Sunday, December 27, 2009

Simply having a wonderful Christmas time!

Well, Luci certainly is!

Although we are loving our first Christmas with Luci, things are just so incredibly chaotic. She refuses to nap, eat, and nurse. Her schedule is a mess, and she is as happy as a lark.

For the past 3 nights, she has been waking up at around 4am - ready to play. Her eyes are huge, like she is giving us a great big "HELLO!" This morning I was slapped in the face by a tiny hand and the happiest shriek followed. John had gone to get her and brought her to bed.

She is so nebby that she can't sit still enough to eat or nurse - and therefore fights sleep. You would think that this would make her sleep the entire night - NOPE! Oh well!

I am hoping that this will end after the 12 days of Christmas are over...only 10 more left!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Luciana - 8 months

This has been a very busy month for little Luci - 1st Thanksgiving, going to see Santa, getting Christmas pictures taken, putting up the Christmas tree, and getting ready for the holiday craziness.

As I just posted, we got her ears pierced. I know that some people probably think that I am nuts, but I know a lot of people that have done it this early (or earlier). My justification: she is young enough to never remember it, she is too little still to realize that they are even there and therefore won't play with them (which equals no infections), and I don't want to fight with her when she is older. She cried for about 20 seconds and it was over...MUCH better than shots!
She is trying to crawl. She can get up on all fours, rocks back and forth, and then her little legs fly out from under her. She gets really frustrated at times, which is so entertaining! She is pulling herself up now - it takes a while, but when she does it, she is so proud of herself.

Aunt Dani and Aunt Ree bought her the Little People Nativity scene for Christmas. They gave it to us early so that we could put it under our tree this year. This is the best gift! She loves it so much. I can just sit her in front of the tree and she plays with it for hours, and she doesn't even go for the ornaments.

Her new trick is clapping her hands...it's so adorable. She even does it at the right times. For instance, I took her to one of John's swim meets last night and she was clapping her hands as though she was cheering for the swimmers. She was the hit of the meet.

She is feeding herself now with finger foods. It fun to watch as she concentrates so hard to pick up the little pieces and aim for her mouth...I secretly love it when she misses! Despite the fact that she is eating solids, I am still nursing and my milk supply seems endless. I am sad to think that I am only going to be nursing her for only 4 more months, but I can't wait to be done with pumping!

We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Here are pictures from the last month:

Monday, December 21, 2009

A controversial issue, I know...

Minimal tears, and already forgotten!
I just didn't want to deal with the drama later!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Yep, this is TOTALLY my family!

I just received a link to this article from my cousin. Refer to one of my friend's posts and one of my own posts for confirmation.

People may think that this tradition is an urban legend, but this describes what our weddings (and showers) are like.

Monday, December 14, 2009

They're Heeerrreee!

I could have waited a few more months,
but I haven't noticed any nibbles yet...YET!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Favorite Christmas Songs

In Pittsburgh, there are a few radio stations that play only Christmas music in December, and I admit that I only tune into these stations over the holidays. I flip back and forth in hope to catch 2 of my favorite songs:

"I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas" and "Domenic the Italian Christmas Donkey"

I was searching for the first song on the Internet, and I found this article. I thought that it was interesting.

What are your favorite Christmas songs?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Be careful of what you ask for...

...because it just might come true.

I am referring to how I ended a recent post.

The insurance adjuster came to the house so that he can assess the issue with our hardwood floors and basement carpet and such from the water damage. He is giving us a figure that reflects what it would cost to replace ALL of the hardwood on our first floor.

How much hardwood is that? Well, it's our entry-way, front closet, hallway to the kitchen, kitchen, eat-in area, dining room, pantry, and powder room. The only carpet we have is in our family and living rooms.

So of course, my eyes widen, and I am thinking of all. the. work. that would go into doing that - i.e. emptying out the china cabinet so that we can move it to the living room, taking the toilet off, etc.

We think that we might be able to get away with just taking care of the kitchen and eat-in area and still make it all flow nicely.

And of course, since the house is going to be a wreck...we may as well do it all at once. So yes, we are redoing our kitchen! I have a feeling that we are going to be making a lot of stops to Lowe's and Home Depot soon.

Kind of excited, but kind of dreading it...happy thoughts!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The mother ship called me home!

The last time I visited was before the cruise.

That means that I have been deprived for 16 months!

I am impressed that I last that long without my one and only addiction:

Friday, November 27, 2009

An Italian twist on an American tradition

Our Thanksgiving Meal:

Appetizers - assorted Italian cheeses and meats, anti pasta, shrimp cocktail, bread, and fruit
Dinner - Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes (garlic), green beans, my Dad's cranberry crush, Caesar salad, and rice balls (not pictured)

Desserts - Pumpkin pie, peanut butter cake, apple and ricotta pie, run cake, make-your-own-Napoleon, Italian candies

Monday, November 23, 2009

Luciana - 7 months

I don't think that I am ready for our little girl to be growing up so quickly.
She had yet another busy month. We had a few Halloween parties, and she had 2 costumes: a strawberry and a monkey. I couldn't resist either, and they were cheap, so I was justified, right?

She is sitting upright on her own like a pro now. I am able to take her grocery shopping with me and she easily sits in the cart without any issues (of course she rides in the comfort and cleanliness of one of those cart covers).

