an excuse to have a few too many glasses of wine.

It's very easy to tell we're all getting a little older and a little lamer.  Two years ago, we all played flip-cup and drank until we almost puked until 4am in the morning.  This year, we played 'Settlers' while sipping on a few drinks and everyone left at 12:30.  Yup, 12:30.  As a side note, Settlers is my new ADDICTION.  It's the best game I've played in a long time.

Wow, I'm old and dorky!!!!!


Well, we have amazing friends.  They each bought the best presents for Nathan to open.



The first is an electronic car by Fisher Price.  Basically the idea is you spin the top and it moves.  Nathan loves trying to crawl towards it.  The second is called the Sit to Stand Dancing Tower.  He can play with it now while sitting, then he can eventually stand up and dance on it in a few months.  So cute!!!!


On another note, we're heading home to Newfoundland tomorrow!!!!!!!!  I am so Freaking excited for Nathan's first xmas.  And, I'm even more excited to see my sister (what up Auntie..woop woop!!!??)  and my parents.  They haven't seen Nathan in a while so everyone's a little excited.

So next time I'll be updating from the East Coast.  Wish me luck on the airplane (No crying babies, please and thank you).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Photos

We decided not to go the professional route this year and instead asked a friend of ours to take some pics of us.  She is almost a pro so I figured it was kinda the same thing:)

I'll just get to the juicy stuff....










I LOVE this last pic.  He's just the cutest little Boo Bear I've ever seen!!! 

Merry Xmas and Happy Hanukkah everyone!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

It's official.....

I've been breastfeeding / pumping free now for over a week.  I definitely have some mixed feelings about it, but overall I'm happy with my decision and glad to finally have my body back to myself.  I'm also proud of making it to my original goal of breastfeeding for 6 months.

I will miss the snuggle time with my Boo Bear and the times we've shared when it was just the two of us; that instant bond that only a mother and babe can understand.  I'll miss the convenience of  not having to worry about carrying around bottles, washing bottles, storing bottles, figuring out how many to take when we go out etc.  I'll miss knowing that my own body is solely responsible for his growth and his well-being.  I'll miss being able to eat however much I want...my body was like a calorie-burning machine while I was breastfeeding.

I won't miss the time it takes to pump milk...especially at work.  I won't miss my staff walking in on me while I'm connected to the pump (yup, it is as embarrassing as it sounds).  I won't miss being the only one who can feed him, especially at 2am in the morning.  I won't miss leaking, engorgement, pumping and dumping, watching every bit of caffeine or alcohol I put in my body.  And I especially won't miss him fighting with me every time I tried to feed him for the last 2 months because he preferred having a bottle.

Breastfeeding has been one of the hardest but most rewarding things I've ever done.  And, I'm proud that I gave him the best start I was able to.

Now, bring on the wine.....hehe.

Cute family pic I just had to share!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sleep Training

I've thought for a while about blogging on this particular topic....it's definitely one of those 'hot topics' that parents love to talk about.  For those of you that are not familiar with sleep training, it's basically where you pick a particular method (or combination) and you actually train your baby how to sleep better.

I've posted about Nathan's sleep problems once or twice before, but let me backtrack.  For the first 10 weeks, he was actually a pretty decent sleeper, at least he was a night.  Typically he would only wake up once per night, usually between 3:00 and 4:00 am for a quick feed and go right back to sleep.

Something changed around 3 months.  I'm not sure if it was a growth spurt, new milestones, the fact that my husband got lazy and started rocking him to sleep, etc etc.  There are many possibilites but the end result was the same....Nathan became the WORST sleeper ever.

His schedule started to look like this....

7-8:00 bedtime
11:00 wake up for paci
1:00 wake up for paci
2:30 wake up for feeding
4:00 wake up for paci
5:00 wake up for feeding or paci...bring him in bed to sleep on my boob until 7:00

Each 'wake-up' time would include at least a 30 minute rocking session to get him back to sleep.

At 3 months I also started working again....I was beginning to feel like a zombie.  Hubs and I were starting to fight at every wake-up time.  Nathan was always grumpy and tired during the day.  Nobody in the Epstein household seemed happy.



I
So, I found Dr. Ferber's book on sleep training and started the training a week a half ago.  The idea is to put him down while he's awake and let him try and self-soothe himself to sleep instead of us having to put him  to sleep.  You check on him after increasing intervals of time.  The idea is to reassure him that you're still there but not to put him to sleep or even to stop him from crying.

You can find out a little more about the idea (and the controversy) here.

The first night was the hardest, but honestly it went way better than I ever thought it would.  He only cried for 30 minutes and woke up once in the middle of the  night.  By the 3rd night there was no crying and no night wakings.  I just can't believe what a difference it has made!!!!!!  It's like we have a new baby....seriously.

I always said I would NEVER let my child cry.  That seemed like the 'old-school' way of doing things.  But, that's one of the many things I'm learning about being a parent...
1) Never say never
2) Always trust your instincts as a mother

Friday, November 25, 2011

Funny pics...

Now that I'm playing around with my DSLR camera a little more, I've stumbled across some very unflattering pics of my little one.  As a good mother I should really delete all traces that my baby was anything less than perfect.  But, as a good blogger, I think I'll share them with ya!!!!  I don't think Nathan will mind too much!!!

hehe...because my little pumpkin has a chubby little buddah belly, his diapers are constantly coming down and showing his butt cleavage.


This one made me laugh for a solid 5 minutes.  I mean really, how cute / funny is this face??  Pretty priceless if you ask me.


This one is also super cute....he's pretty squished here on the sofa so you get a great view of that little belly of his.  His cheeks are pretty flushed and he's totally tired...he was too busy playing with his daddy a few minutes ago.


