Monday, April 28, 2014

10 months

 We are in the double digits!  Ahhh time slow down!

 This is really such a fun age.  Paxton is really expressive in telling us what he wants/doesn't want and I'm learning so much about him. I am loving getting to know his sweet personality.  He loves to say Dada and has said Mama a few precious times.  I'll never forget the first time that sound came out of my sons mouth.  I cried.

 He's doing all kinds of fun things like playing peek a boo and clapping his hands and even his feet.  He is on the move and we really have to keep a close eye on him because he can get around surprisingly fast.  He prefers to just roll around to get to wherever he wants to go, but does get some forward motion dragging himself along the floor.  He's so big that real/traditional crawling isn't exactly his style.

 Pax is still a fantastic sleeper.  He usually will take a good morning nap, sometimes a short afternoon nap and goes to bed at 7 and sleeps till 7 or even 8. On his 10 month birthday he slept in until 9:15! 

 Pax loves to eat.  He's starting to prefer small chunks of food rather than just purees.  He loves yogurt, bananas and kiwis the most!  He seems to have a sweet tooth like his mama.  His nursing strike turned into him just weaning himself super early. So nursing has sadly ended, but I'll keep pumping until he's at least 11 months and then I'll start supplementing a little bit with milk and be able to cut back on the pumping. 

 We could not be enjoying him more.  It makes me sad that this short baby time with him is going by so fast, but it's amazing that I've gotten to be with him the whole time and enjoy every little baby thing he does. Brad and I have started working on a project for his first birthday and it's so fun and emotional looking through all the of pictures I've taken this past year. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Bunny

 My little bun bun would like to wish you all a very HOPPY EASTER!!

 These pictures were actually taken right at the beginning of April.  That 18 month outfit was already too tight and I knew if I waited he probably wouldn't get into it at all and plus the azalea bushes were blooming all over our yard. 

 Mom, if you see this, then I know you do not approve of these pictures.  She says it's hard for a little boy to be so cute and that people will feel sorry for him if I make him look ridiculous.  But, I hope/think wearing some bunny ears on his very first Easter won't cost me too much in therapy bills.  I adore this adorable child beyond belief and I hope that by sharing these with you I can share my overwhelming joy and love and hopefully my darling baby boy will give you yet another reason to make you smile today!

Wishing you all a day full of Jesus, love, pastel colors, dyed eggs and jelly beans!  

Friday, April 11, 2014


 Easter is almost here and we are all about it.  This whole first year of firsts with Paxton has been so incredibly special and every holiday that comes around has to be documented with copious amounts of pictures.  Spring has pretty much already passed here in Pensacola, but we are getting lots of sunshine and warm weather, so it's been perfect to get outside and get lots of fresh air.  One of Paxton's favorite things is sitting in the grass, pulling out the grass and trying to eat leaves.  We spend a lot of time swinging in his tree swing and going for walks and runs.  I am already kind of dreading the summer heat, but I'm also really excited to finally be able to get in the pool again.  

I hope you enjoy these Springtime and Easter inspired pictures I took today of my 9 1/2 month old hunk.  

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My 2nd half marathon recap - Rock n Fly Half

I was so very excited to run my 2nd half marathon this past weekend.  My first half was almost 2 years ago, I got to do it with my best friend because her friend couldn't do it at the last minute, so I got her spot.  I had been wanting to do one, but I didn't exactly train for it and my goal was just to run the whole thing and finish.  When I finished I knew I was going to do another one.

As I already mentioned, I made the goal to train for and run another half marathon back when I was 9 months pregnant.  I knew that running would get my baby weight off and help me get back to my pre baby body that I was missing very much at that point in my pregnancy as you can imagine. 

Once I was cleared 5 weeks after having the baby I was scared.  I had been looking forward to being able to run and be active again, but I knew how very hard it was going to be.  My body was floppy, my muscles and lungs were weak.  I think I put off going for my first run for another week maybe... but then on September 1st that was it.  I went out with Brad and the baby and pushed out 3 miles.  I felt amazing.  Sure, I was slow.  It wasn't pretty.  But, I had to start somewhere and I had to make the start back to where I wanted to be physically. 

Brad and I signed up for a 5k and I worked towards that.  We did some more 5k's and eventually did a 8k cross country run through the sand and both Brand and I got 2nd place in our age group. I ran long runs every weekend. Along the way I got stronger.  Running got a little easier.  And I started to really love it again. 

On Saturday I was nervous.  For 6 months I had worked so very hard to get to this point and I didn't want to disappoint myself.  Based on my long runs I planned to run about a 9 minute mile and planned to just stay right around there the whole race.  Nice and steady. 

