Jan 31, 2014

Five on Friday.

Well its been what seems like ages since I've participated in this link up. Though it will be quick, I'm happy to be able to join the rambling fun again.

1. I'm over this extremely cold weather. Don't mistake that for normal winter. I like cold weather for a couple of months because I like cold weather clothes. Boots, sweaters, scarves. Love them. But when its warmer in Alaska than it is in Indiana? Not okay. Not okay at all. Plus, my house is in shambles because of it. Between my husband that likes to play with the snow plow, no water situation last week and just the nastiness of it, I'm close to losing my mind. I can't believe I'm showing this, but this is just a glimpse of the mess.

2. Speaking of losing my mind because my house looks like some irresponsible college boys live in it, my mom is coming to help me clean this weekend so I don't have a mental break down. I'm not sure my house is so messy that it requires 2 adults to clean it, but its messy enough that I can't clean it while tending to a baby. I mean, who can clean their house when they have an 8 week old anyway? Plus, she never turns down some Tucker time. It works out for both of us.

3. This one is going to make me sound like an alch-y but we're celebrating my brothers birthday tomorrow night and I CAN'T WAIT TO HAVE A MARGARITA! I've enjoyed some cran-brr-itas since Tucker made his arrival but nothing comes close to the "house on the rocks with no salt" am I right? Right!

4. I have a confession to make... I love maternity jeans. Not all of them, but one pair that I have in particular. They are some straight blue jeans.... not stuck to your calves skinny but they also don't flare. They fit in boots or would look great with flats. Needless to say I'm still rockin them and I probably will long term. We all have those days where we feel like a busted can of biscuits and I feel like they help smooth things out. Same goes with maternity leggings. I hate when leggings show off my love handles and maternity leggings don't do that.

5. I need help. As I've mentioned before, Danny is a firefighter. This means he is gone for 24 hours at a time and I'm a single mama 9-10 days a month. I need some quick 1 person dinner ideas for those nights. The schedule that Tucker has kind of made for himself allows me about 15 minutes in the evening to get in the door, change my clothes, get my dinner and feed him. Why wouldn't I just feed him then do all that? Well at 5:30 or 6, mama is starving and this is when he likes to start cluster feeding. So, in efforts to not live off Lean Cuisines and Smart Ones or cereal, I need some ideas! What are your favorite, quick dinners?

That's all for today! If you're here from Holly's giveaway, I hope you come back :)

Jan 28, 2014

Breastfeeding: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Let me start by saying that this isn't meant as an invitation to a pity party for me. I threw that yesterday :) I'm writing about my first (almost) 8 weeks as a breastfeeding mama to serve as a reminder for me when baby #2 comes along and I feel like quitting and in case there is a mama out there having a tough time and needs that extra push to keep going.

The Good: Almost 8 weeks in and my baby is still getting breast milk.
The Bad: I'm exhausted.
The Ugly: I've cried nearly every day.

Lets start with The Ugly.
Breastfeeding has been an uphill battle and I had all these expectations that were the exact opposite of that. I envisioned myself whipping my boob out and feeding my child with ease. We would form this bond that everyone talks about and while simultaneously ridding my body of the baby weight. Not. Even. Close. We are nearly 8 weeks in and when it comes to nursing I am just about on level playing field with a mom of a 1 week old. By that I mean, Tucker is just now learning to nurse due to road block after road block. Battling his weight loss and jaundice through syringe feeding, then me getting the , then getting his weight gain going like his doctor wanted with the help of formula have all put us behind. Once he got over his issues, I had my own. As a result of the cyst and the antibiotics (I took 4 different ones over a period of 2 weeks), I got a yeast infection and it affected my boobs. I felt like my nipples were going to fall off, and at one point if they weren't going too, I was going to cut them off. It hurt and it hurt bad. But I didn't realize that's what it was until about 2 weeks later. So, I was just putting myself through that because I kept reading that "some pain is normal" and it is. But excruciating, absolutely nothing can touch me without me hurting is not normal. At least not all day long when you're using a nipple shield and nursing just once or twice a day. I've been on the verge of giving up nursing at least every other day, but "don't quit on a bad day" keeps flashing across my mind. So I keep going, even though nearly every day seems like a bad day. I go to a support group to get help from the lactation consultants (a breast feeding mom's BFF) and do weighed feedings. Weighed feedings where Tucker weighs 9.0 lbs before and 9.0 lbs after, meaning he transferred NO milk. None. Nursed for 30 minutes and got nada. That's tough when the mom in front of you gets the news that her baby did a 4 ounce feeding and her baby is 2 weeks YOUNGER than yours. It was also at this support group that I learned I was battling the infection and was given a game plan on how to get rid of it. Even though I got some semi good news, I still couldn't help but cry before I even got out to the car.

