Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lovely Lunch Date!

So, today I met up with a gal pal of mine who is near and dear to my heart.  We had lunch downtown and it was wonderful to catch up!  I haven't seen her much in the past year or so and that just isn't working for me. :) Honestly, it's just not.

So, we changed all that today by having lunch!  Jennifer, over at A Journey of Baby Steps, is pretty awesome.  She is married to this giant ginger guy that I kind of love, too.  They are, together, pretty good peeps that you all should know.

They have been on an amazingly long, tough, emotional, exciting, loving, difficult, hope-filled, bumpy journey to adoption.  You can check out her blog for all the details, but let's just say, they've been through the ringer about a billion times already and they are still hanging in there, waiting on their sweet little miracle to fill their arms.  Just one more reason they rock my socks off.  They have faith like nobody's business and even though I'm sure they've both had their hours, days and weeks (ok, months) of tears and stress-eating and bouts of self-pity and everything else that has to go along with the adoption process, they always manage to smile and laugh and hope for the best, believing they will end up where God wants them with the child he has chosen especially for them to love and raise.  I can't wait to meet this little person and see just how much love they pour into that baby's love cup.  He or she is in for a treat (and lots of smother-loving)!

We had a nice talk about parenting of all kinds.  Good and bad and know, stuff we infertile's really care about.   Sometimes, it's nice to talk to another IF'er to vent to or just rant with.  Mainly, because they JUST GET IT.  It's like being on the same battlefield, shoulder to shoulder, fighting the same fight.  We just have a lot in common when it comes to how we feel about people who don't appreciate their blessings and don't cherish the time they have with the kids God has given to them.

  Even though I have Easton thanks to ART, I still identify myself as an infertile and I always will.  I wouldn't have the little stinker napping here beside me if it wasn't for modern medicine and that fact isn't lost on me one bit.  

Anyway, Jennifer and Paul (the ginger giant) are finally getting closer to their little miracle and I'm just so incredibly happy for them.  They've been through a lot in the past few years.  They deserve to be happy and I can't wait for them to trade in THIS stress and worry for the stress and worry they are so ready for: parenting a tiny tot!

That's pretty much all I've got going on today.  Easton spent the morning with his Gamma and of course, she spoiled him by taking him shopping in his pj's for flip flops, toys and new clothes.  This boy is seriously never going to want to hang out with me once he realizes he has a choice.  Between my mom and my best bud, I'm going to be the lamest person he knows!

I hope you all are enjoying your week.  I'm so ready for the weekend!  My Dad is coming to visit and hang out with Easton.  Hopefully, we have lots to report after a fun and exhausting weekend!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Magicians and Circus Freaks Have Taken Over My House!

Ok, so maybe that's a bit of a stretch.  There aren't circus freaks holding me hostage or any such thing, but sometimes, if I close my eyes just so and tilt my head to the left, Rik looks like a huge giant and Easton could be his little side kick he carries around with him to make him look even bigger.  Still though, they aren't holding me hostage or doing magic tricks on me.

What IS happening is this:  Someone is shrinking my clothes.

No, really.  They have to be.  There is no other logical explanation.

Ok, maybe there is.  I'm oddly shaped now.  I guess having a baby will do that to you.  I guess going through fertility treatments will do that to you.

I'm at that point post-pregnancy when I FEEL like things should fit normally again.  Yes, five months is clearly not long enough for all my ligaments and hips to pull back together completely but holy-cow-these-hips-don't-lie-but-I-keep-telling-myself-they-really-do.  Whew!  Glad I got that out.

My house if full of carnival mirrors.  I look in the mirror, look normal(ish), go to my closet, hold up something that looks like it would fit (you know how it is, you hold something up and say, "Good Lord that looks huge!"), then try it on and it won't go up past your knees.  I have jeans that I wore two years ago when we were in the midst of our fertility treatments, that I'd have to jump off the roof to get in to now.  Anyone wanna volunteer to come hold those for me while I climb to the highest point on our house?  They are the cutest jeans ever so I think they would totally be worth the risk.

Ugh.  I had lost all the baby weight pretty much right away.  Then I gained 8 lbs back.  Now, I've lost 4 of those pounds again.  So, I'm basically at my pre-pregnancy weight (give or take) depending on what time I weigh myself.  However, I still have the fertility medicine-inducing weight gain to drop.  That's another 13-16 pounds.  Until then, nothing in my closet will fit me right.  I have about 38 pairs of dress slacks, 10 skirts and about 7 pairs of jeans that I can't wear.  Thanks to the ta-ta's, I can't wear half my shirts either b/c they won't button!  Ergh.

