Wednesday, December 24, 2008

X-mas Eve

Well, it's X-mas Eve and we are mostly packed for our trip to Puerto Rico. Steve and I are not totally sure what to expect. But we've been pouring through two books we purchased and we've been getting some information from the Internet as well. I definitely want to check out El Yunque National Forest - December 26th will be the best day so we're planning on going there then. (It's good to plan at least a couple of things otherwise you do nothing.) I want to do a hike in some of the rainforest - the only U.S. national rainforest.

I think traveling with an infant will be interesting to say the least. It is only Puerto Rico where there are American things - even a WalMart - so I'm hoping to be able to purchase some essentials when we get there - diapers, wipes, baby food, etc. We won't have to worry about passports, money exchange, etc. Although we discovered that Puerto Rico is in another time zone. The weather will be warm - we think much like Miami in the summer. We'll see. I'm looking forward to seeing some elevation/topography.

Steve has a nice looking fishing rod that breaks down small and has a case. He's hoping to get some fishing done here and there. Cool idea.

Through research Steve discovered someone's notes on a beach where you can do some nice snorkeling. (The trick is that you have to walk to the beach - only about a 30 minute walk.) So we might check this out as well.

I broke down and did a little decorating - on the door. I got the "happy holidays" thing from one of my students. There is a stocking that Raina got from a teacher at school, another stocking that is an older one for Sammy (back when she was our only "baby") and a third stocking that is one I made for Steve a long time ago.

It doesn't really feel like x-mas but it is nice that we are our own little family here in Miami Beach. We'll be meeting up with Steve's folks; and his brother, sister-in-law and nephew.

Not sure about Internet access at the places we'll be, so we'll likely have to post pictures and such when we get back - January 2nd.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A New Toy with some Peas and Quiet

Raina received a Christmas toy today from one of our fellow teachers. She really loves her new toy!

And also here is a great pic of her eating her favorite peas.

Monday, December 1, 2008

In honor of Thanksgiving...

Well, it was a tough week. Sunday night Steve and I both became VERY sick. I think I've never been that sick before. We got food poisoning or some strong virus. Let's just say it is good that we have two toilets. The worst part is that for periods during the night neither one of us could care for Raina. She had to sit on our bed and cry a bit. It was scary actually. After speaking to a few friends, they said to give them a call if it ever happens again. One friend even said call any time. By Thursday we were feeling better, though we still didn't feel like we wanted to eat a lot. I suppose this was good as usually we overeat at Thanksgiving. Steve's parents came Thursday night and stayed until Saturday. It was a nice visit. Here are some photos and videos of Raina eating sweet potatoes. I decided to try them in honor of Thanksgiving. She seems to like them!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Apple Face

Raina tried apples for the first time. You'd think we gave her Sour Patch Kids!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Raina at 5 months!

Raina Skye is now 5 months! It's hard to believe. Here are some great photos and videos. I decided to try to feed her a little cereal, because, well, it seems like fun. She played with it a lot. I think she only gets about a total of a teaspoon at each "feeding." For now most of her nutrition is still coming from breast milk and a little formula. Also, there is a picture of a road sign we spotted in downtown Miami when we went to Bike Miami on Sunday. Pretty weird - a cross roads of Pam Way and Weller Blvd.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


BRRRRR!!!! This morning was 57 for us south Floridians that means its time to break out jackets, mittens and scarves. It is only getting up to 72 degrees today.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

James and Obama

Our upstairs neighbors and friends James and Kristin volunteered for Obama campaign last night for their visit. This picture of James and Obama looks like is photoshopped but its not!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

a full laundry basket

Finally the weather is starting to break. This morning we went to the beach to enjoy the "cool" 73 degree weather.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

at the dinner table

Last night I felt bad that Raina was sitting on the floor watching us eat way up at the table. So what did I do, I put her (perhaps unwisely) on the table in her Bumbo. The photo's a bit blurry, but still very cute in my humble opinion.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Raina at 4 Months

Raina turned 4 months old on Friday, October 10th! Here are some recent photos and videos. She has recently become interested in things like her feet, sticking out her tongue, and the array of interesting toys she has. She now is making grasping moves at objects, including mommy's hair and earrings! I'm sure as soon as her binocular vision comes in, mommy might lose some earrings and daddy might lose some chest hair! Fun!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

So long Mazda we barely knew ya

So we sold the Mazda 6 last night. We are for the first time ever a one car family.   The good news  is we don't drive a lot here on the beach and it will cut our car insurance bill from $145 a month to $75  so that will really help with our monthly bills. 

