Sunday, May 12, 2013

Forever Grateful

I'm writing this from my phone, so I can't guarantee that there won't be any misspelled words or terrible formatting.
I'm laying here in bed, unable to sleep. My husband is sound asleep on his side of the bed, and snuggled at his side is my first son, Sully. Tucked soundly between J & I is Pierce. We're not typically all-night co-sleepers, but tonight Pierce wouldn't calm down. He was just silly, active, talking, bouncing, laughing. No matter what we did, he wouldn't go to sleep. I finally made the executive decision that he was coming to bed with us & so he did. He's been sound asleep for nearly 2 hours, so has his Daddy.
I keep scrolling through Facebook, flipping through Instagram pictures, reading blog posts. Everything about Mother's Day.
Most people talking about their own mothers, several talking about their own children. I've reached over & rubbed Pierce's foot a time or two thinking how amazing it is to know this boy is mine. That I am his mother. That today is my first mother's day.
We weren't raised to give our mother extravagant gifts. We usually made her some horrible breakfast in bed & gave her cards, sometimes handmade, others bought. So, when it came time for me to tell J what I wanted, all I could really think of was a larger memory card for my phone. Apparently 8 gigs isn't enough.
I could care less about gifts , cards that will just get stuffed into a drawer, flowers that will wilt & die.
I found myself reflecting back, just over 8 months ago we brought Pierce home. After spending 20 days in the NICU, we now were full-time parents. Scared to death of this tiny boy, born 7lb3oz came home 6lb14oz, he was so frail, still capable of falling very ill.
I've read birth stories and been reminded how very different our story is. How scary our story was.
I flipped through my literal thousands of photos, see why I got a 16g card? I found the first picture of Pierce, laying in his NICU bed, not swaddled in either of our arms. The first pictures I have of him are precious to me. They are of him, wearing only a diaper,  very dark lighting but I can still see his precious pout. No ventilator, no ivs, no machines beeping & displaying numbers we learned to read all too well. I didn't get to hold him that day, or the following six. Finally, day 7. Day 7, last visit of the day, I held my angel for the first time. I cried the happiest tears I've ever cried. I cried all night at home.
Tonight, I've shed tears. Tears of sadness as I still mourn the imagined perfect birth day for Pierce that didn't go as planned in any way.
Tears of joy. While getting him home was the greatest fight we've ever faced, the largest struggle we've ever overcome, he is home. He is healthy. He is even more perfect than I ever imagined when I dreamed of that baby in my belly.
His smiles fill my heart, his laughter cleanses my soul.
I also cried tears of gratitude. Extreme gratitude for the nurses who fought so hard for him. Especially those first terrible nights. Three nights they talked of flying him to other hospitals. We were in the best hospital in our area, with only UAB or Vanderbilt being higher level NICUs. Those nights he had angels, not nurses. So, I found myself sending one angel a message on Facebook, these aren't people you forget about. I had to thank her for my first mother's day. I truly believe she was Pierce's angel those nights. She saved him from alternatives I refuse to think about. She saved us from knowing how truly bad it was. J has let me know little by little things he kept from me. But I know there are things his angels kept from J too.
Those angels are why I get to celebrate my first mother's day. I will forever be grateful. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

That one post where I sound like a total lunatic...

Ever since Pierce was home from the hospital, heck probably while he was in the NICU, people have said, "We have to have a play date!"  "We have to get our kids together" And people actually expected me to want to have their kid(s) around my baby a week, 2 weeks, a month, after he was home from the NICU.

When those nurses and doctors told us that his first year would be sensitive, I wrote that on my Mama-brain, and haven't wavered.  We were told NO day cares, NO nurseries, NO interaction with sick people, NO interaction with children who went to daycares.  Pierce could NOT get sick.  Under no circumstances.

(Break my heart that the time he DOES get sick, it's because I have a sinus & ear infection and pick up RSV while I'm at the doctor's office...Mom of the Year!)

When you bring home a NICU baby, after the fight to get them healthy and home, you listen to the directions you're given.  You are even more over protective than the mommy who brought her baby straight home, healthy.  

Now that Pierce is 8 months old, moving and interacting more, I have had more invitations to play dates.  In indoor play places of all things.  Yes, please, let me take my babe to a germ haven.  I don't care that there are employees walking around with disinfectant spray wiping things down, they can't get every square inch wiped.  There will always be that one handle that little Billy licked, that one ball that snotty nosed Mindy rubbed across her face.
Yes, this is the way a NICU mom sees the world.  Germs crawling everywhere.
There is always that mom who will take her sick kid to play.
There is always the kid who's exposed but not showing symptoms...yet.  One thing we learned through RSV, it can take 5-7 DAYS for symptoms to show up.  You can be walking around feeling great, but all grossly infected with The Crud, for a week before you're knocked on your butt.
This is the way a NICU mom sees the world.

I won't let him sit in a high chair or grocery cart with out HIS high chair cover.  I will make sure that I wipe the table and even the wall, if he can reach it, with a Lysol wipe.  Yes, I do carry a canister of Lysol wipes in my diaper bag.  I get some seriously funny looks, but have you ever worked in a restaurant?  Do you know that they "clean" the tables with cloths that go into a bucket full of soapy water?  Grab a cloth, wipe the table, toss it back into the bucket.  There's no sanitizing anything, no making sure you actually cleaned the table.  I've done it.  I was 17 and thought it was really gross then.  With more education under my belt, it makes me want to vomit.
The other day we went to a restaurant and I wiped the table down, my wipe turned BROWN.  BROWN people.
I don't let MY utensils touch restaurant tables, why would I let Pierce put his hands on it?!  Those hands go to his mouth, and on those hands ride the germs of the restaurant patrons who sat there before us...

