Friday, December 30, 2011

STTN = Poor Supply

My boobs suck lately, and this makes me sad.  They used to be glorious, absolutely glorious.  I was pumping 15-18 ounces while at work and feeding Lucy at the breast the rest of the time.  She was always content and satisified after nursing.  But, something happened recently...something monumental... 

Lucy started sleeping.through.the.night and I got a little bit lazy.

Now, I'm lucky to pump 7-9 ounces while at work, and I've had to give Lucy a bottle after nursing for the past three nights.  (Needless to say, the freezer stash has become quite depleted.)

When Lucy Lu first started STTN, I had to pump one to two times before going to bed in order to avoid being completely engorged.  (The very first night that she STTN, I woke up with some crazy scary engorgement.  As in, my left boob was the size of a cantaloupe.  Casey can attest to this.)  But all that pumping got tedious, and I didn't want or need to store all that extra milk; so I slowly cut back the nightly pumping sessions.............entirely


I am sooooo mad at myself. 

Of course there are other factors contributing to my plummeting supply...not drinking enough, not eating enough, not sleeping enough, stressing too much.  I've started popping Fenugreek like Tic-Tacs and gagging myself with Motherlove More Milk drops 3-4 times each day, and have noticed a slight improvement after only 2 days.  Praying things continue to improve!  I will never ever ever ever forgive myself if Lucy has to switch to formula NOW, with just (a little over) two months to go.  Momma FAIL.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lulu's Christmas

We had an interesting holiday weekend, lots of ups and downs, but overall I would say Christmas was a success.  I didn't get everything done and the house is still a mess; much to my surprise, though, I do not care.

Christmas is exponentially better now that Lulu is here; I can't wait for all the years to come!

Christmas Eve was spent with my in-laws.  Lulu stayed up waaay past her bedtime (and managed to stay the happy girl we all know and love).  She had the best time playing with her big cousin, Corbin:

And meeting her newest cousin, Kileah:

Admittedly, not the best picture, but the best we could manage! 

Christmas Morning was just the three of us, crammed around the tree in our teeny little living room.  Lulu had a ball unwrapping tearing through all of her presents, and we had just as much fun watching her.

It's not Christmas without some leopard print jammies
Ahhhh what the eff is on my head???

We eventually made it over to my parents' house later that morning for more presents and some ah-mazing food.

Anyone else notice a recurring theme?  Everything goes straight to the mouth!

Our Goosey Girl was thoroughly spoiled this Christmas, and it was  I hope everyone had an equally wonderful holiday.

Now...who's ready for an epic NYE???

THIS girl.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

First Christmas FAIL

I love Christmas.  I was super excited for the holidays this year now that Lulu is here.  But things just haven't been the same around here since Turkey Day; I haven't been myself and my focus has been elsewhere.  And that makes me feel like the worst momma in the world.  Sure, Lulu doesn't have a clue what all this decorative crap is in our living room... 

Or why I spent two hours hot gluing and perfecting these (FREAKIN' ADORABLE) Santa Hats.

And this Ornament Wreath.

Other than the heavenly aromas coming from the kitchen, she doesn't get to reap the benefit of Christmas Baking.  She doesn't get to partake in the tree trimming or hanging lights.  It doesn't make a difference to her if we're at Zoo Lights, Glendale Glitters, or the gas station in town.

I guess what I'm saying is, I felt obligated to give Lucy Lu the very best, most festive Christmas humanly possible.  And instead, I didn't get the tree up (and fully decorated) until last week; I didn't take her to see Santa (yet!); I didn't make a Christmas Tree painting with her feet or a Christmas Countdown Chain.  I didn't do enough. 

Eh, who cares?  I'm wearing baby boots. 
That's all that matters.

Monday, December 19, 2011

9 Months (yesterday)

Dude, Lulu, this is one more month you'll be in the double-digit monthly birthdays.  I don't know if I can handle that jelly.

I have loved each month more than the last.  You are so much fun, everyday brings more and more joy; and for once, I'm not sad to greet the new age.

9 Months

You are so happy.  You have the biggest, sweetest smile that makes your nose wrinkle and my heart explode.  You have the chubbiest, most kissable cheeks.  Your laugh is contagious and always lifts my spirit. 

At 9 months:

You talk and talk and talk.

You make thee funniest noises:  "angry" raspberries, shrieks and squeaks, and (my favorite) when we clap our hand over your mouth or jiggle your lips.

