Sunday, October 31, 2010

My 10 month accomplishment!

Today was my final day of breastfeeding with Isis. We made it 10 months & I think that's pretty fabulous! I wanted to breastfeed to 1 year, but I mentioned before that when I started student teaching, there was a significant drop in my supply. After less than a month of student teaching, Isis went from exclusively getting breastfed to taking 1 bottle a day, then after a couple more weeks 2 bottles a day. I stopped nursing her at night about a week ago and today was the last time I nursed her in the morning. I wasn't producing much, so Isis & I had a little chat this morning & we were both just done. It had been a struggle to get much of anything the last couple of weeks.

So 10 months!!

I'm proud of myself. 
It was hard, then it was easy, then it was hard again, but overall I have been incredibly happy with this experience & I look forward to breastfeeding my future children for as long as possible!



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Sunday, October 24, 2010

An Etsy Christmas!

Yes it's October & I'm thinking about Christmas. I've been thinking about it since June, really, but I've held it in until now. I am uber excited about Christmas this year! Christmas with a (almost) 1-year old is going to be so fun!!! I can't wait to show her all the Christmas lights & let her taste the yummy food that she will hopefully be able to eat at that point! We are still having a hard time with some table foods. She just doesn't have many teeth & seems to also have a sensitive gag reflex, so it's a slow process. But I'm excited for her to get some gifts & tear off the paper. She'll get to play with lots of family members that don't get to see her all the time & I think she'll love Christmas trees & snow! There is just so much to look forward to!!

And while the gifts part of the season is not the reason nor should it be the emphasis of that time, I still find myself looking forward to it because with Isis, there is just never an end to how excited I get about seeing her play with a new toy or learn a new skill with some new thing we introduced! Right now I'm excited about getting her some sort of toy she can sit & ride on! But I've been looking at Etsy & there are so many fabulous things & there's no way I will ever have enough money to get them, but I'm really considering doing as much of my Christmas shopping on Etsy as possible! So if I normally buy gifts for you, be ready!!!

Here's what I've been loving lately...

I love owls! This owl doll is so cute!

These ABC 123 letters & numbers would be so great for Isis!


I have high hopes for Isis' hair growing more after she turns 1, so these clips would be so cute when we need to pin back some bangs!

This is simple, but these car seat strap covers would be great in our car!!

I love this hat!! So cute & it'd keep her ears warm in the cold!

These petal shoes are so fancy!

I'd love some ISIS name blocks!

And finally, I think this Bag of Bags is so great with different colors & textures! Plus I can teach her how to play corn-hole later!!!



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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Isis' 9 Month Update

I realized the other day that I haven't shared an update of what's going on with Isis now! I really am seeing the growth spurts. There will be weeks when I'm like, "it feels like nothing is changing & she's just never going to do that" (whatever it seems like everyone else's babies are doing). But then, one week she'll just start doing 5 new things without any trouble. It's crazy!

Here are a few highlights:
  • At her last doctor appointment at 9 months old, she weighed 20 pounds exactly & was 27.25 inches long.
  • She now says mama & dada (when she feels like it) & to the right person.
  • She can pass objects from one hand to another.
  • She can pick up food & put it in her mouth. She picks it up with her thumb & forefinger, but then uses her whole palm to put it in her mouth. It's adorable.
  • She stands holding onto things & pulls herself up easily.
  • Sometimes she cruises between the ottoman & the couch or between a standing toy & the wall.
  • She holds on with one hand while standing, but hasn't quite been ready to let go & stand on her own.
  • She crawls. A lot.
  • She drinks from a sippy cup, although also likes to just bang it on the table & shoot water everywhere. (We don't use the sippy stopper thing.)
  • She bangs objects together, takes them out of or puts them into containers, she looks for objects when you hide them, she plays peek-a-boo with some objects like putting a burp cloth over her head.
  • She is quite a talker. She will combine syllables & uses inflections & seems to want to say certain real words. She loves playing with this little brush & we always say "brush" when we give it to her & now she will look at us and go "bru."
  • She has a stuffed animal giraffe named Geoffrey from Toys R Us & she likes to talk to him & give him kisses.
  • She gives kisses now which is my favorite, but sometimes she doesn't want to & she makes hilarious faces when she's trying not to give you a kiss.
  • She still eats a lot of baby purees. That's one thing we are working on - getting her to eat more finger foods. But as for baby purees, her absolute favorite is the Chick Chick Happy Baby meal.
  • She will eat these finger foods: cereal puffs, cheerios, crackers, small pasta pieces, macaroni & cheese, small pieces of bread & little pieces of cheese. I've also fed her some mashed potatoes, broccoli casserole, pasta salad, cottage cheese, applesauce & various fruits cut into pieces. She even tried tofu & seemed to be okay with it!
  • She does have 2 teeth on the bottom that are finally through the gums & making their way in! But they're still not helpful with actually biting foods yet.
  • Here's our sleep schedule on weekdays (generally) for those of you who are interested in that: 7am - wake up, 9am - nap (1.5-2 hrs), 2:00pm - nap (1-1.5 hours), 7:30pm - bed. So she's sleeping about 11.5 hours at night & taking about 3 hrs of naps per day on average. Sometimes it's a little less, but not usually any more.
  • We are still breastfeeding first thing in the morning & before bed at night. She takes formula twice a day. She eats solids 3 times a day.

