Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Hero's Hero.

Little C took his first out-of-state trip this past week. We had a wonderful trip to Steamboat Springs, CO, but we returned to some sad news. My Grandfather, who had been in failing health for some time, had taken a turn for the worse. Then tonight I got a call from my Dad letting me know Grandad passed away this evening. He was an incredible man, but he hadn't been himself for a while, and we are all grateful he's no longer suffering. My heart aches for my Dad, though. Grandad was his hero, and I know that as joyful as we all are that he is in heaven, goodbyes are never easy.

Check out the memorial blog my cousin created at

Monday, February 16, 2009

Show off.

I've been working with the little man on a number of 'tricks' like waving, clapping and giving high fives. Of course his best trick these days is one he mastered all on his own - he's started shaking his head 'no'....can't imagine where he picked that up from. I guess I must tell him 'no no' more than I think I do!

Ready fo snow!

We are headed out of town this week for a little fun in the snow. I looked high and low for a snow suit for the munchkin that wouldn't break the bank. After all, he'll probably only wear it this once. I finally found something that will work from I love buying used...good for the earth and good for the pocket book!

Because I was essentially buying from a mystery person somewhere via a random website, I was a little concerned it wasn't going to arrive before our trip , but lo and behold it arrived today - less than a week after I ordered it!

So we're all if the little guy could just move in the thing...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Schedule Help Pretty Please :)

Little C has been on a pretty good schedule lately. Sundays are off-schedule because we have church. But on most weekdays it goes like this:

Between 7 and 8 a.m.: He wakes up and snuggles in bed with Mommy and Daddy. I nurse him. Daddy plays with Little C as much as possible before he leaves for work. Depending on what time my husband has to be at work and how much I need to get done that day, I usually sleep in until he leaves.

Around 8 or so: Breakfast — a cube of fruit mixed with some cereal and formula or half a container of baby yogurt, small chunks of fruit (usually banana), and cereal Os. Then we get dressed and have some playtime. He likes to play with toys on the floor, crawl around the house chewing on anything he finds, jump in the doorway jumper, and have me read him books.

Around 9:30 or 10 a.m.: Nurse and nap. He usually sleeps for about an hour and a half to two hours. If we have time after he wakes up, we'll run errands. Once in a while, we have a playgroup.

Around noon: Lunch — a cube of veggies, a cube or protein and sometimes a cube of fruit.Depending on how hungry he seems, I may mix some cereal and formula to go with it all. Lately I’ve been giving him some peas, corn, or small pieces of carrots or other veggies to feed himself. Sometimes I give him pieces of whatever I'm eating — maybe some cheese or part of my sandwich bread. We'll have to start getting into more finger foods since that's all he wants! After lunch we play some more or run errands...if I'm desperate to get something done or if he's cranky just before his nap, I'll put one of his DVDs in. But I'm going to try reserving those for true desperation. He’s been watching one almost every day, and I've been feeling guilty about that, so I’m trying to back off to a few times a week.

Around 2:30 or 3:00 p.m.: Nurse and nap. This is usually one to two hours. If I'm really tired, I'll sleep with him, but I’m trying to get into a routine where I start dinner during this time because otherwise I'm trying to cook while he's awake and crawling around the kitchen.

Around 4 p.m.: Nurse again, then more playtime inside, or we go for a walk.

Around 6 p.m.: Dinner — he gets a cube or two of veggies, a cube of protein, possibly some grain mixed in, and if he’s still hungry for dessert we’ll give him some fruit, some yogurt, or some puffs. I’ve been trying to give him small pieces of veggies, rice, beans, cheese cubes, cereal Os, chicken...whatever we're having that he can have.

Around 7 p.m.: Bath time. It’s the perfect activity following a messy meal time, and it’s a nice way to start the bedtime routine, but I don’t use soap every night. Some nights it’s really just play-time in the water.

After bath I sing songs to him and put on his lotion and then cortisone on his eczema spots before we put his pj's on. Depending on when my husband will be home from work, I may try to keep Little C awake to see Daddy before bed so we’ll play in the living room for a little while.

7:30 to 8 p.m.: Bedtime. Some nights we nurse, but most nights he’s not interested in nursing just before bed because he just ate dinner. Then we read a story or two, say our prayers and sing some songs, then put him in his crib.He doesn’t always fall asleep right away, and some night we’ll have to go in once or twice to comfort him, but other nights he’ll fall right to sleep. It just depends.

