Sleep Stuff

Thursday, January 31, 2013

I'm currently in the process of trying to transition Caroline out of our room and into her own and so far, no bueno. She has been sleeping swaddled up and in her Nap Nanny (I know they were recalled but we use ours properly and it fits snugly into the cradle so she can't go anywhere) in her cradle pretty much since she was about a month old. I feel like she's approaching the point of being too big for the Nap Nanny and for swaddling and for being in our room still, so I'm about to rock our baby's world and probably my own as well by taking away her Nap Nanny, putting her in sleep sacks in lieu of swaddling and eventually letting her sleep in her crib in her room!

I do have anxiety about moving her into her own room. I guess I'm just afraid I won't hear her if she wakes up (like that's possible) and I've just gotten so used to having her right beside me. I feel pretty certain that we will both sleep better eventually, but I'm not really sure how to approach this whole process. I don't want to change everything on her at once so I'm starting with taking away her Nap Nanny. I just laid her in her cradle and currently she's wailing as I sit here typing. Fail #1. 

Anytime she wakes up at night, I usually try to let her cry for about ten minutes in the hopes that she will put herself back to sleep (yes I hold her until she's asleep, she just does NOT put herself to sleep if I lay her down awake. My child is stubborn as a mule). If she doesn't go back out in that window, I will pick her up. Lots of people have told me to let her cry it out. I tried this twice before at night and I do not exaggerate when I say my child cried for SIX.HOURS.STRAIGHT. Suffice it to say, she does not cry herself to sleep and I'm not going to torture us both by trying to get her to. 
She does go through spells of waking up through the night every few weeks or so, but for the most part she's always done well sleeping through the night, generally 8:30-6:00.  I'm just hoping she'll keep that habit up with me changing all this stuff on her. 
On a separate, but exciting note, It's just over a week until we're going to start Caroline on baby oatmeal mixed with BM! I'm so excited to see how she reacts! I will have officially made my goal of exclusively breastfeeding for six months on February 7! Not gonna lie, I'm totally proud of myself! I do still plan to breastfeed a couple more months as we start to incorporate veggie and fruit purees and then begin the weaning process. I wasn't sure I would, but I think I will miss breastfeeding her once I stop completely. Not to mention that it has been the best exercise/ diet plan ever! haha
Well, the crying has subsided, temporarily at least so pray for us as we start this sleepy nighttime transition!

The Stuff No one Tells you

Saturday, January 26, 2013

So there are lots of things that no one tells you before you're pregnant about actually being pregnant, and I've found the same to be true about childbirth recovery and motherhood. So I'm breaking down the things that made me go hmmmm in the last year or so since this whole baby journey began.

Let's start with pregnancy...
1. You don't sleep. Most people think you start losing sleep once the baby arrives, but I stopped sleeping well around 8 months since my hips hurt and I always had to pee.
2. Every woman you know, and some you don't will tell you the horrible stories of their own childbirth or pregnancies. Just smile, nod and forget what you hear.
3. Your boobs and hair will never look better!

1. Contractions hurt like a mother and if you do the actual birth sans epidural, you are my hero, and possibly even superhuman. I have crazy respect for the ones who go without; I made it about 8 hours before I took mine and that was enough for me.
2. You lose any sense of modesty, humility and dignity during this process.  Practically everyone who darkens the doorstep of your delivery room is there to peep or poke at your lady business and guess what? You don't really care at that point.
3. If you get an epidural or c-section, you have a catheter. Perhaps this wasn't news to some, but color me surprised.

The Recovery...
1. At some point, you will likely be convinced that you could be bleeding to death, but turns out the occasional walnut sized blood clot is normal (gross, but true).
2. Your tummy is like a jiggly bowl of jello for at least a week, but likely more like a few weeks. Your belly button will look weird for awhile and if you get one of those brown lines on your tummy, it takes a bit to fade, too.
3. You don't forget the pain of childbirth. You may suppress it, but it's a pretty memorable experience. And I can only speak from my experience, but it wasn't half as bad as I feared. It was about 5-6 weeks when I felt normal again, but I didn't take any pain meds while in the hospital or even after.
4. Your hair will come out like crazy at some point over the few months after birth. Something to do with estrogen during pregnancy making your hair full and awesome because not much of it comes out while pregnant, but when the levels drop, that hair starts to shed and gets EVERYWHERE!
5. It's very surreal. You don't feel like your body is yours anymore, it's  just there to serve your baby, at least for a time.

