Our lovely weekend

Mom and I go to get our hair cut together every couple of months and have for as long as I can remember.  It is something we both look forward to- we always have so much fun.  On Saturday, we made hair appointments at our favorite salon in Atlanta and I nervously agreed to let Baby G stay with his Daddy for the first time… and as I was walking out the door… FAIL…

I couldn’t leave him.  Don’t get me wrong- this had NOTHING to do with not trusting Ian to take care of him- Ian is just as over-protective of our little man as I am, I just couldn’t imagine being away from him for a couple of hours. (I blamed my change of heart on not having the car seat base installed in Ian’s car).  So… off we went to get our hair done- Grandma, Mommy and Grae.  🙂 After our hair appointments, we went shopping in some cute little boutiques, then went out for a delish dinner- and Grae didn’t cry once!  It was the longest time we have had him out and about- 6 1/2 hours- and he was just as happy as could be the whole time! My mom kept telling me that she could have NEVER done that with me when I was an infant.  I’m so proud of my little guy- and thankful beyond words he is so easy to take care of.  I don’t know how we got so lucky.

G's first time at the hair salon 🙂 We got lots of comments on his red hair 🙂 🙂

And to make this perfect day even more amazing- my mom spent the night and took care of Grae so Ian and I could get a full night’s rest.  We woke up feeling like brand new people.  Both of us had forgotten what sleep felt like.

Thank you so much for everything, Mom.  Grae had a great time at his slumber party with his Grandma 🙂 🙂


Relax? What’s that mean?

Everyone is always telling me to relax… and quite frankly- I suck at relaxing.

Even though I am only getting a couple hours of sleep at night because Graeson is nocturnal, I cannot seem to sleep even when he is sleeping. Naps- not a chance…  I just can’t seem to turn my brain off long enough to fall asleep.  This isn’t a new thing- I’ve never needed much sleep… it’s just different now because even when I know I should be sleeping, I’m awake staring at the baby, watching him breathe.  For some reason I can’t stop worrying that if someone isn’t watching him at all times then he isn’t safe.  I know- I’ve completely flipped my lid.  I’ve given a whole new meaning to “overprotective, helicopter mom”…  I mean, for goodness sake- he is sleeping in a bassinet RIGHT next to me! My rational brain tells me I’m crazy (and my husband chimes in when he feels its necessary), but for some reason I can’t turn it off.

So, I’m turning it over to you… Did any of you new moms struggle with this fear of taking your eyes off of baby? What did you do??

 

Grae’s third week

I can’t believe you are already three weeks old, Baby G!  You are getting so strong- you now pick your head up and look us right in the eye when we are holding you on our chests.  You have also been getting very vocal- if you are awake you are making noise- usually the manliest grunts I’ve ever heard.  Your daddy and I burst out laughing all the time because we can’t believe those noises are coming out of such a tiny baby!  You also have started crossing your eyes and sticking your tongue out at us- you are such a goofball already 🙂

We love you, Graeson!

Here are a few pictures from your second week of life.  🙂

Picking your head up (not a very good picture, but look how strong you are already!)

You make me smile 🙂

I couldn't resist these little Italian looking britches 🙂 They were the first item of clothing I bought for you. 🙂

Look at those big, beautiful eyes! Those eyes have really started to follow things now- you LOVE watching the salt water aquarium next to your bassinet

Your daddy accused me of being mean to you when I took this picture instead of picking you up. 🙂 I couldn't help myself- that's the cutest face I've ever seen! But don't worry, I picked you up right after I snapped the photo. 🙂

Allstate for Autism

Since we have started blogging, a number of companies have approached us in regards to using or endorsing their products.  Up until this point, we have been reluctant to accept many of these invitations because we do not have enough experience to fully support them (although as our baby gets older and we use more of these products, we will be sure to share our favorites). However, today we received an email from Allstate Insurance Company with a proposal we couldn’t refuse to share with you all.

Allstate has launched a campaign to help support a program called “Autism Speaks.”  Autism Speaks is the world’s largest autism advocacy organization, raising over $160 million to research and developing new resources for families.   This  organization funds the research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism, increasing awareness, and advocating for people and family members of people on the autism spectrum.

Allstate Insurance Company announced the launch of the “Quotes for Autism Speaks” program to help raise money for the Autism Speaks organization. As part of the program, Allstate will donate $10 to Autism Speaks for every insurance quote that is completed between now and December 14, 2011 with the goal of raising $500,000 for the cause. Quotes may be obtained online atAutismSpeaks.org/Allstate or by calling 866-998-4488 and mentioning the program.

This is a very meaningful program for Allstate as Allstate executive vice president, marketing & sales operations, Mark LaNeve, is the father to twin boys with autism. You can see him talk about his family and the program here: video.

