Monday, April 29, 2013

On Weaning, And Working (Blah Blah Blah)

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Silly boy!
Tonight, as I sat perched on the edge of the toilet, both hands holding Emmett's waist while fighting to keep him sitting in the bath (all of our keep-baby-in-the-bath apparatuses are failing us these days), he launched himself over the side of the tub and landed face-first in the pile of shampoos and conditioners and body washes I'd previously removed to limit distractions. You know, to help keep him sitting in the bath. 

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We LOVE straws y'all.
He screamed and cried and I scooped him up and hugged his little wet self to my chest and wrapped him in a towel. He laid his little head on my shoulder and we sat in the rocking chair in his room and settled in for a minute (or two!) of snuggles while he calmed down. My sister (Emmett's live-in babysitter) heard the commotion and came to see what was going on. When Emmett saw her, he cried out and he REACHED for her. Not for me. For HER.

Do ya'll hear that? The sound of big fat (metaphorical) tears hitting the floor and all of my fears being confirmed in one heart-wrenching heart-breaking heart-crushing moment? All this is to say that (cue even more melodrama!) leaving my baby at home each day to go to work is ruining his life (and mine)!

Okay, maybe not ruining. But I mean come on it really feels like it sometimes! I know my baby loves me best, I know he knows I'm his mama and 99.99% of the time he prefers me over everyone else, but that one time when he didn't was just too much.

So what am I to do? I have to work. I have to. (See how I'm saying that mostly to convince myself?) So I guess all there is to do is get used to it. Suck it up. Learn to love it? Nope, that's taking it too far.
I called my dad crying and crying one day, at my wits end and wanting him to fix it for me. I wanted him to know I was in pain and to fix it. Instead, he called me out. (Thanks Dad!) He said my attitude was awful, that women all over the world leave their children to go to work every day. That I was living in self-induced misery, always complaining and wishing things were different, and I was letting  my bad attitude run my life. I was driving my husband and my friends and everyone crazy and I needed to change my attitude. He was right. He told me the only way to fix my situation is to embrace it. To find ways to enjoy it. And to pray that God will change my circumstances in time.

And so I did. And do, every day. But sometimes (about every two weeks or so..) it all builds up and I just miss my baby so much and I just want to be home with him so much. So I stress and I cry and then I do my best to let it go.

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Meanwhile, on weaning:

This weekend Ray and I are leaving Emmett behind for four days to go to a friend's wedding in San Diego. Did you catch that? LEAVING EMMETT BEHIND for four days. Four days. That's not really all that long, right?

My mom is flying in tomorrow to help keep Emmett while we're gone, since Lucia is flying home to Georgia to take her finals on Wednesday. My mom will take great care of him and she's so excited to have some time alone with him for once. She flies home on Sunday and Emmett will go stay with my Mother-In-Law Sunday and Monday. So of course he'll be taken care of. And I'm sure the whole thing will be harder on me than on him. At least I hope so.

And y'all, Ray and I need a break (I hate saying that- how could a mama need a break from her baby, who she misses all the time??). Some time together. And some SLEEP. I'm really looking forward to the sleep.

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But Emmett wakes up at least twice a night, and he won't go to sleep until I come in and hold him and rock him and nurse him. I know that's something I could fix if I tried really hard but to be honest, as tired as I am ALL THE TIME, I love that time together at night. I don't get to breastfeed during the day so.. Anyway why am I trying to explain this to y'all. It is what it is. Will my mom be able to get him back to sleep? Will they both be up all night and miserable and tired the whole time I'm gone?

And then there's the milk issue. I've been working so hard for months, knowing this trip was coming, to put as much milk as possible in the freezer. I've pumped and I've pumped but in the end I only have about 11 bottles. Baby boy has 5-7 bottles (or bf sessions) a day, which means I'm like... 2 and a half days short. And so...... formula.

I hoped I would never have to give him formula. I know it's not a big deal, I know so many mothers give their babies formula for so many different reasons, and I think that's great. But I set a goal to breastfeed exclusively until Emmett was 1, or until he showed signs of wanting to wean (he hasn't), and now I feel like I'm failing. I know, I know. I know I'm not failing. I'm proud of myself for making it this long feeding him breast milk exclusively while working full time, but it FEELS like I'm failing.

