Thursday, November 28, 2013

Nathan's First Thanksgiving

Our first Thanksgiving with Nathan was really fun!


We ended up spending the holiday with Kyle's brother and his girlfriend who were up visiting from Los Angeles. Nathan enjoyed having lots of people in the house and relished the extra attention. It was really nice to have family around during the holidays as well; Kyle and I haven't had an opportunity to spend a holiday back in Rhode Island since we graduated from college back in 2008. 

Nathan and Cassandra having fun!

Nathan's first Turkey Day!!

We ended up spending the day with one of Kyle's old co-workers from San Diego Liz, who was a fellow officer on one of Kyle's previous ships. When Kyle re-signed for an additional time commitment last year Liz decided to transition out of the Navy and pursue other job opportunities. Ironically enough she ended up in the same place as us because her boyfriend (and now fiancee) was attending the same graduate school as Kyle! It was really nice to see her again! It certainly seems that the longer we are in the Navy the more likely you'll see a familiar face no matter where you go! 

It was really nice of her to invite us to spend Thanksgiving with them. The food was good and I only had to cook side dishes!!! Wooo Hooo!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Nathan - Three Months Old

To my little man,


You are three months old today!!!!


 I can't believe how fast time has gone by! We have already had you home and in our lives for three months and what a three months they have been! You seem to be growing and changing every day and we love how much you seem to love life. Many people have told us that you are a very thoughtful little guy and I have noticed how seriously you look at the toys hanging down from your activity gym when we lay you on it. You haven't started reaching for things yet but I know that's coming!

We are well into the night-time routine of bath, jammies, book and bed and you seem to be enjoying it. Right now your favorite book is Goodnight Moon and Mommy and Daddy both like how you seem to be looking at the pictures as we read to you cuddled on the rocker.


You are such a little giggle monster and love to laugh and smile at mommy and daddy. You are still a little shy when we go out though, so not many other people has seen your smile yet. We still take you to physical therapy for your neck and the doctor says you are doing well. We have been trying to put you on your tummy as much as possible and you are actually starting to tolerate it more. 

It makes mommy sad how fast you are growing, you are nearly out of your newborn clothes and into 0-3 and even a few 3-6 month items! You are still nursing like a champ and even though mommy is quite bleary eyed when you wake for night feedings, I have been trying to savor the moments at night when the world is quiet and you fall asleep snuggled in my arms. I know I will blink and that time will be over...


Mommy loves you little man. 

We can't wait to see what next month will bring!

With love to the moon and back,

Mommy & Daddy

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Kids in the House: The Ultimate Parenting Resource

I was reading over some blog posts in my feedly reader this morning and fit bottomed mamas posted a video link from this resource website Kids in the House. It was a short clip from Elizabeth Pantley, one of the parenting experts who has several short videos up on the Kids in the House website. I really enjoyed the clip and decided to visit the website's homepage and I have to say I was very impressed. This site is full of little one to three minute videos from dozens of doctors, social workers, parenting experts and OTHER REAL PARENTS!

At least for me who is a first time parent and haven't navigated the murky waters known as raising children it was nice for me to watch a few videos (which are SHORT! score!) to get a few ideas on certain things and to get some additional reinforcement that I am not alone on this road of parenting.

Here is a screenshot of the homepage

I spent most of my time looking over the first year videos on sleep and sleep training (we still aren't doing very well on the sleep front in our house) and did get some good tips. 

As for any advise I have been given, read about, looked up, googled or otherwise received I take it with the proverbial grain of salt. I listen to it, then do what is best for me (and I suggest you do the same)

Check out the website if you're a parent, I think you'll be pleased! 
Oh it's also completely free, didn't I mention that?

Saturday, November 16, 2013


Today was full of productivity and getting things done!

