My TOP maternity leave lessons….

Well, hello there abandoned blog.  I’m back today with the list I’ve had in my head for awhile and wanted to look back and remember.

So, without further adieu….my TOP lessons learned on maternity leave…

1. One week(ish) of your 12 weeks is spent in the hospital.  This seems crazy, but also necessary to recover from surgery and get the hang of your newborn.  Before delivering Landon, I never really thought that I would be seeing a week vanish before my eyes before we had him home.

2. Driving home from the hospital will be one of the most surreal experiences of your life.  “YES, we’re going home…BUT we’re bringing another human home with us.”  I will always cherish that ride home.  We were finally a family of three outside of the hospital and so ready to spend time on the couch together.

3. You will be so thankful for your husband and he will drive you batshit crazy all in the same 30 seconds.  Ultimately, the thankfulness prevails…thank goodness.

4. I’ve never run a marathon, but I imagine that nursing goes along with the same concepts.  Once you have the hang of it, it has been WEEKS and you are EXHAUSTED but the victory will be one of the proudest times of your life.

5. All of the baby gear that you didn’t want in your house will somehow end up there….and it will save your ever-loving mind on those days when you want to curl up in a ball and cry.

6. All of those pounds that you wished away will come off, but the after effects are much different than your “before body”.  Yoga pants are your friend.

7. Taking a shower will be like an obstacle course and when you visit family, you will be so excited to take a shower for as long as you want while they spoil your little guy.

8. You will get teased endlessly for your strategic OCD placement of pacifiers throughout your house, but you will be thanked when you know where one is at 2 AM while sleep walking.

9. The texts/visits/phone calls from family and friends of love and encouragement mean the world to you from before your little guy was born straight though all the ups and downs of leave.  I am vowing to remember this for my family and friends.

10.  It will be the dumbest idea you’ve ever had to not plan the birth of your newborn around your husband’s busy season, but you will get through it…..even if it means crying in the Starbucks drive-thru on Christmas Eve.

11.  Those that bring you meals….they are saints.

12. The last day of maternity leave is so bitter sweet.  You will cry and hold your little guy more than you should – even through naps, but it will be your last cherished memories of that time.

We are all back to work at this point…and sleepy.  Landon is enjoying his first full week of daycare and I’m hoping they sleep train him like a soldier.  ha!

Stay crazy, friends.

Landon Tyler – Two Months

Another month has come and our little guy is doing well.  This month was filled with lots of rest and staying home.  We all enjoyed it!  Landon also had his first cold and his first round of shots.  As nervous as we were for the shots, he was fine after a bottle.  Whew!  Not looking forward to the next round.

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Memories from two months:

Weight: At his two month checkup this week he weighed in at a whopping 10 lb. 2 oz, but his height is the exact same as birth.

Length: 21 1/2 in.  Poor short little buddy.  I can’t say I’m shocked he is in the 5th percentile for height.  Welcome to our world.

Hair: Hair is still dark and continuing to grow.  He has a small cradle cap issue that we are hoping clears up soon!

Eyes: I’m still hopeful they stay blue.  Tyler thinks they are changing.  We will see!

Clothes: All of a sudden this month, the newborns were a bit tight and the sleeves were too short.  Why is it so hard to pack them up???  He is wearing 0-3 and 3 months.  The 3 month pants are still a bit long.

Diapers: Size 1.

Sleeping: Sleeping has taken on a whole new meaning this month.  We started out pretty good and then hit a slump with a head cold.  We have been up 2-3 times a night.  The worst night, we were up every two hours.  Mom and Dad are tired!!  We are hoping we can start a better routine soon and get back to the 4-5 hour nights at minimum. Last night, we kept him up until 10 and he went for 6 hours.  Bless him.

Likes: These are all the same from last month. Being held all.the.time, being snuggled up in blankets, being held upright with his head tucked under your chin, and his dad’s professional swaddle.  A few new items…. The Moby.  My in-laws gifted me with it at Christmas and we all love it!  We are also using the Lullaby Pandora station and little man will quiet down with  some music.

