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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Dinner

We decided to start a new tradition this year of staying home on Christmas Day. Previously, we always did the rounds on Christmas and by the end of the 25th, we were so exhausted and missed our couch.

This year we wanted to stay home and relax. Isaiah helped with that because it was easier to stay home for his nap times.

Josh's employer gives employees a turkey every Thanksgiving. We hadn't used it, so we decided to have it for Christmas dinner.

I always help my grandma make Thanksgiving dinner, so I've been around a raw turkey before, but she's an old pro and usually takes the lead on that. This was my first time making it on my own, and I quickly realized that I had no idea what to do.

I'm always a sucker for a recipe that says "easy" or "three ingredients" so I was immediately drawn to this recipe for a brown bag turkey.

Brown Bag Turkey
1 (12 -16 lb) whole turkey
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 paper bag (like a paper grocery bag)
I added celery, carrot, onion, and parsley in the cavity. I didn't feel right leaving it empty.
  1. If you purchase a frozen turkey, follow the directions on the label regarding defrosting time.
  2. Take your paper bag and cut it so that you can open it to tent over the turkey.
  3. Generously butter complete surface of one side of the paper bag. Coat every inch of the side that will be closest to the turkey.
  4. Place turkey in roasting/baking pan and tent the paper bag over the turkey, butter-side down.
  5. Place turkey in cold oven (Do Not Preheat)
  6. Turn heat to 500 and roast for 1 hr.
  7. Turn down to 400 degrees and roast for 1 hr.
  8. Turn down to 300 degrees and roast for another 1 hr.
  9. Total cooking time: 3 hrs. Remove turkey from oven.
  10. Remove paper bag and let turkey rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.

I kid you not, this was the best turkey I've ever had. Ever. I don't even like turkey, but this was delicious. My husband even agreed and he likes turkey less than I do (don't ask why we wanted to have it in the first place).

I highly, highly recommend this method. Just make sure you have tons of butter on the bag so it doesn't catch fire. And it never hurts to have an extinguisher on hand just in case. I was feeling pretty thankful that we had to get one for Isaiah's adoption home study. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ten Month Update

My baby is becoming a big boy. He's ten months old already.

I don't have any stats for him because we don't go to the doctor until his one year appointment. I'm still in disbelief that one year is a thing we're actually talking about.

This guy had a rough month eating. His teeth made things rough because he was hungry, but didn't want to finish any of his bottles. He just didn't know what he wanted. He is still on the non-soy formula and doing well with it. I made Christmas dinner and he ate with us, until he had a tired meltdown and went to bed. Any food I give him goes down. I was giving him big pieces until he started shoving it all in at the same time. There have been a few choking incidents, so I've taken him back down to eating small pieces and only giving him one at a time. One of these days he'll get the hang of it, right?

Nothing new to report about night sleep. He's very dependable in that. Naps got rough as some days he only needs one and most other days he needs two, but since he can stand he just cannot lay down to take one. He's a busy guys with lots to do.

New this month:
So much. He started pulling himself up to sit this month. As soon as he started sitting up on his own, he started crawling, pushing up to his hands and feet, and standing in bed. I simply couldn't keep up with him this month. He does it all now. Also, all of his teeth are through now. We get a break for a little bit, I hope.

He likes everything. He was indifferent to the Christmas tree and never acted interested in ours or my mother in law's. He loves the heat vents on the floor. He likes going on trips with his dad. They run errands every once in a while. I sent them out for pizza and wine and found out they went to McDonald's and shared fries. He still loves the dog so much.

As parents:
I talked last month about my blogger burnout, and decided to take a week off of social media completely to relax. I hate how I go to bed at 9 and then realize I've been on my phone for two hours and get to sleep just as late as usual. It was harder than I thought it would be. Way harder.

All of the new milestones Zay is hitting is making us really stop and recognize how much he's changed. I saw pictures our cousin took when we were in the hospital with him for the first time the other day and was just in awe at how much different we are in such a relatively short period of time.

He is really just amazing and makes parenting something we love like we never thought we could.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Mama's First Christmas

Christmas has been hard for me since we first started trying for a baby. I always wanted to be one of those couples who could announce to our families at Christmas that we were having a baby. It was hard to go through each holiday season and not have a child to buy for, or to wake up Christmas morning with.

Now that we're wrapping up our fifth year of marriage, we're getting ready to have our first Christmas as parents.

Now that we're parents, the things we ask for for Christmas have changed. Our moms have been hounding me for ideas, and this is what I want.

  • Size 4 Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Large Sleep Sacks
  • A Back-Friendly Mattress 
  • New Yoga Pants
  • Leggings
  • Toothpaste
  • A Second Bathroom
  • B. Zany Zoo Activity Cube
Exciting, right?

