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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Places Kye Has Traveled

Zach and I love to talk about all the places we have traveled! It's fun to re-live old memories and to count allllll the different places life has taken us. What is tough though is trying to think back to every single little trip we've ever taken. It's impossible! My goal is to update this post everytime we take Kye somewhere so someday he'll have a list of everywhere he's traveled. Hopefully his list will be even longer than ours one day!

1. Melbourne, Florida (13 times)
2. Gainesville, Florida
3. Brunswick, Georgia
4. Jekyll Island, Georgia (2 times)
5. St. Simons Island, Georgia
6. St. Augustine, Florida (10 times)
7. Daytona Beach, Florida (2 times)
8. Panama City Beach, Florida (4 times)
9. Atlanta, Georgia (5 times)
10. Cancun, Mexico
11. Orlando, Florida (10 times)
12. Greenville, South Carolina
13. Gainesville, Georgia (2 times)
14. Jacksonville Beach, Florida
15. Tallahassee, Florida (2 times)
16. Big Canoe, Georgia
17. Vero Beach, Florida
18. Norcross, Georgia
19. Fort Walton Beach, Florida
20. Disney World (5 times)
21. Jacksonville, Florida
22. Greenville, Florida
23. Satellite Beach, Florida (3 times)
24. Destin, Florida
25. Banner Elk, NC

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It Takes Three Months

I really, stupidly, believed that I'd have my baby and the baby would just somehow magically fit into the life I was already living and things would continue on as normal. Duh, that didn't happen! I know now that it takes about 3 months to get back to "normal." I don't know if that is a norm for all new parents but it was for us! Before the three month marker I was still figuring things out. Still had milk issues. Still was healing from the birth. Still had a LOT of weight to lose to feel pretty again. Still had lots of nap problems. Still didn't quite KNOW my child. Sure, he was on a schedule but I didn't know all his little cues. A hungry cry versus an attention cry. His sleepy cues of yawning, eye rubbing or being fussy. When you don't quite know your baby yet it all the guessing takes a lot out of you!

Up until around three months I felt EXHAUSTED if I just did one thing out of the house during the day. Getting myself ready was an effort. Getting Kye ready was an effort. Scheduling when to go where and how long it would take was an effort. It wore me out for real!
I think with time, baby knowledge, and a strongly grounded routine I've come through the otherside and am able to take on the world again! The best part about this is that we can finallyh have our friends back! Zach and I have had each other to lean on during this time and sure we did hang out with Katie and Ashley on occassion but our friends (oh the many that we have haha) have always been a top priority to us and we missed being able to hang out with them all the time!
Thankfully we don't "go out" like so many people our age do! I can't IMAGINE EVER having the energy for that! Our nights with friends include eating a meal of somekind (the best are the ones Katie cooks), playing a board game, and watching a movie. If we "go out" for a night on the town it means getting dressed cute and going to dinner. Thankfully we have two friends who truly love our child and we all just have fun now sitting around looking at him! haha!
It's been SO SO SO great these past couple of weeks getting back into a routine of hanging out with our friends. Sure, we usually do it at our house now b/c it's easier to put Kye to bed, but wouldn't we typically be at our house anyway? We've been having a great time lately and I love that we have such good friends that we know they are in it for the long haul...meaning 3 more kids down the road! We have a fun beach trip planned for the end of the summer with Kye and even have a road trip planned to drive to Boston next summer (without Kye though for that one!).
I'm so proud that Zach and I got so well adjusted so quickly and so greatful that Ashley and Katie were patient with us during that time! Now we're ready to make lots and lots of new memories together!!!!

The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems: Naps

It's no secret that for quite awhile I had some major issues with Kye's naps. I have followed Babywise for majority of Kye's life but yet I still had nap problems. Babywise discusses something they refer to as "the 45 minute intruder" which is when the baby will sleep awesome the first half of the nap and then wake up 45 minutes into it and have a difficult time going back to sleep. What's happening is the babys sleep cycle hits a transition phase at about 45 min when they are moving from lighter to a deeper sleep and many babies are very sensitive during that time and can be easily waken. Kye was, and actually still is, this baby!