Dislikes: Wet/dirty diapers, stopping feeding to burp, and bright lights.

Eating: We had a feeding frenzy at 6 weeks where it seemed he was eating every hour, but otherwise he will go 2.5-3 hours and usually a little longer at night.

Milestones: Smiling. He has melted our hearts.  He will also respond to “ahhhh” with trying to talk.  He will open is mouth really wide and let out a little squeek.  He is also more alert everyday and starting to show his personality.  He is feeding like a champ – nursing and bottles.  We aren’t heating the bottles and he doesn’t mind a bit.  I’m hopeful this will help us to transition to daycare easily.

Mom’s favorites: Of course I love that gummy smile and how he will recognize my voice.  He is the best at snuggling and I savor these moments with him as I know he won’t want to forever.

Baby items we can’t live without: The moby.  It has saved me more than once this month.  I also broke down and got a bouncy seat.  He isn’t in love with it yet, but getting there.  The rock-n-play didn’t allow him to sit up as much as he has wanted to, so we are hoping the bouncy seat does the trick.

We adore our little guy and hope this month goes as slow as possible before maternity leave is over.  We have lots to do to prep him and his supplies for school.

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A few fave photos from this month…

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Stay crazy, friends.

Life in January

Our month of January has been filled with loving on our boy.  The days of “nothing” fly by and I am not jealous of the stay at home moms.  I really don’t know how they do it.  I am doing really well to keep my hair out of a ponytail and get in real clothes.  Who knew a run to the grocery store without your husband could seem so hard?!?  I know I will laugh at myself in a few years with a toddler.  But…with this sweet face…I just can’t resist him.

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Landon – 7 weeks

Last weekend, we took Landon’s first trip to my grandma’s house.  He met his great Aunt Donna & Sonja.  DSC_0587

Cousins – Dylan, Landon & Jacob

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4 generations – Amy, Landon, Grandma Kathy, and Great-Grandma Betty.  These ladies are true examples of amazing mothers.

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My sweet handsome. DSC_0605 This is the 3rd time Grandma has held Landon.  I just adore this photo of her.

Stay crazy, friends.

Christmas with the Jones Fam

We celebrated Christmas with the Jones side the weekend after New Years.  We took Landon’s first long car ride to Wisconsin (and I tried not to notice the cars sliding off the road).  Let’s just say the weather could have been better, but we made it!

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Our sweet little santaDSC_0572

cousins – Kaden, Landon & IanDSC_0575

Brenda & Jim with the boys

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Stay crazy, friends.

2014 – Year in Review

This is my absolute favorite post  of the year and I am very late in posting.  Better late than never!

January

I had big plans for the year and begin a photo of the day.  It didn’t last long, but had good intentions.

We started off the year in Wisconsin for Christmas with the Jones fam. This was also the trip that we drove home in white out conditions in our new truck.  We vowed to never take that risk again!

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Our honeymoon was also in January and we enjoyed every part of Mexico!

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February

Enjoyed my first Val’s day with my husband!

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We took a trip to Decatur for mom’s birthday and endured more awful winter weather.  Work also picked up in February and I worked some long hours to open some local stores for my client.

March

We took a trip to Wisconsin to redeem our quick trip at Christmas.  Tyler and I also worked a lot around the house to get base done in our bedroom for new furniture!  Our new bedroom suite is gorgeous and we love it.

April

April 2nd will forever be the day that changed our family from 2 to 3.  We found out that we were pregnant!  This kicked off a month of dr appointments and a few uneasy moments.

My birthday on 4/15 was fairly uneventful.  We were still holding a secret that we were expecting!  We shared the news with immediate family at Easter since we were able to see the Jones side.

We reflected on another year of that awful day in April – 4/23.  No words can express how much we miss Robert.

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We missed Brynzlee’s 1st birthday party, but we were able to see photos.  We love our girl!

May

Tyler and I took a week off together at the beginning of May.  We visited our friends Mike and Tabitha and enjoyed Cincinnati.