Oddly, I'm thankful to have this problem because I have the most adorable little boy ever, but when you're trying to get ready for work, it's frustrating.  I've got to get back to working out.  It's hard to take time away from Easton to do that even though I know it's very important to take care of myself.

My new motivation came from an unexpected source recently.  We were at a friend's wedding and I saw a former co-worker that I haven't seen in about five years.  She almost walked right past me and I had to stop her and say hello.  She looked at me for a solid three seconds before realizing who I was and then said, "Oh my gosh!  Shannon!  How are you!?" (looked at Easton in my earms)  "Oh! You had a baby?!  Wow, that explains it!  You've gained so much weight I didn't recognize you!"  Immediate tears.  I wanted to crawl under the pew and bawl my eyes out.  Yes, I realize how rude of her to say so, but she obviously said something many folks at that wedding were probably thinking.  I'm much bigger than I have ever been in my entire life and it's kind of grossing me out.

So, I'm going to get back to my pre-pregnancy, pre-fertility SHAPE.  I'm not going to focus on the # so much as how things fit because I think I'll be happier that way.  Clearly, after having a baby, going off the number won't help me reach my goal b/c my body is shaped differently now and I just want my clothes to fit again.  :)  So, I'll keep you posted here and there as to how I'm doing.  Hopefully, by E's first birthday in 7 months, I'll be back to normal and back in those cute jeans!  If not, I'm gonna need that volunteer I mentioned above.  :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Lost Identity

As a mother, it's easy to lose your old identity and become someone new.  It may be a gradual thing, it may happen overnight, but inevitably, becoming a mom changes you and makes you into someone new.  Better or worse, you're never the same.

I've heard people say they feel like all they are now is a "Mom", and that's it.  I wondered what it must feel like, all those days and months leading up to E's birth, to become someone's mother.  Instead of being "Shannon", being known as "Easton's mom".  I wondered how I would handle that.  Losing my couch time, being "ON" all the time, never any down time.

Being known as "Easton's Mom"?  Well, I'm ok with that.  More than ok with that.  I LOVE IT.

I don't know if it has something to do with WANTING to become a mother, or how long we wanted to have a child in our lives or how prepared we were for the change, but regardless of why, I love the new me.  Sure, she's tired-er and messier and sleepier and hungrier (hey, it's the truth) but she's also awesome-er.

My new identity hasn't been a downgrade, it's been an amazing upgrade to the old version.  My days are filled with responsibility and meaning and love.  Sure, I don't have much time for myself, but I don't really want time for myself.  I just want time with my little boy.  I can't imagine wanting to escape from him.  I know people are different and motherhood can bring all kinds of emotions and hormones along with it, but I'm very thankful that my personal reaction has been nothing but wonderful.  I've been very blessed and I don't take that lightly at all.

Speaking of that blessing, he is up from his nap so it's time to go!

Till next time,
Easton's Mom

We were out shopping and I turn around to this face looking at me from his stroller.
I melted into a huge sloppy puddle right in the middle of Home Depot.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Baby Love

Something struck me the other day that touched my heart in a way that I didn't realize was possible.

Easton loves me.

This realization was so profound that I couldn't really stop thinking about it all day and it brought me to tears on more than one occasion.  My son loves me.  ME.  His mommy.

I wondered how long it would take for him to need me, then trust me, then love me but it happened slowly, I didn't really think much of it until the other day.  Then, SHAZAAAM!  Tears, laughing, joy.  

Sure, I'm his food source (mostly) and so he has been "excited" to see me at feeding times and would grin like a maniac if I walked up during diaper changes with Da-da, but the sweetness of his little love for me now is just different.  It's the most precious thing on Earth. 

The way a baby loves is not like the way we love as adults.  It's so pure and so sweet.  We've been shown the way to "love".  We hold hands, we hug, we kiss.  He doesn't know that those are the ways society shows love, he just shows love the way he feels it.  It's so simple.  You can almost see it bubble up inside of him and he just has to let it out somehow.  Sometimes, painfully so for the recipient of said love.