Since I'm Canadian we celebrated our Thanksgiving over a month ago.  But most of my best friends live in the states so I wanted to wish everyone a Happy American Thanksgiving.  For those of you that don't know, my husband and I went to school in Boston for 4 years.  Thanksgiving was always one of my favorite holidays while I lived there!!!!!!

Anyways, hope you enjoyed these pics....We did:)






Saturday, November 19, 2011

5 months and SOLIDS!!!!!!

This week Nathan turned the big 5-months-old!!!!!  It also marked the first time we tried cereal (aka solids or real people food).  I was debating whether or not to wait until 6 months to start but he's been fussing a little after we feed him lately, and let's face it, he's a 5 month old in a 6 month old body...haha.  He's also a terrible sleeper (yes, still) so I decided to challenge the old wives tale that cereal can help with sleep.  His Nanny has been preaching about this 'miracle food' since he turned 3 months old....let's see the results shall we....

Here are the first few bites.......
WTF....

ummmm....this is weird.


MMMMM...I'm getting the hang of this.

More Mommy!!!

He did great!!!  The first few bites were funny and those little faces were priceless.  Once he got the hang of it, he was reaching for the spoon, opening his mouth, and asking for more!!!!!  

It did not however help with sleeping ("Ah, hem...cough, told ya so, nanny").  In fact, that first night was a disaster.  He was up every couple of hours and would stay awake for over an hour each time....I feel like a walking-zombie-mom!!!!!!

Here's what else he's been up to

- Last weigh in (4.5 months)...18 lbs 10 ounces, 85th percentile for height and weight
- Finally learned to roll from back to belly...he's now a little rolling machine
- Making all sorts of noise...learned how to squeal and squeak when he's happy
- Favorite toy by far is the jumperoo.  He can jump around in that thing all. day. long.
- Wearing 6-9 month clothes and number 3 diapers
- Almost sitting up on his own.  Still needs my finger to balance.  Or can sit unassisted for 10 seconds before toppling over
- Grabbing everything in sight.  My favorite time of day is when I'm holding him and he just stares at my face and plays with it
- Starting to understand his name (ie looks in our direction when we call him)
- Definitely knows who his mommy and daddy are
- Still a terrible sleeper.  Naps are improving ever so slightly.

That's it for now.


Monday, November 14, 2011

3 years ago today.....

 I said yes to a very important question....'Will You Marry Me'?? 


Here we are on a horse and carriage ride the night we got engaged!

And, 5 years ago today....we also gave each other our first kiss.  Completely unexpected since we were 'just friends' up until this point.  Always a little flirty with each other but things were always completely platonic.  I can't tell you how happy I am that I kissed him back and that 2 years later I said 'yes'!!!!!  And now, 5 years later we have our little bundle of joy... perfect squishy combination of both of us!!!

One of our wedding photos

Here we are on our very first vacation together.  We went skiing in Vermont.
And here's one of my favorite engagement photos!

 I can honestly say I love him more today than I ever have.  Even though we fight (and lets face it, we fight a lot..haha), our relationship is perfectly balanced.   We're complete opposite of each other, yet so much alike....and we make cute babies:)
xoxox

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Milestones.....


Look what I can do everyone......



Well sorta...I need some help getting there and I can't stay there that long.  But I'm getting better.

I also started doing this yesterday............weeeeeeeeeeeee



I'm getting so big.  I'm trying really hard to be mobile so I can get into all sorts of good things....my mom is not very excited for that stage though!!!!!

Hope you all had a good weekend!!!!!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

I'm one clueless mama sometimes

I feel like I still can't decipher why Nathan is crying.  I do know it's for one of 3 reasons....

1) Tired
2) Hungry
3) Bored

He has never fussed because of a wet or dirty diaper, gas, being too hot or cold etc etc.

It's so freaking hard sometimes.  I always feel like I'm misreading his cues.  I've tried the E.A.S.Y. method but it never seems to work.  He's such a little cat-napper and will rarely sleep for over 45 minutes.


Our routine usually goes like this...he fusses, I rock him, he still fusses, I shove a bottle in him.  (haha..this is obviously an exaggeration, people!!!!).  

I'm hoping once he's a little older and in more of a routine it will become easier (it will, right???).

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Little Tiger

This post is a bit late but I couldn't upload my pics from halloween for some reason...anyways, here they are finally!!!!

Happy Halloween Everyone!!!  Last night we had over 300 trick or treaters...that's right, THREE HUNDRED!!!  We live in a sub division where children get shipped in by the car loads!  I guess the parents figure they can hit tons of houses in a short amount of time!!  We dressed the little guy in a tiger outfit...he looked so cute.  We didn't bring him around to any houses but we took him to answer the door when all the little kiddies came.



How cute is this kid...seriously!!!  And I love that this costume makes him look even chubbier than he is already..so adorable!!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The rest of our Cali vacation


The day after the wedding we spent a little time exploring around the resort.  It turns out there are some pretty awesome caves and cliffs just minutes away from where the wedding was.  Warning...pic overload here!!!!






We stayed just outside of LA on Manhattan Beach.  So the next day we packed the kiddies up and did a little exploring around the city.  Here we are on Rodeo drive.  I decided to forgo shopping for myself but I did pick up a little something for Nathan.  Ralph Lauren was having a baby sale and I couldn't resist.  No pics of the outfit since we put it away for christmas time.




This was our view from the condo.  The weather wasn't the best but we made do.


My crazy husband decided it would be fun to go boogy boarding....the water FYI was Freezing.  I guess us Canadians really do better with the cold.


We did this amazing hike near Malibu with the boys.





The boys played in the condo.  Well, Parker played and Nathan kinda just sat lounged around.



I'll miss the sunsets......