Monday, November 26, 2012

4 months old.

Liam is 4 months old today!  He now can roll over as soon as you put him on his belly.  He is reaching out to grab things.  He chews on EVERYTHING.  He laughs easily and is entertained but gets bored too!

We have his well-child scheduled for Wednesday and I'm already dreading it.  He will have to get a number of shots-
Dtap, Hib, IPV, PCV, rota, and hep B #2 (since I didn't have one done in the hospital.)  I am hoping that the  pediatrician's office has the combo shots so he is not stuck 5 times.  (The rota virus vaccine is given by mouth).
Dtap= diptheria, tetanus, petusis
Hib= H. influezna type B
IPV= inactivated poli virus
PCV= pneumoccocal vaccine
Rota= Rota virus (stomach bug)
Hep B= hepatitis B.

I cried the last time so I am expecting that I will be crying again.  Poor little unexpecting Liam!
I took some 4 month photos yesterday and I will take some more tomorrow so I will post those a little later.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Chicken Enchilada Pasta... YUM

So when I was at home I got to experiment with some new Pintrest recipes.  One of the successful ones was a chicken enchilada pasta.  It made enough to feed an army but it sure was delish and I will be making it again in the future (but probably halfing the recipe). We had enough for left overs 3 times.  I found the original recipe at Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour.

Chicken Enchilada Pasta:
2-3 chicken breasts, cooked & chopped {or chopped rotisserie chicken}-- I used the rest of a rotisserie chicken - any and all meat I could get off of it.  I feel that it could have used more, especially with how much pasta was used.
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 {4 oz.} can diced green chiles-- I like food spicy.  This recipe seemed like it would be a little bland so I added a few chopped jalepenos.  Probably could have added more.  There was not much spice to it.
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. chili powder (gives a good “kick” to the dish. Omit or Reduce, if need be)
1 tsp. cumin
2 {10 oz.} cans green chili enchilada sauce
2/3 cups red enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded cheese {I used colby & monterrey jack}
1 cup sour cream
Penne pasta- (I assumed the entire 1 lb box so that's what I did- LOTS OF PASTA)  
Optional toppings:
Green Onions
Black Olives (I used Green)
Sour Cream
Cook chicken, drain, and chop {or chop your rotisserie}. Meanwhile boil pasta according to package and chop the veggies.
Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet and cook onions for about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic & red pepper and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
Add cooked chicken, green chiles, cumin, chili powder, salt, & enchilada sauces. Let sauce simmer for about 8-10 minutes.
Add cheese and stir until the cheese is melted and heated through. Now toss in the sour cream, but whatever you do, DO NOT bring to a boil! Cook on low heat or the sour cream will curdle. Gross. Stir until sour cream is well mixed and heated through.
 Drain pasta & return to pot. Pour sauce over pasta and mix well. Serve and garnish with avocado, tomato, green onion, and a dollop of sour cream.

Really this was tasty- you should try it yourself!

Friday, November 2, 2012

14 weeks old

Liam is 14 weeks old.  My baby's getting so big!  We've gotten a few deep belly laughs and he seems to be getting more and more alert and interactive by the minute.

I'm adjusting to getting back to work and he's adjusting to the baby sitter.  Initially, he was having SUCH a hard time with taking a bottle.  Day 2 went well but days 3 and 4 were a little disastrous. I have to remind myself that this is all new to Liam too, and he isn't just going to settle in to this new routine day one.
Yesterday, seemed to be the best day so far.  He's eating well and sleeping well.  The baby sitter text messaged me and said it was like I dropped off a different baby.  She said he didn't cry once and he was very happy.  He seems to be settling in and she is finally getting to see the baby I know.

Today was the first day I didn't cry on the way to work and the way to drop him off- so seems I'm getting adjusted too.

I can't wait until the weekend so I get a full day with my baby again.  8 more hours to go!

Friday, October 26, 2012

3 months old

My baby is 3 months old.  He's no longer considered a "newborn", he's now officially and infant.  I've looked up 3 month milestones and he has hit all of them.  Actually, he's gotten all expected 4 month milestones down as well.  My precious little boy.