The Bad.
This has been incredibly exhausting. And not just physically. Like I said, I've cried nearly every day so its been emotionally exhausting. It's required some determination and commitment, testing my mental strength. Because nursing has been working, I'm strapped to my pump and life just about revolves around it. My work day is planned out nearly to the minute to fit in enough pump sessions. Pumping has to be done during the night time.. meaning night time feedings require a diaper change, warming a bottle, getting baby back to sleep, pumping, cleaning stuff up, then going back to bed. Luckily I've learned some tricks along the way, like instead of rinsing pump parts every time I store them in the fridge until morning when I can rinse them before going to work. Each day is a constant battle between "Why am I torturing myself?" and "I really need to keep going" Why haven't I just quit? I don't want to be a quitter. This is now about me just as much as it is him. Selfish? Maybe. But I've come this far, I might as well keep trying.

The Good.
Almost 8 weeks in, and we're still going. The magical nipple cream cocktail is almost gone. I don't want to cry every time I put a bra on and I don't cringe when Tucker is hungry and I've told myself I'm going to try to nurse. I think we're on the tail end of needing formula. (I, in no way shape or form, think formula is a bad thing. Its actually a good thing. Its helped my son get to where he needs to be and has helped me keep my sanity.  I will also go ahead and say that if it weren't for the bit of formula that we've used, I probably would have quit a month ago. I just don't want to use it because that shits expensive. And I think it stinks :) ) Last night I decided to try and let him nurse. We sat on the couch from 6:30-10:30 and I just let him do what he wanted. It went okay and he even spit up once, which made me happy. HOPEFULLY we are at the end of the setbacks and we can get this nursing shit going.

I'm giving it until 3 months to see significant improvement and 4 months to have it down. After that, I'm going to pumping only and will not stress out over nursing anymore.

All you mamas out there, whether you're in the throes of newborn life and breastfeeding, or you're approaching it, you can do it. It may suck, and it probably will, but if its what you really want, you can do it. Find a support system. Husband, your mom, lactation consultants, or blogs/forums online. Use it all.

I'll post an update about my boobs next week :) And I can't leave you without a picture of the little dude. I took this one this morning and it just makes me smile.

Jan 27, 2014

Let me just tell you about last week

So you know how I said I was back? Yeah, my house and Mother Nature had other plans.

Monday after work, the toilet stopped working. Fine, I can deal. There's a bathroom out in the garage and even though its colder than a witch's tit outside, I can go out there to pee. Let's not forget to mention that another pipe busted at my office the Friday before so there wasn't water there, meaning no toilet either. Apparently me going to the bathroom is a difficult task these days. After work I ended up taking Tucker to a breastfeeding support group and we did a weighed feeding. After 30 minutes of nursing the little guy got 0.0 ounces. Awesome!  More on our breastfeeding journey tomorrow or Wednesday by the way.

Tuesday. Danny couldn't get the toilet fixed so that meant another night of going out to the garage to pee. I also had to go to the grocery after work, wash all bottles and pump parts and it was bath night for Tucker. Danny could hardly help since he was trying to fix the toilet and get ready for work the next day. Oh, and the pipes to the washer froze. I about lost my mind this day after the rough Monday night and an extremely busy Tuesday night.