Around 11p.m.: Wakes up to nurse one last time for the day and he goes right back to sleep after.

Since he's been sick, he's reverted to three naps-a-day, and it’s going to be interesting to get him back on track since I’m also trying to wean him right now, but I think it’s a good time to introduce him to a new schedule. I’d like for his nap times to stay the same, but I’m not sure when to offer him the bottle or how much to offer him. He’s still in the habit of eating pretty small meals because I was nursing him so frequently. So my question is this….should I only offer him bottles when he wakes up (which would only be four bottles each day, so they would have to all be 6 oz bottles which I just can’t imagine him eating 6 ounces at one feeding) or keep offering him bottles before and after each sleep period? And if I do that, how much should be in each bottle? 3 ounces? More? I just feel like we're throwing a lot of unused formula away right now.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It is finished.

Tonight was my last night to ever nurse little C. Before I had a child, I always told myself I wanted to breastfeed for the first nine months, if at all possible. I think it was because on one occasion, my doctor had mentioned that she started weaning her son around the 9 month mark. Maybe it was because it was coming from the mouth of a medical professional, or because the number just sounded good, but from then on it stuck out in my mind as the ideal amount of time to nurse a baby.

Well, when I found out I was pregnant, breastfeeding research was at the top of my to-do list. As I started reading about all the benefits, I got it in my head that I wanted to try for a year. They say the benefits last as long as you are nursing, but toddler nursing was never something I was willing to consider, so I decided the 1 year mark would be my new goal. Much like the '9 month' figure, it was just another arbitrary number I got stuck in my head.

Once our little guy arrived, it became very clear that if I wanted to nurse him for a week, let alone 12 months, I had my work cut out. I'll save the gory details for another post, but needless to say nursing was anything but 'natural' or 'rewarding' or 'convenient' in those early weeks/months. None-the-less, we eventually got the hang of it, and somewhere between 2 months and four months it dawned on me that I really enjoyed nursing my son. It was turning out to be all those things the books said!! Then he got sick. Then sick again, and then sick a third time. All three viruses came back-to-back and as a result the little guy spent about five weeks in-a-row congested.

When a baby gets sick and/or congested and eats less for a while, it's usally not a big deal because they will just start eating more again once they feel better. Only trouble with that picture is, when you are breastfeeding you only make as much milk as the baby eats. So it's not like formula feeding where you can just toss the left over milk while they are sick, then provide more from the handy supply of Similac in the pantry when they feel better. Your milk supply dips, and after it dips, it takes a lot of time and effort to get it going again.

I didn't care, though. I was determined to get my supply back up, even if it meant I had to pump and take the fenugreek and all that jazz. The tricky part about pumping, though, is your hands are completely tied up for 20 minutes. That doesn't work so well when you have a curious crawler constantly looking for entertainment and/or trouble. Still, I tried.

Despite my best efforts, my supply has been waining ever since Christmas, and so the 9 month mark started looking better and better. Plus the little guy just got sick AGAIN and without some serious pumping, my supply is not going to make it through this virus. Also, I've mentally been in "mommy mode" for almost two years now and I'm extremely burned out. (Mommy mode is what I call that pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and post pregnancy/nursing period where you have to watch what you eat and no caffeine and no alcohol.

I'll admit, I have been pretty lazy about my eating and drinking habits. I'm ready to pick up some unhealthy habits again and I'm also very tired of feeling guilty about not providing the little guy with good breast milk on those days I don't make time to eat perfectly balance meals....and that's almost every day these days. In fact one day last week, around bedtime I realized the only thing I had eaten all day was a bowl of cheerios, an apple and 2 ice cream sandwiches.

I realize the ideal way to wean is subbing formula at one feeding for a few days, then adding another feeding and so on. But my little guy doesn't like formula or bottles and has a tendency to just 'hold out' till he gets his way even if it means going hungry for a while (a long while). So the slow and steady method wouldn't work with our little man, and Mr. C and I knew from the get-go that when it ended, it would have to be cold turkey.

Tonight was the night. Kinda sad that that our last feeding had to be on Valentine's Day, but it needed to be tonight...we're going out of town next week, and I was faced with either pumping like crazy to get my supply back up to get us through the trip, or just saying, 'that's it.' I opted for the latter. If he hadn't gotten sick, I would have done it when we got back, but as things stand, it makes the most sense...although I'm worried he's going to be lost in transition while we are out of town, but it's a risk I'm just going to have to take.

