Saturday, July 30, 2011

A letter to a slightly younger, pregnant me...

I've seen these letters all over the place...commercials, youtube, magazines, and most recently: here.

I would have LOVED to have read this letter when I got my BFP (big FAT positive) pregnancy test!  As we all know, I was completely hysterical - crying, screaming, the whole bit!  Knowing a few of these things would've been so very helpful in calming my crazed self on that life changing day, that took place a whole year ago today.  (happy BFP day to me!)


Dear Tay,

Take a deep breath.  If you're reading this, it means you just took a pregnancy test for no reason whatsoever, and got a completely unexpected result.  BREATHE.  You do not need to be scared.  This is your slightly older, mom-self.  You should know a few things before you start hyperventilating.... 

You are growing a human.  A real live human.  It is amazing, crazy, and BEAUTIFUL.  One day you will be laying on your dirty old couch next to a little baby, and she will be all yours.

You are going to love being a mom.  You will love this baby more than anything or anyone before, more than your own life.  More than cake even.  You may not have planned this, but it was meant to be, she was meant to be.  This is God's plan.  Right now it seems like your life is over, but this really is a blessing in disguise.

Try not to consume crazy amounts of chocolate and ginger ale over the next 9 months, your ass will thank you later.  Who knows...maybe you'll be able to prevent a few of these 55 stretch marks.

Save yourself some time, and start looking for a part time job now - because you are going to hate being a working momma.  All those glorious plans of going back to work will not be as easy peasy as you're making them out to be.

Changing a diaper is a lot less complicated than you're imagining. 

Mom and Dad will both be absolutely thrilled with the news, so stop being scared!  This is what married people do, they make babies!  LOTS of babies!

Research your stroller and breast pump choices a little more thoroughly, you're trunk and boobs will appreciate the consideration.

Finish the damn house before that little baby arrives!  I know telling you this is useless, but, hey, it's worth a shot.  And, by the way, that tile shower Casey wants to do is a huge mistake!

And on that note, spend some quality time with Casey.  Enjoy this time alone, because it'll be approximately 4 months and 11 days before your first "date night".

You think you're busy now, but in the next nine months or so, you will be exponentially more busy than you  ever imagined possible.  Like dirty dishes in the sink for days busy. 

Everything happens for a reason.  There is no use in fighting or stressing, just embrace the journey you are about to embark on.  In one year exactly, you will have this:

Ready or (very clearly) not, here she comes!

Love always,

Momma Goose

Friday, July 29, 2011

Confessions: Week 6

Confession #15:  I cannot eat while I pump or breastfeed.  I just can't.  It makes me uncomfy.  I know that my tuna sandwich isn't going to go directly into my breast milk...but still...its weird.  And I think eating while breastfeeding is just rude.  Excuse me, Lulu, I'd rather eat my popsicle than stare into your dreamy eyes. 

Confession #16:  Miss Left put out 7 ounces this morning.  You go girl!

Confession #17:  If I am still working after this Christmas, I am first going to kick and scream, and then I'm going to buy a new DOUBLE breast pump.

Confession #18:  I splurged and bought myself two new breast shields yesterday.  I bet your jealous, huh?  Don't be.  After buying, and then using, these breast shields I realized they were the wrong size.  Awesome.
Did you miss last week's confessions?  You poor thing!  Go!  Go read them all NOW!   

Any of my pumping momma friends out there want to confess?  Now's the time!  

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I don't see you enough.

I don't see you enough. 

Everyday, when I have to leave you, I ask God why.  Why do I have to leave her?  Why do I have to go to work?  Why can't I just stay with her forever?

My favorite part of the day is coming home and seeing you smile.  When I walk through the door, your face lights up with the biggest smile the world has ever seen.  You bounce up and down, and gurgle with excitement.  You tell me all about your day and give me a big, drool-filled kiss.

