3.26.2014

40 weeks in | 40 weeks out


Hard to believe Liam's been in our arms* for as long as he'd been in my belly.

*technically he was in my belly for 40 weeks and 6 days, but you know ;)

3.25.2014

Guest posting at In Residence

Hi friends!

I'm guest posting over at my friend Anne's blog In Residence today, as she soaks up the sun on her Spring Break trip (jealous, much?).  Head over to read my post about traveling with a baby!  

3.21.2014

Four years culminating into a single envelope.

I remember the first time I heard about the match process for residency, four years ago.  It was a terrifying concept, but was so very far away.  

Blink. 

It's 11:35am, four years later.  We're sitting at a nice Italian restaurant with my husband's classmates.  It's fancy; my husband is in a tie, and my mom-in-law bought me a new dress.  Everyone is a lovely combination of excited, nervous and sweaty. We make small talk.  Girls ooh and ahh over Liam, and he flirts relentlessly.  He has a thing for blond curled hair.  This could be troublesome some day, but we are grateful that we brought Liam, as he is a good distraction for everyone. 

11:45am.  Last minute advice speech by one of the doctors.  There's a lot of watch checking going on. 

11:55am.  Someone makes the announcement that the students should find their advisers to get their envelopes, then return to their seats.

11:57am.  We are holding the envelope that tells us where we will spend the next three to seven to forever years of our life.  We stare at the other people at our table, stare at the envelope, talk about what torture it is to still have to wait.  Pose for pictures with our envelopes, because what the heck else are we going to do for the next three minutes?

11:59am.  Wonder if the excuse "my baby opened my envelope" is good enough to hold up.  Really, Liam would rather eat it.  He tries.

11:59am and 50 seconds.  A ten second countdown begins.  

12:00pm. Envelopes tear.  Letters are scanned to try to find the institution name (hey, NMRP, try making the hospital name a little bigger or in a bold font next time, ok?).  

12:00pm and 2 seconds.  Screams erupt around the room.  Hugs are exchanged.  Tears are shed.  I did not think I would cry.  Wrong.  There was so much build up and emotions were crazy high.  

They were happy tears.  Very, very happy tears.  

And then, just like that...

Blink.

It was over. 

We knew where we were going.  My husband was placed in one of the top institutions for internal medicine.  We are moving from our home, but we will be driving distance to family as opposed to flying distance.  It's not North Carolina, but the weather should be negligibly better. 

I literally could not be more proud of my husband.  Four years of incredibly hard work and dedication, all boiling down to one single sheet of paper inside of an envelope.  Countless hours of studying, of test taking, of procedure learning, of interviewing and of praying, all for this day.

It is surreal that it is over.  We are so glad that we know!

My husband is in every picture of the day.  So I will awkwardly crop out his face and blur his name. 
 
Obviously a momentous occasion: I baked. 


Happy boy.

3.19.2014

Liam | 9 months

How is our little man 9 months old already?  I think that this past month has been my favorite so far. (It is probably due to the second category below!).  His little personality is really starting to shine and we love it.


Growth & Looks
We are undoubtedly pushing 20.5 pounds.  Nine month clothing still fits, though I have to use my handy dandy "crotch extender" that I sewed for some of the shorter onesies.  He's filling out his 12 month sleepers like nobody's business. 

"They say" that eye color should stay after nine months of age, so it looks like we have a blue-eyed boy!  Liam's hair is starting to darken a little bit, but is still light brown.  I'm wondering if the sun (if we ever see it again) will keep it light this summer. 

We have not one but TWO bottom teeth!  They are exceptionally hard to see, let alone get a picture of, as Liam immediately puts his tongue over them.  We were expecting teething to be terrible, but we didn't even know when he cut his second tooth; I just happened to catch a glimpse of it one day.  

Terrible photo but there they are!
Sleeping
If you would have told me two weeks ago that Liam would be essentially sleeping through the night now, I would have never believed you.  BUT.  He is!  He first slept through the night at 8 months and 18 days old.  That's 265 nights of me getting up at least once but often multiple times during the night. I don't have words to describe the utter exhaustion that accompanied that and would wish it on nobody.  I only hope that I forget it and catch up on sleep soon! 


