Monday, October 3, 2011

18 Months

Little man, was 18 months old this month!!  At times that seems amazing and just yesterday he was an infant.  At other times it seems like he has been with us for years.  Funny enough several of my good friends are either pregnant or have new babies and when they ask me questions about the infant stage I try to remember what we did with Charlie and I can't even remember that time.  It's like my mind has sort of glossed over the struggle you feel as a new mom and replaced those memories with nothing but sweet ones.
To capture my perfect little man at 18 months, here is a list of 18 things you may not know about him!
1) His first and favorite word is "ball!!!"
2) He is in the 25% in height and weight, a perfect quarter!
3) He LOVES to be outside, all day, everyday
4) He eats pretty much everything, much less picky than his daddy :)
5) He is without a doubt the neatest member of our family. He likes to put things back where he found them, and he loves to throw things into the garbage can.
6) He loves to dance
7) He loves dogs, almost as much or maybe more than he loves balls
8) He can bark like a dog, and he can tell you what a sheep says -- that`s it for animal sounds.
9) He is fascinated with belly buttons, especially his own -- it isn`t a typical night at a restaurant if he doesn`t walk around with his shirt pulled up inspecting his belly.
10) He loves books
11) He loves blankets. He isn`t too particular on any one blanket, but he prefers to sleep on the blanket with his face buried in the blanket (something his paranoid mother isn`t too fond of, but I`m working on it). He also calls his blanket his "baby"
12) Anytime he sees a picture of myself, or Tony he says "dada". At first I thought he was just partial to Tony, but then I saw him pointing to Lea Michele in US Weekly saying "dada" and I realized dada is just his word for anyone in our family, haha.
13) He is a daddy`s boy... for sure!
14) He LOVES to laugh
15) He loves to brush his teeth
16) He is very independent.
17) He still loves shoes. If Tony and I are sitting around the house without shoes, he will go find us a pair and then carry them over to us. Strangely enough he really does seem to know which shoes are mine and which are Tony`s.
18) Maybe my current favorite, is we have taught him to say please, more like "peez" He doesn`t necessarily say it without being prompted, but anytime I ask him to say it he quickly pops out a "peez" following by a big grin.

Love that boy with all my heart!!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

(Today) I Hate Daycare

I would just like to start with a disclaimer, that I do in fact love my daycare. The facility is great, the people are great and I would recommend it to anyone.

Today, however I hate daycare, all daycares in general.

I hate that we stuff a bunch of germ loving kids in a building and then just sit back and wait to see what kind of super bacteria we can create. I hate that whenever I take Charlie to the doctor that I get the "oh that explains it" face whenever I tell them he goes to daycare.
I hate that he had one consistent ear infection for the whole month of July that ultimately resulted in a ruptured ear drum because the bacteria that was living in there was resistant to every antibiotic we tried. I hate the rare days that I go to pick him up and find him crying. I hate that Monday they thought he had pink eye (because it was going around) and then today they call to tell me they think he has hand, foot and mouth disease (something that frankly sounds like it was named in the middle ages). He did not turn out to have pink eye, but does in fact have hand, foot and mouth.

I hate that this has been a hard month for Charlie. Up until now he has loved daycare. He could have cared less when Tony and I dropped him off in the morning, and most afternoons I had to pull him away from his friends or his toy and essentially force him to come home with me.
He made the move to the toddler room this month and while it`s a great thing for him socially, as he now has kids his own age to play with, the change in nap schedule and the sheer increase in daily activities has realy worn him out. Him being super worn out only increases the likelihood that he has a night terror, and it`s awful feeling like you can`t help prevent his night terrors, because most days of the week you aren`t in charge of his nap schedule.

He is super eager to leave when I pick him up. He runs to me and gives me a hug, which makes me feel great, but then he impatiently stands pointing at the door instructing me to get him the hell out of there (or at least that is what I imagine him saying).
He cried last week when I had to drop him off in the morning, and it was awful- I hated that too.

I love my job, and I`m happy I get to be a mom and a professional, but today I hate daycare.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Busy Week

So last week was quite busy for the Esterly fam, especially for our smallest member.

Let's see, the week started with our third night terror in the span of 6 days.  If you have never experienced these with your own children, be grateful!  There are awful and in Charlie's case seem to last forever.  Essentially they scream like you have never heard before, flail their little bodies all over their crib, look wide awake, all the while they are completely unaware of what is truly going on, supposedly will not remember it when they wake up, and the worst part is that they are COMPLETELY inconsolable.  In fact the experts claim trying to pick them up and hold them only makes it worse.  Basically as the parent you are suppose to sit their watching, not intervene, and occasionally try to pat them on the back or tell them they are ok.  IT-IS-AWFUL.
Charlie's typically last about 20 minutes before he kind of comes out of it and will let me hold him, but even after that is takes at least 10 to 20 more minutes and more tears to get him back to sleep. YUCK!

