Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Really?!?

That's what I said this morning as I opened my email and saw this:


















Although I said it more like Seth and Amy, as in: really, Gap?!? The last email I got from you was about holiday delivery. We have two feet of snow on the ground. I still have my Christmas tree up. And the first day of winter was nine days ago.

So, no, I do not think I will take a first look at spring as your email suggests.

I mean, REALLY.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Business in the front, McLaughlin in the back.

I have some serious concerns about my child's hair. He was born with straight hair, but now it's beginning to take on some frightening characteristics.

His hair is starting to look...nappy.

But only in the back. The front looks exactly like Nate's — soft, straight, a little poofy. He even has the Breyer hairline. But the back is super textured and kind of kinky.

What if that's what he ends up with? Stick straight Breyer poof in the front, nappy McLaughlin afro in the back?

Poor kid. I figured he'd get one or the other...but not both. Definitely not both. That's just cruel.

Though I'm sure it would make for an outstanding mullet someday, if he decides to go that route.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

At seven months, Calvin...

Says "Mama" and "Dada."
Crawls backwards.
Pulls himself up in his crib.
Identifies the Tylenol bottle (Is this an early sign of drug addiction?).
Has two teeth.
Sleeps through the night (FINALLY. Though rarely past 4:30am.).
Rolls every which way.
Reaches out to be held.
Squirms constantly.
Shakes his head back and forth, back and forth.
Eats like a champ.
Thinks his dad is totally hilarious.
Has completely stolen our hearts.

We love you, silly boy!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Well, I'm very bendy.

Hey, what's that on my feet?

















Better check it out using my best checking things out tool.

























Hmm. Still really not sure.

















These are really weird. Perhaps I will crawl backwards and hide them under this couch.













Much better.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

So big.

This does not look like a baby.


















This looks like a little boy.

Not so fast, love. Your mama isn't ready for you to grow up quite yet.

What the world needs now...

...is cookies. Lots and lots of them. Because it's Christmas and that means you can eat anything you want without repercussion!

(Just go with it. It will make you happy, I promise.)

Sunday I spent the day baking with four of the nicest ladies you'll meet. This baking tradition of ours started in 2003 when my friend Andrea and I got inspired and baked a ton of Christmas cookies at her mom's house. Well, Andrea moved to Philly (boo), but her mom Linda, our friend Joanna, and two of Andrea's friends, Jackie and Colette, joined me in her absence, and we've been getting together to bake, chat, laugh and eat every December since 2006. Unfortunately (for us), Jackie moved to Japan two years ago, so this year another friend, Willa, joined us.

Every year we show up at Linda's house and make a huge mess. We all make 2-3 kinds of cookies, split everything up, and then leave with more cookies than one person should ever feel comfortable having in their home.

This year we made 15 types of cookies in a record-breaking four hours:

Peanut Butter Blossoms
Snickers Cookies
Haystacks
Mexican Wedding Cakes (also known as Russian Tea Cakes...at least by me)
Thin Mints
Pretzel Bark
Double Chocolate Biscotti
Cranberry White Chocolate Biscotti
Molasses Sugar Cookies
Cranberry Turtle Bars
Hello Dolly
Flake Cookies
Marshmallow Christmas Wreaths
Cranberry White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
Gingersnaps

And now they are all piled on my dining room table. I have plans to give them away, but there's something kind of wonderful about coming home to a cookie buffet...

No, that is not a picture of my personal cookie buffet. That is Linda's table before we split things up, although at that point we weren't done so there were more cookies in the kitchen. And on her deck, which conveniently doubles as a refrigerator/cooling rack.

Here's hoping my dear co-founder will be back in Minnesota next year and we'll be making this huge mess at her house!



Friday, December 4, 2009

Our Thanksgiving in (very few) pictures.

I am terrible at taking pictures during holidays. And at posting the few I did take in a timely fashion.

The Brall (Breyer/Hall) Thanksgiving was fun, as always. There was lots of oohing and ahhing over the group's two smallest additions — though Calvin seemed massive next to tiny little Madelyn (at nine weeks she weighs little more than Calvin did at birth...how on earth did I get that kid out??).

We ate, we laughed, we had some issues with tupperware. It was great to have everyone together, and fun to give Calvin his first taste of real food. He didn't seem very excited by mashed potatoes (Nate was devastated) but he did seem to enjoy the sweet potato casserole we made (my Nana's yummy recipe). I'm sure next year both will fall by the wayside when he has his first encounter with green bean casserole (the only thing that requires seconds, in my opinion).












And finally, a quick video of Calvin with Madelyn. What a flirt! We have high hopes for these two, as there has yet to be a Breyer/Hall wedding. Sadly, we didn't get a picture of them in the matching Thanksgiving onesies Laura bought them.

video

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The sweetest sound you'll ever hear...

