Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bye Blogging Break...Hello 2012

Well, I have a lot of updating to do. We are in the midst of a great holiday break. Recaps to come as my blogging break is coming to an end. I will have full blog posts again when we return home in a few days. The boys are doing great, enjoying time with family and friends and being spoiled by grandmothers. Though breaks like this are always welcomed and nice, it's also good to be back home in our own beds and back to our routines, so we are looking forward to that as well.

As we face the last few hours of the year that is 2011, I am reflecting on how life has changed. I am still sad that it was a year that my dad didn't get to see. He has missed so much and he is missed so much. We continue to carry him in our hearts always! I have been trying to think of three words to sum up the year (I love that feature on the Sunday CBS morning news)and too many words come to mind...I mean, can I do anything in three words? So after much pondering, I am thinking "transitions through blessings" summarizes my year. Yeah, when I think about it, those three words seem powerful and fitting. What would your three words be? Interesting to think about, right?

Anyhow, like I said, full recaps of the holidays and the boys are coming zoo. Thanks for your patience and blessings on a great new year to you and your families.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Saying Hello...and Goodbye

Well, the final preps are underway for our trip back home for the holidays. We are looking forward to a little time away from the 80 degree temps and sunny weather (okay, just kidding about that part). But seriously, it'll be nice to be in a familiar land with familiar people that we love and cherish. Sometimes it's so darn hard to be far away! Anyhow, I am thankful that big J managed to get a few days from work to join us for a little bit. The little guys and I will have an extended stay and look forward to spending the time eating (a lot) and visiting with family and friends.

I wrote in my last post that my Mawmaw passed away. I still don't know how to come to grips with this as it's like I have lost another tangible connection to my dad. They had the same eyes and I was looking forward to looking into her eyes this holiday and seeing the piece of my dad that shared so much with me and radiated so much love. But that's not to be. I wanted to see the smile on her face as she kissed J on the forehead and held B in her arms, but I guess our reunion will happen in another time and space. I hope she is rejoicing and has my dad in her love and embrace. This sucks. And what I have learned through all this more than anything is that life goes on...people come, people go...material things fade, but the world keeps spinning and we have to as well.

Since we will be away from the house for the actual "big day," Santa visited 2999 last night. He happened to come while J was taking a bath. To see the shock and excitement on his face when he came out was what life is all about. We didn't go overboard this year, but J loved every minute! He even opened gifts for his little brother and tried to explain them to him. B was more concerned with eating and getting off to bed this year :)...How that will change in a few years, LOL. So the spirit of the holidays definitely warmed our hearts through the eyes of our children.

So I am off to finish packing. Drop me a line and let me know if you'll be in town for the holidays. We'd love to see yall.

I'll leave you with our Christmas blessing...from my two special gifts :)

Happy Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Double Digits

Baby boy, you are ten weeks old today! Wow...Looking back at some of the pictures (which seems like they were taken just yesterday), I have realized how you have changed so much. You are so much fun and we love talking to you and snuggling with you.

We have been super busy the past few days. Our bowl game went well last night and it was good for me to see my coworkers and friends. Of course, everyone was excited to see J and meet B...So after a few days in the hotel enjoying bowl week activities and spreading some Christmas cheer, we are back home. We'll have about a day to unpack, wash and repack before we head out of town for the holidays and I, for one, can't wait.

The holidays will be a little sad this year. I am trying to think of it positively by saying that I have gained another angel, but it's tough. Yesterday morning, my mawmaw passed away. She was hospitalized a brief time before she died. My dad's mom was awesome and always reminded me to appreciate the simple things in life. My heart is heavy that though she saw pictures of Baby B, she will never get to meet him or hold him. I am somewhat comforted by the fact that my daddy now has both of his parents with him in heaven and I pray that their spirits are all rejoicing together. But yeah, this sucks. In times like these, I wonder about faith and the fairness of it all. I am not going to get into it on this blog post, but that'll be coming soon.