But what I really want is for everyone to take a second to think about the future mama you know who doesn’t have a baby yet. The holidays might be difficult for her, and she might need a little hug. Reminders of infertility, at least for me, rears its ugly head in times of togetherness and celebration. It’s hard when Great Aunt Lucy wants to know when you’ll be having little ones of your own, or why you haven’t started yet.

Even though this is my first Christmas as a mom, I’m thinking of you. I’ll never forget what those years were like for me, and I wish I could say something to comfort you, but I can’t. All I can say is that infertility sucks, and also that someday you’ll be just fine.

Also, I would like world peace.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Missed Match

Any adoptive family can tell you, a cancelled match or changed mind is part of the game.
If you think about it, it is extremely heartbreaking, but understandable.

Can you imagine finding out that you're pregnant and making the decision that you cannot care for your unborn, then set out to find someone else to love your child in the way you approve of? Can you imagine spending nine months of your life with someone, and then one day, that person is gone?

I can't either.

We are no strangers to a cancelled match. Before we met Isaiah's birth mom, there was a different birth mom who decided against placing her child with us, and there have been two more cancelled matches since Isaiah was born.

When he was two months old, we heard of a birth mom who knew of us through Isaiah's birth mom. She decided she couldn't handle another child, but eventually changed her mind and kept the baby.

We found out in early November that there was another birth mom in our area who was pregnant with a little girl that she wanted to find a family for. She had already contacted a local agency, but then heard about us and felt more comfortable placing her child with someone a friend could personally vouch for. I understand that private adoptions outside of an agency are odd, but these birth moms know about our family by word of mouth. All of these birth moms are distantly connected somehow to us in a way that they've heard about Isaiah's adoption.  We aren't actively pursuing another adoption, but we agreed long before we knew about Isaiah that we would never turn a child away. Even if we aren't ready or prepared, if there is a child who needs us, the answer is always going to be yes.

We mentally prepared to become parents again. We considered the logistics of what it would mean for us.

And we loved her.

We started clearing out our last spare room to make a little girl nursery. I started a hidden "little girl" board on Pinterest. I started to get sentimental that this would be Isaiah's first and only Christmas as an only child. I got scared of taking care of girl hair. We figured out how we would cover the fees. I even told my brothers about her.

And then her birth mom decided she couldn't let her go.

I admire her for loving her child so much that she couldn't let go. At the same time, I let go of a little piece of my heart every time. As soon as I hear of a child who may be meant for us, I give my heart away. I never knew how immediately I could love a child until we started pursuing adoption.
Adoption isn't easy. You don't have any control. But in our experience, everything works out exactly how it's supposed to, no matter how many times your heart breaks in the process.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Nine Month Update

Nine months old. I can't even describe how fast time is going. It's unbelievable. 

Weight: 21lb 14oz
Length: 29"

This month I got lots and lots of pictures.

I'm tired of making purees. It wasn't the making it that bothered me, because I love doing stuff in the kitchen, it was making something separate at meal time for him than we were eating. We rarely go out to eat, but I hated taking separate food for him. I started letting him eat off my plate when he started chewing food better. He loves to eat and perfected his pincer grab which makes it easier. I switched him to a non-soy formula that he is tolerating just fine.

He's doing well with sleep. Teething has caused him to wake up between 4-5am a few times, but I've always been consistent with calming him without picking him up. There was one night where he was so upset that I did pick him up, but it's easier for me to calm him with him still in bed because I can't stand the crying that starts as soon as I would lay him back down. He likes to cuddle with a burp rag, but the mornings he wakes up too early I let him have the blanket he uses at naptimes. At first it made me sick to give him a blanket, but the one we use is a thin muslin blanket and I was able to breathe when I put it over my own face.

New this month:
Teeth. This month he had five teeth. They weren't all through the gums, but they were causing him pain. By the time he turned nine months he had four teeth through on the bottom, and I could see four working their way through on the top. We don't handle teeth well. He was able to pull up to stand while he was sitting on my lap, and he started to crawl backwards. He has started giving kisses without being prompted. He gave me a kiss goodnight and I almost cried. It was the sweetest thing.

He likes playing on the floor with his toys. He isn't always interested in being in the exersaucer or jumper. He loves our dog. He doesn't care for green beans or peas. My brothers are still his favorites. He is still crying when I leave the room. I'm attributing it to teething, but we'll see. He has to stop at some point.
As parents:
I think I relaxed a little when he finally stopped throwing up all the time. I'm not saying he stopped spitting up, but he is now spitting up the most infrequently he has his entire life. It is really just about the greatest thing ever.

