Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Language explosion

Marshall started saying a few words before he was 10 months old. By 11 months he'd added a few more. Then he kind of just... stopped talking. For almost the next 6 months he'd just point at things and ask "dat?" (that?). We could tell he understood a ton.... he just didn't want to say anything. Every now and then a word would slip out, but for the most part he just wanted us to tell him over and over what everything was called.

That all changed in the last month. Now he won't STOP saying things:) I'm sure I'll forget a few, but here's a list of what he's saying now:

Addy (my sister)
Banana (sounds like 'nanana')

Bath (sounds like 'bat')
Beep beep (while pushing a car)
Bite (sounds like 'bye')
Bottle (went from 'baba' to 'boddle' to 'body')
Buddy (one of our dogs)
Bye Bye
Car (anything with a wheel is a car. Like the stroller)
Doggy (sounds like 'dah-dee')
Fan (for some reason he just stopped saying fan and now calls it 'beeeeeeee!')
Guncka (his word for my Uncle Jeff)
Kitty ('kiddy')
Movie (says it perfectly)
Night-night ('nye-nye')
Pretty (what he calls jewelry, fancy buttons etc) 
Read ('reeeee!')
Sheep ('shEEEEE!')
Shoe/Shoes (says perfectly)

Tractor ('car-car')
Uh-oh (he really draws out the 'ohhhhhhh')
Water ('wa-wa')
Wow ('wooooooowa')

He also can make a few animal sounds. He ruff-ruff-ruffs at the dogs, and has this demonic sounding "maow-maow-maow" at the cats which is weird cause all our cats have really high pitched meows. He says baa (sheep), maaa (goat), makes this high pitched sarcastic laugh sounding 'neigh neigh' for a horse, moos like a cow, snorts like a pig, cheeps like a chick, makes a car "brrrrrr" driving sound with a few beeps thrown in.

I'm sure I'm forgetting a few but that should be pretty close. Smarty pants!

Usually he just says one word at a time, but sometimes he'll put them together like "night night Daddy," "bye bye Daddy," "hi kitty," "no shoes."  I can't wait until he starts having those cute little toddler conversations:)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The box is always the best part

Sleepless in Paso

Our sleep saga continues.

Jerad was gone last weekend on a little boys retreat and I worked hard on to keep Marshall entertained, aka worn out, and well rested. Saturday we went to the Zoo in the morning, story time, the park, and ran a bunch of errands. Naps all went off without a hitch. I decided to try the earlier bedtime idea and had him fed, bathed, and in his room by 6:15. He played quietly and was passed out by 7. Perfect!

Until he woke up at 1:45am and was ready to PAR-TAY! Until 3:45. Not cool baby, not cool. But it was the weekend and he was in a fabulous mood so I went with it. I tried laying with him in his room but he kept trying to bring me books to read in the complete dark so I gave up and we watched a movie until he randomly announced "nye nye" (night night) and walked to his room.

Sunday we went to the Children's Museum, visited a friend, did chores around the house, and played outside. I again put him to bed at 6, he played quietly for a bit, and when I peeked in at 7 he was passed out. He slept straight through till 5:45am which is pretty much his normal waking time. Success!

Monday I was a little worried because there was no way we were going to be able to have him in bed by 6. Its just not possible with our schedules. We all got home a little after 6 and I kept reminding Jerad we needed to have Marshall ready and in bed early otherwise it would return to WWIII. Sadly that didn't happen. It was almost 7 by the time he was in bed, he played until it got dark at 7:30, then was up until 10pm.

10:00 pm.

Jerad was officially on nighttime duty since he had the weekend off. He tried everything. Warm bottle, teething meds, playing quietly with just the nightlight, a snack, a movie, snuggling. No dice.

Finally at 10 Marshall passed out. Then he woke up at 2:45 and was up (and NOT happy) until almost 4. Then we started our day at 5:45. Marshall has this ability to wake up happy and smiley and ready to seize the day no matter no how rough the night was. Jerad and I? Not so much...

It's hard to pin down what the issue is. Kids have phases of good sleep and bad sleep and we're just stuck in a rut right now. I know part of the problem is it getting darker early. We can try to get him in bed by 6, but really that's just a temporary fix since soon it will be getting dark at 5pm and its not like he is ever going to have a 4pm bedtime. "Sleep begets sleep" only goes so far. He's just the kind of kid who needs time to wind down quietly ALONE before going to sleep. So I'm thinking a nightlight that is dim but bright enough to light up his whole room will help. maybe one of those fancy ones that has a timer and gets dimmer and dimmer till it turns off?

