Monday, April 13, 2015

Working Mama

Well I made it!  I completed my first week of orientation.  I don't know if I have ever worked a typical 9:00-5:00 shift for a week, ever.  I really enjoyed it though!  I chose nursing mainly because of the 12 hour shifts (and because I was so indecisive about what I wanted to be and nursing gives you so many options!).  Now that I finally gave in and did an eight hour shift, I realized that 12 hour shifts are just not for me.  They wear me out and are really hard for me to have a routine/ schedule.  I do so much better when I have my days planned out and keep the same schedule over and over.  Last week showed me I could definitely work a regular, 40 hour week someday if I wanted to.  I loved all the extra time I had in the morning and evening plus being off for the weekends.  It felt nice to be normal.  I even liked wearing real clothes! haha Scrubs are comfy, but it was fun to play "business woman" for a little while.  It was pretty weird not working in a hospital, but it felt so right.  

I wouldn't let myself think about leaving Pierce before I started back to work.  It ended up working well for me.  I handled my first day just fine.  I couldn't believe how fast 8 hours went by.  I did have a hard time Tuesday evening, though.  I had a little pity party for myself realizing that I was no longer a SAHM, maternity leave was over, and Pierce is growing up way faster than I'm ready for.  I was fine the rest of the week and it helped my mom was able to watch him.  I also like that I am only a few minutes away from him.  In fact, Friday I was able to come home and breastfeed him real quick.  

The next week I will be continuing my orientation full-time, except I will be working 3-11 pm. Pierce goes to sleep around seven, so it helps knowing I will only miss 4 hours of his awake time.  I plan on coming home and attempting a dream feed or just getting some extra cuddles in if he won't eat. I LOVE putting him to bed.  I don't know why, but I do, so I'm really going to miss that the next couple of weeks.  I can't wait to be part-time and get more evenings with him.  

I'm so thankful for this job!  I am amazed at the power of prayer and faith.  God's mercy is real and true!  All you have to do is believe and give it to Him... So far, I love it!  And it is so exciting to think about how much of a better nurse this is going to make me, how much of a better mommy I'm going to be, how many different people I'm going to get to help across our country, all while making a great income for my little family.  I'm excited to see where this job takes me and can't wait to start working from home.  I'm already looking at ways to design my home office.  hehe
Cuddles after work.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

God is good.  

LOTS OF LOVE,

Christy

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Weekend Recap - Easter Edition

The past weekend was bittersweet as it was my last days of maternity leave.  I have soaked up every second with Pierce and that helped a lot with my transition from SAHM to working mama (even if it is only part-time).  The first three weeks will be full-time orientation and then I get to work part-time from 3-11 pm.  The great thing about my new job is it is only 10 minutes away and eventually even closer as I will get to work from home.

So on Saturday, Russ and I had a lazy morning.  It was nice lying around in our PJs.  I can't remember the last time we did that.  We eventually got ready and headed out.  We went to Target and Red Lobster, which was really fun!  



 Pierce isn't a big fan of his car seat, so I decided to sit him in shopping cart for the first time.  The shopping cart cover has a pillow in it so it holds him better than a normal one.  He was still a little wobbly in it, but it still worked out pretty well. 


He is such a good baby when we are running errands.  He falls asleep in his carseat really well.  It makes me so happy, since he isn't that great of a napper at home.  It is a nice break to not have to put him down for a nap. 

The next day was Easter and I was so excited!!  I wanted everything to be perfect!


Pierce's basket was filled with all kinds of sweet goodies.  








After opening his Easter basket, it was time to get dressed for church.  I was sad that his Easter outfit had gotten lost in the mail.  I had ordered it at the beginning of March knowing I had plenty of time before Easter.  Luckily, I had a sweet little outfit from one of my showers.  Russ wasn't a fan of the bonnet, but I figured since it went with the outfit then why not? haha Every person needs to look back at a baby picture and say, "Why did you dress me like that mom?"  ;)  I thought he looked especially sweet.  I'm pretty sure when I was growing up and dreaming about being a mommy some day that this is the exact baby I saw in my mind.  He is so perfect and HANDSOME!











