One mom's journey through first time motherhood.
A journal to her son, Tucker, inscribing his birth into this world, the lessons and tricks they learned along way, and what they are not telling you in the prenatal books and classes.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

welcome to the family!

We're working on some enticing new blog posts, but in the meantime we wanted to say a big happy birthday and welcome to this world to Tucker's little cousin Kaitlyn Annabelle Ranft born on Saturday, June 27, 2009. We'll get the correct spelling of her name soon...

Friday, June 26, 2009

mom's club

I managed to get de-spitup-ed and all fancied up for a Naperville mom's group ladies' event last night at the Frank Gironda salon in Naperville. I was pampered with free spa gifts and treatments but not before we snapped a respectable picture of me and Tucker. When you are the photographer in the family you tend to get left out of photos...

the funny thing about ads

Well, so someone read my post about having ads on my blog as I actually got my first hits on the ads (thank you blog reader!). Google provides me statistics on the number of blog page hits I have and the number of clicks on the ads. They don't tell me who is visiting my site or which ads are being clicked. Worries aside, your deartucker viewing is still completely anonymous (unless you choose to leave a comment, of course)!

So, someone clicked on my ads, which is funny as this blog is about Tucker, us, being a mom, and you know, baby stuff. With my recent post about his infant-vaccinations though, Google must have thought my blog was about completely something else. I'd tell you what that is, but if I put it in writing, the ads will stick. This is how it works, Google "crawls" my web-site at some time during the week, possibly multiple times. Based on the content of my blog, Google picks related ads. Since this crawling action does not take place nightly, relevant ads (such as for Blood Cord donation, or the Stokke Explorer) may not be back for a few days. In the meantime, please enjoy these ads that are more appropriate for a Doogie Howser related blog.

Having now written two posts on these ads though, I wonder what the next round of ads will be?

Let's try to nip this in the bud: infant, infant, infant, infant, boppie, boppie, boppie, boppie, newborn, newborn, newborn, newborn, stroller, stroller, stroller, stroller.

Happy Friday to All!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

chatty cathy

I'm watching Tucker, you, having a complete dialog with "the other baby" in the mirror of your my My Little Lamb Swing. Cooing, laughing, calling, then near crying. All with animated arms and face. Pure, unbounded, joy. We need a video camera.

This leads me to one of my hopes of having a child... Other than complete life fulfillment, I'm hoping beyond all hope that having a child will bring back to my life some of the creativity and imagination I've lost over the course of my lifetime. You know the artistic fun side one has before they spend tens years working in corporate America? Yeah, I'm hoping to rediscover that part of myself, enhance it, and apply it to my life, my writing, and my photography.

Here's to children and all the wonderment they bring to our lives!

why the ads?

I've started running ads on this blog. Why? Well, one for complete experimental reasons. Two, to generate any sort of funding that I can. Funding for the camera equipment and the disk space to document Tucker's life. Maybe even funding for his college tuition... Here's hoping!

The number of hits on the site are good, but low for generating money, about 100 people this week, but no real action on the ads. We'll see if I can grow Superman's fan base ;)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


The dreaded day had arrived. Vaccinations.

Thanks to Jenny McCarthy and one Supreme Court verdict, I was terrified to take you to the doctor. I had done my research. I read up on the side effects. I heard the testimonies on vaccinations and autism. I wasn't happy with what we had to do.

Is the risk of my child catching Tetanus, Diptheria or Pertussis seriously greater than the chances of these side effects from the TDaP vaccination? Simply running a fever and just being upset by the vaccinations is torture enough for a parent. And the autism scare, what if two days from now my child, my wonderful, happy, breath of fresh (and poopy) air child is suddenly non-responsive? How could I live with what I had done to my child? Knowing who he was and his personality that resulted from something the world told me I needed to do. How could I live with that loss?

At one month visit you needed only a single shot, Hepatitis B. You slept the entire day afterward. You can't tell me that wasn't a side effect. I asked the pediatrician that day about what concerns we should have over the vaccination. He responded by saying, "Who are you, the one that keeps everyone away from your child?". We didn't switch practices after that remark, but we certainly jumped to a new doctor within the practice. Am I not to have a say in my child's immunization schedule? Would I be a good mother if I didn't question what gets pumped into my baby?