I've had strangers ask if they could hold him.  Um, you don't know me, I don't know you.  NO you may not hold my child.  Please, keep your grubby mitts off of my baby!  I've adopted a very unwelcoming look, and the requests to hold Pierce have subsided!

I'm hoping that once we reach Pierce's one year anniversary out of the NICU I'll lighten up.  But, I make no promises considering that will be in September, just a couple of months before the start of flu season.

I get so tired of hearing people tell me "You can't keep him in a bubble"  GEEZ PEOPLE, he's not even been home a year yet!  He's been out of the NICU 8 months, exactly.
"You can't prevent him from getting sick"  Well, no, you're right, I can't.  However, I'm not going to purposefully expose him to an illness.  Would you expose yourself to a sick person on purpose?  No!  Who would?  So why, on earth, would I purposefully expose my almost 9 month old to something?

I breastfeed so he gets my antibodies, among other reasons.
I keep him home and away from other children to protect his immature immune system.  Especially when you're talking about anything that could cause him breathing troubles.
I'm a protective Mama.
If you don't like it, any of it, hate it for you.

Monday, April 22, 2013

8 Months!

How is it even possible that my sweet boy was born 8 months ago (as of last Monday, I'm a week late posting...lazy blogger problems)?  How is it that I've been Mommy for 8 months?  Exactly 8 months ago, at this point in time (1am 4/15/2013) I was screaming in my hospital room, unable to get up due to a c-section, only able to know what I was being told about my sweet baby by my husband.  I hadn't seen him in 12 hours, wouldn't see him until they released me from my bed the next day and we didn't know what time that would be.  I laid there all night, pleading with God to help my baby.  I prayed, I cried, I begged.  I didn't know that we would be doing all of that for the next 3 very touchy days.  I didn't know at that point that we would be scheduling the next 20 days around every 4 hour visits to the NICU.  I honestly don't remember much about my five day hospital stay.  We honestly think they found every reason to keep us there as long as possible because they knew we would want to be as close to Pierce for as long as they could let us.
I don't know why 8 months is hitting me so hard.  I don't know what it is about being 4 months shy of 1 year old that is making me cry as I sit here.  Happy tears, tears of disbelief that the sweet breathing I hear over the monitor is my own, yet not from my body.  When they say having a child is letting your heart walk around in someone else's body, they're not kidding.  That boy has my heart and soul, J and I are beyond blessed to have been granted guardianship over that angel.

Ok, enough sap, to the good stuff!  lol

8 months and takes up the entire width of his crib

It was not easy to get his picture this morning!
I wish I had started with the posed seahorse pictures before 4 months, but oh well what can you do
Pierce sleeps pretty well through the night, his sleeping patterns haven't really changed much since around 5/6 months.  "Night night nurses" to sleep any time from 930-11, mostly depends on what time J gets to take lunch and how Pierce's day has been.  I'm going to guess that 4 out of 7 nights a week he wakes up once at night, crying, needing to be cuddled and rocked back to sleep.  I haven't figured out what causes it.  He has a night light now, and it hasn't helped.  Oh well, I'm not making him Cry It Out until he's old enough to know where he is, that he's not alone in the house, where he can find Mommy (and Daddy).  Once he's old enough to know those things, then he will have to start CIO.  Until then, I can't make him lay in the dark alone and cry.  Plus, it takes 10 minutes to rock him and he's out.  Which means I get to enjoy the quiet cuddles with him before he decides that cuddling with Mommy isn't good any more.
Pierce wakes up any time between 5-7am, hungry and comes to bed with me to nurse.  We don't wake up and get out of bed until 10 or 11.  I am one lucky Mama!  But, seeing as how I rarely go to bed before 2, I don't really get to "sleep in" but I do get a good amount of sleep.

I remember when I first quit working to stay home with him, I worried about him getting on a schedule.  Well, worry no more, he put himself on one!  He doesn't have a time schedule, but a very steady routine.  We get up, he plays in his jumper for 30 minutes or so, long enough for me to enjoy my coffee and pop tarts.  We play and read books until he's tired, some times tired and hungry, around 12-1.  He takes a 30-45 minute nap.  Up to eat a bottle, plays another 2-3 hours, takes about an hour nap, gets a fruit and bottle lunch, plays again until he may take a half hour nap, as long as he's awake by 830.  He gets a veggie dinner, followed by bath on bath nights and plays until he's tired.

We've found a wonderful balance of 3 bottles a day, each are 6-7 ounces (depends on who makes them, lol J doesn't like to leave just one ounce in a bottle in the fridge, but I don't mind).  He eats every 3 hours or so. An ounce or two of fruit with a full bottle for lunch, and 2-2.5 ounces of vegetable for dinner with a bottle between lunch and dinner.
I've also extended my breastfeeding goal past 12 months.  I've reset to 18 months, aiming for 24.  But, pretty sure I'll stop at 2 years old.  More on all of that later most likely.

At 8 months Pierce still doesn't crawl lol.  He can roll...everywhere.  If there's something he wants across the living room, he will roll over there, grab it, and roll back.  I guess crawling would use both hands and he wouldn't be able to pick things up as easily.  Roll on baby...
Pierce loves to stand, and can stand for long periods of time with assistance.  He has his mother's lack of balance, so I'm not seeing him standing and walking for quite some time.  He has to have both hands on something, if we place him up against the couch or his crib, or holding your fingers.

