Monday, January 30, 2012

Clothes Call

This past week Cruzer's shirts have been getting a little snug {no, he's not getting chubby, he's just a growing boy!} so yesterday I decided to see if he needed to move up a size. I pulled out his 3-6 month tops and wouldn't you know it, they fit perfectly {if not just a tad big}. I cannot believe our little man is already moving up yet another size...that just means he's getting bigger - I absolutely LOVE seeing him grow, but I'm going to miss my little itty bitty baby boy.

This morning, I went through his closet and pulled out all of his 3-6 month clothes, tore the tags off and threw them in the washer. The positive side...I get to dress him he gets to wear a bunch of new stuff!

We call this look "business casual"
{It goes perfectly with his "rullet" - receding hairline/mullet}

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fun With My Toys

All week I had been getting reports from day care that Cruzer has been grasping his toys and playing with them, but yet I could never get him to do it for forward to last night and little man was moving away. I propped him up in his boppy {darn congestion!} and brought out a plethora of toys that were very "graspable."

We tried the Oball, the circular rattle and then I pulled out the teething keys...I wrapped his fingers around them and away he went...I couldn't have pried that toy out of his hand if I wanted to. His grip was firm and he loved swinging it back and forth with a huge smile on his face.

Every day he changes so much and I love getting to experience him grow into his body and learn how to do new things.

"I got this mom"
"Look at me" action shot

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Morning Routine

Cruzer and I are finally finding our morning routine. Whether he's still sleeping when I start to get ready or if he wakes up after my shower, we've been able to figure out a process that works for us. This morning I fed him after my shower so I could let my hair air dry and then got him ready for day care. After he was ready, he got to come into the bathroom and hung out in his favorite pompesan chair while I finished drying my hair and put on my face.

This morning he was especially animated after a good night's sleep and I had such a blast watching him gaze up at the little blue bird hanging from his chair. He smiled and wiggled his hands & feet like he thought he was going to reach it. It was super cute and made for a fun start to my morning.

Our little Spidey

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Love Me Some Sleep

I've started this cleanse to help me shed the remaining baby weight, get myself back into shape and jump start "eating better" habits. Yesterday was the first day and I was miserable. I had a major caffiene headache and my stomach was growling all day/night. So after shoveling this green, goupy substance they called soup into my mouth, I hurriedly gave little man a bath and then fed him. Much to my surprise, he slept for seven hours in a row!

Ah...nothing like turning around an otherwise crappy day by getting more hours of sleep in a row than I have in the past two months.  All I can say is I love you, little man...and most of all, I love you day care.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Stories From Day Care

This morning as I was dropping off Cruzer at day care, his teacher Ms. Bev was telling me how much fun little man had with Erin yesterday. Erin just started last week, is the same age as Cruz and just so happens to be the only little girl in a room with seven boys! She said yesterday they were laying on the mat side by side, with their heads turned toward each other and he kept trying to grab her toes!

This morning when I dropped him off, Erin's mommy was there and we were talking about our little ones since they are on similar development patterns right now and we had them laying next to each other and they kept grabbing at each others was so cute!  It looks like we already have a little flirt on our hands!

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Baby Boy: Ten Weeks Old

Happy 10 weeks, Little Mango!!

All smiles!

"Ten weeks old?? Really?!?"
{Rocking the I Heart My Auntie shirt from Tess but it extends to all of his aunties!}

Friday, January 20, 2012

Big Changes - Going To Day Care

As you know, we started day care with little man last week. The week was VERY difficult and I hated having to spend the day away from him after 8 weeks of being with him {almost} 24/7. As much as it stunk, I have to say that it did get easier as the week went on. Yes, it's true, that on Tuesday and Wednesday I was a bawling mess leaving Primrose and the entire way to work...and I hastily tried to come up with reasons for my red-rimmed eyes other than the fact that I'm a big crying girl. But on Thursday morning after I laid Cruzer on the floor mat and he gave me a big gummy smile, I actually started to feel better about leaving him for a few hours each day.