Babywise is well known for the CIO (cry it out) method. It's recommended to let the baby cry themselves back to sleep as this will teach them not to rely on their parents or a sleep prop in order to sleep. While I follow EVERY other guideline BW suggests, I do not do cry it out. I felt like when he had GERD (or did he ever really have it I wonder?) that it was painful for him to cry and I didn't want to make him go through pain. Instead I'd be going in and out of his room every 5 min popping back in the paci. I felt very discouraged and like I wasn't a very good BW mom since I continued to go in there to my child.

I've been a big follower of the Chronicles of a Babywise Mom and it's been a lifesaver for me. The mother who writes it has done BW with all three of her children and she really is an expert! Her site has helped me more than the Babywise book itself! I wrote about my problem with naps to her and how I don't do CIO and she suggested that I buy The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems.

I bought the book and read it cover to cover! It's awesome!!!! I will be having two more posts about this book on topics that were of interest to me (baby temperament and potty training) but right now I want to focus on the reason I bought the book, NAPS!

Tracy Hogg (the author of the book) suggests a very easy technique for keeping the baby asleep. I enjoy her perspective as the whole book goes nicely along with Babywise yet she does not believe in cry it out so it's a great fit for me!

Her suggestion is The Four S ritual for putting your baby to sleep. While I never had much of a problem getting Kye to sleep at the beginning of his nap (I'd swaddle him, lay him down and BAM he's out) Hogg suggests that if the baby is waking halfway through the nap that they don't have a proper sleep ritual. She discusses the importance of catching the baby's sleep cue and acting on it right away! Like the BW Blog says, at the first yawn start putting the baby down and by the third one have them in their crib! It's so true! I KNOW when Kye is tired and I stop everything and put that baby to sleep!

While it's vital to put the baby to sleep asap once you notice the cue, Hogg discusses the importance of a winding down period. A winding down period gives the baby a chance to transition from activity to sleep time. That goes along with the first of the four s's:

1. Set the Stage: You want nap time to be similar to bedtime so you do the same thing for both. You make the room as calm and night-like as possible. For me, I turn off the light, close the blinds and curtains, and turn on the overhead fan. This let's Kye know that yes, it's time for bed. It's also nice because if I need to wake him up I just open the blinds and he is calmly woken up rather than me having to rudely wake a sweet sleeping baby!

2.Swaddle: Yes, Kye is almost 4 months old and he still loves his swaddle! He breaks out of it pretty easily and it may have to be redone, but he needs it to sleep! She says to swaddle the baby before putting him into the crib (I do it on the floor). The reason swaddling is so great is that baby's don't know their limbs are theirs and so when they jerk into sleep, which most do, the "moving objects" distract them from sleeping! Many people say their baby "hates swaddling" but, as Hogg says, how do you know? When the baby gets out she simply says to reswaddle (and yes I've had naps where I do it many, many times). Eventually around 4 months old you can try leaving one arm out and see how they do. I've done this a couple times and Kye still isn't ready. You can tell they are ready to be without the swaddle if they SLEEP when not swaddled. If one arm is out Kye won't cry, but he won't sleep either! Also, I learned from the BW Blog that babies may prefer one fabric over another...from this tip I found out that Kye likes the fleece better than the cotton!

3. Sitting: This one made ALL the difference for me!!! It was the little tweak I needed :) Once the baby is swaddled JUST sit and hold them. She says to do it with them in a vertical position but I prefer to lay him across my arms against my chest. I just SIT. I do not make a noise. I do not move. I do not even smile. The slightest bit of anything will stimulate the baby (I know we all think it calms them but in reality it doesn't) and will just make it harder for them to sleep. After a few minutes you can feel him jerk around (the body getting ready for sleep believe it or not) and the eyelids will get heavy. The key is to lay the baby down BEFORE they fall asleep in your arms! As soon as Kye's eyes get heavy I stand up and lay him down in his crib then I leave the room and he's good to go! There have been studies done that have proven that independent sleep (the baby putting themselves to sleep) fosters better sleep and I believe this truly!

4.Shush-Pat: This is the other key I was missing! Stacy, my midwife, told me about this and then once I read the book I knew how to do it myself! If the baby wakes up crying (like Kye used to do) they may need physical intervention in order to settle. This, Hogg says, is when most people start "accidental parenting" and rock, jiggle, or give a prop to settle the baby. Instead she says you should leave the baby in the crib and turn them on their side and pat their back FIRMLY while at the same time doing a long "shhhhhhh" sound over their ear. Babies under 3 months old cannot have more than two thoughts at a time so they focus on your patting and shhhhhing and stop crying. Just keep doing it until the baby settles down then slowly stop the patting then the shushing. It works so great!!!!