You are in the beginning phases of cruising and took 3 steps while holding my hand!

Nbd, Momma!

You love to pull yourself up, especially on the changing table, and will stand without holding on to anything/anyone for a few seconds before falling on your bum.

Nakey Baby Alert! 

You are crawling (backwards and slowly) and getting into everything!

(She started out near the toys.)

YOU ARE SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT!!!!!!!  I want to scream it from the mountaintops, I'm so proud and SO grateful.  All thanks to CIO, too. 

You are no longer bed-sharing with me and Daddy. 

You are still working through separation anxiety.   

You started eating cheerios because Grammy is hella sneaky and you are quite good at eating with your fingers.

You have been introduced to the following foods:  Pears, Sweet Po, Oatmeal, Acorn Squash, Banana, Apples, Carrots, Green Beans and Peas to date (and in that order, I think).  Bring on the Stage 2 foods! 

You had one whole month without any poopy problems (thank you, thank you, thank you!), but um, your poops have gotten wicked stinky.  I nearly faint when rinsing your diapers. 

You celebrated your first Thanksgiving with lots of family and lots of acorn squash.

You're slowly starting to wave and imitate noises.

You love everything that you shouldn't...pens, glasses, mail, cell phones, younameit. Needless to say, you have forced me to lower my germophobe threshold substantially.

What're you lookin' at?  This is MY ornament.

You are still a great breastfeeder!

You have two teeth.

You weigh (approximately) 23 pounds,which puts you in the 95th percentile.  You are getting so thin, Babes - you really stretched out this month!

You are (approximately) 29 inches long, which puts you in the 90th percentile.

You are wearing size 12 month clothing and size Large diapers.

Your hair is getting long and thick; you have the funniest little hairs that stick out over your ears.

We love you, Princess, more than anything.  Thank you for being the happy, healthy baby that you are. 

Also, Daddy and I are making bets on when you'll start walking.  I think it'll be sometime this month, and Daddy thinks it'll be next month.  (I get a candlelight dinner if I win...soooooo let's get to work!)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My brief love affair with Kale

I have seen Kale used on Food Network countless times.  I also read about it here on my darling Jaye Fay's blog.  And most recently, I saw it on Pinterest (Which reminds me, are you following my boards?  Because you should be.  There is a whole lotta deliciousness pinned up in there.)

I took it as a sign.  Kale kept popping up all over the place, there had to be a reason for it.  It was as if the universe was saying, "Taylor, you HAVE to try Kale.  It's time."  So I did, in the form of Kale Chips.  I used this recipe and was very happy with the result.  As soon as the first batch was out of the oven I began sampling.  I kept eating and eating (straight off the cookie sheet, mind you) until finally they were all gone.  Casey may or may not have snuck a chip or two...

You read that right:  I ate an entire bunch of Kale - but not without consequence...  Lucy was up all night with the most awful gas pains.  I immediately knew why and felt horribley guilty.  Apparently dark, leafy greens are known to cause gas, especially when consumed in large quantities.  Oops!  Will be adding Kale to the list of foods (and drinks) to binge on post-breastfeeding. 

My dear, dear GBS Readers, please try some Kale Chips.  I assure you they will not disappoint.  Also, my Your Lines interview was featured on Tiny Blue Lines yesterday, be sure to stop by and check it out!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Product Review: Personalized Christmas Ornaments

Can you believe Christmas is in less than two weeks?  I can't.  We are so behind this year; but we're finally getting in the Christmas spirit!  This weekend we went ice skating, decorated the tree, hung the stockings, and those darn lights will be up before the day is over (I swear!).  Now if only I could get my butt in gear with the Christmas baking...

This year, courtesy of The One Stop Button Shop, the very first ornament on our tree was this little beauty:

Our very own Lucy Ornament!

The owner, Jessica, is a dear friend that I've known for years - you might remember her from my first giveaway.  This Christmas she is offering personalized ornaments in a variety of themes: New Baby, Newlyweds, First House, Pets, younameit.  These ornaments are the perfect addition to any Christmas tree and they make great gifts for family and friends.  Be sure to stop by her Etsy shop and check her out!    

Friday, December 9, 2011

Lucy Duty Update

I've been getting a lot of questions about my job status lately; which seemed weird to me at first, but then I realized that I kinda left everybody hanging

I am not a stay at home mom.  I am still working full-time, and hope to do so for as long as possible.  Wait, what? 