We decided to finally go to my home church which is a little over an hour away.  We got up early and really tried to make it there on time.  However, after a blow out, washing his outfit again, spitting up on daddy's back, and another spit-up, we weren't sure we were going to make it.  Thank goodness we weren't too late and everyone was very happy to see my big baby boy!




This is my Mamaw's dogwood tree.  It has pink and white blooms.  I have had my picture taken in front of this tree my whole life, especially on Easter.  I grew up climbing in it, and it will always hold a special place in my heart.  I will treasure these pictures always.

Pierce visited with my mom's side of the family and with Russ' family.  It was a very busy Easter, but we felt more blessed this Easter than any other before.  We kept in mind the true reason and pray that Pierce will come to love the Lord like we do.  

LOTS OF LOVE,

Christy

Friday, April 3, 2015

4 Month Favorites





Pierce's 4 Month Favorites

  1. Giraffe teether blankie: Pierce loves this so much!  I bought it at a boutique while I was pregnant.  It is so soft and the perfect size for his little hands.  This has been a favorite since the beginning, but now he loves to chew on the teether too.  
  2. Baby Einstein Neighborhood Friends Activity Jumper:  This is a new favorite.  I'm amazed at how fast he has learned to use it.  He can already jump up and down and turn from the different stations.  I like that it can hold him whether he sits or stands.  This will be a favorite for months to come.  
  3. Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Wide-Neck Bottles:  Pierce tends to get choked easily if the flow is too fast.  He had been taking the munchkin latch bottles, but then started collapsing the nipple and chewing on them  I tried this bottle and he did much better!  No choking, collapsing the nipple, and his latch was great.  
  4. Fisher Price Deluxe Bouncer:  This has been a lifesaver!  I bought this off of Craigslist so I could put Pierce down in different rooms (like the bathroom while taking a shower).  He loves it!  It light up, plays music, and he has just figured out how to pull the hanging bananas for extra special sounds.  The seat also vibrates, which is comforting.  
  5. Moby Wrap:  I love this wrap and Pierce loves it too!  He wasn't a fan of it in the beginning, but now loves to be snuggled close to mommy and even sleep.  This allows me to get a lot of work done when he is feeling a little extra clingy or I just want him close.  
  6. Infantino Go GaGa Binky Buddy - Monkey:  A couple of weeks ago, I was having issues with Pierce wanting to comfort nurse.  I was developing a blister and really needed him to take a pacifier.  He had rejected his avent and munchkin latch pacifiers.  I was desperate and saw this lying in his nursery one day.  I popped it in his mouth and he took it.  To my surprise, Infantino doesn't actually make pacifiers, so I am clinging on to this one for dear life.  He loves it and taking naps has gotten much easier.  
  7. Sophie the Giraffe:  I got this at a shower and Pierce has started chewing on it like crazy.  He also likes her squeaking sound.  I never knew what the hype was about, but Pierce really seems to favor Miss Sophie over many of his other teethers.
  8. Fisher-Price Snugabunny Ultra Comfort Musical Gym:  I am so thankful for this play mat.  This is probably his upmost favorite item.  We have used this play mat since his birth.  He loves the lights, sounds, and moving mobile.  He also loves playing with all the hanging toys.  The pillow is the perfect size for his head or for tummy time.  
  9. Bright Stars Take Along Carrier Toy Bar:  I never thought I would use this toy, however, it has become a must-have on car rides.  Pierce hates his car seat and this has helped a lot.  Now that he can hit toys, attaching this to his car seat handle makes his car seat much like his bouncer.  