We've had a few big steps.  I had to start back to work this week, Thursday.  
Liam is as stubborn as I am so of course he decided a few weeks ago that he was going to have nothing to do with a bottle.  We tried warm milk, cold milk, freshly expressed milk, warming nipples, 5 different bottles, and having me leave the house.  Thursday morning came and all I could do was I hope and pray that he would decide that it was OK to take a bottle from the babysitter.

No dice. 

This is how it went- 

Day 1- I cried on the way to the baby sitters.  I cried on my way to work.  I cried at work. (Thankfully my first day of work was a half day).  My baby who usually eats every 2 hours ate at 6:30 AM then refused all bottles. He waited for momma to get home at 1:00.  He was exhausted from crying and hungry when I picked him up.  I cried.  I cried that I was starving him.  I cried that I was hurting my baby and there was nothing I could do to help him.  I fell asleep crying.

Day 2- I cried leaving him.  I cried UGLY tears.  I sobbed because I knew how hungry he would be if he didn't eat.  BUT.... come10:30 AM I got the best text message ever.  Liam took a bottle.  He was hungry and must have known that it would be a looooong time before he got to eat.  Granted, he ate only 5 ounces the entire day when he'd usually eat 20, but he ate.  Yay.  Now come Monday, I will cry.  But it won't be because of my starving baby, it will be because I miss my baby.

Going back to work is the hardest thing ever.  I never thought I would want to stay at home, but I do.  I don't want to miss a second with my little guy.  I don't wanna.  WAAAAH!

Here he is:  3 months old today.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Liam's Gray and Teal ( and Orange) Nursery

I love my son's nursery.  Initially, I wanted to make it an "owl" nursery but the owls ended up just blending into the room and not becoming a "focal point" per se.  His colors were gray and teal with white accents but I decided I also wanted a "pop" of orange.  Here's what I ended up with.  Like I said- I love it!  The pictures don't do it justice.

My dad made the stump table from a tree the had on the ranch. My husband and I designed and made the shelving.  My husband and father in law installed the crown molding.  I recovered my sister's navy blue glider.

The rug is from Urban Outfitters (orange zig zag rug) the tree decal is from Etsy (tree decal)
I would like to say that the rug is more of a dull orange than a bright orange.  It also came with a funky smell.  I had to put it outside for days and spray it down with tons of febreeze.

I made the crib bedding and bed skirt.  My husband and I made the abacus based off Anything Pretty's tutorial (abacus).  The curtains are from Z gallerie (mimosa curtain) but I'm not sure they still make them in aquamarine.

My sister and I made the birds for this mobile and my husband I  spent a few hours balancing birds and branches! (Design Sponge Mobile DIY)

The cubes are from Target though I couldn't find an orange one so my sister covered  it for me.   The lamp, which you can't see well from this terrible photo is actually a white tree stump.  It's from Target too.  (tree lamp) though I can't find an original link.

Here's more "artsy" photos.  Taken at my baby shower by my co-worker's daughter, Kati.  She's a better photographer than I am!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Breastfeeding: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I wanted to post something about breastfeeding because I'm pretty proud to be doing it.  I have no experience with formula feeding so I can't compare but I can share my experience that I've gained in the past nearly 3 months of breastfeeding.

Initally, I spent HOURS researching "what is normal" while up in the wee hours of the morning feeding Liam. I found that a lot of my struggles were common, a lot of "common" views weren't exactly accurate, and breastfeeding isn't easy.  It's actually as far from easy as you can imagine. But with each ugly there is a good.  With each bad there is a good.  With each good, there is a wonderful.   To sum it all up with a simple phrase- "Just give it six weeks".  If you can get through the first 6 weeks, you've made it.

We'll start with The Ugly.
     Your nipples-
      They will be scabbed.  They may even have blood blisters on them.
     When you shower, even the water from the shower head will cause so much pain you reconsider ever taking a shower again.  
      The initial latch hurts like hell. Every time.  I reconsidered breast feeding every time Liam would cry to be fed.  I dreaded that latch.  It brought tears to my eyes.  Liam would latch, unlatch, and re-latch a dozen times in the beginning.  I may have yelled at him once or twice to figure it out.
      Everyone tells you to use Lanolin to help- what they don't tell you is that you'll have oily stains on your shirts, bras, and anything else that comes in contact with it.  If you don't use it, your nipples stick to your clothes and peeling them off isn't pleasant.

