Monday, September 30, 2013

Sunshine Award

Nicole from Adventures of a Semper Fi Family nominated me for a Sunshine Award!
How fun, and I'm totally honored that she chose my little old blog out of the hundreds out there!
She came up with 10 questions for me to answer about myself, and in turn, I'll nominate another 10 blogs that make me smile!
That's gonna be tough for me, because if I follow a particular blog, it means I really like it! 
Here are her questions for me!

1. What is the most recent thing you bought for yourself (food doesn't count)? Share a pic.
I don't have a pic, but last weekend, I bought a vintage tee for myself! It's my first post pregnancy shirt I bought. I figured since I haven't bought "non maternity" clothes in over 9 months, it was time!
2.  If you could hop a plane this weekend and go anywhere in the US, where would you go? Why?
I would go back to my hometown of College Station, Texas! I am a born and raised Texas girl, and it's the best state in the U.S.A.!!!! A few other reasons why I would choose CSTX (what us locals call College Station...along with C-Stat, Aggieland...), I want to catch an Aggie football game at Kyle Field, I want to eat some Blue Bell ice cream, I want to go to Wings N More for fried pickle chips, and I want to go to the original Freebird's to get a burrito!
3.  Who is the first person you call when you have good news?
My husband of course!
4. What is your least favorite blog topic to read?
I don't really like blog posts about politics. Politics give me a headache. 
5. What is your favorite blog topic to read?
I love reading about arts and crafts, DIY projects, and of course military spouse blogs!
6. What is the 10th picture on your phone (or computer)? We want to see it!
 This is a picture of my baby girl's first hair cut!
7. What is one thing you do to spoil yourself?
Drink wine alone and watch reality TV.
8. Who is your favorite coffee date?
My husband. We've spent so much of our marriage apart that I love spending every moment I get with him!
9. Share the link to your favorite blog post from your blog.
 This is my 5th year wedding anniversary post. It's one of my favorites.
10. What blogger would you most like to have a blate (blogger date)?
Ah...there's so many! I'd love to have a "blate" with all of the bloggers that I follow (and that's a lot!). Most of the blogs I follow are military spouses, and I find myself feeling like I already know most of them. I also have a lot in common with all of them just by reading their blogs! There's really not one I could choose!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Whole Month

My son is a whole month old today. 
I wish I could say, "Where has the time gone?"
Let's just be real.
This tired and sleepy mama is thinking more along the lines of, "It's ONLY been a month?! I hope you start sleeping at night soon...for my sanity!"
Besides the sleep deprivation, he has brought a lot of joy into my life (when he's not up all hours of the night wanting to be fed). 
On days big sister is in school, I catch myself just sitting on the couch with him and staring at his perfect little face.
His cheeks are starting to get chubbier, and he's starting to make more facial expressions.
Holding him in my arms makes Dannika seem huge.
It's hard to believe that she was so tiny at one point.
I can even make him smile a little.
I love you, Boo Boo.
You'll probably hate that nickname when you're older, but that's just what I decided to call you.
My little Boo Boo.
Here's my chunky little guy with his Build-A-Bear puppy that big sister got him 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ramblings of a Sleep Deprived Mama

This post will probably be a little all over the place
I'm sleep deprived.
Like ridiculously sleep deprived.
My sweet angel, Dannika, was sleeping 6 hour stretches at night at 4 weeks. 
By 6 weeks old, she was sleeping 9-12 hours.
My son?
Not so much.
I swear I am up every hour at night feeding this bottomless pit.
I fall asleep while feeding him, just to be woken up by him wanting to feed again.
I figured out his sleep schedule though.
Thank God he has one.
He's awake from about 5 in the morning till around 11. 
From noon till around 6 in the evening, he's fast asleep (only to wake up to eat). 
From about 630 in the evening until 1am, he is up and ready to party.
This is not OK with a tired, sleepy mama.
The majority of his sleeping is done during the day.

This is his "business casual" look.
He's trying to say, "I'm trying to be professional, but I'm also here to party."

I'm sure all my "pro breastfeeding" bloggers will cringe when I say this, but we resorted to giving him a bottle of formula at night hoping it would help him sleep longer stretches.
I am still nursing him exclusively during the day, and I plan on nursing him AT LEAST until he's 6 months old.
By the way, he doesn't sleep longer with the formula, so that plan failed.
We're still going with it though.

