Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Weekend Coma

It's Tuesday and I'm still in a weekend coma. Having a 4 and half day weekend is amazing until you have to follow it up up with a 5 day work week.... ughhh.

Our long weekend was wonderfully amazing. We spent lots of time with friends and family on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The only store we hit up on Black Friday was Home Depot - becuase yes we are officially loser homeowners who would rather buy things for the house than for ourselves. Friday and Saturday Emma and I spent some time shopping for Christmas decorations which was fun. As usual she slept through both trips.



Don't worry, Emma. Home Depot bores the Momma too :)


Yesterday was hard to get back to work and reality (but isn't it always). I managed to spend some time participating in that certain online shopping day that I refuse to call by the name because I think it sounds creepy. Again, nothing for myself but a stocking for Emma and a tree skirt for our very first tree! And we ordered our very first christmas cards - which was very exciting. I had originally planned to wait until this weekend because Emma is having a photo sesh with Brooke on Friday but couldn't pass up the deal to save 20 bucks yesterday. Since I have other photo projects planned and I can never have enough pictures of our little lady, we'll still see what we can get.

So since I'm still in a coma like state, I'll choose to think about all the good things to come this weekend to help me get through this week. Friday is going to be a Daddy/Emma day because daycare is closed so he'll be taking the day off to spend with her (although I will be working from home). Sunday is the big day for picking out our first tree - looking forward to starting new traditions there.

And of course, always hoping to get in some quality time with my loves... preferrably doing a lot of this... 2/3 of ciccarelli family nap time :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey Day 2K10

There was so.so.so much to be thankful for this year on Thanksgiving. I know that soon it will begin to feel like we never had any holidays without her, but for now it's fun to mark each new holiday as a special day for our family.

Emma fit right into our traditional Thanksgiving dinner at the diner. Here she is posing with the annual pineapple turkey. She was very confused by it, but we assured her that it was OK to touch it and sit for a photo-op.


Although this will be her first and last turkey day without partaking in the deliciousness of food, I don't think she minded that much since she seemed to enjoy her meals yesterday. Larry wanted to put some gravy on her lips and I wouldn't let him, but I really don't think she would have preferred it over the wonderful contents of that bottle that she loves so much.


However, I do think that she did miss you on the deliciousness of the dessert I prepared this year. An old favorite of Larry's which I have recently learned how to make - Tollhouse Cookie Pie. And because frozen pie crusts are sold in packs of two, we'll be enjoying a second pie all weekend long, yum :)


Toll House Cookie Pie Recipe

Ingredients:
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup (6 oz.) NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 325° F.

BEAT eggs in large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter. Stir in morsels. Spoon into pie shell.

BAKE for 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. We love to serve with vanilla ice cream although the recipe suggests whipped cream

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Three Months

Dear Emma,

It's hard to believe you are already a quarter of a year old. We have enjoyed every single moment with you of these last 3 months and as always we can't wait to see what is coming next.

The end of this month was a hard one for me because I had to give up our oh so sweet time together and go back to work. Before this month, I had never spent more than an hour or so away from you so it was a big change for me to have to go without seeing you for 10 hours a day. But because I don't spend the weekdays alone with you anymore, it makes all of our time together so much more special.

Right now, your daddy and I are loving your bedtime/wake up routine. You take your bedtime bottle between 8:30-9 and the three of us will go up into your bedroom to feed you. We take turns holding you in the rocker and watching those little eyes flutter shut as you fight to stay awake. You still love to be swaddled up like a little burrito so we wrap you up tight and put lay you down in your crib. Lots of good night kisses and smiles (from both you and us) and you're off to sleep. You don't fuss at all and by the time we are back downstairs looking at the monitor you are fast asleep.

I have to say my favorite is when you wake up in the morning. I hear and see you toss and turn a little on the monitor around 6:30. You aren't quite awake but your legs somehow are moving and are up in the air. When we peer over the crib to pick you up, those big blue eyes pop open and you give us the biggest smile. It is my favorite part of the day. Daddy is trying to teach you the value of sleeping in on the weekends, but if you make it to 7 on those days, I'm still happy to run upstairs to get to see you.

