Friday, June 25, 2010

Life Updates

I just realized that I haven’t posted in a while…mainly because I don’t have much to say.  I want to write a post about Father’s Day, but the words just aren’t coming to me right now.  I have started the post several times, but just can’t finish it. 

So, for now I will just give you a few updates from our family. 

  • Ryan still doesn’t have a job.  He is applying for tons of stuff but is not getting any responses.  He is getting frustrated and I just feel really bad for him.  He loves spending time with Jack, but he really wants to get back to work and help support our family. 
  • Jack is now pretty much a full time walker.  He still crawls when he is already on the ground playing and wants to get to something (but, seriously, I would do the same thing!  Why exert all of that energy to get up just to sit back down?)  It is so cute to watch him toddle around.  I sometimes ask if he is drunk because he runs into walls and stumbles all the time.  It’s mainly because he thinks that he can run and he isn’t quite there yet! 
  • We are gearing up for a trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama with my entire family in three weeks.  It’s going to be an adventure.  We are not happy to deal with all of the oil, but it was really the best option for us since we wanted to drive.  There are 14 of us going, so we will see how that goes! 
  • I had some blood work recently and found out that my triglyceride levels are slightly elevated.  So, I am supposed to watch my sugar intake for a while and see if they level out.  They were borderline, so it’s possible that I could have just had a sugar-filled weekend and kind of thrown them off.  We will see.  This is bad news for me because I am a sugar-aholic.  I don’t really drink much.  I can give or take most foods.  Not a salt person.  But sweets…oh my!  And in the summer…ugh.  Tropical Sno, Ice Cream stands everywhere!  It’s crazy.  Like right now, I would really like a cookie.  But, I will refrain! 
  • I’m looking forward to lunch with an old friend tomorrow that I have not seen in a while.  Should be a good time catching up with her! 
  • I’m also looking forward to going to dinner with my mom, sister, and friend Emily on Sunday and then going to see Wicked. 
  • I have a three day weekend this weekend as I am off on Monday.  I’m also off next Friday, so I only have to work three days next week before I get a five day weekend (I’m off on Monday the 5th for the holiday and then have Tuesday off as well).
  • On Tuesday, July 6 we are taking Jack to the ENT to get evaluated for tubes in his ears.  He has had more ear infections than I can count and he is constantly pulling on his ears.  From what I have been told, these issues can actually affect language development because the kids don’t hear as well as they should.  So, we want to get things figured out!  We will see what the doctor has to say. 
  • I need a haircut and some highlights so badly!  There just aren’t enough hours in the day!

Okay, I’m going to get back to work!  Have a great weekend

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Why I didn’t breastfeed

When I was pregnant, I was often asked “are you going to breastfeed your child?”  It’s a perfectly valid question in some cases (like when my doctor asked, or the pre-registration people at the hospital asked, or even when my mother-in-law asked since she would be watching Jack when I went back to work).  When other people asked, I often times wanted to tell them that it was none of their business. 

I decided long before I was even pregnant that breastfeeding was not something I would do.  The whole concept is just weird to me.  Yes, I completely understand that it is natural and that our bodies are built for it.  But, to me, there is something unnatural about the whole process.  I knew that it would be horrible for me, and in turn, horrible for the baby.  I have the absolute, utmost respect for women that breastfeed.  I don’t have the patience for it.  It takes a lot of work! 

Once I was pregnant, I watched two family members attempt to breastfeed their children.  One ended in a severely infected nipple (ewwww…) and the other ended with both mother and baby so frustrated after two weeks they both spent entire days in tears (even after appointments with lactation consultants).  Let’s just say that didn’t amplify my desire to give it the old college try! 

In the end, I decided that Jack would be bottle fed from the get go.  I was bottle fed, my sister was bottle fed, my husband was bottle fed…and none of us are any worse for the wear because of it.  Jack took a bottle very easily and I do not feel like I missed out on bonding him with him.  I still held him close to me when he ate…still looked into his eyes and sang to him and talked to him while he ate. 

I get very annoyed when people judge me for my decision.  I don’t judge you for your decision to breastfeed, so don’t judge me for mine!  It is a personal decision for each family.

Now, I will tell you, that I do judge the women that continue to breastfeed their children until they are 4, or 5, or 6.  I was watching a report on the Today Show the other day and this woman was literally breastfeeding a 6 year old.  I think that is completely wrong!  When the child can walk up to you and talk and say “mom, I want to drink from the left one” you have a problem! 

So, to end, I will say again that I have the utmost respect for all of you that breastfeed that that stuck it out for the long haul!  It just wasn’t a good option for me! 