He's also teething 4 molars at the same time which I'm sure is killing him. He is definitely going through a growth spurt evidenced by him eating us out of house and home, not fitting into shoes and clothes that fit the day before, and not being able to walk under some of the furniture that he could easily clear last week. He is just getting over a yeast diaper rash which I'm sure was pretty painful. His language is exploding over the past few weeks, and as with any new development it can screw with sleep patterns.

He's got a lot of cards stacked against him so its really hard to pinpoint what the actual issue is. In the meantime we're just trying to struggle though and realize that this too shall pass. I guess if nothing else its good preparation for having a newborn soon that will certainly be waking us every few hours all night long for the next few months/years.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Avila Valley Barn

Friday we kidnapped Jerad from the office and all went to the Avila Valley Barn

Marshall got a kick out of all the animals, but wasn't quite brave enough to actually feed them.

We tried to take a few pictures, but he wasn't that into that either. He had spotted a tractor and all he wanted to do was go play on it.

He tried the pouty lip routine so we gave in and decided to go on a hayride to the U-pick apple and berry orchards.

 (seriously, where does he get this from?)

 (eyes only for the tractor)

We thought he'd LOVE the hayride, but in reality he was completely pissed. You see, his grandpa has a John Deere tractor that he gets to ride, and help drive... so he could not figure out why he didn't get to be the one to drive the tractor. When we got on the trailer, he kept pointing to the tractor saying "tra-car? pees?" (tractor? please?) over and over and trying to climb over to it. We ended up moving to the back of the trailer where he spent the entire ride looking like this:

Finally he decided to take his mind off of the horrible injustices of life and just chuck all the hay off instead.

So... all in all it probably wasn't the MOST fun-filled family trip we've gone on, but it was pretty freakin hilarious.

Friday, September 23, 2011


So... we're considering re-financing our house. Rates are at insane record breaking lows right now... 3.75% for a 30 year re-fi! The bank we used is offering a credit towards some of the closing costs. When we bought we got a 4.75% rate which we thought was great at the time. Is it insane to be thinking about doing this when we haven't even made our 4th mortgage payment yet? I dunno. I really don't want to go through all the hassle again, but our broker swears that a re-fi is a lot more painless than buying PLUS we qualify for a streamline refinance which is supposedly less paperwork and no appraisal. I guess we'll look at the numbers and see if its worth it and how far away the break even point would be. I'm really happy with our rate but if we end up being in this house for a long time we could save a serious amount of money. Or be able to pay it off much sooner. But gah, the paperwork! My hand just recovered from signing all our closing documents 4 months ago.

Instead of thinking about that, I'm shopping for shoes for Marshall on ebay. All of  a sudden he's outgrown almost all his size 5's which is a huge bummer because he had some really stylin shoes. I went out and bought him a bunch of super thin cheap socks hoping to be able to squeeze his feet in my favorite pairs of shoes for awhile longer but its not working. I used to think boys clothes were lame, but it turns out they're freakin adorable! Even more so when paired with cute shoes. And hats. All boys should wear hats.

Buying kids shoes however is super lame. They are a million dollars and fit for like 2 minutes. All the cute ones are sort of a pain to put on. I should just buy him a pair of kids crocs and call it good. Yeah right.... have you seen baby converse? Toddler cowboy boots? Oh dear I just discovered toddler John Deere Wellington's:

What, you don't think every 16 month old needs $95 leather steal shank boots with Goodyear welt construction? Hello, what if he stepped on a nail? Totally necessary. Seriously though... they are pretty cute. And Jerad does love John Deere... Even though I could never justify that much (or half that much) on a pair of toddler shoes, whenever I am shopping for Marshall now I do cut the price in half in my head. Like "well, Miller will get to wear/use this too so really its like I'm saving 50%." I have a feeling that isn't the best logic. But it is kind of true. I'm planning on having at least 4 more boys so REALLY the clothes will pay for themselves so many times over its like they're free. When you figure in inflation, its like me shopping now is actually making us money in the future!

Yeah, Jerad doesn't buy it either.

I hate ebay. I prefer to buy things used when I can, and I'm all over the good prices, but bidding drives me insane. I'm fairly competitive so I start taking it all personally when I get outbid which makes me bid higher, and in the end I don't think I'm actually saving anything. I wish everything had a buy it now price. 

So naked Marshall just walked up to me and handed me his diaper. Little weirdo. He's taken off the velcro cloth diapers before if I put him down for a nap with no pants over them, but never just randomly while playing. I guess I need to make a note to self: only diapers with snaps unless he's wearing something over them. How much you wanna bet that I'll disregard that and next time he brings me a diaper there's a mess to go along with it?

As much as I love dressing him in cute clothes, he loves just being naked. Little killjoy.

