Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Brain Dump

~HOW in the WORLD is this little guy going to be THREE YEARS OLD tomorrow?!  Love my nephew Banks “bunches and bunches”! J

~Yesterday’s post coupled with stress at work and emotional exhaustion have me in quite a pity-party mode.  But I won’t dwell, because no one wants to wallow in negative blog nonsense.

~I have been on the hunt for candy corn Oreos with no luck.  Everyone says to check Target – well, I’ve checked TWO Targets… no dice.

~About a week and a half ago, Cameron made the transition to where she actually prefers to walk.  It’s like she realized how fun it is, and now she doesn’t want to be held and doesn’t want to crawl – Homegirl wants to WALK, or as of late, even attempt to run.  Watch out world.

~I have a feeling that the transition to cow’s milk isn’t going to go as seamlessly as I’d hoped (made apparent when CK took one sip and hurled her sippy cup clear across the kitchen).  With a tanking supply and a freezer full of funky-smelling milk, I’ve been a tad bit stressed.

~I signed up to do another half marathon in December – Woop!  I’m excited, but also a little nervous because I have neither the time nor the motivation to train like I did for my last one.

~Cameron will transition to the toddler room in her school on the 22nd of October.  While I know she’s ready for the change (though I can’t believe she’ll be sleeping on a little cot!), I am SO sad that she’s moving out of her current class because I LOVE her teachers.

~It drives me crazy when people don’t rsvp to a party/shower/wedding/etc.  I mean, how hard is it to send an email or make a quick phone call?!  This mama needs to plan, people!!

~We’re taking CK to the fair next week!!  I LOVE the fair!!!!!

~We live under huge oak trees and this time of year the acorns fall constantly, making it sound like we live inside a bag of microwave popcorn.  It’s driving me crazy.

~I don’t plan on taking Cameron door-to-door for Halloween trick-or-treating, but I hope we can find something fun to do because I love her costume!

~I wish I had a chef.  And a stylist.  I’m not sure which I’d want more…

~I’m having a really hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that our little girl will be a whole year old in just a week-and-a-half!!  Speaking of being a year old, we have her one-year photo shoot this weekend with the very talented Brooke and Joey of Urban Bloom Photography (  Fingers crossed for good weather and a happy baby!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Keepin' It Real

Because I always attempt to keep things real around these parts, without spouting too many puppies or rainbows or giggles or happily-ever-afters...

We are in the middle of hand-foot-mouth recovery, two-teeth popping through madness, congested-and-yet-constantly-running-nose yuck, low-grade fevers, thrush for both mama and baby AGAIN, refusing to even consider organic white cow's milk stubbornness, a couple nights of partying screaming from about 1:00am-3:00am, and have-to-be-held-at-all-times moods.

Oh, and did I mention that about 170 ounces of breastmilk in my freezer have, out of nowhere, gone bad?  Leaving 30 measly ounces that are also slightly questionable.

There's not enough Merlot in my kitchen (or in the world) at this moment...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dear Breastfeeding

Dear Breastfeeding,

When I was pregnant, everyone prepared me for many of the hardships that come along with having a baby – labor and delivery, the recovery, the sleepless nights, etc.

No one prepared me for the journey of breastfeeding.

“Of COURSE I’ll breastfeed!”  I said while pregnant, never really giving it a second thought.

Everyone tells you how it’s the best thing to do for your baby, the perfect combination of nutrients for a newborn, it’s FREE, you should do it at least ‘til your baby is one, blah blah blah.

What NO ONE tells you is how hard it is.

How it is one of the most selfless things you will ever do for your child.

How you can crack, and bleed, and become infected, and feel like they’re going to fall off when your newborn starts nursing.

How you can get thrush (three times! even when your baby is 11 ½ months old!) and have random sharp boob jabs and even more painful nursing sessions.

How you can get mastitis (twice!) and literally feel like you’ve been run over by a train while being stomped on by a herd of elephants. (Do elephants herd?)

How all of these things can happen simultaneously, and meanwhile, since your husband unfortunately doesn’t also produce breastmilk, you’re the only one who can meet your newborn’s needs when she has to eat every two hours over, and over, and over again.

How sometimes, for some babies, getting the hang of breastfeeding with the proper latch and without nipple shields can take weeks, or even months.

How you’re hungrier and are supposed to consume more calories when you’re breastfeeding than when you’re pregnant.

How you often have to completely alter your diet and watch what you eat and drink because certain things don’t agree with your little one.

How your tiny little innocent baby eventually gets teeth and, well, the pain starts all over again.

How, if you’re a working mama, your day revolves around pumping.  And pumping.  And pumping.  And wondering why you’re not pumping enough.  And worrying how you’ll ever pump enough.

How you really will cry over spilled milk.

