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

Thursday, November 10, 2011

(Guest Blogger: Chaunie) Have No Remorse

Chaunie is a fellow young momma that I relate to on many levels.  She's a Momma to two beautiful girls, a nurse, a writer over at Babble and her own blog, Tiny Blue Lines.  Discovering her blog was one of the best things that ever happened to my Google Reader.  After reading today's post, head on over to Babble and check out her recently published Insider Tips from a Labor and Delivery Nurse!


The other day, the fam and I gathered around the kitchen table after dinner.

“Ugh, I should have never ate that last piece of hazelnut torte!” I complained, grabbing my jelly-belly for emphasis. “Why can’t I just lose weight??”

My husband looked me squarely in the eyes.

“You know what the difference between you and me is?” he asked.

My jelly belly and I waited.

“I never feel remorse.  I don’t ever feel guilty about indulging. Ever.”

I stared at my husband, the one-of-no-remorse, in complete and utter amazement.  I couldn’t believe how absolutely right he was. I felt I had stumbled upon a revelation, the secret to the difference between men and women:

Women feel guilt. Constantly. Men don’t.

When I work, whether it be from home, or at the hospital, I feel guilty for leaving the kids.  I worry about the amount of TV their father will allow them to watch, or how the littlest will miss me.  Especially if I’m working from home, I worry that I am 1) wasting too much time on Facebook  2) they will think I am ignoring them because I’m in plain sight, well, ignoring them or 3) that my husband will hate me because I’m wasting too much time on Facebook.

I feel guilty each and every time I am not playing with the girls.  I feel guilty for not cleaning my house more.  I feel guilty when my husband complains about the stains on Ada’s clothes. I feel guilty because I just made burritos tonight and somehow, the beans are rock hard after cooking all day.  I feel guilty after every piece of chocolate, every ice cream cone, ever-so-sinful molten chocolate lava cake. I feel guilty when I don’t wake up early and exercise. I feel guilty when I wake up early and exercise, and don’t hear Mya wake up and find her screaming in her crib. I pretty much feel guilty about everything, all the time.

That’s a lot of guilt.  And quite frankly, it’s exhausting.

What would happen if we women took on the attitude of our men folk and felt no guilt about anything, ever?

No “I shouldn’t have had that second cookie” or “I wish I could still fit in my pre-pregnancy jeans?”

No guilt for working or not working, no guilt for a little extra pudge, no guilt for not documenting every single second our children’s existence?

What kind of world would that be?

I don’t know, but tonight, I think I will find out.

With the help of a vanilla-caramel drumstick.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

(Guest Blogger: E) Holi-daze

Hiya!  I'm E from Jet's Journey.  I'm a (semi-regular) blogger who chronicles my life's adventures, including my newest obsession J, my 7 month old baby boy.  I am beyond excited to post here at Growing Baby Shelton today.  I first began diligently reading about this adorable family when I discovered Taylor and I gave birth to our little ones just two days apart.  How cool is that!?  I love watching Lucy grow and finding comfort in the similar challenges and triumphs we mamas have in common.  I'm thinking we need to get these two little Spring babies together!  For now, enjoy and come send some love my way!

I am always in a bit of disarray when it comes to "The Holidays."  Making cards, preparing meals, traveling, cleaning, decorating, planning, planning, planning.  Sometimes it leaves me with a general feeling of exhaustion.  These stressors that I mention were felt before my life as a mom.  Now enter J, our bouncy, energetic, generally happy-go-lucky 7 month old.  By the time Thanksgiving rolls around he'll be 8 months and 9 by the New Year.  If that doesn't add a whole new level of stress, I don't know what does.

Now, don't get me wrong!  I do love being festive - the decorations, the music, the general feeling of coziness, love, and excitement.  In fact, it really is "the most wonderful time of the year."  So why, do you ask, am I stressing about it?  

Because I want to do it right.

When T and I got married, we reconciled a lot of our issues with faith and spirituality.  I was raised Protestant, he was raised Jewish.  When J was born we had a rabbi perform a bris and, later, we baptized him.  As a family, we are open to spirituality and faith but closed to religious dogmatism.  Now that two huge religious holidays are rearing their ugly heads quickly approaching with promises of merriment, even more planning must occur.  Lucky for us, this first year we can attempt to make this holiday experience an enjoyable, positive one through trial-and-error for the whole family since J is young enough that he will have no memory.  I consider this year an experiment.

