Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Piece of Cake

I'm working on a post about Christmas Day (which I accidently posted earlier tonight, then promptly returned to draft mode when I realized it!) so that you can see some pics of how spoiled Liam was (well, we all were!) on his first Christmas.

Under the tree this year, I found this book:

Along with this adorable addition:

I couldn't wait to try it but really needed an occasion to go through the trouble of gathering the ingredients and putting these together. Then, a friend called and invited us to a cookie swap tomorrow night. Perfect!

I opted for the no bake (easy!) recipe which consists of a package of crushed oreos and a package of cream cheese. After mixing them together and chilling them, I used the cupcake mold to shape the dough into tiny cupcakes, chilled again, then dipped the bottoms in melted chocolate and inserted the lollipop sticks. I turned them upside down in an egg carton to let the chocolate harden.

Then, I dipped the top in pink candy melts, and decorated with an m&m and sprinkles. I stuck the sticks in styrofoam so that they could harden.

I made Rob my official taste-tester. Rich. Moist. Delicious!!

Then, I packaged them up for the party tomorrow night. (Really, what doesn't look cuter with a green grosgrain ribbon tied to it?)

I'm thrilled with how these turned out and just had to share. I can't wait to experiment with other cute creations from the book and make more of these cupcake pops! (These will be so perfect at my cousin's baby shower in a few months & I've got a while to perfect my technique before then.) If you ever need a cute treat, give these a shot. They were fun & so easy!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Letters to Liam, 3 months

My Little Liam,

A year ago today, I wondered if we’d ever have a baby of our own. Would I ever know what it was like to watch my belly expand as my baby grew, to feel a little one twist and turn inside me, or to see the face of a child that was a little bit of me and a little of your daddy? A baby was our biggest Christmas wish, and you are our dream come true. Although we didn’t know it yet, on Christmas morning last year you were three days old, at the very beginning of your little life. As we decorated our Christmas tree this year while you watched, I teared up thinking about how lucky we are to have you. Three months old and you are the light of our lives.

Last week, I started packing up your newborn clothes. What a bittersweet day! I mourn the fact that you are growing so quickly and celebrate it at the same time. Each day I see you change and it takes my breath away.

It’s almost time to move you out of your bassinet in our bedroom and into your crib in your own room. We decorated a beautiful nursery for you, and you’ve never even slept in it! It’s silly, I know, but it feels like such a big step and while I know that you are ready, I’m not sure that I am. Once you’re gone, you’ll never again be the tiny baby sleeping steps away from me. I cling to these days (even the difficult ones) because I know how sweet and precious they are.

Speaking of sleeping, you are doing so great-- We put you to bed around 11:30pm each night and you sleep until 8:30-9:30am the next morning! I am SO happy that you sleep through the night because it makes our days together much easier. We’re still having problems with your tummy, but we’ll keep trying new things until you feel better. We increased your acid reflux medicine and changed bottles recently. I’m committed to continue breastfeeding you and daddy gives you a bottle of my milk each night. Your colic seems to have calmed down considerably, but I don’t think we’re out of the water just yet. We’re trying to be patient.

You rolled over for the first time yesterday! Today you have been showing off your new trick—you’ve done it several more times and you seem so pleased with yourself until you realize that you can’t figure out how to flip back over. Daddy and I are so proud of you (and terrified)!

You had a great first Thanksgiving at Marmi & Poppy’s house! Grandpa Blakely, Aunt Barbara, Uncle Jeremy and your cousins Sarah and Jack came to celebrate. We had so much fun getting to see them and you and Jack had a great time playing. We got some sweet pictures of you two together— I hope that you two grow up to be friends as well as family like we are with your Aunt Barbara.

Christmas is just a few days away and we’re so excited to celebrate with you! We can’t wait to give you your presents—some blocks, cars, books, keys and teethers. You’re not quite old enough for most of your gifts yet, but you will be in the next few months and we can’t wait to watch you grow and play. We’ve added new ornaments for you to the tree and we’ll build our own traditions as a family each year. I’ve been working on sewing your first stocking this week and can’t wait for Santa to fill it with goodies.

