Friday, July 30, 2010

Changing of the Diaper

Most babies do not enjoy the changing of the diaper time. There is crying. Fussing. Flailing. Irritated bottoms. It's not usually a pretty time.

Except this baby. She loves it.

Not only does she love it, but changing her diaper will actually PUT her in a good mood. It's like she knows that she is uncomfortable, and that the changing will make her feel better. She's very content on the changing table, almost giddy.

Case in point:

Giggly Reilly
Gazing Reilly
Playing Reilly
Watching Reilly.

But it could also be that she is mesmerized by the outdoors. Her changing table is next to 2 windows, and she loves looking out at the trees. And at her little groundhog friend. His name is Murray. After Bill. He lives out the window in a little hole, and he goes up on his hind legs and stares in her window when she cries. It's quite funny.

Reilly and her peaceful place...

Love & Clean Hineys,

Dirt Road Mama

Monday, July 26, 2010

My Babies Met My Baby

This is my baby cousin Taylor in 2005. She was the cutest, sweetest, funniest little baby I had ever seen. She sang and danced and giggled. I mean, look at this little face!

And then her baby sister Jenna was born! I always felt a connection to Jenna right from the beginning, I don't know why. She was always quieter than her sister, as I am mine, not as outgoing. But just as angelic. And I was with her a lot in the months after she was born, it was the first little newborn I had ever really seen. Look at this picture of us 5 years ago. It looks like an 18 year old me holding my little Rei Rei!

They were always my babies. Every holiday, every time I came home from school on break, I always wanted to see them and snuggle them and play with them.

Then they were my flower girls in my wedding.

And then I showed them where I live now, in the country.

And then this happened.

My babies. Met. My baby.

This totally blew my mind. They were my babies. Now I have baby. And they loved her, and kissed her, and got her presents. And held her feet. And giggled when she gripped their finger. I giggled when THEY gripped my finger! Yesterday! When THEY were babies!

This was my first adult moment. My first adult "I remember when you were this big like it was yesterday" moment. My first "my where has the time gone" moment. I think it happens when you have a little chickpea of your own. I'm not sure how I feel about this. But I get the feeling I have to get used to it, huh?

Love & Memories,

DR Mama

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Way to my Heart

The way to my heart is through babies. Give me a baby, I'll love you forever. Hubby knew this, he's a smart cookie. But the other way to my heart is via beautiful pieces of furniture. That make glorious use of space and create opportunities for organization. Specific, but true.

Now, you may recall that Hubby was building me a piece of furniture that we painted purplish/taupeish/grayish. This piece of furniture was to solve a terrible problem of un-utilized (is that a word?) space in our kitchen. The problem began when we moved in, and no place for a microwave. I refused to put it on what little counter space I actually had. Those counters are for cooking. Cooking is my peaceful place. No place for radioactive appliances. So it ended up in the living room.

Seriously, we kept the microwave in the living room. It was all very kitschy and newlywedish. But it got old. So Hubby built a shelf in this odd space in the kitchen for the microwave. It became and odd extra shelf, and a temporary solution to our problem. Two years later, we decided the problem needed a more permanent solution. This is what this space looked like. I can barely look at it, it now makes me cringe.

The chair and phone are there because the phone jack is conveniently in this awkward corner. What was the intention with the jack in this odd place? I do not know. So we were left with phone on antique chair. Here is what the space looks like when we cleared out everything:

Odd space. I know. So we collectively came up with a solution. We talked, searched internet pictures, perused stores, and drew pictures of our ideas. And then Hubby went to work.

This is an in-process picture. In the back is Mantown, where Hubby does all his woodworking, craftsmanship, and manly-ness. He is my right-hand man for all of my painting. It's a beautiful crafty partnership.

These are the pieces of wood that he cut at perfect angles for the wine rack. He tried to describe his idea for the wine rack, and I couldn't fully picture it. You'll understand better when you see the final picture. It's a genius plan he came up with.

This is how hubby adhered the shelves to the side of the shelving unit. The way that he screwed them in has a special name. He told me the name. I forgot it. But I am no less impressed! Great shelf-screwing-in technique, Honey!