As I type, she is sitting on the floor playing with a toy. However, she gets distracted by the base of the ironing board and somehow makes her way over to it without crawling. So obviously, we have to keep an eye on her at all times now. The days of laying her down knowing that she is not going anywhere are long gone.

She is even standing on her own as long as she is holding onto something for balance, like the couch or her easel-toy. Although she is not totally able to climb to her feet on her own yet, she is trying, and can get to her knees. Therefore, we lowered her crib mattress this weekend. It's better to be safe than sorry.

She is still a thumb-sucker, but not as much as before. However, she has found another body part that she likes to suck almost just as much - HER BIG TOE! It's hilarious!

She is spitting raspberries all the time, and laughs and smiles non-stop. She is just simply a happy baby and I am just simply a happy mommy!

We are really looking forward to our first Thanksgiving as a family, and we hope that all of you have a great Thanksgiving as well!

Spoke too soon

Totally jinxed myself.

My neighbor was watching Luci today. John typically takes Luci over there in the morning, and then they venture across the street to my house for lunch. When they came over today, much to their surprise the fridge was on the fritz again!

John had just fixed the water line of the refrigerator on Saturday afternoon, and I was thinking as he was fixing it: Maybe we should just leave it alone and go without the ice maker. I should have spoken my mind, I guess.

So the line was shut off, the water was dried (both thanks to my neighbor calling in reinforcements from other other neighbors), and the dehumidifiers are running again.

Ice and cold water from the fridge are luxuries...they are not necessities.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

No more wet floors

After a weekend of windows open, 3 dehumidifiers running, and constantly moving the frig around the kitchen to evenly dry the floor, I think that we are done with our efforts.

The musty wet wood smell is gone. But our floors are "peaking," which is a term I learned from the restoration guy who I spoke to the other day. He recommended that we should just leave the floors alone for a while. He explained that they very well could go back to normal on there own. He also said that a lot of homeowners make the mistake of trying to the fix the problem with sanding and refinishing too soon, and then the wood contracts, and then the another problem which opposite of peaking.

So we are going to wait until after the New Year and see if the peaking is resolved. If not, then we are going to call them to come and check it out.

I was kinda hoping for an excuse to completely redo the kitchen...Oh, we have to get the floors redone? Well, that will be paid for by the insurance company and since the kitchen is going to be under construction, we may as well go the whole way and get it all done at once. Don't think that's going to happen. Bummer.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Relaxing day off?

Yeah, right!

First off, I was wide awake at 6:30. Although I technically slept in for 2 1/2 hours compared to my usually weekday wake-up, I was still disappointed. John was getting ready for work and Luci was sound asleep.

Then John opened our bedroom door and stopped dead in his tracks. "Did you leave water running last night," he asked me with his eyes wider than I have ever seen them. He knew the answer to this question, but I think was hoping for the ridiculous answer.

We ran downstairs to find that the water line to the refrigerator split and was spraying water all of the kitchen. I then ran to the basement to turn off the main water source and grab towels while John figured out where the line was in the basement ceiling. In the basement we found that the water was seeping and part of the basement carpet was wet too.

In these minutes, I am thinking - WTF! If I didn't have a day off, I would have found this much sooner and we wouldn't have such a mess on our hands now. But John informed me that there was no way that the water was gushing out longer than 30 minutes or so, or else it would have been worse.

We cleaned everything up, I bought a dehumidifier, borrowed another one from my parents (one in the kitchen and one in the basement), and I called the insurance company...just in case.

Did I mention we have hardwood floors in our kitchen? Yeah, now it smells like wet, musty wood on our first floor. I just hope that we don't develop any mold.

I still have to get into the shower! I wish that I had tomorrow off too so that I can recover from today.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Boogie Wipes

With yet another cold on the run...these are GREAT!

They alleviate the screams when I need to wipe Luci's nose and clean the crusties that I HATE all at once.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Multi-tasking a la Jill!

There is nothing that I hate more than pumping as soon as I get home from work when all I want to do is hold Luci and play with her. But there have been occasions when I get home and she has just had a bottle or it has been too long since my last pump that I need to pump ASAP.

My friend Jill mentioned in one post about pumping while on the drive home from work. As I was getting into my car on my way home one day, I was dreading the thought of pumping as soon as I walked into the house. Then I thought of Jill...clever girl! So, I hooked up the pump right then and there, emptied my boobs on my way home, and was able to give Luci the attention that I want to give her after hours of separation.

Thanks Jill! You rock!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Internal Alarm Clock

Luci didn't get the memo about the time change.

Despite successfully maintaining our nightly routine at the regular time, she is still waking up at her usual time, which is an hour earlier than ours.

This really doesn't affect me that much (except on the weekends) because I am long gone, but John's morning routine has been interrupted.

Hopefully over the next few days (or weeks) she will revert back to waking up between 7 and 8 instead of 6 and 7.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Luciana - 6 months

Happy 1/2 Birthday Luci!

Halfway to her first birthday - I can't believe it! This past month she has become noisier and even more active. Aunt Dani gave us her Jump-a-roo, and boy does she love it. Sometimes I am scared that she is going to catapult herself out of it. However, she has started a habit of whining when she can't see us while jumping. But as soon as we come back into her line of vision, she smiles and resumes jumping. She loves jumping in the the Jump-a-roo so much that she continues the bouncing movement even while she is out of it. Like when we hold her in church, she has to stand on our laps and bounce up and down. She is very entertaining for the other parishioners.

