Monday, February 28, 2011


Adalyn isn't always full of smiles, as she may sometimes appear.

Nope. This little toot has many..



But nothing that a good ol' suck-on-the-hand can't fix!

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hating deployment.


Looking forward to re-creating this photo in June '11

We are so over this deployment. I don't mean to whine, but.. who cares. This is my blog.

Time is creeping by. We're two months down and four to go, and I feel like he's been gone a lifetime. I'm to the point now where I literally cannot imagine life with him back. It will be uh-MAZING. Seriously a dream come true. I am so used to being alone, parenting alone, sleeping alone, going to church alone, eating alone, and getting zero physical contact.

It s.u.c.k.s. just for the record.

So, I often sit and daydream about Mark. Did you know that if you don't see someone for a long while, you actually dream about them a lot? It's true. Mark is almost always in my dreams. My little heart just misses him so much. And those dreams actually feel real, so I'm thankful for them. We have so many plans and dreams about when he returns.

Moving into a new house or apartment together.
Taking Ad to the beach (oh, the baby sun hats & flip flops!)
Going swimming as a family.
Chipotle and Cracker Barrel. Oh yes.
Buying baby floaties and taking Ad to the pool.
Going to DC and the National Zoo and Aquarium too!
Outerbanks, NC.
Disney Cruise!

and so much more!

I lurve my Airman more than you know, and I'm sooo proud of him for being the most awesome husband and daddy ever. He provides so much for us (!!!!) and loves us with all of his heart. But, really, I'm ready for this deployment to be over. It isn't fair that other dads get to be with their children, and other wives get to be with their husbands.

And I know that "life isn't fair,"

but this is my blog, remember, so I get to whine when I want.

My heart aches for Adalyn and Mark, because they can't be together. It's HORRIBLE that he can't see her grow up. That he can't give her baths, tickle her, carry her around, or give her hugs and kisses. He can just look at her on a computer screen. I hate it. It makes me loathe his career in ways you can't even comprehend. The worst part of this isn't that I haven't had a hug or a hand to hold or anyone to kiss since December. It's that Adalyn doesn't have her daddy here.

I hate it. HATE.

But I love my Airman.


He's my everything.

Love you to death and to the moon, sweetheart.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

What We Do On Saturdays

On Saturdays, we have lots of fun.

First, my daughter decides to sleep in much later than normal and I, naturally, wake up at the crack of dawn. It's one of those mother laws of nature (not to be confused with the laws of mother nature?) - moms are never allowed to really get to sleep in.

I get ready in my own time, on my own terms, for the first time in months. Afterward, I go back to stare at the sweet angel face in my bed. I realize, again, how blessed I am.

We high-tail it to Clayton's last basketball game of the season and cheer way too loud. Everyone around can tell that we are Clayton's family!!

He scores a goal, and we shout from the rooftops with pride! Adalyn enjoys halftime with Poppy and C:

We then toot on over to the mall, because we girls shop on Saturdays!

Ad rides along in the Moby and is asleep in 5 minutes.

I mean really asleep. Her passy matches her outfit like a little lady ;)

But we get some cute summer things!

After lunch and another nap for Ad, it's time to grocery shop! I was out of Chocolately Delight Special K.. Which I eat every single day! Emergency! :)

Adalyn caught the eye of lots of women, and I got more Jell-O Temptations. Those things are the bomb, in case you've never tried them.

Adalyn was asleep by the time we checked out:

And stayed asleep, by some miracle, in her Big Girl car seat. She loves that thing infinitely more than her baby car seat!

After naptime, I eat a Healthy Choice meal while Ad watches:

It's okay; I don't eat the broccoli, though. Adalyn squinches her nose up when she smiles...

and we sing songs and laugh..

Then we play, play, play with toys! I watch Ad as she learns to spin the spinny things on her exersaucer and as she grabs the sun and spins the earth. Later, she sucks on Sophie and plays with her Bendy Ball.

And now? Nap #4 while I blog. Bathtime will be squashed in before bed, and I'll nurse her to sleep at 8pm.

I love LOVE Saturdays. So does my daughter!

And by the way, I'm a little exhausted :)

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Our favorite toy.

A while ago, I came across a brand of toys.

Manhattan Toys.

Fun toys.

I couldn't get enough. It's no exaggeration that I fell in love with the brand. Every toy was seemingly perfectly designed for different age groups and developmental abilities. Perfecto. And adorable.

So, enter the Winkel. I researched it, in Shannon fashion, and it got incredible reviews. So we bought one.

Guys, this is THE BEST TOY for infants. At least for infants her age, anyway. It's almost like plastic cords twisted and connected, perfect for small hands to grasp.

