Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Ending of a Breastfeeding Journey

437 days. 
I am so proud of that number. Why? Well, because breastfeeding isn't a walk in the park. And I am so glad I made it so long without giving up.

My journey started in the hospital, when the nurse handed me my tiny, hungry baby. I will always remember the first time he latched. The look on his face said it all. I knew I was doing the right thing for him and I when I saw that look of satisfaction.
We faced several obstacles over the last 1 year, 2 weeks, and 10 days. One was the STUPID nipple shield. I hated that thing! If you've ever used one, you know just how annoying and frustrating these things are. Another, and probably my biggest obstacle, was pumping. I loathed the entire act from start to finish.
But in that moment when your baby is nursing, his eyes getting heavier and heavier, and he dozes off and looks so peaceful with a full belly and in a milk drunken stupor, all of the struggles are 100% worth it.

I started the weaning process just after Fox's first birthday, eliminating nursing sessions and giving him milk in a cup. Slowly making my way to this past month where he was only breastfeeding once at night. This past Monday night after putting him down for bed I realized -- he hadn't asked for my milk at all. I have been allowing him to nurse at night whenever he asked because I felt he was attached and not ready to let go of that last session just yet. Or maybe I was the one attached. Either way, it slipped both of our minds. Then tonight rolled around and the same thing happened. He went to bed happy and content -- without nursing.

my little milk drunk baby :)

A very rare occasion - he is sitting still!

It is a very bittersweet feeling.
There were many challenges, but I'd do it over again in a heartbeat.
And I sort of already miss it.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Done With Antibiotics!

Our prescription of Amoxicillin said to give it twice a day for 10 days, but tonight we gave Fox the last drops left in the bottle after only a week. So that's it, we're done. Right? Gosh I hope so. He is acting much better, we have no stains in our cloth diapers, and it didn't upset his tummy. Hopefully our first ear infection is under our belt and he doesn't have any more, ever! Fingers crossed...

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Surprise! Fox's First Ear Infection

I was always relieved when I'd take Fox to the doctor thinking he had an ear infection and the doctor would assure me it was just teething. He was always tugging his ear, never wanted me to touch them, and hated to lay down except to sleep. After a few false alarms I stopped worrying every time he'd mess with his ear.
Well yesterday he had a runny nose and a productive cough so I decided to take him in to get checked out because he ALWAYS gets sick on a Friday and I hate waiting all weekend not knowing what's up. So while we were in there she was shining the light in his ear and like every other time she has to get her little ear wax tool and remove some junk that's in her way. She checked his right ear and said it was all clear, then checked his left ear and after fighting with some ear wax for a bit, she said "It's his ear." I was so surprised! She told me his other symptoms were an upper respiratory infection caused by the infection. Boo :(
When she told me she was going to put him on an antibiotic a million things went through my head... yucky poop! Ruined cloth diapers! Diaper rash! But luckily I have amazing, knowledgeable friends who helped me with what to do. I got him some yogurt, a probiotic from the pharmacy, and said who cares about stains in my diapers. And my Grandma El's just arrived in the mail. So I am fully prepared for whatever the antibiotics bring my way!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fox is One Year Old

What an exciting year!
My little 7 pound newborn is now a 20 pound toddler. In such a short time, he has went from a baby who slept all day to a little boy who practically runs across the living room floor. I cherish every single hug, kiss, and giggle. I never miss an opportunity to get in the floor and chase him on all fours. Surprisingly I haven't shed a tear and I think it is because even though I miss the tiny, wrinkled infant... I love more what he is growing up to be.

Watching Fox learn and grow has been so amazing! I have been able to witness every single milestone and I feel so blessed to be able to do so. His first smile, his first laugh, rolling over, sitting up, crawling, pulling up, walking, and everything in between. His vocabulary is growing and I swear he picks up a new word or two each week. Currently he can say hello, bye, daddy, who's that, yes, eat, and momma (which is very rare). He points at everything, understands when I ask him a question ("Where's your cup?") or give a command ("Give me your paci."), and he has different gestures to let us know what he wants. He amazes me each day with what he knows. 