This is how the wine rack was put together. One piece went in at a time. Can you picture it?

Okay, get ready. The final picture is coming. The "after shot". The love of my life. Here we go.

How GORGEOUS is it!! Let's take a look shelf by shelf. Wait a second. I just have to stare at it some more. Okay, let's move on.

I woke up in the morning to all of the wine glasses already hung. Hubby did it while I was sleeping. Sorry, you can't have him. He's mine.

He also came up with the little triangle glass hanging idea all by himself!

Look at the gorgeousness that is the wine rack. I think it resembles a barn door. Or a farm fence. Doesn't it?

Microwave shelf! The original problem solved!

Phone shelf. With my grandma's vase filled with wooden spoons. And a mail sorter on the right. I love a good hiding place for mail.

I put giant glass bowls on the bottom for now. And a basket that will house napkins. These are temporary for the time being. You may think that this will be a problem in the future with a little one toddling at this level, but you forget, my girl is perfect and will not disturb anything that is not supposed to be touched. Silly readers! You'll get it soon. Reilly = perfection. Amen.

Let's go ahead and do a before and after right next to each other. Because I think those are fun.


You may notice that the original shelf Hubby built pales in comparison to the new furniture that he built. That's because 2 years ago when we got married, Hubby never built anything. That right. He made this amazingness without any training, and only 2 years of self-taught woodworking. Another amazing thing - I never painted when we first got married. I love art my whole life, but I never explored painting as my life's passion until we got married. I think that's so amazing when I think about it. It goes to show how we have encouraged one another in marriage, and grown together in our individual hobby's. I love how those parts of marriage can sneak by you, until you look back and reflect on how you have grown and changed for the better.

We could have just bought a piece of furniture. That would certainly have been easier. But now, when I walk into my kitchen, I not only see a beautiful piece of craftsmanship, but I see love. The love and smelly smelly sweat that went into building it. Hubby thought of what we needed, what I wanted, and how to make it beautiful. We painted it together one night while baby slept with the monitor next to us. He put all the wine glasses and bottles in it so when I woke up in the morning, it would look beautiful.

It's a work of art, and a work of love, right there in my kitchen.

Love & Craftiness,

DR Mama

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Mama is behind this month! Which is very suiting to the fact that I have a 2 month old, I think. Busy busy! But fear not, I took these pictures right on the 2 month date!

And now, a little about my 2 month old princess pea...

[p.s. LOOK at those pants. I wish I had them in every size. Including mine.]

1. The little banana is focusing focusing focusing! She will stare at you as you speak to her. I just see her little mind learning and expanding. It's absolutely amazing. She is taking in absolutely everything around her. So we have stepped up the singing, talking, reading, and alphabet games! I love learning. And teaching. Hence, it being my job.

2. She makes faces!! She smiles, and "laughs"! Which is this giant smile face that looks like a laugh will come out any second.

3. She makes talking noises! It was the most amazing thing. I fed her at 2 am, and then put her back in her crib. She starting making her "going back to sleep" sounds, and then I heard it. Little "cooing" sounds, that sounded so different than any sound she had ever made before. I was so exciting. Then I feel asleep.

At 5am that same morning, we woke up again for her to eat. I fed her, put her back to bed, and she started the sounds again. I thought Hubby was sleeping. But suddenly I hear him say, "Oh my God, she's talking." I said, "I KNOW!!!". I thought it was so funny that we both noticed the exact day that the sounds started. We're not obsessed, I swear.

4. She plays! And she has 2 favorite toys. I used to think it was crazy when mama's would say "Oh, it's her favorite." Really? How do you know that? Did she tell you? But it's true. Her face lights up when she plays with certain things. And by "plays" I mean swats at when I jingle them by her face, and hit a rattling ball around on a blanket. Such fun!

5. Ha, look at this face. Mama, why are you making so much noise at me? I just don't feel like smiling.

6. Look at that headband. I never thought I'd be a headband mom. But I never knew my girl would look so stinkin' cute in headbands!

7. She is so content. Even more than before, because she interests herself in everything around her and is just so peaceful while doing it. Thank you, Jesus!