What we will do:
  • We will celebrate Hanukkah - light the menorah, say prayers, play games, tell the story of the Maccabean Revolt.
  • We will celebrate Christmas - decorate a Christmas tree, listen to music, tell the story of the birth of Jesus.
  • We will celebrate St. Nicholas - J will hang up a stocking that we will fill with coins.  The following day, he will count the money and physically take it to a charity of his choice (when he is older) and donate it.  For the first few years, T and I will donate the money in his name.

What we might not do:
  • Santa may or may not make a stop at our household regardless of anyone's behavior!  I can't really get behind the consumerism that Santa stands for, however, I LOVED Santa as a child.  If Santa does not stop here, will J be the weird one not having experienced a visit from those noisy reindeer?  Will he spoil the fun for his classmates in Kindergarten by declaring his nonexistence?
  • We might not give many gifts.  Gifts have never been big in my family.  In fact, the last 10 years the only gifts we've received is a plane ticket home for the holiday.  Let's be honest, that's a pretty darn expensive gift.  For J, we've considered giving him 3 gifts each year representative of the 3 gifts the Wise Men brought to Jesus.  For Hanukkah, we will give gifts each night of story, food, and family time.

I want to celebrate love, life, family, food, joy, peace.  I want to remember and share the stories behind the holidays and focus on why it is we choose to continue to celebrate them.  I want J to grow up knowing that this is the reason for the season.  Not gifts, shopping, stress, frustration.

But let's be honest, this little guy doesn't look like he cares about ANYTHING we choose to do.  As long as I let him sample some pumpkin pie.

 What will you do to celebrate the holidays?  
If you have children, has your focused changed 
about how you will celebrate in some way?  
How do you establish traditions?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

(Guest Blogger: Jaye Fay) I am woman. Hear me roar

Meet Jaye Fay(I always call her by her first and last name.  It's just one of those names, ya know?)  I think you'll like Jaye, because I like Jaye.  We're practically the same person!  We see eye to eye on a lot of parenting techniques and both of our baby girls have red hair.  What more do you need in a friend???  Today's post really hits home for me, and I think it will for you too.  Don't forget to stop by Becoming Jaye Fay to say Hey and tell her how awesome she is!


I’ve thought long and hard about what kind of blog post I wanted to send over to Taylor here at Growing Baby Shelton.  When she asked me to write a guest post, I knew exactly what kind of post I needed to write.  But had no idea what it would actually be about.  I wanted a post that spoke to people.  That said something about me, Taylor, our readers – and honestly, all women.  I hope this is it. 

Last month I had the honour of attending the annual Athena Awards, hosted by the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.  I’ll be honest in telling you that I went for two reasons - #1 My boss told me to go, and #2 Free lunch (and who the heck passes up free food?!)

I’m really happy I attended. (and not just because the lunch was fabulous, although it was pretty freaking awesome)

The Athena Awards honour a few business women who have gone above and beyond in their professional lives.  It was ridiculously powerful to hear the stories of the finalists.  These are women who embody the vision of warrior. 

They shared their stories, and reminded the nearly 1,000 attendees (mostly women) that we are all Athenas. 
Women are a special kind of strong. 

We have the kind of strength that legends are made of.  

We have the ability to grow life – in so many ways.  We give our hearts, our minds, ourselves to better those around us.   We build relationships, making large interconnected webs,  because we know a secret – 2 is better than 1 – and when it comes to strength, there is nothing more powerful than a group of women united.  

Motherhood has taught me this.   It has extended the meaning of selfless in my vocabulary.  It has taught me to learn from, encourage and support the women around me.  It has taught me that raising a child takes more than a couple of parents; it does indeed take a village.  My connections with the women around me have made me a better mother.   And motherhood has made me want to be a better person.  Not just for me, but for my daughter.  For her to have the same amazing opportunities in life that I have had – I must help to secure that future for her.  And the only way to do that is to be an Athena.  

To recognize and harness my strength, passion, and perseverance.  To remember that I am a warrior, even when I don’t think I am.  To be everything I can be - I owe that to her.  And I owe it to me.  

I love my daughter with more brilliance than I ever thought possible.   She has softened my harsh personality, and lit a fire in my soul.  

Maybe I’ve always been this person, but she reminded me. 

I always thought I was a strong girl.

But motherhood has taught me that I am so much more than that.  

I am an Athena.

I can do anything and be anything.  And this is the most important thing I can teach my daughter.  That her strength is only limited by her dreams.   

Monday, November 7, 2011

(Guest Blogger: Meghan) Meet Toddler Ryan

As promised, this week we've got some of the best Mommy Bloggers on the blog block guest posting in my absence.  You might remember today's Guest Blogger, Meg, from her last visit in July, when she reminded us of the importance of a little healthy competition.  Read on to hear all about how her sweet baby boy isn't really a baby anymore, and be sure to stop by her blog, Phase Three of Life, to show her some love!