That's about it I think! Overall she's doing awesome & yep I already can't wait to have another one!!! I'm not gonna give away all my secrets, but we are going to start trying again in less than a year!!! Party!!!



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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Questioning

Camera Flash!
I sometimes wonder if everyone questions themselves as much as I question myself. There are lots of things about me that I find myself wondering if it's just me or if everyone is like that, but questioning myself is a big one. I question everything. Almost every conversation I have will be played out in my head over & over for the next few days. It's a constant ongoing process of wondering if I said the right thing, did the right thing, have planned the right thing, etc. Is this working? Am I happy? Am I doing what is best? Did I just stick my foot in my mouth again? It's unbelievable.

There are pros and cons to this for me. On the one hand, as someone who places my life & faith in Jesus, you would wonder why I would question so much. Is it worry? Am I showing a lack of faith? These questions alone can creep up on a regular basis & keep me constantly investigating the state of my heart & mind. 

On the other hand, it's a form of accountability for myself. No decision is taken lightly. Everything has a deeper meaning for me. With my conversations, I'm constantly questioning if I said the right thing & is there anything I should take from this to apply to the next conversation? Were my words the best possible words for that situation & conversation?

Yes, it's absolutely tiring.

As a mom, this has become amplified for me. It also was a source of great distress for me in the beginning. I had thought & investigated my decisions on pregnancy & birth for so long before even becoming pregnant. You can ask my best friend - I had made the decision to try for a medication-free delivery years before I even got pregnant. Then when all of a sudden, everyone had an opinion about it, it sent me into a whirlwind of questions in my own mind. Is this the right decision? Have I not taken something into consideration? Am I not cut out for this? What if I can't do it? What will people say then? Is it okay that I want to do something different than the "norm"?

Then there comes the parenting decisions which are all made with great thought & investigation when possible. And still, you have parents who took the time for thought & investigation & came to a different conclusion. At first, that sent me into a big questioning mode for myself. Am I wrong? Have they seen something I didn't? Am I not making the best choice for us?

A couple of months ago, I decided I was done with that. What I realized was that while everyone may not question themselves quite as much as I do, they all - particularly moms - are taking time to think about & decide what is right for their family. I take such comfort in that. The "big answer" is not the final decision, because that can vary from family to family based on individual needs & beliefs. The "big answer" is in the investigation. When it comes down to it, a mom or dad who will take time to really think about what is best for their child is the successful mom or dad & the successful family. The rest is just details.

As a blogger, I find it incredibly comforting & incredibly challenging to read blogs from such a diverse group of moms (& dads). I find it comforting to read about other moms who are thinking & struggling & really diving into making decisions & figuring out what is right for them. I love seeing how things work out or how they don't because it's great to see lots of perspectives because you never know what will work for you. I've taken tips & advice from all kinds of different moms through blogging. Some have worked & some haven't, but it's been so great to have an endless source of information from experienced people! I also find it challenging because I'm constantly shown different perspectives. This has never been something that scares me. I have embraced information, debate, different sides to different ideas because even if it's different than mine, it's great to hear perspectives you may not have thought of. People have risen arguments (maybe not in the form of arguments, but the same effect) that have caused me to rethink what we are doing & maybe take things a different direction. And that's okay. Because a mom who is not flexible & open to change or the possibility that what they are doing may not be working, is a mom who is going to have a tough time maneuvering the ebb & flow of life with kids.