1. Engorgement having 2 big hard coconuts in your bra sucks.
2. You lose weight like crazy when you breastfeed and it shrinks your uterus back to size quicker after birth. You can actually feel it contract when your baby eats, it's wild!
3. Most women don't have a period while's awesome. I did not know this until I went to my class and if I'd had any doubts before (which I really didn't) this sold me!

Taking care of baby...
1. You second guess yourself over everything, but eventually you start to trust your instincts.
2. The tiny, sweet little human you made will likely push you to your limits within 48 hours of having them home from the hospital.
3. You feel every emotion heightened beyond what you knew possible, especially love and fear.
4. Babies don't sleep as much as advertised, at least mine didn't.
5. 95% of the photos you snap of your baby will not be Instagram-worthy haha They make some seriously hilarious faces and getting that one perfect one takes a lot of work, but you end up with some pretty adorable outtakes!.

Whatever the surprises, at the end of the day you're making memories. Just remember that on the days you're running on's all worth it. I'm sure there's plenty that could be added to this list, so let's hear it, What surprised you about your journey?

Reasons I can't wait for March...

Friday, January 25, 2013

I'm not a fan of winter. After the holidays, I want my hot, humid pool weather back immediately which makes for a long January and February. I always look forward to March because I feel like when March comes in, winter goes out. But I have even more reasons to look forward to March this year!

Reason #1

Duck Dynasty Returns with new episodes. 

Reason #2

It's Cadbury egg season. Enough said.

Reason #3
My tulips, daffodils and hyacinth start blooming.

Reason #4

This is the one that has me even more excited this year; we have officially scheduled Miss Caroline's baptism for March 24, which is Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week. I am SO excited!

Catching Up

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cheerleading and baby have been keeping this mama super busy here lately! Not to mention all the company we had this past weekend! My nephew and one of my nieces stayed with us Saturday night and we had a surprise visit from one of my Goddaughters and her sweet mama and some of their friends who were passing through on their way back to NC. This was the greatest surprise since they are literally my favorite people!  Miss Caroline attended her second cheer competition of the season a few weeks ago and did pretty well.
 Cruising in her stroller big kid style

I'm not sure if it's a breastfeeding thing, or the fact that I only work a few nights a week and spend all other waking hours with Caroline, but she does NOT do well when left with anyone who isn't me if I'm not around. When I handed her over to take my girls to warm-ups, she commenced her meltdown. She is seriously a stage 4 clinger! I keep thinking she'll outgrow it when we start her on oatmeal and veggies and she breastfeeds less in a couple of weeks but I fear her clingy-ness to me may just be starting...
She did eventually calm down and even got to watch her adorable cousins compete!

And finally, her uncle with the magic touch put her out amidst the blaring cheer music and screaming cheer chicks.

Practicing for her own cheer bow

 My big girl is now ROLLING OVER! She'll go from her tummy to her back but has no interest in going to her tummy just yet. She's also really close to sitting up on her own! Big milestones are right around the corner! Hope y'all are having a great week :)

The Holy City

Sunday, January 13, 2013

 I am in complete, full-on withdraw has been six months now since I've strolled down the Battery, Fort Sumter off in the distance across the harbor, taking in the some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever see in your life. From the lavish gardens tucked away behind stone walls to the clickity-clack of the endless horse-drawn carriage tours to the SHOPPING on King street and let's not forget the ah-mazing food! If there is a bad restaurant in Charleston, I've not found it yet. This city owns a piece of my soul and I need to get back there asap!
  I love this house; the owner of The Piggly Wiggly chain lives here.
This has to be to be of my favorite Battery homes.
Watching all the kids splash around in the pineapple fountain is so fun in the humid months. 

The Ashley River view from behind the Drayton Hall Plantation.
One of my favorite meals from Jestine's Kitxhen...Pecan crusted chicken, fried okra and macaroni

Poogan's Porch is one of our favorite lunch time stops.
And a horse drawn carriage tour is a must every time we're in town. Such a touristy thing to do but I love it!