It also doesn't hurt that the teachers at Primrose are excellent - the primaries in the room are Ms Bev and Ms Ida and they seem to treat the kids as they would their own grandchildren. Each day we get a report card so to speak on what they worked on with Cruzer, any games they played {So Big & Tickle Tickle are his favs}, it outlines his eating/diaper/napping schedule from the day, you name it. Most days they do arts & crafts with our little guy and send home his excellent artwork - it's so fun to go through! We've received a couple "Happy Grams" which are notes they send about something Cruz does well - I love how Miss Bev explained how she feels positive reinforcement is so important for kids and if she has to discipline a child {she doesn't do this in the infant room}, she makes sure she follows up with a couple words of praise. I think that is a great way to teach children.

Air Travel

Happy Gram "Cruz enjoyed painting clouds for art.
He loved the feel of the paint on his hands. Great job, Cruz!"

Cloud Play

Cloud Painting - used his fingers!
Another awesome thing about Primrose is that the owner is one of Omaha's most well known pediatricians, Dr. Laura. On any given day, she may be in and out of the infant rooms looking in on the kiddos to make sure they are developing appropriately and do exercises with them - she was actually the one who stopped Nick as he was picking up Cruz and told him she was worried about his neck and thought it was Torticollis {read about it here and here}. After our pediatrician appointment, we both dropped Cruz off and she was there and talked with us for about 20 minutes about Torticollis, his development and showed us some exercises to help him when he's on tummy time. It's truly amazing to have access to Dr. Laura if we should have any questions as well as just having her check in on Cruz and the other babies during the week.

Outside of the care he receives from Primrose, the fact that we've been able to get him on a schedule since starting is the best. He is so exhausted when he comes home from day care from all of the play time and fun activities that he wants to crash when he gets home. Last week was the first night he actually slept 5 1/2 hours in a row - ahhhh so amazing! I love that we get to spend a couple of great awake hours playing with him when we get him home, then we usually give him a bath {every other night} and by that time he's hungry and then we put him to bed.

We are so happy with Primrose and it makes having to leave him somewhere for precious hours of the day that much easier.

Practicing his special exercises at home... and exhausted from day care

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Physical Therapy For My Baby

We had our appointment at Omaha Physical Therapy Institute with little man on Monday. Right after we met Katie, the PT, she immediately started asking us a ton of questions about Cruz and what we've noticed with his behavior. She determined that he does in fact have Torticollis, but similar to our pediatrician said that we've caught it early enough that we should be able to fix it with some neck stretching exercises. They think this happened when he was in the womb - when we were in the hospital after he was born the doctors told us that they thought he must've been lodged up against my pelvic bone because his left side jaw was a bit distorted, however, there were no worries because they said once his face filled out it would fix itself. Now with the diagnosis of Torticollis they believe that when he was pushed against my pelvis his head was constantly turned toward the right which caused his preference of that side.

Over an hour and half appointment, she checked out little man's limbs and motor skills. Then she showed us exercises to do with him daily and had us practice them to make sure we were doing them correctly:
  • Tummy time with his head pointing the left {he is strong enough to lift it up and move it back to the right side, so we have to carefully monitor him during this one}.
  • When feeding him, we now need to reposition him so he's cradled in our right arm and feeding him with our left hand...using the bottle to lead his head toward the left.
  • Football hold with arm between his legs and cradling his body and neck.
  • When laying on the floor, turn him on his left side and prop a rolled up blanket behind him to hold him in that position and another in front to make sure he doesn't roll forward.
  • Shoulder hold laying his right side against our body - a plus is if he falls asleep like that and can hold that pose for some this:
Cruzer laying on mama - stretching out his neck muscle
During this visit she also measured his head circumference and did some other checks - this was where she discovered that his ears and not in line due to his favoring one side of his head for so long. There is a potential he will need a head positioner to help mold his head back to the correct shape, again she reassured us it shouldn't come to that but felt that she needed to tell us everything that could come up.

We've got a follow up appointment with her on Monday and she anticipates she will need to see us every other week after that for approximately six months depending on his progression. At these check ups she will determine if we need to continue with the same stretches or whether or not she will add different exercises for us to focus on. I've been a bit of a mess dealing with all this {fortunately Nick, Tessa and mom have been understanding when I've broken down on them} - but I really am optimistic, it's just scary to think that something could be wrong with your baby.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

It Sounds Worse Than It Is....Right?

