Thursday, January 26, 2012

Learning curve

I admit, I didn't read ANY books about pregnancy, labor, delivery and bringing a newborn home. It's no secret, part of me was afraid that by reading and preparing for baby, I would jinx our luck--and the other part of me just figured that we'd do things our way and figure it out as we went.Which is, for the most part, working out for us pretty well so far.

We've juggled our bedtimes in order to attend to our wide-eyed from 10pm-12am baby, so that we both get a 4 hour stretch of uninterupted sleep, making both of us civil, and operational human beings come morning time. Once he gets his nights straight ( he finally went down at 9pm last night), we will stop taking sleep shifts and just do feeding/diaper shifts, with NZ taking the late evening and myself taking the early morning.

The sleep situation aside, there are some things I have learned in the past 2 weeks that I wish I had known before bringing Sal home...

1- Diapers&Diapering...How on earth can one little one go through so many in a day? Yesterday presented me with a few mystery soakers. As in, I finish putting on a dry diaper, pick him up, and his entire back and clothes are wet. It leaves me with a WTF?! expression as I strip his clothes off, give him a baby wipe bath, and start over again. Anyone with boys had this happen before?

2- Target Brand Baby Wipes...NEVER.AGAIN.WILL.I.PURCHASE.TARGET.WIPES. The re-useable container sucks. We have a huge stack of Huggies refill wipes that I have been filling the container with, and they rip off inside and are not "one handers" which OMG I only have two hands and one is holding his legs up, so it's be extra super if the wipes would tear off easily with my one free hand...Needless to say, my next trip to Target will find me buying a national brand container of wipes in hopes of ending my war with our current container.

3- Farts....I never knew babies could have adult sized farts. Ours does. Seriously..MAN SIZE. How's that much fart fit in such a little belly?

4- Over the Head clothing...EEK! I get nervous everytime I pull a onesie over my boy's head. Why can't they make the neck openings a bit bigger? I'm a huge fan of the zip up sleepers, snap up sleepers and kimono style shirts. Soon enough I'm sure I will be manhandling Sal into onesises, but at this point, as cute as they are on--they make me squirm trying to get his melon through the neckhole.

5- Fingernails...dagger like. Thank goodness for mittens and shirts/sleepers with the mitten cuffs.

6- Linens..I should have made more linens! I am kicking myself for thinking we only needed one changing pad cover. That number should have been more like TEN. My saving grace have been these changing table pads that my sister in law made. They lay over your changing pad cover, like a towel of sorts, so that they can easily be picked up and thrown in the laundry without having to remove the entire fitted  cover. As soon as our dining room remodel is done, and our table is back ( that's my sewing area of choice), I will surely make some more fitted changing pad covers.

I'm sure there are a whole lot of other things that will come to mind as soon as I post this entry, but for now, these "wish I had knowns" are what I learned all about this week...Hopefully they will help some of my friends who will be welcoming little ones shortly.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lost and found: Purpose

When NZ got home from his first full day back at work on Monday, I got a warm feeling in my heart, as Sal and I welcomed him home, and hung out with him in our bedroom while he changed out of his work clothes.

That feeling..that situation...that moment...was something I have looked forward to for so many years...and it feels so undescribably good. It's hard to put into words, without sounding sappy or la-la- fairy-tale-ish. It's the simple things that mean so much to me these days. Sure, I'm post-partum and hormonal, and watching re-runs of Grey's is simply and invitation for waterworks no matter what's happening on the show, but I am so content and happy to have reached this milestone.

I've felt, and baby loss parents can correct me if I'm alone on this, like I have lacked purpose, and although I never lost my sense of direction, I felt like I lived each day in someone elses shoes, just waiting, hoping that someday I would get to where I wanted to be. I had so many dreams of what having a family would be, and what it would mean to NZ and I to finally welcome home a child...and I made it. I'm HERE.

Here, for me, is the now, the present, the living for my family and my baby.  I'm sure it sounds a little silly, coming from a woman who quit a full time job to be a stay at home mom, but being a mom...a stay at home mom...has been something I have looked forward to since childhood. I kid you not. Certainly, there was no way  of knowing if my future husband and I would have to means for me this happen, nor did I know if my future husband would be supportive of living on one income, and having a wife that wanted to stay home--but I found him, and I am really really thankful and appreciative of the long hours he puts in working so that he can provide us with this opportunity to have a parent present 100% of the time. It's something that we both feel strongly about--and I am just so glad that we're able to do so.

