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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dinner Update

Wow, it works! The fridge is stocked and we are sticking to the weekly plan that was made on Sunday afternoon! It's the best feeling knowing you have a dinner plan at 9am each day! Mental goodness.

**Fresh Catch was out of halibut yesterday, so we substituted for flounder. Best news of all, both kids cleaned their plates! It was YUMMY!**

Tonight, we had 2 pizzas. One was covered with ham and pineapple and the other was cheese for the kiddos. Kiddos stuck to the cheese, but did a great job. Also, daddy cooked the pizzas since I'm still intimidated by pizza dough. (I'm a Boboli girl.)

Looking forward to tomorrow's dinner!!!! Haven't had it in ages.

And now, for a little Big Brother.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday, Monday...





I must say, this Mommy of 3 under the age of 4 is serious stuff. This house is non-stop. Overall, Emily and Aidan have been very good siblings to their new little brother. But boy, do they test my patience sometimes. Particularly, during the evening hours before Daddy gets home from work. Getting all 4 of us up and out in the morning to Oak Hill is challenging. But I suppose, it will get easier, RIGHT? Things that are the new normal include:

- Showering MUCH later in the day, if at all.
- Drinking a LOT MORE coffee than I used to. And trying to find it...
- Not eating because you either FORGOT to, or put your meal down somewhere and lost it!
- Taking a LOT of pictures of your kids because they grow up WAY too fast and it won't be THIS crazy forever, RIGHT?
- Forgetting to put on earrings-ANNOYING-forgetting to put on nursing pads-FAR MORE ANNOYING-especially at Oak Hill drop off amongst the dads.
- Fisherprice swing music playing in the shower AND at Stop & Shop? Hmmmm?
- 5 O'CLOCK SOMEWHERE!

DINNER-yes, we've mapped it out for the week. I made my list of meals from one of my favorite cook books, Bride & Groom First and Forever Cookbook. Daddy was able to go to the grocery store for me yesterday afternoon with Emily. (Boy is it nice when one of the cherubs escapes with Daddy!) Just a little bit quieter, a little less chaos! I SO appreciate having Daddy here with us on the weekends. It's like my new FAVORITE thing of all time. Two on three is so much easier than one.

Ok, back to DINNER. Last night we had burgers on the grill. Here's how the rest of the week's meals will go:

Monday: Grilled Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Salsa



Tuesday: Corn Chip Crusted Halibut with Creamy Salsa and Cilantro

Wednesday: PIZZA

Thursday: Linguine with Scallops, Spinach and Bacon in Champagne Cream Sauce

Friday: TACOS

Everything has been purchased ahead of time, except for the yummy seafood, which I will pick up during the week in Mansfield at the Fresh Catch.

OK, let's backtrack and mention some seriously noteworthy stuff that's been happening in the Stow house...

1) Aidan did his first poop on the potty on his 2nd birthday (just like his sister!), 7/13/10

2) Owen is growing like a weed and already weighed in at 11 lbs. 14 oz. at his one month check up! 94th%ile, as well as somewhere in the 90s for height and HC too! Keeping up with his King Kong stats!

3) Emily's teacher approached me to tell me what an amazing little swimmer we have on our hands-hand stands, somersaults, swimming under water poking boys, etc! We are so PROUD of her!

4) I've survived 2 weeks as a SAHM. Definitely the hardest job I've ever encountered.

5) I FINALLY went to ZUMBA!!! What fun! I can't even tell you how much fun it was-now I just need to buy some classes and make baby-sitting plans for my 3 babes.

6) I'm still loving this NOT PREGNANT thing and am totally enjoying this awesome summer we're having. Sam Summers, frozen margaritas, wine...YUM!

7) This VERY moment, all 3 are fast asleep AT THE SAME TIME! Maybe I will be ok at this! And I'm still able to blog about it!

