Thursday, January 28, 2010

You're a First Time Mother, Aren't You?

I can hear it now.  The shaking of heads, and the "Awww, you're a first time mother, aren't you dear?" I can almost feel the patting of my shoulder from the mom's in my world.  But in an effort to be honest, I'm laying it out there.

Jack doesn't sleep through the night yet.  He's 12 and a half months old now, and hasn't slept through the night ever.  Maybe it's because I breast feed him.  Maybe it's because I let him fall asleep while nursing.  Maybe it's because I never let him cry it out.  Maybe it's because he just doesn't want to sleep through the night!  I'm sure someone could run down the list of what I do wrong, but as a mom, I just simply do what I think is best for our family.  By the way, I've written of my frustrations before here, here, and here. 

So, what's new you ask? Well, let me show you.

Here's the story:

I recently began to realize that Jack doesn't necessarily need to nurse every time he wakes up through the night - he just wants to know I am there.  And now, since he's drinking whole milk during the day, I don't find it as necessary to nurse him each time he cries out at night.   I knew that Jack hasn't needed to nurse two to three times a night for a few months now.  And part of why I was still nursing him is that I knew it would be a quick and easy way for me to get back to my own bed.  He'd fall asleep nursing, I'd transfer him to his crib, and I'd crawl under my warm electric blanket in 10 minutes tops. (otherwise he might scream for an hour and a half- trust me, I know) But something changed recently.  I grew weary.  I just didn't want to continue the painful nursing through the night (teeth and clogged ducts), and I REALLY want him to learn to sleep through the night. So I decided to change the way we handle night time wakings. 

Now when Jack wakes up, I hug him, lay him back down on his pillow, and then sit down in the glider and wait a few minutes for him to fall back to sleep.  That works about half the time.  Sometimes he pops his head up to see if I'm still there.  If I'm not, he will wail.  I have fallen asleep sitting in that glider more times than I can count.  Since I'm already visiting the Chiropractor once a month, and I don't feel like shelling out more money to him, I had to come up with some other sleeping arrangement.  I don't want to sleep on the floor, and I don't want to take Jack to the guest bed to sleep with me as I'd been doing before.  The goal is for him to sleep the whole night in his own bed.  So, a friend suggested an air mattress.  YES!!!  I'll lie down on the air mattress for a while until he falls asleep!  If he needs to see me, I'm right there, and if I happen to fall asleep, it's more comfortable than the floor or glider. 

How's it working, you ask?  Pretty good actually.  Most nights, I don't have to nurse him until the morning.  Some nights he needs a little nursing time.  He is still teething after all.  Sometimes I end up just laying down for a few minutes, while other nights I end up sleeping on the air mattress for a few hours.  Last night I ended up sleeping in the glider for an hour and a half. 

Jack will eventually sleep through the night.  I will eventually take the air mattress out of the nursery.  I will get to snuggle in with my husband and stay there the entire night.  We will eventually have another child.  I won't always do this for my children.  I'm praying for good sleepers with the rest of my children!

But for now, this is what is working for me and my family.  If you'd like to leave a comment about what you've had to do, are doing, or would never do in a million years, feel free!  I'd love to hear them.

Friday, January 22, 2010


I love being a mom.  I love being a wife.  I love cooking.  I love baking.  These things were not always loves of mine.  The first two obviously came with certain life changing events.  The last two have grown over time.  I love finding recipes and creating delicious meals for my husband and I to enjoy when he comes home from work.  I love baking cakes, brownies, and cookies to have on hand for dessert.  Perhaps this is why I'm not losing any weight.  That's another topic for another day.

With all of these loves come 'not-so-much' moments.  For example, when Jack throws his food off of his high chair, refuses to sleep in his crib by himself, or removes every last item from the lower kitchen drawers, I think "not-so-much!"  When my husband wants to work on the computer in the evenings, watch some weird PBS show, or go to bed right after dinner, I think "not-so-much!"  *For the record, I do enjoy PBS*

It's the not-so-much moments of cooking that have me down recently.  I meal plan, grocery shop every week, and plan yummy -and sometimes healthy- dinners for us throughout the week.  But you know what comes along with the fun cooking?  A crabby baby who doesn't want you to do anything but hold and play with him when you need to get dinner ready.  A kitchen sink that is overflowing with dirty dishes on one side and clean dishes on the other.  A dishwasher that can't be emptied unless the boy is strapped in his high chair, thus keeping his hands out of the clean/dirty/sharp dishes.  Plates, cups and napkins from lunch that haven't been red up (I've got PA in my blood, sorry), because running after Jack is more demanding than those dishes. 

Sometimes, when I look around the kitchen, I feel very defeated.  It is never ending.  A wife and mother's job literally never ends.  I try to think what it would have been like to live in the early 1900's as a wife and mother.  Then I become very thankful for my dishwasher, paper towels, and dish soap.  I do love my life, but sometimes....Not-So-Much!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I've been taking Jack's picture with Buddy Bear every month on his birthday.  I take it on the same quilt every time.  I hoped to show his age and size progression for his first year.  I think it turned out pretty good! 

Now I have to figure out what to do for his birthdays each year after this.  If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment.  I'd love to hear your ideas! I need to figure something out quickly, because I have to start with this birthday.

Jack's First Year in Reveiw

Instead of making this a SUPER LONG post with all the photos that I thought highlighted Jack's first year, I made a collage.  The only problem is that I think it may be hard to read everything and see the pictures very well on here.  But I'll do it anyway.  If I find that it isn't easy to look at, I'll try doing a few posts with a few pictures each.

