Top10 things I've learned in the past 6 weeks

1.  Having two kids is.....HARD.  Seriously.  It's hard.  Jack is at the wonderful (and I'm not being sarcastic here) age of 2.  I love him being 2!  He's adorable, curious, sweet, mischievous, helpful, naughty and just straight up hilarious.  Mix that up with an uber needy newborn battling reflux (which is of the devil) and you've got one heck of a chaotic household.  There are days where I'm pretty sure I'm not going to make it.  And that is WITH all of the help of Jeff and our parents!  On days when Jack 's at Grammy or Nana's all I can think of, the whole time he's gone is....having one kids is easy!!!  I don't know how people do it alone.

2.  Whoever named the store Buy Buy Baby was a genius.  I have spent more money on pacifiers, bottles, bottle nipples, formula....all to just find something that works!  My pantry and closet is full of half used formula cans....formula with soy, formula with rice cereal, advanced formula....and pacifiers.....Avent pacis (the ones Jack loves and I was sure Owen would, too), Soothies, Nuks, Mam's.....and bottles....Avent bottles that Jack used, every size of bottle nipple under the sun.  We have finally settled on the Playtex Drop-Ins and using the large nipples due to needing to mixing in  rice cereal in Owen's bottles to help with reflux.  FINALLY!!

3.  Two children are never the same.  At all.  From the paci's to the bottles, to the swing, these boys have been complete opposites.  Owen's reflux has been a beast and I think it is what has made the biggest difference between the two boys as newborns.  It's made him really difficult to soothe and over all not happy.  I read in my babycenter email this week that he could be smiling by now.  Ha.  Haha.  Hahaha.  That would mean he'd have to be awake without screaming, right?  We're getting there...finally settling on a bottle/formula/cereal/nipple combo that seems to work, and after trying Prevacid (which didn't work) and starting Zantac (I keep wanting to say Xanax, which is maybe a Freudian slip of what I need these days!), I think we're on the upswing of all of this.  I can't wait to have a happy baby....

4.  Jack is all kinds of able to entertain himself...if he wants to.  His new favorite toy is...wait for it...his stool.  Now, he has several stools.  One brown stool (which is probably his favorite), my nursing stool (which weighs a ton but he totes it around anyways), a pillow that he calls his "soft stool" which gives him about a 2 inch lift but somehow makes it into the stool rotation, and his learning tower that we keep in the kitchen.  Jack's stool toting has gotten him into all kinds of "fun"!  One afternoon, we were sitting on the couch and Jack runs in and says "Tylenol fall out!  Tylenol fall out!"  One of the other ways Jack entertains himself is to put Monk to bed in Vincent's bed in Owen's room.  He puts him in bed, covers him up, says, "Sweet dreams!" and shuts the door.  Precious!!!  Anyways, he decided Monk needed Tylenol before he went to sleep.  Naturally.  So he dragged his stool into his room where we keep the Tylenol and took it into Monk.  Well, the cap wasn't on and you can guess what happened next.  A whole new bottle of liquid Tylenol everywhere!!!  I mean, all you can do is laugh!  One other stool story....I walked in the den the other day and Jack was snacking on a big bag of pretzels.  I thought it odd Jeff would give him the whole bag, but whatever.  We're still in survival mode around here.  Jeff walked in the room and come to find out, he didn't give him the bag of pretzels!  Jack got them himself, off the counter.  Obviously he's being neglected and about to die of hunger!  Not likely.  :)

5.  The best part of having 2 kids is the sweet interaction between them.  Now, I won't say that Jack's ennamored by him, but he does love him.  Already!  He loves it when Owen's laying for a brief non shreiking moment on the playmat and he rushes over to lay with him.

Every time Owen cries, Jack urgently informs me that, "Baby Owen's sad!"  He loves when people ask him about his baby brother.  It's sweet, and I love seeing them together.

I'd planned to do a Top 10, but it's 7:50 and I'm exhausted.  So, Top 5 is all I can muster for the moment....the life of a mom of 2!

Owen's Newborn Pics

Get ready for a picture barrage!  Sabrina did it again....

1 Month!

Today's Owen's one month birthday!  In some ways it seems like he's been here forever and I was pregnant years ago!  In other ways, it seems like we're just getting started.

I've learned a lot about Owen in the past month, just like you do every newborn.  First of's possible to love two children.  I wasn't sure, but it is!  The amount of love I feel when I look at them is overwelming.  A little more insight into how God can love each one of us!  He is easier to coax into sleep that Jack was, which is a God-send.  Jack took quite a bit of maintenance to get to sleep.  Didn't like to be rocked, only liked to be seemingly violently swung in a parent's arms for minutes on end.  But Owen?  He loves to be rocked and usually (not last night between the hours of 11pm and 1am) goes right to sleep.  And I love it.  :)  He loves to be in the baby carrier!  I went to Jack's Christmas party at Mother's Day Out yesterday and Owen slept the whole time in the baby carrier!  Jack was not a fan, and I was worried, thinking how much easier it would be with Owen if I could stick him into a carrier and chase Jack around.  And I'm so glad he loves it!  It's wonderfully freeing.