Sometimes it would take me up to 10 minutes to put him down for the nap and I may sometimes spent as long as 20 minutes in his room doing the shush-pat method at the 45 min marker but it was all WORTH IT!

Like Hogg mentions, if it doesn't seem to be working you can pick them up and put them over your shoulder burp-style and do it that way as well then lay them back down but I've rarely had to do this.

At this point Kye doesn't even need the shush-pat anymore! Most of his naps now he sleeps through the whole thing with maybe only one wake-up which is typically the need to be reswaddled and given his paci. My rule with him is to not get him out of the crib until it's time for him to eat. Sometimes he'll wake up 15 min early from a nap and it's obvious he won't go back to sleep. That's fine, but he must stay in his crib. I'll even open the blinds for him and let him play by looking at his mobile but I leave him there. You want your baby to enjoy their crib and have time by themselves.

If Kye is very bad during his nap (which is SUPER rare) and reswaddling him doesn't work then I sometimes will "start the nap over." I feel like a lot of the times the 45 min gives him enough energy to be WIDE awake again and starting the nap fresh helps him go back to sleep. I'll go back through each of the steps I take when I initially put him down for a nap and it ALWAYS works!

I have been wanting to blog about this topic for awhile now but I felt like I shouldn't say how great the book is or the methods are until I was out the other side and be able to fully appreciate a sound-sleeping baby! I highly recommend not just getting Babywise! Babywise is super great but the book itself is lacking in SO many areas. The combination of the book, the blog, and now Baby Whisperer have allowed me to learn so much and to tweak little things that have made a HUGE difference!

While Kye does know how to put himself to sleep and I don't think it'll be an issue Hogg also has another method called P.U./P.D. ("pick up put down"). Now that Kye is older than 3 months I will be using this method if he starts going through rough patches in his napping. She has an entire chapter devoted to this method but basically it's if the baby cries you go into the room and first try to comfort with words or patting on the back. Up to six months old you can do the shush-pat but at that age it'll actually start disrupting their sleep (isn't it funny how something that works can turn into something that doesn't?). If the baby doesn't stop crying then you pick them up and put him back down the second he stops. You just comfort, they put themselves to sleep. She says it takes around 20 min but can take up to an hour!!! Hopefully I won't have to try this method, but if I do then you know I'll be posting about it if it works or not!!!


Monday, June 22, 2009

Cuff Links

For Zach's first Father's Day I wanted to get him something meaningful. It took me like 5 seconds to think of the idea! I got him cuff links with the Parker family crest ingraved in them! I know it's kind of a "lame" gift because who wears cuff links very often? But for big events in Kye's life I thought he could wear them and then someday pass them on to Kye. And Kye can then do the same thing someday! Cool idea huh?

My mom is really good at writing little poems for things, but it's not something I'm super good at. I did my best, however, and wrote Zach this poem to go along with his gift!

These are just little cufflinks
Something you may rarely wear
They will sit in their box
Sheltered from all wear and tear

They are meant to be used
On occasions special to your son
His big days and moments
A whole life ahead that he’s just begun

Wear them when he makes big choices
Like deciding to live his life for the Lord
Wear them when he graduates high school
Or when he accepts a football award

Someday Kye will become a man
It’s hard to believe I know
But wear these cufflinks as time passes
And as he continues to grow

Wear them as he graduates college
As we look at him so proud
Wear them on that magical day
That we watch him take his vows

Then someday Kye’s day will come
The day he becomes a dad
You will know exactly the gift to give
Something special to be had

On that day pass these cufflinks on
To the son you love so much
Let the memories continue to be passed
Through these cufflinks with a little Parker touch

Not bad huh??? Anyway when Zach read my card he started getting a little emotional, but once he read the poem he cried! It made me tear up too! It's just so awesome that he's always wanted to be a daddy and now he is one! And not just any dad...he's seriously the most incredible dad I've ever seen!!! I love him so much more each day as I see him with our son and how much love he has for him!