My second favorite part of the day is bedtime.  Specifically those last few minutes before we both fall asleep...when we're laying there quietly, just staring at each other sleepily, holding hands and drifting away.  I savor those 5-10 minutes, because one day I know I'll blink and you'll be too big for bed-sharing.  Too big for breastfeeding.  Too big for cuddling.

I don't see you enough.

Whoever said 12 10 weeks postpartum was sufficient?  I think a year would be better.  And I think never again would be even better than that.  Maternity leave flew by.  I was in such a sleep deprived daze, just trying to survive being a new mom, that I didn't realize how fleeting time really was.  I didn't appreciate each and every moment the way I should have.

Every day I go to work, because I have to work.  Every day I stare at your pictures on my phone and pray that one day I can stay home with you.  And every day I get more and more miserable. 

I should be the one you show your belly to...
I don't see you enough. 

You are my baby.  My precious little baby girl that I carried in my belly for over 38 weeks.  We were always together.  And for those first ten weeks of your life, we were always together.  I feel like mothers shouldn't have to work (unless they want to...  Then, by all means, knock your socks off!).  I'd live in a cardboard box, with no cell phone, no vacations, no anything, if it meant I could be with you all day everyday.  Unfortunately, I don't think CPS would approve of the whole cardboard box thing.

I should be there for nakey baby time...

I always knew that I would love to be a stay at home mom, but I never knew I'd need to be a stay at home mom.

How about you mommas?  How do you feel about your decision to stay home or work?  Is anyone else in the process of trying to become a SAHM?  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The awkward and personal things...

...that people say, ask, and share with you when you're a mom.

I hear the strangest things when I'm grocery shopping, getting gas, strolling through the mall, you name it.  Having a baby is like an invitation for unwanted small talk.  I realize that might make me sound like an evil old shrew, but its the truth.

People will come up to me and ask a pretty generic question, how old is she or what's her name, just so they can tell me about THEIR children or THEIR birth weight or THEIR chronic asthma.  I do not freaking care cashier lady!  Give me my damn receipt, and let me be on my merry way!!!

No really, I do NOT care.
Grocery shopping used to be very therapeutic for me (pre-Lucy).  I used to take my time, stroll through every aisle thinking about possible new recipes....  Now its a game of speed.  In and out.  I even made a comprehensive shopping list to help move things along.  It doesn't matter though, because at least two people will stop me in the store to tell me all about how they were in labor for 45 hours and had a 13 pound baby..

Some of the weird things that I've been asked and/or told....

(Male) cashier at Fry's...  Was your husband in the room for the birth? 

Florist at Safeway (after first, VERY clearly, glancing at my boobs)...  So you're breastfeeding?

Co-worker (that I am not close with by any means)...  Did you lose all of the baby weight yet?  Did you get a lot of stretch marks? 

Fellow Costco customer...  She's so big!!!  She must have been a big baby to birth!  Did you tear a whole lot?

Nurse at Pediatrician #1's office...  THAT'S a c-section baby!!!  I can tell by the head!

Bag boy at Safeway...  You must feel a lot of relief carrying her on the outside now.  You were pretty huge!

My least favorite, and unfortunately most common comment, You're not feeding her enough!  

HAHA!  You're hilarious.
Am I the only one?  PLEASE tell me some of you mommas have had to deal with comments like these!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Look who's teething!

Who, me?
Lulu had her 4 month check up on Friday, at her new pediatrician's office, and the doc confirmed it...our girl is TEETHING!  

One of the bottom middle teeth is coming in, and we think one of the upper middle teeth is too.  Wowza!  It's crazy to see and feel those little baby teeth!  Goosey has been drooling for weeks.  And she seems to have some other teething symptoms as well:  biting behavior, occasional fussiness and sleep problems (like last night), and she's constantly gnawing on her fingers.