My blogging burnout from last month has dragged on to this month. I'm kind of "whats the point?" about things lately. I want to keep up with these monthly posts though so I can fill in his baby book whenever I get around to it. I'm so lazy. I'm not quitting blogging, I've gone through this before, usually this time of year. I'll be back in full force soon, I'm sure.

Josh's work schedule changed, so now we're getting more family time on the weekends. It has been great. We love getting to see Josh more often.

And one more for good measure.

Friday, November 22, 2013

I'm A Selfish Mom

And a good one.

I know that the word selfish makes you think I'm a bad mom, but I'm not.

I've seen so many things lately on Facebook about how we should run to our crying babies because they just want us. We should embrace them and comfort them so that they know everything is alright.

I saw a blog post written by a baby in the middle of sleep training that was essentially a long guilt trip to all mothers who want to sleep train. It portrayed a baby who was scared and cold all alone in their cold, institutional-like crib. It talked about the days and days the baby would cry and his mom wouldn't comfort him. And how scared he was.

Yeah. Alright.

I considered writing my own letter from a sleep trained baby that said: Shut up. I'm trying to sleep.

I'm off topic.

Isaiah is teething right now, and he is getting four at the same time, which is essentially four times worse than all the other teeth he's gotten. Early in the morning he wakes up between 4 and 5. A few days I've slept on and off through it because he lays in bed and whines. After the fourth day, I decided I simply couldn't get up that early. I went into his room, picked him up, and brought him to bed with me.

Co-sleeping. I said I would never do it.

And I honestly tried it.

As soon as he was calmed down though, I knew I couldn't keep him there.


Because it's my bed. I love my baby, but he has his own bed, and I want him in it.

I want to sleep without worrying that I'm hurting him. I'm selfish.

I got him up and put him in his crib. He immediately went back to sleep and the whole thing was over.

Related, I refused to induce lactation. There are many reasons for this, but the main reason is that I'm selfish.

I sleep and nap trained Isaiah.

And you know what? I wouldn't change a thing.

Does he look traumatized to you?

I don't care that I'm selfish. I don't see it as a bad thing. For some reason we think we have to completely lose ourselves in being moms. We have to abandon our former life and completely devote ourselves to every whim of our children. I can't get on board with that. I cannot allow a nine month old child to run my home.

Yes, I try to be home every night around the same time so I can get him in bed. Yes, I do the same routine with him to comfort him. When he doesn't feel well, I give him medicine to ease the pain.

But all of those things also benefit me. If he's in bed at his normal time, he's sleeping. If I do the same routine, we're both happy. If I give him medicine, we're not both crying.

Full disclosure here: I was raised as an only child, and so was Josh. So I come by my selfishness honestly, but it's working here.

And if I have to eat my words someday, I will.

That's all.

No it's not.


Now, I'm done.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cora Carmack - Seeking Her

You. Guys.

I haven't posted much about reading here lately, but I have been hitting up the library like crazy since the weather has cooled down and Isaiah has gotten a bit more independent. He loves going to the library as much as I do (because they have amazing aquariums). I always make sure to check out the New Fiction section and saw Losing It and Faking It by Cora Carmack. I snagged them both and read them each in a day. No small feat for a new mom, I think.

Recently Finding It came out and I was the first on the hold list at the library. I loved it, so when I saw the request for bloggers to help with the cover reveal of Seeking Her, I knew I wanted in.

If you haven't heard of these books, you should definitely check them out. Literally. Use your library. You already pay for it in your taxes.

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ABOUT SEEKING HER by Cora Carmack A few months after being honorably discharged from the military, Jackson Hunt is still struggling to adjust back to the real world. He needs to get a job and find a sense of normalcy if he’s going to keep his own demons at bay. The job that falls into his lap, though, is anything but normal. Bodyguard (and baby-sitter) to spoiled-rich-girl Kelsey Summers isn’t exactly what he’d been looking for, but it’s a chance to travel, to get away from the home that has felt stifling ever since his return. It would be a pretty sweet gig if it weren’t for the fact that Kelsey’s father doesn’t want Kelsey to know she’s being followed. Hunt feels guilty (and a little bit creepy) as he watches her from afar. She’s vibrant and infuriating, exciting and reckless, mysterious and familiar. When he sees her falling into the same patterns that he suffered years ago, he decides it’s time to stop watching and help her instead. But getting to know her is more difficult than he thought, especially because the more he knows her,the more he wants her.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November - Catch the Moment

I'm participating in Nurse Loves Farmer's Catch the Moment post again this month.

These pictures are much easier to catch now that Isaiah is so busy that he doesn't want to look at the camera for me.

This guy doesn't have any forward motion yet, but he can crawl backwards. I love him so much.