Nevertheless, I let wisdom or influence or fear of the I told you so lead us back to the pediatrician, armed with your superman onesie and apprehension. Friendly advice told us the vaccines hurt us worse than it would hurt you, but I can't really say that was true. While you were the true angel you are throughout the visit, the shots (2 of them) clearly hurt. The nurse was quick to administer them, but you were quicker to turn so red I truly thought your eyes would have popped out of your head had you not had them closed so tightly. The bandaides could not have been put on quick enough for me to grab you into my arms and assure you all would be okay.

Like the brave boy you are, you settled quickly and managed to fall fast asleep against my chest, as if the short but extreme trauma had sent you into complete exhaustion. Even in your slumber, you clung to me, which was deeply heartwarming despite the situation which initiated it. Unable to let you go, the three of us sidled up to each other in the backseat of the car, thanking God we made it through the experience thus far. The next few days will not be without anxiety though. The watch for side effects begins.

In honor of our traumatic experience, you and I turned the occasion into a sick day... While your dad had to work, he did generously rented us a movie from the Red Box, the new release of Confessions of a Shopaholic. We spent the afternoon in our pajamas, cuddled up with boppy and blankie on the couch creating the warmth and coziness to keep me believing that you know how much you are loved and cared for.

Current Stats on 6/23/2009, 2 months:
Weight: 13 pounds, 6 ounces (95% percentile)
Height: 25 inches (95% percentile)
Head: 15 3/4 inches (75% percentile)

Monday, June 22, 2009

happy 2 month birthday!

We celebrated with a walk in the stifling 80 degree weather (we're completely un-acclimated from the Texas weather we used to tolerate). You were abnormally fussy in the evening until a large bottle of milk sent you to sleep. You made up for the mild display by sleeping nearly five hours consecutively. We're not sure where that came from, but we appreciated that birthday present nevertheless!

happy father's day!

With all great intentions for father's day, Tucker and I accidentally took a long nap while Brian mowed the lawn and slaved on the bathroom tile. Happy Father's Day.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

grandparents, part II

Your Dad's first Father's Day included a visit from your Grandpa from Houston. They managed to steal away for two rounds of golf, but spent plenty of time juggling you while playing Wii tennis and bowling. Grandpa thought you were an angel ;)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

onesies, one more time

In earlier posts (here and here) I discussed the difficulty of dressing you in a onesie. Now I've come to believe you enjoy the struggle immensely. Hail to onesies!

Here are you and dad doing the onesie dance.

Friday, June 19, 2009

while daddy is away ...

While dad and visiting granddad were away on a father's weekend golf game, Tucker had a play date with his Baby Einstein play gym (thanks to uncle Walter and aunt Jennifer for the shower gift!). Of course, not having Tucker in my arms gave me the opportunity for some photo ops.

What is my review of the Baby Einstein? In the first few weeks it was looking a little grim. The gym was mostly used for a brief session of tummy time and a place to spit up. While looking in the mirror offered a few minutes of dedicated "play", the play gym was not a hot item with little Tucker. Fast forward to 8 weeks and Tucker is a play gym regular. The bright lights, bells, and whistles are all the rage with a coming of age 8 weeks old. Self gazing in the mirror is still a hot item, but the butterfly. birdie, and blinking star are getting some face time as well.

The Einstein is definitely becoming a place to put Tucker down for a bit allowing me to sit aside and talk to him or have some quick, quiet computing time. He's learning to follow and grab items and I'm thinking he'll like it even more in the coming months ...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

we are tired

We've been busy moving in for the past week. Everything moves slower with a baby to love and dote on. Brian's been working and working hard to finish the tiling in the bathroom. I've been unpacking, organizing, cleaning, and trying to bathe every day. We're tired.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

ladies night!