The biggest thing I've that all babies are NOT the same.  Quick learning curve on that one!

Jack loved....LOVED the lamb swing.  He was in it from day1 and was falling out of it at 6 months.  Loved it.  Well, Owen hates it.  Like, loathes it with every bone in his tiny body.  He shrieks as if a thousand needles were poking into his back when laid in the swing for just a hot minute so mama can go to the bathroom.  What do I do with a baby who doesn't like the swing?????????????  

Jack loved....LOVED his paci.  And who am I kidding?  Still does.  Yes, he's 2 and he loves his paci still.  And I'm ok with that.  It soothes him, it's his comfort, it's actually quite amazing and I love it almost as much as he does.  The first paci we popped in his mouth was a big fat winner and ever since then, it's been absolute love.  Owen?  Well, he's not a fan.  I stocked up on 1-3 month paci's, same as Jack's, but different enough so that Jack wouldn't get them confused.  Even got some glow in the dark paci's so that I could find them in the middle of the night!  I was ready.  Ready, I tell you!  Well, Owen wasn't a fan of this magnificent paci.  What?  WHAT?  What do I do with a baby who doesn't love his paci??  Seriously.  What do I do.  Finally this week I accepted the fact that Owen wasn't loving this paci (he spits it out, gags like it's the grossest thing he's ever had in his mouth, and would actually cry more if the paci was in than when it was out.  Not the idea.).  So I went to Target and dropped another load of cash, picking up one of every single paci that they carry.  I mean, seriously.  What do you do with a baby who doesn't like a paci?!?!?!?!  Well, Owen latched onto the 4th package of paci's I popped open.  FINALLY!  I'm not saying he loves it, but I'm saying he'll hold it in his mouth for more than 3 seconds.  So there's progress. 

I'm also not convinced that Owen loves the swaddle.  Now, we're swaddling because of the whole startle thing and the fact that I really think it makes him sleep better, but I'm not sure he loves it or how long it will last.  Jack?  Oh he was swaddled contently until 5 months. 

Now, for all the ways that Owen has been different (ahem....more challenging) than Jack, I know...KNOW that when Jack was 1 month old, I didn't know how much he loved the swing.  I didn't know he'd latch onto his paci past the age of 2.  I didn't know that the swaddle would be so great for him.  So the challenge of number 2 is remembering that you simply don't know them as well as you do number 1!  I have had 2 years to get to know Jack.  Know his loves, know what sets him off, know how to calm him, know how to love him.  So I need to allow myself some grace when it comes to Owen.  I might not know him as well, but that's ok!  It's about challenging what I know as a mother, and finding that God surely did make them different, each and every one.  And to keep and open mind, not stuck in a rut of this worked for Jack so it MUST work for Owen or he's high maintenance or difficult.  One day I will know his favorite food, his favorite TV show, his favorite books....all in time.  These first few months are all about learning about my new son.  And that's ok!  That's God's design, for me to be forced to engage and bond with Owen and to begin to learn him in a way that will make me yearn to know him as I know Jack.  And really, that's so exciting!

We went to our 2 month check up today and Owen weighs....wait for it....7lbs 3.5oz!  Rockstar eater.  That's up 2 lbs in 2 weeks!!!  Yay for my tiny little boy!!  With chubby, chubby cheeks.  :).

Feeding the Babe

Like I said before, when Owen was born, he was so tiny, that they advised me to nurse no longer than 15 minutes at a time.  And the reason was that with any nursing done after that, he was burning more calories than he was taking in.  Poor little guy!  So from day 1, I nursed and then supplemented to prevent him from loosing any of his birth weight like most babies do.  Initially I supplemented with formula.  Then my milk came in and I was able to pump enough so that we could supplement with breast milk, which was great.  With Owen being early and small, I really wanted to be able to give him my antibodies and all the other wonderful things that goes along with breast milk.  