Speaking of being a killjoy, bedtime was drama again tonight (we've done the dinner and bath routine since he brought the diaper). Last night after the movie he fell right to sleep then slept straight through until 7:30 this morning (cue angels singing). Both naps were great and uneventful, and we worked really hard at tiring him out so that bedtime would be smooth too. We went to the Avilla Valley Barn, petted the animals, did a hayride, played in the sand at home, went on a walk... still drama.

I think the problem is that its now dark at his 7:30 bedtime. He's used to playing before he goes to sleep and its so dark that he can't really. He has a nightlight but its pretty dim. Tomorrow I think I'll try putting him down at 6:30 and see how that goes.

Whatever happens I get to deal with it solo. Jerad is taking a guys trip to Anaheim this weekend. They're leaving at 5:45 tomorrow morning, and getting on the train which I guess has a station in the Angels parking lot. They're seeing a night game tomorrow, spending the night, seeing an afternoon game the next day, then taking the train back home Sunday night. He is going to have a BLAST! Knowing Jerad he'll have even more fun riding the train than he will watching the games:) He's going with 3 coworkers and his brother (who also works with him sometimes).

In the meantime, Marshall and I are having a little "stay-cation." We have a hot date at the zoo, a birthday party, and plans to nap as much as possible. I think we'll make an apple pie with the apples we picked at the Barn today too. I have one of those apple peelers where you crank the handle and I have a feeling he's going to LOVE it. I'll do the crust in the food processor and let him press the buttons and I'm sure he'll think he's in heaven.

Alright, I've officially rambled long enough for it to be too late to worry about re-fi paperwork tonight. Whoops :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011


That's what time Marshall finally went to sleep. Holy hell!

Around 8:30 Jerad left his room to try making him a bottle. In the short amount of time he was gone (under 2 minutes) Marshall worked himself into a terrified frenzy. It wasn't a mad cry, or a hurt cry, or a throwing a fit cry... he just sounded terrified. So maybe this whole new bedtime thing is a separation anxiety issue and just happens to be coinciding with the teething. Who knows.

Jerad brought him downstairs and we turned out all the lights and put on a movie (UP) and I held him in my lap. By some miracle he stayed there snuggling for about 45 minutes. He probably would have stayed longer, but the baby kept kicking him and he got tired of telling me "hey!" without it having any effect. Miller isn't even out of the womb and they are fighting...

He ended up eating a banana, and a tortilla with hummus plus probably 8 ounces of keifer. This is after eating dinner 3 hours earlier! Today he ate:

Smoothie made w/:
3/4 C yogurt
1/2 apple including core
1/2 banana
1/2 carrot
tablespoon almond butter
teaspoon flax seeds
handful of spinach
piece of cauliflower
1/2 c oatmeal w/ few tablespoons blueberries

freeze dried mango
handful of raisins and cranberries
6 oz raw milk
Leftover garlic mashed potatoes (1/4 c maybe?) w/ coconut oil mixed in
1/4 c chicken breast w/ sauteed fajita veggies
few table spoons steamed peas

3/4 c. keifer

1/2 hard boiled egg
1/2 apple
4 oz raw/almond milk mixture

grilled cheese sandwich with onion and avocado
1/2 c. tomato soup
slice of pear

I don't have another kid to compare him to, but that's a lot of food right? I think thats more than I ate today... he's eaten like that since he was less than a year old. Another reason why some more teeth would be nice:)


Marshall is teething. I've had my suspicions for awhile but today I got a quick look in his mouth and he has 4 new molars, there could be other new teeth that I didn't see as well. Poor kid! In all honesty though, I''m excited. He doesn't have very many teeth. On the bottom he just had the 2 front, then the 4 front on the top. That's all! He eats a lot of food that some eye teeth and molars would really help with so we've been hoping he'd get them soon.

The first thing that tipped us off was when Jerad went into his room one night and Marshall was gnawing on his bed. The past few nights he's been eating our furniture too, which would be pretty funny if it weren't for the teeth marks. He's been a little extra clingy, and wanting only really soft foods, but for the most part a little chamomilla calms him down. Bedtime the past few nights has been hard... remember, we're pretty spoiled. Usually we eat dinner, he plays in the bath for awhile, we put on his pj's, hand him a pacifier, turn on his music, then he plays in his room quietly for a few minutes before climbing in bed and falling asleep.

The last week or so he has not wanted to go to sleep alone. He doesn't want us to cuddle, or rock him, or lay in bed with him, but if someone isn't sitting quietly in his room he loses it. First of all, sitting in a dark room at night is BORING... and sometimes something like that isn't practical because we have other things we need to get done. The whole time I'm sitting there I'm going crazy running my never ending to-do list through my mind. I know its just a phase and someday I'll think it's kind of sweet, but right now its driving me crazy.

