Month 8 & 9

With all the hoopla of house hunting, this blog has been a tad neglected…so sorry! I missed posting month 8 completely and month 9 just passed, which was what really reminded me as I make my way out the door to pick up the little munchkin and take her for her 9 month check-up! My how time flies…

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8 months

Our Little Love Nest!

When the hubby suggested that we move to a bigger place when I was pregnant, I had to do some major convincing for him to stay. Looking back, I just wasn’t ready to move or even think about moving. I was in nesting mode and was far more focused on making what we had work for us, baby, and bulldog vs. looking for something new and unknown. We’re in a super cozy 810 sqft. 2 bedroom/2 bath condo across the street from a park with pretty awesome neighbors in a great neighborhood. Leaving is going to be bittersweet, but I think we’re ready. The biggest misconception about starting a family is that a lot of people assume we should own a home before going down that road and that’s always rubbed me the wrong way. I’m a true believer in it’s how you make your home yours no matter where you are. We started to look at little houses to rent, but it quickly became obvious that a mortgage would be the same cost and our house hunting adventures began.

Weekend after weekend, we looked and looked. We looked at different styles of homes in various neighborhoods and cities. We had a criteria and then we realized we couldn’t have everything, or rather we couldn’t have everything in our budget so we had to prioritize. Throughout our house hunting, we fell in love more than one time.

  • We loved a house that had a great yard with open kitchen, but was located on a major expressway and pulling out of the driveway felt suicidal at times.
  • We loved a house situated on the most perfect tree lined street, but the house required way too much work for renovation.
  • We loved a cute little bungalow, but it only had one bathroom.
  • We loved a completely renovated house with updated everything, but it was in a school district that wasn’t so great.
  • We loved a house sitting on the market for weeks and realized it had little interest after noticing the giant power lines and transformer backing up against the yard.
  • We loved a 1920′s craftsman with original everything and a little orange tree in the back, but we knew that if something needed fixing, it would constantly put us in the poor house.
  • We also looked at new development, fell in love with model homes and put ourselves on a waiting list even though we knew deep in our heart, we didn’t want to be in that particular area.

Then there was everything in between and lots of near misses. We were officially house hunting and learning lots along the way. We understood the market was extremely competitive so we were prepared to pay for over asking, go into bidding wars, and make 23 offers before one would be accepted. Then one Friday afternoon, a little Cape Cod townhouse popped up. We went to an open house that Sunday, and by the next day…our offer was accepted!

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The house is in great condition, and although it doesn”t have everything on my checklist, it meets all of our top criteria. It’s in an acclaimed school district, close to my work and located in a great neighborhood. With a little elbow grease, we’re convinced to turn it into our little abode. Townhouse living isn’t for everyone, but I do think it’s perfect for us….with baby and bulldog and all. Bigger is not always better so we really didn’t upgrade for big like people would think. To be honest, we’ve been in apartment living for practically the last 10 years together and are all too familiar with small spaces. We love to entertain, but more so in small settings as all of our family and close friends are hundreds of miles away. We have local friends who live down by the shore and they entertain quite a bit so we’re there a lot. A pro about small space living is that it really gets us out of our house. There’s a great park 5 minutes walk away from our new place and Rambo can always use a long walk. Throughout the whole escrow process, we’re really glad how it all turned out…even when it was stressful at times. I promise to share more as soon as some of our small renovations are complete and we’re all settled in.

Sassy at Seven Months

Our little lady turned 7 months old this past week and she is on the move! She’s quick to let it be known if she doesn’t like something or turns into a mini hulk if she’s not getting her way! She puts on her sassy pants and looks at us like we’re the crazy ones, but despite all of this…it truly does gets better and better every day.

This week has been especially rough for me at work…balancing my deadlines where I felt like there weren’t enough hours in a day and then coming home feeling like the nights were so long, but passed much too fast. Thank goodness for weekends and down time when we can all relax and spend time with each other laughing and snuggling. Sometimes I think to myself, it really can’t get much better than this!

7 months

Working Moms

I asked the hubby a few weeks ago IF given the opportunity and it was financially possible, would he consider being a stay at home dad? He has plenty of daddy daughter days alone with Isabella, but when I asked him this question, he looked at me and candidly replied, “Stay at home moms work hard.” I couldn’t agree with him more. Stay at home dads and single parents work hard too. I look at them in a whole new light now.

The work at home with a baby is relentless. I don’t know how else to better describe it, but it’s one thing after another where even breaks don’t ever feel like real breaks. Even when I was on maternity leave, I felt extreme pressure to do all the housework, cooking, and cleaning while caring for a new baby when the hubsters was at work. When he came home, I wanted to have dinner ready and gave him the impression that all was under control. Of course, not all days were like this and I guess I felt like if I didn’t do all these things, then I was just bumming it with a baby. For anyone with a little one, they know this is not the case at all – EVER.