This first year has been so great and I thank God every day for such an awesome little boy.

Monster First Birthday

Sunday, September 30, we celebrated Fox's first birthday.With the help of my family and friends it all came together nicely. Here are a few pictures from his big day!

A few of his gifts and the drinks

One of the centerpieces made by me. The monsters were cut with my Cricut using the Mini Monsters cartridge.

Cute balloon banner inspired by Pinterest

The birthday boy in his high chair

Momma & Fox

Ceramic "1" I found on sale at Michael's and a few of the cupcakes I made

The smash cake I baked and the lettering was cut out with a Cricut Cake

This idea was inspired by a friend. Water bottles wrapped with duct tape. I found the monster tape at Target.

He had a blast!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

11 Month Old Update

Fox is zooming all over the place on two feet! He started taking steps about a month ago, but this past week he has gotten really brave and he's letting go and walking everywhere. And he has also started making turns while he's walking instead of just making a straight path across the floor. Once he makes it to his destination he claps.

He has two adorable little teeth on bottom and I think he may be working on a third although I can't see anything so I have no idea which one it may be. For those of you who are wondering -- he has NOT bit me yet! And boy am I thankful.

He is doing really good with meal times. He eats food I've pureed, jarred baby food, whole fruits and cooked veggies, and loooves his whole grain Cheerios and Goldfish. Pretty soon we are going to start giving him pieces of meat from our supper... I was waiting until he had enough teeth to chew but he's doing good with just his front two so I think he's about ready.

Birthday plans are coming together. We have the park picked out, invitations made, envelopes addressed, and almost all of the decor made. All we need to do is book the park (on the agenda for tomorrow), send out the invites (I plan on getting them in the mail on Saturday), and figure out the menu. Then wait as the month of September flies by!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Big 10

Fox turned ten months old on Monday!

Some of his latest accomplishments:
  • Dances to music and "sings" when someone is singing to him
  • Walks by himself for a few steps
  • Copies us when we shake our head, wave, laugh, or scream
  • Picks up food and feeds himself a lot more now
  • Gives kisses
  • Blows kisses

Two more months to go until he's a whole year old! It's gone by quick but I am so fortunate to be able to spend most of my time with him.

First Steps

This morning Fox was standing at his little music table taking a breather after I'd chased him all over the living room. I held my arms out for him to come to me and didn't expect him to do anything since I've never done it before. Well he just started walking towards me like he'd done it a million times! He made about 4 steps and fell into my arms. I was so excited I screamed and cheered, picked him up, and smothered him with kisses. Since this morning he has gotten super brave. He's been letting go and trying to take steps a lot today. I can't wait until his daddy gets home so he can show off his new skill!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Nine Months

Sorry so late updating, but Fox is now 9 months old! He spent his 9 month birthday celebrating his cousin's birthday at a barnyard bash with a petting zoo and pony ride. He also got to go swimming this month for the first time, and he absolutely loved it.
Fox and I spend most days together and he has some serious separation anxiety. I can't leave the room without him crying or trying to follow me. Even when Brent is home he still freaks out. As long as I am in the room with him he's perfectly fine and will go play with his toys. I really hope he gets over this stuff FAST!

Some new things Fox started doing in the past month:
  • Playing Pat-a-Cake both by himself and when we say it or do it
  • Pulling up on and cruising along furniture
  • Standing by himself for a few seconds
  • Babbling all kids of nonsense
  • STILL not saying momma! Grrr....
  • Does the hand gesture for "come here"
  • Calls the dogs by clicking his tongue
  • Walking behind toys
 His growing hasn't slowed down yet and he eats like a piggy! At his 9 month checkup he weighed 19.2 lbs and was 28.25" tall.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Birthday Planning and Reflection

