Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - My Happy Family!

My good friend Joe over at Joseph Eckert Photography took a bunch of photos of Carina (and us, too) last week.  Joe takes amazing shots of landscapes and architecture, and I think that now he can add babies to his list of expertise, too :)

Joe took some photos of Carina when she was a newborn way back when, too.  Oh my goodness, I hadn't looked at those pictures in a while.  Seeing that tiny baby again makes my uterus ache...eep

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

8 Months

Carina turned 8 months old on Sunday!

Milestones: You are babbling and yelling all the time now.  When I was singing to you today, I think you were trying to sing back to me, I'm sorry it just came out as "baah baaaaaaaah ahhhh!"  You seemed frustrated that you couldn't sing like Mommy.  In time, sweetie.  You can get on all fours and *almost* crawl.  I say almost because it isn't really a crawl, you sort of propel yourself forward and face plant.  I know it's only a matter of time before you're taking off around the room! You are also really close to standing.  You love to try but just aren't quite strong enough to do it on your own yet.

Loves:  The big Clifford the red dog stuffed animal your Grammie gave you, the "Daddy monster", playing with Daddy's glasses, and trying to bang on the keyboard to Mommy's computer.  The Melissa & Doug AbacusFisher-Price Storybook Rhymes and Fisher-Price Pots & Pans are some of the toys you are really enjoying.  Actually, I could say that you love just about everything right now - that is, you love to put it in your mouth.  Everything goes in your mouth these days.  You also have fun just reaching for things...anything you see, you want to hold it.  If I pick you up and let you "stand" on the bathroom counter, you try to grab my hair spray, Daddy's razor (eek!), the faucet.

Hates:  Right now you are really fighting solid food.  We thought we had hit the jackpot with apples & cinnamon, and then all of a sudden you don't want it anymore.  I hope you don't end up being a picky eater like your Mama.  Lately you've also been getting really upset when we put you down in your crib for naps.  It's just a nap, we're still here when you wake up, please don't cry :(  Lastly, you get so upset whenever we try to take something away from you.  The word "No" has become your worst enemy.

Weight & height: The bathroom scale says you are 17 lbs.  I hope that you are at least this, in actuality.  Let's get back on track now that I am home with you every day.  No more bottle battles!  We just switched you into Size 4 diapers after 5 mornings of consecutive blowouts.  Nothing like lifting you out of the crib in the morning to notice a lovely shade of orangish-brown all over.  Yuck.  No problems with the 4s yet.  Your 6-9 Month and 9 Month clothes are getting snug.  We're putting you in 12 Month clothes as often as we can.  They are a bit roomier.

Our printer cartridges have run out of ink and I haven't had a chance to get new ones so please disregard the clovers and pot of gold on the "I am 8 months old today" sign.  I oh-so-cleverly used a Sharpie to change the "3" to an "8" :)

What, did you need this?
This is my surprised face
Pretty dress
Trying to salvage the sign, and failing
So serious
Face plant
Tee hee!

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Monday, August 29, 2011

gunapod wearable blanket - Review & Giveaway! CLOSED

Wisconsin winters are a force to be reckoned with.  Last winter, I was always so worried that Carina would get cold in the middle of the night, and that if I had to take her out of her swaddle or sleep sack to change her diaper, she would most certainly freeze her tiny little bum off.  I recently received an ingenious product that I think will assuage a lot of these fears during the almost-as-bad New England winters we are going to experience this year.  It's called the gunapod, by gunamuna

The gunapod, in all its comfy cozy glory
Made of super soft fabric, the gunapod is as ingenious as it is comfortable.  The zippers and snaps are positioned such that you can change a diaper without taking it off, let baby's feet be free, or even put it on without waking a sleeping baby!  Leave it to a group of Moms to come up with a more practical and comfortable take on the traditional sleep sack...

Gunamuna's Story: “We are 3 moms with 5 children among us. We tried other sleeping sacks and were frustrated. We need simple + easy. So we created gunapod to make our lives easier and our babies more comfortable. gunapod is made with the yummiest, coziest blanket fabric to keep your baby warm + comfortable with zippers galore. And gunapod offers a roomier fit — the ultimate true wearable blanket — for a happy baby. Turns out, all moms need simple + easy. So we’re sharing gunapod with you”.
Happy in the gunpod
The gunapod comes in three sizes: 3-9 Months, 9-18 Months, and 18-24 Months.  Carina is pictured here in the 9-18 Month size.  She loves how much space she has to kick her feet!  She has never liked how her legs get constrained by other sleep sacks; you should see how much she struggles to try push them out sometimes.  The gunapod gives her lots of room to flail her legs about as she pleases.
I'm free!

