Friday, January 31, 2014

i'm dying !!!

This video is hilarious!
Well, it is if you're me... or are with a guy that you shop for.
Penn Holderness is a news anchor in Raleigh, NC.
He and his family are behind the Christmas Jammies video that went viral.
This is his latest video and it has me laughing out loud...

Happy Friday before the big game!
Who wants to come to our Super Bowl Party???

Thursday, January 30, 2014

a thin layered blanket and a birth story

Trace's 1st experience with snow went just as expected.
He could have cared less.
But we cared.
Every first with our little guy is so exciting for us. 
And this was no different!

We woke up the next morning with a thin layered blanket of snow everywhere.
It was absolutely beautiful.
And Trace was the cutest little snow bunny I've ever seen!

While Trace napped Bryan built him a snowman.
It turned out so good!
I can't wait for them to do this together one day...

Switching gears:

Trace's birth story is being featured over at Mama and Mou today. 
I'd love for you to hop on over and relive it with me!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

10 true things about the first year of parenthood

1. You are going to suck at this parenting gig and be awesome at it at the same time, all the time. You will be a different parent every morning to a child who will also be different, sometimes changing in just hours, or minutes, or before your eyes. There will be good days and bad days, good minutes and bad minutes, good choices and not-so-good ones. You will do some things, probably a lot of things, wrong. Be gentle with yourself, because you are wildly loved and incredibly needed. You are climbing Mt. Everest with basically zero conditioning -- expect to be kind of terrible at it for a while. 
2. Postpartum bodies are squashy and wobbly and dimpled and stretched and foreign and embarrassing and difficult and painful and gorgeously imperfect, and they tend to stay that way for quite awhile. You made a human. Now make your peace. Eat good food. Walk around when you're well enough. Listen to the people who tell you you're beautiful. Take them at their word. Remember where your worth comes from.
3. Your baby is not like the other babies. Your baby is the only one of herself who has ever been, and you and your partner are the only experts on her. Your baby will not behave like the books say, won't like what she's supposed to like, won't do what she's supposed to do when she's supposed to do it, and that's normal and great and perfectly OK. The best thing you can do is put down your literature and get to know your baby. What does she like? What makes her laugh? How does she best fall asleep? What does hungry sound like? The discovery of these things will serve you so much more than any stranger's care instructions ever will. You don't have to make your life or your family look like any particular model -- you don't have to follow the rules. You just have to create a life that works for you and fosters love and security and a whole lot of laughter. If that looks like 2 a.m. pancake parties, I'm not going to tell on you. I might actually admire you and be just a little bit jealous.
4. We have got to stop telling people that things should be easy and painless.We live in a culture that equates ease with value -- the easier it is, the better it is; if it hurts you, something is wrong. Reality check: sometimes things that are hard and painful are also really, really good. Every once in a while as a parent, one of the things that you thought would be really difficult turns out to be incredibly easy and drama-free. This is called a miracle, and though it might be somehow related to some book you read and the alignment of the stars and a magic way you pat the soles of your baby's feet and the tea you drink on Thursdays, it's still mostly a miracle, and the odds of that same miracle happening to EVERY OTHER PARENT EVERYWHERE are pretty slim, even with books and stars and tea and so much foot-patting. We get excited in our victories, and want to share them, but it's important to remember that we are all struggling with different issues. One daddy's easy is some mama's nightmare. And just because your baby doesn't sleep through the night at five weeks or eat with a fork by her first birthday or cries a lot or your boobs get sore from breastfeeding (even though her latch is perfect) -- just because it isn't EASY and PAINLESS -- it isn't necessarily wrong. Sometimes hard is OK, sometimes, often, it's even good. Hard is how we grow. And guess what, kiddo -- parenting is hard. Any book that tells you otherwise deserves the big fat sticker of bullshit.
5. Speaking of bullshit, oh mylanta, the poop. They warn you. They tell you. And despite every warning, it is still baffling and alarming and downright awe-inspiring how much of your next year is going to be spent dealing with, assessing, smelling for, washing off, evaluating, discussing, logging and transporting poop. Get good and comfy with poop, friends. The poop cometh. For whom the poop tolls. The hunt for poop-tober -- you get the idea.
6. The sooner you can figure out how to accept unwanted advice gracefully, the easier your year is going to be. For whatever reason, people love to weigh in on babies -- everyone has an opinion, and everyone wants to share. I believe that most of this advice is pretty well-intended -- most of it falls into the "it worked for me and I am so happy and I want to share my joy joy joy with you because you look very tired" category, which is at least only mildly offensive and really very sincere.
Here's the thing -- you can stumble through this crazy first 12 months in defense mode, snapping witty comebacks at judgmental old ladies or know-it-all childless people, or you can decide to give everybody the benefit of the doubt, smile and say thank you, and become very zen and confident about knowing what's best for your child and not giving one ounce of your abundance of poop about what anyone else says.
If I were you, I'd aim for zen.
Nobody is out to get you. Everyone wants you to succeed. And screw them all anyway, because you are raising a child, and that is awesome. Did your kid eat something today? Is she relatively hygienically sound? Smiles occasionally? You win all the things. You are awesome enough to absorb any and all commentary, keep the bits you like, and toss the bits you don't. How sweet of them to care.
7. Start stretching, because it's time to get flexible. I'm not a big fan of general statements like "All babies like swaddling," or "Co-sleeping is best for everybody," but there is one I can get behind -- babies are really inconvenient. Your schedule, your sleep, your stellar punctuality record, your deadlines, your best shirts, your relationships -- everything is about to get messy and complicated. You have two choices: become a weepinghungrytiredmess of doom, or swallow every ounce of pride you have and become flexible. Ask for help. Admit failure. Be late. Stay in your pajamas. Ignore the dishes. Let slide what can slide and rejoice when you make it through with all your bare necessities intact. You are going to miss a few parties and a lot of snoozes and probably many other important things, and it will be OK. It will be better than OK. It will be amazing.
Maybe, just maybe, you'll be one of those parents who gets a magic baby who responds to the methods in whatever book you read or is just naturally benevolent and fits like a glove into your fabulous and organized life. Again, this is called a miracle. We love you and are happy for you. Now please, shut up.
8. The most important thing to get for your baby is not a Rock n' Play, nor a good set of swaddling blankets, nor a high-end stroller. The most important thing to get for your baby is a village. Your village will keep you afloat. They will carry you when you are tired, feed you when you are starving, forgive you when you are unkempt and hours late and a neglectful friend who can't remember to wear socks let alone whose birthday it is. They will love your baby when you are too tired or frustrated to hold her at the moment, because you are imperfect and human and have imperfect and human failings. They will remind you who you are when you start to think your whole life is only about poop. They will lift you up.
9. We have to lift each other up. Raising babies is the hardest thing many of us have ever done. We can tear each other to bits, criticize choices and turn up noses, or we can love each other, admire adorable babies, offer a hand and celebrate victories. This is not a difficult choice, people. Nobody cares that your way is better. Everyone cares that your kid is gorgeous and let's chat over coffee and what have you been doing with your hair lately because, girlfriend, you look fabulous. Don't be horrible. It isn't really that hard.
10. Success is found in being willing to grow. Here's the truth: you don't know much of anything. A year from now, after your fantastic kid turns 1, you won't know much of anything still. Gather wisdom around you. Learn from your mistakes. Stay humble. Stay open. When you know better, do better. Be a better parent tomorrow than you were today, always, everyday, as often as you can. Try things out and leave them behind shamelessly if they don't work out. Life isn't a contest or a game -- it's simply only beautifully life. Live the minutes instead of scoring them. Love that incredible baby.

