Monday, September 29, 2014

Boston's Five Month Update

I think I've said this every month and I've meant it every time but seriously this month has been the most fun so far. I tell everyone that I think this age is the sweet spot because he's sleeping through the night, developing a little personality, can entertain himself for short periods of time, but he isn't mobile yet so I'm not chasing him around the house. I am having so much fun and now that he's been here for 5 months I can't even remember what I did with all my time before I became his mom. 

Weight: 18lbs

Teeth: He doesn't have any yet but I know they are coming. He is drooling like crazy and he also loves chewing on my knuckles and his Sophie Giraffe.

Words: I know he doesn't know what he is saying but I still love the fact that when he babbles he goes "mamamamama". I think it secretly makes Dustin a little jealous because sometimes I hear him practicing with Boston saying "daaaaadaaaaa. Come on, say it."

Favorite Things: Right now he is loving his exersaucer. His favorite thing to do is spin the chickens which make noise. He also likes taking baths and air drying in the backyard. It is still so warm here so I always take him out there and give him a little baby massage after his baths. Such a spoiled boy. He also loves when daddy holds him up in the air and when he blows raspberries. Dustin always gets the biggest smiles.

Dislikes: Whenever we have to give him a bottle, he hates when we pull it out of his mouth to burp him. Sometimes my mom does it just to get him to make his adorable sad face. We call it "the bulldog". He also hates when Dustin sings sad songs. He will stick out his bottom lip and his eyes fill with tears. I know it's mean but it is so stinking cute! 

- He is rolling over really good! He mainly just rolls back to belly but he has rolled belly to back a handful of times.
- He is starting to be able to balance himself while sitting. He can only do this for a few seconds but I am sure he will be sitting on his own soon. And honestly I think his big belly helps to support him a little too.
- He is drinking 7oz of breastmilk every 3 hours while I am at work. I am having a hard time keeping up with this hungry guy and I can't wait until next month when we can start solids. We have tried to do the paced feedings which doesn't seem to make a difference. He just likes to eat.
- He is getting really good at using his hands and grasping objects. 
- He was never super interested in toys before but they are finally motivating him to do a few minutes of tummy time. We still are not doing the recommended hour a day but he seems to be doing exactly what he should be at this age.
Summer Ann

Friday, September 26, 2014

Happy (almost) October!!

It's almost October so we are in full Halloween prep at our house. Last night I mixed up some of our favorite Halloween mix, we put on the football game and we got to decorating. It's really feeling like Fall and I'm loving it!

If you would like to make some of this festive mix all you need is dry roasted unsalted peanuts and Candy Corn! I do equal parts of each but really you can adjust it to your taste. My mom loves adding the Indian Corn which gives it a hint of chocolate and that's pretty delicious too! It totally reminds me of a Baby Ruth candy bar.

And finally, here's a little sneak peak of our Halloween decor this year. I've still got a few projects in the works but I hope to finish them up sometime this weekend. (Sorry for the awful lighting in the photos. When you work all day and come home to a teething baby, pretty much the only time you can get anything done is after they go to bed.)

Happy (almost) October!
Summer Ann

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Getting to Mommy

I always knew eventually Dustin and I would want to have babies but before we got married we made the decision that we would wait a few years so we could travel, go out with friends, and just enjoy each other. Since we didn't want to start trying for a while I went to the doctor and requested the Mirena IUD. Throughout the procedure my doctor talked to me, explained things on the sonogram, and tried to keep my mind off the procedure. It was quick, a little painful, but overall a very easy deal. After he was done he told me that from what he saw on the sonogram he could tell that I had very irregular cycles, if he had to guess I probably only ovulated once a year, and it would probably be hard for me to get pregnant. He then tried to reassure me and said "But don't you worry about that because when the time comes, I am a fertility specialist and can help with that". Dang! I went in to that appointment not wanting babies anytime soon and came out with the biggest case of baby fever you could imagine. I think it was because I was kinda in a panic that it may take forever to get pregnant so if we didn't start trying soon we might totally miss our window all together.