He smiles and laughs like crazy at me, especially if I've been away for a few minutes and he hasn't seen me for a bit.  When I'm holding him, sometimes he just slaps and slaps at me like he's patting me for being a good mommy.  He will watch me like a hawk if I'm cooking and he's in the other room.  He stalks his prey, for sure.  He grunts and makes hilarious faces when he's hungry and finally lays eyes on me.  He reaches with both arms and grabby hands when he wants me to hold him and then buries his little face in whatever nook or cranny he can find on me.  He open-mouth's my face or neck or hand or arm when he is really feeling lovingly towards me..but the sweetest thing of all is when he grabs my face with both hands and pulls my head towards him, growling the whole time, and tries to eat my mouth or my cheek.  He squeezes my face so hard that sometimes, it hurts.  He scratches and claws me sometimes too.  It's adorable.  He wants me to be the one to love him all the time.  To carry him, to hold him, to spend time with him.  I'm another human beings most favorite human being.  :)

I love seeing those little arms reaching for me.  I waited so long to have a child of my heart and soul reach those sweet arms out to me.  Who knew that seeing my own child fall in love with me could shatter my heart into a zillion little fragments and put it back together again at the same time?  

His love is so simple, so sweet, so pure.  That's how love should be, isn't it?  I wish I could bottle it up, just like it is right now, and keep it forever as a reminder of how love was meant to be for all of us.  I'm so thankful for the love of this little boy.  I will do my very best to make sure he always knows just how grateful I am for him and how much I love him every single day.

The look of love.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Heuristic & Sensory Play Time!

In a nutshell, I've been really interested in Heuristic play, aka Sensory Play.  This way of playing is mainly about letting your child interact with natural things that are part of your life without all the electronic noises, lights, etc.  It's about letting them explore, feel, lick, smell, taste and play with things in the same way we did as children and our parents did as children.  Who remembers filling up buckets with rocks, banging on kitchen pots, making mudpies and the like?  I know I sure do!

This way of developing your child's mind and imagination just speaks to me.  I want to encourage creativity with Easton.  I want him to figure out how things work or come up with his own ideas of how things work.  I truly believe it will make him a more independent thinker with an urge to imagine a world of possibilities!

You can read more about this way of playing here and here.  If you don't know much about it, I highly recommend that you read up on it.  Cheap fun, good fun, creative fun, learning fun.  Win, win, win, win!

So, now that Easton is sitting up all by himself, we've decided to make up a few sensory baskets for him to play with.  We started yesterday with a water sensory bucket.  It's not all natural like his other baskets b/c I literally just grabbed a bunch of his and his cousin, Reaghan's, bath toys, tossed them in a plastic tub and raced out onto the porch.  He was BORED out of his little mind and fussing nonstop, so out we went without ever planning to do so.  He had a BLAST.
"ooooh!  What's THIS?"

I laid a few towels down, soaked him in sunblock and let him play and splash to his little heart's content!  He wasn't shy about the splashing, let me tell you!  He wacked the water and the bucket and the toys so hard, he left a big red spot on his wrist!

Soaking wet!

This morning, I spent a few minutes scouring the house for things to put into a few additional baskets.  The idea is to put them in shallow round baskets so that they can be accessed from all sides by short arms.  I have TONS of baskets from where I made gift baskets a few years ago!  Perfect! 

Finding little treasures throughout our house was a fun activity for me.  It definitely triggered my imagination when I would hold something in my hand and try to see it through young, fresh eyes.  Imagine never seeing a wooden spinning top before?  Or a tiny wooden bowling pin?  I may or may not have ganked that one from one of Daddy's trophies.  :)  I could hardly wait for him to play with all these items!  In his basket, I included two wooden utensils, a top, wooden stacking blocks, part of a wooden quilters hoop, the tiny wooden bowling pin and one of those grindy pedestal thingy's that I can't remember the name of right now!


Then, I moved on to the textiles basket.  I'm still not 100% sure what qualifies as a textile (Rik and I have this conversation a lot, actually) so I just threw in a bunch of things that were textured and interesting.  This basket includes t-shirt bands (from an old t-shirt necklace fail), an organza pouch, feathers, a crocheted fish I made years ago and never could bring myself to toss, quilt pieces in the shape of butterflies, a magazine necklace three feet long from Africa, a ball wrapped with twine (glued on very securely) and terry cloth squares.  Some of these things are potential choking/strangling hazards so naturally, I won't be leaving him alone to play with these baskets.  It's definitely going to be a supervised playtime.  If you make your own baskets, use discretion when it comes to what you add.  I had a very large cork in this basket but couldn't shake the nagging feeling that it was just a bit too small for his young age.
Textile fun!

