A Look Back at 2015

A Look Back at 2015

-Really? He slept 7 hours straight? I don’t remember this
-I went back to work
-Bryan and I had a horrible stomach bug and Owen spent our anniversary crying the ENTIRE DAY

-everyone wants me to work for them
-my new project isn’t very busy

-Carolyn’s shower

-Connor was born
-Owen says “Mama!”

-I switch projects again
-Chris, Rae and Lyra come to visit!

-Owen’s mobile!
-We head down the shore to see my aunt and cousins

-Owen crawls up the stairs and into trouble
-Playdate with Connor
-Girl’s brunch

-His new favorite word is “uh oh”
-Ishrat’s housewarming party

-First steps
-He turns 1!

-Many birthday celebrations
-Owen had a nasty virus and we all take turns getting sick
-We’re officially living in the future

-Owen loves watching the geese and saying the word :)
-Had a blast at Brian’s
-Got our free Direct TV
-Thanksgiving at our place

Since I haven’t written a post this month…
It’s been an unusually warm December which has been great for walks. We even took several evening walks around the neighborhood to look at all the lights. I took of the last two weeks of the month and Owen and I have been having a great time together. It was raining the other day and the three of us checked out the new indoor playground just down the street. This kid has unlimited energy.
Christmas was a lot of fun. He loves socializing with everyone. He’s definitely still happiest when we have company. He’s the life of the party! Food was good too. Even Owen ate my kale!
I’ve been working on night weaning him. Going with Jay Gordon’s method, but going a little slower between the first two steps to stretch out the time between feedings instead of cutting them out completely. He’s been eating a lot at night, so I don’t want to move too fast. So far, so good. The first night was a little rough, I caved in and nursed him really fast, but since then, he’s settled with minimal comforting and fallen back asleep. On my chest or my head, but I’ll take it.

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New Year Survey 2015

New Year Survey 2015

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before? There’s been a lot of baby firsts. Threw a first birthday party? Actually, several.
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Last year I wanted to balance work, family and my health. I guess I did a decent job at that. I also wanted to keep learning new things at work, did that, I’m still breastfeeding and I did lose all the baby weight!
Next year, hmm, I want more than 3 hours of consecutive sleep, I want to be a good bridesmaid for Julia and I want to go out after 6pm.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Carolyn, Sumayya
4. Did anyone close to you die? nope
5. What countries did you visit? None
6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015? sleep, free time
7. What date from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? 10/21/15 – Back to the Future day!
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Keeping the baby alive
9. What was your biggest failure? That mobilithon went pretty badly
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? No one got sick until Owen turned 1 and now every week it seems like someone’s sick
11. What was the best thing you bought? My sneakers
14. Where did most of your money go? Baby
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Baby and family/friends’ babies
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
l. happier or sadder? happier
ll. thinner or fatter? thinner
lll. richer or poorer? richer, barely
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? I probably could have put a little more time/effort in at work
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? obsessing over breastfeeding
20. How will you be spending Christmas? not sure
24. What was your favorite TV program? Jane the Virgin
26. What was the best book you read? Big Little Lies
28. What did you want and get? To work from home most of the time
29. What did you want and not get? Money back from the insurance company
30. What was your favorite film of this year? Um, I finally saw Big Hero Six
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I’m 30? omg, I’m 30. What did we do? I think we ordered sushi
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? sleep
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014? this looks cofortable
34. What kept you sane? the 20 minutes a day I get to workout
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Michael J Fox
36. What political issue stirred you the most? oy, I guess the syrian refugees, and I do think we should take them in
37. Who did you miss? Everyone
38. Who was the best new person you met? Connor, Nolan
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015: Toddlers are a lot of fun
41. Summarize 2015: still, babies
42. What are you most looking forward to next year? DISNEY! DISNEY! DISNEY!
43. What were your predictions last year? sigh, no self lacing sneakers or flying cars. My new assignment was awesome… while it lasted. My new new one, not so much. Owen… Owen did not sleep through the next.
44. What are your predictions for 2016: Oh God if he doesn’t sleep through the night by next year… the terrible twos will indeed be terrible, but we’ll have a blast in Disney

Baby Cuddles!

Baby Cuddles!

I wrote this last week and never published it – I was going to get out of bed at 3:15 this morning, but as I was a attempting to slide out, Owen rolled over onto me. I decided to get in the extra baby cuddles while I still can and slept for another hour <3 Yes, I’m still going to bed so so early and he still wakes at least every two hours, but I love cuddling with him. Night weaning has to happen though. Really. Probably when I’m off in December.

