Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tripp's First Pool Party!

Tripp had an exciting weekend! We went to Texarkana to see some friends, and to go to their daughter's first birthday party! They have two older children, and it was their son's ninth birthday party, as well.

Tripp loved the pool, and really loved Abi's big birthday present, a Radio Flyer wagon. I think we may have narrowed down what he'll be getting for his birthday next month!

Tripp and Abigail played very well together, so that was exciting for us. Hopefully they will be as good of friends as their mommies are. 
Before we left town, we went and had some Father's Day pictures made. I can't wait to get them in, but here's a preview of my supermen. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Feeding Your Baby (a.k.a. What's the BFD?)

I decided long before I ever even thought about getting pregnant, that I would do my best to breastfeed my child. I had some "female problems" when I was a young girl, and was told I'd probably never be able to deliver naturally, and it might be hard for me to get pregnant. Once I accepted that, I was more determined than ever to breastfeed my child, if I were to be blessed with one. Not just because it's the best thing for them. But because it was the only natural thing about childbirth I might ever get to do.

For more than 10 years, I envisioned having to go through various fertility treatments, c-sections, maybe adoption, everything medical and sterile and not at all the beautiful natural thing that bringing a child into the world really is. Imagine my surprise to end up pregnant, unexpectedly, after NO menstrual cycle for FIVE YEARS!!! My husband and I were shocked, to say the least. So, I started reading up on everything I could. I'm a Sagittarius. We're researchers. I knew what to expect for the c-section. I had friends I could ask about that one. I had no idea what to expect for the breastfeeding, and I couldn't find anyone to ask, either. Everyone I knew had formula fed. My mother breastfed my older brother for about 6 weeks, then developed mastitis and was told to stop feeding him and that her milk would never be the same. She never tried with me. Of course, I was born in the height of the formula push, where women were told how amazing it was. I'm not bashing formula feeding. That's what is best for some women. It's just not for me.

We all have such differing views on feeding our children. Some start cereal and solids very early. Some breastfeed. Some formula feed. Some delay solids until a year. Some give candy and chocolate milk. I just think instead of all the bashing, all the "Are you Mom Enough?" (thanks a hell of a lot TIME magazine), women need SUPPORT for whatever their choices are. We didn't feed Tripp solids until he was 6 months, and I plan to let him wean in his own time. At 11 months old, he's nowhere close to weaning.

I also don't understand the outrage at women who are breastfeeding in public. You don't ask someone giving their child a bottle to take them to the bathroom to feed. It should be normalized in our society. I do my part. I breastfeed in public, without a cover, whenever I need to. I usually feed him before we walk out the door to go somewhere, but if he needs to eat while we are out, I feed him! I've never been modest... so I never thought once about breastfeeding in public, it was just natural for me to do it. And I never really thought about it if I saw it before I had my child, either. It was just "there" and natural...

Anyway, I need to jump off my soapbox and take care of by sweet baby boy, who is no longer napping!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Friends are Friends Forever

Last night before I went to bed, I found out one of my best friends and his fiancee were in a 4-wheeler wreck. She's got a broken ankle, cheekbone, and wrist. He's on life support. No brain activity, on a vent, collapsed lungs, fractured skull. He's been one of my best friends for the last 18 years. I spent the morning with him at the hospital. Now I'm home with my little baby boy, and I just feel lost. I'm praying for him, but I don't even know which way to pray. I know if he makes it, he'll never be the same. I know if he doesn't, so many of us will be broken.

In 2010 two of my best friends died a few weeks apart from each other. Both of them I met in my early teens, and they both were major influences in my life. They were also much older than I was. This is the last person living (aside from my family) who had a major input in shaping me into the woman I am today. I met him before I met the other people I mentioned who have already passed. We've gone through so much together, including losing both of our fathers to cancer, losing grandparents, lots of failed relationships. We've shared lots of happy times too. The birth of both of our sons, him finding his fiancee, me finding my husband, going to national level competitions in our hobbies (poetry for me, cards for him), working on cars together, listening to music and hours and hours and hours of conversations.

I've lost enough people in my life to know that any time could be the last time, but when you're young, you still never expect something so tragic to hit so close (he's 37, I'm 29)... it doesn't get any easier. Right now, his life is hanging in the balance. He's made improvements in the last week, but he's got a LONG way to go before he even gets off the machines.

I've always been one of those girls that had more guy friends than girl friends. I've got a handful of girlfriends that I call my besties, but over the years, I've had more close guy friends. Of course, things change when you get married, but he's one of them that I still considered not only a best friend, but like my family. My husband, of course, outranks all the other best friends in my life, male or female. I'm very lucky my husband is understanding and not the overly jealous type.