Pierce is just a happy baby, rarely fusses.  Teething, dare I say, has been a breeze so far.  Typically I give him teething tablets at night before he nurses, and that's it.  Really bad days he will get tablets in the afternoon too, as his teeth don't seem to bother him until mid-afternoon.  He still has 2 lonely pearly whites on the bottom, and 4 on the top with at least 1 starting to show that it will be coming soon.  Still can't get him to show you his teeth well enough for a picture lol

He makes more sounds, his newest is an ooooohhh, and the face to go along with it
And he figured out he could go from that face to making raspberry sounds really quickly...resulting in spit flying.  Ohhh, he is a boy after all.  lol.  The other day he was blowing air past his lips, making noise, and put his mouth on my bare leg....pppppffffftttttt.  He looked at my leg, and did it again then laughed.  Yup, all boy.

Everyone that spends time around Pierce always asks, "Is he always this good?" in a sort of disbelief.  Yes, ladies (and gentlemen?) he is, we hit the jackpot!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A bit of a vent

I'm going to try to get back into blogging, it's just hard for me to get motivated.
I'm also a little disheartened by the blogging world.  I follow a few bloggers who are "big" and boy does it ever seem to go to their heads.  Not in any mean ways, but in a "I'm such a perfect mother, housewife, and woman"  It just makes me sick.
Our apartment is clean, but cluttered.  We have clean clothes that are folded, but rarely put away.  Our bellies stay full of food that I make, usually from a box or mix.  I have, just this month, found a few recipes that I wanted to try...and gasp only ONE came from Pinterest.
I live in my PJs (unless I leave the house) because it's comfortable.  I could give two sh*ts about the newest fashion, skinny jeans are the dumbest looking things I've ever seen in my life...and color to them and it's just a new level.  Sorry, I'm not sorry.
Pierce also stays in his PJs unless we leave, or he messes them up with food or an accident.  Why on earth do I want to make more laundry to do if no one sees him but us...and we don't care if he's in the cutest name brand newest fashion for kids.  He's comfy, he rocks the pjs.
I don't craft everything I see on Pinterest.
I don't set up my nice Canon Rebel to take posed pictures of myself and my child
I am real.
I am me.
What you see is truly what you get.
You will see my legs in pictures of Pierce, just about guarantee you they'll have pajama pants covering them.
You may see my feet in're lucky if I've given myself a pedicure.
Why don't you see pictures of me very often?  Because my husband doesn't mind me not putting on makeup and fixing my hair, so if I'm not leaving the house, why?  I don't need it to feel good about myself, my abilities as a mother or wife aren't dependent on whether or not I look perfectly coiffed.
I haven't lost all of my baby weight, I still have about 10 pounds hanging around.  I don't really care to be completely honest with you.  J doesn't care, I just had a baby 7 months ago.  Pierce certainly doesn't care.  I'm healthy, my weight isn't causing me any health issues.  I'm not fat, I'm not ideal, but not fat.  I'm certainly no supermodel, and never aim to be.

I'll be here, for Pierce's monthly updates...and any time I have something awesome to write about.  But, until then, I'm living life.  Raising my son, taking care of my husband.  Not stressing over writing a blog post, what content will be..who's following, who's not.
I keep up with blogs I follow by reading them from my phone throughout the day.  I'm here, keeping up with those of you who do write lol.

I am hoping to share a delicious crock-pot recipe for chicken teriyaki soon.  I've had several people ask me about it, so what better way to share it than on here since it goes out to several emails.

Long gone are my days of trying to keep up with the Jones's, or worry about whether Pierce is ahead of his age in milestones.  My son is impressive, just as he is, hitting milestones at the tail end of the month he is supposed to, lol.
I'm just me.  Hope ya'll stick around for my sporadic posts lol

Saturday, March 23, 2013

7 months??

How is it possible that Pierce is 7 months old?  I just can't believe it.  He is my heart's greatest joy, the best blessing the Lord could have ever given me.  I find myself thanking God, each time before I lay Pierce down, for all of the blessings in my life.  I'm truly blessed to have an amazing, supportive husband who doesn't mind that I stay in PJs all day (unless I leave the house of course), who allows me to stay home to take care of him and to care for Pierce.  It's truly a blessing that we were able to pay off our debts, that J makes enough for me to stay home.  So, I make sure to thank God, several times a day, for all of my blessings.

Sorry I've been MIA, I don't really have any real excuses other than busy being a mommy and wife.  I don't have much to say lol.

20 days (first night home) vs 7 months

Pierce turned 7 months on Friday 3/15, and had his 6 month check up on Wednesday 3/20.  We're a bit behind.

Weight: 20lb 4oz - 50-75th percentile...fairly average
Length: 28.5" - 91st percentile...freaking long
Head circumference: 18.5" - 97th percentile...HUGE noggin

Kid's got some brains I guess lol
I'm glad his length and head circumference are in basically the same percentiles.  Makes me feel a little better ;) lol 
He's perfect, big noggin and all

He got one shot in that fat little thigh, he cried for about 10 seconds, whimpered for about 20 seconds and it was all over.

The day he turned 7 months we went on a weekend trip to see my family for my grandmother's birthday.  Pierce had not met my aunt, and she was dying to meet him!  There was other family there that hadn't seen him since he was a wee little boy.  It was really nice.  
Pierce was a champion traveler, J says he's a better traveler than I am.  I would be better if someone gave me a chew kitty, rattle, and Pass to play with, and fed me the second I said I was hungry.  