Wednesday was frigid and I decided I needed a day to do nothing and snuggle with Tucker. Being self employed gives me too much freedom sometimes. I used the excuse that it was too cold to take Tucker outside to go to Danny's moms. But as soon as my friends brought up the idea of going to lunch, it was fine. When I got back from lunch, we had no water.
*If you're keeping track.. 2 days of having to go outside to pee, no washer, and now I can't even go to the garage to pee. Oh, and I hadn't showered since Monday.
Danny was able to come home from work to try and fix the water situation. He tried and tried and tried. At 7:30 when we still didn't have water, I packed Tucker and I up to go stay at my Gram's house with my aunt. Packing a baby up for 1 night takes the same amount of effort that packing Danny and I for a week takes. Of course as soon as we got there and all settled, the water came back on, but the problem couldn't be completely fixed until the next day.

Thursday we went home as soon as the sun came up and found out we didn't have hot water. We had water, but it wasn't hot. I think we had a toilet in the house though. I can't remember when that got fixed exactly. I had to make myself look as clean as possible to go to work for a few hours.

After work, our house was back in working order. I had a toilet in the house, the washer worked and I could do laundry and we had hot water so I could bathe my dirty ass.

Things have been absolutely crazy since Tucker arrived. Whether it be something to do with him, a health issue of my own, or Mother Nature wreaking havoc, its always something. But, I wouldn't be able to get through any of it without my hard working husband or my mom who will listen to me bitch about all of it.

Now here is a sweet picture of my boys. Danny's mom watched them both while we went out to eat and to Sam's Club Friday night. It was actually a double date. I'm glad we have friends that enjoy the simple old people things like us.

Jan 20, 2014

Weekend Recap

So, its Monday. I'm out of coffee creamer. It's Monday. Tucker proceeded to "talk" in his sleep from 4:30am on. And its Monday.

This girl gave herself the day off on Friday, and the rest of the Fridays in January for that matter. This first one, I got my hair done. Now, it had been since mid-October since I had my hair done. We tried to schedule my appointments so that I wouldn't risk going into labor in her chair, but I also wouldn't look terrible for the weeks following Tucker's birth since I would be busy. Funny thing about that is, I was suppose to get my hair done the day he was born.  I was looking rough. My hair girl even said "I knew it was going to be bad, but I didn't think it would be this bad." I knew everyone was just being nice when they told me "it looked fine." I enjoyed a glass of wine, got pampered and almost fell asleep while my hair was being washed. It was lovely.

Danny worked on Saturday and we were suppose to get more snow (which we did) so I knew Tucker and I wouldn't be going anywhere, so we stayed in with Diesel all day. We did nothing but cuddle all day long. Not only because I wanted too, but because someone refused to nap anywhere but on me. It was a long day and I was lucky to eat 3 meals. I had a nice to-do list that I was going to get done.. I got one thing done. One thing. Its alright though. He won't be this little forever and maybe one day the house will clean itself. :)

Sunday we celebrated Danny's dad's birthday, which Tucker missed out on most of since he was napping with his uncle.  While we were waiting to go over there, I asked Danny to take our picture. He proceeded to act like he was a professional photographer and did this...

He thought it was pretty funny. And we did get a good laugh out of it so it was worth it. Here is the final winning shot though. Diesel is really starting to warm up to Tucker now that he is awake more. I cannot wait until they can really interact. It'll be hilarious.

That was all for this weekend. It sure flew by and I would imagine they all will for the next 20+ years.

Jan 16, 2014

The Will to My Grace

So, there has been something bothering me, and slowly breaking my heart since last spring, but really didn't start hitting me until this fall. I've gotta get it off my chest, and then maybe I can move on.

In 6th grade, I met the one best friend that remained a constant through high school. He was amazing, and we were 2 peas in a pod for the next 6 school years, and even the first 2 years of college. He was my Will. Well, a straight version.  When my dad died, Danny asked who I wanted him to call and he was it. I knew my close friends at home would find out, but I knew it might take a day or so for him to find out and I couldn't wait that long to hear from him.