Three months to go until Fox turns one. Every single parent I come in contact with has told me to "cherish every moment because it flies by" and so I have. I am so lucky to have witnessed him smile, laugh, roll over, sit up, crawl, and pull up for the first time. I have been a mamarazzi and taken pictures of him nearly every day (I stopped posting them on Facebook all the time, but you can follow me on Instagram @haleynicole71 to get your Fox fix). I smother him with kisses, suffocate him with hugs, and attack him with tickles. We laugh together and sometimes I want to cry together. But I wouldn't change a thing.
I decided on his first birthday theme of monsters about 4 months ago. Since then I have collected invitations, goody bags, thank you cards, a onesie, and a bib for when he eats his cake. I have been searching Etsy and party blogs like crazy and pinning all kinds of stuff on Pinterest. Here is some of my inspiration.

Printable monster decor 



Monster Birthday ideas

I hope I can catch the 'crafty bug' so I can get some motivation and try to make some of his decorations. If not, then I'll have to get some help from my crafty friends lol.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

That's his FIRST name?

Many people hear my son's name and immediately think of the animal. As cute as they may be, they did not inspire us to name our first born after them.
Fox is actually named after a man born in Kentucky on November 1, 1878. That man is Brent's great great grandfather. It took some convincing on Brent's part to get me to agree to the name and honestly I still wince a little when I tell strangers because they usually either love it or hate it, and always have something to say about it. No matter what people say - I adore the name. It may be a bit strange, but it is easy to pronounce and spell unlike a lot of unique names now.

Our first issue over his name came up when we were trying to get his birth certificate. The lady told us it wasn't ready and ended up calling the hospital who told her his name wasn't in their system at all. Weird. She then proceeds to tell me I need to call the hospital to get it sorted out. Turns out she was searching as if his last name was Fox. Of course as soon as I pointed out her mistake she quickly took my money and handed over the birth certificate.

Next occasion was at the pharmacy waiting to pick up his prescription of Zantac. The pharmacy tech asks "What's the first name?" and Brent answers "Fox." Then the guy says "That's his FIRST name?" Nope kid, we lied.

Even though we have hit a few little bumps with it, for the most part people compliment his name and say it is either "cute" or "cool." I knew Fox was going to be one of a kind (how could he not with parents like us?) and he deserved a one of a kind name to fit.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Silly Boy

My handsome boy is now eight months old and he is such a silly boy! His personality is really starting to show and I could seriously sit and play with him all day. He cracks me up! 

A few new things he's doing now:
  • Crawling on all fours
  • Pulling up
  • Clapping
  • Saying "dada" and "baba"
  • Waving at strangers and when you say "hey" or "bye bye"
  • Mocking us when we shake our head, growl or roar, scream, sing, and clap
  • He has taken a few side steps while standing at a toy table
I took him outside and sat him in the grass for the first time the other day and he didn't think it was very fun. I snapped a few pictures and this one above was one of my favorites... drool on his shirt and everything!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Little Update

My little guy amazes me every day with how much he is learning, doing, and growing.

Some of the things he is currently doing:
  • Sitting up for long periods of time and playing by himself 
  • He knows what to touch on his toys to get them to light up and make noise
  • Drinking from a sippy cup with a straw like a champ
  • Going from crawling position to sitting up, and from sitting up to crawling position
  • Rocking back and forth on his hands and knees and lunging forward while in this position
  • He puts one knee forward like he wants to crawl, then collapses to his belly after one try
I absolutely love how much he loves me. He looks to me with adoration and I just melt into a puddle of mush! He is such a momma's boy and I can't complain :) His little personality is starting to show and he is such a silly guy.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

First Mother's Day

Last week I took Fox to go get our pictures taken for the first time. I know Mother's Day isn't the holiday people typically have professional pictures done, but a local photographer was having a special and I decided I should take advantage and also get some good pictures of us two. I often hear people say they were always the one "behind the camera," and I don't want to look back and be that person. I would like to start a tradition next year and each year afterwards and get pictures of us taken.
 This day has a whole new meaning to me now. Not only do I celebrate all the mothers in my life on this day, but now I am a mom and I am the one being celebrated.
I hope Brent handles the task of celebrating my first Mother's Day well ;)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bye-Bye Sanity


I've always heard it was a bear but I had no idea it could be so awful.