Jerad has been working late the last few nights so I've been doing bedtimes solo. Tonight he's home and has been hanging out in Marshall's room for the last hour or so (sucka!). I think it wouldn't be so bad if he wanted to snuggle or something, but we have to literally just sit there and not move or talk otherwise he will work himself into hysterics. We aren't interested in letting him CIO (cry it out), but even if we were, I don't think he's the kind of kid that approach would work on. He is Very Stubborn when he has his mind made up about something.

Oh well, since the day he was born we have always had an easy time getting him to sleep so if we have to truck through a phase of actually having to work at it, we'll live. Or so I say now... we'll see how I feel if this is still going on in a few weeks:)

Besides the going to bed drama, he's been a sweet, FUNNY guy. Oh my, every day he learns a new word. All of a sudden his language has exploded. He's also telling "jokes." Like "doggy. meow! meow! meow! hahahahaha." Or telling me "bye-bye daddy. bwahahahahahah" I don't always get them, but maybe I just don't have a sophisticated enough sense of humor? He also has been sleeping great, aside from the aforementioned issue. He wakes up between 5:30 and 6 (due to our work schedules), happily takes a nap from 9-11, then again from 2-4, then is asleep at 7:30 and the past few nights hasn't even woken once. So at least there's that... if he was having a hard time getting to sleep, then wouldn't STAY asleep... we'd be having words.  Or using duct-tape.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Inspired by Kittens

Well, we have kittens. I mentioned it briefly then didn't really elaborate because it was kind of touch and go for awhile. Our bad night of me being peed on turned out to not just be a one time thing after all. Let me back up....

We used to have three cats. I had Mao before Jerad and I got together (sheesh, that means he's almost 8?), then about a year after we started dating we decided to get a kitten (Tobee). Whie we were at the vet getting that kitten neutered, there was a sad little kitten there that had been abandoned and was begging us to take him home (Winston). So then we had Mao, Tobee and Winston. After a few years Winston moved a few blocks over and fell in love with another family and their cat. We thought he was missing then randomly saw him while we were on a walk a few months later. He had doubled in size, was wearing a collar, and snuggling with another cat on someone's porch. Since he was clearly loving and thriving in his new home we didn't try to take him back figuring that if we did we'd have to keep him locked up all the time or he'd just be escaping back there. Awhile after that, our cat snatching neighbor stole Tobee. She lured him away with canned food then locked him in her house. Again, he was happy, and although she was a psycho she was taking good care of him so we decided it wasn't worth the drama.

We decided once we moved to a non cat napping neighborhood we'd try getting another cat. Meaning I talked about it all the time and Jerad didn't shoot me down. So about 2 months after we bought the new house I adopted this guy:

(he has 2 eyes... its just a bad pic)

He was pretty chill, and playful but not batshit crazy which is just what we'd wanted. Kittens are cute when they're running around, but no one wants them climbing up the curtains. Or your legs. So, Jerad named him Monster and he hung out mostly under our bed for 2 days.

Until I found him a friend (also through the Humane Society):

Jerad first named him "Beast" short for Wildebeest (seriously I don't know why I let him name anything), but since he looked almost EXACTLY like our old cat Tobee we ended up changing his name to Tobee since that's what  we kept calling him by mistake.

Once Tobee came, Monster warmed up to the world and the two kittens because inseparable. They are total lovers. 

Oh Monster's second day at our house I was in Marshall's room changing his diaper when Monster peed on his bed. Like it was no big deal. Hmm. I threw everything in the wash and chalked it up to him being in a new place and being confused. Then a few days later one of them peed on me in my sleep. It was harder to make an excuse for that one since there was a litter box in the same room. Right after that Jerad went out of town and one or both of them just stopped using the litterbox. They're both neutered and not old enough to spray so I had no idea what was up.

Dogs I can deal with. What the heck do you do about a CAT that refuses to be potty trained? Its not like you can kennel train them. I've always just put a litterbox out and the cat uses it. No training required. Over the next few days whenever I came home I'd have to search around and find the pee. Cat pee is horrrrrrrible. It smells bad, you have to use special enzyme cleaners to get it out. You really have to wash anything that gets cat pee on it the second it happens otherwise its super hard to get it out. A clean freak like me was going crazy.

To make matters worse, they seemed to like peeing on the beds, especially if they were unmade.So I'd get up in the morning, make breakfast, then find that I had to change the bedspread, blanket, sheets, and mattress pad. DAILY. I decided if I couldn't fix the problem, they were going to have to go, starting with the black one who I think was the culprit. I'm all about committing to caring for an animal for life but this was ridiculous. I eased my guilt by telling myself we'd be able to find them a home asap since they were still kittens, already neutered and had their shots.