So anyway, that was Monday
Tuesday Charlie fell at school and somehow bit through his bottom gum, with his top teeth.  Let's just say when I picked him up at school he was in a new shirt because he had bled all over his other one :(
Needless to say he was a total mess when we got home, couldn't eat, couldn't drink, occasionally bleeding = not good.
Then, poor guy, the next day we went for ear tubes.  He was a perfect little sport about it, took his oral Versed like a champ and couldn't have cared less when the nurses wheeled his away from us in his hospital bed.

Post-anesthesia Charlie was a different story.  The nurses kept telling us it was normal for him to be as "crazy" as he was after anesthesia.  I hated to tell the nurse that he was acting almost exactly the way he acts during a night terror and that unfortunately I had gotten a little bit numb to all the screaming. At one point he was laying on the hospital floor (gross I know!) screaming.  The anesthesiologist even came back into our room to see if everything was ok (so embarrassing).  In the end they just told us to leave because medically he was fine, and he didn't seem like he was going to calm down while in the hospital.
Once we hit the car and started driving he was out:
He came home, took a 3 hour nap, and was a new boy.  Even felt good enough to go out with Daddy and the guys for a few holes of golf:

Thursday was surprisingly uneventful (thank goodness) and then Friday we hit the road for Missouri to visit with friends.
First we stopped at Five Guys:
I have to comment on this photo and say that Charlie has definitely tapped into his independent side.  He wants to do things himself and he wants to do them the way grown-ups do them.  Example, in this photo, he used to happily sit on our laps -- no, no, no -- now he needs to sit beside us like a big kid.  A few other things that fall under this category would be, using utensils to eat (spoon and fork), drinking straight from a cup ( he really can't do this himself yet but he loves when we hold the cup and let him drink out of it), helping wash dishes, sweeping etc.  He is sooooo proud anytime we let him do something we do - it is precious. Just tonight I was eating chips and salsa and he wanted a chip.  After I gave him the chip he leaned over to dip his chip in the salsa -- hilarious!

Anyway our friends in Missouri have two boys so Charlie had a blast playing with them.  Our other friends have a little girl and a new baby boy.  We had a great time visiting, although babies definitely don't understand time zones.  What was 5:30 am in Missouri, was for Charlie, a perfectly respectable time to get up for the day.  Needless to say in an effort to not wake the other children, Charlie and I took several early morning strolls through their neighborhood.
All the kids:

 Charlie's little head barely poked over the counter
Overall this week has been much less eventful, and since I am a single parent this weekend (Tony is out of town) I am hoping for a nice relaxing weekend, with my 17 month old (who thinks he's more like 17).

Friday, August 12, 2011

Home Improvement + Photos from 5 year anniversary

I had the day off today (since I work the weekend) and after visiting homearama a few weeks ago I had been thinking about sprucing up the house a bit.  I naturally turn to painting 1) because almost every wall in our house is a neutral tan color, and 2) because paint is easy, cheap and if you don't like it you can always paint over it!

First C and I made a trip or two to Home Depot for paint samples and then once we narrowed it down to a color we went back and a purchased small sample of that color and painted a block on the wall.

C was quite helpful with picking out a color!!
Next we have before photos, including the "tester" block of new color I painted on the wall.

And lastly we have the finished product.  While C helped quite a bit in the planning phase, he definitely did not help me paint, in fact I spent most of the day painting while he slept and then trying desperately to keep him away from the wall while he was awake!
Finished Product
After painting the front wall I think I will probably paint the neighboring wall seen in this photo as well.

From another angle:

Overall I am really happy with it, and even happier that I was able to completely finish the wall on my day off, during the two hours C was sleeping!

Also, given that Tony and I have been married for 5 years (as of July 21st) I thought I would post a few pics from our wonderful vacation we took to Mexico.  We had a great time, and even got bumped up to first class on our way to and from Mexico!! Can't believe we have already been married 5 years!  Love you babe!

