Wednesday, April 25, 2012

So That Happened: Easter 2012

Bates' first Easter was a fun one!  My dad, stepmom, half sister, and half brother came into town for the weekend to celebrate the holiday and meet the little man.  Sometimes it's hard for Jonathan and I to figure out what to do with them (since the typical agenda of 17 and 18 years olds nowadays is: hang out with friends, text with friends, email with friends, facebook...you get the point; family time is low on the list).  But I think all in all, we had a great time!

They got in bright and early on Friday since they took the 6am flight.  That afternoon, we decided to brave the crowds for Bates' first trip to the zoo!  The weather was wonderful - sunny and a little chilly - and we enjoyed walking around a little bit.  Bates slept the whole time loved it!
After zoo-ing, we had lunch at Fino's and dinner at Central BBQ (they had to get some BBQ while in town).  With such great weather, we also enjoyed some brews on our deck.

Saturday afternoon, my half brother needed to stay home to work on a paper for school, so the rest of us went to lunch at Cheffie's and then went to Shelby Farms to walk around.  I like taking out of town people to Shelby Farms since it's such a cool place and isn't exactly what you'd expect to find in Memphis.  We had a nice walk around the lake.  After that, the boys went home to watch golf and the girls went out to Saddle Creek to do some birthday shopping for me.  How great!  I got a cute diaper bag from Vera Bradley (which I've been eyeing for awhile) and a new skirt.  Score!

That night we had dinner at Boscos and followed it with some YoLo.  Bates pretty much melted down in YoLo, but other than that, it was a nice night. :)

Easter Sunday was wonderful.  Our church does a beautiful service with full choir and brass and a church sing-a-long of the Hallelujah Chorus.  After that we headed to my in-law's house for a delicious brunch.  Their flight was in the afternoon, so they left after lunch.

All in all, it was a great weekend and I was so glad they got to meet Bates.

We didn't take too many pictures...but here's Grandpa Garry with Bates:
(In regards to the George Hamilton situation with my dad: they'd just been on a cruise for a week.  He's not normally that tan.)

Grandma Nancy with Bates:
Easter Outfit #1:
Uncle Jeff with Bates:
(Getting used to holding a baby...support that head!)

Our stellar family pic taken on Easter in my in-law's backyard:
And our cutie little guy:
Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of Aunt Katie with Bates.  But we'll get some when we're in Ohio in a couple months.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

So That Happened: I Had a Birthday!

Birthdays have always been a big deal in my family.  Well, not a big deal, per se, but we usually go all out in treating the birthday boy/girl super special.

And then when I was out of school and in the Real World, I found that my office definitely kept up the birthday tradition in that people would buy a cake, pass around a card for everyone to sign, and take you out to lunch.  I think this was to prevent mass revolution against the boredom.

This year, my birthday was different.  Not bad different.  Just different.  First off, it fell on a Tuesday, which is always a little anti-climactic.  But secondly, Bates had just turned one month old, so we were still a little sleepy and still just following his needs to a tee (ie, feeding on demand, calming his cries, putting him to nap, etc.).  So our day together (even though it was my birthday and was filled with lovely calls, texts, emails, facebook messages, etc.) was pretty routine.  It didn't really feel any different than any other day.  Maybe this is what birthdays look like once you're a mom?

We did have a fun celebration that night, though.  We got Thai food from my favorite take-out place.  Jonathan bought birthday cupcakes.  And I opened presents!  One of the outstanding presents was "one night off" given to me by the daddy.  (Ie, he'll get up with Bates so I can sleep through the night.  Although this present doesn't really need to be used anymore since the babe's become such a good sleeper [and I'm pretty sure I sleep more than Jonathan since he has to get up for work.])

The day after my birthday was also fun.  My in-laws came over to watch the baby so Jonathan and I could go see The Hunger Games at the theater!  <--------Nerd Alert!

I loved it!  I was so impressed (since it seems like the first movies of the other big teen books [Twilight and Harry Potter] weren't as good as the subsequent movies), but this one was great!  I'd probably go see it again if I didn't have a little baby who would need a babysitter who said that?

All in all, it was a fun birthday.  Different, yes.  But good, for sure!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

So That Happened: Bates is 1 Month Old!

I think I'm going to do a small series of blog posts called "So That Happened" to get you guys up to date on our goings on the past month.

So the first one: Bates turned one month old!
I had good intentions to write a blog post at this first month milestone - a sort of "look what happened this month" thing with all kinds of stats (height, weight, developmental things, schedules, habits, etc.) - stuff I can look back on and think "aw - he was such a little guy!"  Yep - you guessed it.  Didn't happen.  He's now a week shy of being two months old.  So I guess I'll start with that month. :)

I do remember this, though.  I was very glad to reach the one-month milestone.  In no way did I have a nostalgic, they-grow-up-too-fast feeling about the whole thing.  The first month with a baby is hard.  It really is.  And then miraculously, they get a little bit older and everything sort of clicks into place.  Your own body gets used to less sleep.  And you and your baby get to know each other a little better, such that you can maybe understand some of the crying and fussing more than in the beginning.  For us, around the end of the first month, we finally learned how to put on his diaper correctly!  I can't tell you how many diapers I've changed in my life, but for some reason, in Bates' first month of life, we would constantly put them on wrong and tinkle would shoot out of the side almost every time.  We've got that worked out now, thankfully.