No parent wants to hear that something is wrong with their little one. Everything negative runs through your mind and it's all you can focus on...even though deep down you feel that everything will be ok.

We've noticed that Little Mango has favored leaning his head to the right side for quite some time, but figured it was due to his head being heavier and the fact that he doesn't have good neck control yet. This week we found out that it is in fact a problem, but fortunately one that was caught early enough and should be easily treated.

In this picture you can see how Cruz's head/neck is usually
facing when he's on his back and even when he's on his
tummy. Its very clear that he favors the right side.

When Nick picked up Cruzer from day care on Thursday, Dr Laura {well known Omaha pediatrician who opened the school} asked to talk with him. While she was doing rounds in the infant rooms and checking on the babies that day she noticed that Cruz's head was constantly leaning to the right. She told Nick it was a condition called Torticollis, which means twisted neck, and if we went to a physical therapist we should be able to fix it before it gets any worse. Of course as soon as Nick called me and told me about his conversation, I immediately googled Torticollis and saw all the scary side effects of this condition, BUT we soon decided we weren't going to focus on that and instead focus on the fact that we are going to have to work with him daily on exercises for his neck to get it back in shape.

If you remember, the doctors had told us when we were in the hospital that they thought the left side of little man's jaw line was a bit distorted and told us it was due to the fact that he was scrunched up against my pelvis when I was carrying him and that it would fill out over time.  Now, they think this could also be the reason for his Torticollis. When the left side of his face was shoved against my pelvis, it pushed his head to the right side, so this position is comfortable to him.

So we have an appointment with a physical therapist tomorrow....wish us {and, of course, Cruzer} luck...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Our Little Guy: Two Months Old

Little Mango turned two months old yesterday and it's so hard to believe. Time has flown by especially while I was out on maternity leave and now the work days can't end soon enough for me to get home to see our little guy! It's been a big month of growth and development for Cruz.

What has Cruz been up to?
  • Big News:  little man started day care this week! As insanely difficult as it has been to leave him while we go to work, our time with him afterwards is so much more special. Plus, we feel that Primrose has already been good for him and we are already seeing good changes in him {refer to sleep - below}.
  • Stats: we had Cruz's two month check up yesterday with Dr. Shidler. He weighs a whopping 11lbs. 6ozs {47 percentile}, is 23 3/4 inches long {76 percentile} and his noggin comes in at 15 3/4 {51 percentile}. Dr. Shidler referred us to Omaha Physical Therapy for his Torticollis and we are going on Monday {wish us luck!}.  He also got his first shots yesterday - one in the left leg and two in the right. I cannot tell you how hard this little guy cried, but shortly afterwards he had worn himself out and took a big nap before we dropped him off at school.  He is currently wearing size 0-3 month clothes {sleepers, etc} but is still in newborn pants because of his skinny little waist and legs.
    At the doctor - waiting for his check-up
  • Eating:  he's wolfing down anywhere from 4-5ozs. When he eats too quickly or doesn't get a big enough burp out, he spits up. He's also dealt with having a sore tummy this month and we were told to give him gripe water as needed to calm it down and this seems to help.
  • Sleeping:  for the first three weeks of this month, Cruz's was only sleeping about 2 hours 15 minutes in between feedings at night, which was tough! This week, though, his sleep has been so much better! I tell you they must really wear him out at day care because he is sleeping so much better through the night!  We usually feed him around 9pm or so and then he sleeps for about 4 hours before the next feeding. Last night he slept from 10pm to 4:30am - it was awesome.
  • Developments:  my favorite development this month has been that he's started to smile! Oh, how I love his big, gummy grins, especially the first of the morning smiles that melt my heart. He is so alert and stays up during the day much longer than month one. He likes to interact with us and loves hearing when we use our high pitch voices to talk with him. We play "so big" with him and spend time on his tummy. He also was read his first book this month {Ooink!} and loved looking at the brightly colored pictures. He follows  voices in the room as well as objects with his eyes even if he can't clearly see them when they are more than a 12 inches or so from his face. Just yesterday, Dr. Laura at Primrose showed us how to have him inchworm {lay him on his tummy, up on his knees and put your hand behind his feet - he kicks off and inches forward - it's too cute!}.
  • Features:  Cruz has really good skin and such good coloring. He hasn't really lost any of his hair and is still rocking his signature "rullet" {receding hairline, mullet} look and it's getting longer. His eyes are still dark blue and fortunately the "crossing" is subsiding, which is good news. I know that they all say it will, but it's shocking to watch the poor little guy when he tries to focus on an object and his eyes full on cross. His body is catching up and now it doesn't seem as if his feet and hands are so big.
Happy two months, Cruzer!

