Friday, September 23, 2011

there i go again...

crying! I seem to have one spell once a day week. This sweet little man is growing up and changing right before my very eyes.

This morning I was facebook-stalking my 15 year old brother. I found pictures of him at a pool party with some of his friends... and 15 year old girls in teeny bikinis! Yikes! In the pictures was a tall (taller than me!) young MAN with a strong jaw, growing thinner and leaner all the time. What I saw was the sweet face above. Dane favors his uncle Chase's baby pictures, especially when he makes a face that. How is Chase driving and hanging around girls who are entirely too developed for 15(!)... he should still be calling me "Eesa" and sitting on his bedroom floor lining up all his matchbox cars in a meticulous row. As I write, I'm listening to the clicking of a swing and the white noise of a sound machine. In no time I'll be listening to tonka trucks crashing down the hall... and then the sound of his car pulling into the driveway. Whoa. This morning I'm blaming all these tears on my post-partum hormones. He's two months, not 20, but some days it feels all the same.

After reminiscing about Chase's infancy, the director at Dane's daycare called. Isn't it a great that he's going to a daycare where the director calls you to see how he's doing and when he'll be joining them so she can clear her schedule for that morning and be there to greet us? I shouldn't cry over that... but I got off the phone and squeezed my tiny boy tight and cried big alligator tears all over his little head. I'm sick about the thought of him going to daycare. I've already put my makeup on and don't want to ruin my mascara... so that's all on that subject for today.

This afternoon we are flying out to see my family in North Carolina. I'm excited for Dane's first plane ride, I think he's going to do great. He's such a trooper, he happily goes along where ever we drag him. :)

In other news, one of Dane's furry siblings loves him, even if he is a little hungry for attention:

 No, those are not posed photos. Sweet Binx could really care less if Dane was here or not. All he knows is that there are now lots of soft blankets in the floor for him to lay on and mama gets down in the floor and talks to him and rubs his belly when she's playing with the hairless one. :)

Ahhh, the girl dog on the other hand...

She tolerates the child but doesn't understand why she can't lay ON TOP OF HIM in my lap, or why people give her a pat and then scoop up the baby. We've been really conscious about making sure Elphie kept as many of her old privileges as possible. We don't shove her off the couch and she still snuggles in the bed with us before we go to sleep (she and Binx sleep in a crate). Inevitably though, Dane has stolen some of her thunder and she wants us to know she's aware of it... so she pees and poops on the rug in his room. Ugh. What do you do with that? It's only been two months, I'm hoping she'll adjust... eventually.

Thank you for listening to my post-partum nonsense. Your reward is more adorable photos of the prettiest baby God ever made.. okay, so I'm a tiny bit biased. :)
this week we had a lunch-date with daddy and stopped by to visit him in his office.

always a furrow in that brow as he analyzes everything

already helping mommy in the kitchen!

"Mama says this thing in my mouth is a tongue... I'm still not sure what to do with it though."

biiiiig stretch during my morning playtime in the floor

Saturday, September 17, 2011

8 weeks

I have an 8 week old... I'm not totally sure how I feel about that just yet. On one hand, he's more and more fun each day... on the other hand, he's changing so much and growing so fast my post-partum emotions can't quite handle it!

I really should do a better job of carrying a good camera. I always have my blackberry in my pocket so that's what I end up using to catch his million and one expressions. It's also good for checking time and keeping myself occupied by reading my Bible app and looking at facebook while I'm nursing.

To my sweet boy:
You're eight weeks old and can already do so many things! You've just found your fingers and thumb and love to suck on them. Those pesky things won't stay in your mouth though so you still prefer a paci because it (usually) stays put.

You enjoy spending a little time on your tummy each day and love to kick and stare at the toys on your playmat, though your favorite things to look at are the painting above the couch and ceiling fans.

You smile great, big smiles back at mommy and daddy when we're talking to you and it melts both of us into a puddle.

Thank the Lord above, you will put yourself to sleep if we lay you down in your bassinet when you're drowsy. Though, truth be told, daddy loves when you fall asleep on his chest and mommy does too. :)

I had to put away your newborn clothes and your 0-3month outfits are getting a little too short. You've worn 3-6month stuff the last couple of days and mommy is washing up the rest of it so you'll have more warm clothes to wear since fall decided to join us early this year.

