October 31, 2010

The One Where I Piss Off Le Leche League

This post may be a little TMI for some so proceed at your own risk.

My boobs are officially my own again after 11 whole months. I'm done pumping. Completely over it.
It wasn't a decision I came to easily. I've been strug-A-lin for a few weeks now, but didn't want to admit defeat. Mainly, I didn't want to feel like a failure. I finally came to terms with the fact that this just wasn't for me when Trey woke up the other night and came out to find silent little baby tears strolling down my cheeks as I'm pumping quietly in the dark.
Ouch Charlie is all I have to say! Pumping full time is not so easy! Over the past 2 weeks I've been having serious problems. My nipples (Lord I can't believe I said nipples on my blog) would start to bleed and crack so I would spread the pumps out relieve them, which in turn would cause clogged ducts. Those really hurt like a mother, let me tell you! It was this big viscious cycle and was making me miserable. I dreaded the every few hours that I had to do it. I was just plain bitter by the middle of this week.
After a long discussion, we both decided that it just wasn't the best thing to do anymore. Breastfeeding should be this wonderful, rewarding experience and THIS TIME, it just wasn't for me. I'll try again with the next kid.
I don't buy in to the whole idea that because I'm now giving my baby formula that he won't be as smart or healthy as breastfed babies. I know it's most ideal to breastfeed, but Andrew will not be inferior because of it. Trust me, I know this for a fact. How you ask? I was breastfed. My youngest brother was not. I was mediocre at best in school and didn't try very hard. My brother... such a smart kid and has a great head on his shoulders! I've been worried because I know switching over is hard on their little tummies and he has been a little fussy with it up until today. My mum made me feel much better though when she asked my brother if he remembers her switching, and he has no recollection ;)

I know people are very passionate about breastfeeding, but please don't use this as a forum to be ugly to me about it. I've already had my share of meanie pants comments about it, but KNOW that I am doing the right thing for my baby and I. Trust me, I'm a much happier mum and that's important too!

October 29, 2010

~ 2 Months ~

I'm a day late Andrew, but you are now 2 months old!! I can't believe it (I'm pretty sure I'm going to be saying that every month for the next year and then every year for the rest of his life. Just so you know.)

Welp, he's slouching in two months and I guess I need to sit the dog the same each time to get the full effect, but at least he doesn't look petrified this time!

Andrew, you have changed so much this month! You are growing like a sprout right before my eyes and I love watching the new things you discover every day.
  • You are definitely more independent than you were last month. You'll lay on your own for a few minutes on your own here and there. You LOVE your play mat! I think it's so funny to see you looking at all the bright colors and smiling at the toys like they are your best friends and you are so glad to see them again. You also like your bouncy seat now, which is very convenient for me as I can get a few things done here and there now. All this said, these things really only buy me about 10 minutes tops and you are ready for me again. Yes, I love you too, but seriously?
  • You are such a little piglet.. you're eating about 5 ounces every 2 hours (except at night), but there are some changes coming I'm afraid. We are in the middle of switching you over to formula (no hateful comments please) and you are not too thrilled with it. You will get used to it though!! More on that for another post.
  • You sleep so well most of the time! You are ready to go down around 7:30 most nights and don't wake up to eat again until 3:00-3:30. One night this week I woke up at 4 and I still hadn't heard a peep from you. I panicked and made sure you were still alive. You were clearly and woke up at 4:30. That was a fluke!
  • You smile ALL the time! You seem to be such a happy baby and will smile anytime someone smiles in your face. It's the most precious thing and you look a lot like your Grampy Yetton when you do. My favorite time of the day is when I come and get you out of your crib in the morning and you smile like you are SO glad to see me! Me and daddy actually fight over that time :)
  • Your hair is filling in just a little bit where you were bald and it's still dark. Your daddy wants you to have blond hair like him, but I think you will be gorgeous with dark hair and blue eyes!
  • You've grown out of all of your newborn clothes and you're now in 0-3 month. We had you weighed last week and you were 10lb 13oz and 22 inches long. We have your 2 month well baby appointment on this coming up Monday though, so we'll see how much more you've grown!
You are the light of your dad and I's life! I NEVER imagined that we would feel the way we do no matter how many people told us we would. It's a love that can't even be described and I never knew what we were missing until we had you!

