Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Photo Challenge: November

I took a couple months off of doing daily pictures because I was not creative enough to come up with any ideas. Sad, but true. So I found this 30 Day Photo Challenge (along with a bunch of other Photography Lists/Challenges) and I should have a least a couple months covered.

Day 1 (Self Portrait):

Day 2 (What Your Wore Today): My uniform

Day 3 (Clouds):

Day 4 (Something Green):

Day 5 (From a High Angle): Baby Fort!

Day 6 (From a Low Angle):

Day 7 (Fruit):

Day 8 (A Bad Habit):

Day 9 (Someone You Love): Obvs!

Day 10 (Childhood Memory): I've had this thing for a long time. He needed a wash because he was all dusty and musty!

Day 11 (Something Blue):

Day 13 (Yourself with 13 Things): Hubby makes it 14 things...

Day 14 (Eyes):

Day 15 (Silhouette):

Day 16 (Long Exposure):

Day 18 (Your Shoes):

Day 19 (Something Orange):
Day 20 (Bokeh):
Day 21 (Faceless Self Portrait):
Day 22 (Hands): With his grandma
Day 23 (Sunflare):
Day 24 (Animal): Or what's left of it! Awwww....
Day 25 (Something Pink): One of my favorite necklaces from my gal pal.
Day 26 (Close-up):
Day 27 (From a Distance): Leaving So Utah :(
Day 28 (Flowers): Plates at Benihana's
Day 29 (Black & White): Uh, that's yogurt in my hair. Not sure how long it was there before I noticed...
Day 30 (Self Portrait):
December will be a holiday checklist of sorts, for sure! Yay! But wait, it's going to be DECEMBER tomorrow! Holy crap.

Monday, November 28, 2011


This Thanksgiving was so much fun, I honestly forgot to take time and reflect on all I was thankful for. Lame! But I guess I can say I'm really thankful for these good times! They help pull me through what I have called a "rough year". Of course, every year has its own challenges, but this one brought on some things we never anticipated. So I'm glad we are still happy. And I'm thankful that our families and extended families are here for us. And I'm kind of grateful that this year is almost over - even though in some ways I don't want it to end.

Here are some pics from our TWO Thanksgivings. Jealous?

San Diego
Too many photos to edit for today. But believe me, there are some real gems. Great holiday weekend!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

11 Months Old

Baby: Well I was hoping by now we'd have the exciting news that he finally crawled and sat up on his own. Not quite. But he is so stinkin' close! The pediatrician isn't worried, wants to give him a little extra time. Sleeping so much better (as you may have heard. Yeah, I'm just a little excited.) Everything from his surgery is healing up so beautifully. He's been going extra crazy in the bath lately. Huge splashes, sliding, there is no containing his excitement. He has been protesting more when we make him do things he doesn't want to. Understands "NO, NO!" And hates to hear it. Always gives the sad pouty lips when we say it. His hair is getting longer and blonder. Has a funny little tail in the back. Tooth #5 is making an appearance.

Parents: Sometimes we really tire of the routine. We know its best for the bug, but man. We've never been on such a schedule. The day to day sometimes gets old. But of course, it is benefiting us in one major way: SLEEP. Getting more rest makes everything easier.

Mommy's Thoughts: I know you're all just dying to hear more boob stories. Too bad, I don't have much to share. The pumping is slowly but surely winding down. I pump once in the AM and once in the PM and there's not much to give anymore. So by the end of the year, this craziness will be over. In non-boob related news, I have a lot of days where I question what I'm doing or if I'm doing things right or whatever. I really, really want Stephen to be progressing faster than he is. And I wonder if I'm doing enough to help him along. I know I'm not supposed to do that. He's been through a lot and he'll get there in his own time. Why am I so impatient for it? I should actually relish in the fact that he's not mobile yet! Once he starts getting around on his own, things will change. My days will be different. But I do worry that he'll fall behind in more ways than one and I hope I'm doing all I can to keep him on track. On HIS track.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holiday Card...

