October – November 2011

Oct. 23, 2012 — Ali's first time in a corn maze

In my last (real) post, it was the day before my birthday (and Ali’s five month birthday). That Sunday, we went to Ellm’s Family Farm to pick pumpkins and do the corn maze. I don’t think I had gone through a corn maze myself, but it was fun to do as a family. Towards the end, Ali did get hungry, so I threw my nursing cover on and walked around with her while she ate. It was an interesting way to emerge from the maze, but I didn’t care. I think this when I started to not care about what people thought/felt about nursing in public. It’s also the time when Ali started to fight under the cover, and I’m sure she exposed me to some people quite a few times too.

For Halloween, we dressed Ali as Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Ali-Wan Kenobi

Okay, let me clarify: I dressed Aliana as a Jedi. We also have these flashlights that will also glow a certain color, so since I wasn’t allowed to buy her a real light saber (Andrew had to draw the line somewhere, right?), she toted the pink flashlight as her saber.

That night, we participated in our church’s ‘trunk or treat’, where church members open up their car trunks, fill it with candy, and all the kids go car to car collecting sweets. It’s a great alternative to going door to door. We had a lot of fun participating. One minus, we were so used to just going in the car to change her diaper, that it was natural to change her there while we were handing out candy. Drew forgot that the trunk was open, so the car was cold. She cried, the poor kid, because her bottom was freezing. It was a do-it-once-and-learn experience. Neither of us thought to take her inside to change her. Sorry, baby!

I think it was November 5, when Aliana finally rolled over on her own. Of course, she did it at daycare first, but it was exciting to see her do it when we came home.

It was around this time that we had a new set of neighbors moved in next door. This time, they were smokers, and no amount of pleading from us or our landlord could stop them from smoking inside. All their cigarette smoke was traveling into our home, it was really unbearable to smell. Of course, the landlord tried to work with us at first, looking for where the smoke might be entering. They sent maintenance to seal up those areas, but the jackasses didn’t really do anything than add some caulk to some ridiculous places. All the while, they would tell me how what they were doing wasn’t going to really do much, and that I shouldn’t be worrying anyway because “that’s all a lie, smoke can’t do anything, look at me, my mom smoked when she was pregnant, I’ve ben around it my whole life. That stuff isn’t true, it’s not bad for you…”

I really wanted to say, “OK buddy, how ’bout you shut your mouth and do your job, or do you get paid extra for all the stupid things you say?”

Anyway… it quickly became clear that we would have to try to find another living situation, as heartbreaking as the idea was to me. I knew that we’d have to leave that place eventually, but I wasn’t ready to think about it at the time. Regardless, we started to look for other options. It would be a few months before anything actually happened. I’ll leave that to another post.

Here are some more pictures from October and November.

Aliana chooses her pumpkin

Aliana and Mami

It's not until I look back that I realize how much of a chunker she was! Aliana at 5 months

Aliana's first time eating sweet potatoes, she loved them!

Aliana and Elise at Trunk or Treat

Aliana was quite taken with her toes

This was her first time in the stroller using the big kid chair. She knew it was something new and she loved it!

One Year Later…

Aliana is now 13 months old, and we can hardly believe it.

We know we’ve been MIA, and I’m kicking myself hard for not documenting the last six months as I should have. We were going through some tough, personal issues (which included having to move as well as an unexpected job loss), and I may or may not have been a little depressed. I am in denial about it, haha.

Anyway, I’ll begin posting again soon. I’ll begin with a quick recap of her milestones and incorporate where she is now as soon as I can.

Lilly

I Still Can’t Believe We’re Parents

It’s been nearly 4 months since our little Aliana has entered our world and parenthood continues to be everything I never thought it would be (don’t worry, I don’t mean that negatively). It’s incredible how unbeknownst to Ali, she is so deeply reliant on us to care for her, raise her, and turn her into a self-reliant, independent member of society. I tell myself everyday I hope I can do right by her as she grows and develops. I hope I can provide her all the opportunities and tools necessary to allow her to succeed at whatever she does.

As I think about how the responsibilities associated with parenthood, I realize they are far greater than I ever thought they would be, and I’ve been thinking about it since I was 3. Even during Lilly’s pregnancy I still had no real idea what I was getting myself into. I always knew I would do what was necessary and required of me, but it’s been an eye opener. I am beginning to truly understand the daily challenges my parents faced while raising me, and I can’t imagine what it was like for them raising twins (my brothers) along with a 5 year old (me). Lord knows how they put me through 9 years of hockey. I have a newfound respect for them both and continue to seek guidance and parental advice from them.