So I started googling. I started out by confining them to our bedroom so that I didnt have to worry about the whole house. I read that cats like things CLEAN, so I started cleaning the litter boxes twice a day instead of the once a day I'd been doing. I made the bed the second I got out of it in the morning. I made sure there was no laundry left on the floor (since for some reason one or both of them liked peeing on my discarded pj's or bath towel). I vacuumed in the morning and at night.

After a few days and just when I thought we were making progress, one of them (I'm pretty sure Monster was always the culprit) peed on a hand towel that had fallen into the sink. Oi. I read that apparently some cats don't like certain types of cat litter. Who knew? So out with the Tidy Cats and in with the expensive all natural wheat litter. Side note; I could totally understand why a cat would prefer it, it has a texture like beach sand and doesn't smell like chemicals. Accidents got fewer and fewer however during this time Monster got diarrhea that would not go away. Before we adopted him his foster family had been feeding him Science Diet, and we switched him to Purina which is what Tobee had been eating with plans to eventually switch them to Felidae, like Mao eats, once their kitten appetites slowed down.

Apparently Purina kitten chow does not agree with our little kitty chow connoisseur. Since cleaning up liquid cat poo does not agree with ME, we switched back to the Science Diet Naturals. Which is $27.99 for a 7lb bag. Kill me now. Luckily Petco was having a killer sale of about a dollar a pound and I stocked up. I should have stocked up more... we're on the last bag :/

Luckily the accidents stopped altogether and the kittens can now roam the house without me having to worry. Which is great, because I was all out of tricks. The only other thing I was going to try was buying the special Cat Attract cat litter, which we didn't end up needing to do. We still keep them shut out of Marshall's room and the guestroom unless we're in there with them but its been almost 3 weeks without a problem so I think we're in the clear.

Now we're just dealing with all the annoying kitten stuff. Like, they DO climb the curtains. And they run laps across our bed at 1am. And 3am. And 5am. They knock water glasses off the night stand. They play too rough and scratch us.  They attack our legs if we move them at night. They taunt the dogs through the sliding glass door. They gang up and bully Mao. They both meow too much. They steal the farm animals from Marshall's cloth farm. They attack my feet when I'm making midnight bathroom trips. They unroll the bathroom toilet paper. They steal Jerad's contact pods.

BUT... I can live with all those things and know that eventually they'll grow out of them. They also sure do like to cuddle and they're both very patient with Marshall. I guess they're here to stay.

PS: y'all have seen this right?

Monday, September 19, 2011


We had the grossest dinner tonight. I feel really bad, because I picked out the recipe and Jerad made it even though I'm sure there was a million things he'd rather be doing after working 10 hours... but seriously, it was gross. I think the problem is that the shrimp we had were too tiny, so they ended up over seasoned and not meaty enough. Heck, I don't even like shrimp that much so that probably didn't help.

It took longer than we thought it would because when I planned dinner I missed the part about the 20 minute roasting which actually took closer to 30 so Marshall was starving before we ate and I had to make him a separate dinner and put him to bed before ours was finished. Then again, I guess he was lucky.

Jerad and I sat down to eat and neither one of us liked it but I didn't want to hurt his feelings since he was the one that made it, and he didn't want to hurt my feelings since I picked the recipe. So instead we didn't really talk and both just shoveled it down trying not to taste it. Blech.

I'm just blogging about it now so that I can put off cleaning the huge kitchen mess it caused (seriously, could he have used any more food processor parts if he tried?)  and not think about the fact that we get to eat the left overs for lunch tomorrow. Hmm. Luckily we also had homemade rice and beans so maybe we will both eat that and "forget" to eat the shrimp.

If you've brave and have tomatillos you're trying to get rid of, I do think the seasonings would be good on chicken and the sauce in a cold Mexican chicken salad type thing.

Goals completed

-Build outdoor play area for Marshall in the backyard.
Mostly done!
Bazillion little rocks  (like 2 yards worth) moved and cement-like dirt dug out.
Wooden frame built to keep the sand in.
3 yards of sand delivered and wheelbarrow-ed over. 
Fence built (but not painted) to keep Marshall in/dogs out.
Little swing built (soooo cute), and primed but not painted.
Sand table built.
Slide ordered and arriving Thursday
Tee-pee making stuff purchased.

-Build shade structure for the dogs in the sideyard.
Nope, but one day:) They do have lots of places that get shaded so it isn't a huge priority.

