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Busy day at work

I am slammed at work so this will be short. I had originally planned to write a blog about Turner’s first Halloween, but I have very little time today. So instead, I will post a perfect photo of Turner and his cousin before we took Madison trick or treating. Oh and just a spoiler alert, I will be posting the AMAZING photos from Turner’s 5 month birthday for my next post. Hard to believe he turns 5 months today! 

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6

Sick baby + sick mommy = no fun for anyone

I thought that having a sick little one couldn’t be less fun, but then I found out how NOT fun it was to have a sick little one paired with being sick myself.

I had Turner out Friday night and early Saturday morning, and while he was bundled up in several layers and then had blankets on blankets, the drastic change in temperatures proved too much for him and he has since gotten a little cold. Nothing major, his mood is still upbeat and he still plays. He is just extremely congested and snotty.

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 The worst problem I have encountered is his sleeping ability, or lack thereof (I know hard to believe my sleepless child could have more problems with sleeping) but it is true. Poor baby sounds like a pig try to breath. I give him Little Remedies Saline spritzes, just saline wipes to clean his nose and use the little sucker thing they give you in the hospital to try to clean out his nasal passages, but it is just hopeless. While its manageable during the day when he is up and active, at night, when he tried to lay down it builds up preventing Turner from being able to sleep.

 Poor baby just grunts all night long and wakes up screaming with fear because of what I am sure amounts to being exhausted, hungry because he hasn’t fully mastered eating while breathing with a stuffy nose, and just not feel well in general.

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So for the last couple of nights I have sat up with him in the recliner while holding him on my chest. The upright position, I assume, allows his sinus to drain better and lets him sleep a little more. But my desire to do anything everything to make him feel better and be comfortable, had lead me to catch a cold. 

Last night I woke up with what I would have sworn was shards of glass piercing the back of my throat. I searched around the house last night for any sort of medical relief, but unfortunately found that while Andrew and I, former sleep addicts, had three different types/flavors of liquid sleeping aids, none of which would allow me to be medicated and still conscious enough to tend to Turner the rest of the night. In the bottom of our medicine drawer, I found some cough drops that I was too afraid to look at the expiration date for, and although the once hardened candy was a gel-soft consistency, after unsticking it from the wrapper I put it in the roof of my mouth. Despite the unpleasant feel of the what should have been been a solid substance and the thought that like many other things I have found since moving in with Andrew, were here when he bought the house three years ago, I was able to receive temporary relief and get back for a short nap before Turner woke up again.

Shortly after Turner woke again, just by the way, while rocking him, he threw up and drenched my hair. Three a.m. vomit on my clothes as become the norm, with some occasions where I have worn a shirt or sweater sporting his spit-up, but while I was too tired to do anything about it in the middle of the night, baby throw up is not a substitute for conditioner and where I draw the line.

 One frustration I have had with Turner is the lack of medicine for infants. I don’t understand why it doesn’t exist. There are so many inventions and medical advancements, why is it so difficult for someone to create baby safe medicines? I have Little Remedies tylenol, but beyond that, which is just a fever reducer, I got nothing. Everything either says consult a doctor or just do not use if under two. WHY? It is maddening! Babies get sick, why is it so hard to find things to make them better? I do not have time to run to the doctor every time Turner gets a sniffle. Some one needs to make baby safe medicines.

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My local walmart has next to nothing in the sense of infant healthcare. What they do have, they are usually out of and none of it is very helpful. But this morning, while stopping at the Dollar General I pass on my way to work, I stopped to get some Mucinex for myself, and luckily I found some baby vicks vapor rub to soothe congestion for babies. I will take it! I do not know if it will work, but it is something, so I will try it for sure! 

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Settling for second place

Andrew and I are extremely competitive individuals. I fear for Turner as he gets older because I know that Andrew will be in the front of the line to sign up to coach any sport Turner wants to try out. It could be underwater basket weaving and Andrew is going to be right there to cheer Turner on and coach him in anyway he can.

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Well this past weekend was our town’s annual Halloween celebration, PumpkinFest. We entered Turner into the costume contest and believe it or not, Turner took second place in his age division!

Prepping for the event began in August. Andrew and I strategically planned which costume would be best for Turner. We searched for hours, bounced ideas off each other, and new creativity was going to be the key. We of course wanted to dress up with him, so we had to think of a complete idea or theme to incorporate the entire family. We didn’t want to be too commercial or be too themed around pop culture. You risk selecting something that a judge may not be familiar with, so we wanted to keep it simple.

