Monday, August 26, 2013


Yesterday started like any other Sunday. I was up before the boys and out the door to work at the church nursery by 9:00. I didn't get Pax out of bed that morning. I got home from church and after lunch, Jared put Pax in his crib for what would be his last time. A few hours later, Jared, Porter and I were napping on the couch when we woke up to Paxton talking and laughing. I went in to get him. As I walked down the hall, I heard his sound machine playing music. I had a brief moment where I wondered if Jared had turned it on for him for his nap time even though we never do that. Before I opened the door, I knew what I would find on the other side. Paxton was out of his crib playing with toys! 

Honestly, we knew it was coming. We have come in to get him several times and found him like this:
But we thought we had a little more time. That first climb out was enough for us. His bed is high off the ground and neither of us wanted a toddler with a broken arm, so we pulled the trigger on the big boy bed. And in case that wasn't enough of my babies growing up, we realized that Porter was four months old and could now start rice cereal. 
So last night, we stuck to our nightly routine with Pax: bath, jammies, clean up, sound machine and rocking, and then I had a little talk with him about how important it was that he stay in his bed and go night night. I honestly was expecting a rough night. I thought as soon as we left, he would be out of bed and it would probably take us several trips in there putting him back to bed before we gave up and he fell asleep on his floor at 2 am. He amazed us. He tried to get out of bed ONE TIME while I was giving Porter a bath right outside his door. Jared went in quickly and told him to stay in bed. He did. He slept all the way through the night without getting up once. This morning, he woke up and moved around in bed for a few minutes and then reached through the rails to grab his book. I went in to get him and he asked "up?" I told him he could get up and he did. It really could not have gone better. 

I knew that nap time would be a different story. It usually takes him at least 30 minutes to settle down for his nap and it seems like they have been getting shorter lately. I laid him down and read him two books. I tucked him in and told him to stay in bed. He fussed a little but laid down. I watched on the monitor as he laid there for awhile, then crawled to the edge and started getting down. I told him through the monitor to stay in bed and he froze. He fell asleep with one leg on the floor. He took a 3 hour nap and again stayed in bed when he woke up until I went in to get him. I was so surprised! He knows he can climb in and out because he did that all evening after we put the bed up and all morning as he was playing...I have no idea why it worked out so well. We are also not counting on this sticking. We are assuming it was beginner's luck, but enjoying it while it lasts!

I can't believe that I didn't know it was my last night to put my big boy in his crib! I guess that's why they say you remember the firsts but never the lasts...


Porter is four months old today! Month 3 was definitely a turning point in his temperament. He has gotten to be a much happier and more agreeable baby! He is still a huge cuddler and prefers being held to anything. 

At 4 months, Porter is:
-sleeping a little better. Most nights he goes 8 hours without eating, although sometimes he still surprises me by waking up after 4-6. He always goes right back to sleep after eating. He still needs to be swaddled and held to go to sleep...I'm not sure what we're going to do when he outgrows the swaddle blankets! 
-still eating 4-5 ounces of breast milk at a time, usually every 3-3.5 hours. He still prefers nursing to a bottle. He started rice cereal tonight. We fed him a little with a spoon and he did really well with it, but he was already getting sleepy so we put the rest in his bottle. Hopefully this will be what he needs to start sleeping through the night! 

-25 inches and 16 pounds. He was between the 50-60th percentile for height, weight and head. He still fits in his 3 month clothes (mostly) but also fills out some of his 6 month outfits. He's in size 2 diapers. 
-rolling over both ways (although he rarely rolls from back to tummy because he doesn't like being on his tummy), cooing, babbling and squealing a ton, and repeating the "o" sound after we say it. He can hold his head up really well on his tummy and is very close to sitting on his own. He likes the Bumbo for a few minutes at a time and the Jumperoo for about five seconds at a time. 

-very interested in Paxton. He loves smiling at him and talking to him and just watching him run around and be crazy. Pax feels the same about Porter. He loves giving Porter kisses and trying to make him say "o". 

-HAS TWO TEETH! The pediatrician was in shock when we went in for his 4-month check up and both teeth were already through. We were all very surprised. He was a little fussy at the lake last time and I could tell his gums were swollen, but I remembered that it seemed like Pax was "teething" for several weeks before anything happened. A few days later, Porter's first tooth popped through! 