I've had two cups of coffee today...
Actually, I had one coffee, and one pumpkin latte from Dunkin' Donuts.
I'm still tired, and want to take a nap.

This was dinner the other night.
Spinach salad tossed with store bought Italian dressing, black beans, corn, edamame, goat cheese, and a grilled chicken breast seasoned with Italian salad dressing. 
People were so impressed by this meal.
I even had one of my friends on Facebook say, "Are you already cooking food like that, or does Nick have some crazy cooking talent?"
It made me smile.
Little did she know that I just tossed a bunch of random stuff together in a salad bowl, and the only real "cooking" I did was season some chicken breasts with Italian salad dressing and throw it in the pan.

The Marine Corps Ball is November 8th.
I want to fit back into a size 2 or 4 ball gown.
Is that realistic?
I have no idea.
But I've made it a point to run every day.
It's my only bit of sanity during the day.
 The stroller puts both kids to sleep instantly. 
After a 30 minute run (pushing a ridiculous amount of weight up some pretty gnarly hills), I leave the kids in the stroller.
I get a good 15 minutes to just bask in the sun without interruptions before one of them wakes up.

I love pumpkin spiced lattes from Starbucks.
I also love pumpkin white chocolate lattes from Dunkin Donuts.
I can't decide which one I like more, and those are about the only things I like about Fall.
I'm still trying to hold onto Summer for dear life.

My son is currently snuggled on me in my Moby wrap fast asleep, and my daughter is playing "rock star" in her playroom.
I have yet to start dinner, and hubby just called to let me know he's on his way home.

Did I mention, I'm tired?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mondays, BOB strollers, and Babies

It's Monday, and I'm "happy, happy happy." (yes, that was a Duck Dynasty reference).
Because I just got a text from my hubby that he was on his way home from work early.
I got to spend the morning with these two cute little angels.
Oh, and I managed to get a nice morning run into my day, I spinned, and I lifted some weights.
I'm trying to lose all the baby weight before the Marine Corps Ball in November!
I'd say that's a pretty darn good Monday, if I do say so myself!
Anyone else own the double BOB jogging stroller?
After running for 4 years using a single, the transition to the double is a challenge!
The stroller itself is very light, has great shocks, and is very durable. 
But running with it is a different story!
It's wide, and it's hard to slow it down when going down hill.
However, I LOVE LOVE LOVE BOB strollers.
I honestly think they are the absolute best jogging stroller for the running mama.
They're a little pricey, but they are worth EVERY penny (especially if you're putting tons of miles on it like our family does!).
Also, the one I have is the BOB Revolution SE Duallie (in case anyone is wondering).
I picked this one out of ALL of them because the front wheel can be locked and also unlocked to swivel.
I prefer running with a swivel wheel (for turns, etc), but my hubby prefers running with a locked front wheel, so this was the best fit for our family.
It's also the most versatile stroller.
Family photo sesh after a nice Sunday afternoon run.
Yes, my hubby pushed the stroller.
I refuse to push it when my husband is perfectly capable.
I also feel that it evens the playing field as far as athletic abilities go for the both of us, since I'm not in tip top running shape.

 This little guy made his debut appearance at church on Sunday.
Church must have worn him out, because as soon as we got home, he wanted his shirt all unbuttoned and wanted to take a nap! 
That's right little fella, let it all hang out. 
I was relieved that we survived the entire service with no meltdown, and it wasn't till the very end of service when I needed to take him back to the "nursing moms" room to nurse him really quick.
Other than that, he was an angel, and quite a popular little guy with all the people who hadn't had the chance to meet him yet!

The rest of our Sunday afternoon was spent just lounging around.

Daddy even tried "baby wearing".
He agreed that the Moby was the greatest thing ever.
Nothing manlier than a man wearing a baby in a Moby wrap, right?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Crunchy Moms

According to urban dictionary, a "crunchy mom" is:

 A member of an increasingly growing group of moms who are neo-hippies.

They generally believe (for varying reasons) that there is something bad or less beneficial about buying mainstream products or doing other common activities in the mainstream way.

Do I consider myself a crunchy mom?
Not at all.

