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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Baby James: 15 Weeks...Odd Behavior and Oatmeal

I've eaten oatmeal every morning for 4 weeks straight! That's a big deal for me...I hated oatmeal. Believe it or not, I actually look forward to eating it every morning. (For those who are confused, I was told by a few sources that it would help my milk production. I was concerned recently about pumping enough milk during the day...I think it's working!)
James' new favorite toy. 

I know this pic is horrible BUT I wanted to capture him sucking on his fingers!

James has displayed some behaviors lately that are not odd in general for babies but odd for him (Probably just him moving from one baby phase to another):
His cute little half smirk that the sitter and her daughter love!

 -He's been eating only two 4 oz. bottles at the sitter (he was eating three)

-J will get fussy for what seems to be no reason and nothing seems to help except for one thing...IGNORING HIM! If we just ignore him, he falls asleep.

-Speaking of sleep, his napping is better (last week I mentioned that he was trying everything in his little power NOT to take naps)

-Night time sleeping is still mostly awful but there were a couple of nights he slept close to 4 hours before waking. I'm doing ok with it, overall; it's just that initial 20 seconds that I curse or throw my pillow against the bed because I have to get up...lol.

-I was so tired one night that I used conditioner as face wash in the shower.
Learning to grasp things.

This week's positives:

-I signed J and me up for mommy and baby yoga! We start at the end of April and I'm so excited!

-Tuesdays are my new favorite day. We have nothing planned on those evenings and I don't feel like I have to hurry to get things accomplished. It gives me more time to spend with my little man :)

-James has had some great tummy times this week. His big ole head is getting stronger and I'm becoming less paranoid about it.

-I ran my first 5k since having James! It got me excited for upcoming races!!!
Falling asleep at church.

-Mr. Boo and I went on a baby-less date to Local Cantina and Home Depot.

Finally, I've been saying the last week that I feel like James is teething. I've had some support but mostly people making fun of me for thinking that. Before I say what I'm about to say, people should not get offended if you are one of those who has made fun of me thinking about this...I'm not mad, it's not big deal, don't be so dang sensitive! So, anyway, I sometimes crack myself up when I read some of the things I have written in my journal over the week. Here is a direct quote from Thursday:

"Every time I tell someone I suspect teething, they basically make fun of me. It's interesting to hear people TRY to say things in a nice way but you still want to punch them."

I guess the only way to find out is to wait. And, if I'm wrong, guess what? Life goes on! :)

This week:

-I would like to start crib training James. We've still had him in the pack-n-play but I think I'll sleep better if he is in his crib...he's currently napping in it right now! Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Baby James: 14 Weeks...No More Naps?

The awful sleeping patterns continue this week. There was one night that James slept almost 6 hours without waking! There was a little glimmer of hope...and then the next night happened. He'll sleep between 2 and 3 hours at a time. I would think he would have gotten used to his new routine of going to the sitter by now (which is why I thought his night time sleeping was weird). What happened to that little boy who slept at least 5 hours for his mommy?!

His poor night time sleeping has trickled into his napping. Mr. Boo picked Baby J up from the sitter around noon on Friday and James didn't sleep AT ALL the rest of the day until he went to bed after 10 pm! And, today, he took only one 45 minute nap! He just keeps fighting it! He's not fussy the whole time but you can tell he wants to sleep so bad. Silly boy.

His eating has also been weird lately. He usually drinks/eats three of his bottles during the day but lately he's only drinking two! Not sure what to make of that.

J had some firsts this week:

-At the beginning of the week, he was doing this shoulder shrugging thing. It was kinda cute but he hasn't done it in a few days.

-I FINALLY got J to tolerate the carrier. I faced him forward instead of toward me and he loved it! The weather allowed us to go on a couple of walks this week.

-J's been doing what I can only describe as superman arms. I really wish I had a picture of it. He has been sticking his arms straight out and just looks at them...almost like he's discovering that his arms are attached to his body! So cute. 

-J had his first real giggle. He has had the giggle face for several weeks but, today, Jimmy got him to actually giggle! This has been the highlight of my weekend!