If you are looking for a new insurance policy, or just want to compare prices to see if you can get a better deal, please consider calling Allstate for a quote before December 14.  There is no better time to do so.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Andrea

 

 

 

I have included this Press Release for more information: 

Allstate “Quotes for Autism Speaks” Aims to Raise $500,000

Initiative to support research for causes, prevention and treatment of autism

 

NORTHBROOK, Ill., Nov. 15, 2011 – According to autism statistics from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated one in 110 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with autism – a 600 percent increase in the past two decades. To help address this trend and support autism research and advocacy efforts, Allstate Insurance Company (NYSE: ALL) announced the launch of the “Quotes for Autism Speaks” program. As part of the program, Allstate will donate $10 to Autism Speaks for every insurance quote that is completed between November 14 and December 14, 2011, with the goal of raising $500,000 for the cause.

Individuals who receive an insurance quote will help Allstate reach the $500,000 goal and help change the future for those who struggle with autism. Quotes may be obtained online at AutismSpeaks.org/Allstate or by calling 866-998-4488.

“As a father of twin boys with autism, I recognize the magnitude of autism research, advocacy and outreach and the need to support families and individuals impacted by this disorder every day,” said Mark LaNeve, Allstate executive vice president, marketing & sales operations, who also serves on the board of directors for Autism Speaks. “Through Allstate’s support of this cause, we look forward to engaging families and communities to bring a stronger voice to Autism Speaks and support their mission.”

An estimated 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide are affected by autism. This year, more children will be diagnosed with autism than with childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined.

“We are extremely grateful to Allstate for its commitment to raise awareness and funds for the autism community,” said Mark Roithmayr, president of Autism Speaks. “’Quotes for Autism Speaks’ is a wonderful program that has the potential to touch the lives of countless families affected by autism. We encourage everyone to show their support and contact Allstate for their free quote.”

About Allstate

The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer known for its “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®” slogan. Now celebrating its 80th anniversary as an insurer, Allstate is reinventing protection and retirement to help nearly 16 million households insure what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow. Consumers access Allstate insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada, as well as via www.allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate®.


Before and After

It took my baby bump 40 weeks and 4 days to reach its “maximum potential”.  I gained 25 pounds, my bra size went from a B to an F (who the hell knew there was even a size F bra?!), and my pierced, innie belly button turned into something unrecognizable.

I wondered how long it would take my body to change back, or if it would ever be the same again, once Grae was born.  For the first 10 days after his arrival, my pooch was soft and squishy and it felt like my organs were M.I.A., as I could almost feel my spine when pushing on my belly.  I also had some crazy swelling in my arms, legs and face (I believe due to some type of reaction to the epidural) that is still working on disappearing.

However, just a couple weeks after delivering, my outtie belly button has returned to normal (even the piercing isn’t inside out anymore!), and my entire abdomen is starting to feel a little more firm.  I haven’t stepped on a scale since my little man was born, and I don’t plan to until my 6 week doctor’s appointment.   (I do have an exercise routine though…baby carrying, breastfeeding, and pushing Grae’s stroller all over the streets of our neighborhood for his daily dose of sunshine.  haha) After all it has been through, I’ve decided my body deserves to be cut some major slack.

But I did want to share a post-partum picture, as I think it is fun to see how fast a body can change.  😉


Letters to Grae

Dearest Grae,

You are twenty days old and I am twenty days into my new life as a momma… your momma.  The majority of each of those days has been spent just smelling the top of your head and feeling your tiny body rise and fall as we watch the afternoon pass us by from our warm spot on the couch. We slowly are starting to venture out a bit more, going for daily walks through our neighborhood, going shopping, and even eating at a few restaurants.  You love going out to explore.  You are the happiest, easiest baby I could have ever asked for.  (But you can feel free to start sleeping at night instead of all day long anytime you’d like).  You eat more and more each day (sometimes I’m convinced that I couldn’t drink as much milk as you in a day!). You have had two nightmares, screaming in your sleep, giving your daddy and me a heart attack each time.  Although, by the time I scoop you up, you are already fast asleep with that half smile on your face.  You also sneeze and hiccup all the time- your pediatrician told us that is very normal for all newborns.

I learn so much about you every single day.  I’ve learned that you love having your head rubbed when you nurse.  I’ve learned sometimes when I kiss the palms of your small hands that you will curl your fingers around my lips. I’ve learned your little precious feet are extremely ticklish.  I’ve learned to decipher so many of your noises… your hungry cry, your peaceful coo, your frustrated grunt.

Every night you sleep right next to our bed in a little bassinet.  I keep my hand on your chest all night long to feel each and every breath you take.  I don’t think you have been out of our arms for more than a few minutes your entire life.  We just can’t stand to put you down.

You are loved more than you could ever know.

Mommy


 

Bath time

Graeson LOVES bath time… he is our little tadpole.  I hold his little head up and his whole body just floats.  He is completely at ease in the water.  It is one of our favorite times of the day. 🙂  Watch out, Phelps- we may have a swimmer on our hands ;0)

Also, we were feeling a little adventurous today and went to Olive Garden for dinner and to the mall afterward- Baby G did GREAT- not one single objection.  He loves our little excursions.  It was our first time out in public (not counting the doctor visits) as a family of three. 🙂 A little scary, but a huge success.