So what are we doing about childcare (a.k.a. "Lucy Duty")? 

The answer is not so simple.  It has taken a lot of effort to keep our little Goose out of daycare, a family-wide effort.  Grampy and Auntie Fallon watched Lucy from 7 am - 3 pm from June to October, until my Dad's accident.  We (Casey, myself, and my Mom) were able to use Vacation, Work from Home, Sick, and Unpaid Time for the month immediately following.  And presently, Uncle Cole has taken over the bulk of Lucy Duty.  He watches her from 7 am - 1 pm, and then Auntie Fallon watches Lulu until 3 pm.  My Mom and I both try to take one day off each week, to cut down the week for Uncle Cole and Auntie Fallon. 

I told you the answer was pretty messy.  I'll wait for you to catch your breath.

We're hoping to stick with this plan until next May, when Fallon graduates.  (Am hoping to successfully bribe her with money and designer handbags so that she'll take over Lucy Duty.)  Believe me when I say that we know how much we are asking of them; this is not the arrangement we discussed when I was pregnant...  Unfortunately, no one could've forseen Grampy's accident.  And if one day it gets to be too much for Uncle Cole or Auntie Fallon, Casey and I won't have much of a choice in the matter.          

Now to answer the two lingering questions...

Why are we so gosh darn opposed to daycare?  The cost.  The quality of care (holy moly, the horror stories I have heard and read!).  My phobia of germs and strangers.  My brief stint as a nanny that scarred me for life!

Why do I hope to continue working?  I've kept it no secret that I would love to be a SAHM.  Aside from how much I miss Lulu, I feel horribley guilty for imposing on my parents and siblings; but truthfully, we are not financially ready to be a single-income family.  We were recently given the tools to plan and attack our financial goals, and we are finally capable and excited to do so.  (Thanks again, Becky!!!)  By working hard for the next 6 or 12 months, or even through a second pregnancy, we could possibly be ready to make that life-changing decision.

(And just to be excruciatingly clear, I do not judge any parent that puts their child in daycare.  There are certainly many developmental benefits that daycare provides, it's just not an option for our family at this time.)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

CIO, Attempt #2

I know, I know...I said we’d never try CIO again.  But desperate times call for desperate measures, and we were desperate last week!  Before last Friday our bedtime routine looked like this:

5:00 - 5:30 Dinner (1-2 ounces of purees)
5:30 - 6:00 Bath Time
6:00 - 6:30 Nurse to sleep

Once Lulu was asleep, I would wait for limp-limb sleep and then sneak out of the bedroom.  Fool proof, right?  Wrong. 

For weeks we battled the 45-minute intruder and/or constipation or teething pains.  And as a result, much of our night was spent taking turns soothing Lulu (until we’d finally go to bed, at which point she would wake in 1.5-2 hour intervals).  It was frustrating, to say the least.  I would finally collapse on the couch with my big glass of wine with Casey, and she'd wake up.   

But still, we persevered.  Bed-sharing was all we knew; we were committed. 

Until last Friday...when I finally reached my limit.  For three days Lucy refused to fall asleep after nursing; I spent hours trying to nurse her down before finally resorting to the car seat trick.  But even that wouldn’t put her to sleep!  As soon as we got home she’d wake up; and she’d continue to wake every 20 minutes all.night.long.  I dreaded going to bed each night. 

I didn’t know what to do.  I was mad (at myself).  I was scared.  I felt like a failure.  Everything I read said deal with it or Cry It Out.  Casey and I agreed that we had to try CIO one more time. 

We followed the same bedtime routine, except I nursed Lulu in the glider and put her down awake in her crib.  And once again, we followed the Ferber Increments to check on her.  The first night she cried for 1 hour and 15 minutes; she slept for 3 hours straight and then woke every 2 hours after that.  (I know that may sound horrible to some, but it was a huge improvement for us.) 

The second night she cried for 45 minutes, and woke every two hours. 

And for the past few nights, she cried for 20-60 minutes...and SLEPT.THROUGH.THE.NIGHT.  Say whaaaa?  I never thought the day would come!!! 

It was a big change all at once, the crib and CIO, but our girl did great!  We chose to bed-share to be closer with our daughter, and we will always cherish those memories; but we made a mistake by exclusively bed-sharing.  If I could go back in time, Lucy would start out in her crib each night and I’d bring her into our bed after her first night waking.  Also, we’d start CIO waaay sooner!  (Valuable lessons for Baby #2!)