Eating Mum Mums with shades on. Rockstar. Side note: I started #zayhairdontcare on Instagram. He gets so focused on whatever is going on that he doesn't notice or care when I put stuff on his head. I know, I know, hashtags are so 2010, but I think it's funny. And don't lie, you think it's funny too.

I love watching him play. It's so interesting to watch him explore (I'm sure my opinion will change when he is exploring things I don't want him to).

We've had a few Pajama Mondays in our house. It's cold, and he looks so cute in them.

Link up with us!
Catch The Moment

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Turnips for Dinner

Joshua and I have always had more than we needed. We were both blessed with parents who wanted us to have everything they were able to give us. Now that we're parents ourselves, life seems to have gotten real.

I knew things would be difficult once we had children, but I didn't know what it would look like. We both have degrees, and lots of debt (mostly mine) to go along with them. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't wish I had understood what I was getting into before I signed on the dotted line.

I never thought we would choose between paying bills, or buying groceries. I never thought I would buy a 10lb bag of potatoes, forget trying to eat healthy, and just try to feed us. I never thought our student loan payments would take so much of our income. I never thought I would decline party invites because we couldn't afford to take a gift.

What I'm saying is this: losing income, paying for adoption, and being broke has made me a much more grateful person.

Just in case you're reading this thinking that I'm okay with it, I'm not. I feel extremely guilty about bringing my student debt to our family, and not bringing more money in. I hate that we count pennies, and I hate that I'm so embarrassed about our struggles that I don't talk to anyone about it. I hate that my husband has to work two jobs. I hate that we waited so long for Isaiah and can't give him all of the things we'd like.

But I'm grateful. This has taught us that we can survive. It has shown us that the way we lived before was excessive, and what we used to think were hard times, weren't so hard at all. I'm reminded that things can always get worse for us, so when I say my prayers, they're full of thankfulness. Every time I start to feel like things are going from bad to worse, or I need to have a pity party, I remind myself of the things I do have. I have a home. I have a family. I have taught myself to be resourceful (hello reusing aluminum foil). I have learned valuable lessons that go back to our grandparents' generation. While I haven't gone as far as making my own lye soap yet, my grandma is ready to help me when it's time.

When I feel like our dinner is sad, I remember a story she told me once about picky eating. She was born and grew up on a farm in the middle of The Great Depression. I didn't taste a turnip until I was well into my twenties, and she was the person who made me try it. While we were discussing how it tasted similar to a potato, she told me that when she was younger there was no such thing as a picky eater. You either ate or you didn't. She said that some days they had turnips for dinner, because that is what there was. You ate what was available. And you were happy with it.

So while things aren't ideal, and here and there we may need to have turnips for dinner, we have each other.

We've survived every hard day before this one, so why should today be any different?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Eight Month Update

You know how hard it is to get a picture of an eight month old, right?

This is the best I could do this month.

He still loves to eat. When he starts teething though, he isn't as interested. We started puffs, last month, and while he won't pick them up yet himself, he has gotten much better at chewing when I give them to him. I gave him a wagon wheel looking thing and he was really interested in picking that up and eating it. He has used his pincer grasp a couple times, but it isn't mastered.

I don't want to say anything because I'm afraid to mess it all up. Things are going well. We started using a sleep sack because it got a lot colder here this month. I didn't like it at first, but it keeps him warm, so whatever works. We're still between two and three naps a day. It just depends on what is going on with him.

New this month:
He isn't crawling yet, but he is very interested in moving. He got another tooth this month, bottom right, and the bottom left is coming in now. That is four teeth on the bottom, zero on top. We officially heard our first "dada" and "mama" this month. Of course, "dada" was first, followed about a week later by "mama". He often talks about us when he's in bed.

He is beginning to dislike sitting in his Rock N Play. Instead, he would rather sit on the floor. He loves to sit or lay flat on the floor. He dislikes when I leave the room. I thought this would be a short phase, but he is hanging on to it. Teething might be a part of that though. He is absolutely in love with my brothers. He doesn't light up for anyone like he does for them. 

As Parents:
The doctor told us that we could expect his reflux to subside around six months, so being eight months and still consistently spitting up was getting frustrating. I finally gave in and called the doctor because I started getting concerned about the acid coming up all the time. The doctor told me he's fine and it will go away with time. Sigh. I did get the okay to take him off of soy formula, so as soon as we finish the container we have now we'll try something different. I don't think the two are related, but soy is more expensive. So yay for that.

This month I've just felt tired. I'm even a little tired of blogging. I worry that I'm taking too many pictures, or posting too much. I wonder if I'm really living in the moment with Isaiah, or if he'll look back and remember fond memories of me with my phone in his face. I feel like I have a good grasp on parenting right now, as I'm able to clean the house a little here and there while he's home. I'm also tired of the mommy wars that the internet seems to fuel. I truly don't know why so many women care what other women think of them. Being a mom is hard enough.