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Onto the flip side, I’ve come home from a full day’s work where my duties at home are barely beginning and when I finally get into bed, I think to myself…working moms have it hard too! Their challenges are different in many ways, but nonetheless – both jobs require a tremendous amount of work. My day starts early with prepping breakfast, bottles and lunch bags. I drop Isabella off at daycare, pump twice at work in between actually working, conference calls, and meetings, pick Isabella up from daycare, walk the dog while Ricardo spends time with her, prep dinner, give baby a bath, read her a story, rock her to sleep, put her down, start a load of laundry, put her back down if she gets up, and if I’m lucky…we can go to bed at a decent hour. As a couple, we tag team a lot back and forth and it’s exhausting, but the teamwork is what really gets us through the day. I honestly don’t think I could ever be a single parent so I am truly amazed by the parent that does it all.

I imagine being a mom will be the hardest job I’ll ever have whether it be a working mom or stay at home mom. I know I won’t always be perfect, but I hope my family knows that they will always be my top priority.

Sunday Schedule & Starting Solids

Isabella turned 6 months on Friday and at her doctor’s appointment this past week, the doctor said she would like us to try giving her three solid meals a day. We were waiting for the go ahead and now that it’s here, I’m not as prepared as I thought I would be. It’s Sunday today so we’re making baby food for the week! So far, she really likes sweet potatoes, but she’s a tad picky when she wants them so we have to be extremely patient with her. Also on the menu includes carrots and peaches. For some reason, Ricardo REALLY likes making her baby food which I find peculiarly funny since his time in the kitchen is a rare sighting.

My plan is for daycare to give her two solid meals along with three bottles during the day and we’ll giver her third meal for dinner at home. We’ll give her as much as she wants and then I’ll offer her breast milk if she wants at the end. She’s 15 lbs. of love that I carry up and down the stairs every day, which is quite hefty when you think about it, but she’ll only be getting bigger from here on out so at least my arms are getting  a good workout.

6 months

5 months

Small Travels

With family not being so close to us, I imagine many many weekend trips to visit both sets of grandma’s and grandpa’s. I had my eyes set on a custom weekender bag from Kate Spade Saturday for Isabella, but it was out of my budget so I was on a mission to find a cute travel bag for baby. This lovely bag has a shoe compartment so I’m thinking I can get this for her when she starts walking…

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An actual Land of Nod store recently opened in Southern California and while I was visiting, I came across the sweetest little suitcase. The description indicates that it’s suitable for overnight travel, but not for use as airline luggage. I’ve been itching to monogram something with her initials and this was truly the most perfect item and I’m so glad I did it. The personalization makes it so much more her own and special. The suitcase is on the small side so I think it will work for now, but I guess we’ll find out on our next trip!suitcase

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Hopping Onto the Sleep Train…

Ever since I’ve been back to work, I haven’t had much time for anything else. Isabella turned 4 months on Father’s Day this year and we just had her check-up today. I LOVE her doctor visits because we get to hear how much she’s growing and my favorite part is when she charts out Isabella’s percentiles. At 4 months, she’s 13lbs, 11 ounces and 26.5″ long. This puts her in the 60th percentile for weight and 97th percentile for length. She’s definitely not the chubba wubba I always thought I would have, but her thighs are still round enough for me to munch on!

I’m not sure if I want to start her on rice cereal yet, but we’re thinking about it. The doctor also suggested that we started sleep training. Our routine is the same every night, but for the next few months, our goal will be to put her down when she’s drowsy so she can learn to fall asleep by herself. Right now, I either rock, read or nurse her to a sleepy state which isn’t bad but she’s encouraging us to break the habit and this will teach her how to sleep on her own. If she starts to get fussy in the middle of the night, the doctor’s advice was to not immediately run to her aid, but to give her a few minutes to settle down. The earlier we practice, the sooner she will sleep through the night and the easier it will be for us in the long run. I’m still feeding her around 2:30am, but I wonder if that’s because I attend to her every whimper. I would never let Isabella “cry it out” so I know that’s not a method for me, but it can me for other families. Her next visit will be around 6 months and it’s true what they say when everyone tells you it goes by much too fast.

4 months

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All Bottled Up!

Isabella’s milk stash has completely taken over the freezer so the only thing I keep in there are ice cube trays, ice cream and frozen cookie dough. You can see where my priorities are. As soon as I became pregnant, I stopped buying those delicious Trader Joe’s microwaveables and running the dishwasher, so strange. No more microwaveables because their sodium content is usually really high and I washed all our dishes by hand because I found it so therapeutic for some reason.