The weekend was his first time to sleep in the pack and play, he did EXCELLENT.  Friday night I had to get up and rock him for about 10 minutes when he woke up at 2, but other than that, slept like a champ.

Sunday morning, he didn't want to wake up for church!  

Moved him from his playpen, he smiled at us, and nodded back off.  

sink baths rock!  Especially when they're the same color as your favorite food lol

Pierce still nurses to go to bed, he's in his crib between 1030 and midnight every night.  Just depends on how the day went and how long he takes to nurse...and how long I snuggle him after he's gone to sleep in my arms.
He wakes up any time between 5 and 7 typically, with 2 days this week playing a joke on me.  Monday after our trip he slept until 9am!  J had insisted we go to bed at 1 (I'm usually up until at least 2, typically 3), I got 8 solid hours of sleep?!  It was beautiful.  Tuesday he woke up at 8, cool, I can handle this trend, I'm liking this.  
Oh, but wait, Wednesday his appointment was at 830.  We had to leave by 8, so I just got up for the day at 6, Pierce woke up at 715, I had J snuggle him and give him a bottle in bed while I finished getting ready.  That must have thrown my luck of him sleeping.  Thursday morning, awake at 6, Friday morning, 5.  Let's just hope he doesn't decide to wake up at 4...aka in 3 hours.  

Pierce is still wearing size 3 Luvs, but will most definately have to move to 4s with the next pack.  He hasn't had an accident since he moved out of that new born stage and once this week he woke up from a nap screaming because he was wet...peed his bed, first time ever.  I picked him up today to find that he had peed himself while playing on the floor, thankfully he hadn't rolled off of his blanket.  

He is MOBILE, oh boy is he ever mobile.  2 weeks before our trip to my grandmother's he figured out how to roll back to front.  I was beginning to think he'd never figure it out.  Two days later he put it all together and has been a rolling pin ever since.  I can't leave him in the floor long enough to go tinkle.  The kid is everywhere!  I love it though
He sits totally unsupported, for minutes on end.  Playing with things, reaching, grabbing.

Even though Pierce is in the 90th percentiles for his length, he can still wear a lot of his 6 mo Carter's clothes, and the onesies are baggy from the waist down still, but fit perfectly in the arms and chest.  9 mo fits him, roomy, but fit.  The pants are some how quite long.  Overalls are a tricky thing, he must have 9 mo overalls or the snaps pop in the crotch.  

Pierce has 6 teeth!  He's cut the top 4 front teeth, they're all just finishing coming in completely, and he has his two bottom front teeth.  
He's gotten a nasty little habit this week of grinding his teeth, he grinds them so hard it gives us chills!  The only way we can stop it is to give him a Pass or a chewer and he goes to town on that.  I've read that it's just an exploration and that typically it stops after around 2's hoping.

Pierce loves food.  He gets a small fruit lunch, typically one ounce, and a bottle of pumped milk.  He LOVES granny smith apples, the first bites are hilarious because he always makes a sour face, but after that you can't shovel the spoonfuls in fast enough.  His new fruit this week was pears, he loves them too!  
I still make all of his food in the Baby Brezza.  Pierce currently eats: 
Butternut Squash
Green Beans
Sweet Peas
We're not too pushy with his food, he really loves everything but the beans and peas; and I think that's a texture issue.  The Brezza doesn't make them creamy like you can get in jars.  Out of curiosity I bought him a jar of organic peas and he gobbled it down, 2.5oz in less than 10 minutes.  So peas is definitely a texture thing.  
While I was making more apple, I held a slice for him to chew.  He quickly figured out bite, chew, swallow and ate about a quarter of the slice I gave him!  It was awesome.  He's no where near ready for that on a regular basis, but it was fun to play.  

So hard to believe we're on the downhill to one year!  Healthy boy, happy boy, loved boy!!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I have a smart mouth...

I know I'm lacking in my blog posts...but you really don't want any recaps of my day.  They would all read something like this:
Woke up today, Pierce jumped in his jumper while I had my coffee and Pop Tarts.
Pierce took his usual 45 minute first nap, and I kept sitting on my tail
When Pierce woke up, we played for several hours
Pierce took his hour second nap, and I did laundry
He woke up and had a fruit lunch and a bottle
We played
He took a short nap
We played
I cleaned the kitchen
We played
He took his evening nap
We played
I cooked
He ate his dinner
We played
He got a bath
We played
He nursed and went to bed
I had my beer
and went to bed
Exciting life I have, no?  
I really am thoroughly enjoying being a SAHM, I randomly tell J, "Thank you for allowing me to stay home"  I think it's very important that he hears my appreciation, because I'm sure I can gripe when Pierce has a fussy day and make it sound ungrateful.  But, I'm far from ungrateful to stay home with my prince

I made bread today (more on that in another post, it's yum and I want to share the EASY recipe I found), and remarked to J that I needed a bread slicer but I wasn't sure where to find them
"Look it up"
"Thanks for that suggestion, I never would have thought of it :P"
He called me an Asshat!!
Then this conversation ensued:

 But, he never knew who I should submit them to...
so, I submit them to BlogWorld lol

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Stepped out of my box...

I am a huge creature of habit, of structure, of familiarity.  I rarely do something "new", especially if I have very little knowledge about it.
Sunday was a huge step out of my church comfort zone, my box I've stayed in ALL of my nearly 30 years!  I have ventured out of my Episcopalian box to go to very few churches, Southern Baptist, Church of Christ, and Methodist (Contemporary service).
Let me back up a few steps...

One of my best friends rediscovered her faith, and not in the church she was raised in.  She was raised Baptist, and strayed like we all typically do as a teenager.