Obviously we have been crazy about Porter since Day 1 but we are definitely enjoying his new happier temperament these days. He smiles a lot and loves attention. He is easy to take places because he is content in his car seat, stroller, or in the wrap. I think my favorite part of this month has been watching him really start to enjoy Paxton. I have been looking forward to watching the brother relationship develop since we found out he was a boy, and now that it is, I'm loving it even more than I expected!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Breastfeeding Myths Busted

(Disclaimer: This is just my experience.  I know that every mother and every child is different.)

1.  It's natural/easy-Throughout my pregnancy with Paxton, I didn't really give much thought to breastfeeding.  I knew I wanted to do it, but I never really researched it or tried to prepare myself in any way.  I always just assumed it was natural, and that Pax would be born and I would just be able to breastfeed him.  I know that when people say natural, sometimes it means "the way nature intended" instead of "it just comes naturally" and I won't argue with the first definition, but it does not come naturally to everyone...and it certainly didn't for Paxton and I.  After he was born, the nurse urged me to feed him immediately.  I had no idea what I was doing and there were still a lot of people in the room.  I know I should have completely lost all modesty at that point, but this was still something I wanted to at least try in private by myself...instead of standing up for myself and asking for privacy, I awkwardly tried to figure things out as the nurse stared and people came in and out of the room.  What should have been a special and intimate moment turned into a stressful moment.  Our breastfeeding journey never really improved from there.  I struggled through a few more weeks, tried unsuccessfully to exclusively pump for a few more weeks and by the time he was six weeks old, Paxton was exclusively on formula.  Looking back, I wish someone had told me that there was a learning curve, and that I should ask for help while maintaining my comfort.  When I was pregnant with Porter, I let all the guilt about not being able to do it naturally dissolve and I did research.  I read about how to ensure the perfect latch and what kinds of things to look for to know that his latch was wrong or my supply was dwindling.  I was ready.  It still did not come naturally to me, but having information helped me to get started.  I wish I would have known from the beginning that it wouldn't just come naturally to me once I was a mom.

2.  It's free-In an ideal situation, it is free.  All you NEED is yourself and your baby, but realistically, there are several things I needed to buy to make breastfeeding work for Porter and I.  We were spending around $200 a month for Paxton's formula and I could practically see the dollar signs adding up in Jared's head as he thought about all the other things we could be spending that money on.  I know when I told him that I was going to do everything I could to breastfeed Porter for at least the first six months, one of the things he was looking forward to was saving all that money.  I know he was surprised as the things I told him I needed started adding up...things like:

This pump because I knew breastfeeding might not work and with a better pump than I had last time (Medela Swing Pump), I could at least feed him pumped breast milk for a little longer.  This turned out to be my best purchase because after a bad case of mastitis followed immediately by a clogged duct, I spent a few months exclusively pumping before trying nursing again.  This pump allowed me to still feed Porter almost completely my milk.  I also needed several Medela bottles and nipples, but we still had plenty from Paxton.
 This nursing cover because I am too modest to even think about nursing Porter anywhere or in front of anyone without being covered.  It is also good for those trips to the lake or Tulsa so I can pump in the car without even stopping!
These storage bags to store the extra milk I pumped-these don't have great reviews, but I got them anyway because they were the cheapest.  The ounce markers on the bags are not accurate at all, but I just look at the ounce markers on the bottle and write the number on the bag before pouring the milk in.  I haven't had any trouble with them leaking during thawing yet, but I have only thawed a few bags.
 This cream-for obvious reasons...
 These pads-also for obvious reasons...

I also have used the Boppy a lot, especially at first but I won't count that as an expense because we use it so much for other things too.

All of these things (along with nursing bras and tanks) probably cost us just under $400, which was a lot of money for something we thought would be free, but it was definitely cheaper than formula would have been by now, and the benefits of breast milk are worth the money!