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We finished up that trip in Indy and told Nathan and Kristin that we were expecting on Cinco de Mayo.  No margs for the preggo!

We continued telling friends and family our news through the month of May.  I blame the lack of posts on the first trimester.  I spent a majority of it sleeping.

June

We took a trip to Dallas to visit with the Jones side and spent many weekends at home working on items around the house.

July

We started off the month on the lake in Wisconsin with the Kagerbauers.  Lots of lake and family time!

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We also celebrated my grandma’s birthday and the Jones came in to stay with us for the Schwada reunion.  So busy!

Our 20 week ultrasound resulted in a big scare and our stubborn boy wouldn’t cooperate for the scan so we found out he was a BOY at our 22 week ultrasound.

August

We stayed home…and it was glorious.  Tyler and I tackled some outdoor projects in the heat.

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September

We went to Indy to help my brother and SIL move into their temporary home while their house was being built.

My dr ordered an ultrasound at 30 weeks to check on the concerns from the 20 week.  We were given the all clear.  It was an answered prayer.

The 3rd trimester hit and I spent a lot of time with my feet up since swelling was out of control.

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The month ended with an adorable baby shower for us thrown by my sister, SIL, and mom.  So thankful and it was a lot of fun!

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October

We started the month off in Dallas on vacation.  It was filled with REST, shopping, and some sight seeing.  We had fun!

We cleaned out the guest room when we got home to turn it into a nursery.  The painting of the crib started and took several weeks to finish.

We celebrated Tyler’s birthday at his grandparents house with a nice lunch.

We took an entire weekend for Landon with an all day prep class at the hospital and a tour of L&D.

November

The beginning of the month was filled with dr appointments and my obsession to turn our breech baby.  If I could take the time back, I would have spent less time going crazy and more time resting with T.

Our 1st anniversary was on 11/23.  It wasn’t spent doing anything romantic.  My poor husband!  I owe him BIG in year two!

The best day of this year fell on 11/26.  Our sweet Landon Tyler was born and changed our lives forever.  He made us a mom and dad.  We absolutely adore him.

December

We had a whirlwind in December with getting used to our new “normal”.  Tyler was home with us for a week and then my mom came to stay and spoiled us with dinner and cleaning.

We held Christmas day at our house and then went to the Roe side for Christmas the last weekend of December.  We were able to introduce Landon to all of the family that he hadn’t met yet.

Landon turned one month old on 12/26.  The month flew by!

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We said last year that 2013 would be hard to top, but 2014 did just that.  We pray that 2015 allows us to slow down and enjoy every moment with Landon, family and friends.  We look forward to what this year brings!

Stay crazy, friends.

Christmas 2014

Tyler’s work schedule made it easier for us to stay home on Christmas Day again this year.

My mom, grandma, sister, and Bill came to STL for the day. It was pretty low key – which was fine by us!

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DSC_0522Aunt Erin & Landon

The weekend after Christmas, Mom hosted our family Christmas in Decatur. This was the first time many of my family met Landon. We had fun sharing our boy and spending time with family.

We kept this year fairly low-key for Landon too. We are hoping he will be fun next year – more than likely eating paper and bows!

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Kaz

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Erin, Brynzlee, Melissa & Landon

DSC_0539Aunt Donna, Uncle Ryan & Landon

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Aunt Erin with her niece & nephews

 DSC_0544Bryn loving on Landon

DSC_0548Bryn, Landon, Erin & BillDSC_0551Jacob DSC_0552Dylan DSC_0555Kristin, Nathan & BrynDSC_0558Mom opening her Roadster ProDSC_0559Grandma opening her blanket IMG_7768Me and my Santa Baby (Landon) IMG_7797Grandma Kathy and all of her grandkids IMG_7807

Grandma B & Landon

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Jacob & Landon

Brynzlee & Landon

Grandma Kathy & Landon (LOVE this pic of my mom!)

Stay crazy, friends.