 The view from our room.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Soaking it all In

We spent a great weekend with Tony's family out in his hometown of Jefferson City Missouri.  I have several pics to share, but for the moment I have a thought that I can't seem to shake so I thought I would share it with the blog world :)

After the miscarriage about a month ago I had several thoughts and emotions, but the one that seems to linger is the possibility that we will not have any other children.  Now before everyone rolls their eyes and scoffs I do completely realize that this is not the most likely of scenarios.  I fully realize that the most likely event is that we go on to have many more happy/healthy babies.  But still, the thought that Charlie may be are one and only is a thought that has stayed with me over the course of the last month. For me the thought comes not just from the fact that we lost a baby, but also because I developed a form of severe preclampsia with Charlie (HELLP syndrome) and had to be induced at 37 weeks.  I had essentially no symptoms up to this point and I think I completely shocked my doctors and myself when they determined my diagnosis.
All in all for me it equals a certain level of uncertainty about what future pregnancies might hold for me.
And while all of this may seem very negative, the point of my post is something I consider actually quite positive.

The miscarriage, and this lingering thought that Charlie may be the one and only has really made me take a step back and enjoy him.  That sounds ridiculous I know because I should have been enjoying him all along, and I was, but not at the same level.  We get busy with life, and work, and stress and we breeze over or take for granted some of the sweetness that comes with having a 1 year old. 
I remember being on maternity leave and just LOVING rocking him to sleep.  I sat there, completely mindless just marveling at his little face.  Then I went back to work and I know overtime I started to look at this act a little differently.  I let the world invade our quiet time, and inevitably while rocking him I would start making lists in my head of everything I needed to do (laundry, pack a lunch, answer work emails, etc.).  I didn't use that time to just stare at him and marvel -- I took it for granted.
In the last month I have noticed a heightened awareness in myself.  I've slowed down time when I am with Charlie.  I rock him to sleep, I block out the world, and just stare at his face :)
And while rocking him, I think to myself -- if God's plan was for us to only have one child, he blessed us a millions times over when he sent Charlie our way.  I'm forever blessed to be his mother and I realize that now more than ever.

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Son - The Shoe Lover

This is Charlie

(this is what most of his pictures look like these days :)

And Charlie LOVES shoes.  As soon as he sees his shoes he runs over to them, sits himself down and squawks for you to put them on.  He kicks his little feet together in anticipation.  It is soooo cute.
This afternoon I decided to try and capture it.  The following photos are a re-enactment of his usual routine.  He wasn't quite as excited, given that I first had to take his shoes off in order to start the series of events :) 

First he holds them up to his feet:

Then he hollers for me to put them on:

Followed by some flailing

More attempts to put them on himself:

Then a little more squawking if we (the parents) aren't putting them on fast enough:
And lastly, the final product -- shoe satisfaction
So in case you are wondering, this is the photo of the group that really doesn't do his true reaction justice.  Typically the final product would be a smiling baby who kicks his shoes together a few times then gets up and takes off walking.  Today I just got a stare as if to say (thanks lady for taking off my awesome shoes, only to then make me beg to have them put back on.)
Not quite the emotion I was trying to capture, but I can't say that I blame him!!
Normally he would look a little more like this:
Happy Monday!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

"Kid-Free" Time

Becoming a parent is soooo beyond a full time job.  I mean the reality is that it compands 110% of your time, energy, thought, patience and love.  It also becomes really difficult to find "kid-free" time to spend with your spouse.  To begin with it can be hard to find someone you feel comfortable leaving your child with.  Tony and I are blessed to have family close by who is always more than willing to watch their favorite (and only) grandson!!
But even given that we have family to watch Charlie, it is still hard to find time.  We both work full time jobs that probably demand at least 50 hours a week.  We both have hobbies we enjoy, friends we want to see, so making time to fit all those things in can be quite the challenge, plus at some point you might want to sleep :)  And then there is the inevitable guilt you feel whenever you leave your child behind.  I remember within the first few days of Charlie's life being completely flooded with guilt.  I can't even tell you what exactly I felt guilty about -- I just felt it, guilt, guilt, guilt.  It begins the moment you see their sweet little face and I am quite convinced it never ends.

Today however was one of those rare times where all the stars aligned.  Tony and several other guys had paid for a Jockey Club Suite at Churchill Downs for the day today. We had planned to bring Charlie and at the last minute changed our minds.  We opted to leave him with my parent's for the day, that way he could still have his afternoon nap and Tony and I could spend the day together.  BEST DECISION EVER!!!!!!!
We had a wonderful time, talking, laughing, spending time together.  I also realized when you aren't literally juggling a child, many tasks are quite simple.  I didn't have to open my water bottle with one hand, or eat a sandwich while balancing a 20 pound child on my hip.  I got to talk and laugh with my husband and it was awesome.

Moral of the story, making "kid-free" time happen is not easy, but sooooo valuable, and sooo important.  I love this little boy and this face with ALL MY HEART!

But I also love this man, and the life we have made together.

