Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Trip to the Zoo

I normally don't bring my nice camera with me to outings like this, but with this whole ICYH thing, I'm trying to think outside the box to get photos of us doing things outside of the house, haha.

Our friend Montana invited us to go along on her baby Greyson's first trip to the zoo. Can't pass up some zoo time!

Greyson was sooooo impressed.

"Gimme that tiger!"

We made a quick trip up to visit our new nephew on the farm last week, and I have lots of photos from that, so I will hopefully get them edited and posted soon too! Prepare yourself for lots of cows. :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sleep Update!

Ren sleeps through the night now!!! Hallelujah!

I feel like it's magic. It took 3-4 nights of work and tears, but we did it and are through on the other side.

It hasn't been completely without night he woke up crying and I had to go rub his back for about a minute before he was asleep and fine again. Another night, he woke up crying his *scared* cry, which is different than his *I want to cuddle and nurse* cry, so I got him out of his crib and swayed with him for a couple minutes until he went back to sleep.

But last night, not a peep!

He's been getting up early again, like between 6 and 6:30am, but I will take it. I'm just so excited and I hope it continues going so well!

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Ren turned 13 months old today. What?

He is still not sleeping through the night.

He is still nursing (at night and during the day).

I am still not down to pre-pregnancy weight.

Three things I did not think would be happening at 13 months old. Kind of discouraging on all accounts, but I'm taking steps to deal with all three.

This week is spring break, so I decided that since Adam wouldn't be working as much (and would hopefully be able to get more sleep), this would be the week to crack down on Ren's sleeping habits. He has been getting up consistently twice each the midnight hour and then the 3 or 4am hour. So I get up and nurse him each time and put him back to bed and that is that. I knew that wouldn't change unless I took steps to fix it.


I have tried just picking him up and cuddling/rocking without nursing and it doesn't work. He just gets more and more mad and wakes himself up more.

I tried letting him just cry for awhile and go back to sleep on his own, and he would cry for like an hour or more, never getting himself back to sleep.

So my method this week has been to not take him out of his crib, but not leave him alone to fend for himself. When he has been crying for awhile or when he seems really really upset, I've been going into his room and telling him "It's time for sleeping, you need to go night night." Then I'll lay him back down if he's sitting up and cover him up. I make sure he has his blankie to cuddle. I rub his back and give him a back scratch for a bit and then leave.

The first night, I was still trying to decide between cutting out just one nighttime waking, or cutting them all out, so I nursed him the first time he woke up. The second time, I made Adam go in there and that calmed him for awhile but he kept waking up so I had to go in and rub his back.

The second night was terrible. I worked until late, so I didn't go to bed until after 1am. Then Ren woke up and I did my thing and got him calm. Then Sutton had wet the bed so bad that he ended up having to sleep in our bed the rest of the night. Then Ren woke up again. I didn't end up going to sleep until after 3am and then Ren woke up for the day around 7:30. That was rough.

Last night was the third night. Ren didn't wake up at all until the 2am hour, but then he was up crying for 2 hours, with few breaks. I went in there several times, and ended up having to get him out of his crib to change a poopy diaper (which hasn't happened during the night since he was a newborn) so I hope that wasn't detrimental to the cause. Finally after 2 hours of crying, I felt like there was nothing more I could do, so Adam went in and rocked him for awhile. He fell asleep around 4 or 4:30 and slept until almost 8. So maybe a little progress? I don't know. I'm hoping tonight is better.

I have been feeding him pretty much an extra meal right before bed so that I don't have to worry about him being hungry. I know it's just habit that he wants to get up to nurse. And it's a habit we have to break. But breaking habits is hard, and it hurts my heart to put him through this. For him, it's a huge life change.

He's been seeming more clingy/cuddly during the days, so I know he misses our nighttime cuddling and that's sad.

It's also interesting to see the difference in his demeanor when he wakes up during the night versus when he wakes up in the morning for the day. At night, he's immediately crying and whimpering and it gets progressively more forlorn. In the morning, he doesn't cry at all when he awakes. He coos and babbles and plays in his crib until we come get him.

So there's the sleeping update. I will update again when we're through it and on the other side (fingers crossed).

As far as nursing goes, some days I have only been nursing him before the afternoon nap, before bed, and then during the night. Some days, he whines and grabs at my chest and tries to get my shirt off so I give in. At this point, I'm thinking one thing at a after we have our nights figured out for awhile, then I will really focus on being consistent with cutting out feedings.

And the baby weight. I feel like I have gained and lost the same 5 pounds a hundred times. I will do so great for a week and then our stressful life gets in the way and I don't have the willpower to keep up with it. I'm trying to use the summer and my upcoming 30th birthday as motivation, but it's an hourly struggle.

To end this post on a more positive note, here are a few photos of my sweetie. The first one I used for the I Carry Your Heart Blog:

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Sutton and I have been majorly butting heads lately.

I am not a huge fan of being super strict and he is pushing the limits to see what he can get away with.

Adam tells me over and over again that any slight disobedience or defiance needs an immediate consequence, and I see the positive results of that kind of discipline in how well Sutton behaves for Adam. I'm just a softy and it does not come easily for me. And Sutton knows it. The fits, the crying, the pouting, the yelling...ugh. It's tiring.

But holy moly, do I love that kid. His freckles, his big brown eyes. The way he holds his mouth when he concentrates. The amazing way he has with Ren, he is kind and gentle and the best big brother anyone could ever have.

The way he hugs me every day as if it's been ages since he's seen me.