I’m not a big fan of Christmas songs, but one song I keep hearing has lyrics that make me overwhelmed with gratitude for all we’ve been given this year:

My whole life has turned around,
I was lost but now I’m found…
A baby changes everything.

You’ve changed our lives forever, and we couldn’t be happier.

I love you, my little Christmas miracle.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Got Milk?

Whoever said, "Don't cy over spilled milk" was obviously not a breastfeeding mother, who just accidently dumped an entire bottle of pumped milk all over the kitchen counter.

Friday, December 3, 2010


When I was growing up, I went to visit Ms. B every fall. I'd stand up tall while she measured me, as her and my mom discussed the details of a beautiful dress that would soon be mine. She'd sew for several weeks and once my holiday dress was finished, the first place I wore it was to visit Santa.

We went to the same mall each year to see the same Santa Claus. He was really impressive-- beautiful suit, real beard, straight out of Miracle on 34th Street (my favorite Christmas movie!). Now that I'm older, the thing I appreciate the most about him was that he was unbelievably jolly. How many children sat on his lap each day? Yet, he always treated my brother and I as if we were the only children in the world. I remember him asking us what we wanted for Christmas and he listened with such earnest. To me, he was the REAL Santa Claus.

Last year, not long after I found out I was pregnant, I went to Strasburg and found the perfect red & white striped knit Christmas outfit and I imagined taking our baby (no idea if it would be a boy or a girl) for the first holiday picture. And although our baby would be too small to remember, I wanted the experience to be special.

We took Liam for his first visit with Santa yesterday, and it wasn't exactly how I remember it or what I had imagined. Cute background, great suit, real beard--but Santa had no Christmas spirit. He never asked Liam what he wanted, didn't say Merry Christmas... He didn't even say hello to us. Crumpet popped Liam onto his lap, we snapped a few pics and that was it.

It doesn't matter so much this year, because Liam doesn't understand... but we understood. Maybe Santa thought that it wasn't worth the effort with an infant? I was disappointed in him none-the-less. I'm so hopeful that when Liam is older, his future visits with Santa inspire him to believe, just like mine did.

We did end up with a sweet pic of Liam with was just too bad his attitude was ho-ho-ho-rrible. However, a photo with no tears equals an overall successful first Christmas pic.

(He'll save those for next year when, I'm sure, Santa will scare the hell out of him.)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Etsy Strikes Again: Trimming the Tree Edition

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving has passed and Christmas is approaching. Santa's been busy picking out the perfect presents for a little boy who has been very good this year. (You know, the one who will be more interested in the celing fan than any gift I purchase.)

In a few weeks, Rob, Liam and I will pick out a beautiful frasier fir that will fill our house with the scent of pine and the spirit of Christmas. I love the few weeks before Christmas where we sit in front of the fire at night and look at the tree and the gifts multiplying beneath it. I love having personalized decorations around the house. Last year, I made a tree skirt out of some of my favorite fabric and this year, I need to get around to making our matching stockings. (Liam's babylegs are the only thing I've sewn since he was born and I really miss it!)

For our tree, we started out with packages of store bought ornaments, but over the years, Rob and I have tried to pick up Christmas ornaments on trips we've taken, places we've lived and things that represent us so that the tree has ornaments that actually mean something to us. Some of my favorites include a small silver bell that matches our Vera Wang silverware with 2008 engraved on the back (the year we got married) and a tiny sweet grass basket (that reminds us of home-- Charleston, SC). We also love the red balls with green polka dots with an R (Rob), S (Stef), C (Chloe) and a T (Tate-- the is the first year Tate's ornament will be here without him. We miss him SO much.) on them. We need to find an L to add Liam to the bunch! I've been looking for a new ornament to represent our little addition, but I've hated every "Baby's First Christmas" ornament that I've seen.

