Thursday, February 26

I am now closer to 30.

This past birthday was so perfect. I got to spend it with my main sidekick. But it was also a touch hard because I am now closer to 30 than I am to 20, yet I still feel 21? Hmmm I think I will take a 
rein-check on all future birthdays. Not only does it mean I get older, but my baby gets older. Humph, that is life I guess. It was a great day all things considered (the getting older part) and that explosion below. 
Still have mothering duties on your birthday.
Thanks for reminding me right away Ez.
But that is okay because his cute face makes up for it. 
My all time fave Ezzy face. He bites his little gummies together and it makes his cheeks that much bigger. 
We went to Hobby Lobby and I had a hot dinner date with my boys. The binki was forgotten at home so it ended up being a little more stressful and quick than planned. 
Just me and my date on my birthday, feeding in the car. 
Got that vase for my pikes market flowers that we got on Valentines Day.  
Thank you, Sun, for shining brightly on February 17th, I know it was just for me.  

Friday, February 6

20 in 20 out

Bummer my prego picture is blurry.
Today marks 20 weeks of life for my little Ezra Jay. The first 20 weeks with him inside me we hard yet so exciting and the first 20 weeks with him on earth with us has been so magnificent but also not void of trials. I definitely prefer the latter of the 20 weeks though.
*Warning--all photos are a first mom/first child problem. I took screen shots throughout a video* 
Waiting 3 years to finally hear that we were pregnant was hard. I won't sugar coat it. You out there who are struggling now are literally living in it and know, like deep down to your bones know. Then there are those who are where I am, you did have a long road, but your time finally came, whether after a short amount of waiting or a long period of waiting-- lets be honest, any waiting is hard. 
 Then to go through pregnancy was magically beautiful and yet so hard. You really do become a mother when you get pregnant. You start to worry over so many things already. Is he/she moving enough, am I eating well to give him/her adequate nutrition, am I exercising too hard or not enough, etc. etc. 

Reflecting back over the past year amazes me, because it went soo fast. And to think, just a little over a year ago I was still in pain of not being pregnant and now my baby is growing up so rapidly, and adorably might I add. All of this reflection has made me realize to always have faith, love, and laughter in your life. It is easy to get consumed by the daily trials or tasks at hand. The only constant can and should be happiness. It is easy to get down whether it be too much rain outside (*cough*Seattle*cough*), not being near family and friends, or just life in general. 

I am so grateful for my baby. I am grateful my time finally came.  I am grateful he is not still in my belly.I am grateful he has been with me for 20 weeks (although it feels like I've never been without him). I am grateful for his happiness that brings me countless happiness, daily.  Cheers to your 20 week birthday Ezra. 

Wednesday, February 4

The pay off

I hope I am not speaking too soon, but I think the day of the pay off has finally arrived. Let me tell you this. Sleep training is not for the faint of heart. It is HARD. Probably the hardest thing I have had to do as a mom thus far. Wait, that means it is harder than pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding? Okay no. Those things were more physically hard, this has been hard on my momma heart.
He was so tired, he fell asleep rubbing his eye.

While I was pregnant I was given a book by a dear friend called Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child . When she gave it to me she told me it was a life saver and she now gives it to every expecting mother. I am considering starting the same tradition, because it is that wonderful. She said she just thought her first two children were terrible sleepers, then she received this book from somebody and realized with her next two children that it wasn't the first two children's fault, but rather her parenting. 
It is blurry but my happy morning baby is too cute with that big grin/laugh.

We have to help our babies learn to sleep just like we have to help them learn to eat and walk and talk. It takes time and work, and maybe some ear plugs and a night to yourself, but it works. In the book there are countless examples of it working, moms tell of their real life events. Every child is different, has different problems and takes to it differently (that is a lot of different) but every story ends the same with "We all sleep better now, etc etc and we all lived happily ever after. The end." But seriously, sleep=happy. I know you can't disagree with that statement.
A better one of his smile, he is just as happy as me that he is learning to sleep through the whole night.
This is how it worked for us.
About a week and a couple days ago I cut out that feeding at 3am. So he went from about 7pm-7:30/8am without eating. But he was used to waking up at that feeding time so instead of feeding him we would just go in and put his binks in. But then he would wake up again every 1-2 hours and not know how to fall asleep without us going in to the put his bink in. It started getting excessive, like 5-9 times a night. But it was sooo easy because we just had to put his bink in and sometimes turn him on his side and he was out again. So we did that for a while (we were even doing that before cutting out the feeding). I didn't want to take this away at the same time I took the feeding away, so a couple days after he was fine with not eating in the middle of the night, I decided it was time to finish off the sleep training.
He needed to learn to:
A.) fall asleep on his own without his binks/us putting it in for him
B.) sleep on his back
C.) and not to be swaddled (he was continually getting his arms out)

It was so hard to make the decision to start this. I mean he was doing so well falling asleep and I hate to hear him cry. Especially when I knew if I just went in for 5 seconds and put his binki in then he would instantly fall asleep and continue sleeping. 

