A spectacular affair that necessitates oodles of thanks and appreciation

Caroline in the city!!!

The McFamily along with Auntie C and Uncle Hokie piled into the car Friday afternoon and took off for NYC for the long-awaited Marini affair.

The wedding was spectacular, like out of of a fairy tale, and no one was more deserving of a such special day than Chris and Amanda. The forecast of scattered thunder showers never came true in NYC which makes me think that someone/something was looking out for them. Amanda was as Chris stated "perfect." Chris was smiling ear to ear all day. The newlyweds are clearly smitten with one another and off to enjoy a much needed vaca. Photos are posted in picasa - links to Adrienne and Colleen show off more photos of the big day (and Caro's trip).

Caroline was a perfect angel during the days and divalicious at night. Poor Auntie C spent some serious time getting her to sleep both nights, testing her patience for sure, but at the end of the weekend she still loved her niece... if that ain't love...


We stopped by the Today show on Sunday morning and Caroline was all over the program! Did you see her? Cute pink hat? Adorable smile??


THANKS THANKS THANKS THANKS THANKS THANKS THANKS

So a big thank you to Auntie C - she was a wonderful baby wrangler and we could not have enjoyed such a spectacular weekend without her assistance. She really came through for us and we won't soon forget how she gave up her whole weekend to sit with Caroline in a hotel room (for the most part) and so lovingly cared for her. Though her father did text OFTEN to check-in, I had the utmost confidence in Auntie C and never worried for even one moment about our babe... I did worry about the poor wrangler and how she was coping with the anti-sleeper...

Shout out to Auntie K too - though she wasn't in attendance she did provide one stellar knock em dead dress that not only fit well, but made this McMomma feel uber-hot =) Auntie even provided accessories!!! One stop shopping =) Fashion crisis averted!!!!

Yesterday Caroline and I spent some time with the other moms in our old group. Kristen hosted again at her and Allie's house. No photos this time =( It was so great to reconnect with the Moms. Since getting back to work I have been feeling a little isolated. Caroline was sick during the last get together, so it had been over a month since we saw everyone. TOO LONG! They are all getting so big!!!

We also briefly attended a pot luck lunch hosted by another group member on Sunday after we arrived home. We only stayed for an hour, but it was a great opportunity for Steve to meet some of the other Dads. Though I have made some connections, we are still in a bit of a social drought. It's tough! Steve announced that he would like to get to know a few of the couples better (of course ones that I don't know so well) so I sent out emails to a couple of the Moms yesterday seeing if they might like to get together for a walk or a playdate. I seriously felt like I was in first grade sending a do you like me check yes or no note.

It read kind of like this:

Dear Awesome Mom I would like to get to know:

It was so nice to see you again this weekend! Insert adoring commentary about bouncing baby here. So and so is simply adorable! I had no idea you lived so close! We could practically fall on each other we live so close. (in fact I have already stalkerishly driven by your street to see just how far away you live and it is approximately 7 minutes walking distance with stroller, 6 with a Bjorn)

I am not able to attend the group right now because of my work schedule. I think I may able to attend again in the fall, but I would hate for that much time to go before seeing your FAMILY again. I am off on Mondays and Fridays now and Caroline and I walk everyday as part of her bedtime routine.

Insert Put the ball in their court statement:
Shoot me an email if you might like to get together for a walk or get the kids together to play sometime. Steve and I are also thinking of checking out the Gazebo Music this Tuesday. If you are thinking of going, maybe we will see you there.

Signed, Desperate for Mom and Dad Companionship

I sent notes similar to this one to two moms and got nice (read promising and equally kindergartenesque check yes or no) emails back. We may be seeing two couples tonight at the Gazebo. (Erin - while I know your disdain for gaze-bos is great, this is a large gaze-bo and we will not be taking photographs.) I have no idea what kind of music they are playing or anything, but the idea of seeing these other parents is so thrilling that you would think Steve and I were dating them... in a way I suppose we kind of are.

If we do see them tonight, we will still be feeling each other out. Are we like-minded parents? Will they induldge in a little adult bev consumption with us? (some of the moms I have met STILL have not had anything to drink, not that there is anything wrong with that, but I want to meet a Mom I can have a glass of wine or a sentence slurring margarita with every now and again) and an important one - Do we have anything in common outside of the kids?