The point to all of this:
My life is hard! My life is harder than all the lives!

Okay, maybe not ALL the lives..

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Kiwanis Park

Totally unrelated to this post:
Kellie Barney is the Facebook winner of our giveaway! Congrats Kellie, on winning and also the birth of your beautiful new baby boy!

Sometimes in the evenings we get restless, before dinner and the lengthy bedtime routine, so we hop in the car and go to the park. Emmett loves to be outside, and the fresh air and sunshine work wonders in the meltdown-prevention department. There's a great park just down the street with a big lake, ducks, a playground, endless grass to play in and try to eat, and lots of people and dogs to watch.

Last Saturday evening, we were all feeling a little bit worn out, so the park was calling our names. It's already getting so hot here in Arizona (the weatherman says 100 this week!), so we did our best to stay out of the sun. We had such a nice time walking around the lake until the inevitable pre-bedtime meltdown cut our trip short. We're doing our best to enjoy the outdoors before the temperature spikes to 115 and we dread leaving our house!

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Happy boy on the way into the park..
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Baby's favorite toy! (Especially with Bagel on the other end..)
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Dropped leash + tired baby = meltdown of the century.
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Bagel LOVES the park.
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Can you spot the baby duck? 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Photos From My {Real} Camera

I grabbed my "real" camera Sunday as we headed out the door for brunch. I almost never bring it along because my iPhone is always with me, but I need to take better pictures! So after brunch and an impromptu hike, I came home and downloaded all of the photos from my camera. Why didn't I do this sooner! There are so many great pictures from Christmas in Georgia with my family, photos from our first time at the Phoenix Zoo with Emmett, and so many more! I picked out a few of my favorites to share with you here:

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Little Santa! Christmas, 2012
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Those eyes, those hands, those ears!
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With Aunt Lucia at the Phoenix Zoo!
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Baby boy loves trees y'all.

We Have A Winner!

Our first lucky giveaway winner is....


Lauren Eggers! 


Lauren, please send me an email (annakate25 @ with your contact info to collect your prize!

We will be announcing the second winner tomorrow! Nicole is going to choose the second winner from Facebook.

Thanks for playing!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sunday Morning Hike!

On Sunday morning we got up early with the baby, so we decided to get up and go out for an early Sunday brunch. During the week I usually grab a nutrition bar on my way out the door, so we love to eat really well on the weekends. Our weekend breakfasts tend to be our favorite meals of the week!

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Baby boy LOVES being outside, so we always sit on the patio when we go out!

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So happy eating some of mama's potatoes! See those little teeth?
After breakfast we decided to take a quick hike up A Mountain, since we were at a restaurant just across the street. I love this hike because it's short and intense, and the view of Tempe from the top is so awesome, especially at sunset! Sun Devil Stadium is built into the side of the mountain, so it's a famous ASU landmark! Here we are about halfway up (this mama needed a out of shape...) :

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Emmett seemed to love being on the mountain. There were airplanes flying overhead the whole time, so he was pretty much in heaven. We had such a good time, maybe we'll try to take family hikes more often! Next time I'll wear the proper shoes though...

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The "A" for which A Mountain is named!
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Can you tell by the double Wubbanubs that we were cutting into Emmett's morning nap?
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Pretty cactus, beside the trail.

PS, don't forget to enter my giveaway! Tomorrow is the last day. :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

NikJDesigns on Etsy

For my first giveaway, I have teamed up with Nicole from NikJDesigns to give one custom fabric bucket to two lucky readers! 

I found this super cute Etsy shop a while back on my friend Morgan's blog, where she uses her large bucket to hold towels in her bathroom (so smart!). I loved Morgan's bucket, so I decided to work with Nicole to design a few for Emmett's nursery. She is so sweet and so fun to work with. We use our buckets to hold diapers, wipes, onesies, toiletries.. you name it! I love our buckets so much, I even used them for Easter baskets this year! 