Until I stumbled upon lemons with a pea. How simple but adorable is this?!

Ours will be green with red writing and it will say "little baby Liam" on the front. The back will have his full name, birthday, weight & length on it.

I couldn't get out of Robin's etsy store without adding this to my cart as well:

(Ours will have our names and wedding date.)

I'll definitely post pictures of the ornaments when they arrive, of the tree once it's up and of the stockings once they're made. Liam's not taking substantial naps most days, so this may have to a be a project to tackle on a day that he's hanging out with his Marmi--right after a much needed solo trip to the grocery store! (Exciting, I know.)

Thursday, November 25, 2010


We have so many things to be thankful for this year, but the biggest one, of course, is little Liam.

Happy Thanksgiving, from our little turkey to you!

I wish I could say that I made Liam's outfit, however, who has time for applique these days? I did make Liam's orange babylegs from a pair of white knee socks, a box of Rit dye, 5 minutes at my sewing machine & this tutorial. Changed my life!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Letters to Liam, 2 months

My Little Liam,

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about the moment that you tumbled out of my belly and into my arms. The feeling of seeing you for the first time was amazing and exhilarating—I can hardly describe it, but I feel it and my eyes fill with tears as I’m overwhelmed with the memory of the best day of my life. And now, it seems that every day with you is more incredible than the last. I can hardly believe the little person that you are turning into… each day I see more of the little boy you will become.

We just had your 2 month checkup. You’ve grown two inches (23 ½ inches) and gained a little over two pounds (9lbs 12oz) since you were born-- You’re a long and lean little guy! You got four shots and I cried more than you did.

You are laughing, cooing and communicating-- We sit around and watch you for hours, so amused with how you are developing. The best part of my day is seeing you smile and hearing you “talk” to me. You’ve started to move around a lot and I know you’ll be rolling over soon. You twist and turn but just haven’t figured out how to make it over your arm yet, but you’ll get there.

You’ve started loving bath time! I can’t wait until you can hold toys and splash. Every time I put you in that warm water, you are so calm and relaxed—the only part you don’t like is getting out! You also love when I wear you in our wrap—I wrap it around my body and slide you into it. You are so warm and snuggly and content, like being back in the womb. I wear you around the house, out to lunch and shopping. Everyone is amazed at how happy you seem to be, cuddled up to me. I’m happy to have you so close to my heart.

Your second month brought different challenges than your first—in the span of a week, you were diagnosed with both acid reflux and colic. You have the sweetest disposition and are usually a very happy baby, but when you get into one of your spells, your typical go-with-the-flow personality disappears & watch out… On your worst day, you cried over nine hours straight! The good news is, the older you get, the less we see days like this. (The meds we have you on really seem to be helping your reflux— unfortunately, it appears that you’ve inherited Mommy & Poppy’s tummy problems.)

We just celebrated your first Halloween (you were the cutest little football!) and Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. Santa has already picked out your toys (or so he tells me) and we can’t wait to open them with you, even though you’ll likely be more interested in the ceiling fan (your fav!) than your gifts. We’re having so much fun sharing all of these special days with you and can’t wait to start our own traditions as a family.

You are so precious and you make us so happy… Some days I look at you and think that my heart might burst.

I love you, pumpkin.

Friday, November 12, 2010

We're still here!

I just realized that I haven't posted in 9 days...we've been busy!

We're packing the car to head to Nashville to visit family and friends this weekend-- fingers crossed that Liam does well on his first out-of-town trip!

In other news, Liam's hit a growth spurt where he's been eating constantly, we're continuing to battle reflux and colic, Rob's staying super busy with work and grad school and we're preparing for company coming to visit in a few weeks.

Until I can get a real post written, here's a little video that I sent to Rob last night when he was stuck at work until almost midnight. (Please ignore my voice- I sound like an idiot.)

