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I feel like today was the first day of school, except for the first time in forever, I didn’t have to schlep off on the bus.  It was a wonderful feeling to listen to the buses putter past our window, and not have that constant feeling that I was going to miss the next one.

I have to admit, I’m having a slow start this morning.  Hold on…Jack’s eating electrical cords.

Ok, I started this post at 10:30 a.m.  If it’s any indication of my first day into this whole work at home/freelance realm, um, yeah, I’m finishing this post 12 hours after the fact.

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So, let me backtrack a bit.  Wednesday, Oct. 15 was my very last day at my former company.  (It feels good to actually type that!)  Most of my colleagues were out of the office, only the underlings were around.  I spent the day cleaning up my computer, filling 3 large boxes of papers, notes and mementos of stories and trips I’ve covered over the past 7.5 years and of course, saying my farewells.  I only got teary once, which is good for me.  And quite honestly, those were tears of relief.

The few coworkers that were around that day were so sweet.  Knowing I love cupcakes and vodka, they gifted me with both.  Nice.  So, yes, I had a Seabreeze and a cupcake to bid adieu to my very first job out of college and the first “real” job in NYC.  No more free work cruises, no more wining and dining by various companies, no more events where I’d run into Rudy from Survivor (haha!)  No more unnecessary drama.  No more.

There’s nothing sweeter than a farewell cupcake. (Well, besides a celebratory mango margarita!)
There's nothing sweeter than a farewell cupcake

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So now, it’s time to put the plan(s) in motion.  Per usual, I have more ideas than I know what to do with;  aren’t all creative types the same?  I told Jeff that I would give myself a day or so to acclimate myself with this new juggling act.  Jack, apparently, did not get that memo.

To spice things up, my adorable son decided to go on strike today.  What kind?  All kinds, actually.  He’s not eating like a voracious animal like he normally does.  Instead, he dutifully plucks and smooshes everything into his hair.  Considering he came home with sticky, spiky hair almost every afternoon, I imagine this is what he did at daycare, too.  As for naptime when mommy aimed to get in quality Facebook writing time, um yeah—that never happened.  So not only did he not eat anything of substance, he did not sleep at all.  He looked a lot like me by dinner time with the bags under his eyes and total incoherence.  I’m chalking the out of whack behavioral deals to him being sick ONCE AGAIN and the excitement of us being home together.

So, yeah, day one, just like everything else, didn’t happen as smoothly as I envisioned.  I, never for a single moment, thought this would be easy.  oh no.

I’m desperately crossing my fingers that Jack feels better, to have less banana’ed hair and more naps all around tomorrow.


Baby Frankenstein

Originally uploaded by jen_rab

Wheee! It’s Friday! Even though I’m working from home and pretty delirious from taking care of a stuffy baby all morning while trying to work, I am excited about this week (finally) being over. After all the emotions from the beginning of the week, I can finally focus on Jack’s first birthday next week! We’re all excited to go home for the weekend. I can’t even remember the last time we were there? July?

Better late than never, but I’m definitely in party planning mode. While my other friends started planning their kids’ parties before they were even born, I’ve surprisingly been pretty slack with this. Normally, I’m all about DIY party events. I guess with oh, quitting my job, I’ve been way too distracted to focus on what sort of icing Jack should devour.

Anyway, more about the party stuff later. Even bigger news: Jack has a new trick! It’s the baby Frankenstein kind of trick! He still doesn’t want to be bothered with walking, but he’s trying. I tried to catch him in motion the other night, so please excuse the mess and dark video. Oh, and the ball? Yeah. The baseball is a permanent fixture for him right now. We’re hoping this foreshadows a future hall of famer and retirement plan.


Jack loves to read

Originally uploaded by jen_rab

Speaking of sharing, I thought this was too cute not to share. Jack adores books and reading. And like the bibliophile I am, I love watching him “read” so intently.

I heart that he hearts books 🙂

By now, you should be familiar with my level of craziness. As my coworker loves to say when I do something crazy, “That poor baby…”

Pffft.

Want to see crazy? Spend some time with my family. Together, we’re always crazy. A few years ago, I remember Kris joked with my brothers and said something like, “who’s going to want to marry us and our crazy family?”

Crazy doesn’t even scrape the surface sometimes. It’s the craziness that colors our life; it makes us whole. And as always, it gives me yet, even more stories to tell!

Luggage!

A week ago, with our calvacade of overweight luggage, oversized carry ons, car seat and gigantic stroller in tow, a teething Jack and I left NJ/NY to visit my cousin Kris in California. It was a long overdue visit to go see my newly engaged cousin, who’s Jack’s GodmoJack, me and Kris at Disneyther and like a sister to me. Actually, we call Kris and my younger brother “twins” because they are one in the same: they share the same birthday (May 30), are both allergic to the world, are both extremely outgoing and yes, they’re both crazy, just like the rest of us.

Mickey earsFirst things first– flying cross country alone and vacationing without Jeff were, without a doubt, equally hellacious. I’ll get to the actual flying part later, but leaving Jeff here at home completely sucked.

I’m so glad we got to spend so much time with Kris and her fiance Jason, but at times, I felt almost guilty for having fun. Nevertheless, I did get to spend an endless amount of time with the babe, which was worth every single gray hair I’ve sprouted over the past 8 months. All the extra Jack time made all the working mom guilt disappear the minute we hit the tarmac.