We're going to an adoption event next week that I'm really excited about because it's our first as a family. The local Christian radio station hosts it every year (November is National Adoption Month), and this is the first we'll be able to go as a family.

I've been somewhat emotional lately because it was a year ago now that we met Isaiah's birth mom. One year ago, if I had known I would have an eight month old today, I would have never believed it. Our life has changed so much in twelve short months. It's really incredible. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

What Is the Real Issue Here?

I shared this blog post on my Facebook page yesterday.

Today, I read a conversation in which there was a lot of "why can't we just all support each other" and "why was this post even popular?".

Yes, moms should support one another. Whether you work outside the home or stay at home with your kids, who cares?

Why is this an issue?

Why do we even care what other women do for a living? Regardless of where you do your work, we're all working. I do my work at home, you do your work in an office. As moms, we never get off work.

But that isn't my point. Stick with me here, because there is something far more important than this issue. I promise I'm not going to go all world peace on you.

The real issue here is that we don't know how to stick together. Many of us are so defensive about every action we make or take, that as soon as someone makes any comment at all, we're offended. And when we get offended, we get angry, and we just have to lash out at the opposing thought. But why? Why can't we accept that we have different opinions? Why are we certain that our stance is the right one? Why? Why? Why?

I don't have the answers here. All I can tell you is that it's hard to offend me. You can make your stand, and if I think it's dumb, I'll think it's dumb and move on. I don't need to tell you that you're dumb. Sometimes I will, but we have to be pretty close for me to put forth the effort.

I'm getting off topic.

I'm ready to get to the real issue here.

The real issue is that as women, we need to band together, toughen up, and realize that there are far more serious issues in the world for us to worry about than whether you think I sit on my butt all day and eat bonbons. (If I knew what a bonbon was, or where to get them, I would try this out and then let you know what it was like.)

The real, and far more serious issue here, is that there are still women in the world who are wearing Crocs.

We can sit around and cry and moan about being misunderstood all day long, but there are still women out there wearing Crocs and we are doing nothing about it.

Why have we allowed this to go on this long?

Let us stop thinking about ourselves, and think of the poor women out there who don't even understand what they're doing to themselves by wearing them. Yes, I am looking at you.

And world peace.

For your extra enjoyment, here is an upside down baby in a stroller.

Monday, October 7, 2013

October - Catch the Moment

Sarah at Nurse Loves Farmer got me with "share pictures of your baby". Well, don't twist my arm.

While it is hard to get Isaiah to actually pose for pictures, I know the little tricks to make him flash those giant smiles. This was fun though, because there is more (not much, but some) to life than that grin.

As we all know, I'm not a photographer. I don't even aspire to be.

Isaiah absolutely loves to be outside. We take our blanket out to the front yard so he can watch cars and the most exciting, airplanes. Sitting up is something he has really mastered this month, and being able to look at him without holding him is something really exciting. Of course, you know I love holding him, but it's so fun to really see him.

And when there are no planes or cars, he plays with toys. I seriously could stare at him all day.

His concentration is fierce, and the first time he was able to pick one of these puffs up was a huge accomplishment for me. He didn't notice of course, but I was so excited for him.

Lap naps are a thing of the past, unless you're teething. That open eye freaks me out, but he is just so sweet.

I looked into the living room and saw him sitting there, and suddenly I got a glimpse into my living room in five years and knew exactly how he would look sitting here then. The toys would be long replaced by more age appropriate toys, but he'll still be my baby. Just bigger.

Thanks to our dog, Isaiah's bath mat was ruined. Instead of buying a new one, we switched to big boy sitting baths. I still do them in the sink because it doesn't hurt my back and it's big enough to keep on doing it. He looked so sweet when I put him in his bubble bath for the first time. 

He loves outdoors, and loves to look out windows. I love this about him, but I don't know what we'll do this winter.

And that's it. I love taking a moment to recognize the small (and monumental at the same time) things in our lives. Since Isaiah was born we've been in fast forward, so I'm glad to slow down and note the little things he is doing.

If you want to see other posts like this from other awesome bloggers, check it out:

Catch the Moment - Nurse Loves Farmer

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Unsolicited Advice to First Time Parents-To-Be

Here is some advice I want to give you.

  • Sleep as much as you can. Right now. Get off the internet and go take a nap.
  • Don't judge parents. I saw something the other day that said "I was an excellent parent, until I had children" and ain't that the truth. I swore up and down that my child would never dictate my schedule. And well, I guess that is still true. I choose to be home every night at 7, and wake up every morning at 7. Yep. My choices. Truth is, once your little bundle is here, you aren't as important anymore. Neither is your time.
  • Let your baby be fabulous. Don't hold your baby back.