One of the Dads is Australian - Steve likes this - why I can't exactly say. Their son is Finn, so perhaps that has something to do with it?

During dinner last night when we were discussing our potential local parent friends I came to a sad conclusion.

"You know what is going to happen don't you?"
"No what?"
"We are going to put all this effort into making friends and having a social life down here, and as soon as we get comfy again we are going to move back home."
"Probably"

That Thursday/Friday feeling

Thursday! My most favorite day of the week! You know that Friday feeling, when the weekend is sooo close you can almost taste it and visions of family sleep-ins, long lingering mornings, and Netflix rentals fill your head? Perhaps yours is more of the sleeping in (ha!), napping, reading a novel, or spending time alone variety? Whatever yours may be, the Friday feeling is simply undeniable. Lucky me, I get my Friday feeling on Thursdays now and even though it is only 11:30 and I still have hours of work left to complete and two more pumping sessions (ugh!) I am already grinning ear to ear in anticipation of Caroline being with us for four days straight.

Leftydom to come?

Caroline sleeps almost exclusively on her side now and this morning when I got up was even on her tummy for a few minutes. It is so funny. When she sleeps with me she cuddles into me on her side and perhaps this position was just so comfy that she has adopted it? Even if you put her to sleep on her back, she ends up on her side, the LEFT side. Another lefty preference? She already turns her head to the left when she sleeps, sucks her left thumb, reaches more with her left hand than her right, could this be another sign of leftydom to come?

Umm, hello school, did you NOT get my note?

I try not to be the neurotic mom, I really do. I try to spend only a few minutes with Caroline and Sarah in the morning during drop off (on Tuesday) letting her know what is new and how the weekend was. I always feel badly taking up so much time, so this week I wrote a note detailing her weekend and thought it would allow me to let go easier on Tuesday and not feel like I was overwhelming Sarah with tid bits from Caroline's weekend and the how to manual of how she is taking her solids. It was a short note really, one page in larger font, not too detailed, just the FAQ info I would have told her in person. Yesterday Steve picked her up and Michelle let him know that they think she might be in a growth spurt and probably could use another bottle during the day. OK no biggie, happy to attempt to oblige. She's right, the baby is growing a lot lately and she probably is hungry. No big deal. THEN he went on to say that Michelle had given her avocado at a seperate time as her bottles when I had CLEARLY written in the note that the veggies should NOT be a meal replacement, but instead be PART of the meal. Michelle says she never saw the note. I had suggested that they try giving her part of the bottle, the veggies, and then the rest or to give her the bottle and then the veggies because she is not keen on veggies alone, we tried it ourselves over the weekend and it did not go as smoothly. The result of that experiment was an unhappy little girl who said hey wait, I was just getting going here, where's the milk? SO - I am just annoyed more than anything that the communication is breaking down and we are finding that on some days there is no one there to ask about the specifics of her day. I know they get there early and work long hard days, but sometimes the sheet with the diapers and naps isn't enough to fill in all the blanks. The staring blankly at you I've only been here since 3 assistant doesn't help much either. We were worried this week that she was spacing out all day because she was overwhelmed and it seemed like we were never really able to ask the right person about it. Luckily we have seen for ourselves that the other kids interact with her and she laughs and smiles with them. Today the same little boy I saw grab Caro's feet did the same thing when Steve put her down. This time she let out a HUGE squeal/laugh. (will she ever laugh normally?) I am going to work on this... Neurotic mom tirade over.

Four Bottles? (pumping info ahead - you've been warned)

I had it all worked our perfectly. I pumped only twice on work days combining those and the morning pumping session to send the babe off to school with three 3.5 oz bottles. Glorious! Perfection! Now that she is growing and now that they are doing the veggie thing, and based on school's recommendation which they DID thankfully communicate, I am trying to create (magically apparently) four bottles.

Yesterday I pumped a bit before bed to get us ahead for today and so I wouldn't have to thaw anything out, but that was only about 2 oz. Boring!!!

Today I am adding a work session and hope that I will be able to boost my supply to meet her ever changing needs. Fenugreek, don't let me down now!