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To enter, follow this blog (click the "Join this site" button on the right side of this page), visit  the NikJDesigns Etsy shop, and leave a comment below telling me which fabric you will choose if you win! You can enter once a day! I will choose a winner on Friday using your comment number (1st to comment is #1, 2nd is #2, etc) using this random number generator.

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For a chance to win a second basket (!!!), like Nicole's Facebook page, and share my post about the giveaway on your timeline as many times as you want!


And the winner is:

Lauren Eggers!

Lauren, shoot me an email (annakate25 @ instructions on how to collect your basket!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Giveaway!!!

I'm hosting my very first giveaway this week, and I'm so excited! I have teamed up with Nicole from NikJDesigns to giveaway a custom fabric bucket! Come back tomorrow for details! 

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Baby Cheeks!

For your viewing pleasure (you're welcome!):

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Aaaaand one more:

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I just joined Bloglovin! Have you heard of it? It's a great way to keep up with all of the blogs you love to read. You can follow my blog here: 
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Here's a funny Vine video of Emmett's new favorite game....!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Catch Up: iPhone Edition

The last couple of weeks, according to my iPhone:

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Poor baby Emmett. Last Friday his top two teeth started cutting through his gums, and we thought that was pretty sad and hard. And then he had a fever Saturday night through Tuesday morning, and we thought that was hard. And then Wednesday he had a mean rash all over his body and THAT was awful. We went to the doctor on Monday for his 9 month check up, and the doctor assured us the fever was nothing to worry about- just a side effect of the teething. They gave him his shots anyway, poor little thing. Turns out she was totally wrong. I took one look at that rash and rushed him to the doctor. Diagnosis: Roseola Virus (probably picked up at a previous doctor visit). Yuck.

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Finally on Friday he was back to his normal happy self. He was sleeping so well before all of this started, but that's definitely out the window. He's doing a little bit better every night, but we are tired y'all.

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I just wanted to show y'all Emmett's hairs. He only has a few, so we really love each one dearly. Little boy really didn't stand a chance- both Ray and I were bald until we were toddlers- so we're surprised he has even this much hair. And those ears y'all. They slay me!

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The good news is, after all that, we have teeth! Two little tiny perfectly white sharp-as-knives teeth! It's almost impossible to catch them in a photo, but they're impossible to miss when we're breastfeeding. I miss his perfect little gummy smile, but I have to admit, these teeth I was dreading so much are really growing on me.

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There's really nothing in the world quite like waking up to this sweet face every morning. He's the sweetest softest warmest most wonderful boy in the morning. And Oh My Goodness he's handsome!

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Last week was Master's week in Augusta. Besides Christmas, this is probably the week I miss home the most. The whole town is buzzing with excitement and activity, and there's nowhere on earth quite like the Augusta National Golf Course in April. It's beautiful. So anyway we spent a good chunk of the weekend glued to the tv watching golf, and Emmett even seemed like he liked it. We were pretty happy with the outcome too, because good lawd Adam Scott is good looking.

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On Saturday Ray had homework and Lucia was busy with a friend, so Emmett and I decided to go shopping. I bought a pair of shorts that actually fit and Emmett crawled around in the dressing room and laughed at himself in the mirror. I really love that he loves looking at himself. It's really cute.

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While we were out we stumbled upon a splash pad, so we went home to get Ray and Emmett's swim trunks and went back to play. Emmett watched all the other kids play for a while before he trusted the water, but once he got comfortable he loved it! I'm so glad we found this place- it will be such a life saver during the ultra hot Summer, which is practically upon us here in AZ. We played for a while, then dried Emmett off and changed his clothes (in public!) and even snuck in a beer and some Irish nachos at one of our favorite Happy Hour stops. Such a fun afternoon!

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Then Sunday we spent the afternoon at our Parish Church Festival. It was so much fun! My wonderful mother-in-law offered to keep baby boy at her house (right next to the church) while he napped (she must have read this post!), so Ray and I had a great time catching up with friends and enjoying really yummy food.

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Hat on..
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Hat off!
Tonight after work everyone was tired and hungry so we opted to go out for happy hour rather than grocery shop, cook, clean up, etc. We met some friends at a restaurant and sat out on the patio, which is one of our favorite things to do when the weather starts to get hot. Evenings are cool and the sunsets here are so gorgeous, so we love to have dinner outdoors.

