When Life Hands You Lemons…

We’re only 2 weeks into 2012 and I’ve already experienced quite a few challenges.  I’m trying to put everything into perspective and handle them as a responsible adult, because now I have a little one who needs me to be a sane, happy mom for him.

Some of my challenges:

– Baby Food:  (TMI alert)  We started Hudson on rice cereal at the suggestion of his pediatrician.  He loved it and was eating 2-3 tablespoons a day for a few days.  Then he stopped pooping.  After 3 days of no poop from a baby who was very “regular”, I became very worried.  I learned my mother’s intuition was correct on the idea I should NOT start him on rice cereal.  Apparently it makes a lot of babies very constipated, and a constipated baby is not a happy one.  So after a few suggestions from the doctor we are working on getting him “regular” again, and I’m waiting until he is 6 months old and I can make his baby food myself.

It is a challenge to watch your child be miserable and in pain, but I quickly remind myself that he is extremely lucky to be healthy and happy (most of the time!) and glad that we can make a small change to help fix the problem.

– Buying a House:  or NOT.  Andrew and I have been trying to purchase a house since July 4, 2011.  It was a short sale and we knew it could take awhile.  Well, 6 months into the process (including paying for a home inspection, resigning contracts and doing whatever the bank wants) Bank of America has decided they aren’t going to allow a short sale on the house.

So we are trying to figure out what the heck we are going to do; wait for the house to go into foreclosure (no telling how long that will take) or try to find another one?  We want to live in a very specific area and that makes it a little more challenging!

– I’ve encountered a few more challenges that aren’t quite “blog material” but they still exist.  What a year so far!

 

How I know I’ll make it through

– I recently purchased and began reading “The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Daily Bible”.   It was written to be finished in a year, so my goal is to stay committed to reading and learning more about The Bible.  I want to raise Hudson in a strong Christian household and I know I can learn new ways to have a happier and healthier life for my family.

–  Hudson.  My beautiful baby makes everything worth it.  Whenever I get the least bit frustrated or upset I can just look at him and he is somehow the “medicine” I need at the moment.

–  Andrew.  (I’m not getting mushy, I promise!)  I’m lucky to have a wonderful, goofy husband who always knows how to make me laugh.  I think his goal each day is to do something to frustrate me, and without it I’d live a boring life!  He is a great dad and husband.

** So, when life hands you lemons… I say give me a Chick-Fil-A Sweet Tea and I’ll throw those lemons in it and enjoy!

I get by with a little help from my friends

The title of this post (by John Lennon) is very true!  Last night Andrew and I went to dinner (minus the baby!) with a bunch of friends.  Wait, we just moved to York and already have friends?!

Andrew grew up in York and his good friends (and their spouses) still live here.  They have been very welcoming to us (me!) and were one of my “talking points” in my quest to move. Although I knew I’d leave behind my life in Columbia, it has made it so much easier knowing there are people our age to hang out with.

** I am especially lucky they have always welcomed me into their “group” from the beginning.  I’ve never had a problem making friends, but finding other couples to hang out with (that we both like!) can sometimes be challenging.  Having our friends here has been so wonderful and will definitely make life in a small town a lot of fun!

So last night we ate at a local restaurant called “The Garden Cafe“.  It’s right around the corner from our house and the food was delicious!  Fried green beans and sweet potato fries?  I could eat there every day!

I had a great time catching up on the “small town gossip” and actually knowing the people/places/things they were talking about!

A perfect example of what a small world it really is happened last night!  One of our good friends had her friend visiting from Charlotte and I sat next to her at dinner.  While getting to know each other I mentioned I was a property manager at The Woodlands of Columbia. Well… come to find out she worked for the same company in Clemson a number of years ago!!  Considering my company has only built about 12 properties total in the southeast I thought it was crazy!  And on top of that she grew up in Spartanburg (where my parents live!).

The female side of the table (we tried sitting by couples, but after a few minutes realized we would all be yelling at each other over the table, so we had to switch around!)

 

 

 

 

 

The guys must not think it’s manly to pose for pictures…

So after a rather stressful move and crazy holidays we had a great time with our friends.  They may not have known it, but they helped reinforce one of our reasons for moving!  And now I can hope they all start having babies (Hudson needs friends, too!).

First Food Attempt

At Hudson’s four-month pediatrician appointment this week we got the go-ahead to start feeding him rice cereal.  I am planning on making all of Hudson’s baby food, so I wasn’t too keen on feeding him cereal.  However the doctor recommended we start with the cereal and can begin with fruits and veggies when he is 5-6 months old and has the whole “eating” thing down.

As you can imagine it was a messy adventure!