She stood by my side through my pregnancy, was a wonderful support.
She helped hold me up and keep me strong through Pierce's NICU stay.
We have shared things with each other that neither of us have shared with any other friends.
After she helped me get through Pierce coming home, many many texts of "is this normal??" from this new mommy, she and her husband decided they were ready for number 2.
She immediately got pregnant!  I remember the phone call!  I was SO SO excited and happy for her.

About a week later, I woke up to a text.  It was a picture of her ultrasound, TWINS.  I just sat in bed, mouth wide open, tears in my eyes, a million thoughts running through my head.
You see, her son was really rough on her body.  Pregnancy and type 1 diabetes don't mix well.  While I was elated for her, I was also very very concerned for what twins would do to her body.
A week or two after finding out she was pregnant with twins, she called me with horrible news.  One didn't make it.
Somehow, with her new-found faith, she got through that, and marched on knowing she still had one baby.
Several weeks later, getting close to the end of her first trimester, the week before Christmas, she found out she had lost the second.  She found that out the exact day I found out that I had to have surgery to remove my rogue Mirena.  She had to have a D&C on Wednesday, I had my surgery on Thursday.
She got through the entire situation with a smile, and trust in God.

We've been through a lot together the past year.  We've supported each other, cried with each other, picked each other up.  Listened.

So, when she came to me and told me that she had found peace in a church, found her faith and decided to immerse herself in it, I was all ears.  She knew that I would find it strange, that I would have questions.  She was ready to answer them.  She knew I would question "why do you do this..." but not "why are you doing this?"  She knew I would support her.
And, support her I did.

I've never had a Pentecostal friend.  All I knew about them were stereotypes.
Now, I have a Pentecostal friend, and I love her just the same.

When she told me she was going to give her testimony and be baptized, I knew it was something J and I needed to attend.  Something we needed to give her our physical presence support, not just a word of encouragement.  You see, she has known J and I separately for a long time, and of course known us as a couple the entire time we've been together.  We're all 3 friends.  Anyway...we knew we'd be there.  She's even Pierce's "Auntie", so he went too!!

I've never been to a Pentecostal church, didn't know anything about what to expect.  I was briefed by my friend lol.  She knew that I was used to a very formal, very high church atmosphere...and let's just say formal and high church this wasn't!!
It wasn't as bad as J or I expected...I'm not entirely sure what we expected, but it wasn't as bad.  It was certainly different!  Their services are loud, exciteable, a lot of clapping, hands in the air, "AMEN" and "PRAISE JESUS" shouting.
I'm used to speaking when the Book of Common Prayer has italicized words instructing you to all read in unison.  I'm used to no outbursts.  The priest isn't interrupted during his sermon at my church!  
Even during the first song, as I was dancing Pierce around because he's just not used to that much activity and noise (he handled it like a CHAMP and just soaked in his surroundings), I had a very strange experience, proving that I am Episcopalian through and through lol.  I sang "Hallelujah" with everyone, singing, dancing, clapping.  The Episcopalian in me all of a sudden remembered, "It's Lent, this isn't a celebratory time, this is a quiet, penitent time"  I scaled it back and stopped singing, stopped clapping, but for Pierce I kept dancing.  And, I felt more at ease, more comfortable.
You can still practice Lent in a Pentecostal church!  haha.

As I was showering that morning, getting ready to go, I had a slight moment of fear over my wardrobe!  Really?!  I don't own a dress or skirt!  I take that back, I have ONE black dress that's semi-low cut and knee length.  I decided that my pants were much more acceptable in a women-only-wear-skirts-church than a short dress that shows off the girls.
And, as I was applying my make-up to go to the women-dont-wear-makeup-church, I got a thought of, "Maybe I should minimize what I wear"  But, I also thought that I don't really wear much makeup, it's all a neutral natural shade...And, most importantly, if I were to invite a Pentecostal to my church with me, I wouldn't expect them to change their skirt to pants, or put make up on.  So, I went as myself and I'm glad I did.  I would have been more uncomfortable trying to "fit in" with a group of people who would clearly know I was an impostor as soon as church started!!

It was an honor to support my friend in her baptism.  J & I would do it again in a heart beat.

Friend, you know who you are...we love you

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Half of a year....

Wow, how is it that Pierce is already 6 months old??  I'm so very grateful to have been home for the past 6 weeks and get to see him grow, change, mature, learn.  This boy is amazing, and I love him more each day.

He's gotten behind on his appointments, so his 4 month appointment was really at 5 months 10 days!  That appointment was mid January, and his measurements were
Length: 27" 75-90th percentile
Weight: 17.5 pounds 50-75th percentile
Head circumference: 17.5" 75-90th percentile

I'm going to guess he's up to at least 19 pounds and 28"

Diapers: Size 3 Luvs
Clothes: 3-6, 6mo, and today he wore a 9mo outfit that was loose but not too big
PJs: Carter's 6mo sleepers
Shoes: haha, doesn't wear any

 His "6 month" appointment is late March, when he'll be 7.5 months old!  womp womp...oh well lol

 I had randomly taken a picture of Pierce, diaper only, next to Seahorse (we got really creative there huh?) on the day he turned 4 months old.  I have pictures of him with it from the time he came home, so it's amazing to line them all up and look at them.

same sheets was a happy accident!

you see it took several to get one I could use for comparison!

Pierce and I met 2 of my dear friends for lunch today at a Hibachi place.  I don't eat much Japanese and had forgotten that they light the grills on fire during their cooking "show", oooh Pierce's eyes nearly bugged out of his head when those flames went up.  I wish there was video of that, it was hilarious!