October 26, 2010

Back to My Old Self

The past *almost* two months feel like an absolute blur to me. The first month I'm sure I was running off of pure adrenaline and nerves. This month I've been trying to get into a groove with this whole mommy thing and I feel like I've done a great job. Now I'm trying to incorporate being a wife in there and spending some time on myself.

I fail a lot of the times still in being the kind of wife I want to be, but I'm working at it! I want to take care of my husband, not because I think it's my duty (I'd never survive as a 1950s kind of wife) but because it makes me feel good to know that I'm helping him when he works so hard to provide for our family. He allows me to stay home with our son, plus I love the look of appreciation when I do something a little out of the way to make his life easier.
My first step is spending a little more time in the kitchen. A little less frozen meal to stick in the oven and a little more home cooked goodness. For instance, tonight we are having a pot roast (never mind the fact that it's from Costco and all I have to do is boil it for 20 minutes in its bag of juices.. hey.. it's REALLY good), but I AM making mashed potatoes that ARE NOT from a box. And not just plain ol' mashed potatoes. It's a new recipe I'm trying called "Fancy Mashed Potatoes". Mmmhmmmm..
I'll probably slack a little for the rest of the week, but Sunday I'm trying Apple Stuffed Chicken Breasts.. we'll see about that one! If it's any good I'll post the recipe.
I know he would LOVE it if I were to get up a little early and make him a smoothie for breakfast, but let's just take it one step at a time here. I'd love for him to get up earlier and make me a cup o joe. This should work both ways, right??

I'm trying to take better care of myself as well. I've done better with getting up and putting some effort into my appearance. You know.. like an actual outfit, possibly a little makeup, and maybe even brush my teeth? It does wonders for my mood! And yesterday, I took the big first step and started a new workout plan. I dread workout time every. single. day, but hopefully my body will start to thank me in a few weeks! I have a wedding to be in in March (my SIL is getting married and I'm the MOH... thank you for giving me another reason to HAVE to fly home) and I'd love to be able to rock that little dress! There's my motivation.

So there you have it, this will all be keeping me a busy little bee, not to mention playing, changing diapers, feeding, pumping, repeat. And here I am.. still finding the time to blog! Wish me luck :)

October 25, 2010

Christmas Fevah!!

Trey has the day off from work today! Don't ask me why, but all of 2-3 does and I'm not complaining! We were planning on going to the pumpkin patch to get some sweet pics of Andrew, but good thing I looked online before we drove out there - they are closed during the week! So instead, what are we doing? Andrew taking a cold winters nap (I know it's probably 80 something degrees out there.. roll with me, okay?), Trey is playing football on the PS3, and I am daydreaming about Christmas! We may or may not have just been singing Christmas songs (Holly Jolly Christmas and I'll Be Home For Christmas) together and both got a little giddy. What better time to start looking at designs for Christmas Cards. Little Andrew now gives me an excuse to do the cute picture cards :)

I've never done this before, so I'm using the ever trusty Shutterfly for my first go round! I've just spent the past hour looking at all of the options.. so many.... and finally narrowed it down to the winner. I wanted more than one picture, but not picture overload so it's perfect! I'll show you all when I get them mailed out one day! But it's clean and simple which is right up my alley. I can't wait to see the final outcome!

Here are a few links if you'd like to check out some of what they have to offer!
Shutterfly's Website
Holiday Cards
And even Address Labels!

Want to sweeten the deal? They are now offering 20% off of all of their holiday cards! Just click here to get started!

October 23, 2010

The Babysitter

I knew the time would eventually come. As much as I dreaded it, I knew the hubs and I had to get out for some US time. Good thing the first time was forced on us or else I'm not sure I would have ever willingly left my son in someone else's care!

Last night Trey and I had a function to go to for his BN. It was called the Gunner's Salute and was a welcome home get together for all the soldiers that came home from the deployment. I completely missed the deadline for childcare (good thing.. ummmm 97 kids to 3 care givers? NOT OKAY. I don't know that I will ever use child care for an Army function! I'd much rather have someone I know and trust watching our little lovebug!)