Landon’s Birth Story – Part Three

Part One and Part Two if you need to catch up!

The first evening in the hospital, my mom left to go to family Thanksgiving and my sister came to the hospital with Bill.  We had a fun time visiting with them and introducing them to our boy.

DSC_0463Amy, Landon, & Aunt Erin

DSC_0461Landon & Aunt Erin

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Our first night in the hospital was not restful. I was still on an IV and a machine on my legs to try to avoid blood clots.  The nurse came in every 2-3 hours to check vitals and check all the machines.  Needless to say, the next day wasn’t as fun as I anticipated.

Thanksgiving morning was our first full day in the hospital.  I thought we would be snuggling our boy and watching the parade.  We didn’t sleep more than a couple of hours and I felt like I hadn’t slept in a week after being restless before the surgery. We were also trying to get to know Landon and we had no idea what his cries meant yet.  I was taken off of all of my machines and they let me stand up for the first time.  I had heard it was going to hurt…bad!  It wasn’t pleasant, but it really wasn’t as bad as I anticipated.  I chalk that up to drugs.  They were good to me. ha!  My only goals that day were to hold/feed by sweet baby and to take a shower.  Neither went well.  By the end of the day and the nurse shift change, I was beside myself.  My night nurse came in and tried to help me with nursing.  Landon was screaming, I was exhausted, and I ugly cried.  It was embarrassing, but so necessary.  Little did I know that this nurse (who I will call “M”) would become our angel for the stay.  She let me cry, took Landon to the nursery, and gently demanded that we get some sleep.

The next day was Black Friday and after getting some sleep in between feedings I felt like a new person – still exhausted – but so much better than Thurs evening.  I got up and had my first shower and Tyler called his parents and sister letting them know that we were ready for some visitors.  They brought us Starbucks (amazing!) and met our sweet boy.  We had fun sharing Landon and getting lots of photos.

DSC_0465Grandma Brenda & Landon

DSC_0471Grandpa Jim & Landon

DSC_0477Aunt Jen & Landon

DSC_0480Landon, Tyler, & Jim

DSC_0481Landon, Tyler, Brenda, & Jim

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DSC_0483Landon, Tyler, Jen & Ian

DSC_0485Ian meeting his new cousin

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Jim, Tyler, Landon, Jen & Brenda

Friday evening, M walked into our room at shift change.  I was so surprised to see her again, as we hadn’t had a repeat nurse yet.  I apologized for the prior night, and she let it roll off her back.  She complimented T on his patience and participation.  She said most guys run! ha!  I have a keeper.  She asked how feeding/lactation went that day and I told her I was still frustrated.  Their suggestions seemed to be really hard.  She suggested a shield and said I had to tell them I wanted one.  I had no idea! She even went to lactation and told her to give me a shield.  So thankful for her, as I really think she was my saving grace in sanity and in getting Landon to nurse.  She also mentioned that she would be in the next night too and we could request her.  Done and done.

Saturday, my sweet friend Anne came to visit.  We were able to catch up with her and she showered us with gifts and helpful hints.  Love her!  Tyler got out for a little bit this day and ran to get a giftcard for M.  I wanted to give her a small token of our appreciation for how helpful she was.  We were mentally ready to go home and I think we could have been released if we wanted, but I wanted to get as much help with lactation as I could and it was nice to have the nursery to get some extra zzz’s.  Saturday evening when M walked in, we gave her a card and told her how excited we were to go home the next day.  She continued to be an angel that night.  It got to a point where I used my call button and she knew exactly what I needed without even asking.  It was heaven.  We said our goodbyes to her the next morning and promised to keep in touch.  Without her, I know that we could have had a much less personal experience.  She was a God send!!

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Sunday, we woke up and packed up all of our items.  We were discharged around 11 AM and home on the couch with a fire and the lit Christmas tree (plus Packer football) by noon.

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DSC_0501Excited to go home!

