Long Time No Blog

Hi everyone!

It has been WAY too long since I have written.  So much has happened, as you can probably imagine.
It’s just been one thing after another, but not all bad things.

I just want to take a little time today to catch everyone up on life and what’s been happening, the big things.

So since the last time we talked, we made our first family trip by plane to Texas to visit my husband’s family for Thanksgiving.  We had a great trip and an amazing time.  Sawyer did as well as expected on his first flight.  He was very restless the first flight (which was to Houston).  We changed planes in Houston and then after that, he actually fell asleep.  I think it was just all new for him and he was all over the place trying to get down and crawl around.  After we arrived, we had a great time.  He slept well, and ate well.  Little did we know that he actually had his first ear infection while we were there.  He didn’t really show too many signs or symptoms.  We took him to the doctor when we got back home, and he was treated for a bilateral ear infection.  He also started cutting his first 2 teeth while we were traveling.  All of his symptoms, we just thought were from him teething.  But he recovered rather quickly from everything and was all good.

Sometime after that in December, he cut 3 more teeth.  So we now had a total of 5.  Two on top and three on bottom.  This leads us up to his first birthday party.   We had a Mickey Mouse themed birthday party.  We had around 30 people (yes 30) including us, family and friends.  It was a lot of fun, but very tiring.  He didn’t really smash his cake, which is really what I expected.  He just touched it and stuck his fingers in it.  Totally fine.  As long as he had fun, that’s all that matters.  He got so many gifts, he didn’t know what to play with first.  He still doesn’t know what toys to play with first in the mornings.  He spends most days shuffling through all of them.

That same weekend, my father-in-law moved here from Texas and moved into our basement to live with us.  It’s working out amazing and he’s there every day to take care of Sawyer.  It’s great because Sawyer is in our house and we don’t have to take him to baby sitters or pay anyone or a daycare, which is fantastic.

The next weekend, we traveled to my parent’s house for our family Christmas.  This was December 22.  We ended up staying there through Christmas Day where we traveled back home.  That Saturday started it all.  We got up that morning and I was feeling a little off.  I went on to my hair appointment  and continued the day just like we had planned.  While at the hair salon, it hit me.  The stomach bug.  It was awful.  I was able to make it back home before it got too bad, but I spent the remainder of our family Christmas quarantined in the back bedroom, sick as a dog.  Luckily, it only lasted about 24 hours.  We were able to spend the rest of our time there as a family.

Christmas morning was great.  Sawyer, of course, had no idea what was happening but I could see the excitement in his eyes as he got to open more presents.  He got so many things from family and Santa that my mom had to bring half of his presents that next weekend because we couldn’t fit it all in my SUV to go home with.  That night, the hubs got the dreaded stomach bug.  He spent the rest of the day and the next day alone in the bedroom.  Luckily, he was feeling a lot better the next day, so he was able to celebrate Sawyer’s first birthday with us when he got home from work that night.

This takes us into New Years, where Sawyer began waking up screaming in the middle of the night.  As I’ve mentioned before, Sawyer is a great sleeper.  He even sleeps well, for the most part, when he’s not feeling too good.  So for him to wake up screaming bloody murder, that’s a huge thing.  Needless to say, he spent the rest of the night New Years Eve, sleeping in our room sitting up, on my chest.  Something he hasn’t done since he was a little bitty baby.  We ended up taking him to a Children’s Healthcare Urgent Care on New Years Day morning because we just knew something wasn’t right.  And of course, they confirmed out suspicions… another bilateral ear infection.  Poor kid.  This time, he was showing all of the signs of just being uncomfortable.  He was treated for this and it did go away, but he was not eating much.  He wouldn’t drink a lot either so we had to purchase Pedialyte for him just to get him to drink.

He had his 12 month check up on that following Monday at his pediatrician’s office.  I got up to get him ready and something hit me.  I’m thinking it was food poisoning (that’s another story for another time), but I was unable to make the trip.  The husband had to come back home and take him to his appointment for me.  While there, they checked his ears and said they looked great, but we were still concerned about him not eating.  His doctor checked his mouth and said he was teething again and that would explain it.  Sure enough, about a week later he cut two more teeth on the top.