Auntie C and Uncle Hokie are coming to save the day

Caroline has the best aunties. Auntie K saved us with the move and now Auntie C is saving us for the weekend. She and Uncle Hokie are leaving work early on Friday to drive down to CT, then squeeze into the car with the carseat, and sit for another hour all to watch our Caroline while we attend the Marini wedding festivities. The weather looks less than ideal in the city, but she could definitely walk in the Bjorn with an umbrella or something. I would hate for poor Auntie to be holed up in a tiny city hotel room all weekend. We are hoping that we can get to the Today Show in the AM on Saturday or Sunday for her cable tv debut. =) Look for her in the crowd! Set your DVRs!!!

About work...

It's a great gig. I secured a top notch person for our September program and he is going to knock them dead, well hopefully not literally, but you know what I mean. I suddenly became a masterful negotiator and somehow talked them down from 3500.00 to 1500.00. Who knew? Shrewd business woman? I think not. Savvy deal finder? Not really. Desperate service provider in non-profit world with meager budget? You got it! Desperate times call for desperate measures and I am so proud that I got it done.

I have already been meeting with families via phone and in person and am realizing how much I truly missed this work!

So back to that Friday Feeling... I think it is poll worthy... What is it that you most look forward to on Fridays?

Ahhhh, Baaaa, and now LOTS More

Yesterday when I picked up Miss Caroline from school she was non-stop jibber jabbering and clearly saying more than just ahhhh, or baaaaa, or even gaaaa. She is making little raspberry noises now and enjoying the sound of her own voice oh so much! While I changed out of my work uni, Steve changed her diaper and while she lay on her beloved changing table mat (she LOVES it still) she said MA. Steve could not believe it! OK, she was definitely saying it indiscriminately, but CMON! MA!?!?!?!?! I died and went to heaven!!! Steve reports that the jibber jabbering continued this morning en route to school as well.

She handled the avocado great yesterday, except that about halfway through she looked at Sarah with a sad no more please face. Sarah obliged and all was happy in the world.

Steve noted this morning that we are getting our life back in some ways. Caroline is predictable, easier to soothe, happier, and much easier to get to sleep. Once she is put down to sleep, 99% of the time she stays down. We actually have time together in the evenings to relax, talk about our days, flip mindlessly through magazines, and oh yeah, eat ice cream sundaes - Friendly's Sundae Cups to be exact (they are on sale for 4 for 5.00 at Stop and Shop this week, get ye to the store yesterday!!). Steve gave Strawberry short cakes the big Kabash last night... I am not blaming him for the ice cream, NO WAY! He has just become my ice cream enabler... and man I feel like an ice cream junkie now because everynight at about 8:30 I start thinking about the peanut butter sauce on those sundae cups and it is almost more than I can bear. I have a serious problem, a peanut buttery goodness problem, for which I sincerely HOPE that there is no cure!

Our Sweetie LOVES Sweet Potatoes

It's true - Caroline LOVED the sweet potatoes. It was so fun to watch her taste them for the very first time and look at me like "FOR REAL, I can eat this!?!?" We got it on video and will upload it eventually to share (along with several others we have accumulated in the month). Steve happened to come home during the "first supper" and he got to feed her a bit too. I am so proud of myself for making the sweet potatoes myself too - we made 4, froze the leftover, and currently have an entire month of sweet potatoes waiting to be eaten in the freezer. Yesterday we tried avocado (thanks for voting!) with mixed results. She is still getting over that cold and I may have made them a bit too thick for her, so it is hard to say, but they may have given her gas as she was not all too happy for most of the afternoon. Perhaps it was also that she was cooped up all day in a dark house thanks to the monsoon Noreaster that blew through yesterday. She DID however enjoy the taste of the avocado and was holding the spoon in her mouth to get more.

So overall Caroline's new adventure in eating is going really well. She now SQUEALS in delight when it comes time for the portion of her meal that comes on a spoon... the other part of her meal is getting freakishly familiar as she now smiles at me and wants to watch me while chowing down. Perhaps I encourage this by saying HI everytime she does this? Part of me wants to say, OK, Mommy doesn't have all day, get back to business kiddo, but the other part is so happy that she connects Mommy to her meal that I could spend hours feeding her to get that kind of special interaction with her.