Life never slows down these days, but we're having so much fun!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


After waiting to get the proofs back from our newborn photo shoot, then deciding which photo to use, we finally got our birth announcements in the mail!

Here are our other favorite images that we purchased from the session:

It's amazing how much he's already changed in six weeks. I'm so glad that we splurged and had these taken-- he'll stay a tiny baby forever in these photos. We'll definitely use Stephanie Fisher again for Liam's 1st birthday pictures, if not sooner!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The C Word

"Tomorrow will come,
Today will be gone...
And so I put one foot in front of the other,
and just keep walking on."
-Jason Robert Brown, 13

First, a huge thanks to everyone who commented on my meltdown post. It means so much to me that so many people offered their support, advice and love on a week that was quite difficult!

Overall, we're doing better.

Liam started his Zantac last Monday and although it took a few days, I've seen a major change in his demeanor after feedings. He's still spitting up fairly often, but he's no longer arching his back and screaming after he eats. He also hiccups less than he did before. The major change is that he's napping again-- a surefire way to judge that he's feeling better.

While our feeding issues seem to be vastly improving, we noticed that he still seemed to have this unexplained long period of screaming and crying. Being the worrier that I am, I made an appointment with his doctor and took him in on Thursday morning.

I love our pediatrician-- I could write a whole post about how efficient the office is, how much I love that they have a separate newborn waiting room, how great Dr. Farr's bedside manner is (he calls Liam "doodlebug" and other pet names while examining him) and how I never feel rushed when discussing Liam with him. He takes the time to answer questions and discuss any/all of my concerns. I also feel like he goes out of his way to assure parents that they are doing a good job-- something that every sleep deprived, worrying, first time mom needs.

Our appointment included a full exam: weight check (Liam's up to 9.2lbs!!), a look at his ears, nose & mouth and a listen to his tummy and chest. Everything looked great. We talked a bit about where we've seen improvement since starting the Zantac and what problems remain:
  • periods of crying/screaming lasting from 2-9 hours
  • episodes always starting late afternoon/early evening
  • clenched fists
  • flushed face
  • clammy skin
  • legs bunched then extended
  • near impossible to comfort

This is not happening every day (in fact the past few days have been great, but tonight looks like it will be a difficult one) but it seems to be happening 3-4 times a week, randomly. As we discussed these symptoms with Dr. Farr, he got a knowing look on his face and I said, "I know, I know. I don't like where this is going." He gave me a sympathetic smile and said the dreaded C word.


So, there's good news and bad news.

The good news is that it typically peaks around 6 weeks, so we're in the middle of the worst of it. The bad news is that it typically lasts until babies are 3-4 months old. The good news is that there's nothing physically wrong Liam. The bad news is that if there's nothing to fix, there's little that we can do to comfort him when he has one of these episodes. We just have to go in to survival mode.

Research over the past few years has suggested that use of a probiotic has improved symptoms of colicky babies by up to 95%! So, he recommended that we use BioGaia Probiotic Drops every day. I've started adding this into Liam's nightly bottle, along with his Vitamin D Drops and he can't taste the difference. We may or may not see a difference in his colic symptoms, but either way they will improve his digestive health, so it's worth a shot (and $40/bottle!).

I know that every parent faces challenges and this is just one of many-- On the difficult days, I remind myself that all I have to do is get through today & that tomorrow will be better. And it's true-- Thankfully, he rarely has two really bad days in a row. I get a chance to recharge and enjoy him before we have another difficult night.

He's growing up so fast-- and while these nights seem so long, I know that soon I'll look back and wonder where the time has gone, wishing I still held such a tiny baby.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Liam celebrated his first Halloween today-- we went to brunch, then took some fun fall pumpkin pictures.

We also snapped some pics of him in his Halloween costume-- he humored me for a few minutes, then let me know he'd had enough!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Liam Loves: Bathtime

Liam was desperate for a bath today, so I decided it was finally time to give the Puj Tub a try.