Zach's First Father's Day

Since I was having the shower at our house Saturday we had to decide what Zach would do and what he could do that included Kye since I didn't want Kye here (I just feel like baby shower's are to honor the baby to come...not to show off the babies who are already here!). Zach decided that he wanted to do something with HIS dad as a pre-father's day celebration. And what did they want to do? Golf of course! The easy-going-mom in me said SURE take our 3 month old baby out in 100 degree heat and have a blast!

It was really cute how excited Zach was to take Kye with them even though Kye will NEVER remember his "first" time golfing, I know Mr. Rusty and Zach won't ever forget it! The cutest thing about their golf trip? I laid out Kye's outfit and then Zach came out asking if his outfit looked ok...and I asked him if he was trying to match the baby and he said yes! SO adorable that he wanted to kind be coordinated with his son! I gave him the camera to take lots of pics of the big event...but of course he didn't so I'm glad I snapped this one before they left!
Father's Day morning we decided that we should start going to Sunday school class. We've been doing good making it to morning church (still haven't battled evening's just SO much in one day to tackle with a young baby) and really want to be at class so we rushed around to be able to do that!
We decided to be late though as we wanted a few special minutes to open Zach's Father's Day gift! Here's the proud daddy with his son :) Can you tell it was about Kye's naptime?
Opening his card from Kye! Yes, the paci is in. It was 9:10 and Kye's nap is at 9 so it was needed!!!! The next post is going to be dedicated to Zach's gift but it was cufflinks and he really loved them!
I had to steal a quick pic with him too :)
After church we loaded up (with Ashley) and headed to the Parker's to eat. It was a big choatic with 3 babies and 10 adults!!! Poor Kye didn't get a very good nap but we did our best. When we got home Zach said for Father's Day he wanted to take Kye out in the blow-up pool we bought (I use it everyday to lay out in haha). Kye was overly tired but at least he had the experience!
Can't you tell Weight Watchers is doing wonders for Zach? He looks awesome!
Not too sure about this whole thing...
Our little water baby
Mommy had to get in too! I can't WAIT until the day we have a REAL pool in our backyard (it'll be the next house...even if we can't afford to have cabinet doors, we WILL have a pool haha)!
Father's Day part two coming next....

Shower For Neela

It's official! I'm the queen of hosting showers for the SECOND pregnancy! I had one for Courtney back in April and Saturday I hosted one for Crissy! I actually enjoyed planning for this shower more than Courtney's b/c I was the only one hosting. Sometimes lots of people makes it more stressful ya know?

I did a GREAT job of not getting stressed out and just having fun putting everything together. I think I was in such a good mood b/c I could actually wear NORMAL clothes!!!! Yay! The skirt I've had for ages and the shirt is one of the ones I've owned from BEFORE becoming pregnant :) It made me feel like ME again!
I'm so so so glad I got to do this for Crissy. Little Neela will be here soon but she's been fighting for awhile now to come even sooner! It's been a rough time for Crissy and she's been on bedrest for awhile too. She deserved an afternoon of fun and good times with her friends and family! Plus she has done SO much for me both when I was pregnant and as a new mom...I appreciate her friendship more than she even knows!
I loved the diaper cake Zach and I made for her as well...we're pros in that department if anyone ever needs help making one :)
Isn't this bib adorable? I had several made for Kye with his name on them too as I just don't like cutesy bibs and when you have a kid who spits up you HAVE to have bibs! I found this lady on Ebay who made me 10 bibs for $30! Great deal huh? I know Neela will have the same issues as Kye...a cool name but never anything anywhere with their names on this way at least they have bibs!
Cute cupcakes huh? I did so GOOD being on my diet! I have allll the extras away so I wouldn't have an temptations sitting around the house!
I did have a weakness for the fruit pizza's hard to resist!
My goal was for Crissy to have FUN. We played FIVE games!!! Yes FIVE!!! Bottle Races is one of my favorites...I filled up 12 bottles with 2 oz of water and they raced to see who could drink it all first. Guess who won? Katie!!! What skills haha
We also played a game where they had a minute to draw a baby on a paper plate on their heads! It was a great quick first game to help everyone get in the game mode. Seth's Mom actually had the best baby which was pretty funny.
Seth's Grandma, Mimi, is PRECIOUS! She was hilarous when we played the poopie diaper game (you pass around melted candy bars and they have to guess what candy is in each diaper). It was a good one too and pretty tough for everyone. Casey and Ashley both tied and had to use toliet paper to guess how big Crissy is for the tie-breaker and Casey won (Ashley HATES losing haha)
We also played the attribute game which is where you pick what traits the baby will have, either the mommy's or daddy's, and you try to match the mom-to-bes answers! Autumn won that game with 14 out of 20 correct!
My favorite game though was Baby Gift Bingo which I hadn't ever played before but I really liked it. As they brought in the gifts I put a numbered sticker on each one. Then each person got a little bingo board (took me forever to make each one different!) and as Crissy opened a gift we called out the number on the sticker and they marked their boards for bingo! Thank the Lord Ashley won or she probably wouldn't have been in a good mood the rest of the day!
It was a fun afternoon and I really hope Crissy had a good time and that she got some good stuff for when Neela gets here...hopefully she'll hold out until Crissy's scheduled c-section! But I still am excited to meet her!!!!