Perfect for little mouths to chew.

Perfect to tote around.

And my kid LOVES this thing!!!!

It goes *everywhere* with us, and it's by far the best toy for her. It is literally one of the few toys her small hands can hold.

I'm not being paid to endorse this or anything, but....

...your kid needs this toy. Adalyn says so.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Remembering at 4 months

I want to remember everything about every stage. I'm trying to keep a baby book, but it just isn't detailed enough. Puddin (O, how I have so many names for her..) is 4 months. I love this age. I want to remember everything about it.

-Everything goes to her mouth now. Everything. Even your hand, if she's holding it.

-Nightly massages with California Baby lotion are thrilling to her.

-I make up songs And she thinks it's the best thing ever.

I love my little Adalyn, she's my baby girl
I love my baby Adalyn, she's my world!
Big blue eyes and little button nose,
Little blonde hair and long skinny toes!
I love my baby Adalyn, mommy's best friend
Mommy will love you until the very end.

I sing this basically every day!

-She will let pretty much anyone hold her.. With a few exceptions...

-She now reaches for everything she sees and will bend over backwards to get them. This week, I was holding her at a restaurant. She reached as hard as she could for my plate, faster than my friend could stop her, and burned her hand. That cry could have been heard a mile away!

..trying her darndest to get my camera!

-She especially loves Hudson and crooks her neck as hard as she can so she can watch him! He calls her "Adalyn Reesie Cup" and loves her.

-Her little toots are more like big macho man farts. Daddy would be proud.

-I love getting ready with her each morning. She watches me get ready and then sits in her highchair and intently watches me eat cereal.

We're definitely in a "groove," and I'd say things are getting easier by the day. I absolutely love her at this special age. After all, she thinks mama is the funniest, best person alive.. We are definitely best friends :)

Riding like a big kid in the Ergo.. Can you believe it?!

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

4 months.

Nugget turned 4 months old this week.

pause for mourning

Today was her check-up and vaccination visit. I get overly and oddly nervous about doctor visits. I think that I subconsciously worry if I'm doing everything right as a singly-present parent. But it turns out that she's tootin' right along and is growing right on track.

My "teeny" baby, as people like to call her, weighs 13.05lbs and is 24" long! Smack dab exactly 50% in both areas.

I asked the doctor about her extreme gas problems, and he suggested an OTC medicine for her and myself. You better bet that I'm running out to get it tonight.

He didn't seem to have much advice on her sleeping issues. He just advised me to swaddle her tight (we do that) and to put her in the same spot each day for naps. Then he said to "not touch her" and "not pick her up" if she cries. I really, really disagree with that style of parenting. Even if I let her CIO, she gets hysterical and is beet red with tears covering the sheet. There is no way she would ever quit and put herself to sleep. If I let her CIO, she would simply scream until it was time to eat again.

Hopefully things will improve. I have hope :)

I decided to keep her on the usual vax schedule, and she got a shot in each leg and an oral vax. I cried. The nurse cried. She had to leave the room since she started to cry.

(Note: this is the second time I've made a nurse cry when Adalyn has gotten shots..)

For now, she's napping in my arms - yep, I'm doing some major cuddling now! Hopefully fevers and pain stay away. I hate to see my little toot in pain, as any mama does. She is too, too sweet, and I love her to bits!

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

We shop... the boy department at Old Navy.

We aren't ashamed.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Can't wait.

Tonight I'm spending the night with Clayton. Now, what this really means is that I hang out with the family until 8pm, then Ad and I go sleep in his room while he sleeps downstairs. But it's a lot of fun, and we love it.

Man, I miss my partner so much. I'm calling him that because that's exactly what he was/is. Besides being my best friend, soul mate, and the greatest thing to ever happen to me (love you, dear ;)), Mark is my partner. He was my equal in raising Ad.

Life was so (SOO!!!!) easy when Mark was here. Parenting was a cinch, and he was always eager to help. At this point, I've spent equal time as a singly present parent as when he was here -- two months. I miss him so, so much. Adalyn isn't "hard" by any means. I just miss having a partner to do everything with.

Bath? It was known, without speaking, that he would bathe her while I got her towel, diaper, lotion, and pajamas ready with her Miracle Blanket. At the end of her bath, it was all laid out and ready. Easy.

Before we left the house, one of us would assemble the diaper bag (diaper & wipe check!) while the other one got her coat and put her in the carseat. Easy!!!

At a restaurant, if she was getting fussy and needed a pacifier, the other would get it without being told. Easy.

Going into church, one of us would pack her belongings, and one of us would pack her. Easy.