It was the first time I've bathed him alone and I was a little nervous that he'd have a melt down, as he often does when we bathe him on the sponge on the kitchen counter.

He LOVED it!

He was warm, comfy and cuddled in this tub & he never shed a tear. (Neither did I.)

After a rough week that looks like it may not be over just yet (more on that tomorrow), it was awesome to have some fun time with my little man.

And the sweet smell of a clean baby? Heaven.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Breaking Down, Breaking Through

Monday night, I shut myself in the bathroom and cried until I was screaming.

I debated about writing this post. I find it mortifying, but I think it's probably good for me. I haven't really written much about the challenging part of parenting on this blog yet, because I thought, who wants to read about that? Well, I do. I appreciate reading about the challenges that other parents are facing. For all of the amazing moments and sweet pictures and make-me-melt smiles, there are some really difficult days mixed in.

Liam has been crying. A lot.
I know what you're thinking-- it's normal for babies to cry...well, not like this.

Nothing makes a mom feel worse than when her baby is in obvious pain and there's nothing she can do about it because she's tried everything. And nothing makes a mom want to CLAW HER OWN EYES OUT than listening to her sweet baby scream at the top of his lungs for almost nine hours straight-- which finally bought me to my breaking point.

Over the past week, Liam has gotten progressively more inconsolable. He's not really a crier-- if he's crying he's usually either hungry, wet, tired, or needing to be held. We thought that Sunday night was particularly bad, when he cried from around 6pm until midnight. It wasn't that he was fussy-- his screams told us that he was really hurting. Then Monday, things got even worse. He was hiccuping, arching his back, spiting up and screaming-- the thing is, he's been doing this for several weeks, I just never lumped the symptoms together and analyzed them. Well, finally I did.


He has acid reflux! The reason my sweet baby is screaming like acid is eating through his esophagus is, well, acid is eating through his esophagus. Monday morning, I called his pediatrician who quickly diagnosed him and prescribed him Zantac. Unfortunately, it took a few doses for the meds to get into his system and provide him some relief. In the meantime, he continued to hiccup, arch his back, spit up, and scream.

Poor little man. I know how bad this hurts-- I had horrendous acid reflux all throughout my pregnancy and have dealt with it off and on for years...and for a baby who knows no other form of communication, I can understand the screaming. But understanding it and coping with it are two different things, as it turns out.

Most days, I feel like I have a tremendous amount of patience with Liam, and lucky for me, he's a really easy baby. But then there are days-- the ones where I haven't slept well in a few nights, the ones where he's much fussier than usual, the ones where I'm alone all day and don't leave the house, much less shower or eat a decent meal-- where patience is not one of my best qualities. I'm starting to realize that it's those days when it's so important to take a break.

I'm a control-freak and I'm often convinced that if I'm not doing something, then it's not being done right. Now that Liam is here, this has never been more true. I have a hard time handing him over (even to Rob!) even when I really should. I also have a hard time asking for help. I wanted Liam more than anything and now that he's here, nothing is more important to me than be a good mom.

In my head, this means being with him every second and always being the one to fulfill his needs. In reality, this means doing the best I can & taking a break every once in a while.

BUT, when I need some time away from him (even after a particularly challenging day), I tend to feel like a failure. I quit my job and there's a lot that we're sacrificing financially for me to stay home with him. Admitting that I can't always do it by myself is difficult, but it's something that needs to be done.

Rob wants to spend time with his son without me hovering over him, critiquing his parenting. My parents want nothing more than to spend time with their darling grandson. I have to let go and admit that some time away from Liam is not only good for me, but also good for him. It's impossible for me to be the best parent I can be if I'm not doing any of the things that made me happy before I was a parent or spending any time alone.

