Monday, April 14, 2014

First Haircut!

At just over 7 months it was time to actually cut your precious newborn hair. It was getting a little unruly and the hawk was floppy at best. In fact it was a little Flock of Seagulls (you'll have to Google that and will think mommy is so old).

1st haircut

We debated for a long time on where to take you. Do we take your to mom's hair stylist? With dad to Sports Clips? Do we go to one of those overpriced kids places? In the end we took you to an old school barber shop.

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The lady did such a good job with you and you were a real champ the whole time.

1st Haircut

The end result was a little shorter than I expected.

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Daddy in return styled it into your signature hawk when we got home though.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

You Know Your Baby was Born in Texas When

I don't think you can truly be considered a Texan unless you have at least one picture of yourself in a field of bluebonnets. Said picture was usually taken on the side of the highway causing a backup of traffic as all the parents stop alongside the road and await their turn to put their screaming uncooperative child in what is probably an anthill posing as a field of bluebonnets. All while traffic whizzes by. At least that's how things were done in the 80s. Now parents like me scope out parks in order to find a blue anthill to place their precious children on.

It was only fitting that we took Bud for his first of many bluebonnet pictures this weekend. It was one year ago that John and I stood in a field of bluebonnets and discovered that our little Frijole was a baby boy.

Gender Reveal

1 year later we have a wild 7 month old boy on our hands.

Ummm guys? Are you sure you know what you're doing?

Bud Bluebonnets
(I'm pretty sure we're going to see a lot more of this look in the years to come)

Oh. You want me to play with this sign?

Bud Bluebonnets

No? The blanket then?

Bud Bluebonnets

Monday, March 24, 2014

7 Months Old

Bud,

You're 7 months old!

7 months

You started this month by pushing up on all fours. I thought for sure you'd be crawling by now, but you're still practicing. You can spin yourself around on your belly to get what you want, and you roll around to get where you need. You will push up and rock like you're getting ready to crawl, but instead just push your legs back and do like a reverse crawl. You'll do this repeatedly and scoot yourself back that way.

You're weighing in at 19 pounds 1 ounce and are around 30 inches long. You're out of 6 month clothes are are wearing 9 and 12 months. I just boxed up all of your 6 month and under clothes and it was a little said. I remember looking at your 6 month clothes you were were just born and thinking you'd never fit into them!

You love to eat food and you'll pretty much eat anything that we give you. Your favorites are strawberries, bananas, blueberries, yogurt, and beans. You also went to town on some mashed potatoes. You'll pretty much eat anything that we give you. There's yet to be anything that you don't like.

7 months

You are awesome at sitting up on your own. You can even lean over to reach things or rotate yourself around and are able to sit back up on your own. Just a few days ago I looked down and saw that you were trying to pull yourself up on the ottoman. You are about to be a mover!

You still love to bounce and are still a daredevil. You love when you fly like superman or when we flip you. We finally hung your swing and you get a kick out of us pushing you.

You started trying to make purposeful sounds at the end of the month. Mainly ba ba ba. You'd add in some ma ma mas here and there, but seemed to be really stuck on ba ba ba. We still can't figure out if your saying baba for bottle? Or bubba because that's what we call you most of the time. Bye Bye? Only you seem to know at the moment. Today though, on your seven month birthday, (which is also my birthday) you finally said mama! It was the best birthday present ever!

7 months

I can tell the next few months are going to be wild ones. I think you'll be on the move very soon as well as making a lot more sounds and maybe even some words. It's so much fun to just watch you and see you figure things out and process them. You love to just sit back and watch and take things in.

I can't wait to see what these next few months bring us!

Love you Bud!

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

6 Months Old!

Bud,

You're 6 months old!

6 months

How has it been six months already? Just yesterday you were this red little newborn with this fresh new baby smell. Now you're this big boy that has gotten too big too fast for me!

You weigh 17 pounds 6 ounces. I think it's not as big of an increase because you were sick twice this month, once with croup and then with RSV. I'm hoping you'll just get through everything now and will go on to be a healthy little boy. You are almost 29 inches long - 28 3/4 inches to be exact. I joke at daycare that you won't fit in your crib at the rate you're growing! You are wearing a mix of 6 and 9 month clothes, though I could probably put you into 12 month pants and they still wouldn't be long enough! You're still in size 3 diapers.