However, I do feel a lot "crunchier" with Mattis than I did with Dannika.
With Dannika, I was so new at parenting that the overwhelming sense of it all took over my emotions.
For instance, I hated nursing her.
I was determined to nurse her at least until I went back to work (at 6 weeks post partum).
I counted down the days until I could stop nursing her.
It was too overwhelming for me, and the fact that I had PPD didn't make it any easier.
(BTW, I have no regrets of deciding to quit nursing my daughter and putting her on formula. I'm not one of those judgy moms that look down on women who choose to nurse and/or formula feed.)
 With Mattis, however, I've been somewhat enjoying nursing him.
Even with the horrible episode with mastitis, it hasn't been that bad.
I am even more determined to continue nursing him at least until he starts solid foods.

I was never much of a "baby wearer" with D.
I had a Baby Bjorn and a Moby wrap (that someone else bought me), and I think I tried the Bjorn once.
The Moby wrap, I took one look at it, got intimidated by it, and shoved it back in the box, never to be seen again.
With Mattis, I have become a baby wearin' machine!
I spent an hour tangled up in my Moby wrap, iPhone with youtube in hand, instruction booklet on the couch, before I figured it out.
I can't believe I was intimidated by this mystical Moby wrap.
I think it's become a necessity for me to "wear" my baby since I am now taking care of two kiddos.
It's nice to have free hands, especially since baby M doesn't stay quiet for very long when I put him down.

To be completely honest, that's about as "crunchy" as I get. 
I'm not into the whole attachment parenting thing (no judging anyone that does), but it's just not up my alley.
I believe in sleep training because let's face it, mama needs her sleep in order to be the best effective, loving, and nurturing mama.
I don't believe in co-sleeping because I enjoy my alone time with my husband in the bedroom. 
I am a pro "cry it out"/Ferber method mama!
Did I mention that my D was sleeping 9 hours through the night at 6 weeks old? 
I'm just sayin'...
I have several friends who are into attachment parenting and "child led" parenting, and they all just look really tired and worn out for the first year.
I choose to be happy, vibrant, and not tired.
That's usually when I'm the best mama I can be.

Whatever type of parenting you choose, my thing is, as long as you're doing what is best for you and your kids, who cares?!
Let's stop being all "judgy judgy", ok?

Handsome fella.

D's sweet new shoes.

Went on my first REAL run since giving birth. It felt AMAZING to hit pavement. 3 1/2 miles done!

Another pic of my handsome little guy.

Sibling love.

Dannika playing soccer. She's actually pretty good, y'all!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Baby M Newborn Photos

A friend of mine referred me to Rebecca Deaton to take my newborn photos for Mattis.
I fell in love with her photos as soon as I saw her website, and contacted her this summer to book my session.
She braved her way through a thunderstorm and flooded roads to come to our house to take our newborn photos!
Because of the storm, the lighting was awful in the house.
Mattis was not cooperating and wanted to stay awake for the majority of the time.
And all he wanted to do the entire photo session was nurse, nurse, nurse!
I was afraid that because of those reasons, we wouldn't get any good photos.
When I got my photos, I was beyond ecstatic!
They looked amazing.
They looked like they had been taken on a bright and sunny day.
Most importantly, she managed to capture a TON of cute, sleepy photos of Mattis (and D).

This one is one of my favorites.
It has so much meaning to us.
Part of Mattis's name is named after the man on his daddy's bracelet that he is wearing in this picture.
Nick hardly ever takes this bracelet off.

If you're in the Boston area, I highly highly highly recommend Rebecca Deaton Photography!
I can't say enough amazing things about her!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Feeling Like Death

Soccer, Mastitis, UTI.
This has been my life for the last 5 days or so.
If you care to know, read on, if not, just check out my adorable kids pictures!

These past few days have been crazy, crazy...
D had her first soccer practice on Friday...
I thought she would be the kid staring at the sky and picking flowers, all while running in the wrong direction.
To my surprise, she was a pretty serious soccer player!
 I was seriously impressed.

My Saturday started off fairly uneventful.
Nick had to work until pretty late, so it was just the kiddos and me all day.
I decided to try out the double BOB, and take a little run slow jog brisk walk to D's school.
Her school is only a mile and a half away from our house, and I wanted to start walking her to school before the weather got unbearably cold.
This was our "test run" to see how long it would take me.
Switching from a single jogger to a double is a huge adjustment!