I have my clarinet lesson every other week now and today was the day; so naturally I felt completely unprepared and was panicking last night. I asked Kyle to watch the little guy this morning so I could get some last minute playing time in so I wouldn't have to sight read the etude I was "supposed" to be working on. Getting time to practice when it's just me and Nathan at home is next to impossible! Much to my surprise it was so easy to play for a solid hour when someone else is watching the baby! I think I'm going to try and get up earlier most weekend mornings so I can get some extended practice time while Kyle is home. During the week it's usually only in 5 minute intervals that I can actually get my butt in the chair. 

At my lesson we went over some reed strengths and my teacher showed me how to clip a clarinet reed to make it stronger. She has this crazy reed clipper that looks like a cross between a nail clipper and a medieval torture device

better not get your finger caught in there!

We are spending a few minutes at the beginning of each lesson to focus on sight reading. I have always found sight reading to be very intimidating so the more exposure I get the better in my opinion! Then on to scales and etudes/band music. 

I feel like the thing I am finding most difficult at the moment is tension in my hands. My finger speed is just O.K and I realize that the one thing that really is holding me back in that regard is I can't relax my hands. My teacher said that working on my scales, really focusing on absolute perfection (solid embouchure, lots of air, and RELAXED hands); played S-L-O-W-L-Y will help with that. Ok, got it; let's get to work!

I moved onto the next etude and I'm starting a new solo piece this cycle. This time I get three weeks to practice since we're skipping the week of Thanksgiving. 

In my mind I tell myself, "am I better now than I was at my last lesson, last rehearsal, yesterday, last practice session, 5 min ago?" Hopefully most days the answer to that question is 

Hell yeah!

I am so thankful for my music; it keeps me grounded and (I think) make me a better mother. 
Nathan does enjoy listening to me every so often!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

How's Things?

Things seem to be pretty, well, awake!

Nathan has kept me guessing CONSTANTLY with his sleeping habits. Just when I think I have him figured out he completely changes his routine. Does that mean he doesn't have a routine? Well I guess complete and total randomness, if consistent, is a pattern itself right? Sure.

He's 11 weeks old now (by the way I'm not too proud to admit that I actually had to count on the calendar to get the actual weeks, after we hit the second month I just tell people "he's two months old." Does that make me wrong? Frankly I'm too tired to care...) anyway he started sleeping for longer stretches at around 6 weeks. By that I mean I put him down when we go to sleep around 10 and he sleeps until around 3, is up to nurse then back down until around 6am. 

I have been in L-O-V-E with this night pattern which has been ::knock on wood:: consistent for the last few weeks, but during the day? Oh Lordy during the day this kid just doesn't want to sleep. We're lucky to get a mini nap during the day and an afternoon nap is pretty much non existent. This seems to be the norm then every so often he seems to have a day where all he does is sleep (then mama gets a lot done!) I hear other mothers talk about the "routine" and the "schedule" and I think "man I have NO IDEA when my kid naps or eats during the day"...when he's hungry I feed him and when he's tired I rock him to sleep. 

Is that wrong? Did I mention that I'm too tired to give a hoot?  

The other aspects of my life are pretty much business as usual. I have been working on the Rose Etude # 13 and my band music has been keeping me pretty busy. My playing routine has basically been turned on it's head since Nathan was born. After some trial and error I have started to bookend my day with my clarinet; meaning I put it together first thing in the morning and take it apart before I go to bed. When it's set up and easily accessible I can almost get in 10 whole minutes of playing a day! After a while I just stopped watching the clock. If I sat in the chair and played AT ALL I considered it a win.

I'm about 5 pounds away from my pre pregnancy weight and I'm feeling really good. I started going back to spin class at about 8 weeks postpartum; I go to class about once a week and on the in between days I run or work out with my Jillian Michaels DVDs at home. Lately I've been considering starting a cycle of p90x in December. Am I insane? Probably....

Life is pretty much a repeating cycle of Nathan, Laundry, Nathan, Cooking, Nathan, Working out, Nathan, Playing Clarinet, Nathan & Kyle too!!!!!

It's ok, frankly I wouldn't want it any other way....

Nathan's First Autumn

I am attempting to play catch up with all of my back posts from November and December, starting with Nathan's first seasonal picture. Enjoy!