If you remember from before, nursing Jack was not a good experience for me.  Or for Jack!  My supply was low, my nipples are not the best for breastfeeding, and Jack didn't want to latch because it was hard and he wasn't getting much. It was terrible.  I dreaded our nursing sessions, because I knew they would end in my being angry....angry at Jack and angry at myself.  Not healthy at all.  But I knew the benefits of breast milk, I'd been to the breast feeding classes, I'd heard people say, in not so many words, if you don't breast feed, you're pretty much not a good mom and don't care about your baby.  So I stuck with it, even with our struggles, I was planning to nurse for 6 months.  I was blind to what our troubles really were and didn't know I was making this plan even to the detriment to my son.  At our 2 month appointment, Jack had lost weight and looked like a string bean.  I proudly announced that I was still exclusively breast feeding and was a little dismayed when my doctor said to nurse him and then just offer him a bottle of formula.  If he doesn't drink it, he's getting enough!  If he does, he's still hungry.  He downed 4oz the first time I did that.  That's a full feeding for a 2 month old.  My pride and determination to stick with it had been detrimental to my son and I hated it.  So we changed the way things looked, I pumped and bottle fed, supplementing with formula.  And Jack did great.  

This time I went into nursing with a completely different attitude.  What nursing did to my relationship with Jack in those first few months was terrible.  I didn't like him.  I didn't like me.  And I didn't want that to happen again, in any way shape or form.  A nurse friend once told me that the first 2 weeks of breast milk were the most important, and after that, it was icing on the cake!  So this time, my goal was 2 weeks.  I wasn't expecting Owen to be early, I wasn't expecting to supplement with formula so early, I wasn't expecting to need him to gain weight so quickly, I wasn't expecting the lactation consultant to say that he would probably always be on a bottle and that I would always pump so I could supplement my nursing with breast milk.  But you know what?  I was ok with it.  Because this time, it had to be about Owen, not about me and my hopes and wishes for what our feeding routine would look like.  I'm so much more peaceful about feeding this time...and it's wonderful.  Another added bonus to the bottle?  Only one of us has to get up to feed him in the middle of the night...and that one of us doesn't always have to be me!  :)

Owen is doing GREAT with what we're doing!  In the first week alone, he'd gained 3 ounces and in 2 weeks, he'd gained a full pound.  And we're doing great with our feedings!  I dropped the nursing part of our routine, simply because I couldn't nurse for 15 minutes, bottle feed, and pump every 3 hours all on my own.  Especially with a toddler running around.  I just couldn't do it!  So now I'm pumping to bottle feed, and supplementing here and there with formula.  Owen's over 3 weeks old now so I've met my initial goal of breast milk for 2 weeks! 

My new goal is to make it until Christmas.  Woohoo!

Christmas With a Toddler

It's been interesting to have a new baby and still really wanting Jack to be able to enjoy the Christmas season.  We put up the tree (unbreakable ornaments, duh),

and got out our nativity, and I really wanted to do some kind of Advent calendar for Jack.  Of course, I went to Pinterest and found exactly what I was looking for!  Something really cute and super easy.  And here it is!

Dollar Spot socks, a piece of ribbon, clothes pins, and voila!

Each sock has either a treat or a holiday activity, and every day Jack gets to open a sock.  Now, I know my child, so the treat or activity is put in about 2 minutes before we open it.  :)  And Jack loves it!  

So far, this has been one of the funnest activities we've done.  Decorate Christmas cookies!  Knowing my son and his attention span, we just did slice and bake (See the one with a bite out of it?  He was just taste testing!)

and I iced while he decorated...which lasted about 15 seconds.  But he loved every second of it! 

And tonight, he opened the sock with new Christmas pajamas and there was definitely a need to snap a pic of both boys in their holiday finest!

And yes, that is my purple pajama-ed knee in the shot.  Mamma's gotta be close to prevent any head snatching or "hugging" from big brother. 

Being the Mom of Two

What a whirlwind, crazy, few weeks it has been.  Today is actually my due date.  And in celebration of that, I actually hung a picture on the wall in the nursery! :)

When thinking about how our life has changed in 3 weeks, it's hard to even verbalize it!  There have been super sweet times, when Jack gives Owen a kiss, or when I get a brief moment to just gaze at my new baby.  And then there have been absolutely CRAZY times when Jack is crying because he's in time out for doing whatever he shouldn't be doing for the 75th time in 10 minutes, and Owen is shrieking because he's gassy.  And then Jack, in his truly toddler way, starts soliciting help, hollering from the time out corner to everyone in the room...."MammaDaddaBabyOwen, MammaDaddaBabyOwen, MammaDaddaBabyOwen, MammaDaddaBabyOwen...and then you just have to laugh!  

I feel like life is truly hectic right now.  And I can't believe I'm saying that, honestly, because I feel like all Jack has done for the past 3 weeks is watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  But I guess I can believe I'm saying that, because as soon as an episode is done, it's back to toddler antics, which, in and of them selves, are pretty cute and funny.  But combined with a baby, is just stressful.  