Fox has been drooling like crazy and rubbing his fists (and everything else he could reach) on his gums... but that was about it. Up until two days ago. Then started the fussiness. Then yesterday started the crappy naps - I'm talking 2.5 hours in a 12 hour span compared to the usual 4.5 to 5 - and the screaming and crying non-stop. 
I've given frozen fruit in a mesh feeder, Tylenol, rubbed vanilla on his gums, and even resorted to teething gel. Nothing is helping. So today I'm going to go buy some Motrin and Hyland's Teething Tablets and order an amber necklace and throw his stupid hazelwood necklace in the trash! I am so upset that it isn't helping even though they claim to be good for teething. Apparently the amount of amber on the strand determines its effectiveness, and the amber on the hazelwood necklaces are pretty much just there for looks.

Please keep me in your thoughts. This is rough!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Swim Diapers

I have been trying to plan a mini family vacay to the beach and after going through a little checklist in my head I realized I'm going to need swim diapers. I already knew which ones I wanted -- only the CUTEST reusable swim diapers I've ever seen!
I went to my favorite site for cloth diapers and natural products, Sweetbottoms, and 2 days later my diapers arrived in my mailbox!

 Aren't they just the most adorable diapers?!

Two layers of mesh make it easy for water to move through, yet keeps #2 in.

Now if only I can figure out the dates so we can get this trip planned and get our feet in the sand!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Baby Walkers

Each time I take Fox to the doctor we receive a piece of paper with information and milestones to expect at his age. I noticed that each paper recommends against using a walker. I had never heard this before so I posed the question in a group of moms on Facebook if they had heard the same thing.
To my surprise I learned that several people were not going to be using walkers based on how dangerous they are. I started doing some reading online and I have learned so much over the last 24 hours.

First there are the obvious environmental dangers. Putting a baby on wheels makes it easier for them to roll down stairs, reach hot or sharp objects, and even get fingers and toes trapped. Most of these things are likely to happen whether or not a baby is in a walker once they become mobile. However  most of the injuries happen while parents are watching! Why? Because a child in a walker can move much quicker - three feet a second - making it difficult for parents to respond in time.

Then I was really shocked to read that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) believes that baby walkers actually delay motor and mental development. Babies who use walkers skip developmental milestones by being upright before they are physically ready. Walkers now have a large tray which blocks a child's view of their feet and they don't get visual feedback, which the AAP says is necessary in learning to walk. Studies have shown that babies who have used a walker sit up, crawl, and walk later than those who have never used one. Another tidbit that came as a shock to me was the effect on mental development. They can have lower scores on mental testing which can last months after the use of walkers has ended.

Walkers are banned in several countries and the AAP is pushing to ban them here in the U.S.

Some good news is some newly made walkers are being equipped with safety features such as making them wider so they can't fit through doorways and fall protection which stops them from going down stairs. But if you're like me you have a hand-me-down which may not have any safety features. My pediatrician suggested using stationary activity center like jumpers and saucers instead.

I want Fox to learn at his own pace, so I am going to opt out of using a walker and keep him on the floor where he is currently sitting, scooching, rolling, reaching, and grabbing right on track.

Sources: NY TimesHealthyChildren.org, Baby Center, Brainy Child, AAP Grand Rounds

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Goodnight, Heavy Wetter

Fox, like a lot of babies in cloth, leak out of his regular diapers at night. He is a heavy wetter and a side sleeper and this combination made for several nights of him waking up in a soaked crib.

I am a member of a cloth diaper group on Facebook and several ladies suggested the Kawaii GNHW (goodnight heavy wetter) for this problem. In fact, they had a co-op open where I could buy them at wholesale prices so I snagged me three and tried them out.