We never once tried to date, although his dad was certain we would. We always had to have the other ones approval when it came to who we were dating. For example.. Danny and I broke up during senior year because he didn't know if he wanted to date other people or be in a relationship. I made the choice for him and broke up with him. Nice, huh? Well, a couple months later he texted me one afternoon and I was bitching to him. When he didn't say anything I asked him to tell me what was on his mind. All he said was "I don't know, I just like the guy" I'm almost positive I text Danny back later that evening and we were back together within days. He was also the guy who at the basketball game that happened to be the same night Danny and I broke up, when I walked by Danny, ran up and put his arm around me as we walked by. To say Danny was pissed would be an understatement. Even though he liked Danny, he knew I would find it funny to make him mad.

We graduated high school and went our separate ways. He called me after a couple weeks of classes and told me he wasn't sure how he was going to manage to get all of his homework done since I wasn't there to tell him what he had to do every night now that we didn't have every class together. We always made it a point to hang out when he came home on breaks that first and second year. Our second year of school, he started dating this girl (I think they are still together). I hadn't met her yet, but she saw that I posted something on his Facebook and within minutes I had a friend request from her. I called him that night and asked what her deal was, and he told me he already took care of it and told her to back off.

I saw him a few weeks before my wedding, at my wedding and then at a friends wedding in July 2012. That was the last time I saw him. I sent him a text on his birthday last year. He replied "Thank you" and that was the last I heard of him.

I called him to tell him I was pregnant, but had to leave a message telling him to call me back so I could tell him something. Never responded. I texted him about our class reunion and also mentioned in the long text that I was pregnant. Never responded. I texted him when one of our songs came on, Suds in the Bucket by Sara Evans (why he ever liked that song is beyond me) and told him I missed him, never responded. You might be wondering, well maybe his number changed. I thought that too, until I ran into his dad, who happened to move back to town, making me think I might actually see him. His number is the same. I even told his dad to tell him to call me, practically begging with tears in my eyes. That was 4 months ago.

The thing that hurts the most? He bought an engagement ring for his girlfriend and is apparently going to propose soon. I only know this because his dad told me. 3 years ago, I would have known this already and heard straight from him. That is how I know we're just old friends now.

I'm throwing in the towel. I'm done getting my hopes up every single time I try to reach out. Its sad that he wasn't there to make fun of me for being huge when I was pregnant, or that he most likely won't ever meet Tucker. He would have been too afraid to hold him anyways, for fear that he'd break him or he would shit on him.

Now, I'm going to try to be done being sad about it and start to move on.

Jan 13, 2014

I'm baaaaack

At work that is. (And hopefully back to the bloggin'.) I'm craving a routine and a sense or normalcy, so this week is a trial run for all that. Being that I can make my own work schedule if I so choose, I am going to be working today, Tuesday and Thursday. Wednesday I'm showing the kid off down at my mom's office. Friday... well, I'm not leaving the house or sharing Tucker with anyone. It'll be my last real full day of leave and we will be snuggling on the couch all damn day.

So... how things have been going. Lets get a quick run down.

- Tucker - Gaining weight like a freakin champ. Took him to the doctor on the 2nd and he weighed 6lbs 11 oz. Weighed him last Friday at a breastfeeding support group... 7lbs 14oz. A whole pound and then some in 8 days! Granted, he had had some formula, but still. Hopefully we can get him off of that.

- Breastfeeding - Well, Tucker and I suck at nursing. Babies that are born early have a harder time with it because it wears them out. We've resorted to pumping and bottle feeding until we can get into the groove. Our highs and lows of breastfeeding deserve a post all to itself. 

- My Bod - So, I think my final weight gain was 50lbs. Never. Again. Next pregnancy I'm going to hope and pray I don't have to deal with a previa  so I'm not terrified to move and I can still work out some without fear. Saturday I tried on some pre-pregnancy jeans that were getting big on me right before I got pregnant. Those things didn't have  prayer. Yes, I know I just had a baby 5 weeks ago. I was just praying for a miracle. So, I immediately started LoseIt. Saturday went well. I resumed the Sunday Cheat Day and I will work on my eating throughout the week. The goal is go get my eating under control, then ease my way back into working out. I'm treading lightly because breastfeeding is really important to me and I don't want to jack that up. I can't wait to spend some time with Jillian though. Did I just say that?

That's pretty much where I'm at right now. I'm so glad to be getting back into the swing of things!

