Saturday, February 27, 2010

Alex vs Nikki

Remember the card game Speed?



Speed from Nicolette Ward on Vimeo.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Heaping Hypnotism

Apparently, Aiden finds Imogen Heap mesmerizing. Remember this video? Well this was Aiden's reaction...


Imogen Trance from Nicolette Ward on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mommy and Me

Valentine's Day flowers from Travis


Standing on the couch WITH NO PANTS ON - aren't his little legs so cute!


Artsy shot


Finishing a bottle



Playing with Callaway under the living room coffee table


I couldn't believe it - Travis took these photos of me with Aiden without me even having to ask him!! These are full fledged candid pictures - no posing with the tripod. =)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Badass Tattoo

I know this is old news, but it needed to be shared. I mean c'mon people!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Teething Monster


That's what I am living with - the Teething Monster. One second I have my sweet baby boy, the next I am dealing with tantrum city. A regular Jekyll and Hyde scenario. I am so glad that he has finally taken to the teething feeder. So far he has only accepted it with frozen pineapple inside. The next thing we're trying is frozen peaches.

Aiden definitely prefers salty over sweet. He LOVES veggies, but struggles with fruits. We tried giving him apple cinnamon cereal puffs and he would have nothing to do with them. Hoping it might be the flavor and not the puff itself that deterred him, I bought cheesy carrot flavored puffs. Turns out he loves them! He is definitely like his father in this regard. Travis will choose Ramen noodles over cake any day.



I am proud to report that I feel (almost) back to normal! After a year and two months of loaning my body to Aiden, I am finally my own person again. Throughout the pregnancy, I was careful about what I did and did not eat and drink. I took vitamins, ate my veggies, drank lots of water and avoided caffeine and alcohol. After I had Aiden, but while I was breastfeeding, I had to continue with the regimine with a few exceptions.

Once Aiden's feedings were spaced further apart, I started drinking caffeine again, but only immediately after he ate. That way the caffeine would be out of my system before his next feed. I also partook in an adult beverage every now and again, but not without consequences. I almost always had to pump after drinking, which is my ALL TIME LEAST FAVORITE THING EVER.

But now? Now I can have coffee whenever I want. Tired at 3pm? It's okay! Drink some coffee!! Tired at 5pm? It's okay! Drink some more coffee!! Also, I can have a beer or glass of wine with dinner now. Which is pure awesomeness. Aiden's feeds always seemed to fall right at dinner time, which meant water with dinner for Mommy. Nowadays, I'm all over that booze. ...JK... But seriously, it's nice to have my body back to myself. At least for now! ;)

Monday, February 22, 2010

What have I been up to lately?

I have been pondering this question recently and every time I think about it, I can never come up with an answer. Travis and I have not been on any trips, we haven't attended any large events or parties. I think this about sums it up:


I remember being little and feeling bad for my parents because they didn't get to hang out with their friends every day like I did. Little did I know, that work was a large part of my parents social life. Don't get me wrong, they had friends and we went to their houses occasionally on the weekends for dinner and cookouts. But they didn't get the daily climbing-trees-with-your-friends like Ariel and I did. Now I understand why.

The whole process of taking care of a family takes up ALL OF YOUR TIME. I usually get off work at 5pm. When I get home, I spend until 7:30 taking care of Aiden (feeding, baths, play time, etc), then I usually spend another hour after he's gone to bed taking care of the house (cleaning up dinner, laundry, etc), and THEN another thirty minutes taking care of myself (shower, brush teeth, etc). By the time it's all said and done, we sometimes have time to sit on the couch and watch a show, but usually I'm ready for bed by this point.

SO! Aside from the daily run around that is my life, I have been fighting a mad case of dry hands. Not sure what that's about since I am pretty sure that we life in the most humid place on earth. Travis applied for a weekend job at a couple places in hopes of making some extra cash to pay off the remainder of our hospital bills. We have both been making an effort to find ways to cut back on our monthly expenses (refinancing the cars, changing Internet plans, downgrading our satellite plan, etc).

On the weekends, I spend most of Saturday (while Travis is at work) doing odds and ends around the house and I always find time to take Aiden for a walk. Sundays, Travis and I do a couple things around the house, go grocery shopping and then either go for a walk or we go to the disk golf park.

Yesterday, a couple of our friends happened to be going to the disk golf course at the same time we were. They planned to have a BBQ afterward, so they invited us over. It was so nice to get out and do something different than normal. I really enjoyed the change of scenery.