And now, for some Chevrolet news. My Traverse needed to go in for service today for some routine maintenance stuff/oil change, you know the deal. Well, did you know that MUZI CHEVROLET has a runner who will come to your house, pick up your car for you and bring you a rental? Ahhhh, thank you MUZI. They really know how to take care of their customers. So nice to not have to schlep the kids to the dealer! LOVE THAT! And look what they brought us-A Chevy teddy and lots of Chevy Camaro Cookies! WHAT FUN! The kids can match up their favorite model year with the pictures on the back of the box! Aidan is totally diggin' his Corvette cookies! ADORABLE!!! Thank you to our dear friend, Dale, for looking out for us!

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Recipe Exchange

Well, it's been official for a long time-I don't cook. Why don't I cook? Because I am intimidated by my husband's fine ability to do so. I have some dishes that I can cook all on my own, and they usually come out yummy. We have a TON of cook books, thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law, who taught my dear husband all his fine culinary skills. They are both wonderful cooks.

I HATE the planning involved with dinner. I HATE eating dinner late. But now that I'm home for the next 5 months with my dear children, I want to try my hand at some more interesting dinners that I COOK ALL BY MYSELF! Can I do it? I'm gonna need some help, inspiration, motivation and TIME to plan!

So have you heard of DREAM DINNERS? I hadn't until my lovely next-door neighbor popped in a couple of weeks ago with a dinner for us. We had Hawaiian chicken, all prepared and ready to go, with cooking instructions. She came in, we chatted and she told me all about how it works. She said it would be great for our family. Chris was all ears. "Sounds good to me if Anne is gonna take charge in the dinner department-you should try it!" By the way, this was the yummiest chicken I have ever eaten!!

So, I finally stopped in today. I had a nice chat with the lovely women who were working, they shared the August menu with me, and gave me a brief walk-around the dinner stations. They were all set to go, waiting for a crew to come in and fix their dinners for the next few weeks. They sounded YUMMY! But is it really worth the money? $75.00 for 6 choices off the menu-3 servings each. Hmmm, I'm not so sure. Why not try cooking these things myself?

I had some time to kill, so I called hubby at work and asked him to look up a recipe online for me. "Chicken with Honey, Garlic and Orange." Sounds YUM! So Chris emailed me the recipe and I was off to Stop and Shop with my two boys in tow, ready to conquer dinner. The best part, I only had to buy chicken and marmalade!

No, I'm not cooking the exact DREAM DINNER version, but I'm currently baking some marinated chicken with very similar ingredients! I'm also cooking some rice and some asparagus with EVOO and a mix of cheeses. (Oh, and I'm having a glass of wine while I wait....the best part!)

So, like I said, I don't like trying to come up with a dinner plan on a nightly basis. Even when hubby is cooking, I get annoyed that we don't have a plan, that we need to constantly go to the grocery store. RIDIC! With all these cook books in our kitchen and the inspiring, tasty ideas at DREAM DINNERS, I think I can do this. SIt down once per week, decide on 7 or so meals, and make an action plan. Sounds like something at work that would need an ACRONYM. No, it's not MCAS or an IEP or RTI, it's more like AWDP-"Annie's Weekly Dinner Plan" Do you think I can pull this off?

Ok, so let's do it. Let's cook dinner. Let's IMPRESS the hubby. He's not even home tonight to enjoy my cooking because he is sailing on the Charles. Tough life. But I'll let you know how it goes. So far so good, and it smells good in here. Here's where you come in handy-share your dinner ideas with me. I'm pretty adventurous in the taste bud department. I'll eat anything almost anything-sorry, no SUSHI.

If you'd like to share some easy, yummy recipes with a busy mom who wants her kids to eat what we eat, pass it along! Who knows, AWDP could really take off! Could be life changing!


You only need to buy chicken, unless you want to add marmalade...you could also cook it on the grill.



Ingredients

1 (2 to 3 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup orange juice
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Directions

To Make Marinade: Combine the soy sauce, honey, orange juice, garlic, oregano, pepper and paprika. Mix all together and pour over chicken pieces. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Remove chicken from refrigerator. Place chicken and marinade in a 9x13 inch baking dish and bake, uncovered, in preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours. Baste once.

**I cooked boneless, skinless breasts and added marmalade to the marinade. I baked for 40 mins. at 350.**

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thank You Medela

Thank GOD for pumps. Medela pumps to be exact. Tonight I got this in about 7 mins on one side! Let the boy SLEEP!