-Mow and weed-eat front yard, blow driveway and side walks, pull any weeds that have grown in the areas we've been working on. 

-Clear everything out of room that will be the nursery and set up the new furniture.
Cleared out, but when we started setting up we realized that the crib needed one more coat of paint so we didn't finish. We finished painting the crib and should be able to set up furniture tonight? I haven't been able to find any curtains or sheets that I like so I guess we'll (meaning Jerad) be sweing them.

-Find Marshall's infant diapers and clothes and get all googly over getting to use them soon then bawl my eyes out about how fast babies grow up (plus you know, see what we need for the new baby).
Check. Are newborn babies really that small? I mean, Marshall was over 8 lbs so not even a "small" baby and I look at his newborn things and can't remember him ever being that tiny. Wild.

-Go through Marshall's clothes and pack away anything getting small and get out the next size shoes/clothes.

-Organize pantry so that we can tell what's actually in there and stop buying things we already have.
Lets just pretend this happened.

-Put away the 10 loads of laundry I've been stuffing into the guestroom and pretending they don't exist <- sadly I'm not exaggerating this one.
Done! Plus the 4 loads I washed over the weekend. The only laundry thats left are the sheets I took off of our bed when I changed them last night.

-Pretend to have some weird pregnancy aversion to vinegar and baking soda so that Jerad will clean the bathrooms.
I cleaned 2 and decided to skip Marshall's. I clean the toilet bowls twice a week, then the whole bathroom once a week so they really are never dirty... I just have this mental thing about needing to start the new week with all bathrooms cleaned, sheets changed, floors vacuumed and mopped, and refrigerator cleaned. Someone told me that would change after I had a baby. They LIED.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Goals Update

Well, we didn't get as much done today as we'd hoped. Mostly because of this little monster:
 Seriously, how ridiculously cute is that? Its a hand-me-down from his cousin and I love having him wear it to sleep because the combo of the dino with crazy bed head in the morning cracks me up. Anyways, he's teething and I think going through a growth spurt and just being a little extra needy which slowed us down.

Oh well, at least he's cute!

Here's where we're at as of 9:30pm Saturday:

-Build outdoor play area for Marshall in the backyard.
We made really good progress on this one! Jerad built a beautiful wooden water table, we moved all the rocks from the backyard where the play area is going to be, had sand delivered, bought lumber to make a swing, and ordered a slide. Right now Jerad is setting the posts so we can build the fence tomorrow. We were going to build a sandbox but decided to just make the whole area sand so that we don't have to worry about shoes! Its not very big, about 12ftx11ft, but there should be enough room for the water table, swing, slide, his pool, a tee pee, and a comfy chair for me to lounge in.

I think the sand being delivered was the highlight of Marshall's day:

Okay, maybe Jerad's too:

 Jerad talked me onto not being cheap and springing for the "good stuff" instead of the rough sand. I think it'll be worth it. And now I can pretend like we're at the beach!

-Build shade structure for the dogs in the sideyard.
No progress here and I doubt we'll get to it this weekend:(

-Mow and weed-eat front yard, blow driveway and side walks, pull any weeds that have grown in the areas we've been working on. 

-Clear everything out of room that will be the nursery and set up the new furniture.
Nursery is almost cleaned out and I am chomping at the bit to arrange the furniture and start decorating!

-Find Marshall's infant diapers and clothes and get all googly over getting to use them soon then bawl my eyes out about how fast babies grow up (plus you know, see what we need for the new baby).

-Go through Marshall's clothes and pack away anything getting small and get out the next size shoes/clothes.
Done. This is how I know he's going through a growth spurt. All of a sudden most of his size 5 shoes are too small and I had to bust out a bunch of size 18 month clothes. As I pack my favorite things away I console myself by reminding myself that Miller will be able to use them soon.

-Organize pantry so that we can tell what's actually in there and stop buying things we already have.
Not only did we not do this, I went to the store and BOUGHT SOMETHING WE ALREADY HAD. Seriously, this needs to happen tomorrow.

-Put away the 10 loads of laundry I've been stuffing into the guestroom and pretending they don't exist <- sadly I'm not exaggerating this one.
I folded everything, put away about 8 loads, but I've washed 3 more and have probably 2 more to go. We make a ridiculous amount of laundry. Depending on what Jerad's doing at work he usually gets dirty so needs 2 outfits a day. So does Marshall. I wash 2-3 loads of diapers a week, 1-2 loads of sheets and towels, a few of clothes, then the random load of rugs/curtains/bedspreads/animal bedding. Its seriously out of control.

