Saturday, April 27, 2013


Hubby and I had a great date afternoon today!

He rented a sports car (thanks to my friend Brittany who cut us a huge deal- she works at enterprise). And we dropped Jackson off at his Grammy Dean's and we headed out for a drive. We took the long way around to Athens, stopped at a lake on the way, went to this awesome burrito joint and got some food, took it to a park to eat, then headed back home, taking the long/scenic route.

It was so much fun to spend time with my hubby & best friend. To get to reconnect again. When we were dating we used to go on back roads drives all the time- I guess that was just our little thing. Anyway I had a blast. Of course I missed my little dude, but Brew and I decided we definitely don't do this often enough. We're going to make it a priority to have at least one date night/day a month just the two of us. Even if we just come back home and chill, today just reminded me of how much fun I have with him and how extremely blessed I am to be married to such a wonderful guy, who also happens to be an amazing daddy! ❤️

Rock-a-bye baby...

Sooo let's talk sleep and babies. Or rather lack of sleep!

From the get go, I expected that with parenthood comes a certain level of sleep deprivation. I was pleasantly surprised though when we were blessed with a great sleeper. Jackson's first week was a little rough. He pretty much ate every two hours around the clock. But after that first week he settled into a rather nice sleep pattern. He would sleep 4-5 hours straight, wake up and eat, and sleep for another 2-3 hours, eat again, and then another 2-3 hours. I was able to get plenty of sleep. He was in a bassinet right beside my bed so it was nothing for me to scoop him up, nurse him, and put him back down.

When he hit 3 months it got even better-- he started giving us 5-6 hours at first. Amaaaaazing! He outgrew his bassinet but I wasn't ready for him to be in his own room so we moved the pack n play in our room.

Then came 4 months and all that glorious sleep ended. I guess it was teething but he started waking up every 3hrs. That was tough but I could still get him back to sleep after nursing him for a minute or two.

Now here recently at 5 months it got even worse. He was up every 1.5-3hrs and I could easily get him back to sleep but could NOT put him down. He would instantly wake up and start crying. We tried the pack n play and his crib both. I tried and my husband tried. But to no avail. After doing a bit if research it seems that he is developing some separation anxiety. That combined with still teething makes for a lot of waking and tears. Finally after several days with basically no sleep (until he woke up at 4-5 and I put him in bed with me) at 2am I put him in bed with us and guess what we BOTH slept straight through till 6.

I was never comfortable with the idea of bed sharing co sleeping. But we realized that unless we just let Jackson cry it out (which neither of us believe in that method and not to mention I just flat can't do that!) this was the only way we were going to get any sleep!

So we made the decision to part time cosleep with our son. For now at least, until I feel comfortable with sleep training him and finding a gentle method that will work for us. Our plan is that every evening he goes through his bedtime routine which starts about 7-- he has his cereal, a bath if its a bath night, playtime with daddy, some diaper free playtime, get pjs on, reading a story, nursing, then rocking him to sleep if he doesn't fall asleep while nursing which he usually does. Then I put him down in his crib. He will usually sleep 2-3 hrs there. Sometimes I will go to bed early right then and most of the time that gives hubby and I some downtime together. Then when he wakes up (like I said usually 2-3hrs later) I first try to get him back to sleep and put him back in his crib (we have yet to be successful there! Lol) but then if there is no doing, instead of fighting for hours I just bring him to bed with us. Last night he slept from 12-5. He stirred once around 2 and I just nursed him side lying and we both fell back asleep.

So far it turns out that this is working rather well for us. We are all able to get some decent sleep.

The only thing that would make it better is if we had a king size bed...

Monday, April 22, 2013

Jackson's 5 month update

Holy cow I have a 5 month old!!!  Time is just flying by.  I really felt that when my nephew was born last week--holding him I couldn't believe that Jackson was smaller than him, not so long ago!   That being said he is such a fun age right now.  Learning a TON and just being his funny self.  The only thing I DON'T like about this age is the teething and sleeplessness... but well this too shall pass!

Weight/Length: 16.5lbs and 24.25in  (note- we did these ourselves this month so they may not be completely accurate lol)
Clothing Size: 3-6 months mostly, can wear a few 6-9
Diaper Size:  Finishing the last pack of size 2s then moving to size 3!
Feeding: Exclusively Breastfeeding, eating every 3 hours for about 10-15min, drinks 4-5oz when being fed expressed milk from a bottle.  Probably starting some oatmeal or rice cereal later this month, he's super interested in solids!
Milestones: Finally rolling over more regularly (from belly to back), getting better coordination when reaching for things (and putting them in his mouth), babbling a ton (using some consonants too), Can lift his torso up at a 45 degree angle when on his tummy, can grab his toes and ALMOST get them in his mouth lol.
Sleep: Still not going the best-- working on getting him to nap longer during the day and in turn hopefully get him to sleep better longer stretches at night.
Likes/Dislikes:  Loves his activity gym and playmat, loves the bumbo and jumperoo, loves music and being sang/talked to, likes going on stroller walks outside and also being worn in the Ergo.  His favorite toy is a crinkly teething blanket.  Dislikes lately include napping (lol-he's an expert sleep fighter) and being left alone lol he always hollars out if I leave him in his swing or something and go into the next room.

I have a nephew!

Hey everyone! Just wanted to introduce you to my first little nephew, Parker David! My brother and sister in law welcomed their first baby to the world on April 16th. He was 8lbs 2oz and 20in long!

I think he's pretty awesome. ;). I can't wait to see him and Jackson grow up together.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Learning so much!!!

Can't believe how much my baby is learning this month! Seems like his little brain is just exploding this month.

He now not only reaches for things but succeeds in grabbing them and either yanking on them or putting it straight in his mouth. He's also discovered his feet recently. His chubby belly gets in the way of him putting his toes in his mouth but he can kick the things on his activity gym now!

He is also giggling up a storm and I love it!!! (Caught some giggles on camera and will post the video soon!)

And just today he has figured out how to stick out his tongue. So funny.

As much as it makes me sad seeing him grow so fast it's also so much fun to see him doing new things and growing into his cute little personality. He is so amazing and my whole world! ❤️

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Breastfeeding-- 4 months in!

So I thought I'd do a post on breastfeeding, since it consumes so much of my life now! 

Let me just start by saying- I love breastfeeding.  Now would I have said that at 1 week, or even 1 month postpartum?  Probably not. 

I always knew I would breastfeed my babies.  My mom nursed me and my two brothers for various lengths of time, my aunt nursed her babies as well, so I grew up around it knowing it was a natural, wonderful thing and the best way to feed a baby.

But I have to say it wasn't what I had expected.  Before I had Jackson, I took a breastfeeding class to just get an overview on everything so I would feel more prepared.  It was a HUGE help and I would recommend that anyone interested in breastfeeding to do the same.  I also did tons of my own research and became even more passionate about it.  The benefits for both mother and baby are insanely awesome.  (Like did you know it can reduce instances of breast cancer in women and also different cancers in babies?)  I'm not going to go into everything here, but seriously, google it- you'll be amazed!  I didn't know why on earth everyone didn't breastfeed!  Not only for the health benefits but have you priced a carton of formula lately???

Well the time came for Jackson to be born!  With the help of my mom I got Jackson latched on right away with no problems.  (He was a 40-weeker, born 2 days past his due date so I think that helped with not having any initial latch problems)

Nursing Jackson for the first time-- I was thinking it's going to be cake!

In the hospital we did ok-- we had a bit of trouble getting him to open his mouth wide enough but he eventually got the hang of it. 

My milk came in on the third day after he was born and WOW did it come in.  I was super engorged and my nipples HURT!  Partly because they were just getting used to it, but also because Jackson wasn't always latching on properly because I was so engorged (think- trying to bite a soccer ball LOL!).  I was a slave to lanolin and the little gel pads that we put in the fridge to get nice and cold. 

Jackson in his first ever milk coma-- also the first time I nursed him not at home or in the hospital-- we were in the car in the pharmacy parking lot lol,  Side note- can't BELIEVE how TINY he is here! :(

I think I was about a week into breastfeeding when I had my first ever moment where I wanted to give up.  All along I had been SO determined to do it-- to make it as long as I could or to my ultimate goal of 1 year.  Failure wasn't an option for me.  But in this particular moment of postpartum hormones, cluster feeding, engorgement and nipple soreness I almost gave in and gave him some of the formula samples I had received.  It sounds so petty when I look back on it but I was in tears at the time.  So I was like I said engorged and I felt like my nipples could potentially have been ripped to shreds (ok- so I didn't have any bleeding but omg were they sore) He was also doing some cluster feeding and we were dealing with some gas issues he was having at the time (later due to hindmilk/foremilk imbalance we think).  I had had a long exhausting day and was functioning on little to no sleep.  My husband finally came home from work and I handed him Jackson and said I HAVE to get a shower.  So I was getting in the nice hot shower, all shut in the bathroom and finally getting a chance to relax and breathe.  I no more than stepped in when Jackson started screaming to be fed again (no matter I just fed him a half hour prior)  Brew was getting frustrated because he couldn't console him and came in the bathroom and told me to hurry it up (we ended up arguing a bit too).  I just cried and rushed through my shower.  I did NOT want to nurse him.  I was in pain, I was tired.  I needed a break.  But I summoned up that inner strength that only moms have I think-- and did it anyway.  Not before I considered giving him the formula though.  But I didn't and I'm so glad I didn't.  But for the first time I really understood why some people don't breastfeed.  Especially in the beginning, it's HARD, even if you don't have any of the textbook problems or anything- it's still HARD!

Ahh another milk coma

Things gradually started to get better though.  The initial engorgement calmed down, which meant his latch improved, and the soreness subsided.  I'd say by the time I hit the 1 month mark it no longer hurt to nurse.  It also started to become something I actually enjoyed.  I did have an oversupply/over active letdown which was contributing to his gassiness/fussiness.  After a bit of research I started block feeding, and eased up on any pumping I was doing.  It made Jackson a much happier baby now that he didn't have a tummy ache after every feeding.  He was still spitting up (and he still spits up) but he's a happy spitter usually so it's nothing to worry about.  He also started to be more interactive as he got older, he would hold on to my shirt or bra and look up at me and even smile while he was latched on.  Soooo precious!

His tiny hand holding on to my shirt while nursing

Once we hit the 6-week mark then things REALLY started getting easier.  I seldom to never had to use the lanolin, and I was getting more and more comfortable nursing in public.  A few times I would bring a bottle of pumped milk when we went out, usually because it was thawed earlier when I didn't work and wasn't used and needed to be used.  It became way more trouble to heat a bottle while out than it was to just nurse him.

Nursing him on Christmas Eve at my inlaws!

Now here we are a little over four months in and it's awesome.  I'm so glad that I didn't give up when I wanted to.  It's rewarding to look at my almost-16-pound baby and all his little rolls and know that it was MY milk that gave him that adorable chub!

My chunky monkey after his breakfast :)

I have experienced all the benefits that I knew about-- I got back to my pre-pregnancy weight just shy of 4 months postpartum without any dieting or exercise, my son has NEVER been sick (even through this rough winter where my husband and I were BOTH sick, TWICE), and I've not had to pay a dime for any of his food.

I've also experienced benefits I didn't know about-- mostly the bonding and closeness I have with my son that I don't know I would have had if I decided not to breastfeed.  He not only wants to nurse for food, but also for comfort.  When he gets his shots or otherwise isn't feeling well (lately it's been teething) he wants to nurse.  He always wants to nurse when I've worked that day, no matter if he had a bottle two hours or two minutes before I walked in the door.  It's our way to reconnect after being apart and I love it.

I also have to say I couldn't of made it this far even without the support of my awesome husband (and also my mom & cousin Stefani).  My husband told someone not long ago that he was proud of me for having breastfed our son and continuing to do so.  It means the world to me that he's proud of me.  He's been there for me and supported me in every possible way he can and I'm so thankful!

I'm so glad I made this decision and stuck with it.  It will be a sad day when he is weaned I can tell you that much!  I am in no way judging anyone who decides not to breastfeed, there are tons of reasons why it may not work out.  But I would encourage anyone to try, it's not easy especially at first, but boy is it worth it!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Jackson's First Easter!

Jackson had a great first Easter! :)

On Good Friday, we did a little Easter photoshoot of our own at home!  Here are some of my favorites :)

Then we spent our Easter morning at church service & with my in-laws.

Hmmm what's in here???

Look at all the goodies the Easter bunny brought me!

He LOVES this crinkly teething blanket!
Love my little family! <3 br="">

Jackson & his cousins! :)

Jackson's 4 month update!

Whoo-- finally caught you all up on Jackson's monthly updates-- now my goal is to STAY caught up! lol.

So I can't believe my baby is 4 MONTHS OLD!  How insane.  He is actually 4 months and 2 weeks old today.  I love watching him grow & change but it's so bittersweet because part of me wants him to stay a tiny baby forever!

Weight/Length: 15lbs 14oz
Clothing Size: 3-6 months
Diaper Size: Size 2
Feeding: Exclusively Breastfeeding, eating every 3 hours for about 10-15min, drinks 4-5oz when being fed expressed milk from a bottle
Milestones: Picking his head up well, can sit up supported, smiling and cooing a ton, can hold toys, and can bring his hands together (and suck his fingers)  Rolled over ONCE from belly to back at 4 months & 1 week, We've also started teething (we think).  Lots of drooling/chomping and more fussiness.
Sleep: Not napping well-- only taking short 30min catnaps.  Nighttime sleep isn't that great either.  Goes down around 9/9:30, wakes up 3 times a night (usually around 1, 3, and 5) to nurse.  I'm thinking it's teething...
Likes/Dislikes:  Still likes being swaddled at night, will now take other pacis, loves being sung to and read to, loves his bumbo seat, jumperoo, & play mat.  Will tolerate tummy time for about 10min. :)

Here's his video update!