We love you MawMaw (or Mamom as she preferred sometimes). Please watch over me and my boys. May you get your wings and be granted peace. Please hug my dad for me. You are both missed beyond measure!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Traditionally Speaking

Sorry I have been away for a few days. It's been a little bumpy here chez 2999, but everyone is on the mend and we are declaring good health for our family from here on out!!!!

Anyhow, since we've had some days quarantined in the house, I have done quite a bit of thinking about the holidays and what they mean to me. As I have perused various blogs and websites, I am touched by some of the traditions that people share with their families. They range from the kinda strange--ie that elf on a shelf thing that I still don't get--to the sentimental--ie lighting candles for departed loved ones.

While I know that we had traditions growing up, I don't know that we defined them as such. Instead, we just enjoyed the moments and cherished the time together doing what we do...I can recall one of my favorite times was sitting by the fireplace every year waiting for my dad to make a "big" fire so that we could sit in our PJ's and hear him read the Christmas story like only he could. And yes, we did that every year, so I guess that was a little tradition...Though as I look outside at this sun and 80 degree weather, it's hard to imagine those chilly days. So yeah, well, aside from that, our annual holiday celebrations included stops at my maternal grandmother's home followed by a stop at my mawmaw and pawpaw's house. Yep, our trip to the country...filled with laughs, love, food and Wal-Mart gift that we loved so much. Those were the days, LOL.

So fast forward to saddens me that dad only got to read that Christmas story to J a few times and it sucks that B won't even know his voice. Those trips to the country aren't quite the same without him and so many more who are no longer with us. There's a stillness in the celebrations that match the loneliness in our hearts. But I have to remind myself to snap out of it and to realize that I can't dwell in grief. I have memories to make and "traditions" to uphold with my boys, my mom and my brother. So while we don't have dad's artistic touch to add the holiday decorations to the yard at mom's house, we still have to pull out his reindeer and snowman and put them up the best that we can. I know he'd be laughing and proud. I am going to bribe guncle to read the Christmas story to the boys this year and maybe, just maybe, we'll get the fireplace to light up and carry a flame like dad used to.

More than anything, I want to pass along the feeling of family and of love. After all, that's what the holidays are about, right? So 20 years from now, when the boys are grown and moving on, I want them to be able to reflect on their holidays with warm fuzzies...Okay, wait, they are boys, let me rephrase...I want them to have fond memories of the times spent with family. I want them to cherish not just the material gifts, but the intangible ones as well. I want them to be able to pass along what I guess we can proudly call our family traditions...though the are not as defined or elaborate as some, they are ours and I am grateful for them!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

No Judgment Zone

Something about pregnancy and having a newborn around seems to invite people to try to invoke their opinions about everything you do and every decision you make. I have matured enough in my years to finally know that I don't have to justify their opinions with a response or defend the choices that I make for myself or for my family, however, it does get O-L-D...Okay, before my rant goes too far, let me put this in context...

On the topic of choosing to breast feed B or not, I seem to have upset the masses because we have moved on from that and he's now exclusively receiving formula. I mean, damn, is this going to start the next foreign conflict or what? Everything isn't for every body! I know that we gave it a good go and he received breast milk for the first crucial weeks of his life, but like I said, it was in the best interest of my sanity and my family, that we ended it. And it wasn't even dramatic here, just went along with what he needed and the natural flow of things. I would like to think that I am educated enough to know all the benefits of breast milk and the down side to formula, so your reminding me of that doesn't help. And no, I don't feel like I am weak or less of a mother because I am not breast feeding. I feel just fine, I am empowered and I am confident that my baby boy is healthy and growing well...And if you've seen the pics of him lately, you know that he isn't missing any meals :)...