It was nice to take an afternoon, and remember where this all started, with just the two of us.  Love u babe.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Missing in Action

For the last several weeks I have clearly been an absentee blogger. I realized the other day the reason that I hadn`t sat down and written a post was because I didn`t want/wasn`t ready to talk about the things happening in our life.
To begin, just a few weeks into April Tony and I discovered we were pregnant with our second baby. We were obviously thrilled, and thinking about the upcoming joy of another baby filled most of my thoughts, but it was just too early to share that kind of news in such a public forum so I didn`t blog. Then May came and around the 10 week mark we discovered we had lost the baby. The same joy and excitement we felt in April came crashing down on us in May. I had been waiting for that appointment to share the news of the baby with the blog world, and instead was presented with such a sad situation. Obviouslly following the miscarriage, I went round and round about whether or not I wanted to talk about it on the blog and originally decided not to.
Today I went back to the doctor for the first time since the miscarriage and we talked about a lot of things. We talked about what we can do in the future, testing we might want to do now, and I realized I can`t have a blog, and then not talk about the things happening in my life. Sometimes it will be light and fluffy, but sometimes it will be serious and personal. I realized today at the doctor that the next several months will be filled with a multitude of emotions as we move on from the loss of a baby. Worry that we won`t have another, fear that we will sufffer through mulitple miscarriages, along with a heightened awareness of how lucky we are to have a beautiful-happy-healthy little boy. I intended this blog to serve as almost a diary to myself and my family about this time in my life and I can`t skim over the tough parts and only share the happy times (or at least that is not what I am choosing to do).
I will come back again with pictures of the happy times from the last few months like memorial day weekend with family, my mom`s birthday and our trip to Derby this year courtesy of my friend Stephanie. But for tonight I just wanted to explain my absense. Be back soon!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My New Love of Spring

To be honest I have never been that impressed with Spring.  In Kentucky, at least, it is inevitably 85 degrees when I want it to be mild, but 50 degrees when I want it to be warm.  It rains... a lot, and it's never the welcomed season I am hoping for after suffering through winter. 
This year however I find myself soaking up every tiny detail of Spring.  I'm loving it, and I realized a few weeks ago what the difference is.  This time last year we brought home our baby boy.  Apparently that was all it took for me to fall in love with Spring.  It's strange to think, but up until this point, just past Charlie's first birthday, when I thought back a year I thought to a time when I was pregnant, but not a time when Charlie was actually with us.  Spring is the first season where when I think back to this time last year I have the most vivid memories of those first few months home with him.

I remember the drive home from the hospital.  It was hands down one of the most beautiful days I have ever seen, and not just because we were bringing home our first baby :)  The sun was beaming, the temperature was perfect, the wind was just right -- literally -- perfect.

Charlie's ride home:

 Even last week when the Master's started I couldn't help but think back to last year.  Watching Tony and Charlie sit on the couch and bond while Tony watched the Master's.  It's amazing how a child really can change everything for you.  I will literally always have a special place in my heart for the Master's now -- haha.
Charlie and Tony watching the Masters in 2010

Charlie and I watching the Masters 2011

Even today I left work and the sun and breeze reminded me of many of the days on my maternity leave.  It reminded me of the daily adventure and mini-victory I would have as a new mom when I would venture out of the house for a walk around the neighborhood.  At the time that seemed like quite the accomplishment.  So today in honor of those beautiful three months I spent enjoying my baby boy, and apparently enjoying Spring, Charlie and I went on a walk.  It was just like last year with a few improvements.  This time my precious boy would occassionally look back at me (with a mouth full of Cheerios) say "Mama" and smile.  Love him, Love Spring.
Happy Spring Everyone!   

Monday, April 4, 2011

Water For Elephants

I can't even begin to express my excitement about the upcoming movie "Water for Elephants". I LOVED the book (and I rarely love fiction-actually I rarely read, haha). I LOVE Reese Witherspoon and who doesn't love Rob Pattinson!!!
I strongly recommend you read the book prior to the April 22nd release date. I know I am completely setting myself up for disappointment because rarely is a movie as good as the book, but this time I am holding out hope. Check out the trailer below and tell me this movie does not look amazing!! :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

C-A-T-S, Cats, Cats, Cats!!!!

I don't know if it was the anticipation for the games this weekend, or something about my work week, but this week seemed to pass soooo slowly.  Needless to say the big day is finally here, and I have been anxiously awaiting tip off ALL DAY.

