Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My favorite time of day

Putting Little Richie to bed is one of my favorite things to do, and not just because I can finally get some things done. I love it because we have some quality cuddle time, and there is nothing like the feeling of having a baby sleeping on your chest. Little Richie LOVES books and reading is part of his bedtime routine; he usually has to be holding a book while I read to him and I can't get the book out of his hands until he is almost asleep. After a book or two I ask him if he wants to turn out the light and he reaches toward the light switch, so I carry him over to it and he turns it off. The past couple nights I haven't even had to ask, he just reaches and points when he is ready. For a few minutes after we turn off the light we cuddle in the rocking chair and I sing to him. I love the feeling of him in my arms, falling asleep.

He has recently decided to start waking up at 6 a.m. instead of 7, and it has been a difficult adjustment. The other morning I was not ready to be awake yet and I was very annoyed that he was up, but I couldn't stay mad for long because he was so happy to see me. His little face was lit up with a smile and he came over to me and gave me a big kiss and that made it worth while to be awake. There is nothing quite like a big kiss on he lips from my Little Richie, he is so sweet and I love him so much.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

How to hail a cab

Yesterday we went into the city to go to the Manhattan Temple. We were unable to find a babysitter, so Little Richie went with us and one of us went in while the other stayed outside with Richie and then we switched off. He was such a good sport. He was not raised riding in a stroller every day like his cousins Isaac and Stella, so he will only tolerate riding for shorter amounts of time before he wants to get out and run around or be held. On top of that it was pretty cold, so after we were finished in the temple we decided he had been stuck in the stroller for long enough. We had been in the city for several hours by that point and I am still feeling under the weather, so we decided to take a taxi to Penn Station instead of riding the subway. (For some reason my obsessive need to have the baby in a car seat goes away when we are in the city and I am exhausted and ready to be home.)

So Big Richie was standing on the curb trying to hail a cab with his right arm, and holding Little Richie with his left. An event had just gotten out from Lincoln Center, so we were competing with many other people trying to get taxis, and it took a little while. After a few minutes, Little Richie noticed what his dady was doing and he started copying him and raised his arm up too. It was one of the cutest things I have ever seen. Of course, my camera was buried in the bottom of the diaper bag and I could not get to it, but it was a sweet image, my boys flagging down a taxi together. People around us were amused by our little man learning how to hail a cab.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Bathtime Fun!

Richie LOVES his baths. As soon as I say "Want to take a bath?" he is down the hall, in front of the bathroom door, and ready for action.

The above hairstyle was accomplished without shampoo or anything. He is just a natural born rock star!

This time he did have shampoo in his hair. (Yes, it is time for his third haircut, and he is only seventeen months old.)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sniffles and Sneezes

Little Richie and I have been dealing with colds for a couple weeks now and we just can't seem to shake them. Little Richie got his first and of course I caught it from him; it was inevitable with the constant stream of snot coming from his nose. He is actually doing better recently, his cough is gone and his nose does not run steadily anymore, but he is also cutting two molars on top of everything, so he is pretty uncomfortable. We have had some long and sleepless nights in the last couple weeks.

My cold has really taken me out of commission and I am very annoyed about it. I thought that it would just last a couple days and I would be fine, but that is not what happened. At first it was just an annoyance having a runny nose, then a stuffy nose, then a runny nose, the way colds go. Then a couple days ago my sinuses were killing me and the pressure in my head was really bad, I had started to feel good the day before this happened so I was not happy with this new development. I was worried I was getting a sinus infection, but the next morning I woke up with a terrible ear ache and it looked like maybe I had an ear infection. I guess whatever was in my sinuses had traveled into my ear canal and it was really painful and I had a terrible day. The ear ache went away by the next day, but my ear still feels a little funny and my head is pretty congested. It is interesting being a mom and feeling sick, I can't just sleep all day, I have someone else's needs to take care of too.

The most frustrating thing about this whole thing is that we still don't have a doctor. One of the joys of living in the most densely populated state in the nation is that applying for anything with the state takes forever, and then there are often problems. We applied for medicaid in September and were approved by the end of October, but most doctors in New Jersey won't accept medicaid alone because the state does not reimburse them properly. The state has set up a service that you enroll in an HMO on top of your medicaid, and that takes care of the problem. So when we found out we were on medicaid I called to find out if we had been enrolled in the HMO I had selected when I filled out the application. Of course we were not, so I had to do that and that was supposed to take another 30 to 45 days.