Baby Gear: Birth ~ 4 Months

I know I made a list awhile back of all the things we bought and what I thought was worth having, but now that I've been a Mom for almost 4 months I feel like I should dish out what is really good to have for this age and I plan on doing a similar list every couple of months. I'm linking to Amazon whenever possible (and those links are affiliate)!

For Breastfeeding:

I highly recommend that everyone breastfeeds! It may be hard at first but it's so, so worth it. That being said, yes breastfeeding is WAY cheaper than buying formula but there is still a lot of stuff you need:
  • Medela Freestyle Pump: Yes, it's over $300 but worth every penny. I've used it everyday and haven't had any problems with it. It pumps me empty in around 9 min, which is really awesome if you think about it. It's also hands free which is great because every morning I can blog or check email while pumping!
  • Lansinoh Bags: They make the best breast milk storage bags. I've stored up over 800 oz of milk total by now and have had very few issues with them leaking. You can also store them flat which saves a TON of space in the freezer. The only thing to be careful about is not to let them get hot (like in your car when traveling) because they will stick together and can rip when you go to open them.
  • Lansinoh Cream: I still use it on my nipples before I nurse! I stopped using it after I nurse but I always put it on before. Crissy gave me this tip and I'm so thankful she did as it's been a lifesaver! I think if I quit using it my nipples would be fine but it helps keep them from drying out and cracking.
  • Medela Bottles: Originally I bought some Playtex bottles thinking we'd use those but the Medela ones hook right up to the pump and make it super easy. They are also wonderful bottles and I plan to use them for all my kids in the future! They are all dishwasher safe and haven't had any major gassy issues or leaking from them!
  • Medela Harmony Pump: It's a manual pump and it's worth investing in as well. Yes, 90% of the time I use the Freestyle but sometimes it's late at night and you're super full and you just want something quick. I've used it in time like those as well as if he finishes eating and one breast is still full. I think it'll also be useful when I go to dry up because you can pump-to-comfort easier with this since it doesn't suck it all out of you!
  • Probiotics: Amazing vitamin! I still take pre-natal vitamins since I'm nursing but my preacher's wife recommended that I take these as well. It's expensive (But you can get a discount by joining Advocare!) but worth it as it helps prevent yeast for me (which I had some issues with before) and has ALL kinds of benefits for the baby! It boosts their immune system (Kye hasn't had ONE cold or fever yet btw), helps digest food, avoid eczema and asthma too!
  • Boppy: I mentioned this one in the other baby gear post, but what would I do with out it? It's wonderful and makes nursing much more comfortable. I'd get 2 extra covers for it though especially if your baby spits up as much as mine does!
For Baby:
  • Clothes: With a boy I'd highly recommend a LOT of short sleeved onesies. You can buy them in packs and they are pretty cute. Kye lives in these because you can easily throw on a pair of shorts to make an outfit and you can swaddle him in this without him being uncomfortable. I cannot STAND outfits that aren't onesies. Regular shirts ride up constantly making his tummy show all the time. I always end up putting a white onesie under the outfit so make him more comfortable. I also am not a huge fan of the outfits that are one piece where they are short sleeved and shorts all together. It just looks funny to me and since Kye has thick thighs they hug them too tight.
  • Pack and Play: essential! Even if you don't travel often I like to have mine set up so Kye can have independent playtime in it. We bought a cheap one ($60!) and it's EVERYTHING we need. I'm glad I didn't pay a fortune for something with all the gadgets when I like that ours is easy to set up and simple to understand. The only problem? It can't fit through doorways which is a pain!
  • Diapers: A mistake is buying a ton in advance. I'd buy one small box of each size and that's it. It's one of those things you really need to buy as you need it since you can't predict how fast your baby will grow. Go Pampers all the way! They are a million times better than Huggies and I refuse to even try Luvs. My favorites are the Baby Dry kind but the Swaddlers are okay too.
  • Wipes: Again, go Pampers. Huggies gave Kye the worst diaper rash he's ever had.
  • Play Mat: This is the best "big" item we got. I love it and I love seeing him develop from using it. We have the Baby Einstein one but anything will do. Mom bought a really neat rain forest one by Fisher Price and it has a little incline thing for him to kick his feet on or look at during tummy time which I liked too!
  • Bouncer: This comes in close second for best big item! I LOVE his bouncer. HE loves his bouncer! Ours you can remove the little hanging toys and we use that for him to sit in while he watches Your Baby Can Read. I love the little hanging toys though too and Kye will literally be entertained with them for an hour, easy. I use this when I have to get ready and he's perfectly content hitting them, grabbing them, and talking to them.
  • SwaddleMe: I'm still a big fan of the swaddle. It's a life saver and Kye adores his. I discovered Kye prefers fleece over cotton so I'd buy one of each material to see which one a baby prefers before stocking up on them because now I have cotton ones I never use!