My little man seems to be experiencing a little game day anxiety as well.  I found him this morning crawling down the hallway carrying a UK sock in his mouth.
He was either so anxious that he needed to chew on something, or he was upset that it was about 10:30 and I still hadn't dressed him in any UK apparrell.
Either way he was cracking me up with this sock.  He literally carried it around in his mouth for over 20 minutes.  Anytime it would fall out he would pick it up and stuff it back in.  If any of you moms out there are mortified that I allowed him to chew on a sock, at least take comfort in the fact that it was clean :)

He is now appropriately dressed in his best UK apparrell, so he has lost interest in the sock.

Happy Weekend!  Happy Gameday!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'm neurotic -- end of sentence.

In my opinion you cannot work at a children's hospital, and not end up a worried, neurotic mess of a parent.  Unfortunately I see a lot of innocent freak accidents and worst case scenarios.  Then you have a baby of your own, and well, you go a little crazy.  I actually think that on most days I do a GREAT job of concealing most of my neurotic thoughts.  Today was not one of those days.

Today Tony and I took Charlie for his 1 year appointment.  The appointment itself went great (despite the fact that little man has a double ear infection), so that clearly wasn't what sent me into a neurotic episode.
Does he look like he has a double ear infection?

Here was the scenario.  The nurse had Charlie lay on the exam table while she measured him, took his temperature,etc.and then she left the room.  Tony moved over and sat down beside Charlie on the table.  I was sitting on the opposite side of the room.  For whatever reason Charlie is content to lay on the table starring at the ceiling, and this simple action sent me into my neurotic episode.  In my head all I could see happening was him rolling off the table onto the hard doctor's office floor.  My husband is sitting DIRECTLY beside him for heaven's sake, and my anxiety level continued to rise.  At one point Charlie blinked like he was going to roll over and I bolted out of my seat.  Tony looked at me like the crazy person I was and said "I'm sitting right next to him - relax." 
So, it's official, I'm a crazy person.  I've told Tony on more than one occasion that he is just going to have to accept this part of me.  My workplace had ingrained a certain level of fear about normal day to day activities that will prevent me from ever being a "normal" parent.  It seems as though every other day I come home from work with a new item to add to the list of things Charlie can never do.

Here is the current list:
1) Eat a grape
2) Ride a bike
3) Ride a bike on the street
4) Walk on the street
5) Play a sport
6) Swim
7) Eat peanuts
9) Ride in a car without a seat belt.  Actually I am quite sure that Charlie will be the only middle schooler still riding around in a 5 point harness booster seat (facing backwards) if I have anything to say about it.

My poor son, not to mention my poor husband!! Obviously I know he will do just about everything on this list, which means I will spend every second praying and hoping for the best case scenario to play out, instead of the worst. Oh the gray hairs -- I can feel them coming already!


Saturday, March 26, 2011

UK Wins!!!!

So last night was pretty amazing.  The fact that UK won the game made it worth the exhaustion I am suffering from today.  I couldn't get myself to go to sleep until nearly 1 am due to my excitement level :) and then my alarm was sounding at 5:30 reminding me I had to get up and get myself to work.

My evening tonight will consist of willing Butler to a victory over Florida followed by me passing out so that I can be well rested for the UK vs. UNC matchup tomorrow.  Glad tomorrow's game isn't until 5 so that I will be home from work and ready to watch.

So proud of the CATS!!
Here are a few links to some of my favorite gametime moments:

This one just makes me laugh!

And this one almost gave me a heart attack!

Friday, March 25, 2011

First Birthday

Last week we had the pleasure of celebrating our little boy's first birthday.  It is amazing to think just 12 months ago our family looked like this:
Today our tiny litte boy (born at only 5 pounds 10 ounces) isn't so tiny.  He feeds himself, crawls, pulls up, shouts, laughs, entertains -- he is truly a little person, and it's AMAZING that he went from this helpless little infant 
To this very BUSY little boy in a matter of only 12 months!

His first birthday was a huge success and the celebration spanned over three full days.  Actual birthday on Thursday, celebrated by close family.  Friday was a party all day as my inlaws watched Charlie and spoiled him rotten.  Then Saturday, the actual party, where over 30 of our closest friends came by to celebrate with us.  It means the world to Tony and I to have such great friends who refer to themselves not just by their names, but as Aunt or Uncle so and so.  I can't wait to see the role that our wonderful friends have in the lives of our children.  We are truly blessed people, first and foremost to have our wonderful friends and families, and secondly to be given the amazing blessing of our little boy.  Charlie you are extremely lucky to be surrounded by such unconditional love.  Happy Birthday little man!

Oh and on a side note -- Go Cats!  I'll be honest I think us beating Ohio State is a bit of a stretch, but anything can happen and given that my bracket has UK winning the whole thing (as it does every year) I am really hoping for a victory :)