Her peripheral vision is INSANE. If I try to eat, drink, or read while feeding her she is contorting herself into a human pretzel to reach behind and grab whatever it is that I am doing that is taking even a minute percentage of attention from her. Yesterday while browsing the latest US Weekly she started grabbing the magazine and it was literally almost impossible to continue catching up on my weekly Hollywood gab. GASP!

More Food Updates to follow - I think we will work with the two foods we have for a bit since Oh yeah, I have a ton! =) If she really can't do the avocado yet and it is making her too gassy I might try pears or banana...

Yay for Food!!!

This food gig is great, but it adds a new layer of prep to my routine and a new thing to prepare for when we are out of town. So this weekend while we are away in NYC at the Marini nuptials I need to not only pack bottles and milk, but also little frozen food cubes and spoons. Speaking of the wedding, we are so excited and so grateful that Auntie C is helping us out. Caroline can't wait! Caroline in the city!!!

Caroline had a great time at the beach this past weekend and LOVED her great grandfather as evidenced by the photos posted on picasa. For the record I think he liked her too because he was afterall holding her during a Sox game. =) Happy 91st Grandpa!

Back to work - Caroline was sitting in an infant seat when I left her at school this morning and did not even respond when I touched her cheek and said goodbye -- so sad --- Tuesdays are tough...

Each and everyday when we pick up Miss Caroline from school we get a nice little worksheet that tracks all the important things in her day; diaper changes (including said diaper contents, lovely I know), meals, and naps. I usually scan it quickly to see how much she ate and when she slept. When Steve dropped her off yesterday morning Teacher Sarah told him what a great eater she is for a baby her age. I always think it is funny to see that they note ALL next to all her meals because we know that she is an "aggressive" eater. Do some babies really not finish their bottles??

Soooo, Steve dropped her off and in the afternoon he got an email for an urgent conference call from 4:30 - 6:00, which would prevent him from picking her up at 5. Being supportive spouses and parents I quickly arranged to leave work exactly ontime, swing by his office to pick up the carseat, and then pick her up down the road. When I walked in she was out cold in a vibrating infant seat and looked oh so comfy. I got to meet Eric (the sole male teacher in the joint who was very nice!) and before I woke her I scanned the sheet and saw that she slept from 9:15 - 1:15! Thinking it was a typo, I asked Eric who assured me that while he had not been there, she did indeed sleep that amount of time because Sarah was talking about how unbelievable it was that she was able to nap that long. She has NEVER slept that long during the day, even when she was a newborn!

Sarah filled Steve in on the details of her marathon napping session this morning at drop-off. Come to find out, little Caroline is having a much better week than last when she "slept, ate, and cried" most of the time. =( I am glad they didn't share it quite that way with us last week. This week has been better and she is actually starting to play with the other children a bit and show some interest in toys, whereas last week she wanted nothing to do with the kids or the toys. She is becoming more animated too! Finally they are getting to know the REAL Caro! Sarah explained to Steve that yesterday they had her in a swing on a low setting for a couple hours and then turned it off and she stayed asleep. After three hours they moved her from the swing to her pack n play thinking she would wake herself in a few minutes, but instead she stayed asleep for another HOUR, all while children screamed and threw toys all around her... what a champ.

So what effect did this nap have on her time with us last night? She was amazing! From the moment we picked her up until she went to sleep she was an almost perfect baby; smiling, squealing in delight, playing. It did take a bit longer to get her to sleep, but it was not a fight like it can be sometimes, she just wasn't all that sleepy. Mom and a very calm Caroline spent some time in the rocking chair singing soft songs and before too long she was out ----

UNTIL 5:45!

What an amazing night of sleep! By the time she finished breakfast (and I finished pumping) it was after 6:00 and there was no way she was getting in another cat nap before the usual wake up call at 6:45. She played and smiled and cuddled instead, which was just fine by me. She LOVED her cereal this morning and was in such a good mood...

The big news for tommorrow is that we might be starting solids!

I have done all my reading and research and though she still has two weeks until she is officially six months, we have taken our time with the cereal and based on our observations of her at the dinner table she is ready to eat!

Here is a checklist about readiness to eat.