Owen's a pretty good baby, we've had some gas issues, which Jack had and I was hoping to avoid it with Owen, but I think we've gotten that under control.  With Jack, the most stressful thing for me was breastfeeding.  It was just such a struggle for us, and it really affected my feelings for him.  Thankfully, we've avoided that with Owen, as he started supplements in the hospital since he was so tiny.  I nursed for 2 weeks while Jeff was home, and have now transitioned to pumping, which has been great.  We're still supplementing probably 1/4 of the feedings, but I'm so so happy with where we are in the feeding game.

So, life is crazy, but another good thing about your 2nd is that you know the tough newborn days won't last forever, and eventually, they will smile, they will laugh, they will be as sweet and adorable as your other one.  And sometimes that's just what I need to remember to make it through the nights!

And what I also need forever is the help of those around me.  Let me tell you.  I could not be functioning with out the help of my friends and family!!!  I love you all!

Owen's Newborn Pictures!

A little over a week after Owen was born, we had Sabrina come and do newborn pictures and they turned out so stinkin' cute, I just had to share our preview!!

Check it out here.

Isn't it funny how crazy and difficult newborn shoots are, with the fussy newborn, the screaming toddler, the frazzled parents....and then the pictures portray such a peaceful and sweet time?

Giving Thanks

What a special Thanksgiving!  We usually head to Palestine to spend Thanksgiving at Crystal Lake with family.  My cousin and his family come in town and it's such a fun holiday!

Obviously with our 1 week old son, we didn't make the trek this year which made us so glad we'd visited them this Fall.  We stayed home, my mom cooked up a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, and while Jeff's mom was in Baltimore visiting her other new grandchild, Jeff's dad came for dinner, too.  

We are so thankful this year.  Thankful for our health, thankful for our new family, thankful for the Love of the Savior, thankful for amazing friends, thankful for the undeserved grace and mercy showered down on us daily.

We needed a low key holiday, and that's just what it was!  But a low key holiday, still needs a cute holiday outfit, right?  :)

 CRAZY toddler.
 ADORABLE toddler.

 First family picture of 4! I don't know why Jack looks so angry...
 My mom...
 Jeff's dad.  The boys.  :)
 Does everyone take a picture of their table settings like our family does?
 And sweet baby Owen, saying his thankful prayers at dinner. 

How it all went down

Jeff's mom came to sit with Jack so my mom could go with my to my appointment on Monday, which was so nice.  I was expecting Dr. Hardt to say, "Ok, looks a little better, back home to the couch, see you in a week for a check up!" so I wasn't too worried.  I mean, if my feet tell the story, the story is easy to tell.  

First up, I got a sonogram to check on little Owen.  Which is always fun!  Fun to see him, see that he's ok, etc.  The stenographer confirmed that he was still a boy, looked good, and commented that he was measuring a few weeks behind where he should be.  Hmmm. 

The nurse took my blood pressure, said the doctor would be in to see me in a minute, and walked out.  Last week, the nurse (a different nurse) had said right away that my blood pressure was high, and since this nurse didn't say anything, I assumed it was fine!  Whew!

Then my doctor walked in.  First thing she said was, "Molly, what have you been doing!"  Um, sitting on the couch....but somehow my blood pressure was even higher than the week before.  168/108 She said with this news, she wanted to go ahead and send me to the hospital to check me in and get ready for an induction tomorrow.  Um, what?  What?  I wanted to yell, "But my feet!  My feet!  Look at my feet!"  But instead I just cried.  This was not supposed to happen.  I sat on the couch for 5 days!  This was not supposed to happen!!!!  But again, my doctor reassured me that everything was ok, Owen was going to be ok, he would be fine delivered at this point, and it would be better for him to be out with us than staying inside me because he wasn't getting what he needed.  My mom asked if we could go home and get my hospital bag, and she said that it would probably be better to go straight to the hospital and have someone else bring it to me.  I was scared.

I walked out of the office stunned and, like I said, scared.  It was 3:50pm, and Jeff was set to be on the air at 4 for the 4:00 show, so I called him and bawled as I told him I was headed to the hospital.  Talking about it later, somehow we kinda knew this was coming.  He'd felt weird all day, I'd repacked my hospital bag the night before....but it was still really shocking.  I was only 36 weeks.  We had a month left as a family of 3!  And now we find out that Owen would be here tomorrow!  He found Larry, who was still in his street clothes, told him I was heading to the hospital, and Larry said he'd cover it, and he headed out.  Jeff stopped at home to get my bag and change clothes, and pack his bag.  Thankfully, Jeff's mom was at the house with Jack so she just took him home for the night.  And thankfully my mom was with me so I wasn't doing all this alone!  

We got checked into Maternal Observation and they immediately started monitoring my blood pressure.  The job of the nurses at Maternal Observation is to see if you really need to be admitted, so they monitored my blood pressure, monitored Owen, and drew blood.  Jeff made it to the hospital before they officially admitted me and boy, was I glad to see him.  

