Monday, December 26, 2016

My 2016 Grown-Up Christmas List

So, I love this time of year. It's full of that wonderful magic feeling. One of the tangible things I enjoy most is the 24/7 Christmas music on certain radio stations! The. Best. But unfortunately this also results in many eye-rolls when they play the few Christmas songs I'm not extremely fond of like Grown-Up Christmas List by Kelly Clarkson/Amy Grant/anyone, I Want a Hippopotamus for ChristmasMistletoe by Justin Bieber, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus by the Jackson 5, and Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. This is certainly not an all-inclusive list... just the very worst that I came up with off the top of my head.

Anyways. After listening to one of the above songs, I got to thinking about what I really wanted for Christmas. So, here is my grown-up Christmas list:

1. New toilets - the tall ones that can also suck down a whole bag of golf balls! (Yes! They exist!!!) 
2. Tankless water heather - especially since it seems our current one may be going out and is certainly not efficient these days!
3. New paint throughout the house - and one that doesn't chip!!!
4. Shoe molding pretty much throughout half of the house, too.
5. Probably new flooring in the other half of the house. Definitely no more carpet in the dining room or bathrooms!
6. A mantle & fireplace that doesn't look so dated.
7. A not-busted-up driveway.
8. Oh yeah, somebody has to fix the mower. (Not it!!!!)
9. Remodel our weird looking master bathroom... rip out the old tub with jets entirely. That thing can be so unsanitary. Plus, it's not human-shaped. I want a tub where I can be actually submerged in - like all body parts under water at the same time.
10. Start and finish our 4th bedroom. Which includes fixing up/finishing off the stairs and walls (possible insulation first?), doing some work on the window, flooring, electrical work, paint, etc...
11. A new HVAC system. Which needs to be done already, but once we get the 4th bedroom done we'll need a bigger unit. And we'll need the 4th bedroom connected to said new unit.
12. Update faucets, cabinets, drawer pulls, door knobs, light fixtures, and several windows throughout the house.

I mean, I could keep going. We keep MEANING to do all these things - but where are we pulling this money and time from? When we bought this house we got a pretty good deal on it and we did so knowing that we'd need to eventually do most of these things. And I know, none of these things keep the house from being livable. Carpets in the bathroom are kinda gross, but we can survive with it the way it is. Still, these are the things I dream of doing and the things that made my Christmas list this year. This doesn't even get into the other things I'd like... a family vacation, a solo vacation, and a vacation with my husband. (Yes... three different vacations.) Bananas that don't brown so quickly. A set of those amazing zipper sheets for every bed in the house. An updated wardrobe since I have no idea what to wear anymore. A gym membership. A monthly spa trip. And mostly, I want to continue to be thankful for the things I have in the New Year. I have a beautiful, relatively healthy family that keeps me busy and happy, a house that keeps us safe and warm, more than enough of the things we need and so many things that we want.
And I would give up every single "thing" to keep these people safe and healthy

But I'm hoping we get a few of these crossed off the grown-up Christmas list in 2017... if you were me, where would you start?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

3 TV Shows... {thursday thoughts}

My hope was that I would get through these writing prompts before Crosby came since I would likely have more time then, but as usual I'm running well behind schedule.

Anyways, I love watching a great TV show! I love connecting with well-written characters and watching them develop as their story unfolds. There are so many great shows out there it's hard to catch them all or really sometimes it's hard to know where to start. And I really enjoy hearing shows (or books or movies) that my friends recommend so I figured I would throw out some of my favorites!

03. Parenthood
If you haven't seen this show, you are really missing out on something special. It's not on air anymore and you can find the series in it's entirety on Netflix. It's a show about family. It's truly funny. It's touching. It's real. The family featured in the show is the Bravermans - two parents and four now adult children. Each adult child has a story and now their own family and set of struggles and hilarity. You get to know them and love them like they are your own network of people. Check it out if you haven't! And if you didn't know already, this show is where we got the name for our newest family member, Crosby. I absolutely love the character on the show and his name is precious.

02. This Is Us*
Oh goodness, I am so glad this show exists!!!!! This Is Us is new to NBC this year and I am enjoying it so very much along with SO many other people watching this show every Tuesday. The show just went on hiatus for a winter break but it'll be back on January 10th. I won't give anything away about this show other than it is a ton like Parenthood - it follows a family's story. And it is heartwarming and amazing and literally EVERY week there is something so incredibly touching in a way that it feels like it was written for you or the people in your life. I learn something new every week about myself because it draws attention to so many things within myself that I need to explore. Anyways... I won't say anything more except for this: WATCH. IT. And start with the pilot episode. You will be glad you did, I promise.

01. Grey's Anatomy*
If you haven't heard of this show then you probably don't have a television. Or maybe TV isn't your thing. (If so then this entry will likely bore you to tears!!!) I love this show for many reasons and the first one is that no matter what, Shonda Rhimes knows how to write something extremely compelling! I might not always like where she leads her characters, but yet I'm back week after week. This show has been my JAM since the pilot episode... I watched it live when it aired and I have been hooked ever since! Heck... I was hooked when I saw previews for the show as they were hyping it up just before it aired. It's awesome being so many seasons in (13 now?) and literally watching the characters grow up. You can catch up on all the previous seasons on Netflix and it airs Thursdays on ABC! I've lost count the number of times I've watched each season of Grey's Anatomy and I will keep on watching for years to come.

