Timing and Friendship

I have not always been the most patient person on the planet, and being a mom has really taught me that my timing will not necessarily be Jude’s timing, and I’m happy to say that I really have learned to be more patient (at least with Jude!).  Unfortunately, our timing was off today!  Jude and I went to Hershey to visit one of my dearest friends and her son.  Mom & BabyHe slept the whole way to Hershey, and I was hoping that he would sleep the whole way home.  He ate shortly before I was ready to leave for home, and I was waiting for him to make a messy diaper before we left.  However, I guess I felt like it was time to go, so instead of waiting for this to happen, I went ahead and left, and you guessed it!  The messy diaper occurred during the drive, and there was some serious wailing during the end of our car ride-to the point that he got so wound up that it took quite a bit of effort and time to get him calmed down.   Sigh…I try not to be too hard on myself, but today was another reminder to slow down and be patient!  Thankfully some cuddling with Daddy made my little boy much happier after our traumatic ride home!

Dustin & JudeOur time in Hershey was delightful! It was so wonderful to see my friend, and I love the idea of our boys being friends just like we were.  It occurred to me while we were there that Jude really hasn’t been around many children-hopefully he isn’t too shell shocked when he is with the other daycare kids on Monday=) It will be fun when the boys can really play together!

Mom & Baby

I was very much in need of some girl talk, and I’m so glad that I had that opportunity to see Karen and Levi before I went back to work!

Love these two!

New Best Friends

The difference 7 weeks makes

Since this is the last week I have off before going back to work, I am spending a lot of time thinking about going back…I have come to be at peace with it so I have finally moved past dreading the transition to focusing my energy towards planning for the easiest possible transition.  Some of my peace came from a wonderful book that I read today, but more on that another day!

I mentioned last week that I am so grateful that I had 12 weeks to be home with Jude.  The fact that he will be 13 weeks old when he goes to day-care instead of 6 or 7 weeks old is a great source of comfort to me.  Some of you may know that I carried a baby for a short time that was lost to miscarriage a few months before we got pregnant with Jude.  Had that baby survived he or she would have been born last February, and I really would have only had 6 weeks off, with some of it being without pay.  While I still mourn the loss of that life, the timing of Jude’s delivery did allow me to have more time at home, which I am grateful for.

I was thinking back to what Jude was like when he was 6 weeks old.  He only weighed about 7.5 pounds.  He was asleep more than he was awake.  He really hadn’t started to smile, coo, or try to communicate with us in any way.  He was eating very consistently every 2 hours, all day long.  I had just started to figure out how to survive on such little sleep.  I had only recently begun to attempt to fulfill some of my other household duties such as cooking dinner and cleaning the house.  I had only been pumping for a short time, and I could probably count on one hand the number of times we had left the house.  Physically, I was healed from my surgery.  Emotionally, I was no where near being ready to leave my baby.  I was still figuring out nursing, and hadn’t reached the point of loving it as much as I do now.

Next Monday Jude will be 13 weeks along, and so much has changed!  He now weighs 11 pounds, and while he still sleeps a lot, he has times when he is awake.  He “talks” to me all the time, and he has smiles for both of us anytime we are close enough for him to see us.  He doesn’t eat as frequently, and is able to eat more efficiently.  I have come to love nursing and that special time we have together.   He isn’t sleeping through the night yet on a regular basis, but if he does get up, it is only once instead of two or three times.  He likes to have books read to him (mostly to hear our voices), and he is working really hard at holding his head up.  He can sort of communicate his likes and dislikes (unfortunately we can’t always figure them out!)  He has been with a babysitter a handful of times, and has learned to drink mommy’s milk from a bottle.  He recognizes both Dustin and I, and it is now important for him to see us at all times! All in all, he has come a long way in the past 6 weeks, and I feel a lot more comfortable leaving him with a babysitter then I would have 6 weeks ago.  While I still wish that I could stay home, I am grateful for this extra time I had with him, and I pray that this week doesn’t go too quickly!

Sleepy Sunday

It finally happened-my baby slept through the night!!  I woke up when he started fussing, and when I saw that the clock read 5:00, I honestly checked my i-pod to see if the time was correct, because he hasn’t slept anywhere near that long before-the closest we have come is 2 or 3 o’clock.  I don’t know if this is going to be a recurring phenomenon, but it was the first time I’ve had 8 consecutive hours of sleep in 12 weeks, and it felt wonderful!