Friday, January 13, 2012

2011: A Year In Pictures {Part Two}

Here are some of the highlights {in photos} of our year. Most were shared in my blog, though some occured prior to starting Yellow Mango, which is hard to believe because I feel like I've been sharing for much longer than 10 months. It's fun to look back at my life prior to becoming preggo and the months I spent carrying our little guy, but I wouldn't change where I am now for anything.

January - to celebrate our friend Jeremy's birthday, we tagged along with him and his wife, Sirvan, to Denver for a weekend getaway. We toured the Coors Brewery, drove up into the mountains, ate at John Elway's, shopped at Cherry Creek, had some drinks and enjoyed spending a fun weekend with such amazing friends.

Our group with Keno - our ride for the evening

Jeremy's birthday cotton candy at The Office

At the Coor's Brewery in Golden

A view from the Rockies

March - girls trip to Scottsdale with Aly and Patricia. We had a great time lounging by the pool, shopping and clubbing. We made our own fun this trip and I wouldn't take back the memories {after many bottles of champagne and limencello} that we took away from this trip for anything!

Champagne at the Phoenician
March 17th - Lady Gaga concert on St. Patty's Day with Tessa. One of the best performances ever - she put on an amazing concert and I got to spend some QT with one of my favorite mamas.

Qwest Center in Omaha for Gaga

March 20th - the day we found out that I was PREGGO!

April/May - I had to go to Atlantic City for a work meeting, so Mom and Jen arranged to meet me afterwards in NYC. It's one of my favorite cities in the world and I love our trips there. This was the first trip where we had no agenda and truly let ourselves wander around - we found designers markets, cute streets & shops, visited the Top of the Rock, walked the Brooklyn Bridge & name it. The most amazing memory from this trip besides the time I got to spend with mom & sister...Osama Bin Laden was finally put to rest and what a party NYC threw while we were there. The next morning we visited Ground Zero and it was an awesome sight.

Tribeca Film Festival

Brooklyn Bridge {the 1st time I walked it even though I lived there for months}

Proud to be American - the day after Bin Laden's demise

The city harbor from Liberty Island

Top of the Rock view of the Empire State Building

May 20th-22nd - this was my 30th birthday weekend, starting with an great mini celebration at work with an awesome "high heel" a dinner with family & friends at Hiro & Nomad for cocktails afterwards and rounding it out with the Usher concert the following day. It was a whirlwind weekend, but I couldn't have "ushered" in a new decade any better!

A creation by our talented chefs at work

Hiro with two of my fav ladies

We are family

June 27th - our ultrasound appointment told us "It's A Boy!"

The BEST envelope I've ever opened

Our baby

July 4th Weekend - trip to Okoboji with the Crew. What a great weekend with some of my favorite people and family members. We rented a couple of suites and partied on the lake like rockstars. The only thing that would've helped make this trip more memorable would've been if I could indulge in cocktails with the rest of them...but being the sober one on this trip wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and I remembered EVERYTHING!

'Boji shots

On the boat at Lake Okoboji

July 9th - spending time with an oldie best friend. Angie came up from Houston for a friend's wedding in Lincoln and she & I got to spend some time together reminiscing with friends and just enjoying each other's company. The one drawback {or better yet...memory!} we showed up wearing very similar royal blue, one-shoulder dresses....great minds really do think alike!

