Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Holidays!!

I absolutely love everything about the holidays, starting with Thanksgiving.  I love the decorations, the smells, the food, the parties, and everything else.  This year I feel like I am not living in a haze like I was last year with a newborn.  I'm excited to find babysitters and get out of the house with my hubby.  Lately it has become very important to me for us to have date nights and time to hang out with other adults without our children.  Time like this helps me to remember why I fell in love with Josh.  It is so easy to see each other as roommates if you're not careful.  When Jackson was a newborn I remember crying and telling Josh that I felt like we were so disconnected.  Before we had a baby it seemed like everyone was telling us not to forget your date nights and make time to be alone and cherish each other without the baby.  I remember smiling and thinking sure, whatever.  Now I know!!  It was so hard to leave Jackson in the beginning, even with my mom.  I just didn't want to leave him, especially since I was breastfeeding.  Then you have to make sure you have a pumped bottle and enough to get you through the time you'll be gone.  I was, and probably still am, a bit of a neurotic mom:)  I'm doing better and I'm excited to say we have a date night this week and next week!!  Last night Josh was already talking about when he retires and we're "empty-nesters":)  Children are such a blessing and I love our baby with all my heart, but I need to remember not to forget my sweet, dear husband.

We finally got our tree up and it's decorated!!  I felt like I was so behind.  It seemed like everyone had their tree up before Thanksgiving.  I have done some Christmas shopping though.  Josh's family is all done and my family is left.  I still have no idea what to get them.  They are so hard to shop for.

We are babysitting my mom's dogs this week.  This experience has helped me to realize why I do not want a dog right now.  I'm sure I'll want one and maybe things are different when it's your own dog, but these dogs are driving me crazy.  I already have a one year old following me around the house, now I have a one year old and two dogs!!  Jackson loves them and wants to hug them all the time and they pretty much hate it.  I went to let them in, from the 36 degree outside, and when they got to the door and saw Jackson right there, they turned right back around and decided they would tough it out outside:)  It has definitely been an experience!!

Enjoy this time everyone because before we know it, it will be 2012!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fall Catch-Up Post

Hi Friends,

I feel like so much has happened since I last posted, but then when it comes to writing it all down it seems as if I can't think of anything to write.  One bit of exciting news is that we are expecting again!  It's taken me some time to say anything about this.  I'm not sure why, but I guess I'm just being cautious in addition to being super busy with a very active one year old.  I am due in May, Jackson and the new baby will be 19 months apart.  I did have this period of complete freak out when I first found out.  I had said all along that I wanted another baby soon after Jackson, but when it all became real I started to question my thought process.  I think part of it was that I was completely exhausted and it was hard to entertain Jackson all the while being super nauseous.  I'm feeling better now, and I'm starting to tell friends.  I have been more emotional this time around, with Jackson I was just plain mean.  The nauseousness has not completely left and with Jackson I started to feel amazing around week 10.  Here we are at week 15 and I still have some super nauseous moments.  Maybe that's a good thing and I won't gain as much weight as I did with Jackson:)

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at my parents' house.  I was thankful it wasn't at our house, I'm not a fan of the clean-up:)  It was nice to have both sets of parents in one place and not have 2 Thanksgiving dinners to go to.  I told my husband that it would just be too difficult to do 2 Thanksgivings and 2 Christmases with Jackson.  He's a great napper and he needs them!

We got pictures done and they turned out great!!

Here's a 2010 picture:

Here we are this year:

It's crazy how things change in a year!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

One Year Ago......

A year ago my sweet baby boy was born.  It's hard to believe a year has already passed me by.  So many people told Josh and I that this time would fly by, but I had no idea just has fast.  I tried not to shed tears, but it was hard.  I did cry when I put him to bed the night before his birthday, knowing when I went in there the next day he would be one.  Someone at church has told me to rejoice in the milestones and I'm really striving to do that.  I'm so proud of the baby boy we have.  Even though he's one, I'm still going to call him my baby boy:)

His party is this weekend, but we wanted to do something special to celebrate his actual birthday.  He got a birthday cookie and he devoured it in seconds.  After it was gone he was trying to pick up individual sprinkles that had been left behind on his tray.  He's definitely a good eater when it's something he approves of.

He's been walking for a month now, but he still preferred crawling.  Just 2 days ago he started standing up without holding onto anything and then walking.  Before that he would walk, but when he fell he would crawl.

He really loved his big boy crown!

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!  I can't wait to see all that God has in store for you!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hopeless Situations

On Sunday our pastor preached on Hopeless Situations.  I kind of went in to the whole thing thinking this was not for me.  You know how someone can talk for 5 seconds and you just know it won't apply to you and you sort of check out?  Well, that was me.  I would dig through my purse, I kept checking Jackson's number to see if I was being paged to the nursery, I was looking around and pretty much not paying attention.  This sermon just wasn't for me so I probably should just check out now.  I even thought of just going to the nursery to see how Jackson was doing, even though I knew he was fine.  Then I happened to hear something that caught my ear.  Pastor Brad asked, "Do you really believe what you say you believe?" I mean, we all say we believe in the Bible, but do you believe the WHOLE thing?  Then he went on to read Matthew 19:23-26.  Verse 26 is the kicker-"With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."  I should note that I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've heard this verse in my life.  Being raised in church, this verse is one of those key verses you hear quite often.  Then Pastor Brad said this,"well, if you believe that verse then there are no hopeless situations."  Then it felt like all these things came rushing back to me.  I had earlier that week called Josh crying because I was very concerned about finances.  I know in my head that God will provide, and I know that He has opened the door for me to be a stay-at-home-mom, but right at that moment it was like God was telling me, "see, you thought that was a hopeless situation."

