Friday, December 28, 2012

Isaac's first Christmas

Jordan and I had so much fun this year celebrating Isaac's first Christmas. It was a low key kinda day, which was perfect for us. Isaac certainly won't ever remember this Christmas, but it will forever be special to me! We woke up little buddy at his usual 7am and enjoyed his smiles and coos until breakfast was ready.

Paula Deen's Praline French Toast Casserole. It was DDDDDDE-Licious!
Growing up, our family always had a special breakfast on Christmas. This was a fun tradition for us that I wanted to continue with Isaac. I made french toast casserole and Jordan cooked up some sausage patties to go along with it. It was all super tasty and I hope to make it again next year for our little family! It's crazy to think that by this time next year, Isaac will be able to eat breakfast right along with us. 


This is our Christmas tree with lots of presents underneath! We didn't do a huge Christmas for each other or for Isaac this year, which is just fine. Christmas isn't even about the presents, am I right?? Did you check out our Christmas card?? The photos featured on the front and back of our card are the result of a family portrait session we did earlier this month with Cyndea from Peacock Photography. This was my Christmas gift and I LOVE the results. I can't wait to order a few ton of prints for our house. Jordan got a movie and some new clothes. Isaac got a few new outfits, a pair of pj's, a Curious George book, and a San Francisco 49'ers Dream Lite Pillow pet. Got any idea which parent the pet was from? Little buddy ended up falling asleep during present time, but Jordan and I enjoyed opening his presents for him. We each shopped separately for him, wrapped up our presents and surprised each other with Isaac gifts. It was really fun! 

Ready to open presents with dad! 

Each year while growing up, my mom would get my sister and I a new ornament each year and they were always the same type of ornament. I always got teddy bear ornaments; my sister always got rocking horses. This was another fun tradition that I wanted to carry on with Isaac, and after thinking long and hard, I decided that Isaac would get snowman ornaments! This year's first Christmas snowman ornament is this fun hand-painted ball ("Isaac 2012" is printed on the opposite side!).



Even Mauve got in on the festivities! She loves her bow, can't you tell?
After we had our Christmas morning breakfast and present opening time, I baked up some macaroni & cheese and a sweet potato casserole and we headed over to our pastor's house for Christmas lunch. We sang happy birthday to Jesus, filled our tummies, and had a wonderful time of fellowship and laughter with their sweet family. I'm hoping they dont mind that Isaac peepee-d on their couch. Whoops! 


The picture above is one of the outtakes from our would-be-naptime photo shoot. I know it's a little fuzzy, but I just love his funny little expression! His little faces are priceless!

Another funny picture from Christmas eve. He's still pretty adorable even when he's crying.
We have been so blessed this year! I am incredibly thankful for my wonderful husband and perfect little boy. Thank you Lord for your provisions on our family. Thank you for a healthy boy and thank you for letting me be his momma. Thank you for my incredible husband who also happens to be a sweet and loving dad. And thank you for sending Jesus to us, to demonstrate for us what true love really is.

"Emmanuel: God with us. To die for us. So He could live in us. Joy to the World, the LORD has come." -Richard Ross

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Two Months!

Wowee Isaac! You're already TWO months old! 

Silly mom only wanted to take pictures when it was nap time. We have a lot of fussy and wiggly outtakes!
We got the greatest gift ever this year! You actually turned 2 months old on your first Christmas (see my Christmas shirt and present??). Waking up to your gummy grin, smelling your baby hair, and kissing your chubby cheeks made for a wonderful Christmas morning. 

When I look at these pictures and the pictures I posted when you were 1 month old, it's like looking at 2 different babies! For one thing, almost all of your newborn hair has fallen out. I get so sad when I find your little dark hairs all over your sheets, blankets, and towels. We can see some dark hair coming in behind what's fallen out. You haven't lost hair everywhere though... right now you're really rocking the baby mullet.


It certainly seems like I am a jinx-er... or else you just really enjoy making a liar out of me. On two separate occasions I've told friends and church members that you just love to sleep... only to spend most of that night awake with you. That's always the question you get from random friends and strangers at the grocery store isn't it?! "Getting any sleep these days?" and "How's he sleeping?" Now, I just don't even want to answer them for fear of jinxing us once again!  One day last week, I made a comment to Jordan that your spit ups were getting so much better... only to wipe up puke puddles after every single meal. You think you're so funny, don't you??

Even though I'm risking another all-nighter and lots more laundry, I want to keep track of how you're growing and changing... so here goes. You're sleeping all night long! We put you down at 10pm and you've slept all the way to 7am several times. We obviously still have some bad nights here and there, but those are slowly becoming less and less frequent and are being replaced with long nights of glorious sleep! It also seems like your spit ups are getting a little better. Maybe we're just better at learning how to prevent some of the big spit ups. I say that, but just this morning, I ended up with a lap full of spit up after your first feeding!
Getting ready for the Christmas eve service and NOT interested in a photo shoot!
Regardless, you are such a wonderfully sweet little boy. We are starting to see little glimpses of your personality and for the longest time, you seemed like such a serious kid! We told you over and over again that your name means "laughter" and that you needed to live up to that name. Here in the last few days, you have really started smiling a lot more throughout the day. When you look at me and smile, it makes my whole world light up!

On the way to the Christmas eve service! Much happier in Mom's arms!
We'll see Dr. Canales for your 2 month check up in about 10 days. Those Christmas holidays and our trip to Georgia really put your appointment off. At your last appointment, you weighed 10lbs and 15oz and were 22.25in long. I wouldn't be surprised if you were hovering around the 13lb mark by now. You are barely fitting in some of your 3 month clothes these days-- especially your footie pajamas! You can't stretch your legs out anymore!! Also, you are wearing size 2 diapers. We had to take back 1 large box and 5 packs of size 1 diapers because you grew out of them so quickly!