After we got home from our "jog", I started feeling tired, and I attributed that to the 3 miler that we had just completed.
By two in the afternoon, I noticed I was getting chills, and a few short hours later, I had a full blown 103 degree fever and was feeling miserable.
Feeling this way while caring for a 4yo and nursing a newborn is absolutely the worst!
I held off on complaining to Nick, because I didn't want him to feel obligated to rush home from work to my bedside rescue.
I also hate being "that wife" know...the one that is constantly calling the spouse at work.
By six thirty, it was almost unbearable, and I frantically texted Nick telling him that I was feeling sick.
By the time he got home, I could sense by his demeanor that he thought I was exaggerating and being dramatic.
That is, until he realized how high my fever was.
He took Sunday off from work, and stayed home to care for the baby and D while I laid on my deathbed.
I felt horrible guilty the entire day because he took a day off from an important training event from work because of me, and on top of all of that, he was way behind on his homework for college.
I held off on whining to him about taking me to the ER and suffered silently all day while he caught up on college, did some work on his laptop, and watched the kids.
By Monday morning, my fever had not gone down, and it had gotten worse.
I decided that I had to be seen that day, and my poor hubby had to ask for another day off to care for my sick butt.
We went to urgent care, and the doctor took one look at my boob and said, "it's mastitis."

So let me just add..
This is the worst pain I've felt in a looooong time.
I can barely lift my right arm.
It's painful to nurse.
It's painful to lay on my sides.
I have horrible chills.
HORRIBLE night sweats.

Oh yeah...
As soon as we got home from urgent care with antibiotics, D started complaining of painful urination.
So poor hubby was out the door again (with newborn in tow so that I could rest), and took her to the doctor.
She was tested negative for UTI, but we haven't gotten the results from the rest of her lab work yet.

I was put on bed rest for 24 hours to give the antibiotics to get a chance to kick in.
So hubby took today off to let me rest.

I feel horrible that he has taken 3 days off of work because of me.
It makes it worse cause I know how behind he has gotten at work.
Between being up all hours of the night with the newborn and being tired and the stress of being behind at work, I can see it in his face.

I am so incredibly blessed to have a husband who puts his family above everything.
He literally dropped everything on his schedule to care for me, and he has not let me do a single thing besides nurse our son.
I honestly don't know if I would have survived these past few days without his help.
As cute as this little guy is, he has been quite a handful!
Thank you, hubby!!

I'm starting to feel a teeny bit better, and it gives me a glimmer of hope that tomorrow will be 100 times better!

Check out my babies newborn photos!
They look so much alike in these photos.
My D was a lot chubbier.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Baby Blues

I give major kudos to stay at home moms with more than one kid under the age of 3. 
I have a pretty independent and self sufficient 4 year old and a newborn, and I still feel overwhelmed on most days.
I can't imagine chasing a toddler around AND caring for a newborn at the same time.

I would probably end up in a mental hospital.

This week can be summed up in two photos...
 Cranky baby that wants me to feed him every hour...hour and a half. 

I can't imagine doing this without my trusty Keurig.

I've mentioned before that with my firstborn, I got the baby blues really bad.
When the baby blues never went away, I sought treatment, and was diagnosed with post partum depression.
I never had thoughts of harming my baby.
I just didn't want to have much to do with her.
I felt like a prisoner to this tiny little human, and I never wanted to leave my house. 
I fed her and changed her out of necessity, and I had a hard time bonding with her. 
From the outside looking in (and based on my Facebook page), my life probably looked perfect.
I had a beautiful little girl that I dressed up like my doll in a million adorable outfits that were neatly accessorized with giant flowers and bows adorned on her sweet bald head.
But on the inside, I was struggling, and I put my husband through hell during that time.
Did I mention that in the midst of all this emotional chaos, my husband deployed to Afghanistan?!
Let me also add some more salt to that wound and add that I was on recruiting duty.
(If you've ever known anyone on recruiting duty, you can imagine what I was going through)
That probably didn't help my situation any. 

There is a happy ending to this story though.
I got treated for my PPD, my husband made it home safely from Afghanistan, and the experiences that I've had with my daughter are ones that I wouldn't trade for the world. 

These are some of my favorite "mommy and me" photos taken during my husband's deployment.