For about a month, he's been holding his own bottle fairly well, so while I got ready to go, I gave him his bottle and put him in the doorway of the bathroom

He hit a big milestone today...
Sitting like a big boy in a restaurant high chair
*yes, I put his high chair cover on...but I had to make sure he would sit in it first before I drug it out lol

My sweet sweet boy has started "kissing" and "hugging".  He's very affectionate when he gets sleepy, he opens his arms and will quite literally hug you.  He will also hug your face!  His "kisses" are him opening his mouth, and slobbering all over your cheek or chin...where ever he can get to really.  This has all started in the past week.  He also will lean his forehead onto your face, resting his head on your for just a moment as if to say, "hi, I love you"  
As far as we know, he's only shown this affection to J & I...and we LOOOVE it, of course!
sorry for the blurry picture, camera phone+poor lighting

Poor fella, passed out on my shoulder!

I have a hoodie problem, if you follow me on IG or are on my Facebook, you know these things lol.  If it's got a cute hood, it's going on my kid!  This is a dinosaur?  Alligator?  I dunno.  He has a blue monster, and another dino (I'm sure that's a dino, it has an actual picture of a dino! lol)

Other milestones:
tripod sitting (arms on the floor or his feet/legs for support) for up to 20 seconds...he'll be sitting alone soon
reaches for things outside of his immediate reach
passes objects from one hand to the other
can grab Pass and put it in his mouth, properly
(speaking of Pass, how is there only one picture with Pass in it?  He has Pass 24/7)
has had 2 teeth since before his 5 month birthday, and has been having troubles with about 4 top teeth...if not 6!  Swollen, achy gums, thank goodness for Hyland's Teething Tablets!
Sleeps 10 or 11pm-6 or 7am in his crib, comes to bed with us to nurse, sleeps until 9ish, nurses, and we finally nurse again and get up at 10-11.  Yup, I get to sleep pretty well.  Thank you, Pierce

One "milestone" I haven't been loving, for 8 consecutive nights he has woken himself at 2am.  First night I thought he was hungry...nope.  Nights 2-7 J or I rocked him back to sleep within minutes.  Night 8, I just gave him Pass and patted his back and he soothed himself back to sleep.  It's 223 right now, and I'm waiting on the wake up for Night 9....sssssshhhhhhhhh

Pierce has changed our lives, he is the light of my life and I can not describe what he very obviously means to J.  He is an angel, and his Daddy sure believes it!  J soaks up every second he can get with Pierce.  I love watching them together.  Those boys....

Friday, February 15, 2013

BOGO Canvases!! Don't miss it!

I ordered a few canvases in January, and have been informed by my loving husband that I'm done with canvases for a few months...considering we went from none to 4 in 2 months I can't much blame him.  However, I did get them ALL on great sales!  Can't beat a sale!!

Before I hung them
The top two are 8x10s from Easy Canvas.  I absolutely LOVE their quality!
I got them on a great BOGO offer, and I wanted to pass it on to ya'll!!  Canvases aren't cheap, at all, so if you're interested in any canvases this is THE sale to use!!

Buy one get one free canvases!

And, because I just saw this sale and wanted to share it, I only have a poorly lit cell phone picture of the finished arrangement on the wall but want to share it anyway!

Happy Valentine's Day

This was Pierce's first Valentine's Day, and he was by far my sweetest Valentine ever!!  

Such a happy Valentine!

These are the two best pictures, out of countless attempts.  Why, you ask?
Pierce has become Mr Wiggles.  
Child moves all of the time, we call it happy feet.  He kicks and kicks when he's happy!

And if he's not being Mr Wiggles, he's eating his feet or rolling left and right

Pierce and I decided that he needed to give his hard working Daddy a Valentine's gift
Especially since we wouldn't really see Daddy much between a long day and school and all night at work!

before it went in the oven...not sure why I haven't gotten a picture  of the finished product!
His Daddy just loved it!!

Happy Valentine's Day, ya'll!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pierce's first Ashes

I was hoping to share the experience of Pierce's first Ash Wednesday with J, but since he had to work Pierce and I loaded up in the car and went to church!  Just Pierce and myself.  First time the two of us had been to church alone.  If he decided to sing, fuss, or scream it was me...alone.  Can you tell I was concerned?  I hate the people that bring noisy kids into church, it disrupts service and concentration, so of course I didn't want to be that parent.  I positioned myself so I could quickly get out of either door, one that lead to a sitting room, and one that goes directly outside if we needed to make a great escape!

Pierce was an absolute angel through service.  Even through the what-seemed-like-forever periods of silence, you know the silence where you could hear a pin drop.  He just sat in my arms and watched everyone, looked around at everything.  Our church is historic, has stained glass, amazing architectural detail, and Pierce was soaking it all in!  Hey, whatever kept him quiet.

 It was time for us to go get our ashes (the service is known as the Imposition of the Ashes), and he just clung to me like a spider monkey, pass in his mouth (Pass aka pacifier).  We knelt at the alter rail and without hesitation our priest marked Pierce with the cross (in ashes of course), then moved on to me.  I've never seen a baby with ashes on his forehead, but it was so very important to me for Pierce to receive his ashes, at not-yet 6 months old.  No, he has no clue what happened, doesn't even know he received ashes.  Yes, it was for me in the grand scheme of things, but I just want to start now.  Immerse him.  Set the foundation now.
My Lenten promise to Pierce (and Christ) was to take these 40 days and nights and really start working on my Christian foundation.  I'm ashamed to say, I've never read the Bible.  I've read parts of it.  I'm ashamed to say, I can't name a quarter of the books of the Bible.  I don't plan on grilling myself and learning the books, reading the entire Bible cover to cover in these 40 days of Lent.  That's not what Lent is to me.  I want to start a habit, and make it a lifestyle.