He didn’t quite know what to do with the cereal and kept pushing it out of his mouth with his tongue!  He never cried or fussed and kept moving it around in his little mouth to the best of his abilities.

Of course we had the cameras in his face and he kept smiling at us like “isn’t this what I’m supposed to do guys!?”  We’ve also recently taught him to “blow” with his mouth so he was doing that, hence pushing out the food I had so nicely placed inside his mouth!  What a cutie.

The doctor said our goal should be for him to be eating 6-8 tablespoons of his cereal each day (we mix it half cereal, half breastmilk).  I like to think that at least 25% of the cereal made it down his throat!  Until next time….

Here is the video of the first few minutes of him trying rice cereal!

A lot can change in {1} year

Just last night I was talking to my mother-in-law about New Year’s Eve 2010 when Andrew and I spilled the beans we were expecting.  Nobody knew we were “trying” so it came as a complete surprise to our friends and family.  Needless to say, we started 2011 knowing things would be a bit different, but I can guarantee we didn’t anticipate some of the changes!

Major changes in the past year:

* having a baby

* trading in my much-loved BMW X3 for a CRV

* Andrew getting a job in Charlotte

* leaving my job and Columbia

* trying to buy a house (short sales suck)

* moving to York, SC (aka middle of nowhere)

* moving in with my in-laws

When people mention New Year’s resolutions the thing that crosses my mind is something along these lines:  Take care of my little family.  Love them and keep us all happy and healthy, and everything else will work out.  With so many things in our lives changing my goal is to stay calm and go-with-the-flow.  That last phrase isn’t generally my attitude, so it is going to be a challenge.  I like to be in complete control at all times.

I DO know how blessed I am and that is what will keep me motivated to fulfill my “resolution”.  That, and this beautiful boy

 

My Baby Must-Haves (0-3 months)

I created this list when Hudson was about 2 months old, so there have been some changes that I’ll update in a later post.  I have a lot of friends that are pregnant so I thought it may be helpful to get together my opinions on a bunch of different baby things that were important to me and share the info.  I rely on reviews for almost everything I buy now, so here are my opinions, copied exactly as I wrote them in the email I sent to preggo friends. (except this time I added pictures!)

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Baby Bjorn- I use it a lot when I go to stores. Either I don’t want to get out the stroller or put the carseat on top of a buggy (which is extremely unsafe). I just throw him in the bjorn and off we go, and he likes it because we are close! ***Update (I now prefer the ErgoBaby carrier!)

Diaper Genie- I put it right next to the changing table so you can easily throw away stinky diapers and you never worry about the smell. It is really easy to empty.

Carter’s brand clothes- They are sold everywhere but I really like them because they have a long, slim fit. Hudson is pretty long and lean so they fit him best. You’ll notice some brands seem short and dumpy. Also Carter’s are really soft (and cute)!
 
Pampers Swaddlers- you’ll decide which diapers you and baby like once they are here. For us it was pampers. I like the line that changes color on the diaper when they have peed. They have a quilted liner that seems to absorb all the liquid and pulls the poop away from his bottom and it makes changing him easy!  I also like how they fit around the inside of his legs- really stretchy but won’t let any surprises escape.
 

Cloth Diapers- they are awesome burp cloths.  You’ll probably receive some fancy decorated ones but I recommend buying a big pack of them to just have around.

Wash Cloths- my grandma figured this one out; put a washcloth under baby’s chin when you bottle feed to catch all the milk that escapes!  Usually burp cloths are big and the flailing/grabbing arms will pull it away. But a wash cloth is small enough to stay in place!
Newborn bibs- I received some tiny bibs and didn’t think I’d ever use them.  But I did- especially when putting Hudson in the carseat in the hour after he ate. They were small enough to fit him but still caught any spit up so his clothes weren’t ruined while I was busy driving.
Boppy pillow- absolute must have especially if you are nursing. It holds baby in the perfect position to feed. I like to lay a burp cloth on top of it under his head because he spits us while feeding from time to time and cleaning a burp cloth is much easier than the boppy cover. Now that Hudson is a little bigger we can lie him in the middle of the boppy using it to prop him up when he’s on the couch with us.
 