Which brings me back to Monday night. I had been alone with a screaming child all day when Rob got home from work at 6pm. He needed to work on a paper for school this weekend but couldn't concentrate with Liam's screams echoing through the house. As Rob packed up his stuff to head to Starbucks to work, I started crying. I knew he needed to get it done, I simply couldn't fathom spending 3-4 more hours alone with the screaming. Once I started crying, I simply couldn't stop. (Just an aside-- Liam, of course, was never in any danger while I was upset. He was safe in his bassinet in our bedroom where I put him when I knew I needed to step away.)

When Rob heard me completely lose it, he took Liam outside for a walk-- with the house quiet, I was able to calm down and take a hot bath. When he returned, he put Liam in his crib (still screaming, unfortunately), came into the bathroom, told me to finish up and get out of the house. He told me to go to a movie, get a cup of coffee, walk around the 24 hour Walmart near our house-- ANYTHING. Just get out of the house and away from the baby.

So, I did. I drove around for an hour and a half, talking to my mom, crying. I was only gone a little over an hour and I didn't even get out of the car, but I returned home calm. When I walked through the door, Rob was holding my sweet baby, feeding him a bottle. He fell asleep after soon after that.

Rob has encouraged me to be more honest about my needs, when I've had enough. He's encouraged me to regularly leave the baby with him in the evenings and get out of the house. I'm simply not able to step aside when I'm home-- I have to leave. I will.

Yesterday, I packed up all of Liam's stuff and went to my parents' house around lunchtime. I handed Liam over the minute I walked in the door and while we were in the same house for the rest of the day, I wasn't responsible for him. I took a shower, took a nap and took some time alone. My parents changed his diapers, fed him bottles and fed me lunch and dinner. My mom made me promise that we'd start doing this once a week. I promise.

Liam's had six doses of Zantac now. The screaming has almost stopped-- I'm sure he feels like a new baby. I've promised that I will allow myself the time I deserve and ask for help when I really need it-- I feel like a new mommy. It might have taken a breakdown to get here, but it's a breakthrough for both of us.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Letters to Liam, 1 month

My Little Liam,

An entire month has gone by since I first saw your face and held you in my arms… and still, it seems like yesterday.

When you were born, everyone exclaimed how much you looked like your Uncle Eric, and you did—but every day I see pieces of your daddy and me in you. Last night, I saw Poppy’s two month old baby picture and you are starting to look very similar to him at that age. It’s amazing to watch you change.

You’ve changed so much over the past four weeks. Your tiny newborn clothes are starting to get shorter as you get taller. Your cute little cheeks have filled out. Your full head of dark hair has started to lighten and thin at the top. (Daddy says you still have more hair than he does!) In the sunlight, I can see little specs sparkling in your deep blue-gray eyes, hinting that they may end up green like me and Poppy’s.

You are so alert! I’ve watched you start to focus on your toys—the mobile above your swing, the dangling animals on your play mat. You’re strong, too! When you’re resting on my shoulder, you are always lifting your head up to see what’s going on. And in the past few days, we’ve seen our biggest reward yet—you are starting to smile at us. There are no words to describe that precious feeling.

You love to eat, you hate to have your diaper changed and you’re already a good sleeper. Our first week together was difficult, but you’ve already settled into a pattern of sleeping about 4-6 hours straight each night. With your bassinet next to my bed, some nights I wake up and watch you sleep… I still can’t believe you’re mine.

As much as you’ve changed, I think that maybe I’ve changed even more. The moment that you were born, I became a new person-- I became a mother. I want nothing more from my life than to protect you, to take care of you and to love you. Every time I look at you, I can’t believe that I had any part in making something so perfect.

It hasn’t been easy. There have been days full of tears (both yours and mine), sleepless nights and times where we haven’t always known just what to do, but being your mom is the most rewarding job I‘ve ever had. You look to me to comfort you & take care of you-- I promise not to let you down.

The past four weeks have been the best month of my life, all because of you.

I love you, honey bee.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Four weeks ago tonight, I sat in a hospital bed smiling down
at my new son.