...Now? It's all on me. Parenting, the way God designed it, is *so* much easier with a partner to help. The other week, Adalyn woke up from a nap at Kroger. She was fine until we got to the checkout. By the time I paid, she was screaming at the top of her lungs; her face was beat red --classic Adalyn. I was getting anxious, and the gobs of people that stopped to say, "Boy, she's mad!!" made me more flustered than ever.

Mark and I always grocery-shopped together. It's just what we do.

Dang. I miss him.

So now we're two months down and four more to go. And I can safely say it's crawling by for me. For Mark, it's passing quickly; he's very very busy all day. At this point, I literally can't imagine what parenting will be like when I have my partner back. The word "easy" comes to mind first.

No one knows her (or will know her) the way her daddy does.

I can't wait to see them together for the first time.
I cant wait to see him give her a kiss and hug her.
I can't wait to see her asleep in his arms.
I can't wait to see him wear her in the Ergo.
I can't wait to do all the thing we've planned as a family.
I can't wait for Sunday mornings together.
I can't wait to read Bible stories to her together each night.
I can't wait to hear her say "da da" and to watch him melt.
I can't wait to see him cry when he sees her for the first time.
I can't wait.

I miss him so, so much. A part of my heart is truly missing right now.

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Joy :)

Motherhood is the sweetest joy in life.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 2

Day 2 of "The Change" is going great! Here's what my day looks like:

Special K cereal with fat free milk OR oatmeal

A frozen meal.. Fun :)

17 Special K crackers with Laughing Cow cheese
OR fruit
OR string cheese
OR fat free pudding

Basically a regular meal, I just try to make healthier options. Cutting back, you know.

And no cokes. Just lots of water.

Hopefully that + my super fun (ahem...) exercise routine will start to show some results.

In other news, I'm totally sleep deprived. My kid has BAD gas. Help!!! What do I do to help her?! She's EBF, so I can't change her formula or anything. She is extremely uncomfortable at night, waking up 8 times! Any recommendations, anyone!?

I'm too mentally exhausted to blog anymore. Goodnight.

Oh, and here's a little glimpse of my day -- Hudsie & Ad.

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my iPhone

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

a poem from an exhausted mother

There once was a baby named Adalyn Reese
She was the first granddaughter & niece

Cuter than a button
With blonde hair & blue eyes
But made herself known
With loud and awful cries

She loved her Jumperoo
And loved to bounce on a lap
But this sweet little girl,
She really hated a nap.

Oh she'd fall asleep in
30 seconds flat
With a passy, giraffe,
And a pat, pat, pat, pat.

Out like a light
Limp as could be
But don't let her fool you
She's not sleepy..

As soon as you move
Her body starts to twitch
And you try your darndest
To lay her down without a glitch..

Just a few minutes later
You'll let out a sigh
And then, there you'll hear it,
A big, loud, mad cry.

Every attempt to pat, shush,
Or soothe her back to sleep
Makes her cry even harder
She's as mad as a <*bleep!*>

Back in my arms she goes
I cuddle her back to dream land
Attempt to put her back in her crib
And here we go again..

Hard to believe that sweet little face could be so difficult, right? Don't let her fool ya.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The beginning of my change.

I hate my body. A lot. My post-baby body is depressing, and I can't even begin to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes. Adalyn is almost 4 months old, and I'm still 25lbs heavier than when we conceived her.

I have to change something.

I'm fairly certain that my body is holding onto fat to make breastmilk, because I do eat healthy! I'm supposed to actually eat 500 extra calories to keep up my supply. But the weight just isn't coming off.

I must confess that I love Coca Cola. More like obsessed. I can't stand the thoughts of eating a meal without a coke. I just can't. But I'm giving them up starting tomorrow, because this weight HAS to come off. My husband comes home in 4 months, and we go on our cruise in 8. This mama has to look good :)

So I've been inspired by a wonderful fellow AF wife, and i have decided to start the Couch to 5k program. Guys, I *hate* to run. You have no idea. I might just die out there. Just maybe. I would rather starve than run, but no amount of Lean Cuisines seems to be doing the trick. So tomorrow? I'm leaving my daughter with my mom and starting my journey.

I don't have a specific goal, but I'd like to be 130. I'm currently 159. I have to do this, guys. Not only do I want to be healthy for my spouse & daughter, but I really don't want to have t buy a whole new wardrobe :)

I'll letcha know how I make it tomorrow! Gulp.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

4 months!