So there we are, all caught up!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

On Motherhood

I have this thing on my mind y'all, but it's a tough thing to talk about. I'm reluctant to bring it up (even to my husband) because I don't want to complain or to sound like a martyr. I've decided to write about it anyway because maybe the writing will be cathartic and then I can move on. I usually find that talking about a thing makes it feel like much less of a thing in my mind. Does that make sense?

So, here it is:

Motherhood is hard! See? I feel better already. ;)

Disclaimer: I love being a mom. I love it SO MUCH, and I love Emmett SO MUCH.

But lately I feel like I live my entire life for other people- I wake up in the morning and take care of Emmett, with barely enough time to shower, much less blow dry or put together an outfit that matches. Half the time I leave the house without even looking in the mirror! I rush to work, where if I'm lucky I  scarf down a nutrition bar while catching up on email. I pump once for every bottle Emmett eats during the day, and spend my 30 minute lunch break flying home, feeding the baby, and flying back to work. After work I rush home to frantically pick up the house and play with the boy for half an hour before giving him his dinner, a bath, and putting him to bed. Then I wake up at least two times every night to feed Emmett and help him back to sleep (I know, believe me, we're working on it), and after a terrible night of sleep wake up in the morning to start all over again.

I stress ALL DAY LONG about laundry and dishes and baths and more laundry and money and every little tiny thing that happens to Emmett during the day. I worry that I'm not spending enough time with him, or that the time we do spend together isn't quality time because I'm too busy worrying about laundry. I worry about all the things I'm missing and all the things I can't get done at the house until the weekend. I worry that my poor husband thinks I'm a terrible wife because he has to do the cooking and the dishes after dinner.

I haven't had a haircut in months. I haven't slept more than 3-5 hours in a row in even more months. I don't have money for clothes or shoes or make up. We don't eat out very often, and when we do it's rushed and stressful and just harder than it used to be. Ray and I haven't been on a date in... I couldn't tell you how long.

Lately I find myself getting frustrated, and even angry, over the littlest things. I'm sure some of this is hormones (have any of you mamas experienced this when your babies begin to wean?), and some is just pure exhaustion, but I'm starting to think that I need to figure out a way to take some time for myself. To unwind, to relax, to just be by myself or with my husband.

How do you do that as a mom? I never want to leave the baby on the weekends because I have to miss him all week. I can't relax when I'm out somewhere knowing I have a million things to do at home. I struggle to keep enough milk in the fridge for Emmett during the week, so giving him a bottle on the weekend isn't really an option.

I know this is a relatively short season in my life, and one that I will miss so much when my children are grown. I know that life won't always be this busy, and I won't always be this exhausted (that's true, right??). And I know that all of this is worth it, and that the good FAR outweighs the bad, but sometimes it get's to me y'all. Sometimes it's hard.

Here's a really cute picture of Emmett at 6 months old, because every blog post needs a photo, right?
Isn't it funny how one day everything can pile up and weigh so heavy on you, and then the next day the laundry is done and there's milk in the freezer and you get a few hours of sleep and suddenly everything seems brighter? Just take a deep breath AK, tomorrow is another day.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A New Look!

As you can see the blog got a big redesign over the weekend, thanks to Erika at The Fairy Blogmother! She did a redesign giveaway on Instagram last week, and I was the lucky winner! (I know I've been annoying all of you who follow me in IG, but see?? It was worth it. :)

I am soooo thankful to Erika for being so generous, and for putting so much effort into the blog's new look! She was super nice and really easy to work with, so if you're thinking of adding any new features to your site, check her out here!

What do ya'll think of the new look?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Dear Emmett, 9 Months

Dear Emmett Boy,

You're getting so big! Your dad and I can't believe you're already 9 months old! You're still a tiny little guy (only in about the 3rd percentile for weight!), but to us you seem bigger and bigger every day. You've grown so much in the last month, since you've been eating non stop and using all your little muscles!

I remember my friends saying their favorite age for their babies was 9 months, and I totally agree! You are SO MUCH FUN lately! You're happy all the time, full of energy, and all you want to do is play! You wake up in the morning all smiles, so excited for the day, and you don't stop smiling until your little head hits your mattress.