3.  It's convenient-I will admit that nursing is more convenient than pumping...hands-down.  But I don't think anything will beat dropping a few scoops of formula into a bottle and shaking it up.  Eight seconds after Pax got hungry, anyone could be feeding him a bottle anywhere.  Jared could take the middle-of-the-night feedings, our parents could feed him at restaurants...the same is true of pumped bottles, but I still have to pump first which is definitely not convenient.  When I was exclusively pumping, I would always be a bottle ahead so that I could feed Porter, then pump his next bottle.  It was a good method because I usually didn't have to pump while Porter was already hungry, but it was inconvenient because for the first few months of his life, Porter was pretty fussy and I would usually have to stop pumping several times per session to comfort him or pop a pacifier in his mouth.  So compared to that, nursing seems pretty convenient.  However, I still have to plan ahead to where I will be when Porter gets hungry because we have to stop whatever we're doing so that I can completely focus on feeding him.  I also have to go somewhere a little more private than the middle of the mall, or the bleachers at the Redhawks game (for example), but that's just my personal preference.  I also cannot reach back and feed him while Jared drives like we could with a pumped bottle or formula.  It is amazing to not have bottles or pump parts to wash after every feeding though!

4.  It is the best way to bond with your baby-I agree that nursing is a great way to bond with your baby.  I love looking down at Porter while he eats and watching his hand grab my shirt.  I love knowing that my milk is directly responsible for each little fat roll.  However, I felt exactly as close to Paxton while I watched him drink his bottles.  He would always reach up for a piece of my hair and hold that the whole time he ate.  And I loved that Jared could share that bonding time with Pax (and Porter while he drank pumped milk).

5. Breast-fed babies are healthier and smarter-Paxton was very healthy.  He never had an ear infection, he very rarely got sick enough to require a doctor's visit.  I don't know for sure that he was as healthy as he would have been if he had been breast fed, but I do know that he was an extremely healthy baby.  I also cannot say that Paxton is as smart as he would have been if he had been breast fed, but he is a very fast learner and a bright little boy.  I agree with the saying "breast is best" in most cases (not wasn't for Pax) but I think most of the research I have seen is not completely convincing when it states that breast milk directly causes babies to be healthier and smarter (obviously I am not in any way arguing against the antibodies that are passed from mother to child in breast milk).  I think that formula-fed babies can be perfectly healthy and just as smart as breast-fed babies.  I believe that in a group of thirty three-year-olds, there will be no difference between the ones that were breast-fed and the ones that were formula-fed as babies.

I felt so guilty when I stopped breastfeeding Paxton because I still believed all these things to be true.  I did not understand why my body could not do something that was so natural; I felt bad that I was just costing us money every few days; and I always wondered if I was missing precious bonding time with Pax.  It took me a lot of research and a second chance at breastfeeding to figure out that every baby is different and every parent is different and a lot of these things are just things that are said about breastfeeding and will NOT be everyone's experience!  I think this is one of those scenarios for which there is no "normal".  Once I realized that, I was free to just go with what my boys needed without feeling any added pressure...I could focus on the love.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

More Lake Fun

Two weekends ago, our house went on the market and our realtor wanted to hit the ground running. He scheduled two open houses and five viewings for the first few days. We knew it would be impossible to keep the house clean and keep naps and feedings on schedule for all that, so we packed up and headed to the lake.

The first day we were there, it was a little cloudy and drizzling off and on so we went to the pool, which is partially covered. Paxton loooooves the water. This was the first time he jumped off the side all by himself. He loved it and kept jumping (belly flopping) over and over.

He loves going under so he always loves when Daddy throws him.

Just from the two hours we spent at the pool, his water confidence increased so much! By the time we were getting ready to leave, he could jump off the step and turn around and swim back to the step without help. I'm so impressed with how far he has come this summer with his water skills! The first time we got in our pool, he would just kind of walk around and panic a little if he tripped (even though he had floaties on). Now he can kick his feet and move, put his face in and blow bubbles and even flip around and float on his back. It has been awesome to watch his water confidence grow and his desire to be in the water 24/7 increase!

That evening, we went out on the boat before dinner.

Porter likes the boat pretty well, too. He is usually so chill when he's on it.

That night, my family came down to hang out. We went back on the lake in the morning and Pax was literally in the water all day. He wouldn't even get on the boat to eat or get a drink!

By the end of the day, he was exhausted! It was a fun trip and so nice to just get away from all the house showings and the cleaning.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, August 12, 2013

Science Museum with Blakely!