8. She got even cuter. It's true.

9. Her hair is still light, and her eyes are so blue!! Prettiest little thing. Oh, and she has a dimple. On her right cheek. I will photograph the dimple, but it's like a shooting star. By the time you see it, it's gone again! As soon as it comes out to play, I'll get that little bugger. i love dimples!

10. She weighs 11 pounds 14 ounces! YAY BREAST MILK!

11. I couldn't end on ten. Too even. I like random. Who is dying because eleven is not only odd, but prime? Hubby? You still alive out there?

Anywho, we started sign language! I took 2 years of sign language in high school, and am fascinated by the physicality and expressiveness that in ASL. Being a very visual person, it's such a natural language for me to learn and use. We are learning "milk" and "thank you". I'll update you on when the first sign appears. I'll most likely pass out.

Love and Smiles,

DR Mama

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Too. Tired. Can't. Think.

I came home from my SECOND trip to town in one day (which is 30 minutes one way...that's 1 hour round trip...that's 2 hours in the car total), and now it seems I may have to take a third, and I had a thought.

Which is more vital to the human body - sleep or food?

I stood in my kitchen, with my sleeping baby right out the car, and my rumbling stomach, and thought. The fact that this thought even crossed my mind is ridiculous, I think. But I am so tired I could fall on my face, and so hungry that I couldn't think of something to eat fast enough. My sister who is always on top of my nourishing habits will be happy to know I chose food over sleep.

Why did I have to make a choice, you may ask? Because I don't have time for both.

Baby will wake. Need to eat. Require attention. Be needy due to sore little thighs from vaccines this morning. Need my lovins. Hence - choices. Food or sleep.

Another reason I chose food was because I was waiting for phone calls from various physicians/nurses/lactation consultants/pediatricians regarding The Thrush, which will now be referred to as Satan, and I couldn't very well hide all my phones under the pillows of my couch so I could sleep. I needed to be awake to answer and talk and consult and solve.

By the way, that's what happened if you call and I don't answer. I am sleeping. And my phone are under pillows so they don't wake baby and me. You should try it - phones, under pillows, sleep.

Unless you don't have time. Then you should eat something.

Love & Sleepytime,

Dirt Road Mama

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


My Hubby is quite the handy man. He has a garage that he calls Mantown. That is literally it's name, not a joking name only used in jest. It is the town of man. Mantown will have it own post someday soon, but today we're talking about colors.

Being an artist, I love color. I also love colors.

[Difference: To love color is to look at a room/painting/buiding/place/life and appreciate the palate that is created in a certain place through the use of color. To love colors is to literally have a fascination with various shades of specific colors. I have both loves.]

I often refer to items and colors in terms of Crayola colors. Such as, "I saw this shirt that's so pretty. It's a cute tank top, in macaroni and cheese." Totally typical sentence. Crayola crayons still fascinate and excite me. Especially brand new ones. It's a bit of an obsession.

Much like my obsession with this little one.

When I'm painting and I create a gorgeous color, which usually happens by accident, I'll paint in on my table so I can always looks at it.

Many times I will be cooking something, and call Hubby over and say, "LOOK at this color, I want to paint a wall this color." For example, sauteed zucchini in olive oil is one of my favorite colors. As well as caramelized sweet onions. Or roasted asparagus. Okay, so you understand my color obsession.

Now handy Hubby is building a piece of furniture for a previously pretty dead corner of our kitchen. I'm so excited. I don't know what to call it...maybe shelves? It will be done soon, and we'll have exhilarating before and after pictures to post, so you'll see. But he is making it to house our wine glasses, wine bottles, our microwave on one shelf, and then some free shelves for whatever organization suits my fancy. And I got to choose what color to paint it!! I knew right away what I wanted. My new favorite color.

Grayish Taupeish Purpleish.

My husband stared at me when I declared my decision. He said there is no such color. I said, sure there is. I can see it in my head. It's kind of taupe, but has a gray tinge, as well as a definite purpley quality. To which he repsonded, purpley quality? And again insisted there was no such color. So off to the hardware store we went to find my perfect color.