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Pierce at 4 Months

It is hard to believe I now have a four month old.  I can't remember what life was like before him, but then again, it feels like I should still have a newborn.  He is looking more and more like a little boy and less like a baby everyday.  His personality has really flourished this month.  I can't believe all the new things he has learned to do.  I miss my tiny, brand new baby, but having a four month old is the best ever!  Pierce has really made our house feel like a home.  I love seeing his toys lying around and hearing Mickey Mouse on the TV.  Russ and I have dreamed about these days for so long; Almost ten years in fact.  We have been working since high school to have careers, a home, and a family.  I am so thankful God has helped us accomplish our goals and fulfill our dreams.   Pierce has made life so fun and full!  

Our child is huge!  He is as big (or bigger) as babies twice (or more) of his age.  It is amazing!  I was putting up his clothes that he has outgrown and the newborn size ones now are the the length of just his torso.  I have always wanted a chunky baby, but I had no idea how fast he would grow so soon.  I don't think I will ever get over it.  After playdates, I now understand why it is so hard to carry him around in his carseat.  All these other moms seem to do it with ease, but I struggle!  It is so hard getting him in and out of the car.  After seeing that he was just as heavy as an 8 month old and 1 year old, it now makes sense how big he truly is.  I love knowing my baby is healthy, though, and I'm getting some nice muscles in the process. haha.  He is wearing size 2 diapers, but really could be in size 3.  We will be transitioning to them very soon.  I went ahead and moved him to six month clothes.  He has outgrown 0-3, but still fits into the 3-6 months.  Sometimes his height makes it hard for him to wear one-pieces.  My goal is for him to wear everything at least one time.  I am trying to stay on top of it and keep it all organized.  Keeping up with him has definitely kept me on my toes.  He is constantly changing and growing every day. 

Pierce's 4 month appointment was a little harder than the last ones.  I think it is because now he has more personality than at his 2 month appointment.  He knows I'm his mama and gets scared of strangers.  I don't ever want him to suffer and so it is hard seeing him hurt from his shots or gets scared as the doctor examines him.  There was one time when he gave my a look like, "Why mommy?"  I said, "Don't look at me that way Pierce!"  As a nurse, I'm used to seeing babies cry.  I've never liked it, but could definitely handle it.  When it is my baby crying it is a totally different story!  He did pretty good at his appointment and was all smiles for awhile.  He loved the crinkly paper and big mirror, but got a little nervous when Dr. Stephanie was looking him over.  Stephanie was really pleased with Pierce. She said he was very healthy and wasn't concerned about his 'growth' at all.  Pierce was quite heavy!  I was nervous I might be overfeeding him somehow, but she assured me everything was just fine.  She said as long as he was doing well on breastmilk then she would encourage me to wait until he was 6 months old to start rice cereal.  I think I may start it at 5 months if he is still waking at night to eat.  She said it can sometimes help with sleep but also hinder it if the cereal causes a gassy, upset stomach.  This parenting thing is always a guessing game I have learned.  I feared his hydrocele had gotten worse, but she said there wasn't much fluid at all.  That made me feel some better.  I really, REALLY don't want to go through a hernia surgery.  Please pray that his hydrocele resolves where surgery will not be needed.  So, shots were last, and I thought i was going to have to get my mom to hold him, but I did it.  He got really upset.  It hurt my heart.  I tried to nurse him, but he wasn't interested.  I had given him some Tylenol before we left for his appointment hoping it would help.  I finally got him calmed down and he fell asleep in the car.  He did pretty good until he took his second nap at home and when he woke up his legs were hurting so bad!  After 30 minutes of him crying in pain, I got him back to sleep.  Oh how I hate shots!  I would take them a million times to keep him from hurting.  Poor baby.  After more Tylenol, he was all smiles.  I love him so much and hope these shots don't mess up his stomach or sleep. Fingers crossed.

