Oh What Fun, My Little Snowman Turned One!

Charlie had snow much fun hanging with his snowmeys at his Winter Onederland! We did the Snowkey Pokey and the Freeze Dance, went ice fishing and played in an igloo. You can't see it in the photos, but we had a snow machine, too! To eat we had COLD cuts, CHILI and more! It was such a wonderful first birthday celebration for a wonderful little boy!


11 Months

The party invites are out which can only mean one thing: the big first birthday is fast approaching!

CB turned 11 months last week and I absolutely can not believe it! Suddenly he is so much of a little boy as opposed to a baby. I'm still in awe of how quickly time goes.

  • 26.8 pounds. Know that exactly after a trip to the doctor this evening. Diagnosis? Double ear infection. Those ears...that's a post for another day.
  • Pulling himself up and taking steps when pushing his walker or around furniture.
  • Loves to open (and close...and open...and close...) cabinets and drawers.
  • Goes to sleep with a binkie (we prefer Mams) in his mouth and one in each hand...just for good measure.
  • Which reminds me...next time I have to buy a crib buy one with a SOLID back. I pull the crib out and retrieve pacis on a daily basis.
  • We suddenly have an aversion to eating fresh vegetables. So that's been fun. Pouches and baby food have been reintroduced!
  • Quite--QUITE--obsessed with finding belly buttons. The other day I was sitting at the kitchen table and he pulled himself up behind me. Unbeknownst to me, my shirt was up a little in the back and all of a sudden I felt a cold little paw on my love handle. Scared the bejeezus out of me! He was just looking for my belly button; that's all.
  • Toofers: bottom central incisors are in and pretty much all the way up. Top lateral incisors are in. Top central incisors are on their way. That's right...my son's name is Edward Cullen.
  • Still thinks Macy is hilarious, though we are working on gentle petting. She does not appreciate being bitch slapped--literally.
  • Waves hi, can kind of do "more" and "all done" in sign language (he's really masted "more." Please refer to bullet point #1--my son's weight). Working on finding our nose, blowing kisses and TOUCHDOWN! 
Shopping has commenced for his and Jesus' birthday, and here's what's on our list so far: 

1. Pottery Barn Kids' Anywhere Chair. Purchased with the awesome gift card we won as a result of their Spooktacular Costume Contest. BOOYA! (Again with the pun! It's too easy!) And yes, we dominated comment count. 

2. Y Bike. Ordered it from Yoyo.com just last night. Can't argue with the discount on your first purchase from that site and free shipping! 

3. Red Piano. Of which I am sure I will regret. 

Other than that, he's getting other small things. He is obsessed with Slide and Find books and he also needs some new hooded bath towels as his current ones are getting a little. too. snug. 

Now, do share...gotta have great gifts for the one-year-old? 


The Milky Way of Life

I've always thought breastfeeding was so weird. Maybe it's just my modest self, but although it's one of the most "natural" things you can do, I always thought it was so strange.

And then I had a baby, I breastfed, and I became slightly obsessed.

Moms do a lot of things. Change diapers, do the laundry, drop off and pick up. We do a lot. But that's nothing dad, grandma, grandpa, the nanny, aunts, uncles or friends can't do.

Being the sole provider of baby's food...when you're nursing...only a momma can do that.

My modesty went out the window when I was nursing. Feed CB in front of family and friends? Check. (Though there were definitely some people I felt a little less comfortable nursing in front of.) Pump in the backseat of the company vehicle with two co-workers (both female, of course) up front? Check. Whip out a boob on an airplane to calm down a hyperactive boy? Tried it, but nothing would calm Hurricane Chuck that day. I digress...

Nursing became this maternal sense of empowerment that I had never envisioned happening. It was a huge part of my life for 10.5 months. 10.5 months! My goal was six months and I made it 10. While not intended to be an "I love myself" post, I will pat myself on the back for sticking with it for that long. Nursing takes time. There are sacrifices in what you can eat and drink. Your wardrobe is planned according to what is easy to strip down in. (Dresses...bad.) You miss out on the party or conversation-at-hand when you have to wander into the other room to feed the baby. Pumping is another meeting added to an already busy schedule at the office. And if you travel for business...well don't forget to call the hotel to get a fridge in your room and figure out how to not be in the security line behind your boss so he doesn't see your breast milk bags get screened for explosives.

But all of that was easily outweighed by the benefits. The fact that you are the source of nutrition for your baby (I, I, got CB to a meaty 25 pounds! No skim milk here, people.) That dependency, while overwhelming at times, was so cool. And the bond, that one-on-one time you get to spend with your little one will never be replaced.