You made your first roadtrip last week to see Papa J and Granna in North Carolina and next week you'll go on your first airplane ride!

Mommy and Daddy love you so very much, sweet boy, to the moon and back, in fact. It's a privilege to watch you grow and change every day.. but if you wanted to slow down a bit that would be okay too!

And for the rest of you, here's a collection of cell photos from Dane's 8th week. Cutest kid ever? Why, yes, I agree. :)

mommy's little running coach

love that milk drunk smile!

uh oh! i found my thumb!

trying to decide if i should wake up

snuggled into my swing...fighting sleep, of course.

Friday, September 16, 2011

mommy must- haves

For some reason, this mommy didn't sleep well last night. Dane had been on a BEAUTIFUL sleeping schedule, sleeping roughly 6-8 hours a night. We went to visit my parents for Labor Day weekend and since returning he's now on a 4hour schedule through the night. Last night was better- he was in his bassinet from a bit before 9pm until 5am this morning... but he wasn't sleeping the whole time. He would get restless and I would have to replace his paci. He found his thumb for the first time yesterday... not sure how I feel about that. I'd prefer a paci sucker to a thumb sucker because I can take the paci away one of these days. A thumb on the other hand is pretty permanent. He woke up to eat at 5am and then snuggled in next to me to go back to sleep and shortly after Tevie was up and getting ready for work.

As I lay there with the most beautiful sleeping baby in my arms, with tears in my eyes I thanked God for him. As a girlfriend said the other day, one year ago we were praying for my uterus and Wow! did it produce! I simply can't imagine life without my precious boy. The fact that I have just four weeks left of my maternity leave sits over my head like a big dark cloud. I try to enjoy every single day but as each day closes I realize I am one day to closer to sending my angel baby to day care. I KNOW thousands of kids across America go to day care and turn into happy, well-adjusted adults... I just don't like the thought of it for our family.

Over the past few weeks we have developed a list of essential baby items. Of course, our house is FULL of baby stuff, but a few items have risen to the top. We could not do with out our Chicco Key Fit Travel System. The seat easily snaps in and out of the base and the base is surprisingly easy to buckle in safely, if and when it needs to be moved. The one flaw of this system is that the stroller is rather bulky and heavy, especially if you're post c-section and loading it alone. We also love our Graco swing which has become our new favorite place to doze off for our mid-morning nap... well, Dane's favorite. But believe me, if they made them in adult sizes it would be my favorite place to nap too! :)

Our #1 can't-live-without-this item is the Playtex Binky.
My breastfed baby is not a fan of the Nuk silicone nippled pacifiers, though he will take them if mommy has forgotten the good ones. I don't know if it's the texture of the rubber nipple or the shape, but he definitely prefers this puppies to any other. We have also tried the Tommee Tippee and Avent Soothies... which look adorable filling the glass jar on his changing table because they serve no other purpose for Dane. :)

Even Tevie said the other day that the Boppy was a good purchase. Not only did it help early on when I needed extra support getting Dane to nurse, now he enjoys being propped up on it so he can look around. We bought this when I was about 34weeks pregnant and I slept with it through the remainder of my pregnancy. The u-shape fit right under my belly and gave me extra support at night. Worth every penny we spent on it!
We have tried the Dr. Brown's bottles and Dr. Brown's nipples in a regular bottle and neither seem to be as easy for Dane to drink from as the Avent bottles. He doesn't get a bottle all that often, but when he does he drinks easily from these and doesn't spit up afterward. He also seems to prefer the shape of this nipple to other bottles.
Because pump accessories and the Avent and Dr. Brown's bottles have so many pieces, a dishwasher basket is a must. This one from Munchkin is wonderful. It has a separate place for nipples and a divider for larger pieces. I also LOVE the Medela Steam Bags. If you're a germophobe and worried about getting things really clean- you must get a few of these. You can use each bag 20 times. Just beware, you really should follow the directions on the back and use enough water when steaming pump tubing... it will melt. Oops.

So far, for sleeping, Dane is doing well in the Kolcraft bassinet that is on loan from a generous friend. Before bed, I dress him in a sleeping gown and then zip him into his Halo Sleep sack. He is a kicker and would kick blankets off and then wake up freezing. Also, he's SO long that sleep gowns don't cover his feet. This combo seems to be working, and it's easy access for middle of the night diaper changes.