That then leads us up to the next week where hubby got ANOTHER stomach bug.  We just couldn’t catch a break in our house.  This one lasted another 24 hours.  Then, about two weeks later, on a Friday, Sawyer got his first virus.  I’m surprised, actually, that he was able to avoid them up until this point.  But he was a sick little guy.  He couldn’t keep anything down.  By the next morning, he was still throwing up, but around 10:00 am, he started feeling better and was able to start drinking Pedialyte and eating small amount of food.

This bring us to February.  The week before Valentine’s Day, where he FINALLY started taking his first steps.  Just a couple here and there.  Then, the day after Valentine’s Day, he walked his first group of steps for the first time.  Took about 6-8 steps.  Then the same night, took about 8-10 before falling.  And he hasn’t looked back. He’s a walking machine now.  He still falls and crawls around, but walking is becoming our main means of mobility, and he’s loving every minute of it.  I’m so excited for him.  He’s so proud of himself.

I was telling my husband this weekend that I use to think that infancy was my favorite time for babies.  I loved holding them and snuggling them.  But I think that’s changed.  I think when they start hitting milestones, like sitting up and crawling, and trying foods.. I think those times have become by favorite seasons.  Watching him learn new things and the excitement on his face when he does something new is the greatest.  That smile is so contagious.  He’s also becoming more of a “mama’s boy”, which I’m not going to lie, I love.  He loves to snuggle first thing in the morning and after all of his naps.  I’m eating it all up.  This time won’t last forever.

So, I’m excited for this new season we are about to enter.  He’s going to be getting busier and busier as his walking progresses, but I’m ready.  I’m excited for it.  Just the different things that we will be able to do and watching him grow and learn is the best.  I definitely looking forward to what’s to come.

For those of you that have been following my story regularly, I hope to not take so long next time for an update.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not Today

I read something on social media this morning that a friend shared with me that touched my heart and I wanted to share it with you guys this morning.  I’ve read so many different things like this over the last few months and they always touch me and sometimes make me tear up.  They’re always about the joys of parenting and I like reading them because when you’re having a bad day or when you’re having a tough parenting day, it’s always good to read these because they always bring back to you the goodness of being a parent.  They remind you of the warm feelings you get when you snuggle your baby and they bring you back down to Earth and remind you that you can do it!  So for this post, I’m going to sum up what this mama wrote.

So imagine this, a mom walking through a parking lot to the grocery store carrying her exhausted son who is 5 years old, his head resting on her shoulder.  He’s half her size and he’s heavy, but she’s carrying him anyway.
This mama may be struggling to carry this boy, but in her head she’s got to does it anyway.  You never know when your last day to hold your baby will your last time.  One day, he’s going to think he’s big and he’s not going to want his mom to hold him anymore.  He’s not going to want his mom to carry him anymore.  He’s going to want to walk and run and be so independent that he doesn’t want mom leading him, he wants to do it all on his own.  And you’re never going to know when that day will hit.  And then one day it’s all going to be over.  He’s going to stand taller than you and be bigger than you can physically carry.  He’s going to be grown and those days of snuggling him, rocking him, and carrying him are over.  And it’s going to come fast.  So do it.  That day is not today.  The day that he is asleep in the car and you pull him out to take him inside and he just sleeps on your shoulder, just do it.  Because that day isn’t today.  Any time you get just one more day to carry him, just do it.  You never know when the last time will be the last time.
So even if you’re struggling to carry him and your muscles are cramping and your back is killing you and you’re not sure how long you can go on holding him… do it as long as you can.  Because that day may be the last day, but that day is not today.

 

 

A Little Word of Advice

Hey guys-

Long time no post.  I know.  It’s been a while.  I’ve been just juggling life lately.  My husband started a new job about a month ago so he’s been getting off work a lot later now so I’ve been picking up our son from the baby sitter’s house, where normally, that’s something he would do.  We have also recently changed our sitting schedule.  Where my mom use to come on Sunday nights and spend the night and keep my son on Mondays and Tuesdays, then he would go to my in law’s on Wednesdays-Fridays.  Well, then that all changed and I’m off on Thursdays now so I stay home with him and he goes to the babysitter, who is a really good friend of ours, on Fridays.  Well, then just this week, that has all changed again.  My in laws will no longer be able to help us keep him, so instead of my mom coming on Sundays, she will drive up on Mondays and pick him up from our sitter’s house early afternoon, keep him through Wednesdays, I’m off Thursdays and then he goes back to the sitter’s on Friday.
I know I just gave you a lot of crazy information, but I just wanted to let everyone know where I’ve been and why I haven’t written much lately.  I’ve just been enjoying life and enjoying being a mom.