Our friend Fritz offered to stay with him so we took him up on it! Yep, that's right... a grown man, big tough soldier with no kids of his own offered to stay with a 2 month old on a Friday night! To say I was nervous was an understatement. Nothing to do with him, but I was leaving my baby for the first time. But I put one foot in front of the other and got in the car.. I may or may not have been fighting tears on the way to post.

We both did good though in the end! I only texted once to see how they were doing and Fritz handled a massive dirty diaper and they were asleep on the couch together when Trey and I got home. He even sent me a few pictures... sure does know how to make a mama happy!

Here is the little stinker in action...
Now that's a look of pure concentration!

And a happy baby with a clean diaper :)
I think we found us a babysitter!

October 21, 2010

I Believe...

... That everyone on this planet should get to feel the joy and love that I feel from holding my son. Or from seeing my husband coming through the door everyday with that smile on his face. It's indescribable. Having kids isn't for everyone, I know, but I wish this feeling for everyone no matter how they get it.

... That money should absolutely grow on trees. And that there should be hundreds of those trees in our yard.

... That my relationship with God is nowhere near as strong as I want it to be. I feel like I talk the talk but don't walk the walk. I want to change that SO VERY badly. Pray for me (and my husband) if you'd like.

... That if you need help with anything, whether it be medical or something as simple as with the dishes. Ask for it. I've spent too much time dealing with stuff and trying to be strong when I just needed a little help. It makes life so much easier.

... That I shouldn't feel guilty for asking Trey to help with feeding Andrew in the middle of the night just because he has to go to work. (speaking of asking for help). But I do feel so guilty. But I do it anyways. I have to pump once during the night too.. so it would take me hours to go back to sleep. He starts the changing and feeding and when I'm done doing my thang, I take over and let him go back to sleep.

... That pizza should be eaten (ate?) in my household once a week.

... That I desperately need a haircut. (I know Kristy and Charla.. I'm going to call him ;)  ) I haven't had once since April (gasp).

... That my box fan is my best friend and I couldn't live without it.

... That true friends are very hard to come by. Once you have them.. don't let go for any reason.

... That people shouldn't be judged or harmed or criticized for their sexual orientation. Who are we to judge? It doesn't make you comfortable? You're not the one living their life. Let them live it. I know the Bible said marriage is between man and woman. I'm afraid it also tells you that it is not your place to judge.

... That my father and husband and the two funniest (and greatest) men that I know.

... That my son is the most precious thing I have ever seen in my life :)

October 19, 2010

Just Another Day

We don't have much going on over in the Casa de Norton, but I figured if I didn't write while I had the chance (nap time), then I never would. Plus, I wouldn't want that Anonymous commenter to get bitter again with the lack of pictures!

My brother is here staying with us for the rest of the week! He got in on Saturday and we've been loving hanging on with him. He is SO great and sweet with Andrew. Charlie's big thing has been getting him to sleep at night and it's the most precious thing. He is a wonderful Uncle! I'm just a little worried that he's been bored out of his mind as I don't lead the most glamorous life!

Uncle Charlie and Andrew's first day together
I can say that I do not deserve the Mom of the Year award this week! I called our Tel-a-Nurse line over the weekend with concerns of his ongoing congestion that he's had for about 3 weeks now. The last time I called they said it wasn't much to worry about and would probably go away on it on. Welp, it hasn't. We have an appointment tomorrow but that is neither here nor there. When the sweet nurse asked how fussy he has been I told her he has been extra fussy over the past few days. After a long conversation, she suggested I go from feeding him 4oz at a time to 5 or 6. HELLO?! Why didn't I think of that on my own. He was sucking down the 4 ounces no problem and then I was wondering why I couldn't make him happy. I've been starving my child! I know, I know, not really, but he's definitely been ready for more food. I uped the food and I have my sweet happy baby back :) I think I overthink things and look for serious problems.. I need to remember that his needs are very simple. hey.. I'm learning as I go right? Wa wa waaa... 
6.5 weeks old

7 weeks old after watching a Patriots win at Buffalo Wild Wings
*I do have an amazingly cute video to upload of the babe, but after about and hour of leaving this up while it was "uploading", blogger decided there was an error and didn't want to cooperate. Don't worry mum, I'll email it to you :)

October 15, 2010

Baby Necessities

I've seen a few other mama's out there do a list of things they found they just couldn't live without once baby came along. I know it helped me quite a bit... especially when I was putting together our registry. So here I thought I'd add a little bit of my two cents! Feel free to add to this in the comments, I'd love to hear what genius products you've found!