Pierce's 4 month measurements:
Head: 43.6 cm 95%
Weight: 17 lbs 9.2 oz 90%
Height: 25 1/4 in 55%



Development

This month was full of milestones.  I don't even know where to start.  As I have said since the beginning, Pierce is strong!  He prefers to stand over sitting any day.  Russ has even taught him to "walk."  He puts one little foot in front of the other and takes steps.  I was getting so tired of holding him to stand all the time that I got him a jumper with the Babies R Us credit I had.  At first he would fall forward, but now he can hold his own.  He jumps up and down and can even turn to the different stations.  We still put him on the play mat.  He loves to reach for the toys and can hold onto them swinging them back and forth.  I'm also wondering if Pierce will be left-handed, since he holds a lot of toys with that hand.  He can roll from his stomach to his back without a pillow underneath.  He almost can flip from his back to his stomach.  I'm sure that will happen within the next couple of weeks.  He loves to sit in his bouncer and hit the toys with his hands.  If you pull one of the toys then it makes a special noise, which he thinks is hilarious.  He is working on trying to figure out how to pull it himself.  I love watching his little mind at work.  One of my favorite milestones this month is laughing.  I love to tickle Pierce and hear him laugh.  There were a few days that he thought the word, "stinky,"  was so funny.  All you had to do was say it and he would let out a big belly laugh.  It has been the best!  He likes to act shy now as well.  He will bury his face in my chest when someone tries to talk to him.  He really seems to love his mommy and daddy this month.  When we have visitors he will scan the room until he can find us.  Sometimes he gets scared of strange faces and will cry for mommy or daddy to hold him.  His talking has changed this month.  Instead of talking out loud, he holds his mouth together and purses his lips.  He sounds like a little bee buzzing all the time.  With that has come tons of spit.  Oh the drool! And the spit-up!  I believe teething has began.  So far he only has one teether he enjoys attached to his giraffe lovey. All others do nothing for him.  I attempted to give him a breast milk popsicle, but he wasn't a fan of the cold.  I can't say I blame him.  He loves to hold on to blankets and lovey stuffed animals.  He likes to put them over his face when he sleeps.  It is so sweet.  He likes anything that squeaks, so Sophie the Giraffe has been a fun toy for him. I am amazed at how much more of a person he is now.  The more I learn about him, the more I love.  

Eat

Pierce is still exclusively on breastmilk.  He eats every three hours, but sometimes will go three and a half.  He has been starting his feeding at seven every morning.  Usually he eats at 7,10,1,4,7, and then 1 or 2 times at night.  The nipple shield is long gone.  His latch has been much better.  He still wants to tuck in his upper lip, but for the most part it has gone smoothly.  This month, Pierce wants to watch what is going on around him while he eats.  If he hears the slightest noise he has to stop and check out what is going on.  I am amazed when other mothers nurse and their baby just lies there.  Pierce is all over the place and always wants to eat on both sides.  Sometimes my back aches from trying to wrestle with him to eat. haha.  He wears me out!  I have a feeling when he becomes mobile we are going to be in trouble.  He is all boy!  As far as bottles go, he gets one a day, but usually just to supplement what I feed him at night.  Just in the past few days, he has started to not do great with his bottles.  I tried the stage 2 nipples instead of stage 1, but he still wasn't taking it as well as I would like.  I tried a Dr. Brown bottle again and he took it great!  (Of course, this was right after I bought more Munchkin Latch bottles. Isn't that how it goes?)  I have to get him some more before I start work really soon.  I'm just thankful that I found a bottle that works well for him.  I am still pumping at night and keeping milk the fridge.  I also have milk frozen from when Pierce was first born.  I hope I can keep up with his demand when I start working.  As hard as breastfeeding can be, I am definitely not ready to give it up anytime soon if I can help it.