Update!! 1/7/13- you weigh a whopping 14lb and 2oz and are officially over 2 feet long at a crazy 24.25." Those numbers put you in the 85th percentile in both categories. I can't believe you are this big!!!

It's just incredible how fast you're growing into a big boy. You can slow down a little you know. We are enjoying every single minute with you. I just love my sweet boy so very much!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!

This year, we decided to roll our annual Christmas card and Isaac's birth announcement into one spectacular greeting! It ended up being one of my most favorite cards we've ever sent. (That could totally be because there's a cute little boy included this year!!!) 

Best wishes and many blessings to your family from ours!

Front
Back

May the love of Christ fill your hearts this Christmas and throughout the new year! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Squeal!

Earlier this morning, after feeding, burping, bouncing and talking with my favorite little buddy, I logged into my email, mostly to see what goodies Zulily would be offering today (which I would then drool over, maybe add to my "cart" but never buy. Anyone else have this problem? Endless browsing with zero commitment?) Imagine my surprise this morning when my screen refreshes and I see "You Won!" in the header! 

SQUEEEEEAL!!! 

I won a giveaway! I never win things...but today is my super lucky day!!! E, Myself, and I hosted this a-may-zingggg giveaway, which obviously I entered... never expecting that I would get all these great goodies!


I was literally hopping up and down on the couch (and cursing our spotty internet, which coincidentally chose to go down right at this moment. Seriously?!), which prompted some curious looks from my husband. I informed him that I won this incredible blog giveaway, to which he replied, "Oh, from Pioneer Woman?"

"No dear. Her giveaways have like 50,000 entries."

"Well, someone has to win"

Jordan was pleasantly pleased when I announced to him what this giveaway was all about... because here's the really awesome thing about this giveaway-- not only did I win FIVE awesome prizes (each one making up for the FIVE suspicious wet spots that we cleaned up last night! Hahaha), but ALSO, Elizabeth is making a $100 donation to the charity of my choice.... which just so happens to be Destino del Reino.

For those of you who have journeyed over from E's blog (thanks for the love!), here's the origin of Destino... in a nutshell. Back in 1999, Rhonda felt God tugging on her heart to start a ministry in Honduras. She was single and didnt know spanish, but packed up her belongings and moved all the way to Central America. After spending some time in the city, she realized that she was not learning spanish very quickly and moved once again to a small village in the Yoro mountains.

While living in the village, she quickly came to see that the people in the village were dying. They were very poor, had no way of using the land to live, had no education, and no Christian influence (relying on pagan practices like witchdoctors to cure sickness). She remembered a passage in the Bible where Hannah gave up her son Samuel to do the work of God (see 1 Samuel) and the vision for Destino was born.

Using this story from the Bible, she opened a children's home -- not for orphans -- but for children whose parents were willing to let them live with Rhonda, receive an education, and learn about the love and grace of Jesus Christ. Then, these children would return to their village where they could support their family and spread the Good News. In the last few years, Rhonda has also opened an elementary school (separate from the home), where children from neighboring villages can attend for free, get a great education, and the word of God.

When completely finished, Destino del Reino will consist of 6 homes for children and guest house for parents to visit, a church, an elementary and junior high school, a medical and dental clinic, and a vocational center for the surrounding villages. It really is remarkable what Rhonda is doing there in Siguatepeque, Honduras. I encourage you to take a few minutes and read more of her story, which can be found here.

You can also check out this post and this post to see additional testimonies of the great things happening at Destino.

This brings me to my favorite Christmas card we've received this year:

The front of our card. See the three wise men? And the star of Bethlehem? And baby Jesus in a manger??
        
...and the inside of the card. Melt my heart!!!
This is our Christmas card from Esdras, who is a Destino school child that we sponsor. He is in the first grade this year! It is such a joy to support this sweet boy, especially when I know Rhonda personally and am assured that she is pouring the love of Christ on this child.

I know it's Christmas and our wallets are thin, but if you haven't found that perfect gift for that special someone, would you just consider making a donation to Destino?? Or better yet, sponsor one of the children who attend the Destino school!


Thanks again E for hosting such a FAB get and give away!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Five Suspicious Spots

Earlier today, Jordan and I loaded up the car, baby included, and headed out to Corpus. It's always a little bit of an adventure these days making the 45 mile drive into the big city. But with some planning, packing, and careful scheduling, it's actually pretty enjoyable to spend the day with my boy. It's never a quick trip (not worth the 90 miles), which means I've already racked up some fun nursing spots.

On Tuesday it was the men's dressing room @ Stein Mart... Winning.

See the family resemblance?

Today I revisited Dillards for a nursing session, but my "preferred dressing room" was already taken. Many apologies to the lady I walked in on, *awkward* but thank you for volunteering to share your huge handicapped room so that I could nurse my child *SUPER awkward.*

Isaac showed his distain for the inferior dressing room slash nursing spot by puking on the floor. Strangely, I considered it a major victory because A. Neither of us had even a drop of spit up on our clothes and B. I just don't have to get all that concerned about the dingy old carpet in the Dillard's fitting rooms.

I haven't had much to say about little Mauve here on the blog since Isaac arrived, but rest assured, she is still keeping us on our toes.


Sunday morning, we woke up and her right eye was almost completely swollen shut. It was a terrifying and saddening sight! It was red and oozy and she could hardly open it, so she was just sitting down with both eyes closed, since it was so uncomfortable for her to bother with the bad eye. She reminded me of those poor animals on the ASPCA commercials. I was so worried about her, I made Jordan text a picture of her eye to a veterinarian who goes to our church, just to find out if it was something that was urgent or looked like it could wait until Monday. Imagine my terror when Dr. Harrell said she needed to be seen right away. I just knew she was going to go blind... and then we'd have one of those sad dogs with the cloudy eyes who had to be led around the house. How can she be our great protector if she can't see?? My brain was obviously in overdrive.