And yet here I stand, just a few weeks away from calling it quits, from reaching my goal of one year… and I’m a little sad about letting it all go.

Because despite all of those hardships I just mentioned, there’s nothing quite like looking down at your sweet baby in the quiet of a still morning, and it’s just you, and her, and nothing else in the world matters even the tiniest bit.

If you remember, we struggled for ten long, painful, tearful, frustrating weeks.  I’m not sure how I made it without throwing in the towel… But I’m so glad I was stubborn enough to not give up.  I’m SO proud of myself, SO proud of Cameron.

As we head toward the end of this chapter, I honestly have mixed emotions.  I’m definitely a little hesitant to let go of this bond with my sweet girl, but I’m also looking forward to having my body back to myself… I haven’t had my body to myself since the word “pregnant” popped up on that stick on a cold January morning.

I’m excited to live a life without nursing bras, and nursing tanks, and breast pads, and painful nipples, and leaks, and pumping, and engorgement, and that pins and needles feeling.  I’m excited to let my body readjust and get back on track and function properly so maybe we can consider giving our little girl a sibling.  And honestly, I’m excited to live a life where I can eat and drink whatever I want, whenever I want.

It’s been quite a journey with you, breastfeeding.  We’ve had our ups and downs.  I must say, the ups have made the downs totally worth it.  Because though it’s been tough at times (and that’s putting it lightly), being able to provide my little girl with her main source of nutrition for her first year of life has been incredible.  Watching her gain weight, knowing that every ounce and chubby thigh roll came from my body was unbelievable.  Seeing her learn the sign for “milk” and use it to tell me when she was hungry left me in awe.  Having that quiet time with her, knowing that she needed me and depended on me was indescribable.

But here we are… at the end of our road.  Our relationship has run its course, and it’s time for things to come to an end.

It was good while it lasted.

And let’s be real, breastfeeding – I kicked your *ss.

Monday, September 24, 2012

She Found IT

Just a quick update...

That white dress?  She found IT.

There were tears, lots of tears, and a moment in which I realized I'm going to have to come to terms with the fact that she's actually not twelve anymore.

But she will always and forever be my little sister.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A White Dress

Will she really walk down an aisle and say, “I do”? 

Will she put a ring on his finger, be a wife, have a husband? 

Will she really wear a white dress?

Let’s rewind.

I was three months shy of turning four-years-old, so my memories of her birth aren’t exactly crystal clear.  But I remember my dad holding my hand.  I remember him smoking his pipe.  And I remember him telling me, “You have a little sister.”

What he didn’t realize was that in that single moment he had given me one of the greatest blessings I would ever receive in my life.

She’s the kind of person who you feel lucky to know.  The kind of person who marches to the beat of her own drum, is so selfless she has a terrible sense of guilt if she ever thinks she’s done even the tiniest thing to upset you, the kind of girl who has no clue how beautiful she is.

With each day, each month, each year, we continue to grow closer and closer.  She is one of my very best friends, someone I know would stop what she’s doing in the blink of an eye and drive the five hours to Winston if I told her I needed her.

And Cameron Kate absolutely adores her.

But in my mind, she’s twelve-years-old.  And she always will be.

So HOW in the WORLD is she engaged?  HOW in the WORLD am I going to be able to hold it together while she puts on a white dress?

The only thing giving me comfort is that I am 100% sure she’s found her soul mate.  Her best friend.  Someone who will never leave her, never abandon her.  Someone who understands her insecurities and loves her for them…  Someone who gets that she loves Chick-Fil-A, is brilliant but not always the sharpest knife in the drawer… Someone who knows she likes to sleep late and sideways in the bed, is a night person and not a morning person… Someone who is worthy of her ability to love with her whole entire heart.

This weekend, we’re going to help her choose a white dress.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Many Faces of Cameron Kate

A montage of the many faces of Cameron.  Enjoy.

Her "I adore my dada" face:

 Her "Oh no she didn't!" face:

 Her going-in-for-a-kiss face:

 Her not-impressed-by-car-trips face:

 Her adorable scrunched-nose face:

 Her "have you seen how cool this toy is?!" face:

 Her "it doesn't get much better than the pool and snacks" face:

 Her rockstar face:

 Her "watch me go!" face:

 Her exhausted face:

 Her "I love Ellie" face:

 Her "Ohmygah I'm STANDING" face:

 Her "say whaaaa?" face:

 Her "get outta here!" face:

 Her focused, working hard face:

 Her deep concentration face:

 Her I-see-the-camera-and-am-going-to-attempt-to-look-like-Popeye-so-you-can't-get-anymore-pictures face:

 Her blowing raspberries face:

 Her "Hold up... the phone call is REALLY for me?!" face:

 Her sleepy-eyes face:

 Her Sloth (GOONIES!) face:

 Her silly face:

 Her "Look Ma, no hands!" face:

Her having-a-blast face:

 Her "don't bother me, can't you see I'm reading" face:

 Her thank-you-very-much-but-I-can-feed-myself face:

 Her happy face:

 Her "uh-oh-I'm-caught, who me?" face:

 Her goofy face:

 Her sad face:

 Her I'm-pretending-I'm-sleeping face:

 Her ticked off face:

 Her in-awe face:

 Her innocent face:

 Her "I give up" face:

 Her "check me out!" face:

 Her "wait a second... I'm walking!" face:

 Her cuddling face:

 Her pouting face:

 Her sneaky face:

 Her prissy-putting-on-makeup face:

Love 'em all!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In Only 1 Month...

I can't believe my little CK will be a 1-year-old in only 1 month!

I REALLY can't believe I'll get to retire the effing breast pump in ONLY 1 MONTH!!


Enjoy this collage of my adorable, wild, silly, beautiful, toddling, smart, temperamental, mama-and-dada-obsessed, 6-toothed, mischievous, book-loving, hugs-and-kisses-giving, incredible daughter!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

What Really Matters

Most of y’all know that we spent this weekend moving my sister and her sweet family of four into their new home.  It was this experience coupled with a conversation with a teacher in the teachers’ lounge that have me focused on what’s really important in life.

Deep thoughts for a Sunday night, I know.

It started last week.  A teacher at my school and I were, well, pretty much complaining about people who complain about EVERYTHING.  This teacher and I share a lot of the same see-the-glass-half-full perspectives, and it’s always a breath of fresh air to converse with him.  He ended our conversation with, “Ya know, if you really think about it, I mean really think about it… there are very few things in life that REALLY matter.  I mean think about it – at the end of the day, what are the things that are REALLY important?”  After I told him our conversation was getting a little too deep for water-cooler-teacher-lounge-talk, I walked away with his words on repeat in my mind… like an old 8-track tape you keep rewinding to your favorite song, because singing it out loud just feels so good.

We all know I’m one to sweat the small stuff.  Worry about everything, and then worry about how much I’m worrying.  Even though I’m constantly striving to be better, I find myself going back to making a big to-do about nothing.  Granted, to give myself some credit, I think I’ve come a long way since my little girl was born…  There’s nothing like having your heart love so much it feels like it’s going to explode into a million tiny pieces to give you some perspective.

But for whatever reason, his particular words stuck with me.

And they seemed to ring loud and clear all weekend long as we buried ourselves in the chaos that comes along with moving a family of four (with an almost-3-year-old and an eight-month-old) into a new house in a new state.

Because the chaos was absolutely beautiful.

I kept taking a step back, taking it all in – and mind you, this experience wasn’t about me at all.  Which was even better, because it was about some people I love more than life itself.

There was noise, lots of noise.  There were babies laughing, babies crying, babies in boxes, babies eating packing tape, babies’ unsteady steps across empty rooms, moving trucks, sweat, wires, hammers, drills, lousy naps, junk-food-eating, unpacking, carrying heavy boxes, trips to storage units, backyard catch, playroom catch, setting up rooms, folding clothes, tons of late-night laughter and story-telling…

But mostly, there were dreams coming true.  A family, who is so deserving, who has worked so hard, moving into this house that is just incredible and now my sister gets to be a stay-at-home-mom in this new dream house and they’re in this cute new town and even though they don’t even know where the grocery store is and their house is still full of boxes to be unpacked and pictures to be hung and dust to be cleaned they don’t care because they have their awesome little family and at the end of the day isn’t that what it’s really all about?

It’s about sitting on the kitchen counter with your best friend, eating cake batter fudge right out of the bowl, drinking wine, and telling stories… it’s about lounging on the couch way past your bedtime, surrounded by family and friends, laughing so hard it hurts.

So I’m gonna keep rewinding this tape – I’m gonna keep replaying this song in my head to remind myself of what really matters in life. 

Because we only get one shot, ya know? 

Only one chance…

Only one today…

And no do-overs.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My How Things Have Changed.

"Almost had poop disaster, Pampers did their job."

This is what text conversations look like these days between me and my hub.  Especially in light of yesterday's why-the-heck-is-Cameron's-poop-that-color-and-consistency-saga.

My how things have changed.

So in light of this, I decided to try to get back to the sweet, flirty, suggestive texts that are a thing of the past.

"Hi handsome, can't wait to see you tonight, wink wink. ;)  BTW, has she pooped yet?  If so, what color?"

I get an 'A' for effort, no?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Oh College Football, How I Love Thee

In honor of one of my favorite times of the year, let's take a moment to celebrate all of the awesomeness that comes with college football season...

Let the fun begin!