We shot our holiday card this weekend. It was super fun. And we got it done early for a change. Usually we shoot like 2 weeks before Christmas and then it's a mad dash to get it out on time. Now, I can't tell you what it is, but I think you will like it.

These are our cards from the past:

(Nobody really got this one, but it was supposed to be like Home Alone.)

Anyway, dare I say - 2011's card is our finest work??! I think so. It's already set as our computer background and we smile every time we see it. But I can't show it to you yet! Let me build the suspense. I thought about giving a hint too, but it will definitely give it away. So just keep a lookout in your mailboxes! Heehee!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Every 6 months or so I like to go through my closet and get rid of the stuff I haven't been wearing (to make room for the new stuff of course!) It's one of my favorite things to do. I always feel so liberated for some reason.

This last cycle has been a totally different experience than I'm used to though. Instead of tossing stuff that is too small and uncomfortable, I'm packing up box after box of clothes that are too big. Trust me, I have never had to do anything like this before. It's very strange.

And the realization I had was that I have no problem getting rid of things that are too small. Give them to Goodwill, send them to skinnier people than myself. I don't miss them, I don't think about them... Just get 'em outta my closet! I want no part of them. And I always blame the clothes more than myself. I never thought of myself as FAT (except for a few bad days, you know how it is) So clearly the clothes must have been shrinking. Or something.

But the things that are too big, I have a very hard time parting with. "Just in case", I keep telling myself. I wish I was as quick to part with the bigger clothes and use it as motivation to stay on the smaller side. But I haven't been this weight since High School (?), so I don't quite know what to make of it. I just assume I'll be gaining it back. Of course, when we have more kids I'll need some of the clothes as a giant ol' pregnant lady, but I guess I just lack the confidence to believe that I can get back to this weight again. When I look in the mirror, I don't look any different to myself. I just know my pants keep falling off. And I honestly don't even like talking about it, in case I jinx it somehow.

It's kind of stupid, but true. The moral of the story? Shoes are the better investment. They always fit.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Another Sleep Update


We are - what - 8 days in? And I don't want to jinx anything, but Stephen has been sleeping through the night for the last 3 days. 9pm to 6am. For the most part. He does get a little fussy here and there, but he settles back down pretty quickly. And putting him to bed is a breeze. When he's tired and ready, he usually cries for about 2 minutes and then just lets it happen. Who would have ever thought??

The only challenge I've had is his 3:00 nap. Boy oh boy. It makes him mad when I put him in that crib!! The longest it's taken him to calm down is 30 minutes. That happened twice. And I almost pulled him out, thinking maybe he wasn't tired after all... But then he fell asleep and slept for 2 hours! So I think we are on the right track.

Besides the sleeping thing (which is a BIG DEAL for us, obviously) we are just busy with life. Getting excited for the holidays! Working a lot! (See my photo blog for all the fun stuff I've been up to.) Watching this boy grow and grow!

Exactly one year ago today, I looked like this:

Can't believe this insane year is almost over...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sleep Sucks (Update)

Sleep is improving! I am so proud of all of us. It wasn't easy to let him cry. We would stand by his bed and rub his back, and talk sweet to him. But we never picked him up, as much as we wanted to.

The first night we tried this, it took Stevie 30 minutes to fall asleep. He cried hard a few times. He woke up twice in the night.

The second night, it took Stevie 15 minutes to fall asleep. His cries were a lot less intense. He woke up twice in the night.

The third night, it took Stevie 8 minutes to fall asleep. He mostly whimpered and whined. Not many tears. He woke up once at 5am.

Last night, it took Stevie 8 minutes to fall asleep (with the sitter!) She said he didn't cry all that much, she just sang him lullabies. He woke up once at 5am.

His naps have been in the crib too. The first couple days, he was ticked when I stuck him in the there. But he's getting used to it I think. He doesn't cry for nap time, just kind of hangs out. It makes him seem like such a big boy.