Carina loves to grab her toes, too, so we have found that unzipping the bottom keeps her very happy.  Having a bottom zipper is also especially handy if you need to change a diaper in the middle of the night.  No need to take the gunapod off...just unzip, change poopy dipe, zip back up!

I am in love with the incredibly soft polyester fabric, and I'm not the only one!  Carina was so content in the gunapod, I think we're going to have to let her lounge around in it.  She really seemed to enjoy running her fingers along it and grasping it in her hand.  We may or may not have had to keep her from gnawing on it, too ;)

I think that my favorite feature of the gunapod is the shoulder snaps.  When I get Carina out of her crib every morning, she is usually quite fussy and gets flustered when I take her arms out of the sleep sack arm holes.  With the gunapod, I just unsnap the shoulder snaps and slip her out...fuss free!

No more early morning fuss!
Thanks to these snaps and the all-around zipper, you are able to take the front of the gunapod off almost completely.  We no longer have to worry about waking Carina up while trying to wrangle her into other sleep sacks!  Just put the back of the gunapod down in the crib, but baby on top, and then snap and zip the front in place.  Easy peasy.

The numerous configurations also make it simple to regulate your baby's temperature.  Too hot?  You can unzip the bottom, unsnap the top, unzip one (or both) of the sides.  Too cold?  Zip and snap back up.  Keeping baby comfortable has never been easier.

Where have you been for the last 8 months, comfy cozy sack of wonder?  I think the gunapod will be my new "go-to" baby shower gift.

August is the month when the most babies are born so gunamuna is celebrating!  Enter code "hello august" during checkout to receive a 20% percent discount on your gunapod order.

gunamuna is generously offering a gunapod in the size of your choice (3-9 months, 9-18 months, or 18-24 months) to one of my readers! 

How to Enter:
This is a Rafflecopter giveaway.  Click "Read More" below and then follow the instructions on the widget.  All currents count! Please contact me at if you run into any technical difficulties with Rafflecopter.

The first entry is mandatory - once you complete it, the widget will give you the option of completing the rest.  Complete more steps for more chances to win!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Steppin' Out Saturday!

When it comes to fashion, lately I have been uninspired.  Embarrassing confession time: I haven't bought any new clothes since before I was pregnant. ::hides::

It's not that I'm not feeling good about myself; I just haven't had the time to go shopping.  I am linking up to Steppin' Out Saturday for the first time in hopes that I can find some new fashion inspiration!

Tonight we are going out for a casual dinner to celebrate my new job as a Full Time Mom.  My last day of work at my company of 4+ years was yesterday.

I am only now realizing there is a spot of baby spittle on my boob.  I am too lazy to retake this photo; I hope you forgive me :)

Cuter close up of Carina

Mama G:
Dress - Ann Taylor Loft
Tank - La Leche League Nursing Tank (lol)
Sandals - Kohl's
Necklace - M bought it for me on the cruise ship during our honeymoon

Dress & Headband - Chaos & Love shop

Help a Momma out, please tell me where your favorite places to shop are!

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Geeky Find Friday - Lab Geek BabyLegs

Lab Geek BabyLegs by LadyBeez on Etsy

Complete with flasks, goggles, molecules, microscopes. and more, these leg warmers are a science geek's dream.  How could you not want test tubes to adorn your baby's legs?

Here's the description:
Keep baby legs warm
Make diaper changing easy.
Protect your crawling baby's legs.
Jazz up your little girl's outfit.
Potty Train without Pants!
Wear them as arm warmers.

I think these are ridiculously cute.  We have quite a few sets of BabyLegs for Carina, but they are all pink and girly, or seasonal (I think we got a set of Santa ones for free with an order of cloth diapers last winter).  I love these because they are unique and a fun conversation starter!

Do you have any fun patterns of BabyLegs?

Have a baby or child related geeky find to share?  E-mail me at!

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That's all folks

After working or being in school for my entire life (save a summer vacation here and there), my last day of work is today.  It's safe to say that I have mixed feelings about this.

