Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ethan's 2 Months Old!


I feel like it was just yesterday when I wrote your one month letter! You are constantly changing and growing. You are inbetween newborn and 0-3mo. clothing. The newborn is getting a little short and you swim in the 0-3mo. The best thing that happened this month is that you have started to smile. It seriously makes my heart melt when I see your cute little grin and nothing makes me happier than to know that you are happy.

You also have started to laugh as well although you mostly reserve this for daddy (he is pretty goofy!). You are gaining more head control and can even sit in the Bumbo seat every now and then. You are also becoming very alert - no more sleepy newborn days for you. Your favorite things to stare at are the two framed birds that your great-grandmother embroidered that hang in our bedroom.

We are starting to see a little bit of your personality as well now. I think you are going to be quiet, serious, and reflective. Sometimes you look like you are in deep thought and your eyebrows are usually posed in a worried expression. And even though you aren't really grasping toys yet, I do think you might be left handed...time will tell.

Your routine is still going pretty well. We have officially dropped the 2AM feeding and are working on dropping the 5AM feeding this week. I've bumped you up to 4oz each feeding (a couple of times you only get 3oz) and while I hope to keep you on breastmilk as long as possible, I'm afraid I might not be able to keep up with you! We are still having to get up a couple of times in the night...usually around 2:30 and 4:30 I'm pretty sure this is just your internal alarm, but we change your dirty diaper and you fall back to sleep pretty quickly.

You are still sleeping in your pack and play, but have been kicked out of mommy and daddy's bedroom. You are now sleeping in the living room, currently under the lights of your first Christmas tree. Maybe by next month you will be in your crib!

Our biggest accomplishment this month has been making it through the first holiday. You met pretty much every family member and did extremely well being totally off schedule and only napping for an hour on Thanksgiving. Everyone feel immediately in love and you were constantly in some one elses arms.

You gave mommy a run for her money just yesterday with a screaming fit that seemed to have no end. You wouldn't eat, take a paci, or swing. After exhausting every other option I stripped you down to your diaper and that seemed to do the trick. I think you might have developed a hatred for tags just like your mommy! That has been our worst day by far and even so - it really wasn't that bad.

Next month should be exciting - it will be your first Christmas! Can't wait. I already have a mini tree in your room which hopefully you will be sleeping in by then!

Love you!

Monday, November 22, 2010

One Thanksgiving Down...Two to Go!

My mom's Thanksgiving was Saturday and I can't tell you how nervous I was about managing Ethan and keeping him and my boobs happy and on schedule. Things went pretty good considering it was our first time being with a large group of people and out of our comfort zone.

I went over to mom's early without Michael (he was hunting) to try and be helpful. I wasn't as helpful as I wanted to be considering most of my time was spent taking care of Ethan, but I did get to do a few things for her. It mostly ended up helping me and Ethan get settled before everyone else got there.

I found that mom had saved the day by purchasing Ethan a little table top swing. It kept him happy and my hands free for a little bit. I discovered that it might be more helpful to bring extra milk along next time so I can pump at more convenient times while we are displaced. I had brought one extra bag of frozen milk which sadly ended up leaking during the thawing process. I now know where the expression of crying over spilt milk comes from especially since for whatever reason I was producing even less than normal that day. I barely make enough to satisfy him as it is (TMI?).

Ethan did really well. We got to show him off to family and we made it through the day with minimum crying and without messing up his cute outfit. He was exhausted afterwards and ended up pretty much sleeping through the night only waking up for 2 diaper changes and a feeding. 

Thursday will be a new test for us. We are spending the night at my dads (no swing to save the day there!!!) and going to two different family functions. It's amazing how tricky it is to schedule your day outside of the home.

Wish us good luck!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Newborn Session & Wellness Checkup

Ethan and I had a super fun time at our newborn photo session. I have to admit I was a little nervous about how it would go. He was only 9 days old and we were still getting to know each other and I was worried I wouldn't be able to keep him happy and get him to cooperate, but thankfully everything went well and we got some good shots.

The photographer was Jenna Henderson from JHenderson Studios. She is actually a friend from high school and I think she has done a wonderful job. She even shared the magic of the hair dryer with me. It was the secret to keeping Ethan warm and happy throughout the session.