Last week, our besties came to OK while Jared was out of town (AGAIN). One afternoon, we woke Pax up from his nap a little early and met Tabatha and Blakely at the Science Museum.

Pax and Blakely had the best time running around together. As soon as we got there, they both got in this line for a ride that was way too big for them.

Pax thought the roller coaster track was a slide...

They splashed together in the water table:

And played house:

My favorite part was when Pax took Blakely's drink so she took his drink...finally they were both sharing Paxton's drink. He would give her a sip,

Then take a sip...

They both just waited patiently while the other one took a drink. It was adorable.

Pax ended the date with a kiss.

I just love watching them interact together now that they're a little bigger. Pax has been asking for Blakely almost every day since she left!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

The Things That Matter

I'm guest posting at Our Love Nest!

It's 3 a.m. and I'm in the middle of an amazing dream involving a Hawaiian resort and being best friends with Katherine Heigl when I hear the squirming and fussing of a newborn waking up hungry in his bassinet next to our bed. I groan a little out of exhaustion but roll over and scoop him up. As I sleepily feed him, I could think about the huge pile of laundry that needs to be washed, or the large number of diapers I will have to change in the next 24 hours, or even the fact that I haven't had a full night of sleep in 4 months. Instead, I bury my head in my baby's hair and take a huge breath filled with that newborn smell and I think of how lucky we are. We have two healthy little boys that have plenty of clothes and diapers. We don't always have extra, but we always have enough. My husband and I are still in love and committed to each other and our boys. 

Having two little boys this young isn't always easy. There is almost always someone unhappy and they both want my full attention all the time. There are toys and clothes and dishes everywhere. Paxton knows that I can't discipline him while I'm holding Porter so he takes full advantage of that time to push buttons he isn't supposed to push and throw things he isn't supposed to throw. So even though things are hard right now, I'm not wishing this phase away. I know I will miss these days when my boys are little. I'll miss Porter's chubby hands latching onto my shirt as he falls asleep, I'll miss Paxton bringing me board books and learning all the words as we read them together, I'll miss Paxton saying "hold him" sixteen times a day and trying to scoop up his little brother to give him kisses. I probably won't remember the stress or the messes or even the time they both peed on the floor at the same time while I was trying to get them in the bath. But I will try to remember how it felt to have little Porter curled up in my arms asleep and Paxton cuddled up next to me while we read together. And I will definitely remember watching the brother bond form between them, as they both realize they will always have a best friend. 

Those are the things that matter. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Boys

Once again, I haven't kept up with the blog. We've been really busy getting ready for a big change that is coming up, but I want to document these moments!
Porter is getting huge! Almost everyone makes some kind of comment about how "healthy" he looks or about how he doesn't miss a meal. It's true. He likes to eat. I like having a big healthy baby, especially since sometimes Paxton's kisses and hugs aren't that gentle. He needs to be tough.

Speaking of the little tough guy, we survived our first trip to the E.R. as parents. If you would have told me that our first trip wouldn't be with Paxton as a result of a climbing episode gone wrong, I wouldn't have believed it. In fact, the trip had (probably) nothing to do with Paxton.
Friday afternoon, Porter was a little fussier than normal. When Jared got home, I noticed that he had a large red place on the back of his head. It was a little swollen and I couldn't tell if it was a rash or a large scraped area or if he had hit in on something. I decided to play it safe and call the after-hours number for our pediatrician. They did not make me feel any better. They said I needed to take him to the after-hours doctor immediately. Jared stayed home with Pax while I took Porter. I still was pretty sure it was nothing, but now that the ball was rolling I had to see it through. We checked in and the receptionist said that the doctors on call wouldn't see a baby before four months...well, Porter is three months and a week so I thought that was silly. The other receptionist came over and said that there was one doctor that would see a three month old. We waited and waited and finally got to see the doctor. He came in, took a quick glance at his head, made me undress him to inspect his body, and then said that the good news was that he didn't suspect child abuse because there were satellite bumps. I think (and hope) he was kidding...He said that he had no idea what it was and that if Porter was a few weeks older, he would call another doctor in for a second opinion, but as it was he would have to defer on this. I asked him if he thought it was serious enough to take him to the E.R. and he said he didn't know but that I probably should.
We dropped Pax off to spend the night at Granny V's and Jared and I decided to take him to Children's Hospital instead of Mercy even though Mercy was closer. We didn't want the whole newborn thing to deter us from getting a diagnosis.
We got to Children's around 9:00 and got back to see a doctor about 15 minutes later. The first doctor was unsure what it was and called in a second doctor. By this time, the swelling had gone down almost completely and it was looking much less red. The doctor made the comment of the night that our boy was a chunk (seriously everyone at both places made some comment about his size) and said that it just looked like some kind of irritation. He thought it could have been a bug bite or something else, but since the swelling had gone down on its own we shouldn't worry.