Isabella’s bottle routine is pretty crazy so I wonder if I’ll relax a bit more once she starts eating solids. She gets 4 bottles every day for daycare – 3 for feeding and one for emergency.  So that means I have to pump at least 2 times a day to to give her two bottles, one bottle is usually from the day before, and I defrost one milk bag overnight. I mark the defrosted bottle and the bottle from the day before with washi tape so the daycare know those bottles go first. I clean the empty bottles every night and prepare them again for the next day. If she ends up using an emergency bottle, then I have to try and pump at least one additional time so I can refrain from taking a milk bag in the freezer. The rest of the time and on the weekends, I nurse her. I tried telling the hubby how it works and he was really confused!

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Breastfeeding seemed so convenient until you go back to work I tell you. I tried to be prepared for this as much as I can, but it’s so hard and I’m not sure I still have enough to last for the year. Because Isabella was in the NICU for a week, I spent all my time that week pumping milk and it never really stopped after she came home so I managed to stash over 300 ounces but now that she’s away, I really don’t have any that I can save in the freezer unless I pump on the weekends which I’m thinking about doing. I’m doing my best because I know it’s good for her, but I’m hoping it will get easier. Maybe the whole process will just seem more routine after a few weeks?

So It Begins…

It’s unbelievable how fast time has gone by! Isabella is a little over 3 months old and she’s already going to daycare. As I packed her bag last week, I already felt like I was losing so much of her. We’ve spent every minute together and this has been the first time we’ve been apart for most of the day. 

The past few days have actually gone really well. By the time I get home, the countdown to 9pm begins. I feed Rambo, cook dinner while Ricardo walks him, we spend time with Isabella before she naps, I do the dishes, clean her bottles, prepare for the next day as much as I can, run a load of laundry, and then Isabella is up a bit before her night time routine starts. We start at 8:15 by giving her a bath, changing her into PJ’s,  snuggle over story time, and then rock her to sleep for about 15 minutes or so. From here, I have about an hour to shower and catch up on whatever else I need to take care of before I conk out. Isabella has been such a good baby sleeping through most of the night in her own crib so I hope she keeps this up. This week has been exhausting so I guess that’s why we have weekends and lucky for us…there’s a holiday this weekend!

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She’s Half Mine, but Still All Mine

I feel bad because even though I’m with Isabella all day, sometimes I’m really selfish and I don’t want to hand her over when Ricardo comes home. I’ve turned into a semi baby hoarder…yikes. We often stare at her trying to determine who she looks like more and it’s hard to compare since we both don’t have many baby pictures, but I really think I win on this one. I still think she looks like her papa…just more like me for now.

mama + isabellaMiss Isabella hit her 2 months milestone a few days ago and there is so much to love at this stage. My favorite is her sleeping through most of the night…it’s a dream I tell you. I also like that she’s more alert and awake these days. She’s making lots of coo’s and ahh’s so we play a game going back and forth and sometimes it can go on for minutes. Life of a baby is pretty darn good!

2 months

I celebrated with Mochi Cream this time around instead of cake…have I ever told you about this sweet obsession? Dare I say it, but I love them more than I love French Macarons! I can only find them at our local Japanese Marketplace, but even that is a 20 minute drive away. They come in an assortment of flavors, but I haven’t met one that I didn’t like. Like all Japanese desserts, they’re beautiful to look at and taste just as good as you imagine (photos courtesy of yelp). Wonder how I’ll celebrate her 3 months?

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Diving Into My Diaper Bag

Here’s the thing with diaper bags…they’re a little bulky aren’t they? I’m not really an oversized bag kind of girl…trust you me, I tried, but everything just falls to the bottom and it’s like an endless pit of a dark hole to find what I need. The ever trendy Petunia Pickle Bottom bags are way cute, but I just couldn’t get into them. I looked at a ton of diaper bags and wondered why they were so expensive…maybe it’s all those extra pockets? In the end, I ordered a bag I found at Urban Outfitters online and it’s working out just peachy! I love that is doesn’t scream diaper bag in your face and it’s the perfect size for all her baby belongings.

A baby blanket and swaddle is pretty much always with Isabella inside her car seat. When we’re not out for long…I carry a little pouch with some diapers and wipes. I’m not 100% comfortable with nursing in public yet so I always carry a bottle of breastmilk with me. I also change things out every once in a while including an extra set of clothes for her. With babies, you just seem to need extra’s of everything!

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Isabella | Month One

Miss Isabella celebrated her one month this past Saturday…my how time flies! I stared at her yesterday not wanting her to get any bigger…I would LOVE if she just stayed this way forever.

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