So, that's what we're up to today. He's napping now, but I'll be sure to take lots of pictures of him playing with these so that I can show you what a hit they were!  I'm doing my best not to run in there and wake the little scrip scrap up so he can play with his new treasure baskets!  :)

If you make a basket for your little one, let me know how it goes!  I can't wait to hear all about it!

Hope you guys have a fantastic day today!  It's going to be another gorgeous weekend here so I have big plans for our little family!  What will you all be doing this weekend?  Anything fun?

Thanks for stopping by to read my little piece of the internet!  
Love to you all!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Our Wonderful Weekend! (a little late in the week)

So, in the past week, we've been super busy doing things I thought we'd never get to do.  Fun things as a family that are warming my heart as the weather warms our days.  I am pretty sure that Easton will be very thankful not to have wear a jacket anymore. If there is one thing he really hates its having his shirt changed or a jacket put on.  Poor kid.  He does what my friend April refers to as the "child abuse" scream.  

Look at that face!  "NO MORE JACKETS, MOMMY!" 
One of the rare pictures of us together.  :)

We decided to take Easton for a weekend "hike" since the weather was going to be perfect!  70's, sunny, breezy...ugh.  It was magnificent.   While we were getting ready, Easton decided he'd take a snack break and work on his toes for a bit.  The boy will leave what I refer to as, "redneck love marks" on his toes he sucks them so hard.  They must taste delicious.  The little rascal has the sweatiest feet you've ever felt, for sure.  I thought that was something that happened later in life, like when they are 15, but apparently.....not the case.  Stanky, sweaty, boy feet.  Love 'em.


Saturday, we went to Whole Foods and did a little grocery shopping.  I'm making E's baby food, so I had to stock up.   We got lunch and ate outside in the glorious sunshine.  Easton loved it.  He loves walking through the colorful produce section and grabbing at random pretty things.  It's quite adorable.

Once we wrapped up lunch, we headed out to the toy store (so he could window shop), and on to the baseball fields for Daddy to do a little work.  Rik is a baseball coach at a high school so his job is never done when it comes to field maintenance and the like.  After that, we headed on over to walk the Walnut Street Bridge and strolled around Coolidge Park.  It was busy and crowded with families playing football, having cookouts, playing in the fountains.  It was awesome!  Easton was amazed by all the hustle and bustle.

Gotta protect those baby blues!

By the time we headed on back across the bridge, he was pretty wiped out. He'd been going strong for about four hours with no nap.  He was so cute doing his best to stay awake.  He lost the battle about halfway to the car. 

Sunday, we did a lot of the same.  We went downtown and had ourselves a little picnic at the ball field while Rik mowed and watered the field.  It was beautiful again so we lathered up in sunscreen, threw on hats and just chilled out in the outfield on a blanket.  He loves grass on his feet.  It's so amazing to see things through his eyes.  Sounds, sights, smells...they are all new to him and he's amazed by it all.  Birds singing can keep his attention for 15 minutes straight.  That's amazing for this fella!

"I think I'll take a nap!"  My sweet little buddy.

We met Rik's parents for lunch at this sweet little pizza joint that has always been a favorite of ours downtown.  They adore Easton and it was nice to see them.  Rik's Dad always takes lots of pictures!  I love it.

We had dinner at a friends house and enjoyed a nice game of wiffle ball.  Rik got "trucked" by a 9 year old boy and may or may not have ended up on his butt staring up at said 9 year old.  Hilariousness.

We haven't done much else this week.  I've worked every day during the day and so it wasn't really until yesterday that I was able to get E back outside for a little R&R.  He decided he'd go ahead and start sitting up by himself for extended periods of time yesterday.  He sat up for a solid 5-7 minutes before falling over!  I must admit that I was quite proud of him.  

"I don't need your stinkin' help! I'm a big boy!"

Easton turned 5 months old Monday and I can't believe it.  He's growing up too fast and I just want to slow it down so I can enjoy every single second.  I don't want to miss a thing.  I'm cherishing every second of every minute of this journey.  

Till next time,

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Rik decided to take Easton out for a little early morning birdwatching this morning. I swear, they really do a number on the heart! Not too bad on the eyes either!

Monday, April 1, 2013

We're Still Here!

Well, hello there!  It's me again.

So much to say and so much to update with Easton, but goodness.  Let me start by saying that I have NO idea how some of you stay on top of blogging.  I mean, if I have a second free, I sit in relative silence for a few and then usually tackle the housework that never seems to end.  :)  I've missed you all though and truly, I appreciate all of you checking in on me/us!