At least 4 months (check!)
Twice as much as birth weight, or at least 13-15 pounds (Based on our primitive bathroom scale she is 14 pounds, which means she is probably in the 13 and change range)
Sit with support (check! she is sometimes sitting unsupported)
Control over head and neck muscles (yup!)
Stopped the extrusion reflux (spitting food back out) (kindof)
Eating all meals and still wanting more (she can ALWAYS eat)
Time between feedings becomes shorter and shorter (not sure about this one?)
Can bring an object in her hand directly to her mouth (she puts the spoon in with assistance!)
Shows interest in others eating around her (reaches for food we are eating and gets excited when she sees us eating)
Fussy in the middle of night, whereas before slept through no problem (this was the case, but she has been sleeping through again)

So I think we are going to bite the bullet and go for it! Life as we know it will never be the same with the addition of a mid-day meal, but I am excited for her. Seeing how much she enjoys her boring old rice cereal makes me think that she will be interested in sampling a variety of foods. We are starting with Sweet Potatoes! Then if all goes well in 4 days we might move on to avocado or a fruit like pears or peaches (for you Auntie K!). Why 4 days? Well, that is because all the so-called baby food experts recommend waiting that long between foods to assure that there is no allergic reaction and then move on quickly to something new before an allergy develops. So we are embarking on a whole new exciting and sure to be messy adventure this weekend.

Speaking of the weekend - off we go on Friday night to MA for Grandpa's 91st Birthday Celebration!

AND tonight we are FINALLY getting together with our young couple with a dog neighbors for drinks and snacks.

Let's use the fun poll tool again -

YOU can control Caroline's first foods!

We are starting with Sweet Potatoes, but where do we go from there???? Only you know for sure!

meanwhile in the sick ward...

I am happy to report that Steve appears to be on the road to recovery. The man is NEVER sick and it was so sad to see him so laid up. Don't feel too bad for him though, he did get out of his usual middle of the night Caro duties. =)

Caroline seems to be getting back to herself as well. The sad little hacking cough continues, but her mood is overall much improved and the biggest news is that she slept ALL night the last two nights!! Today she woke us up at 5am!!! Where has this girl been??? We missed her.

In order to get her organized and get the whole family off to work in the morning we actually have to then wake her up at 7. One would think this would be an easy task the way some people act around a sleeping baby, but not our Caroline. It takes a good 5 to 10 minutes to get even an short look and if left to relax a bit while we get up those eyelids droop and droop until she is once again snoring away. We actually seem to be getting into a pretty good morning routine already.

Yesterday at daycare the notes we received at the end of the day read "had kind of a fussy day." It was clear that she had a tough day. She fell asleep on the way home in the car and then when she woke up she would not look at us. Immediately I felt pangs in my heart fearing that she might go on an eye contact/interaction strike until we release her from school. =) She was probably just exhausted, afterall she had been with us for the whole weekend and was once again trying to get used to her very noisy surroundings. The teacher also told me that she didn't sleep that much, but she had two naps; 1.5 hours and 2 hours respectively. She clearly has not worked with Caro before. I actually snickered a bit to myself. Back to eye contact - Despite her lack of interest in her parents, she was perfectly content and actually excited to look at the cat.

Let's discuss the budding relationship between baby and Reese shall we. Caroline LOVES Reese. If Reese is anywhere near her sightline she becomes fixated on the cat and cannot be distracted. We recently began closely supervised and guarded petting and Reese has been really terrific about it. I wonder if Reese has any clue what she is in for. Being that she is GENERALLY a people cat I see her getting dressed up, participating in tea parties, and being chased all over the house by a rough and tumble toddler. I hope they become good friends. I always wanted a cat when I was a little girl, but Brett was allergic and that made it impossible. If that cat ever lashes out at my baby though, love her as I do, that will be the tragic end of the story of Reese.

I am really getting into my work and with the assistance of the now retired old me (did that make sense to anyone but me?) I am working on some really great things for the center. I am really proud of myself for diving in here and for having a good attitude about Caroline being with other people all day. The transition has been going much much better than I thought it would. I think of all the places I have worked, this one appreciates me the most and really values my professional opinion. I wonder if I will feel the same in a few months?

All quiet on the sleeping front

For now...

Until ohhh about 1:40 I am fairly certain... Bedtime for tired parents and one still sick Daddy shortly...

Caroline appears to be feeling much better and just in time to head back to School aka Germ Central in the morning. She got to experience work today with Mommy who had to run a support group this afternoon. Let's just say she was no the biggest fan of work because she really needed a nap and no one could get her to sleep. I am hopeful that it will get better in the coming weeks.