So far we've been lucky, she hasn't had a fever (fingers crossed!).  I asked the doctor about Orajel for future teething pains, and he said to forget the Orajel, and that the best thing for a teething baby is a frozen teething ring.  I guess we'll find out what does and doesn't work soon enough.   For now we've got to start wiping her gums with a warm wash cloth.

nom nom nom....Daddy's phone...NOM!
In other news, Lulu's percentiles were confirmed:

Weight:  17.0 lbs (97th percentile)
Height:  25 in (37th percentile)

My big girl!  I asked the doc if her numbers were concerning, and he said no way Jose.  Some babes gain a bunch of weight just before a growth spurt, which is pretty common in the first 6 months.  He also commented on her neck control and hand-eye coordination, he said she was "advanced", and that based on her leg strength, she'd be crawling in no time.  

Holy baby milestones, Batman! 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Confessions: Week 5

Confession #11:  I wish that I could pump at my desk, I'd rock a hands free pump and all.  I'd get so much more work done!

Confession #12:  The very first thing I do when I sit down to pump, in the office and at home, is take my shoes off.

Confession #13:  (more of a fun fact than a confession) the skin on and around your breasts - like your arm pits (!) - may become itchy during let down.  Just another fun sign of a healthy let down.  Happens to me quite often thankyouverymuch.

Confession #14:  I call my dad and/or Fallon three times a day, during every pump break, for an update on Goose.  This annoys the hell out of my dad, but Fallon humors me.  Hey!  It preserves my sanity, ok?! 

Update on Auntie:  She was discharged from the hospital Thursday night, after some exploratory and minor surgery.  She is doing MUCH better!

Love you, Sissy!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

How 'bout that hemp?

There comes a time in every cloth diapering parent's life when they realize their kid has become a "super soaker".  For us, that realization hit on Lucy's 4 month birthday.

She looks innocent, but she can fill a diaper quicker than you can yell, Not it!

There are so many diaper systems out there. We've barely scratched the surface after four months in cloth.  Sometimes I feel like I know what I'm doing, but then sometimes I don't.  Like when I go here

For the past week or so, I've noticed that Lulu has been waking up with wet pajamas.  I'm not talking full blown leaks, just some dampness around the leg gussets.  So I consulted the lovely Cloth Diaper Girls over at The Bump.  Those Bumpies are super helpful.  Just sayin'!  They told me all about hemp inserts and double stuffing for nighttime.

Photo:  Kelly's Closet
Hemp inserts are a magical thing, you see.  Hemp inserts are the most absorbent of all the inserts in the land.  From what I've gathered, hemp can hold a lot of liquid, microfiber cannot.  Microfiber is great for soaking up the moisture and keeping the skin dry, but it is the least absorbent insert available.  So...the resolve...double stuffing a pocket diaper with a microfiber insert and a hemp insert - microfiber on top to keep the skin dry and free of any diaper rash. 

I never even thought to double stuff Lulu's nighttime diapers!  I guess because its never been a problem up until recently...  The bigger the bambino the greater the output.  Suddenly those oh-so-easy to use all in one diapers aren't cutting it at bedtime...enter Fuzzibunz pocket diapers.  I've never been one to hide my disdain for stuffing pockets, but you gotta do what you gotta do - to avoid crazy leaks.  We ordered a couple of these and a couple of these, and I'm on the prowl for some of these!  In the meantime, we're double stuffing with two microfiber inserts.  I shall report back with feedback soonish, my dears.

What about you mommas?  What are your nighttime solutions?  Have you tried hemp inserts?

*Edit to add - Auntie Fallon was admitted to the hospital very early this morning, please pray for her.

Monday, July 18, 2011

4 months

Dear Lulu,

Today is your four month birthday.  I can't believe it.  You are absolutely brilliant and gorgeous, and I can't believe I'm lucky enough to call you mine. 

At four months:

You are talking up a storm!

You giggle and laugh, and you do so very often.  You are such a happy baby.

You can roll from your belly to your back like a pro, and Auntie Fal swears you rolled from your back to your belly once last week.

You absolutely love to stand up on your strong legs and mush my belly.

You still sleep right smack in the middle of me and daddy at night, sans swaddle

You're not sleeping through the night yet - you usually wake up once (sometimes twice) a night.