-Pretend to have some weird pregnancy aversion to vinegar and baking soda so that Jerad will clean the bathrooms.
Since Jerad is working into the night in the backyard I went ahead and cleaned a bathroom. One down, 2 to go. Remind me why I thought 3 bathrooms was such a great idea again?

We also all slept in till 8:30 (amazing), cooked a big family breakfast, and had an impromptu bbq at our friend's Dom and Taylor's house. So I'd call today a success.

At the minimum I'm hoping that Marshall's play area gets finished tomorrow (minus the slide that wont be here till Thursday and maybe the teepee), and we get the nursery set up. Then the boring stuff like the pantry and bathrooms.

Children's Museum

We had the funnest time at our town's cute little children's museum yesterday.

When you first walk in there is a little school bus toddler toy that he was obsessed with.

We finally had to pick him up and drag him away to go see the 'funner' exhibits.

Like the Fire Truck!

He easily could have played on here for an hour. Sometimes he's so much his father's son that its funny...

Ball pit:

Grocery Shopping:

This was his favorite by far, they call it Newton's Playhouse. "Newton’s Playhouse is a very popular exhibit. Children and adults alike love the fun it offers. There are balls to shoot from the cannon and put into baskets that then suck them up tubes and roll down ramps to get to a big basket near the ceiling. Once enough balls are up there a light flashes and they come raining down again, usually accompanied by cheers and squeals of excitement."

After that Marshall put on a little impromptu concert:

Seriously, So Much Fun. I think we'll get a family pass for Christmas!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Goals for This Weekend:

-Build outdoor play area for Marshall in the backyard.
-Build shade structure for the dogs in the sideyard.
-Mow and weed-eat front yard, blow driveway and side walks, pull any weeds that have grown in the areas we've been working on. 
-Clear everything out of room that will be the nursery and set up the new furniture.
-Find Marshall's infant diapers and clothes and get all googly over getting to use them soon then bawl my eyes out about how fast babies grow up (plus you know, see what we need for the new baby).
-Go through Marshall's clothes and pack away anything getting small and get out the next size shoes/clothes.
-Organize pantry so that we can tell what's actually in there and stop buying things we already have.
-Put away the 10 loads of laundry I've been stuffing into the guestroom and pretending they don't exist <- sadly I'm not exaggerating this one.
-Pretend to have some weird pregnancy aversion to vinegar and baking soda so that Jerad will clean the bathrooms.

I thought maybe if I wrote this list down and put it out there I'd try harder to make sure it happens. So, there you have it. This weekend's goals.

Plan B is:
Sleep in
Take a nap every day
Indulge in dessert every night
Go to bed early

Luckily/sadly there is a way better chance of the first list happening!

26 weeks

True to form, I am working on growing a baby bump the size of Texas:

Its hard to believe I still have 14 weeks of growing to do! Oh the woes of being short torso'd.

I'm feeling good for the most part. My joints feel loose and uncomfortable but Jerad just bought me one of those ridiculous pregnancy body pillows I'd been wanting which has made a HUGE difference when I sleep. If I had to choose between Jerad and the pillow... I would probably take the pillow at this point. Seriously, its a God send.

For a comparison, here I am at about the same stage with Marshall.

An end to breastfeeding

One of the biggest reasons I blog is so I have a diary to look back on in order to remember things. So... I might as well write about this. Since becoming a parent, I have 2 regrets and this is one of them.

I always knew I would breastfeed. Not that I would give it a try, but that it would happen. When I set my mind on something, its pretty hard to dissuade me. Besides all the health and bonding benefits, spending hundreds of dollars on formula and having to remember to buy it didn't seem too appealing. Me and my sisters were all breastfed, as were Jerad and his siblings so it was just the "norm" for both of us.

After Marshall was born breastfeeding turned out to be drama, drama, and more drama. I dealt with extremely cracked nipples, that led to mastitis, that led to emergency surgery to drain 2 breast abscesses, mastitis 2 more times, thrush from the mastitis antibiotics,  and I developed Raynaud's Phenomenon which made every nursing session extremely painful. And that was all within the first 8 weeks! Marshall never had a good latch, I never felt any of that euphoric bonding crap that nursing mothers rave on and on about, and honestly breastfeeding was usually a pain because besides it being uncomfortable Marshall had this tick for like 10 months where he would just punch me repeatedly while nursing. If I tried to hold his hand or make him stop he'd loose his shit and refuse to eat. Awesome. All that "natural and convenient" stuff never really applied to us.

However, SOMEHOW, I stuck with it. Probably only because I'm so flipping stubborn once I've made up my mind. He was always so healthy (in 16 months he's only been sick once and it wasn't even a big deal), so happy, and as an infant he grew like a weed. Him thriving so well was the motivation I needed to stick it out. Although I worked full time, I managed to pump enough for him to not need any supplementing even though it meant for almost a year I had to pump while driving to work, during every break, and during my lunch. We delayed starting him on solids until he was 8 months and during that time he thrived on an exclusively breastmilk diet.

