Saturday, October 31, 2015

How to Halloween

Let's just say that with Norm's and my lack of participation in Halloween over the last 10 years and with Benjamin being new to this world, we did not Halloween right today.

Since we got the dogs, Halloween has involved a very dark house from 5:00pm until at least 10:00pm. The idea of people knocking on the door or ringing the doorbell and making the dogs go crazy irritates us.

This year, having Benjamin, I figured I'd get some candy and go sit in the driveway to catch trick or treaters before they approach the house so the dogs don't see them and want to eat them. Well, at about 5:15pm, Benjamin and I went out for a mini walk on the stroller and then sat in the driveway until about 6:20pm. Nobody came. And Benjamin fell asleep.

At that point, it was getting much colder and he was going to wake up hungry. So we went inside, I ate some candy and proceeded with our yearly Halloween routine to turn off all the lights.

Just a bit ago, I got online and saw all sorts of pictures of families all dressed up having a blast. In the meantime, Norm is at work, Benjamin is sleeping and I am playing Candy Crush Soda Saga. We have one year to figure out how to Halloween again.

Here is Benjamin at his school yesterday - they had a parade of costumes! He got on the swing for the first time... he loved it... a swing set just might be on his Christmas list along with matching pajamas for the entire family. Oh wait, that one might be on Norm's list...

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Things You Learn

Recent happenings at work have me pondering on the phrase "you live and learn". We say this all the time, across all type of situations. But do we ever stop, as things were happening, to observe and actually learn?

Although the happenings at work were not pleasant and the outcome was certainly not my desired outcome, I have been able to learn a few things from them.

1. Make decisions relatively quickly.  Of course some decisions are heavier and more difficult to make than others, but overall, consider the pros and cons and move quickly. Otherwise, as time passes while you are "thinking about it" or "considering it" situations can get murky and complicated.

2. Always trust your gut. This is quite counter-intuitive for me to say and a very difficult lesson for me to learn because my brain pretty much always trumps my gut. But when the gut is involved, there is that persistent voice inside your head (yes, we all have this voice inside our heads, I'm not the only crazy one) that keeps nagging and nagging - listen to it, because it will win, regardless of how much logic and reason you try to apply.

3. Be yourself at all times regardless of the situation. Sometimes this means that you will be passed over for someone who knows how to put on a show in front of the decision makers. This will be difficult to come to terms with in the moment, but at the end of the day you will have a clean conscience and peace of mind that when you do earn your spot that you will have earned it fairly and cleanly, even if it took you longer to get there than the actor.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Stop the Germaphobia

We have never been germophobes. Ever. Until Norm came down with strep throat last night. I am pretty sure we have lysoled every surface possible - twice.

The fear of Baby catching it and getting sick makes us somewhat crazy.

So until he is no longer contagious, I will continue to sleep in the other room, both Benjamin and I will continue to blow kisses at Norm from across the room and we will continue to have conversations like this:

F: did you go to the garage?
N: yes
F: (lysol door knobs and switches)

F: did you throw something away?
N: yes
F: (lysol entire trash can)

F: what did you do today?
N: I was miserable, I laid on the couch
F: (lysol entire couch - and the love seat just in case)

F: (lysol door frame)
N: I haven't touched that
F: just in case

You get the point.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Breastfeeding Journey

I didn't think we were going to make it past one week, let alone six months. Breastfeeding for six months was the initial goal when Benjamin was born, goal which quickly turned into "let's make it one more week" (some days the goal was "let's make it to tomorrow"), until we hit about the eight week mark when both Benjamin and I finally got the hang of it.

Breastfeeding was not easy for us. It was very challenging, both emotionally and physically draining. I don't think my determination and perseverance have ever been tried as they were during the first few weeks of this journey. I am ever so grateful for my coaches which ranged from co-workers to long time friends to the lactation consultants and the great ladies from La Leche League. I remember during those first weeks reaching out to everyone that had experienced breastfeeding in some shape, way or form. I spoke with folks that never were able to feed their babies breast milk and went straight to formula. I spoke with folks that their babies never latched and they pumped exclusively. I spoke with folks that had model babies and never had an issue. All of these conversations and sharing helped me overcome the difficulties I was experiencing. Each lady I spoke with helped me understand a different aspect and helped me realize that I would not be a better or worse mother regardless of the feeding path we ended up taking.

I am so grateful that we were able to overcome the lip and tongue tie, the thrush, the mastitis and the couple of plugged ducts. I am so grateful that I was able pump when I went back to work in spite of my crazy and long days.

Now at six months, we are still going strong (well, I guess it is more like two fifths (2/5) strong) with him nursing only in the morning and at night. We have made the move to formula during the day and he had no issues with it (mainly because he likes to eat everything in sight).

So for all you moms to be out there: although breastfeeding is nature's law, it can be very challenging. Be open to this possibility.

For all you new moms experiencing a difficult start to breastfeeding: reach out, reach out, reach out if you need help. Don't do it alone. Get a support system of women with different experiences. Talking to them will help guide you on your path. Read, read, read and learn, learn, learn. Both La Leche Leauge and KellyMom were my crutches. And most importantly, take it one feeding at a time.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

At the Table

It's never too early to start developing good habits. So the days of eating on the green floor seat on the kitchen counter are over. We now have this little booster seat, that was a shower gift, set up on a chair at the dining room table. Today Benjamin ate at the table for the first time. Like a civilized human.

Here is Norm getting him situated:

Ready to eat!

Eating. Cali and Pellet were so intrigued by this new process. Since Benjamin is pretty much at their eye level, they were all up in our business. But they finally settled down. Pellet laid at the feet of his chair and Cali sat next to us and stared.

When we finished, the bottom tray doubles as a play tray. So since he is into banging his hand and toys, he loved smacking the chains on the tray!

Family Portrait

Benjamin's school asked for a family portrait... they have a section of the classroom where each baby's family is displayed. The teachers say that when the babies get older (than Benjamin) they like to go up to the wall and look at mom and dad. So the other day when our friend Kerrie was over, she took our (current) family picture!

Next step is to take one with the dogs... we won't hold our breath for that one though.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Month 6

Half a year already! Six months ago this morning, we were gifted a tiny little human. Six months is such a short time to develop and grow as much as Benjamin has developed and grown...

He is becoming an awesome eater! He loves all the foods he's had so far... avocado, sweet potato, squash, potato, apple, bananas, pear and rice cereal! We had a week or so of stomach issues, so we had to do the apple, cereal and banana diet for a few days until his stomach got it together, but we are back to normal now. We have been so lucky that he has had no issues with transitioning to more full-time bottles or to formula. He eats everything in whatever vessel is delivered to him.

He is starting to recognize his name! He also recognizes his bottle and opens his mouth as soon as he catches glimpse of it. Even if they are clean bottles on the drying rack... They teach him sign language at school, so we try to carry that over at home. Slowly he is starting to learn "milk" and "more". It is amazing how his little brain is constantly working and learning.

He grabs his feet and rolls... the other day he took his sock off and chewed it up until it was soaked.

He has been sleeping through the night more consistently. And he has been sleeping in his room like a big boy. No more sleeping in the room with mom and dad. He loves his crib! When he wakes up (for the most part) he plays all by himself until either he starts screaming or we come grab him.

He is the sweetest little human we know. Each day we are more and more in love with him.

Family Picture 2016

Family Picture 2016

Family Picture 2015

Family Picture 2015

Christmas Picture 2011

Christmas Picture 2011

Family Picture 2009

Family Picture 2009
Thanks for reading! Come back Soon!