Monday, January 13, 2014

the present of all presents

Exactly 1 year ago today Bryan and I woke up more excited than ever. I was 16 weeks pregnant and this was the day that we were going to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. Not only was it Bry's birthday, but he was about to get the "present of all presents" -- a mini me. As he opened his "gift" we sat in bed, crying and laughing. All we saw was a sea of blue... we were going to have a son! *read about it here* Little did we know what a sweet, silly and good boy we'd become parents to. All that mattered in that moment was that we knew Trace Jameson was on his way to us. And here he is today, at 6.5 months old, sitting up on his own, babbling for days and eating baby food like a champ. Our hearts explode on a minute to minute basis and we just can't believe that it's possible to love someone so much. Trace is our everything and it's almost incomprehensible how much has changed in the past year, all because of our sweet-natured, playful little boy...

Today Bryan celebrates his first birthday as a father. Trace and I are so incredibly lucky to spend our everyday with him. Now bring on the funfetti cupcakes and champagne -- it's celebration time -- my honey is my age for the next 4 months, yahoo!

Happy 32nd birthday, honey!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

6 months

6 months as of December 26, 2014
Height - 28 inches (90th percentile)
Weight - 17 lbs 3 oz (25th percentile)
Head Circumference - 17 3/4 inches (75th percentile)

Clothes: You are wearing all 3-6 and 6 months clothes and most of your sleep and plays are 6-9 months now. Toward the end of the month I've begun transitioning you into some of your smaller 6-9 month onesies. While in California you wore 3 month shorts -- tiny hiney, I tell ya!