...has yet to be captured on video.

But, trust me. Hearing my little boy babble "ma ma ma ma ma" is the cutest thing in the world.

Hopefully "da da da da da" won't be far behind, as I'm sure Nate is tired of me gloating.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Addiction.

Vanilla iced coffee from McDonald's. Coffee, vanilla creamer, lots of ice, and what I have to assume is crack cocaine.

Don't worry, though. It's not like I have a problem. I mean, I can stop anytime I want to.

(No, I can't. Please help me.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Status update [what's on your mind?].

When I told my friend Joanna I was taking Calvin to the doctor for his six-month well baby visit yesterday, she said "you'll have to let me know his status." She meant stats, but when you hang out on Facebook all the time, it's easy to slip up.

So, here is his six month status update:

Calvin Breyer is 17.3 pounds and in the 40th percentile for weight.

Calvin Breyer is 27 inches long and in the 75th percentile for height.

Calvin Breyer has a 17.5 inch head circumference, which is in the 50th percentile.

Abby McLaughlin Breyer was delighted to hear she doesn't have to buy a new carseat yet.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Six.

Calvin is cranky.

SUPER SUPER CRANKY. Or at least he was yesterday. It was quite the six month celebration!

I told Nate I thought Calvin was trying to reenact the pain he afflicted upon me at his birth. If that was his goal, he did a good job. Yesterday was plenty painful for me, although this time he did all the screaming.*

(To be honest, I didn't do any screaming at his birth. And there wasn't much pain, either. I had an epidural and slept. Highly recommended.)

Poor baby is teething. He is gnawing on everything within reach — his toys, his hands, the remote, our furniture, his spoon, Nate's nose, my chin. We are going through Tylenol like it's Diet Coke.**

I tried to get a cute picture of him to commemorate the REALLY AWESOME day we had together, but most of what I got looked like this:


















Enter Mattie, the love of his life.



















































Laughing at Mattie does not always end well, to which Calvin's face and Nate's pants can attest.


















Cranky or not (and usually not — hopefully those teeth will come in SOON), this little boy is the joy of my heart. It's been the hardest — but happiest — six months of my life. We love you, Calvin.


















*Except for the screaming in my head. There was quite a bit of that.
**No, that is not a typo. Yes, I know we need to drink more water.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Poke.

It seems I have a secret readership.

From: M. McLaughlin
Subject: Poke
Date: November 12, 2009 9:42:37 PM CST
To: Abby Breyer

Just as one gets poked on Facebook (or Bookface, as they said on The Office), I am poking you on behalf of everyone who is now hooked on your blog. I know you have absolutely no other responsibilities, so it seems reasonable to expect new entertainment to be on your blog at least every other day, if not daily. What's wrong – are you sick or something?

Love, Mom


My question is this: Who are are these blog addicts, and why aren't they leaving me comments? As far as I can tell, I have about six people reading this thing. Supply and demand, my friends. If you want more, I need to hear from you. You don't have to think of anything witty to say, you can just say hi, or tell me how cute my baby is (very, don't you think?), or point out my inconsistent use of serial commas (I have to use them for work but don't like them myself and it's all very confusing). An occasional note would be delightful. Even one comment just to say "I'm here!" would suffice. Anything to let me know you're out there, and you're reading.

And then maybe, maybe, I will feel inspired to post with more frequency. Which shouldn't be difficult because — as you know — I have no other responsibilities.

Thanks, Mom.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Candy.

Unlike other major holidays — Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving — the true meaning of Halloween is easy to understand, even at an early age.



Friday, October 30, 2009

Monster Hat: A photo series.






Goodies from Grandma and Grandpa.

Nate's mom and dad came for a visit last night, and brought Calvin an adorable little Halloween bucket filled with fun stuff: a darling plaid shirt, denim overalls, a rad junior space man t-shirt, two pairs of cozy jammies, a book about fall, a tiny pumpkin decoration for his room, butternut squash baby food, and candy corn socks. SO cute!

The beauty of having a baby: gifts for him are also gifts for me!

Though he seemed pretty darned excited about his presents, too. :)


Monday, October 26, 2009

Oink.

I'm not entirely sure what I've been dealing with for the past SEVENTEEN days, but there are some theories that include swine flu. That's what the doctors who wouldn't let me come to their offices said it sounded like, and what my husband the healthcare worker has been telling everyone I have. So, fine. Swine flu it is.

Pigs 1, Abby 0.

Thanks to this lovely (and beautifully named) virus, which I still think was just the worst cold of my life and not H1N1, there has been very little fun in the Breyer household for the past two weeks. Unless you consider obsessive hand washing and surface sanitizing to be a barrel of laughs. I don't, but they certainly are effective in halting the spread of disease — Nate and Calvin are both healthy. Which is hard to believe given the severity of my symptoms, the smallness of our house, and the amount of time I spend caring for my child. (Thank you, God and Lysol!)