For the past couple of weeks, Aiden has REALLY been battling with teething. I can SEE his bottom, front left incisor and it feels sharp, but the dang thing just will not break through! It's going to be the death of me, I'm sure of it. Aiden wakes up every morning between 3 and 5. If we are lucky, he goes right back to sleep after we put the pacifier in his mouth. If the cards are stacked against us, then we get to sit up with a cranky baby for 20-40 minutes after we've given him Tylenol and Orajel, waiting for him to calm down enough to go back to sleep. By then, there is usually only a few minutes left before my alarm is set to go off, so I just lay in bed for a minute before peeling myself off the mattress to start my zombie day.

I keep feeling OLD because I'm ready for bed every night at 8, but after laying it all out there, I'm not feeling so guilty about that anymore. Ugh, is it time for bed yet?

Friday, February 19, 2010

He's rearin' to go!

I think I am like all mothers in that I believed that my child would walk before he would crawl. It wasn't a random belief, I had some reasoning behind it. Aiden has shown significant interest in standing, and absolutely no interest in getting around on his stomach.

Don't get me wrong - he loves spending time on his belly. The kid tries to flip over onto his front before we've even laid him on the ground. (or changing table, or car seat...) The most movement he's done on his belly has been spinning in circles and an occasional push backwards. He never stays in the same spot when you put him on the ground, but it's not a controlled movement.

Up until now, that is. Last night, I laid Aiden on his tummy on the couch next to me and the kid practically ran (while laying on his stomach) off the couch. It's difficult to explain, but he basically pushed himself off the couch after a series of steps. I was right there to catch him before he catapulted across the gap between the couch and the coffee table to get to the TV remotes, but man was he quick. I pulled him back and he did it again, for Travis to see. Holy cow!

Then this morning, he did it again, but on the ground. I set him on his play mat and he made it all the way to the coffee table (I swear his motive for learning to traverse is getting to those remotes) using his hands and toes. We noticed yesterday, and then again this morning, that he has started to lift his butt a little.

By George I think Aiden will crawl yet!!


Assisted Standing from Nicolette Ward on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My son can dance

It is so strange to me that a 7-month old baby can hear a song that makes him want to dance. I had no idea that started so early! He LOVES the tune that his shape sorter plays (thanks for the Christmas present Chris and Alexa!)



Boppin to the Beat from Nicolette Ward on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Valentine's Day Walk

On Valentine's Day, we sat around in our PJ's all day. Just so we wouldn't feel guilty about a completely activity-free day, we took a walk to the park.






Goodnight.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Day Spent In

This Valentine's Day was a different one for Travis and I. In the past, we have usually gone out for dinner on this holiday. We don't eat out very often, so that was one of our few chances to splurge on ourselves. This year we decided to do things a little more laid back. I didn't want to spend too much time trying to decide who's Valentine's Day I would ruin by asking them to watch Aiden for us while we went out. Besides, we thought we'd spend the day of love with our new love: Aiden.

I had to run into work briefly, first thing in the morning. The benefit here is I was in Galveston first thing in the morning. Do you know what that means? Bronco breakfast burritos!!! Travis absolutely loves these things. The restaurant that makes them is called the Donut Shoppe. Ironically, their main selling point is their breakfast burritos. If you are ever in Galveston, I highly recommend making the stop, but make sure you are hungry because those suckers are HUGE.

Anyhoo, Travis called in the order while I was on the road, which meant it was a quick in and out. There was a table set out front with Girl Scouts selling cookies. Normally, that is a good thing. This time it was just a tease because I was without cash. BUMMER CITY.

Travis and I proceeded to spend the entire day doing nothing. And it was awesome. I work hard around my house all week long, so I look forward to a few minutes of sitting occasionally during the week and definitely on the weekends. Travis is really good at ruining this "relaxation time" by doing work around the house. I usually end up feeling guilty that I am sitting and he is working. That means I either sit on the couch toiling with my guilt, or I get up and do something to make myself feel better. That's what was so special about this Valentine's Day. No work. For either of us. Wahoo!

We watched a lot of DVR'd shows and two movies: Zombieland (Rule #3: Beware of Bathrooms. LOL!) and Extract. For lunch, we had a frozen pizza and then went to the store to buy dinner. We had sushi, spring rolls, edamame and Red Truck Pinot Noir. Delicioso!