We didn't really plan on "sleep training" but when Liam woke up two mornings in a row and wasn't hungry, refusing to eat for about an hour after waking up, we decided it was time.  If we were cutting out a feeding, it most certainly would not be the 7am feeding!  The next night, my husband got up with the baby when he started crying at 3am and proceeded to try until 4am to feed him a measly little 3 ounce bottle (our thought was that we would do a 3 ouncer, then the next night two and then one, just to wean Liam down), but Liam flat out refused.  He went back to sleep without eating.  The next night, he slept from 8pm-7am, and we never heard a peep.  Ah-may-zing!  

A typical night is Liam going to sleep around 7:30pm and getting up for the day around 7am.  He's been waking up once or twice during the night, whining for a few minutes and then falling back asleep. The last week has been decently good; we've only had one night of excessive crying/intervening from dad.  I have not been in his room after putting him to bed in 11 nights!  Napping is generally going better also; a morning nap from roughly 10-11:30am and an afternoon nap from about 2:30-4pm.  

I am so happy to update this category this month :) Sleep deprivation is an ugly thing and it colors every aspect of your life. 

Eating
We have a picky pants on our hands.  I'm pretty sure the bulk of our troubles stem from the fact that he's able to still fill up on milk pretty well, nursing four times a day now that we've cut out that pesky middle of the night snack.  We have had some people-food successes though!  Liam's favorite combination is red lentils, cauliflower and zucchini (I mean, of course, right?  Why didn't I try that earlier?), and he'll eat about a quarter cup if he is in an eating mood.  Liam really enjoys having family dinners, which is adorable.  He eats his best when we're eating together.  He's shared a couple of dinners with us, butternut squash soup at a friend's and a vegetable chowder that I made here.  He LOVED them both.  We're equating it to either the salt, the chicken broth (aka salt!), or garlic/onions, since he is his mama's boy.  

To get him to eat fruit such as apples, we have to mix it with squash or carrots; he is not a fan of fruit on its own.  He's found a love for taking sips of water while he's eating too and sometimes refuses to take another bite until he's had his water.  I just bought a jar of "puffs" which I am mildly opposed to but know that they're perfect for him to practice picking up and eating, and I do like that they dissolve so quickly, not that I sit around waiting for him to choke or anything.  New tastes this month include: cantaloupe, apricots, peaches, sweet corn, zucchini and cauliflower, lentils, white beans, pickles (what? I did it as a joke but he LOVED gnawing on it!).  Next on the docket: blueberries, parsnips and broccoli.   


Firsts 
  • First tooth!  Bottom left popped through on February 25, and bottom right on March 13. 
  • First time caught sleeping on his belly (and first HUGE pile of drool on his crib sheet!)
  • First time making it all the way through church in the nursery!  We've been struggling to find the best time to attend church, with our services being offered Saturday night (too late), and two on Sunday morning (right during nap time).  But with the time change, Liam's started going to bed a little bit later, so we tried the Saturday evening service this past weekend, and he made it through nursery the entire time without needing us to come get him!  Hallelujah!  We've been feeling like we're missing out on an hour and a half of free babysitting every week ;)   
  • First time purposefully clapping his hands.  If we say "Yay Liam!" and clap our hands, he normally joins in and claps too.  
video
 
Hobbies, talents & likes 
  • Favorite toys: lion walker (not that he walks with it!), popper truck, fish rattles, a Sesame Street activity board from 1994 and his cow book (this has been his favorite for a long time).  Non-toys: buttons on dress shirts, drawstrings, curtains and blinds, tupperware containers, hangers.  Non-toys are much cooler than actual toys all of the sudden.  


  • We've still got a curious kiddo on our hands, and when he's trying to figure out something, he'll turn his head sideways to investigate further.  Hand-eye coordination is continuing to increase.  Liam's life goal is to pick the freckles from my skin (future in derm?), carefully pinching at them in an effort to remove them ;)
  • Liam LOVES baths.  He liked them before but now he thinks they're great.  He chews on his toys, drums on his tub, splashes and then looks around like, "hey, who splashed me?!" Cause and effect, baby! He ends up with wrinkly toes and sitting in cold water by the time he's done playing.  
  • Still loves playing piano with his mama.