Swaddle Blankets- this is the most important item on the list!  If you haven’t heard about swaddling call me, go read “happiest baby on the block” or google it.  Basically infants have the startle reflex that makes them jerk their arms around every so often and it wakes them.  Then they cry only because they were suddenly woken. When they are swaddled their arms are tight by their sides so they don’t smack themselves and wake up. They also feel like they are in the womb!  The hospital will swaddle baby so just keep up the routine!  I did it a lot during the first few days home while Hudson was adjusting to the world and after that only at night.  I prefer swaddle designs blankets because they are large and not too warm. I use them as a regular blanket during the day and for swaddling at night. They are expensive ($25-$30 each) but absolutely worth it. I have 4 or 5.   Hudson wears only a onesie when swaddled and sometimes socks. I also put a hat on him because Andrew keeps our room cold at night!  He calms down right away as soon as he is swaddled. I’ll give him his pacifier and he is out cold within minutes. Sometimes he just lies there with glazed over eyes. So cute.
Nuk pacifiers- the only brand Hudson will take. He must like the shape because he won’t take any other brands and I tried 4.  I gave in to giving him a pacifier when he was 5 days old and crying for no reason. He loves it and it helps him self soothe when everything else in his little world is ok but he feels like crying.
Dr Browns Bottles-  I did massive research on bottles and only registered for these. If you don’t believe the ventilation system works then give your baby a different bottle and watch all the bubbles and experience more spitup and gas.  They are also supposed to be the best nipples for breast fed babies. I haven’t had a problem with Hudson going back and forth from nursing to bottle and vice versa. It is true they have more parts to clean but they are worth a happy baby!
Dr. Brown’s Microwave bottle sterilizer- super easy to clean bottles, parts, pacifiers, breast pump parts, etc.  Pop it in the microwave for 5 minutes and voila!

Dr. Brown’s bottle warmer- super fast and easy
Medela pump in style breast pump (backpack)- I am determined to breast feed as long as possible so this was necessary. I hated spending a ton of money so I did a lot of research before purchasing. This pump hands down has the best reviews on the Internet and has proven to be awesome. It is super easy to use. The backpack is easy to throw over your shoulder when you have baby, pump, diaper bag, etc. and nobody has any clue there is a breast pump inside it!  It can plug in to the wall or use the battery adapter (I suggest reusable batteries) or even has an optional car charger!  Just be aware the breast shields that come standard may not be your size and you will need to purchase a different size.
Graco 2in1 swing and bouncer seat- wonderful!  The seat from the swing comes off to sit wherever you need it and also has a vibrate option. The swing plugs into the wall or uses batteries if no plug is available. I love how this has saved us from having a separate bouncy seat from the swing!
Pack-n-Play-  we didn’t use it the first 4-5 weeks because everyone wanted to hold him but now we have it setup in the living room. We put a mobile on it and he will lie in it occupied for awhile. It is convenient when we need to do something and he doesn’t always want to go in the swing.
Arm’s Reach cosleeper- I thought I’d put him directly into his crib when he came home but I’m glad my grandma convinced me otherwise. This mini crib/bassinet goes right next to my bed for him to sleep in. Whenever he needs something he is right next to me so I’m not running down the hall every 2 minutes to discover he only spit out his pacifier. I am an expert at finding his paci and putting it in his mouth without any effort!  This also folds up and is really easy to travel with. I think it cost $150 pre-coupon at buy buy baby.  I highly recommend getting one.

Neck support for carseat- Hudson used one in his until about 5 weeks old. It was awesome when he was teeny and his head would have flopped all over the place in his carseat.

“A whole new world….”

Well, I’ve given in.
After following a number of blogs, especially since I found I was pregnant a year ago, I’ve decided to start one of my own.  Mainly it will be a way for me to express myself: through pictures, stories, product reviews and a few good rants and raves!  I have NO CLUE what I’m doing, so bear with me.

For Starters:
I am Kelly, a 25 year old wife and mother.  I have a goofy (but wonderful) husband, Andrew, and we were blessed with a beautiful baby boy, Hudson, on August 25, 2011. Since then life has, well…. changed.

But before I get into it, I’ll give you a brief background of myself.  I grew up in Norfolk, Va. After I graduated high school I became a Gamecock at the University of South Carolina and graduated with a degree in Public Relations in 2007.

Andrew and I began dating in September 2005, and this was one of the many reasons I stayed in Columbia after graduation.

I worked for Vitaminwater in 2008, and towards the end of that year I began working for a brand new student apartment community.  The job and I grew together and I was eventually one of two property managers.  I loved my job.  No seriously…. I did.  I worked with a great group of people and had fun every day.  Of course there was always stress related to customer service but I still enjoyed myself.


Have you noticed I’ve been speaking of my job in past tense?  Well, that is because just three weeks ago I left the job I loved for a different, much more challenging, but also more rewarding one.  I’m going to be a stay-at-home-mom.  Now THAT’S a job!

How could you not love that sweet face?

In the time since I left my job I have been adjusting to being “at home” with a baby, and it’s given me time to think.  Most of my family and friends will probably agree when I describe myself as outgoing, sometimes loud, and full of life!  So all this “thinking” needs an outlet… and here it is!  I’m ready to share my thoughts and experiences.  Hope you’re ready!