Also, had my SECOND FREE replacement kit for my pump's faceplate sent to me this week! Such great customer service. Thank you Medela! Relief in more ways than one!

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

I'm a Star at OnStar!

I got my latest vehicle diagnostics report, yet again, from OnStar just the other day - they've decided to feature me on their blog! I'm famous! They did a great little write up about Stowed Stuff! Nice job OnStar - super cute! We love it! And we'll keep using OnStar in our Chevy Traverse. Loving the car more and more during these summer months. We pile in and GO! Taking the kids to a concert on the common tonight and Owen finally gets to try out our Baby Jogger City Mini Double!

http://onstarconnections.com/diagnostics/vehicle-diagnostics-alerts-blogger-to-maintenance/


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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Big Guy Turns 2!



Happy Birthday to my main squeeze, Aidan, as he turns 2 today. Mommy and Daddy couldn't have asked for a sweeter little boy. Thanks for an amazing 2 years, little guy, and many more to come! We love you to pieces!

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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Owen's Birth Story

It began with 3 previous trips to L&D. The first time I had a headache in the middle of the night and felt terrible-the word "headache" was cause for concern and they wanted me to come in and have my blood pressure checked....4am on June 8th.

Next, I took a superman style spill in the family room on the hard wood floor after slipping on one of Emily's dolly's cushions. That was Friday, June 11th at 9pm...

Finally, I thought I was at the beginning of labor on Monday, June 21st in the late afternoon. No such luck. I was sent home after the contractions vanished.


I met some really nice nurses-Carolyn and Tricia were both sweethearts. Tricia told me to have a "chat" with Dr. Simmons at my next appt., which was scheduled for the very next morning, June 22nd. We were speaking of inductions and she said they only happen during the day and "Ginny has been known to cave..." :) Thanks, Tricia-I will get on that in the morning!

So off I went to MFM for my final ultrasound on the morning of June 22nd. The tech assured me that my little man was STILL big and she got an estimated measurement of 9lbs. 7 oz. Soon after, the Dr. came in and she adjusted it a tiny bit and came up with 9 lbs. 5 oz.! YIKES! This is at 38 weeks and 4 days-I asked, "How long will they let me go?" And the tech said, "they aren't that cruel...." The Dr. said, "We can't induce until 39 weeks." The good news, no more fluid build up on my boy's left kidney-no action needed at birth. So, the Dr. printed out the measurement sheet for me, gave me a few last snapshots of my boy and up I went to see Dr. Simmons.

She had heard about the night before-how I was sent home. I gave her the measurements of my monster child. I said, "So, tomorrow's your day, right?" She said "Yes, I'm on call." So I told her I would have my baby tomorrow. Sort of begged/asked. I then asked, "What if he is so big that I can't do it?" Her response was, "You can always have a C-section." YIKES. Not what I want. That's when I turned on the tears. Not major, but enough to be meaningful. She passed a tissue and said it was ok to cry and I told her I DID NOT WANT A C-SECTION FOR MY 3RD BABY!" This is when she said, "I'll be right back, let me get my call book." She came back in and took a look. She said she would do her very best to induce me in the morning! She wrote some notes on paper and told me to give it to the receptionist on the way out! Are you serious?? TOMORROW? I think I said, "That's fan-friggin-tastic! and THANK YOU" She said I might get bumped and I can't get mad if I get bumped.....they might not like this over at L&D. She handed me the papers and she had written "maternal anxiety" at the bottom. She said it might not fly. I had my fingers crossed!!!

So I went out to the reception area where the lovely woman called over to L&D and read some numbers and gave her my name. She hung up and said, "They took it!" Ok, I'll take that as a positive sign, but I'm not getting my hopes up yet, thought Mama Stow. Wow, so I asked, "What's the next step?" The receptionist told me that L&D would be calling me between 6 and 8pm with the time to come in. Maternal anxiety, I thought-THANK YOU! I'll take it! Anything to get this guy OUT!"