Since he's now sleeping longer at night, mommy's favorite item right now is the Lansinoh pads. I have some organic cotton ones that I love for daytime, but at night, you'll need the plastic backing on these because 1) they stick to your sleeping bra (another must-have from Motherhood Maternity) and 2) you won't wake up having soaked through your sleeping bra, shirt and the sheets! :)
Finally, we love gDiapers! I wasn't worried at all about nursing, I thought cloth diapering would be the tougher of the two, however for me it's been the other way around. Cloth diapering is super easy, especially with these. When he wets, you pull out the cotton insert and replace it with a dry one. If he has a blow out, you'll need to replace the plastic liner as well, but that doesn't happen all that often. He usually wears the same cute, cotton gPant all day. They come in the cutest colors and patterns and are easy to use, I think. Since he's breastfed, everything goes directly in the washer without rinsing. I have an HE washer, so I run a pre-soak and an extra rinse and always use a sanitary cycle. Thirsties Diaper Wash has worked great so far and I love the way the back deck looks when I hang everything out to dry... I'm sure my neighbors do too. :) The one thing I have found is that I can't load my washer with a bunch of cloth diapering stuff. It gets everything cleaner if it's a medium load, rather than a large one.

If you're in the market for baby stuff, I wouldn't recommend anything but a Medela pump, Pampers Swaddlers (if you're using disposables) and Boudreaux's Butt Paste for diaper rash. Although, I think a thick coating of A&D ointment is best for a night before bed.

I'm sure as Dane gets bigger there will be other things we can't live without. Every time I turn around another girlfriend is pregnant and I know I was happy to hear from moms who had actually used the stuff. Maybe soon I'll do another post on what we could have lived without and I have a million things on my mind regarding what God has laid on our hearts lately... I just haven't been able to put it to words yet.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dane's newborn photos

Tevie and I have the privilege of calling Kristin Sexton and her husband, Benson, our dear friends. A few weeks ago they brought their precious girl Kate over to meet Dane. Kristin took the opportunity to snap some photos of our then-two-week-old boy. Check out more of her amazing photography here.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

so long, judgment

I think every one should have the opportunity to be a mother for just one day. You will not believe how quickly your opinion on nearly EVERYTHING will change. I must begin by admitting that I was one of those awful, judgy people pre-baby. I was exclusively breastfeeding, we were using cloth diapers and Dane wasn't watching TV until at least two years old. Well, nearly seven weeks into this thing and my child has consumed 10oz of formula, worn pampers more days than not (though we're spending more and more time in cloth!) and I'll be darned if that boy isn't happy as a clam watching football (he really just likes the glowing screen and movement, he's not really watching TV). But, oh, there's more...

Cosleeping? Not for us. I love my husband and our bed is for us. I will have a perfect little baby who will sleep in his bassinet and then transition beautifully into his crib. Ummm, why didn't someone slap me. Do you know where Dane slept his first three weeks? IN OUR BED! And, before you judge me, sweet little mother-to-be-with-no-kids-yet, try nursing every hour ON THE hour and staying awake. If you can do it every night for three weeks, you win mother of the year. This mama could not. It was much easier to snuggle in with my little guy. Praise Jesus, he now sleeps peacefully in his bassinet.

The week before Dane was born I stopped in to Babies R Us to get some last minute things. I stood in line behind a mom with a fussy baby. Frazzled mom held her armful of purchases while trying to plug her baby's mouth with a pacifier. "It's not a plug", I thought to myself. "It's for soothing and for her to exercise her non-nutritive need to suck, lady." I had read books. I was knowledgeable about those kinds of things, you know. Flash forward 7 weeks. You will find a frazzled, young mom holding a fussy baby standing in Wal-Mart just trying to buy her brother-in-law and sister a freakin' birthday card. Can you guess what she was doing as she waited in the checkout line? Yep, you guessed it. Plugging her baby's mouth with a paci. I mean, I was trying to soothe him, right? My apologies to that poor young woman in BRU. I get it now.