Brad's friend Michael is a bit of a local running celebrity and also plays with a band regularly on the weekends.  He was invited to play the national anthem at the start of the race and asked Brad to do it with him.  They worked up an awesome rock n roll version of the anthem while still keeping it traditional enough.  They rocked it out and the crowd cheered so loud!  I was so proud of them.  Right after they played we had to rush to throw the gear in our car and race over to the starting line.  It was a close call, but we made it and were ready to run off with the rest of the crowd.
The race was hard.  But at the same time I felt so good!  My legs were strong, my body was an incredible machine and my mind repeated my mantras like "do yourself justice," "you are powerful" and "2 hours.  You can do anything for only 2 hours." Brad and I ran together the first 8 miles and then Brad was having a lot of pain in his foot and dropped back.  I held my pace and just kept going.  Mile 9 was awesome running through the crowd cheering us on with signs and high fives!  Then it sucked.  The crowd was gone and there were hills.  Hills the last 3 miles.  I wanted to die.  Mostly I wanted to walk, but I dug in.  Found strength I didn't know I had and powered through. Mile 11 was not pretty.  I'm pretty sure I had the death face on.  And it felt like the longest mile of my LIFE.  I kept thinking "how in the world to marathon runners do this? I can't imagine being less than half way done." But then I got to that 12 mile marker and knew I had to finish strong.  I sprinted the last 1/4 mile and crossed that finish line at EXACTLY 2 hours on the dot with a big, giant smile on my face.
I cried.  I cried last time I finished the other half too.  It's just so emotional to realize that your body and mind are so powerful.  I felt strong and best of all I felt amazing for meeting my goal of not only finishing the half, but for getting a time I was proud of.  I stuck to my pace.  I slowed down a bit on those hills the last few miles, so my over all pace was 9:10.  

Since Brad and I were separated and I didn't have my phone or any way to know if he was ok, hurt or sick I downed some orange slices, met Michael as he came through the finish and then made my way to the car to get my phone. I got my phone and then happened to see Brad running by on the course!  I didn't know I had anything left in my legs, but when I saw him I sprinted across the lawn and ran to catch up to him.  I ran with him to right before the finish and then cheered him on as he crossed the finish line to complete his first half.  I am so glad I happened to see him!  I would have hated to miss seeing him finish.  Even with the intense pain in his foot he powered through and still finished with a great time of 2 hours 20 min.

 Done!  We were SO happy to be finished! 
 We met up with our friends Michael and Ashley.  Michael ran the half and Ashley did the 5k pushing her little man in the stroller! 

 We made our way over to check out the bands, got a well deserved beer and relaxed on the seawall for a while.  It was such a fun race!  I'm relieved it's over. I can't wait to do another one. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Top 10 Favoirtes - Baby Gear

I was pretty overwhelmed when it came down to the sheer reality of the amount of stuff we needed to buy for the baby, but the thing I valued most was input from other moms and learning what worked for them, so I thought I would share with you my favorite baby things for newborns to around 6 months or so. 

In no particular order:

Coffee and wine - just kidding.  Wait, no I'm not.  That doesn't count... it's a given. 

1. Swing - My Little Snugabunny Fisher-Price Cradle 'N Swing.  For reals.  This thing is a baby sleep miracle worker.  Pax would chill out in this thing and nap in there SO MUCH.  I love this swing.  It's incredible.  Worth every penny. You can get one on Amazon, or pretty much any baby store ever because this swing is super popular for a reason.  I'm super sad Pax has outgrown it.

2. BOB stroller - The goddess of strollers.  It's super maneuverable and easily steers with one hand.  I run All. The. Time. And this baby makes it possible.  It has an system for clicking in a car seat.  I would basically be a fat, depressed person without this stroller.  You can easily get this second hand to help with the high sticker price because they are well made and hold up nicely.  I was lucky enough to get a new one as a gift from my amazing parents.  The only down side is that if you have a second baby there is no way to convert it into a double stroller, so you'd have to sell it and get the double. 

3.  Aden and Anais - I love their products. I use one of their swaddle blankets all day and night every day and every night.  It goes everywhere with us.  I probably have 15 of these blankets and you can never have too many.  I use it as a play mat on the ground, a nursing cover, a car seat cover, a stroller blanket, and I of course used it to swaddle Pax when he was small and now I just use it as a light blanket in his crib at night.  I also have the bibs, sheets, changing pad cover, wash cloths, bath towel... I want all the A + A things!