On another note, our little guy is going through teething.  And whoever said teething lasts FOREVER were 100% right.  I feel like he’s been going through these phases for months now.  I think we are on round 4.  They’re a little worse this time around and I’m hoping this is as bad as it gets (knock on wood).  We still have no teeth (at 8 months, going on 9) and that’s okay.  I just wish he would cut one soon so we could get a short break from all of this until the next one.  Teething is difficult.  He doesn’t want his bottle much right now.  Which his pediatrician said whatever works for him right now during this time is okay.  He should eventually take it back.  And he usually does when we’re in between phases but that just means, right now, he’s eating a lot more baby food.  So he’s almost doubling up, it feels like.  But we are working on snacks and finger foods, so that does help a little, he’s just not eating enough solids to really be able to see a decrease in the amount of baby food because he’s still new at this.  We’re just trying to get him to master picking food up and touching it. But we’re getting there!  He gets better every day.
We are also working on crawling.  Since I wrote last, he sat up for the first time by himself (for an extended period of time) and he said “da-da” for the first time, all in the same week!  I told him he needed to slow down and quit having so many milestones that close together.. haha!

Anyway, that’s a brief catch-up in my life.  Moving on to what I wanted to share with you all today.

I heard a lady speak today in a short video on being a new mom.  Kind of a what to expect when you’re a new mom and I thought it was very good and I wanted to touch on a few things for my new moms out there.  I wanted to share some of my feelings that I had as a new mom and still have sometimes and some things that I went through.

I know we’ve talked about my son having reflux and I often wonder sometimes what the early months of his life would’ve been like if he hadn’t have had it.  Would it have been as rough as it was?  Some things, yes, they would’ve remained the same.  But some things, like the hours of endless crying, I think would’ve been different.  But I want to step away from that and just focus on things that us as women feel about being new moms.  After we bring them home and after we are in this for a few weeks.

When you first bring your new baby home, you’re probably going to be scared.  You’re probably thinking, “I have to keep this tiny little human alive all by myself (even if you are married or have a significant other to help you).”  And it’s tough.  I’m not going to lie or sugar coat it.  It’s hard.  It’s one of the most challenging things I’ve ever faced.  Because even though you have a significant other there to help you, there are times in the middle of the night when that baby is going to want nothing more than his or her mama.  They’re going to scream when someone else is holding them or trying to help console them.  And you’re going to feel defeated.  You’re going to feel exhausted.  You’re going to think, “Why can’t someone else hold you??  Mommy is so tired!”  And that’s okay.  That’s normal.  There are so many thoughts that exhaustion can make us have, but at the end of the day, you’re still going to get up.  And you’re still going to hold your baby.  And you’re still going to bounce and walk around that room, and do whatever you have to do to console that sweet little baby, not because you have to, but because that is your baby.  You are his mommy.  And you want nothing more than to be his mommy.

Exhaustion, as a new mom, is something that no one can prepare for.  No one can really explain this to you.  It’s just something you have to experience.  I have a friend, who is a psychologist, and she told me once that you can go way longer without food than you can without sleep.  So when you get to your wits end, ask for help.  Ask that friend to come over for a couple of hours so you can take a shower.  Or a nap.  And don’t be afraid to ask.  Know that it is okay.  Everyone needs help at one point or another.   It’s okay to go take that break.  Go take that nap, go get your nails done, just get away when you need to.  Your friends will understand and you will feel refreshed when you come back.