The interesting thing was that since he slept for so long in one stretch, he was not interested in going back to bed after he ate at 5.  His daddy got him up and he was in a fantastic mood for a few hours, and then he spent a lot of time napping in the morning.  With all of his sleeping, we decided not to attempt church today, and aim for an afternoon outing (Plus, the last two Sundays Jude didn’t make it through the service anyway-I hope that gets better soon!)

His sleeping patterns have always baffled me.  There seems to be no correlation between how much he sleeps during the day, and how much he sleeps at night.  Sometimes he takes 30 minute naps-sometimes 2 hours-never at the same time day-to-day.  At any rate, I know that as he gets older, he will start to fall into a schedule.  I know that everyone has their own theories about schedules-I have always followed his lead.  When he’s hungry, I feed him; when he’s sleepy, I rock him to sleep; and when he’s alert, I play with him.  My plan is to continue following his lead, rather than trying to impose a schedule on him.  I figure that Dustin and I are far more flexible than he is, and we can handle waiting an extra 30 minutes to eat-he can’t.  I guess we will have to see what actually happens!

Antiques & Crafts SignIn case you were wondering, we went to Casey’s Bar & Grill for lunch around 1:30 after little man woke up from a nice long nap.  We then went to the Fayetteville Antique Mall.  We go there every few months.  There are a lot of stalls selling wood working tools, so when Dustin needs a tool, sometimes we will go there first before he orders anything.  Granted, there is a lot of junk to sift through, but we usually come home with something.  Today we were successful in finding the bit that he needed.

Dad & Jude in StrollerAs always Jude was an active participant in our outing =)Jude Asleep

I hope everyone had a wonderful Sunday!!

Emerging Personality

My baby is turning into a little boy, and he’s really starting to show his personality!  Today we were at a baby shower for my cousin, and we sat beside another young mom with a little girl about Jude’s age.  When this little lady got hungry she had this quiet little cry, and then she sat perfectly still and calmly drank down her bottle.  I almost laughed out loud because there is nothing calm about how my son eats!  He is always moving around-quite frankly he’s a lot like me-he’s too busy paying attention to everything else around him to focus on eating.  He also uses eating time to work on filling his diaper at the same time that he eats-I don’t know why-he just does! One of the reasons I hesitate to nurse in public is because of how active and loud he is when he eats!!

Jude has also developed a bit of an independent streak.  He still likes to be held a lot, but he has now fallen in love with his bouncer seat and there are times when he cries because he wants to be sitting in his chair so he can look around.  He still wants mommy and daddy very close and in eye shot, but he likes a little independence.  On one hand it makes me a little sad that he doesn’t always want to be held, but this change may help him get through his first couple days of day care.

I’m really enjoying this stage in his development, and I can’t wait to see what other personality traits we will discover!

I also ask for prayers for my cousin whose baby shower we attended.  She is 33 weeks along, but has been diagnosed with preeclampsia.  They are going to try to keep the baby from being born as long as possible, but she is probably either looking at bed rest or being induced early.  Pray that God keeps his hand on this precious little boy, and gives his parents peace.

It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas…

Not really, but Mom and I did make her Christmas Cards today.

Jude was there too, but you can see that he wasn’t much help =)

Usually by now I have been rehearsing Christmas music with my students for a month, so I feel like I’m a little behind in getting in the Christmas spirit =)  (I know, I know…I’m a dork!)

I am so excited for our first Christmas with Jude.  While I have enjoyed the holiday season the past few years, it just hasn’t had the magic it did when I was young.  My mother-in-law and I have a running joke about the burden that women have to “make Christmas happen.”  I never realized how much my mom did around the holidays!  Now that I make, address, and send Christmas cards, buy and wrap all the gifts our family gives, decorate the house, and make food for our various get-togethers, I certainly have a new appreciation for all the work that mom and dad did to make the season special for us.  I now really look forward to doing these things to make my son’s holidays special.

I like traditions, especially holiday traditions.  I have such fond memories of carving pumpkins, coloring easter eggs, going into the fields to pick out a Christmas tree, and singing Silent Night by candlelight on Christmas Eve.  In fact, Trista and I have continued to do many of these things just because we hate to let these traditions go!  However, again, it hasn’t been quite the same.  I really look forward to continuing some of these traditions with Jude, and hopefully starting a few new ones.  I really like the idea of Advent calendars, and maybe next year Jude and I will make one.