I made it out to my first mom's group event, a wine party at another member's house. While it could have been an awkward social situation, it wasn't. The wine helped. I met a great bunch of mom's with great advice and interesting stories. The event was without kids, so for all they know I could have been a non-mom crashing their mom party. Luckily, I didn't have to stoop that low and had a surprisingly lovely time. At the end of the evening as my wine had dissipated from my blood and milk stream, I eagerly drove home for some much missed Tucker time! Looking forward to the friends you and I can make :)

P.S. Dad baby-sat in my absence, successfully.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

grandparents, part I

What does it take to get your parents in front of the camera? A grand child and a few hundred dollars in camera equipment. I've been trying to take pictures of my parents since becoming interested in photography a few years ago. Photo ops were accompanied with funny faces, odd poses, and peace signs to ease the tension a photograph could impose. Now, June 2009, all one needs to bravely have their picture taken is a baby to hold! Bravo little Tucker for bring them into the light...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

day 50 - mom's big day and big $$ day

With the addition of a breast pump and a bottle to our daily routine I was able to escape the confines of home and the breastfeeding leash I've been bound to since April 22. Where was my escape? With my split ends and roots meeting in the middle, highlighted with flecks of gray, I was off to the Asha Salon on a desperate mission to not look so ragged. I left with a lot less hair and some new highlights to blend in the gray.

On my way out I stopped by Calumet Photo for the Pocket Wizard FlexTT5, giving me a Pocket Wizard set and my first opportunity to us the off camera flash. Lots of pictures to come...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

day 49 - moving out!

At long last we've deemed it appropriate to move in to the new house! We'll be spending our first night in the half unpacked place tonight!

We're counting on the months we've been waiting for the paint and floor fumes to dissipate are sufficient for your health. I'm guessing we will all appreciate the extra space from where we've been living the past 7 weeks...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

day 47 - what a looker

I'm reading through my baby bible, What To Expect the First Year, and see ALL these milestones one might expect from a baby for the second month. As a new mother, I was a bit concerned. Should these behaviors be expected when you enter the second month, during the second month, when you turn two? I don't have time to read the small print, but I'm going with my motherly instincts here ... I don't care! I'll let you grow up at your own rate and will be there to document each breath and enjoy it along the way!

For the record, you:
  • now adore the mobile you weren't quite interested in those first weeks
  • can follow objects as the move, especially grandma doing the itsy bitsy spider and your favorite mobile
  • do an amazing job of holding up your head, i think you'll be crawling by next week!
  • love to practice standing and crawling up the mom gym - its your favorite game!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

day 45 - empty nesters

What to do for your very first wedding anniversary when you have a newborn? Well, we initially planned for a quiet celebration at our new home with some take out, a movie, and some cuddle time with baby Tucker. I tend to miss you when you are not in the same room, so the idea sounded great to me. I know, separation anxiety...

On the morning of our anniversary however, your grandparents posed and interesting question,

"what if we babysit?"

hmmm.... the thought had never actually occurred to either of us, but we toyed with the idea all day long. With much thought we concluded we needed to get our obsessive selves out, rationalizing we'd be better parents for not being only about baby. And off we were for my first non-cooked sushi in over 10 months! Lucky for your grandparents our transition to add a bottle to your day left them with something to soothe you with while we were out. Lucky for me that bottle gave me enough time to enjoy another post pregnancy first, a glass of the 2005 BR Cohn Zinfendel we served at our wedding.

With the prospect of heading out on a date, I have to admit I wondered how it would go. While we were both tired lets also face the facts, Brian and I hadn't been alone in the past 18 months where we were not talking about either our wedding, our house remodeling, or our baby-to-be. Driving away from your grandparents' house I felt a bit like an empty nester. Would we have anything in common, anything to talk about?

I have to say that 2009 marked the best of any type of anniversary we have had. Opening that bottle of wine and hanging out with your dad was like catching up with an old friend. The conversation drifted to you now and then, but the two hours we were away were not nearly enough for all we could have chatted each other up. It was a wonderful reminder of why I married my best friend and a celebration of the life and the baby we made together.

Friday, June 5, 2009

day 44 - a night on the town

Armed with your second bottle of breast milk (ever), we joined your grandparents for dinner at their neighbors, Rita and JR. Yes, that marks Tucker's first night out. Thank goodness for the bottle, or the night would have to have ended prematurely (earlier than 9:00 PM that is).