When we go out, we get compliments about how good she is. I am sure that when people see a couple enter a restaurant with a baby, they hope that the little family is not seated by them. But Luci is so good when it comes to eating and not fussing too much that we actually attract people as they walk passed us.
She is able to sit up without the aid of her arms now, but it really only lasts for a few seconds until she loses her balance and she either catches herself or she just falls over. I am amazed at how strong she is getting. Aunt Dani also gave us all sorts of fun toys which force Luci to sit up, so she is getting good practice daily. I still sit behind her just in case...I don't trust her that much yet.

Everyone who watches her while we are at work is amazed at how pleasant she is. Rarely is she fussy, and when she is, it's because she is fighting sleep. Then she wakes rejuvenated and happy. And we I open the door and walk into the house, a huge smile comes across her face and I am rejuvenated as well.

I am still nursing her, which makes me happy. She has discovered my hair, and now plays with it while nursing. She also rubs my arm or pats me while eating - it melts my heart. I could do without the chin hickeys, but I love the fact that she loves me so much!

We are looking forward to halloween - we have 2 parties to go to, so of course we have 2 costumes! Pictures of that coming next month!
Here are pictures from this past month:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Maybe he'll get it right this time


Jason and Molly are engaged.


Where did he propose? In New Zealand, where he originally rejected Molly and then proposed to Melissa.


What a loser!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Recovering

Last weekend, Luci woke up screaming at 4:00am. I went running into her room to find her still asleep, but crying. I scooped her up into my arms, and I knew immediately that she had a fever. She was calming down, so I didn't want to disturb her by shoving a thermometer up her butt for confirmation. I laid her back down in her crib, and went back to bed.

30 minutes later - another scream. This time, eyes wide open. So I took her temp - 102. I gave her Tylenol, nursed her, and she went right back to sleep. The next morning, her temp was down, but she was so incredibly congested, and she had been for about a week or so, but it was way worse. The clear snot turned yellowish-green, and you could hear her struggling to breath while eating and sleeping. I knew that her little cold turned into a full-blown sinus infection.

I called the pediatrician on Monday morning and got an appointment. He confirmed what I had suspected and put her on Amoxicillin. She never spiked a temp again, but her congestion is just now FINALLY subsiding.

Through all of this, I developed a sinus infection too. Hm mm...maybe because she loves to attack my entire face with her mouth wide open. I love the affection, but not the congestion. She sucked my chin so much last week that I still have a lingering hickey...people at work keep telling me to clean my chin thinking that it is ink or dirt. Nope, it's a sucker bite from my daughter!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Another season!

As we were watching "Dancing with the Stars" last night, they announced the new Bachelor for the upcoming January season - it's:Jake! The nice, conservative, "too perfect" pilot from Texas. He's the one who warned Jillian of Wes's not-so-good intentions after he was booted from the show.

We'll see how conservative he really is when 25 women are throwing themselves at him!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Updates

TV - The new TV guy came last week. He took one quick glance at the screen and knew what the problem was and how to fix it. He even said that he could fix it at our house! Why weren't we referred to them at the beginning?!?!?

Heater - It wasn't the thermocouple because our heater doesn't even have one! It just needed cleaned. I guess a valve was dirty. We have heat again and it was so nice to have Luci wake up with warm hands again.

Clogged duct - It took almost 48 hours, but it is unclogged. I tried all sorts of home remedies (Cara - I tried our little secret multiple times!). Then I read on the internet about a certain position when nursing (it's a little too embarrassing to type here, but if you want to know, I can send you the link via email), and it worked within 2 minutes! I was so relieved!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Too Funny!

A friend just sent this, and I had to share:John may not cook a hot breakfast, but he has been known to bring a bowl of cereal, juice, and hot tea to me as breakfast in bed.

Monday, October 5, 2009

OMG!

At work with a clogged right breast duct = no fun and LOTS of pain!

Pumped twice - a little better, but not much.

Massaging where I feel the lump - not helping and actually creating MORE pain!

Waiting to go home in hopes that Luci can suck it out.

OUCH! This is the worst one yet!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

WAY Harder...but somehow, faster?

This morning was the ZooZilla 5K at the Pittsburgh Zoo. I was expecting a difficult course considering all the hills through the zoo, and I was right. The first 2 miles of the race were pretty much all up hill...steep hills in some cases. I kept telling myself to keep running, and I did it.

As I was headed for the finish line, I was totally expecting my time to be MUCH slower than last week's time (since the Great Race was mainly flat and a little down hill). To my surprise, I came in at almost one whole minute faster (now you have to consider "chip time" which clocks the time you cross the start line to the finish line instead of when the horn blows). I was much deeper in the pack last week, but not a minute's worth. So I think that I went at least 20-30 seconds fast this week, which puts me at under 10:00 mile pace. I guess the rain from last week hindered me more than I thought.

Next 5K - in 2 weeks - Miles of Smiles at the Plum Midget Football field (which is where I run).

Too much stuff going on next weekend for a race: wedding, baptism, post-wedding picnic, anniversary party...I am going to need a weekend to recover after that weekend.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Chilly!

The temperature at night has gone down pretty quickly over the past couple of night - so cold that even John has been sleeping with the down comforter.

So last night I did the unthinkable and turned the heat on...mainly because Luci's hands have been so cold in the mornings. She hasn't let us swaddle her with her arms in since she was 3 weeks old and she perpetually sleeps with her arms above her head, no matter how many times we try to tuck them under the blanket while she is sleeping.