For dessert, I attempted to make peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips. I looked at the wrong recipe for ONE ingredient. Unfortunately, it was a very important ingredient - baking powder. I put in three times the recommended amount and the result was some very dry and fluffy peanut butter cookies. For those of you who are not familiar with peanut butter cookies, they are NOT fluffy. At all.

Needless to say, I ended the day with a big ole tummy ache. Too much crap for one day. That's for sure.

I hope everyone was able to spend the day with someone they love. Cheers!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Historic House

Travis and I helped Ariel and Robert move into their new house last week. They had a lot of problems with their downstairs neighbor and were forced to move by their landlord. It's irritating as hell because the woman was a bi-polar alcoholic, so she did everything in her power to make Ariel and Robert's lives miserable. Then, the next day she would come by with chips and dip for Ariel's birthday.

In the end, I think the landlord took their neighbor's side because she is a middle-aged woman who lives with her husband and daughter, while Ariel and Robert are the early-twenties couple who both have night jobs (Ariel is a bartender/manager, Robert is a server at a local restaurant). It is a shame that it ended so stressfully, but I think they will feel much better in their new house without sharing the home with anyone else.

They have an entire house all to themselves now: 2 story, 3 bedroom, 1.5 baths, large fenced-in yard and a DISHWASHER! The house was marked down $300/month because no one would rent it at the asking price. The house was tore up a little by Hurricane Ike. After all the repairs, the place looks great and has brand new central AC units (yes, plural). The problem is there are not very many people currently living on the island. There have been too many layoffs and the economy is obviously not on the booming end of the scale. Robert and Ariel are definitely reaping the benefits here.

We helped them move this past Tuesday. We didn't get home and in bed until 11pm. Then I went back the following evening to help move one more load in my car. After the third load going upstairs, I was done. I told Robert, "Sorry, but I'm going to have to put the rest of this stuff in the dining room. I don't think I can physically make it back up those stairs with anything in my hands." I'm pretty sure he believed me because he had to push me up the stairs on that last trip while he was carrying boxes of his own!


Ariel & Robert's New House from Nicolette Ward on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Aiden's Valentine to his teachers:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Just For Now

Rachel introduced me to a singer named Imogen Heap. Her music is amazing and I look forward to checking out more of her music. Anyway, Rachel was trying find one of her songs online to show me and she stumbled across this video. I was flabbergasted by her vocal ability and her electronic abilities. Watch as she creates a song from scratch in five minutes using only her voice, hands and a keyboard. It is incredible.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

You know you're a mom when...

Earlier this week, I found out a woman who was laid off from our department after Hurricane Ike was back at work. I was really excited, so I clapped my hands and squealed "Yaaaaayyyyy!!"

Gah. I need a better way to separate my interactions with Aiden from those with co-workers...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Throwing Fits

Aiden has GOT to be teething. Every day I keep waiting for a tooth to spring up and every day I am disappointed. I just feel like if the dang thing would come out, then maybe he could calm down for a day or two. He has been a cranky mess off and on for two weeks now. The most stressful part is his new ability to throw a fit. I'm talking about throwing his head back repeatedly and forcing out a cry. He does it every time I place him in his high chair and whenever his bottle is finished.

At first I was worried that he might still be hungry. But I would think after 7 ounces of milk, Aiden should be fairly satisfied. His eating has been hot and cold. One day he will finish an entire bowl of rice cereal, the next he will take one bite and then throw his head back screaming. When he cries after his bottle I have found that if I distract him for a minute or two, he will completely forget about his fit and begin playing with his toys.

He has also started biting everything. It's not a mean, get-back-at-you type of bite. It's more like a I've-got-an-itch-I-can't-scratch type of bite. He will vigorously attack toys - toys that don't even fit in his mouth, like his activity table. Who bites a table? I mean unless they have a shard of enamel trying to force it's way through the tender skin of their gums, right?

I keep getting anxious because I can't quite figure out what is wrong with him. Aiden has always been very easy to read. If it's not his diaper, then he is hungry or tired. Even then I usually know when he is hungry or tired because that happens like clockwork every four hours during the day. If it's not time for bed or a meal, then he is probably just bored with his toys and we do what Chrissy calls a Station Rotation. Problem solved. Or at least problem used to be solved. Lately, none of that helps. Usually he just wants a teething ring and for us to hold him.