Stopping nursing was harder than I thought it would be. When we started needing to supplement with formula around 9 months, I had a really hard time with it. It was another realization of how quickly time has passed, plus the culmination of that special thing between CB and I. When he got his two teeth, I was asked if I was done breastfeeding. And while it hurt like a MOTHER when he bit me the few times, I didn't give myself a hard and fast end date. I just kind of let it happen. I had heard friends discussing that approach many many moons ago, before I was a mom. I didn't understand the big deal then, but I do now. Knowing "this is the last time I am going to feed the baby," would be a much harder feeling than, "wow, I haven't nursed since Thursday," which was hard enough in and of itself.

So, I'm done. My partner in crime (not the teats; the pump) was packed down this evening. The yellow Vera Bradley tote that replaced the black Medela nylon bag will soon be repurposed for another role. The ice pack will start to keep other types of bottles cool. It's quite bittersweet. I have awesome memories of and from nursing my little babe. Like when my brother tried to keep the nurse from entering my hospital room while I feeding CB (she did not care...at all). And when I attended a breastfeeding support group meeting (What.A.Cluster. I need to blog about that before I forget all of the details). And when housekeeping started opening my door while I was pumping.

The primary reason I was able to breastfeed and pump so long is because I was fortunate to have a good supply. I have many friends that physically couldn't produce enough. I feel blessed that God gave me this gift. If you're a nursing mom, or considering it, and have the same gift that I did...stick with it. Don't give up because it's inconvenient. Things that helped me (beyond just being a little dairy cow):

1. Cheerleaders in your hubby, friends and family. If they support you and encourage you, it helps immensely. When asked if I was done feeding Charlie once he had teeth, I suddenly felt I had to start defending why I was still nursing.

2. Comfortable environment. While there were many sessions spent in bathroom stalls, and the aforementioned vehicle with co-workers (which happened twice), having the lactation room at the place I pumped the most--work--was awesome. Cheers to the Milky Way! And being surrounded with co-workers who also support your dedication as a breastfeeding working mom is huge. Most women stop breastfeeding when they go back to work, and I thank the awesome environment at my company for helping me stick with it so long.

3. Good gear. The Medela Freestyle is awesome. Double electric, hands-free (though it looks like a torture device when you're wearing it) helps you multi-task. Would have been even cooler if I got mine for free. (Dang it! Missed that one by a matter of days.)

4. iPhone. I'm not sure how women pumped pre-smart phone. Do you know how much Pinteresting and Words-With-Friends-ass-kicking I did while pumping? And let's not forget about CB's Hallmark photo shoot that was a result of a quick Facebook find while in the Milky Way one afternoon. (Note: CB was way. too. huge. for the Hallmark cloths. Please see point about me producing Whole milk.)

5. An "I can do this" attitude.

To each their own, but I truly believe this (while sometimes feeling like a burden and obligation) has been one of the coolest parts of being a mom; one of my best memories. When I meet, hear of, talk to or read about a breastfeeding mom, I want to give her a huge high five and tell her she is awesome. It's the one and only time I turn into a feminist and want to say, "We. Freaking. Rock."

Life in the Milky Way. Truly out of this world.


And in other pouch news

After sharing the news of the Plum recall with my mom, I thought she was a bit dramatic when she threw out any pouches, any brand, at her house. Maybe she was on to something. 

My sister-in-law called me tonight to tell me something that happened to an acquaintance of hers. This Facebook friend had fed her daughter a pouch, and her daughter refused it. Mom examined it and found..wait for it...LIVE LARVAE crawling inside.

After I threw up in my mouth, I told my SIL about the Plum recall and assumed these two incidents were related. But upon further investigating, the second story was an Earth's Best pouch. Visit the brand's website for more information on the incident. And yes, we have Earth's Best pouches in our pantry as I type.

So now I'm officially grossed out. I've always wondered how an organic produce product, with no preservatives, remains shelf stable for years. The answer I've received was the cooking process enables this to happen, but alas, I'm afraid I have the answer...they don't. They spoil. 

This all on a day when CB had not one, but two, pouches for lunch. Not hungry for the sweet potato I packed, or perhaps he just craved the extra protein in the pouches. 

Line crossed and puking shall commence right ... about ... now.

Plum Organics Issues a Recall

Check your pantries; Plum Organics has issued a recall on several of their products, including various pouches. The company says products may be spoiled inside the pouch because of a manufacturing defect. You can find more information here

I was trying to get CB off of pouches and canned food as I'm trying in general for all of us to eat a little less processed/packaged food. We had signed up for Door-to-Door organics, but it seemed a little pricey and the produce was going to waste. It was a bit of an eye-opener though--if organic produce doesn't last as long as non-organic, what is on/in the "normal" stuff that extends its shelf life? I also didn't think that organic bananas tasted as good as the good ole' Dole ones; again...concerning? Although I don't think D2D will work out, we did enjoy an outing to Trader Joe's over the weekend primarily for fruits and veggies*--fresh and frozen. I was impressed by the low prices and it was nice to be able to buy the amount I think we will need, as opposed to what comes in the bitty box 

While I am trying to feed CB fresh as much as possible, a friend reminded me that sometimes you can't argue with the ease and convenience of pouches/jars. Especially as the little one requires a lot of steaming, peeling and chopping, if it's a rushed dinner hour opening a lid, squeezing into a bowl and spooning + serving is the best route to go. But I am curious if others agree. And if you do, what do you look for in these packaged fruits and veggies in terms of sugar, sodium and other nutritionals. 