The Good?  This only lasts about 4-6 weeks.  The scabs go away, the stains become something to laugh at, and showers become your friend.  The latch stops hurting ad you and your baby figure each other out.  It becomes better.  It becomes wonderful.  It becomes a bond.

The Bad.
  I have 2 words- cluster feedings.  These are what makes mommas think they aren't producing enough milk to feed their children.  These feeding occur typically in the evenings, though they can be at anytime.  They occur around growth spurts, so 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, etc.  They exist to help stimulate increased milk production to help feed baby during these growth spurts.
In my experience here's what happened-  I'd feed Liam- he'd take his typical HOUR to eat.  Then 10-20  minutes later, he was crying and rooting for the breast again.  Back on the breast he'd go.  He'd eat again, and again, and again.  I can remember one day he was latched to the breast for 3 straight hours.  I couldn't believe it.  Thank goodness I had my Kindle Fire because I was researching away to make sure this was "normal".  Guess what?  It was.  It didn't mean there wasn't enough milk there- it just meant he was helping let my body know that soon he was going to need more.  I just needed patience (and nipples of steel would have been nice).

The good?  These feedings don't last forever.  The evening cluster feeds actually helped Liam sleep through the night by 6 weeks.  (He now sleeps 10+ hours at night).  The repeat feedings helped us learn to latch better. Liam now eats in under 20 minutes, both sides.  They increased my milk production.  Initially when I pumped I'd only get 2 ounces total from both breasts in 20 minutes.  Now I can get 5 ounces in about 10 minutes, just on one side.  Patience.  JUST GIVE IT SIX WEEKS.

The Good.
You're passing to your child immunity to illnesses.  You're decreasing their risk of asthma, allergies, eczema, ear infections, and even certain cancers.  You're developing a bond like no other.  Yes, mother's who formula feed have a bond too, I'm not discounting that, but  it's so hard to explain.  Breastfeeding a few weeks will make a difference.
Oh yes- and let's not forget the additional 500-800 calories a day you'll burn by breastfeeding!  I shed those 24 baby lbs in the first 6 weeks post partum without exercise.

I've now been breastfeeding for nearly 12 weeks- so I'm not an expert by any means but I really do encourage other mom's to give it a try.  Please ask if you have any questions.  I've even breastfed in public (in the doctor's office waiting room, at a wedding, in my car in a parking lot, and at the table in a restaurant!), and while that was a little panic inducing at first- not a single person said something to me or even looked at me wrong.

A great website and resource is .  I spent many an hour reading the information on there.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Postpartum working out and other identity crises

I started working out this month.  I realized that I was going to have to- I can't go from "i swallowed a watermelon-itis" (aka this:
 to "I can fit in my pre-pregnancy jeans!" without putting in some work.  But here's my dirty secret.  I haven't worked out since I fractured my ankle and had to have it surgically fixed 1.5 year ago.  My other dirty secret?  I gained 20 lbs that year!    After having Liam I lost all the baby weight within a few weeks.  I lost the weight, but what I didn't lose was flab and wider hips.  And I still have 20 lbs to lose from my "I broke my ankle so I can't workout but I sure can eat lot's of crap" year.

I started doing the "30 Day Shred" by Jillian Michaels.  It's tough but only 30 minutes in total so I can get the workout in while Liam sits in his bouncer.  I was so sore the first 2 days I could hardly lift Liam.  I am planning on working out 5-6 times a week and doing some extra ab work in there too.  I'd prefer not to have "dunlap" disease for ever.  (my stomach done laps over my jeans for those of you who are a little slow don't get "dunlap")

Sadly, I have great expectations that I'm not meeting.  I stepped on the scale after 3 WHOLE days of working out and no change.  Perhaps I will have to change my diet too?!  Gasp!

I also cut off all my hair.   I was having an identity crisis.  I wanted a new body but went ahead and got a new hair style instead.  I cut off 14 inches and donated it to "Locks of Love".  They make wigs for children under going cancer treatment.  Here's my new 'do.