Turns out she has pink eye.

A few days of steroids and antibiotic eye drops later, and she's on the mend. Ever try giving a 78lb dog eye drops? It's an adventure. Dr. Harrell warned us that the steroids would cause Mauve to be much more thirsty than usual, which in turn means she'll have to pee a lot more. Imagine our surprise when we returned from our extended trip to Corpus today to find not one... or two... or four... but FIVE suspicious wet spots on the rug in the living room. 80% of our house is tile, and our sweet pup had to pop-a-squat ON. THE. RUG. Awesome.

What was that I was saying about indifference @ Dillards regarding their curdled milk stained carpet?


Looks like we've come full circle.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ornament Fail

It doesn't take a genius to realize that this will be Isaac's first Christmas. Even though he will remember absolutely nothing of his first Christmas (the second and third Christmas are probably also going to be pretty fuzzy), that doesn't mean I don't want to have a few special things to commemorate this special occasion.

·Enter "The Ornament"·


A well meaning friend gifted us with this sweet DIY craft ornament. SO Cute, right? I loved it! In my crafty mind, I was not only looking forward to forever having a little Isaac handprint, but also planned on adding his name and "2012" to the impression before it dried. Perfect plan! This morning, while he was calm and before Jordan left for the office, we made our sweet boy's personalized ornament...


Nailed it.


I should've seen it coming when it was nearly impossible to remove the sticky foam-like compound from its own packaging. It stuck to the rolling pin it came with. It stuck to the wax paper. It stuck to my hand, his hand, my clothes, his clothes. It's stuck under my nails and basically everywhere. We would've had a great little handprint if the compound hadn't totally adhered itself to Mr. Isaac's hand, making removal of baby hand from sticky compound absolutely impossible. Because we're gluttons for punishment, we also tried his feet. It's now also stuck to his feet, socks, and pants. Nightmare. Looks like we'll be scraping white goo off until next Christmas. After the damage was done, I noticed the "mess-free" claim on the box and it made me chuckle a little bit.

Maybe we'll just do one of those personalized ornaments from the carts in the mall. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Four Things

I'm linking up with Elizabeth @ E, Myself & I and following in Erika's footsteps and talking for a few minutes about my Christmas list. I've heard this idea from many people who claim to have done this before it was Pinterest-cool (you hipsters.), and of course now it's obviously all over Pinterest.

The idea is that you buy "Something you want, something you need, something you wear, and something you read." I think that when Isaac is a little older, it'd be a great idea to implement this gift buying philosophy for Christmas and birthday buying. It's a great plan to be purposeful without going overboard. Usually, Jordan and I get each other one or two things and call it a day. I've actually already received my gift this year and hope to share with with you all soon!! I have such a hard time coming up with Christmas gift ideas (ask any of my family members and they'll certainly testify!) and would definitely prefer being on the giving end as opposed to being the recipient. But with some time and deep thought, I was able to come up with my own Want/Need/Wear/Read list.

Let it be known that I'm not getting compensated for promoting these goodies...
I just Want/need/wear/read them. Over & Out.
Ok, so we NEEEEED towels. Even before Isaac was around, our towels were looking pretty puny.  Now that they've taken on the job of cleaning puddles of spit up, we are in desperate need of a new set. We could also really use a deep freezer. I think I'd be classified as an "overproducer" of breast milk, because each night for the last 5 weeks, I've pumped off between 10-15 ounces. As a result, our freezer is almost completely full of breast milk and we're running out of room for food! I am so blessed to have such an abundant supply to feed my little buddy with, and now need a place to keep it all!

My want is completely frivolous. I've been eyeing those Clairisonic face scrubbers for a while now and have always thought it'd be neat to have one, especially after hearing so much great stuff about them. But the price is outrageous... over $100! For a face scrubber! People say they're worth the money, but I would totally consider it a major splurge item.

You know how when you go to unearth your summer wardrobe after winter is over and feel like all the old stuff isn't very cute anymore??? Maybe its just me. Either way, now that I'm not in maternity clothes anymore (although I'd love to wear stretchy pants for-ev-er), all my pre-baby clothes just aren't awesome. Maybe it's because everything fits a lot differently these days, namely, the "girls" don't fit into anything. In an effort to hold onto some level of coolness as a mom, I would totally like a pair of Converse sneakers. You know, gotta maintain my street cred.

Although with that last statement, I'm sure I lost any and all credibility.

Lastly, my friend Kimberly recommended the read Kisses from Katie last week while we were having lunch. It's the true story of a girl named Katie who, instead of going to college, chose to live in Uganda as a missionary, has established a ministry there, and is in the process of adopting thirteen children. Yes, you read that right... thirteen. Keep up with Katie via her blog.


Just for fun.... what would YOUR Four Things be??

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My New Obsession

At our house, we only have cable (DirecTV to be specific) a few months out of the year. Namely, the NFL season. Therefore, the rest of the year, we suspend our service and just stick to Hulu or movies. I blame being "late to the party" on this fact. So, I know I'm late jumping on this bandwagon, but I also know I'm not the very last (because I introduced my dad to it this past weekend). But seriously...

I LOVE Duck Dynasty.
Source
I wish there were more shows on TV like DD. Not only is it absolutely hilarious, but it's really a great family show. It's funny without being filthy. The characters are comical without being conceited. The show is engaging without being obscene. I've come up with several reasons why DD is the bomb.com.