Anyway, after I turned the heat on, I could hear the fan going, but I couldn't feel anything coming through the vents. GREAT!

The problem is something called the thermo-coupler (or something like that). So we have a heating/cooling company coming to the house tomorrow. I am embarrassed to admit that we have never had our heater cleaned out since we moved in, and now seems to be the perfect time.

I can't wait to be warm in our house again!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Let's try it again...

The warranty company found another repair place that will honor our warranty. So the new TV guy is coming by the house this afternoon.

I am hoping that this will take less than 7 weeks.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I did it!

I know it was only a 3 mile run, but I feel like I accomplished something. Walking was a thought that went through my mind during the last mile, but I persevered and finished. I averaged about 10:10 miles, which I was pleased with. The rain was not fun.

Next week: ZooZilla 5K Run.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Luciana - 5 months (and 1 day)

I can't believe it's been 5 months...the time has flown by so quickly! Our little Luci is getting so big and doing so much these days.

She is really starting to express her little personality, which is hilarious. She continuously lets out these little cries and screams of excitement and happiness. Rarely is she fussy, and when she is, she falls asleep shortly after it starts.

Eating has been going really well. She seems to like all the veggies and fruits that we have introduced so far. We are still on one container of baby food at dinner time, but we are going to start to do 2 daily next week. Boy has this changed the consistency of her poops!

She is doing really well at trying to sit up by mastering what I refer to as the "tripod" position, where she stabilizes herself with her arms. Soon she will be sitting up without any support at all.

She attended her 4th wedding so far. Luci is a very popular guest this wedding season. And she still has another one to go to next month. I enjoy dressing her in pretty outfits, but they only last through the ceremony. By the time we are at the reception and she is being passed around, it is just more comfy for her to be in a sleeper or less restrictive outfit (at least in my opinion).

We are just loving every second that we spend with her...it's hard to remember life before her!

Here are this past month's pictures:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In the jungle...

Please excuse my singing, but this was cracking her up last night. Also, that other noise in the background is John trying to get her to do her "raspberries" - he is not being flatulent as it sounds.

video

Friday, September 18, 2009

The TV saga continues...

We went back on Wednesday and the door was wide open. John and I just stood there in the doorway until Jim (the TV guy) acknowledged us.

Jim: Are you here to pick up your TV?

Us: uh, YEAH!

Jim: Good. (tells a kid to get our TV)

Me: Can you explain to me why you didn't bother to call your customers to let them know what the heck was going on?

Jim: I have been on the phone every night this week with customers, but each phone call has been 30-45 minutes long. You were on my list to call tonight.

Me: It's been 7 weeks since you picked up our TV, and 4 weeks since we came here last. I have been calling you and emailing you without any responses. How can you run a business without a phone and then close your doors without informing us.

Jim: Ma'am, this is my first time here in weeks, and if you have to know, I was in the hospital for 5 days.

Me: Don't go there. I work in a hospital everyday. I see patients working from their hospital beds as they are recovering from major surgery because they know that they have people depending on them. You were in the hospital for 5 days, not 5 weeks! What were you doing the other 6 weeks?

The kid and Jim come around the corner with the TV.

Me: Should I even ask if it is fixed?

Jim: It's not fixed.

They load it in the car, and we leave.
--------------
Noticed how not once did he ask for our name or what TV was ours. He met me once 7 weeks ago. How could he know exactly who I was and what TV was ours unless he didn't have that many customers.

Also, I know that I was a little insensitive to the fact that he probably had a heart attack, but when you run a business, you need to let your customers know why you are not around...especially when you have a piece of their property for almost 2 months.

When we got home, we went to mount it above the mantle again and then realized that he had put the bracket on totally backward and upside down. So, we had to fix that.

We are so annoyed that I don't know if we are even going to try to have it fixed now.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Not a good sign...

So John, Luci, and I pull up to the warehouse where our TV is supposedly being repaired, and we can see that it is not open.

However, there is a sign that reads:

Pick up only on Wed, Thurs, Fri
Liquidation
Everything must go:
Desk, Chairs, File Cabinets, etc.

There was a phone number too. Of course I called and left a pretty nasty message.

Then we realized that there were "For Sale by Owner" signs up that were not there 3 weeks ago. So I called that number and a poor elderly woman answered who explained to me that they have been leasing the building to the TV guy, that he has been having financial problems for about 6 months, and now her husband has not been able to get in touch with him.

We are so incredibly angry...why would he agree to repair our TV knowing that he was in trouble? Also, why wouldn't he just call his customers, explain his situation, and tell us to come and pick up our TVs. If we wouldn't have driven down there, we would have never known any of this.

So our plan is to go back tomorrow. If he is not there, we are going to call the police to get us into the building and get our TV back.

This is so ridiculous!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I want my TV!

Okay, so it has been 7 weeks since the repair guy came to get our TV.
He said it would take 2 weeks.

His phone line has been "temporarily disconnected" for about 4 weeks.
We went to the shop 3 weeks ago to see what was going on.

We were told that he was waiting for approval from Toshiba.
Toshiba says they have no say anymore, that he needs to deal with the warranty company.
Warranty company can't get in touch with him either.

We are a little boiling right now.
John is on his way home, and we are going to pay him another visit this evening.

To be continued....

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Home Opener and Spa Weekend

Tonight is the first game of the season for the NFL, and since the Steelers were the 2009 Super Bowl Champs, the game is in Pittsburgh.