Unfortunately, will Raina's $480 a month day care and her $310 a month health care bills are bills are out of control.  So we will miss the car but hopefully things will actually be better for us in the long run!

Monday, September 29, 2008

A new decision.

Today, I have been convinced that pumping at work is just too stressful. I am very disappointed. I guess I wanted to be super-mom or something. I've been pumping at least twice a day at school. Now I think I will just have to pump in the morning and maybe in the afternoon after school and that will have to be it. I won't be pumping at work. At least I am going to try it. 

As a result, Raina will be getting part time breast milk and part time formula (probably). I have to just keep telling myself that it will all be okay. 

The best convincer (is that a word?) actually was my assistant principal. Steve and I ran into her on our way out today. She said with her daughter she had the caregiver give formula during the day and she breastfed outside of this time. Her daughter is well adjusted, healthy, and does well in school. 

Okay, okay, I know, there are people out there with real problems. But this is a very emotional thing for me. I don't know if its stress or hormones or both. (I might still bring in the hand pump for occasional use.)

The interesting thing is that I did a pretty extensive search on the Internet and I am hard pressed to find any information about part time breast feeding and part time formula feeding. Most of it is either one or the other. So if anyone out there has any ideas, let me know!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

No witty title

I've discovered many things this week. The major thing I've discovered is that I just need to relax more. This seems to hold true for most things. When I relaxed about not having any grades yet for my students, magically I came up with some easy assessments. When I relaxed about pumping milk, suddenly I was pumping a lot! 

Raina is doing very well in the day care center. I try to go visit every day at 11ish (my lunch time). Yesterday I didn't make it. (No stress!) I am also visiting her at 1:30 and trying to nurse. Steve said why not nurse her at 1:30 if I can rather than pump. I was missing her by the end of the day so this was a good suggestion. On Wednesday and Thursday this worked out great. Yesterday she must have been crying because when I got there, she was getting a bottle. No biggie! (No stress!) I fed the rest of the bottle to her, had some cuddle time, and then went back to pick up my students from P.E. I didn't even stress about not pumping. (This all sounds a bit silly to most people I'm sure, but I am the type of person who sweats the little things. It's got to stop.)

Last night Steve and I were going to go to a friend's place for game night. I LOVE GAME NIGHTS! We were very tired though, so we decided to lie down for a bit and take a nap. The next thing we knew, we all, all three of us, had fallen asleep for many hours. We woke up at 5AM! I guess we were pretty tired.

Okay, the thing you really wanted, some recent photos and videos of Raina. She is about 3.5 months. (She will be 4 months October 10th!)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Talking aloud

Well, today was Raina's first day at daycare! It was hard to leave her there, but I trust the caretakers. I am home today. I go back to work on Wednesday (September 17th). Today and tomorrow are "practice days." I have been pumping at the times when I think I will be able to at school.

Steve checked in on Raina on his break and she was doing great and taking a bottle. I didn't know how much milk to leave. (It's not like I have a guage on my breasts!) But I figured about 4 oz. per bottle. I left four bottles of 4 oz. each.

Okay, this sounds boring to most of you, but it's what I'm dealing with right now.

There is another new baby there today as well. This baby is only two months old. She is very cute. I saw one of the caregivers feeding her and I asked the director what she was eating. She was eating formula mixed with rice cereal! I kept my mouth shut, but I couldn't believe it! The baby is way too young for that rice cereal. It's bad enough, in my opinion, that she is not getting breast milk, let alone the fact that her digestive system is not ready for anything but formula or breast milk! Of course I don't know the reasons behind why this baby is on formula and not breast milk. But there is certainly NO reason to feed a two month old baby rice cereal! I mean, you wouldn't give a newborn puppy steak, would you? No, because it doesn't make sense. Here I am stressing about pumping milk and so on - it's hard work, but it is worth it for Raina. Okay, that's my rant.