Ang, April & I at the Wilson Wedding

August 1st - we celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary with a little getaway in Omaha. Nick & I checked into Hotel Deco downtown and then spent the day hanging out in the Old Market and Midtown Crossing. We had drinks at Zin Room, dinner at Cantina Laredo and then retreated back to our room to relax together. It was a perfect way to spend our 2nd year as a happily married couple.

Our suite at Hotel Deco

August 13th - Bush concert at Stir of the best concerts we've ever been to and to top it off, Tessa & I attended the M&G and met one of my biggest crushes of all time - Gavin Rossdale.

What do you say to Gavin Rossdale?
Hmmm.."come here often?" seems like a good start

Nick & I at Bush

October 1st - surprise 30th {Nick} and 40th {Chris} birthday party at Stir. Tessa and I pulled off the surprise {well, somewhat because Chris' friend ruined his surprise}. The best parts of the night - the "true surprise" performance from Anna Roxia and the Roast of our guys. Nick's gift - an autographed Ryne Sandberg jersey personalized to Nick & Cruz. This was a night we will not soon forget.

Anna Roxia giving the "men of the night" a special dance

Hawkeye cake

Ryne Sandberg jersey...for Nick & Cruz

October - Nick & I had been talking about trading in my Mazda CX-7 for something better for our soon-to-be-expanding family. I showed him the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and had found one in Fremont, so we packed ourselves up and headed to buy my first "new" car (it only had 31 miles on it!). I absolutely love it and its perfect for the three of us.

October 8th - Nick's dad John was inducted into the Wayne State College Hall of Fame due to his spectacular record as the Head Coach for the baseball team. It was a special night where the family all got together to celebrate this special honor.

Nick & his {extremely} preggo wifey

The Manganaro-Gardner clan
October 9th - my sisters threw Cruz and I an amazing shower at our church social hall in Emerson. The highlight for me was the awesome spread of my favorite cravings - hostess cupcakes, lemon Nothing Bundt Cake, raisinettes and chocolate covered strawberries.  It was a great day hanging with our family & friends and celebrating little man's {soon-to-come} arrival.

October 23rd - my other family {SILs & MIL} got together to throw us a shower in Omaha and it was another hit - a great mix of family I haven't seen in a while and those that are near {and dear} to my heart.  Little Mango was extremely spoiled by those who already loved him to pieces.

The Hostesses w/ the Mostesses

Grandma's to be
November 4th - I had the opportunity to co-chair the Angels Among Us Fall Festivity event. There was a lot of work and time that went into putting this together and executing the event, but it went off without a hitch and we raised a significant amount of money to go towards helping our families. I'm very proud to be a part of this amazing organization.

Angels Among Us - Board of Directors
The Nichols Family - Jacob is a strong little boy fighting a form of
cancer that left him unable to walk or talk for a while. It was amazing watching him
walk up to the stage and thank everyone for attending the benefit!

November 11th - a very special birthday took place on 11/11/11 - Maya's 5th birthday. We celebrated with a doggy treat cake, her cute birthday hat and our family. As you can tell, she just loved her hat...

November 13th - Cruz's day of birth! There are so many emotions that revolve around this day. Nick & I were extremely blessed to give birth to a healthy 6lb 15oz baby boy. He is our life!

First family picture
Our Little Mango

Dressed in his first outfit - ready to head home

December 9th-11th - Cruz had his first major car ride to northeast Nebraskas for his cousin DeLaney's 1st birthday and Baptism.

The Bapteesed {Ashley & DeLaney} and their sponsors

Celebrating D's 1st birthday

December 23-25th - Christmas Tour 2011 - we hit Laurel, Emerson and Omaha to visit our family and celebrate Cruz's first Christmas.  It's always a whirlwind tour, but great fun nonetheless.

Tradition: family photo at the church

Christmas morning

Cruzer was 6 weeks old on Christmas Day

December 31st - we celebrated New Year's Eve - my first time not working in 7 years. We had a group dinner in the private dining room at Kona Grill and then moved onto Shevy's for Karaoke, the Running Man, beer pong and cocktails. It was a rough start to the new year for me the next morning!

The girls....

...and the men.

Looking back, 2011 was an amazing year and I was truly blessed to be able to spend a lot of time with family and friends and I have many memories that will stick with me for years to come. Bring on 2012!!