Yesterday was the toughest day so far.
I started feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and inadequate.
The baby was cranky and fussy all day.
My 4yo had gymnastics, and I forgot to bring the diaper bag with us.
I spent an hour at the gymnastics class hoping and praying that baby wouldn't wake up (in which he did).
I spent the last 30 minutes of her hour long class trying to calm down my hysterical newborn.
I tried to nurse him, but he did not enjoy the nursing cover which made him even fussier.
*Seriously...nursing out and about is the hardest thing for me! I just don't feel comfortable nursing in public!*
It didn't help that my hubby worked late yesterday. 
It was one of those days that when he got home, the baby and the 4 yo was passed off to him like a football, and I just wanted to hang up my "mama pants" for a little bit. 

And of course, as soon as daddy comes home, baby becomes an angel (the total opposite of the first photos you saw on this post).

Thank God I have an amazing husband who was more than willing to take over after working a long day, and give me some "wine time".

So, today I woke up with the attitude that it's a new day (go ahead and sing it..."it's a new dawn, a new day..").
No matter how hard or long the days may seem, I have to remember that I am raising God's children.
He chose me to mother these two precious souls.
So I take on another day with the crazy challenges that come with parenting.
Head on.
With no little complaints. :-)

Just praying that the PPD doesn't come back this time to kick my butt.

Oh, and just a random photo that I took last night of my daughter.
She makes me smile :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

12 Years

I don't have much to say this year.
I wrote this last year, and I pretty much feel the same way. 

My husband joined the Marine Corps in 2001 right before the attacks, and I joined a year later in 2002. 
It's crazy, sad, and everything in between to think that our family has never known a Marine Corps at peacetime.
In fact, we've been in the Marine Corps from the very beginning of it all (2001) until now (2013), and there is still no definite resolution.

Today, I hug my children a little tighter, and thank God that such brave people exist in our country.

Today, I remember the men and women like SSgt Vincent Bell.
The brave man that our son gets the honor of sharing part of his name with.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Another Baby Post?! Yes!

Having my kids 4 years apart definitely has some advantages.
For instance...
I am writing this blog post right now while my 4 year old dutifully "entertains" her little brother.
In reality, she just gives him his paci when he starts getting fussy, and is laying next to him on the floor in the living room while watching Disney Jr.
Did I also mention that while she is "babysitting", I scrubbed our entire guest bathroom down?!
I also made myself a cup of pumpkin spiced coffee this morning, had an English muffin, and got to catch up on my recorded shows.
Oh yeah, and D also had apple cinnamon waffles.
When D was a newborn, I could never get anything done for the first few months of her life.
I relied so much on my husband to do little tasks like cleaning and dinner.

I will admit that little man is not as great of a sleeper as D was.
Which is why we spent the majority of our weekend catching up on much needed sleep.

Hubby and I enjoyed a few glasses of peach champagne last night after dinner.
Oh, and those grapes in our glass are the famous "cotton candy grapes".
And yes...
They really DO taste like exactly like cotton candy, and they are absolutely delicious!

The cutest thing in the world is catching our little guy laughing in his sleep.
He has the cutest little laugh ever.
I wonder what he's dreaming about that could be so funny.
I found this article about newborn laughter that I thought was interesting.

Check out the sweet mosquito bite that my daughter got above her left eye.
I thought it was a shiner at first that she got while playing with her friend next door.
On closer examination, it's just a bug bite.
I'm always paranoid that when she's in school, someone will assume that we are abusing our child and call CPS on us, so when she has a little bruise or an injury, I sort of freak out a little...
I've heard too many horror stories of that happening to totally innocent parents.

My mom left this past Saturday.
I'm kind of sad to have seen her leave.
Especially cause I feel like I might have been a grouch the entire two weeks she was here helping me out.
The lack of sleep, caring for a newborn, and the post partum hormones made me grumpy, and I didn't get to really spend as much quality time as I would have liked.
She was a great sport though.
She cooked every single meal for us while she was here, and cleaned every single day.
In fact, on her last night at our house, she was up till 10 in the evening slaving away in my kitchen and cooking.
She wanted to make sure that we had a few more meals for the next couple days after she left.
I also did not pay for a single grocery the entire two weeks she was here.
She wouldn't let me.
Nick and I took her out to eat lobster on one of her last nights here, and we had to fight with her to pay for dinner!
Can you believe that we have been in New England for almost a year now, and we had never had fresh Maine lobster?!?
Me either.
Glad we checked that one off our bucket list.
It was delicious.

Now, I'm off to go feed my fussy newborn. :-)
Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!