Thursday, June 4, 2009

day 43 - onesies revisited

For the past week we've been transitioning to move from your grandparents' into our own house. I have had so much fun finally putting together your nursery (pictures soon!) after a long delay. We have much more room for your belongings; a dedicated closet AND dresser as well as ample floor space in the new house. I've been busy washing the clothes and blankets and all the items we thought we had to have for you, pulling out outfits I didn't even remember you had.

It appears you have an abundance of onesies as I completely thought that is all babies wore before I knew better. If you recall my earlier entry, I'm a bit partial to plain white t-shirts, primarily for their ease of removal and putting on.

I have had a slight change of heart the past week. While the plain white tees are the epitome of easy and practicality, the prints and patterns on the onesies are a thousand times cuter and lets face it, the onesies do have the added benefit of not riding up (your back that is, what they do in your diaper area is another story). Of course, the white tees compliment your skin tone the best, but I thought we might spruce up your daily fashion a bit, leave to white for your photo shoots.

Brian and I learned how to put on a onesie this week. Some are easier than others depending on material and fit and it turns out short sleeves are much easier than long sleeves. I may have just stated the obvious. Putting them on is a bit of a struggle. Its not that you fight having them put on, its just a lot to pull over a big ole baby head. I'm not sure of the best way to slip them on, whether to start at the back of your head or the first, but now that we are not so afraid of breaking or suffocating you during a routine changing, we are quite capable of dressing you in this common baby gear.

All was going well with the onesies experiment, when the ultimate onesies problem presented itself. With his paternity leave over, Brian was down in the basement working, slaving away to earn his keep. You and I had promised to have limited interruptions, but I couldn't help not calling him in for this dilemma: The Diaper Blowout. Now, you poo a lot, A LOT, but this was the first time you have managed to send to poo out of your diaper and up your back. I hear it is a common baby trick, but it was still your first time. The result? Poo seeping through the back of your no longer fresh onesie. And so the ultimate onesie question presented itself in real life, how do you remove a soiled onesies without soiling baby any further?

I first made the mistake of rolling up the poopy back side, only to realize rolling the wrong way has an adverse effect; it just keeps spreading the poo. Solution? Roll the onesie up with the folds facing inwards. It was a bit counter intuitive at first, but solved the poo problem by tucking away the evidence and allowing a clear removal over Tucker's head!

Lesson Learned or Product Review:
Now, I still recommend plain white tee's for those first weeks and for lounging around the house, especially on warmer days. With two big onesies' dilemnas solved in the past week though, I have to say the experiment has permanently added them back into your official wardrobe.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

day 41 - back to work?

Today marks the last day of my FMLA (Family Medical Leave of Absense). You will be six weeks tomorrow and supposedly that is old enough for me to drop you off at day care and head off to work. Um, no thanks.

Six weeks is in no way enough time to prepare you to be without your mom nor is it enough time for me to have prepared some sort of child care for you. You are a big healthy baby, you are strong, you can even pretty much hold your head up yourself, but there is one huge problem (among other nearly as important problems). Breastfeeding.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 6-12 months of breastfeeding. They also recommend not using a bottle with a breastfeeding babies until 4-6 weeks of age. So, here we are at the conservative end of the scale, six weeks and we are starting to try you out on a bottle. By starting I mean we are following the recommended transition where you are given a (ONE) bottle a day for an entire week, then two bottles a day the next week, up to the number of bottles you need to SURVIVE while you cannot breastfeed. Let's do the math, you eat at least every two hours. In a given work day I assume I would be gone 10 hours (8 hours plus two hours of commute). That is five bottles. I would need five weeks to get you to that point of survival of an average day. I need the get off this blog and start practicing and pumping...

The persons who decided that 6 weeks was sufficient FMLA must have been male and without kids. Thanks to the lack of influence by other mothers such as me has left me in a very common situation. Tomorrow begins my first day of unpaid leave. Now, I am very thankful to have at least that. I don't have the option to become a stay at home mom at this point, but I guess I can act like one for now.

Monday, June 1, 2009

day 40 - the results are in!

The hot oil treatment seemed to do you well. Most of the scabs are gone with just a few dry patches left. The overall health of your scalp looks much improved. The oil treatment is recommended. And no, I did not really warm up the oil. Straight from the bottle of Johnsons.