We also didn’t want to go to the store and buy something to fit him because that lacks originality. We formed an idea first, then sought out costumes. With Turner being 5-months-old (well he will be 5 months on the 30th) and this being our first Halloween, we thought the celebration of firsts would be a good road to go down.

So after lengthy debate and deliberation, and consideration of the judge’s mindset in the competition, we decided to develop a “First Thanksgiving” theme. A play on this year being our first Thanksgiving together, all while playing homage to the historical aspects of our nation’s first Thanksgiving, we developed a concept that wowed the judges and secured a second place victory.

I warned Andrew going into the competition that it will be hard to beat cute little girls. Eyeing the competition beforehand, there were some adorable little girls. Turner’s age division was 0-2 years old, an 18 month little girl dressed up like a crazy cat lady in a robe, curlers, and stuffed cats was precious and the only contestant that came close to Turner, she took the first place medal.

 When we were waiting to hear the results, another precious little girl dressed as the Coppertone baby, compete with a dog glued to her bottom and adorable pig tails, had me worried. Those little girls were some stiff competition. But as soon as Coppertone was announced as the third place winner, I knew we were in.

Admittedly, Turner may have had an unfair advantage, but it is not my fault that Andrew and I were such dedicated parents we elected to be props for Turner’s competition. We had a wagon decorated like the dinner table with pumpkins, gourds, and leaves, and a bumper seat strapped securely in the middle to prop Turner right in the middle as the project’s centerpiece. And no first Thanksgiving feast can be complete without a dashing pilgrim and jaw dropping indian to escort him on stage.

Despite the bite of cold resulting in Turner’s first runny nose and a few sleepless nights because of a minor cold to follow, all in all it was a fantastic, triumphant morning.

 Second place is a great starting point. We now have just over 350 to get our act together to ensure that first place victory will be ours next year.  

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Childhood jealousy is just adorable

Every Monday, we take Turner to his grandma’s (Andrew’s momma) house. Since he was a little more than six weeks old, every Monday he had gotten to play with his Grammie and get all the attention of his Aunt K and not had a care in the world. Well, this past Monday, that all changed. His younger cousin Royce came to stay with him for a few hours, showing Turner’s very first signs of jealousy.

 Kayla and Debbie, Andrew’s sister and mom, had warned me that while Turner loved playing with Royce, he was jealous. When I got to Debbie’s after work, I was holding and talking to Royce and Turner started to let out high pitched squeals that I had never heard before! He was flailing his arms and kicking his legs and couldn’t have been less of a fan of seeing his momma with someone else!

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While I am sure it was momentarily traumatic for him, it was just absolutely precious for me. Kinda melted my heart a little bit. Its good to know that he acknowledges me in a sense that he is mine and I am his.

Turner’s first stint with jealousy, while I am sure he doesn’t have the understanding quite of what he was actually feeling, was just the sweetest. But I am sure it will be short-lived, as from now on Turner will be spending part of his Monday’s with his sweet cousin Royce.

 I just feel for Debbie, who has to juggle the jealousy all day between the two boys who are exactly 10 weeks apart. I am sure that is going to be a theme within our family for the rest of our lives. While Royce is 10 weeks younger (Turner was in the delivery room when Royce was born), he is about the same size as Turner. I can see a childhood of competitiveness with sports and other aspects of growing up coming between the two.

It is different with Turner and Madison, Turner’s cousin on my side of the family. Maybe it is because Madison is a girl, or because she is almost 20 months old, but Turner is not the jealous one in that relationship, Madison is. Rightfully so too considering Madison was the first baby born in my family and for the fact that she is absolutely adorable. When Turner was first born, Madison wanted no part in her mother holding Turner. She would try to climb between him and whoever was holding him.

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Even now, if you are playing with Turner, she will want to sit on your lap or cuddle up to you, its really sweet. Last night, I put Turner on one of her toys, and not to be outdone, she climbed right on the back with him. When Turner is at my mom’s house (who keeps him every Tuesday) he often sits in a bouncer. Yesterday when my mom came out of the bathroom, Maddy had climbed up and forced herself into the bouncer with him. She certainly always wants to be included.

Childhood jealousy is adorable. I am sure experts argue that it translates into problems as they grow older and blah blah blah, but for right now, all around it is adorable and I am eating it up!  

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Battling a world that isn’t always child friendly

I never thought I would be “that” mom. The type that would want to boycott places that are not more child friendly, but the time has come. There are few things more frustrating than having to change a baby on a cramped sink top or even worse, the floor of a bathroom, all because some place you are at doesn’t have a proper changing table. It should be a law really. I shouldn’t have to balance my son on the edge of a sink to change his diaper at a business. There should be a changing table there.