Well, I finally decided to get Blogpress on my iPhone since the days of lounging in front of the computer are over (for now!) and since M has our laptop, I'll be blogging from the phone. Just as good! ...kind of :)

I've come to terms with the face that my little toot is a high-needs baby and am embracing it. I really owe Dr. Sears BIG time, because he has helped me understand her better and how to help her. Adalyn hates naps. She takes 4 (sometimes 5) naps a day, and she goes to sleep so, so easy! But staying asleep? No. Not at all. She wakes up at least once per nap, even if I'm holding her. If I had a nickel for every time someone told me she was "spoiled" to being held, I'd be one rich mama. But that isn't the case, folks. Because her eyes pop open in my arms & I have to soothe her back to sleep. Even if we nap together and she's in my arms, she will still wake at least once.

And, oh yeah, I don't agree with CIO at this age. Cruel :)

We're loving (LOVING!!!!!) the Cloud B Sleep Giraffe and we're working daily on sleeping independently. But she's my little toot and I'm fine with helping her sleep, if that's what she needs at this age. I just pat her bottom & shush her, and she (unwillingly :) goes back to sleep!

Like they say: the years are short and the days are long.

I'm choosing to love this stage, even if she hates to stay asleep :)

So what else is Ad up to?
-talking up a storm!! Little Miss Chatterbox
-grabs & holds toys with both hands & chews them
-sucks on anything she can squeeze in her mouth
-loves the Jumperoo
-loves or hates people. And lets them know :)
-tries to roll from her back to her belly. (already goes from belly to back)
-has tried baby oatmeal.. And maybe a bite or two of organic Ella's baby food :O
-refuses formula like the plague
-thinks her mama is awesome**

**no, really. We're BFF.

Most common phrases said to us these days:
-is she always so happy!!? (haha!!!)
-she has the cutest smile!
-Little Mark! Looks like daddy!!
-she's sooo little!
-she's SOO alert!
-how old is that baby?! She has awesome neck control!
-she sure loves to talk!

We're all smiles over here! Loving this stage and adoring every second of motherhood!!! I beg her every day to pleeeeaase not grow up! :)

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

working through breastfeeding

There are many things that I tried to "educate" myself on before the birth of our daughter. Breastfeeding was one of them. I read The Breastfeeding Book by Dr. Sears (love!) and familiarized myself with the basics of nursing.

But breastfeeding, as it turns out, is just one of those things that can't really be learned from a book.

After all of Niblet's blood tests (she had a trillion, thanks to meconium), the nurse brought her to me at 3am, and she said goodbye. I thought "Oh boy, WHAT do I do now!?" And just like that, all of my breastfeeding knowledge went out the window. I tried to get her to latch. Failed. Mark called a lactation consultant in immediately. She spent about 10 minutes with me and got Adalyn to suck her finger. Eventually we got the "football hold" down smashingly, and she enjoyed her meal.

Adalyn literally seeing me for the very first time.
A very very special picture to us!

But then we got home. And I filled up with milk.


And then I had to "toughen up" as she kept nursing.

DOUBLE ouch!!

Holy mackrel, who knew that breastfeeding could be so painful!? I'm talking like my toes would curl and I would hold my breath as she would latch. I'm fairly certain that my latch was good, but my body wasn't used to nursing yet. If Mark only had a nickel for every time I told him, "I just want to give her formula!!! PLEASE!" then he might be a rich man.

And thank God for my husband, because he encouraged me and kept me sane through the pain of breastfeeding. He's a real prize, that one!

I'm nearly certain that Adalyn developed a "shallow latch" resulting in "lipstick nipple." It was so painful that I recall my eyes watering in Moe's as I nursed her in the restaurant. Ow. Painful memories.

And not only that, but plugged ducts?! I got a plugged duct every other day. I'd read about them, but I (naively) skimmed over the paragraphs in books talking about mastitis and plugged ducts. Basically, a hard mass forms in your breast and it hurts.really.bad. It's so tender, and you have to massage it while nursing to get it to go away.

I still get those from time to time. Sigh.

But here we are today, at (almost) 15 weeks, and we're still going strong. I wish that someone would have told me how utterly painful breastfeeding can be. This post has no purpose, really. But a lot of my friends (readers) are pregnant, so I just wanted to "warn" you. Maybe it's just me? But it took a ton of determination to get here today. And, I'll be honest - the ONLY reason I stuck with it during those painful moments was because breastfeeding is free. And I didn't want to deal with bottles. Ha.

But I'm so glad I did. And I have my husband to thank. Thank you, lover, for encouraging me and listening to me whine and cry about the pain. You're my greatest inspiration.

And now? Why, I've nursed...
..high in the sky on an airplane every restaurant known to man
..through a church service
..while I slept at night the movie theater through Harry Potter
..going down the interstate
..while blogging!

Here's to 9 more months (I hope!) of breastfeeding.