He’s learning so much every day. He’s gotten so good at saying “geese” and running to the window to look for them. He recently learned to point to his head and put his shapes in the right spots in his house and he does it with the biggest smile because he’s so proud of himself <3 So much fun just watching him.

He’s been eating a lot lately, so we’re thinking growth spurt. He can reach so many things he’s not supposed to! Ha ha. Looking forward to when his feet reach the ground when he sits on his pirate ship. Maybe he can push himself a little and save our backs!

We went to Brian’s last week and he had so much fun running around in a field by his house. Not fun on the drive home. He screamed for 30 minutes straight and made himself throw up. :(

He loves gymboree. I need to get a video of him when his teacher brings out the busy box. It’s like Christmas.


Back to the Future Day

Back to the Future Day

Was a couple of days ago, but I didn’t get a chance to blog then. I was pleasantly surprised how into it the world was. Even the White House. Jimmy Kimmel’s segment took the cake though. Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd as Marty and Doc taking selfies <3

I used to be so into anything that gave a glimpse into the future. I wanted so badly to know what technologies we could look forward to enjoying. I think I would have been way more excited about smart phones than anything else really. The internet in my pocket? Heck yeah! I never found hoverboards or flying cars all that exciting. Always sounded more dangerous than anything. I wouldn’t mind voice activated home controls, but I can’t really afford Digital Life even with my employee discount, ha ha.

Owen is 13 months today. He had such a great time at his birthday parties <3 And then he got sick :( He had blisters all over his throat and wouldn’t eat anything but mommy milk for two week. So glad I’m still nursing. He’s back to normal now, but has developed an aversion to  some foods he previously loved.

Then I got sick. And I’m still coughing and my ear is still stuffy and my throat still hurts. I think it’s that allergies hit at the same time. I really need to clean everything. Our house is a disaster and I’m sure that’s not helping.

Gymboree today! Yay! I think that’s my favorite part of the week. Watching Owen run around and have such a good time is the best.


Happy First Birthday Owen!!!!

Happy First Birthday Owen!!!!

I can’t believe we’ve been parents of this amazing, little guy for a year now! What lucky people we are! I could never have imagined how much fun it would be watching him play and learn and how my heart would melt every time he hugs me or says “mama.” <3 Love you so much!

Height: 28″

Weight: about 20 1/2 pounds

Favorite Foods: cheese, yogurt, kiwi, sweet potato, avocado

Favorite Books: Doggies and Moo, Baa, La La La, Thumper and the Noisy Ducky

Favorite Toys: His play house, our food storage containers, his walkers

Favorite Animal: Dog

Favorite Thing to do with Daddy: Walks

Favorite Thing to do with Mommy: Nurse

Favorite Game: Peek-a-boo

Favorite Place to Visit: Gymboree

Milestones: He’s gotten very good at walking and going up and down the stairs. He finally started waving! He says “mama,” “dada,” and “uh-oh.”




Eleven Months

Eleven Months

We’re already planning the next Disney trip and it over a year away. This will be trip #20 for me and trip #1 for Owen <3 We’re just so excited to take him. I wonder what he’ll be like a year from now.

For now, he’s intent on walking. That’s his new favorite thing. He’ll cruise around the living room using his walker, or the rolling stool or a table or a container. Anything can be a walker. His current record is five steps unassisted.

Bryan texted me other other day; “Purse is to bathtub as mouse is to trampoline” and I knew exactly what he meant. Owen loves his purse. Owen loves bringing his purse into his (dry) bathtub. Owen also loves my mouse and chewing on it while sitting on my trampoline. Can’t make this stuff up.

He still loves kiwis and Ive been mixing oatmeal into his smoothies which apparently make them even more appealing. Otherwise he eats a lot of what we do. And he’s be eating a lot lately. Running in circles and jumping on his bed must burn a lot of calories. He’s looking too skinny to me, but I don’t know how to get more food into this kid’s stomach. He still eats in his sleep at night.

His sleep has been much better though. Usually two hour stretches now. He even had a five hour stretch the other night :O

His new favorite word (next to “mama”) is “uh-oh.” He woke up the other night and said “uh-oh” instead of crying :D

He’s been hitting all of his milestones until now. He doesn’t wave, clap or point. It responds when we do these things, but looks at us with a completely blank expression when we ask him to do them. He does give high fives. I don’t think it means anything, because he’s otherwise social and communicates well, but you can’t help but worry a little.