John always takes his Dad to the home opener, so I will not be attending tonight's game. It would have been perfect though, because I have off tomorrow so that I can join my college friends in DC for a spa weekend.

However, since I am leaving for the weekend, it is probably better that I am not going to the game. I know that I am going to miss little Luci so much, so staying home tonight to be with her exclusively sounds pretty good to me!

I wonder how many times I will be calling John this weekend...any guesses? I predict at least 2-3 times a day.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Happy Day

I finally fit into a pair of my pre-pregnancy pants!

My sister was commenting the other day on how she thought that my thighs looked slimmer (she knows how obsessed I have been about my weight). So when I was picking out an outfit for this evening, I thought that I would give some of my regular pants a try...and I was able to slip them on with NO problems!

I was so happy that I didn't even try on any others to see if they fit as well...I am content knowing that at least one pair of pants fit me again!

I guess the running is paying off...if only my left knee wasn't swollen....

Monday, August 31, 2009

Our little piggy!

Like mother and father, like daughter!

video

This was day 2 of cereal. We were at my parents' house for our weekly Thursday dinner (in the driveway as you can tell due to the nice weather).

Ignore the conversation in the background!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Girls' Night Out

John's cousin Meghan is getting married in October, and yesterday was her shower and bachelorette party. I was hesitant on going to the bachelorette party and leaving Luci for the evening, mainly because John was going to the bachelor party, my mom was working, and my mother-in-law was also going to the bachelorette party.

After some discussion with friends, I was convinced that it is a good idea to get out every once in a while to have some fun without the baby. I was able to drop Luci off at my aunt's house on my way out and I am really happy that I did it.

We went to "Sing Sing," which is a dueling piano bar. I used to frequent there before John and I got married. I was even invited to dance on the piano once...so much fun! The music was great, the atmosphere was great, and the people were great. My friend, Melany, and I traveled together (she has 2 kids) and we seemed to be enjoying ourselves a little more than the rest of the group. We realized that this is because we seldom get to do stuff like this anymore...kinda sad, but at least we know that we will have a good time. I even had a beer...the first one in over a year!

The best part was that my mom picked Luci up from my aunt's house on her way home from work, took her to my house, bathed her, and put her to sleep. I have the best family!

Melany and I vowed to make this a ritual every other month or so.

Friday, August 28, 2009

OUCH!

So I mentioned that I am joining my neighbor in the "Couch to 5K" program - and all I have to say is: OUCH!

It is amazing how much it hurts when you haven't run in...hmmm...4 years! Running is so different from swimming and hurts a lot more. I thought that easing into the distances as instructed by this program would help in lessening the pain...WRONG!

I just hope that the pain starts to subside soon. At least the pounds are coming off more easily now!

Monday, August 24, 2009

So Proud!

John bought a 1997 Chevy Tahoe back in 2001. Here it is:He has loved this vehicle so much. But as you can imagine, it is a gas-guzzler. Also, being a 2-door SUV, it has not been conducive getting the carrier in and out easily.

After months of discussion, we FINALLY did it...actually - HE finally did it.
This is our new car - a Chevy Traverse. John is in mourning, but we know it was for the best.

This was SO hard for him, and I am so proud of him!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Luciana - 4 months

This has been an eventful month!

My return to work was probably the most difficult transition ever for me! But I must say that it's not as bad as I had anticipated, which is a HUGE relief. This past Wednesday was the worst so far because I left the house at 5am and didn't get home until 7 pm. So I only had about an hour and a half with her before we started our nightly routine. Days like that are not too frequent, so I guess I can just learn to deal with it.

Luci has grown so much! She is still sucking her thumb - she LOVES it. At this time, I am not going to worry - it pacifies her so much, and she won't take a binky, so this is a good alternative. I will start to worry if she is 3 and still sucking her thumb. People tell me that "a baby that sucks his/her thumb is a satisfied baby." I think that they are just trying to appease me.

She has mastered the art of rolling over now and she is finally a fan of tummy time. We lay her in her play yard on her back, and within seconds she is on her belly either with her thumb in her mouth and falling asleep, or holding that head up so high and smiling as to say "hey look at me - did you see what I just did?!?!"

Our new favorite part of her body is her neck, which we refer to as her "Birdy Neck." It was hiding the first 3 months, but we have been seeing a lot of it over the past few weeks.

We go to the doctor on Tuesday for some more shots. But we are excited to see how much she has grown over the past 2 months. And soon she will be starting on baby food!

Here are pictures from the past month:
http://www2.snapfish.com/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=1865487009/a=40662473_40662473/

Thursday, August 20, 2009

London Fog?

Nope, Pittsburgh fog.This was the view out our back deck last night.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I'm in!

My neighbor is trying the "Couch to 5K" work-out (you can check it out on her blog). We should be done with the running plan just in time to do Pittsburgh's Great Race in September. We are just doing the 5K though...10K is a little intimidating for me right now. (I know that Becky is reading this and laughing).

We are even going to continue it so we can do more 5K's throughout the Fall. There is one at the Pittsburgh Zoo in early October, which sounds like a lot of fun.

Cara's motivation is getting the t-shirts, mine is still those lingering baby-pounds!

We'll see how this exercise plan goes...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

We missed it!

I mentioned in a prior post that Luci loves her little play-yard. She is totally entertained by all the hanging toys, and is content lying there for long periods of time.