Just want to make sure the apple of my eye is getting what he deserves! 

* We also came home with a box of Peppermint Joe Joes and, as someone who isn't a real fan of Oreos, O.M.G these things were amazing. Especially crumbled over some vanilla ice cream! 


32 years later

My grandpa has always carried two ballpoint pens in his shirt pocket. Always. When I was a baby, I would slyly pluck a pen from his pocket, look him in the eyes and drop it on the floor.


So when CB was reunited with his great-grandfather yesterday, it was only natch that him holding one of Great-grandpa Jim's pens would be documented and compared to me at that age.


My little meatball

CB's dinner tonight was applesauce, turkey meatballs and steamed carrots. I have him the carrots and the meatballs at the same time and wouldn't you know the little stinker can tell the difference between the two. And guess which one be favored...not the one loaded with Beta carotene. He would seriously picking around the carrots and only eating the meatballs.

Then when I stepped away he must have thought "maybe if she thinks I ate all the carrots, she will give me the meatballs over there that she's not sharing," as this is what I reappeared to. Look closely.

You win my smart, cute little buddy. More meatballs, coming right up.


Have I mentioned how much I love garage sales?

Last week it was a Baby Jogger double jogging stroller for $60. Today it's this gem (likely for grandma's house) for $25! It retails for $150! Looks like I better go grocery shopping this afternoon!


A post that has nothing to do with parenting

I've been so saddened following the news of the Andrea Kruger murder in Omaha (google it.) An innocent 33-year-old mother of three carjacked and shot four times in her affluent suburban neighborhood while driving home from work.

The killer? A sickened individual with tattoos covering his face who was releases from prison just July 30. In addition to Kruger, he's been charges with three other murders.

Four murders in three weeks. And here's the worst part...if our system wasn't so f'ed up, he'd be in jail still.

He was released July 30, years earlier than his sentence, for good-time, which gives most prisoners one day off their sentence for each day they spend behind bars without violating prison rules. This after the crazy ass assaulted guards and fellow inmates, made terroristic threats to judges and was clearly a threat to our community.

Yet released early.

This has me up in arms almost as much as bail. Bail is set for $50,000 but if you pay just 10% of that, a criminal can go home.

Boiling it all down--we are lenient on the bad people in society but not those who are advancing it.

Why can't I buy a house for 10% of the asking price?
Why can't a straight A college student leave early?

Instead, these people put in their full time, pay the full amount. And the dreaming whack jobs that are robbing people, providing drugs to people and killing people have it easier than all the upstanding citizens.

At what point does simple common sense override antiquated laws? The developments in Omaha are a testament to a lapse in our government and judicial system.

Commit a crime. DO. THE. FREAKING. TIME.


Nursing mommy problems

When you realize a button in the middle of your Oxford has been undone since your last pumping session...three hours ago. #peepshow #andyesIamatwork


This happened

Me: "I'd like to report suspicious sounds outside my house."

911 Operator: "Is that what I hear in the background? It sounds like a bullfrog?"

Me: "No, that is my breast pump."

Six months

I'm completely shocked my son is six months old!! It feels like just yesterday we were bringing him home.

He is weighing in at 23 lbs, measuring 28.5 inches and sporting a 19-inch noggin.

He absolutely loves watching little kids! He also is a big fan of vegetables, especially peas much to his dad's dismay. Not a huge fan of fruits yet.

The boy is wearing size 18 month clothes and goes through them like crazy on any given day thanks to being a miniature drool factory. No teeth yet, but surely soon.

He thinks our dog Macy is the funniest thing ever and will gladly give you a kiss on the cheek if you ask for one. It melts my heart! Also loves the jumperoo, exersaucer, playing "How Big" and really a good time in general. Music puts him to sleep...although Zzzzssss are something he's not a fan of--especially if you're trying for his crib. He got a small stuffed penguin (Pengy) at the zoo a few weeks ago from grandma that he's starting to have with him at night night time.

Walks are fun and do tend to make the little guy zonk out, as did the pool on his first time there.

Overall, he's a very happy and good baby (ask me again at 330 am). We are SO so so very happy to have you in our lives Charlie Brown!! Happy six month birthday!!