Honorable Mentions:
The Tudors
The Office
Life on Mars
Fixer Upper*

*Shows that are currently on air

What shows have you watched before that you recommend? I'm always looking for shows to watch on Netflix that aren't cartoons... not that I'll ever get to watch them!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Crosby: 2 Months

Somehow it has been 9 weeks since I brought Crosby into this world. It has been a tumultuous nine weeks, that's for sure. I was so sure that I knew everything I needed to know about taking care of a baby. I thought I knew all I needed to know about breastfeeding a newborn. Surely this third child of mine would be a breeze! But I was served a slice of humble pie with Crosby. It reminded me that I'm not immune to the highs or lows that come along with breastfeeding - it's a tough ass journey. When you're sleep deprived and you already feel like you're giving every single part of yourself as a human to your new baby and any other children in your home... then when you feel like you're scraping the bottom of your barrel it's time for the next feeding. Sometimes it honestly feels like you have NOTHING left to give and yet you're the only one can satiate your baby for what they need. You feel desperate. You feel like quitting. But for whatever reason, you choose stick with it. Maybe it's the health benefits for baby or the health benefits for you. Maybe it's the fact that you literally cannot afford the insane costs of formula. And from somewhere within the depths of your reserves, you pull out the mental and physical energy it requires to keep going. Ladies and gentlemen, this shit is not easy. And for everyone who has tried breastfeeding - you have my deepest respect. I understand what you're going through! It's so hard.

For everyone who has decided not to breastfeed, you have every bit of my understanding and respect. I am with you no matter what you choose! None of it's easy!!! And if you would have handed me the money to buy formula five weeks ago, I would have quit this breastfeeding journey on the spot - and probably kissed you on the mouth. So trust me - never judgment from me. When I talk about breastfeeding, it's not from a high horse. But it is how I feed my baby and so I will talk a lot about it in my blogs, I'm sure.

To update on me suspecting/worrying that Crosby could have a tongue or lip tie, I've now taken him to a pediatrician, a lactation consultant, and a pediatric dentist - all who gave me great insight and help and each of them telling me that IF he does have a tie that it is so slight that it's nothing to worry about. (But for the most part all of them thought he had enough mobility in his lip and tongue that he most likely doesn't have a tie.) The LC noted he has a super high palate and that could be the cause of his weak latch. The pediatric dentist (who is seriously phenomenal) showed me that Crosby's got quite an overbite - already! - and that his weak lower jaw could be making his latching a little more difficult. So, after seeing the dentist I feel like I can finally put the tie thing behind us.

Crosby seemed to have a reflux issue from the get-go and would projectile vomit once daily... it was sooo draining and worrisome. Thankfully that has been getting better! His pediatrician thinks it was due more to underdeveloped muscles that aid in digestion rather than a reflux issue. (I hope I'm explaining that correctly!) His gassiness and pain after eating has eased as well. He still makes a clicking noise while he breastfeeds but it doesn't seem to be doing any harm.

He eats often and well and has been gaining weight as a result. Crosby weighed 7#15oz at birth and at his two month check-up Wednesday he was up to 12#5oz (and 23.5 inches)! This puts him in the 50% range for growth which is wonderful.

Cros is in a size two diaper and wears 3-6 month clothes, and he's been laughing in his sleep - yet he doesn't know he can do it while he's awake yet. He smiles! And it really does melt my heart. He loves being in the ergo carrier - that's how I shop, pick up Presley from school in the afternoons, or get things done around the house. The most consistent way Crosby falls asleep every night it in Tony's arms with him walking Crosby around the house. Works like clockwork! Speaking of sleep it's different for him every night but he will sleep for 5-6 hour stretches if I'm remembering correctly. Some nights are better than others!

Tony is such an awesome team player... I feed Crosby and he'll change diapers. He never hesitates to help put him to sleep. In general Tony has no issue helping me on all fronts and I am beyond grateful for that in my partner. Each time while going through the rough first 6 weeks or so while breastfeeding Tony is so ultra supportive. He'll grab a new breast pad for me, fill up my water, bring me my Boppy pillow, burp/change Crosby, encourage me to keep going, help me remember why I don't actually want to give up... etc.

It reminds me how much it takes a freaking VILLAGE to be successful... and sometimes not even then does it work out! I hope so much to be that encouragement to other moms in whatever way they feed their babies! None of it is easy and we're all just trying to survive these early days.

So that's about it for our two month update. We're still in absolute survival mode BUT in so many ways things are getting easier day by day. And even though each one of them takes turns driving me insane, I love my family and I'm grateful for them.

This is my motherhood: unwashed hair, tired face, babywearing, cookie-or-grumpy-faced kids and throwing together an outfit and just hoping it looks good together! But these are good kids and they might be crazy days but they are good days.