So we got settled into our room and they put in a cervex softener so that when they started the petocin Tuesday morning, I'd be ready to go!  It was all happening so fast.  They hooked me up to a blood pressure machine that would monitor my blood pressure every hour over night and set off an alarm if it got too high.  And they gave me two Ambien.  The cervix softener sometimes makes you cramp, they said, but this would ensure I'd sleep through it.  At this point, Jeff and I were starting to get kind excited.  We would get to meet Owen tomorrow!  And, we'd get a full night's sleep!  I went to the hospital with Jack at 9pm and he was born at 3am, and I've always said that the newborn days might have been easier if we didn't start off sleep deprived...and here's our chance!  We prayed for Owen, for my body, for things to be ok, and went to bed.

Sometime around 4am I woke up and couldn't really go back to sleep because of the cramping.  Which was weird.  I mean, I just took 2 Ambien.  At 7am, the nurse came in to unhook me and help me to the bathroom.  And that's when my water broke.   Um, what?  I went ahead and took a shower, and when I got out, I asked the nurse if it was possible that my water broke.  She said, "Well, it's possible.....let me check you."

She checked and sure enough, it did!  And I was dilated to a 6!  Epidural, stat, people.  The contractions were coming fast and hard at that point.  We made phone calls to let everyone know that Owen would be here sooner than expected and by the time the epidural was in, she checked me again, and this is what I hear: "Oh, that's the baby's head.  Someone call Dr. Hardt!  Get Dr. Hardt on the phone, she's ready to push!"  

Oh my Lord.

Everyone's running around like crazy, my epidural doesn't feel like it's working because I've had to lay on my side to keep my blood pressure down, there are doctors from Cooks Children's Hospital in my room, just in case Owen isn't doing well.  It was crazy.  Five minutes later, Dr. Hardt literally runs into the room, puts on gloves, no time for the doctors gown, I push 4 times, and Owen Patrick Jamison is born at 9:21am.  4lbs 9oz, 18 inches long.  AND healthy.  Praise the Lord.  Yes, he's a tiny thing, but he's healthy.  God is good, all the time.

Everything happened so fast.  My blood pressure was still sky high after delivery, so I laid on my side and watched while Owen was assessed....and all at once, all of the pediatric doctors left the room.  And my baby got to stay.  Praise the Lord!  

The hardest thing was to be laying in that bed, strapped to monitors, bound my my anti seizure IV meds (in case the blood pressure caused a seizure), watching while everyone cooed to my baby. I couldn't get out of bed to see him.  I didn't get to see Jack meet his brother for the first time.  I watched from afar, but that's not how I pictured it.  

I didn't get to be the first one to hold him.  I didn't get to be the first face he sees.  But, I did get to nurse him, and that was precious precious time.

We stayed in Labor and Delivery over night so they could continue to monitor my blood pressure and administer my IV meds, and finally made it to the postpartum floor the following morning. Although the monitoring continued and the blood continued to be drawn every few hours, I wasn't hooked up to an IV any more and I got to hold my sweet little boy as much as I wanted! 

My blood pressure hadn't dropped to normal, but they felt comfortable releasing me the next afternoon and we got to go home to be a family of 4. 

I'd like to say that Jack is this sweet to him all the time, that he always kisses him and is gentle, but really...

this is more like it.  :)

The build up.

I wish you could have seen my feet at the fabulous shower my sweet friends threw.  I looked through all the pics, and there isn't one of my feet.  Go figure.  Anyways, they were swollen like whoa.  Swollen like I was walking on two inflatable devices.  Swollen so that I could wear very few pairs of shoes, and even those, my feet spilled out of them and it was a bit embarrassing.  

So when I went to my doctors appointment the following Wednesday, I wasn't super surprised that my blood pressure was high.  I had high blood pressure towards the end of my pregnancy with Jack, so I somewhat anticipated it with Owen, too.  It hadn't gotten too high, they would just take it, say it was high, lay my on my side for a few minutes, retake it, it had gone down, and bye bye.  

But not this time.  My doctor is the nicest doctor ever.  Soft spoken, and just a sweet and soft spoken person.  So when she told me that my blood pressure was troubling her and that I needed to be on modified bed rest for the next few days and I started bawling, she was very understanding.  She reassured me that things with Owen were ok, and that he was almost full term (I was 36 weeks) and worse case scenario, it doesn't go down when they check it again the following Monday, they would need to induce me, but that it was ok, because the most important thing is that Owen was ok, and that I was ok.  So, I left in tears, but reassured that things would be ok.