There was lots of pee and poop. The moby wrap, my chair, the floor, the sheepskin rug, and Michael all got soaked. I guess that's just what happens with warm, naked newborns. I just laughed because I've discovered sometimes, that's all you can do really.

I'm looking forward to our next session at 3 months and to really capture all of his little changes throughout this first year!

We also had Ethan's check-up yesterday (which thankfully to my surprise did not include any shots). I have been super worried about his weight because it has been on the low end, but the doctor said he was doing just fine.

He was born at 8lbs 7oz, had fallen to 7lbs 15oz when we left the hospital, and is now up to 9.5lbs at a month and a half which puts him in the 22.5 percentile.

It seems that all of his growth has gone to his length. He was born 20.5in long and is now up to 22.75in long. This puts him in the 71 percentile.

We will be heading back to the doctor the second week of December to begin the dreaded shots. Thankfully we are doing the Sears method and get to spread them out a little bit which will hopefully make things a little easier.

Well it sounds like someone's up from naptime...time to feed!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What's to Eat? Wednesday - Sausage and Mushroom Ragu

Look who's cooking again! That's right folks, What's to Eat? Wednesday is back...not sure how regularly, but I'm going to do my best. This recipe comes from the Cooking Light magazine it's a cheap eat both monetarily and calorically. Serves 4.

Cost: $2.49/serving
Calories: 428/serving

Sausage and Mushroom Ragu


1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces hot turkey Italian sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced (I used portabella)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
2 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked polenta
4 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1 tablespoon butter


1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Remove sausage from casings. Add sausage to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage from pan.

2. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in sausage, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium; simmer gently for 15 minutes.

3. Bring broth and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add polenta, stirring well. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 20 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, cheese, and butter. Serve with sausage mixture.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Struggles of Wanting

I can't believe the holidays are just around the corner. Crap - they are here really. This weekend we will be celebrating our first of three Thanksgivings. Then before you know it we will be out buying a tree, decorating the house, opening presents, and then bringing in a new year. Time really does fly doesn't it?

I am excited about the upcoming holidays, but a small part of me is also dreading the mass chaos of it all especially this year since we will be tackling it with a little one whom we are still getting accustomed to.

Of course I'm also getting caught up in the "What Do I Want?" epidemic that begins around this time of year. Not only am I thinking about presents, but also projects I want to accomplish both before this year is over and when the new year begins.

I've found this year that the "What Do I Want?" thought is followed by a long list of answers and ending with the realization of....seriously - I can't have any of that. The funds are just too tight this go around. The days of instant gratification are definitely over and it's hard to get adjusted to.

I guess it's time for me to start thinking about what all I'm thankful for this year. It is that time of year after all. Isn't it funny how the holiday that's focused on what we already have is followed so quickly and sometimes even overshadowed by the one that focuses on what we want?

Monday, November 15, 2010

This is the Post Where I Vent About My New Life as a Mom

Being a mother is wonderful and I wouldn't trade it for anything. With that being said, it does come with it's handful of frustrations.

Frustration #1 - My Body is Not What it Once Was...

I was obviously wrong in thinking that I would be back in my skinny jeans by now. Not only am I not in my skinny jeans, I'm not in my comfy jeans, most of my shoes, or my waist hugging shirts. My blessing in life was a small waist and unfortunately now it more resembles a muffin top.

Frustration #2 - My Life is Constantly on a 3 Hour Schedule

Most of my day (as well as all new moms) revolves around feeding, changing, entertaining, and then attempting to put Ethan down for a nap. His little internal clock is definitely set in it's ways now. Pump for 15 minutes, feed for 15 minutes, change the diaper, wash bottles, attempt to keep him awake for an hour, then attempt to get him to sleep for an hour and a half (which is the part where I get to take care of housework), and then it all begins again. As much as I don't want to rush through any of these precious life stages...I am looking forward to an extended schedule where I can attempt to accomplish a little bit more during the day. I was definitely spoiled not working before Ethan and being able to do whatever, however, whenever I wanted.