I'm an accountant and I know money.  I handle our bills, but last week I dreaded paying bills and balancing the check book.  I knew the lack of income had finally hit us.  My husband works in a commission paid job, so there can be good months and bad months.  Over the summer, there were some bad months but all in all we were ok.  Then is seemed like all of our bills are due at the same time, so that makes things harder.  When I see our financial situation, I start thinking that maybe I didn't make the right decision, maybe I heard incorrectly, maybe I didn't understand the signs the right way.  It was easy for me to step out in faith when I knew we had a savings account that could sustain us if things didn't work out.  Now that savings account has taken a hit and I start questioning things.  It was easy for me to step out in faith knowing that I had an out.  It's like stepping out on the water with Jesus, but keeping your life jacket on-just in case.  Maybe God is just taking away that out and seeing how easy that step of faith is now.  I know God has never left me and never will.  Just when I think I've got the whole faith thing worked out, God decides to challenge me a bit further.  That stretching is incredibly uncomfortable, but needed.  I keep thinking of our Portland friends.  I remember telling Josh, how cool would that be to just pack up everything, not have a job in place, and just move?  I want to be to trust God like that!  Now, I feel like that is what I'm doing.

I really want to start doing bookkeeping from home, but I have no idea how to get started.  I keep praying that God will place the right people in my path and give me wisdom as to how to proceed with this idea.

In family news, my mom is not doing so great with her health.  She was recently diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome and Fibromyalgia.  She's in pain quite often and she's not used to relaxing.  The only medication that she can take puts her to sleep, so she really can't take that during the day.  I had been praying that she would make some friends that would be able to encourage her and maybe relate to her situation.  She has one friend now, and I feel like this friend is not uplifting but draining to her.  The very day I had prayed that for her she happened to talk to the person in line behind her at Michael's and this girl in her twenties also has Sjogren's.  How incredible is that?  Not that I wanted someone else to have Sjogren's, but for my mom to meet someone who can relate to what she's going through.  My mom said, "it's not like I have an open wound that people can see is painful, the pain is inside and no one understands."  I pray that this turns into a beautiful friendship for my mom.  It's hard to see her in pain and not able to do as much as she used to.  I know it's hard for her to.  She used to be up and going all day.  I'm even more thankful that I'm able to stay home now, because I don't think she could watch Jackson every day.

Even though we go through these struggles, I'm incredibly grateful for the family and friends we have who are so supportive and encouraging.  I know these struggles won't last forever and when they are over God will receive the glory.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Not a Very Good Blogger

It seems that time has got away from me again and here I am with 3 weeks since my last post.  I feel like there's not much to say and so much to say all at the same time.  In just 6 days my baby boy will be 11 months old.  It's hard to believe how fast nearly 11 months has gone by.  We went to Target today and I got him a little crown in preparation for his big day next month.

We are not having a big party for him with tons of people.  It will just be family and a few close friends.  Some days I think it would be wonderful to have everyone we know come over and celebrate, but at the same time I think there are many more birthdays to come when we can have everyone we know come over.  What do you think??

Here's another picture that is just a cute one I want to share.  I'm sure we can all agree what an adorable baby I have on my hands!!  Have a great week:)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Finally Got the Nerve

Today, I finally got the nerve to e-mail the girl I used to work with.  I thought her and I were friends when I left, but apparently I thought we were better friends than she did.  We were pregnant at the same time and our babies are just 3 weeks apart.  I talked to Josh about it and he said I should just leave it alone and not try to contact her.  Maybe that is what I should have done, but I had been thinking about her the past few days.  I thought, what could it hurt.  If she doesn't respond, then I'm right where I started but if she responds; I don't know what I'd do.  It's not like she was my bestest friend and I don't know how I would cope without her.  I had worked with her for 5 years and we talked about everything together.  Maybe there is some comfort in talking to someone you don't really know, kinda like I do with you all.  I can tell the world wide web just about anything, but I struggle when it comes to telling someone I know well the details of my life.  Either way, I'm preparing myself for failure and hoping that maybe she'll be compelled to respond.  I included a few pics of Jackson and a short update on being a stay-at-home-mom.  When she had her baby, I had told her to let me know when she was feeling up to visitors to let me know so I could bring her a meal.  I never heard from her.  I e-mailed her a congratulations message when I heard that her baby was born and no response.  I thought that maybe it would be awkward to call someone and say, "hey, I'm ready for that meal you talked about."  So, I texted her when her baby was a few weeks old. I asked how she was feeling and if we could come over and visit.  No response.  I wouldn't have cared if she had said that she wasn't feeling up to visitors or even for her just to respond with the word no, but there was no response.  Even though I wanted to check on her and see how things were going, I also wanted another new mom to talk to.  I thought, we went through this whole pregnancy together and now you don't even want to talk to me?