Why I Love My Job

Why I Love My Job

I’ve probably written this post before, but I felt the urge to gush. I am so lucky. Granted I picked a really good field to go into, but still, I have THE best job. You know you have good work/life balance when you look forward to going into the office in the morning and look forward to coming home in the evening.

Of course, the number one thing is I get to work from home three days a week and spend more time with my Owen <3

Being able to pump in my office is also a big help as I need to pump four times a day and that would be quite a pain to be going off to some room somewhere that often.

Flex hours. No one really cares when I start/end as long it more or less 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week.

The people. I don’t have anything bad to say about anyone that works here. They’re great people and I really enjoy working with them. I’ve said it before, but this is really the first place I’ve ever felt like I fit in.

The work, OK, it’s not that interesting or challenging, but it’s interesting enough and challenging enough for where I am in life (and that’s spending every ounce of free time with the baby). I also really enjoy things like our yearly hackathon (that we didn’t win again, but still, it was a lot of fun).

Training. They give us plenty of time and plenty of courses so we’re never falling too far behind.

Discounts. We get 50% off our cell service and now we get free TV! Bryan and I are so excited, ha ha. Not that we have time to watch TV, but the option will be there.

Oh yeah, it pays the bills. Really, they pay me to do this? OK, so I wouldn’t do it for free, or probably even less than I get since I’m the only one working, but we’re blissfully comfortable and that’s awesome.

Sure things get stressful once in a while and I spend all day working on a problem only to realize I was writing “get” instead of “post,” and our health insurance is meh, but I love this place.

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Ten Months

Ten Months

He’s going to be a toddler before I know it. He’s been getting into all kinds of trouble this month. He’s up the stairs in a flash every chance he gets, climbing into the dishwasher, getting into drawers. Yesterday he was standing on the bench chewing on the top of his pack n play and doing pull-ups on the baby gate.

His sleep is steadily getting a little better. He flips onto his tummy now when he’s done eating and sometimes does two hour stretches.

Carolyn texted me Connor’s bedtime routine: bath, book, boob, bed. This was my response:
We do bath, diaper, jump on the bed, say goodnight to all the things, try to read book, boob, book, boob, book, boob, bed, cry, boob, crawl all over mommy, cry, boob, crawl, cry, boob, roll over onto tummy, cry, boob, roll onto tummy, repeat x 10, sleep

Started wearing him on my back since he’s getting pretty heavy. He seems ok with it, though it makes him a little sleepy.

He’s had a couple of play dates with his new buddy, Nolan, who lives in the next set of houses over. Super convenient.

Had a girls brunch earlier this month. Was nice to get out and see my friends. Carolyn and Connor came over yesterday. The looks Connor gave Owen were priceless. The funny thing is he’s six months younger, but they’re nearly the same size. Big little dude, and so cute!




Nine Months

Nine Months

And loving life. Not so much sleeping. Just when you thought sleep couldn’t get any worse, enter the nine month sleep regression. Is it teething, is it gas, who knows? Then there’s the times he wants to play, though that’s gotten a bit better. At least he doesn’t wake up wanting to play these days.

He is a mobile little dude. Probably the standing and the crawling has interfered with his sleep too. He gets into all sorts of trouble. We’ve mostly baby proofed… we watch him. He’s really into shoes. First thing he goes for. He likes shoes, walks, he bites, he drools, he eats food off the floor, he barks in his sleep, I think this kid was a dog in a previous life.

We had a lot of excitement this month. Cheryl and Yori’s wedding, a day trip down the shore. He had a lot of fun dancing at the wedding and trying to eat my food. They had some good food. They did part potluck. I had a kiwi artichoke cupcake for dessert. It was amazing.

He had fun playing with his cousin down the shore. He was too hot on the boardwalk. Didn’t care for the merry-go-round much. Spinning around in a circle is good, but doing it on an actual ride… We’re just happy he slept in the car. I was on the edge of my seat the entire trip waiting for him to wake up. And he did, going down, damn toll booth guy, but he slept the whole way back.

He’s not too into food, but he’ll pretty much eat anything if he gets to feed himself. More ends up on is clothes than in his mouth, but he tries. I’ve been trying out baby recipes, but so far I’ve been eating more of the stuff than he has.

His sixth tooth is almost through. Those top four teeth sure do take their time punching through. He’s constantly rubbing his face, I think because his gums itch. Going to ask the doctor when he goes Tuesday. Last night he gave himself two scratches. I felt awful.