I maybe should have followed my instincts and let it go after the first doctor visit, but I'm glad we got the peace of mind. By the next morning, it was completely gone and he was back to normal.

Aside from that, we have been taking lots of brother pictures...

Which sometimes turn into this:

But other times, I capture something like this:

I had no idea how Paxton would do as a big brother, but he has completely blown me away with how consistently sweet he is with the tiny, loud person that came in and took over his room and his mommy and daddy. He lays his head on Porter's tummy almost every day. He always asks to hold him, he gives him kisses several times a day and tries to give him his pacifier if he's fussy. Every time I get Pax out of the car, he runs over to Porter's side of the car and says "baby" to make sure I bring Porter in. I'm just so proud of him.

Porter got this outfit from Aunt Teig and Aunt Mal and he looks so big in it!

Paxton has been obsessed with coloring lately.

He likes to make scribbles as he says the letters of his name. I think he really thinks he's writing his name and I love it.

Both boys love their Gramsy.

Paxton is really learning a lot in speech. As we were walking out after his second session, he pointed at me and said "Mimi". Anna, his speech teacher, asked me if that's what he called me. I said it was. She crouched down and said "Paxton, can you say mommy?" It seemed like he just completely ignored her, but as we were eating lunch that day, he looked at me and was really concentrating and moving his mouth around and he said "mommy" perfectly. Now he says it all the time and is so proud of himself.
It definitely means a lot to me, especially since he has never called me the right thing. He went from blowing a raspberry when we asked him to say mama, to calling me dada for months, to Mimi. He would say mama every once in awhile, but just when we asked him to. It is such an amazing feeling to hear his little voice calling me mommy. It was probably my favorite Mommy Moment so far.
After he mastered that, we had to work on Daddy since he calls a few different things (doggie, bubble, bye bye) dada. He got it!
And while I'm gushing about how awesome being a mom is, this little guy is pretty much exclusively nursing now!

I have pumped maybe three times in the last three days, and it has only been when we are somewhere awkward during a feeding session. I even nursed him in our room at Children's Hospital! I am so proud of him for picking it back up! In fact, he even prefers it and doesn't really like taking bottles now. My feeling about this are too intense for this post...our journey probably deserves a post of its own.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Family Lake Trip

Two weekends ago we packed all our stuff and took a lake trip with my family. We headed down Friday after work.

Saturday morning, we hit the water. Paxton is a big fan of the boat.

My boys and I:

The Captain and his son:

Paxton loved all the attention. It was really the first time I let him swim in the lake. It makes me so nervous because you can't see the bottom, but we started slowly by letting him play in the shallow water at the beach and as he and I got more comfortable we moved deeper.

Paxton had the best time. He played in the water almost all day and was fine without a nap. By the end of the day, he was just sitting on the floor of the boat, barely splashing in a bucket of water because he was so exhausted. Porter enjoyed the boat too. His life jacket made him feel like he was swaddled so he slept most of the day. And it wasn't too hot so we were able to keep him comfortable in the shade the whole day. Porter and I also had a mommy/son victory when I was able to nurse him on the boat. It was my first time since I gave up (and started exclusively pumping) after the first month to be able to nurse him until he was completely satisfied.

As everybody started to get tired we headed back to the cabin. After the traditional Soda Steve's dinner, we hung out and watched movies. Even though this isn't the best picture by any means, I love the candid shot of my little family.

We had a fun trip. The weekend we take my mom and sisters is always my favorite lake trip of the summer!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad