Friday, February 28, 2014

5 Things Friday

Wow not a lot of blog posts this week.  As much as time crept by when I was pregnant, time has FLOWN by since Henry arrived.  I think it is partially his daycare schedule.  Anyway...  Here's a short list of randomness for this fine Friday.

1.  My post last week about a few reason I won't miss breastfeeding is still true.  This morning I have a meeting that requires me to leave the office early.  And that's fine.  But fitting in when I will pump got a little tricky.  My choices were get up SUPER early or pump in my client's car.  I chose to get up super early.

2.  I haven't written anything in 30 minutes because I am mega boring I guess.  Actually I knew I was crazy boring because I realized how much I listen to NPR.  It's not that I enjoy listening to the news.  I really don't.  And I'm not a raging liberal (even though I am from Oregon).  It just so happens that I can only listen to so much Katy Perry.

3.  My mom sent me this picture yesterday:

It makes sense that he can hold his own bottle.  He uses a sippy cup like a champ, who wouldn't he be able to hold his own bottle.  But since he doesn't get bottles when I'm around, I had no idea.

4.  I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn't watched it yet, but did anyone else cry at the end of Grey's Anatomy last night?  Just me?  I kind of feel like a bad wife because I may or may not have ditched my husband so I could watch it.  I'm telling myself that he needed to work, so I was doing a favor.

5.  Henry did a wonderful job of sharing this last week and unfortunately for several of us, that meant sharing his lovely cold.  I don't mean to sound like a big baby, but it is the worst cold I have had in a LONG time.  I went through an entire box of tissues on Monday at work.  I constantly had to sneeze, but couldn't so my eyes just watered constantly.  I looked like I had just been dumped, my eyes were so puffy and swollen.  And I am NOT a cute crier, so it wasn't pretty.  Thankfully, as bad as the cold was initially, it seems to have faded quickly.  I am hoping to be 100% by Monday and that Phil doesn't catch the cold too.  Most of all, I am REALLY hoping that I did, in fact, get the cold from Henry and I won't actually get him sick.

That may have been the dullest list I have ever done.  I apologize.

6.  For a little while, I would put a random fact on Facebook every day.  Some of them were pretty interesting.  Like did you know that original duct tape could be boiled and eaten as an emergency ration?  I've been kind of toying with the idea of bringing that back, but on the blog in some form.  Because I'm a nerd and find random facts interesting.  That might liven up the list.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sleep Training

I have put off writing this post because, truthfully, I don't want to jinx anything.

Maybe you remember, but about a month ago I decided I wasn't going to worry about sleep training Henry.  Something about I didn't think he was ready.  Well a couple of weeks after that, I cracked.  The final straw came when I read an article that mentioned I was doing Henry a "disservice" by not sleep training him.  He needed the sleep and to learn to put himself back to sleep.  After several nights of NOT sleeping well and too long of being so tired I never EVER spent time with my husband, I decided it didn't matter if Henry was ready... I was ready.

As a mommy friend of mine put it best, the best thing I can do for Henry is show him that his parents are happy, healthy, rested and in a happy marriage.  Not that our marriage wasn't happy, but we were so exhausted we really weren't able to enjoy each other's company.  A few days would go by and I would realize I hadn't even told Phil about my day because I was too tired to talk.  Plus, I need to be rested to work.  It helps when designing things like buildings.

I had been doing research to find a "gentle" way of sleeping training, but all my research pointed to the fact that those methods took a lot longer than the cry it out (CIO) method.  Well my patience was short.  I needed something to happen quickly.  My anxiety about letting Henry cry and cry was overcome by my almost primal need for sleep.

We decided to do a "gentle" version of CIO.  I wanted Henry to know that Mommy and Daddy would come in and check on him, but we wouldn't necessarily pick him up.

Knowing Phil the way I do, I decided to start the sleep training when he wasn't home.  So while Phil was at a basketball game with my brother, I went for it.  And it sucked.

We did the whole night routine... eat, bath, baby massage, nurse, cuddles, bed.

Henry cried and cried.  Every 5 minutes, I would go back in his room, give him back his pacifier, rub his forehead, tell him I loved him and then leave the room.  He cried harder every time I would leave.  It was awful.

Thankfully, my mom was texting with me through the whole thing.  It took 30 minutes, but he finally calmed down.  He put himself to sleep and slept THE.WHOLE.NIGHT.  The next night, it took 25 minutes.  We went back in his room every 10 minutes.  He woke up once and put himself back to sleep.  The night after that, it took 15 minutes.  He was occasionally waking up at night, but would put himself back to sleep.  And more often than not, he would sleep until 6 in the morning.

The downside... by the end of the week, he would begin crying every time I would move to put him in his crib.  But each night, he would fuss less and less.  Now, he doesn't cry or fuss when I put him in his crib at night.  Even if he isn't fully ready to go to sleep, he just hangs out in his crib until he puts himself to sleep.

He was ready.  And I am super happy we finally did it.  The first couple of nights, Phil wasn't exactly on board, but we just had to keep the BIG PICTURE in mind.  Sleep.  I honestly feel like a new person (except that I am currently sick).  He still wakes up, which wakes me up.  But for the most part, we are sleeping so much better.  And since Phil has been pulling a lot of late nights working on his dissertation, we all need all the sleep we can get.

I seriously hope I didn't just jinx anything.

Friday, February 21, 2014

9 down, 3 to go

Today we had Henry's 9 month check-up.  He's just about been out in the world for the same amount of time that I had him to myself.  It's kind of crazy when you think about it because the last 9 months has flown by and his gestation period was pretty much the longest 9 months EVER.

But what is really weird is when someone asked me how close to 9 months I really carried him for.  As in, was it pretty close to nine months since he was conceived.  The question kind of weirded me out because it was someone (a man, by the way) basically asking when exactly my husband and I did the deed.

(Apologies to my mom who never reads this and my mother-in-law who actually does read this.)

I was confused how to answer.  "Yes, Henry was born 9 months to the day after he was conceived!"  I don't know.  Seemed like an overshare.

I digress.

My original goal for breastfeeding was to make it to his first birthday.  I wanted to switch from breastmilk straight to cows milk without purchasing a can of formula.  We are 9 months down with 3 months to go.

I guess a part of me will miss it after I stop nursing.  But not really.  I am so grateful I have been able to breastfeed (or pump, really) for as long as I have.  Breastmilk is so amazing.  The health benefits are great.  I really think if it weren't for breastmilk, Henry would have had so many more ear infections than he already has.  But let's be honest... I'm a working mom, meaning I am not spending my days lovingly nursing my child.  I'm hooked up to a pump for almost 2 hours a day.  It is only possible because I work in a very good work place and I have an amazing husband who does absolutely everything he can to support me.  If my count is current, I have 13 weeks left.

Henry is no small guy.  Turns out he is in the 97th percentile for height and 90th percentile for weight.  The kid is a decent size.  So it shouldn't be a surprise that he requires A LOT of milk.  To be perfectly honest, providing enough breastmilk for the kid stresses me out.  My entire day revolves around my pumping schedule.  If I get 9 oz of milk during my first pumping session, I am anxious because it wasn't the 11 oz I used to get.  If I get 7 oz, I start chugging water and panicking.  I am not going to miss the constant game of "Am I making enough milk?"

{Flannel shirt.  Wranglers.  Tool bench.  He's so manly}

Here is a short list of other things I am looking forward to when the milk machines are closed for business:

-  Being able to drink more than one cup of regular coffee per day.

-  Picking out clothes not based on having to lift my shirt 5 times a day.

-  Not having trap doors on my bras.

-  Not having to lift my shirt a work, something that is generally not encouraged at the work place.

-  Ditching my Dora the Breastfeeding Explorer backpack.

-  No leaking

-  The ability to make evening plans with friends or my husband that don't involve the pump as well.

Not that I am wanting time to go by any faster than it already is.  I will enjoy our last 3 months breastfeeing and then happily hand him his sippy cup of milk in May.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hair Cut

Maybe you thought I meant for me.


Someone else in the family was in desperate need of a hair cut.  Like BEYOND need of a hair cut.  As in "there was no way I wanted the breeder to see you" need a hair cut.

{He's a big baby and his bath had traumatized him.  
And yes... that's Zoolander on in the background}

Cotton is a show dog.  He hasn't won any big shows or anything although he did fairly well in the puppy categories.  It's partially because I am the one that shows him (meaning I run around the ring in circles with him) and partially because he still hasn't quite developed his big boy body.  And it is probably also because we don't train him enough.

When you have a show dog, you find yourself congratulating them on things like standing well and not sitting down when you bring out a treat.  In fact, one of the breeders told us the last thing we should teach him was how to sit.


Anyway, the guy was super shaggy.  He had so much chest hair, it looked like as ascot.  And he looked like an old man with so much hair growing out of his ears.

{That's how he sits}

And because Cotton was SO BAD, there was no way I could let the breeder see how long it had been since he had a hair cut.  Phil and I went for it ourselves.

{That pretty much all came from his ears}

He looks like a different dog.

At first when we had finished, he wouldn't even look at me.

But after several treats and A LOT of petting, he forgave us.  And I guess the experience was so traumatic for him, he then proceeded to pass out.

It's hard to be so good-looking, right Cotton?

I'm off to see if I can find a cheap grooming table.  That's something I really never thought I would do.

Friday, February 14, 2014


I'm not a huge fan of Valentine's Day.  It is mostly because my birthday almost ALWAYS got combined with Valentine's Day by past boyfriends and that is just a cop-out.  But I also kind of hate the hype.  It's impossible to go eat anywhere.  I'm not a huge fan of chocolates.  And I DO. NOT. like getting flowers.  It *stems* (haha, get it?!) from having cancer.  Something about getting flowers when you are sick and then watching them die just really ruined them for me.

But I can get behind a card and a heartfelt sentiment.

The other night, Phil was at a Blazer game with my brother which gave Henry and I the PERFECT opportunity to go get our Valentine's Day cards for him.  Unfortunately for me, I decided to leave that to the end of my errand running and Henry was out of patience as he had allowed me to peruse clearance racks at Old Navy and Target before making my way to the card aisle.

{This isn't a picture from my shopping experience, but it looked rather similar}

After quickly reading EVERY card for husbands I concluded that they were all AWFUL.

Big suck-a-roo.

They either talked about "all the years" we have spent together or the "wonderful life" we have built together.  Well, we haven't been together long enough to talk about the vast number of years we have been together.  Sure, we have almost been together 6 years, but still... not eternity.  And while I do love Phil and enjoy our life together, it's not like we have arrived anywhere really.

It seems weird to talk about what an amazing life we have built together when things have been really hard.  We are doing our best to keep things together and good through one crisis after another.  We kind of started talking about it last night after I sent Phil this picture:

It's just crazy to think that that was just 9 months ago.  How quickly it flew by.  And how so much has changed since then.  Superficially, I lost the equivalent to half a person.  More importantly, we said hello to someone new and good-bye to someone we loved.

I needed a card that said something like, "I know we have been through another year of extreme challenges, but there is no one I would rather face them with but you."  And maybe, "It means more than a million roses or thousands of boxes of chocolates that you are by my side that absolutely everything."  I couldn't find that card.

Despite the challenges which have tested us this last year and will continue to test us for a little while longer (I'm looking at you, dissertation...), there have been great things too.

For one, it's not Valentine's Day 2012.

I now have another man in my life.  A new little Valentine.