And okay, so if I choose not to have B fully vaccinated right now, again, that's OUR decision. I have heard from some that my unvaccinated child will be a risk of spreading some dreadful disease to your children because he's not fully protected. To those who feel that way, the answer is simple, stay away! We will catch up with you a few years down the line when B has been injected with all the (in my opinion) unnecessary poison to "protect" him...And while I am no expert in the matter, I do tend to believe there is a link between the increased level of vaccines that our children are mandated to receive and the increased level of autism and other developmental delays. I am willing to be totally off on that and incorrect, but again, that would be my mistake. If nothing else, I am giving B the benefit of having his shots and giving his system time to eliminate the indigestible toxins (ie mercury) that come along with them. So again, forgive my child if he sneezes on yours, I am sure your precious little one is exposed to much worse than a baby sneeze...(and stop smoking with the car windows up before you tell me anything else, LOL).

I'm on a roll now and could keep going about the "advice" that is passed my way or the opinions that I encounter more than I'd like. But just one more...So the hell what if I choose to hold my baby all day long (well, not all day, but you know what I mean). These little ones are only babies once and if he cries because he wants to be in my arms, then shit, I am gonna pick him up. It's that simple. This time next year, he will be running from me. I'll have to chase him to even get a hug and I know that cuddling with him will be out of the question as his independence will have taken over. So no, I don't believe that I am spoiling him or scarring him for life because he likes to be held by mommy. Hell, he's a baby. He's supposed to be held. I am not raising a mini adult here, I am raising my newborn son! I know that mom held me, well probably dad since I am a daddy's girl through and through, but my point is that my brother and I didn't see too much of the couch, bed or bouncy chair. We felt the warm arms and love of our parents and I'd like to say that we both turned out more than fine.

So let me end by saying the next time you want to open your mouth to me or any other new mommy for unsolicited advice, just please, think of what you are saying and how you're saying it. As for me and my house, we choose to live in a NO JUDGMENT ZONE!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Two Months Young

Baby boy B, you're two months old today! After taking your picture with your "milestone" onesie, I sat back and reflected on the last 60 or so days. It's amazing how in just a short time, you've changed so much. At the same time, it's crazy how the short days and long nights have already added up to your seeing your third month on this earth. We are so thankful for you and don't take for granted any time with you or the simple blessing of having you here...I updated your stats on a prior post, so what else have you been up to during your second month?

-You are a sweet baby. You love to smile when spoken to and are starting to recognize mom and dad.

-You LOVE your big brother. You light up when J enters the room and will seek out his voice no matter where he is. I am excited to see you grow and to witness the bond that the two of you will share.

-You are unbelievably strong. Your doctor confirmed this (it's not just mom saying it). You can hold your neck up with the best of them and once you get a grip on something (including my hair...OUCH), you will NOT let go.

-You are pretty consistent with your schedule. You eat every three hours, play for about an hour after that and then sleep for an hour and a half. That cycle repeats throughout the day (we are becoming Baby Wise...) and at night, you may go four hours before you wake up to eat and you go right back down to sleep once you're fed and changed.

-You have started tummy time though it's not your favorite. You'd rather be upright on our shoulders so that you can see and take the world in.

-You still dislike riding in the car and being in your carseat though it seems that you are starting to mellow out a bit. I hope so, we have places to go and things to see!!!!

-All the newborn clothes have been put away for a while now, but now I am starting to put away the 3 months clothes as well. It depends on the brand, but you are most comfy in the 3-6 months clothing and some 6 month outfits as well.

-You are in size 2 diapers and made that leap last week. You can technically still fit the size 1's, but the extra room is good on those big legs you have and also protect us from your blow outs.

-You were taking Zantac for your reflux, but I am weaning you off of it. We changed your formula to the Similac sensitive for spit up which contains rice paste and that seems to be helping. No more breast milk for you (I still think you're allergic to something in my diet, but hopeful that you won't have any food allergies).

-You took one immunization and an oral vaccine at your doctor's appointment. You have a few others to take before you are up to speed. Sorry if it seems like you are getting poked more often than the other babies, but I don't want all those toxins in your system at one time, so we are spacing things out.