There are going to be so many times that you feel defeated.  Your baby is crying and screaming and they’re not wet, they’re fed, and they’ve napped.  Just keep going.  Keep trying.  The first almost two years of life is a guessing game.  Until they can look up at you and tell you, “Hey mom, my stomach hurts” or “I’m thirsty”, it is a complete guessing game.  And that’s frustrating.  It’s frustrating for you as a new mom because you have no idea what’s going on and you just want to be able to console your screaming baby.  But just imagine how frustrating it is for them.  While you’re guessing, they’re saying to themselves, “No, that’s not it.  No, that’s not right.  That’s not it either, mom”.  They’re these tiny humans that can’t talk yet and they’re trying to figure out how to tell you what they need and the only thing they can figure out to do is to just cry.  So when you’re reaching that point of frustration and you don’t know what to do any longer, lay that baby down.  Lay him or her down somewhere safe, such as a crib, a rock-n-play, a pack-n-play, and take a step away, re-group, take some deep breaths, and try again.  It’s okay.  It’s okay to walk away.  Now I’m not saying that it’s easy to do, but sometimes you just have to do it.  I’ve had to lay my son down in his crib when he’s been fighting me rocking him to sleep, and he’s crying and wiggling and trying to flip over.  Believe me.  It wasn’t easy.  It was hard.  And I felt like a failure because I couldn’t even rock my own child to sleep.  But once I did that, I took control back.  And he actually does better going to sleep when he’s tired without me rocking him.  Now don’t get me wrong it’s so hard and it breaks my heart because he’s supposed to be my tiny baby still and I’m supposed to be able to rock him to sleep.  But it wasn’t worth the battle that we went through every night and every nap.  But the point is, it’s okay to step away.  You’re not a bad mother.

There will be days when you feel like you’ve gotten nothing done around the house.  And it’s possibly true.  You’ve got dishes in the sink, loads of laundry that need to be done, the house needs to be clean and you need a shower.  Sometimes you wear the same clothes for days in a row and sometimes you don’t remember when you’ve showered last.  That’s okay.  It can all wait.  Let someone else do it.  For me, that was one of the hardest things to do because I like to feel like I’m in control and I can do it all.  But the truth is, you can’t.  And that’s okay.

Getting my baby to sleep through the night after his four month sleep regression was one of the hardest things I ever did.  Sawyer slept through the night for the first time by himself at 12 weeks old.  He wasn’t doing it and then all of a sudden one night, he just did it.  Then around four months old, he started waking up earlier and earlier in the mornings.  Sometimes he would wake up at 4:30a.m. ready to start his day.  It was so hard.  Then that was followed by waking up in the middle of the night again.  Not wanting to feed really, just waking up, we would run in there to him, pick him up, give him his paci or whatever, and he would immediately go back to sleep.  So, we decided to sleep train him.  Now I know there are a lot of different methods out there and there are a lot of parents who have never heard of this or could never imagine doing it.  I was one of those mothers.  The method we tried was out of our book, “Moms on Call” and it was a form of letting them cry it out and I couldn’t imagine letting my baby do that at night.  I felt like the worst person ever.  So I had to do it when I was ready.  And that was around 5 months old.  He was only waking up about two times a night.  But I knew he was old enough to be sleeping through the night on his own and giving his digestive system that 12 hour stretch rest.  So we decided to do it on a Friday night.  Again, one of the hardest things that I’ve ever done, but it only took two nights and it worked.  But I remember how hard it was.  And I remember all of those negative things I was feeling and all of those times I wanted to run to him.  I think, as a mother, you hear your baby cry and it just destroys you.  It’s just a different part of you than it is for your husbands.  Men are usually better at doing sleep training than women are.  But just remember, if you choose to try it, you can do it.  You’re not a terrible parent.  Your baby is loved and they will still greet you with their smiling face the next morning.  And guess what?  You will get to sleep again.

Now that my son is eight months old, it is easier.  You face new challenges with each season of their life, but it does get easier.  So that’s something to look forward to as they get older. But I want you to know that there are still may times that I have to get out of the house for a break.  And that’s okay.  It is normal.  I’m thankful, for now, that I have a job that I can go to every day and have grown up conversations, but I enjoy my time that I have with my little man on my off days.  But even still, I try and make time for myself at night, after he’s in bed, and on the weekends.  I take a couple of hours one day and go do something by myself.  And the same goes for my husband.  I say all of that to say that postpartum depression is real.  It is a very real thing and if you feel like you may have it, it’s not something that you should try tackling on your own.  You definitely should seek professional help with that.

I hope someone finds this post helpful and I hope you enjoyed reading it.  If there is anything that someone would like to ask me about or hear about from my experiences, please feel free to comment below and ask or talk to me about things.  I can even write a blog about it.

 

Baby Needs – 6 Months

Hey guys!
I wanted to write my blog today about baby needs for a 6 month old.  I have previously written a blog on newborn needs that I hope is very helpful to someone.  But I had someone request that I do there ever so often, so after my son’s six month check-up yesterday, I wanted to follow up with a blog on the changes that have happened and the new things he needs.