This week's challenges:
I wrote in my journal the other day that I was "tired of being tired" and was annoyed by not finding the time to exercise. The tiredness (probably not a word) is just from James' sleeping pattern...that's not changing anytime soon so I'll just keep drinking my coffee in the morning. As far as the exercise is concerned, I really thought I'd be able to schedule gym time into my day before picking up James. I've found that between seeing enough patients to keep a full schedule and pumping breast milk, I have not extra time in my day to go. Fortunately, I still get to go to Hip Hop Fitness on Mondays but I'm lucky to fit in a run or two during the week. I did yard work today just so I could feel like I was doing something worth while. I know my job is physical and I'm sure I burn good calories doing that...we are also able to do more family walks since the weather is a little better...ok, I'm blabbing. 
Here's what I'm trying to tell myself...things will gets tons better when the weather is consistently better because I'll be able to run in the evening while James is napping or after he goes to bed. And when he gets old enough, during the summer, he can go on runs with me! Once I get a jogging stroller, I'll have a half marathon training partner :)

Also, it's really hard not having time with my boo during the week. Sunday night through Friday afternoon seems to be all work and all baby. I look forward to the weekends so that I can have focused conversations with him. Life is nuts! Because of this, we decided we MUST take a nice vacation next year for our 5 year anniversary. We'll probably go back to Jamaica, our favorite place. By that time, James will be over a year old and we can let each set of grandparents spend a few days each with him. (oh my goodness it will be hard to leave him!)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Baby James: 13 Weeks...Makin' Memories With Mom

I know I'm a day late posting James' 13 week update but I wouldn't dare miss out on time with my mom (or sleep,,,dang, this boy has been sleeping weird again). Mr. Boo went to Man Camp with our church this weekend so I asked my mom to come and visit so I didn't have to be alone! This is the first opportunity my mom has had to be with James since he was just a week old. I wish my mom was able to see him more often (that's why I overload Facebook with pics!).

We kept the visit low key to ensure maximum play time with James :) When mom came on Friday, we hung out at home then took a family walk with the girls. We then went to Red Robin for dinner (I've been dying to have a burger from there for 2 weeks!).

James freakin' loves his Grandma Angela! She was really good at making him smile and talk!! They did so much playing during the visit.

On Saturday, we did some shopping for little James' future playtime adventures. We hit up a consignment sale but only bought one toy. We got there 45 minutes into the sale and all the good stuff was already taken! So...we went to Once Upon a Child and bought a fun play table for when he is able to stand himself up and a play saucer for when he has good head control (we're hoping it's the sitting version of his jungle gym)!

We also went to Kohl's to buy him his Easter outfit and decided to have lunch at Panera:

We spent the rest of the night playing and James had a blast. He misses his Grandma Angela already.

In other news this week:

-James went back to sleeping horribly...maybe I'm exaggerating a little but he's NOT sleeping at least 5 hours. I've been SO TIRED this week!

-We also had the Bradley reunion last weekend and James got to meet lots of new friends.
The babies left to right is from oldest to youngest. They're all 2-3 months older than James.

The hot, sexy mommies and their other 2/3.

-I fit into one of my favorite pair of skinny jeans.

-I had my first full time week at work and didn't go insane. I was able to finish my work before picking up James (except for one day).

-We had a couple of really nice days so James got some outdoor time. He LOVED it!

*James had an exciting first this week! He rolled from his back to his side! AND I got it on video...I'm dying to post it but I want daddy to see it first. We've been doing a lot more tummy time and strengthening activities with him the last week and I think it's really helping.

A final thought: Even though James is still really little, I decided I need to get into the holidays a little more. For example, Easter is coming up in another month. Of course he has an Easter outfit but I know I should make him a basket. I'm totally not motivated for some reason but I know I'll regret it if I don't do it! I might even have to go buy him something green to wear for St. Patty's day tomorrow!

How did you guys feel about the holidays when your babies were too young to remember? Did you really get into it?

Other 13 week photos (sorry for picture overload...a lot happened this week!):
Watch out for giraffe neck!

Family photo!

He looks like a little man here!

Passed out during his 3 month photo shoot.

Friday, March 14, 2014

James Turns 3 Months...

Dear James,

My precious baby. You are so awesome! This has been a rough month for mommy. Not because of anything you've done. Mommy had to go back to work three weeks ago and it was the hardest thing I've EVER had to do. I was having so much fun being with you all day long but mommy understands that she has to work and, hopefully, one day, you will appreciate it :) Plus, you get to hang out with Ms. Jane all day long so that's not a bad deal.