We first fell in love with Charleston our first year of marriage. Juston did the Swamp Fox adventure race there and after seeing the downtown, knew I would love it so he took me that summer. We've gone back two or three times a year ever since, but it has officially been too long! I'm hoping we make our way there this spring for Caroline's first trip to Charleston. She'll definitely add an interesting new element to the trip, that's for sure. 

My Charleston Top 10:

1. The Battery
2. Tour a plantation (Boone Hall is my favorite)
3. King Street shopping (Peppermint Palm and Copper Penny never disappoint)
4. Tour a fort (Ft Sumter is the obvious choice but there are tons) 
5. Carriage Tour 
6. Try as many restaurants as you can afford! (We always hit Poogan's Porch, Jestine's Kitchen, Hank's, Hominy Grill, Magnolia's and Hyman's to name a few)
7. Patriot's Point
8. Folly Beach 
9. Visit the City Market
10. If you don't stay downtown, park there and just wander up and down as many streets as you can! Intrigue and beauty abound!

There are seriously so many more things that I could add to this list! Charleston is just one of the most magical picturesque places. Anything I missed, leave me a comment! We're always looking for new goodies in and around the city, especially now that Little Bit will be tagging along.

Five Months

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hey y'all! Long time, no post so I'm trying to play catch up! I did finally get my New Year's recipes posted in my Recipe Section so check it out.  January has gotten off to a busy but fun start! I'm lucky to have a lot of my family, husband included work in academics so we got to spend lots of time together over the holiday break since he was off for two weeks.  Caroline has either had her first little cold or has a runny nose from what could be the beginning of teething? We're not really sure, but the poor little one was pretty stopped up for a few days so I tried a little home remedy my mom used on us when we were little and mixed up a half cup warm water with a quarter teaspoon salt and put a few drops in her nose. Snot show pretty much immediately! I only did it once a day a couple of days when she was so stopped up she could barely breath to eat or sleep and it really helped her. She refuses to take a bottle so breastfeeding was pretty tough for her. That little mix really helped a lot! 
In the meantime, time has gotten away from me yet again and Miss Caroline is now 5 months old!

Age: 5 months on January 7
Birthday: August 7, 2012
Weight: 16 pounds 4 ounces
Length: 25 (ish) inches
Sleep: Depends on the night.  Since she had her four month sleep regression, she hasn't really gotten completely back to her good sleep habits. We had a stretch of about a week where I didn't get more than two hours of sleep (I don't function without it). I tried putting her in her sleep sacks since she can kick out of her swaddle now, but she just wasn't having it so I guess I need to start swaddling her in a sheet or something because she is so long! She still sleeps in her cradle next to our bed though, so as soon as she kicks through the swaddle she wakes herself (and me) up. Here's hoping better sleep days are right around the corner when we start her on her oatmeal and breastmilk cocktails after her six month shots/check-up
My Bedtime: Usually start her nighttime routine at 8 and she's out by 9. Problem is she doesn't always stay that way.
Favorite Toy: Baby Einstein take-along music toy
Clothes Size: 3-6 month or 6 month
Diaper Size: Size 3 in Pampers
Milestones Reached: Almost ready to roll over, but just not quite there yet. First time in her own bath tub which she promptly shit in. I usually just put her in the tub with me which she seems to prefer and is so much easier.
Firsts: Sucked her toes! haha
Best Mood: Definitely mornings! She does not get this from me!

Look at that concentration!

She loves these's only a matter of time until she rips them right off the wall.  Babies are sort of freakishly strong!

Welcome 2013!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

We welcomed in the New Year today with our traditional meal of BBQ, collards, cole slaw, hoppin johns and corn bread...and of course cupcakes! My parents and my sister and her kids all came out to celebrate with us.

For anyone whose unfamiliar with the New Year's meal tradition, the pork (BBQ) is for health in the new year, the corn bread and collards are for success and good finances and the black eyed peas (hoppin' johns have them) are for coins, all supposed to ensure wealth and luck. I'll post my recipes under the recipe tab later tonight.

We're also still enjoying the remnants of our first (and hopefully last) big snow! Pretty, but once Christmas is past, I'm ready for tulips and spring. 
I'm not really sure how 2013 could be any better than 2012, but our God is awesome and it will be a great adventure to see what He has in store! Cheers to a new year! May yours be filled with more great things than your heart could ever imagine!