Sunday, June 6, 2010


As a mom, we give everything we have to our children. Every waking second is spent doting on them and worrying about them. Let me note, that I would not give up the time that I have with Jack for anything. That being said, a mom sometimes just needs a minute to herself! Last night, after Jack went to bed, I had to go to the Super Wal-Mart for some groceries and other items. It was after 9 when I got home. Ryan and I put the groceries away and then I grabbed a bite to eat and sat on the couch. It was about 9:30 at this point. I realized, at that moment, that I couldn't remember the last time I had just an hour to sit at home and do nothing. Jack goes to bed between 7:30 and 8 every night. Once he is down for the night, there is usually laundry, dishes, or other cleaning that needs to be done. On the weekends, I run errands. Ryan will stay home with Jack (or sometimes I take him with me). But, I don't ever just sit at home.

So, today, I asked Ryan to take Jack out for a walk so I could just have a moment to myself. I have sat and watched a DVR'd show that has been waiting since early April to be watched. It's been blissful. I know that Ryan will be home soon, so I'm going to cut this short and enjoy my last bit of quiet!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


As I have mentioned, my husband needs a job!  The weight of his unemployment has hit me a lot this week.  I think that my stress over Jack’s development is also a factor in the stress I have been feeling.  It’s clearly not Ryan’s fault that the economy sucks and he can’t find a job.  It’s not his fault that his company closed his store.  But, I can’t help feeling a little annoyed.  I wish he would have looked harder for a job while he was employed.  I wish that he would apply for more jobs now. 

I’m just frustrated.  I work for the State of Illinois.  Our budget is not the best and I honestly worry about the security of my job.  I feel fortunate to have a job with benefits, but I know that isn’t a given. 

I wish that someone would just give him a chance and at least interview him.  A person can only take so much rejection before they get down on themselves. 

I don’t really talk to Ryan about this because he honestly feels like a failure right now.  I don’t want to make him feel any worse than he already does.  I am just trying to keep it together and not freak out…it’s not going so well!

Friday, June 4, 2010

One year checkup

Yesterday, Ryan and I took Jack for his one year checkup with Dr. Hulsen.  I was dreading it for a number of reasons…not the least of which being that he was going to get four shots. 

All in all, he was a trooper.  We started with all of the official measurements.  He weighs 22 pounds, 5 ounces (50th percentile) and is 29.5 inches tall (50th percentile).  I can’t remember what his head size was, but he is in the 75 percentile for that.  Dr. Hulsen said that he is very proportionate, so that’s always good to hear (I won’t mention my little niece who is barely on the low end of the height and weight charts but has a head in the 90th percentile!). 

We discussed Jack’s strange habit of sleeping sitting up (have I done a post about this yet?  No…okay).  Well, for the past nearly four weeks, every night when I go to check on him before I go to bed, he is completely asleep, sitting up in his bed.  The first night that he did it, I thought it was hilarious!  I mean, kids fall asleep in random positions all the time.  I busted out the camera and took some photos.

Jack sitting up sleeping

But, after several weeks of finding him like this, I was concerned.  I knew that it wasn’t an emergency and that I could wait until his well baby check up.  Dr. Hulsen is pretty convinced that his sleeping upright is a direct result of the ear problems he has been having.  She decided that based on the number of ear infections he has had in the past few years that it was time to refer him to an ENT.  I really wanted to avoid tubes in him, but it doesn’t seem like that is going to be a possibility.

I also had her look at Jack’s fingernails.  He has ridges in all his fingernails (I think that they look wrinkled).  She said that this is a completely benign condition and that sometimes kids grow out of it.  Others have it for their entire lives.  Thankfully, he is a boy, so nails won’t be an issue for him!  It’s just funny because I actually have really good nails!

I also talked to her about some of the developmental concerns I have about Jack.  I discuss those in detail here.  I won’t go on and on about that anymore in this post. 

After a nice talk with the doctor, it was time for Jack to get the shots.  At this point, he was pretty much ready to go.  It was time to eat and for a nap!  He was crying before the nurse even came in with her giant tray of syringes.  I laid him down on the table and she gave him two shots in each leg.  He cried and I tried not to cry!  He got two snoopy band-aids and two tweety bird band-aids.  Pretty cool!  We even gave him a sticker on the way out because he was such a brave boy!  Who doesn’t love a Spiderman sticker?  :) 

All in all, we have a healthy baby boy!  This first year has flown by and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I just need to ramble for a minute. This will probably not make much sense and will definitely not be presented in a cohesive fashion, so I understand if no one can read it!