This year has FLOWN by!!!  Everyone always says, "it goes so quickly!" but I don't think you know what that means until you experience it.  It really goes by in the blink of an eye.  I keep thinking that all I have to do is blink and I'll be putting 5 candles on his cake and then another blink and he'll be off to college!  I'm trying very hard to cherish every moment as it comes.  I started this blog to keep a diary of his life - with other stuff thrown in every once in a while.  I don't want to forget any of this.

I'm glad you're enjoying this blog (I'm guessing, since you're reading this right now), and I hope I continue to keep it up, tracking Jack's Growth Chart Moments. (and any other children we have along the way)

Without further adieu, Jack's First Year Highlights Collage:
(feel free to click on the picture to see it much larger)


Today my son turns one year old.  One year ago, at 12:38pm, I was in the hospital having an emergency c-section.  My platelets were dangerously low, my blood pressure dangerously high, and the pain from my liver enzymes being out of whack was worse than the contractions I just started having.

Rick wasn't even allowed in the delivery room.  It was a scary time, and it was also the most emotional time in my entire life.  I hope to do it again someday - sans the preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome. 

I'm trying to put together a post that looks back over the first year of Jack's life.  (I hope to have that done before he turns two.)

I love you, Jack!  I can't wait to see what your second year brings! 

Monday, January 11, 2010

Thank You

To my 17 followers, most of whom are family, thank you for reading my blog.  It isn't a flashy blog, and it isn't one that is kept up on a regular basis, but it is a place for me to be creative and connect with people.  Like most mothers, I enjoy showing off my child.  Thanks for letting me do that with you.

Did you know I have a blog?

You did?

It seems that I must have forgotten.  This is the "I haven't posted in so long" post.  But I promise I will TRY to keep it short.  (naps don't last all that long around her)

A few HUGE Growth Chart Moments:

  • Jack's WALKING!!! He started taking a few steps before Christmas, but it was last week that he decided that walking is just as good (almost) as crawling now.  He used to walk to us, but crawled to anywhere he wanted to get to quickly.  Now, he's choosing to walk to most places if he's already on his feet.  He still crawls a bunch, so I'd say he's 50-50 at this point.

  • He's also trying to climb on everything.  I'm sure there will be some bumps and bruises in our near future.  Did you ever notice that with each major milestone, a new set of bruises appear? 

  • He plays Peek-a-Boo with us now.  Usually during a diaper change or a meal, he'll cover his eyes and then reveal himself to us with a big grin. So cute!
  • He's identifying body parts now.  He can point to his belly, piggies, head, and I think hair when you ask him.  The funny part is that when you ask him where his nose is, he points to the nose of the person closest to him.  We are working on ears and mouth now.  He went to the dentist with me last week, so we worked on teeth with him.  I think he had if for that day. 

  • He mimics a lot of what we do now.  When we go into the bathroom, I often take his hairbrush and brush his hair.  Now he brushes his own hair when you give him the brush.  He picked up the broom the other day and swept the floor.  He takes the toy that's in his hand-be it a Little People, cup, car or anything else - and makes it fly like a plane or go like a car.  Remember when I was worried about my son not learning Boy Noises?  There are no worries there anymore.  Everything sounds like a car or plane now (they sound the same of course)
  • He makes animal noises now.  He can bark like a dog, tweet like a bird, and grunt like a monkey. Sometimes it's on command but other times it's just when he sees or hears that animal.  All of those sounds are the same when they come out, but I bet they all sound like the real thing in his head. When I ask him if he's a birdie or a doggie, he points to the birdies in our backyard to clarify. 
  • He is just plain smarter. He catches things much more than I realize.  This morning I said I have to go blow my nose, and he immediately got up with me, grabbed my legs as we walked to the bathroom, and pointed to the tissues for me.  He may not be able to communicate with words, but he sure does say a lot in his own way!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Where Did the Time Go?

I didn't blog through the whole Christmas season!  I know why.  I was busy.  Plain and simple. 

My first time being a SAHM for the holiday season turned me into a nut job.  I decided that I was going to make 10 different cookies for Christmas this year.  TEN!!  Who did I think was going to eat all of these cookies?  I gave a lot away as presents, but I still had a ton left.  Next year,  maybe I'll do just 3 or 4 types.  Or maybe I'll cut down the batches of the 10 I did this year, so I don't have so many left at the end of the season.

We had a GREAT time during our many family Christmas celebrations.  I loved having my sister's family and Mom down for Christmas Eve.  I love hosting them, and we always have such a good time being together.

After that, there are no pictures of family visits.  No more Christmas celebration pictures.  There was little celebrating for me. On Christmas Eve, Jack came down with the pukies.  He got sick around 2am and didn't go back to bed until around 4, after having rid his body of everything.  Then the diarrhea hit him.  We left a day late for our next family Christmas celebration, hoping to give Jack enough time to recover from whatever it was that he had.

While we were at my husband's family's house, I came down with whatever it was.  I stayed the entire evening upstairs in bed, while my family opened gifts and enjoyed each others company.  I was miserable.  I didn't even get to see my brother-in-law at all!  I want a do-over!

When we got home from the weekend, I found out that my mom had gotten whatever it was as well.  She was down for a few days because of it. 

Nice Jack...thanks for the Christmas present!

We spent the next week recovering, and enjoying our little family.  Jack came down with a cold on New Years day, which he's still hanging on to.  I'm glad to get back to a regular schedule.  We still have one more family Christmas gathering to do, and I'm hoping we'll all be well for it!


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