A Look Back at My 20s

A Look Back at My 20s

So, I’m turning 30 29 again on Friday. As many of you know, Back to the Future has been my favorite movie since forever so I’ used to think a lot about what my life would be like in 2015. 30 seemed so so so far away. I don’t think life is too far off from where I thought I would be. I certainly don’t look or feel as old as I thought I would, yay.

My 20s started out pretty terrible. I had an awful stomach thing, looking back it was probably an ulcer. I really should have gone to the doctor. I had just finished a very lonely semester at school because Rachelle transferred, and I was dealing with that stalker guy who did turn out to be harmless, but I really shouldn’t have talked to him in the first place :-/

I briefly dated Adi and then I was back to being alone again, though at least Carolyn was at Rutgers, which helped.  One night, I was feeling particularly depressed and couldn’t sleep.  I logged into Facebook and saw this:

I work at the Busch Convenience Store, and the other night I was in charge of the store for the night and I happened to be on register when you checked out. I know I’ve seen you in there a lot, and every time I see you I think you’re really really really attractive. As soon as I was done with that transaction I went to have my dinner, and we have a computer in the back. So I just thought I’d look you up on facebook, since I couldn’t help but remember your name flashing up as “Elissa”… It’s a really cool name, and not that common so it stuck in my head.

Though getting him to ask me out was pretty difficult, so I finally asked him over t watch Rent and we’ve been together ever since.

Senior year of college was better socially with Bryan, Emily and Helen around, but my classes were really tough and I nearly had a nervous breakdown a few times. I had planned to go to graduate school, but I couldn’t take anymore, so I shifted my focus and looked for a job instead of a summer internship.

I had two offers in March. One place up by my parents and AT&T down here. It wasn’t a hard decision. Even at the interview I felt like I fit in there. I manged to make it out of school alive and with straight As, CS degree, highest honors. I also stopped wearing my retainer apparently. I still have nightmares about that thing.

I moved into the apartment with Bryan and started working. Our first project at att was DBOR test support which pretty much involved us getting yelled at on conference calls for things we had no control over. Then I started doing real development on NCD and finally RUBY. I started really getting into fitness and exercising every day due to my desk job and the cake that came with it.

Bryan and I went on our first trip to Disney together where he proposed  on the balcony of our hotel room. On my first real project on RUBY, NFM, I remember meeting with Roy and he wanted me to look at the code while I was on vacation. I told him I’d be busy looking at wedding dresses. I looked at a lot of dresses.

2009 was mostly spent wedding planning. We also went for our first round of CP training in CT and TX. In January 2010, Bryan and I got married and of course went to Disney on our honeymoon. We actually went twice that year. We also couldn’t take the tiny apartment anymore and bought a house. We probably could have gotten a better deal if we waited a year, but this place has worked out nicely. Once we fixed the  deadly bathtub and other DIY improvements the previous owners made.

I finally made my community theater debut as Little Miss Muffet in Babes in Toyland. I think I was shaking the first ten minutes of every show. Despite performing and joining Toast Masters, my social anxiety still gets the best of me most of the time.

At work I took over as the lead of the One Team, our social planning committee and held that position for over 2 years before passing it off. That was a lot of work, but at least I got a nice bonus that first year.

I went to Rome with my parents and ate a lot of gelato, got lost frequently, took a cooking class. Our tour of the Vatican was pretty incredible and it was nice to see Melanie in Naples.

2012 I traveled to Florida twice for CP training and once for Disney. That was also the year of Hurricane Sandy where we lost power for nine days and lived like Nomads. Carolyn and Rachelle both got married that fall. Helen and Darian’s wedding was the following year along with our trip to San Fransisco to visit Chris and Rae.

Of course the best year of my twenties was this past year. Lyra was born early, but strong. Being pregnant with Owen was quite an experience and giving birth of course, life with a newborn. Those first few months were rough, but things are pretty great now. I hope life continues it’s upwards trend.

Over the next decade, I hope to have another baby, you know, once this one is potty trained. I had wanted a girl, but I can see us with another boy too, plus I actually have another boy name I like and I’m no longer crazy about our girl name. I also want to finally get a dog, but don’t know if it’ll be between kids or after the second one.

I don’t plan to ever leave att. It’s so nice being able to work from home and play with Owen during breaks. Plus it’s close by, not too stressful, interesting projects. I don’t know how I feel about this SDN stuff yet, but there are always other projects.

I’d like to do another show at some point, probably not at least until Owen’s old enough to be in one. And by then we’ll have another one, so who knows.

I don’t have too many goals left to fulfill. Just to spend as much time with family as possible. Can’t wait to take that first trip with Owen to Disney.