After the imposition of ashes, we progressed into Holy Eucharist (communion), Pierce fell asleep in my arms and snoozed right on through me getting up and taking communion, the priest blessing him, and me going back to our pew.  He woke up, pleasant, happy, smiling.  All of my anxiety over taking him to church alone was gone.  I just knew, some how, he knew he had to be a good little boy and be quiet.  I had been telling him, but goodness I'm not silly enough to think he understands that!

Once service was over, we walked out of the sanctuary and spoke to one priest.  Pierce spit out Pass and just smiled his two-tooth smile, proud of himself for being such a good baby.  He smiled even more for the associate priest who organized his baptism.  That boy knows how to make people's day bright, the priest even said, "Those big smiles just make your day!"

I know it's crazy talk, but I really think somehow Pierce knew that he needed to be good.  To soak in his environment.  That there was something special about this place.
And my angel baby did just that, he was perfect

I really wanted to get a picture of Pierce with his first ashes, but I didn't want to be a goon sitting in church, this time of penitence, snapping pictures of my kid with ashes on his forehead.  So, sadly most of his ashes were wiped away when I put his hoodie back on him after service.  But, if you look closely, what looks like a bruise on his forehead is what was left of his ashes:

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Haven't disappeared

I promise, I haven't disappeared again!  I generally don't blog on nights J is off work, or while Pierce is awake, and since he doesn't go to sleep until 11 or midnight that leaves me blogging at 1 or 2 am.
Tonight and last night Pierce woke up at 2am, crying.  I don't let him cry it out in the middle of the night, so last night I got up and just brought him in bed with me, figuring he was hungry but he really didn't nurse much.  When I bring him in bed, he just stays in bed with me or us because I'll just be getting him around 6am anyway when he does wake up hungry.  So, I didn't sleep well last night.  I never sleep that well when he's in the bed with me all night!
Because hunger wasn't the issue last night, when he cried tonight I went in and noticed he had moved again.  He had rolled on his side and gotten mad because he got stuck against the side of the crib.  So, instead of bringing him to bed with me, I sat and rocked him until he went dead asleep again.  He's been in there for 45 minutes maybe success?  I can hope, right?
I think what he's doing is sleep-practicing his newest talent of rolling, or learning to scoot in his sleep.  I always find him in a new place when I go in to get him in the mornings or after naps. Oh, how I do hope this phase passes!

Speaking of naps, he usually napped in his swing in the living room.  Meaning I had to be really careful when I was cleaning while he napped so as to not wake him.  I've promised the swing to J's aunt who is due in June, and Pierce is just getting too big for it.  Too long, too heavy.  So, I started putting him in his crib at around 4 months, trying to get him to sleep in there.  Never worked, but I kept trying about once or twice a week.  As soon as he hit that crib for a nap, he'd wake up!  But, in the past two weeks or so, I've been able to put him in his crib for at least one of his naps in the day!!  VICTORY!!
He rolls over and plays with his blanket when he wakes up.  He's so cute I have to take pics!

yesterday, rolling around in his blankie

today, he had been sucking on his foot, leaving the foot of his pjs slobbery wet...yum lol
Don't you wish you woke up that happy?  lol  Sweet baby

I'm working on putting together a post about all of the foods I've made him, which he's liked more than others, and tell ya'll about the Baby Brezza.  I LOVE that thing.  If you're going to make your own baby food, I HIGHLY suggest you get a Brezza!  And, no, it won't be any sponsored or compensated post, it'll just be me suggesting you get your tail to Target and get one!  lol

Let's just hope this waking in the middle of the night thing doesn't last long for Pierce!!  Good night ya'll!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Car travel with a baby

Packing for a weekend trip was a daunting, and stressful, thought.  We went to Orange Beach when Pierce was just 2 months old and I waaaay over packed for that trip!  We barely had enough room for everything.

So, on our trip to Mississippi to see my grandmother a few weeks ago, I decided to try packing all of Pierce's stuff in one tote.\  Because I knew it would fit in our trunk, with our suitcase and toiletries bag, and leave room to put his Boppy pillow and bouncy chair (if it will fit, it goes! Why hold him the whole weekend when he would rather be able to be put in his chair from time to time!).  Let's face it, we drive a Kia Forte and that sucka doesn't have a small trunk, but it certainly isn't a Crown Vic's trunk lol.
My idea worked!  And worked well!  I was impressed with myself, and how easy it ended up being.  Since my grandmother has a 2 story house, and we would only be upstairs with Pierce to sleep, we just left the whole tote downstairs because it had diapers, clothes, toys, etc in it.
It worked so well, that when we went to Kentucky to see my parents this past weekend, I was able to quickly pack it back up like a pro.
I thought I would share, because I know I have a lot of friends who have babies or young children and wow, this made life easy!

Of course, as a pumping mother, one of my biggest concerns was getting those supplies packed up
so, I chose a shoe box sized tote

In went pump bottles, spare parts, and spare Passes (yeah, we call pacifiers Pass)
I tossed this box in on top of his bottles, which were put in a reusable shopping bag
along with the dish soap I use for his bottles, and the bottle brush 

Next, I had to pick out all of his clothes.  
Since I knew we were going to be in Kentucky 2 days/2 nights, but didn't know what the weather would do, I knew I needed to pack several options, 
along with several options for any mishaps we all know happen with babies
Luckily, he only wore one outfit each day...yay, less laundry when we got home!