I worry Aiden is getting spoiled, what with his fits and all this holding. I do not want to reward his anger with attention, but I do not want to limit these things if he is sick or hurting. He cannot speak to describe his anguish, so I just have his cries to decipher.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Grows as he goes

Aiden is 7 months old now. HO-LY COW. The other night Travis was telling him that he would be a year old soon. I said HOLD ON A SEC there buddy. He has five more months until he is a year old! That's like living his life all over again. He is only half way there! Sheesh. Stop rushing things.

Here are a few of the things Aiden has been doing lately:
  • Clapping (not on command, but when he is playing);
  • Standing while leaning against the back of the couch and bouncing;
  • Bopping his head to music;
  • Feeds himself a cracker (we're working on the pincer grasp with the little cracker pieces that fall onto his high chair tray);
  • Pushes himself backwards on the floor and can spin 360 degrees on his belly; and
  • He can almost sit up completely unassisted. He usually catches himself with his hand if tips anywhere but backward. That's the direction of fall that have to watch out for the most. Causes the most damage.

Here are a few I caught on camera:

Holding the bottle himself. He finally grasped the concept (that pun is for you, Rachel). He was just being a stubborn little stinker before when he would hold the bottle for 0.5 seconds then drop it and cry...


And reading to himself...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Rachel!

Celebrating another year of life...

Easter 2009


Our baby shower - May 2009


Aiden's birthday - July 1, 2009


Oktoberfest 2009


Thanksgiving 2009 - making mashed potatoes


Thanksgiving 2009 - Apples to Apples


Friday, February 5, 2010

Convex Glass Entertainment

Every morning after I feed Aiden his bottle, I usually give him 10-15 minutes before I feed him his rice cereal. Yesterday during this play time, I was sitting with him so if he tipped over I could catch him (his sitting abilities are still not 100% perfected - he catches himself if he falls to the left, right and front, but not to the back). He was holding his plastic mirror in his lap and I noticed he was lifting it up and down, up and down. I was trying to figure out what he was doing, so I checked his gaze. Come to find out, he was reflecting the light in the ceiling onto his toy basketball hoop and making the light move. !!!!

THEN, he did it again last night when he pointed the colored lights on his toy guitar onto the couch.

My child's a genius! Ok maybe not a genius, but he's way smarter than I knew!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Allergic

Ever since the pregnancy, I have found that I am allergic to EVERYTHING. I don't know why it is, but it seems like everything sends me into a light-version of hives. And by that, I mean I don't have welts, I just get red, itchy, hot skin. Here are a few items I can recall that seem to send me over the edge:
  • Hot showers
  • Alcohol
  • Earrings
  • Eating anything

Every time I get out of a hot shower, I have itchy patches of red skin on my thighs and knees. And actually, now that I think about it, that skin does get a little welt-like Why? No idea.

Every time I drink alcohol, doesn't matter if it is beer or wine (I have not had liquor since having Aiden, so I am not sure what that would do), both give me hives. That makes me rule out things like hops or tanins, or some other ingredient particular to that beverage.

I absolutely CAN NOT wear heavy earrings anymore. An hour of that and they are in my pocket. If I wear post earrings, they have to come out by the end of the day. Otherwise I wake up the following morning with painful ear lobes.

Eating. This one is tricky. It seems like almost every day at lunch I get a red, itchy head (scalp, face ears) and itchy arms. And here's the kicker: it only seems to happen when I am eating with someone else. We are generally having an upbeat conversation that makes me laugh continually, or at least get animated with the topic. When I am eating a sandwich at home on the weekend with Aiden this never happens.

However, I do not get hives when I am having an animated conversation while not eating - as is evident by my frequent conversations with Rachel throughout the work day. I'm hoping this means I am not allergic to lively conversation.

What is up with this body?! Has anyone ever heard of this before? My ears are burning and I'm fed up.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Monday Night Drama

Monday night when I just hopping out of the shower, I heard a loud noise. Callaway started barking and it sounded like Travis was running through the house. I had no idea what all the commotion was about, so I started screaming for Travis. When he didn't respond after three or four calls, I grabbed the heaviest thing I could find in the bathroom (a decorative oil candle) and braved my way through the house. After a quick scan, I found nobody in sight except Callaway. I ran back into the bathroom to throw on some clothes and see if Travis had gone outside.

As I was getting dressed, Travis came pounding back into the house and yelled that he was going outside. I asked him what the hell was going on and he explained that someone had run their van into our neighbor's parked truck. I asked him if he had called the police.

His response was, "No. Should I?"