And then I remembered that I had a toddler at home.  And bawled all the was to my lunch date.  I called Jeff, bawling, who reminded me that it would be ok and promptly sent me flowers (so sweet) and called my mom and bawled to her while I asked her to pick up Jack from Mother's Day Out and bring him home...and stay with me until Jeff got home to take care of Jack. 

One of the things that I wrestled with the most about thinking about having Owen is saying goodbye to Jack as we head to the hospital.  I cry now, even as I think about it!  The last goodbye as an only child.  The last time my heart is not divided.  The last time I hug him and squeeze him and kiss him before his little world rocked.  So I'd thought of all these fun things we'd do before Owen gets here, and now, here I am on bed rest.  And I cried some more, feeling like I was now unable to make these last few weeks special. 

Jack had a really hard time with me sitting on the couch and being shuffled from one grandparent to another.  Don't get me wrong, he LOVES his Nana and Papaw and Grammy.  But he knew something was wrong.  He wanted me to do everything.  Every diaper change that I sat on the couch through, he cried and fought whoever was changing him, even if it was Jeff, screaming for me.  Every dinner that was lovingly prepared for him, he would just say over and over, "Mamma do it!  Mamma do it!"  Every toy that needed to be played with, he wanted me to do it.  It's like he knew something wasn't right, and he just wanted to me get myself together and "do it!"  It was rough, yall.  You can't explain bed rest to a 2 year old.  I did get up to do bedtime, because that's just the most precious part of the day, and I just could...not...miss that. The first two days were the worst.  Then he got a little more used to it and would just come and sit on my lap.  And those times were so so so special to me. 

So I sat.  And I sat.  And sweet friends brought us dinner.  And I sat. And Jack spent the night at Nana's.  And I sat. And he spent the afternoon with Grammy.  And I sat.  I sat ALOT.  The swelling in my feet went down to almost nothing, so I was expecting a great report come Monday!  Yay me, for sitting on the couch for 5 days straight!  And there is never more to do than when you're bound to the couch.  All I could think of was all of the things I could be doing when he was at Nana and Grammy's house!  The nursery isn't finished, the house is a mess, etc.  So seriously, yay me for sitting on the couch for 5 days straight!

Quick Catch Up

I have neglected to post about SO many here's a quick catch up.  

Jack was a pirate for halloween.  The cutest pirate EVER!  The cutest pirate ever who wouldn't wear his hat or vest but loved his eye patch.  

When we were expecting Jack, Vincent tested out the equipment.  Now, Jack tests out the equipment.  It's his boat, you see.
We visited Dad and Barbara in Palestine, since my doctor said don't count on traveling that close to my due date.  (Um, good thing we listened.)
I had a fabulous baby shower thrown by fabulous friends!  The food was amazing, the ladies were generous, and there was great crafting to be had as they helped me put he finishing touches decorate Owen's room!  The project isn't done yet, but when it is, there will be pictures.  Lots of pictures.
Mary Claire had to leave early and I forgot a hostess pic before she left!  :(

2 Year Old Days

There have been a few days recently that can only be summed up as "2 year old days."  Days when Jack throws fits for no reason, won't do things just because, acts like a hormonal teenager.  I honestly liken days like this to days when he can tell me he hates me and slam his door.  That's how crazy and irrational they are.

I know he's testing his limits.  Seeing what happens if....if he really bangs his fork and spoon together one more time, will he REALLY have to do to time out?  Some of this whole, "I want Mommy to hold me and only Mommy to hold me and if anyone else holds me I will scream and shout and throw a fit like you're never seen and nothing, no nothing, will distract me from my desire to have Mommy hold me."

There's been a lot of that.

And then there's this too adorable for words little boy, eating his ice cream, saying hi to everyone who passes by.

And then there's this same little boy who kept licking the table.  And when Mommy said, please quit licking the table said, "OK, Mamma."  And would lick his ice cream, and then lick the table.  And when Mommy said, "Please quit licking the table.  We lick ice cream, not tables because tables are dirty.  If you lick the table, we're going to have to throw your ice cream away and go bye-bye."  And when asked what what would happen if he licked the table would say, "Throw ice cream away.  Go bye-bye." And would sing, lick his ice cream look at Mommy and lick the table.  

And then there were tears and gnashing of teeth.

And when asked why we had to throw the ice cream away, would say, "Licked table.  Mamma said no lick table, or throw away ice cream."

And there you have it.  The testing of a 2 year old.

So, here's where we are: Toddlerhood

You know that place where your toddler has the will of a dictator?

When he looks like this because you asked him to eat one.......bite.......of a homemade pumpkin muffin?

And then after he finally eats ONE BITE, he gets up and proceeds to eat 3 muffins 5 minutes later?

And that place where since you took a picture on the first day of school, you now have to take a picture on every day you go to school?