Once upon a time, I was mother to a sweet, laid back, happy-go-lucky little baby.

And then my toddler ate him.

I am discovering that Toddler Ryan is much more opinionated than Infant Ryan was. When Toddler Ryan wants something, he really wants something.

There's no such thing as "Gee, I could go for a splash of milk sometime soon." Rather, it's "DEAR GOD I Need A Gallon Of Milk Right Effing Now!”

It's not "Hm, I wonder what's going on in the kitchen..." Instead, it's "HOLY CRAP, I'm Missing All The Fun In The Kitchen And I Have To Get There Immediately And DO NOT Get In My Way, Lady!”

You have exactly three seconds to remove me from these pumpkins before I

I try to reason with him. I explain the safety factors behind my suggestion that he play in the living room or the play room rather than six inches away from where Dad is cooking. I remind him that just because he can't have milk right this second doesn't mean he'll never have milk again.

Of course, my explanations are drowned out by the wild banshee noises coming out of him, the likes of which quicken the step of all who pass by the front of our house.

What's a little intimidating is the knowledge that Toddler Ryan is here to stay for a while. Really, we're just getting started. I expect that in another year or two, Toddler Ryan will give way to Total Raving Lunatic Ryan. Luckily for him, when he’s not yelling at us, he’s pretty cute, so we'll probably keep him.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

TTFN, Lovlies!



Later, Alligator!

You're leaving us?!

Not to worry, darlings!  I've lined up some of the best Mommy Bloggers the blogosphere has to offer to keep y'all entertained for the next week.

Try not to miss me too much!  ;-) 

Friday, November 4, 2011

The girl that wouldn't poop.

Prune juice, suppositories and enemas, oh my!

7 8 days.  That's the current record between Lulu's BMs.  (tmi?)  This girl has got some serious poop issues...  And it is heartbreaking.

Pretty much since we started solid food we've had this problem.  Everything was going just fine while we utilized the 4 day wait rule, but all hell broke loose when we started including more than one food at each meal.  So then I tried giving her only oatmeal for 9 days; I thought, "Hey, it's bland, it's fiber, she loves it and has been eating it without any problems."  Makes sense, right?  Wrong.

I've gone back and forth with our pediatrician a million times.  They've been less than helpful...  Over the past two weeks this kid has pooped 3 times.

We've tried:

Tummy Massage
Bicycling her legs
Warm Baths
Prune Juice
Q-tip and Vaseline

...the next step is an enema, and I do NOT want it to come to that.  

Last night I had a dream that she finally pooped...  I'm dreaming about poop.  WHAT.THE.EFF.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Filth

Let's talk about how disgusting my house is.  That sounds fun, right?

Jenn was on the phone with me while I took these pictures.  She can attest to how pissed I was.

Sure, I could post pictures of our house when it's absolutely spotless.  I could pretend that I'm Super Mom, with a clean house and folded laundry.  But that would be a gross misrepresentation of how we live.  Our house has looked like a landfill pretty much since Lucy was born.  Every weekend I run around the house, trying to put it in order, and the finished product lasts all of ten seconds.

No matter how hard I try, I cannot keep a clean house.  Between the dishes, the mail, the laundry, and all the other random crap that finds it's way onto my kitchen counters (and kitchen table, entertainment center, nightstands, the floor and every other flat surface), I just can't keep up.

I'll start laundry on Saturday afternoon and I won't finish it until Thursday evening.  It's not like we have an absurd amount of laundry either, I just have zero motivation to get it finished.  Then there's the diapers...they might as well live on the drying rack, because we never stock the changing table; we literally walk to the garage before every diaper change to grab a diaper.  Seriously.


Anyone out there fallen into a similar pattern or am I just completely incapable?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Confessions: Week 18-20

Confession #35:  Without fail, every time I've had to wash my pump parts in the office, a male co-worker has inevitably walked by and struck up a conversation.

Confession #36:  For weeks I have been storing my breastshields in the refrigerator between pumping sessions; and for weeks I have been looking for an opportunity to use the phrase, I'll take two frosty cold breastshields please.

Confession #37:  On top of all the other shit I've forgotten, today I forgot to pack bottles.   Will be pumping into breastmilk storage bags that I keep in my desk for emergencies...

Have you missed my confessions?  Just think, one day very soon, when I'm a SAHM, I won't have anything left to confess!!