So I guess we are building a wonderful life together.  It's just being built a little differently.  We aren't landing big jobs, taking adventurous vacations, or buying our dream home.  Our love is growing through scars and loss.  Battles with cancer, won and lost.  Through life and death.

And through it all, I love him.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Snow Day

It really doesn't snow where we live very much.  And when it does snow, it is usually just a dusting that is basically gone before you can really attempt to make a snowman.

We had some snow in December on a weekday, so I had to go to work.  And while I was at work, I was kicking myself that I had to be at the office and couldn't take my baby outside to show him the snow.  Truthfully, I wanted some pictures of him in the perfect snow.

But I didn't get that chance.  In true Pacific Northwest fashion, the snow was gone before I got the chance to take Henry outside during daylight.  I kind of mentally shrugged my shoulders and thought, "Oh well..." thinking that there was very little likelihood I would get the chance again this year.

Cue last week.  We got snow again.  This time, it was even more than before and it was actually A LOT of snow.

Seriously... we NEVER get snow.

I'm still trying to explain to my husband that the reason we don't have snow plows is because this NEVER happens.

So Friday, on my way to work in the pretty pretty snow, I again was angry that I had to work.  And just then I decided I wasn't going to let myself regret this snow day.  It was supposed to snow again that afternoon and I was going to leave work early to take my son outside and show him snow.

So I did.

I'm really glad I did.

One of the hardest parts of being a working mom is the never-ending guilt.  If I am home, I feel guilty about not working.  If I am working, I feel guilty about not being home.  Time passes so quickly and there are certain things you just can't get back.  It's important to keep an eye on your true priorities.  I want to be a good engineer and business owner, but more importantly, I want to be a great mom and I don't want to miss out on experiences with my children.

Henry won't remember his first day in the snow, but that doesn't matter as much.  I will.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Photo Dump

I am awful about downloading pictures from my camera.  This is evident on my DSLR and my iPhone.  I had over 1,300 pictures on my camera.  Finally, I downloaded them all and then deleted them from my camera.  Apparently it happens less than once a year.

I really should do it more often because I found all kinds of gems.

Like Cotton checking out Henry in his napper on his first day home.

Early smiles.

 Hanging out with Daddy on his first Father's Day.

One month old.

Getting baptized.

Hanging out in Virginia.

First trip to the beach.

Jumpin' fun.

Pumpkin Patch.

Chillin' with Sophie.

Christmas Tree.

I really should download pictures more often.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


When Cotton was a puppy, we would run across some people who would stop us and say, "Is that a Brittany?"

Proud of our new little furball, we would say, "Yes he is!"

And they would reply, "Oh nice!  You'll have a great dog in about 4 years."


After owning Cotton for a few more months, we understood what they meant.  He is a great puppy.  But he is still very much a puppy.

Needless to say, we were a little concerned when we discovered we would have a 1 year old rambunctious puppy and a baby.

From the beginning, Cotton has been more than interested in Henry.  We have tried to encourage the curiosity while establishing the need to be "careful" (a concept that of course is totally understood by the dog).  To be on the safe side, we even bought a baby gate to set up a dog-free space for Henry.

Much to our surprise, Cotton has learned the ropes when it comes to Henry.  When he starts to play with Taylor, he does it AWAY from Henry.  He walks slowly around Henry.  And more than anything, he just wants to sit with him.

It's actually really cute.

{Notice Taylor in the background.  She's still mad we brought Cotton home.}

I think they are best friends.

And that actually makes dealing with Cotton's lingering puppy-ways more palatable.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Don't Judge Me

Don't judge me, but...

-  I am really looking forward to being in bed by 9 tonight so I can eat some Muddy Buddies while watching Dance Moms.

-  Lately when I should be putting Henry to sleep, instead I get him all riled up.  He gives me kisses and then giggles and it totally makes my night.

-  My mood is partially dictated by how much breastmilk I have pumped that day.  It's weird.