99% of me is completely relieved and elated.  I get to spend all day every day with my amazing little peanut.  We can go to the pool, the zoo, downtown, and I can nap when she naps!  Or get other things done, of course ;)  I've felt so spread thin lately, I am really looking forward to having more time.

What's that, Mom?  We can spend every day together?!?

The other 1% of me is worried about not getting adult interaction, possibly getting bored, and I hate to admit this, but I'm afraid of what people will think.  To those who have insinuated it (yes, there have been some) - No: I will not be wasting my brain by staying home with my daughter.  It's reactions like this that make me fear telling everyone.

A number of you have asked me why I am choosing to stop working.  The truth is, I've always known that if I had the ability, I would stay home for at least a few years.  My Mom did and M's Mom did - I guess you could say it is what we're used to.  I love working and I know that I will return to the workforce in the future, but right now I want to stay home with Carina and feel so fortunate that I am able to.

So, here's to 4+ great years at my company!  I will be sad to go, but am very eager to embrace my new job...stay-at-home Mom.

Goodbye, work!  Half of my building

The other half (yes - that is a drawbridge with a moat underneath)


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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Daddy's Hopes for His Daughter

Hello ladies of the bloggy-universe. M here (I’m back!). Every so often Mama G asks if I’d like to write a post, and after my last (and first) one, we thought it’d be a good idea to give it another go. I have to admit I’m a little self-conscious about these things since I’m a bit of a sap (I cry at movies, like a baby, and not just at Old Yeller), but Mama G assures me that’s just fine. Now on to today’s post.

I think at some point in life all dads get a rap as being a little bit protective, or a little demanding, but all of that stems from a simple impulse – we want the best for our kids and would love nothing more than to be able to do for them just a little better than was done for us (as an aside, my parents and in-laws have collectively set the bar pretty high –Mama G and I have got our work cut out for us). We want to be old farts sitting on the couch and be able to say that we did right by our kids.

I don’t think that every post I occasionally write here will be a list, but here goes for today – a list of my dreams for you, Carina...

1) I want you to grow up full of passion. Here’s one of my favorite quotes, perhaps the only good couple lines in an otherwise dreadful essay by Edgar Allan Poe: “passion[s] should be held in reverence; they must not - they cannot at will be excited, with an eye to the paltry compensations, or the more paltry commendations, of mankind.” Passions are an affliction, they take control and you just have to go with it – find things in life that light a fire under you and hold them dearly. Music, science, sports, and love for a certain blondie from the Boston area have taken me places I couldn’t have dreamed of when I was younger.

2) My dad (your pap-pap) once told me as a little guy, “Don’t blow out others lights so yours can shine.” Your Mommy often talks about wishing there was more empathy in the world. Grow to learn to love those around you, see the best in them, even if it’s buried, even if they cause a problem for you. It’s hard, and admittedly your Daddy fails sometimes. The important part is, your light will shine brightest of all if you learn to help and love those around you.

3) I want you to find someone to spend your life with who, like your Mommy does for me, can, with a single phrase, smile, or butt-slap, make you want to stand up on a pedestal and shout, “I am Carina Shannyn G., and I am invincible.”

4) It might not end up being your thing, but I hope you love music – making it, hearing it, talking about it, everything.

5) I want you to be confident and believe in yourself, and love whoever you turn out to be. When I was a little guy in grade school, I got teased and bullied, and your Grammie and Pap-pap, Aunt Ellie, and Uncle Chris were always there to remind me that as I long as I was happy with who I was, none of it mattered. I hope none of that ever happens to you, but if it does, I want you to be made of strong stuff, even stronger than what your Daddy was forged out of by his awesome family.

6) I want you to learn the words to V for Villanova and the Eagles’ Fight song, and sing them with me when we root for our teams. I’ll take care of the booing, although I fear you might pick that one up from your old man whether he likes it or not.

7) I want you to be a hard worker – even if you end up being smart, it’s just like talent at a sport – to be the best you also have to work really really hard.

8) I want you to take me to a father-daughter dance.

9) I want you to keep your belly-laugh. It probably won’t be lady-like, but it’s so damn cute.

10) Here’s the last one for this post, but far from the last dream or wish I have for you. I want the world that you grow up in to be a place that recognizes you for the wonder that you are. I want you to have adventures, love, laughter and tears (both are necessary), and when you look back on the sum total of the events of your life someday, I want to you smile and be able to say that there was nothing more you could have wanted, nothing else you could have done, and that you can recognize that even at eight months old, you had already made the world a better place.


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