Sleep:  You sleep 12 hours straight through the night -- 7:00pm-7:00am. Sometimes you woke up in the middle of the night, which was rough on me come morning. You generally wake up in the morning, roll over and play in your crib with your hands and feet until we come in to get you. Naps this month have been a major struggle for us. You show us your signs -- yawn, stick fingers in mouth, fuss a little -- but once we take you up to your dark room you decide it's playtime. You take a good morning nap -- 8:45am-10:15am, but you only stay asleep for about 20-30 minutes during your other two naps of the day. I think any sleep issues you've had this month all stem from teething.

Health: On Friday, 12/6 we took you for your official cranial band scan. You got your band on 12/19 out in Cranial Tech's Orange County office because we were there for Christmas. The band was rubbing, so we had to take you in Christmas Eve morning to get an adjustment. Biggy boy's head grew 2 millimeters in less than a week.

Diet: You eat 5 times a day. You're still on Similac Sensitive. You take 4 6-7oz. bottles throughout the day, eating every 3 hours, and 1 7oz. bottle as your last bottle at 6:30pm. On Sunday, 12/8 we introduced oatmeal cereal. We combined 1 tbsp of it with 5oz. of formula and spoon fed you a bit. I then started to decrease the formula and ended up with 2 oz of formula mixed with 1 tbsp of oatmeal or rice cereal. You were great with the spoon, swallowed a little bit, but most ended up on your cute little face. Everyday you get more and more used to it...

 Baby Gear Love: Baby Einstein jumper, ergo, stroller, Bumbo with tray

Likes: smiling, talking, sucking fingers, playing with feet, sucking fingers while playing with feet (see picture below), eating, getting a diaper change, going on walks, hanging out in your Ergo, rolling over, playing with all of your toys, playing in your jumper

Dislikes: evening-time, wind, naps

Crying: You were more fussy than usual this month, but I attribute it to the 2 teeth you cut and all of the changes you went through this month -- rolling, cranial band, west coast travel/timezone adjustment, etc.

Milestones: You ate food -- oatmeal and rice cereals -- for the 1st time and really seemed to like it. You couldn't quite get the whole concept of the how a spoon works, but you understood that you wanted what was on the spoon, so you were a-okay with me putting it in your mouth. Swallowing was an issue. You'd let me put the cereal in your mouth, but it would just dribble back out. Haha! You're so cute. The spoon really peaked your interest, so we let you play and get familiar with it a lot. Your favorite things to play with are still your feet. Boy do you love those things! You also love to stand. You like to stand up and hold onto things, mostly Mommy's legs. Your knees always buckle, but you quickly lock them and remain upright. Traveling is a big deal to Daddy and I and this month we took you on your 1st airplane, flying across the country, to California. When the plane landed in LAX everyone near us gave you an A+ --- You honestly slept the entire way. You met a lot of new people and hung in there like a champ! You were a little angel on Christmas and I'm pretty sure you love the beach as much as Daddy and I do. You flight home to Charlotte didn't go as smoothly as your 1st flight --- I gave you a B --- You pooped 30 minutes into the flight, I had to change your diaper twice, you fussed, were awake and playful and only napped for about 2 hours. You were still pretty quiet and didn't disrupt anyone near us -- thank you for that! And a HUGE milestone occurred this month - Your 1st two teeth punctured through your gums just a few days before your were 5 months old. Throughout this month they've fully come in and I love your new tooth-filled smile. All you wanted for Christmas were your two front teeth and Santa delivered fully!

Dear Trace, Daddy and I took you on your 1st airplane this month. We flew out west so that you could spend your 1st Christmas in California, just like Daddy and I always did. Watching you get to spend so much time in the house that Daddy grew up in and in the house that Mommy grew up in is so special to Daddy and I. You're so lucky to have 4 grandparents who just smother you with love. Even though you were oblivious to what was going on, watching you wake up Christmas morning in the same house that I always woke up in was the best Christmas present I got this year. And, of course, you and Cali were the cutest little Christmas elves I'd ever seen. Our time in California together is something that I will remember forever. You are a little fishy and love to swim. Daddy took you in the spa several times and you kicked your feet and smiled the whole time. We also took you to our favorite beach, the one that I've always gone to and the one that we took our engagement pictures at -- You are definitely a boy who loves sand in his toes. I have a feeling that you will have a love affair with all of the Orange County beaches we take you to! I know you don''t know who Santa is, and that you won't grasp the concept next year either, but when you do... oh man, I can hardly wait til Christmas 2015 when you will be old enough to wake up early, run down the stairs, stare in aw at the presents Santa left for you and rip into them all! But in the meantime, we'll focus on our next major holiday -- Mommy's favorite, Easter!

Scenes from the past month!