I suppose I'll update you about Easton and what's been going on with us.  Our son is adorable, stubborn, alert, happy, observant, feisty, hungry and most of all, hilarious.

We are still nursing and that's going as well as can be expected when your son has the attention span of a gnat and can't seem to stay latched on for more than a few sucks before quite literally yanking his head backwards to look around for something new.  He hates the thought of missing anything.  My nipples have requested a vacation.

Easton is a long, lanky fellow.  He was a little pudge but now that he has worked out the jumper, he has trimmed down a bit.  He is 15 1/2 lbs and is 26 inches long as of his four month appointment one month ago.  I believe he is even taller now b/c all of his clothes are too tight length-wise.  He wears 6 month clothing comfortably, but now and then, I squeeze him into a 3 monther if I am in the mood to show off his stellar physique.  Or if I want him to wear jams.  Do you remember jams? They rocked in the 90's.  He is clearly a fashion icon already.  Lil' trendsetter.

He rolled over from his belly to his back very early.  As in before he was 3 months old.  On Feb 5th.  It was crazy weird.  Once he did it once, it was a non-stop thing.  He HATED tummy time.  He is getting more tolerant these days in his older, wiser age.  He is almost going from his back to his tummy but he still seems to have trouble with the arm being in the way.  I have a feeling once he realizes what he's doing is putting him on his tummy, he will never do it again.  Our son is stubborn and set in his ways.  FOR REAL.

He ended up with colic pretty bad for a few months and that, paired with acid reflux, made one fussy little boy.  We had our days, trust me.  Thank goodness, those days are mostly a thing of the past.  I'm thankful for every single one of those days, but I'd be lying if I said I'm not glad they are mostly a thing of the past.  I remember someone telling me that once they turn 4-6 months old, it would pass and thinking I'd never make it that long.  Look at me.  I made it.

He just suddenly started sleeping through the night one night and going to sleep on kind of a schedule.  We thought about doing some type of strict schedule but it was never right for us.  He was noncompliant, his belly made it even more miserable and when it came down to it, I wanted to feed him  based on when he was hungry and needed to eat.  That to me was more important than having him sleep through the night very early.  I'm all for it and had hoped it would work out for us, but honestly, it just didn't.  I'm hoping that we're starting to get our own routine down now that he has pretty much made for himself in the past month or two.  So far, he is pretty happy now that his tummy and such feel better.

He started cereal a little bit before he was four months old b/c he was starving every two hours it seemed, sometimes sooner.  It started at about 3 months and I did everything I could to make him wait, then to accommodate him but finally, I decided to call the doc.  I knew my milk supply was fine but he was still hungry.  He was also starting to stare longingly at us while we ate and so I knew it was ok to ask the doc.  She said go for it.  They recommended feeding him from a bowl and spoon instead of cereal in the bottle.  We tried, it didn't work.  We tried again a week later and he was ALL OVER IT.  He was even grabbing the spoon and jamming it into his own mouth.  Poor chunker.

I've given him vegetables in the past two weeks.  He loves peas and carrots.  Not so much green beans. He enjoyed his Japanese sweet potatoes and apples.   That's all he's had so far.  He only had green beans once and since then, we've decided to stick to peas, carrots and apples for now.  I only give them to him once a day and even then, not every day.  I am terrified of causing him to be seriously constipated.  So far, that only happened once and it ended with him suddenly and delightedly pooping in my hand for about a solid minute between diaper changes.  Who knew poop could cause such joy? Especially when you catch it in your hand?  Ok, back to food.  What do you all know about Baby Led Weening?  Have I already screwed up by feeding him from a spoon?

Luckily, I was able to spend the first 3 1/2 months at home w/ the little scrip scrap.  Now, I'm working part time and it's been great.  I pump while I'm there and so far, he's only had to have a few emergency formula bottles, but I'm ok with that and he has been too.

To wrap this up before he realizes I'm not solely focused on him, I will share some pictures with you that you missed if we aren't hooked up on instagram.  :)  I'm @shannononthefly if you want to follow me there and catch up on some seriously adorable shots of my little guy, my dogs and pretty much nothing else.

I'll write again soon.  Getting over the hump is always the hardest part!  :)  I hope you all are doing well.  I will do my best to catch up with all your blogs now too!  I've missed you all.

One month old!

Two months old! (What a difference!)
Three months old!

(Four months is still on the camera! BOOOO MOMMY!)

Some time at the park on a cold day! Brrrrr!

Hey there, ladies....

A little baseball, of course.