I am getting ready to take Jack to his one year doctors appointment this afternoon. I have a huge pit in my stomach, because, I am very nervous. All everyone wants when they are pregnant is a healthy child. Minus some ear infections and colds, Jack has been pretty healthy. However, I can’t shake the feeling that there is something not quite right.

He seems to be delayed in some areas. While he babbles a lot, he doesn’t use many words. And, the ones that he does use, he doesn’t seem to use in a meaningful way. He does say what I think is ball when he is playing with the little basketballs we have in the bathtub. He also knows that I am mom. He doesn’t point at things that he wants or at items on a page in a book. He seems to be on target in the movement category. He was delayed in that area as well (he didn’t decide to crawl until he was over 10 months old). But, now he crawls like a mad man, he pulls up on the furniture, cruises around, and has even taken a few steps on his own. He’s not walking yet, but that’s normal. Only half of children actually walk by their first birthday. I’m not stressed about that.

He doesn’t really like to play with toys that much. He would carry around a tube of orajel or a bottle of lotion all day…but the tons of toys all over our living room…not so much. He does like books, but he doesn’t want you to read them to him. He would rather sit with the book and flip through the pages, looking at the pictures.

You hear so much about autism…and how boys are three or four times more likely to have it. I will fully admit, I am a hypochondriac. I always think that something is wrong with me or someone I love. However, mothers intuition is usually pretty good.

I am worried about what the doctor will say. I’m worried that she will completely dismiss my concerns (which I don’t think she will. I love our doctor and she really does listen to what we have to say and takes the time to answer our questions). Or, I am worried that she will be concerned about what I have to say.

I have discussed some of my concerns with Ryan. He doesn’t think that there is anything going on. I haven’t really mentioned this to anyone else, mainly because I feel quite crazy. I just want my baby to be happy and healthy throughout his life. I want to do everything I can to provide him with a great life.

So, I am getting ready to leave work to head to the pediatricians office. We will see what Dr. Hulsen has to say. I’m freaking out!


Well, we went to the doctor yesterday. I will have a post later today about all his stats, etc. However, I discussed my concerns with Dr. Hulsen. She was great and listened to everything that I had to say. She said that his lack of pointing could be cause for concern, but that just looking at Jack, she didn't think that we needed to be overly concerned. He follows conversations, he makes eye contact, he smiles, he talks (kids at his age are supposed to have one word, he has four that he uses regularly (mama, dada, up, and ball)) and babbles. She said that if it is something that I am truly concerned about that she would definitely send us for a developmental assessment. But, based on the things that we were telling her, she did not think that we needed to be overly concerned. So, I decided that I would wait and see what he is doing around the time of his 15 month checkup in August. If I am still feeling uneasy or some concern, then I am going to have her send us for the assessment...just so that I can have some peace of mind. Until then, I am going to attempt to not obsessively Google things!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

It’s My Party


Okay, okay.  I realize that it has taken me forever to write about Jack’s birthday party!  I’ve been busy!  Sorry!

Jack was fortunate to have two celebrations for his birthday.  I’m a huge fan of birthdays!  I think that it is the one day that should be all about you!  I want to make Jack feel special every day, but I want him to feel extra special on his birthday. 

His actual birthday was on a Wednesday this year, so we decided to have dinner with just our parents and Ryan's sister Lindsay (my sister had to work).  Ryan’s parents offered to let us have dinner at their house since our house isn’t really conducive to a party of any kind (our living room and kitchen are tiny!). 

Since I had the day off, we decided to take Jack to have his one year pictures taken.  We went to Portrait Innovations in Fairview Heights (which is where we had his awesome Christmas photos taken).  I tried to schedule them at a time when he would be happy.  Yeah, that didn’t work so well. 

We got some gems like this one.  Yup, he was super happy!

Jack Birthday 7

But then there are cute ones like this one:

Jack Birthday 8

This is the only other picture we got that day where he was smiling.

Jack Birthday 9

We tried to do a wardrobe change and see if he would calm down.  We wanted some baseball photos, so we put on his little Albert Pujols jersey and went to see what we would get.  Yeah, what we got was little man throwing the ball at the photographer and pouting.

 Jack Birthday 10

I like this next picture because this is how he sits all the time.  I think that he is practicing to be a catcher.  Watch out Yadier…here comes Jack!!

Jack Birthday 11

After the disastrous photo attempt (we have a certificate for a family photo session that I hope to use later in the summer.  Hopefully by then Jack will be walking…or more likely running around and will be more fun to photograph), we went home and let Jack nap for a while before we went to Ryan’s parents for dinner.