I told her, there I days when I yearn for the praise of a boss for a job well done.  I know I get praise from Josh, but it's not the same.  There are days when I wonder if I made the right decision and maybe I should go back to work, but then I think of the alternative of being a SAHM.  I want to raise my baby, I don't want a daycare or grandparent to do what I know I feel I should be doing.  I've only been a SAHM for 3 months, so I'm sure that feeling of wonder will wear off.  I'm sure she's very busy.  I don't know if I was replaced or not.  Honestly, I don't think they needed to replace my position since there was a girl already hired before I left to cover during my maternity leave.  I have a lot of bitter feelings about the way the whole thing went down, but at the same time I want to make sure I did everything I could to make sure (at least on my end) things were right.

I'll keep you updated!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A New Day.......

This has a happy ending I promise- Josh and I had a pretty big argument yesterday.  It seems like we only argue on the weekends, when we have time to spend with each other.  I realized something during this argument.  I've been struggling with something.  I was mad at Josh, but really I was angry with myself.  You see, I didn't always make the best choices when I was younger and before I was married.  I know, we all make mistakes, but the mistakes I made seemed to stick with me.  I know when we ask for forgiveness that are sins are as far as the east is from the west and that God doesn't bring them up to us any more.  He forgets them.  Them problem I have, is that I don't forget them.  I remember my past sins and I feel like I'm being punished in some way for the mistakes I made years ago.  In my mind I know this isn't true, but I somehow feel that it is sometimes.  I know it's just the enemy, but it's hard to get past that.  Josh and I have been married for 5 years, so this is not a new thing to me but I have not shared this with my husband.

I was in the nursery at church today feeding Jackson and I remembered thinking that I wanted to talk to a specific person at church about this.  Let's call her Lisa.  Lisa and I both happened to be nursing our babies at the same time.  We are not incredibly close, but we have chatted about babies and such.  Our conversation was mostly just chit chat and then I started to leave and I turned around.  She kept talking to me like she didn't want me to leave, but she didn't say those words.  Even though I had gotten up and was standing at the door, she was still talking to me.  I told her that I had thought of her last night, during my argument, and that I wanted to talk to her about something.  Of course I started crying and I shared with her everything.  It turns out that Lisa is going through a similar situation.  I was so happy to talk to someone who could relate to what I was going through and who I could share with freely.  It seems that the enemy likes to get us isolated and make us feel like we're the only one going through a difficult time.  This battle is a minute by minute one.  I have to choose what thoughts I'm going to allow myself to dwell on.  I have to keep thinking to myself, take captive every thought!

As I sat in church today (the part of the sermon I did hear) I was incredibly convicted.  I have to admit that it's not too often that I feel super challenged lately, I think that's mostly due to my not being in church the whole time.  I spend a good amount of time in the nursery:)  Anyway, it was the kind of conviction where you want to sink down in your chair, the kind of conviction where you cringe just a little at what the pastor says, you know the kind?  I really felt like God was speaking to me today, through Lisa, through Pastor Brad.  Sometimes it's so refreshing to know that God hears my cries and He knows what I'm going through and He knows how to respond.  The God I serve is not a god who says, "that's just what you get for what you did 10 years ago".  He is a loving God.  He sees right where we are and loves us.  I've made some really bad choices in my life, but I'm so blessed to have a God who loves me more than I could ever imagine and who truly cares for me.  In a world of billions, He cares for me!  How awesome is that?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ipad Cover Giveaway

Hi Friends!

Check out Our Military Home for an Ipad cover giveaway.  This giveaway is for military and non-military families.  It is super cute and I just love the people who made it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Shall I Say, It Was a Difficult Day????

Have you ever had one of those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days?  I know we all have, but today was one of those for me.  In addition to that, I have a question for you moms out there in blogland that I'll get to in a bit.

Today wasn't all bad..... My mom took me shopping and I guess you could say that is probably where things took a turn for the worse.  You see Jackson and I are a slave to the schedule.  I know for some people this is perfect and helps things to be predictable.  I too love the schedule, but would love to have a baby who was a little more flexible with it (on occassion).  Pretty much like clockwork he needs a nap 2 hours after he gets up in the morning.  That nap should be 1.5-2 hours long.  Lately because of teething and pooping (both of which I cannot help), he's been getting up after 45 minutes to an hour.  On any normal day this isn't a terrible thing.  It just means that nap #2 just needs to be a bit earlier and hopefully longer.  Well, today my mom wanted to take me shopping for some new clothes and who am I to turn her down:)  I told her we would be over after nap #1 and nursing that follows.  Of course, nap #1 was only 45 minutes today.  I knew I was in for some rough times later on.  My mom, Jackson and I had lunch at Rubio's and then to shopping.  We only went to one store, but by this point Jackson was already fussy.  He wasn't happy in the stroller, but he was tolerating it.  My mom walked around with him while I shopped.