Those Eyes

As I look into Ali’s eyes, I wish I could remove every challenge and stressful situation she is going to encounter throughout her life. Even now I wish I could prevent every pout and cry she makes when she’s in pain dealing with acid reflux, when she frustrated because mommy and daddy don’t understand her, or when she’s bored and stir-crazy. Knowing full well life has it’s own agenda, I am very aware I cannot remove the trials and tribulations she will face, but I hope she knows daddy would if he could.

The Ups and Downs

I realized today just how much I love my daughter. She was in her swing smiling, cooing, laughing; I was doing dishes (my favorite part of being a grown-up…NOT), and then she made a face that said, “I feel safe daddy, I love you, and now I’m going to take a nap.” It was said all in her eyes. What a moment for a new father.

I also realized today how my beautiful daughter can really test my patience, and it wasn’t even her fault which made me feel like a “Big D.” As anyone who takes part in the real world knows, the high points don’t come without their lows. Ali was due for her daily-dose of Zantac this evening and I convinced Lilly to wait until the next feeding before giving it to her. Wrong move on my part. Soon thereafter Aliana spit up on me 5-7 times in a matter of 30 minutes. Some were messier than others but they were all hot, sour, curdled goo. I’ll tell ya, I know it’s not Ali’s fault but damn its annoying getting puked on that many times in such a short period. As a parent I’m learning your patience is constantly tested and you’re forced to keep yourself calm especially when you feel like screaming.

At the end of the day the UP’s greatly outway the DOWN’s. Her smiles have the ability to shutout the world around me, to make me forget about the blowout she just had, or the projectile vomit that just ruined my clothes. She’s so stinkin’ cute it’s impossible to stay frustrated for long. Keep up the good work Ali, you’re doing great!

I love my Aliana

2 Months of Fatherhood Down, Infinite to Go

We’ve survived. Me, Aliana, and Lilly have survived the first few months are parenthood. It’s been quite the trip so far, with the birthing experience, the NICU experience, the family, the friends, a reunion, a wedding, the day care search, the acid reflux, and the real fear of job loss (mine). My momma never said life was like a box a chocolates, but she has always said, and still says to this day, that “it will all work out in the end.” I’m 25 years old and so far it has all worked out. I can only assume another 25 years of trial and tribulation are ahead of me with everything ultimately working out in the end.

I wouldn’t be surprised if I have taken well over 1,000 pictures of Aliana since her birth. I was just going through some of them yesterday and I can’t help but smile at nearly all of them. I’ve even made a few separate folders for the dark and blurry pictures. I don’t want to delete any!

Here’s to being a daddy!

My Aliana

Heat and Hot Water, Don’t Ever Leave Us Again!

I love dedicating this blog to our daughter, but I can’t pretend like everything is peaches and cream. It’s full of cold showers, unexpected financial punches to the gut, idiots, late night bass-bumpin’ neighbors, muscle pains, vomitting, and overly-needy felines. I can sense your envy. But hey, could be worse, I mean, I could with the Lottery. How awful would that be!

After my ice cold shower and downright aggravating day at the office I was informed my heat and hot water were up and running. It was then that I was able to take my first breath of the day to think about the humorous suffering that is about to enter my life. My BabyGirl will be crying late at night, she will be puking on my shoulder, leaking out of her diaper, screaming in the car, and throwing food… everywhere. I foresee great times ahead!

I’m not being a total cry-baby. I wholeheartedly believe I will somehow find the humor in it and truly cherish the above moments; although maybe not until she is 15 and I realize just how precious it all was once she starts yelling at me that “I don’t understand her.”

Finished painting!

So Andrew finished painting yesterday afternoon. At first when I walked in there I was absolutely stunned. I didn’t know if I liked it or hated it, just because there was so much pink and i’m not used to it yet. I said, “I kinda like it….” to which he replied, “Kinda is better than not liking it.”

A day later and I LOVE it. I think it is amazing. We’re starting to second guess whether or not we want to do a white chair rail where the green meets pink, so I’m putting it out there for you to vote with your comments.