 Also, I have yet to find somewhere that has the little boxes for liners for the changing table to actually have liners in it. That is about as frustrating as not having a table at all. There are never liners in any of them, ever. So I bring a blanket or grab some paper towels or wipe down the table with wipes first. Why is it so difficult to accommodate children?

 I am so appreciative when I find changing tables that have hooks on the walls or the ends. Anytime I do not have to put the diaper bag or my purse on the ground makes things so much easier. Trying to bend down to get supplies while watching a squirmy little boy who refuses to cooperate makes the entire process so much more difficult. Any thing that helps is amazing. The rooms at babies R’ us (while of course they are going to be accommodating) are magical. Plenty of room and proper materials needed to change or soothe a child. All bathrooms should be like that.

Another thing I cannot stand are restaurants that do not have car seat swings. No, I do not want to put my child on a chair or on a highchair flipped upside down. While working in a restaurant, I have seen both of those scenarios end badly. They are not steady or stable and can end disastrously. The swings for car seats are made to fit perfectly and have safety straps. I don’t see what it is so hard for restaurants to get them for parents. 

Not a single restaurant I have been to in my town has had the swing. Either they don’t have them, or they were not offered to us. That is just bad business. The swings should also be required.

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Grocery stores. Grocery store carts have a sign that says do not put your car seat in the front of the cart. Well, while some places have built in car seat shaped seats for children, there are never enough. And they are usually placed in the back of the cart selection to where I cannot get to them. And if by chance one is available, wipes to sanitize it are never there. Beyond frustrating!

I think if a business or place, such as a public park, is not accommodating to parents with children, they obviously do not want my business and that is a shame. While it may sound drastic, but like there are standards to make places accessible for handicapped citizens, there should be guidelines for children as well.

 

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Here is my excuse, Maria Kang.

There was a mom on the news that started an uproar last week after posting a picture of her and her three kids and her amazing post-preggo body with the caption, “Whats your excuse?”

I know it is hard to believe, and I appreciate when people seemed shocked when I tell them, but at my last doctor’s visit, I discovered that I weighed the same three months after having Turner, as I did when I was nine months pregnant.

I started losing weight after Turner when I was breastfeeding, but when I stopped doing that, I quickly regained the weight. I could see it in pictures, mostly in my face. Not to mention, none of my old clothes even came close to fitting.

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 Well here is my excuse. First off, that woman’s job was in physical fitness. Of course she could bounce back. That is like me asking why other people cannot write an entire newspaper or properly use AP style. Second, I work full time. I am in the office three days a week, with meetings and events sometimes seven days a week. After working some 15 hour days, and being away from my son all day long. I would rather be a whale than spend an extra hour away from Turner. Heck, after working a normal eight hour day, I would rather be a whale than spend an extra hour away from Turner, especially right now in his life when he is developing and changing so rapidly.

And on top of that, the woman has a nonprofit dedicated to fitness, that is what she does. Its an empire for her, a business. And her website is all about her weight struggles, its full of excuses and reasoning.

She is self-employed and can have more flexible hours, the rest of the world cannot.

 But I was not offended by her picture, or even cared much. I was annoyed with the press it got. Good for her. In my opinion, she doesn’t represent the majority of the working mother population and because she is vastly different than me, I didn’t compare myself to her.

She works out for a living, I work hard to avoid exercise. I am a one trip from the car to the house after the grocery store kind of girl. I take the elevator whenever possible, the type of person that annoys others by riding to the second floor rather than taking the stairs. 

Most of my life I was 5 foot 2 and 120 pounds. Even before getting pregnant, getting older was starting to take a toll on my body and my fast food three times a day with bags of chips for snacks in between diet, was starting to be visible. So for me, losing this pregnancy weight is a 360 lifestyle change. It doesn’t have anything to do with getting the pregnancy weight off. My body is different. My time and schedule is different, lots of things have to be adjusted to make it all fit now, including the way I eat.

 So about three weeks ago I started dieting. Well not really dieting, because I do not have the will power to stick to any specific diet, but I did download an app that Andrew had been using, My Fitness Pal. The app let me put in my weight loss expectation, which I put as one pound a week, and the exercise I typically do, which is basically non existent, and then generated the number of calories I needed to eat each day in order to lose one pound a week.

According to the app, I can have a whopping 1,280 calories a day. I don’t know if you know much about calories, but that is basically nothing. A candy bar has around 250, just to give you an idea. I decided to go this method to lose the baby weight instead of a diet because with my job, I have no set schedule to be home to eat and have day meetings that mess up lunch, so sticking to something specific basically sets me up to fail. So instead, I use the app. Which already had millions of food choices programed in the app with their caloric value. So even if I eat at a fast food restaurant, I can type in options to check their calories to help decide what to order.