Anyway - Bates turned one month old!  Woo hoo!  And mommy and daddy were very glad.  And I'm sure he was, too, because he became more accustomed to this crazy outside world vs. my warm, cozy body he lived in for 9 months.

So that happened.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Downton Love!

I think I've mentioned my love for Downton Abbey on my blog before.  If not - and if you live under a rock have never heard of it - it's a miniseries on PBS's Masterpiece Theatre.  There have been two seasons thus far (and they're filming season 3 right now).  It's an upstairs/downstairs-type show about the wealthy family who lives in the beautiful castle, Downton Abbey, and their maids/butlers/etc. who live downstairs and serve them.  (Takes place around WWI.)

This show is so. freaking. good.  If you haven't watched it, I dare you to watch the first couple episodes from season one and not become hooked.  Even if you don't like period pieces (which I don't, usually), you need to try it.  Even if absolutely nothing about it sounds like something you're in to - just try it.  I think you'll be surprised.  (And seriously, if you aren't into the story lines [which you totally will be, but just hypothetically, if you aren't] you'll love the costuming and the beautiful house and the beautiful people with British accents.

(The reason I'm all about Downton right now is because Jonathan and I finally watched the last three episodes of season two.  They've been sitting in our DVR forever.  We initially saved them thinking if I had a long pre-labor at home, before contractions got too intense we could watch them and take my mind off the pain.  Things didn't quite go like that.  And then after Bates was born, it was hard to find 60 minute stretches to sit down uninterrupted.  But this past weekend we finally committed.  So any time he was napping or just chilling out, we would put it on.  The end of season two was sooooo good!  Oh my gosh - I can't wait for season three!  [And a fun side note: one of the main characters is named....Mr. Bates!])

Monday, April 16, 2012

Oh Blogging...

Hey guys - remember me??  Remember that time I had a blog that was updated daily?  Yeah - me too.

Also, remember that time, before I had a kid, when I would read other mommy blogs about how busy they were and how hard it was to find time for themselves?  And remember how I would read them and think, "ha - that will not be me!"  Um yeah, me too.

So here's the thing.  I used to read other blogs about how busy stay-at-home mom-dom is and just not believe that would happen to me.  I told myself that these women don't care about the same things I care about.  Ie, they aren't neat freaks.  Or they don't care as much as me about being dressed and presentable all the time.  Or they don't love a schedule as much as I do.  Because if they did feel the same way as me, they'd have all the time in the world to get stuff done.

Then I had a kid.  Then I learned.

Here it is: it's not that I don't have a lot of downtime during the day.  Because I do.  But there are so many different elements to that downtime...

1) Bates likes to be held a lot.  Literally, he'll be sitting on his Boppy pillow right next to me on the couch, start crying, and the moment I pick him up he stops.  He just wants to be held sometimes.  Can't blame him.

2) I'm willing to let him cry it out.  Sometimes.  So I get that if he's sitting on his Boppy pillow and starts crying to be picked up, if I do it every time I'll have a kid who will never sit on his own.  I get that.  But the thing is, I do let him cry it out sometimes.  When I do basic things around the house (ie, get dressed, brush my teeth, eat meals, pick up clutter, put away dishes, etc.) he can cry while I get those things done.  They need to be done, so if that means a cranky baby for a little bit, I think it's worth it.  We also have the whole element of me pumping breastmilk.  I need to pump about every time he eats.  So after he eats a meal (and after we snuggle a little bit), I have to put him down so I can pump.  This often means he's unhappy and crying for awhile while I finish pumping milk.  SO - all this to say, at those other times, when he just wants a little snuggle, I like to let him have it.  (I'm excited for him to get a little bit more neck control so we have a couple more options with the Moby Wrap.)

3) I learned this thing about schedules once I had my own baby: you can read about sleep training and scheduling all you want, but it's different for every baby.  I always thought I'd be a stickler about napping and sleeping.  But then I had sweet, wonderful Bates who, for (awesome!) reasons unknown to me, started only waking up once a night to feed at about 5 weeks old.  That is, we sleep from 10pm to 4/4:30am, feed, and then sleep again until 7:30/8.  Sweet, awesome boy!  But with that schedule at night, our daytime "schedule" isn't really one.  I kind of let him do his own thing.  Why?  Because the night sleeping is so important to me that I'm willing to have unscheduled days so I can getting some freaking sleep at night!  And so those days I dreamed of sitting around having me-time while my baby took his 3 naps....not so much.  And I'm perfectly ok with the trade off.

4) He falls asleep when we're on walks and when he rides in the car.  Both of these are good in a way.  It's nice to go to the grocery store, for example, with a sleepy/groggy baby.  It's nice to have a walk outside without a screaming baby.  But what isn't so cool about this is that when he's sleeping during these times, he's not napping other times.  So he might take an hour nap (awesome!), but it happens while we're at the grocery store (not awesome).

5) As he gets older, when he's awake and alert, I don't want to just put him down somewhere so I can do stuff like blog/check email/watch tv/etc.  I want to be playing with him (as much as you can play with a 2-month old), singing to him, making baby babbling noises with him, etc.

And so anyway - there it is.  That's where I've been.  It's not lack of desire when it comes to blogging, that's for sure!  I love getting on here and writing about my life!  I'm going to try to post at least a couple times a week - it's good for the soul. :)

On that note - I have a crying baby on my hands!