*As a bit of a side note, Jackson has had almost no stranger anxiety.  Sometimes when he sees my in-laws who he doesn't see often he gets the pouty lip, but no melt downs.  I keep waiting for it and so far, so good.  However, lately when he sees my mom he lights up and wants her to hold him the whole time he's there.  Of course, like most grandmas, she does whatever he wants and holds him or lets him go where he wants.  The past few times she's been over or we've been over there, Jackson doesn't want me to take him from my mom.  She was over to babysit on Wednesday and when she handed him to me as she was leaving he cried for her.  I know this makes her feel incredibly loved, but I do not feel loved!

Now, we're done shopping.  It's obvious that Jackson is exhausted, it's time to go.  My mom gets him out of the stroller to say good bye and hands him to me, the crying begins.  I buckle him in the carseat and he's still crying.  He cries for another 20 minutes in the car.  She told me today that it makes her feel so good that he cries for her.  I keep thinking, must be nice!  I definitely don't want Jackson to pitch a fit for an hour when I leave, but it would be nice to at least know that after having his grandma watch him for a few hours that he wants me.  He normally only sees her once or twice a week and it's normally not for more than a few hours.  I need to ask her if she feeds him french fries and chocolate when I'm away:)  I absolutely love that I can take him to my mom's and know that she loves him and he loves her, but I have no idea where this "grandma anxiety" has come from.

My question for you other moms out there is this:  First of all is it normal for my son to have stranger anxiety with people other than me?  Secondly have you ever felt like you baby doesn't like you?  Jackson gets excited to see my husband and his grandma, but not really for me.  I know, he sees me all day everyday, but I thought it was normal for babies to cling to their moms.  I feel like Jackson wants anyone BUT me!  I should add that he does get excited to see me sometimes, but not like when he sees his daddy or grandma, and he only cries when my mom hands him to me.  We leave him in the nursery at church and he never gives us a second glance.  I'm sure this is some how a blessing in disguise, I guess I'm just not thinking of it like that right this minute.  I know he loves me and I love him dearly, I just wish I could explain to him that mommy needs you to show her you love her:)  I sure hope I'm not the only mom that has gone through this and I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dear Jackson- 9 months

Dear Sweet Baby Jackson,

I cannot believe you are 9 months old.  You are growing up far to fast for my liking:)  You are an amazing baby boy and, right now, you are into everything.  Just before you turned 8 months old you started crawl/scooting.

You looked like an inch worm sometimes.  Now you are doing the normal hands and knees crawling.  You are pulling up on anything that will hold you up.  Baby proofing is in full force!  I just told your daddy the other day that it was hard to believe we finally needed to baby proof our house.  Even though I knew we would eventually have to do it, I never really thought about it when we brought home this little bundle from the hospital.

You say mama and dada and you make a variety of other sounds that and I have no idea what they mean.  You have a bit of a temper; when I tell you no you yell and sort of shake your fists.  I'm not sure if I should acknowledge this behavior or ignore it or what I should do.  It's so strange how you just do things that no one has ever shown you how to do.  You are learning more and more everyday.  You're starting to mimic the words I say and try to say them in the same tone I say them.  I keep waiting for "stranger anxiety" to kick in, but so far you are doing ok.  Sometimes when strange people pick you up (that you haven't seen in a long time) you get nervous and might shed a tear or two or you just might make a pouty face.  When we drop you off in the nursery at church every one tells us what a happy baby you are!  For some reason you do not like when daddy moos like a cow.  You immediately start to stick you bottom lip out and cry.  I know to you it's not funny, but it just makes me laugh:)  Daddy knows better now and we just make higher pitch cow sounds to make sure you stay happy:)  You love your daddy!  You get very excited when he gets home and scream for him.  Daddy tries to act like it's no big deal, but I know he loves that you love him so much!

We have some friends who recently had a baby with some health issues.  When I hear about all that they are going through I feel even more thankful that I have such a healthy baby.  Even though we had some scares during my pregnancy, you are in perfect health now.  We are so thankful God had blessed us with a healthy and happy baby.  I am so blessed to have such an amazing baby boy!  It's a blessing every day to wake up and know you and I are going to spend the day together.  Your daddy works very hard so that can happen!  I love you more than I ever thought I would, you are such a blessing to our family!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Parenting Book Reviews

I have been wanting to write this for some time and just either forgot or had something else to write that was more pressing.  I have a few friends who are having their first babies over the next few months and I thought I would give my two cents on parenting books I've read.  When I was pregnant a friend of mine told me that there were three books I needed to read.  Of course I ordered all three and tried to read them all before Jackson was born, even though that didn't happen I did get them read by the time he was eight months:)