You weigh somewhere between 16 and 17 pounds (we'll confirm on Friday).

You wear medium size diapers and 3-6 month clothing, although those are already starting to get tight.

You and Daddy are best buds, as are you and Auntie Fal.

You are scared of Uncle Cole (or maybe just his facial hair).

You typically get three bottles a day, Monday through Friday, and you get the boob the rest of the time.  You are a great breastfeeder!

You recently learned how to whine. 

You really love mirrors and your jumperoo.

You prefer the highchair to your bumbo and swing at dinnertime.

You actually hold your rattle now AND shake it!  You occasionally hit yourself in the face though, and that is no bueno.

You drool, like whoa.  We think you might be teething, but really, we have no clue.

And now, since I couldn't get one perfect monthly photo, a bunch of funny photos from Lulu's four month photo shoot:

We love you, you silly Goose!

Friday, July 15, 2011

And the winner is...

Comment #19 by Sadie607 of Our Little Pebbles, who said:

"I'm following you on you Twitter."

Congratulations Sadie!!!  Sadie is a momma of twins, and had mentioned that she'd like to have a canvas print of her kiddos done in earlier comments.  Sadie, I'll be emailing you shortly with details on how to claim your prize.

Thank you all so much for entering my giveaway!  I hope to host another giveaway in the near future, so be sure to stop by from time to time.  Don't forget to claim your 15% discount at Faville Photo, promo code TS15, all Growing Baby Shelton readers are eligible!

Have a GREAT weekend everyone! 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Bond

The bond between a mother and child is what motivates her to stick out the first few painful weeks of nursing, when both momma and baby are adjusting to the newness of it all.

The bond between a mother and child is what drives her to spend several hours a day pumping, just so that her baby can have the very best while momma is away.

The bond between a mother and child is what pries her out of bed at 2:30 in the morning, for middle of the night feeds and lullabies. 

The bond between a mother and child is formed from the very moment baby latches, and that bond lays the foundation for the most beautiful and loving relationship that can only exist between a momma and her baby.

Everytime I hold your hand, I feel love.
Everytime I look into your eyes, I see love. 
Every smile, coo, and giggle fills me with love.

How is it possible to love someone this much?


The topic for this week's blog hop was bonding.  For other great breastfeeding blogs, check out the Breastfeeding Blog Hop over at Life With Levi!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Confessions: Week 3 & 4

Were you missing your weekly confessions last week?  I sure was!

You'd think having only worked 2.5 days last week, I wouldn't have much to confess.  Well you'd be wrong, my dears!  To make up for my absence....EXTRA confessions!!!

Confession #6:  (unrelated to breastfeeding) I stopped wearing make up after Lucy was born.   Not sure if that makes me a feminist or just lazy.

Confession #7:  There is an obscene amount of breast milk on the conference room table. 

Confession #8:  When getting dressed in the morning, I have to ask myself, Can I yank my boob out easily in this top?

Confession #9:  It biggest fear...someone walked in on me pumping last week.  AND after she realized what I was doing, she still asked if she could use the phone in the conference room.  ::smacks head::  NO!  No you cannot, lady!!!

Confession #10:  I have to walk by the office candy bowl every time I go to pump, and every time I need to tell myself, NO!  Two pounds, TWOOO pounds!!!

Have you entered to win your custom canvas print yet?  The GIVEAWAY ends tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Who knew baptism was so complicated?

Disclaimer:  This post is NOT meant to offend anyone.  These are my feelings and my husband's feeling regarding our situation. 

I was raised as a Roman Catholic and Casey was raised as a Non-Denominational Christian. The two religions couldn't be any more different....and it has made certain things in our relationship challenging (to say the least). Our wedding, for example, was EXTREMELY frustrating to plan due to religious conflict: the ceremony location, pre-marital counseling, officiants, etc.  And we continue to face a dilemma with holiday and weekly worship services.