First and foremost ~ The Itzbeen Timer! This thing is pretty much attached to my hip at all times and I've made it my life's mission to make sure all new mom's know about this. You can check it out my clicking on the link, but basically, it's a simple little gadget that helps you keep track of how long "itzbeen" since your baby last ate, had a diaper changed, since they've slept or have been sleeping, and then a miscellaneous button you can use for whatever. I use it for pumping for instance. If they're sick you can use it for medications. You could also set timers.. so if you needed to give meds every 4 hours or so.. you can set a timer to last however long you want it for. It also has a little Left and Right switch if you are breast feeding to remember which tata you left off on. TRUST ME.. you will not remember these things on your own! You can find this at Target or BRU for just around $20.

Speaking of pumping... my little monkey never did take to me, so I've been pumping constantly for the last 7 weeks. Yeah.. it's about as fun and convenient as it sounds. But I have found a pump that I really like that isn't as expensive as the Medela and Ameda brands. I can't speak for those two.. so I don't really know for sure what I'm missing out on, but I have tried a Playtex brand that was more expensive than mine and I like mine much much better. So.. if you're thinking about buying a pump and you want to spend about $140 instead of $300, the Lansinoh pump is wonderful! It's much quieter than the other one I tried, easier to clean (which you have to do after every pump), and expresses more milk. Winner in my book! Plus, their customer service rocks. I did have a problem with the base this week. When I called them, they asked if I was a strictly pumping mom and since I was they sent a new one out to me immediately.. I had it the next day. KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS!

Baby Einstein music! If you're only planning on listening to it in the home, don't bother buying the cd's. Get onto the Pandora website and search for it. It's a great station, it's FREE, and keeps Andrew entertained for quite a while. He loves it!

Swaddle Blankets (any brand as far as I know)! We weren't planning on buying any, but when we realized we had a ninja for a baby, we went ahead and got some. My husband is an expert swaddler. He would wrap him up as tight as could be but within 3 minutes, Andrew would have his feet and arms out wailing all over the place and wouldn't stay asleep. Swaddle blankets.. problem solved!

Pampers Swaddlers diapers and wipes. We've found these to be the best and have tried them ALL! He seemed to have much more leaks with Luvs and Huggies and the Parents Choice brand from Walmart was just cruel to put on his little hiney! Not such a good material and not worth the money you save. Huggies wipes were too coarse in my opinion and took more to clean up the mess!

That's all I can think of for now! I hope this helps some of you :)

October 13, 2010

Can't we all just get along??

This post is inspired by a recent.. ummm.. conversation (?) that was had on my Facebook page about college football.
It's no secret that I am passionate about it. We live and breath it every weekend (and Thursday and sometimes Friday) during the fall. And those that have been reading my blog for a while know that I am a firm believer in the SEC. I personally believe that no one out there can compete. I've been a S. Carolina fan for years and years and over the past few years have been persuaded by my husband to route for Alabama as well.. it's hard not to, right? But this is less about our conference as a whole and more about one particular team... OHIO STATE.

Please, ladies, please... let me know if I'm wrong! Unless you live in the state of Ohio.. most people don't care for (or may have some stronger words) Ohio State Football. I've never run into anyone that isn't from Ohio that actually likes the team. Well I have family that lives in Cleveland, Ohio and are huge fans. I don't hold that against them ;) but there has been a huge stink caused on my FB page (seriously.. like 60 comments long) over the fact that I don't like them (the team, not my family).

They say it hurts their feelings that I don't like them and sometimes vocalize my feelings on the subject. And they are REALLY worked up about it. Really? It's nothing personal, says I. I could care less if anyone in the world.. no matter how close you are to me had something bad to say about any of the teams I pull for. To each his own! Say whatever you want and I'll be glad to have a little friendly back and forth banter with you. Why does it have to be so serious? Of course I never want to hurt any one's feelings.. especially friends and family, but to make matters worse - All of this was started over a conversation that was had on my MIL's fb page. They don't know her. Shouldn't be able to see what was on her page. Clearly, I have the right to discuss football (or anything) in whatever fashion I want when it's not directed at them, right?