So, if we can get him to sleep past that 5am hump, things will be awesome! I should mention when he wakes up at 5am, he's AWAKE. Done sleeping. Period. For about an hour. Then he goes back to sleep until 7:30 or so. So we are still tired. But there is so much improvement, that we see hope on the horizon and we are happy with that! In fact, we would like to take a moment and pat ourselves on the back.


Thank you.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sleep Sucks.

My husband and I LOVE to sleep. We are not people who sleep all day or anything, but we both really know and appreciate the value of a good night's sleep.

Since our little BFF Stevie came around, we have kissed those days of a good night's sleep bye-bye. I think most parents know how that goes! At 10 months old, our little guy still usually wakes up twice a night for a little comfort, and I have learned to cope with that. I sometimes even enjoy bringing him in the bed and letting him crash out in between us. (Although, I do often think about how that it's been MORE THAN A YEAR since I have had one full night of sleep.) But I try not to complain {too much} and my husband has been great about getting up with him in the morning to let me catch a few extra winks before he leaves for work.

Now, we anticipated that after his surgery, there would be a few rough days and nights as he recuperated. The cardiologist mentioned that he was suffering from a slight case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because of the surgery. Isn't that the saddest thing ever?? Poor baby!! So we got ready for some difficult times. And they came. Grumpy, grumpy days. Very needy baby. But it was nothing compared to what's been going on the last 5 nights.

Friday was the first time this happened: Stephen went to sleep so late - at like 11pm. He was up at 1:30am and didn't go back to sleep until 3:30am. Then he was up and ready for the day again at 6:30am.

The same thing happened Saturday and Sunday and Monday. We could no longer write it off as a fluke.

By Tuesday, we were exhausted and pretty dang frustrated. So I took it upon myself to cut out his afternoon nap. It was no fun keeping him awake, especially since I was so tired myself. But I just knew we would reap the rewards when he slept through the night.

Except that he didn't. He didn't sleep through the night. He was up at 3am and didn't go back to sleep until almost 6am!!!!!! WHAT THE EFF?

The confusing part about it, is that he'll wake up with a few tears, but then just mostly wants to play. It's like he's just had enough sleep. He's not tired anymore. He rolls around and babbles and plays with his binky, as long as he's in the bed with us. So we knew he wasn't in pain or distress. But after about an hour of playing, he finally starts getting tired. This is when the dramatic show starts. He fights the sleep with all his might and kicks and cries and won't settle down. We've had to wrestle with him 1 to 2 hours until he finally just wears out.

I can't tell you how aggravating it was. No matter how much I told myself to stay calm and relaxed, my patience level was not at its strongest towards the end of the 3 hour fiasco. I longed for the days of getting up twice a night with him. And I found myself asking God why he was punishing us. Haven't we been through enough??? CAN YOU PLEASE JUST HELP HIM SLEEP??? My husband and I start turning on each other because we couldn't turn on the kid. We were both just at our wit's end.

Today I walked around feeling like I was about 80 years old. And the husband demanded that something be done. We at least had to try.

So tonight we did something that I really never thought we'd do. A modified "Cry It Out" method. We put him in his own room for the first time and tried to get him to fall asleep on his own. My goal was to have him sleeping in his own room by the time he turned 1 anyway, so I guess now's good, right? Well, he wailed and wailed. We checked on him every few minutes but our words of comfort didn't seem to help him calm down much. And the "every few minutes" were the longest of my life! But after a 30 minute struggle, he was asleep.

In between checking on him, I was online reading about these methods and torturing myself with thoughts that he's going to think we don't love him, and he's going to lose trust in us, and it's going to desensitize us to his needs, and it will make his PTSD worse, and he's not going to need me anymore. I mean the thoughts were going round and round.

I don't know how he'll do the rest of the night. Who knows? We may be up every 30 minutes with a wailing baby on our hands. But when you're this close to the end of your rope, you'll try the last resort you hoped you'd never have to.

Oh, my little heart-breaker.

Well, I'm going to bed! I'll let you know how it turns out!