I hope you all had a great first day of Fall, and you have my permission to start preparing for the holidays =)


Learning to travel

Jude and Car SeatI have found that learning how to travel with Jude is one of the greatest challenges I have faced as a new mom.  There are two factors that I have found difficult (I don’t know if everyone has these issues, or not).  First, he still eats every couple of hours which means that I only have a small window between when his belly is full and he decides he is hungry again.  I love nursing, but I am a total wimp about nursing in public, so I can really only be gone for a short amount of time.  Second, my child does not like to sleep during the day-oh does he fight his naps!  Everyone always talks about putting their child in the car to get them to fall asleep, but I have not found this to be effective with Jude =)    We have definitely had the experience of him crying for an entire ride home from church just because he was tired but wouldn’t give in.  In general we don’t let Jude cry for very long,  so these crying sessions are very stressful for all of us.

Anyway,I hate to admit this, but we haven’t actually gone all that many places other than church and his grandparent’s houses, and until two days ago we had not been to a restaurant as a family yet.  Dustin had been mentioning that we really needed to be brave and try it, and on Tuesday I felt like we finally had the perfect storm: he actually had a 2 1/2 hour nap, he ate really well afterwards, and he had a nice full diaper.  It was 3:30 PM, however, but this ended up  working to our advantage.  We wanted to go somewhere with a louder atmosphere so any fussing that occurred wouldn’t be so obvious.  We ended up settling on Red Robin.

I am happy to say that we had a great experience, and I attribute this to a couple of things.  First, there are very few other customers at 4:00 PM on a Tuesday =)  Because of this, our service was extremely fast-I think we were home within 45 minutes.  Second, we set Jude on the table so he could see us, which helped him stay calm.  Third, as I mentioned before, all his basic needs had been met, and he could just relax and look around.  Lastly, between the music and the lights at Red Robin, Jude had plenty to look at. He didn’t make a peep during the meal, and we even had time for a dessert milkshake!

Jude, Car Seat & Daddy

It probably doesn’t seem like a very big achievement, but having one trip under my belt gives me a lot of confidence to try other places.  Any tips for making traveling with an infant successful??

P.S. The new Octoberfest burger at Red Robin is awesome!

Preparing to go back to work

Sleeping Jude & MommyThis week I was really hit with the reality that in 2 short weeks my maternity leave will be over, and I will take on the new role of working mom.  I’m finding it all to be overwhelming.  I can barely do everything I need to do to take care of my sweet little boy on any given day.  On a good night I manage to get dinner on the table, and I usually manage to get at least half of my house clean during the week.  I keep thinking “how on earth am I going to do all of these things when I have to be at work from 8:30-4?” If I were completely honest, I really wish I didn’t have to go back at all. Not that I don’t enjoy my job teaching middle school chorus, and in today’s educational climate, I realize how fortunate I am to have a teaching position.  I just hate to leave my baby for that long.  I have nursed Jude exclusively since he was born, which means that I haven’t been apart from him for more than a few hours.  I know that we will adjust, and I pray that we adjust quickly.  I have a sneaking suspicion that it will be more traumatic for me than for him.

Now that I have that confession out of my system, I am going to  make the choice to enjoy every moment I have with Jude until I go back to work, and not spend this time dreading October 3rd.  Anyone have any advice for getting through that first day back to work???

Yes, I have become a blogger

Over the past year or so, I have really come to enjoy reading my friends blogs about everything under the sun, and I decided to jump on the blogging bandwagon!  I like to write, and hopefully someone out there will enjoy reading what I have to say =)

I’m a new mom-in July my husband Dustin and I welcomed Jude Oliver Martin into the world.  Laying eyes on my son for the first time will always stick with me as one of the most amazing moments of my life.  He came two and a half weeks early, so he was just a little guy at 5 pounds, 7 ounces, but 11 weeks later he is 10 pounds and growing like a cute little weed.  How am I going to say “no” to this face???Jude

Being a mom is so incredibly rewarding, and I have been overwhelmed at how God has given me such grace to handle all the parts of motherhood that aren’t for the weak of heart: middle of the night feedings, inconsolable crying, etc.  I am a teacher and because Jude was a summer baby, I will have 12 wonderful weeks at home with him, and I have enjoyed every minute.  As of October 3rd, I’m going back to work, but more on that in a later post.  My absolute favorite time with Jude is after he wakes up in the morning.  I feed him and then we have the amazing conversations that you can only have with a newborn.  He smiles, giggles, coos, and “talks” up a storm with me.  If only I knew what he was saying!!  I think it is those moments you can share with your child that make you forget all about the hard stuff and remind me that I love him so much that sometimes I think my heart could burst.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy getting to know a little bit more about our lives through this blog, and I always welcome any thoughts or comments you may have!