  • Don't read parenting books. Since the beginning of time children have been born. The date of the beginning of time may be up for debate, but that fact isn't. Babies have always been born, as have parents. While undoubtedly, some have been better than others, there are a billion parenting books out there. How do you know you have the one? Before Isaiah was born I bought two books. And I gave both of them away shortly after starting to read them. These give you the worst case scenario, and that's fine if you can handle it. I, however, cannot. I'd rather deal with it as it happens. One piece at a time. I consult the internet from time to time, as well as friends who are parents for specific pieces of information I'm interested in, but to read every detail about what could happen only gives me things to worry about.
  • Don't be afraid to let your baby cry. Sometimes it can be hilarious. I was terrified to let Isaiah cry and would run to him every time he made a noise. That is officially over, and if I know nothing is wrong, he can cry. Call it vocal development, if you will.

  • It doesn't matter how many degrees you have, you don't know what you're doing. And neither does anyone else. I'm 3/4 of the way to my second bachelors degree, spent six years in college, and still do not to know why I had to buy my child organic puffs. He doesn't have allergies, and I know once he gets the pincer grab down I'm going to be sending him French fries from the front seat. See #2.
  • Let your baby take selfies. It's a rite of passage.

  • Don't take everything so seriously. Clearly, choking is serious, Blowouts, a bit too much television, or not having 74 vegetables with dinner? Nothing to freak out about. See #2.
  • Don't take unsolicited advice. It's crap and people don't know what they're talking about. Think for yourself.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Seven Month Update

I don't have any stats for him. We don't go back to the doctor until 9 months. We are getting pretty close to ditching the infant car seat though because he's breaking my back.

This guy loves to eat. He's getting bored with bottles though and wants all real food. He wasn't a fan of green beans and held them in his mouth waiting for something better, but went crazy over acorn squash and yogurt. I started giving him puffs, and while he isn't a huge fan of eating them, he's working on grabbing them.

We made it through without a six month regression, which I am immensely grateful for. He is still just like his mama, in that he loves his sleep. We're right in between needed two and three naps. Some days he takes two great naps, and others he takes three decent ones.

New this month:
He had a cold for the first time. Nothing serious, but he required extra snuggles, which we willingly provided. He's getting faster at grabbing, so I don't let him near bowls of refried beans anymore.

Funny side story: We were eating at Cebollas (a local Mexican restaurant) and it was too close to his bedtime to be in public, but there we were anyway. He started fussing as soon as our food came, so I was trying to hold him and eat quickly so we could go sit outside and wait for everyone else, because being outside makes him happy. Without realizing what happened, he reached his little hand into a bowl of refried beans and smeared them all over my shoulder and in the ribbed tank top I was wearing. So I wiped it off the best I could, loaded him up, and took him outside. When we got out I looked down at my shirt and saw that when I wiped the beans off, I just pushed them into the ribs on my tank and I had a bright pink and brown striped shirt. During the fiasco my brother William kept saying over and over, "Awww, look! He left his hand print in that bowl of beans! You should take a picture and put it in his baby book! Do it, Sissy! Do it!". Aren't family dinners fun?

He's becoming more verbal, and spent an afternoon yelling at my brothers. He rides in the shopping cart now at the store instead of his car seat, and he is mesmerized by his surroundings. He has started losing his mind when I walk away from him. So there has been more crying than usual, because I am not taking him with me every time I leave a room.

He was introduced to cats, dogs, and chickens this month and he loved them all. There isn't much he doesn't like.

As parents:
"Mom brain" hit me hard this month. My bff and Josh say I'm stressed, but I don't really have any added stress in my life. Just the normal stuff. If you read my #momfail post, you know I forgot to change him one day, and then a few days ago I forgot to feed him solids. I remembered when he started freaking out so no need to report me just yet, but I just keep doing stupid things like that. I've really realized this month how lucky I am to be home with him all the time. I love spending time with him, and even though I miss adult conversation, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Except maybe on a vacation.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

We are not on a gluten-free diet, but we are lazy cooks.We'll make anything that has very few ingredients or preparation involved. No shame in our game. One night we were sitting on the couch and wanted something sweet to munch on, and I decided to make these cookies.

These are our second batch that Josh made.

  • 1 cup peanut butter (I used natural pb, but you can use whatever kind you want)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Directions: Preheat oven to 350° and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Mix sugar and baking soda in a bowl, add peanut butter, egg, and vanilla. Blend until mixed. Roll into 24 dough balls and flatten with a fork. Bake 12-15 minutes.