Book #1- Happiest Baby on the Block
I did manage to read this book before Jackson was born.  I am so glad that I started with this book out of the three.  I absolutely loved this book.  The book shows how important it is to swaddle babies.  I know there are babies who "fight" it or absolutely hate it.  Jackson definitely did not enjoy the process of getting swaddled, but once he was swaddled he was able to breathe a sigh of relief it seemed.  All my husband and I had to practice with before Jackson was here was a stuffed animal, which is way easier than a squirmy baby.  I remember my husband looking on youtube to see videos of swaddling when we were in the hospital.  We could never do it the way the nurses did, but we figured it out.  The book also discusses the loud sshhing (not sure how to spell that).  In the womb there are loud noises and the author discusses how we need to make a similar white noise type sound.  The author also talks about swinging and sucking as ways to soothe the baby.  Jackson was not big on the swing until he was a little older and it took him a while to get the hang of the pacifier (I tried not to encourage it in the beginning since I was nursing).  Jackson was 6 1/2 months old when we stopped swaddling him.  He slept so well when he was swaddled that I hated to wean him of it.  He still sleeps with white noise and a pacifier.  All in all, this was a great book.  I think the first two weeks of being parents is the hardest, so it might not seem like  the 5 S's will work, but they do if you stick with it.

Book #2- On Becoming Baby Wise
I'm sure most of  you have heard of this book.  I remember hearing about it before I was pregnant, but I didn't know what all the fuss was about.  I had heard that it's very strict, not good for nursing mothers, and there can be a lot of crying.  Well, I did agree with parts of the book and some it I did not agree with.  I liked how the authors tell you that the first two weeks you need to not focus on the clock, but work on getting in full feedings.  During the first two weeks you're learning how to be a mom and the baby is learning what it's like outside of your body.  I was a little nervous about sticking to the schedule since I was nursing and my greatest fear is that I would not be able to feed my baby boy.  I did like the routine of feeding, play, nap.  However, this routine did not always work for me.  If Jackson feel asleep nursing, I was not about to wake him up to play.  The idea is that you start putting your baby to bed awake and they learn early on how to put themselves to sleep.  We have just recently started putting Jackson to bed awake and letting him "cry-it-out".  I enjoyed rocking him to sleep and he just recently started getting squirmy when I would rock him, like he wanted to be put down.  I started rocking him for maybe 5 minutes then putting him in the crib and, for the most part, he goes to sleep.  He does have those days when he's fussy or just upset that I left him when he will cry for a few minutes before going to sleep.  I guess, now that I'm writing this, I can't really give an accurate opinion of the book since I didn't follow the instructions exactly.  I can tell him that it did help me to get into a routine, even though the times may not always be the same (his nap length might vary, or he might want an extra feeding).  I'm all about the schedule, but just when you get a schedule down the baby decides that it should be changed:)

Book #3- Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
I really liked this book.  I started reading it after Jackson was born, and I should mention that I did not start using the information in this book until he was about 7 months old.  In the book the author goes on to talk about how important sleep is to infants and how if they don't get enough sleep during the day, it can make for a more sleepless night than normal.  I had always assumed that if Jackson didn't nap well during the day, he would be exhausted and would sleep extra good.  Turns out, for me at least, that the book is correct.  The author says that we should put the babies to bed drowsy, but not asleep.  He also says to never wake a sleeping baby.  I had heard this, but I was neurotic about Jackson nursing enough times per day that I did wake him up.  After reading this book, I definitely stopped it.  Jackson was a pretty good sleeper from day one.  We had to wake him to feed him and initially he wasn't gaining weight as he should, so I guess it was ok to wake him.  When Jackson starting teething, his sleeping schedule got off course.  He had been sleeping through the night, but all of the sudden was waking up at 1am or 3am.  I had just gotten used to not waking up to nurse/pump that when he started waking up in the middle of the night again I felt like a zombie.  That is when I finally decided to implement what I had read.  The author said that once you put the baby to bed, you leave him there until 7am.  So, one night I laid on the couch while my sweet baby cried.  I knew if I went in there and left him again he would only be more angry, so I just waited.  The book says to let them cry for no longer than an hour.  I was determined to do this.  My husband had to get up early for work the next day, so I didn't want to wake him just so we both could listen to the baby.  Jackson cried for 32 minutes and was back to sleep.  I almost started crying again, because I was so proud of him.  I should let you know that I had tried this "cry-it-out" for an hour method a month prior and he cried for the entire hour.  We had made huge improvements when he only cried for 32 minutes!!  

Now, for naps I rock him for 5-10 minutes and put him in the crib whether he is asleep or not (most often he's already asleep).  At night, he nurses to sleep and I'm fine with that.  I have a number of friends who say that I need to put the kibosh on that, but I don't plan on doing that anytime soon.  There are occasions when he wakes up from naps or doesn't go to sleep right away and he plays/cries/whines.  As I write this, he's crying in his crib.  He hasn't had a good nap all day and I know that is why he is having a tough time going to sleep now.  We're getting close to the hour mark, so I'll go in there and get him.  By the way, the book says to let them cry for an hour and after that if they are still crying to get them.  Sometimes they'll be so exhausted from crying so long that they'll fall asleep in your arms and sometimes not.  Jackson has never gone to sleep after a crying spell.  I definitely could not have let my newborn cry for an hour.  I cried the whole hour that Jackson cried when he was 6 months.  The book also mentions going in to soothe the baby every five, then ten, then fifteen minutes, but do not pick them up.  For me, this didn't work.  It was an all or nothing thing for us.  Every time I went in there to "soothe" Jackson, he would settle down but as soon as I left he would go ballistic.  I knew when I was going to let him cry it out that I had to be prepared to leave him for an hour.  I started off with 30 minutes and we kind of worked ourselves up to an hour one day.  After the hour of crying at 6 months we waited a month or so and then it was down to 30 minutes and it wasn't hysterical crying like it had been.  My advice, like I've said in another post, is that you will know what to do.  You'll know what feels right and what feels completely absurd.  Even now, there are days when I can handle the crying and then there are days when I can't.  And just when you think you've got that baby all figured out they will go and totally change everything:)  I hope this helped someone out there.  Sorry it's so long:)