1· The family loves Jesus. I just can't put more emphasis on this - this family sets a great example to the world about what being a Christ follower means (hopefully the next few "points" will help drive this point home). They aren't televangelists, just normal people who love Jesus and live it. Not only does each show conclude with the entire family sitting down to dinner and saying sincere prayers in Jesus' name, but frequently during the show, you'll hear dialogue regarding their faith and references to Scripture. Do a little Google creepin and it'll become obvious really quick that they aren't shy about sharing their testimony, and that's awesome.


 It's Wholesome. The dialogue isn't laced with profanity or lewd comments. I find it particularly disturbing that even on stations like ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox, that their primetime sitcoms are overrun with bleeped out bad words. Notice I said 'sitcoms' -- the reality shows are even worse! But you will rarely find the Robertson boys making any kind of bleep-worthy comments. It's also refreshingly devoid of cringe-inducing sexual references and innuendos. You know how uncomfortable things can get when you're watching a movie with your parents and a sex scene pops up? Not happening here. The humor comes from genuinely funny people in funny situations.

3· The men love their wives and vice versa. There is no drama. Only appropriate representations of a marriage relationship. Aside from casual jokes, you'll never hear the spouses make underhanded comments about their significant other. Some shows have story lines that include some minor conflict between spouses (because that's just what spouses do!), but are peaceably resolved and the family unit remains intact. They don't seek out inappropriate relationships with the opposite sex. The ladies are modest in the way they dress and the manner in which they speak and behave. I've only ever witnessed loving support, respect, and deep seated commitment displayed between all the couples featured on the show. It's a great testament to marriage.

4· The parents are invested in their kids. You don't have to watch this show long to see that the parents (and grandparents!) are involved in their children's lives. Healthy relationships are portrayed including parents setting appropriate boundaries, discipline and protection, as well as love and encouragement of their kids (and kid's endeavors). As a result, their kids are respectful, well-adjusted, and hard working. It doesn't take long to recognize that the Robertsons make family their priority.

5· They work hard. Sure, many of the episodes feature the Robertson boys goofing off, but lets face it, you can't take an idea and turn it into a million dollar company without a lot of elbow grease. With a little Google creepin, you'll find that the wives are also very involved in the company. Even Miss Kay is often found working hard in the home providing meals for the family. It shows that success comes after effort, which is hard to find in a world of handouts and instant gratification.

6· Despite having a multimillion dollar company, they are still simple people. Ok, ok... I have seen shots of the Robertson homes during a few of the shows and yes, they are nice. But hear me out for a minute. I mean, for having beaucoup bucks, they are not showy or extravagant (especially when compared with their reality TV counterparts... have you seen the Kardashians or "Real Housewives"? No contest.) I mean, seriously, the guys live in beards and camo. They'd often rather hunt and kill their dinner than go to the grocery store. They just aren't all that fancy, and that's refreshing.



There's a marathon of DD on tonight, so go & watch it (it'll make you happy happy happy). That's an order Jack!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Nervous Flyer

I've come to realize that there's just no knowing how life with a baby will be until you're actually living it. You've probably come to realize that I am quickly becoming a single-subject blogger. Surely someday I'll post about something other than Isaac, but until then... it's time for more advice. But this time, it's ME that needs the advice.

Almost a year ago, Jordan and I took a church van full of college students to Passion 2012. The trip was fantastic and we knew before it was even over that we would make the trip once again in 2013. Two months later, we realize that in 2013, we will be toting a 2 month old baby along with us. At the time, it sounded like an easily accomplished adventure, the only caveat being that I would fly instead of ride in a church van.

And now it seems like an insurmountable task. 

I'll be flying by myself with Isaac from Corpus Christi to Atlanta just a few days after Christmas, which also happens to be when he hits the 2 month old mark. I'm already overwhelmed just thinking about the logistics and the unknown. So far, all of our "firsts" have been shrouded in anxieties of the unknown, but afterwards, all have been much easier than I initially imagined. I'm hoping that our first plane ride will be the same way.

What tips or tricks do you moms have for flying with an infant??

I have heard from a dozen or more people already to nurse him during take off & landing. I'm a little curious about how this will go both in a very tiny space and considering I've got 2 short flights with a short layover in between. Four feedings in a four hour period? I'll certainly be over any kind of breastfeeding modesty by the end of this trip.

Half of my visit will be spent in a hotel room. What tips or tricks do you moms have for life with an infant in a hotel room?

What are some items that I MUST pack? Conversely, what can I leave at home?

Any and all advice is welcomed! At the time, I'm mostly terrified of the trip, although I will get to introduce Isaac to friends and family in Augusta, which is exciting!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Few Things You Never Thought You'd Need

So I've got a little over 5 weeks' worth of experience with this little stinker, and while I'm by no means a baby expert, I've learned a few things about baby life. Obviously, babies need a plethora of baby-specific items. Our house and car has been taken over by baby things. But in the last few weeks, I've found myself saying, "thank goodness I have this" about things I would never have considered a necessity. So, for anyone who might be coming down the baby train soon, here's a list of things that you may or may not have ever thought that you'd need when bringing home a baby.

(let it be known ahead of time that I am not getting any sort of compensation for any of the items pictured below. I just like them. Over & out.)

1. Upholstery Cleaner
Source
Mustard-yellow baby poop stains are worse than mustard itself. And spit up is mostly curdled milk (gross). Unless you're planning on covering your furniture in plastic, trying to avoid getting these delightful things on your furniture is futile. So invest in some good, easy to use upholstery cleaner.

And maybe some dark furniture.