I have no idea what the next hours, days, and weeks will bring for him. I'm just going to be doing a lot of praying. I'm looking forward for my husband to come home from work for some support.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pin-Up.... WERK! (and new furniture)

So, we've had an interesting weekend here at our house. One of the many crazy and varied "jobs" I do to be able to stay home with my son full time is teaching Pin-Up Parties. The first part of the party, I teach how to do pin up style makeup, including putting on false eyelashes. Then I teach how to do different pin-up hairstyles. Victory Rolls, Bettie Page Bangs, pin curls, how to roll your hair in sponge rollers, etc. Following that, I set up three areas in my home to do pin up style photography. And I take a ton of pictures of the girls who want that done.

Something I haven't mentioned yet, I have fibromyalgia. So days like yesterday really, really exhaust me and make me freaking SORE. The last party I did (before I was pregnant with the Munchkin) I did everything myself. That was a huge mistake. So I called for reinforcements for the party yesterday. My awesome and very good friends, the Diamond Dames (the Little Rock burlesque troupe) came to help with the hair and makeup class. My fabulous husband was my gaffer (fancy word for "light-setter-upper"). My Munchkin stayed next door with my mother and grandmother. I'm so thankful to have had the help. Hopefully by tomorrow I'll be back in the swing of things.

To make things even crazier, we had SO MUCH to do in setting up the house for the party, not including the serious deep cleaning that had to be done. The sets were our bedroom, our kitchen, and our office/library was cleared out as a "blank room" for various props. The bedroom was the easiest. Fresh sheets and a made up bed, clearing off our bedside tables, and making up the bed really pretty. The kitchen, I had to clear off everything that wouldn't belong in a 1940's kitchen and find a place for it out of the way. You know, things like the coffeemaker, toaster, electric can opener, etc. The office, I had to clear out three chairs, some plastic drawer sets, and my desk. This wouldn't have been a big deal, except on a trip to Sam's Club on Friday with my mother, I decided to swing over and check out this furniture the hubby and I have been saving up for.... and it was on clearance. So I asked someone about it. They didn't have any in stock. Just the floor model. So I asked what kind of discount I could get on the floor model, if I took that. During all this exchange, I was texing the Hubs to see if there was ANY way we could buy it now. The associate came back with an offer for the floor model... which was HALF OFF the original price. So I bought a beautiful overstuffed couch, chair and ottoman. All leather. All BEAUTIFUL. For $649.

Of course, the Hubs wanted to go pick up the furniture that day (I did, too), which means not only were we storing all the office furniture in the nursery, now we had to get a couch and a loveseat in there, too. Plus there was all the time of going to get a truck, then going to get the couch. Taking that home, then going BACK to Sam's to get the chair and ottoman. Did I mention it was raining, too? Thankfully, not enough to stop us. I was so happy we were able to go ahead and buy it. It's the best furniture the hubby and I have ever owned. And the first NEW furniture I've ever owned. Hopefully it will help my back, because our last couch was REALLY hurting my back. It was getting a little too worn out.

Now, I just have to go through a few hundred photos this next week so I can get all the girls their photos. At least I can do it on a comfy couch or chair!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

And so, It begins...

I've been wanting to start a blog about my adventures in motherhood since my dear son was born ten months ago. But instead I've been overwhelmed and just trying to hang on ever since he arrived 3 weeks early!

My most passionate endeavor since he's arrived has become breastfeeding. I knew due to prior health issues that I wouldn't be able to deliver naturally, so breastfeeding was something I was very committed to doing from a young age.

We had a rough pregnancy, followed by a rough delivery. I ended up on magnesium because my blood pressure wouldn't stabilize, and we did an emergency c-section. Because of the magnesium, I couldn't breastfeed until it had been out of my system for 24 hours, and they made me stay on it 12 hours post-delivery, so I couldn't even begin to breastfeed until 7:00am the morning of the day we were discharged. I was so sad I was pumping and dumping all this colostrum and that my little one was getting formula. I knew it was the best we could do, but that didn't change the fact I hated it. When I was finally able to feed him, it was like we were in sync for the first time since he came into the world! The nurse wasn't the best lactation consultant, and we only got to work with her three times before they were sending us out the door!

Luckily, I can say we've overcome all our problems and we're still breastfeeding strong over ten months later. No one talks about how hard it is, and there's a serious learning curve.

My husband has a good job, so I can stay at home with my little one. I'm a graphic designer, dance teacher and a photographer, so I do some freelance work from home when I get it.

So, I hope you enjoy reading about our trials and tribulations in the days and months to come. We try to live an unconventional life. Most days, we succeed.