P.S. Can you imagine how amazing these would be if you used Nutella instead of pb?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mom Fail

There is not one other hashtag that irritates me like #momfail.

Why am I irritated by it? Because for some reason we judge ourselves so harshly that every little misstep we make is a fail. At the same time, we don't judge others this harshly.

But we want to project this perfect image onto others of the life that we're living. We may not do it intentionally, but other people see only the perfect happy lives we choose to post in pictures on social media. They don't see the not-so-happy moments, so they don't think they exist.

Hey baby, I bet she doesn't even edit this photo. #momfail
A friend sent me a message the other day in the middle of a nap meltdown (her daughter, not her) and said that she gives me props for being a stay at home mom and having it down so awesomely.

I kid you not, ten minutes before she sent that message, Isaiah was in his exersaucer, peed through his diaper, and was standing in a puddle of his own pee. Why, you ask? Because I forgot to change his diaper. Like you're supposed to do that more than once a day. Whatever. So right in the middle of my #momfail I got a compliment that I have it all together. Oh, if you only knew.

There are so many things to share that could qualify as #momfails of my own, but I really don't care. When I looked at Isaiah and saw what appeared to be his thighs crying yellow tears, I laughed. And then I cleaned it up. And moved on. No need for a #momfail. No use crying over excess urine.

Today I was sitting in the lobby of the spa waiting for my friend Jennifer, who is the most fab esthetician that ever was, to arrive. While I was sitting there worrying about the fact that my son was with my mom, refused his bottle, and was clearly going to starve to death, I fell asleep. Like asleep. In the lobby. And when I woke up, I wasn't even embarassed. I'm a mom. I'm tired. Judge away. Oh, and if you want more to judge, Jennifer waxes off my mustache for me.

You know why things like #momfail exist? BECAUSE OF PINTEREST. Excuse me while I go make six dozen cupcakes, do 10 perfect butt lifting exercises, and have my butler clean my already immaculate kitchen. And then I'll fire my butler for not just making the cupcakes in the first place.

When I got in, Jennifer and I started ranting about stuff like this. She brought up the point that the airbrushed and photoshopped models that were the target of the Dove campaign, are now the pictures of houses and food that are on Pinterest. And she is so right.

I hope you realize, the photos of Isaiah's nursery have been edited. I didn't do it, because I suck at photography (#momfail), but they've been brightened quite a bit by Bee who runs Hellobee. I'm sorry if you thought his room contained the sunlight of heaven, but it doesn't. He could never sleep if I let the heavenly light glow in there. Someone commented this his room was "perfectly pinterestable" and while I think it was a comment, it felt like an insult.

Nothing is wrong with doing things that you feel are "Pinterest Worthy", but it is wrong to feel like you have to. No one expects you to kill yourself over an upcycled canister set, or your made-at-home Pumpkin Spice Latte. They make those at Starbucks. Go there and get one.

Just before I sat down to write this post I discovered a substance that can no longer be called "spit up" since it's solid, therefore, it's vomit, on my dress. The crustiness indicates that it has been there quite a while.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Isaiah's Nursery

As soon as we found out that we would potentially be adopting a baby boy or girl, Joshua and I laid in bed that night discussing how we would decorate the baby's room. We knew we weren't going to have nine months or more to prepare because Isaiah's birth mom was five months along the first time I spoke to her.

We quickly decided, without hesitation, that whether it was a boy or girl, the nursery was going to be decorated in superheroes. Josh loves comics, and he has dragged me down with him. I mean, a little girl with a superhero room? What could be cooler. I also decided that it could not be a SuperSuperSuperman room. I like Superman -- he's great and all -- but I hate his logo. I'm sorry, but I do.

We eventually found out that Isaiah was a boy, but I think his room wouldn't look much different even if he weren't a boy.

This room was formerly our guest room, but we rarely had guests. We got the laminate flooring on a huge sale, and installed it ourselves. The wall color is "Seal" by Glidden, but I color matched it to Behr because that is my favorite paint ever. I use it for everything.

The mobile was a splurge Etsy find. Most of the room was very budget conscious (more on that later), and we were very lucky to have a generous friend who wanted us to have this mobile for Isaiah's room. I hung it with a piece of purple ribbon and we have to manually spin it. It can be tedious, but you know we'll do anything for him. Even boys need Wonder Woman. She rules all.

I found this amazing dresser at a resale shop for an incredible deal. It's a solid wood piece from the 1950s, and I love it so much. The dresser is also the changing table, which I love for the space saving aspect.

We have all kinds of creams and ointments. It's easy to move to the living room if I want to because the stuff we use consistently is in the basket. And I hated having pacifiers strewn about the house, so I confined them all to this canister that sits on the changing table. It comes in so handy because he always wants a pacifier after his bath and it never fails that I leave the one he was using in the living room.