2. Spray N Wash
Source
This kind of goes hand in hand with #1, because chances are very likely that when you get poop on the couch or spit up on the rug, there's also poop and/or spit up on your clothes and your baby's clothes. Isaac is particularly good at aiming his spit ups to land in my lap, which always soak through both my pants and underwear. Let me assure you, there's nothing like curdled milk soaked underwear at 3am. To make life easier, I hook this on the side of Isaac's dirty clothes basket, so I can spritz & toss.

3. Towels
Source
Again, these are for mopping up bodily fluids. Apparently there are babies who exist that rarely or never spit up, but in our case, burp cloths aren't nearly large enough for Isaac's puking, so he is often wrapped in or closely followed by a bath towel. Although, the spit ups usually somehow miss the towels altogether and get all over the couch. In this case, see suggestion #1.

4. Gel Soothies
Source
I wasn't made aware of the necessity of these beauties until I was in the hospital delivering. Obviously, this will only apply to those mamas who are breastfeeding. It takes a few weeks for breastfeeding to get a little less uncomfortable. Until that point, your nipples take a major beating multiple times per day. Keep these in the refrigerator and pop them on after nursing- the cold gel is unbelievably soothing to bruised & battered nipples. My suggestion is to put some lanolin on prior to the pads, so that they come off as easily as they go on. It's also a good idea to take them off prior to your next feeding, unless you want a milk-logged gel pad.

5. Reusable waterproof pads

Chances are good that you won't change every single diaper at the changing table. We have kept Isaac in a pack & play in our room since we got home from the hospital and set up a little diaper changing area nearby. This way we aren't crossing the house at 3am to change a poopy diaper. To prevent making a mess on the carpet or bed, we keep a washable waterproof pad underneath little buddy. Then, if it gets poo or pee or spit up on, it just goes in the washing machine and it's good as new! It doesn't have to be fancy, mine is just a large piece of heavy felt-like fabric.

6. An EXTRA set of pump parts
Source
This just simply saves you from having to wash all of your pump parts for every pumping session. I have been blessed with an overabundance of milk, which seems like a curse when I have to pump frequently and wash the parts every single time.

7. Baby 411
Source
Even though this momma is a nurse, that doesn't mean I know all the ins & outs about normal newborn and infant care. Heck, my job only goes as far as getting the baby out. After that, all bets are off. Even knowing that I'm no expert in babies, when my pediatrician suggested at our first appointment that we get this book, I kind of thought the plug was ridiculous. I didn't need no stinking books! Aaaaaand within the next 24 hours, I was searching for a good deal on Amazon for Baby 411. I think I practically read it cover to cover within the first few days. It's incredibly easy to read and covers any topic you might be concerned about, which is just about everything in those first few weeks as a new mom. There's tons and tons and TONS of information circulating around out there on the interwebs, and having something in my hand that I know my pediatrician supports gives me comfort.

8. Bath Luve
Source
I hadn't even heard of this nifty little item, but one of my coworkers gifted me with one on the day Isaac was born. It certainly isn't a necessity, but it does make bath time easy and enjoyable. It goes in the bath water to get nice & warm and then drapes over baby, keeping him nice & warm during bath time. It also keeps little boy parts covered, preventing warm water-induced peepee geysers. Little buddy loves bath time and his little ducky. Sure, this could easily be accomplished with a washcloth (like I said, this isn't a necessity), but its large size covers much more surface area... and it's cute!


Other moms- what are some of your unconventional must-haves for life with baby?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

1 Month Old! (with an update!)

Isaac, you are one month old today! We made it!!


It's hard to believe you've been our little buddy for a month now. It feels like you've been here for about 5 minutes, which makes my momma heart sad, because in about 5 more minutes you'll be one year old! Slow it down little buddy!


You really are a good boy. You like your sleep and can sleep through almost anything! I'm really hoping this continues and isn't just a newborn phase. The last few nights, you've had some 5 hour sleep stretches, but usually only go 4 hours.  During the day you eat every 3 hours and are pretty content between feedings, with the exception of the 7pm-10pm stretch. This definitely seems to be your fussy period.




You've taken to nursing like a little champion and we haven't really had any feeding problems with one exception: you are a puker! At least once or twice a day, you'll spit up what appears to be entire feedings. Determining which feedings result in a spit up bath is like playing russian roulette, so you're always within a short distance of a towel. Theres usually always a load of towels in the wash as well. But as of your last appointment, you're gaining lots of weight and not terribly fussy, so no reflux meds for now. Just lots and lots of laundry.

In honor of your 1 month old status, we all took our first trip to church this morning! I greatly appreciate that you were quite the little trooper and didn't make a peep the entire time. You didn't spit up either! Talk about a win-win!!!


We'll see Dr. Canales on Tuesday and get your official 1 month weight and length. Two weeks ago you were 9lbs and 10oz, so I'm thinking you'll have easily surpassed the 10 pound mark. You're wearing 0-3 month clothes and size 1 diapers! My big boy!!

Update: You weigh 10lbs and 15oz!! You are 22.25in long! Wooowee!!

We love you so very much Isaac! You have brought such indescribable joy to my life -  never would I have imagined loving a pooping, puking, crying little ball of dark hair and chub chub so SO much. You are my little treasure.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful


We have so much to be thankful for this year!

-Happy & healthy Mom, Dad and adorable baby boy-

-Wonderful family both near and far-

-Sweet snuggles, grunts, and coos-

-Ham (GASP!), Sweet Potatoes, Mac & Cheese, Green Beans and Sister Schuberts-
-.... oh & PW Apple Dumplings with Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla-

-Dear friends who have shown us incredible love and support during these crazy baby days-

-Enough cat naps & short snoozes to be coherent-

-Having stability in an unstable world so I can take a nice, long, leisurely maternity leave-

-Watching my hubby become daddy and seeing how smitten he is with our son-

-Grace and Salvation through Christ alone-
Shirt Source: Applique Boutique
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Wishing you a blessed and happy holiday!