Steve will hopefully be over his cold in the next couple days and let's not discuss how I am feeling as I do not want to jinx anything. I am on drop off duty for the morning so I need to shower before I head to bed too. Thankfully Steve will be here this time to assist so we don't have a repeat of last Thursday when I was solo.

I have lots of notes for Sarah at School...

... a suitable crib sheet for the pack n play, which if it doesn't fit, OH WELL because we have searched high and low and this is the last option
... her sleeping
... are there really truly other children in her classroom or are we just the worst parents in the room because we seem to be leaving her there first and picking her up last
... and her FEVER and subsequent illness. Should I refrain from asking them to keep her seperated from adorable little Hannah who clearly had a nose running like a faucet last week? Should I send her with a mask and hand sanitizing gel and demand that they apply the gel every 5 minutes? How about I ask them to hold her and love her without breathing on her... all quite ridiculous... The McFam is just going to have to embrace sickness in their life for awhile...

Where we stand now...

So the fever came and went on Friday. Caroline was headed back up to feverland temps in the early evening and we put the kabosh on that with a bath and some Tylenol. She continues to wake us up at ungodly times in the middle of the night - last night after getting to bed at 9 she was up at 1:40 - a new record - whoopity do. I had all these perfect plans to pump first thing in the morning and use that for her first day of the week daycare, but that just ain't happening. After waking up with her at 2ish, and then 4 and then 6 pumping is no longer and option and I am less than thrilled about taking from my stored supply for Tuesday, but I guess I will have to.

She has been more fussy and even more fussy when eating for most of the weekend.

Steve woke up with a major cold this morning and my sore throat tells me that mine is on its way too. Caroline keeps hacking and sneezing and is more boogery than usual too. Daycare is AWESOME!

My parents spent the day with us yesterday and it was so nice to spend some time with them. We cooked out lunch, played with the baby, talked house and golf, went to dinner and had blueberry pie (delish!) for an end of the evening treat. I certainly hope they didn't wake up today with the same icky colds.

Daycare's stock is plummeting...

Coughing all night, up at 2:30, refused cereal and her cup (which she loves), has a slight fever... BOO to school for today! I cannot believe she is already sick after only three days! Is it bad that I am not only bitter that she got sick, but also that I will now spend some of my precious time with her recovering from whatever she has ???

Poor poor caroline....

Change that 85% to a 50% and I was feeling so so much better =(

TGITh!!!

I don't know why my post yesterday did not go through... but tada... here's another one...

I am super busy at work - which is a big plus - so I only have a moment to catch up here...

I dropped Caroline off all by my lonesome this morning as McDaddy is up in MA at his corporate "fun day" where he is golfing, playing softball, and hob nobbing with the powers that be along with his team.

Can we chat for a moment again about single momhood?!?

I showered last night thinking it would surely assist me in leaving on time. When the baby woke us from sound sleep at 2:30 am (hey what the?!?!) the McParents were none to happy knowing that their wake up calls were going to be drastically earlier than usual. Steve in particular assured me sleepily that he doubted he would be able to fall back asleep until his 5 am alarm. He was snoozing no sooner than Caroline began her midnight snack. ANYWAY - I woke up at quarter to 7, put on the television to assist the wake up process, and began to gently wake the baby (who ate again around 6). Once we were both awake, I put my contacts in, pulled my hair back, got dressed and got her downstairs for her cereal by 7:10. After cereal we did a quick snack, put her bottles in the bag, added some diapers to replenish her box, and got her dressed. Imagine my utter amazement when I saw the clock in the car show 8:03 as we took off toward school for our 8AM drop off. I sincerely could not have done this any faster than I did. I am still kind of shocked... So Steve - don't ever think that I don't need your help in the morning - it clearly takes two of us to get her out the door!!! How do single moms do it!??!?!?!

I chatted briefly with Sarah - her morning teacher - before racing back towards work. I arrived here at about 8:40 - ten minutes late, which goes to show that her school is almost around the corner. Very reassuring to see that I could be there in less than 15 minutes if there was an "emergency."