I could fess up to probably a million other things. The point is, you can read every book ever written on parenting and babies and try to follow every morsel of your great aunt Bertha's advice, but when that 8lb bundle makes his grant entrance you have to put some skills to work. People mean well but only you know what's right for you baby. Do I get funny looks for breastfeeding, cloth diapering and choosing not to circumcise Dane? Yes. Do I give funny looks to people who tell me they aren't vaccinating? Probably. God has entrusted us with the most precious of gifts and I have to do everything in my power to ensure that he is safe, healthy and grows up knowing and loving God's word. How you accomplish those things is up to you.

Being a mama (or daddy) is hard work. Nod and smile when you get advice... and then plug that baby's mouth with a paci! :)

PS: please note the tongue-in-cheek nature of this. I'm just a mama trying to figure all this out. :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day

We had a busy Labor Day weekend that started out on Thursday when Tevie's mom, Dane's Momma D, came to hang out for the day. Here she and Dane are enjoying a delicious dinner and outstanding dessert at Cafe on the Square.

I decided the weekend needed to start with a bigger bang than just dinner out...

Why, yes, that is the back hatch on my Expedition missing one GIANT piece of glass... I spent the day loading the car and running errands so we could leave for my parents' house as soon as Tevie got home from work. Tevie was putting his shoes on as I loaded the dogs in their crate. Not wanting them to overheat since it was melt-your-face-off hot (seriously, 100 degrees was the high Friday), I decided to back the truck out of the garage so I could turn it on and not fill the garage with carbon monoxide. Great plan, Allysa, except that you should CLOSE THE HATCH before you do that, blondie! Ugh. Thankfully, there was no other damage to the truck and minimal damage to the garage. We dropped the truck off at the Ford dealer and got another vehicle to drive to North Carolina.

Praise Jesus we were safe and sound even if we were late getting to mom and dad's, who, unfortunately, did not get the keys to the house this weekend. We were able to hang out in the only finished room in the house- the theater room. Sweeter than sweet! We lounged around watching college football on the 65in plasma stretched out in oversized armchairs. Dane loved hanging with his Pop and Granna and celebrating his Auntie Brynn's 22nd Birthday.

I did not get a picture of the awesomeness that is the theater room or the other amazing rooms in mom and dad's beautiful home but mom sent me one of the kitchen today. I can't WAIT to cook in this beauty!

Dane was a superstar traveler. Thank you, Lord, for a child who enjoys sitting in his carseat. This is what I had the pleasure of looking at for 400 miles.

Cutest baby ever, I know. A cold front has moved in and today we're freezing because it's rainy and the high is only 65 or something ridiculous. Where was that temperature when I was sweeping of a million little pieces of glass out of the driveway on Friday?!

I'll just brag on my husband and say that he handled the whole thing so much better than I thought he would. He held me while I cried and kept his cool. When I sat down in the floor to cry some more he told me to get up, quit crying and help him clean it up. :) Since satan wasn't able to steal our joy that way, he decided to shut off the water to our house this morning. Apparently the pressure regulator went out. It didn't get our little family down though. Thankfully Tevie has the kind of job where he can work from home when necessary so he pulled out his laptop and did what he needed to do while we waited on the water company to show up. We had a great morning snuggled in bed together on this chilly, rainy day. Dane was wide awake and talking to us this morning, he even caught up on his news reading KSR (, for those of you fortunate enough to not know anything about that sillyness) with daddy. Oh No! What am I in for? Listening to Tevie talk about Matt Jones like they're BFFs is one thing... I can't handle two of them in my house! :)

This kid loves anything that glows- lights, TVs, even laptop screens, he will stare at them for ages. He is so much fun right now. Cooing at you and smiling soooo big! He's "sleeping through the night", any where from 6 to 8 hours. Thank you, sweet boy! Mama was worn out! The first few weeks were sooooo hard because he was nursing just about every 90 minutes ALL day and ALL night. We are now getting a couple of hours between feedings. He nurses a few times close together at night and then he snuggles into his bassinet and sleeps the night away. Last night he even put himself to sleep!!! He probably would have be out quicker than he was except that that darn paci won't stay in his mouth! How do you fix that problem, moms? We have decided we are never having another child. This one is SO perfect, I'm afraid we'd be in for it with the next one! ha! :)

We loved every minute of our weekend and are looking forward to seeing Pop and Granna again very soon as they are coming in this weekend to help me out while Tevie is away for the weekend.