And that place where all you ask him to do is say "Please" and you'll help.............and he won't?  And he knows what that means, but doesn't want to do it, so he just cries for 10 minutes instead?

And that place where you tell him you'll put him in the swing when you finish snarfing down your breakfast while you try to talk to a friend, only you can't talk because said toddler is screaming in the background because he wants to swing NOW, and not play with the 20,000 other toys in the backyard that you've suggested?

And that place where he gives you straight up hugs and kisses while he pats your back?

And gets really excited to make his first batch of cupcakes?

And sings and plays his guitar like a freakin' rock star?  And then acts like a rockstar when he demands that you sit on the big ball while he plays and sings into his microphone, and is so adorable you want to snatch him up and hug him forever and never allow him to grow up?

Yes, the video is long.....but he's so cute you just can't stop!  And please excuse me and my waaaaay prego self.  Not my most attractive.  

And when he figures out that Mamma is the comforter and Daddy is the fun one?

That's where we are.

So, here's where we are: Pregnant

You know that place in being pregnant when you have acid reflux when you eat a cheeseburger, acid reflux when you eat a grape, and acid reflux when you eat nothing?  

And that place where you hip pops so loudly that it sounds like gunfire when you roll (if it could be called rolling) over in bed?  

And every movement requires sometype of grunt?  

And you wonder why in the world these stackable washer/dryer things were such a good idea as you squat and grunt to put in one of many looming loads of laundry?  

And you're out of breath going from the kitchen to the couch with a glass of water? 

And your toddler sits on your lap and uses your belly as an arm rest while he watches TV?

And you can't drink enough water?  

And because you drink that much water, you go to the bathroom because you feel like you're about to explode, go back to the couch, and immediately have to get back up to go again?

And you have tator-tots with cheese on top and chocolate milk for lunch and dinner?

And you feel like everything in the nursery MUST be done TODAY because the baby's coming tomorrow....only it's not tomorrow, it's 6 weeks away?

And you thought you'd actually avoided the whole extremities swelling thing until you went on a trip (that you have yet to blog about) and from the moment you stepped on the plane, your feet and hands turned into balloons?

And going on a walk sounds like a great idea until you realize that all that walking you did today makes for some painful Braxton Hicks that evening?

And when your toddler is napping, you know you should nap, but it's the only time to get things done so you hang curtain rods and make book slings and glue bows onto the bumper pad?

That's where I am.

Pinned There, Done That

How many things have I pinned on Pinterest?

The my profile board tells me 1158 things.

Have I done 1158 things?


So today, I started a board to pin the things I've actually done, just to validate myself, that I actually pin things for a purpose, not just pin things to pin things. 

And there are 25 of them.  25 out of 1158.  That's a laaaaame showing.  Especially for someone who loves crafty things and loves new and different things.

BUT, this week alone, I've done 3 things!  I've done this:

Tator-tot Casserole for dinner last night.  Super yummy, I subbed a homemade cream soup base plus sauteed mushrooms for the cream of mushroom soup to make it a bit less processed.  And it was a hit!

I've pinned a ton of activities for Jack to do.....and have done none of them.  Until this week when we did this!  I wasn't sure how he'd do, or if it'd be too frustrating.  I mean, hand/eye cordination is not usually to good for 2 year old boys, but he's loving it!  He calls it his "hat with the holes game."

 And last but not least, this week, I did this for Owen's room!  Jack has the gutter bookshelves, so I wanted something a little fun and different for Owen and this is it!  I'm loving the cute-ness.  I wish more of the book would show and that's something I might fix in the future, but for now, it's great.

So, here's to adding to my Pinned There, Done That board!

Now I Lay Me

Each night before bed, we say bedtime prayers.  Jeff and/or I recite this sweet prayer:

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
Angels guard me through the night
And wake me with the morning light.

Make me a boy who's brave of heart
Willing and strong to do my part
Please help me to be good each day
And always honest in my play

I pray for all the wrongs I've done
That you'll forgive me, every one
Be near me when I wake again
And bless all those I love


In the past few months, we've added  little "free-style" prayer at the end, letting Jack pray about whatever he wants to!  We'll say, "Dear Jesus, thank you for" and Jack will repeat, "Dear Jesus thank you for," and he'll list the things he's thankful for.....which is basically a list of his favorite things.  

Some of them are expected, like Mama, Daddy, Baby Owen, Grammie, Aunt Kat, Nana, Papaw, Grandpa, Barbara, Uncle Andy, Aunt Ali.....and then comes the ever changing list of hilarious toddler thankfullness.  