Overall, I psyched myself out over the whole process and the parts that I thought would be awful weren’t bad (even dare I say easy?!?).  There were also parts that I didn’t expect to be hard, and they were the worst portion of the experience.  Landon is more than we could have ever asked for and we hope he keeps the patience of his dad and not his mom.  ha!  We know that pregnancy and parenthood is a gift and a blessing.  We are thankful to God for our blessing in Landon and pray that we can be half of the example our parents have been for us.

We love you, Landon!

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Stay crazy, friends.

Landon’s Birth Story – Part Two

If you missed Part One, feel free to catch up here.

After sleeping (maybe) an hour, T and I were up bright and early on Wed 11/26/14 to head to the hospital and have our baby.   T was so excited and I was still trying to avoid any talk about surgery.  I asked him to avoid talking to me about certain things so that I wouldn’t cry.  The fear mixed with no sleep was a very bad combo.  Poor T just went with it.

T let me drive to the hospital since we knew I wouldn’t be driving for a couple of weeks and it gave me something to do besides being nervous in the passenger seat.  We got to the hospital right on time at 7 AM and went up to L&D to check in.  After our paperwork, we met our nurse and were taken into our delivery/post op room.  I was handed some packaged sanitizing towels, a gown, and socks and asked to use the towels prior to changing to prep for surgery.  The adrenaline kicked in and I just did as I was told.  It was very surreal to know that we were about to meet our little man.

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Before we proceeded with the surgery prep, we had one last ultrasound to confirm that he was still breech.  I knew that he was, so I wasn’t anticipating a surprise.  The u/s tech confirmed there “was a lot of baby in there” and that he was still breech.  He made some small talk with T about the Packers before leaving us for the next steps.

Our nurse advised she was going to get some help with the pre-op so that she could do paperwork while another nurse did the IV.  No big deal – right?!?  I’m not a fan of needles, but I’ve had plenty this pregnancy so I wasn’t anticipating the IV to be any different.  The nurse walked in and started the poke for the IV and she didn’t get it the first time so she tried another spot.  I laid my head back and closed my eyes as I could feel her digging in my arm.  It took everything I could to #1 – be nice and not say anything #2 – not haul off and hit her in the head and #3 not cry out of frustration and breaking the seal to tears that were just waiting for the flood.  She gave up on one arm and started in on the other side on my hand.  At that time the anesthesiologist came in and she asked her to “save it”.  That wasn’t happening and she took over and got it the first time.  She became my best friend.  Side note: This was the worst part about the entire surgery experience.  If you would have told me this ahead of time, I would have laughed in your face.

After the IV fun, we talked with the anesthesiologist about what would be taking place, then the surgery assistant came in and introduced herself, and finally my OB came in and talked about what would be taking place.  Then we waited.  It was probably less than 20 minutes, but if I could have paced I would have.  T received his scrubs and was ready!

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A little after 9 AM, the nurse and the surgery asst came in and said we were ready to go.  I walked from my delivery/post op room down to the c-section operating room.  I have no idea what was going through my mind, but I had some sort of peace coming over me.  I know it was God, but I also believe that the lack of sleep was kicking in and I was ready to relax.  The anesthesiologist was waiting for us and then came the next part that I feared…the spinal.  I laugh at myself now, because I didn’t even feel a prick.  The surgery asst was in front of me and kept gently telling me to relax and put my shoulders down.  I almost fell asleep….piece of cake.  They helped lay me on the table and then the room started getting a little more hectic.  My OB came in, Landon’s team came in for setup, and the curtain was placed in front of me before I knew it.  At that point I got very nauseous and started trying to cough.  They placed a pan next to my face and I closed my eyes.  The anesthesiologist said to hold tight and within minutes, I felt better.  After several weeks of morning sickness, this was nothing!  Tyler came into the room and was next to my head and in what seemed like minutes, they told him to stand up because Landon was coming into this world.  Landon was born at 9:41 AM and was a hefty 9 lbs. 6 oz.  Everyone commented on how big he was.  The cheeks on that boy were the cutest thing I had ever seen and the flood gates (tears) opened.  Happy Birthday, Landon!