Frustration #3 - I Dread the Nighttime Up and Down Routine

I have to say that Ethan is slowly getting better at sleeping, but for the most part, I know that trying to sleep is going to be frustrating. Some nights he's a perfect angel, others I'm up and down every 5 minutes trying to put the pacifier back in his mouth. If I could function with no sleep, I'd choose to just stay awake the whole time. I really have to concentrate on not losing my cool at night where as I can manage it much better during the day.

Is it Worth it? - Of Course!

Having a baby definitely presented me with a lot of new challenges to try and overcome, but it also comes with sooooo many rewards. I never knew I could love someone so much....especially a very needy someone! When I look at his cute little face, all the frustrations are washed away.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Birth Announcements Are In!

I'll be sharing a lot more pictures from our super fun newborn session soon!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Our First Date Night

Last Saturday Michael and I actually escaped the house and our baby duties to have a little date night. It was spectacular although we did push our limits on staying out late. We didn't get back till 11PM....I almost fell asleep at dinner. Um, I think we are definitely old people now.

We had a fun date. We went to the Cheekwood Mansion in Nashville to view the Chiluly Exhibit. The home was beautiful and was filled with all different types of art exhibits including a Fabrege exhibit.

The Chiluly Exhibit was located mostly outside in the gardens. Mr. Chiluly makes beautiful glass sculptures and shares his talent throughout the world. Here is a picture or two of his lovely pieces.

Afterwards I did have to take a on a mom duty and figure out pumping on the go. I wanted to pump in the dark parking lot, Michael thought I should pump while he drove us to dinner...no thanks hubs! I could just see us having a crash and me being found with the pump attached to my breasts. How embarrassing would that be? I made him push back our reservations and pumped in secrecy in the dark parking lot.

We had a wonderful dinner at Amerigos and I even got my first glass of wine. Let's just say I'm definitely a cheap date now. One glass will do it for me. It even burned a little going down....it's been way too long.

It was so nice to have a normal conversation and to eat uninterrupted. I did miss my little guy though...I called and checked in on him twice and gave him several hugs and kisses once we got home. I love my new mommy life, but it was nice to just be the two of us again for a few hours. Looking forward to another date night in the future!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's Time for the Madness to Begin!

I have to say one of the hardest things since having Ethan is not being able to get out of the house as much as I used to. Today though, my sister and I got out to do a little shopping and I was hit in the face with Christmas. I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by and seeing all the decorations and hearing all the Christmas music has really gotten me in the spirit.

Of course there are many year-end things that I suddenly feel the need to get a jump start on now. I always make a yearly photo yearbook and obviously this year is going to take awhile thanks to the million pictures I have taken! Also I need to decide on my Christmas theme - all wrapping paper, gift tags, and Christmas cards must coordinate! Thankfully I can handle pretty much all of these tasks (minus the wrapping paper) with Shutterfly. How awesome is that?

I had a chance to take a look around their site today and I have to admit that I'm totally impressed with their selection of holiday cards and tags.
Maybe we should do a more kid friendly theme this year since Ethan's around...

 Purchase this one here!

 Want it? Click here!

Or perhaps, I'll stick with a more sophisticated nature theme again this year anyways?

 Love it? Click here.

 Adore it? Click here!

Either way it looks like we will be having a brown and red themed holiday which suits me just fine since it will coordinate with the rest of my house!
I know the holiday madness is upon us so definitely take some time to look at the Shutter Fly site to reduce some stress and get some things knocked off your to-do list. And if all else fails and you really get behind....they have cute New Years cards too!

 Check it out here!

With a binky to chase after this year....this might be a more realistic purchase for me! Thanks Shutterfly for making this year a little easier! Want to get 50 free Christmas cards???? Check out their promotion here - it's easy!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I Hate Being Treated Like An Idiot

I have always hesitated to ask for help. Sometimes it's pride, but usually it's because I'm afraid that whatever question I have is something stupid and that I will be treated like an idiot. For that very reason, I hardly ever go to the doctor and I definitely avoid calling with questions.

But now I'm a mom. A mom to a beautiful baby boy that seems to not be gaining weight. He weighed 8lbs 7oz at birth, dropped to 7lbs 15oz by the time we left the hospital. At a month old my scale said he was only at 9lbs....seemed low to me. Panic mode ensues, I read baby books, I google.....my fears mount. I then turn to calling my mom. I hope she has a simple answer. I hope she tells me not to worry. But I know she's going to tell me to call the doctor. And I know she will keep asking if I've called the doctor until I do it.