You have grown so much this month. I don't know what your current weight is but I can just tell you are getting bigger. You still look so tiny. You are a LONG baby! Maybe you'll be tall and skinny like your mommy. Maybe a basketball player (unlike your mommy). Most people say you look more like daddy...but that's ok with me.

You are so loved! You have lots of family and friends that want to play with you and see you. You even have two furry sisters who have grown to love you. Angel always sniffs you first when we get home and Izzie tries to get you to play with her (she thinks you can throw her toys).

You've been doing a lot of cool new things this month. You chew/suck on your hands, drool, make new funny noises; you love to have conversations with me in the morning and you smile ALL THE TIME; you are still obsessed with your jungle gym and could play with it for hours.

Mommy spazzed out about your head control and called you doctor. The doctor didn't seem worried and said to do more tummy time. You hate tummy time but will tolerate it sometimes. You are a rock star so I know you will be able to lift and hold your head when the time is right.

You love to be outside. We've had a couple of nice days lately and, when I would take you outside,  you had the biggest smile on your face. I promise we'll spend so much time outside when the winter is officially over.

Son, I have so much fun with you...seriously. I could talk to you all day long and that would be the best day ever. You seem to be crazy about me and that just makes all of the craziness worth it. I don't sleep well and I'm always tired in the morning, during the day, etc. but you make me forget about it.

I love  you Jamesy. I know that every month that passes just brings new fun adventures.


Friday, March 7, 2014

Baby James: 12 Weeks...Lovin' On My Little Man

"I pledge allegiance to the flag..."

I survived week two of my return to work...and I even had some extra time to love on my little man :) This week was still challenging but it was so much better than the last. Now that I have established some sort of a routine, I am a little more efficient when I get home. Things don't always go my way, of course, but at least I don't feel lost this week! I've noticed that the nights that we have no commitments, I feel less stressed about getting things done.

I was worried last week that I wasn't able to pump enough milk to supply my babe during the day. I made a few changes (thanks to suggestions from friends) and I think I might have improved milk production. I've been eating a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast every morning and I started taking my placenta capsules again (I don't have very many left but I'll keep taking them until they run out). I also started pumping after his night feedings. That seems to be the hardest change. I am SO TIRED when I get up to feed him at night and I'm very tempted to just go back to bed immediately. But, if I can stick with it, it gives me a few extra ounces of milk which is totally worth it.

Yesterday was SO MUCH nicer than it has been so we went on a family walk. James was totally thrilled about being outside. This was his first nice weather experience.

James had some firsts this week:

-He played air guitar for the first time...bass guitar to be exact. I'm sad I didn't get this one on camera.

-He started making a new noise this week. I have no idea how to spell the noise but it's the vibrating lip noise.

-He has started the drooling phase.

Going into week 2 of babysitting, James was still a little out of his normal pattern. He did seem to stop the 1 1/2 hour feedings before bed but he was still waking up more often at night! Finally, two nights ago, he went back to his old ways (sleeping about 5 1/2 hours for his first stretch). Hopefully this will continue so that I can feel a little more refreshed :)

I think my boy is a man's man. He loves to chill around the house without clothes on! He does tend to get really hot and sweaty during the day so I'm not sure if he's trying to cool off or trying to be a cool dude.

I made my second concerned-mommy-call to the pediatrician today. I've just been really concerned about his neck strength. I know he was born two weeks early; I know babies develop at different rates; and I know that it's probably hard for his long, skinny body to hold up that big round head BUT, as a therapist and one who is very textbook at times, it's hard for me to sit back and just let it all happen. I'm desperate to make him a home exercise program (or an HEP for all my fellow therapists). :) The pediatrician is not concerned and made me feel a little more at ease. She gave me some advice and told me what to watch for developmentally for when he goes to his 4 month appointment.

This was my absolute favorite picture from this week. I'm so glad I was able to capture this moment :)

A moment of reflection:
I always thought that the reason I did this blog was so that my family and friends (who all live so far away) could keep up with my life and what is going on but I realized that I also can use it as a means of reflection to see how I've grown and how The Lord has challenged me to become a better person. Just two short weeks ago, I blogged about how scared I was to return to work and wondered if I was meant to stay at home with my boy, etc. After two weeks of practice as a working mom, I know this is what I'm meant to do and I CAN do it. It's the hardest thing I've ever done but I also feel at peace and know that it's the right thing to do. I miss James dearly throughout the day but I know this is for the best so that I may provide for my little man, Mr. Boo, and my precious pups.