Thanks to Sal and my husband, I have found purpose again..and it feels

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Snug as a bug

Sleeping on dad's chest..a nightly ritual

Someone gifted us what I will call a "swaddle pod".


It's basically a sleeping bag that zips up to the boy's neck, keeping all little wandering hands and dagger like fingernails contained.

It's like, totally my favorite baby item of the week.

Sal thinks it's pretty spiffy too.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I guess now that Sal is here, it's time for my blog to evolve again. As the past 9 months have been choc-full of weekly pregnancy updates, I'm thinking I will set a goal of doing monthly updates on our little guy...that is, if I can find the time and remember to do so..

Thankfully, my sister has me covered.

Monthly onesies
Look at these cute monthly onesies she is making for him. On the 13th of every month, all I have to do is slip him in the corresponding onesie and snap a picture. After 12 months, we'll have his growth chronicled. I think this is such a sweet idea...thanks Stephanie!

** On the subject of monthly baby pictures...has anyone seen what John & Sherry over at Young House Love did to chronicle their daughter's first year??? If not, click here to check it out...those two are so creative!**

Friday, January 20, 2012

What day is it again?

I seriously can't remember what day it is anymore. I don't know if it's because we're up all night, and one day rolls into another, or whether it's baby bliss that has me unaware of the world that surrounds us right now--but either way, Holy heck, it's already FRIDAY! entire week has gone by, and we have our little boy in our arms after the many years of trying, hoping and waiting.
Man, life is good.

Are we tired?

Is it worth it?

Are we shocked by anything?
Nope. This is exactly what we expected.

Okay, well maybe going through 3 diapers in one change earlier this week had us in disbelief...we went from a simple wet diaper change, to projectile pee on the fresh diaper as it was being fastened, then immediately followed by projectile poop on the 2nd diaper. It definitely had us laughing and thinking that diapers are going to be hot commodities around here.

Lunch date with Brie's sister
So, what else did we do besides marvel at our "perfect" son ( yes, we think he's perfect, like all parents do)?? Well, we hit the pediatrician's office on Wednesday for his first newborn check-up..again, he peed everywhere ( notice a trend here?) but the visit went well, and we like the pediatrician we selected.

On Thursday, NZ had to work for a bit, so my sister came down and visited Sal and me. She folded laundry, brought us a tray of frozen enchiladas, and helped me out by carrying around a basket at CVS while I bought some items that are most necessary in those first days post-partum. After our CVS stint where I may or may not have also thrown some EASTER candy into my basket (can you believe it's out already?) for my ol man and I, we went over to one of our favorite Mexican take out places. Since Sal was sleeping so sweetly, we decided to make a date of it, and ate outside and soaked up the sun and fresh air.

Not too shabby for a week that's flown by.

and....we're still alive (=

Saturday, January 14, 2012

THIRTY EIGH...oh wait.

He's here!!!!

Salvatore was born on Friday, January 13th, 2012

7lb 7 oz
21" long

Mom, Dad and baby Sal are doing well.

stay tuned for updates when we come up for air (=

Monday, January 9, 2012



There's a carseat.




..guess this means we're waiting, ready and willing any day now!

Saturday, January 7, 2012


How far along? 37 weeks. Finally, officially, FULL TERM!

Total weight gain/loss: 35 lbs 

Maternity clothes? Thankfully it's been about 80-85 degrees here in Ventura County, (rough , I know!)so I have been able to wear one of my favorite summer maternity pair of shorts and tops the past 2 days in a row. Sure, the whiteness of my legs may haunt people's dreams, but it feels so good to not be constricted by maternity pants!

Stretch marks? Can't tell. 

Sleep: Terrible. Between nightmares that the baby dies, carpal tunnel symptoms, and leg cramps and one night of a super nauseous stomach...It's been a mess. 

Best moment this week: This week has not been one of my better ones. Full of anxiety, worry--whatever you want to call it--I have sort of hermitized myself in the house just waiting for tomorrow to get here, so that we're one day closer. The best day this week was the entire weekend--my ol man and I did errands, attended a NYE early party and just hung out together. I love hanging out with him.

Miss Anything? No.