And now here is some sweetness for your Monday morning. Some after bath smiles :)

Jan 7, 2014

Tucker's Room

Typically nursery reveals are done before the baby arrives because nurseries are generally done before the baby gets here. Not the case over here. Thankfully Danny's mom and stepdad are wonderful people and they came over and finished putting things in their places and hanging a couple of things for us while we were in the hospital with Tucker. That, and Danny's mom just got the curtains done over this past weekend and I didn't want to show you all the room without those. 

We went with a farm theme. A lot of people just assumed we would do fire trucks given Danny's profession, but he was a farm boy first. The green really isn't as lime-ish as it appears in the pictures. 

Changing table area is pretty bare, but that wall is pretty small.  I made the animal pictures on Heritage Makers.  Its an online scrapbooking program. You can design scrapbook pages, invitations, cards, calendars, etc. You can either use a template of start from scratch. My SIL is a consultant and I signed up a couple of years ago when she first started.  I've got TONS of points built up so I wanted to use some of them on Tuck's room. I made these particular pictures from scratch, but there isn't much too them. 

The dresser is probably the thing I'm most proud of.  It was mine when I was little.  This is what it looked like before. 

After a couple hours and my awesome mama's help, this is the finished product and I couldn't be more pleased! The barn piƱata is from my shower.

The crib and changing table are from Target. My brother says they are very classy lol. Anyway, the letters were my other DIY project. Everything (letters, paint and animals) are from Hobby Lobby.  I lightly spray painted them then stuck an animal on each letter.  I even hung those bad boys by myself (which I came up with a simple way to do that and I will share with you all. You and your husbands will thank me.) We bought the shelf on the left from a barn sale. It fits the farm theme very well. 

Finally, the glider area, aka my sleeping area for our first 3 nights home and a contributor to the pilonidal cyst. I absolutely LOVE the curtains. Danny's mom did such a good job.  The tractor picture on the wall was Danny's.  I love that Tucker has a piece of both our childhoods in his room. That TV tray will eventually be replaced by table or bookshelf of some sort. I put that rug under the window so that Diesel could sit in there with us. He's used it a couple of times already and I think it's adorable.

So there is our little boy's room. Now if I could just decorate the rest of my house this well I would be a happy lady!

Jan 2, 2014

2014 Goals

2013 started off pretty scary with my brother and I's company going through a shit storm, but it ended on the highest of highs. Now that the new year is here it's time to nail down my goals for the year. Oh, and bust out the daily e-card calendar I bought myself. I bet I keep majority of the pages. 

1. Keep my house clean - my ultimate goal would be for it to be Monica Gellar clean at all times but ain't nobody got time for that. I just want it clean enough that if people randomly stop by I'm not worried about them seeing the mess we live in.

2. Lose the baby weight - I have about 30 pounds to go still. If it weren't for the holidays being right after I gave birth, that would probably only be a 20. Ideally this one would be accomplished by about July. But as long as I don't feel like a beached whale when we go to Orange Beach in October I'll be ok. After I get the go ahead from my OB, I'm going to spend some time with Jillian doing the shred. Not sure if I'm ready for Zumba again yet. All of this is dependent on my cyst being completely healed of course. 

3. Double the size of my insurance business - the auto, home, and commercial insurance part. Doubling the crop would be nice too but that one is tricky. And the auto, home and commercial only had about 20 customers. 

4. Pay off the Jeep - I want to say this is the last year on my loan anyway, but even if it's not I would like for it to be paid off. I want to buy something bigger before child #2 gets here and while that's still a couple years off, I'd like to not have a car payment for at least a year. 

5. Find a hobby - Other than drinking wine. When we were in Michigan on our babymoon I asked Danny to pick out an ornament that made him think of me. He picked a wine barrel. Awesome. Danny has hunting, fishing and shooting guns. I apparently have boozing. Soooo, I need an activity. 

That's all for now. I'll try to re-evaluate every month to see if I'm on track to achieve these goals. 

And because you stuck around this whole time, here is a picture for you to enjoy. Diesel and Tucker bro-in' out during tummy time. Is that not the sweetest? Every time we lay a blanket down, Diesel knows its time for tummy time and he wants to participate. Absolutely adorable.