Today I'm back to work with little more than a headache and a lingering cough. Glad to be on the mend — hopefully we'll be back to having fun again very soon. But, until then, here is an eight-second video of Calvin and Matilda to tide you over.

video

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mirror, mirror, on the wall.

Who's the cutest of them all?


































I wish all questions had such obvious answers.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The many faces of a five month old.

I tried so hard to get a nice picture of Calvin on his five month birthday. Alas, my kid is a total goofball:













So, I tried again before I put him to bed:

















There's no question about it. He's our child.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Put it on my tab.

One of my favorite lines from the movie Dan in Real Life is when Steve Carrell gets pulled over for the second time by the same police officer, who warns him that "this is gonna cost you." Dan's response? A smile and a mumbled "just put it on my tab."

Soon thereafter, he loses his license.

I empathize with poor Dan, except my tab is an ever-growing heap of mommy guilt. I realized pretty quickly after having Calvin that guilt comes with the territory. I don't think there's a mother alive who doesn't feel guilty about something or another related to her kids. For example:

When Calvin was about two days old, I sat in his room, exhausted and sobbing, wondering why I'd thought having a baby was a good idea. And then I cried more, because that's a terrible thing to think about your sweet, innocent child.

I'd like to start a tab, please.

When Nate first went back to work and I was home alone with Calvin for hours on end, I would stare at him and think: what am I supposed to DO with you? I don't know how to play with a three-week-old baby. So, I put him in his bouncy seat, sat on the floor next to him, and checked Facebook.

Yep, go ahead and add that, too.

When I left Calvin to play on a blanket in the living room for a minute, then came back in to find he'd rolled over and was watching Law & Order: SVU, I about died. Not only was he watching TV, he was watching a show about sex crimes.

Mmmhmm. Tab.

When I let him fuss in his crib one morning so I could sleep a few minutes longer, then went into his room to find him laying in a puddle of pee, I wondered if there had ever been a more neglectful mother.

Pile it on, baby.

And when I dreaded having to drop him off at daycare because I had to go back to work, only to find a few days later that I kind of liked being back at work...

Tab, tab, tabby tab.

Now my milk supply has diminished. Even though I'm pumping two to three times a day at work, I'm not making enough for him to eat while I'm there. So this past weekend I had to buy my first can of formula.

Sigh. One more, please.

I really hope they don't revoke my parenting license.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Rule breaker.

Our pediatrician told us to wait until at least five months — but preferably six — before starting solids. Even though Calvin is still getting up every night to eat and reaches for our food all the time.

Of course I'd already tried giving him rice cereal the day before our appointment. And then gave it to him again last week.

Bad mommy.

Or, more accurately, tired mommy who is willing to break the rules for the possibility of a full night's sleep.

He's cute, isn't he?





A while ago.

I am so behind.

This working mom thing is kind of a lot, so you'll have to forgive me for posting about something that happened in August...in October.

Way back when, Calvin and I spent 10 days in IL visiting my family. I saw a bunch of people I love during our visit, including my parents, sister and brother-in-law, a few high school friends, my dear college friends, and my two cousins and their new babies.

To be honest, a lot happened but I'm pretty tired and I don't really know how to cover that much activity in one blog post, much less one blog post two months after the fact. So here are some pictures, all of which will illustrate how much fun we had without me having to say anything other than it was a wonderful week.

Which it was.







Thursday, September 24, 2009

Like a brother.

We are so blessed with our daycare provider, Elisha. Not only is she wonderful to Calvin (I have never seen him anywhere but in her arms), she is on my way to work, has six well-behaved kids of her own (and therefore PLENTY of experience), has hand-picked a small group of children to care for, and is affordable.

As I've told a few people, I knew she was the right person to care for my baby when she called to ask if Nate and I would feel comfortable with her taking Calvin to the library and bible study.

Sold.

Yesterday when I picked Calvin up, she told me that she had this conversation with one of her little boys (she has a 2-year-old and 3-year-old at home during the day, and they are both adorable):

Little one: Mom, I love baby Calvin.
Elisha: I am so glad you love him and get to play with him every day!
Little one: I wish he could stay longer.
Elisha: Well, he's here for a long time every day, and will keep coming to play with you.
Little one: But I want him to live here, like a brother.
Elisha: That is so nice of you! You will have to ask his mommy if that's okay, though.
Little one: Can you ask her?

We could not be more thankful for this family.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Give me (seventy) five.

I realize these are the kind of posts no one cares about except me, but in addition to being an outlet for all my rants and raves and a spot to post pictures of my incredibly cute kid, this blog is also handy for record-keeping. So, get excited for some stats!