Hell yes you should! I quickly threw on some clothes so I could go outside to see what was going on. By the time I got out there, Travis had called the police already. They said a squad car was on its way and asked him to call them back if the driver tried to drive off. Travis and I watched from the shadows of our house as the driver had his hood up and was attempting to get the van restarted. I was paranoid that if the man knew who had called the police, he might do something vengeful later on, so I forced Travis to stay back for the moment. While we were watching, Travis told me that the impact had been so hard that he felt the collision reverberate throughout the house. It was so loud that he was sure it had been his truck that had suffered.

When the police showed up, the quickly got into a heated argument wherein the driver was frisked, cuffed and taken off in the cop car. Travis had called our neighbor, who we call Cowboy. When he did not answer, Travis left a message and called Cowboy's son. His son said he should be home and that his mom was just getting ready to come home. Soon, Cowboy's son and wife showed up and talked to the police. Two cars of people who were friends with the driver showed up temporarily, but left when they realized there was nothing they could do.

In the end, they towed the van. The driver had said he did not have insurance on the vehicle yet because he had just bought it. Ya right. And either way, you're not supposed to drive without insurance. Cowboy said his wife has been nagging at him for years for pouring all sorts of unnecessary money into full coverage for his truck. Turns out it might pay off anyway!

The truck didn't look that bad, but van was pretty banged up. The cop said the driver claimed his brakes went out, although the cop was convinced this accident had nothing to do with the brakes and everything to do with the state of the driver's mind - which was some form of intoxicated.

Travis and I went back inside after we'd had a chance to talk with Cowboy. The wrecker driver was getting ready to load up the van and we did not want to be in the way. The wrecker driver told us that the guy wouldn't have been able to get the van started no matter how long he tried. Supposedly, Ford's have a sensor that trips when the vehicle is in a collision, causing the engine to stop. It can only be restarted after the reset button is hit. No idea where it is located.

The bizarre part is there was a similar accident a week ago that occurred during the day time just blocks away. Some guy was driving drunk when he swerved off the road. I'm not sure of everything involved in the accident, but I do know he caused some damage when he knocked over a wooden pole with his vehicle.

Seriously people - DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The MLK Day Peddler

A couple weeks ago, when the weather was really nice, I decided to stop by the car wash. I thought I'd just pop in some quarters and spray the winter junk off my car. When I get there, a woman asks me if I need any help. I tell her no, but thanks, and get on to washing my car. I was starting with the brush when this guy walks up and tells me I'm doing it all wrong. He goes up to the option box, presses a button for another function, tells me to put in my quarters and begins to spray some tri-colored foam on my car.

I told him, it's okay, I got it. Turns out, he didn't care what I thought. He keeps telling me to put in quarters as I walk up to him to take the sprayer. They guy was bouncing around like crazy, talking really fast, explaining how this foam was better than the brush because the brush leaves a film on the car. I finally give up and decide I will change the sprayer to the rinse as soon as he is done with the foam and I will take over again.

That was a no-go. The second I change the button to rinse, he runs over to the sprayer and takes over that. By this point, I am beyond irritated. I just wanted to drop by the car wash, give the car a quick rinse, and be on my way. Instead I have to deal with a crazy peddler who was probably on meth.

As soon as the machine ran out of change, I told him I didn't have anything for him (IE, money) and I hop in my car to get out of there. When I got to the daycare to pick up Aiden, I noticed some foam still on my car that was in the process of drying to my clear coat. UGH. I did not have time to rinse off the dried foam when I got home, so it sat there until Travis washed my car yesterday.

Thankfully, the clear coat is unharmed. My mentality is another story.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Baby-sized Exhaustion

I've seen photos of babies asleep in their high chair plenty of times before. It always cracks me up because I could never understand how a kid could fall asleep in the middle of eating. Now I get it a little better.

Aiden absolutely refused to go down for his last nap of the day. I guess this is what happens. He had his bottle and about half of his mashed potatoes before we handed him his biter biscuit. Travis and I were eating our meals when I looked over to find this.



Poor kid never had a chance.

Asleep in a chair from Nicolette Ward on Vimeo.


Go to my Vimeo page to see the video of us cleaning Aiden up after he had fallen asleep. He didn't wake up once. LOL!

Sunday, Aiden projectile vomited an entire bottle of formula and developed a bit of a fever in the afternoon. That may have had something to do with his dinner table exhaustion. Poor little man.