And yes, hearing Lulu cry is heartbreaking.  That goes without saying.  I sit outside her bedroom door immobilized with guilt; but, when I wake up in the morning and realize that everyone got a full night of sleep, it is absolutely worth it! 

YAY for a well-rested Goosey!
(sorry for the crappy cell phone pictures)

Now go ahead and say I told you so!       

Monday, December 5, 2011

The New Me

Likey the new do?

I've missed blogging, and I'm back!  The past two weeks have been life-changing; I'm not going to go into detail, but to make a long story short, I was overwhelmed.  And as a result the Shelton Household is undergoing some very drastic change; which means you may notice a change in future blogging frequency.  Promise not to take another 2 week hiatus, though!

There is a lot to catch up on, but we'll save that for tomorrow or the next day.  In the past two weeks we've celebrated Lulu's first Thanksgiving, ended our beloved bed-sharing career in favor of CIO, rearranged our living room furniture, our heater broke just in time for Arizona's cold weather, and I hacked off 7 inches of my hair.

So like I said, there's a new Taylor in town.  The old Me is long gone. being Frumpy Girl.  New hair, new clothes, new attitude.  I love being a mother, but that's not all there is to me.  I am a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend.  And it's about time I start acting like it.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Gone missing.

I've been quiet lately, and I'm going to stay quiet.  I am alive.  That's about it.  Please pray.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Back Carry, my new best friend.

It just occured to me that in the past 8 months, I have never once done a post dedicated entirely to babywearing.  How is that even possible?  It's the only way we can get anything done here!!!  Grocery shopping, traveling, laundry and chores...heck, it used to be the only way I could get ready in the morning

Casey and I have been wearing Lucy Lu since she was just a few weeks old.  We own 5 baby carriers: 2 slings, 1 wrap, and 2 soft carriers (think Bjorn); but until this past weekend, I wasn't really in love with any of them.  The craptastic (freebie) slings were a joke; the wrap was waaay too much work; and the soft carriers were just meh - very easy to use, but hard to front carry for long periods of time.  (Lulu is around 22 pounds, and that's a lot of baby poundage to carry comfortably!)

Then I decided to attempt a back carry.   In my Infantino Flip.  Holy back relief, Batman! 

I know there are many baby carrier options out there, one for every babywearer, the Infantino selection just so happens to fall within our budget.  And don't tell Casey, BUT, I've got my eye on Baby Carrier #6.  Just look at that hip hold!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Bloody Nose and "Mama"

Motherhood isn't for the weak, and I mean that quite literally.

Before Lucy was born, I mentally prepared myself for the exhaustion and stress that come with being a mom, but not the bruises and scratches, or a bloody nose!   Lulu literally beats the Hell out of me.  She kicks me, slaps me and claws me on the daily.  My legs and arms are covered in tiny bruises and scratches (and yes, I clip her nails).

Well last night, while I was trying to put Lulu back down for the fifth or sixth time, she was being extra playful.  This girl was in no mood for sleep.  She was grabbing pillows, gnawing on my nursing pads, rolling all around, younameit.  At one point she started playing with my face: yanking my lips, poking my eyes, and sticking her fingers in my nose.  It was unpleasant, and mildly disgusting, but hilarious nonetheless; until I felt warm blood running out of my nose.  (EW!)  As I ran to the bathroom to jam some toilet paper into my nose, Lulu started yelling, "Mamadada" over and over again.  Winning!

My Little Bruiser

Saturday, November 19, 2011

8 Months (yesterday)

In the days leading up to the next monthday, I always think, "Ohmygosh, 7 months seems SO old, you're hardly a baby anymore, Lulu!"  And then by the time the next monthday rolls up, I'm thinking, "7 months isn't that old, 8 months is OLD!"

And not to sound like the most repetitive person evaaaa, BUT, time is flying!  How have you been here for 8 months already?!  Granted I can't remember life without you, but I dread the day you're no longer my little baby that loves to be held and cuddled.

As always, you are the happiest girl in the world and everyone loves, Daddy, your Grandparents, your Aunties and Uncles, everyone that's ever met you!   

At 8 Months:

You're talking.  You're up to four words, and you jabber on constantly.

You'll wiggle, scoot and army crawl, but you don't crawl with your belly off the ground.

You stand unassisted while holding onto something and pull yourself to standing every chance you get.