But the smiles don't end there, they last all day. You are such a happy little lady. You smile and laugh the most in the morning (proving you are a morning person like your momma) but its not hard to get you to smile anymore which is just the best thing. You will smile freely at whoever is holding you or feeding you. Although you do love your family and friends, sometimes you reserve your biggest smiles for your friend the ceiling fan. You can lay on your back for almost an hour just belly laughing and kicking your legs in excitement over the fan. It's really hysterical to watch and makes us smile to see you so happy.

Next month is going to be a big one with the holidays and we can't wait to spend them with you. As always, we are only expecting to love each day with you more and more.

Love,
Momma


Emma, 3 months

Monday, November 22, 2010

Another Reason To Love the iPhone

The best thing about returning to work last week was that I found out that we are working with a new company - Field Agent. Basically it's an iphone app that pays you to shop. I love the idea because I work in shopper marketing and am constantly driving to stores to take pictures or check in on promotions that we are running. I love the idea even more because now it's making me money.

So how it works is basically that you log in and it gives you a list of available "jobs". As a reward for completing these, you receive a payout of a few bucks. So far the ones I've seen are pretty much to go to a store (like a grocery store or walmart) and count the number of products available or check to see if a price is listed. For example, one job was to count the number of coffee products from a particular brand, check to see if there were sale prices listed and take a picture - to do this resulted in me earning $4.50. Another job asked me to take count the number of a packages particular kind of cheese for $3.50. The thing is pretty cool and easy to use - the GPS tracks you so that they know you are in the specified desired location and each job takes minutes to complete. You can request your money anytime through Paypal for an instant payout. Want more info? Check out their website - http://fieldagent.net/

Since downloading the app last Monday, I earned $65 bucks. OK so I did complete 17 jobs but I didn't really go out of my way. I went to stores near my home and work and stores in between those two. I may have gone a different route to get from home to work but the opportunity cost wasn't extreme. A few minutes in each store was all it took to complete the task - and because I was completing the same job in multiple locations, I got pretty quick at completing the task. I figure I won't always make this much money every week, mainly last week I was excited about the concept and wanted to try it out. But if I could make a few bucks a week that would be great. My only regret? Not knowing about this while I had endless amounts of free time over a 12 week maternity leave...grrrr

Friday, November 19, 2010

Look What I Found?

It was only a matter of time... Strangely she will only attempt to get the right one in there. And she hasn't quite figured out that she can't get all 5 fingers in at once.

Absolutely obsessed with these two pictures from the wonderful Brooke Allison... they got me through this week!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Struggling but Surviving

It's my new motto.... because I'm struggling. All in all the last 3 days haven't been terrible but I can't say I've enjoyed them. The good news is that the little lady seems completely unphased. Day 1 was hard. There were tears when Larry left the house... when I left the house... when I became reacquainted with I-95 traffic... when I got to my desk... when I called home... when I called home again...... :( I busted my ass to get home to see Emma and she was sleeping. And proceeded to sleep for another 75 minutes. Needless to say, there were no tears on her part. And on the second day when she was totally unintersted in me feeding her her morning bottle because she only wanted to smile at my mom, I took it as a sign to leave. I know she's already enjoying her special time with her G-ma and I'm also quite sure the feeling is mutual.

First day welcome home love notes... found atop a sleeping baby

Today was the first day of daycare and it started out like a shit-show. As much as I prepped the night before (made bottles, picked out an outfit, packed everything up), nothing went as planned in the morning. I heard Emma yack all over herself precisely as I backed out of the driveway. When we got to daycare she was soaked (and her carseat - hello first mid-week laundry emergency!). Her bottles had leaked in the car as well so it was a wet morning all around. I was so frazzled about these events that I was surprisingly OK leaving her off, a quick hug from Larry and it was on with Day 3. I only called in once mid-morning to check on her and she was doing great. It made me smile when the teachers were letting me know that they were discovering her little quirks... yes she loves laying on the changing table and smiling... yes she ALWAYS has the hiccups... and yes unfortunately for you, she is a farting machine. Pick-up was uneventful, she didn't seem that interested in seeing me and was asleep in her carseat before I pulled out of the parking lot.

my new 9-5 view

I think I can honestly say that it's already easier to be without her (although this does shock me alot). What I'm really struggling with is turning my brain back from baby to corporate. My coworkers have been nothing short of wonderful but when I sit at my computer, I'm just in a fog. Simple tasks that I could have done in my sleep 3 months ago give me an anxiety attack at the thought of starting. My very sweet boss let me know today that I may never be at my 100% working ability again and that is OK, we should just aim for as much as I can get to. I know it will take time but it's frustrating and overwhelming.

love my co-workers!