4. Wrap - I have both the Moby and the Baby K'Tan.  I can't say enough good things about baby wearing.  Pax loves being held and loves being in the wraps. When he was a newborn he would go almost instantly to sleep. The Moby is great and I think it's more comfy, but I mostly wear it at home because it's really really long and I don't want it to get on the parking lot ground or airport floor or other yucky places. But with some of the holds you can take them in and out of it without unwrapping it. And I could nurse him while he was still in the wrap in the hug position which was so handy when he was smaller and eating all the time. The ktan is easier to put on because there's less fabric, but there isn't as great of back support and you have to order the correct size. I use it ALL the time when we are out. They both come with instruction books that show all the different holds and there are videos on YouTube. The instructions in the book are easy to follow and it's easy to get the hang of it. 

5. Honest Company diapers and wipes - We do the diapers and wipes bundle every month. Eco-friendly. Plant-based. No animal testing.  They clearly list all the ingredients in their products. Diapers are free of: chlorine processing, latex, lotions, fragrances, common allergens, phthalates, optical brighteners, PVC, heavy metals, organotins (MBT, DBT, TBT) & harsh petrochemical additives.  Wipes are free of: alcohol, chlorine, phthalates, formaldehyde, parabens, phenols, quaternary ammonium compounds, SLS & SLES, lanolin & unnecessary additives. I always thought I'd cloth diaper, and maybe I still will, but these diapers are awesome and come in such cute patterns.  The Honest Company gives me piece of mind.  I also have a lot of their other products and I've been happy with everything.  I love giving the Baby Arrival Gift Set as a shower gift.  They even have organic A + A swaddles!  I have my eye on getting those!  I want all the Honest things, really.

6. Bath mat - Pax is massive and grew out of his infant tub super quick.  I decided on this bath mat and it's great.  We use it every single night, it's held up great, no issues with mold or anything and he is free to kick and splash to his hearts desire. 

7. Play mat - We have the Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Gym. He has spent countless hours playing under this thing. 

8. White noise maker - We have a noise machine and projector that I use a lot and even take with us when we travel. But... when he was small he slept in our room with us and we had an air purifier in there that makes a fantastic wind tunnel constant wooshing sound.  When he moved into his crib in his room the air purifier went with him and I swear that fantastic wooshing sound really helps him sleep.  It blocks out other sounds like the TV, our voices and the cat meowing outside his door.  It was an accidental find, but it works super well.  We have this one. 

9.  Rock n Play - like I mentioned above, when Pax was small he slept in our room.  Right beside me in his Rock n Play.  I loved having him close and he slept really well in this thing.  I loved to lay in bed and stare at him sleeping and make sure his little chest was going up and down.  It was so easy to reassure him with a hand on his chest and a little rocking back and forth.  Plus it was so nice to have him right there to scoop him up into bed with me to nurse.  He grew out of it really fast (just like everything else!), but it was perfect for those first months.  After he got too big for the Rock n Play he transitioned into the Pack n Play in our room before going into the crib in his room. 

10. Breast feeding support and a pump - if you plan on breast feeding I really suggest doing as much as you can to set yourself up for success.  Breast feeding is in reality very challenging and painful those first few weeks and can be frustrating for both you and your newborn, but having said that it's also incredibly worth it.  Read up about it online or get a book.  Take a class.  Get a lactation consultant on speed dial and go see her a lot.  I was so lucky to have met an incredible LC.  She taught the breast feeding class I went to, she saw me in the hospital and I went to her office a bunch of times in the beginning.  She gave me her cell phone number and she even responded to my texts when she was on vacation.  Having someone there to support you is so important.  And someone to check your latch because the latch is everything.  It's key.  Contact the La Leche League in your area.  For some reason I didn't get a pump before I had the baby.  And for the first few days I didn't have a pump and Pax wouldn't take my left side.  It was horrible.  In tears I finally sent my husband out for a hand pump so I could get some relief.  I used that hand pump for like a month SO many times a day because Pax never would take that left side, ever.  Finally after a month of that craziness I got an electric pump and it was like Christmas.  Since I was only pumping one side I got the Swing pump and I've been happy with it.  It does it's job.  I used it for my left side for 6 months.  I had a blissful 2 month break from pumping and now I'm having to exclusively pump my right side because Pax up and quit nursing a few weeks ago. 

The last thing I would recommend that doesn't get an actual number on my list because it's not an actual item is a night time routine.  I've talked about it on here before, but it's worth saying again.   Having a night time routine, the same thing every night really puts Pax into sleep mode and he has been a fantastic sleeper since he was 6 weeks old. 

I wish you best of luck, lots of sleep and lots of blissful baby snuggles!