-Your favorite activities include brief visits in your swing, small doses of your play mat and gazing at the Christmas tree and the lights. More than anything, you LOVE personal attention will babble and "talk" to us for quite some time. We love it too :). Your brother especially loves it since he feels that you are finally acknowledging him and communicating with him.

-You really enjoy bath time. We just removed the sling from your tub and you love to kick those feet and splash the water. We enjoy it too, though the bathroom floor probably doesn't feel the same.

-We have tried to give you prune juice and apple juice to get things "moving" down there at the advice of your doctor. I understand not liking the prune juice, but you do not like ANYTHING to go in your mouth besides milk. You don't even like apple juice and made faces like it's the worst thing in the world. So we had to table the juice idea for now...

Well, B, that's all for this month. You are an awesome baby and a joy to have in our lives. I know your brother would tell you that you are the best little brother he could have asked for!

Love you to the moon and back!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Happy Weekend Everyone

It's FRIDAY :)...I guess that's reason for a happy dance, but around here, the days seem to flow together. Does that mean we've established a routine? Well, I guess we have some semblance of one, though added sleep would make it more productive. But at least, now that we're a week out from Mimi leaving, we pretty much know what to expect. I won't say that J has made it to school on time one time since mom has left though...but hey, there's always room for improvement, right?

I am sooooooo pleased to report that J had a good week at school. Yep, that's entire week of great behavior and wonderful learning. Is he growing up??? Tear! That's my boy!

And in happy baby news, for the first time today, B took not one, but TWO car rides without screaming his lungs out of his chest. Granted our longest ride was 10 minutes, but hey, I will take what I can get. Is he growing up??? Double tears!!!

Anyhow, nothing really on tap for our weekend but family time, but hey, I'll take it.

I hope you and yours have a fabulous weekend and do something fun :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Quick Hit

Just a quick update from B's 8 week check up today!

-He's doing great and progressing on schedule

-Current weight: 13 pounds, 12 ounces

-Current length: 23 3/4"

-B is in the 97th percentile in weight, height and head circumference. How's that for consistency?

-He received one shot and one oral vaccine today. I split up the shots, no way I was letting them give him four shots and the oral today. There's no harm in splitting them out and giving his system time to process and clear the toxins out. So we will return in a week or two to get the other shot. Don't get me on my vaccine soap box, this is a quick post for today :)

-B cried for about one minute after the shot while big J consoled him, then he ate and napped and with the Tylenol, he's been napping off and on most of the day.

That's all for now, great doctor's visit...More tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Baby--1; Mom--0

Okay, so today B is celebrating the big eight week milestone! I won't say where has the time gone because I know I have repeated that chorus enough in this blog already...but seriously! Of course, B is an awesome baby and hitting the milestones beautifully, well in my book anyway :). He has a doctor's appointment tomorrow, so we shall get the official stats then. Anyhow, we are settling into a grove and J is enjoying his little brother, he especially loves showing him off to his preschool class daily.

Well, about this time when J was a baby, I decided that I was tired of the sleepless nights and would give sleep training a go. With the help of my best friend, Dr. Gary Ezzo, and his book BabyWise (no, I don't really know him), J was sleeping through the night (from about 10pm to 7am) within about a week of starting the training. Praise sweet baby Jesus :). So now that B is at the eight week mark, I figured now was as good of a time as any to get him started. So yesterday was day one...

And okay, so this method does not involve me letting him scream his head off until he falls asleep from exhaustion (just wanted to get that out there)...even though mommy wants to scream then sleep sometimes. So basically, it's changing their eating and sleeping patters to go from eat-sleep-wake-play to eat-wake-play-sleep and repeating the cycle every three hours. So then while B is eating, he has to stay awake and once he finishes his food, he has a period of play time or anything to keep him awake for at least an hour, then letting him fall asleep for the last part of the cycle. I won't get into the science of why or how this works, but I do know from my experience that it works.