Well now we have a baby; we've created a child of God, and we've yet to get her baptised because of the constant religious debate.  And that good old fashioned Catholic guilt of mine is really starting to get bothersome.  See the problem is our religions baptise at different ages (Catholics: infants; Non-Denominational Christians: young adults).  I feel very strongly that Lucy needs to be baptised as a baby - for many reasons, but for the sake of time, we'll leave it at that.  Casey has no preference as to when she's baptised, just so long as she is baptised.

After recently discussing our options, we were able to come to a compromise (it only took us four years!).  We both had likes and dislikes of our own church; we agreed that Catholicism is a little too traditional and not very kid-friendly and we also agreed that Non-Denominational Christianity is a little too progressive (for us). 

So what did we do?  We googled infant baptism and read about the different meanings for each religion, and ultimately resonated most with the Lutheran belief. 

We've called the pastor of the Lutheran church in F Thrills, and we hope to meet with him next week.  We are very excited, and can't wait to get this little Goose baptised! 

Have any of you mommas had your little one baptised recently? 

Were you and your husband of the same religion, or did you also have to make a compromise?

While you're here, don't forget to enter in the Faville Photo GIVEAWAY!!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

(My FIRST) Giveaway: Faville Photo Custom Canvas Print

I am so so SO excited to be hosting my first giveaway, especially THIS giveaway!  As new parents we take A LOT of pictures.  Case in point:  Within the first hour of our sweet Goosey's life, Casey took over two hundred photos (great job, honey!).  And one of these days we'll actually print all of these lovely pictures.  Haha!   

Faville Photo is a family owned print shop in Mesa, AZ.  John and Jessica are a husband and wife team, offering high quality prints and excellent customer service.  We've used Faville Photo many times over the years, and we've always been very happy with the results.  They've printed our wedding photos, my boudoir photos, and they'll be printing Lulu's six month photos. 

Faville Photo has so generously offered to sponsor my first giveaway, and one lucky Growing Baby Shelton reader will receive a custom 12 x 16 canvas print!  The print can be of any photo your little heart desires...a photo of your new baby, a maternity photo, a wedding or honeymoon photo, ANYTHING!

So how does one win this awesomesauce prize?  Great question!

Just simply leave a comment answering this question:  
What photo would you like to have printed?  

Bonus entries (one comment per entry)
-Follow Growing Baby Shelton through Google Friend Connect
-Follow Growing Baby Shelton on Twitter
-Refer a friend to Growing Baby Shelton

Some guidelines: 

Deadline:  Thursday, July 14, 2011 at midnight.

One winner will be randomly chosen via Random.Org's Integer Generator based on the number of your comment and will be announced on Friday, July 15, 2011.

Faville Photo is offering a discount to all Growing Baby Shelton readers!  Just mention promo code TS15 when placing your next print order and receive a 15% discount.

Goosey and I wish you all the best of luck!

Friday, July 8, 2011

(Guest Blogger: Meghan) A Healthy Competition

Today's guest post comes from Meg over at Phase Three of Life.  Meg is a good friend of mine and a fellow new momma.  I like to stop by her blog on the daily for a chuckle and to stare at my future son-in-law.  I encourage all of my lovely readers to do the same!  (the chuckling, not the staring)


I'm not a very competitive person. In fact, I sort of shy away from competition.

All those stories about soccer moms/dads who lose their minds over whether their kid's team was scoring enough or playing adequate defense? Yeah, so not me. I'd be the one on the sidelines with a cooler full of beer, relaxing in my lawn chair, enjoying the nice day.

What? You can't bring beer to your kid's soccer game? What is happening to America??

But then one day last week, Mike came home with a challenge. He'd picked Ryan up from daycare, and the teachers had pointed out the door to his "classroom." It had been decorated with white paper plates that had little red and blue baby footprints stamped all over them. Each classroom had decorated their door in July 4th patriotic fashion.

Aw, that's nice.

Oh, but it's not just nice. It's a competition. You see, photos of each door had been uploaded to the daycare's Facebook page. The classroom with the most votes was going to win a "special prize."