So, for my positive ending, I am so excited to celebrate James turning 3 months next week! I can't wait to write his 3 month letter, take pictures, and celebrate his life with Grandma Spaid (she's visiting next weekend while Mr. Boo is at Man Camp!).

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Baby James: 11 weeks...Kompletely Kaotic

Ok...so I know "completely" and "chaotic" starts with "c" but I really needed "k" words this week and didn't feel creative enough to figure out a clever title. :) Anyway...
Now this is a man picture...pants on, undies hanging out, no shirt...just chillin'.

My week was nothing less than chaotic and challenging. I cried many tears for many different reasons. I had thoughts like "Am I fit to be a mother?," "Can I really do this?," etc. If this week was a pass/fail grade, I'm pretty sure I would have failed. Why, you ask? I returned to work this week :( The most lame thing I've ever had to do (But I got to share the experience via Facebook with my old high school running friend, Sarah...she had her precious boy, Theron, just a couple weeks after me and she returned to work on Monday as well). I forget how nice it is to go through something with someone else...you can complain together :)

Of course, I cried all Sunday evening into Monday morning...actually, I cried all day Monday. I was a strong momma Tuesday morning until I got into my car after dropping him off. The tears just fell without my permission! Even though I think our sitter is so great, it's hard for a momma to leave her baby for the first time.
James' 1st day at Jane's

After Tuesday, I felt ok about leaving him (FINALLY) but the tears continued to flow for other reasons. I was so blind to what life would be like when I went back to work. I thought I would do my thing at work all day long, come home, and spend my entire evening with my precious little man...not so much. I forgot there would be dinner to make, bottles to clean, pumped milk to store, bottles to prep for the next day, lunch to prep, gym/work clothes to set out...and you can't forget that relaxing shower that translates into your only "me time" for the evening. I felt like I had so much to do that I didn't get the time I wanted with my boy. (P.S. Jimmy has been a huge help during this transition...I'm just really controlling with how my house runs and how it's cleaned that it's hard for me to delegate tasks to him!).

All the crap I have to prep to bring everyday:

Breast pump and accessories, my work computer and equipment bag, gym bag and shoes, purse...

My lunch and James' bottles...

Car seat, diaper bag, box of James' goodies (which I got to leave at Jane's!).

Another challenging part of the week has been James' feeding. He eats well at Jane's during the day; I'll feed him when we get home, just after dinner, then just before he goes to bed. The feeding he has before bed is crazy! He is on the boobies for 1-1 1/2 hrs! I know he's not eating the entire time and that he's pacifying because he hasn't been with me all day. I just can't tell when I should make him stop. It is so exhausting when your babe wants to be on you for that long. I decided last night that I was going to try to break this habit and took steps to figuring out when to stop him. Hopefully I can make it stop in the next week.

On a positive note, James has been on a great schedule this week (with one hiccup on Thursday night when we had Bible study and he didn't go to bed at his normal bed time). He goes to bed between 845 and 945, wakes up 4-5 hours later, then 2-3 more hours later, then I wake him at 630 to get him ready for Jane's.

Good morning, mom! My boy loves the morning time...that's when he's at his best :)

I think James is adjusting well to being with Jane during the day. He had trouble taking the bottle day 1 and seemed a little uncomfortable but Jane said he was much better the next day! Jane did get to experience a James spit up session...lol. Sometimes James gets so excited about eating that he eats too fast then has a major spit up....happened to me last night AFTER I took my shower! lol. Silly booger.

In conclusion (I feel like I'm writing a formal paper or something), I am totally convinced that being a mother is the hardest job in the world and adding "working mom" to that puts a whole new twist on things! I thought I was getting the hang of it until I started work this week!

I'll leave you all with a couple pics that are the highlight of my week. I finished early on Thursday and Friday so I took my boy to Panera to hang out while I had me some decaf coffee (we carpool with daddy so we had to stick around Dublin until he got off work):
He was sleeping on Thursday but managed to flash me a "thumbs up."

My fun boy :)