We took Calvin to the doctor for his four month well baby visit yesterday. We've got a heavyweight champ on our hands: 15lbs 10oz. How is this possible? The kid has gained six pounds in four months. I guess it's not that bad though, the doctor said he's still in the 50-75th percentile for weight and the 75th percentile for head circumference. Right on track.

What isn't on track is his length. According to yesterday's measurements, Calvin has only grown half an inch. (?) The doctor said his measurements must be off, because it makes no sense for him to have gone from the 95th percentile to somewhere between the 25th and 50th. I mean, Nate and I are 6'2 and 5'10. I don't think he's destined to be a shorty. And he's outgrown the length of his clothes faster than the width. So, I'm going to invoke my medical privileges, average the two out, and declare him in the 75th percentile all around.

The doctor also said that, based on the things he's doing right now (rolling over from back to tummy, responding to his name, etc.), Calvin is functioning at a six-month-old level.

What a good little grower.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Drop the Barbie.

While most people relate just about any situation in life to an episode of Seinfeld, I do the same with Friends. I've seen them all, I know them all by heart.

While I was in IL visiting my parents, my mom pulled out this little Beanie Baby-style teddy bear for Calvin to play with. It's the girliest thing ever — a bright pink swimsuit, a cluster of flowers on her ear, a pink and yellow beach ball, and huge platform sandals. I started laughing and asked if there was maybe a boy bear for him to play with. There was, and we gave him both.

He LOVES the girly bear, and wants nothing to do with the boy bear. He cuddles with her all the time...it's the first stuffed toy he's latched on to, and we've tried a few. I'm beginning to think this little lady might become his security blanket. Or his first girlfriend.

This reminds me of the Friends episode where Ross' ex-wife and her lesbian partner let his son, Ben, pick out a toy from the toy store — and he chooses a Barbie with a "kicky beret." Ross totally freaks out and, during his weekend with Ben, attempts to swap it for a G.I. Joe:



While I'm sure Nate has considered purchasing Calvin a G.I. Joe (or whatever the baby equivalent might be), for now we're just giggling at our cute little boy and his pretty pink friend. Worst case scenario, he'll turn out like my brother, who, when forced to play Barbies with his two sisters, dressed them up like hookers.

For future reference: Canadian Mountie Barbie's tall boots + Barbie and the Rockers' white "leather" miniskirt = hot stuff.

Forever.

I dreaded the arrival of September 14th all summer long.

I remember how happy and relieved I felt when I packed up my desk and headed home for what I thought would be three weeks of bedrest before my May 24th due date. I was huge, and exhausted, and had a mad case of babyitis. Sitting through eight hours of work was getting harder and harder, so I felt as if a very heavy weight had been lifted when my doctor ordered me to spend the rest of my pregnancy on the couch. All I could think as I left work that day was — I have THREE WEEKS AND FOUR MONTHS off from work. That's like, forever.

Turns out I only had two weeks and four months off from work. And it was definitely not forever.

Forever is how I now feel about working. As in — I will have to say goodbye to my baby every morning, Monday through Friday, from now until forever.

Forever is how long I will feel guilty about leaving Calvin with someone who is not me for nine hours every day.

Forever is the amount of time I will treasure those first four months at home with him, because they were precious and I know I can never have them back.

Forever is the number of days I will miss him when we go our separate ways.

This week, in these first few days back at work, forever feels scary and overwhelming. But I know I won't be this sad forever. I won't be crying when I put him to bed at night forever. I won't feel like my heart has been ripped out of my chest every morning when I leave for work forever. We'll find a routine, a pattern, a new way of going about our days. Time flies. In another two weeks and four months, I'll be settled into work and he'll be settled into daycare, and we'll both be fine. We'll play and read and laugh and cuddle together when I am home, just as we did this summer. I'll soak up the moments I'm with him and they will sustain me when I'm not.

He will be my baby, forever.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hiatus.

I know, I know. It's been two weeks without an update. You've probably given up on me and my lame blog.

Believe me, I have things to say and pictures to post. But I go back to work a week from tomorrow, and my priority for the next seven days is to enjoy every minute I have at home with Calvin.

So, I'm asking you to stick with me for another week. I'll be back soon, promise.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Three months.

These are the photos I took of Calvin when he turned three months old on Saturday (as you may be able to gather, he was not really in the mood for a photo shoot). My mom gave me a hard time about not having professional photos taken, but I figure we've taken oh, I don't know, TWO THOUSAND pictures of him, and that should suffice.

Cal and I celebrated by shopping for bigger clothes (For him, not me. Although, sadly, that really could apply to either of us these days.) while Nate was at the PGA Championships. Due to a late afternoon meltdown, we also spent some time walking around the house and backyard in the Baby Bjorn. He then decided he'd had enough of the two of us and our annoying attempts at calming him down, and passed out in Nate's arms. Nate and I followed his lead soon thereafter.

We sure know how to party.




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