Each morning when you wake up, we bring you into bed with us and try to sneak in a few snuggles. You are so sweet early in the morning- so excited to see us and you're still so soft and warm from sleep. You eat the most first thing in the morning, which makes your mama happy since you're way too busy to nurse these days. This week your favorite thing to do is give your mama raspberries on my belly, which makes us all laugh and laugh! But once you see little Bagel the snuggles are over! You get so excited and scream and yell until we let you play with him. You love that dog so much!

Poor Bagel. You spend most of your day chasing him around the house and pulling on his ears and tail. Every time you get distracted and Bagel finally gets to rest, you discover him all over again- you get this funny little look on your face like you can't wait to go torture him some more! Your favorite thing to do with your food is grab it in hand-fulls and throw it down for Bagel. He loves it and you laugh every time.

Here's a little Vine video of Emmett sharing his dinner with Bagel (Do ya'll have that app? So fun!). More here and another really cute one here.

Up until this week, you've been eating so many new foods! Whenever your dad or mama or your aunt Lulu are eating, you get really excited and beg for us to let you have some too. You've been eating turkey sausage, beans, avocado, corn, vegetables, a little pork, and everything else you see us eating.

Trying eggs and sausage at an Easter pool party!

Wanna try some mama?

Such a silly boy!

But this week something crazy has happened that's made you eat a lot less than normal... You're finally cutting teeth! Your two top teeth are popping through, so your poor little mouth is hurting. I couldn't believe it when I saw that tiny little tooth coming through your gum. I was so excited and so proud of you, but also a little sad because this means you're growing up! You haven't been sleeping very well (what else is new!) since we found that little tooth, but you're still so happy all day long. Your mom and dad are pretty tired, but we know you'll get back to normal soon.

Your aunt Lulu (my sister Lucia) is your nanny, which makes you a very lucky boy! She loves you so much and plays with you all day long, which makes your mama very happy. We love not having to worry about you while we're missing you at work, and you love going for walks with her. She took you to the pool today for the first time this summer, and you loved it!! Lulu can't wait till it's warm enough to swim all day.

I took this picture of you while I was home on my lunch break today. Your tongue has been out ALL WEEK since your little teeth started coming through!

I still have such a hard time leaving you at home to go to work every day baby boy. You're so much fun right now, so all I want to do is stay home and play with you! I wish I could stay at home with you every day, so we play as much as we can in the mornings and evenings. I kiss you a thousand times before I leave, and another thousand times when I come home to make up for all the ones I missed during the day. Your dad and I never want to leave you on the weekends because we love having whole days to spend all together. Whenever you are sleeping we talk about how we miss you and can't wait till you wake up!

Hanging out with Daddy after work yesterday!

So excited to see you after work today!

You are so wild! You wake up ready to go and don't sit still for a second all day long. You try to stand up by yourself now- you pull yourself up on something and then just let go and stand for a couple of seconds, and everyone's heart stops while we count the seconds! Your record is still just a few wobbly seconds, but it's pretty exciting to watch you try. You're getting better at moving around now too. You crawl SO FAST and you walk around the coffee table holding on with one hand now. You love the stairs, and can get up them so fast! We stay right behind you the whole time though because you're totally fearless and try to stand up while you're climbing. You always go for the most dangerous thing you can find- like the stairs in our house, or the sidewalk if we're playing in the grass outside.

Playing in the grass today. You love getting dirty!

You have been way too busy to nurse lately, so I look forward to our time together when you are really sleepy just before bed. You wake up in the middle of the night at least a couple of times still to eat, but I don't mind too much. I like to think it's because you miss me too during the day, so you wake up just to spend a little extra time with me at night. :)

You're filling our days (and nights!) with so much joy baby boy. We love you more every day, and we can't wait to watch you grow and learn more and more as you get older. You're such a good, sweet, happy boy, and you make your mom and dad feel like the luckiest parents in the world!

Here we are on Easter Sunday! It's a weird photo but we don't get very many all together!

I love you sweet Emmett boy!

Your mama


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