I call the office and they tell me to just come in to check his weight on their scale and make sure mine is right and if there is a problem we would have to schedule an appointment at another time. Sounds perfect to me. I'm hoping that my scale is wrong and I just want to know if I should be worrying or not.

My mom comes with me (thanks to the C-Section I still can't drive (not sure why) and I can't carry the carrier) and we wait for an hour in the waiting room for the room with the scale to open up. I don't mind...I know I don't have an appointment and they are doing me a favor. We finally get called by and a nurse who makes it apparent that she's too busy to deal with us shows us back.

She asks "Why are you here?" I simply explain the above that he weighed 8lbs 7oz at birth and now he weighs 9lbs. Her response was "So???" Immediately my face flushes as I explain that he's a month old and I thought he should weigh more at this point...is this correct? She responds that he looks healthy to her and that I should have been more worried about taking him in a waiting room full of sick people than his weight. Side note: I was smart enough to sit far away from anyone and no one looked that sick honestly.

At this point I don't know how to respond. I asked if I needed to undress him to weigh him she said don't bother and put him on the scale....9lbs 3oz....my scale was correct. She said "Okay, there you go." I of course was not satisfied with this response...I wanted to know if it was okay...again she responded that he looked healthy and that I was just being an overactive first time mom and that I should stop reading baby books and just relax.

I was seriously almost to the point of tears. I felt like such an idiot. Thankfully at this point the doctor walked in (he had been doing paperwork outside the room during this whole scene and really wasn't supposed to even meet with me). He told me that he was on the low end and I asked about how much I was supposed to be feeding him which he responded as I figured he would saying there was no magic number which drives me crazy. He told me that if he hadn't gained more weight by the time I come back in two weeks that we could do a blood test just to make sure everything was okay.

I think he solely came in because of the way the nurse had treated me. In all honesty I would have canceled my next appointment and gone somewhere else if he hadn't come in. I'm still going to use him on a trial basis at this next appointment. I just hate to not give him a second chance.

I have gotten madder and madder the more I think about this experience. I'm a first time mom, I should feel comfortable calling the doctor when I have questions. I'm sure I will have several in the coming months and I don't want to feel like I can't call if needed. Ugh. If it happens again - hopefully I'll be able to give them a piece of my mind. I think it's time I grow my mom claws.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ethan's 1 Month Old!


This has been a whirlwind of a month for all of us. Part of me can't believe that you have been here for a whole month another part of me feels like you have been with us so much longer. I have no idea what we did with all our time before you arrived!

You have been an absolute joy and already have everyone wrapped around your tiny little finger. I never knew that I could love someone so much, so fast. In fact, you make me want more of little ones just like you ASAP (then the sleep deprived me reminds me that I'm crazy and that I shouldn't rush things :) )

You have already changed so much in this first month and accomplished so many things. You have successfully gone from breastfeeding, to bottle feeding, to pacifier sucking with absolutely no problems. You are really starting to focus on objects placed in front of you (your favorite thing to stare at is me!). You love your activity mat and of course your swing.

You've been plagued with vicious hiccups that you hate, diaper rash, and gas. Your fingernails grow at the speed of light and you happen to be really good and patient while I file them. You've gotten several baths and have come to love the warm water. You still have a touch of baby acne and some peely skin, but no worries, momma's got you covered in lotion!

We have successfully gotten you on a feeding schedule and have found out that you have an internal alarm clock that goes off about 20 minutes before each feeding. We have been attempting to drop the 2AM feeding and as of today you have been making it until about 3:45 before you realize that it's been skipped.

Sleep is still an issue. You can't sleep without your paci and you tend to drop that every 5 minutes or so sometimes. Slowly but surely we are getting longer periods of sleep though and I have faith that you'll be sleeping through the night by Christmas. As of the end of this month you have grown out of your napper in the pack and play. I'm still a little too scared to put you in that big ole crib all by yourself so now you are sleeping in the larger part of the pack and play in our room after I originally swore that I would kick you out of our room after night two.