You've started reaching for the people that you want; and you will not tolerate being held by anyone other than me, for at least ten minutes, when I get home from work.  

You have two teeth.  They both popped up unexpectedly last Thursday, while we were in Hawaii!  Also, you've started biting me and I don't like it. 

(And they are exceptionally hard to photograph.)

You've been battling constipation for weeks now, but we seem to have gotten it under control. 

You were a darling little Lady Bug for your first Halloween.

You've undergone a rather significant change at Grampy Daycare, the resolution to which is still in the works. 

You love mirrors, paper, and plastic.

Your fear of strangers has eased somewhat, but your separation anxiety has blown up.  ::sad face::

You're still an excellent breastfeeder!  

You're still not sleeping through the night, and I've given up hope that you will do so before you're 2.  This has posed a minor inconvenience for our Black Friday plans. 

You're also still bed-sharing.  We originally thought you'd transition to the crib around this time, but we've decided you'll most likely stay in our bed until you're ready for a toddler bed.  Am seriously considering buying a king-size mattress. 

You weigh 22-23 pounds and are around 28 inches long, give or take a half inch. 

You're wearing size large diapers (equivalent to size 3 and 4 in disposables) and 12 month clothing. 

Your schedule hasn't changed much from the past two months

Oh!  And your hair is starting to get super thick!!!  I actually have to use two squirts of baby shampoo now.  Cannot wait to be able to use legit hair accessories.  

You are silly, you are sweet, you are the greatest gift two people could ask for.  We love you more than anything, Lulu!

Hawaii 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Grandma Taylor

I dress like a Grandma.  Per Auntie Fal, anyway. 

And as much as it pains me to say it, I’m inclined to agree.  I used to try to defend myself by saying, “These are just my work clothes!  I have to dress like this.”  But she’s quick to point out that there is such a thing as youthful business cas.  

Maybe she has a point?  Tights, baggy slacks, sweaters two sizes too big and flats aren't exactly a Victoria Secret Model's wardrobe. 

Most days I don’t even brush my hair; I throw it in a pony tail or knot.  I haven’t worn make up in months (almost 8, to be exact).  There are days when I feel very, verrrry frumpy.  Days when I’m too embarrassed to pick up take out, because I don’t want to see someone I know.  I almost always laugh when Casey tells me I look pretty or (gulp!) sexy.  In my mind I’m thinking, “Seriously?!!”

At least I still shave my legs, right?  
Anyone else fallen into a similar pattern?   

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I have to stop swearing.

You may not know this about me, but I have quite the potty mouth.  Like worse than Lil Wayne.  I'm not proud of this fact, but it's who I am.  I like to think I do a pretty good job censoring myself on Le Blog and around certain company; but my poor family and friends, their ears don't have a shot in hell!

To give you an idea of how bad it is, my Mom used to say, "Your baby is going to come out saying Nice to f*@$!#g meet ya, Mommy!

So two weeks ago, right before we left for our Hawaiian Adventure, Lulu spouted off her first words!  She said Dada and Ba Ba.  ::beams with pride::  And to date, she's added Na Na and Va Va to her repertoire.  Do not want Fa-Fa-F&#k to be next!   

(ETA:  She totally doesn't have a clue what she's saying, but this "talking" is completely different from the other sounds she's made to date.  Also, she called me Dada.)

My gorgeous, BRILLIANT girl!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Aloha!  We are home!!!

Casey's Grandma took the three of us, and Casey's Mom, to Hawaii for a 7-day cruise around the islands.  What a trip!  We did so much in the week that we were gone, every day was an 8-10 hour adventure.  Lucy did GREAT!  She was so well-behaved and everyone absolutely loved her. 

We flew to Honolulu on Saturday and sailed to Maui, Hilo, Kona, Kauai. 

Rather than ramble on and on, I'll leave you with some pictures (Casey took over a thousand!)...


Our state room
Lulu LOVED the mirror behind our bed
Road to Hana, the most gorgeous and looongest scenic drive

Lava Beach
Maui Ocean Center


Rainbow Park (that is a lava tube under the waterfall!)
Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Plantation
Volcano National Park
An active vent - Eeek!
At the Orchid Farm


View from our state room
Kona Coffee Plantation
Sampling the World's Best Coffee
At the beach!  (that's our ship in the background)


Waimea Canyon - The Grand Canyon of Hawaii

Lulu's twin sister new baby friend, Reese
At the Fern Grotto
Ferns grow upside down above this lava tube