I immediately flew onto Facebook, liked the page and liked my kid's door.

Then I commented with a "Let's do this!"

Our door - the Infant "Pods" - already had about 35 votes and was just a handful of votes behind Classroom #9: The Preschoolers. Each of the other doors only had a few votes each, so it became clear pretty quickly that the Infant Pods and Classroom #9 were going to battle it out.

I fired off a Facebook message to 35 of my closest family and friends.

Then I sat and watched as the first few votes started to roll in. As the day went on, we surpassed Classroom #9 and slowly began to distance ourselves.

They attempted to rally, bringing in several new votes. I strategized with Mike, telling him to hold off voting so that we could use him as a last-minute tie-breaker, if needed.

But my friends and their Facebook addictions proved too powerful for those Preschoolers. The Infant Pods prevailed, with a crushing final score of 74-65!

As you might imagine, the babies were beside themselves with excitement and pride. And Ms. Jen happily reported to Mike that they won an ice cream party!

I won?  Really?
Wait. Can a 9-month-old even eat ice cream?

I think I got too into it.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Goodbye Swaddle, Hello Arms!

Its official, we are DONE swaddling!

Last week I was getting Lulu ready for bed, wrapping her in the swaddle blanket, and she would not stop squirming; I nursed her for almost an hour, and she was still wide awake and very clearly frustrated.  I rocked her, sang to her and rubbed her little nose.  She wasn't having it. 

At 1:30 I decided to try putting her to sleep sans swaddle.  After some more nursing, Lulu *finally* shut her eyes.  It was a small victory, though, because she woke herself up every fifteen minutes.

The following night was a whole lotta the same nonsense.  We swaddled, we nursed, we rocked, we was approaching midnight, and Goose was WIDE awake.  

She was starting to whine, and I was teetering on the edge on sanity, so I gently woke Casey for some help.  By gently, I mean I shrieked, "YOU need to help me!"

We gave her a small dose of baby Tylenol, and chalked her restlessness up to "growing pains".  Casey rocked her for awhile, and eventually brought her to me to nurse.  She fell asleep without the swaddle, and stayed asleep for a couple of hours.     

Pssst!  Momma, I'm hungry!!!

Fast forward one week, and Lulu seems to have gotten the hang of things (yes!).

Those first few days were rough, though.  I do not function properly on three (choppy) hours of sleep.  I was desperate for a solution; I contemplated buying The Woombie and even starting Lulu on solids, but neither of those were practical solutions.  All you can really do is wait it out... 

(seriously, its a myth that solids help babies sleep through the night - but we'll talk about that later).

The average age that babies outgrow the swaddle is 3-4 months; and, whether I like it or not, Lulu is almost 4 months old!  We had a good run, Swaddle.  You will be missed!

Have any of you mommas had to break the swaddle habit recently?  Do tell!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

This year we decided to celebrate America's birthday over two days.

Day one of the celebrations started on Sunday:

Our sleepy little patriot

It was a comfy 112 degrees outside, ideal weather for a BBQ and swim at The Fort.  We got our swim on, we got our grub on, and we got rained on.
A very pale family photo
My "mom" face
Daddy getting crazy
Auntie Fal and Uncle Cole
Pop Pop and Grammy
The fun was cut short when Fountain Thrills got hit with one of the nastiest monsoons of the season.  Pop Pop was holding Lulu when the wind and rain picked up; he whirled around to form a grandpa shield, and then took off towards the cars.  The rest of us grabbed the coolers and towels, and loaded the cars.  Lordy, were we DRENCHED!  Needless to say, fireworks were postponed.

Day two of the celebrations were much more low-key.  Nothing says "Happy Birthday America" like sangria and a True Blood marathon!

Just look at those monkey feet!
Family kisses
Happy Goose with Daddy and Grammy
Happy Goosey!
Is there anything better than a three-day weekend with family, food and sunshine?  Why yes, yes there is...  A four-day weekend with all of the above!