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Truth about Pain in Childbearing

Are you familiar with the Raising Godly Children blog? It's pretty fantastic!

Each day the Raising Godly children blog posts on all sorts of topics related to children -duh- and also marriage (the 31 days of praying for your husband post is what initially drew me to the blog!) and is truly a wealth of Biblical-based knowledge and advice. I have been following the Raising Godly Children blog for sometime now and connected with today's post in a profound way. I thought I'd share what was posted, so check it out and go pay RGC a visit soon!

The Truth about Pain in Childbearing


It's that day again---the photos are everywhere on Facebook and Twitter: scrubbed faces, neatly trimmed hair, un-scuffed shoes, and bulging backpacks all heading out the door. The faces in the photos are all smiles---it's behind the camera where the tears usually spring up, as mothers everywhere faithfully create a steady record of that bittersweet morning when the kids return to school.
Jewish rabbis taught that pregnancy is a mother's most blessed season. During pregnancy she could know with certainty that her child was safe, warm, nourished, and near---a certainty that would vanish as soon as the child entered the outside world. With a measured inhale, a steady exhale, and a mighty push, she would irreversibly move her child from safety and provision to separation and uncertainty.
The rabbis may not have been far off the mark. Birth is euphoria tinged with the ache of separation, the loss of a kindred closeness. It feels a little like a betrayal of a trust, thrusting a tiny person from a place of relative self-sufficiency to a place of complete dependence. It is undeniably natural and necessary (I'm glad my 15-year-old is not still in utero); nevertheless, we are stunned by the pain it involves and astonished at the amount of adjusting to come to grips with our new reality as a mother.
As the years unfold we begin to understand that we have been introduced to the great truth of pain in childbearing, a pain we naively believed would be confined to labor and delivery, but that visits us at every transition we nurture our children toward: the measured inhale, the steady exhale, the mighty push. And separation. Preschool. Kindergarten. Middle school. High school. College. Career. Marriage. With a familiar aching euphoria, we push them out---from safety and provision to separation and uncertainty. It feels like they would be safer just staying with us, as if safety were the greatest gift we could give them.
Somehow, this painful separation process is for our sanctification as mothers. For years I was not sure what the Bible meant that women would be saved through childbearing, but it grows clearer to me now. I once thought it referred only to giving birth, but its meaning encompasses the span of motherhood. Children are born in an instant, but they are borne across a lifetime. Childbearing saves me because it faithfully (albeit painfully) reminds me over and again that I am weak. It reminds me that I am not self-sufficient, that I do not have what it takes to preserve and protect my children, but that my heavenly Father does. It saves me from the belief that I am God.
Motherhood teaches women the imagery and language of the gospel on an intensely personal level. How appropriate the intertwined imagery of childbirth and the Cross: the necessary spilling of blood for the commencement of life, great loss holding hands with great gain. How appropriate the intertwined language of motherhood and the Great Commission: at the threshold of an unkind world we smile bravely at our children and say "go," though our hearts may whisper "stay" as the door closes behind them.
My maternal feelings mislead me. There is no betrayal of a child's trust in sending him out into uncertainty: there is only opportunity to further teach him the one worthy Object of his trust---and to learn the lesson again for myself. To paraphrase a favorite author, I cannot raise my children to be safe, but I can raise them to be strong.
So on such days of transition, I will steady myself to take those precious photos and send those precious children out. Inhale. Exhale. Push. And it will hurt the way great loss holding hands with great gain tends to do. I may cry for a little while after they go, but I will also give thanks for God's faithfulness---faithfulness in turning the pain of childbearing from a curse to a means of grace. Only he can do that. He can be trusted, and he alone.

Jen Wilkin is a wife, mom to four great kids, and an advocate for women to love God with their minds through the faithful study of his Word. She writes, speaks, and teaches women the Bible. She lives in Flower Mound, Texas, and her family calls The Village Church home. You can find her at jenwilkin.blogspot.com.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Treading Water

At least one of us is getting plenty of sleep!
Our world contains a menagerie of emotions these days. Learning how to do life with a baby is both exhausting and endlessly joyful. Being both flexible and patient. Realizing what is important and what can be laughed off at the end of the day.  Figuring out how to change a boy diaper without getting  christened. Add in crazy mom hormones and you've got a great recipe for potential meltdowns. My incredible husband has both put up with my weepy tendencies AND helped out around the house AND changed yucky diapers AND loved all over our little Isaac. My heart is so very full.

One thing is for certain -- my refrigerator (and subsequently, my tummy!) has never been so full. Jordan and I are so SO thankful for the people who have cooked meals for us each and every night since this little bundle was born. A girl could get used to this! I am humbled by the outpouring of love that we have received and can't say "thank you" enough.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Eviction Notice: A Birth Story (Part 2)

Need a refresher? Check out Part 1 here.

So when we left off, I was getting frustrated and had made very little progress. I had forgotten to mention in the last post (See? Already forgetting things) about how hungry I was! I was a bad patient, (don't be like me), and had eaten some breakfast before coming in at 5:30 because I knew it'd be a while before I got to eat again. Well apparently, my apple and Spark was just enough to rev up my metabolism and my body chewed through that in about 45 minutes. From that point on, I was absolutely ravenous! Thankfully, Dr. Canterbury lets her patients have popsicles during labor, and I literally went through every flavor in the freezer and multiple cups of ice chips.

But enough about being hungry, lets get back to Isaac.