Movement: Much less this week..still getting enough kicks counted during kick counts, but it's considerably less throughout the day. Poor kid has run out of space.

Food cravings: Ice. Sour patch kids.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Chicken.

Gender: Boy

Labor Signs: Contractions here and there.

Symptoms: Carpal tunnel in both hands, leg cramps, back cramps, stiffness all over...but I'll take it! Dealing with these is much better than some other symptoms I could have. None of these will kill me..they just make me uncomfortable..and that's okay.

Belly Button in or out? sorta outtie

Wedding rings on or off? Off.

Happy or Moody?: Moody...and having trouble shaking it off.

Looking forward to: Monday- -it's NZ's birthday and we might just find out when we get to deliver. I received a call just before the weekend from the OB I saw on Thursday, that we're probably going to deliver early--she just needed to talk to one of her partners and would get back to us. So, maybe this will be my last update?! It's possible we'll meet him sometime this next week!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Re-purposed mobile

See the background? All the cool circles hanging behind us?? That was a photo backdrop my sister in law made for my baby shower. Hung from a cafe curtain rod, it jazzed up the plain gray wall behind and served as a perfect spot for photo ops.

She so sweetly saved all of the hanging circles after she took it down from the wall, and gave them to me to use at my discretion. I've been in LOVE with the mobiles like the ones below, and had great ambition to make my own to match the boy's room. The hanging circles she gave me were just what I needed to make a mobile!

My baby shower backdrop was done in my favorite color combo of Bazzill cardstock colors:  Admiral (navy), Tangerine (orange), and Ash ( gray). However, the walls in his room are painted with BEHR's Scotland Isle, which is a super saturated green. My initial attempt at using the hanging circles as-is for the mobile left me thinking that it really needed green in it instead of the orange.

 I carefully removed all of the orange circles from the baker's twine, and replaced them with diecuts of my new infatuation love, whales. The whales were  downloaded from the silhouette store for 99cents and then cut out of Bazzill cardstock in Parakeet (Green) from my silhouette SD cutter in two different sizes.

Easy, Peasy, almost done.

I sandwiched the twine between two whales of the same size, and glued them together, just as the circles had been done. 

The hardest part was trying to space them randomly. I am not good with the random thing, I like things symmetrical, but that totally would have ruined the whole whimsy of the thing.

Cheapskate me did not use dowel rods, or a quilters circle to hang from, as most of the ones on pinterest seem to be hung from. Instead I raided our kitchen drawers and came up with skewers. I made a cross out of them, securing the center with baker's twine, and hanging two strings of circles & whales from each side of the skewer, so the finished project has 8 strings of hanging circles/whales.

I had trouble getting a good photo of it, because it is not yet hung in his room ( need to figure out how to adhere a 3M peel-n-stick hook to my ceiling without putting my pregnant butt in danger of falling off a dresser, chair, bed, or whatever I'd normally find to boost myself with). I'm guessing I will rope my ol man into doing the hanging of the mobile, which should only take a second or two, and be much much safer.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Homemade Holidays: Paisano Horeshoes

NZ & his sister play a game of Paisano Horseshoes
In the spirit of keeping our Christmas gifts unique, NZ and I did our best to continue our streak of making Christmas gifts. Last year, NZ made fishing poles for a few lucky recipients, and this year, he and I found ourselves at Home Depot, loading up on materials to make a couple of fun backyard games for our Christmas "picks".

It took him a few weeks from start to finish, and he even learned how to lay and tack carpeting down in the process while covering the boards, which were made out of pressure treated wood and 2x4's. He's pretty crafty, that ol man of mine.

The Zentil family ( all of them, not just the immediate Zentils) love their games. Every year in Yosemite, there are a couple of games of cribbage going at any given time, using a cribbage board that Nick's grandfather made long ago. We all enjoy word games, board games, and anything interactive. At our wedding "after party", a rousing game of Bocce Ball was played in my father-in-law's backyard until it got too dark to continue.

So, NZ and I decided that a couple of "Paisano Horseshoe" games would be a good gift for our family members. The game is usually called "Mexican Horseshoes" or "Washer toss", but to keep in the spirit of being Italian, I just renamed it. So there you have it, it's now called Paisano Horseshoes, and I'm stickin' to it.

NZ's sister, Breakin' in her new game
 Looking forward to watching these boards get years upon years of use, and good family memories made in the meantime.