Tonight, he lay on the floor and smiled up at me.
Pure happiness.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Today is National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day.

While Rob and I did not experience loss directly, it has touched our lives through the loss of infant siblings and the babies of family members & dear friends. On this day, I am keenly aware of how lucky we are that my pregnancy did not present any complications and that Liam is healthy.

Today we remember all of those babies, too precious to stay, who are so very loved.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thankful on a Thursday

What we did to deserve this precious creature, I have no idea.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Adventures in Babywearing

Sometimes, I avoid trying new things because I'm scared I won't do them right. Like when I was making the crib bedding for Liam's nursery, I put off making the crib bumper for months because I had never done piping before and was worried I'd mess it up.

I have a feeling that I might be the same way when it comes to parenting-- rather, I know that I will.

Liam is still getting sponge baths every few days, even though his cord stump fell off nearly two weeks ago. We have a Puj Tub just waiting to fill the bathroom sink, but it will likely sit unused for a while longer as I'm nervous about bathing the slippery skin on his tiny body.

This weekend, my aunt visited from TX to see Liam for the first time. On Saturday, we ventured out for lunch, then shopping and the day resembled the type of Saturday that we would have had before Liam was born. It was really nice. Liam slept in his stroller almost the whole time, other than a quick feeding (my first time to nurse in public!). It was the longest we've left the house in three weeks.

CONFESSION: I've been too scared to take him out on my own.

Monday, Rob returns to work. And while I have fantastic parents who live close by and will help me in any way possible, it's time for me to be an independent mama.

We have a carseat that snaps right into the stroller, but what's a mom to do when she needs to run errands that aren't condusive to dragging the stroller along? Case in point: Grocery Shopping. Seems like many mamas just plop the car seat down on their shopping carts, and if it works for you, then no judgement here. However, being the worrier I am, I've read too many articles like this about car seats falling off of shopping carts that I've decided that I'm not comfortable taking the chance.

So instead of coming up with a solution, I've just avoiding grocery shopping for the past three weeks, along with most errands. (One of the beautiful things about having family nearby is that everyone has stopped by to see Liam and they've brought food! We've been so blessed and taken care of!) Rob has run out to the store periodically for the few things that we've needed.

Today, I decided it was time to face my fear and step up to the challenge...I'm running out of time. I had to learn how to use my Moby Wrap.

Several months ago when I tried to learn how to tie it using Mozart as my "baby" I quickly learned that the instruction manual is essentially useless. It's too difficult to see exactly how to tie it based on illustrations. Thank God for YouTube-- there are so many videos showing you all of the different holds. It was so helpful to see people actually putting it on! So, I knew how to tie it, I'd just never done it with a real live baby. If you think I was nervous about the whole bath situtation, think about dangling your three week old child from a six foot long piece of jersey knit fabric.

This morning, I took a deep breath, picked up my fussy baby and slid him into the newborn cradle hold. Within 30 seconds, he went from l'enfant terrible (terrible child, what we call him when he's especially cranky, which is not often) to a sleeping little angel. He slept so soundly, I kept checking on him to make sure he was alright. I did the dishes, I did the laundry and he just slept. It was miraculous.

Armed with a new sense of confidence, later this afternoon I tried the newborn hug hold. Again, he loved it. We took a walk around the neighborhood (he slept the whole time), I made dinner and he was so snuggly and happy.

I feel really silly that I was so scared to try it-- If I hadn't, I really would have missed out on a comfortable way to hold my baby as well as a tool to help me rejoin the real world! With both holds, I fed him right before putting him into the wrap and he slept for hours and hours. He was completely secure the whole time & my hands were free. I know that I could put him in this and have at least an hour to get some shopping done.

I feel great now about being able to leave the house alone, leave the carseat in the car, and hopefully leave my worries behind.