It usually includes Nattie (Grammie's dog) and Buddy (Nana and Papaw's dog), even those are fairly predictable.  Lately, we've added in Mickey and all his friends.  So we pray for Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Minnie, Daisy, Pluto, and Pete.  I mean, he does love them!  He also loves to throw in lots inanimate objects.  We pray for different people's cars, we pray for the guitars of every person we know (literally)...Uncle Andy's guitar, Zeb's guitar, Jeff's guitar....and he's so darn earnest about it, I absolutely love it!  We went to visit my coustin and his family a few weeks ago (post coming soon!) and so now when we pray for Caleb, Carson, Jeff and Heather, we also pray for Heather's car and Jeff's truck....and their garage door, that goes up and down.  He usually prays for people he's seen that day, which is always sweet.

I love seeing what he's thinking about and what he wants to pray for.  Eek, I love my little man!

Food - aka A Pioneer Woman Testimonal

This post is basically about nothing but food.  What?  I'm pregnant!

First off, if you haven't made the Pioneer Woman's Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork, make it.  I made it again this weekend and it was still delicious.  And be sure to serve it topped with lettuce, tomato and feta.  That's the best way to do it.  Just saying, the feta totally makes it.

Second, I bought a pack of Halloween Oreos yesterday and I've already eaten half of them.  They shouldn't allow pregnant women to buy Oreos.

Third, I've never eaten meatloaf in my life until last night.  I had 2 pounds of ground beef in the fridge and was looking for something to throw together for dinner, and stumbled upon Pioneer Woman's meatloaf recipe.  I'm kinda feeling like Ree owes me something for all this promotion she's getting lately....but I'll settle for being able to use her recipes non-stop.  Now, Jeff "doesn't like meatloaf" (I put that on quotes, because there are many many times the man says he doesn't like something and then ends up actually eating it and loving it) although when we make anything made of beef and there is a morsel left over, he shoves it in his mouth so fast he gets the hiccups.  Every.  Single.  Time.  Yet, he doesn't like meatloaf.  Confession, maybe part of deciding to make meatloaf is to prove him wrong.  How can you scarf down a left over burger without even chewing it, yet hate meatloaf?  Now, a loaf of meat sounds disgusting to me.  I worked in a kitchen at a youth camp for a few summers, and my only experience with meatloaf was there....serving 300 people....and all I remember is all of the grease and nasty.  And I hate touching raw meat.  BUT this recipe had nothing too offensive in it (no onions, which is why Jeff says he hates meatloaf) and I had lean ground beef, and Ree has never steered me wrong, so I did it. was really really good.  Jeff had not only seconds, but thirds.  And ate some more as we were putting away the left overs.  I win!  Ok, Ree wins, but I'll take a bit of that credit.  And I loved it, too!  Highly recommend, especially with mashed potatos and The Bread.  The Bread is yet another Pioneer Woman recipe (am I obsessed with her?), and it's the silliest things ever, and the most delicious thing you'll ever eat.  And I ate a lot of it last night.  Did you notice there is not a stitch of vegetable in our meal last night?  I almost steamed some green beans....almost.  But then I wouldn't have had room for all that bread!

Here's the recipe, straight from PW's website:

 My Favorite Meatloaf
  • Meatloaf:
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 6 slices White Bread
  • 2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1 cup (heaping) Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/3 cup Minced Flat-leaf Parsley
  • 4 whole Eggs Beaten
  • 10 slices Thin/regular Bacon
  • Sauce:
  • 1-1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
  • Tabasco To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour milk over the bread slices. Allow it to soak in for several minutes.

Place the ground beef, milk-soaked bread, Parmesan, seasoned salt, salt, black pepper, and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Pour in beaten eggs.

With clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined. Form the mixture into a loaf shape on a broiler pan, which will allow the fat to drain. (Line the bottom of the pan with foil to avoid a big mess!)

Lay bacon slices over the top, tucking them underneath the meatloaf.

Make the sauce: add ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and hot sauce in a mixing bowl. Stir together.

Pour 1/3 of the mixture over the top of the bacon. Spread with a spoon.

Bake for 45 minutes, then pour another 1/3 of the sauce over the top.

Bake for another 15 minutes. Slice and serve with remaining sauce.

Fall Family Pictures

I've got to brag on my girl Sabrina Gebhardt.  We had family pictures taken a few weeks ago and got the pictures back today and I love them!!  She did such a great job!  Especially with crazy Jack running around.  Here are a few of my favorites. 

 Jack is so serious!!  Pondering life, I assume.
Can you say, "Cutest 2 year old ever!"???

I really like this one...

And our little musician!  Couldn't have a photo shoot without the guitar, could we?

Just heading down to the beach to play a few tunes...

I am absolutely in LOVE with this one.  Jack was being crazy and Jeff was just chasing and Sabrina made something beautiful out of it!

And at the end, the only way to wrangle crazy was to put him on Jeff shoulders.  And I love it!