Today's my birthday as well. I'm 39 today. I don't feel 39. Of course I'm not sure what 39 is supposed to feel like. People say I don't look 39. Whatever "looking 39" means.

So like I said, I am home without Raina, which seems weird. Initially, I was continuously talking aloud. Then I remembered that Raina isn't here! (You see, Steve and I talk aloud to Raina all the time.) It must have sounded kind of funny when I said something like, "So now mommy's going to make some coffee." Sam probably thought, "Well, okay but why are you telling me?" --Pam

Saturday, September 6, 2008

"A mother who is really a mother is never free."

(quote is by Honore de Balzac)

Parenting is definitely becoming the toughest job ever. I have been feeling guilty because I don't feel things the way people say you are supposed to feel. Raina goes into daycare beginning September 15th (coincidently on my birthday). People keep saying things like, "Isn't it going to be hard?" or "Geez, aren't you going to miss her?" (Or even worse, I hear things like, "Well I didn't go back to work for a year! How come you're going back to work?" Well, moron, I have neither the finances nor the sanity to stay at home, by myself, for a year! Geez!) 

I've been home alone a lot with the baby as Steve is back at work. I have about 3 more weeks to go and I am thinking about how hard it is. I go through the list of women I've known who've had children. Every single one of them has has help - mainly from their mother. (I don't have this option.) Anyway, I have been feeling incredibly guilty because I am looking forward to going back to work and having Raina in daycare. The thing is... the daycare seems like a REALLY nice place and the staff are so wonderful. And, the daycare is on campus! I guess I just need someone to say, "Don't worry, it's okay to not feel guilty." (Steve has said this numerous times, of course. But I guess I need someone else to say it too.)

It is sad that I found reassuring words on the Internet! Anyway, I have to just let go of some things I think. (Such as the fact that I feel bad every time I have Raina sitting there, alert and awake, and I am not constantly interacting with her or reading to her. I want her to be smart and be able to be a good reader, yada yada... I guess it's bad that I'm a teacher.) 

Okay, so I ramble on here. But writing this is making me feel better. I found the above quote on-line. Every time I read it, I think I understand more.

On a lighter note, Steve and I both went mountain biking. I had a great ride! We did our idea of taking turns while the other watched the baby. At one point in the evening, I was like, "Hey, how did it get so late?" To which Steve replied, "Well, mountain biking took us twice as long as usual." Oh, yeah, "a mother is never free." --Pam

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Lip

Raina is 12 weeks old now! She will be 3 months on September 10th. In some ways it goes fast, in others it goes slow. Today I also have a guest dog - Princess. She is visiting our neighbors Kristin, James, and Iris. The last couple of days she has been barking, so she is staying with me today. I think she just wanted company - as you can see from the photo.

Also, Raina makes a face I call "The Lip." She makes this expression when she is about to cry. There are a series of photos above.  (They're all from my iPhone, so they're not quite high quality.) --Pam

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Expressions that are not particularly helpful

"Everything in moderation" It sounds pretty good. How can you disagree? But how about Crack cocaine in moderation? Yeah, I know that's not really what they meant. They meant "Dessert or something less harmful in moderation. Well, Can you have dessert every meal?. Every other meal. Define moderation again... Because for most people that's an excuse to do something in excess and then call it "moderation"

"It is what it is"  This seems to be the new catch phrase of 2008. My administration at school says it a lot. I interpret it to mean one of several true meanings: 1. "Get out of my office." 2. "No" 3 "I give up and so should you!"

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Raina at 11 weeks

Today Raina discovered Sam the Wonder Dog. (She stared at her for a long while. When mommy started to play fetch with Sam, Raina "talked" about it.) She also decided to have a "conversation" about her new dolly.