Fast forward 3 years and I was finally able to help Dustin feel comfortable with the idea of trying to start a family. He's a typical guy in the sense that he needed to have certain things crossed off his list to feel like he was "ready" to be a dad. And I was pumped he finally felt ready! I went to the doctor, had the IUD removed, then headed straight to the store and bought prenatals, fish oil, and the best ovulation kits my Google-ing could find. I chilled out on the wine drinking, made sure I was eating well and basically tried to be as healthy as possible to hopefully create a great environment in my body for a baby.

I used the kits for about 6 months and each month I noticed that I wouldn't get the little smiley face until late in my cycle (like day 25) and would start my next cycle a few days later. Anyone that knows the time-line of a normal woman's cycle would know that is not good. I knew this time-line wasn't going to allow our future baby to get comfy and implanted before my next cycle would start. I know they say to try a year before calling a specialist but I didn't want to waste any time, especially if the doctor had already seen issues before, so I called him and setup an appointment.

We met with him a few weeks later and he agreed to go ahead and start the infertility testing to figure out what the problem was. I went in a few times for blood draws and sonograms and they tested Dustin to rule him out. A week or so after we finished the testing, the doctor called with my results and told me that the tests showed what we suspected. I wasn't ovulating. He suggested we start with a round of Femara (a medicine that helps you ovulate) and to come in mid-cycle for a sonogram to make sure the meds were doing what they were supposed to. I felt broken and so angry with my body but I started the Femara and we prayed it would work.

On the 12th day (a Friday) I went in for the sonogram and possibly a trigger shot (a shot they give you in the stomach to trigger ovulation). During the sono they only found one follicle that was developing but it wasn't quite mature enough to do the trigger shot so they wanted me to come back Monday to check again. Well that sucked for a few reasons: Normally more follicles mature which gives you a better chance of getting pregnant. Secondly, I was scheduled to go to San Francisco for work Monday afternoon. Thirdly, the doctor was only willing to do three rounds of the medicine because of side effects. I had to make a choice... Do I buy Dustin a last minute flight or just forget about this cycle and try again next month. So I did what anyone would do and texted my sister in-law. Ya I know it's kind of a weird choice but she's very level headed and I knew she'd give me great advice. She basically told me to book him a flight and have fun. And that's what I did.

That Monday at our next appointment the doctor said the follicle was still immature and that I would probably ovulate on my own on Tuesday. Good thing I booked him a flight. So off we went to San Francisco. I worked during the day and when I was done we went out for a couple nice dinners and enjoyed the city. I figured that if we didn't get pregnant this time, we tried and we at least had a good time in one of our favorite cities.

A week and a half later, we had my family over for some time at the pool. We were laying out in the water, having a good time, when my wonderful sister pointed out that I looked pregnant (so sweet ;P). And my mom said she had been noticing how huge my boobs looked. Awesome. They both said I needed to take a pregnancy test but I knew it was a few days too soon and I explained to both of them that there was no way they'd be noticing pregnancy signs already.

That night, after they left, I got up the nerve to take one of the First Response tests. Figuring it would be negative like all the times before, I secretly went to the bathroom, did my thing, and waited for the result. Not even a minute later the test showed a faint positive (But hey a positive is a positive)! I was in shock! I had waited for this moment for what felt like forever and now I didn't know what to do. I just stood in the bathroom and tried to compose myself so I could tell Dustin in the way I had planned.

Almost a year before, I had purchased a bandanna for Bennington that was two layers. The top bandanna said "Guess What?" and the bottom layer said "I'm going to be a big brother!". I went to the closet, got the bandanna and with very shaky hands tied it on Bennington. I told him to go see his daddy and he ran right to Dustin. Dustin didn't get what was going on at first because I promised him I would wait a few more days to take the test so that I wouldn't get upset prematurely. I kept saying "Dustin lift the bandanna, lift the bandanna!" He finally realized what was going on and said "Are you serious??" I started crying and he hugged me while one of my legs continued to shake uncontrollably. It was such a special moment. We joked that if it was a boy we should name him Francisco. But luckily for Boston we decided against it.