You're pretty much able to sit up on your own now. You'll play happily sitting in the boppy. You haven't quite figured out that you can turn and look at things without moving you're entire body so you often fall over onto your belly. You love playing on your belly and are content laying on a quilt with a few toys to play with. You also started sitting in your high chair and have been sitting in the bumbo for a few months now.

6 months

Speaking of your high chair, we also started to give you table food at the end of the month. You started with avocado and were not impressed. You made the most hilarious (to me and dad at least) grossed out face when you bit into it. We have since moved on to green beans and carrots. The carrots you loved! I've also frozen milk into ice cubes and you love to suck on those. You still don't have any teeth, but you're happy to gum things and suck on foods.

You still love to stand and can even hold yourself up for a few seconds. I'll usually have you stand between my legs while I'm sitting on the couch and you can hold yourself up on the coffee table. You've even leaned over to pick up things a few times, but you aren't pulling yourself up just yet.

You also discovered textures this month. I would often find you scratching your crib sheet or your car seat. You are also able to turn yourself around while on your belly and will turn from your crib to our bed and I'll hear you scratching our sheets or comforter. You'll also do it to the wall in the nursery when I'm changing you. You have also figured out that you can bang of things and drop things and they each have their own sounds. It's so much fun to watch you discover different sounds and sensations!

You also had your first haircut by your dad. 20 years later he will still swear it was a "safety trim" but it doesn't change the fact that your precious hair was cut. It was starting to look a little like Flock of Seagulls (you'll have to Google that and will think we are incredibly old). Your dad was at least smart enough to save those hair clippings.

6 months

At six months you are sleeping well. You've slept through the night a few times now (I don't on those nights!) and currently wake up about twice during the night. You are not a morning baby and I also hope that stays! You'll sleep in most days until around 8. 7 am wake ups are a very rare occurrence for you.

You are still such a happy little boy. You love to laugh and smile at us and at everyone you meet. You find our silly antics to be highly entertaining and it's fun for us to hear those big belly laughs of yours. You have always been a very laid back and easy baby and I hope it continues.

Love you Bud!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

On Mom Guilt

I knew going back to work I'd be plagued with the "mom guilt." Guilt that I was leaving my baby in someone else's care. Guilt about all the things I'd miss. Guilt for being away from him or 9 hours a day. The list can go on and on.

What I didn't expect was the work guilt. The guilt that my kid is sick YET AGAIN. One week in to my return to work and Bud got the flu. Then there was cedar fever. The next month it was croup and not even two weeks after that it was RSV. I feel like I've been out of work for as long as I've been back and we're not even at the 3 month mark!

I am so incredibly fortunate to have the world's most amazing boss, but don't think I don't feel guilty about that. I feel like I'm taking advantage. I feel guilty for not being in the office, or passing off my work to a coworker. Guilt that in three months I've yet to even hang a picture of my child in my office. I even feel guilty on those days when I can't wait to drop him off at daycare and get to go be around grownups or even people that won't scream at me all day. (That was one I never thought I'd feel)

When I picked Bud up on Wednesday after I got the call that he was running a fever, I ran into another mom from the infant room picking up her sick baby. As we were both lamenting to one another about how our babies were sick yet again she said, "It's not like all the kids in the room don't all have it (RSV) already. Why can't they all just be sick here together." I had to agree, but bam. Guilt. Guilt that I didn't really want to take care of my sick child, that I couldn't really be away from the office, guilt that I'd totally pass my sick kid off to someone else.

She asked how many sick days I had left, explained she only had 1 to get her through the rest of the school year (she's a teacher), and I got hit with the guilt again. Guilt that I have the awesome boss that has allowed me to work from home. Guilt that even if I wasn't able to work from home my sick days reset January 1st and I have 2 weeks worth that I can use (on top of vacation). Do I lie to her? Anything I would say would just put more guilt on her. Then I'd feel guilty for making her feel guilty. More guilt! Instead I just smiled and said so many new moms I know are going through this exact same thing with us. And we are! Can't our kids just be healthy once we go back to work? We're already feeling bad enough.

Nothing makes you feel worse than having a sick child (more guilt). You feel so helpless and wish for nothing more than to take their pain and illness away from them. Then you feel guilty all over again for even going back to work, because if you didn't then they'd never get sick (at least that's what your unrealistic sleep deprived brain tells you.

Becoming a mom just means learning to deal with the guilt. Whether you work at home or stay at home. There's the guilt that you're not doing enough. Guilt that you want a minute to yourself or to even pee by yourself. Those adorable little smiles though? They sure help ease the guilt.