Anyway, all logic aside, it's been a really hard night. I cried...scratch that...SOBBED after our last feeding. I just think I took that special time for granted. I read over and over again that "it will be over before you know it" and to "enjoy the special time while it lasts", but when you are in the throws of sore nipples and sleep deprivation, sentiments like that make you want to cut someone. Yet here I stand, thinking, "I can't believe it's over!" I have to keep reminding myself that whether it's the nine month mark or the 1 year mark or whenever, nursing is a finite relationship you have with your child. It can't last forever, and it has to end someday. Much like pregnancy, it's hard to see that chapter end, but it's all part of the journey.

I have no doubt that anyone reading this that has never nursed a baby is thinking I am some crazy hippy that can't cut the cord. In fact, I would have agreed with you 110% before my son, but it really is a special thing that you just can't understand until you understand. I know that being a good mother is about SO much more than breastfeeding, and I'm not trying to make anyone feel badly for choosing what's best for their baby. I am just saying that the time you share with your baby while you are nursing is really intimate and hard to just kinda have to do it to understand.

Anyway, I love you little man. I enjoyed our special time and I'm so glad I stuck it out. I am sad tonight, but I'm trying hard to stay focused on your bright future. I can't wait to see you take off and thrive, as I know you will - just don't get too independent too fast, ok? Happy Valentine's day my love. Love, Mommy.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Just a dot, not a lot.

We've been lubing up the little guy's gums since he was about 2 months old with orajel thinking his crabbiness was due to teething. We are now at (almost) 9 months with no sign of a tooth, but we still put the stuff on his gums pretty regularly. He doesn't seem to mind, and it makes us feel better.

Well today at lunch I chomped down on a little more than my turkey sandwich. I took a huge bite out of my cheek. It hurt...badly. No worries, though. I just grabbed little C's orajel to numb the pain. And boy did it numb the pain - that and the entire right side of my mouth!! I didn't even use his 'good stuff' (the night time formula with 2% more Benzocaine). No wonder he gets all drooly after we give it to him!! So, note to self when applying it to the munchkin...just a dot, not a lot!

In other news our little guy has been sick for the past three days. VERY sick. The sickest he's ever been . Fever around 102, cranky, puny, just wants to sit in my lap. Up until last night I was kinda enjoying all the snuggle time, but last night was horrible. The night before was bad, but last night was HORRIBLE. Have I mentioned it was horrible? Anyway, I was freaking out (I'm not your girl under pressure). My wonderful husband, on the other hand, kept his cool and calmly convinced me there was no need to go to the ER. But our little man was really having a hard time breathing. He lost his voice around midnight and after that the only sounds he made were these pathetic cries, terrible scratchy groans and hacking coughs. An hour in a hot steamy bathroom and lots and lots of rocking later, he finally went to sleep around 2:30am. Man oh man, two nights in a row of not sleeping well had me flashing back to the sleepless nights in the early days. NOT missing those. I will admit, though, while I stood in the dark steamy bathroom with him I vividly recalled one of our first seepless nights home with the baby. Mr. C had to work the next day and my mom was staying with us to help out. Not wanting to wake my mom or my husband I ducked into our bedroom closet with the little man to walk him where no one would be bothered. I had the exhaust fan running in the bathroom to attempt to drown out cries. After about an hour of standing in the dark closet, I was so exhausted I finally sat on the floor and thought "I did not sign up for this!" But as I held this tiny screaming infant out in front of me, I just looked at him and realized, he probably feels like he didn't sign up for this either! He was thrust into the world and was feeling pain, hunger, fatigue all for the first time...he just needed a mommy to hold him. So I held him. I will admit, I held him out of love, but more out of a deep sense of obligation to care for him...maternal instinct at its core. And last night as I stood utterly exhausted in the dark bathroom with the white noise of the shower running in the background, I marveled and the similarities of the two late nights....the dark room, the white noise, the exhaustion, how scared and uncertain I felt. But one thing was different...I love my son infinitely more now than I did 8 months ago. The love for a child starts strong, but it grows exponentially each and every day. And last night as I held him, I felt so much more than a sense of maternal obligation, but true deep love, and it was heartwrenching to see him in so much discomfort. On the one hand it's incredible to feel such overwhelming love for another human being and on the other hand it's terrifying. I feel like my heart is not in my chest, but crawling around in a diaper. And if anything were to happen to him, a piece of me would die. It leaves you so raw and vulnerable. It's the scarriest thing in the world to be a parent, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. Even after a night like last night.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

1997 Ford Expedition - 4x4 Eddie Bauer

UPDATE: We sold the car this past weekend! Woo Who!