  • Jumperoo: So far Kye isn't quite big enough to fully enjoy this toy but it's SO great to have something I can stick him in and allow him to play on his own instead of just having the bouncer. I like variety :) Plus I think it does help him "practice walking" as he loves having the freedom to move his legs and feet!
  • Nail Clippers: I trim Kye's nails twice a week. Invest in some baby nail clippers that you like. Mine have a grip that's really comfortable which makes the job easier. Luckily, I've actually cut Kye and he doesn't mind at all! But some babies do and even if yours doesn't you still don't want to hurt them. I got baby nail files in a little packet and thought it was stupid but they are handy too! Their little nails are sharp and it's good to be able to file them down
  • Books: Yes, it's for baby but they are really for you too since you're the one that has to read them. We got a lot for gifts that were geared towards the baby and are just pictures with words like a picture of an apple and the word "apple" under it. Um not very fun to read! I'm loving pulling out my books from my childhood because they are so much more entertaining with actual stories! I'd load up on books that YOU like because your baby will like anything! And the more the better so you don't get sick of reading the same thing over and over.
  • Baby Bjorn: Kye loves it because he can see the whole world in front of him, Zach loves it because it's comfortable, easy to use, and just one of those kinda cool baby things. I haven't used it yet and don't know when I will but I think it's one of those things we'll just use more and more!

  • Hats and Sunglasses: If you go outside the bright sun really bothers babies (at least it does mine) so having hats that shade the sun and especially sunglasses to block it out really come in handy. Plus the more you use them now the more the baby won't mind it in the future!
  • Burp Rags: You need a million, trillion of them. Just stock up big time! I mostly use cloth diapers as mine and they work great and since they are white people can't really tell you're walking around with a nasty used one on your shoulder!
  • Bibs: Along the same lines I wish I would have bought more CUTE bibs in the beginning. If your baby spits up even close to mine then you want a lot of bibs to match outfits because they will basically live in one. I found a lady on Ebay who made some for me with his name on them and such as I am not a big fan of a bunch of sayings and crap all over him!
  • Sleep Sheep: I use this EVERY nap. I always put it on the ocean sound and it helps put Kye to sleep. I have the travel one too and use it everytime we go on trips. I'm sure he could sleep without it but I think it makes for a more peaceful sleeping environment and I like having things that we only do at naptime because when I go to put him down it helps him recognize that okay it's naptime now :)
  • Tylenol: I'm not a big medicine fan but I think it's essential to have baby Tylenol in your medicine cabinet. First off the dr. will have you give the baby some before getting shots. Also I have used it a couple times since teething has begun. Luckily for me Kye loves the stuff (cherry flavor!) so he takes it with a smile :)
  • Desitin: Yes, you need some just in case for a diaper rash. Buy the original purple bottle's way thicker and stays on better than the rest! We didn't like the blue bottle (I think it's overnight protection?) or the yellow one (it's clear)...good old original is best! And I had 8 bottles of this junk for some reason before he was even born. I haven't even used 1/2 a tube this is another thing not to stock up on too much. I probably have enough for all four children!
For You:

  • Babywise (book's title: On Becoming Babywise and the ones after it) Is it tough for the first couple weeks? Yes. Is it totally worth it? Double yes! Will people tease you and such for your child always being on a schedule? Probably. But you know what? The benefits of it will prove them all wrong. Just look at Kye: he has slept beautifully through the night since 8 weeks old, he's healthy, never been sick, very independent, content, puts himself to sleep with NO help from us, and VERY happy. Who wouldn't want those things for their child?
  • Bradley Method (book title: Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth): I am so thankful that I had Kye the all natural way! Even if you plan to use drugs during labor I really recommend the exercises throughout your pregnancy. I think it helped my labor go so so so much quicker and much easier too!

  • A good camera: totally worth it to be able to take lots and lots of pics of your beautiful baby!

Stuff I Wouldn't Buy:
  • Swing: I was so excited about the swing because I know my mom said I LOVED mine when I was a baby. Crissy said that Stevie wasn't crazy about it and honestly, neither is Kye. Sure he'll sit in it if he is put there but he doesn't really enjoy it the way he does the bouncer. He can't reach the hanging toys on it and this frustrates him. Is it nice to have? Sure but for $100 I wouldn't bother with it. Especially doing Babywise he has never napped outside his crib so I don't use it the way a lot of people too as a sleep tool!
  • Wee Wee Tee Pee: Moms always know best don't they? My mom said this was a gimmick and it was dumb but we bought it anyways! It is used to cover the little penis to protect you from getting sprayed. Will a baby boy spray you? Yes! But you can just use a baby washcloth (you have a million of them anyway and they aren't good for much) to cover it during diaper changes. At this point he NEVER pees on us anymore so we don't even cover it!

  • Stuffed Animals: Not that we bought Kye many of them but he got SEVERAL as gifts and they are pretty dumb toys if you think about it. They just sit there! We've never once had him play with a stuffed animal, besides the REALLY big ones he has because they are kinda fun! The best toys are things that are solid and hard so you don't have to worry about puke ruining them or a dog chewing them up. I LOVED stuffed animals as a kid and I wish I hadn't as what happens to them over time? You store them to keep forever but they get moldy and nasty. I just threw a TON away. What a waste! I hope my kids won't have a love for stuffed animals but I only know I can for sure control it for a little while haha
  • Changing Table: I'm so thankful we decided to use a dresser as the changing table and just bought a changing pad on top. I really recommend doing this as your baby only needs a diaper changed for how long? Hopefully under 2 years and then you're stuck with this non-functional ugly table thing!
I hope this list helps some people know what is worth buying and what isn't!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Little Brown Spot

Isn't funny how you can look at something every single day and still not know every little detail of it? I've had Kye now for about 3 1/2 months and I just noticed that in his blue eyes he has a spot of brown! When I first noticed it I thought maybe it's his eyes turning color but I looked back at old pictures and yup, it's there!

You may have to click on the picture to enlarge it in order to see it but it's his right eye top right side of his pupil! Isn't that neat? I plan to ask the dr. about it but I really hope it never changes because it's such a neat little thing that one day a girl will notice and love that only she really knows that about him ya know?
This picture was taken about a month ago and you can see it there too! How did I never notice this before?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Love That Grows

Something I have learned in becoming a parent is that people aren't always honest. I've known that for sometime, obviously, but I never realized how much people say what they think is the "right" thing to say instead of what they actually feel. This happens A LOT in relation to pregnancy and babies.