We have also gotten you out of the house several times and have found that you are a wonderful shopper! You love to suck on your little monkeys that are attached to your carseat and pretty much sleep through any trip as long as we keep you moving. We've even eaten out a couple times now without a breakdown! I love you so much and look forward to all the new experiences we both will share in month 2!!!

Mom (It still feels weird to call myself that!)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Just A Swinging

My baby loves to swing. In fact, most of the times, it's the only thing that makes him happy. We have been suffering from vicious hiccups lately and Ethan hates them! They frustrate him to no end and the only relief he can find is by sitting up and hello...the swing is perfect for that.

I'm starting to find that baby books are the enemy. There will always be one or two that tell you that whatever you are doing is harmful to your child. Even letting them swing. Apparently according to one book they should swing no longer than an hour a day for 30 minutes at a time! I would be completely embarrassed to tell you how much time a day he actually swings. He has *gasp* even slept there some at night because it was the only place that made him happy....even happier than in my arms (yes, I do hold him - I don't use the swing as a crutch...ok sometimes I do, but mostly no).

According to previously mentioned book...it is hard on their lungs to sit up...I can see that I guess. Thankfully my swing has reclining options so I think I'm safe.

Baby books lead to self doubt....baby books are the enemy. With that said...I still feel the need to collect them all and compare...sometimes mommy just doesn't have the answers *sigh*.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lola and Baby

There's someone else around here who hasn't been getting too good of sleep either. In fact her little eye's look just as red as ours sometimes.

The first night we brought Ethan home was not really what you would consider a success. Lola had been by herself a little too long due to the unexpected extra day in the hospital thanks to the c-section. I had originally planned that she would be with my dad the whole time, but when it came down to it she did have to spend one night alone in the house. Let's just say she was a little too amped up to even meet Ethan that first night. Michael and I headed to our room with Ethan while the grandparents played with her and got some energy out.

The next day she was finally settled down enough to notice Ethan's presence. Her first reaction was curiosity. Thankfully she was gentle..she still to this day has not jumped on him which was my worst fear from the get go. She did bark at him though when he cried and put her paws up on the pack and play to check out what the heck was making all that noise. In fact she even stayed out in the living room with Ethan instead of sleeping with us the first few nights.

Next we moved into the jealousy faze. Both set of parents had treated her like the grandchild until Ethan was born. We tried to tell them it was important to continue to greet her first and give her the same amount of attention as they had before, but the Ethan excitement overwhelmed them and they of course overlooked the white furry thing for the most part. My mom did bring her a present though the second night and she was immediately attacked with hugs and kisses from the beans (aka Lola). Gift bags with goodies and tissue paper are the way to her heart after all!

She then entered into the "I'm just going to pretend you don't exist" faze which quickly lead to the "Please stop crying I'm too tired to deal with this" faze. She moans and groans at night and gets quite an attitude when Ethan has a fussy night. She will resort to going under the bed or even leaving the room completely to try to get some peace.

I believe we are moving towards acceptance though. It seems like these days she just wants to be included and not overlooked. I do my best to try to give her some attention, but I have to admit that I'm spread a little thin these days. Nap times for us tend to be the best cuddle time. All in all she is becoming a little more of an independent dog and less of a velcro dog.

Oh, Lola....maybe one day things will be a little bit more back to usual.........one day.

 I promise we haven't forgotten about you!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!

This was a year of firsts as far as Halloween goes. Of course it was Ethan's very first halloween. He lucked out with two little pumpkin outfits.

He didn't really enjoy taking all the pictures though. In fact we didn't even get a good whole family picture with Lola included...maybe next year!

It was also a first year that we decided to paint pumpkins and not use the little easy carve kits....we probably should revert back! Honestly time was very limited and I have to say this is not our best work! But hey, we are doing good to have pumpkins at this point!

This was also the first year we lived somewhere that actually had trick-or-treaters. I can't tell you how many years I've waited for this! We had about 112 (yes, I counted). Unfortunately I over bought on candy and have plenty of left overs which needs to be gotten rid of ASAP!

Ethan actually did hang out on the porch with us while we handed out candy to show off his cute little outfit. He was wide eyed the whole time! He loved it!

 Can't wait till next year when he can actually participate!
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