I didn't have an exact plan for when we'd stop nursing and planned on seeing what Marshall wanted and how I felt as he got older, hoping we'd be done by the time he was 2 (which is the minimum recommended by the World Health Organization) but wanting to make it to at least 15 or 16 months.

A few weeks before Marshall's first b-day my milk supply started decreasing due to being pregnant (although I didn't know that was why at the time). I just blamed it on the stress of planning his party, Jerad being gone all the time, us buying a house and getting ready to move. It wasn't a huge deal because besides pumping enough to feed Marshall while I was at work, I was pumping enough to freeze an additional 20-25 ounces a DAY. So... basically I had been making enough milk for 2 babies. Soon I went from pumping 9 ounces in a 10 minute session to pumping 0.75 in 20 minutes. Marshall would get frustrated and cry when he nursed.

I started taking an herbal tincture, which helped some, but we were still having to supplement with frozen milk.  By this time Marshall was 13 months old, I was 3 months pregnant and exhausted beyond belief, and it was just too much. Because of the Raynaud's nursing had always been painful/uncomfortable.  Mix that with no milk production, a toddler with teeth who could bite when he was frustrated, sore pregnancy boobs... it just wasn't worth it. So we just stopped. Basically cold turkey. It was honestly pretty painless all around. The first few nights Marshall would wake up crying and instead of comfort nursing he'd just want to sleep on top of me and snuggle which was nice because he hadn't wanted to snuggle with me at night for a long time. I stopped trying to pump at work which mean I had *gasp* free time during my breaks. And the best part... Jerad could handle night feedings solo:)

Because I had been freezing so much extra breastmilk, we had enough for him to take in a bottle until 15 months. At that time we transitioned him to a blend of unsweeteded almond milk and raw, unpasteurized, organic grass fed cow's milk from Organic Pastures which has been working out really well.

Long story short, our breastfeeding days are over. Although in a way I'm glad because the freedom IS nice, I do regret weaning just because it wasn't really my choice or his and it just happened so fast. Then again I do know its good that it wasn't a long drawn out dramatic process. I guess I just have mixed feelings:) I have lots of friends who have managed to continue breastfeeding through pregnancy, and I feel like if I didn't work full time I'd have been able and willing to stick it out too. Not having to be out of the house by 6:30am, not having to pump, being able to take the occasional nap, and having the time to actually work on it would have made all the difference. Which makes me feel guilty... until he wakes up hungry at 2 am and I roll over and sleep while Jerad does the whole bottle dance.

I'm really hoping that breastfeeding the next baby goes much much smoother. I mean, I don't think it could ever be any worse right? My plan this time is to go see our IBCLC (lactation consultant) within the first week so that we can troubleshoot any problems BEFORE they become huge issues.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Waterpark weekend

On Sunday, the company that Jerad's mom works for rented out the local water park for employees and their families so we got to spend the day playing! Jerad worked at the same company for about 2 years so we knew a lot of the people there and had fun catching up.

We timed it so that Marshall would get his morning nap first and be a well rested and happy kid... which of course meant that he decided sleep was for the weak and trucked through the whole day with no naps. Luckily he was having so much fun he didn't have time to be tired.

Playing in the kiddie pool:

Marshall had So Much Fun. He kept getting knocked under the water by waves and for the most part could have cared less. He went on some of the bigger little kid slides and would get flipped around about half way through, then at the bottom even though I was catching him there would be a minute where he'd go under water but he'd come up and run to the top to go again and again. He's already good about holding his breath under water, by next summer I'm sure he'll be swimming like a little fish!

Afternoon Snack:

You can tell in the pictures that his lips are a little purple. It was pretty cold. The sun was out for awhile, but most of the day was overcast and the water was chilly. After warming up a little we played in "The Lazy River" which is a big loop that goes around the park. I'm pretty sure that if Marshall had had a blanket and pacifier he would have gone to sleep :)

Wave Pool:

We left a little after 3 because it had started raining (totally random since it was 103 a few days before). I can't wait to go back next summer when Marshall is a little bigger, and I am a little less pregnant!

That night we got a babysitter and went to the down town pajama movie night at the theater. They were showing Jerad's all time favorite movie:

Jerad's parents came and it was so fun seeing the film in a theater with other people around to laugh at all the ridiculous parts.

Besides Sunday-Funday, we also spent the weekend painting the nursery and finishing some yard work projects. Yeay for good weekends!