The artwork above the changing table  is somewhat a piece of debate for us. I bought letters at Hobby Lobby, covered them with comic book pages and Mod Podged them to a canvas. Joshua thinks it looks unfinished (as do others), but since I'm the one that would have to change it, it's staying. I love it, and Isaiah loves to hear me spell his name after he gets changed.

I bought this little shelf to sit the camera on, but when I did that I couldn't see into the crib, so I mounted the camera and put Superhero Little People up there.

This is our reading chair that we never use because we read in our bed. The main uses are for holding clean laundry and taking his monthly pictures. He has a book shelf, but I love having these board books in a basket on the floor. When he gets older he'll have easy access to them, as well as the piggy banks, so I will be rearranging.

The lantern was originally purchased to be part of our wedding decorations. We didn't end up using it, but I love how it matches the stars in his room. The bowl was made on a wood lathe by Isaiah's grandpa, and the necklace inside was made for Isaiah before he was even born by his Uncle William. It was his first Christmas present.

Isaiah loves music, so the CD Player is a must. He loves to look at the globe and the little green Master Chief was his first gift from Josh. His superhero mask is a bit big still, so it hangs on his globe instead of getting regular use.

Finally this is a piece of art Joshua had commissioned for Isaiah at a local Comic Con that hangs above his bookcase. Shout out to Sterling Clark. Isaiah loves this and so do we.

In my next post, I'm going to show you what I wanted for the room and how I compromised to things that were more practical for us. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Six Month Update

I know, I know, all parents say it, but this month snuck up on me. I cannot believe it's been six months since he was born, and I cannot believe how much he's changed.

Weight: 19lb 3oz
Length: 27" 

We started purees at the beginning of August, so he had just turned 5 months. He wasn't quite ready, so I stopped for a week and then started again. He was ready the second go around and we've been doing well since (except for a few days of not feeling well after shots). I've been making all of his food with the help of our steamer, hand blender, and regular blender. He has loved our plentiful crops this year, and has enjoyed pears, apples, and peaches from our yard and other people we know. The only thing he hasn't liked so far is summer/yellow squash and zucchini. I think they were too bland and just tasted like the oatmeal that he doesn't like plain. I gave him a banana in a mesh feeder and he liked it, but I hated trying to clean the mesh feeder and ended up throwing it away. Not worth it. (Does anyone have a secret cleaning technique on that?)

Isaiah is a crib only sleeper now. I switched him right after he turned five months and for three days it was rough, but after that it was back to normal. I didn't sleep train him because it hasn't been an issue, but naps have always been hard for us. I nap trained him using Mrs. Bee's post for inspiration, and in five days we had it nailed down. I'm so relieved to have him in his crib and feel better about that being our final transition for a long while. We don't use sleep sacks because it has been too warm in our house for them. I may use them in the winter, but he's fine without them for now.

Umbilical Hernia:
The doctor says it's getting better and seems to have broken up into two parts (that doesn't make sense to me, but he said it). He said it's healing and is nothing to worry about.

New this month:
Teeth! I was so shocked when I put my finger in his mouth and found a tooth! He has both bottom teeth now. I wasn't ready for them and totally cried when I saw it. He loves sitting in his high chair to eat. Eating purees is new. I took the oatmeal out of his bottle that his doctor recommended I add for reflux. I had to because I tried making my own oatmeal and couldn't get it fine enough to come out, so it wasn't really a choice I made, as much as one that was made for me. Reflux is still happening. It isn't the liquid that it once was now, and plenty of our shirts were ruined during the days he ate pumpkin. Since then we've stuck with rather light colored foods for him. Some days it is better than others, and every once in a while there isn't any spit up at all. The first day he didn't wear a bib was like the happiest day ever. I'm so tired of them. He reaches for us now and for anything in his sight. Also, we finalized his adoption, so that's new too.

We have a Quincy doll from Baby Einsteins and he absolutely adores him. We've never watched the show, so he just likes this stuffed doll. He will come out of a flat out meltdown and laugh if you put Quincy in front of his face. He loves music and his uncles. He gets so excited to see them. He's started paying attention to and smiling at other babies. He dislikes summer squash and zucchini. He isn't really picky about anything else. He loves to be outside.

As parents:
I feel like a normal person again. It's amazing how long it took. I am reading for fun again. I'm cooking again. It just feels like we left survival mode this month and relaxed. I haven't found a way to get back into the gym yet, but that is my next hurdle to tackle (you like mixed sports metaphors, don't you?). It's fun that he plays now, and I love watching him explore and discover new things. The highlight of one of my days not long ago was when we both tried mango for the first time ever. I love experiencing things with him. 


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