So I guess I am writing this to say thanks, moms! Thank you for being true to who you are & where you stand. Thank you for presenting opinions that are different than mine. Thank you for presenting both your successes & your failures. I truly believe that these first few months of motherhood for me have been so much greater because of your input. I hope I'm able to offer something useful, if only just one more perspective in the midst of many.



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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wish List on a Day Off!

Today is Lewis' birthday. He took off work Wednesday, Thursday & Friday of this week because I'm also off on fall break. Today we decided to have our babysitter keep Isis anyway so that we could have a day together just hanging out without a baby like we used to! It's crazy because we haven't had a day alone like this since before Isis was born!! Of course I ended up cleaning & organizing most of the morning, but now I'm just laying in bed watching a movie! In the middle of the day!!! Because I can.

But I'm also catching up on blog reading & thanks to Adriel's new Photography series at The Mommyhood Memos & then all Jhen's beautiful pics at From Here to Eternity, I'm thinking about the fact that I badly want a DSLR camera. It's my #1 wish list item for Christmas. If I got nothing but that, I would be so happy! It's like the gift that keeps on giving!

I really want a Canon Rebel xti, but I'm open to other suggestions. I also heard good things about a Nikon D40. But here's my question, since most of you are taking fabulous pics for your blogs...

What kind of camera do you have??
What do you like about it?



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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Some moms are crazy!!



I just absolutely cracked up!!! This is hilarious!!! Moms really can be crazy! Although, I have to say, I did some of the things the crazy pink lady was talking about, but I definitely don't think that what I'm doing works for everyone. It's not a competition. That's one of the biggest things I've learned since becoming a mom. We are all SO different. Every mom is different. Every baby is different. What works for me can be recipe for disaster for another mom & baby! I don't understand why we can't just let each other do what we do. We are all just doing the best we can to raise healthy, happy kids! In the beginning, I felt such opposition to what I was doing because I guess some of it was different. I'm not really sure, but I found myself needing to defend my decisions. You can probably see some of that in my earlier posts. But now, I'm just doing what I can. I've learned what works with Isis & with our family & that's really all I can do!

Thanks Lori for sharing this on Mommyfriend!! It really made me laugh a lot!



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Monday, October 4, 2010

Let's Make a List

I apologize to those of you for whom this post will be incredibly boring (which is all of you), but I felt like if I made this list & posted it on my blog, I would have some accountability to myself to actually get it all done! And most of this needs to be done this week, but not all of it.


Things I need to buy:
Green candy for cupcakes (if you know where I can find these, let me know!)
Orange cupcake liners
Candy
Silly Bandz
Tickets
Pens, Markers, Highlighters
Grocery
Christmas Gifts (yes I start way early)

Things I need to do for school:
Solo Week Plans
Formal Lesson Plans (2 of them)
Reports for Mon. night class
Standards Portfolio
Lesson Plan reflection
Unit report
Organize notebook

Things I need to do in general:
Resume
Call financial aid office
Pay 2 bills
Blockbuster online
Blog
Clean (kitchen, bathrooms)
Organize (bedrooms, living room)
Go through clothes
Christmas cards (again, I start early)
Flu shot for Isis
Calendar through January

Things I've got going on this week:
Monday night - dinner w/ my fam for Lew's birthday
Tuesday - Flu shot for Isis, then lunch with Laurel & Tina
Wednesday - Lunch & shopping with Courtney
Thursday - Day home with Lew for his birthday, then Vampire Diaries @ night with Diana
Friday - Gap Outlet?
Sunday - Lunch w/ Lew's family for Lew's birthday


Whew!!




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On the Move

Life is moving so fast.

10 days ago, Isis couldn't pick up a small piece of food & get it into her mouth. She could pick it up, but then she'd drop it continuously in the process to try to get it close to her mouth. She also couldn't fully pull herself up to standing. She was still getting used to crawling. 