Friday, September 28, 2012

2 months old

     My little Liam is 2 months old (9 weeks).  To celebrate he slept for about 10.5 hours straight- he only woke up because I was making LOTS of noise in the kitchen to "encourage" him to wake up.  ( I breastfeed- when he sleeps that long I suffer!)
    We went to his well child visit on his 2 month "birthday"- they celebrate that by giving him shots.  He got 3 pokes ( 4 vaccinations) and 1 oral vaccine.  I will admit, I cried.  I cried on the way to the doctors office because he was sitting in the back seat laughing and I felt so bad because he was so naive, innocent, and "unsuspecting".  He loves car rides and here I was taking him somewhere where they intended to inflict harm on him.   I cried in the office when he cried.  I'm such a sap.

     He did well- he only cried for a few minutes then stopped but for the rest of the day you could tell his little legs hurt him.  He didn't stand up as much as he usually does.

on the way to the pediatrician's office
  The next day we went to Aunt Jessica's house and took pictures.  Liam also got to "play" with his cousins.  Overall, he had a good "birthday".  


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I survived....

I survived my first day away from Liam.  I cheated a bit though.  I was in a wedding this past weekend - which meant spending nearly all day away from Liam.  I was more than panicked.  I was going to have to pump throughout the day and my husband, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law were going to watch my baby.

The night prior to the wedding was the rehearsal so I got a little practice myself.  My husband attended it with me- it was about an hour drive- so we left around 6pm to get there at 7.  The rehearsal went well, then off to the dinner.  I had to pump in the car on the way to the dinner, but my wonderful husband bought me the car adapter for my pump so it was no big deal.  We got home around 11:30 or so and the baby was asleep already after taking a bottle.

The next day was the wedding.  I left Liam (in very capable hands) at 11:00 am.  We initially planned on staying the night near the wedding but to save money, we canceled the reservations and I planned on just driving home after the wedding.  The day went well- I had to pump in a room full of people I didn't know but  people were pretty understanding.  But, little by little I missed Liam more and more so I text messaged my husband a new plan!

He could drive out to the area where the wedding was with his mom and sister and most importantly, Liam. I  rationalized that Chase was my date and he would have to drive out to the wedding anyway and if his mom came earlier in the day we wouldn't have to worry about getting both Chase and I home after the wedding. I could just drive Chase and I home in my car.
Aaand-  That way I could feed Liam and see Liam and not go nuts.  Thankfully, and most graciously, his mom and sister agreed to my nutty plan.

I had to pump one more time in the car during the wedding because my dress was starting to not fit but overall- everything went well.  The wedding was beautiful and went off without a hitch!

And here are Liam's 8 week old pictures.  He will be 2 months old tomorrow.  I can't believe it!  I will take better pictures though!  I'm reading a book on how to take better pictures and my sister is going to teach me a few things.  So please forgive the horrible shadows and bad lighting!

Friday, September 21, 2012

8 weeks old!

My son is 8 weeks old.  8 weeks.  I don't know which is more amazing, the fact that I have a SON or the fact that we've both survived this long!

Liam is a wonderful baby.  We've only had a few days and nights where I cried when he cried but mostly, he's quiet and peaceful.  I can't believe I'm so lucky (knock on wood).

At 8 weeks old Liam is smiling and laughing.  He likes to look at himself in the mirror.  He likes to stand holding on to your fingers.  He will grab at your earrings, necklace, and/or hair.
He doesn't like to be held at your chest or cradled because he can't see what's going on in the world- he's curious and likes to look around.

At 8 weeks old I can count on him sleeping through the night.  He started this around 6 weeks old but that was hit or miss.  I can now be sure (again knock on wood) that when I put him down after his night time feeding ( whether it be 8, 9, or 10 o' clock pm) he won't be waking up until 4:30- 5:30 am.  I easily get 7- 8 hours of sleep.  After he wakes in the morning, he eats and goes back to bed until 7 or 8.

I can't believe how fast the time is going by.  I have to go back to work in 4 weeks.  I've cried.  I don't want to go back.  We have a wonderful lady to watch him when I do return to work but I'll miss so much. I don't want to go; but sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do. 

sporting his einstein- "Albert" by "Bum Genius" diaper

He likes to stand!


Friday, September 14, 2012

Liam in photos

I love him.  I can't stop looking at him.  And since he's still sleeping I will let you look at him too!  Here's a post of mostly photos!
1 day old
one week old

2 weeks old

3 weeks old

1 month old

5 weeks
6 weeks

7 weeks

bath time

Authentic flight jacket- a gift from Papa Hogan.  It maaay  be a little big!

chillin' with Papa