But she is a mover and a shaker. I will lay her down and then 5 minutes later, she is turned 180 degrees, still on her back. She is able to do this by continuously rolling onto her side and then onto her back again.

Well earlier this evening, Luci was in her play-yard on her back when John and I sat down for dinner. Our family room, eating area, and kitchen all flow into one another, so it's nice to be able to sit at the table and eat while still keeping an eye on her. Anyway, we weren't sitting for more than a few minutes when I looked over at her - and she was ON HER BELLY!

WE MISSED THE FIRST SUCCESSFUL ROLL!

I was so disappointed. There she was on her belly, holding her head up proudly. I guess I will just have to settle for witnessing the second roll.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Not so bad...so far!

It was like I never left...minus all the questions about Luci and showing pictures of her to everyone.

I got right back into the swing of things and I was pretty busy which made for a nice first day away from her because I didn't have time to think about what I was missing.

However, I did find time to call John at around 8:15am to see how she was doing. To my surprise, he said that she was still sleeping! She usually wakes up between 6:30 and 7:30am. Last night, I put her in her crib at around 9:30pm, which is a little earlier than usual, so I thought for sure that she would be up by 6 or 6:30am. NOPE! That little bugger slept for 11 hours! Then John gave her a bottle, played with her for a little bit in her play-yard, and she fell asleep again...so I only missed about an hour and a half of awake Luci-time today.

So, of course I'm thinking that this is going to be a breeze, but I got home pretty early today - I have late OR days tomorrow, Wednesday, and Friday - so those days will be the true tests!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Time's Up!

Sadly, today was my last full day with my little Luci before I go back to work full time. As I alluded to in a previous post, I am not looking forward to it.

I know that there are a lot of moms out there who actually can't wait to get back to work. I really thought that I would be so ready to get back into the swing of things, but I find myself really sad. I know that I am not going to cry daily (or even tomorrow), but I also know that I am not going to be so relieved to be back at work.

My solution - just focus on the positives: 1. I have a really nice work schedule that allows me to get out at a decent time on most days (at the cost of getting up at 4AM), 2. John is taking his vacation week this week to be with Luci full time, 3. When John returns to work, I have a great network to watch her (my mom, John's mom, and my neighbor), and finally 4. I am working for her - to help create a comfortable up-bringing and so that later (if and when more bambinos arrive), I can possibly go part time.

I just know that I will running home every day to see those big blue eyes!

Friday, July 31, 2009

TV Blues

Our family room is a narrow room with a brick fireplace. When it came time to furnish it, we knew that the best thing to do with a TV would be to get a panel TV and mount it above the mantel. We did just that and we have never regretted it. I love having our TV there because it's out of the way and I can see it while cooking and cleaning in the kitchen.

For the past few months, I have noticed something with the picture - half of the screen is a little darker than the other half. I never said anything about it because it didn't bother me all that much. John finally noticed it about a month ago and it has been driving him crazy.

Since the TV is still under the 3-year warranty until October, we thought it would be best to get it fixed before the warranty expires. The guy just left here and had to take the TV with him. He thinks that it is one of the panels inside of the TV, but it will probably take 2 weeks to fix.

So this is my solution:

Looks pretty, eh?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jillian - Episode #11

So Reid did return. He got out of an airport taxi-van directly to where Jillian was about to give the final rose to Ed. She had just let Kiptyn go (who by the way was very gracious about his rejection), so she was totally expecting the next person walking toward her to be Ed.

Imagine her surprise when she saw Reid. He got down on one knee with a ring in hand and proposed to her. For awhile there, I actually thought that she was going to accept his proposal. She had to go inside and ponder everything. After talking with Chris, she knew that she was in love with Ed and that he was the one who she wanted to be with.

It would have been a great twist if she would have picked Reid.

I knew that she was going to pick Ed after she was so upset when he left, when she was so elated upon his return by giving him a rose, and when she kept him around after the not-so-romantic over night date.

Tonight is the "After the Final Rose" episode. I don't think that there are going to be any fireworks during this episode. I hope that this one lasts...time will tell!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Luciana - 3 months

I can't believe that 3 months have come and gone already, but it has, and I know that the time is only going to fly by even faster now.

Our little Luci is getting so big. She is able to control that heavy head a little better now. She loves when we play "up, up, and away" with me on my back and her on my shins. She is able to practice keeping that head steady when we do that. She HATES tummy time, so we play this as an alternative.

She is infatuated with her hands...they are constantly in her mouth, and that thumb is her pacifier. Sometimes at night I will hear her stir, so I will sit up in bed thinking that I need to nurse her, and then I hear "suck, suck, suck" - she has found her thumb and falls back to sleep, and so do I. She is really good at going to bed at around 10 and waking anywhere between 5-7am (usually on the later side...thank goodness!).

She drools constantly these days, so a bib is necessary daily or else I would have to change her every hour...she soaks those bibs!

She is starting to grab at her toys, especially when she lies on her back in her little play-yard. When she finally grasps onto a toy, I get so excited. She is even getting good at rolling. She gets about 3/4 of the way over from her back, but then gets suck and just buries her little face into the mat, and the rest of her body just can't quite follow just yet. She gets so frustrated, but it's so cute to watch!

She went to her 2nd wedding - my cousin Karen got married on Mt. Washington, and her reception was on one of the Gateway Clipper Fleet boats...it was tons of fun. We saw a gorgeous rainbow and fireworks from the Pirate game.