Thank you so much to the many sweet words of encouragement from friends and family. Little messages helped me get through the first few minutes, hours and days and I am always so grateful for the love. Already looking forward to the weekend and holiday next week for some much needed qt with my little family unit of 3 :)


Monday, November 15, 2010

Back to Work, Back to Reality...

Today marks the end of my 12 week maternity leave. While I was ridiculously fortunate to have all of that time off (and even more ridiculously fortunate for a husband who was willing to support my decision to stay home for some of that time unpaid), I am still dreading going back. I've always been a part of the "work to live" not "live to work" mindset so now more than ever, I know it's something I just have to do.

I think the hardest part of going back is giving up the sole caregiver responsibilities for Emma. Even when she was waking up 2 times a night, I didn't mind because I knew there would be shared naps on the couch that afternoon. I loved planning little outings for us during the day and some days, just doing nothing together. It's going to be hard to adjust from going to spending all day with her to just a few hours a day.

On the bright side, we are lucky to have Grandma doing the nanny thing for us 2 days a week so that we only need to send Emma to daycare 3 days a week. I know Emma is going to love the special time they will have together and I'm also OK knowing that she will get to meet a new friend or two at daycare. Also on the bright side, I'm going to be working from home 1 day a week so that will make the daycare drop off/pick up dance a little less rushed and I'll also be able to sneak in a little love session with the little lady during lunch. I am already soooo looking forward to that :)

I can't forget to mention that I had a lovely send-off to the maternity leave. We spent last Thursday with my mom and sister doing some shopping and then Friday Larry took the day off of work so we were able to spend some time together as a family, including taking Emma to her first trip to Pepe's Pizza. As usual, she slept through the big event (adding yet another picture to our collection of "Pictures I took of Emma while she was sleeping while we attempted to do something fun together".

mmm pizza!

So think of me today as I rejoin the real world. I've dusted off my laptop, begrudgingly switched out the yoga pants for jeans and have my framed picture of Emma all ready for my desk... today I become a working mom.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fashion Fauz-Paws?

We woke up Monday morning to a good old "wintery mix" in CT. Rain, snow, and hail... the gang was all there. Instead of running errands as planned with Emma, we decided to hibernate on the couch together for the day. When I went to look for some comfy pj's for the little lady I pulled out this little number...

We've been big fans of the outfits that have little mitten type hand coverings so that Emma doesn't scratch herself in the face but this is the only outfit we have for her that has mitten type foot coverings. I don't really get it but its really warm and fuzzy and one of the only things she owns that isn't pink.

As the day went on and Emma was trying to stand, I realized that her feet looked more like hooves. Don't worry Emma, I won't call the fashion police on you :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Emma's Day With the Girls

A few weekends ago, Emma and I packed up and headed out for a girls day with the Bentley ladies.

We got to visit and catch up and watch Allison's wedding video (after some creative thinking of tv watching...)

and made our first trip to the winery in CT...


which was really quite lovely, especially because there were drinks for both mommy and baby!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Moving on Up

Since Emma has been sleeping for the night for a little while, we decided that she was ready to start sleeping in her own room upstairs in her master suite. When she was first born, she has the pleasure of rooming with us in our room (and a few weeks later in the spare bedroom so that she could be close but also let us get back to being just us at night). She slept in the adorable bassinet which was also the first home to her other little cousins.

Looking so tiny in here!

And I'm happy to report that she is doing just fine up in her crib (with a little help of a princess chandelier nightlight and a baby monitor) in the master suite. Still sleeping through the night and no issues in her new digs...


Although I must admit it took awhile to get used to and I do find myself staring at the monitor when she goes down at night. But as a part of letting go, I do turn off the video so I can just hear her.... which she does make perfectly sure of when she still manages to make enough noise to wake me up when she is ready to :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Still Holding On

So it's officially fall. Larry caved and turned the heat on (although only for a few minutes), I've actually put the flip flops away and put on closed toe shoes, and it's dark after 6. So what the hell is this little beauty doing holding on outside our house for?

On the bright side, spring is only 5 months away, not that I'm counting or anything :)