We had a nice dinner and then let Jack open some presents. 

Jack Birthday 1 

Jack Birthday 2

He was very excited by the card in the picture above! 

Jack is obsessed with our laptops, so we got him a little laptop, in the hopes that he would stop trying to play with ours (it has not worked).  He does like to bang on the keys on this one though.

Jack Birthday 3

Then it was time for cake!  I figured that Jack would not have any problems digging into the cake, but I wanted him to make quite a mess! 

He was a little tentative at first

Jack birthday 4 

Eventually he dug in

Jack Birthday 5


Jack Birthday 6 

When I started to plan for Jack’s first birthday, the details were really important to me.  I plan events for a living, so I decided before I even had kids that I would put as much thought and effort into their parties as I do for an event at work.  That being said, I realize that Jack is only one and will not remember this party.  I didn’t go all out like I will when he gets older (I mean, I have connections….bounce houses, face painters, here we come!). 

I decided on a theme a long time ago…Jack would have a baseball themed birthday party.  He honestly does love baseball.  He has a baseball (a foul ball I caught at Busch Stadium on Ryan and my first date) and he chases it around the house all the time.  He has just figured out how to throw the ball.  So, the theme seemed like a no-brainer to me.  Plus, if he really is a baseball fanatic, we can have another baseball party when he gets older. 

The first thing I did was design the invitations.  I combined a couple of the ones that I found online and just made them myself.  It was cheaper and I liked them better. 

This was the front of the invitation (I ended up printing this on 5x7 photo paper so that it was glossy and the photos looked nicer)

jacks first birthday invite front

This was the back.  I printed it on card stock and just used double sided tape to secure it to the back of the photo paper.  I thought that they turned out super cute!

jacks first birthday invite edited

Once the invitations were done, I started working on the decorations and food.  The food was easy…we went with ballpark food and had hamburgers and hot dogs, nachos, and then picnic kind of side items.  It was quite delicious. 

We ordered the St. Louis Cardinals cake (sorry Cubs fans!) from Wood Bakery in O’fallon.  The cake turned out super cute and was pretty delicious. 

Jack Party 1

I really wanted Jack’s cake to be a baseball, but I seriously couldn’t  get anyone to make a baseball cake.  It’s not that hard people!  It’s a cake, frosted with white icing, and slap some red stitching on it.  I could have gotten the cake from St. Louis but I just refused to drive over there for a $6 cake.  So, we went with this cake from the Dierberg’s bakery, which was cute as well.

Jack Party 2

This was the cake table.  I put all of Jack’s monthly photos into picture frames and displayed them on the table.  They are now hanging on the wall in Jack’s room, so they served two purposes.

Jack party 3

I really wanted some sort of baseball cake, so I decided to make my own baseball cupcakes.  I had a hard time finding a fine tip for the icing, but they turned out okay.

Jack Party 4

This is Jack and his Paw Paw (my stepdad) as the party was getting started.  They were both in their Cardinals jerseys!  It was super cute.  Jack loves his Paw Paw!

Jack and Paw Paw

We opened presents, but Jack was so tired (he refused to nap that day), he barely kept his eyes open during the present opening.  I hoped that some sugar would wake him up, so it was time for cake again!  He knew exactly what to do

He barely held his head up!  He kept leaning back in the chair!

Jack Party 5

What?  Do I have something on my face?

Jack Party 9  Jack Party 6

This is good stuff mom!

Jack Party 7 Jack Party 8

Not long after the cake, Jack needed to go take a nap.  So, we put him down to sleep.  Then I got to spend some time with this little beauty.   This is my niece, Miss Ava Lynn.  I kind of love her a lot too!

Ava at Jacks Party

After a two hour nap, Jack got up and decided that it was time to party…on the neighbors trampoline.  He thought that it was hilarious!  He let Ava jump to bounce him.  Then he started walking all around the edge of the netting.  It was hilarious.  I have a feeling he will love a trampoline when he gets older!

Jack Trampoline 1  Jack Trampoline 2 Jack Trampoline 3

If you haven’t been able to tell, his shirt says “I can barely talk and I already hate the Cubs!”.  Yes, I am spreading hate at a young age!  My child will not be a Cubs fan!  Jack Trampoline 4

After some time on the trampoline, it was time to go home.  We had a great party and loved seeing all of our family and friends!  This was what Jack looked like about five minutes into our ride home.  He was completely beat! 

jack sleeping after party

All in all, we had a great time celebrating Jack’s party.  Can’t wait to do it again next year.  Don’t worry…I have a theme already!!  Pirate party here we come!