I found it the little card that made me smile. (The one in the middle) It didn't have a fun name, due to the brand that it was. Which made me sad, but it was pretty close to one called "Hippo". So the girl punched the code into the computer, and it started automatically making the color. She went to the back room to mix it. At which point I looked at the computer, and screamed. HUBBY, LOOK!!

Right there, on the screen, were the colors that were being used to make my color. And they were as follows:
- black
- white
- tan
- magenta

That's it. I pointed at the screen in pure joy and said, "Grayish. Taupeish. Purpleish."

Hubby smiled and shook his head. Then he told me I was weird.

Weird? Maybe. Expert of the Colors? Definitely.
I'll take it.

Love & a Colorful Life,

Dirt Road Mama

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Our Weekend in the Nightclubs

Well, not all nightclubs, just one. The one at the aforementioned resort where Reilly spent her first Fourth. The same place where I spent my best childhood memories, where Mama met Daddy, where Daddy proposed, where Reilly was conceived...HA just kidding. But anyway, this place is special to us. And Reilly made her debut at her very first Staff Show!

The Staff Show is where Mama used to sit in the front row and stare dreamily at her future hubby as he danced with his friends on stage. I was 14, dreamily staring was where it's at. And then he would wink or something. And I would melt. And now our offspring sat in that very place. It was all very surreal.

Reilly wore a very cute little leopard print outfit! We were ready to go.

Hi babycakes!

Daddy and his pretty little girl.

Then Monday night, we went to see our best friends in a show they've been practicing for. These are our friends from college in Rhode Island, who now live close to us and work at the same resort! They are so talented and wonderful.

That's Cara. She is a ridiculous singer. Amazing. And doesn't she look like she belongs in the 80's here?? She was such a great 80's girl!

Go Brandon! He's pretty good at pumping people up. It's what he does best.

Reilly says, "Great job Cioci Cara! Please do not take my sleeping as a reflection of the captivating performance that I just experienced - it's passed my bedtime!"

"I will just snuggle here with Auntie Vanessa. And grab onto her dress for dear life."

Hi Baby! Wasn't that a great show?

In other news, I met a fan of my blog at the show! Hi fan of my blog! I had so much fun meeting you!

Love & Nighttime fun,

Dirt Road Mama

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Last 12 Hours

8:15 pm. After nursing and feeling some discomfort, I start googling to see what it could be.

8:30 pm. I read about Thrush and panic. [a yeast infection that is on the breast, and gets passed to the baby's mouth, and will become painful for baby while eating].

8:31 pm. I wonder why I may have gotten thrush even though I take a daily pill to prevent it, and apply a cream every time I nurse to protect the skin.

8:32 pm. I ask Hubby to pray we don't have thrush.

8:33 pm. I call my mom and discuss the situation. She says to call my lactation consultant, who also happens to be her best friend. I protest and say it's too late. She says it is only late in my world, and in the regular world, it is in fact not late at all.

8:35 pm. I call lactation consultant. She is not home. I still don't know/really think that I have thrush.9:45 pm. I go to bed after feeding Baby. Baby goes to bed. Hubby goes to bed.

1:00 am. Hubby wakes with Baby and gives her a bottle.

3:43 am. I wake up with Baby. Feed her on one side. Go to change diaper.

4:15 am. She is an angel as usually as I change her diaper. No crying, no fussing, just laying awake watching me.

4:16 am. Clean diaper under her bum, diaper cream on my finger...and Baby shoots poop across her changing table and hits the wall. But before that, it hits the blinds that we just installed last month. Beautiful, cordless, pure white blinds. And then it dripped down the wall and formed a puddle. I stare in disbelief.

4:16:30 am. I scream for Hubby, at a loss of what else to do. He doesn't hear me due to the air conditioner. Baby lays in bliss on table.

4:17 am. I grab diaper-less baby, run into my bedroom, tap Hubby awake, and say "Come, here I need help!" and run away. I still have diaper cream on my finger.

4:18 am. Hubby runs in and starts cursing the poop. And muttering about how expensive the blinds were. I am trying very hard not to laugh, as I sit on the bed with a diaperless baby.

