Wednesday, December 21, 2016

2016 Christmas Card





Y'all, I can't even with that big ol' baby belly!!! And the vest! And the hat! Ahhh! It's too much.

Tiny Prints does it again with our Christmas cards. Even though we were super late to the game, I will still cherish these cards as our first cards with Graham!

I had been stalking Tiny Prints digital catalog for weeks before settling on a more simple card for this year. Between traveling, having a baby to take care of, teaching full time, running my Etsy shop, and having some weird bacterial infection on my face, pictures were a last minute thing.

If you're like me and super late getting cards out this year, you should check out these adorable "Happy New Year!" cards that they offer! This may be the way we go next year...

If you hurry, Tiny Prints is offering 25% off everything + 40% off two-day shipping with the code SAVENOW! You can still get those cards in by Christmas!!

Happy holidays everyone!

2012 Card

2013 Card

2014 Card

2015 Card

Monday, December 12, 2016

Exhaustion


I'm not quite sure how all you super moms out there do it, but I don't think I've ever been this tired in my whole life...and my child is finally sleeping through the night!

My days start early, around 5:30am, and I literally don't have a moment to rest until after G goes to sleep at 7:00pm. At that point, I race to find something for dinner and then head out to the garage to work on signs. I've been working on signs until around midnight and then crawling into bed and repeating the same schedule day after day.

Don't get me wrong, I'm so blessed that my little sign shop has really taken off, but dang, this momma is tired!! Between teaching 10 year olds all day, to racing home to spend time with Graham, then doing signs, blogging is just the last thing on my mind. And I know, I normally hope to get back on track, but my brother is getting married in a few weeks and there is just no break in sight.

Anyways, all of this to say I'll be here reporting back to y'all about my life sporadically from now until the New Year....unless someone can find me a spare moment :)

Happy Monday!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Graham || 8 Months









Y'all, where does time go? How is my G baby almost a Y E A R old? As I write this, Chris and I are looking at old videos of Graham and Chris is telling me he is ready for another baby. He must be nuts :)

So much has happened this last month that I want to document!

Nicknames: Graham Ray, Angel baby, G-baby, Hoppy (because all he wants to do is hop!)

Weight: Around 25 pounds! He is a BIG boy!

Clothes Size: 9-12 months

Diaper Size: We are finishing out our 3s, but definitely ready for 4s.

Likes: Playing on the ground, other babies, eating, stroller rides, the dogs, tags, his paci, bath time, kisses from daddy, teething toys, and music.

Dislikes: Being on his belly too long. He can't yet go from belly to sitting up, so he hates it when he gets stuck. He doesn't like socks. The only other thing he doesn't like is sleeping through the night :)

Schedule: Well, G has had a major sleep regression. We aren't sure what to do! He isn't a crier, so the cry it out method isn't working! He was sleeping through the night from like 6-7 months, but hasn't slept through the night in WEEKS. He wakes up every night and wants to practice all his new tricks, which I know is a common thing, but we can't get him to go back to sleep! One night last week he played from 2:11am to 3:20am and we finally went in and gave him a bottle becuase he wouldn't stop rolling around and babbling. Recently, he has been waking at 12:30am, which is totally random, but we can't seem to shake it! He isn't crying long enough to cry it out. He whines and then plays. Whines then plays. Repeat. We hardly ever go in there, but, again, Saturday night he wanted to play for an hour! Any tips on this would be really helpful! 

Food: He eats a 5-6oz bottle of breastmilk every 3-4 hours during the day and also a breakfast pouch, veggie/fruit at lunch, and some sort of baby food for dinner. We will probably start table foods at 9 months, but for now, the convenience of pre-made baby food is what this momma is all about!

Milestones: Our G-baby holds his own bottle, gives you his paci then takes it back, waves hi and bye bye, and imitates some sounds that you make. He goes from sitting to all fours pretty quickly. He loves rocking on his hands and knees, but isn't crawling yet! At school they teach him sign language and, not surprisingly, he's got milk down perfectly. He also fake coughs and wines if he is the only one in the room, but immediately stops when you enter the room again. Also, bath time is one of his favorite things and he has started to go to his knees and really play during bath time. 