So off I drove, spreading the news. I guess I wasn't going to the last day of school. OH WELL, I'm having a baby! When I got home, Grandma and Granddad were here watching the kiddos. I told them the good news and Emily couldn't believe it-"Tomorrow? Tomorrow? He's coming tomorrow?" She was jumping for joy.

The call came around 7pm and the woman on the other end told me my magical time to come in-8:45am. But there was one catch, I had to call before leaving the house to see if they STILL were on and STILL wanted me.......ugggh. Not going to think about it-just go to bed and hope for the best!

I got the best night's sleep and called the magic baby hotline at 6am. Gave them my name and they said, "Come on in!" WOO HOO! "This is it", I thought. I'm having a baby today! WILD!

I got in the shower, put some make-up on, put some last minute things in the ever-ready GO BAG. We said our goodbyes to the kiddos and took some last minute photos of the bump. More like the mountain. The kids were safe and sound with Gma and Gdad and Chris and I were off to meet the newest member of the Stow clan.

We took the back roads, given that we had to be at NWH at 8:45am on a weekday morning. 95, 128, no thanks. When we arrived, right on the dot, we checked in (AGAIN) got our ID bracelets and were brought straight down to L&D. The last room on the left, Room 6 North.

I met Pat, my nurse, first. She was so friendly and caring. SCORE! She said Dr. Simmons would be here soon and I could use the bathroom and put my johnny on. SO WEIRD to start this way. Similar with Emily, but with Emily, my water had broken at home and THEN I was given pitocin.

Dr. Simmons came right on in and told me how pretty I looked. She's so nice. She looked great too. She told me how the day would work, first fluids, a bag of penicillin since I was strep B positive and pitocin. Then my epidural and she would come break my water at some point. Ok, let's do it! Off she went back to the office!

I was hooked up to the monitors and Pat got me going on my fluids-or so we thought. She had a difficult time finding a vein and I had begged to keep IVs out out of my hand at all costs-bad experience in the hand with Emily. So we did the right arm, but it didn't work. My arm was turning yellow and super puffy. All the meds were buiding up in my tissue, so out came the IV.
Pat didn't want to chance screwing up the other arm too, so she called for back up.

In came the specialty IV nurse with her box of tricks. I told her the same thing about the hand and she said she had bad news. It was the only good vein she could find. So she said, "maybe before the catheter was too big, or it was done incorrectly, etc." I just remember terrible, terrible burning pain. She said sometimes the penicillin can burn, but it shouldn't be that bad. So in went the IV to my left hand. She did a fine job-just a little bit of burning at times. Way better than with Emily.


That stuff ended up taking quite a while. I was already on the monitors and feeling pretty comfy in my bed. I love it there. I love those rooms. I couldn't stop wondering what time my baby would be here. And I couldn't stop staring at the warming bed, the stripey blankets and the cute little hat waiting for my big bundle. By 10:10am my IVs were correctly dripping into place!

At 11:10am, my contractions were about 4 mins. apart and at 11:25am, I called for my anesthesiologist! In came Dr. Alex Gearheart-so awesome. Asked me about prior experiences with epidurals and nearly promised that it wouldn't be the Aidan way today. THANK GOD. He talked me through every step and the epidural was in by 11:31am. By 11:45am, I could feel it working. I got numb and tingly pretty fast!

Dr. Simmons showed up again at 12:25pm and she checked me. I was 5cm. dilated, 90% effaced and at a -1 station. She broke my water and holy gush! Pat was laughing and calling for Noah's Ark. At first, I felt a tiny trickle, and then WHOOSH! Like nothing before. I felt like a ladder truck hose pipe down below! It was fast and furious and shooting UP before it went out. I was laughing and so was Dr. Simmons. She said I was going to scare the other patients-too funny. Kinda like in the movies. Pat said, "She had never seen such copious amounts!" She couldn't quantify the amounts for her notes.....