187,598 miles; V8 Automatic; 4 Wheel Drive; Power Steering/Windows/Locks/Seats; Tan Leather Interior; Grill Guard; New CD player and Radio; Tinted Windows; Rear Window Defrost; Removable third row bench seat!

This car in good condition overall and excellent condition for the amount of mileage it has seen. We have replaced the sound system, paid for all recommended repairs, and had the interior recently detailed. Tires match and are in excellent condition. This would be the perfect car for any new teenage driver or college student - it is very safe, very big and the perfect work horse - we have used it to move several times and it is as good as any pick-up truck. Happy to provide the CARFAX history report if serious offer is made. We are asking Kelley Blue Book or best offer. Serious inquiries only please.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sleepy Time

Little C is so active these days. I can hardly keep up with him. I constantly marvel at how quickly he blasted through the snugly know that phase when they will fall asleep on your shoulder, on your chest, pretty much anywhere and as a result you get lots of nice snuggle time. I would say since he was about 3 months old, except in dire circumstances of utter exhaustion (as pictured here at Christmas), our munchkin has refused to fall asleep anywhere but in his crib or (on the occasional road trip) in his carseat . Anytime he's being held, he's just wriggling around trying to get a better view or find an escape route. It's kinda sad too because when I pictured motherhood I pictured lots of snuggle time and to think that phase is already behind us is hard to swallow. I keep hoping it's just a phase. And I'm sure each kid is different. Who knows, maybe if we have another one he/she will be a bit more apt to sit in my lap or be content just being held.

Anyway, there is still ONE time of day when the little man will sleep in my arms. He eats dinner at 7, and is in bed by 8, but he still wakes up for one last feeding around 10:30pm or so. Most days I'm so wiped out by then I'm struggling to keep my eyes open, and I'll admit, it would be great if I knew we were 'done' for the day once he was in bed at 8pm. None the less, I don't hate or resent that last feeding. In fact, I look forward to it because it's the one time each day when he's so sleepy that after he's done eating he'll sleep in your arms. Every night I'll hold him while he sleeps for at least a half hour before I put him back in his's probably my favorite time of day. He's so cute in his footie pj's with his hair all whispy and sticking up everywhere.

As I sit there and study his face every night I'm always blown away by how big he's gotten, how much he's grown and changed. Some nights I feel like I'm holding a little boy more than my little baby. And because I know he won't be my baby forever I really try to cherish that time. No matter how messy the house is, no matter how much more I have to do before I can call it a day, I know I need to savor that quiet sleepy time because in no time at all, I know it'll be gone.

Monday, February 2, 2009


I ran in a 5k this past weekend (that's me in the green!), and I'm very proud to report I not only completed it in one piece, but I ran the entire thing! I completed the race in just under 36 minutes (35:21.7 to be precise) meaning I clocked an impressive pace of 11:24/M - a personal best!

Ok, ok. I know that's laughably slow, and I'll admit there were people actually walking next to me during stretches, but I didn't walk, I ran, and that was huge for me. That's the furthest I've ever run in my whole life by more than a mile! And you wanna know what the first thought that crossed my mind when I finished was?? "Wow, I could have gone for a lot longer!" So I've signed up for a 10k. March 29th, Mr. C and I will be running in the Statesmen Capital 10k in Austin, TX. It's 8 weeks from now and I start training today (well, technically I started yesterday, but Mondays are rest days :). I'm hoping to even improve upon my pace a smidge....dare I hope for 10 minute mile??? Hey, a girl can dream!

Anyway, this is going to be interesting trying to fit training for this 10k in with my triathlon training because I'm just not sure how much my very out-of-shape body can handle. I think I've got it figured out, though. The 8 week program I found online for the 10k incorporates cross training each week, so those days I will swim to give my legs a break. Every other week I'll swap a run day for a bike day, and when the race is over, I'll focus on biking and swimming and only run once a week. What do you think?? I'd really love input and feedback from more experienced athletes!!