My supersvisor here at work is so looking forward to Monday when she will enjoy Miss Caroline for an hour and a half while I sit in on a support group. I got my contract today and it looks like we are a go to use the extra funds left in the budget towards salary. The plan is for me to do 20 hours a week here in the office (3 days) and then up to an additional 10 from home when Caroline is napping or in the evening for program planning and networking. That's not exactly the slow start I had been expecting, but this is a grant funded position and while the funds are there I might as well capitalize. I hope to ease the burden of a new baby and new mortgage payment and the extra hours will help pay for our trip to Mexico for the Choyfrocca nuptials in February. (YAY!)

I like being the one who brings in the "fun" money! My mother always provided for the fun things, like ballet lessons, vacations, baseball and gymnastics for Brett and later on education related expenses. I had such satisfaction in January to look at the funds we had saved (nearly every penny of my salary from June) and know that because of our efforts rent would be a think of the past. With Caroline I am sure that there will always be something we will be saving for, but how awesome will it feel in February to know that because I am working we can go on a fantastic trip with HER (what a lucky baby!) to witness two wonderful people get hitched!?!?

Working ain't so bad folks, ain't so bad at all... do I miss my little monkey --- more than I can put into words --- I am realizing more and more that I've got a great thing going here and now that it has actually started and is no longer something scary looming in the distance, I am feeling 85% better about it =)

Day Care and Work --- Day II

Don't worry - the day counting will cease soon and in no way will resemble the countdown and then the count up when Caroline first graced us with her adorable presence.

So Day II is better than Day I. I just spoke to "school" and Sarah said she is having a better day today than she had yesterday which she thinks is a great sign of her getting adjusted to the noise and the other kids in the classroom. She took a nap, had a bottle, and was currently napping again when we spoke. She now has cuddly soft blankets and a couple furry friends in her pack n play which makes me feel better. Sarah already knows that as long as Caro finds her little left thumb she can soothe herself to sleep. This also makes me feel better.

I should alert Auntie K that Caroline is sporting some "pony" wear today and looks tres chic. =)

I should also squash Auntie C's concerns that the month marker bear is among the missing. Fear not, appropriate bear month photos are on their way. The bear was hiding amongst her other animals, but we found her!!!

Work---

Work is going to be great. The people I work with are kind and considerate and concerned for the seniors here in the center and throughout our town. I am by far the youngest of the group, but they are excited to have youthful energy around... Hope I can live up to youthful energy. I was supposed to be working 20 hours, but there is more money in the budget for now and if I want to work more to get acclimated they are open to it. I think I might try to work three full days for a bit, more to occupy my time and not leave me to my missing Caroline devises than anything else. The fiscal year ends for that budget at the end of September and then I would CERTAINLY be put back to 18-20 hours a week. By then I will be more into the swing of things and can reevaluate a work from home or work in office with Caroline half day.

The work is going to be great! I am excited that I will get to run a bereavement support group. I have already begun hunting down evaluation tools for grief measurement to assess where the group is collectively and individually with their grief and coping.

Despite all this - I am pooped! Waking up to feed her at 4 and then waking up again at 6 for another meal and official wake up is exhasuting, not to mention the baby prep (bottles, bibs, blankets, cereal, a snack, some water, and dressed to go all in 45 minutes! luckily I am smart so far about getting the bottle situation situated at night!), and the sad goodbye... This mommy is pooped!!! TGIT - Thank God It's Thursday ALMOST!

OH!!! As I relayed my sob story to my mother yesterday she shared with me that on my first day of kindergarten, coincidentally my first time away from her ever (preschool was just a couple hours a day), I told her that I was "good" and it was "ok to go" almost as soon as I arrived at school. What a heartless 4 year-old!!!! Just goes to show - it really is harder on us --- (you are 100% right Jen and Christina!!)

Lest I leave you in the lurch...

It was a tough day for the McFam... there were tears this morning and not from Caroline and there may or may not have been sniffling in the parking lot that may or may not have led another mother to question the staff if the adorable and smartly dressed baby was new because she though that her Mommy was crying in the parking lot. We got through it --- I know that it will be a little easier Wednesday and a little easier Thursday and before we know it we will be in a solid routine and it won't seem so bad after all...

BUT MAN!!!!!

Through tears I explained to Sarah (one of the teachers) that we call her Caro.