Then, I put his favorite toys and books in a box
this box happens to be one of those cloth cube drawers lol, it's a perfect size!

Because we buy Pierce's diapers in the large Jumbo boxes of 120+ count, they come in neat stacks in the shrink wrap inside of the box.  
So, I just took one row out of the shrink wrap, knowing that would be MORE than enough diapers
but, with a little one, you never know so ALWAYS over prepare! lol
They sack neatly in one corner, toy/book box on the other side, 

leaving room for bibs and socks to go between the box and side, 
and clothes and bath towel/wash cloths to go in the empty corner

I put his floor blankets on top and closed the lid!

And, like my grandmother's house, we slept on one floor but "lived" on another; so we left his box upstairs out of the way.  No going down in the basement to get anything!

I wish I had taken a picture of the trunk all packed.  It goes in like an easy puzzle.  It's really awesome

Happy travels!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Better late than never, right?

Our weekend was great! I realize it's Tuesday before this gets updated, but hey...

J, Pierce, Sully, & I packed up the car and headed out of town to my folks's house in Kentucky Friday evening after J's class.  I've never made the trip in the dark, and oh wow, that 2.5 hours drug on ssssoooooo long.  The only thing that breaks the monotony of dark interstate is Nashville, and if you know anything about the Nashville area you know that until you get to it there's nothing...and once you get through it, theres nothing.
We left home and it was a balmy 35 degrees.  As we got further north we watched the thermometer in the car drop lower, and lower.  I took a picture at one point, I think south of Nashville:
if you can't see it, that says 24 degrees at 8:21pm...for this Alabama lady, that's COLD
By the time we got to my parents house, it was about 20 degrees.  Ssssooooo ccoooollllldddd.  I am not a winter fan!
But, not to worry, we always keep Pierce all bundled up!
I say he loves his sunglasses...he at least doesn't seem to mind them at all
Those last two were taken the day before we left, I got my hair cut and he just sat in my lap the whole time, a perfect angel.  All the ladies in the salon couldn't get over how adorable he is, and just got a kick out of the sunglasses!

Pierce slept in his seat the whole ride to Kentucky, which was great!  Travelling with babies at night seems to be the trick!  It's dark, they can't see, what else will they do?!

Once we get to my parent's little town (outside Bowling Green) and get off of the highway we have NO cell service.  Zip.  Zero.  Nada.  And you know what?  It's awesome.  To get there and completely disconnect for the weekend?  Fabulous.
We tap in to the world when we go into Bowling Green on Saturdays (wow, we sound like a bunch of hillbillies come to town when I say it that way lol), so you guys that follow me on Instagram or Twitter got a glimpse of our fun.
Speaking of BG on Saturday, my mom, J, Pierce, and I went to the mall.  Daddy and Sully stayed home lol.
We didn't have room in our car to pack Pierce's stroller and all my parents had at their house was my niece, Rayleigh's, old umbrella stroller.  Yup, Pierce was pushed around the mall in a hot pink Disney Princess umbrella stroller!  Some how, I managed to NOT get a picture of this for blackmail in high school lol.  But, we did protect some of his manhood and put his blue blanket under him.  We got some really funny looks, laughs, and people just smiling at us for pushing him around in this hot pink stroller!  Never know what's going to happen at Nana and Popi's!  lol

We had a very nice weekend visiting.  It was great to get to see my parents interact with Pierce, they really don't get to see him much.  We'll see them again in March, but it will be at my grandmother's birthday party and most of my family will be meeting Pierce for the first time and my parents just wouldn't get any real time with him.  So it was really important to me for them to see him before March.
We woke up to snow on Sunday, for us Alabama folks, the 2 inches was a HUGE amount and we were honestly concerned we would get iced or snowed in.  Let's face it, we are NOT prepared for driving in that! We just don't get the practice here at home.

I did catch a few pictures of Pierce and my dad, Popi, before we left.  Pierce loves his Popi and his Nana.  Nana had him belly laughing, real laughter not just his choking sound he's been making for months now.  It was awesome to stand back and watch.

And, of course Pierce slept on the way home too....
Poor guy, fell asleep while it was still really overcast in Kentucky, so I didn't want to wake him to put his sunglasses on I just covered his face lol.  Don't worry, he could breath, it wasn't touching him

And, because it's tooooo cute to not share, a picture from earlier in the week... little monster!  and yes, he's chewing his middle finger lol

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A few deals for my fellow canvas and photo fanatics

I'm IN LOVE with canvases now...I have 3 currently ordered and being shipped and I can't wait until I get them!  I've added more pictures I ordered from Shutterfly to my collage frames, and am so excited to get everything finished and show ya'll the end results!!

But, until then, I wanted to share with you guys a few deals!

Awesome canvas price, and an amazing size, through Valentine's Day

MyPix2Canvas Valentines Day Canvas Deal

These are 1.5" thick, which is my absolute favorite thickness on a canvas.  Plus, you don't HAVE to have a picture ready! 

Purchase Details:
  • You don’t need to have your photo ready today. You will have until August 14, 2013 to create your photo on to canvas.
  • You will be purchasing a voucher that you can redeem for a canvas print anytime until August 14, 2013
  • Once you purchase you will receive your email voucher within 24-48 hours.

Shutterfly has a great deal too!

And, if you've never used them, become a new customer and get 50 free prints...