a not-so-welcome first

Baby Theo, 7 1/2 months old, has his first cold.  And it’s complete with runny nose, congestion, and clinginess.  I guess he isn’t coughing…yet…which is a good thing.  Anyway, I also have my first cold in about 2 years.  I was hoping pregnancy or motherhood somehow cured me of silly contagious illnesses so that I could be super-mom and not get slowed down by this kind of nonsense, but no.  ‘Course not. 

Of course I blame myself because I am no longer breastfeeding.  Well, technically I am, but baaaaarely.  And by barely, I’m talking about once every other day.  I’m not pumping at work anymore.  And when I do pump or nurse, it’s not that I feel like I need to.  At this point, I know that my milk supply is not coming back.  The thing is, I don’t really want to give up nursing.  Ever since we figured out that Theo was waking up in the night because he was hungry, we have been supplementing with formula.  It started out with one bottle a day and less than 2 months later, I am down to nursing him once a day or every other day.  And I know he’s not getting much becuse when I do pump, I’m getting like 2-3 ounces.  For a whole day (or two).  That’s pitiful. 

We still like to do it for the bonding time but I’m sure it is coming to an end very, very soon.  I guess there are things I could have done to prolong the death of my milk supply, but I wasn’t up for the fight.  Fenugreek, mother’s tea, drinking 86 glasses of water a day, etc.  I am happy and proud that my baby was exclusively fed breastmilk until 6 months and continues to be fed some breastmilk at nearly 8 months. I just wish I felt like I’d had more control or choice over when it ended.  It’s sad, much sadder than I thought it would be. 

On the other hand, he gained a little over a pound in a month and is fitting into clothes that are the size he is supposed to be fitting into now.  That’s a good thing, right? Over the summer, he was almost 6 months old wearing 0-3 month shorts.  Now he’s in most of his 6-9 months stuff, even some of the 6-12 and 12 month shirts.  He’s just right.

And he’s cute.  And I love him.  That is all.

rainbows and unicorns

A lot of the time that I would normally spend thinking about my blog or writing my blog has been spent reading someone else’s blog lately.  It’s like a book that I literally cannot put down, or turn off, as the case may be. 

It’s the story of a girl who lost her mother and her older brother in 9/11.  Her grandmother died shortly thereafter.  She doesn’t have a father, just two younger sisters.  She was 9, the middle girl must have been about 6 or 7 and the youngest was just 3 when 9/11 tore their family apart. 

The worst of it is that the three girls were placed with their awful Aunt Elaine, who hates them, calls Sam a whore, and blames them for taking up space and making noise in her home.  She makes them sleep on mattresses on the floor of a tiny bedroom.  She doesn’t mother them in any way.  She leaves Sam, the blog author, the responsible party to discipline and nurture the younger two girls.  As if losing your mother isn’t bad enough, Sam had to become a mother at age 9.  She shops for (and by shops for, I mean pays for) their groceries, cooks their meals, takes them to the doctor, grounds them, and loves them like a mother and a best friend.  On top of all this, Sam has to cook for and clean up after mean old Aunt Elaine.  It’s unbelievable.  I just had to share this blog with you. 

Sam is funny, smart, wise beyond her years, surprisingly honest, not to mention a very compelling writer with a style all her own.  Wow.  My sister told me about this blog and I haven’t been able to rip myself away from it ever since. 

If you are a lover of blogs, true stories, heartbreak and triumph, or just like being nosy, I suggest you read this blog from the beginning.  Here’s the link to the very first entry.  Or you can start here with the most recent post (though I strongly suggest you start from the beginning).

It got my sister and I talking about what we would want for our children if they were left parentless.  We both agreed that we would want them to be wherever they are loved and hugged and kissed every day, regardless of whether that means they are poor or certain other things have to be compromised.  Above everything else, love is the most important.  I can’t imagine having to grow up without it.  But back to Sam – I don’t feel sorry for her because after reading her blog, I don’t think she would want me to.  She’s strong and stubborn and an absolutely amazing young woman.  I hope you’ll check out her story. 



I don’t know why really, but I always pictured Pittsburgh as being gray and dirty and dreary.  We went there last weekend for our very first family trip/mini-vacay where we were actually going just to go, and not to visit anyone.  The city is actually lovely!  My husband is madly in love with the Pittsburgh Penguins, so of course going to a game was what the trip was planned around and his top priority.  My top priority was getting out of town with my hubby and my baby, exploring a place I’d never been, and just taking a few days to relax from the every day stresses at home.

Friday we took a trip up the side of the mountain for better views of the city on the Duquesne Incline.  The picture above is much like the view we were able to enjoy. 

Between the incline and the Penguins game, we got hungry so we decided that we must try a local favorite, the original Primanti Brothers in the strip district, where the Farmer’s Market is held during the summer.  It was…different.  The hubby loved it, I thought it was okay.  I felt fatter for walking in the door! Ha ha!  But it was fun to go there and be a part of the local tradition.
The sandwiches are STAAAAACKED with all kinds of nonsense (meat, cheese, fries, cole slaw, etc).

Friday night we enjoyed the sights and sounds of the exciting game, where the Penguins won in overtime, 3-2, against the New York Islanders.  My boo was excited to attend his first game at the new venue, Consol Energy Center.

It was late when we got out of there, and Theo got super grumpy in the car while we were stuck in the after-game traffic.  One negative thing I will say about Pittsburgh – the traffic is atrocious.  I don’t know if the streets are just not laid out well or if it has something to do with the stoplights or what…but it was bad.  Everywhere we went downtown was an ordeal.  Anyway, Theo was a dream during the game so I’ll take a little wailing in the car on the way back to the hotel.
Saturday we ventured to the Pittsburgh Zoo.  The zoo is kind of hilly and very nature-y.  The weather was nice, though a little cool at times.  Definitely nothing to complain about for the middle of October.  They have a nice aquarium with lots of tanks – we saw sharks, penguins, fresh- and saltwater fish, amphibians, reptiles, polar bears, and so much more.  It really was beautiful. 
After the aquarium, we decided to go back to the hotel and rest.  We all took a little nap and then ventured back out to try and find some more delicious local food.  We found it at DeLallo’s Fort Couch Cafe.  Yum.

It doesn’t look like much but they had some of the most delectable Italian food I have ever wrapped my lips around.  I had the signature dish, the Chicken DeLallo.  “Chicken breast stuffed with fresh spinach, prosciutto, lump crabmeat and chevron (goat cheese), sauteed in a light madeira wine sauce. ”  Unbeatable.

Sunday we slept in and lounged around our room before starting the arduous task of breaking down the portable baby zoo so that we could pack up and hit the road.  We got out of town just before 1pm and Theo slept like a baby (hehe) most of the way home. 

It was just what our little family needed.  Some together time to share new experiences.  I hope we are able to find the time to make these kinds of trips often. 

My favorite thing about Pittsburgh, which turned out to be warm and welcoming and cheery, was the residential areas we drove through to get downtown from our hotel.  There are so many old, beautiful homes on winding, hilly, red-bricked streets.  I thoroughly enjoyed the early 20th century architecture and the rowhouses that reminded me so much of the Cosby Show. 🙂  The gorgeous fall colors decorating the trees certainly didn’t detract from the charm.

Finally, I must apologize for not using my own photos.  I took loads of them, but have been having trouble with our memory card and the camera itself for months now.  We’re overdue for a new camera and we’ve had the current one for just over a year.  While I’m on this unrelated subject, and despite all of the fabulous reviews, don’t ever buy the Samsung SL620!  More and more, I’m wanting more of a “pro” quality camera.  Or at least one I can count on. 

Have an adventurous weekend!