We happened to get extremely lucky that it only required one treatment to become pregnant. I know so many friends that are struggling and going through so much more than what we went through but when the time comes and your baby is placed in your arms (whether it be through your own pregnancy, surrogacy or adoption) you will finally understand what God was preparing you for. His plan is always perfect.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Anniversary Shenanigans

I am terrible with surprises for two reasons... First, I'm an awful liar because I always end up laughing when I think I'm getting away with a fib. And the second reason being that I always get too excited about the surprise that I end up telling the person ahead of time. It's so frustrating! But this weekend was our 5th wedding anniversary and I wanted to make it really special so I was determined to keep the surprise.

Dustin is always so good to me and Boston so I really wanted to make him feel loved. About a month ago I booked us a couples massage, a hotel room for our first night baby free, and made reservations at his favorite steak place. I had also made arrangements for Boston to stay with his grandma for his very first sleepover. Everything was perfect.

He knew we would be celebrating Saturday but he didn't know what we were doing. All he knew was  that he would receive a text around noon with an address where he should meet me. So Saturday morning I had Dustin's sister invite him to our nieces' soccer games so that he would be out of the house and I could pack his clothes, my clothes, and all the things Boston would need for the night. My mom came and picked me up, I dropped Boston's things off at his other grandma's house and off we went to decorate the hotel room.  I bought 19 huge red roses for the day we were married, a cake that was the same flavor and from the same bakery as our wedding cake, and some champagne. I had also packed a few keepsakes from our wedding day to have in the room. Everything worked out just how I had planned (which never happens btw) and my mom dropped me off at the spa. After our massage I gave him directions to the hotel, we valeted the car, and went up to the room. He was impressed. We ate some cake and ordered french fries from room service (apparently we have diets of a 5 year old) and got ready for dinner. We had a car take us to dinner and when we arrived they directed us to a private room in the back of the restaurant where we ate crab cakes, steak, truffle mac and cheese, and pecan pie. YUM! When we got back to the hotel, the staff had left us some champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and a card. So sweet! It was such a perfect night.
Dress can be found here.
For the next day I had packed our swim suites and extra clothes in case we wanted to hang out before going to pick up Boston but by 6:30am Dustin was already packing up the room and ready to go see our little guy. I guess we are so used to getting up early that even when we are able to sleep in we can't. And I guess daddy is pretty attached to his buddy. 

 It was such a great anniversary and I can't wait for many more.

Summer Ann

Friday, September 19, 2014

Freezer Meal: Low Fat Chicken Pot Pie

This meal is one of Dustin's favorites and also one of mine because it is so simple. The guy loves any food that incorporates croissants and a creamy sauce/filling but ironically enough he is always "eating healthy" which makes him pretty hard to cook for. My mother in-law obviously knows his taste, having had cooked for him for all these years, and made a similar version of this one night. He loved it so much so I decided to change it up a little and try it out as a freezer meal. It worked out perfect!

1 cup fat free Sour Cream (or Greek Yogurt)
1 can reduced fat Cream of Chicken soup
1 cup of fat free shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups of shredded cooked chicken breasts (you can bake or boil the chicken)
1 16oz package of frozen mixed veggies
1 tube of reduced fat croissants

- Mix together Sour Cream, Soup, Chicken, Cheese and Veggies.
- Place mix into 2 8x8 foil casserole pans. (I split the mix into the smaller pans because there are only 2 of us to feed but if you have a larger family you can use a bigger foil dish. And the foil throw away pans make for less dishes later. Wohoo!)
- Roll croissants over the top. 
- Cover with foil and freeze.
- The night before serving the meal, place it in the fidge to thaw. Bake at 375 degrees for 35min (or until the croissants are golden brown).

I hope y'all enjoy!