Sleep

Sleep has not been going as well these past few weeks.  I don't know if it is hunger or teething but my baby who used to only wake one time, now wakes up multiple times at night.  Many nights he wants to eat every three hours.  It has been very tiring!  I've also been suffering from insomnia.  Even when he does sleep, I seem to wake up checking on him.  He usually goes to bed at seven every night.  To some that might seem early, but after doing some research, I found that most babies need to go to bed before eight.  Even when I've tried to make bed time later, it hasn't worked.  I think one reason is because he isn't a great napper.  He will not fall asleep on his own in the day unless he is in his car seat or being carried in a wrap or ergo.  (Just out of curiosity I have spent a day where I don't put him down for a nap and he stayed awake all day.  He never fell asleep and was very fussy).  This has caused me to monitor his sleepy cues.  I try to catch them before he gets fussy.  When he starts rubbing his eyes or getting quiet, I know it is nap time.  Usually it is about two hours after he has been awake.  I have to take him up to his room, turn out the lights, turn on the sound machine, and rock him in the glider.  If that isn't possible then he has to at least be rocked.  I have tried doing everything the books say like don't rock your baby, don't nurse to sleep, don't put the baby down to sleep instead put them down drowsy, etc., etc.  However, after 4 months of trying to go by the rules, I am throwing in the towel!  I gave it my best effort.  If he falls asleep nursing, I am not waking him up!  If he gets up multiple times at night, he eventually ends up in bed with me.  If the only way for him to sleep is to rock him then I am going to rock away.  I don't put him on his belly to sleep, however, if in the future he rolls to his stomach then, of course, he can stay there.  I also don't swaddle his arms in like my pediatrician recommended.  I put him in a sleep sack, but let him have a blanket in the bed.  I just make sure it is one that is breathable and has holes.  One night, I had given him a fluffy blanket and he somehow wrapped it around his head, which scared me to death!  That was right when I was getting ready to move him to his crib upstairs.  Never mind that!  So far, Russ and I don't mind him in our room.  I just can't make myself put him upstairs when he is getting up every three hours.  

Favorites and Dislikes

Favs - blankeys, lovies (especially his giraffe lovey with the teether), talking on the changing pad, ceiling fan, the frog that hangs on the playmat, nursing, splashing in the bath, standing, walking on daddy, looking at mama, lights and music, anything that squeaks, his hands.
Dislikes - naps, pacifier, staying in the car seat, loud noises, sitting back, hats, strangers

Mommy's 4 Month Letter to Pierce:

Words cannot describe the love I have for you, Pierce.  You have become quite the mama's boy.  You love me so, and it melts me... absolutely melts me to the core.  The way you look into my eyes, give me a gummy grin, and then start talking is so precious.  I love how you take your little sweet fingers and pull at my hair as you nurse.  And I LOVE how you bury your face into my neck and chest while I rock you or even when I'm just holding you and telling you I love you.  You love your daddy so much too, and seeing you both bond this month has been priceless.  You are into everything already!  You want to see what all is going on and the littlest noise will distract you.  I still love how you study everything and work until you figure it out.  You are so smart!  You know your name now.  If I say it, you will turn your head and look right at me.  The biggest changes this month is how sweet and fun you have gotten.  You love to smile and everyone keeps telling me what a good baby you are.  I have to agree.  I know this next month is going to be wonderful!  Your eyes have darkened.  They are more dark green now than blue, but still hazel like your daddy's.  You still look just like your dad.  You remind me so much of him.  Your eyelashes are super long and you have cheeks galore.  As far as hair goes, you still have a little strip at the bottom of your head.  I can see it coming in all over, but I'm afraid you will be mostly bald for a long time.  Your daddy will be happy when he can part your hair again, and he is dying to take you to the barber shop with him someday.  But for now, you are all mine.  I have a hard time sharing you.  I'm trying to get better because I do love showing you off, but I just enjoy being your mommy so much.  You have been a dream for so long and now you are here!  You are becoming more of a little person now than just a baby.  You are so silly, happy, and loving!  I would go to the end of the world for you and back.  What a blessing you have been. I want to pause time for just a little while because I think this is going to be my very favorite stage of all.  However, no matter how much time pasts or how much you grow, you will always be my sweet baby boy.  

I love you so,

Mommy