So, in the end, we made the decisions to just stopped going in. We have a video monitor so that was easy to console my heart and see him and know he was okay and that he was just wanting his binki or attention. (He LOVES attention, like most babies I am sure, but I think his is a little excessive, probably my fault). The book told me to not go in at naps or night. But for naps dont let them cry longer than an hour. The most time he ever cried consecutively was 45 mins. That may not sound long, but when your baby is crying it is an eternity. If I can do it, so can you. I think 4 months was the perfect age to do it, maybe 3 months next time, but for me it felt right at this age with him. 
Ready for his morning nap. His eyes are a dead giveaway that he is ready for sleep. His little pose kills me every time I look at this.

Some tips I would give (since I have been a mom for soooo long and have soooo much knowledge):

#1. Read this book. Has plenty of stories of moms going through the same thing and many doctoral studies and input from many different doctors from pediatricians to psychologists. It is good to know with confidence that you are not going to ruin your child.
#2. You have to have full support from your spouse because when the rough gets going, and it will, you have to have him as your back bone. Mostly to hold you back from storming in their room and picking them up or putting in their binki or solving whatever it is that will help them stop crying. By nature we as mothers know we can solve their crying so you have to have support.
#3. Stay out of their room, they will learn! Here is a quote from the book, 
"The baby may cry because he is hungry and needs food to survive. The toddler may cry because he wants a second helping of dessert after dinner. The child may cry when afraid. The teenager may cry when feeling hopeless. The adult may cry from happiness at a wedding. Not all crying signifies pain. Unfortunately, when parents talk bout crying, the assumption is that crying equals pain. This leads to the sometimes hidden thought: 'If my baby cries, I am a bad parent.'"
I loved reading that because he goes on to say how incorrect that thought is. The first day of letting him "cry it out" I totally felt guilty. He addresses that in the book because clearly any mom with a heart is going to feel bad, it's a given. This along with MANY other parts of the book are wonderful and helped me immensely. He is a pediatrician and a dad of 5. He knows and understands and has helped sooo many families. Do yourself the favor and click on the link to amazon and buy it for $10.  
I love that busy little body. He rolls the second you put him down. 
It has taken me all morning to write this and so an update, he cried for 5 minutes when I laid him down this morning but slept for an hour and a half straight. Then when I just put him down for his middle of the day nap he laid there for a minute just looking around and went right to sleep. No crying at all. The saying is true "sleep begets sleep." You could probably come up with a million reasons to not sleep train because those 3-4 days are rough, but seriously, do yourself the favor. It will work. Be consistent! Oh yeah, and head to the store and grab some chocolate and ear plugs, you can do it! 

Look at this precious capture of my babies hand. I am so excited to have this forever. 
I know in the future when I look at it I will just cry and wish I could hold those chubby hands. We have to re-do it because we had some air bubbles, but then we will finish it all nicely and have it for.ev.eeeeeer. 

Happy sleep training--the pay off will happen. 
Ezra 4 months old

Monday, February 2

lovers holiday crafts/decor

At the end of the day, I always wish I had crafted or spruced up our living quarters (I refuse to call this apartment home) in some way. And at the beginning of every holiday I wish I had the decor to go along with said holiday. We have always lived in small apartments and we are already poppin outta these walls. Sooo buying extra decor to store and then move in X amount of months or years is never ever done.

Well folks, I put my foot down this February and decided to do some Pinterest browsing and came up with some DIY projects and a wee little hobby lobby shopping. That did the trick. I don't have a cute fireplace mantel or even a good media dresser or a cute wall table thing so the kitchen table is all I've got for now (hopefully that will change in the near future).

Today was the day I made nap time super duper useful and made this here table runner. It turned out so great. I love it for my lovers holiday. I already had the candlestick holders [Confession: I am a hoarder] but I got the candles at hobby lobby on Saturday and my xoxo sign also came from h.b. I am still working on one more project: it involves crocheting and a nature walk. Stay tuned.

Oh yeah, we arent going to talk about these next pictures that were taken yesterday during a bowl of not so super-ness...