Without further ado, babygirl’s bedroom (please excuse the mess that still resides there)

View walking into the room. This is the wall the crib will be against

View of the window (we are getting different curtains)

Wall opposite crib

Closets

Family Emergency

The original plan Friday was to finish painting baby’s room and put our apt back together, but that was not the case and will be done tomorrow. Hopefully we can have some pics of the finished room posted by tomorrow night.

In regards to the emergency, out of respect for my family’s privacy I will not go into detail about the emergency, but for the time being everyone is safe. Here’s a quick rundown…

On Friday afternoon I raced out to Syracuse to see to my family, actually got pulled over on the thruway which did nothing but slow me down. I spent most of the night at the hospital, had a few good cries, and drove back to Albany early this morning. Again, everyone is okay, and I had Lilly stay at home while I went as there was severe weather on the thruway and I didn’t feel it was safe for Lilly and baby if there was an accident along the way.

Make sure you have hugged and kissed your loved ones tonight, and remember that family is family no matter what happens. I’m so thankful to have 3 loving family’s in my life, my side, Lilly’s side, and mine and Lilly’s together. Life is in no way easy, but with family we can get through it together.

Baby’s Name, Colors, and finding out the sex

So excited that our baby is a little girl! And let me tell you there was no question about it.

If you are easily offended with using the proper names for female anatomy then please, do not read the next paragraph. You can begin reading again in two…..

Start offending paragraph here:
It took the technician FOREVER to get to the part where she could tell us the sex of the baby. She was a student, and technically wasn’t allowed to tell us anything without the main technician there (she popped in half way through and stayed until the end). So, I started yawning and basically falling asleep for the first hour, but I was really uncomfortable. Lying on my back is becoming increasingly hard, even if I’m just relaxing in bed reading. I’m not supposed to sleep on my back anyway because of my sleep apnea, so I already am not used to lying in that position for very long. Anyway, to cut to the chase, the lead technician says to us, “Alright, you guys ready to find out what we have?” with a resounding YES they proceeded to turn the screen towards us.
Student Tech: “Alright, you see these three lines right there, in between the legs…? That’s the labia.”

Resume reading here:

HOLY CRAP! WHAT?!?! NO WAY! THE BABY HAS GIRL PARTS!
Andrew had the best reaction ever, I did not expect it. He smacked his hands together and practically screamed “YES!” I was certain that he didn’t care what she was, that it was just me that was praying it would be a girl, but apparently Andrew  wanted a girl just as bad.

Now I’m prepared to answer any questions. I may even start my own FAQ section. Here’s two that I have been asked so far:
What’s the baby’s name? Sorry, but we’re not sharing. Maybe in the future we’ll reveal her initials, but from the moment when we settled on a name we decided not to tell anyone.  Funny story, is that we decided a girls name way before we even found out we were pregnant. Once we were, we couldn’t narrow a boy’s name down, and now we’re both happy to have that pressure taken off. You’ll know her full name on her birthday in June.

You hated pink growing up, so what colors are you using for your nursery? Believe it or not, pink! After using pink in a lot of my designs in school I began to like certain shades of it. I’ve grown up and gotten over my pink-hatred. I wear pink, my favorite nail polish is pink (OPI’s Koala Bear-y to be exact), my phone’s cover is pink, and now the baby’s room will feature two shades of pink and sage green.

Now the next thing for us I guess is to begin a registry somewhere. Store’s I’ve been looking at so far are Babies R Us, Pottery Barn Kids (where I bought the CUTEST mobile ever), and Buy Buy Baby. Anyone have any suggestions in terms of other stores to look at?

We’re buying the paint tomorrow, and unfortunately still have some clearing out to do in our spare room, so we probably won’t be painting until President’s Day weekend, when I can take that Monday off  to supervise and help where I can (I decided to not take MLK off, there’s too much going on at work at the moment). But you know me, I am impatient, and when I set my mind to something I don’t let go until it’s mine.

It’s a GIRL!!!!!!!

This morning we found out our little baby is a little baby girl! I was so happy when the technician told us because I knew Lilly was ecstatic. She was hoping so badly for a girl and I’m glad she got her wish. Ultimately we just want baby to be healthy, boy or girl, but it’s always a nice bonus to get what you hope for. Thanks God!

We were about to hit the baby stores after work this evening but got side-tracked as we had to get an estimate on the damage to Lilly’s vehicle, then we got gas, hit the grocer, annnd just got lazy. I’m sure we’ll be out bright and early tomorrow to start planning our registry and decor for the baby’s room. Very exciting times we live in! And very busy!