(So, not a great pic of me, but some days it's a stretch to take a shower and brush my teeth in the same day. Today I did both. I'm a rockstar.)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Good Night

We had a good night last night. No, a great night.

Following our appointment with our pediatrician and our lactation consultant last week, I've tried to be extremely diligent about making sure that Liam eats every three hours unless he's so sleepy that all of the usual tricks (changing his diaper, undressing him, tickling his feet and neck, cool wash cloth on his face, etc) fail to rouse him. If he's that sleepy, it's just not worth the fight.

I think we are finally beginning to establish a difference between daytime & nighttime.

The last three nights, I've nursed him around 10pm, then headed to bed. Rob gives him a bottle of pumped milk when he gets hungry around 12:30am. I just know that I'm about to jinx us, but I'll say it-- He has slept like a dream after that bottle, all three nights. Last night, Rob put him down around 12:45am and I didn't hear a peep out of him until 6:30 this morning. I nursed him and he went back to sleep for another two hours! (The two nights before, he slept until at least 4am before waking to feed, then going back to sleep.)

Dare I say that I actually feel somewhat rested? I know that I shouldn't be overly optimistic-- he's due for a growth spurt anytime now & when he hits it, he may be awake every hour on the hour to eat. But in the meantime, I'll celebrate every good night we have!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


In our two weeks as a family of three, we've had so many firsts together!

A few days after we got home from the hospital, Liam had his first (sponge) bath:

He did really well! I thought he'd scream the whole time, but he only whimpered a little towards the end when he got a little chilly.

We had our first pediatrician's appointment last Monday and Liam passed inspection with flying colors! He was almost back to his birth weight at less than a week old. He was 7lbs 5oz at birth, 7 lbs even when we left the hospital, and back up to 7lbs 4 oz at his appointment. (Today, at his two week appointment, he weighed in at 7lbs 6 oz.) Everything else looked good, including his cord stump (which fell off later that day) and his circumcision, which has healed completely.

Here he is before his appointment:

Wednesday, after his photo shoot, we had an appointment with our lactation consultant-- we weren't having any problems, I just wanted to have her look us over and make sure we're establishing good nursing habits. I am still using a nipple shield, but it's not effecting my supply, so she said not to worry about it. She weighed Liam before I fed him, then after I finished and determined that he's eating between 3-4 oz per feeding. This was a huge boost of confidence for me regarding our success breastfeeding. He's getting plenty to eat and I've added in a pumping session every morning right after he eats as well as some afternoons-- these bottles of pumped milk have freed me to have other people feed him. (As of tonight, I have 34 oz of milk in the freezer, which doesn't sound like much, but it's over 8 feedings worth of milk! Considering my milk came in a little over a week ago, I think that's pretty good!!)

Speaking of which, Saturday night was our first night out without him (and last night was our second). My brother came into town to see Liam and my cousin (who has 5 year old quadruplets) offered to babysit so that we could go to dinner with him and my parents. We left her with several bottles and stepped out for a few hours-- he did great and we did pretty well ourselves.

My brother Eric holding Liam:
Eric, Mom, Dad, Me & Rob at dinner:

Last night, Rob gave Liam a bottle around midnight so that I could get some sleep. (I would post a picture but we lost our camera last week. Gasp!! If it doesn't turn up this week, we'll be buying a new one.) It was his first time to feed Liam and his excitement over it was simply precious. Rob said, "He looked at me the way he looks at you when you feed him! I love the happy sounds he makes when he's eating! I got to hold him the same way you do when I burped him!" It was such a sweet and private bonding time for the two of them. I don't want to use the bottle of milk that I pump each morning for his midnight feeding (I would never be able to build my freezer stash!), but if I can make my afternoon pumping session a regular thing so that I can freeze one bottle and have Rob feed him the other, I would love for this to be their special time each night. (Bonus: Mommy gets more sleep.)

Things are going so well-- we have a beautiful healthy baby boy and although we are exhausted, we're happier than we've ever been.