Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Saying Goodbye

Dear First House,
You have been a wonderful place to call home. We moved in with two cars full of boxes and a bed, but slowly we filled you with refurbished furniture that we bought at thrift stores because we were poor newlyweds.

You were the house we came home to after our honeymoon and had the perfect place for every wedding present we received.

You were the place we brought home our first addition to the family one month after getting married, our puppy Bosco. And you were the place we brought his sister home to a year later when Lucy joined the clan. You have welcomed their slobber, muddy foot prints, many accidents, and lots of fur.

You were the place we had countless cell groups and leader meetings, a place where students felt loved and welcomed. No one cared how small you were, what you lacked in size you made up for in coziness and comfort.

You were the guinea pig for MANY Garland Autry home improvement projects, and although not all were done perfectly, they were all done in love.

Most importantly, first house, you were the place we brought home our greatest blessing, Titus James. He will never remember living here or what you were like, but I will never forget coming home with that six pound bundle and looking around your rooms in awe of how everything could look exactly the same and yet never be the same again. I will never forget the hours I spent holding him in the living room, sitting with him on the back patio watching Garland play with the dogs, and the thousands of kisses I gave him in his first nursery as I rocked him to sleep.

Even though you are just a "thing" and I place my treasure in my salvation, I know that God gave us the blessing of our first home to grow our marriage and fill our hearts with joy. So goodbye, 4058 Foxborow Drive, you will always hold a special place in our hearts :)


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cards for Liam

So my sweet friend Amy commissioned me to make some cards for an organization that she and her husband have started in honor of their precious little boy, Liam. They are such a wonderful family and I am so proud of her for all that they have been through over the past year as Liam was diagnosed with Albinism. If you would like to read more about Liam's story or see how you can support children like Liam, you can check out Amy's blog here.

For now, here are the cards I made for Amy!


Friday, July 6, 2012

3 Months!

We made it to the 3 month mark! Somehow it seems like it has flown by but has also moved extremely slow. Titus is definitely getting more of a personality during his wake time and it is so fun! I feel like the most difficult part of this month has been his ever changing schedule. He has moved out of the "newborn" phase and is starting to show some daily patterns, but just when he seems to be getting into a routine he decides he doesn't like that schedule anymore and throws me completely off! It's been a trip for sure :)

Dear Titus,
At 3 months...

  • You weigh about 12.5 pounds
  • You eat 4-5 oz of pumped breast milk if given a bottle and nurse for 30-40 minutes every 3 hours (sometimes 4 if you get a good nap)
  • You almost always poop when you're eating and make the funniest face like "that wasn't me"
  • You go to bed around 8-8:30 and sleep til around 5 where you'll wake up and eat for 30ish minutes. Sometimes you go back to bed right away, sometimes you squirm around and I have to give you your pacifier a few different times. You usually get up for the day around 7-7:30.
  • You wear size 1 diapers and some 0-3 month clothes (they're still a little baggy, but I'm impatient! They're all really cute)
  • You HATE taking naps, it's like you don't want to miss out on anything even when you're exhausted! "Nap time" is around 10am and 2pm everyday with a catnap around 5ish, but most of the time you fight going to sleep unless I hold you. Good thing you're so darn cute or I might lose it!
  • Anytime you are on your tummy you roll over to your back. You hate tummy time! But at least it's gotten you really good at rolling :)
  • You have little to no interest in toys, you would much rather lay on the floor and watch people or the ceiling fan
  • You tried formula for the first time and made a really funny face! But you ate it and didn't have any problems, so that's good!
  • You smile and giggle a lot. You love when I sing "itsy bitsy spider" or the song from the bandaid commercials (I am stuck on bandaid brand...). Anytime someone sits down and talks to you it usually makes you laugh, I think you got such a joyful spirit from your daddy!
  • You sit up in your bumbo like a big boy
  • You still sleep in your rock n'play because of your reflux, but we just moved you up to two doses of Prevacid a day instead of 1 (now 15mg total), so hopefully that will keep you feeling good.
  • Still hate getting in your car seat but can handle it about 50% of the time if we are actually moving.
  • And you make the cutest cutest CUTEST little sighs and coos. I melt every time I hear you make one of those happy sounds!

Mommy and daddy love you very much, even when you are being so high-maintenance! But you can grow out of it anytime you're ready, I won't be upset ;) You are precious to us, sweet boy!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Communicating with a Tiny Human

Trying to figure out what a baby needs is probably one of the top 5 hardest and most frustrating things I've ever done. There is literally no way to know what he wants most of the time! A lot of moms have told me that you begin to tell the difference between their cries (hunger, tired, cold, hurting, etc.) but I'm not very good at it. I definitely know the difference between his fussy/whiny cry and his true "I need something" cry. The problem is, at this point all his needs sound the same to me.

Cue the disaster week.

For the past 7-10 days Titus has gotten continually fussier and fussier, especially as we got closer to bedtime. He always seemed tired yet I could never get him to go to sleep during the day so I was trying really hard to get him to nap better. This was pretty unsuccessful and lead to a very tired and frustrated momma and baby. We tried all kinds of things-swaddling, white noise, putting him down asleep, putting him down awake but drowsy, with and without paci, nursing to sleep, allowing him to cry for a few minutes... UGH EVERYTHING! Even when I held him (which normally conks him out) he would wake up after only 30ish minutes and be crying and cranky. His eyes would be red and he would yawn and cry and so I would keep trying to get him to go back to sleep, thinking he just needed to get some extra rest.

This brings us to yesterday. Titus basically fussed all day after his morning feeding and unsuccessful nap. We went to Simon and Adriane's for lunch and Titus fussed and refused to sleep. I left early to take him home and try to get him to nap and he slept for only an hour before waking up crying again. Garland and I were going to go out to dinner that night but Titus was so upset and overtired that we just looked at each other like, what are we going to do with this child?!

Here's where the crying cues come in. That night I was breastfeeding Titus before bed and noticed he kept pulling off and wiggling around. I finally realized, maybe he's hungry... OKAY! So you may be wondering, HOW DID YOU MISS THAT HE WAS HUNGRY?! But I swear, it was really confusing. Titus has always gained weight really well, started stretching out to 3-4 hours between daytime feedings, eating for 40 minutes each feeding, sleeping a 7-8 hour stretch at night, having the required wet and soiled diapers a day... So I thought that was at least one thing I could eliminate! Turns out I was wrong. After Titus finished his 40 minute feeding that night I gave him a bottle of pumped breast milk and he ate the whole 5 ounces! He went out right after that and was asleep from 8-5:30am.

So today I offered him a pumped bottle after each feeding to see if he was hungry and he would eat 2-3 ounces each time. He laid down for his naps awake and fell asleep for hours at a time with absolutely no crying. During his wake time he was completely happy and interactive, and when we got in the car, which he normally cries during, he just sat in the back and coo'd and fell asleep on his own. WHAT?! Who is this child?! We even got to go out to eat with my family and he just sat there and stared at the lights and smiled the whole time.

So here I am, feeling awful because my poor little boy was hungry and I had no idea. But I'm glad I finally realized what it takes to make him a happy camper! I'm not sure where we'll go from here, I don't get very much when I pump but I'm going to start some natural supplements to help increase my supply. We may continue this hybrid version of breastfeeding and using some formula or eventually forego breastfeeding altogether. As much as I enjoy the perks of breastfeeding (money saver and closeness to T) I want to do whatever it takes to enjoy my experience raising Titus to the upmost. All I know is that a happy momma leads to a happy baby!

More on this topic to come...