10 days ago, I was fairly confident in myself as a teacher. I was still in the beginning of my student teaching experience. I wasn't quite to the point of looking for jobs, but I was excited about the possibility.

Now here we are & Isis started putting food in her mouth one day like it was no big deal - like it had never been a struggle. She pulled herself to standing & now will cruise between the ottoman & the couch. She can crawl across the room quicker than I thought possible. 10 days!!

I am still fairly confident in myself as a teacher, although I went to a seminar where I saw an absolutely fabulous teacher & I was pretty much completely intimidated by where I'm headed in my life. This woman was amazing & I really hope that one day I can teach like that. I am suddenly finding myself in dire need to finish my resume because there is a Kindergarten teaching position available mid-year right now that I could apply for & possibly start in January! It's in the county I want to work in & at a school I would love. If I want any chance of even interviewing, I suddenly need my resume finished & my letters of recommendation & portfolio together ASAP. 

So fast.

It's fall break & I feel the need to slow down, but suddenly realized that there isn't much slowing down anymore. In the midst of everything going on with student teaching & all the work I need to do to prepare to fiinish that as well as apply for jobs, I still desperately need to really clean my house & it's hard to fit that all into nap times because now that Isis is just moving & standing & getting around everywhere, I have to focus constantly. Yes, that was one big run-on sentence (hello 4th grade teacher in me), but that's where I'm at right now.

And you know what...

I'm LOVING it.

This kind of craziness is where I really show what I'm made of. It's always been like that for me. When things start to seem crazy, I bear down & get some junk done! So off I go.

Super Mom is on the move!!!



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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Happy Anniversary!!

Six years ago today, I married my husband. Here's some of our story.
 
  We met more than eight years ago in April 2002. When we met, I had short, dark red hair - almost purple. He had a mohawk. We were quite the pair. Although, we didn't work out at first. I was 17 years old. He was 21. I know it sounds crazy, but I knew immediately that I would marry him. After our first phone conversation, I just knew. I went to school the next day & told my best friends at lunch that I met my husband the night before. Of course they thought I was crazy. And I was surprisingly not really thrilled by this realization.

We went on a date that weekend & it went okay, but not great. I was not very nice. You see, I was 17 & all that entails. I was perfectly ready to go to college & date around & just have fun. I was not interested in a serious boyfriend. I was definitely not interested in getting married young.

About six months later, we were dating - officially. He pursued me & I just couldn't stay away. I finally allowed my head & my heart to be in the same place.

There were a few bumps in the road & we broke up a couple of times over the next 2 years - his choice, not mine. Ah, young love. He just didn't know yet what I already knew...that we were going to get married.

Needless to say, I was right! He figured out that he just couldn't live without me & on October 2, 2004, we were married.

The first year was newlywed bliss, the second year was ridiculously hard thanks to several different things. It's really hard getting married at 20 (me) and 24 (him). There are a lot of things you haven't done and haven't learned and a lot of ways you make things harder on yourself than you need to. Those first couple of years were hard.

But honestly, God knew exactly what He was doing putting me & Lewis together. We really do complement each other very well. We came through some difficult things stronger than I ever imagined. Over the past several years, God has taught me so much about marriage & compromise & sacrifice & joy. I've learned how to fight in a healthy way. I've learned how to share life with someone. We've learned how to speak & when to stop speaking. We've learned what works & what doesn't. We've learned that it's okay if our marriage looks totally different than someone else's because we know where we are focused - or better yet, Who we are focused on. I've grown up a lot & so has Lewis & our marriage has been blessed through this time. 
 
I really could not ask for more than the humble, generous, loving, gracious, hilarious, intuitive & kind person that he really is. 
 
In June 2006, we went on tour with Lewis' band.

In August 2008, we decided we wanted to have a baby.

In May 2009, we found out we were pregnant!

January 2, 2010, Isis was born.

Our family of two is now a family of three.



Seeing Lewis become a father has been one of the most amazing experiences in our marriage. This year, I am particularly grateful that we are married. I could not imagine raising my kids with anyone else. I look forward to the future with so much hope because I know that the possibility that was created in our union has unlimited potential. I am so grateful for my husband & for my family!


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