Baby Food –

One of the biggest changes that he’s went through here lately was we have recently introduced baby food.  We did wait until 6 months for this, but I know a lot of pediatricians say that you can start as early as 4 months old.  We chose to wait until 6 months and it has really worked well for us.  One reason is that a baby has a really bag gag reflex at such a young age and it gets better the older that they get.  As well as the tongue thrust reflex.  We chose to wait as long as we could before giving him baby food so that both of those would be pretty much gone.  But I think this is something that is totally a parent’s choice.  I think that if you want to start food before we did, that’s completely your decision.  It’s what’s best for your baby.
Anyway, my kid absolutely loves to eat! Haha!  He’s just like his mom and dad!! He would much rather eat baby food than his formula.  Which brings me to my next “topic” of dropping bottle amounts down.

About two weeks before we started baby food, Sawyer started tapering off the amounts of formula he would eat at a time.  He was eating about every three hours, 5-7 ounces each time.  Then, all of a sudden, he started only eating 2-4 ounces every feeding.  Because of this, we thought he was teething.  It was time.  And he still may be trying to cut some teeth, he just doesn’t have any yet.  But I was getting very concerned with it because I know that formula and breastmilk are their main sources of nutrition.  So I asked his pediatrician yesterday and he told us that (in his words) “as long as he’s eating, having plenty of wet diapers, pooping, and he’s thriving and happy and sleeping through the night” then let him eat.  Don’t worry about the formula too much because he’s getting his nutrition now from the fruits and veggies he’s eating.  He did say to still offer him the bottle and try and get him to drink as much as possible, but don’t stress over it.  He also said that he could eat whatever he wanted, however much he wanted, and as often as he wanted.  And I can season things however I want to.  I’m the chef in the family and I’m his mother, and I know what’s best.

Just hearing those words from him really reassured me that what I was thinking and doing was right and best for him.  It just helps so much when your baby’s doctor reinstates everything you’ve been saying.

Sippy Cup –

Believe it or not, we have started bringing out the sippy cup.  We decided to start slowly introducing the sippy cup to him for multiple reasons.  Our main reason was because, again, we think/thought he is teething and not wanting to suck from his bottle because we think it hurts his mouth and ears.  So we decided to bring out the sippy cup because it takes a lot less effort to drink from it than it does a bottle.  The other reason was just to start getting him familiar with it.  Now, did I sit it down in front of him and him just jump right in and start drinking from it?  No.  Still to this day, he doesn’t really know what it is or what to do with it, he just wants to chew on it, but it’s there.  It’s appearing there for him as an option.  We just thought it would be easier in the long run when we start weening him off the bottle for him to already be familiar with the sippy cup.  **Just a little side note, we didn’t come up with this on our own.  This came out of the book I told you guys about in my other post about newborn must haves. We just thought it was a great idea and made so much sense!**

Toys –

This subject might sound so funny to some people, but we’ve changed toys. Haha!  For so long, Sawyer was, and still is, okay with rattles.  Like most babies, he loves to shake them, chew on them, and just play with them.  Here recently though, he’s really became more observant of lights, flashes, and colors.  Last week, I bought him a toy to hang on the seat so he could have it to play with in the car when we drive, to keep him a little more entertained when he’s by himself.  He loves it!  It has lights, music, sings songs, does animal noises, counts, all kinds of things and he just loves it!  He can kick it with his feet and press the buttons that way and it makes everything go off.  My mom brought him a new toy on Sunday that he loves too.  It’s a small Ferris wheel that plays music and sounds when you turn it and it has flashing lights, too.  So I would definitely say around this age, toys become a part of the family rather than just rattles.
Another toy we have found that he likes is anything that he can sit/stand in and jump up and down.  This is like this new favorite thing to do here lately.  He has no desire to learn how to sit up on his own.  He’s mastered rolling over and tummy time, so now he thinks he can just skip the sitting up part and start standing up.  So any type of toy that allows him to do that just makes his day.  So we have one of those jumpers that you hang in the door way and it’s a seat he can sit in and just jump up and down.  He likes it okay so far.  He hasn’t really figured it out completely yet and sometimes he just sits in it and spins around in circles, but he’s working on it.  But he has one of those jumping gym things, (I know, I don’t know what they’re called) that he can sit in and jump and there’s toys all around the edges for him.  He loves those too.

Bibs –

This may sounds silly again, to some people, but this kid needs more bibs than anything.  The acid reflux is better, but he still needs burp cloths.  But now he needs bibs.  We started needing bibs when he was around 4 months because the drooling set it about that time.  But now that he’s eating, he definitely needs to add to the bib category because he’s a super messy eater.  But that’s another story for another time.  One kind of bib that I’m recommending are disposable bibs.  I’ve just used these at home so far, but it’s like they make a huge mess, get food all over it and it doesn’t matter!  You just throw it away!  Less laundry for this mom!

High Chair –

I have a high chair for Sawyer, but since he can’t sit up by himself yet, we’ve tried it with him and the experience isn’t exactly pleasant for him right now.  But I definitely plan on using it in the future.

These are my top suggestions for baby needs at 6 months.  I hope this helps any new parents out there that read this.  I hope it puts some things running around in your head at ease a little and maybe gives you somewhat of a guide.
Remember, everyone is different, all babies are different.  Do what works for you and your family.  If you want to make all of your baby food and feed your kid in the fanciest high chair and have all the toys they can have, go for it.  If that works for you and your baby is happy, go for it.  Or if you don’t have time to make food and your baby likes baby food from a jar and you want to feed your kid sitting in your lap or while he’s crawling around the house, or while he’s sitting in a bouncing toy jumping all over the place and throwing peas everywhere, then that’s okay too!  It’s whatever works for you and your baby!

New Baby Must Haves

Hi everyone!
I hope everyone had a great holiday last week.  I was off work that day and got to spend some time with family and friends and just had a great time.  My little guy is teething so it’s a little crazy at our house some days and nights but we’re making it through.

I wanted to write this blog on new baby must haves.  I have some friends that recently welcomed a set of twins into their lives and I’ve been talking to the mom on some occasions and trying to tell her what worked for us (when she asks, of course) and what things we had that were life savers.  So I wanted to share those things with everyone today.

 

A Good Bottle –
Before my son was born, I did, like most moms-to-be, research through online and friends to find the best bottle out there.  I finally settled on a bottle that I was very excited about and I had several of these ready when he arrived into the world.  After his battle with reflux, and his formula, we changed bottles about seven different times before we settled on one that worked really well for him.  So all I’m going to say here is find the best bottle that works for your baby and don’t worry about the brand.  Not saying that the one we chose in the beginning wasn’t a good bottle or anything because I’m sure it is, but I’m just saying that it didn’t work for us.  I was trying to keep up with friends and family and in the end, it didn’t work for us.  So just find that works for your little one.

 

A Pacifier –
I wasn’t really sure when Sawyer was born whether or not I was going to even use a pacifier.  He had one at the hospital that the nurses gave him, but he really didn’t take it much.  So I changed it once we got home and he still wasn’t a huge fan of it.  My mother-in-law actually changed it again one day when she was keeping him and found one that she liked and she thought that he attached too better and that’s actually the one that he still uses today.  He doesn’t really take it too much, mostly when he’s upset or goes to bed at night.  I’m glad he’s not attached to it too much because, I think, in the end it will be easier to get him away from it.  Anyway, again, when he had his tummy troubles at the beginning of life, a pacifier just seemed to help him calm down sometimes.  Just helped soothe him.  So that would be a suggestion that I would say try.  They work wonders in car rides… haha!

 

A Good Baby Carrier or Wrap –
I am a firm believer in a mama wearing baby.  Again, when Sawyer had his tummy troubles, I would always put him in his carrier and strap it to my body.  It always seemed to help.  Especially when he was crying and we couldn’t console him and all he wanted was his mommy, I would strap this baby to me and it always seemed to help.  It also gave me some relief and would allow someone else a chance to hold him for me.  Of course, he still was usually happiest when I was holding him in the carrier, but at least it did work for a little while.  And it allowed me to be able to get up and actually move around the house and get things done sometimes.  I will say that I like the one that I have, but I wish I would’ve spent the money and gotten the Ergo type ones.  The one I have made my back hurt after a while.

 

Swaddle Blanket –
This was a LIFESAVER for us!  Once we got Sawyer’s tummy under control and we moved him out of our room to his room, we started swaddling him at night for bed and during nap times.  I’m not even kidding when I say what a difference this made in his sleep times.  He went from waking up 2-3 times a night to only one time and then to sleeping through the night.  It was amazing!  He started sleeping through the night on his own two days before he turned 12 weeks old!  It was amazing.  But you have to have the right kind of swaddle blanket.  It has to be big enough.  I got some of the blankets at my baby shower that were made to swaddle.  I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone, they’re hard to describe, but they’re made with the actual flaps that you fold over.  Anyways, those didn’t work for us.  I don’t think I could get them tight enough and his hands would always escape.  So we ended up with this blanket that was like 42 inches cubed and we were able to swaddle correctly and tightly and it worked like a charm!

 

Zipper Pajamas (Sleepers) –
Best thing I ever bought!  Sawyer was 3 weeks early, so he was right under 7lbs when he was born so he fit into newborn clothes.  He actually wore newborn clothes the longest (so far).  Anyway, I only had one sleeper that had a zipper when he was born.  All the others had the typical snaps all the way up and down.  I don’t know who in this world invented those and thought that those were the best… snap-up sleepers are the WORST (in my opinion)!  Whoever thought that they were great apparently never changed a newborn’s diaper in the middle of the night (or any kid’s diaper for that matter).  With their legs kicking around all over the place when you’re up at 2am, in the dark, half asleep, trying to change a diaper on a kid that’s more than likely screaming, it is almost impossible to snap those snaps up.  I just now have started putting those on Sawyer and he’s over 6 months old.  But at least now I don’t have to change him in the middle of the night.  So I only have to deal with the snaps once, maybe twice.  I remember when he was two weeks old, my husband looked at me and said, “Oh my gosh! You have to go out right now and buy some more sleepers with zippers! I hate all these snaps!” So I did.  And I retired all the ones he had with snaps. Ha!

 

Moms On Call (Book) –
This was another lifesaver for us.  My sister-in-law used this book with my nephew and I have had some friends use this book with their children and they all had success.  This was one thing that I did with Sawyer and it worked for us, too.  This book basically tells you what you need when you bring your baby home and what to do with them once you get them home.  So that you’re not buying a lot of things that you don’t need and it teaches you how to get them on a schedule, how to get them sleeping through the night, how much formula they should be drinking at a time, when to start baby food, everything!  Everything you need to know about once you bring new baby home.  Of course, there’s really no way to be completely prepared when you have a new baby, but it definitely helped answer a lot of basic questions.  And it did give me a little ease about becoming a new mom.  I knew what was coming and a little bit of what to expect.

 

A Bottle Warmer –
I actually didn’t get one of these nor have I ever used one, but when Sawyer started only taking his milk warm, I wish I would’ve had one.  I think it would’ve just made life easier for us instead of constantly having to run downstairs for a bottle and formula and heating it up and all of that.  I think a bottle warmer would’ve just been easier.  I’ve heard a lot of moms using these and loving them so I’m definitely going to get one for my next baby and I’m putting it on this list for you guys.  I also think it would be easier on trips.  We haven’t really traveled anywhere with little man yet that we haven’t had access to warm up his bottle, but for those moms and dads that do have to travel with their little ones, I think one of these might make life easier, especially at a hotel room.
 

I’m sorry this post was so long but I wanted to give you guys all of the things that helped us out.  Anything to help a new mom and dad out, I’m down for.

What are some things that helped you guys out with your new little ones?  Are any of these things on your lists?  Let’s talk about it in the comments below.

Little Loves

I haven’t written in a while.  I took some time off to be with my little guy.  He’s teething right now and it’s been very hard on him.

Anyway, last week I went to his GI doctor’s office to pick up some more formula, you know, what they give us samples of (Praise The Lord!).  I can always call them and run over there on my lunch break and pick it up because they’re so close to my office.  When I got there and walked in, just like I always do, except this time, I looked around the room at the little ones that were there.  About the time I did this, a mother of another little boy looked up at me and looked directly into my eyes.  She had her little love sitting on her lap, he looked to be about one and a half, maybe two years of age.  He was sitting there in his cute little outfit playing a game on her phone.  Had his pacifier in his mouth.  Just a sweet little thing.  Then I noticed that he had a feeding tube in his nose.  I couldn’t help but wonder what was going on with him, but I just kept walking and walked up to the counter to pick up my son’s formula.  As I walked away, she looked up at me again.  As her eyes caught mine, she had a blank look.  But I smiled at her again and kept walking out the door.

I’ve been thinking about her ever since that day.  Wondering about her and her son.  Wondering about that blank stare on her face.  Wondering if it was contentment or sadness.

You know, I find myself complaining so many times, or listening to complaints from others, about my son’s medicine he’s having to take or the special formula he has to drink, because the medicine was so expensive and his formula was special and you couldn’t just run out to the nearest store and pick it up if he ever ran out of it.  You have to wait until the doctor’s office is open again and you have to make a special trip over there and pick it up.  But when I saw this mama and her little love sitting in that waiting room, I couldn’t help but think to myself that they were just a little reminder that the Lord sent my way that day.  Just a little reminder that things aren’t as bad as they could be.  Things could always be a lot worse.  My son does have acid reflux and he does have a sensitivity to the protein in his milk, but at least he’s able to drink from a bottle.  At least he’s able to drink that way and gain weight.  At least he did get to come home from the hospital on time and didn’t have to remain there as many babies do for periods of time.  At least he is healthy.

I think sometimes as parents, and as humans,  we get caught up in every day life and we get caught up in the way that things are going and the way we think or wish they could go and we forget how blessed we are.  We forget to be thankful for what we have.  Not only do I have a healthy son, but we were blessed enough to have a baby boy, and we did not have a difficult journey getting there and I did not have a difficult pregnancy either.  So many people, even ones that I know, try for years to get pregnant, and some never do.  And some have very difficult pregnancies and some lose their little ones before they are able to come into the world.

So today, I am thankful.  I am thankful for waking up today and being healthy.  I’m thankful for my marriage.  I’m thankful for my son.  I’m thankful for having a job and being financially stable.  I’m thankful for a roof over my head and food on my table every single day.  I’m thankful for my family’s health and wellness.  Mostly importantly, I’m thankful that the Lord has blessed me with this life and that He loves me the way that He does, and I am thankful for my relationship with Him.  Today, I am just thankful.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness.  Wow, that’s a touchy subject for most people.  A simple word that carries so many feelings with it… anger, sadness, relief.

 

Years before I met my husband, I dated a man whom I cared a lot about.  I’m hesitant now to say that I loved him because I never really knew what true love was until I met my husband.  I dated this man for almost 3 years and we had plans to get married.  Then the day came where all that trust and love fell through the cracks.  I found out that he had another girl in another state that he was trying to figure out if he still had feelings for and if he still had something with.  When I found this out, I was crushed, like most people would have been.
After I broke it off, I found myself trying to go through all the phases to “get over” it.  I went through sadness first and was so hurt and sad for what seemed like forever.  But then that was followed by anger.  I was so angry with him.  I had unanswered questions and no closure and I think that’s what kept the anger raging within me for so long.  Months passed, and then those months turned into years.  I remember seeing friends or family of his in public and I would turn and walk the other way.  I didn’t want to face them.  I didn’t want to talk to them.  I didn’t want to have anything to do with anyone that was important to him.  I just had so much anger that I couldn’t let go of.  I couldn’t get passed it.

I remember a couple of years went by and I hadn’t seen or talked to him or anyone that associated with him.  And I hadn’t thought about him or our past.  I remember I was at my house and I was watching a movie by Tyler Perry (a play of his actually) and he was talking to one of the girls at the end about how she needed to keep on dating and never give up and he said a sentence to her that has stuck with me ever since.  It touched home for me.  He said, when someone can walk into a room and completely change your mood, that person has power over you. Pretty strong sentence, if you ask me.

If you really forgive someone they won’t have power over you anymore.  Power.  Think about that.  If you’re out somewhere with some friends, at a party having a good time, and someone walks into that room, and you see them, and your whole mood shifts from happy to something else, that person controls you.  I had never really thought of it like that before.  But that’s how I still felt about my old boyfriend.  I couldn’t even speak his name.  I hadn’t forgiven him.  I thought that I had, but not completely.

 

Forgiveness is not for the other person, forgiveness is for you.  Sometimes I think we hold on to things too long and we don’t realize the damage that it’s doing to us deep down.  We hold on to that anger and hate and we think that whatever someone has done to us is too bad for us to forgive them.  There’s nothing that someone else can do to me that I would rather hold on to for years and years and let them have that power over me.  I have to let it go.  If I want to move on in my life and not carry that heavy burden with me, I have to let go of it.   It’s not worth it.  I also think we don’t realize the impact that it has on the people around us that are in our lives.  We block off and keep people out or from getting close to us because of our past…because of things that we don’t let go of.  Forgiveness is not for the other person, forgiveness is for you.