-  Last week when I stayed home sick from work, Henry still went to daycare.  And then everyone still asked, "What are you doing with Henry today?"  I didn't feel guilty for sending him away from his sick mother to play with his friends at a place I pay for regardless of whether or not he is there.  Maybe I'm heartless.  Or maybe I found one of like 2 good things about being a working mom.

-  Henry has started biting while nursing.  And when I recoil in pain, he laughs.  It's cute and super painful all at the same time.  I'm not going to lie... some days the calorie burn is about all that keeps me breastfeeding.

{Working on his biting skills}

-  I really don't care for most country music, but I own a good majority of the Nashville singles.

-  I've decided I'm not going to stress about sleep training Henry.  He fights going to sleep like it is his JOB and I kind of think that is just his personality.  He is doing a better job of STAYING asleep and putting himself to sleep in the middle of the night.  And frankly, I like the cuddle time we get at night rocking.  My mommy instincts are pretty strong about this one.

Monday, February 3, 2014

We were just getting a little too healthy

I fear my blog is turning into a documentation of our trivial medical problems.  Better than a journal of our major medical problems (let's not any more of those, shall we cancer?).  ANYWAY...

Last week, Henry was showing signs of getting better.  He was sleeping better and acting more and more like him self.  Except he was having A LOT of diarrhea.  Like every diaper.  We were going through 3, 4, 5 outfits a day.  And on Wednesday, he started throwing up as well.  I know there has been a nasty tummy bug going around and there's nothing the doctor can do about it, but I figured I would call them anyway because 1) I'm a first time parent and that's what I do and 2) he still have a couple more doses of antibiotic left and I didn't know if we should even bother.

Basically they told us that he was probably having stomach problems from the medicine since it was THE WORST for causing diarrhea and throwing up was also pretty common.

AWESOME.  Let's use that one again PAH-LEASE!

Side Note:  Did I mention that his pediatrician complimented us on his "diaper care" at his follow-up appointment last week?  It seemed like a strange compliment at the time, but makes total sense.  And I have a weird sense of pride about it.

Anyway, I picked Henry up early from daycare, took him home and he acted fine.  We finished the medicine and he continued to act more and more like himself.

Huge exhale.

At time point, it was Thursday night and I didn't feel all that great.  Strike that.  I felt awful.  Like I wanted to claw out my own stomach.  Was this how Henry felt?  Oh man I sure hope not.

A little time on the bathroom floor and a sleep-less night later, I felt even worse.  Phil went to work, Henry went to daycare and I went to the couch.  Also, staying home sick is pretty much the most boring thing ever.  Somehow I managed to sleep some Friday night, but by Saturday morning I felt even worse.  Now on top of the tiny fever and body aches, my throat hurt like crazy.  And I felt like a huge baby.  Like a giant baby.  I had given birth, how could I not handle a little bug?

At my mom's urging, I went to Urgent Care and much to everyone's surprise (except my mom), I have Strep Throat.

I shouldn't be too surprised because it is one of like 8 things floating around a daycare.  But the last time I had strep throat was my 6th grade birthday party.  And I guess it is terribly uncommon for adults to get it.

Thanks daycare.  Apparently I lick door knobs or something.

But, good news, when adults do contract strep it usually hits them super hard and wipes them out.  That little gem was delivered by the Urgent Care doctor, to which I looked at him, raised my hand and said, "Um... yeah.  I know."

So I have spent the weekend desperately hoping I don't get Phil and Henry sick and doing my best to drink fluids since those were the doctors orders (because drinking anything when your throat feels like it is red hot and full of razor blades is so easy).  I'm no longer contagious and can get back to showering Henry with kisses and cuddles.  We both missed them A LOT.

{Dinner time is before bath time for a reason}

{Henry took a selfie}

We are hoping for a healthy week and (fingers crossed) rest of February.  Maybe I'll even blog about something else.  Don't get too excited.
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