In January we still had not heard anything from the HMO so I called and asked why we hadn't received our ID cards and other information. We finally got our cards a few days later, but they had selected doctors for us that were halfway across the state and I had to pick doctors that are actually in New Brunswick, but we won't get ID cards with them as our doctor until February. It has been a long, slow process and it is my main complaint with New Jersey. It was awful not being able to just call our doctor's office and ask about what I was feeling. It is also upsetting that Little Richie hasn't had a pediatrician for six months now. We are grateful that we get the assistance from the State, I just wish it hadn't taken so long.

So that is how we have been lately, but Little Richie and I are going to feel better soon, I am determined.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Fun Facts About . . .

Here are a few interesting things about the State of New Jersey.

* New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the U.S. with an average of 1,100 people per square mile.
* New Jersey has the most dense system of highways and railroads in the U.S.
* New Jersey is the only state where all its counties are classified as metropolitan areas.
* New Jersey has more race horses than Kentucky.
* The light bulb, phonograph (record player), and motion picture projector were invented by Thomas Edison in his Menlo Park laboratory.
* Atlantic City is where the street names came from for the game Monopoly.
* The first intercollegiate football game was played in New Brunswick in 1889. Rutgers College played Princeton. Rutgers won.
* The first drive-in movie theater was opened in Camden.
* New Jersey is the home of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
* The first professional basketball game was played in New Jersey in 1896.
* The first dinosaur skeleton discovered in North America was found in Haddonfield, New Jersey in 1858.
* Judy Blume (author), Grover Cleveland (22nd and 24th president of U.S.), Bruce Springsteen, Whitney Houston, Jack Nicholson, Paul Simon, Frank Sinatra, John Travolta and Jon Bon Jovi, were all born in New Jersey.
* The first indian reservation was in New Jersey.
* Two-thirds of the world's eggplants are grown in New Jersey.
* Atlantic City is the home of the Miss America Pageant.
* New Jersey has the most diners in the world and is sometimes referred to as the diner capitol of the world.

A few other things we have learned about New Jersey while living here:

* You cannot make left hand turns on most major roads. You have to use what they call jug handles (it is too complicated to explain, but believe me, it is pretty annoying).
* It took us six months to finally get health coverage with medicaid and an HMO. Little Richie hasn't seen a pediatrician yet which I am not thrilled about.
* Rutger's football team had its best season EVER this year. Go Scarlet Knights!
* North Brunswick is actually south of New Brunswick.
* We can be in New York City in an hour by train. Hooray for New York City!
* I miss Utah when I am in Jersey, and I miss Jersey when I am in Utah.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Lights Up!

This is the first posting on my new blog! I decided to create a blog to keep family and friends informed of how things are going for us here in New Jersey. It may not be very exciting, but it is our life.

It has been almost six months that we have lived here in North Brunswick, New Jersey, and we are pretty well settled. Richie (aka Daddy) started his second semester of the graduate acting program at Rutgers University on Tuesday, and we are all getting back into the old routine. He leaves for class by 8 a.m. and is home by 2:30, 4:30 or 6:00 p.m., depending on the day. Little Richie and I usually drop Daddy off at school, but this semester, Richie is trying out public transportation and taking the bus. It is nice to not have to go out into the cold, now that winter seems to have finally arrived. After we drop Richie off at school, we sometimes go grocery shopping, but usually we just go home and spend time together. It is always fun to go pick Daddy up from class because after being alone with Mom all day, Little Richie gets very excited to see his dad and squeals, "DADA, DADA, DADA!"

I love my little boy and am constantly amazed at how much and how quickly he is developing and learning. He is reaching that stage where he understands me, and he knows what he wants, but he doesn't know how to let me know what he wants. He does say a few words like wawa, which can mean water or wiggles; if he is in the kitchen it probably means water, if he is looking for, or at, the DVD, it means the Wiggles, which is his favorite band at the moment. He also says a few other words, and it can be difficult to interpret their meanings sometimes. He often refers to me as "dada" which has become his word for parent. I am trying hard to get him to call me "mama", but it is taking some time. He is very smart, though, he knows exactly what he is saying, even if I don't.

That is enough to start out with, I suppose. Please come again!