I only called once at almost noon to ensure that all was well and really I felt pretty satisfied after that call because Sarah (she rocks the house!) gave me the complete low down on her entire day and assured me that things we fine. Stephanie (the other teacher) was equally nice at pick-up and told me how helpful my notes were. Not sure if they were helpful or hysterical fodder for teacher lunch "look at this neurotic mother" conversations =) but either way I was happy that she had even read them over.

The job is awesome - they were serious about the flexibility and I am excited to get started. More on that later...

So no need for concern, The McFam is coping ok and our little Miss was so wiped out that she fell asleep with ease at 8:15. WITH EASE!!!!!

Am I missing something here??? Is it really common to forget to close the garage door at the end of the day???

visions of monsters, unwanted intruders, and nesting animals fill my head --- eww

Photos are updated with more coming from Kiki and Kerry when I get another minute...

We made it home safe and spent the day recovering from our travels, which THANKFULLY did not include Laundry - the worst part of any trip if you ask Steve. Caroline was a bit out of sorts, what not with several people vying for her attention or attempting to make her smile. It seemed as if at several points in the day she just crashed like "I am sick of you, where did everyone else go???"

I carefully labeled all her daycare stuff today and am trying to think of something fun and special for us to do on Monday on our last official day together before I head to work and she goes off to daycare, which henceforce will be called "school" because it makes me feel better. The weather is not exactly cooperating with me on this one with the heat wave and all, but I will think of SOMETHING.

Our little girl is looking more and more like just that lately - looking at the most recent photos makes it all the more obvious that she is not a little babe anymore. She is personality plus these days and such an absolute joy to be around. I hope that those people at school know what a special lady they have coming to them...

Starting to feel sadder about Tuesday. Trying to focus on the adult conversation and all that other looking forward to work mumbo jumbo. Leaving her is going to certainly leave me sad and I can't go there now... Stay tuned to see how it goes. I am quite certain that there will be some posts this week from my new office where I will sit and think only of one little miss who might not be missing me one bit and having the time of her life while I wallow in a pile of I miss my baby girl kleenex. Wah....

At least I have photos and LOTS of them to click through whenever I please... thank GOD!!!!

Can it already be Friday ALREADY????

























The holiday week has flown by for the McFamily here at the beach and we have enjoyed every single second of it!

Caroline has had a very exciting week and we have loved showing her our favorite tradition - The Third of July at a very special beach which will remain nameless for the selfish sake of keeping it all to ourselves. =) She seemed to enjoy the bonfires and did not even flinch at the pops of the fireworks.




































Caroline had to look festive for the holiday and graciously posed for photos in her special outfit.














































July 5th was Caroline's first trip into Boston, her first ride on the T, and her very first Red Sox game. Her Poppa brought the whole fam to the game and she famously made the Jumbo-tron not once BUT TWICE!!! (once between innings and once during the 7th inning stretch take me out to the ballgame sing a long) We didn't quite make it to Sweet Caroline because the weather was challenging and she was pooped. It was so great to be there all together and so special to share her first game with everyone.
The week was successful on many fronts and has definitely assisted in prepping for daycare separation as I have shared her with so many loving admirers. Auntie K made this McMommy feel like a million pesos when she told her that she cannot believe how generous we are with Caroline. The statement in itself that we are generous seems kind of simple, but when you are doing the sharing it makes you feel all the better. Sometimes you just want to grab her and it is so hard to show that kind of restraint. So I suppose what I am trying not very well to say is that I am happy to be generous with her, though there is a part (a big one) of me that appreciates the notation of the generosity. I definitely think that the sharing has helped me prepare for Tuesday when I will have to share her not with people we love, but with strangers that I must entrust her to.
There will be more photos on the Picasa link once we make our way home, but these should tide you over for now we hope =)

Clearly the Third of July is our favorite holiday - but what's yours???
Take the poll over there in the top left corner!



McBeach Baby

We are beaching!!!!


The weather has been more mild so far, but that has not stopped us from hitting the sand with sweatshirt in tow. Caroline was so excited to see herself in her swimsuit! Before we left she made friends with Sunshine Bear! It was a lovely gift from her Great Grandmother Rose. The detail work on the bear is stunning. They were fast friends as you can see here. Caroline is loving the exersaucer still too! Auntie K gave Miss Caroline her morning cereal and sealed the meal with an even more delicious kiss...