I think it, at least for me, it is a way better strategy than dieting. On days I have time to exercise, which ends up being a couple times a week, even if its just for a light walk with Turner, I get extra calories for the day, and can eat more.

 I take Andrew’s advice, and instead of trying to “win the day” by staying under 1,280 calories, I try to “win the week,” which would still let me lose the weight. That way, if I indulge one day, I just eat better the next or exercise and it evens out. Last week I finished with 1,395 calories to spare!

The first week was a real mother though. Training my body to eat less calories was about as tough as labor. I was starving and found myself eating more than normal just because I was more aware of when and what I was eating. Last week was a bit easier, and so far today, after eating a Subway breakfast sandwich and vegetables for lunch, I am pretty full right now. Subway, by the way, is a life savor. Not only is it walking distance from my office, a breakfast sandwich is under 350 calories and a lunch sub isn’t much more. No wonder Jared lost all that weight!

Andrew, who has been doing the same thing, has lost his desired two pounds a week each week. I am not weighing myself at the fear or being discouraged, but instead, just want to be able to wear my old jeans and take a picture without looking like I am still nine months preggo in my face. (which as of Sunday, is not even close to happening).

 Last night I wanted to snack. Usually I would read for the 10 plus flavors of chips in the cabinet, but instead, I sautéed some vegetables in vinegar with lemon pepper season. Then this morning, instead of reaching for the delicious looking raspberry filled pastries on the table at work, I walked down to Subway for an egg white and vegetable sandwich.

 It is still a real mother. I would kill for a Zaxby’s chicken tender plate with fries covered in extra season salt and extra thing of Zax Sauce… and plan to have just that later this week. But in the meantime, I have to earn and save up the calories to be able to do so.

It is not just about not looking ginormous in photos, but I want to be healthier for Turner. I can hardly lift him now, when he starts walking, I do not stand a chance. Its embarrassing, but I cannot even do five pushups. When I was younger I was super athletic, now I found myself having to do regular pushups then going on my knees just to finish simple set of 10.

So although I think Maria Kang and her “What’s your excuse” photo does not apply to me because our lifestyles couldn’t be any less similar, that doesn’t mean when I get to where she is and when I look even a little better than I do now, I’ll slap an “after” pregnancy picture on Facebook to brag too. Regardless of how you do it, how you were before, or anything else… this is hard work!

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Post pregnancy menstruation monster

This may be too much information, and what some deem inappropriate to share to friends, not to mention the complete strangers who stumble on my blog, but I started this to be open and real about EVERY aspect of being a first time mom, and I don’t want to make any exceptions, and if it helps a soon to be mom, then I have accomplished my goal… so here it goes…

No one, not a single friend or family member or even my doctor warned me about what my first menstrual cycle was going to be like after giving birth. But now, talking to the ladies in my office, all of which who are extraordinary mothers, apparently ovary wrenching pain during your first couple of menstrual cycle is status quo, and even worse than that… apparently from now on, “that time of the month” is going to be completely different. Thanks for the warning guys!

I have been on this (my first since I had Turner in May) cycle for exact three weeks now. I am in agonizing pain. My back and ovaries are on fire. Just day to day activity is gut wrenching and beyond painful. There isn’t enough Midol in the world to fix what I have going on, trust me, I have tried.

On top of the sleepless nights and 6 am wake up calls before a full days of work, the complete exhaustion that I am feeling is beyond overwhelming. I have never had difficult cycles. In fact, before Turner, I had used the depo provera shot as birth control, and then I didn’t even have a cycle at all. So now to have this monster of a monthly visitor, with people now telling me this is what I need to get used to… I disagree. I don’t want to play this game, count me out!

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Some sort of preparation from the doctor would have been nice. Maybe that is my fault for not going to more first time mommy classes. But I feel like basic first time mom information should be included in my monthly doctor visits, that turned into bi-weekly, then weekly then every three week follow ups. Somewhere in that marathon of doctor visits, you think someone somewhere might have mentioned this to me.

I would see all these commercials before I had a child about menstrual cycles and be so confused about how those woman seemed to have such trouble each month, mine were a breeze. Well, that is because a real menstrual cycle, and real issues do not even matter pre pregnancy. Its like a vetting process, a passage into womanhood, surviving the post pregnancy cycles is the top of the mountain, when you reach that adult status. It could easily be a superhero power. A power I do not have, do not want to have, and hope and pray that in the next few days I will not need, because if something doesn’t give, the monthly monster is going to win and fear for everyone in eyesight when it happens.

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