Summer Ann

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

7 Reasons Breastfeeding is Easier Than Formula Feeding

First let me preface this by saying that this list doesn't take into account the moms who exclusively pump. Seriously you ladies are my heroes. And secondly, that I know breastfeeding isn't easy... I've been lucky enough to do it for last 5 months and it is definitely a sacrifice. I mean you usually aren't able to have that yummy glass of wine whenever you would like. When you exclusively breastfeed, you usually take on most of the nightly duties. At some point you may have experienced a clogged milk duct, mastitis, or thrush. And who knows, you may also have a baby who is sensitive to what you eat leaving you with a diet that is even more restrictive than when you were pregnant. It is totally not an easy commitment, but whenever I feel like I want to give up I use the following facts to remind me that the grass isn't always greener.

1. Formula costs. Think of how many extra hours you would have to work to pay for formula. When they say breast milk is liquid gold, they aren't kidding!
2. The side laying feeding position. Enough said!
3. You can't forget to pack your boobs. :) You have so many other things to pack and prepare when you are trying to get out of the house, but formula won't be one of them.
4. You burn up to 500 calories and you don't even have to workout!
5. You don't need any hands to feed the baby. Ok so this takes some practice but I can put Boston in my Ergo Baby Carrier and nurse him while I do my hair, makeup or get things done around the house!
6. You never have to come up with a reason for a few minutes of privacy. Anytime the baby may be hungry, just excuse yourself and you've got at least 15 minutes of private bonding time.
And my favorite....
7. Research shows parents of a breastfed baby get 40 more minutes of sleep each night compared to parents of a formula fed baby. My best friend who is a lactation consultant (I know I am so lucky, right!! ) told me this and if you think about it, it totally makes sense. Parents of a breastfed baby don't have to get up in the middle of the night to warm water and mix up a bottle. Better yet, if the baby is sleeping in your room, you may not have to get up at all!

These are some of my favorite ways breastfeeding makes my life easier. What are yours?

Summer Ann
(Photo by Jackie Spivey Photography)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Family, Festivals and a Lazy Football Sunday

This weekend the weather was absolutely perfect for some time outside so we headed to our local wine festival with a couple of friends and the babies. It was such a great time and the fall like temperatures were very welcome after a few months of mostly 90 degree days. We drank some adult beverages, ate corn dogs, and spent time with one of our favorite couples.
Then that evening we dropped Boston off with his aunt and cousins and Dustin and I went to the UT vs. UCLA game. It was actually our first real date night since the baby and it was a blast!
Sunday everyone was pretty wore out so we lit our new Pumpkin Cupcake candle, stayed in our pj's and watched more football. I love any excuse to keep Boston in his little footed jammies. They are just so darn cute! And I am loving his new skill… sticking out his tongue. ;P
I hope y'all are enjoying this preview of fall. I know I am!

Summer Ann

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My First Post… Finally

Ever since I found out we were expecting, I thought blogging would be a fun way to journal the experiences of becoming a mom. Well here I am with a 4 month old and just now getting around to doing it. I think I kept putting it off because English was never my strongest subject and honestly putting myself out there through writing was very intimidating. After months and months of coming up with every excuse not to do this, I decided to finally put myself out there. 

For those of you who do not know me well, or know me at all, I am a 28 year old Corporate Event Planner from Texas. I met my husband, Dustin, in high school and we were married in September of 2009.

A few months later, we decided we were ready for our first "baby" who we named Bennington...

And then we spent the next 4 years enjoying each other, establishing careers, traveling, and "getting ready" to become parents. We found out we were expecting in August 2013… 

And our lives changed forever when Boston was born in April. He is so much fun and we are loving every second.  Being a mom is so much work but when he smiles at me and gives me his "love eyes", everything feels so worth it.

A few final things about me…. I love spending my time with family and friends. If it is Fall, and a Saturday, Sunday, Monday or Thursday, you can probably find me watching some football. I love planning parties and making to do lists just so I can cross things off them. I like figuring out the easiest ways to do things. A good glass of wine can almost always get me out of a funk. And I am pretty much obsessed with truffle oil.

Summer Ann
(Photos by Jackie Spivey Photography and Kandice Ray Photography)