At 12:26pm, Pat put my catheter in. Yippee! By 1:35pm, Pat checked me again and I was 8cm. dilated. I was feeling lots of pressure with my contractions and pushed the button on my epi. Then the itchies began. My belly was SO ITCHY. It was SO ANNOYING! I couldn't stop itching it and I guess it was from the epidural. Soon after, I thought I was getting close to 10. But I wasn't mentally ready to be there. I told Chris I thought I might be 10, but I didn't want to say anything just yet. I knew that if I spoke up, we would have to push a baby out and there was no turning back.

The pressure built up and I finally said something to Pat at 2:55pm. Yup, fully dilated and ready to go. YIKES! At 3pm we started my "practice pushes." Little did Pat know that Annie Stow doesn't do practice pushes-I do the real thing. So we did 3 pushes with each contraction. I pushed with all my might. It felt good. I felt in control. After the first push, Chris and Pat said they could see his hair and his head and I was doing great. Hard work, but I can do this! I did 4 sets of pushes with Pat. Practice, my ass!

At 3:08pm I was told to "STOP PUSHING and blow out." WHOA. "Why?" I wondered. Pat said she had texted Dr. Simmons. Then she was pressing my nurse call button and yelling frantically, "I NEED HELP IN 6!" But where was she? A cute little nurse named Susan came to the rescue. Pat was also holding her hand down below. She told me to keep my eyes open and keep blowing out. These two minutes of huffing and puffing seemed like an eternity. "WHERE ARE YOU DR. SIMMONS?"

In she ran at 3:10pm. She arrived in a big hurry and I asked her if I could push. She was finally ready and she said let's do it. She asked me if I wanted an episiotomy and I looked at her and said do whatever you think you need to do. Felt a bit of a sting and it was done. She then said, "ok, estimated birth weight nine and a half pounds, everyone ready?" YIKES! I was ready. I gave one push and out came this ENORMOUS head. I couldn't believe it. He was right there and I reached down and touched him. He was so warm. I said, "Is he ok?" Dr. Simmons said, "the cord is just tightly wrapped around the neck, but I've got it." She cut and clamped in 2 places and out slid the rest of BIG baby Owen. His hand was on the clamp on his way out like he needed to help. What a good boy. Owen Thomas Stow was born on June 23rd at 3:12pm. He was placed right on top of me and everyone was yelling and screaming "WHOA, he's BIG!" It was such an unbelievable moment. Everything about the delivery was perfect. Just as I hoped and dreamed it would be. Another Stow baby slid right out in a matter of minutes. Thank you maternal anxiety.



After much love and hugging and kissing, he was plopped on the scale-9 lbs. 12 oz. So big that he had to have his glucose levels screened for many hours after his birth. He was on the cusp of being low at birth, so Daddy got to give him an ounce of formula after his first drink from his Mama. Then he was continually pricked all day and night, but his levels were fine and dandy and he didn't require any other formula.

I got the baby shakes again and was bleeding a bit more than everyone liked. Dr. Simmons had to return around 6:00pm to make sure my uterus was clamping down the right way and it wasn't. OUCH-a very rigorous internal exam followed and I was given 5 capsules of Cytotec to help my distended LARGE uterus get back to where it should be. After that, I was fine.


I had to apologize to nurse Pat for having Owen during her shift change. Hope she didn't have a hot date. She was laughing about it. She stayed far beyond her call of duty and helped Susan, who was also a tremendous nurse who took such good care of us. I can't say enough good things about all the Dr's and nurses at NWH. I just LOVE it there. I love it so much that I just can't say for sure that I won't be back.....





Left the hospital feeling like a million bucks. My easiest delivery for sure and my most easy-going baby.

Owen has brought us pure joy and his big brother and sister can't get enough of him. His discharge weight was 9lbs. 2 oz. and just 6 days later he was back to his birth weight. He's eating and sleeping like a pro. We love you baby Owen. So glad I didn't have to wait until you were an almost 11lber!!!!





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Saturday, July 03, 2010

31 Days of Giveaways!

Magic Beans, an amazing baby gear boutique with stores in Boston, is celebrating their 6th birthday this month. What a way to celebrate-each day this month, they have an exciting giveaway, where you have a chance to win some awesome stuff for your kids! Spread the word and enter each day! It only takes 10 seconds!
31 Days of Giveaways - Summer 2010

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