Friday, August 22, 2008

What the Fay?!?!

Soooo... when the hell is Fay getting on out of here anyway? I just looked outside to see about going for a run and here comes another friggin wave of Fay storms! I've decided that Tropical Storms, Hurricanes, etc. totally suck. Why, well, I'll tell ya. When you get a nice big snow storm up north, like in Baltimore, at least when you don't have school, you can go play in the snow. And you still have electricity. Granted, we didn't actually lose electricity for more than like a half an hour during Fay, but still. So what do you get after a big storm or hurricane? A big mess! Okay, I'm done ranting. --Pam

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Raina at 10 Weeks!

Yesterday we decided to brave Tropical Storm Fay and head to a mall. Raina was fussing a lot, so we figured a ride would be good. (We couldn't go for a walk at our normal outdoor mall because of the weather of course.) We went to the "Mall of the Americas." Most of the signage was in Spanish! The mall was pretty empty of customers but it was indoors. Of course we ended up spending money. Although we got some good deals on items from Marshall's and another discount store.

Today Raina is 10 weeks old! She is getting pretty good at holding her head

Our friends from upstairs came by for some blueberry pancakes that are my (Pam's) specialty. The storm is still going on. School was cancelled again today. We are wondering about tomorrow. We have a lot of wind and rain that comes in waves. Still, we are considering a trip to Target.

Above are a couple of cute photos from this morning of Raina in this green outfit I got at a garage sale for $2! She is also able to sit pretty well in the Bumbo. (These are all from my iPhone, so the resolution is a bit low.)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Baby Talk

Raina is becoming more interactive every day. (Though one of these pictures of Raina asleep after a bath.) Here's a series of smile photos. And below is a video of Steve singing to her. She started to "talk" a bit as well. 

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Liz and Reina meet Raina

Liz and Reina came to visit today and we even cleaned up the house! There was a big rainstorm and I found a frog out front that was smaller than my thumbnail. Check it out.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Orlando trip

We decided to escape the horrible construction noise here at our condo. The foundation is being "restored" and the tile on all the walkways is being replaced. The job was supposed to take half the time it has already taken - and they still aren't finished.  (This reminds Steve and I about the commercial where the couple cannot carry on a conversation due to construction noise.)

The noise from the foundation drilling was so loud that you couldn't carry on a conversation. So on Tuesday morning, we took off for Orlando. 

The trip turned out to be okay. We got into Animal Kingdom for free. We did the safari, which we liked. Unfortunately, it was VERY hot. Since we also had Raina with us, we walked around a bit more and then headed back to our hotel. We did really appreciate the free admission though.

We also checked out Louisa Lake State Park. There are many lakes there and Steve tried a bit of fishing.

Well, I'll have to finish this post later, I hear Raina about to fuss.....

Monday, August 4, 2008

The trials and tribulations of new parenthood.

If you're reading this and you have never had children, I won't lie to you - it is REALLY HARD! Steve and I are surviving despite not getting a lot of help. Our neighbors upstairs (James and Kristin) have been extremely helpful. They have helped take care of Raina a lot. Also, it is nice to have someone give reassuring advice - e.g. "Yes, you are doing the right thing." OR "Don't worry, this is normal."(referring to some freak out Pam is having about Raina).

The other day, Pam and Kristin hung out at Starbucks for a while and Kristin snapped this photo on Pam's iPhone. 

Yesterday, we went to Sawgrass Mills Mall. We happened upon one of those photography franchise places. Thinking that we were only buying a $9.95 package of one pose, we ended up getting a bit more. Pam felt bad because there were a lot of great shots of Raina. We bought one of the $9.95 sets and then one 8X10 each of two other photos. It is too bad we couldn't afford more, but that is the way it goes. We ended up spending $62. Of course the people there kind of make you feel stupid for
 not spending like $500 on photos. When Raina is older, we will get more photos taken I suppose. We are hoping we will be able to scan the 8X10's and make prints of our own.

Steve takes Raina out for walks a lot. Here is a photo of Raina smiling. She started smiling a few weeks ago!