She laughs and smiles all the time...I am just enjoying every little second with her.

Here are the pictures from the past month:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Survived and Celebration

Part 1 - I Survived!



I made it...I worked all day and didn't cry! I am so proud of myself. I just hope that when I start back for good that it goes just as well (READ: I hope that I don't cry!).





Part 2 - Celebration!
Anyway, today is our 3rd anniversary - I just want to acknowledge John and what a great dad and husband that he is! Luci and I love him SO MUCH!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Separation Anxiety?

I have to go back to work tomorrow for just a day because they are really busy.

I go back for good on August 3.

Not looking forward to any of this!

Can you say "separation anxiety"?

Jillian - Episode #10

This was the "Men Tell All" episode. It really wasn't anything more than a bunch of guys acting all macho and discussing the "man code" (which David seems to be a little obsessed with, but then actually contradicted it).

The guys on these shows are actually worse than the girls with how much they attack each other. It is really interesting to watch their interactions.

Of course, they discussed Wes, but the weeny didn't even bother to show up...what does that tell you?

The only good thing that came out of last night's episode was the preview for next week. They have been indicating that something dramatic happens (of course), but finally during the previews, they show a guy holding a ring - and it's Reid!

So, the finale next week should be a good one!

Friday, July 17, 2009

What's in a name?

People are always asking me what Luciana's middle name is. Well, she doesn't have one. I get mixed reactions to this, but there is a reason:

The truth is - my sisters and I, along with most of my 1st cousin, were not given middle names at birth. As a result, when we got married, we made our maiden name our middle name. That way, we still keep our original identity without looking too feminized (like if we didn't change our names or by hyphenating).

Dani kept this tradition with her 3 girls, and John and I decided to do the same with our daughters.

I am sure the next question is - What if you had a boy? When we have a son (I hope!), he will have a middle name. The girls' names that we considered are so unique (and very Italian) that a middle name just doesn't seem necessary. The boys' names that we like are very classic and a middle name would be very appropriate for them.

So, that's the reasoning behind our middle name decision - in case you were wondering!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Jillian - Episode #9

Now that Wes is finally gone, there really isn't any drama or excitement on the show. The remaining 3 guys went to Hawaii with Jillian. They all went on the fantasy dates and this week Jillian went to the fantasy suite with all of them.

That is where the drama finally surfaced - Ed apparently was not able to "get into the mood" while alone with Jillian. I kind of felt badly for him...it has to be humiliating to have that aired on national TV.

In the end, she got rid of Reid. So Kiptyn and Ed remain. Next week is the "Men Tell All" episode. I am curious to see if Wes shows up and to hear what he has to say. I did read on another website that he is claiming that there was a lot of editing going on with his narrations and that he has been made out to look worse than he really is...not sure if I totally buy that, but I do believe that the producers tweak stuff for added drama.

We'll see....

Friday, July 10, 2009

Still a little frustrated

I posted earlier about not being able to fit into my regular clothes...and the saga continues. At least now I can button the pants, but they are just a little snug (READ: muffin-top alert!). The funny thing is - the issue isn't my waist...it's my toosh and hips. When I look at myself in the mirror, I don't think that I look too different than I did last year at this time (for the exception of my chest, of course). The scale is also showing the difference...I still need to lose about 10 pounds to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I think that at least 5 of those pounds are invested in my milkers (seriously!).

So I went back to what I was doing before I started swimming 2 years ago - TurboJam. I saw an infomercial in a patient's room once when I was rounding about 4 years ago, and I went home and ordered it. I started these DVDs before John and I got married, and they really helped me to get back into shape and then I was able to maintain my weight (because I will be the first to admit that I really do NOT watch what I eat). Hey - when you are in an Italian family like mine, and your father is a chef - there is no way that you can avoid carbs. Regular exercise was always my way to keep the same figure while not dieting.

I have been TurboJam-ing for about 3 weeks now and I definitely notice a change. Pre-TurboJam, I could barely get my pants around my toosh, and now I can actually button them. Maybe in a few more weeks they will be comfortable again and I won't have to feel like such a fatty!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Jillian - Episode #8

FINALLY! Wes is gone!

And he was/is a total sleaze. When he was in the limo after he got the boot, he admitted to having a girlfriend and said that he was done acting. I can't believe that he let her believe that he was so into her for so long.

Now that he is gone, I don't really care too much who she ends up with, because the remaining 3 are so nice and genuine.

I just can't wait until the reunion show...I am curious to see what Wes says and how Jillian reacts.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

What a guy!

I had mentioned to John in passing once that I was admiring a co-worker's ring. She is a nurse anesthetist at the hospital and has the most spectacular setting which consists of sapphires and diamonds.