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I prefer chips

Originally uploaded by jen_rab

We had a very lovely family weekend– one that definitely recharged my very drained batteries. Just a quick hola and happy Cinco de Mayo! Years past, we’d either be slinging margaritas or chugging them. This year, surely, neither of those will be happening.

Just like every other curious kid who has mountains of toys, Jack prefers to play with the mundane. Here’s a fun video (click on the link above) of the boy who loves bags of chips almost as much as I love my sour cream and salsa. Nope, he doesn’t eat the chips; he just loves the sound of the bag. If I had only caught the moments preceding all of this. Jack was playing on his blanket with a myriad of toys, but as soon as we sat down for lunch, he eyed the bag of chips and went full throttle for them.

or how about this one-handed distracted deal:

Whatever works!

On Friday, Jack had his 6m well baby visit. He had 3 more shots and according to the dr., he’s progressing well. He weighed in at 21 lbs., putting him in the 95th percentile and measured 28 in., which also puts him in the 90-something percentile. Anyway, we got the nod to continue onto solids and all that fun stuff. Jack’s skin still flares up here and there. So, we have to keep a close eye on the foods that we introduce, as well as what I eat. For now, there are no consistencies with the rash, other than it being around his neck rolls. (sorry to air your business about your neck rolls, kid.)

eating the paperJust like last time, Jack loved the sound of the paper on the examining table. Except this time, he felt compelled to eat the paper. After trying to grab the paper from him (and proceeding to change the paper so we didn’t look like the crazy family) he finally simmered when he heard babies crying and babbling in the surrounding rooms. He looked concerned for the crying babies, and wanted to look to find those babbles.

Just as an observation- his growth, as expected, has tapered, even though his “bigger” size is likened to that of an “average” 1 year old. It’s not meant to be this way, but it sounds pretentious to say stuff like, my kid is “bigger” and to equate him to an average 1 year old. I’m just regurgitating what we were told (and sharing it for those family and friends who care about such details.)

However, I find it interesting how total strangers like to comment on how “big” he is when we’re at stores and such. Even the pediatrician didn’t believe we were there for a 6 month well baby visit. Interestingly enough, my friend at work has a cousin who had a boy on the same exact day as Jack. He, too, weighs just about 22 lbs. and is a healthy chunk. I love it! We’re all fat and happy.

Ahhh. We’re back from yet another trip to Va., and here I am at home (in the same pjs as I wore all day yesterday, no less) fighting off another family hangover and head cold. Exhaustion has finally caught up with me.

mom and the boyJack enjoyed his first Easter, as much as an almost 6-month old would enjoy any other day. As usual, he was very well behaved in church. Thanks to all-day church tv with my mom, Jack knows how to “sing” in church. Instead of crying, my kid “sings,” often at the most inappropriate and quietest times. It’s hysterical. He is also beginning to understand that he’s not the only baby in the world. So, when he hears other babies, like he did in church, he perks up and gets so concerned.eggs

I did a minimal basket for the boy, considering he has no concept of who or what the hell is an Easter Bunny. I got him a few books, new pacis and a few weeks ago, we stocked up on Melissa and Doug toys for the future.

For my family, and now my own tiny brood, Easter is a spiritual time. I’ll be the the first to admit that I often go overboard on pastel colored plastic eggs and chocolate treats. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it is still a time of reflection and renewal.

We barely had time to do anything but shuttle the boy around. It was so fun seeing all the bigger kids smother Jack, not to mention watch Jack kissy both of my brothers. It was great to share his kissies and roly polying all over the place. It makes me smile to see him make others smile. But truly, while I’m feeling the effects exhaustion and irritability of a head cold, possibly a result of all of thKissy uncle Johne above, I have to reiterate, I’m looking forward to our own family traditions. You know, the ones where the unsolicited comments are at a minimum and judgment casting is at a dull roar.

And sadly, something I always look forward to– there wasn’t even enough time to see many friends this trip, which also means I didn’t get any much needed beer time. While I love visiting family and friends back home, I appreciate things the way they are… in N.J.

It’s a good thing the Turnpike goes both north and south. It’s also good to be back home.

I’m feeling a little under the weather and very worn down today, so I turned to YouTube and Google Video for few pick me ups. In addition, I thought I’d participate in Thursday 13, another meme. Here’s my Thursday 13– videos that make me laugh!

Thirteen Things Enjoy!13. Ninja— This one reminds me of my younger brother.

12. First Dance– Because your first dance as a wedding couple should be memorable.

11. MXC (Most Extreme Elimination)- We can’t get enough of this show.

10. Oh, those Chicken McNuggets. WHAT?

9. Ben hearts Jimmy

8. The infamous Star Wars kid

7. Because kids are always up to something!

6. Laughing babies are the best

5. Another funny baby

4. This is the funniest baby on YouTube

3. Dads and diapers- Jeff’s been unfazed (so far) with all the poopy diapers, so these dads really made me lose it!

2. You’ve probably seen this kid since he’s been on commercials, but I LOVE HIM. I noticed a stack of destroyed magazines (thank you, Jack) so I thought of this baby!

1. My sweet baby boy, he makes me laugh every day. Here, I’m trying to be incognito to catch him professing his love to the lamp and showing off his latest trick, gnawing on his paci and pulling it out on his own.

I wanted to try and get a video clip of Jack laughing at the Jackson song and the name song– a daily bonding ritual between the two boys– but apparently, he already knows my shenanigans.   He knows when the paparazzo is lurking.