Here are the reasons I do not care for Ohio State:
I don't have much respect for them as a team. I feel like they play cake teams all year round and don't deserve to be ranked where they are. Come on down south and play some real teams instead of Illinois, Minnesota, Northwestern. See how you hold up.
They value a coach (Woody Hayes) that smacked a student player (from Clemson) by still having his name on the stadium. I understand that happened years ago.. but it's all about tradition and history.
They call themselves "THE Ohio State". Isn't there only 1 state of Ohio? Grrrr

There are lots more that gets under my skin about them, but Andrew is starting to stir and need to finish up my point.

Basically.. I love my family, I do. But I will NEVER love or like Ohio State Football and don't see why this has been made out to be such an issue. Don't let it hurt your feelings.. embrace it and lets have a good ol' fashion family rivalry and pray we play each other in a bowl game or better yet.. National Championship!

October 7, 2010

I'm still alive!

I've just been super, super  busy. And sick :( 

We've had some pretty crappy germs running through our household. Starting with my husband, who oh so lovingly passed it on to me. You know.. the congestion, sneezing, coughing, headache (I feel like a Dayquil commercial), and I, unfortunately, passed it on to our sweet boy who now has congestion and diarrhea. We're both miserable because of it.

Our first family photo... at a wine festival

Anywho... what's been going on in my world? Well I just mentioned most of it, but we had a WONDERFUL weekend! The Storey's (two of our best friends from back home) flew out to visit us! I can't tell you how much that meant to us and how happy it made the both of us. It's so hard being away from family and friends. For those two blissful days, it didn't feel like we were so far away. Thank you Matthew and Ashleigh! I'm so happy that they got to meet Andrew.. Ashleigh got lots of practice and is going to be a fantastic mum one day! Annd the two extra pairs of hands? I loved it!! We watched lots of football on Saturday (y'all.. nothing gets in the way of Football Saturday). Sunday we took them to Taco Cabana (it's the Norton mission to make sure everyone on the planet eats here) and drove out to New Mexico to check on the La Vina Wine Fest. We had a great time and this little mama got a little tipsy over a few samples of wine.. not gonna lie! It was hard to send them back home the next morning and I almost kidnapped them and made them stay forever... lucky they have a sweet pup to go home to!

Ashleigh and I - October 2010

Monday night I watched the Pats.. FINALLY!! They scared me in the first half but came back swinging in the 2nd. That's my boys! I hear now that Moss is leaving to the Vikings. We'll do just fine without him is what I say...

And this week I've just been taking care of a sad, sick baby. Thanks, girls, for your napping advise! I found something that works and have been getting in a nap a day. I curl up with him on the couch when he falls asleep and sleep with him on my chest! I know I'll have to stop doing this with him in the next few weeks so I don't start any bad habits, but for now, I'm cherishing it. It's the sweetest thing to feel his baby breath on my neck and feel his little fingers wrapping around my arm to curling on my chest. I know that I will miss these little moments!

I'm really looking forward to .. ahhh... 4pm or so today. Hubby will be off and he is coming home to relieve me! That's right.. I get some ME time :) I'm heading off to find some clothes that actually fit me!! I'm in this horrible in between stage where I'm nowhere close to fitting in my pre-pregnancy clothes, but the maternity stuff doesn't quite work anymore either. Any suggestions?
And thank you God, it's a 4-day weekend! I was talking to my cousin last night and she mentioned that she had a long weekend, but wasn't sure why. So thank you Christopher Columbus. Thank you for getting my husband a 4-day :) We'll be enjoying some downtime (watching the Carolina-Bama game.. yessss I'm going for Bama! Don't call me a traitor.. I can't help it) and each other's company.

Look at my little man looking fly in his Bama jersey (courtesy of the Storey's)

Tomorrow.. I put up my fall decor. Can't wait. Time to start lighting that Autumn Leaves candle!!