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DSC_0446Our first photo as a fam of 3!

Tyler was hilarious because he was shaking with excitement .  He would go over to Landon and then he would pace back over to me over and over again.  He cut the cord and also received a stamp of Landon’s foot on his hand.  He took all of these photos and was so proud.  Once I was sewn up and the wound vac was placed, the anesthesiologist told me we were done.  I thanked her for making the process so much less scary than I anticipated.  She said, “Please go tell others your experience.  You don’t hear about the good ones.”  I couldn’t agree more.

They placed Landon in my arms and we were wheeled back to our post op room.  Landon was bathed in the room with us and during his bath Tyler went to the waiting room to get my mom.  She walked into the room crying and held Landon as soon as his bath was complete.

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DSC_0453Grandma Kathy and Landon

DSC_0458Proud new dad

DSC_0459Grandma Kathy and Landon

 

After an hour or so in recovery, we were taken to our post postpartum room in the floor.  We were welcomed with two sweet nurses who took over on checking vitals and spent some time spoiling our boy.

I was on some definite pain meds, but I couldn’t have been happier with the process so far, so I was hoping the rest of the stay would be just as easy.  Stay tuned for Part 3 – the final post on Landon’s birth story.

 

Stay crazy, friends.

Landon Tyler – 1 month

I turned around this month and our sweet boy is one month old!  Slow the time down….8 weeks of maternity leave left.  Boo!

I had a short time to snap a photo before our hungry man cried for food, so one photo is what we get this month.  Next month, we will try harder!

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Memories from one month:

Weight: As of last week, he weighed at 8 lb. 10 oz.  Not quite up to his birth weight, but the pediatrician thinks he wasn’t really 9 lb. 6 oz. at birth due to the c-section.

Length: We didn’t get a new measurement last week, so I am going to stick with 21-1/2″.

Hair: Hair is dark and is a bit longer than birth.  He hasn’t lost any (yet).

Eyes: Depends on the light.  Tyler is thinking they may go hazel, but they look blue in the light.  We will see!

Clothes: Newborns still fit best, but we are dressing him in some 0-3 mo. outfits and 3 mo. pants.

Diapers: Size 1.  He completely skipped newborn diapers – crazy!

Sleeping: Most nights he will go 4-5 hours.  In the first week home, we woke him up every 3 hrs to feed and it was torture for all involved.  We shifted to 4 hours and when he started gaining weight, I let him wake us up.  He has blessed us with more zzz’s than we anticipated!

Likes: Being held all.the.time, being snuggled up in blankets, being held upright with his head tucked under your chin, and his dad’s professional swaddle

Dislikes: Wet/dirty diapers, bath time, evening (our boy is cranky between 5ish and 8ish every night)

Eating: We have worked A LOT on eating this month.  I feel like we have come a long way and hopefully we will continue to make lots of great progress.  He eats 2-3 oz. each feeding.  We usually make sure he has a full 3 at night to keep him full a little longer.

Milestones: Latching! (TMI?!?)  Praise the Lord on this one.  The start of bfeeding is not for the weak.  He is also holding his head up very well and has found his hands.  He sometimes throws a thumb in his mouth and as much as I don’t want him to be a thumb sucker, it is the cutest thing ever.

Mom’s favorites: Everything about this boy is awesome (would any mom think different?!?).  The best is his half smile.  He smiles only in his sleep for now, and he has a half smile that reminds me of my dad.  It makes me tear up every time.

Baby items we can’t live without: Diaper genie (need I say more?).  We are also loving the rock n’ play and his bath seat.

This month, we had T home with us for a week and then my mom came and helped us for a week.  We have missed both of them the last 2 weeks!  My mom had dinner prepped and on the table each night.  Poor T doesn’t get that on a normal day, so we were all in heaven!

As much as we can’t wait for our sweet boy to grow and learn new things, I would love for time to stop for a bit and soak up all of this time with our newborn.  He is such a sweet boy and we just adore him.

Stay crazy, friends.