You never hear someone say "it's a girl but I was really hoping for a boy" or "we're pregnant and we aren't excited about it" There are lots of things like this that we say because we think we should feel a certain way. You hear mother's all the time say they quit breastfeeding because they didn't have enough milk supply when really maybe they just didn't want to deal with it. You hear new mom's say that they never miss the days "before baby" when in reality they may day dream about a time when they had the freedom to do whatever they wanted. You hear parents say their child is the most precious thing on earth when they might secretly think their kid isn't quite as cute as they had hoped.
Why do we feel the need to put on a front all the time? It's like we're afraid of people judging us for our true feelings...but do you know what all this fibbing really does? It makes us think something is wrong with us when our feelings differ from the norms we hear everyone else say.

Something I have struggled with since becoming a mom is the initial feeling of being a parent. People on tv, in movies, and in my life have all made it look like it's INSTANT love. As soon as that baby comes out of you, you are overwhelmed with emotion. You cry. You look at that baby and instantly love it more than anything else on earth. Right then and there you'd die for that child. You'd give up everything for that baby to be happy.
I did not have this feeling. And you know what? I'm okay saying it. I want other people to know that it's OKAY if you don't have an initial feeling of love and warm fuzzies. I didn't and I feel like it's more normal than society would let on.

When Kye was born I did not cry. My first thought? "Wow it feels so good to not be pregnant anymore." I did not count every finger and toe. I think it's the hormones and adrenaline but I really didn't feel very emotional at all. I was very, very happy, but I didn't feel some outburst of love and excitement like I expected. And you know what? I felt a lot of guilt about this. I wondered if I loved my son like I should? Was I a bad mother for not feeling an instant bond and connection with him?

It took me a good 3-4 weeks until I looked at my baby and realized my heart was extra full because he is in my life. I remember a moment where I held him and got chills and cried thinking about how much I loved him and how much it bothered me to think someday he'll die (I know kinda morbid but it's what I thought). But this feeling took me 3-4 WEEKS. Not hours, not days, weeks.

As time as continued my love for him has only grown and grown. I truly love him more each day. I went on a 5 day trip when he was 7 weeks old and I did not miss him one bit. I went on a 2 day trip when he was 13 weeks old and I missed him like crazy. I think this is a natural thing and really such a blessing if you think about it. I get to love him more and more and it makes me excited for the future knowing that somehow I will probably even love him more than I do now!
I used to nurse him at each feeding then quickly go change his diaper and play. Now, however, I want our special time together to last as long as possible. I play with him in my lap and cuddle with him. Enjoying each precious moment because I know soon enough he'll be squirming all over the place wanting to have his independence.

When he was born I didn't think I had the most beautiful baby in the I can't get over how precious his little nose is, how soft his skin feels, how pretty his eyes are. Every part of him (even the patchy hair) is perfect to me. I'm his mommy, he's my baby and I love him.
It's okay to feel differently than society makes you think you "should." It's okay to sometimes wish you could go back to the pre-mommy days. I think that way sometimes! When I talk to Ashley and she's been enjoying everyday by the pool I miss last summer and being able to be out there with her each day. It doesn't mean I don't love being a parent, it means I'm human and that as a human we don't quite appreciate what we have when we have it. I didn't enjoy my selfish "me" time as much as I should have. And I'm probably not enjoying my precious "baby" time as much as I should either! I may sometimes miss time before baby but can I imagine my life without Kye in it? Heck no!

It's okay to still be a little selfish sometimes too. If Zach told me I could spend $20 on shopping would I buy Kye a pair of jeans that he needs? Nope! I'd buy something for myself. It's okay if you don't want to breastfeed because you just don't want to. It's okay if you are a little dissappointed that you had your third son. If I have three boys in a row I sure as heck will be a little upset! We all need to give ourselves a break and allow ourselves to have natural feelings without beating ourselves up over it.
As a new mom I've learned that having a baby does change your entire life. 90% of those changes are for the good, but 10% are for the bad. It's not always easy. It's not always fun. But it is so so so rewarding. To look at your baby and think "I made that." To see him achieve something and think "I helped him do that." You made a little person! Someday he'll be an adult and you know what? You can sit back and be proud because YOU made him who he is!

My love may not have been crazy intense when Kye was first born but it is a love that slowly grows with time and builds as I've created a stronger and stronger bond with my son! I've heard many people say they can't imagine having another baby because they don't know how they'd be able to love it as much, but I'm not afraid of this happening. When baby #2 comes someday (not any day soon people) I know the crazy love may not be there at first but it will only grow with time.

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