 They come with 2 XL microfiber inserts that are extra fluffy!

 I didn't want to risk it so I used both inserts. Talk about thick! lol

 This blue dotty print is super cute on his little hiney!

All that cushion didn't interfere with him sitting up.

Fox approves!

I wished him goodnight and he closed his eyes and rolled over onto his side.
The next morning my cute little alarm clock woke me up by yelling into the monitor. I went to change his diaper and the sheets were still dry! I am so happy to have finally found a solution to our leaks. I also love that this diaper will grow with him as he gets older.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mmmm... Nanners

The other day Brent and I were putting up dishes and we ran across the mesh feeder we were gifted about 8 months ago. Brent asked "We can give him bananas in this, right?" and I told him we could and went about our day. 
Today I noticed our bananas are pretty ripe so I sat Fox in his high chair and gave him his mesh feeder with some banana inside. He chewed on it for a few seconds and as soon as he realized there was something tasty in there he went crazy!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Happy Half Birthday

Fox is 6 months old!

He weighed in at 15 lbs 14 oz and took his shots like a champ.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Life Happens

A few things have happened since my last post. Well... a lot, actually.

Fox can now roll from back to belly and he will go from one end of a room to another in the blink of an eye. He also is a kicking fool! I have bruises on my legs to prove it. Crawling is in our near future.
I am trying to teach him to wave and say "Hey!" and I can tell when I do it he wants to copy me.

My grandfather was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis last Friday the 16th and we got the awful news there was nothing the doctors could do for him. After 3 weeks in the hospital, being pumped with a cocktail of drugs, being put on a ventilator, having his lungs flushed and biopsied, and coming off the ventilator... they made the discovery. He was transferred to hospice that day and I have spent a lot of time while he's been sick.
He passed away last night and although I had prepared myself for this day nothing makes it easier. My faith has become stronger and I talk to God almost daily. I put my faith that He has a plan for all of us.

Yesterday I also was laid off after working at my current job for 17 months. My position was eliminated and outsourced to a call center. It came as a huge shock to me and 3 other ladies I worked with who got the boot. I was very upset in the moment because I have an almost 6 month old baby, bills, and an unemployed fiance. How are we going to survive? But like I said above I have faith that God will bring us through this situation. I hated being away from Fox for 10-11 hours a day (including my commute). I have always dreamed of starting my own business so maybe this is a step in the right direction. Who knows? Well, He does. ;)

I am so thankful to have Fox to keep me happy. I can be so upset but when that little boy smiles at me, it melts my heart and clears my mind of all the negative. I have to stay strong for him and my family.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

First Bite

From the get-go I decided we wouldn't start Fox on solids until he was 6 months old at least. Also, I was pretty sure we were going to skip cereal altogether. The AAP recommends that babies not be started on solids until 6 months of age so that's what I was basing it off of, plus breastfed babies don't need any added nutrition before 6 months since they get everything they need straight from their mom.

But then we hit the 5 month mark. 

Fox seemed to want to nurse much more frequently which meant this momma with a full time job was losing sleep. I get up to feed him 2-3 times a night now and in between the feedings he stirs and whines in his bed. I know starting babies on cereal doesn't guarantee better sleep, but it's worth a shot.

So last night we took a late night trip to Target to get some organic brown rice cereal and oatmeal cereal to try today. This morning we brought up the high chair, broke out the bowls and spoons, and I pumped some milk to mix the cereal with. Once I got it to a consistency I was happy with we sat down and gave Fox his first bite.

 Not really sure what to do at first.

 He thought it would be better if he helped out.

 Mmm that's the stuff!

 Just a bit messy.

 By the end he was loving it.

 Daddy snapped this picture mid-babble.

Such a happy, full boy!

He definitely seemed to enjoy his first taste of cereal so that made me feel much better about it. I can't believe my big boy is already 5 months and eating food!