The way he tells me he's sorry without any prompting when he's had time to think about how he's acted. The silly way he says certain words: slushy is slooshie...Powerade is Powergade, breakfast is breakiss, Starburst is dobber. L's and R's are still hard for him, so Ren is Wen (or Wenny), and how he's perfectly aware that those letters are hard for him to say and tries to explain what he means if I don't understand right away.

His imagination. How he understands things that I feel are way over his the concept of God and growing up. His matter-of-fact way he talks about when he's older and moves out to marry a girl. His strange taste in movies (anything from Wild Kratts to Veggie Tales to Frozen to CareBears). How deeply he loves his family and friends.

This kid is amazing. I can so easily get bogged down in how hard it is to be a parent all day every day. But when it comes down to it...I lucked out. He's amazing. Now tell me that tomorrow when we're arguing about eating his vegetables. :)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Ren's 1st Birthday

I started out Ren's birthday with a few throwback photos to remember how different life was just one short year ago before we even met Ren. I actually posted this first photo the week before his birthday, since I was 38 weeks pregnant here (I delivered him at 39 weeks). I do NOT miss that belly. :)

And then this was on his actual birthday. This photo was during his first hour of life when we were doing our precious skin-to-skin time. He was nestled under my gown and we were just getting to know each other.

Then I had to do a comparison of Sutton at 12 months (left) and Ren at 12 months (right) in the same spot. This photo pretty much sums them up. Sutton has more hair, and Ren is happy all the time. :)

Ren's actual birthday was a bit uneventful. It was during parent-teacher conferences for Adam, so Adam was at work the entire evening before and while I put Ren to bed. So I went through the crazy emotions of putting my baby to bed for the last time as a baby by myself.

The plus side was that Adam had Thursday morning (Ren's actual birthday) off before he had to go in to work for the entire afternoon and evening for more conferences. So we let Adam sleep in a little and then we went out to get donuts together for breakfast.

We're used to having our kid's birthday in the summer when Adam doesn't have to work and we can do fun things to celebrate all day. So it was a bit of a let-down to celebrate a birthday during the school year. Although I suppose when he's bigger, he'll be able to take treats to school on his birthday and Sutton won't. The rest of his birthday was pretty much a normal day for us but luckily my parents came over that evening for pizza so we wouldn't have to spend the evening by ourselves.

Ren tried donut and pizza for the first time on his birthday, and that was pretty much the extent of the excitement. He also got to open two presents - one from our friends the Lanes and one from my parents. Our present to him hadn't come in the mail yet. I'm really slacking on this whole second-time-mom thing. :)

But, to redeem myself, I had planned a big party for him two days later. It was a bit of a bummer because two of our closest friends were due right around his birthday with their own babies and couldn't make it to the party. (One had her baby a few days before and the other lives out of town and could've gone into labor at any second.) But aside from that, the party was a success! I planned and decorated (which is NOT my strong suit) and I think it turned out cute.

These were his monthly photos. I love this display and still haven't taken it down. :)

I printed out some photos of Ren from when we announced we were pregnant, some belly photos, hospital, and then throughout his first year, to have the Story of Ren. But then I realized I had no where to display them. So I hung them on a bookshelf and it looked really bad for the photos, ha. But it served its purpose. :)

My parents got there early to help frost cupcakes and prep (THANK YOU!), and Ren had just woken up from his morning nap, so he was still in jammies.

Then I changed him into his cute ONEsie (get it?) that I made - that's an iron-on - and I love how it turned out!

After lunch but before cake and presents, I got a photo of the birthday boy with all of his guests. Here he is with Papa Ed and Grandma Janet.

And with Papa Bruce and Grandma Ancy.

With his cousins Aubrynn and Breegan. Their brother had a robotics tournament that day, so he couldn't make it and their parents (Uncle Steve and Aunt Jessica) could only make it to the party for about 15 minutes before heading out to watch him compete. We missed you! But I'm glad the girls could stay. Funny one point Ren went missing and I found him in Sutton's bed...Aubrynn had lifted him up into the bed and all the kids were playing there. He was having a ball. Yikes.

Friends Melinda, Olive, and Ryan.

Daddy and Mommy with our birthday boy!

Sutton was sooooo excited to be taken away from playing with his friends for a picture, as you can tell.

Friends Brennan, Kurt, and London. We missed their momma Faith, but she had to work.

So thankful for everyone who came and shared this special day with us.

Then it was time for the cake smash! This was the first time Ren had cake. He was trying to figure out what to do with it.

Mmm. Yummy.

Then he realized "Whoa, this is GOOD." and dove in!

I gave him a quick sink bath and left him naked (with a diaper) for presents.

He was so funny with the presents. They were all in gift bags, and he would pull out the tissue paper and then stick his head in the bag like he was trying to crawl in it.

All the kiddos were very intent on watching to see what he got.

This is the classic Ren sitting position:

After most of the people left, Scott (AH! we forgot a picture with Scott) and Kurt + his kids stuck around a bit for a dance party. But Ren was so tired. I sat with him on the couch and he didn't move from this position for like 30 minutes until I finally put him down for his nap.

And Sutton wanted a picture of him doing this pose.

All in all, a great first birthday. I didn't know what to expect because Sutton cried through most of his first birthday party. He was just overwhelmed with all the people and hated us forcing the cake on him. So I didn't know how Ren would do, but figured it would go a little better since he's a lot more laid back than his big brother. He did great...he crawled around, let everyone hold him, ate his cake with no fuss, and didn't cry at all. Good job, Ren!