The morning after Luci was born I presented John with his birthday present - nothing big because we don't typically exchange gifts for any occasions, but I thought that this was a special birthday. I got him this Willow Tree figurine called "New Dad."
Then he busted out with a ring box, but it wasn't just any ring box, it was the ring box that had my engagement ring inside. (Yes, I have kept it) When I opened it, this is was I saw:If you can't tell, it is a printed picture of a sapphire and diamond channel-set ring. He remembered how I raved about my co-worker's setting and wanted to give the ring to me as a belated birthday present/push present. However, my fingers were pretty swollen during the last few weeks of the pregnancy and I wasn't wearing my wedding rings anymore. He didn't want to get the ring and then we would have to go back to the store to get it re-sized. So we waited a few weeks, and once my wedding rings fit comfortably again, we journeyed downtown to the Clark building to order the ring. I have had it for a few weeks now, and here it is:So I guess he does listen to me when I babble. What a guy! I love him so much!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Jillian - Episode #7

She is such a fool! What kind of spell has Wes put on her? I can't believe that he is still there! Jake came back during this episode to tell her everything. He even came right out to say that he was NOT there to get a rose or anything like that. He genuinely cares for her and wanted her to be aware of the lies that Wes has been telling her. Apparently Wes told Jake on several occasions that he has a girlfriend named Laurel in Austin, and that when confronted about it - Wes will claim that she is an ex-girlfriend who he is still friends with. And guess what he said when Jillian asked about the alleged girlfriend? Exactly as Jake predicted. AND SHE STILL GAVE HIM A ROSE - MADDENING!

Other drama - Ed came back to say that he made a mistake by leaving earlier and that he wants another chance. So she invited him to the rose ceremony and gave him a rose. Unfortunately Michael and Jesse got the boot (both were quality guys).

Next week they go to Barcelona and Wes slips by referring to Laurel as his girlfriend instead of ex-girlfriend when the subject comes up yet again.

As long as she doesn't pick Wes in the end, I will be happy - all the other guys are definitely good ones!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Luci - 2 months

Luciana had an eventful 2nd month - she attended her first wedding, baby shower, graduation party, and she was baptized! Her godmother is my sister Dani and her godfather is John's best friend Brett. She slept through the entire mass and the entire Baptismal ceremony following the mass - even when the water was poured over her little head - she didn't make a peep or open her eyes!

She is growing like a weed and is getting cuter by the day. She smiles and laughs all the time and I love it! Her sleeping pattern is great - her average schedule seems to be 10:30pm - 5:30am. She actually slept for 8 hours straight a few nights ago. I really can't complain about it at all!

She went to the doctor today and here are her stats: height - 23.5 inches (90th percentile), weight - 11 pounds, 14 ounces (75th percentile), head - 38.5 cm (50th percentile). She got 3 shots too - didn't do too badly with that - I just scooped her up and nursed her immediately to calm her down, which seemed to work pretty well.

I am totally dreading returning to work, so I have to start leaving her with someone in small increments to prepare myself. I went to the mall last week and left her with John. I ended up being gone for almost 4 hours and I was in total withdrawal! We'll see how that progresses over this next month!

Here is the link to the pictures of the past month:

Jillian - Episode #6

I have to start by saying that my hatred for Wes grows by the week. I can't believe that this week he actually said during one of his "behind the scenes" interviews that he is here for exposure to boost his music career...then he even told the other guys that he has an "agenda." The looks on the others' faces - I am surprised that none of them went straight to Jillian to warn her.

Then Tanner came clean about being the tattle-tale who told Jillian that someone there had a girlfriend. He said that he never mentioned any names. All the other guys were pretty understanding and admitted that if they were being honorable, then they have no need to be angry...all of them except for Wes. He totally went off about why people should mind there own business, etc., and got all defensive. Jake picked up on it right away and became suspicious.

I am so bummed that she booted Jake...they seemed to have such a great connection in the beginning, but they really haven't had much time together since, and I guess she felt that she made stronger connections with other guys and the douche-bag (aka Wes).

That as all the excitement of that episode. But the previews for the future episodes look juicy! Next week is the Home-Town Date week. After that are the Fantasy Dates, and it looks like Jake returns to tell Jillian about Wes and actually confronts Wes about the issues with Jillian there. I can't wait for that drama to unfold!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Jillian - Episode #5

I have always wondered how people are able to go on this show while working. I couldn't imagine saying to my boss - "Hey, would it be okay if I took a few months off to go on The Bachelor so that I can find my true love?"

So last night, Ed was tormented because his boss was putting pressure on him to return to work ASAP. He was pretty much given an ultimatum. He discussed this with Jillian on the group date; therefore, she gave him the rose to assure him that she was very interested in him. However, he later decided that he couldn't jeopardize his career and he left. I think that this is the first time that someone left like this. I totally understand why he did it - I don't think that I would ever be able to do anything like that in the first place (when I was single, of course).

Other than that, it was a pretty uneventful episode. Still can't stand Wes - she needs to get over him. Although next week, he actually admits that he is conscious that he is getting "exposure" for his CD release by being on the show.

Also, someone is unable to "perform in the bedroom" during an overnight date...should be interesting!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bye-Bye Play-off Beard!

In lieu of the Pittsburgh spirit, John decided to grow a play-off beard during the NHL play-offs since the Pens made it. Thinking that they wouldn't get very far, I didn't object. This was started the day that Luci was born. But of course, the Pens went on to actually win the Stanley Cup, which means that this beard has been rocking out for almost 2 months!

Now - you have to understand that for as long as I have known John, he has always had some form of facial hair. When we started dating, he always had a goatee. Then about 2 years ago, I suggested the scruffy beard look (like McSteamy or Dr. Sloan on Grey's Anatomy) - he tried it and liked it. I have NEVER seen him without facial hair - that is until now!

Here are pictures of the unveiling - in a step-wise process:
All hairy:
A little off the chin:
A little off the sides:
A little bit left under the lip:
ALL CLEAN!!!

He looks SO DIFFERENT - I couldn't believe it! His co-workers are not going to recognize him at all!