Croup baby sittin' up like a big boy in my office chair after his Dr appointment.
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Monday, January 27, 2014

5 Months Old!

Bud,

You're 5 months old!

5 Months

I seriously cannot believe it has been this long. When people ask how old you are and I respond with 5 months they're shocked. They expect me to say 3. 5 months to me is almost 6 months and 6 months means you might as well be a year old, that's just how fast time has gone by.

This month brought us so much change. You grew so much and have learned so much. It was a tough one because you were learning so much and therefore not sleeping. While I miss my teeny tiny baby I do enjoy that you sleep more now. You're weighing in around 17 pounds and are 28 inches long. You're wearing 6 month clothes and I won't be surprised if you're out of the footed jammies soon. You're also wearing a size 3 diapers. You are such a big boy.

Just when I thought you were never going to roll, and I'd have to write another update about you almost being able to roll, you started rolling back to front and front to back all like, "no big deal mom! I've got this! I don't know what the big deal was."

5 Months

You're almost sitting up on your own. We can leave you propped up in some places, but other times you do this really low lean when you're sitting and you're able to hold your balance.

You are also grabbing everything you can possibly get your chubby little hands on. If it's near you you will grab it. You've gotten really good and seeing something and reaching for it, but you're still a little surprised when it's not there anymore. You haven't really realized that you're the one that is letting go.

If you are able to pick something up it immediately goes into your mouth. I'm sure I'm going to have to be more careful about where I put you in case you grab something that shouldn't go in your mouth. Daddy says it's like you're trying to figure out your world with all five senses. That's why you've got to taste everything!

You love playing on your play mat, but your favorite thing is your bouncer you got at Christmas. You can't really bounce in it yet, but you love playing with all the toys and making the light buttons light up and play music. You'll laugh at it and yes, you'll even try to put the buttons in your mouth.

5 Months

You think it's hilarious when we make faces at you. You'll sometimes mimic us back, but mostly you just giggle and laugh at as. You also have this little high pitched coo that you do. I often call you little dove because that's what you sound like. When you really get going you'll coo back at us. It's so much fun to watch you try to talk to us and figure out how to make sounds.

You still love when we blow raspberries on you. It can be on your cheek, on your belly, it doesn't matter. It will always get a laugh and a smile from you. You also still love to stand and for us to play superman with you. You're getting so heavy I'm going to have to start working out so I can hold you up!

You're also able to kind of scoot yourself around a bit. I'll lay you down one way only to find that you were somehow able to turn yourself sideways. You do it a lot at night when you're sleeping. I've even found you trying to pull yourself into our bed a few times.

You figured out how to grab your feet this month and it's probably one of your favorite things to do. You'll roll up in your car seat, on the changing pad, in your bouncer, on the floor, you pretty much try to do it anywhere. It makes diaper changes a little difficult or changing your clothes, but you think it's all just great fun. I can't wait until it's warmer so I don't have to worry about you pulling your socks off all the time!

Love you Bud.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work

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I dreaded going back to work. You can read about it here. A month and a half later I can tell you it has gotten a little easier, but just a bit. My friend Sarah wrote an awesome post to a friend when she went back to work and it helped a lot (and will probably make you cry, but I didn't need much help with the whole crying thing).

As I prepped to go back to work I hung out at my daycare. I played with my baby and got to watch how the teachers interacted with the kids. I recommend going at least twice and if you can do it around drop off and pick up times so you can see how these are handled. It really helped me to see all the babies need all the things at once. I felt so much better about leaving my baby in their care after witnessing that.

Your daycare may be different, but one thing that helped was that mine takes frozen milk. I found during my search that a lot don't. I don't take a lot of frozen, usually just one feeding. The rest is fresh that I pumped the day before. I just fill up a big bottle (or two) and take that each day. I then freeze whatever was left over.

This is totally up to how comfortable you are - there can be milk wastage. You worked HARD for that liquid gold! My daycare's policy is to toss after 1 hour. Sometimes Bud doesn't drink a whole 4 ounces (that's about what he eats right now at 4 months), but they have to toss after an hour. Sometimes that's 2 or more ounces down the drain! I provided them with information from KellyMom to back up my request for them to hold it. What's great about the info provided here is that there are almost several to choose from - just highlight the section you're comfortable with and print out that selection. Because my milk is fresh I'm even more ok with it. You need to decide on your own, watch the milk handling at the facility, know how you're handling your milk, is baby healthy, etc. Again, it's all what you're comfortable with as most milk storage guidelines tell you to toss unfinished milk.