Friday, July 1, 2011

So Much to Say.......

Do you ever have one of those days when you just feel down?  I wouldn't go so far as to say depressed, but just down.  Let me start by staying I absolutely love staying home with my little man!  Some days, like today, I just feel like is this all there is?  I don't know, I think the newness and excitement of being a stay-at-home-mom has worn off and reality is setting in.  Also, this was the first week I did not have to go in to work to help out the person replacing me.  Even though I was so excited to quit working and stay home, I kind of liked still going in once a week and feeling needed.  I told my husband, as I was crying, "they don't need me any more"!  He told me him and Jackson need me:)  
Josh has been working a lot of hours lately and I know he works so much so I can stay home.  I love that he is such a hard worker and not lazy, but I miss him.  I miss having adult conversations and the adult conversations we do have seem to be me complaining about something.  He gets home around 7pm then it's bath and bed for Jackson.  We go to bed soon after and I feel sometimes like we're just roommates, not husband and wife.  I know we both are exhausted by 9pm but I want to talk with him and enjoy his company, even if it is for only a few minutes.  
I went to a mom's group this morning and I was talking to the other moms about my prayer needs and one mom mentioned that the first thing to go out the window when you're feeling down or overwhelmed is your quiet time with God.  Now, I had minimal quiet time when I was working and by minimal I mean maybe 15 minutes when I was pumping.  I had such great intentions when I quit working to have more quiet time and I've had less than when I was working.  I feel like there is so much to do around the house when Jackson is sleeping and I'm always thinking, "I'll start reading my Bible faithfully tomorrow".  The problem is, tomorrow never comes or Jackson doesn't nap well or there is something else we need to do.  There is always something to keep me away from that quality time with God.  So starting Monday (when Jackson naps), I'm committing to reading my Bible and prayer before I do anything; cleaning, workout, watch my recorded shows.  I know this lack of quality time with God has allowed the enemy to creep in and put thoughts in my head and I'm going to start taking every thought captive.  I refuse to feel defeated, down, depressed, deflated, or frustrated with myself.
Another mom mentioned to me something someone had said to her when she was a new mom.  "You are the only one who can be mom to Jackson.  That is a great thing, but it is also very lonely because you are the only one who can do it".  At the time, it didn't really sink in but even as I type it out it makes more sense to me.  This job is a 24/7, never ending job.  There is no lunch hour or quitting time.  Please know that I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to have quality time with my son and to be a blessing to my husband by staying home.  I wouldn't trade this job for any other job.  This is the most rewarding job and the most difficult job I've ever had.
In baby news.......
Jackson is getting his top teeth and they are way worse than the bottom ones.  I'm working on getting him to nap in his crib.  He has been napping in our bed, but now that he rolls and crawls it's time that he naps in his crib.  He has been going down for his naps with little to no rocking.  This makes me a bit sad, but I know it's for his own good.  I still rock him for a few minutes before his nap, if he lets me.  He is crawling all over the place!  He went to bed last Monday and woke up on Tuesday and could crawl.  He sort of does this inch worm type of crawl, especially when he's excited or trying to get somewhere fast.  I need to video tape it so I can remember what he looks like.  We have an artificial ficus tree in the living room and it has ivy leaves around the base of it.  Jackson loves playing with the leaves he can reach.  We try to tell him no.  I have flicked his hand (not hard) so he knows that he shouldn't play with it and nothing has worked.  It's like there is a magnet in those leaves drawing his little hands in:)  Yesterday he pulled the tree over on himself, he wasn't injured.  You would think after that he would surely stay away, not so.  The two of us are stubborn so we just sit there by the tree and argue about it.  I told my husband that one of us is going to give in and it's not going to be me!  
My verse for the day:  Psalm 34:18-19
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  A righteous man may have many troubles but the Lord delivers him from them all"
I needed to hear this today and I hope it's encouraging to you!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


So, now that I'm staying home I have been trying to save money any way that I can.  I'm definitely couponing more and it's not as difficult as I thought it would be.  I'm no extreme couponer but I try to save us money when I can.  I signed up with and they have giveaways.  All you have to do it log in once you've received the giveaway and let them know what you think.  This is the first time I've tried it, so I can't tell you just yet that I've had a great experience but it's worth a try.

Here's the link:

Father's Day 2011

For Josh

This was a very special Father's Day for you; your first with your son.  I'm so blessed to have such an amazing husband and Jackson is so blessed to have you as his father.  It truly seems like only yesterday when he was born and here we are with a nearly 8 month old baby.
I love how Jackson gets so excited to see you when  you come home from work.  I love that you tell me to tell him  you love him when you leave for work.  Yesterday at church, you wiped the long string of drool off his face with your bare hand and didn't think anything of it.  I love that.  Our baby boy is so so lucky to have you.  I love that you want to be the best father you can be to him.

Jackson and I are beyond blessed.  You are absolutely wonderful!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

I wish somebody would have told me.......(venting alert)

how tough it is (some days) to be a good mom and wife.  I am really struggling with this today.  I know I need to be respectful of my husband.  He is the head of our home and I love him dearly.  There are just some days when he drives me crazy and I wonder if I'm falling short of my job description.  He works long hours and very hard so I can stay home and I am forever grateful to him for that.  There are some days when I think he thinks I've got it made staying home.  I've asked him, "do you think I just sit around the house all day doing nothing but watching tv"?  He always says no, but I wonder what he really thinks.  Last night, he had a bit of a rough day and so did I (Jackson didn't have his usual long naps so he was a bit fussy) and this combination is a recipe for disaster!  We found out that his transmission might be going out. We just paid off his car and we were so excited to have no car payment for a while.  He has an older car so we knew there would be repairs to keep the car up, but we were not expecting to replace the transmission!!  Then he only had 3 customers that day, so commission wise that wasn't a great day.  To top it all off, he didn't turn sharp enough when he was backing out at work and accidentally hit a motorcycle that was parked next to him.  I know you must be thinking, that sure sounds like an awful day!  He came home, we all had dinner together, then he assumed the position on the couch to watch tv.  I wanted to go on a short walk with Jackson (this absolutely helps to distract him until it's time to go to bed).  Josh didn't want to go.  I told him he didn't have to, but I thought that since he doesn't see either of us much in the day he should want to go.  He didn't go.  He stayed home and watched some "Cops" type show (which I absolutely hate).  Needless to say, I was upset when we got back from our walk.  Even though I was upset, I just told Josh that I was disappointed that he didn't want to spend time with us and left it at that.  I also told him that I would have even sat outside on the patio with him, if he didn't want to walk.  This is normally Jackson's fussy time, he's not hungry, and he's just starting to get tired and bored with all of his toys.  Now ladies, I watch A Baby Story and all those baby TLC shows.  I see all these husbands missing their children all day and not being able to wait to see them in the evening.  Now I know this is television, but sometimes I don't feel like Josh wants to be around Jackson and I in the evening.  Josh works hard and long hours and I can absolutely understand the desire to vegetate in front of the tv for a bit in the evening.  99% of the time I put Jackson to bed, so Josh gets at least half an hour of watching whatever he wants, if not more.  So, I put Jackson to bed last night and Josh and I pretty much say nothing else to each other the rest of the night.  I asked him if he had anything he'd like to talk about and he said no.  I know he would never ask me why I was upset or if I was okay.  He's just not like that.  If it was up to Josh, we would have an argument/disagreement in the evening, go to bed and not say a thing to each other, and get up in the morning and act as if nothing happened the night before.  Is this how all men are???

I know, these are things I should pray about.  I know, I should just trust God and everything will be taken care of.  He's never forsaken us and He won't start now.  I know this is part of the growing pains in being a family of three.  This to shall pass, right?  I guess I just need to vent my frustration and not feel guilty about it.  I knew it would be tough becoming a mom.  It was hard just trying to be a good wife, I knew it would be hard to juggle everything.  I feel like everyday I'm trying to prove to Josh why it's good for me to be home.  I know I don't need to, but I just feel that way.  Am I crazy?!?!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Things I Want to Remember.......

I went to a baby shower this weekend and we all had to write some piece of advice on cards for the new mom.  I totally blanked.  I'm always asking Josh, "what one piece of advice would you give new parents?"  Normally he has some silly response, but this time he had such a great nugget of wisdom.  He said, "Everyone will offer their opinion.  As new parents, there will be so many people who want to give you their advice or their solution to your problem/issue.  Just remember that you are the parents of this baby, you are the ones that God has hand picked for this child.  Trust Him and you'll always know the right thing to do."  I wanted to cry when he said that.  I totally should have written that on the card at the baby shower and I'm so bummed I didn't.  It is so true.  Especially as first time parents, so many people are eager to share their experiences and I was very eager to seek out wisdom from other moms.  At the end of the day it's just Josh and I with our baby and I trust that we'll know what to do.  I was talking with someone at church the other day and I was considering the cry-it-out method for Jackson.  At the time, he had been waking up around 3am to play.  She told me how happy she was when she used the cry-it-out method.  The first day was hard, but it got better from there.  But she also said to me, "Michelle, you'll know the right thing to do.  Whether it's letting Jackson cry-it-out or not, you'll know."  I felt so confident in my mothering skills when she said that.  It doesn't matter what anyone else does with their baby, I will know the right thing to do for MY baby!  I know we'll make mistakes as parents and there will be moments when Jackson doesn't like us, but I'm confident that God will give us wisdom as we need it.  

Since Jackson has been born, I'm always thinking of things that I want to remind myself of when we have another baby or things that Jackson does that I don't want to forget.  I'm finally going to write them all out, I'm sure that once I do there will be more things I think of:)

Michelle, never forget:
*The first two weeks after having a baby are the hardest.  You will cry a lot and feel really overwhelmed, but it absolutely gets better.

*Also during the first two weeks, you will probably want to quit nursing- don't do it!!  It gets so much better.  Jackson is 7 months and it makes me sad to think I'm going to quit nursing soon.
*Just when you think you have a schedule mastered, Jackson will decide that he wants to change that.  Don't stress about it, just work around it.
*So many people will offer you advice.  Sometimes it's good, and sometimes it's ok to smile and nod:)
*Josh is an amazing dad.  You couldn't have a better husband/dad to Jackson

*Just relax.  You stressed about a lot of things and did all the things you said you would never do.  Everything will be ok!
*You love the way Jackson holds your pinky finger when he nurses.  One day you won't be nursing him, so cherish every moment!
*His sweet dimples and the way he scrunches his nose when he smiles so big.
*How he gets so excited when daddy gets home.  He squeals and waves his arms:)
*His sweet feet!  They still fit in your hand.  One day they will be big and stinky:(
*He loves you so much.  He cries when you leave his sight, he loves to sit in the highchair while you cook and you explain to him all that you're doing like it's a cooking show.  
*He's not really sure about feeding himself, but he sure enjoys playing with his food.

I love this baby more than I ever imagined I would.  I know that there are things everyday that I want to remember about him that I will probably forget.  Jackson is such an amazing baby!  I thank God everyday that He blessed us with such an amazing child.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Segment on the Today Show- I don't like my child

I saw this segment on the Today Show this morning.  It was about a mom who admitted that she didn't like her daughter.  At first I absolutely thought it was crazy, but then she explained that from the moment her daughter was born she was more difficult than a normal baby would be.  Now, I can't imagine ever saying that about Jackson, but there are rough days when we might struggle more than a normal day.  I guess for this mom, she was having rough days every day.  Come to find out, her daughter did have some developmental delays and some medical issue that I can't remember right now.  This whole situation made me think back to when Jackson was born.  So many friends of mine were having babies around that time and everyone was posting on facebook about how they were totally in love with their babies from day one.  I will admit to you that I did not feel "totally in love" with my baby from day one.  I had endured over 24 hours of labor only to end up with a c-section and I was totally exhausted.  When my c-section was over and I saw Josh and Jackson in the recovery room, I remember feeling like I should want to hold my baby immediately but all I could focus on was keeping my eyes open.

I did not have that instant bond with Jackson.  He was fussy, but not abnormally so.  Josh was a huge help so I was able to rest, but there is no rest like being in your own home and bed.  Although I loved this sweet baby and was totally amazed at this amazing gift God had blessed us with, I just didn't feel that bond with him.  I think being at the hospital was stressful, we weren't able to rest, but it was nice to have all the nurses there to help us learn how to breastfeed.  Over the next few weeks, when the visitors had left and it was just me and Baby H, I began to feel that bond.  It seemed like every day I loved him more, it became like this crazy kind of love that I couldn't explain.  I say all of this because I can understand part of where this woman is coming from.  Some people have that instant bond and are instantly in love with their babies, but it may not be that way for everyone.  I sure hope I'm not the only one that feels this way.

Now I absolutely love Jackson and I can't imagine life without him.  The three of us are a family and it feels like the perfect family for now, until we have more babies (which I can't wait to do):)

I absolutely love this sweet baby that God has blessed us with.  I'm crazy in love with my husband for working so hard so I can stay home with our baby!  God is so good!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Oh Baby, Oh Baby

Dear Blog Friends, I am so sorry for being so out of touch these past few months.  Between working, being a mom and wife and everything else I needed to be, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed.  Since I last wrote, I started a new job at our church, worked there for 5 months and now I have quit.  Josh and I are having to make some sacrifices for this, but we know it's best for our family.  I have wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom since I can remember.  I remember going to school thinking, "why am I getting my degree, when all I want to do it be a stay-at-home-mom".  God has truly blessed us.  Josh got a promotion you could say.  He now works commission rather than salary.  The only issue with that is that he can have a great month, or a really bad month.  So far we've been blessed with some good months and we're placing our trust in God for the months to come.  I cannot begin to describe how grateful and blessed I am to have such a wonderful husband who works so hard for us!  

So this has been my first week staying home and so far, I love it.  I know there will be days when it won't be fun and there will be days when Jackson is teething and super fussy, but I know this is what God wants for my family.  I had been feeling like I wasn't being the mom I should be and the wife I should be.  Now I definitely feel more balanced, although I feel like I'm the schedule nazi:)  All of the things I said I would never do with my child, I now do.  I'm definitely planning on staying more up to date on here.  I've missed you all and I'm so excited to catch up with all that has happened in your lives!

Talk to ya soon,