Quick quips

1. You know you're busy when you are thankful it rains so you can cross "water flowers" off your to-do list.

2. Diapers.com is seriously the bomb.com. Ordered the lad a new carseat last night at 11 pm (30% off sale ended yesterday). It has already arrived. That's faster than I could have made it to a brick & mortar store to buy one! Love love love them.


The parenting juxtaposition

I've worked until at least 730 for the last week. Each evening when the minutes would tick by, I wished I was no where but home, snuggling with my babe. Tonight I have the chance, and I do. But then it's time for him to go to sleep and he wants no part of transferring from my arms to the crib. Or the rock n play. Or even the floor. But it has to be done--there are bottles to wash, bottles to fill, and nourishment for me.

He cries the entire time. He ceases as soon as I pick him up.

We move upstairs. I'm in dire need of a shower. He cries the entire time through it.

He's essentially been crying for two hours straight, only because he wants me to hold him.

And I don't. I let him cry and be so sad because he wants in his mother's arms. The same arms he will be too big for someday.

I know the days will go so fast. I want to spend every one of them cuddling with my son. Yet I don't for fear of him becoming too coddled or because there are necessary chores that must be done. Yet the tears in his eyes say he wants nothing more than me.

How's that for a parenting crisis.


Sweet smiles

There's not a lot my grandma remembers these days, including her own kids (my dad), where she is, etc. And although she can't remember Charlie's name or his relation to her, the smiles they brought one another today at my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary are unforgettable to me.



It's not that I was heartless before Dec. 21, but the emotions overcoming me as I watch coverage from the Moore, Oklahoma tornado is unlike anything I've known. I'm positive it's coming from the place of a mother. Hearing kids' testimonies of "hanging on to the wall at school so I wouldn't blow away" and seeing photos of families surrounded in piles of shrapnel, formerly their belongings, have brought me to tears.

It's another unfortunate reminder that of all the things we desire and want for our children, nothing compares to that of our family's health and safety.

Praying for everyone devastated by this storm.


What the duct?

You know when you're looking for something on a high shelf, so you jump up quickly to see if you can catch a quick glimpse of it? Well I did that tonight. And upon landing, it feels like a softball was chucked at my left breast and lodged there. I think what may have happened is the force of the landing caused a boatload of ducts to clog up...or something. The left teet is rock hard and hurts. Ouchie mama.

Anyone have an experience like this? Come on random readers. Isn't the status of your boob exactly what you want your first comment to be on?

My favorite part is when I told TFitch about it he said, "is that what you need to put a warm washcloth on?" To quote the classy movie "Knocked Up," "he read the baby books."

There is no photo to accompany this post.


Charlie started daycare today. It was a day I've been dreading since Dec. 21 of last year - maybe even longer - but we did okay! Of course I got teary eyed and was sad to leave him, but checked in on the webcam a lot today. They reported he felt overwhelmed at times, but all in all had a good first day. I think he will really like it and I think he'll be great buds with Connor, the big, active 10-month-old boy in his class.

It feels surreal that we're settling in to life as we know it. Back to work. The start of Charlie's next phase of life. These balloons have been floating high in the sky in our house since he was born (could never bring myself to deflate them) and just yesterday they started falling. I guess the newborn phase is really coming to an end. Crazy.



Tonight I was washing Charlie's face while he was lying on the changing table in his room, listening to his lullabies on low, and a small wave of emotion came over me. Charlie and I were winding down this day the exact way we started nearly every one of them while I was home with him. It was the first gentle reminder that those glorious months are over. But, I truly do enjoy being at work. While there may have been a few tears tonight, I do believe they are because I'm so glad for our time together and tonight was a reminder of that irreplaceable time in both of our lives.

Mama loves you Charlie boy.


Home is where the baby is

Two full days of work under my belt. Yesterday afternoon I was really itching to get home. I missed Charlie so much! That was the longest I had been away from him. But all in all it is going well.

Mornings have been a lot earlier and busier, but it is good. I am thankful my mom is here this week so Charlie gets more time at home. I got home from work today at 5 pm and she had done our laundry and folded it, Charlie's laundry and put it away, washed our sheets and made our bed and made dinner, of course also feeding Charlie three times, changing two poopy diapers and numerous wet ones, putting him down for numerous naps and more. How does she do it? Trevor's mom is here next week! We are very grateful for the grandma's help!!

Here's a picture grandma Mary sent me today. Love my updates from home!


I survived!

First day of work--check! For anyone returning to the office after maternity leave I highly recommend going mid-week, half days and having the little one stay with dad. Makes it much more tolerable!! Plus having awesome co-workers helps make you want to be there. But still...there's nothing like hanging with the little one.