Looking forward to: His first Christmas! I'm also looking forward to the day he starts sleeping through the night consistently! But, we do cherish those extras moments we get with him at 3:00am :)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Truth About Breastfeeding





There is a lot of girl talk in this post. You've been warned.

Let me get all the fluff out of the way...

- I'm so thankful for being able to feed my child.
- I'm so thankful to be able to produce enough to feed my child.
- I'm so thankful my body has cooperated from day one and breastfeeding has come more natural than I ever imagined.
- I'm so thankful that I'm a human cow and have over-produced from the beginning affording me to have over 500 bags of frozen milk stored in our freezer.

Is that enough pat on the back statements? Good.

Now let's get to the truth...

Breastfeeding in the single most sacrificial thing I've ever done in my life.

Seriously.

From day one I quickly realized why so many women give it up for whatever reason. How come the person who just pushed a human out of a pin-sized hole then has to turn around and have their boobs mutilated for God-knows how many months? All the while everyone else gets to just hold the baby.

I quickly became one of those people who envied all those around me who got to hold Graham without having to whip a boob out. So many people would say, "Well you just held him for 45 minutes while you nursed him" and I'd have to pull a b-move a tell them that I'd love to hold my child while is isn't literally attached to my body.

As time went on, and things got easier, I still hated it. I dreaded the fact that I was the one who had to leave the room, cover up, eat a cold meal, get up in the middle of the night, etc. because I was his sole source of nutrition. I hated (and still do) that my wardrobe has to be nursing friendly. I dreaded the pain that came with it and the fact that my world truly revolved around whether or not my boobs would explode.

It was right when G turned three months that I was going on 4-5 hours of broken sleep for about a week, when I had a huge breakdown and told Chris that I just couldn't do it anymore. I would get up to feed G for 30-40 min (when things were all said and done) and then I'd have to pump because he wouldn't fully drain me, and by that time it would be only an hour or so before he'd wake again. I was miserable.

Luckily, Chris had a plan that literally saved me. He suggested that he just give G a bottle while I pump, that way I wouldn't have to do both. Duh! What a genius I married, right? Haha!

So, from 3 months on, anytime G needed a nighttime feeding, Chris would hop and give him a bottle while I pumped.

Now, here I am 8 months into this motherhood thing and I'm still pumping. I haven't nursed Graham in about two months (or maybe more? I can't remember) and I don't miss it one bit. He takes a bottle in about 3 minutes and I can pump around 12 ounces in 10 minutes. This is so much better than nursing him for however long.

Here's my theory on why I'm still a human cow: pumping saved me. 

I never thought I'd say it, because I despised it at first, but if it weren't for pumping, I'd have given up on this whole thing a long time ago. I've been exclusively pumping for a few months now and, although I still dread it each time I hook up to that stupid machine, it has become such a part of my routine that I am hardly even phased by it anymore.

If you know me personally, then you know I am not the mushy-gushy, sentimental type so, no, I'm not sad or sentimental in the least about never nursing Graham again. I'm actually elated because I seriously hated it that much. I am Graham's favorite person, we've bonded (blah blah blah), and I think that has nothing to do with the fact that I breastfed him for the first three months of his life. I think it has to do with the fact that I'm his mom, period.

Bottom line: do what is best for YOU. I've always been Team Sanity and if that means pumping, good. If that means formula, good. If that means, exclusively nursing until they're 5, gross, but yay for you.

Breastfeeding is the hardest and, in my opinion, worst part of becoming a new mom. I'd have five more babies by now if boobs weren't involved. So, new moms, just know that it might get better, but it might not, and that's okay. Just know that your baby will love you and that you are doing a great job.

Now, I'm off to count down the days until I've weaned myself off of this milking machine.

Happy Thursday!

PS: My child is 8 months old today and I'm going to find out how to slow down time. Wish me luck!
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