I've been asked a few times about what I took to daycare that first day. I recommend taking all the supplies the week before if you can so that all you have to worry about the day of is milk, bottles, baby. Be sure to label everything with a sharpie and for bottles I bought these. They have REALLY held up.
  • 2 extra pairs of clothes in a ziploc with his name on it
  • Diaper Rash Cream - big fans of Earth Mama Angel Baby though we didn't have to use it until he started day care
  • Wipes
  • Diapers (I just take a sleeve of them)
  • Boogie Wipes
  • Kleenex (they'll use your good ones as opposed to the rough industrial type ones)
  • Gas Drops
  • Infant Saline and a Bulb - this was a recent addition due to allergy season. Again it's another "are you ok with them sucking boogers from your kid's nose?" They also required that the saline say Infant on it
  • Bottles - I take a ton at once and replenish as needed
  • Pacifiers if your kid takes them - my daycare only gives them for sleep
Pumping while at work. Ugh. It does become a drag. Be sure to get a good quality pump because it'll be your best friend. Insurance is required to provide you a pump for free so check with your insurance company. I have heard that Tricare does not (grandfathered plan) and some will only do a manual. I of course have no first hand experience or knowledge so please correct me if I am wrong. If yours only does a manual find out about purchasing it under your durable medical equipment plan. Sometimes there are loopholes and you'll probably get different answers from different people so take notes when you call.

The HR person in me also wants to let you know that your employer is required to give you breaks to express milk in a private space that is not a bathroom. NOT A BATHROOM people! Though I personally don't think a storage closet is acceptable either, but the law wasn't written that way. They don't have to pay you (but if they provide paid breaks they sure do or if they expect you to do any kind of work while pumping), and there is no limit to the amount of breaks you may take. There are some very rare instances in which a company may not be required under the law, but even then hopefully your boss is a decent human being and will allow you to pump. Or just keep talking about breast pain and engorgement in front of the men in the office. In case you don't trust my 13 years experience in HR, my PHR certification, or my 2 degrees in this area, here is a lovely print out you can give to your employer and the FAQs from the Department of Labor.

I'm lucky to have my own office with a door that locks. Unfortunately, this door has a giant window so that even when I'm busy and have my door closed people can still see that I'm present. At least this is the BS answer I was given during my first week of employment. I really have no idea why our doors have windows. I covered that giant window with wrapping paper (that now needs to be changed since it is no longer Christmas. I had the front desk laminate a sign for me and it appears 3 times a day on my door.

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I thought I'd be polite with Do Not Disturb, but am thinking of switching to Pumping in Progress, because you'd be surprised the amount of people that want to disturb you.

I keep a supply of gallon ziplocs in my desk. After each pumping session I rinse my pump parts, put them in a bag, and throw them in the fridge. Again, I'm blessed to have a minifridge in my office (my own, not work provided) so my coworkers don't have to find my pump parts in the break room fridge. I've actually thought of switching to a wet bag or something similar to not go through a box of ziplocs a month. Maybe that's an option if you have a community fridge. It just saves you having to wash and dry your pump parts 3 times a day.

Also, the first time you walk to the sink (I have to walk the full length of our building from my office to the break room) with your pump parts in tow it will feel like you're smuggling a tampon half in half out of your pocket or whatever embarrassing thing that may be similar to you. A month in, I don't really care anymore, and I think most of my coworkers are used to seeing me rinsing out my parts by now.

The next best thing you can do for yourself is get a handsfree pumping bra. This is the one I have and I love it. I recommend 2 because halfway though the week you're going to wonder where that sour milk smell is coming from and it's going to be your bra.

I have a big tote bag that I keep my pump, pump parts, little cooler (I transfer to the cooler when I leave. It's great if I need to run errands or something after work), nipple butter, handsfree bra, and breastfeeding cover (in case I have to pump in the car which has happened on occasion). Nothing will make you feel like more of a bag lady than being a working and pumping mom.

I would recommend having a manual pump in your desk in case something happens to your pump or you forget one of the 50 parts that go to your pump. My 2nd day at work my pump suddenly went out, (Ameda customer service is the bomb by the way) and I have forgotten pieces before. Another option is to buy back ups of everything, but sometimes it's more affordable to buy a $20 manual pump.

I'll end this post with my favorite website KellyMom's section on pumping at work. It's full of great info.

What are your tricks to pumping at work?
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