I had kicked my family out of the room and had a little pity party as I was coming to the realization that I may not get the "dream delivery" that I was hoping for. I was running very low on patience, was tired and hungry. I began mentally preparing myself for a possible c-section and kept reminding myself over and over again that at the end of the day, ideal delivery or not, our baby would be here. I spent some time in prayer, thanking the Lord for his unending faithfulness to me during this pregnancy. He had graciously granted my every desire for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby and allowed me to be surrounded by sweet friends and loved ones on the day of this baby's birth. I knew that his loving faithfulness was not gone from the situation and asked for renewed faith in His plan.

A short while later, Dr. Canterbury came back around and checked my cervix once again. I was now 6.5 cm dilated. That wasn't exactly what I wanted to hear. I can't be sure, but I don't think that baby boy had dropped any at this point. I was still unhappy and frustrated at my minimal progress. We were doing everything imaginable to make progress happen and progress was being evasive. Carin was helping me reposition routinely, the pitocin was cranking out, and we were still waiting. On top of that, I was starting to get a little uncomfortable. It was easily tolerable, and I didn't want to be any more numb than I already was, so for the most part, I just stuck it out.

A little bit after we learned I was 6.5 cm, I sent Jordan out to hang out with the family in the waiting room. I wasn't interested in having visitors, but I knew he probably needed a break. A few minutes shy of 6pm, Dr. Canterbury came through once again to see how things were going. She checked my cervix and a big smile spread across her face and she excitedly announced that I was an anterior lip (like 9.5cm!!!!) and the baby was very low! Relief washed over me and I let out a few weepy laughs. With just a few good laughs and sniffles and some manual manipulation by Dr. Canterbury, I was 10cm and ready to push! Carin was a ball of energy, getting the room prepped for delivery and calling in a special friend/nursery nurse to attend to my little one. Jordan was summoned and I think just as relieved to hear the good news as I was. I let our family come in for a minute for hugs and well wishes and then got to work.

I still was a little uncomfortable with my contractions and could feel a little baby pressure, but could also feel baby bottom and legs up in my ribs. How in the world was this baby so "low" and yet still making me feel like I couldn't breathe?! This was especially frustrating when I began pushing and felt more like hurling than anything else. But with the help of Carin and Jordan, I hoisted my dead legs back and started pushing with all my might. It was a little past 6pm and it was go time. After a few pushes, Carin announced that this baby had some dark hair. After a few more pushes, she tells me that I'm getting pretty close. I still felt like barfing with every push and spent my time between pushes trying to keep my popsicles down. We discussed pushing only twice (instead of 3 pushes) with each contraction to try to keep my nausea in check. Well that would've been a great idea if I'd actually gotten a chance to implement it, but with the next push, Carin called for the delivery team!

My legs were in stirrups, and the spotlights were on, and the team was in place. It was time to meet our baby and finally know if baby M is a boy or a girl. I only pushed a couple more times and heard Dr. Canterbury say, "Open your eyes and look at your baby!"


And like that HE was here! Our perfect boy.


The very first thing I said (before we caught a glimpse of those boy parts) was "Oh my gosh, you are huge!" Little did I know how huge he actually was!


To say that I was completely and entirely shocked that this child that I just pushed out (in 35 minutes!) was NINE POUNDS & SIX OUNCES would be an understatement. Never in a million years would I have ever dreamed that this boy would be such a bruiser! I guess I feel a little vindicated for that whiny post a few weeks back! And no wonder he still felt so high -- He was 22 inches long! It's totally obvious now why the labor took a little longer than I was anticipating, although in hindsight, I realize it didn't take nearly as long as it felt like at the time. Crazy kid.

A little father-son bonding time


And just like that, we became a trio. We were completely smitten with our big boy. Even though both Jordan and I were anticipating that this baby was going to be a girl, almost instantly, I couldn't imagine having anything but our sweet guy to snuggle.

One of the very first to learn of this pregnancy, Dr. Canterbury has been apart of this baby's life from the very beginning! I wouldn't have wanted anyone else by my side on this special day. 
My amazing friend and labor nurse Carin who has been praying for this baby from the very beginning. She was at the hospital at 5am, stayed until almost 8pm and never faltered. She will always have a special place in my heart.
So, after all that worrying and anxiety, I truly got the "dream delivery" I had envisioned for 9 months. From being delivered by my own doctor all the way to having a great IV in the ideal spot, everything was absolutely perfect. My coworkers were amazing and gave the 3 of us the royal treatment. I even got to stay in labor & delivery for the duration of my stay (we left Friday night), where I felt most comfortable. I couldn't be more thankful to everyone who was apart of our special day. We had several people come in from home on their day off just to be there for us, and for that, I am so very grateful. And most importantly, I am reminded of and humbled by the Lord's faithfulness to our family. Blessed with a healthy pregnancy, healthy baby, and beautiful delivery, the Lord has certainly shown us His great love and grace.

I am so unbelievably thankful. And in love.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Eviction Notice: A Birth Story (Part 1)

My sweet boy is a week old today! That just completely blows my mind!!! Each day that goes by, my brain shrinks a little more and a little more, so I want to get my birth story down before it gets all muddled and weird. Thank goodness that with each day that goes by, my heart grows by leaps and bounds. I just love this little guy.

When I envisioned my "ideal" delivery day, it came with so many special people and so many variables, that I was certain that it wouldn't actually come true. Of course, I wanted my doctor to deliver me. And being that I work in L&D, I had a labor nurse, charge nurse, nursery nurse, and anesthetist that I really wanted. I wanted to bring snacks and goodies for the unit. I wanted my baby to be bathed at the bedside and stay with me, and I wanted to stay in the labor unit for the duration of my admission. Most of all, I wanted a vaginal delivery with that super special moment where we finally learned whether this baby was a boy or a girl. So many ideals. I was certain I had set myself up for failure-- I mean, the nurse curse is real and I was waiting for the hammer to drop. Are you tired of hearing this yet? I mean, lets get to the question everyone wants to know: How'd you get that big boy out? Lets start from the beginning....

Room 281 - It's showtime!
First off, I was induced. We had lots of reasons for choosing this route and that's that. So we arrived at the hospital at an early 5:30 am, where my dear friend/labor nurse Carin was waiting for us. We did all the admit nonsense: paperwork, consent forms, lab work and an IV. I was already contracting some and the baby looked perfectly healthy on the monitor, so at about 6:30am or so, my pitocin was started. This all sounds pretty routine, but I was a nervous wreck. I was not happy being on "the other side." I kept telling Carin to ignore my elevated blood pressures, as I was sure they were high because I just couldn't relax.

The contractions came and they really weren't as bad as I anticipated. Carin let me be up and moving around the room, which certainly helped, but even when I was in the bed, all I felt was pressure with them. So far, so good.

Our last photo as a family of two!

Dr. Canterbury dropped in around 10 that morning and checked my cervix and broke my water. I was 4cm dilated and doing just fine. I told her to ignore my elevated blood pressures also, but she didn't listen to me and when she saw my swollen ankles (I'd gained 6lbs in a week! After not gaining any weight since 28 weeks!! Maybe there was something going on...), she ordered some additional lab work to check for Pregnancy Induced Hypertension. In the meantime, I was still pretty comfortable. I was contracting regularly, but even with my water broken, all I felt was pressure. I continued to move around the room but was also fine sitting in bed. I had really imagined the contractions to be much more painful than they ended up being. My PIH lab work came back a little wonky and Dr. Canterbury suggested I go ahead and get an epidural to help keep my blood pressures a little lower. I still like to think everything was purely anxiety induced, but on paper, I definitely met all the PIH qualifications. So I guess it's a pretty good thing we were there to have a baby before I got any sicker.

Carin called anesthesia for my epidural to be placed and my "favorite" CRNA came in from home to get me all set up. By this point in time I was 5cm dilated and it was around noon. Again, I was anticipating the epidural to be somewhat uncomfortable, but honestly, I hardly felt anything and was completely shocked when Dirk told me he was all finished. I definitely wanted an epidural for labor and wouldn't change my mind now, but definitely didn't like the creepy crawly heavy leg feeling. (Can you tell I have a few control issues?!)

Fast forward 2 hours and I'm still 5cm dilated. By this point in time (I can't remember exactly, but I think it was around 2pm), I'm getting frustrated and my L&D nurse brain is on fire with thoughts of labor curves, c-sections, shoulder dystocias, pushing for 3 hours, vacuums, forceps, arrest of dilation, arrest of descent... I was a bundle of nerves once again. I'd been there since dark thirty and only made ONE centimeter's worth of progress??? I was sure that I was doomed. Carin kept trying to be encouraging and I rolled my eyes at her. We initiated all the superstitious labor tricks and crossed our fingers that my uterus and this baby would start to cooperate soon.



To Be Continued.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

He's Here!

Surprise!!!! I'm a BOY!

Isaac Edward
Born October 25, 2012 at 6:44pm
9 pounds, 6 ounces
22 inches long


We are absolutely in love with our little prince. We've been resting at home since late Friday night and are doing really well. Many pictures, updates and a birth story to come. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Not Whining

I try to hold in all my whiny thoughts and feelings when I'm blogging. Aint nobody got time for that.

So I like to think I've only had a handful of whiny pregnancy related posts and that maybe I can cash in another whiny post. Except in my mind, I like to think of this whole post as more of a "check out this mildly humorous connection I've made that just so happens to include a lot of uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms." Lets go with that, ok?

I'm rapidly approaching that 39 week mark. Can you even believe that?! We are so close to finally meeting this little person, which is both exciting and terrifying. But being less than 2 weeks from my due date means that these days are feeling a little slower and heavier and more uncomfortable. Which brings me to my genius deduction:

The Last Two Weeks of Pregnancy are Significantly Worse than the "Dreaded" First Trimester.

Let's compare, shall we?

Symptom #1. Gastrointestinal distress. Sure, in the first trimester you've got that whole morning sickness junk. It's not very fun. And in the last 2 weeks, there's just no room for such a thing as food. And if you put food in said tiny stomach, prepare for heartburn, indigestion, and maybe if you're unlucky, some toilet hugging time. Considering morning sickness can be medicinally controlled, but obviously a pregnant lady's got to eat, I'm going to declare The Last Two Weeks the winner of this battle. And by "winner," I mean not as fun.

Symptom #2. Fatigue. Perhaps you've never experienced fatigue like pregnancy related fatigue. I can remember being so wiped out during my first trimester that I was sure I couldn't put one foot in front of the other. It's not very fun. And then steps in that Last Two Weeks fatigue, which is eerily similar in nature to First trimester fatigue, except for the huge fact that now you're carrying around an extra 30 pounds or so. Winner? The Last Two Weeks.

Symptom #3. Frequent bathroom breaks. So I didn't really have a huge problem with this during my own first trimester. But just remember, in the Last Two Weeks, there's a 7lb baby that's within kicking distance of your bladder which can potentially lead to an awkward situation. Peeing more often vs. peeing on yourself? Winner? The Last Two Weeks.

Symptom #4. Sleeplessness. No contest. The Last Two Weeks.

Factor in jiggly swollen feet, maybe some stretch marks, that whole waddle thing, hip and/or back pain, an inability to reach anything.... oh, and CONTRACTIONS... and the first trimester doesn't sound all that bad anymore. Except it lasts a lot longer than 2 weeks.

Can I get an amen?!
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