  • When he's tired, Liam will lay his head on my shoulder while I'm singing to him before naps (speaking of, we lowered his crib mattress down a notch).   So sweet.
  • Stranger danger is at an all-time high.  We're talking eyes welling up with tears and letting out a big, red-faced cry while being held by someone while I am standing next to them.   I'd say it's cute, but really, it's a little inconvenient.  
  • Liam is still not crawling but he's doing lots of spinning and a little bit of scooting backwards.  He desperately wants to move, and "swims" in place, kicking his legs like crazy, but he just can't figure out how to get his knees under him and move.  
video

  • When Liam gets really excited (aka when his dad gets home!) his entire body thrashes in what we call the Liam Shake.  He gets hard to hold on to!  
  • You know Sheldon from Big Bang Theory?  Liam's laugh resembles his breathy laugh too much sometimes. 
   
 

Could he be any sweeter?

3.17.2014

Monday Matching

Well, my husband matched...somewhere!  It is wonderful to know we have somewhere to call home, but I've officially decided that Match Week is a strange and unusual form of torture.  Prior to this, I've felt very patient about waiting until March 21 to find out where we'll be for the next three to seven years.  However, now that we are so close, if I were to sustain a mild head injury and wake up at 11:55am on Friday, I would not be disappointed ;)

3.07.2014

Dial Deep Cleansing Hand Soap | Giveaway

It's been a while since I've hosted a giveaway here on the blog!  The good folks at Dial recently sent me their new Deep Cleansing Hand Soap to try, review and share with a lucky few of you.  


This brand new hand soap, featuring vibrant scents just hit store shelves in February.  Let me tell you, these soaps smell GOOD.  I'm not one for an overpowering scent, and these soaps offer just the right amount of fragrance without being overbearing.  The available scents are:


See those little beads in the bottle?  Those are little gentle micro-scrubbers that smooth and moisturize your skin, gently removing dirt while leaving them feeling smooth and refreshed.  And let me tell you, with as much hand washing that happens around these parts with a baby in the house, smooth and refreshed is a must!

It's rare that I buy individual containers of hand soap like these, normally opting for a large bottle to refill the soap dispensers in our home, but that yellow raspberry and black sugar scent might be enough to sway me.  Perhaps these deep cleansing hand soaps could be offered in the large hand soap refill bottles?  Hint, hint, Dial!  ;)

Now for the fun for you!  Dial included several coupons for a lucky few of my readers to try their new micro-scrubber, refreshing, moisturizing soaps!  Just enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win.  Open to those in the US only. Giveaway closes at 12am on Thursday, March 13.  Winners will be contacted via email, and coupons mailed via snail mail as soon as winners supply their mailing address. Giveaway now closed! Congratulations to the winners Julia, Zenetta, Lauren and Karalyn!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Dial brand provided me with a sample of Dial Deep Cleansing Hand Soap in exchange for a product review.  However, all the opinions expressed here are my own.

2.27.2014

help wanted: Match Day/Graduation Gifts?

My husband's rank list is officially certified and submitted...no turning back now!  We made two major changes the last week, so we are happy to not be able to make any other adjustments...or at least I am!  In alphabetical order, the states of his top five choices are:  Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee.  So.  We'll see.  In 23 days. 

We got the information about how Match Day will happen...we'll all convene at a nice local Italian restaurant, have lunch and open envelopes at noon - I try very hard not to let my heart pound thinking about that.  It should work out with Liam's nap schedule to come with us and not be too cranky during the event.  Hopefully.

Okay.  Enough Match Day/heart palpitation inspiring talk.  I need some help!  For those of you that have gone before and made it through the events of the next few months, I need to know if you have any awesome gift ideas for the soon-to-be doctor.  I mean, I have one: 

via Cafe Press

But I mean, really?  Four years of hard work and dedication and all I can come up with is a coffee mug?  I'll take any ideas you have...cutesy, useful for what's ahead, thoughtful, homemade...whatever you've got!  

Thanks in advance ;) 

Update: I'm going to link this post to Medical Mondays!  Would love to hear YOUR ideas!