So yesterday, armed with my four year old book and with my timeline and Itzbeen (another great mommy invention) on standby, we started day one. And well, for the most part, it went smoothly....up until we got to the last feeding before bed. So we got B fed, bathed and read for that LONG sleep stretch (okay, wishful thinking) but he decided that he was ready to talk and play. But how could you deny those loving coo sounds and sweet gummy smile? So we talked and laughed and admired this creation until HE decided that it was time for sleep. So once he slept, I passed out. And I will say that his first night time sleep period went from what was 2.5 to 3 hours to about 4 hours. Then he went back down without incident and woke up to eat 3 hours later. Small wins I guess...So we will take it...And though B gets the point for winning the sleep training on day one, we will try again tonight.

And now that he's napping now, we have an hour left before the cycle starts again, this keyboard is starting to look blurry :)...Off for a few winks for mom!

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Now, for those of yall who truly know me, you know that I have never been a real big fan of MJB. I don't know why, never have and though I love some of her songs, I'd never buy the CD...Well, until now...25/8 has become my theme song...and no, not for the love and reasons that she belts out in her lyrics (though it is pretty great), but because with everything on my plate, I would LOVE an extra hour in the day and an extra day in the week! Just a thought...

Okay, so snaps to myself (join in if you care to)...I got an A+ in my latest PhD course! YAY :). So why didn't I start classes earlier? I would have three degrees by now...Okay, back to my A...I was hesitant to sign up for the latest class because I would be taking it during months five through nine of cooking B. But I knew that if I stopped, it would take some motivating to get going again. My first semester, I took two classes, but I knew I couldn't do that again this time around, so I just took one--Financial Aspects of Sports. I chose that one because, hey, it's what I deal with every day and two, the class required a final exam instead of a final research paper. So I made my way through it and did all the assignments before B arrived with the exception of the final. So I snuggled in on Thanksgiving day and braved the three hour final. Given the sleep deprivation and overall busyness (see aforementioned paragraph), I didn't study nearly as much as I should have, but I was running out of time. So I was delighted yesterday to receive a nice email from my professor that included the A...In his words, I DID A+ WORK! So yay, snaps to me!!!!!!!!!!! Nine credits down, only I don't know how many more to go...I can't think about that, just knocking them out one class at a time :)

My family is my motivation (cue Kelly Rowland song...not for "those" reasons either though, LOL...just the title)

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Halls are Decked

It's officially Christmastime at 2999. Okay, so I had this grand idea of how I was gonna decorate my B. Smith designer Christmas tree this year. I was thinking of repurposing the chocolate brown and bronze bulbs from last year and adding a teal accent bulb here and there along with some of those fancy winding sticks and bows and clear lights. I had grand plans and I was ready to see what my designer touch could fabricate...Enter the mommy tree. I will just say my boys had other plans...So as I gaze at the National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation-like tree, I am beaming as brightly as the multicolor and neon lights that adorn the branches. The rainbow assortment of ornaments scattered about and train going through the pine needles remind me of what I like the most about this holiday. The star and bow that have replaced my black angel still give me peace and most importantly the smile on my boys faces as they hear the train roar with music and see the assorted lights flicker is worth more than any designer tree could give me. So yeah, despite my initial thoughts, I have the best Christmas tree in the world!

Along with the holiday decorations, baby B is now more fun as well (if that were possible, lol). As with big brother J, around seven weeks, they both seemed to "wake up" and become more present in the world. So now, we are awakened by little laughs and greeted with the biggest, gummy smiles all the time. To say that it warms our hearts would be an understatement.

We are looking forward to a great, relaxing weekend and we hope that you have one as well. We are going to finish our Christmas shopping tomorrow. I did most of it online already, so we just have to pick up a few things...And oh yeah, if you're on our list, please send your gift requests ASAP. It'll still be a surprise if you take the guessing game part of shopping out of it for me :).

Big sports weekend on tap as well...we will find out Sunday who will head to my bowl game. Odd to not be in the mix with all the college football madness, but hey, my time with my family is way more important than that.

Okay, let me stop rambling and get on with the weekend. Drop us a line or a comment when you can.

Love yall!