4:20 am. Hubby hands me a diaper and clean onesie. I lay Baby on bed. He gets wet paper towels and tries to clean things up.

4:22 am. Baby is laying on the bed as I change her, staring at her Daddy cleaning in frustration. She is mesmerized by the unlikely commotion in her room.

4:23 am. I tell Husband that Reilly is wondering what he is doing. Hubby turns around and starts cracking up. Then tells Reilly that she's grounded.

4:25 am. I decide that bleach is needed to clean the blinds. Hubby begins the cleansing process. I remove Baby from the room.

4:30 am. I realize that Baby can't sleep in bleach infused room, so I prepare a place for her to sleep in our room. I finish nursing her.

4:35 am. Hubby opens windows, turns on fans, and closes baby's door. Blinds are stainless!

4:45 am. I finish feeding and burping. Baby and Daddy lay down. Mama goes to pump since I was still too full.

4:56 am. I lay down to go to sleep. Baby is cooing and grunting instead of sleeping. Birds start to chirp. Baby grunts to the next hour. Mama and Daddy vaguely drift in and out of sleep.

7:15 am. Time for baby to eat again. I check her mouth, and see signs of Thrush. It is official.

7:25 am. I call my doctor. I call her doctor. Knowing they will be closed. I don't know why I called anyway.

8:00 am. I prepare myself for a day of doctor-going. Mentally. I am still nursing and therefore can't get ready at all.

8:29 am. I call pediatrician and they CALL IN A PRESCRIPTION. Thank you God, and random nurse on the phone who may have heard my panic.

There you have it ladies and gentleman. But probably just ladies. Except for 4 gentleman. (Hi Dad! Hi Matthew! Hi Eric! Hi Hubby!)

Updates on the thrush will follow. Baby is not yet in pain, thank God. Mom says laying in the sun with my breasts exposed helps with thrush. Don't judge me.

Love & Absolutely No Dull Moments,

DR Mama

Thursday, July 8, 2010

When You Are a Mama...

You can do anything in the name of your child.

Like save them from wild beasts.
Like ants.I did it the other day. Reilly is okay, no need to panic.

Or, breastfeed everywhere. And anywhere. Like on lakefront beaches in front of hundreds of people.

But not without my ultra-chic breastfeeding shawl...

Interesting picture, I know.

Everyone is in the lake. Brother stayed out to hang in the shade with me and Reilly.
Me: This is so funny.
Brother: What?
Me: You'd think I would be uncomfortable in front of so many people, but I'm not at all!!
Brother: Huh. You know, I kind of am.

Those little froggy legs hanging out from my shawl are baby's. I want to nibble on them.

Despite his supposed discomfort with the most natural act on the earth (well, the second most natural act...), Brother still stayed and kept us company!

He must really love his sister. Yes, that's it...

Or maybe he loves his niecey...

Nah, it's totally me.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hubby Turns the Big 2-5

Hey Rei, we certainly talk a lot about Daddy on here, don't we.

Yeah, we do mom.

Why do you think that is, baby?

Um..cause he's our favorite? Oh! And cause he gives us Super Kisses?

Yes, those are good reasons Reilly. Why else, do you think?

Hm...cause he dances with us in the kitchen to my favorite country radio station.
And cause he always video tapes me cause he loves me so much.
And cause he cares about what heiny cream we use. (I really appreciate that one, Daddio. And so does my bum.)
And cause he plays with me in the early morning and at night so you can get extra sleep, mama.

And cause he always listens to all our stories. Even though he doesn't really know what I'm saying yet.

That's true, Rei.

Oh! And cause he makes us coffee every morning. I have coffee flavored breast milk, but Daddy still kinda made it.
Very interesting thought, Reilly.

And he makes us laugh. I laugh on the inside still, but one day you'll hear it!

We can't wait, sweet pea!

And cause he works so hard. So that we can stay home and play and learn together.
Yes, that's true. Isn't that so nice of him Reilly?

Yes. I think he loves us a lot mama. I'm glad we write about him a lot. And I'm glad he was born.

Love & Hubby,

Dirt Road Mama & Baby